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Posts Tagged ‘french’

Sinful Colors – Glass Pink

Posted by manicuremania on November 8, 2009

sin glasspink
I’m really not into sheers lately, but I quite like Glass Pink a lot. It’s nice and subtle, but it’s also seriously shimmery. No hope of opacity, of course.

sin glasspink 2

sin glasspink 3

I wanted to fancy this up a bit though so I added french tips in Sally Hansen VIP Pink, and it was a fail. VIP Pink is too sheer so I had yucky buildup on the ends of my nails from so many coats of polish.

sin glasspink 4The polishes work well together though, because they contain sort of the same kind of shimmer.


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French Week – half-moon manicure

Posted by manicuremania on August 31, 2009

french week
Now, this isn’t a french, exactly, but it’s french-like. French-adjacent. I think it still counts for french week, because I’ve been wanting to do it for a while!

ch ravishing reverse french 2


It’s an interesting look, and I used China Glaze Ravishing Dahling, which is a wonderful jelly-ish polish.

ch ravishing reverse french 3

no flash!

I think you can see the full effect more when the pictures aren’t cropped so tightly, but I had an issue with my thumbnail that I had to “fix.”

no flash!

I have used my expert Photoshopping skillz to edit out the enormous smudge that happened on the way outside to take the pics.

I freehanded the moons, which turned out OK. I just followed the curve of my natural moons (is there a real term for those?) with the polish brush, and then cleaned them up a bit with acetone and a paintbrush.

As always, here is my list of complaints/things I will do differently next time:

I’d liked to not follow the curve of my moons, and instead make them larger and more curved in order to increase the drama of the effect. I think I could’ve done with a third coat of polish to make it darker and more vampy and 1940’s-ish, and I also think I need an actual color for the moons instead of just leaving them bare, because there’s not enough contrast between the moons and my skin. Also interesting would be to include a french tip, I think – maybe with a dull white color for the moons and tips.

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French Week – colored french

Posted by manicuremania on August 30, 2009

french week
Colored frenches = awesome! I bought these Avon and Maybelline colored french duos probably…15 years ago? They required quite a bit of thinning. 🙂

I have two Maybelline Express Finish tip colors, but the matching sheers that I know I had at one point are mysteriously missing from my collection.

french tip polishes

french tip polish tops

I also have two Avon sheers…but again, the tip colors are oddly no longer in my collection. I’m not even 100% certain that these were part of a french kit, but I’m pretty sure.

sheer french polishes 2

sheer french polishes

This makes me sad, and I can’t figure out where they might have gotten to! I’ve tried searching around but I can’t seem to find the missing polishes for sale anywhere. I shall keep looking! And in the meantime, here’s a french manicure I did using Avon Sheer Blue and Maybelline French Tip Blue.

aveon sheer french

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French Week – lacy french

Posted by manicuremania on August 30, 2009

french week
This is a pretty classic french manicure. Simple and elegant, and I really like this look! I used Sally Hansen Natural Color for the sheer polish (it came in some sort of french kit years ago), and Orly White Tips for the tips, which I added last so the tips are still stark white. My critique of this is that I made the tips too thick.



Then I added a Konad, and I think I just made my favorite manicure ever. I used white Special Polish and plate 73. Not too much more to say about it…it’s very girly and pretty and it reminds me of lace.

pretty pretty!

pretty pretty!

OK…I really like my nails here, and because of that I plan on wearing this for a while. But it started to bug me like crazy that the tips were so thick…soooo…well, I redid them. And now I am much happier with them and I won’t have to hide my nails tomorrow at work!!

sh natural color redo

sh natural color redo 2

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French Week – Tire Tracks Konad

Posted by manicuremania on August 30, 2009

french week
I did this one a while ago and thought I’d drag it out for French Week! I love the combination of pink and black – it seems so vintage and it reminds me of poodle skirts and sock hops. The Konad pattern I used also looked nice, but not in black – I kept getting people exclaiming over my nails and then asking me if I’m into Nascar, or mentioning that it looks like tire treads. Not quite the effect I was going for.


cellphone pic, slightly washed out

I think I’ll try another variation of the pink and black this week without the tires.

This was Finger Paints Pink Dawn Konaded with black Special Polish and plate 44.

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French Week – Orly French Kit FAIL

Posted by manicuremania on August 29, 2009

french week
OK, to kick off French Week, I have my new Orly French Kit. The selection of Orly polishes for frenches at Sally’s was pretty impressive to me. There were many many different shades of white and lots of sheers – I literally could not choose, so I went the safe route with a kit.

Anyway, the Orly French kit. I got the kit in rose, and I believe there are also pink and peach versions. The box contains four polishes –  Rose Tone (sheer pink), White Tips, Bonder Rubberized Basecoat, In A Snap Quick Dry Topcoat, and some tip guide stickers. I followed the instructions in the box (though it’s not how I really prefer to do it) and used all four steps just to see how the kit worked for me. I applied the basecoat over my usual two coats of Orly Nail Armor, of course. The basecoat dried rather too quickly for me, which seems to be a common complaint of mine, so maybe the problem is actually me, I dunno. Next the instructions called for me to paint on the tips, which I don’t especially like doing first. I can never get an even application of the sheer over the white, so it doesn’t do its intended job of muting the white tips – instead it just makes the tips look streaky. So normally I like to do the tips last. I freehanded them again, and I did a much better job this time. I didn’t use the guides because I don’t enjoy the shelf of polish that it creates.

The coverage of the white was great! I would call that an improvement from my normal Sally Hanson whites for frenches – I didn’t have to use three coats for opacity!!!

Next, the sheer pink, one coat. Didn’t deposit much (or any?) color on my bare nails, but a lot on the tips, as usual. Sigh.

Then I added a step – I painted a thin line of silver glitter polish at the tip line.

Topcoat – was odd to use because it’s not as thick as my beloved Seche, but it did dry quickly. I was still getting dents about half an hour later though, so perhaps there’s a reason that I’ve never really heard/read anything about this Orly topcoat.

artificial light

artificial light - very very wonky colors here

So. The pink streaks at the tips didn’t look too bad when I was sitting by my computer in the dim light in here. But then I walked to another room and the tips were stark white with hot pink streaks, it was completely noticable and defined and I couldn’t deal with it. So I decided to just roll with the pink color…I  added a second coat of the sheer pink, another coat of silver glitter cause the pink dulled the glitter, and a coat of Seche.

And now it’s terribly pink, and horrible. I was trying to hide my nails all day long! The nail beds were actually darker than the tips, and it just looked weird and bad. Aside from that, I think it would’ve been better with white or clear glitter – something that adds a little sparkle and interest, but doesn’t actually create a darker line. One person told me today that the line of silver looked like dirt under my nails!



So the french kit was a big fat FAIL. Actually, I suppose the only thing that failed was the Sheer Rose polish, but that really screwed up the entire thing. I liked the White Tips polish a lot, though, and I will probably buy a full sized bottle of it eventually.

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French Week – this will not be a popular opinion.

Posted by manicuremania on August 29, 2009

Ohhhh, french manicures, how I love you! I love you and I don’t care who knows it. I love how fancy you make my nails look. I love how you seem to wear better than other polishes. I love how simple you are. I love how you make my nails look longer!

I know that french manicures have a bad reputation, and really, I understand why. Frenches do tend to be worn sometimes by…a trashy element. And probably just about every girl can remember getting a horrible french manicure done for some high school event like prom,  usually with acrylics. But, I just do not care! I love them! I think that it’s just such an easy way to dress up my nails, and frenches make my nails feel so elegant and fancy (which probably shows my tacky side, but whatever).

That is why I am declaring this week…

french week
I have several ideas for things to try and I’m excited about having a theme!

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Zoya – Harley

Posted by manicuremania on August 27, 2009


I was so excited about this batch of four Zoya polishes I just got, but they’re just really disappointing me. This one is a really odd color. Even with Seche, it’s dull and flat and just isn’t interesting. It does appear to have darker gray sparkles, but they’re not shimmery. I don’t NEED shimmer to like a polish but this one is just so dull!! And even kinda ugly IMO.

zoya harley

The big problem with it, though, was again the application. It turned out…lumpy! It took three coats to banish Visible Nail Line, but even the first coat was uneven and chunky.

It’s an unusual color. It catches my eye and I bring my hand close to inspect it, but then I’m disappointed that it’s still just a dull gray creme with no hint of shimmer, no purple or blue undertones. Just stark gray like concrete. Zoya’s site describes it as a “soft shimmering gray,” cool-toned, frosty finish. Eh. I didn’t realize “frosty” meant “dull.”

So I thought I’d try to fancy it up a bit by adding french tips and using some of my Art Deco nail art polishes. Oh and here are the ones I have:

silver glitter, silver, blasck glitter, black, gold glitter, white

silver glitter, silver, black glitter, black, gold glitter, white

I painted on tips using Sally Hansen Gunmetal, a very nice dark grey with blue undertones. It looks exactly like what I picture “gunmetal” to be. Then I added different colored stripes below the tip lines in a variety of colors, just to see how they look because I haven’t tried out the Art Club striping polishes yet:

zoya harley art

They’re pretty much all bad, except for the silver glitter on my index finger. I reallllly like that look, and when I get around to trying my new Orly French kit, I will definitely be adding silver glitter stripes to jazz it up a bit.

zoya harley art 2

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Zoya – Malia

Posted by manicuremania on August 22, 2009

Wow, two purples in a row, and I despise purples generally! Oh but this is a niiiiice color. It’s a light purple, but not a pastel purple. It’s sort of a dusty, dirty light purple. Zoya’s site just describes it as a cool-toned violet creme, which doesn’t do it very much justice in my opinion. It’s quite a bit darker on my nails than in the bottle. I love it!

Now, I did have problems with application. I want so much to love Zoya, but…application was baaaaaad on this one. It was very runny, yet applied thickly, and it was practically dry before I could finish painting a nail. Is this that Big 3-Free syndrome I’ve heard about? Whatever it is, DO NOT WANT!

Like I said, it applied thickly, and it was almost a one-coater, but there were bald spots because of the instantly-drying thing. This is two coats.

in sunlight

in sunlight

I’ve gotten compliments on this one already!

Of course I got tired of it after like twelve hours, so I decided to play around with different things. I matte-ified my right hand with Essie Matte About You topcoat:


cuticles still bad

This is the first time I’ve matte-ed anything that wasn’t glitter or shimmery, and, it was just ok. It sort of just looked dull.

Then on my left hand, I figured I’d do a monochrome french tips design, but I didn’t have a darker purple that I wanted to use, so I whipped one up:

the ingredients

the ingredients

just tips

just tips

I freehanded the tips for the first time – always in the past I’ve used sticky strip guides. Not a bad look, but I was feeling more creative than that!

So, I added a white stripe below each dark tip, the used a fancy french Konad stamp in white special polish. The I thought the stripe looked dumb, so I covered it witb dark purple instead. It was fun to do, but didn’t really look good enought for me to keep it on. I think next I’ll try an asymmetrical french with a bright color for the tips and some stripes and dots – I’ve been seeing that all over the place lately.

taken in the rain!

taken in the rain!

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