Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Boozing Breaks Nails

It seems more often than not Happy Hour ends in a ruined mani.  Here is an example:

Color Club - Magic Attraction

I love this glitter.  Yea I know, I can't believe those words are leaving my mouth, but it has some holo like glitter in there that is definitely worth the pain and extra (and I mean extra) topcoat.

How pretty!
I finally got it smooth after putting on topcoat once a day for 3 days straight.

So all is going well during happy hour, I even got a compliment on the mani :D yay!
On the train ride home however I'm starring off into to space, contimplating how I can swipe the fries from the toddler next to me without her mom noticing, when I glance down and see ....

Okay not too bad.  I was bummed, but it's doable till I got home.  However, this prompted me to look at the rest of my hands.
WTF.  Half my thumb was missing, LOL!

I totally just stuck my thumb in my palm.

Then when I finally get home this happened! LOL

The amusing part was, I found the other half on my carpet.  Oh man! bahahaha ... Thank god I was home.

Serendipitously , how ever the pointer finger incident happened, it caused a split that prompted the Nail Fix series (which can be found here.)

I have more stories like this, so stay tuned for the carnage. :D

Friday, March 25, 2011

I do I do lilac it!

OPI - Do you lilac it?

I really like this lilac creme.  This picture is fairly true to color, otherwise the camera does it's manic thing. 

 Indirect sun - it looks lighter and more blue here.
 Fluorescent lamp - back to purple :-/

Depending on the color OPI has been a hit and miss with me.  However, this is a really nice applying cream that went on streak free by the second coat.

These pictures are from a few weeks back, but I like it so much I am wearing it again!

Base: CND Toughen Up
Color : OPI Do you lilac it? x2
Top: something random
This is in direct sun.


Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Mmmmm Mango

Revlon makes some nice squishy polishes and doesn't nearly get enough praise for it.  I'm a fan ...

Revlon - Make Mine Mango

This polish is an orange-y peach jelly that is nice and bright. This swatch is 3 coats and you can see visible nail line, but that's a-okay with me.

 In full sun.
 Indirect sun.
The formula is pretty sweet. Very smooth and not streaky at all.

Perhaps a 4th coat would have gotten rid of the VNL, but I don't care enough and like it as is.

The topcoat I have been using has been giving me some streaky-ness, do you see that?  I think its the brush and not the formula, but I'll have to decant in another bottle to see if it straightens itself out.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Eating to Excess

I love Sushi, but darn it when you eat in large volumes like I do it gets EXPENSIVE. What is a big girl to do?


Imagine all this for under $100, YEAH!

Not to mention, most sushi place's skimp on the fish.

Ignore the random margarita, my family can not help mixing cultures.

I know sushi is not for everyone, but I am wiping drool as I write this.

The possibilities are endless.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Sticks and Stones

Don't you hate it when you are self conscious about something and then some jerk face has to go and say something to make you feel like total poopy.  Case in point ...

So, I just filed my nails like two weeks ago to a length emotionally acceptable for me (lol).  Well, I was starting to feeling like they were getting a little long and was really questioning, should I or shouldn't I?  Ya know mentally preparing myself for the next take down.

I had just applied this deliciously yummy polish by Revlon (Bubble Gum) and decided I would let the mani live another day before I took them down, but put it on my to do list.

And then came the comment by jerk face ...

"Your nails kinda scare me"

I died a little inside.

Again, it probably would have just rolled off my back had I not already been thinking about it.

I went home and went to town.  I took them down to the meat.  I mean at least for some of them.

Ugh, the middle finger looks like such a fat hobbit.

Essie - Sexy Divide

No not sexy.  Thanks to my butch hands and currently square short nails I was feeling far from it.
Too short for my liking.  I mean maybe it was the dark polish accentuating the shortness, but I HATED MY NAILS for the next few days.

Alas, it's amazing what a couple days and a millimeter will do for the self esteem.

Yeay!  Back to an emotionally gratifying length. 

I rounded the corners a bit and slapped on Zoya - Caitlin.  She made me happy.

F U jerk face.

Monday, March 14, 2011


Several months back I was in my local Giant grocery store ... probably in to buy sour cream for TACO NIGHT!  As always I peruse the most important isles ... makeup department.  My eye caught a plastic stream holding several OPI's.  I was like "say WHAT!?"  OPI at Giant, that's ludicrous!  The color selection was all over the place, from old to new, weird.  I saw Shimmery-chic from OPI's Holiday Wishes collection, which has some flakie in it.  Unfortunately, I find it to be way UG and passed; had it been Merry Midnight I would have peed my pants and paid full price.

Then another day, another TACO NIGHT later, I again saw OPI this time at a different Giant.  Cool dude! So I'm checking the strip and when I finally get down to the bottom I find this:

OPI Absolutely Alice
I peed a little.  I peed not because I was looking for it or particularly wanted it, but because I know lots of people are looking for this color on MUA.  I thought yeay! maybe I can swap this for that Merry Midnight I want.  :D

There happen to be an SA in the aisle restocking shampoo.  I went over and asked whether there was another place that had OPI displayed.  She said, "that's not an item that we normally carry, it was sent by the shipper."  I don't know what the hell the second part meant, but she was clearly breathing heavily and slightly out of it, so I said, "thank you" and started walking back to the strip to see if I had missed anything.  As I was walking away she said, "did you see the Cover Girl display?!"  After my brain got done laughing really hard, I told her, "oh yes, thank you." 

So ladies check your local Giant grocery store for a possible WIN!

Maybe I am being selfish and a total nail polish hoarder, but now that I have had this thing for a couple of days I don't want to give it up.  Actually, I feel like this about all of my polishes even if they are very meh.  I can't imagine giving one up (even if it's meh) unless I have a backup.  We all change our minds and I don't want to have that story "I had that polish, but gave it up."

Friday, March 11, 2011

This can't be normal

If you're reading this blog then you too like nail polish *high five.  But when does "like" become crazy.  I don't know and don't care.  But I have to say bringing this much nail polish:

on a 4 day trip might be slightly weird to a nuggle (... and yes thats borrowed from HP's muggle. Since muggles are non magic folk, I take the m to stand for magic, so it only seems right to replace it with an n for non nail folks.)

Anyway, 7 basecoat/topcoats, really?!  Yes, really.  All necessary depending on the color brand being used at the time.

I would say I change my nail polish on average twice a week, so why so much for a 4 day trip?  The problem is I never know what mood I will be in. I try to be prepared and plan what I think I maybe into for the next few days.  Besides I can always buy something if I have nothing that I am happy with.

I even scaled back on this trip because there is a freaking awesome beauty supply place near my destination which I know I can always hit up.

Are you a nuggle?

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Nail Hardeners - Fluoride Based Treatments II

Although this looks like some illicit drug, it's actually calcium fluoride and fits really well into our discussion of Fluoride based nail treatments.  This is part II of that topic. Part I can be found here. Fluoride based nail treatments are part of a greater category of Nail Hardeners.  See links below:

Categories of Hardeners and Formaldehyde
Are Formaldehyde Hardeners right for you?
Protein Based Hardeners
Formaldehyde + Protein Based Hardeners
Formaldehyde or Protein Based Hardeners + Moisturizers
Fluoride Based Nail Treatments Part I 
Dimethyl Urea Base Hardeners 
Nail Conditioners Post or Video

Now on to the post ...

There are only a few products that contain fluoride:
ProStrong ProAccelerator Fluoride Nail Strengthener
Barielle - Fortifying Nail Builder
Almay Organic Fluoride Line (these I believe are discontinued, but I still see them online)

It has been a looooong time since I used either the Barielle or Almay ones, but have always gone back to prostrong for various reasons, mainly because it's easy to obtain, use and it works.  Since I prefer Prostrong, I will discuss the Pro Accelerator in greater detail.

Prostrong Pro Accelerator

I like the Prostrong fluoride accelerator because it's NOT like a nail polish. The treatment is a liquid, alcohol based, and can be applied to either dry clean bare nails or over dried polished nails and the treatment is just as effective.  The alcohol evaporates immediately.  You start off applying it twice a day and can cut back when your desired hardness is achieved. Some people may be concerned about the alcohol base, which can be drying, but that is why I seriously stress moisturizing, both with this treatment and in general nail care.

Problems and Concerns: 
I have used this product (and still do on occasion), but feel, similar to formaldehyde, it can over harden the nail plate. However, I think it takes much longer before a fluoride based treatments over hardens the nail plate vs. formaldehyde based treatments. I would say after about 6-9 months of using Prostrong I start to taper off. As such, it's more difficult to over harden the nail plate with fluoride based treatments.  

I suppose like any nail product there is a chance of skin irritation, but I have never experienced this.

Where I buy it:
In my experience I have found it is best to order off the ProStrong website rather than QVC because it's cheaper (that is unless QVC is having a sale/special). I usually get the "Proaccelerator Mini bottle with Bonus size Refill". It's 0.75oz + 0.125oz for $19.5. That is ~$22 per ounce of product.

Although this product worked for me, not all nail conditions are created equal. The proper choice of treatment must be based on your own nail condition.  In order to determine whether this product can help you see Part I.

Next Up: Dimethyl Urea Base Hardeners 

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Nail Hardeners - Fluoride Based Nail Treatments I

OMG, we have gotten over the hump of the Nail Hardener/Treatment Series. This post will explore 1/2 of the duo that was my "Magic Bullet" ... Fluoride Based Nail Treatments!

This is part I of Fluoride Based Nail Treatments. Part II is linked at the bottom.  The fluoride based nail treatment is part of a greater series on Nail Hardeners that can be found here.

So as you know I like me some home shopping channels. One night I was watching QVC and saw this old lady with nice nails selling this nail strengthening product.

Doris Crary
I was so jealous and amazed. I must have watched the presentations for a year or two (what can I say, I like to torture myself :p), but eventually I ordered because I couldn't hold out any longer.  I was not disappointed. 

I wish I had before and after pictures, but that was so long ago ... before digital cameras 0_o ... at least in my realm of being.

I have tried several of the Prostrong products and kits, but feel you only really need the fluoride accelerator (pictured above) + your own moisturizer of choice. This routine, along with these rules, helped me to eliminate most of my peeling.

How does it work:
Prostrong has the patent, therefore mostly a monopoly, on this technology (sadly). Almay used to have a product similar to this, but I haven't seen it in the store in 7+ years. In short, calcium (Ca) and fluoride (F) make a pretty strong bond as calcium fluoride (Ca-F). (yeay chemistry!) You have naturally occurring calcium in the nail plate, while the fluoride resides in the strengthener. Placing the treatment on your nails creates lots n lots of Ca-F (calcium fluoride) bonds, which in effect hardens the nail plate. This is actually very similar to the way formaldehyde strengtheners work (in idea only); there is no cross linking of keratin with the fluoride treatments.

What type of nail would benefit from this product?
Ideally, nail strength is achieved through a balance of nail hardness and flexibility. If your nail has the following combination of characteristics soft, bends easily, tears and peels (how to determine these things click here) then you could benefit from fluoride treatments since adding hardness to the nail plate will balance out the flexibility already in the nail plate.  Furthermore, it is important to maintain a proper moisture routine during and after treatment as this prevents dry brittle nails.

A single symptom of peeling does not mean this treatment is right for you.  Peeling can result from a whole host of physical trauma or lack of moisture and the exact causes must be determined and analyzed on a case be case basis.  Think about whether you do any of the following things mentioned in this post.  If you are guilty (even if by association only) do your best to correct the problem because after all healthy nails = :D

Nail Hardeners - Fluoride Based Nail Treatments part II will discuss - Prostrong application, fluoride based treatments problems and concerns, other fluoride containing treatments, and where to find them.

Here is part II of Fluoride based treatments 

Here are links to the other parts in the series:
Categories of Hardeners and Formaldehyde
Are Formaldehyde Hardeners right for you?
Protein Based Hardeners
Formaldehyde + Protein Based Hardeners
Formaldehyde or Protein Based Hardeners + Moisturizers
Fluoride Based Nail Treatments Part II 
Dimethyl Urea Base Hardeners 
Nail Conditioners Post or Video Review of DermaNail

Friday, March 4, 2011

It's like WOAH!

You know what makes me go WOAH?  Freaking Illamasqua.  These people are always super creative and push limits; how can you not appreciate that?  The Toxic Nature Collection launches online next week, Thursday March 10, and at counters in the UK Thursday March 17; it's guaranteed to do this  ...  O_o

Seriously look at these promo pic's (click to make bigger)

Okay my first thought was Night of the Living ... Spring Edition

BUT now I'm convinced Tim Burton had a hand in this.

Either way, they put such interesting components together ...
Death + Rot + Pastels = Win

Not to sound corny, but it's really neat.

Now on to the good stuff ... Nail POLISH!

Here are the descriptions from Illamasqua with my comments in red.  

Nail Varnish - £13.50

Leave your mark with an unexpected claw. Choose from either toxic pastels or unmissable neons. Hardwearing and chip-resistant.

Purity – Peach (how sweet and spring-y)

Bacterium – Pearlescent Ash Ochre (nerd geek wants!)

Radium – Acidic Lime Shimmer (come on, anything from the periodic table is game on  by sheer principle)

Stagnate – Grey Mauve (my mom always tells me  to stay away from stagnant water cause I'll get legionnaires, this is a good substitute.)

Gamma – Neon orange (another bright spring color to even out the rot.)

You can view the colors better here.

Oh and apparently there's a "claw".   Here is what Illamasqua says about that :

Toxic Claw - £35.00

Illamasqua are proud to present the second collaboration with visionary manicurist, Mike Pocock.  A beautifully presented set of two false thumb nails, these have been designed and individually hand made by Mike. ‘The mutated aesthetic of the nail was inspired by the corrupted hues present in the Toxic Nature collection’. (sounds intense ... not so sure it rocks my boat, but hey Never say Never ... like Justin 

If you're feeling lucky, add your favorite products from the new collection to the waiting list at illamasqua.com and you could be one of the first to try the collection!  Three winners will be selected March 9th.

I'm so there!

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Juicy Secret

ATTENTION! China Glaze - Secret Peri-wink-le ... can officially be classified as super awesome.

One day I really wanted to find some flakies and knowing damn well I wasn't going to find any, I made my way to a bunch of stores anyway.  My last stop was Sally's.  There was a coupon for China Glaze and I still hadn't bought anything .... and then I saw it ... Secret Periwinkle. 

I think this collage shows the color most accurately.

Base Coat:
CND Toughen Up

Color :
China Glaze Secret Peri-wink-le x2

Top Coat:
CND Air Dry

Application was nice and easy ... GOLD STAR!

I have yet to be disappointed with China Glaze cremes and this is NO exception. Creme-y goodness.

Here is the color with flash. The polish looks nothing like this, but it sure does look pretty!

Here is Secret Periwinkle with the sliver of sunlight that I get in my apt.

Direct sunlight
Indirect sunlight.
The sun is fading fast ..... but the polish still looks AWESOME!
The rest of the pictures are SPAMMAGE!

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Art-o-rama ... Contest

Color Club is having a St. Patties Day Art contest.  So, get out your art skillz and post your best looking St. Patrick's Day themed nail art to their facebook page by March 14th.

It will be judged base on creativity, best use of decals, appliques and free-hand nail art.  The winner will be chosen on March 17.

The winner gets a Wicked Sweet Color Club Collection. OMG they're scented!!!!!!!

I would love to see the following gals enter:
Silence is Loud

Are you going to enter? Come on, smelly polish, whats not to love?!

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Wave hello to my top coat flap

Remember China Glaze - Flying Dragon (neon)? Yea me too it was puurdy.  The original post can be found here.

I think we can all agree that it is NOT a good idea to mix Seche Vite with certain polishes OR put it on dry nail polish, especially day (or two) old dried polish.

Well guess what ... curiosity killed the cat ... or in this case the flying dragon ...

I had a big ol' chip on the side and then it started peeling, so I gave it a tug.

Pretty sweet flap! LOOK the suede and shiny look on one nail!
Mani DEAD.

Oh yea, see the damage at the nail free edge?
That's called "buffing out a peel".  Sometimes I just can't take down nail length, it hurts ... emotionally.