Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Proof is in the pudding

I do love it when readers try things and then send me pictures. It's quite gratifying. I mean, I know the things that spew from this blog work for me, but to have someone else get something out of it is pretty terrific!

This little lady right here... Kat from Hooked on Polish started chatting me up on Twitter the other month (you can follow her too... click here.) We've been having a hilarious love affair every since. Like me, and many of you, she has to deal with a little wonky nail here and there. After my last post, "Straight and narrow", she showed me her wonk and decided to try the simple filing technique. She was happy with the results and I was ecstatic for her! She was kind enough to let me share her before and after pictures. AND WHO DOESN'T LIKE A GOOD BEFORE AND AFTER. Sorry for shouting, but I really am THAT excited.

Today, I will share with you her results.

Before: photo credit (from twitter)

After: photo credit (from twitter)
It seems silly, but these minor little changes makes a difference when your wonk is getting you down. YAY!

Hugs and kisses to Kat for her testimonial. Thanks for letting me use your pictures! Now, if you will excuse us, we have to go hump. *inappropriate*

WARNING: please read the previous post and all relevant posts linked within and attempt all filing carefully and responsibly as messing with the nail side walls can be tricky.

Good Luck!

Monday, December 3, 2012

Straight and narrow

How lovely would it be if all of our nails grew evenly and straight?! This is the stuff of dreams! Well, maybe second to winning the lottery. If you weren't blessed (because I sure as hell wasn't), grab your favorite gentle nail file and join me in this tutorial! I recommend either a 220-320 grit strength for strong healthy nails or a 400-600 grit strength (or high quality crystal nail file) for weak problem nails. Here is a nail file post for reference.

I don't know about you, but my nails curve, wonk and do crazy things depending on factors such as water exposure, moisture content and whether they are polished or unpolished. I do pay special attention to filing to make them appear straight and narrow.

At this point, this filing technique is so automatic for me, it's hard to find a before picture. I would have to let my nails grow for quite a while and endure the fatness, crookedness and unevenness. And well, that is REALLY hard. The fact that I know they can look better with a few simple strokes of the file is just too much temptation to not do it all the time.

The look we are going for is very symmetrical. We are going to shoot for even nail beds, paying particular attention to the nail side wall to make it look nice and even...

Essie - Licorice
There are several factors that do not allow my nails to look like this all the time naturally.
First... there is the wonk:

I have discussed how to improve a wonky curvy nail in this post. For me, keeping the nail hydrated and at a length below a certain point makes the wonk improve. One thing I did not mention in that post is how we can also manipulate the nail side walls with filing, to create a more even appearance.

If you take a look at your nail from the side you may see this..

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First, notice the curve. Some nails are worse than others. Second, notice the extra overhang at the tip of the nail (free edge) particularly more obvious in the second picture. I can't change that curve shape (my first concern); it is inherent, but I can play with the angles and eliminate the over hang (my second concern). If I file the nail side walls like this...

....suddenly the nail appears flatter and straighter...

I would advise being very careful while filing the nail side wall. I stressed that point in this and this post. Please read those posts first before attempting... don't fret, there are pictures!

This filing technique is really the key to getting my nails straight. Now, let's look at the c-curve of this nail.
Filing the sides (carefully!) allows me to straighten any imperfections in the c-curve. You may notice your nail c-curve is longer, heavier or curvier on the left vs. the right. Afterwords, my left and right side is not only balanced (I've included a white line that your eye can follow), but some of the c-curve is relaxed a bit. See if you can release/relax your c-curve by filing the sides off a bit. I think this helps trim off some of the weight. Your nail may appear more narrow.

A few small strokes of the nail file allows you to create a much straighter balanced nail. Using a gentle file and the correct technique, I strongly encourage you to play around with your nails to see what kind of shape and balance you can create.

And now for one of my favorite sexy polishes shown above....

Essie - Urban Express


Wednesday, November 21, 2012

It's Chartreuse not Ogre

I get super excited to review Dermelect polishes because I get to skip base coat! I mean, I can skip base coat anytime I want, but with these polishes it is almost like they are giving me permission. I always feel guilty and afraid to skip base coat; I fear and loath staining. This way, if my nails stain, I have someone else to blame other than my laziness/nonchalant attitude. 

Dermelect is adding a few more shades to their peptide infused color treatments. I reviewed a few here and also did a comparison post here.

There are 3 new shades coming out in the 2013 Resort Collection.

I got to try one of the three colors... All The Envy

Dermelect - All The Envy

I was given a choice between the three colors. The other two were much more normal (Lust Struck - Coral Creme; Moon Kissed - shimmery off-white). I thought about it long and hard, all of 3 seconds, and came to the conclusion that I own nothing like All The Envy, thus decided to give it a whirl!

Although the top picture gives my skin a lovely purple hue, it is very color accurate. Simply put, the shade is a chartreuse.

VERY interesting. 

In terms of application, this polish takes a couple coats to get there. It will take about 3-4 coats depending on how thick you normally polish and how much visible nail line you can typically stand.
Dermelect - All The Envy ... 1 coat

This was the first coat. Oh man it was so sheer, but look how even it is!

One the bright side... my nail damage is growing out on my ring finger. Remember this?

Dermelect - All The Envy ... 2 coats

Coat # 2.

No way I could stop here! Not only do I see nail line (which I personally don't mind), but I still see nail bed. Again, this coat is very even.

Dermelect - All The Envy ... 3 coats

At three coats, this shade becomes more solid. You could definitely stop here. In some lighting situations some visible nail line peaks through.

Dermelect - All The Envy ... 4 coats

Overall, the formula was very nice. I experienced no streakiness or bubbling problems.

The rest of the pictures are with 4 coats.

Dermelect - All The Envy ... 4 coats

Depending on the lighting, the shade leans more yellow or green.

Dermelect - All The Envy ... 4 coats

As I understand it, chartreuse made Pantone's fashion color report for spring 2013. See here.

Dermelect - All The Envy ... 4 coats

I mentally prepared myself for the real possibility I'd be left with chartreuse nail beds after removal. I am happy to say this scenario was not the case. 

If you want to be cool, on trend, have healthy non yellow nailsbeds, and are too lazy to wear base coat sometimes ... Dermelect's All The Envy may be just what you need in your collection.

Note: A few coupon codes popped up in my email:

$10 off $50 - 50LESS10
$20 off $100 - 100LESS20
$30 off $150 - 150LESS30

This polish and the rest of the color treatments can be found on the Dermelect website$14/0.4oz.

 *Sent for review*

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Chameleon Round 2

As I was saying in the lat post... Check your bottles.  Here is another great one by Scherer Chameleon...

Scherer Chameleon - Waltz

When it's good... it's good.

Nuff said.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Check your bottles

I hate when I run across a great polish only to find batches of reject lots the next time I go to repurchase. Such was the case with Scherer Chameleon.

Scherer Chameleon - Blue Sky

I couldn't stop photographing this one because the duochrome is so pretty.

This picture is with top coat.

The topcoat does bring out the shimmer a bit. Otherwise it's very smooth and flat like pictured here.

And now for way too many pictures...

If you happen to find these, make sure to check that the duochrome is easily visible because I have seen reject lots.

Wearing these (yes there are more!) combined with the fact that I have not bought polish in forever (at least no serious hauling), I went a little crazy and bought the whole damn China Glaze New Bohemian Luster Chrome Collection for Fall 2012. The Swatchaholic is completely to blame.Warning: visiting her blog will cause your wallet to empty.

I played catch up with a few of the other collections...

Hunger Games
Holiday 2012



Thursday, October 18, 2012

Matte Moments

When it comes to mattifying my manicure I can be pretty resistive. I REALLY like it when my nails are shiny, but sometimes a girl likes change. When the mood strikes me, it helps to have a decent matte top coat to make everything look meticulous. I think I found a good one!

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Before I even tell you what matte top coat I am using, can we please read the warning on the bottle?! Go read ... I'll wait...

I would be one pissed 7 year old.

When I first received this matte top coat by MASH, I only dipped one toe in the pool, so to speak, to test the waters. Actually quite literally my pinky is the only mattified finger here.

This was at least 3 coats of KleanColor - Fuschia Glitter

MASH matte top coat is only on the pinky; the rest of the fingers were probably Seche Vite.

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Orly - Meet Me Under The Mistletoe

What a fantastic green!!! Gollie g. 

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It is equally as awesome with matte top coat. Good job MASH!

Here is an equally fabulous green (see more here) made LESS FABULOUS...

Sinful - San Francisco

I don't know... it kind of takes the life out of it.

BUT in terms of matte top coat quality... it is superb.

I do like a nice matte cream on occasion. It makes me feel like I am wearing Illamasqua's rubber finish polishes. That dirty post can be found here.

This is Revlon - Rock with MASH matte top coat.

Look how smooth!!

How good is this matte top coat?

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Battle of the top coats...

Seche Vite vs. MASH

.... uuuhhh, it's like apples and oranges people. They are both great.

 Bonus picture here!

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Barielle vs. MASH

Barielle Matte-inee is the only other matte top coat I own.  This is Barielle Matte-inee over Lime Crime - Peaches <3 Cream

You may not be able to tell from the picture, but there were visible streaks in the finish. Sad face. This is probably why I don't use it much. I am not sure whether the problem is the brush (it's horrid!) or the formula, or a combination of both.

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MASH matte top coat is like butter. The brush and formula worked like a charm EVERY time.

Can I just say how much I enjoy a mattified pastel!

More Lime Crime Pastels can be found here.

More manicures with MASH...

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I decided to layer Orly - Royal Navy with a bunch of glitters and mattify them!

Bonus picture here!

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Left to Right:

Pinky: Finger Paints - Asylum
Ring: Revlon - Galaxy
Middle: Revlon - Radiant
Index: Orly - Royal Navy shiny!
Thumb: Orly - Royal Navy matte!

I am completely convinced. Not only does MASH deliver a high quality matte finish, but the dry time was great too. What is your favorite matte top coat?

MASH matte top coat is $7.99 for 15mL (0.50 fl.oz.)

*This product was sent for review*

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Stop me if you've heard this one...

I love sheer whites. I think I have said this probably 347 times on this blog. Here, here, here, here, here, here. So what's another post...

Essie - Marshmallow

I don't remember how many coats this was because this was from a while back. I would venture to say the standard 2-3 coats.

I do like to dress up my sheer whites on occasion. One of my favorite KleanColors is Cream Pearl. I have never worn it alone, but do like it over other colors. It has blue and purple sparkles.

I have shown it over a barbie pink in this post.

Very subtle and pretty.

I also have enjoyed NYX - Spotlight on top.

If you want to see NYX - Spotlight over a dark green check out this video... here. I put it over Nabi - Teal

I have a white cat. She gets jealous of my sheer white obsession.

She screwed up my mani last time I wore a sheer white.