Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Holo Mani Refresh

Today I have a quick and easy mani refresh with my latest mani, OPI Panda-monium Pink. I was originally thinking of stamping a design in a lavender holo (China Glaze Get Outta My Space) but it was too light. On my polish table I had my Gosh Holograohic Hero laying around and I thought why not try that!

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 I am very happy with the results I got from stamping with Holographic Hero!

Thursday, April 25, 2013


This is one of the very first OPI polishes I had ever purchased! It is apart if the Hong Kong collection which was the latest one out at the time. When I first laid eyes on it I knew it was something unique, back then I didn't have a huge collection of polish but this shade was really different for me. I remember it being hard for me to find shades of creme polishes at the time and Panda-monium Pink was definitely interesting.

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In the beauty supply lighting it looked to be a light pastel lavender, when I got home it looked to be pink! This is one of those pinky-purpley shades that is slightly blue based and appears to shift in shade depending on the light. Add on top of that that it is slightly dusty :) At the time I was disappointed that it leaned more pink on me, but I truly do love this shade, it is so mod and chic! The perfect pastel for spring.

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I only needed two coats for full opacity. I have worn this polish in the past and remember having issues with application, but it may have been due to my initial inexperience. The formula may have also thickened up the slightly, so I added a few drops of thinner for some slight touch ups to one or two nails that got bumped to a little streaky.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

How To Fix an Ick Mani

So my Revlon combo from yesterday didn't come out as I had envisioned. The unexpected mix in finishes really threw me off and I felt as though the shades were not really complementary. Have you ever found yourself in this situation? What would you do?

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I decided to play up Mint Gelato since I loved the colour so much, so I found a better contrasting colour that pairs up better with the real shade for a shimmery accent nail! I used a Deborah Lippmann dupe, Urban Outfitters Sea Dust. This is a sparkling green leaning teal foil-ish shimmer. Scattered within are small blue hex glitters, I think it was the perfect pairing!

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I applied two coats over Lemon Meringue on my ring fingers and was good to go! This polishes formula is awesome by the way, I will have to see what else they have the next time I am there for sure!

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What have you done when a mani hasn't turned out exactly as you have planned?

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Revlon Gelato

I purchased some Revlon's mid to late last year, I want to say end of summer maybe? They were both apart of the fully scented Scented Treats collection. I got two from the collection that stuck out to me, Mint Gelato and Lemon Meringue. While looking through my collection trying to figure out what to wear I decided to try them out together! I would use Mint Gelato on all fingers but the ring.

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I started to apply Mint Gelato and to my surprise realized it was a jelly polish! It actually applied quite well, a little sheer for the first coat but it evened out nicely. A second coat was all I needed for full opacity with a glossy finish. Next I set out to apply Lemon Meringue to my ring fingers, unfortunately the formula was not the same as I expected :( it wasn't so much a jelly as it was a watery creme.I needed three coats to get the streaks put and achieve full opacity. I applied Seche Vite and went to bed...

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The next morning I woke up with sheet marks on my left hand, mostly just on the ring finger :( I don't get it! I applied thin even strokes and it still didn't dry properly. I always seem to have an issue with Revlon polishes, usually having to do with dry time. Mint Gelato also had a problem unfortunately, bubbling! That one I really do not get because I used two very thin coats with ample dry time in between. The only possible explanation I can come up with is that I had applied lotion before painting my nails, but I swiped each nail bed with polish remover and used a base coat. Luckily the bubbles are not very noticeable, I will have to do some tests with this polish to see if it was the lotion or the formula of the polish that was the issue.

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Overall I really like Mint Gelato, which actually has more of a mint chocolate scent, very sweet. Not too crazy about Lemon Meringue, I like the colour but the formula and dry time bothers me. The sweet lemon scent is also very faint.

Monday, April 22, 2013

New Shoes!!

On a totally non-polish related note I got new running shoes!! Spring cannot arrive fast enough for me so I can get out and start running again. The last few Warner days we had I was out there running my butt off! Unfortunately it actually snowed this pat Thursday, isn't that ridiculous! Anyways, Astro Zero yogurt had a giveaway running from February to the end of March this year for a free pair of shoes. All you had to do to score yourself a pair of free runners (or walking shoes) was collect 6 codes off participating packages of their Zero branded yogurt, mail in $4 for shipping and wait 4-6 weeks for delivery. Sweet deal :)

I actually almost purchased these last summer I loved them so much, but I'm glad I waited! These retail for $90 so I got myself a good deal for some comfy new runners, Woohoo!

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I picked out the blue and yellow mens shoe, they did not have this particular colour option available for women durring the promo, although they do sell this colour in womens sizes on their site. I was worried about sizing since I have not owned a pair of sketchers in a while and I was picking out a mens pair! I went for the smallest size they offered, 6.5, and I think they fit pretty well, it anything they may be half a size to a quarter too long, but that can easily be fixed. I tested them out while doing a short indoor workout and they had awesome grip!

To all my Canadian readers: did you participate in this promotion? Which shoes did you pick out?

Friday, April 19, 2013

Galactic Grey - Photo Heavy!

My first Hologlam mani! I was so excited when I first picked them up I just new my next mani would have to be one of them. It was a tough decision to choose but I ended up going with Galactic Grey. The weather has been up and down here and right now it is FREEZING! So I figured I should use the most unspring-like colour. The sun is shining most days so I can still see the holo awesomeness!

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In my previous Hologlam haul post I mentioned that the formula had improved, however I was referring to application on my swatching wheel. Although thicker, I still experienced typical holo application when applying to my natural nails. After two nails I couldn't take it anymore!! I applied Nfu-Oh Aqua base and application was a breeze! Since the formula was thick and pigmented I could have gotten away with just one coat, however, seeing as how I wasn't adding a top coat I applied a second coat for protection and to smooth out any imperfections. I would highly suggest purchasing a Holo base like Nfu-oh's Aqua base, I know there are other options out there but don't know them off the top of my head. Not only does it help with overall application but it also acts as a ridge filler which I also highly recommend if you don't have a holo base coat.

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Photos below are all taken in natural sunlight

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I just love this polish! The colour is an interesting choice for spring/summer buy I can appreciate it, it reminds me of OPI's My Private Jet. It is grey for sure but has brown undertones which doesn't make it so stark, very unique in my collection which is awesome cause. Had originally thought it would have been closer to Layla Flash Black which I already own. The photos you see are exactly what was captured, the only editing I did was to add my watermark and crop to size. The holo was hard to capture from my desk lamp alone but my camera flash helped with that! In low light the holo effect is weak, but even in the worst lighting I can see a slight flash, like a subtle oil slick on my nails. I actually prefer this type of prismatic effect to the Color Club Holo Hues.

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Next time I grab this polish I will likely thin out the bottle, the longer you let it stand while applying to the nails the thicker it seems to get which can make for an uneven finish. Luckily, the finished look was perfect :)

Thursday, April 18, 2013

HOLOGlam - My Review!

Today I have a China Glaze haul featuring their first offering for summer, the long awaited (for me anyways) Hologlam collection, a reboot of 2000's most wanted OMG collection.

I got so disappointed when I started to hear that this collection was not living up to peoples high expectations. I can tell you I am most certainly happy with this collection. The China Glaze holo effect has always been my favorite, so smooth with a fine linear prism holo. In my own opinion when comparison to the OMG polishes I own, they are pretty close.

I had no application issues with any of the polishes I purchased when applied on my nail wheel. The formula is thick but spreads out evenly and smoothly, notably without any balding or pulling. The first few strokes had me worried, kind of streaky with frost-like brush stokes, nothing really speacial at this point. I applied a second coat and waited for the polish to fully dry before taking another look. And with the light of my desk lap I was wowed, just amazed! I am so happy these didn't let me down! Some have slightly more holo effect than others but they are beautiful all the same.

Some improvements I noticed when compared to the past holo offering (OMG's) is:

- smoother formula
- easier application
- glossy finish

I feel like the topcoat is built in or something because they are crazy glossy, especially when compared to the past collection.

So what do they look like? See for yourself! First Up Sci-Fly By and Cosmic Dust

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Galactic Grey and Not In This Galaxy.

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Sun swatches

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The other four polishes mentioned in my haul post have been delivered, I just haven't been able to pick them up from the family member I sent them to in the U.S, so more on When Worlds Collide  OMG A UFO, Take a Trek and Strap On Your Moonboots in an upcoming post. I was too excited about these that I wanted to get the post up ASAP and I have actually been hanging on to it for a week! Those four were my faves of the collection so I cannot wait to get my hands on them.

I ended up going back to Sally's to return Sci-Fly By, not because I didn't love it, but the polish seemed to have evaporated in transit or something, you can see in the bottle photo above it looks a little low. When I picked it up in store I thought it was separation, but after sitting on my desk for a few days it was clear to see a good chunk was missing. I had no issues exchanging the polish for a new one, and lucky me they had just put out the full collection so I picked out three more to take part in the buy two get one free promo, this included Infra-Red, Get Outta My Space and Don't Be a Luna-tic. so technically I own all but one of this collection now lol, I didn't want the pink anyways. With the BOGO and $10 off coupon I got a pretty sweet deal on these again. Swatches of these below

left to right Infra-Red, Get Out of My Space, and Don't Be a Luna-tic.

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As you can see in the above photo my second shoot for the additional purchases to this collection was not so sunny. I tried my best to capture the holo in the swatches below, run outside with my camera when there was a small break in the clouds! 

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Outta My Space and Infra-Red
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Don't be a Luna-Tic Beside Sci-Fly By
My only complaints would have to be on the actual retail price and colour selection. I mean $14 for a polish? Come on! I was lucky enough to get mine for an amazing price and I am glad I did because I refuse to pay that much for a polish. Although I am happy with the colours they chose as a whole it doesn't seem very spring or summer to me, maybe more winter or fall. Don't get me wrong I love what I have but something new would have been nice. Most of the pinks have been done before and I am a blue lover but four shades in one collection may be a bit much for some people.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

An Oldie But A Goodie!

Today I have a beautiful blue glitter polish from China Glaze's 2008 Ink collection. I just picked this up last year! I had always adored it from afar but never purchased it, it wasn't until my cousin was wearing it that I new I had to have it!

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Blue Sparrow is labeled as a neon, but I am not so sure. The only other polish I own from this collection is flying dragon, and it is the weird batch (more red than purple) and doesn't work for me. They both have the matte sort of finish as a neon, but the colour isn't bright like a neon, kind of weird. I think these were also the only two in the collection that had glitter in them.

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But enough about the collection in general, let's talk about this polish as a whole. The blue base looks to be sheer like a jelly and is packed with blue glitter. When compared to Flying Dragon the sheer base is a step up because it let's the glitter shine through the layers. I only needed two medium to thick layers for full opacity which was a surprise. Seeing how this was labeled as a neon I expected it to need more coats.

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As I said previously it does dry to a matte finish, which in my opinion does not do the polish justice at all! You definitely need a top coat for this one. To avoid any of the grit feeling from the glitter I applied one generous coat of Seche Vite and am happy with the final outcome.

Monday, April 15, 2013

So It's Official...

I have qualified as a finalist for the Bundle Monster nail plate design contest! I submitted 10 designs and am unsure which have been chosen but am so excited! Can't wait to see the otter contest winning designs!

Friday, April 12, 2013

Remember This...?

Crackle polish! I'm sure there are some brands still out there producing and selling these, but I have noticed a lot of retailers reducing their once high price and trying to get rid of them! Crazy how fast some "fads" come and go. Originally I remember not liking the look at all, and then I just got obsessed and just HAD to own certain shades. I ended up collecting the main crackles from China Glaze's first collection minus Fault Line, the purple shimmer, but have only used them a handful of times since!

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The other day I was thinking about refreshing my current mani, China Glaze Fancy Pants, and remembered my pink crackle. I thought I'd give it a try. Let me start off by saying that my bottle did something weird! It looked as though everything had dried out completely! A few good shakes helped to recombine the separated layers and it was still a tad lumpy so I added a few drops of thinner which evened everything out.

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I felt like I forgot to apply the stuff! I was trying to layer it on thin, and in my opinion it ended up being a little too thin, I found quicker thick strokes work best and give an even finish with a brighter colour. I got the hang of it again after a few nails :) I applied it in no particular order to my nails, left hand: thumb, ring and middle, right hand: thumb pointer and ring.

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I like the contrast between the bright pink and deep blue/purple. I still like crackle, it's a fun and easy way to liven up a mani after a few days. Do you still use crackle? What is your favorite colour or way to use it?

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Fancy Pants

Another Spring China Glaze shade to share today from the Avant Garden collection. Fancy Pants is a very interesting shade, in the bottle it appears to be a deep indigo with a flash of magenta shimmer. On the nail I feel that the shimmer actually makes the polish look more of a deep purple.

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At first glance the shimmer is not really noticeable, but on a sunny day it shines. Looking a little more closely I noticed that the shimmer is actually made up of tiny irregularly shaped flakies!

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I used two coats to achieve full opacity and the formula was pretty easy to work with as long as you use quick, long strokes with a decent amount f polish on the brush. If you go over the same spot twice to try and even out a spot on your first layer you may end up with some balding. The first coat was a little streaky, but the second coat evened everything out well. I was disappointed with the finish of this polish, I'm not sure exactly how it dries because I add top coat right away, but even with Seche Vite once dry it isn't as glossy as it should be. It is visible in my photos, it has a shine, bit not too glossy.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Nail Stamping Tips

One thing I realized the last few times I used my latest Bundle Monster set was that I kept messing up. At first I thought it was the plates themselves, however after doing things a little differently I was able to get perfect stamps every time.

If you are new to stamping or are having trouble, see below and let me know if these tips help!

- make sure your scraper and stamper are clean before you start. The stamper may be a no-brainer, but if the scraper is still dirty from your last time of usage it may not scrape the polish evenly which may lead to extra streaks of polish on your stamper when you pick up the design or miss parts of the design. Also be sure to wipe the scraper in-between stamping.

- try different polishes. Having trouble stamping with a particular polish? Try one if these:
- Sally Hansen Insta-Dri
- dark, highly pigmented polishe
- thick polishes

The Insta-Dries are the only brand I am confident is saying are really great for stamping with. I'm sure there are other out these, but these I really prefer (second of course the Konad Special polish).

- when picking up the design I find some brands of plates are different, play around and decide what pressure is right for picking up the design on the stamper. For the most part I find a light rocking motion from one side to the other works best (Konad and Bundle Monster), however some other plates may need more pressure to be applied in order to pick up the design (Born Pretty Store). If you are trying out a new design test it out a few times before deciding the best way to continue.

- my top tip: make sure you thoroughly clean the plate with acetone to ensure all dry/old polish is removed from the design. This was my main issue! I would use a design for the first time and it would stamp beautifully, the second time + always gave me trouble! I had been using a polish remover to clean the plate, but it wasn't good enough. Once I started using acetone I had no problems at all with picking up any nail design!

Hope these tips help, do you have any of your own, I'd love to hear them! Happy Stamping :)

Monday, April 8, 2013

A Simple Spring Mani Refresh

Today I have a simple mani refresh with China Glaze Dandy Lyin' Around, a white glass fleck shimmer. Originally I was thinking to do something specific to Easter, but once I spotted the cute nail design from Bundle Monster plate BM-302, I knew I had to try it out. This cute spring design is made up of birds, trees and snails. I decided to stamp in a nice bright colour, Sally Hansen Insta-Dri, Lively Lilac, which is a bright Lavender with a white pearl shimmer. It worked perfectly for stamping.

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This is a pretty quick and easy mani refresh, I finished off the look with a thin quick dry topcoat to add some gloss and  seal in the design.

Friday, April 5, 2013

Nail Art Plates On Sale!

Nail art plates on the BornPrettyStore.com are currently on sale! All single nail art plates look to be only $1.99! They have extended their line from the last time I shopped there, lots of branded plates from Louis Vuiton, Sponge Bob, new Hello Kitty, Disney characters and more. I am most certainly picking some of these up.

Cute Cat Design Nail Art Stamp Template-QA12

1pc Sponge Bob Square Pants Nail Art Stamp Template - QA2
1pc Nail Art Stamp Template Gangnam Style PSY Design– QA52

My favorite, although I don't think I will be purchasing it, is the Psy themed plate lol. GANGNAM STYLE!

Thursday, April 4, 2013


Rounding out the three China Glaze Avant Garden polishes I first purchased and have worn right away is Dandy Lyin Around. I own a handful of white polishes that I will use for full manis (this does not include the stark whites I own and use for stamping, nail art, French tips, etc), each white I own is special in it's own way and Dandy Lyin' Around is no exception.

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This beautiful white polish has a shimmery sheen that reminds me of snow reflecting the light on a bright, sunny winter day. I have another glistening snow polish from China Glaze named Frosty, which is similar but not a dupe. Frosty has larger glass flecks of shimmer, where as DLA has a very fine and even distribution of glass flecks they look similar to a shimmer from a distance.

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I was hoping it was a close dupe to another China Glaze favorite, White Kwik Silver, which is a long gone hard to find, you can see a swatch here.

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The formula was alright, not too thick and not too thin, actually pretty good fr a while polish. There was some initial streaking on the first and second coat, so I added some thinner to the bottle before applying a final third coat. I am happy with the final look :)