Wednesday, November 14, 2012

World Diabetes Day - Cult Nails Let Me Fly

Today I'm wearing blue nails in honor of World Diabetes Day.  An American Indian is 2.2 times more likely to have diabetes compared to a non-Hispanic white and 95% of American Indians with diabetes have Type 2.  This is the highest rate of diabetes among all U.S. racial and ethnic groups.

As a member of the Pascua Yaqui tribe, I've seen many of my relatives afflicted with Type 2 diabetes in their later years.  My closest family members have all had brushes with pre-diabetes diagnoses.  With greater knowledge and improved education about diabetes, prevention through healthy lifestyle changes is now a priority and daily goal for my family.

This day isn't just about my family or this country - it's about how diabetes affects us all on a global scale.  Not all forms of diabetes are preventable, but lifestyle changes may help prevent cases of Type 2 diabetes.  I recommend checking out the International Diabetes Federation site and the American Diabetes Association sites for more information. 

Here's Let Me Fly is from the Cult Nails Spring/Summer 2011 Day At The Races collection.

This dusty teal is filled with silver fleck shimmer.  At some angles, it looks like there's pink and blue shimmer, too.  This polish is opaque and goes on smoothly in two thin coats.  There's something very calming about this muted blue.  Fortunately, Let Me Fly isn't one of the limited edition Cult Nails shades so everyone still has an opportunity to get their own bottle.

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Tuesday, October 23, 2012

L'Oreal Enchanted Queen

What in the world are these nail stickers??!?!

I love the look of a half-moon manicure.  I love the convenience of nail polish strips - they last about a week on me and there's no dry time.  I love Project Runway. 

So I used my Ulta coupon on the Enchanted Queen Nail Stickers from the limited edition L'Oreal Project Runway Electric Fantasie collection expecting it to be exactly what I would do on my nails if I had any nail art skills. 

These were a package of 18 stickers (9 sizes to fit each hand) in black, white, and red.  The non-striped stickers had white half moons with the different card suit shapes.  I really like the design of these stickers.  Unfortunately, that's all I liked about them.  My mistake was expecting the same results from polish *stickers* that I get from nail polish strips.

I'm not the best at the Claw Hand Pose, but I had to show off my cool striped thumb.

The package says they'll last up to 10 days and this is what they looked like by Day 2.  They don't have the formula nor flexibility to wrap and adhere to the nail edge.  I used a coarse, fine, and glass nail file trying to remove the excess sticker.  Nothing produced a smooth edge.  Instead, all my nails ended up with ragged, scratchy tip wear.  The edges kept catching on everything, so I had lint-like fuzzies hanging from at least one nail at all times.

I really liked the look of the design and didn't want the money spent on these to go to waste, so I tried to seal the edges with a clear top coat.  The stickers rejected the top coat!  I tried a thick, fast drying and a thinner, non-fast drying top coat - both dried with bubbles and peeled right off. 

These nail stickers retail for around $8.99, which is way too much for nails that look frayed within a day.  Looks like I'm going to have to work on my nail art skills and see if I can do a mani like this with real polish.  Drat!

Did anyone have better luck with these stickers - this design or any of the others from the collection?

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Thursday, May 3, 2012

L'Oreal Silver Sparkle

Oh, so... shiny!

Now, I know not everyone likes wild colors, but I'm pretty sure every polish princess (definitely the ones that I know) loves GLITTER! A hot new trend this spring has been the prismatic effect. Wet n Wild and China Glaze hopped on this trend; however, these colors went fast. I was fortunate enough to snag the reasonably priced/elusive Wet n Wild versions for Andi and myself and skipped over buying the pricier (although VERY pretty) China Glaze versions. I would highly recommend both.

I went to Walgreens and saw they were having a promotion on L'Oreal nail colors, buy one get one 50% off. This would allow you to get TWO of the new L'Oreal polishes for under $8. Nothing really tickled my fancy, until I saw this silver/pearl prism in the back... all on its lonesome. This is L'Oreal Silver Sparkle and it is truly cute and sparkly!

As we silly chicks would say, "Totally adorbs!"

The first thing I noticed about this polish was that it's not really "silver". It has rainbow-reflecting, holgraphic mini-hex chunks, micro silver and micro iridescent glitter floating around in a pearl-ish base. Although it will reflect some glitter in outdoor lighting, it reminds me very much of Mother of Pearl chips. Under indoor lighting, it seems more opaque and this "pearl" look is more noticeable. In outdoor or bright lighting, the base seems more clear and the glitter chunks are more prevalent.

The formula was fairly nice on the consistency scale. The glitter didn't give it a chunky feeling at all and I didn't have to play around with the brush to get the glitter to evenly distribute. Both pictures reflect two coats on top of Nail Tek Foundation II, then I layered two coats of top coat to give it a smooth finish.

I would highly recommend this polish... if you can find a lonely or hiding bottle at your local drug store. It would look FABULOUS layered on top of a fun blue, black or coral... anything really! It's sheer when you apply only one coat, but will leave you with well dispersed amount of glitter. It looks very cute worn alone and for my pals out there that LOVE the glitter/prism look, but don't necessarily like "unicorny" or "adventurous" colors... buy L'Oreal Silver Sparkle and accessorize ANY outfit with a simple, but striking mani!

Silver Sparkle is from the L'Oreal Summer 2012 It's Gold or Nothing At All collection.  This is a limited edition seasonal collection, so go look for that display!

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Wednesday, May 2, 2012

SinfulColors - Morning Star, Soul Mate, Greek Isles

I picked up some SinfulColors polishes during last week's 99 cent sale at Walgreens.  They've had so many limited edition seasonal collections recently that I went to town buying all the new shades I could find.  Here are the three I've worn so far this week...

Morning Star - a new shade from their Girls in Pearls Sheer Shimmers collection

This is a light blue shade with silver shimmer flecks.  It's a soft sky blue that doesn't lean purple on me - I've seen it get more periwinkle with lavender tones on people with other skin tones. Nice and delicate and very spring-like.

Soul Mate - I think this one's from the core collection

This dusty rose pink was thick. I tried to use two coats with all of these polishes, but Soul Mate could've worked with one coat. This shade is getting some thinner added before I wear it again. It still went on pretty smooth for a $1 creme. This is a conservative color, but it was a nice spring-y pink to wear before we jump into summer neons.

Greek Isles - a new shade from the Spring 2012 Cast Away collection
Indirect Light - my poor hands needed moisture and a little touching up
Under the Ott light after shaping & clean up

This is Tiffany blue cousin that leans green with a touch of gray. I decided that even at half off prices, the Zoya Earth Day sale still exceeded my low buy budget when I factored in S&H. Greek Isles is the shade I bought to console me from missing out on Bevin.

SinfulColors go on sale pretty often, but some of these new shades might be limited edition.  They have decent opacity, a slightly thick but workable formula, and wear great with my Cult Nails Get Even base coat and Poshe Fast Dry top coat.  If you find some of the seasonal shades that jump out at you, don't wait for a sale. Go ahead and spend those $2 so you don't end up with buyer's remorse like I almost had with the Cast Away and Girls in Pearls collections.  I walked away and almost didn't find them again.

Not sure if the shade's new or just a misplaced core polish placed in the display?  Check the bottom of the bottle - if it has a number in the thousands (i.e. 1107, 1116), it's a new shade.

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Monday, April 30, 2012

Milani - Pool Party!

With sandal weather fast approaching, I started my regular routine of pedicures at my favorite salon. I usually skip the manicure, because I like to do that myself during "unwind time" at home, but NOTHING beats an hour in a massage chair being pampered! Going about once or twice a month, truly keeps your feet and toenail beds healthy and neat. I highly suggest finding an inexpensive/experienced nail tech in your area and give yourself the gift of "me time." YOU DESERVE IT!

I like to bring my own nail polish to the salon, because... well... I have more colors than the salon! Also, nail salons tend to be a little community, where everyone converses about anything from favorite recipes to beauty tips to local news. Often I'll have another patron borrow my polish for their mani/pedi and for a moment in time I become the nail salon hero! *Takes off nerd glasses and puts on polish cape!*

On this particular day, I had gone to Target to pick up my weekly list items and (of course) trolled the polish/cosmetic aisle to scope out any colors I didn't already have. I spotted the fun and iridescent Milani Pool Party. Having an affinity for blues and at a pocket friendly $4.99, I picked it up and brought it to my pedicure appointment.

The nail tech at this particular salon loves doing cute designs and really keeps up on nail trends... she brought out a board of designs for me to scope out. Now, I'm not normally a "design" girl, but I feel that toes are supposed to be painted cute and fun. Since designs can last two, sometimes three weeks, it seems more "worth it" to me to get them on the toes. As I looked through flowers and glitter... *GASP* HELLO KITTY FRENCH!!!! I had her use my Milani Pool Party as a base and you can see the results at the bottom of this post (there will be some foot in the picture - you've been warned!).

The pedicure inspired this manicure. Like I said, I'm not normally a "nail design person" and I don't normally like colored frenchies on myself, but Milani Pool Party definitely changed my mind! I applied three coats to my tips, using this technique posted by fellow polish enthusiast ValentinaDang. Try it out! It's super easy and I know you'll love your results.

Three coats of Milani Pool Party

These are the tools/polishes I used to achieve this particular manicure. I love Nail Tek Foundation II, it's a great nutrient packed ridge filling base coat that tames even the most unruliest nails! Wicked Fast top coat by Cult Nails ALWAYS pays out in the shine department and I find that the shine lasts about four days; that's pretty intense considering how hard I am on my nails most of the time. For the brush to clean up the french manicure, I just used a 99 cent eyeshadow brush from the drug store!

R to L: Cult Nails Wicked Fast top coat, Milani Pool Party, NailTek Foundation II base coat

Three coats of Milani Pool Party achieves full opacity, making it a more brilliant blue that reflects greens, golds and even some pinks. I used two coats as the base color on my toes and you can see how easily this can be used as a versatile summer shade, as a light iridescent sky blue or as a bright aqua beachy blue.

Pool Party was neither gloppy nor watery. Milani really got this formula right! It evened itself out as it dried and even with three coats on the tips it dried fairly quickly, even before the top coat was applied. GREAT buy at $4.99!

Now for the super cute Hello Kitty pedicure!
You can see the lighter (two coat) blue and the AWESOME Hello Kitty! There are lots of Youtube tutorials to try your own Hello Kitty french manicure at home.

If you're not usually a "nail art person" either, I encourage you to give it a try, anything from a pearl mani to an easy/classic frenchie. Play around with it and definitely add a bottle of this cool and versatile blue by Milani to your summer staples!

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Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Finger Paints Gumdrops and Lollipops Spring 2012: Blue Raspberry Taffy

I've been working on my magnetic manicures, trying to get the technique down, figuring out which brand I like best, etc. In the midst of my mag-mani madness, I've gotten a little bored with having the darker stripey nails.

Then I got a flyer in the mail informing me that my Sally Beauty Supply card needed to be renewed. For a $5 renewal, I got a free Ion Color Saving Conditioner ($7.49) and a $5 off in store coupon, PLUS the savings I get for being a club member for the year. Not bad! Of COURSE, I had to buy a polish with my coupon.

I swiveled around from the cash register and immediately saw on the top polish shelf, Finger Paints in these bright, not quite electric/neon, candy colors. It was their Spring 2012 Gumdrops and Lollipops collection, appropriately named and I think slightly disregarded, alone, hardly picked through on the top shelf.

I spoke with Andi, because we enjoy texting each other excitedly about our new polish picks and trying to figure out if we want to trade colors, and she had done the exact same thing with her Sally coupon and bought another one of these eye catching colors. Great minds, my friends.

SO.... I want to tell you why you too should pick up one of these delicious colors.

Finger Paints decided to go a less conventional route from what's currently trending (i.e. glitters, magnetic and super bright neons). China Glaze and OPI have done this with their Muppets, Magnetix and Electropop lines. Even the drugstore brands, like Sally Hansen and Wet n Wild, have followed in pocket-friendly tow. I love(d) every single one of my glitter/magnetic/neons; however, I know (for me anyway) these won't be stuck in my coveted "go to" drawer.

We all have that one top, that one necklace, even that one pair of SUPER comfy socks we could wear all day, everyday. For me, I have polishes that I would be content wearing every single day of the week and Finger Paints "Blue Raspberry Taffy" had me at "hello."

The Gumdrops and Lollipops line is semi-neon but not as bold or brash as a true neon. These shades border on a neon/pastel mash-up. They are truly vibrant and they'll make your nails look like beautiful little Easter eggs.

Here are some pictures of Blue Raspberry Taffy in action:

In this lighting, it takes on an almost turquoise color... LOVE IT!

This particular color was totally opaque in one coat, but I achieved a more vibrant jelly look with two coats. I topped it with Cult Nails Wicked Fast and the shine was amazing.

This was the next day, I always paint my nails at night and hope that there is some decent natural light the next day, but you can see how the polish morphs to a more beautiful candy blue.

I work a second job (weekend retail mall job of DOOM... ok, ok, not really "doom", more like women's clothing) and I always put a good polish to the test there because retail has proven to wreak havoc on my nails. This polish made it through seven hours of cashiering, hanger wars, vacuuming, window washing, and just overall "hand sadness".... besides a little tip wear, not a single chip. NOT ONE.

Andi brought a great point to my attention, as well - if you missed China Glaze Up and Away, you're definitely going to want to pick up some Finger Paints Gumdrops and Lollipops as a Spring/Summer "must have." I know, like me, you will also fight the urge to wear it on your nails and toes everyday this summer. So fun, yet simple... so go to Sally's and show that forgotten polish display some love. 

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Thursday, March 15, 2012

Untried Greens - Zoya Gemma & Yara

I pulled out some of my untried Zoya greens for the week leading up to St. Patrick's Day.  These are from collections last year, but they were both so pretty that I had to share.

First, we have Gemma from their Spring 2011 Intimate collection
- a soft sage green shimmer.
I wanted this shade for its flash of blue-violet shimmer, but I didn't get around to buying it until I found it in an Ulta clearance bin.  The formula was pretty thin and watery, but I think that might have been my fault.  The poor thing had been sitting around for awhile - it probably needed a lot more rolling to get it mixed back up to normal consistency.  I needed three coats to get it opaque, but it might work with two if I mix it better next time.

For those of you in parts of the country where it's still feels more like the end of winter than the beginning of spring...

here's Yara, an olive green with gold flecks,
from the Mirrors half of the Fall 2011 Smoke and Mirrors collection.
Yara's formula was thicker (maybe because it's also newer and needed less shaking?) and went on easily in two coats.  I really enjoyed the soft, spring-like effect of Gemma, but I LOVED Yara.  This is such a beautiful color.  Why didn't I wear this all fall?? It's smoky, it's subtly sparkly, it's so pretty!

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Saturday, March 10, 2012

China Glaze Capitol Colors - Smoke and Ashes

Hi there! First of all, my name is Kat and I am one of Andi's friends and a fellow nail enthusiast! Andi has been a bit of a polish mentor and over the past year I've grown a collection of colors that started with about 8 and has now blossomed, enough to fill a two foot high Tupperware rolling drawer chest. I will hopefully be editing my profile soon and I can tell you more about myself there.

So, China Glaze Capitol Colors is a totally exciting new line based off of the Hunger Games books and further boosted interest with the release of the movie coming soon on March 23rd. I have to tell you - the excitement for the movie made the trip to Ulta to find Capitol Colors feel like Christmas. I sat in the aisle for about 15 minutes trying to decide which two I wanted the most. The blue/green micro glitter in Smoke and Ashes really caught my eye.

The formula on this one was highly pigmented black/navy and it only took one coat. However, when I got a little on my skin, it made clean up a little difficult, because it would stain my cuticle, so I would say you definitely don't want to "willy nilly" paint with this one. In my indoor picture you can't really see the super cool glitter in the polish, regardless, the glitter does add to the overall awesome shine I achieved on this one and the fact that it's not really a straight/flat black made it reflect nicely with my skin tone for such a dark polish. (Don't mind my cuticles, I'm from Wisconsin... one day it's sixty degrees, the next day it's twenty and it's ALWAYS dry.)

I took the polish outside hoping I could catch the glitter for you and I think it was a little more noticeable in the sunlight.

You can definitely see some glitter shine in the pointer finger.  

Alright, so even though I was a little disappointed with the visibility of the glitter in this polish, I still love it! I do believe the glitter and the shade add a special "glimmer" to this polish that make it really morph to most skin tones and for some reason, although it's basically "black" to a quick glance, it has a certain luminosity to it that makes it multifaceted in a very enigmatic way. The application was great and I'm always a fan of a one coat wonder. If you're a fan of Hunger Games and China Glaze, I would suggest you go and pick up one of these unique polishes from the Capitol Colors line. I also picked up "Harvest Moon" and "Luxe and Lush" (which looks like an Essie/Nubar dupe). Perhaps I'll critique those in the near future, but I will be playing around with magnetic polish next! Can't wait to tell you all about it!

Thank you for reading my FIRST polish blog entry, I'd also like to do a polish giveaway... I'm such a shopping ninja, I have an almost complete set on Wet n Wild Color Icon Ice Baby glitters to give away when we reach 200 followers! Psst... tell your friends :)

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Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Cult Nails Toxic Seaweed

As I get ready to go from my current low-buy into a full no-buy for the next 40 days, I want to share one of the last polishes I've purchased.  If you don't have this polish yet and you've decided to not buy polish in the near future too, buy this polish now! and then start your no-buy.  Really!  It's limited edition, may never come back, and it's too pretty and unique not to add to your collection.

This is Toxic Seaweed from Cult Nails Spring 2012 Let's Get Nekkid! Collection.  This collection is Maria's take on nudes and this is her nude shade for ETs.

If A Sparkle Yule Love was an updated Carnival Lights, Toxic Seaweed is an updated Atlantis.  The jelly base is on the greener side of teal, the gold microglitter is more uniform, and the bronze flakies are It for 2012.  Toxic Seaweed is the perfect name for this shade.  The glitter rests at different levels in the base and flashes gold, green, blue, and silver, depending on how the sun hits it.

Toxic Seaweed refines the chunky glitters we were enjoying the last two years into something that's equally complex in depth and color while giving it a smoother and, in my opinion, more sophisticated finish. The application was nice - nothing gloopy or gritty about this jelly-based glitter.  I used two coats in the mani above, which left the shade squishy while still covering the majority of my nail line.  If you use three coats, the green deepens and darkens.  I wore this with their Get Even base and Wicked Fast top coat.  After 4 days of full time work typing, there wasn't even a hint of tip wear.

If Cult Nails gets about 500 more likes on Facebook, there will be a $5 sale on Cult polishes, but why wait?  Especially on a polish like this?  Don't miss out on getting your own bottle!

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Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Sally Hansen Salon Effects Speed Dating

Happy Valentine's Day to all!

I was actually able to find a full display of the Valentine themed Sally Hansen Salon Effects strips.  After never being able to find the winter ones, I was treated to two of these patterns by the DH.  I decided to wear Speed Dating for the week leading up to Valentine's.

This pattern are red hearts of various sizes on a light gold background. The hearts have a textured appearance like they were made out of pieces of red foil. The light gold has a metallic finish that looks a bit smoother in comparison.


After the temperamental application with Ghoulie Girl, I skipped the base coat this time.  I think that was the trick because these went on nice and easy. These strips are shiny enough that a top coat didn't really add to the shininess on my first day of wear.  Top coat helped to refresh the shine on my third day of wear, but it didn't improve overall wear time because these strips resisted tip wear even on the nails that weren't top coated.  After almost five days of wear, these were still a good looking mani.

...and in case you thought I forgot this year... It's here at last!  Happy Centennial Day in Arizona!!  I hope everyone's getting their fill of celebration on our state's 100th birthday.  I know I'm optimistically looking forward to a second century based on progress, hope, and cultural understanding.

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Wednesday, February 1, 2012

OWWWP - OPI A Sparkle Yule Love

Can you believe it's February already?  I'm in the mood for lots of pinks and reds, so let's get started with a pink. This is A Sparkle Yule Love from the OPI Ulta Exclusive Holiday 2011 Deck Your Nails mini-collection.  I don't have Excuse Moi from the Muppets collection, but this may be a dupe of that shade. 

A Sparkle Yule Love is a pink jelly with tons of glitter - silver and pink microglitter and larger multicolor glitter in tons of colors like blue, yellow, and green.  Here it is with two coats and two layers of top coat.  It's not a gritty glitter, but it does need a little bit of extra smoothing.

I think I like this shade so much because it's like a remix of China Glaze Carnival Lights, one of my favorite glitters from their Specialty collection.  It's the same kind of idea - colors, multicolor glitter, jelly base - but with a few tweaks to make it feel updated.

This is a very sparkly polish, so be sure to wear it when you need something extra twinkly on your nails.

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