Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Sally Hansen Salon Effects Cross My Heart

For a weeklong, no worries mani, I turned to my favorite type of dry polish, Sally Hansen Salon Effects Real Nail Polish Strips. I picked up this box on clearance after Valentine's Day last year.

Cross My Heart has a dark pink X's and O's design, with hearts in the place of the O's, on a light pink background. Depending on your cuticle shape or personal preference, the hearts' point could face towards or away from you. I totally didn't realize this until after I had all ten nails done that I had flipped both ring fingers in the opposite direction of the other nails. It looked deliberate, so I told people that I'd done it on purpose (shhh! our secret!).

I wondered if there'd be any issues with these strips being a year old, but they were still crazy flexible without any additional heat (i.e. blow drying, heat lamp) needed. If you see any of the core collection of Salon Effects Polish Strips on clearance, pick them up! Now I know, they have a great shelf life. These strips went on quick and easy with an extra layer of top coat to seal the free edge and add some extra durability and shine.

That's when the awesomeness really kicked in! These pictures were taken AFTER our vacation!! 

Where's the tip wear? Where's the chipping? There's a little bit on the ring finger and pinkie, but it was only visible really close up, like in a macro shot or holding my hand up to eye level.

Not bad at all for Day SEVEN! Seriously. Siete. A week. A busy, activity-filled week. I think these strips could've easily lasted their full 10 day claim, but I was ready for something different. 

After struggling and fighting with the L'Oreal Nail Stickers, I was so happy to wear these Cross My Heart strips. I got them for only a few dollars, they practically applied themselves, the design was adorable and much-complimented, and they outlasted our vacation. Good job, year-old Sally Hansen strips - you did good!!

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Tuesday, February 12, 2013

OPI Strawberry Margarita + I Lily Love You

Ever get a manicure idea in your head and then you just can't decide which polishes to use?  I wanted to wear a layered glitter look using two OPI colors, and I ended up pulling out 4 base colors and 4 glitters. I couldn't figure out which combination I wanted to use and I had absolutely no preference, so my husband suggested I let our baby son pick my polishes.

I used to set my polishes in front of our toy poodle and wear whichever bottle she pawed first.  This is a cute technique, but not very effective because our little Suzie gets easily distracted and would walk away before she picked my polish. Our 6-1/2 month old son, on the other hand, is in a very grabby phase (go fine motor skill development!!) so we set up my polishes in two groups and he picked out today's mani in under 10 seconds.

Here's two coats of Strawberry Margarita and one coat of I Lily Love You.

Strawberry Margarita is a bright warm pink creme from the OPI Mexico Spring 2006 collection. As I mentioned in my I'm Indi-a Mood For Love post, this is one of my most favorite pinks. The Mexico collection was the first OPI collection that I really got into - I proudly displayed the adorable minis box, I couldn't buy the whole collection so I encouraged all my friends to buy at least one bottle so they would have nearby homes. This shade is now a part of the core collection so you can still get it wherever OPI's sold with the 3-free formula.

My bottle's from the original collection so I have a chemical-laden black label, but I'm not complaining. This goes on easily in 2 coats with only slightly visible nail line in the brightest of sunlight. 

I Lily Love You is from the Nice Stems! Summer 2011 collection is a big flake glitter in a sheer pink base. There's also smaller circle and square glitters in the mix. The pink base tints Strawberry Margarita, making the shade a bit cooler. I left it unlayered on my thumb, so you could see the slight difference it made.

I loved this mani - maybe because it was so pink and festive, maybe because it was picked out by the cutest baby boy ever. Either way, I didn't want to take this off but I have to so I can get ready for our 5 day NY/NJ trip. I've already had this on for the last three days, and I don't want it to peel or chip off before we get back. I won't be packing polish this time so it's time for a new look for our vacation!

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Saturday, February 9, 2013

Revlon Orchid

Inspired by Kat's snowed-in dotting manis (which she might put up in a later post), I decided to give my heart accent nail another try using dots this time.  I wanted to stick to drugstore polishes that are still available - unlike the older ones I was wearing this week - so I went back into my Revlon drawer for some Top Speeds.

I used two coats of the very opaque Revlon Top Speed Orchid. I probably could have gotten away with one coat, but applied two to smooth over initial brush strokes. This is a mauve-pink foil-like shade. It has some silver microglitter and pink microshimmer in it, but it acts like a foil in application and removal. This polish dries fast to the touch, but stayed dentable on me for awhile, even with a Seche Vite top coat. I'm not sure if it was the Revlon, the Seche Vite, or the two of them together that was to blame, but it was definitely odd given both are fast dry.

I used a dotting tool to dot on my accent hearts. I used two otherTop Speeds - Cloud and Modern Grace.

Cloud, Orchid, Modern Grace
Orchid is still completely available wherever Revlon polishes are sold. Cloud, a light purple creme, might be a little harder to find, but you can still find it online like Amazon.

Modern Grace, a purple-periwinkle creme, was a limited edition release in Spring/Summer 2011, but there are other similar shades out there if you like this color. If you want to stay drugstore, try out Wet 'n Wild Megalast's On A Trip. If you want to go a little "higher end," Zoya Caitlin is a greyed out cousin.

My little dotted hearts were a lot more appreciated than my previous glitter hearts, but now I'm in the mood for more glitter. What would be a good glitterful Valentine's mani?...

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Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Milani Techno Red

After a few pinks, I thought it was time for a red. After enjoying the squishy Maybelline Gold Fleck Fuschia, I decided to go with a nice jelly. 

I pulled out Milani Techno Red from their Neon line. This line may possibly be discontinued.  I'm not 100% sure since I've been under a rock for the last few months about the coming and goings of polish collections. I got my bottle during a CVS clearance sale last fall, which means this line was discontinued or repackaged. If you can find any of the Milani Neons, pick some up because they're easy to apply and have a great jelly finish.

Keeping to my unofficial drugstore theme this week, I did an accent nail with Revlon Slipper and Maybelline Express Finish Deeply In Love.

Slipper, Techno Red, Deeply In Love

Milani Techno Red is a warm red-orange jelly. It does dry matte without a top coat, but I don't think it's a true eye-searing neon. Here it is with two coats and a shiny top coat.

On my ring finger, I topped it with a thin coat of Slipper (a red and silver glitter in a clear base) and Deeply In Love (pink hearts in a yellowing clear base with red glitter that never makes it on the nail). 

This mani felt bouncy and playful with the soft tomato nails and heart-covered accent. I thought this was a cute look, but it definitely confused my husband.  He isn't used to me playing with accent nails, so he thought I had smushed my nail or something. Upon closer look, he realized they were hearts, not dents or dings. I think next time I'll wear this accent nail with a different base color, like a light pink, so there's a bigger contrast and the effect looks more intentional!

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Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Shimmery Pinks - Gold Fleck Fuschia and Sublime Strawberry

After a month of vampy and murky shades to go along with our chilly January days, I'm ready for Valentine pinks and reds - the girlier, the better! I dived into my stash to pull out some of my older drugstore polishes. They need love, too!

First up is Maybelline Wet Shine Diamonds in Gold Fleck Fuschia.

This is two coats of Gold Fleck Fuschia. I don't think this polish has ever been fuchsia, so I'm going to assume this name isn't misspelled and refers to the fuschia plant. Maybe that's why this pink is closer to a soft bubble gum pink with hints of coral rather than a darker and bolder fuchsia shade. It is filled with small gold fleck shimmer making this a warm pink. I really liked how glossy and juicy this polish looked, but the dry time was a bit long (I dented my ring finger after an hour even with a coat of Seche Vite) and the brush is shedding. This shade is too pretty, though, so I won't be getting rid of this polish.

The Wet Shine Diamonds line has been discontinued but these polishes could show up at Dollar Tree or Big Lots, so keep an eye out for them.  Now for another scented polish from Revlon!

This is Sublime Strawberry, originally from the limited edition Spring/Summer 2009 Fruitful Temptations collection.

In the bottle, these two polishes look related because of their mid-pink base color.  On the nail, they look significantly different because of their shimmer and opacity. No jelly squishiness here! Sublime Strawberry has a silvery white micro-shimmer so this shade is much cooler than Gold Fleck Fuschia.  Sublime Strawberry could have been opaque in two coats, but I didn't let the first coat set long enough, so I needed three coats for this mani. After asking a few people what they thought of the scent, we agree this strawberry scent reminds us of strawberry Bubblicious bubble gum.

I'm pretty sure that Sublime Strawberry is now part of the permanent Revlon collection. I know that it was put in the newer all-black cap design, so it should still be easy to find wherever Revlon polish is sold.

Is anyone else in a pink mood, too?

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