30 October 2014

Zoya Dhara

You know that feeling you get when you spot the perfect polish for the mood you're in? Yesterday that was me and Zoya Dhara. I wasn't feeling like more nail art yet, but I still wanted my nails to be at least Halloween-adjacent...and then right there on the table was exactly what I wanted. I didn't even have to go looking for it!

Zoya Dhara swatch

Zoya Dhara was part of the Fall 2013 Pixie Dust Collection. Richly orange with gorgeous yellow-golden highlights, this semi-matte, textured polish is a bright, cheerful choice for Halloween or any other time you care to pick. I think it might especially suit skin tones that are darker or more olive-toned than mine, but I had the exact same reaction to Dhara that I've had to every single Pixie Dust I've tried. It goes something like, "Hmm, well I always do like these Pixies, so let me just try this OH MY GLOB I LOOK AMAZING." Seriously, it hits me every. single. time. The amount of fabulousness in these polishes is just ridiculous.

Zoya Dhara swatch

On top of the fabulous there's also a fantastic formula. Dhara looked great in two coats, but I'm wearing three because sometimes I just can't stop myself. And speaking of not stopping myself, when I was typing up that previous paragraph I remembered that I have a couple more Pixie Dusts in the Big Box o' Untrieds, and the thought made me so happy I literally did a gleeful little wiggly dance in my chair. And the next Pixie Dust collection is coming out soon! My nails and I are downright giddy.

28 October 2014

Twinsie Tuesday: Halloween

Today's TT theme is Halloween! For a holiday I love so much it seems to take me ages to get into the spirit these days, but I'm going to chalk that up to living somewhere that's still, like, 83F/27C outside at the end of October. I'm happy to see, though, that every year Hong Kong seems to be getting a little bit more and more into the swing of the holiday. There's still a long way to go (if I get two trick-or-treaters at my door this year it'll be a huge upswing!), but with actual costumes and decorations and candies in the stores now, Halloween just might catch on here yet!

spiderweb nail art

I decided I finally wanted to try some spiderwebs for today's Halloween nail art, drawing inspiration from a knockout design over at Lindsey's Lacquer. I started with a base of Sinful Colors Black On Black and added a (purposefully) patchy coat of China Glaze Ick-A-Bod-Y. Next, I sponged a little white around tips or base, then switched to acrylic paint.

Halloween nail art

The ring finger got a little spider, and the others got grey spiderwebs on top of the sponged-on white. Then I decided to add some attempted highlights and shadow to the webs, pretty much obliterating the white underneath (oops), but I like how they turned out. Thanks, Lindsey, for the adorable idea!

Please swing by some of the other Twinsie Tuesday blogs for more Halloween-themed nails!



Alaina at The Little Canvas
Amanda at Amandalandish
Amber at Nails Like Lace
Anna at Going to the Showing
Bridget at A Painted Nail
Casey at Casey Lane Loves Polish
Chelsea at Nailed Blog
ChiChi at I'm Just Me...ChiChi
Cordia at Seriously Swatched
Elizabeth at Did My Nails
Erin at Paint Those Piggies
Jessica at Blue Velvet Lacquer
Kelly at Tuxarina
Lakeisha at Refined & Polished
Lisa at The Polish Playground
Marisa at Polish Obsession
Róisín at Cuti-CLUE-les
Stephanie at A Little Polish
Tiffany at Polished to Precision

26 October 2014

Zoya Anaka

Still pulling from my summer swatching stash (with only a couple more left...), this is Zoya Anaka, from the fall 2009 collection.

Zoya Anaka swatch

Zoya Anaka is a hot fuchsia with mini flecks of (camera-shy) gold and an iridescent blue sheen. I didn't note when I swatched it how many coats I applied, but I'm confident this was three. What I did note was that the first coat was so thin and runny, really patchy, that I might not have continued if it wasn't already showing hints of fabulousness.

Zoya Anaka swatch

Anaka isn't a creme, and it's not a jelly either, so much as it's just thin. But with that alluring, blue sheen and the little glints of gold to capture the light, it builds into a truly beautiful shimmer.

24 October 2014

OPI DS Classic

Another swatch from before my long (and wonderful!) summer voyage, I wore this with the intention of using it for the Twinsie Tuesday "Classic" theme. Actually, first I was thinking how hard it is to get any more classic than a bright, rich red, and that's exactly what I was going to do. And then I thought, "Hey, you know what else is classic? OPI DS Classic." It says so right there in the name. So I took this holo beauty out for the day, snapped some pictures...and then I didn't get home when I was supposed to. Still, better extremely late than never!

OPI DS Classic swatch

OPI DS Classic is...well, it's also classic DS, one of those beauties that made you feel like the Designer Series releases really were worth a little more than the average polish. A gorgeous, scattered holo, it's a beige-y neutral with a hint of caramel. Not intensely pigmented, but it's buttery smooth for a very easy three coats.

OPI DS Classic swatch

I know OPI has been trying some new things for their more recent DS collections, and I think that's pretty cool. I sure would love it if they revisited these holos, though--they really were onto something amazing here.

23 October 2014

Orly Sparkling Garbage

Worn back before this summer's Stateside odyssey, I'd hadn't heard about Orly Sparkling Garbage before I ran into it at the shop, but it was teal, and it was a glitter. Basically, sold. And then I saw that it was called Sparkling Garbage, and I swooned and flew into the sun. Twice in love already, and I hadn't even gotten it home yet!

I did dab a little Sparkling Garbage on these koi nails, but this was the first time I finally wore it on its own...so to speak. This is two coats, layered over Orly Pretty Ugly, its sister polish from the same Summer 2013 Mash Up Collection.

Orly Sparkling Garbage swatch

The combination of these two was...y'all I was tongue tied. I kept looking at my nails and shaking my head in disbelief at the sheer amount of awesome. I'm actually entertaining foofy words like "ethereal" and "effervescent". There is so much holographic sparkle in this glitter, and Pretty Ugly is just about the perfect base for it. The two may even have dovetailed into some kind of "greater than the sum of its parts" action where the scattered holo on top of the iridescent shimmer has turned into a 3-Dimensional Vortex of Wonder, and yes, I'm basically blithering in awe.

Orly Sparkling Garbage swatch

I'm also cursing the way it's so. freaking. hard. to capture things like "ethereal sparkle" on camera. The first time I put my hand into my light box and saw Sparkling Garbage all lit up, I literally shouted, "Are you kidding me?!"

It is a fairy princess ocean of sparkle, and I love it.

21 October 2014

Twinsie Tuesday: Odd Inspirations

I'm baaaaack! Three and a half months away from home, and I can't even begin to describe how much I missed it. And after three and a half months with family, I can't even begin to describe how much I miss them now. Conflicted, yes! But wow, I'd forgotten how much I love the sight of my pretty, red Helmers and the intimidatingly large Big Box o' Untried Polishes. Before I could dive back into the swing of things, though--jet lag! Or as it was this week, Revenge of The Son of the Queen of All Jet Lag.

Fortunately, where internal clocks and daily schedules failed, I had Twinsie Tuesday to get me up and posting today, and I can't wait to see what everyone did for this theme: Odd Inspirations! I actually have a whole bunch of pics on my iPhone, shots of people's shirts and purses and scarves and whatever else I spot that I want to remember to try later on my nails. Today's manicure came from one of those; it was inspired by... actually, let me show you the mani first.

rose nail art

I've done tons of roses and other flower nails, but I thought this swirly method could be really cute. It looks so Laura Ashley at arm's length, and it's super easy to do (I've already added a tutorial for these to that always-growing To Do list). The idea came from...


...from a bath mat I saw at the department store downstairs. I loved the stylized, graphic design and thought it would be pretty much adorbs. So, Sinful Colors Snow Me White, acrylic paints, and blammo, swirly little flowers. Love 'em!

rose nail art


 For more "odd inspiration" manicures, please swing by some of the other Twinsie Tuesday blogs!




Alaina at The Little Canvas
Amanda at Amandalandish
Amber at Nails Like Lace
Anna at Going to the Showing
Bridget at A Painted Nail
Casey at Casey Lane Loves Polish
Chelsea at Nailed Blog
ChiChi at I'm Just Me...ChiChi
Cordia at Seriously Swatched
Elizabeth at Did My Nails
Erin at Paint Those Piggies
Jessica at Blue Velvet Lacquer
Kelly at Tuxarina
Lakeisha at Refined & Polished
Lisa at The Polish Playground
Marisa at Polish Obsession
Róisín at Cuti-CLUE-les
Stephanie at A Little Polish
Tiffany at Polished to Precision

14 October 2014

Twinsie Tuesday: I've Been Meaning To...

Another fun theme for this week's Twinsie Tuesday posts! The assignment was finally to do something off that ever-growing list of manicures and techniques we keep meaning to try but hadn't gotten to yet, and for me, that's a saran wrap mani. A specific saran wrap manicure, that is--I've done plenty of them before and always, always love 'em, but I kept meaning to try a different method.

saran wrap manicure

I usually use an additive technique for my saran wrap manicures, dabbing bits of polish onto my nails with the wadded up film. This time, though, I used the reductive method. After laying down a base of Sally Hansen Grease Lightening (omigosh, it's such a great aubergine/eggplant shade, but I seriously can't with that name >_<), I worked a finger at a time, adding a coat of butter LONDON The Full Monty, pressing the mashed up cling wrap against the wet nail, and then removing it to pull away the bits of polish that were grabbed by the plastic.

I've loved the other method so much that I wasn't sure I'd take to this one as well, but I'm super happy with the results! I still plan to use the other when I want to work with three or more colours, but this is officially my new two-colour technique.

saran wrap manicure


I can hardly believe it, but when this post goes up, I'll be on my way home! I don't have the words for how much I've enjoyed this summer, and it breaks my heart to go, but I'm so ready to be home again too. So sad, so excited, so not looking forward to that flight, so eager to sleep in my own bed again... You name it; I'm feeling it. Thank you so much to my family, for a really amazing summer, and huge thanks to everyone who kept up with me while I've been on the road. I really am looking forward to catching up with everybody again!




Alaina at The Little Canvas
Amanda at Amandalandish
Amber at Nails Like Lace
Anna at Going to the Showing
Bridget at A Painted Nail
Casey at Casey Lane Loves Polish
Chelsea at Nailed Blog
ChiChi at I'm Just Me...ChiChi
Cordia at Seriously Swatched
Elizabeth at Did My Nails
Erin at Paint Those Piggies
Jessica at Blue Velvet Lacquer
Kelly at Tuxarina
Lakeisha at Refined & Polished
Lisa at The Polish Playground
Marisa at Polish Obsession
Róisín at Cuti-CLUE-les
Stephanie at A Little Polish
Tiffany at Polished to Precision
Traci at Drink Citra

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