27 July 2014

Wayback Nails: Splatter Manicure

This is exactly why I'm glad I started this monthly Wayback feature. Last July all about how I was totally going to start doing more splatter manicures because ZOMG-LOVE!! Aaand now suddenly it's a whole year later and I'm looking at last July's manicures and smacking my forehead all, "Hey, I was gonna do a jillion of those!"

Sadly, I'm never gonna catch up with that goal, but as of today I have doubled my previous total.

splatter nail art

For this second splatter manicure I wanted to try a different background, so I chose NYC Sidewalkers (because grey is sooooo much more daring than white, you know). I picked out my other colours and was about to start, but then all of a sudden my mood swung in a totally different direction, and instead of neon pink I veered towards teals instead. Specifically, toward Sation RV There Yet? and Color Club Blue-Ming, with a splash of Sinful Colors Snow Me White, some barely visible OPI Uh-Oh Roll Down the Window, and Revlon Colorstay Fall Mood (I have GOT to remember to wear it this actual fall!) for those shimmering, copper highlights.

splatter manicure

So this is me, falling in love with splatter manis all over again, and I can't wait to try them over some other colours as well! Hopefully it won't take me until next year's Wayback to do it this time.

26 July 2014

OPI Glitter Off Base Coat

I'm a big fan of the foil method of glitter polish removal, but the idea of a peel-able base coat is a total game changer! I've heard of a couple different ones, and even of just brushing on some good ol' Elmer's, and I kept saying, "Yeah, I'm totally gonna try one of those soon..." Then OPI introduced their own, and the time for procrastination was over--let the time for product testing begin!

OPI Glitter Off Base Coat
I wear glue on my nails; I look incredible.

OPI Glitter Off Base Coat comes with a little slip of instructions around the neck, instructions that say you should use thin coats. Easier said than done because it went on thick, like glue...which, duh, since that's pretty much what it is. It needs a little longer to dry than most base coats, and the instructions do say to let it dry completely. It's easy enough to see what that's done, though; the opaque, milky white dries nice and clear.

My first test was with Pure Ice Private Show, a finely milled glitter that was a perfect candidate. Application over this base didn't present any problems, and once the polish was dry, the wear test was on! Unfortunately, my right hand was chipping like mad inside of a day.

Suddenly a wild Cinderella hand appears!

I wouldn't want to generalise based on just this one trial with this one polish. The other hand, which got a second helping of top coat for the camera, didn't have the same chipping problem. But, I read more than one review of OPI Glitter Off Base Coat that reported an entire nail of polish just randomly falling off, and sure enough, my right index disappeared after about 18 hours (which I noticed while I was eating a piece of the spinach pizza I made us for dinner; I can only hope I didn't swallow the thing...). A second, from non-chipping Lefty, popped off whole at a little over a day, around 30 hours in.

So I can't really rave about the wear, but the removal? Wonderfully, gorgeously, ridiculously easy. I just pushed/slid an orange stick under an edge of the polish, and the polish pretty much fell away in a sheet. A couple of nails needed more...it's way too light to call it scraping, just a little extra encouragement, and then I went over all the nails with some polish remover to get any traces of whatever might be left over. Done and dusted. A total breeze.

My next couple of trials went a little differently. For this composite manicure, I used OPI Glitter Off Base Coat under a Liquid Sand, wondering how it might work, and while it held well--no chipping or popping off in the 2 days I wore the manicure--I was unable to peel the polish off the way I did when I used it under actual glitter. It came off super easy with remover, but it just wasn't having any part of the peeling protocol. I had a similar result with the fine, full-coverage glitter I used on my middle nail with this manicure. After the base coat, 2-3 coats of finely milled glitter, then 2-3 top coats, a simple peel-off just wasn't gonna happen; however, I was able to peel and push it up with an orange stick (without any worry that I was going to damage the actual nail) and then remover away the residue.

peel off base coat
Peel-age and the Gluey-Glue (children's book or 80s band?)

Some of my mixed results seem to stem from the "use thin coats" part of the instructions. It's hard to get a nice, thin coat of what's essentially Elmer's on your nails, but I did get it a little thinner after a couple of tries. Thing is, I suspect there's a fairly narrow window of optimal thickness where adhesion and durability really intersect.

Until and unless I can get better at hitting that hold/peel butter zone, here's my conclusion: I think OPI Glitter Off Base Coat is a great choice for those evenings you want to go big & glittery for a party or something, assuming you don't need the manicure to last a very long time. Considering the chipping, I'll probably save it for those occasions--and for swatching glitters, which it should be a huge help for!--and stick with a regular base + the foil method for normal/daily wear.

24 July 2014

Orange Blossoms Nail Art

I mean, they're not so much "orange blossoms" as they are "blossoms that are orange," but I had a soft, light teal polish on. Compulsion demanded that I do a flower thing.

orange nail art flowers

I don't think I'll ever stop loving little flowery branches like this, but I'm not sure how successful this colour combination is--I don't know if the orange acrylic paints bled, or maybe they're just not the right shades to go with the pale, minty teal...or maybe I'm just going cross-eyed from trying to schedule a month of posts at once and need to relax about it. Relax and possibly even get some sleep. Oh my gosh, I remember sleep...

orange floral nail art

Is it weird that I tried to mix the brown of the branches on the purple side so they'd kinda match the bottle cap? I know it's weird that I can't think of more to say about these, given how much I love little blossom-y flowers like these--and over a minty teal like SpaRitual Delight, I should be swooning like mad! Unfortunately, I think full-on panic has set in over my impending travel schedule, causing a sort of white noise feedback loop in my head that's not gonna go away until my bags are safely packed.

Next on my to-do list: pack some bags! And think about some sleep.

22 July 2014

Twinsie Tuesday: Inspired by Nature

For this week's "Inspired by Nature" Twinsie theme, I finally tackled a tutorial that's been on my to-do list since...well, since December 2, 2012, because that's exactly when I commented that it was going straight to said list. It took me a while to work up the guts, but this is my attempt at Treesponge's aurora borealis nail art design.

aurora borealis nail art

Not quite up the original but sooo much better than I thought they'd be! I'll take it! And while I didn't do a full mani this time, it surprisingly is something I could actually manage with both hands too. For my polishes I ended up staying relatively close to the original script. My base is Color Club Baldwin Blues, with some CrowsToes Merope and Color Club Wild At Heart sponged across the tips (and by the way, in contrast to the terrible time I had with Baldwin Blues last time out, after some thinner and some time for it to sit and think about what it did, this beautiful blue behaved so much better this time around!).

Other culprits include some sponged Revlon Colorstay Blue Slate, Sally Hansen CSM Please Sea Me, and Revlon Colorstay Coastal Surf. There's a generous bit of Jessica Silver Holographic Top Coat for extra stars, plus Sinful Colors Snow Me White for extra-extra dotted stars on that. Water marble swirl is China Glaze For Audrey (and some clear OPI Top Coat), and the light show is China Glaze I'm With the Lifeguard with highlights of Illamasqua Rare. The squiggly trees (and attempted inlet/lake on my index finger) are China Glaze Liquid Leather.

aurora borealis nail art

Thanks so much to Treesponge for a well-written and really fun tutorial--I hope my fellow Twinsies had as good a time with their nature-inspired manicures this week!

PS: Husband saw these half-finished, so I told him I was doing aurora borealis. He said, "Wasn't he that guy on Buffy?"

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

21 July 2014

OPI This Gown Needs a Crown

From the 2013 Miss Universe Collection, this is OPI This Gown Needs a Crown...

OPI This Gown Needs a Crown swatch

A couple of weeks ago, because someone referred to this polish as the greatest silver ever and because I'm exactly that hard to manipulate, I shouted, "I'll be the judge of that!" and marched out to buy a bottle. (It's all part of that same "You're not the boss of me!" instinct that makes me physically itch to barge through any door marked No Entry. Sadly, Husband has yet to master the art of using this trait to his advantage without giving the game away, thus planting me on the "You can't make me!" side of whatever he's trying to accomplish. Crap, where was I? Right, the nail polish!)

OPI This Gown Needs a Crown is a beautiful silver foil that dries to suede, matte finish. Or if you prefer, satin (since that's what it says on the bottle cap). And by foil, I'm not only referring to its classification--I also mean that it literally looks like you've covered your nails with delicate, silver foil paper.


The surface doesn't reflect like a mirror-chrome; instead, the fine particles give off a glow that's soft and diffused. Just two coats of this great formula will be perfect for most, for daily wear. I hit mine with three for the camera and then basically sat back and breathed in the awesome.

OPI This Gown Needs a Crown swatch

OPI This Gown Needs a Grown's finish is so gorgeously suede that I didn't even think about top coating until I was finishing off some comparison pics (oops, spoiler alert! comparison post on the way...) and then OHSWEETMERFICUL, I 'bout fell out of my seat. On a scale of 1-10, the sparkle was insane. I will absolutely be wearing this polish again in the ludicrously near future.

Is it the greatest silver of all time? I'm not quite prepared to commit to as bold a statement as that, but as pathologically contrary as I am, I'm perfectly content to let that claim stand unchallenged. This is a damn fine silver polish.

19 July 2014

Lilac and Roses

Hey, do you know what it just this second occurred to me I could have done for nail art with Barielle Lilac Jelly Bean? Lilacs. Or possibly some sort of jelly beans. But I didn't do those; I did swishy, white roses. Like so!

white flower nail art

Starting with Barielle Lilac Jelly Bean, I did a quick and easy saran wrap application of it, Zoya Normani, Essie Bangle Jangle, and Essie Smokin' Hot. The roses and leaves are simple swirls of acrylic paint, and I topped it all off with Wet n Wild Wild Shine Matte (and I'm still giggling about the name "Wild Shine" matte because I'm just that hard to amuse).

rose nail art

Like the purple flowers I posted a few weeks ago, these nails go out to my grandmother, whose birthday it is today. Happy Birthday, Gam! Who Loves Ya', Baby?! (^_^)

18 July 2014

SpaRitual Delight

When it comes to minty, teal polishes, too many is nowhere near enough. Even if it looks like one I already have...just how similar is it? What, you mean it's not different at all? Awesome, I found a dupe! So yeah, I can talk myself into just about any of these shades that happens to cross my path. SpaRitual Delight, though, took little to no justification at all; my eyeballs just locked onto it and informed the brain directly, "You need this. Like, now."

SpaRitual Delight swatch

The first coat of SpaRitual Delight pulled and streaked and had me pretty worried. But the second went on creamysmooth, and steadier/thicker polishers than I am will be good to go right there. I hit mine with a third and fell hard in love. Head over heels. I mean, I'm always on about this or that soft, mint teal, but SpaRitual Delight is full-on, flipping gorgeous. Italic, boldface, underscore, capslock gorgeous.

SpaRitual Delight swatch

Rave, rave, love, what else can I say? SpaRitual Delight is made of luminous, antique jade and presents from Tiffany and peppermint toothpaste and the soft sighs of a beautiful baby unicorn.

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