27 February 2014

Wayback Nails: Blue Foil Flowers

Once again, my Wayback Nails slip in just under the wire! (I actually did these about a week ago, but they had to wait their place in line... anyway!) Looking back to last February, I particularly liked these dotted flowers over Orly Sweet Peacock and wanted to give that combination another try, only this time I did just a bit more flowery flowers.

flower nail art

The original Twinsie Tuesday assignment last year was "school colours," so I kept my university's white, blue, and yellow/gold. As I mentioned, Orly Sweet Peacock for the base, and I do wish they'd make more of these fabulous foils! The colour and formula are just wonderful. The white is Pure Ice Superstar!, the yellow is Bourjois Jaune trendy, and the gold is again Zoya Ziv (aka the most awesome goil foil ever). The leaves are Essie The More The Merrier with Essie Pretty Edgy.

nail art flowers

Taking a harder look, I think the original, simpler design, which features more of the gold (and a brighter yellow), ties the flowers in better with the bright, foil background, but these were still quite cute in person and got me looking forward to spring--which actually got here today! Which means, of course, that we're about 2 weeks away from summer. You can not buy, beg, borrow, or steal more beautiful weather than Hong Kong in the springtime. If only it were an actual season, instead of just a fleeting mood... (dramatic sigh)

And now I have this track from The Dark Side of the Moon stuck in my head.

nail art flowers

Definitely think more of the gold is in order (and maybe some smaller leaves), but it was fun to revisit this combination! I haven't worn Sweet Peacock since last year's design, and I'm not kidding, Orly, please to be making more of these foils! It also put me in the mood to start doing more flower nail art again, which I haven't as much of so far this year...

Yeah, I'm trying to tie this post up with a coherent conclusion, but I went and started playing the full album of The Dark Side of the Moon on YouTube, and now I'm all distracted and surrounded by musical awesome. This post has ended in a very different place from where it started.

"Ticking away the moments that make up a dull day..."

25 February 2014

Twinsie Tuesday: Favourite Brand

This week Twinsie Tuesday is wearing our favourite nail polish brands! With so many to choose from I decided to stick with mainstream brands (because srsly, indies? way too much awesome, starting with a sexy wink at you, CrowsToes), but even then, there are so many ways to pick a favourite. OPI's formula is consistently the best, and this past year I've been ubersmitten with their Liquid Sands. And even beyond the Pixie Dusts, Zoya seems to have one or more unique standout in every collection that blows me away. Overall, though, for sheer creativity and range of shades, I have to go with China Glaze.

water marble manicure

When I first started following nail blogs and assembling my stash, China Glaze caught my eye right away with their bold, bright colours that wander off the beaten path of perpetual reds and pinks. So, I wanted to do a water marble to show off some of their unique shades, and since it's such a retro design to start with, I thought it would be fun to go retro with the colours as well... Behold, every American kitchen from the late '60s to the very early '80s, when everything was harvest gold, avocado, and that burnt shade of orange! Or, in China Glaze colours, Kalahari Kiss, Desert Sun, Elephant Walk, Call of the Wild, and Budding Romance--all but the last of which came from the fabulously rich China Glaze On Safari collection.

retro water marble nails

I haven't been as crazy about China Glaze's more recent collections, but I think that's to do with their willingness to try new things. Those new things aren't always going to be a hit, but that same creativity brings us so many great shades like For Audrey, Ruby Pumps, Lubu Heels, Dorothy Who?, the original OMG collection... I will say that I look forward to hearing better things about CG's formulas than I have with recent collections, because the colours they come out with continue to be totally amazing.


Alaina at The Little Canvas
Amanda at Amandalandish
Amber at Nails Like Lace
Anna at Going to the Showing
Anne at Grape Fizz Nails
Casey at Casey Lane Loves Polish
Chelsea at Nailed Blog
ChiChi at I'm Just Me...ChiChi
Elizabeth at Did My Nails
Erin at Paint Those Piggies
Heather at Peace, Love and Polish
Kelly at Tuxarina
Lakeisha at Refined & Polished
Maribeth at Obsessive Cosmetic Hoarders Unite
Marisa at Polish Obsession
Rachel at Top Coat It
Róisín at Cuti-CLUE-les
Stephanie at A Little Polish
Tiffany at Polished to Precision
Traci at DrinkCitra

23 February 2014

Happy Hands Banana Stand

Crossing the finish line, it's Day 7 of the Happy Hands "I've Made a Huge Mistake" Collection! Thanks to Dazzled for letting me share these--and thanks to Happy Hands as well for making such a fantastic batch of polishes in honour one of my very favourite shows, Arrested Development.

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The last polish in this collection is named for the cornerstone of the Bluth family business. It's a popular hangout on the Balboa Island wharf, the big, yellow joint that dates back to 1953. This is Happy Hands Banana Stand.

Happy Hands Banana Stand swatch

Michael: I need the flight records, Dad. I'm trying to find some money for the family.
George: There's always money in the banana stand.

[Michael, unimpressed and resentful, burns the banana stand to the ground.]

George: There was $250,000 lining the walls of the banana stand.
Michael: What?
George: Cash, Michael!
Michael: Why didn't you tell me that?
George: How much clearer can I say, "There's always money in the banana stand!"

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Happy Hands Banana Stand is a yellow jelly polish, with small glitters in yellow and brown and tiny specks of green. I have to say I'm very impressed by the balances struck here--the glitter is well suspended in the polish without sinking too deep or riding on top, and the yellow jelly actually builds easily to opacity without swallowing the glitter. That glitter spreads beautifully too, without any need to dab it around or rearrange it. All considered, quite the balancing act, and the result is amazing!

Two coats was great for daily wear, but I hit it with a third for the camera because sometimes I just can't stop myself.

Happy Hands Banana Stand swatch

Pretty much every review I've seen of Happy Hands Banana Stand has said that it was even cuter in person, and I totally agree. I thought it looked cute and kinda fun when I saw it in pictures, but in person it's freaking adorable. Definitely unique among my stash as well!

Honestly, not exaggerating, wearing Banana Stand I would look down at my nails and think, "Okay, how is it this cute?!" And then a little time would go by, and then I'd look at my hands, and it would hit me all over again. "Seriously, how is this polish so adorable?!" No idea, but am absolutely smitten.

Happy Hands Banana Stand swatch

Thank you so much, Dazzled, for letting me share Banana Stand and the rest of the Happy Hands "I've Made a Huge Mistake" Collection! I had my eye on this whole set for ages, but I'm still pleasantly surprised at how much I enjoyed all seven of them. I also had a great time revisiting Arrested Development this week--next weekend is looking like a good time for a DVD marathon!


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"Ten cents gets you nuts..."

Happy Hands Tricks Are Something...

Nearly the end now--thanks to Dazzled, this is Day 6 of a week-long look at the Happy Hands "I've Made a Huge Mistake" Collection, inspired by Arrested Development...

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Today's polish is another great glitter, named for magician Gob Bluth's oh-so-eloquent explanation of the difference between tricks and illusions; this is Happy Hands Tricks Are Something A Whore Does For Money... Or Candy.

Happy Hands Tricks Are Something A Whore Does For Money Or Candy swatch

Michael: So, this is the magic trick, huh?
Gob: Illusion, Michael. A 'trick' is something a whore does for money.
[Michael indicates the crowd of children watching them.]
Gob: Or candy.





Happy Hands Tricks Are Something... is a predominantly silver glitter topper with green highlights and bright, golden stars (love the stars!). Depending on the light, the green looks like it could be seafoam or lime...I don't even know what shade to describe it as, but it's super cute!

Happy Hands Tricks Are Something A Whore Does For Money Or Candy swatch

This is just one coat, brushed normally, over Essie Going Incognito. Serious glitter payoff! Great density, easy to spread, and without fishing (or remembering to turn the bottle over for a couple of minutes beforehand) I still came up with a gold star on 6 of 10 nails. With the green highlights, I think this one would look awesome over lots of colours, including any shade of green, or a light grey, or especially black!

Happy Hands Tricks Are Something A Whore Does For Money Or Candy swatch

I love the rich, sparkly look of Happy Hands Tricks Are Something A Whore Does For Money...Or Candy. It seems like a simple combination, but it's totally lush! And yes, it and the rest of the "I've Made a Huge Mistake" Collection are currently in stock at Dazzled. ^_^

21 February 2014

Happy Hands I Just Blue Myself

This week is just zooming by! Thanks to Dazzled, I have another polish to share from the Happy Hands "I've Made a Huge Mistake" Collection, inspired by one of my favourite comedies--favourite shows, period--Arrested Development.

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I wouldn't say I was surprised to love today's polish, but I was most definitely surprised by just how much I loved it. I mean, it was really cute in all the pics I'd seen online, but in person it was full-on, jaw-droppingly AMAZING. Please to be enjoying Happy Hands I Just Blue Myself!

Happy Hands I Just Blue Myself swatch

Tobias: No, I'm afraid I just blue myself.
Michael: There's gotta be a better way to say that.
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I Just Blue Myself is a clear-based glitter topper that's packed with cyan and cobalt blue glitter. And the blue is so, so brilliant--it's 100% electric awesomeness! It sizzles. It's luminous. Literally, I think the glitter produces and radiates its very own light. It's incredible.

Happy Hands I Just Blue Myself swatch

And the formula is fantastic as well! I applied one coat over black (Nfu Oh 132 again), brushing normally, and the glitter spread was great with no clumping or slipping. After that dried a minute I went back and did a little dabbing, just to be sure I got the edges...and maybe a teeny spot here or there...but the "teeny spots" didn't need any more glitter to look great--I was just so smitten that I wanted a little more.

Happy Hands I Just Blue Myself swatch

Let me put it this way... I usually like blues that have a little more lean to them, more of a teal or blue-violet tint, and I've never really been a fan of bar glitter. I would not change a single thing about Happy Hands I Just Blue Myself. It's perfect just the way it is.

Thank you again, Dazzled, for letting me share this collection!

Happy Hands Motherboy

Welcome to Day 4 of Happy Hands week, showing the wonderful polishes of the "I've Made a Huge Mistake" Collection, inspired by one of my favourite shows of all time, Arrested Development. Huge thanks to Dazzled for providing these!

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Today's polish is probably my favourite of the entire collection. It was definitely love at first sight--this is Happy Hands Motherboy!

Happy Hands Motherboy swatch

Michael: Sorry that my son couldn’t be here.
Stan: Let me guess. Girlfriend. You know, it could be worse. He could want to marry your mother. (Laughs.) Oh, I’m sorry. Is your family not laughing at that yet?

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Motherboy (the polish, not the awkwardly oedipal mother-son weekend cotillion...or the heavy metal band...) is made of satin-matte, pastel glitters in a clear base. It has big seafoam green hexes, a light yet bright pink, teeny pearl-white bits, and lavender/lilac hexes, as well as lavender squares. Love it!

Happy Hands Motherboy swatch

I am so crazy about this combination! It looks wonderful over light, pastel polishes, but my favourite look is over black for the awesome contrast. And this is just one coat, brushed normally! It spreads beautifully and so easily, just a really great formula.

Happy Hands Motherboy swatch

Happy Hands Motherboy and the rest of the "I've Made a Huge Mistake" Collection is currently available at Dazzled, and I am absolutely going to be getting a backup of this one. I feel like there is so much more I could/should be saying about a polish this totally adorable, but I keep just looking at it and getting all smitten and tongue-tied. Love, love, LOVE.

20 February 2014

Happy Hands For British Eyes Only

It's Day 3 of Happy Hands week, with more of the "I've Made a Huge Mistake" collection!

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With thanks again to Dazzled, this is Happy Hands For British Eyes Only...

Happy Hands For British Eyes Only swatch

Michael: I need access to these files that are apparently for British eyes only.
Rita: Well, lucky for you, my whole face is British.


Happy Hands For British Eyes Only (♫ For British Eyes Only... ♫) is a gorgeously twinkling collection of teal/blue/green glitters in a teal-tinted, jelly base. In its original incarnation, I saw this one build to a nice opacity. I wasn't able to make that happen with this thinner-yet-sparklier version, but that's a trade-off I don't mind making, given the depth of colour you get in this mix's glitters. So, this is two coats layered over Orly Green With Envy, a teal jelly that turned out to be an amazing match.

Happy Hands For British Eyes Only swatch

There is so. much. twinkle. going on in this polish! I've mentioned before that Husband particularly enjoys seeing my nails all sparkly and blue... Well, he noticed these nails in the middle of a sentence, and I never did hear the end of it. He just stopped and stared and pretty much stalled until I could get his attention again. Dude was officially transfixed, and I'm pretty sure I could have hypnotized him into going forth to do my bidding. So, we both give Happy Hands For British Eyes Only (♫ For British Eyes Only... ♫) very high marks for its amazing brilliance!

Happy Hands For British Eyes Only swatch

Thanks so much again to Dazzled for giving me the chance to share these! I started coveting the Happy Hands "I've Made a Huge Mistake" Collection at very first sight and had especially high hopes for this one. It would be nice if it still built to a more opaque finish, but it would also be nice if I had a pony. The jelly base is certainly rich and tinted enough that if you don't mind some VNL, it will look just great on its own. And if you're like me and prefer to layer, it's easily worth it for the sparkle and colour you get from Happy Hands For British Eyes Only.

♪♫ For British Eyes Only... ♫♪

19 February 2014

Twinsie Tuesday: Stash

This week we had another unusual TT theme, our polish collections! I know my fellow Twinsies are planning to show some pictures of their stashes, maybe their polishes and/or what their storage areas look like... Well, the current state of my Helmer--of all of my stash--forcibly reminds me of the interior of my poor, wonderful car during college, which is to say, it's appalling and most certainly deserves better. Husband and I have an IKEA trip on the "to do" list to get two more Helmers, in the hopes that we might reclaim the dining room...as well as several areas of the living room currently embroiled in border skirmishes...though to be honest, I expect those to fall any day to the unstoppable juggernaut of the lacquer advance. There's the Helmer, the top of the Helmer, the floor next to the Helmer, the coffee table, the boxes underneath the coffee table, the large bag next to the coffee table, the dining room table, the bags next to the dining room table, the Big Box o' Untrieds next to the dining room table, the boxes next to the Big Box o' Untrieds next to the dining room table... So, photographing this madness was right out.

I did, however, actually count up what I have in that Helmer for the first time ever, and considering it may only hold 1/3 of my total collection, I am now fully prepared to grant that I just might, in fact, have a problem. A wonderful, rainbow-coloured, glittering, shimmery problem that's in desperate need of taming.

Right now I store things by colour, without separating further by brand, and I think that's going to continue. I'll definitely be spreading things out a bit, though, because the drawers are getting reeeeally crammed. Right now it's...

Top Drawer: (93) Base & top coats; white, grey, and black; neutrals (beige to brown).
2nd Drawer: (95) Yellow, orange, red, pink, purple.
3rd Drawer: (96) Blues, greens, and ALL THE TEALS.
4th Drawer: (81) Glitter drawer, including full coverage, toppers, and glitters-in-jelly.
5th Drawer: (75) Assorted drawer, including holos, metallic foils, flakies, and textured polishes.
Bottom Drawer: Stuff & things. Cosmetic sponges, nail stickers, etc.

Fascinating, right?! Well, just for fun, I decided that since I wasn't going to share any pics of my stash itself, I'd paint my nails like I store my polish. Actually hang on a second--the building might be on fire... Aaaand I'm back. No fire, just machinery a couple of floors down, suddenly belching smoke like it's the Industrial Revolution. So yes! Nail art with stuff!


Really hoping I can get some good tips from the other Twinsies about managing this stash! Also hoping this lovely, thick smoke outside my window decides to wander off soon. Cheers!


Alaina at The Little Canvas
Amanda at Amandalandish
Amber at Nails Like Lace
Anna at Going to the Showing
Anne at Grape Fizz Nails
Casey at Casey Lane Loves Polish
Chelsea at Nailed Blog
ChiChi at I'm Just Me...ChiChi
Elizabeth at Did My Nails
Erin at Paint Those Piggies
Heather at Peace, Love and Polish
Kelly at Tuxarina
Lakeisha at Refined & Polished
Maribeth at Obsessive Cosmetic Hoarders Unite
Marisa at Polish Obsession
Rachel at Top Coat It
Róisín at Cuti-CLUE-les
Stephanie at A Little Polish
Tiffany at Polished to Precision
Traci at DrinkCitra

18 February 2014

Happy Hands Illusions, Michael

Again courtesy of Dazzled, I have another polish to share from the Happy Hands "I've Made a Huge Mistake" collection!


Today's polish is an incredible glitter topper that sparkles like some kind of crazy, magical fire--it's Happy Hands Illusions, Michael!

Happy Hands Illusions Michael swatch

Michael: So, this is the magic trick, huh?
Gob: Illusion, Michael. A 'trick' is something a whore does for money.
[Michael indicates the crowd of children watching them.]
Gob: Or candy.


Illusions, Michael looked amazing in the bottle, and then I put it on and went WOW. It actually took me getting into Photoshop and zooming in on my pictures to figure out if it had both red and orange glitters or if there was just so much vibrant twinkle going on that it just looked like the fiery colours were actually shifting (given the amount of sparkle happening here, that was totally plausible). But yes, it has both bright red and orange glitter in two sizes, with little pieces of gold, and then a dash of holo-sparkling, golden stars!

Happy Hands Illusions Michael swatch

I don't wear a lot of "shaped" glitter like these stars here, so I wondered if they'd be chunky or stand out as a little "young" for me--and no, no they do not. They are fantastic, and I love them to tiny, little bits. I'm also delighted to report that I didn't have to go fishing for these stars. After I stood the bottle upside-down for a few minutes, I just brushed this polish on normally; this is one coat of Illusions, Michael over Deborah Lippmann Human Nature, with only a little bit of dabbing to fill in around the edges. No clumping, no trouble with sliding pieces. Nothing but flaming, glittery awesomeness.

Happy Hands Illusions Michael swatch

This is the reformulated version of Happy Hands Illusions, Michael, and yes, I am completely in love with it. I had no idea I was going to be so crazy about this one, and as hard as I tried to get the best pictures I could of it, it's even more beautiful in person.

Dazzled currently carries the entire Happy Hands "I've Made a Huge Mistake" Collection. All these opinions are, of course, my own, but I figured it was worth spelling that part out this time, given my raging, vocal crush on this fabulously pretty glitter. ^_^

17 February 2014

Happy Hands Mayonegg

With massive thanks to Dazzled, who provided me with these awesome polishes, today kicks off an entire week of the Happy Hands "I've Made a Huge Mistake" Collection!

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This set of seven polishes was inspired by Arrested Development, aka one of my favourite shows of all time, but even if I didn't know the show I'd still be loving this entire collection, starting with that creamy, tangy Mayonegg.

Happy Hands Mayonegg swatch

"Oh, it's so cute. She sometimes takes a little pack of mayonnaise, and she'll squirt it in her mouth all over, and then she'll take an egg and kind of... Mmmm! She calls it a 'mayonegg.' "

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Aah, to be young and crushing on...her? But what sounds like a truly yarf-worthy snack does in fact make for an adorable nail polish! Happy Hands Mayonegg features two sizes of bright, matte, yellow glitter suspended in a milky white base. Or, y'know, mayonnaise-y white...but "milky" sounds soooo much better, doesn't it? Whatever, it's matte yellow glitter floating in soft, white jelly, and it's all kinds of cute!

Happy Hands Mayonegg swatch

I ended up going with four coats of Mayonegg here, but your mileage will probably vary--I always seem to need an extra coat of polish, plus I prefer less VNL, so 2 1/2 or 3 coats will almost certainly be enough for anyone who doesn't want to wear it layered (I think next time I'll do a coat of nude polish first). Mayonegg spread well and easily, and that includes the glitter, which is beautifully suspended.

This is actually a reformulation of the original Mayonegg, and I think it's a nice improvement. The original was more opaque and the glitters a bit darker and more satin than matte. Whatever changes were made to the base, it's absolutely creamier and more of a jelly in this second incarnation, giving Mayonegg a translucent glow and leading to that aforementioned beautiful glitter suspension.

Happy Hands Mayonegg swatch

Thank you again to Dazzled for letting me share this collection, and please stop back in this week to see more of the Happy Hands "I've Made a Huge Mistake" Collection!
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