Thursday, December 22, 2011

I'm not a dominatrix...

...but if I were, this is the mani I would rock at all times:


I ask you, how effing awesome is this?  It's a slapdash mess, I know, but don't you judge me, Earl.  It's China Glaze Lubu Heels tipped with Essie Forever Yummy.  I cannot tell you how much I love this.  I kind of threw it together out of boredom and curiosity and's awesome!  Next time I have a date (which should be sometime in 2015, if my romantic history is any indication), I am doing this mofo, and I'm doing it RIGHT.  It is the sex.  I'm sorry.  It just is.

Here, check out Lubu Heels on its own:

If you need to go have a cigarette now, I'll understand.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

I'm baaaaaack!

Have I used that title before?  It's been so long, I don't remember!

I'm so sorry to have taken such a lengthy leave.  Between the holidays, the time change, the loss of my's just taken me some to get back on track.  I've been painting my nails very regularly in the interim, I just haven't gotten into the flow of photographing and posting like I should.  Honestly, I have no delusions that anyone missed me, I'm just always embarrassed to take up a hobby and then drop it at the first inconvenience.  I made promises, and didn't keep them...for shame!

'Nuff o' that.  So, I got a new camera!  I love it, but I haven't taken the time like I should to REALLY learn how to use it, so you guys are gonna see some rough pics along the way.  AND, I got an OttLite for an early Christmas present!  I have yet to set up a proper picture-taking place; I'm just using the light to do much better-looking, precise manis.  We'll all learn together! 

Today I bring you Zoya Cynthia, with a topcoat of China Glaze Fairy Dust:

Cynthia is a very dark, green-leaning teal, and she's a lovely.  But that is not the point here.  If you don't own CG Fairy Dust...CHANGE THAT!  It is blingalicious; glittery, but not hard to remove at all.  I mean...DANG.  It ain't Christmas yet; still PLENTY of time to ask Santa for some kickin' stocking stuffers.

Speaking of which...Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night!  I hope to speak with you more in the future.  Bless y'all!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

I've got good news, and bad news

The good news is...I'm back!  I had a RIDICULOUS time on the cruise last week.  I never want to overburden this blog with personal details about my life that will mean very little to the rest of the world, but I've just got to tell you:  I. NEEDED. THAT.  I've been on about seven cruises at this point, so it's not new to me, but I've been through so much over the last year or so that apparently I just had a lot of thinking and mental reframing to do that I didn't even know I needed to do, and I DID it.  I had a stoopid amount of fun, and learned a bit about myself in the process.  It was a personal retreat, if you will.

Sigh.  Enough.

The bad news is...I lost my camera somewhere along the way.  I've emailed Carnival in the hopes that it was in my room or something, but until then, I've got nothing with which to document my adventures in lacquer.  (Also, I lost all my cruise pics.  ACK!)  Between reevaluating my life right now and that unfortunate happenstance, this means that you'll be seeing less of me.  I.  Am.  Sorry.  My goal is to post perhaps once a week now, since I have a few unposted pics stashed up.  Hopefully I'll hear from Carnival with some good news; otherwise I'll have to wait for some holiday deals to roll around so I can get a good deal on the camera I've been eyeballing anyway.

To throw in another bit of good news, I'm going to look at this time as a great window with which to try to shape my nails up a bit (no pun intended).  I broke down and bought a $20 bottle of Qtica Natural Nail Growth Stimulator, so we'll see how it does!  I'll bring you a swatch shot later in the week, but I just wanted to check in quickly post-cruise. 

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Sparkles a Go Go - Pink Wednesday

Greetings from the Caribbean!  Well, actually, greetings from my desk chair, on account of it's actually the Tuesday before I leave for my cruise.  Yes, this is one of those Pink Wednesdays where I'm not actually wearing pink on Wednesday.  Sorry!  I'll be kind of busy being on a cruise ship.  Yeah.  As you're reading this, I probably have a fruity drink in my hand.  I'm probably in a deck chair.  I can't be bothered with wearing pink polish.  Don't hate.

A couple of weeks ago, though, I donned a pink mani I REALLY loved. 

(Sidebar:  Please don't judge me for the state of my nails and cuticles.  This blog is not here for me to overshare details of my personal life, but I'll just tell you that sometimes I may have a hard time prioritizing the care of my hands.  That's happened a lot lately, but things are looking up.  Hopefully my fingers will be in better shape soon!)

Love this!  This is China Glaze Go Go Pink with Mattese Nail Art Polish in Black Glitter. 

Go Go Pink is available as part of a package at Sally Beauty with Seche Vite Top Coat to support breast cancer awareness.  If your Sally still has this combo package, PICK IT UP.  Not only is it for a good cause, it's a bargain!  The total price for the combo is only $1 more than the usual price of a bottle of Seche Vite, so your Go Go Pink is only $1! 

The Mattese polish was part of my recent NYC came from Ricky's NYC, a beauty store that can only be found in New York, New Jersey and Miami.  I'm really loving this stuff.  I didn't know at the time that it had a nail art brush, but I'm really quite happy that it does.  Great stuff, huh?  Lookit the shiny!!!

I'm pretty pleased with this, my first attempt at doing anything besides cleanup with a nail art brush.  It's quite abstract, no?  Are they palm fronds?  Claws?  I don't know!

Hope you're all having a great week!

Sunday, October 30, 2011


I'm heading out on Monday for a much-needed, long-awaited cruise the to Caribbean...woohoo!  I've actually done several cruises in my time, but it's been a few years since I was on one, so I can't wait!  On the agenda is a port I haven't visited and a cruise-line-private-island dealio where my party and I will have one of those nifty private beach cabanas - complete with water slide, hot tub, our own chairs, catering and free house drinks.  Sweet is unwise to write a post like this several days in advance.  Makes it that much harder to wait out these last few days!

I've been sitting on this mani for a little while.  I really loved it, but I just kept waiting for the time to be right. 

How beachy is that?  It's H&M Deep Sea and an unlabelled Sally Girl mini glitter that I got as a freebie in a swap.  Seriously, this makes me want to dive into the Caribbean rightthisverymoment.  I wish it had a longer life span; it would be PERFECT for cruising. 

I wore it for one day shiny with Seche Vite, which made it shrink back; then I mattified it with Essie Matte About You.  THAT's when it really popped for me.  The shrinkage is frustrating, but I've come to accept that as the trade-off for how often and easily Seche Vite allows me to change my polish.

While I'm gone, I'll be testing out the weartime of Sally Hansen's holiday Salon Effects Polish Strips.  I'm very excited about the plaid and argyle patterns, and I can't wait to show them to you when I get back. 

Have a great week, ya landlubbers!

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Butter London - Mixed Bag

The good news:  While in Austin recently, I picked up four new Butter London polishes.  I showed you Pink Ribbon in a recent glitter sandwich.  Today I bring you All Hail the Queen (top) and Victoriana (bottom), two lovely shimmer-packed polishes.

The bad news:  This stuff chips and wears WAY too fast for what it costs.  No other way to say that.  I've bought polishes that cost half as much and wore twice long.  It's a good thing Butter London puts out some beautiful, unique colors, because otherwise I'd think twice before purchasing.

Truth time:  What's the priciest polish you've ever bought, only to be disappointed by the quality? 

Thursday, October 20, 2011

It's Peanut Butter Jelly Time!

Yes.  We have no bananas.

Today's post...bums me out.  I did this really cute mani, but the weather blows, so I could NOT get any decent pictures.  So, I threw all the lights in the garage on...they tend to be the best substitute in a pinch.  I took a few pics, was satisfied with what I saw in the viewfinder, and proceeded to remove the mani.  Fast forward a few minutes when I loaded the pictures up...and saw that they all sucked.

Sigh.  Forgive me.  I loved the mani, I ain't doing it over, so here's the crappy pictures.

Repeat after me:  This is a polish blog, not a photography blog.  This is a polish blog, not a photography blog.  Thank you.

I love this combination!  They're both Barielle beauties:  the brown is Make It a Latte, and the purple is Grape Escape.  Latte has a barely perceptible warm golden shimmer, so in that regard, purple really shouldn't be a good fit for it; but the shimmer is hard to discern, so it just looks like brown and purple to most viewers.  And brown and purple makes me think of...PEANUT BUTTER JELLY TIME! 

Funky frenches are SO dang fun...I love coming up with different color combos.  This is probably the shortest nail length I've ever worn a french with, but I kind of like it! 

Hey, guess what everybody...TOMORROW'S FRIDAY!  Make it count, y'all.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Blingy Pink!

How's everyone's weekend so far?  Mine's been a bit of a mixed bag, if I'm honest, but at least I've been rocking some nice nails!

My best friend recently gave me the most awesomest Bag of Awesome ever as a thank you gift for being there through the process of her wedding and delayed reception.  Well, wouldn't you know, she channeled my brain PERFECTLY and picked out a China Glaze pink that had been on my lemming list for a while...Strawberry Fields.

We went out for a deeeelicious Japanese dinner last night, so the night before, I did my best to make Strawberry Fields look as good as I could.  I blinged it out with some gold stars, to bring out the gold shimmer in this gorgeous polish.  In full sun, the shimmer hides a bit.  It's easier to see in shady outdoor or flourescent lighting.  How backwards is that?  Nevertheless, Strawberry Fields did NOT disappoint.  I looooove it.

I'm not sure if this is why she chose it, but when we were seniors in high school, said best friend and I went to NYC for our senior trip.  One day we had a full day's bus tour of the city, and it just so happened that our guide was a Beatles junkie.  What a coincidence; so were we!  Our guide chose to show us the part of Central Park closest to the Dakota, where John Lennon was shot.  This section of the park is called Strawberry Fields.  It has a lovely mosaic in the walkway, and people leave candles and flowers on it.  We were so pleased to get to experience that.

Do any of you had good experiences with friends picking out the perfect polish for you?  Do tell!

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Sparkles, sparkles everywhere!

Another Sunday night, with another Monday morning just around the corner.  Boooo!

This week has been a sparkly one for me!  I didn't set out to have this happen, but it just happened that I had an awful lot of glittery polishes sitting in my untried pile that I decided to give a whack this week.  This also means that I've got a full-collection post for you this week!  Let's get to it...

I'd been really keen to try out Revlon's Impressionists collection, so when I found them at a Target recently, I snatched each and every one of them up.  This week I wore all three for at least a full day, but the results had a tendency to dictate my urgency to photograph.  See if you can draw your own conclusions:

L to R:  Blue Mosaic, Starry Night, Facets of Fuschia
 Blue Mosaic was an absolute model to photograph.  Gorgeous, shimmery, reflective...lovely.  It leaves bald patches even after about three coats that are really only noticeable in macro-shots.  Good coverage for what it is. 

Facets of Fuschia is equally lovely.  I know a lot of people are swatching this over a black creme, since technically it's a jelly, but I don't think that's necessary.  It has adequate coverage with two coats, superb with three.  I don't own Lippmann Bad Romance to do a dupe comparison, but luckily I no longer feel the need to own it!  This is beautiful.  It only gets minimal photgraphic coverage because it did chip pretty quickly.

The bummer of the bunch is Starry Pink.  I'm gonna give Revlon the benefit of the doubt and hope that I got a bad bottle, because this thing was a hot gloopy MESS.  Silver glitter in a delicate pink...file this under "Lots of promise, fails on follow-through."

All three were a NIGHTMARE to remove.  No other way to say that.

I also decided to try a technique I'd wanted to have a go at for awhile...a glitter sandwich!  Below you'll see one coat of Butter London Pink Ribbon, one coat of SOPI Traffic Stopper Copper (a real favorite of mine lately) and then another coat of Pink Ribbon.

Sorry for the lighting.  Sunsets are very pink around here!
This is one of those great, subtle work looks.  Most people aren't going to see it as anything but a simple nude mani, but you'll know there's that extra something going on.  Love that!

After having spent SOOOO much time removing glitter from my hands this week, it's apt to be cremes and holos for me for awhile now, but it was fun being blingy this week.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Polish for a cause

Happy Wednesday!  It has been decreed that from henceforth, the first Wednesday of every month shall forevermore be...PINK WEDNESDAY!  Huzzah! 

Today I've got one for you that I recently picked up at our (for lack of a better way to put it) local hippy grocery store.  It's like Whole Foods only not corporate.  Also, easier to get in and out of.  This here is Peace Keeper Paint Me Stunning. 

 Peace Keeper states on their bottle that, "All distributable profits, after taxes, support women's issues."  Their website also goes on to list a lot of specific information about the ingredients that they do and don't use; as you would imagine with such a line of cosmetics, they're very aware of the impact their ingredients have on the environment and on our bodies.

In my hand above, I'm holding Peace Keeper Paint Me Luminous.  To be honest, you'll probably never see me swatch it here.  I wasn't terribly impressed with either of these polishes.  The formula was fine and it dried VERY quickly, but they were incredibly sheer and the colors weren't terribly unique.

I'm really not much of a tree-hugger, and while I give mad props to Peace Keeper's ethics and mission, I'm the sort that would rather just give my money straight to a cause than filter it through a product I don't need and don't care for.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Hello, Austin...tatious Turquoise!

Happy Sunday evening!  Everybody ready for the week to come?

I recently made a quick trip to visit Austin, Texas.  I'd never been there before, and I'm game to go ANYWHERE I've never been!  Helps when you know someone in the city, too.  I had vacation to burn, so I figured, why not?

They've got a BEAUTIFUL capitol building.  I snapped this after we'd spent the day wandering up and down Sixth Street at the Pecan Street Festival.  There were LOTS of great vendors, and I bought a couple of pairs of gorgeous locally made earrings.  I just love bringing back locally-crafted souvenirs.  Got some soap, too.

Fans of "Dazed and Confused" will appreciate this snapshot, taken on the drive back from the Pecan Street Festival.  Should you have a hard time catching the reference, I give you the following:

Alright, alright, alright!

There was an Ulta near my hotel, so of course I insisted on visiting it.  If you'll recall, my nearest Ulta is a good hour away, so this seemed like a good time to bring back a mini haul.  Of course, you know what I HAD to get...

Yep.  OPI Austin-tatious Turquoise. I'd been familiar with this for awhile, but held off in the event I ever DID make it to Austin, but also because it just didn't seem all that unique.  I was a bit wrong about that.  The picture doesn't quite capture it, but in full sunlight, it reflects a good bit of shimmer and a faint indication of some pinks and purples.  Really quite lovely.  One coat of this is very sheer, two leaves a faint hint of VNL (seen pointer finger for an idea), and three will get you the opacity shown on my ring finger.  All in all, a most excellent and very appropriate souvenir!

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Back with bells on!

Hiya, kids!  Sorry it's been so long since my last post.  I thought I could keep up with posting while I was in this crazy travel period, but it turns out I was wrong.  What times I've been home, blogging has just not taken a priority.  Unfortunately, neither has taking care of my nails!

Luckily I have managed to photograph at least one nice mani, and I really think I'll be able to post more regularly now.  So, let's get to it!

Ginger bells....ginger bells!  It's polish time, in the city!  Ahem.  You're welcome for that earworm.  Anyway, what we have here is OPI Ginger Bells (one of my recent $1 salon clearance acquisitions) topped with Sephora by OPI Traffic Stopper Copper (one of my recent NYC acquisitions).  TS Copper was a lemming of mine for a while, and I'll tell ya, it does not disappoint.  I kinda want to throw it over anything even remotely warm.

Speaking of warm (and fuzzy), I've missed this! Can't wait to get back on track.

Also, quick reminder.  The Heart Walk is this weekend, so that means there are only two days to donate if you want a chance to win the plushy heart and some polish goodies!

Sunday, September 18, 2011

If you heart your heart....

You should consider supporting the American Heart Association!  The AHA hosts Heart Walks all over the country throughout the year to raise money for research, education and advocacy.  These are great opportunities to raise funds, show support and best of all...WALK!  If you are mostly inactive (like, ahem, ME), incorporating more walking into your day-to-day life is one of the best ways you can get your heart working and start living a more active lifestyle.

This year my company will be walking as a team in our city's Heart Walk.  You can help support my efforts by making a donation through the button below.

To donate online, the AHA can only accept a minimum donation of $25.  I realize that that can be a bit of a blow, so to "sweeten" the pot, I'll be sending every person who donates at least a small token of my appreciate.  Of course, if you're a follower here, that token is VERY likely to be lacquer-related.  Also, every person who donates is entered to win this ADORABLE plush heart.

To start things off on the right foot, I picked up a perfect heart-smart red, Forever Yummy by Essie.

Please don't hold Essie responsible for this crappy picture.  It really is a gorgeous warm red.  I might have gotten away with one coat, but to be sure, this is two.  This polish has all the qualities of Essie's fantastic formula.  Who knows...maybe the winner of the heart will also end up with this beauty?  *Wink, wink*

Thanks for reading, and thanks in advance for any support you may be able to give!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

A word on Pink Wednesdays

Yes, it's Wednesday, and there is no pink.

I've decided to scale back my Pink Wednesday postings to once a month.  I will still post at least a couple of times a week, but it may not always include Wednesdays.  I'm just feeling sort of boxed in by a schedule and rule, and it's making me enjoy this endeavour less, especially when I have fit this in with a life that can go from zero to 120 in nothing flat.

Hope you ladies won't mind, and that you'll enjoy my slightly less predictable postings!

ZOMG, Stickers!!!

Remember when you were a kid and the Book Fair came to your school, and your mom gave you money to buy stuff, and you really should have bought books (cause books are good and educational), but you bought...well, sometimes you bought small posters featuring horses and fuzzy kittens, but usually you bought STICKERS!  And then, when you were reaalllllly really good in class and your teacher offered you a prize and your entire day was made because that prize was STICKERS?!? 

Yeah, I wish I was a kid again. 

Nevertheless, as a full grown adult human being, I still kinda love stickers.  As a manicure enthusiast, I especially love stickers because they help make up for the fact that I have zero interest in stamping, zero freehand artistic ability and I do occassionally get bored with simple polish manis. 

Zoya Kaufda
Zoya Midori
I picked these decals up at Ulta...they're Essence, and they only cost about $1 a sheet.  Not a bad investment for an experiment!

What do you miss most about childhood?

Friday, September 9, 2011

What are you in the mood for?

On my recent trip to the big NYC (during Irene, go me), I picked up a number of Forever 21 polishes.  (I'm gonna take haul pics tomorrow...geez, get off my back, conscience!)  One of them was the first color-changing polish I've owned since my lacquer obsession began.  Check out this MoodStruck Teal to Turquoise polish:

Shade.  Stop hiding, Pinky!  
In the first pic, the index finger is cold, and the accent/ring finger has one coat of Finger Paints Art You Wondering on it.  Cold turns the blue-based aqua into a green-based teal.  The Finger Paints polish was sitting in my untried pile, and it turned out to be a great complement to the color change polish! This is really one of my favorite manis I've done since before my fall travels began.  Yes, my nails are still in pretty rotten shape (especially after a recent shaving incident), but my cuticles are quickly improving.

I really loved how this MoodStruck polish dried supah-fast and with a kind of rubbery finish.  I opted to leave it without a topcoat for this very reason.  I've seen a few MoodStruck reviews that rated it pretty poorly, but I'm gonna give this a big ol' thumbs up.  I'm going on a cruise in late October, and I can't wait to pick up some Del Sol color-changing polishes during that trip.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

I'm pink with embarrassment

I don't know how many of you have paid any attention to my raison d'etre, but I started this whole thing out of a desire to STOP ruining my hands with my incessant picking.  Well, you wanna see what happens when I get busy and stressed and don't take the time to take care of my cuticles?

The sorry state of my fingers does not do this lovely OPI justice.  This is Pink Flamenco, a hostess gift given to me by my best friend Rebecca.  It's gorgeous, one of the most flattering pinks I think I've worn so far. 

Now that I'm done jetsetting and entertaining for at least a small number of weeks, I've already begun to pay better attention to my hands.  Guess what I got in New York to help me do that?  LUSH Lemony Flutter!  Awwwww, yeah.  It's everything it's cracked up to be.  That reminds me...I owe y'all another haul post!