Monday, December 28, 2009

Candy Cane Mani

Here's the manicure I sported this week. Yes, ALL of this week...I swear, this Nails Inc. polish is indestructible. I love peppermints and candy canes, so naturally I celebrated the holiday season with a red-and-white-striped mani. I drew varying sizes of white stripes to mimic the look of an actual candy cane. My thumb turned out the best and most realistic, I think.

Red base coat is Nails Inc. St James, and white stripes were done with a Sally Hansen Nail Art Pen in white.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Top Coats Undressed

Gabrielle of The Edge of Sanity decided to send 8 volunteers 12 different types of top coats, without letting them know which top coat was which. She entitled this experiment Top Coats Undressed, and it is frankly awesome. Below are the links to the results of each top coat tested, from worst to best.
Yes, that's right -- a 99-cent top coat beat out the 11 other "heavy hitter" top coats to claim the coveted designation of Best Top Coat.

My only addition to this list would be CHI Ceramic Top Coat, which I personally love. I would have liked to see how it fared in a blind test.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Giveway at Painted Lady Fingers!

For all of you nail polish addicts out there, the lovely Painted Lady Fingers is hosting an awesome giveaway featuring Diamond Cosmetics polish, to celebrate reaching 300 followers.

From her blog, the winner will receive the following:
~the Diamond Cosmetics Holiday Collection of four polishes
~their new matte top coat
~eight additional polishes of her choice from the core line
~a nail file
~a clear cosmetics bag
Head over now and enter!

Friday, November 27, 2009

The Awesomeness of Nails Inc.

Words cannot describe my newfound love of Nails Inc. polish. Holy crap, does this stuff has staying power.

I just received the beautiful pink creme Shoreditch this week and had to try it immediately (of course). At first I wasn't so sure about the formula -- it's a little on the thin side, a bit runny at first. But once I got used to it, application was a delight. It applies smoothly, dries quickly, and lasts FOREVER. Seriously. Even my husband has commented on how beautiful and fresh my polish looks, even after three straight days and quite a bit of nail abuse.

Of course I can't fall in love with some readily available American brand! But at least Nails Inc. is easy to find online, on both eBay and the official Nails Inc. website. I've already ordered some more colors and can't wait to get them.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Niche Perfume

I am a huge fan of niche perfume. For those of you who don't know what it is, this is a good description from Fragrantica:

Niche perfumery is alternative to mass perfume production. Niche is limited by the clientele and therefore with a limited sale range, thus the goal of niche houses is not to sell as much as possible.

Art and creativity is on the first place in niche perfumery, and as it applies to any other kind of arts, there is a possibility that a niche perfume creation will not be recognized and accepted.
No Dior or Calvin Klein or Escada's all little-known names and unique scents. My favorite niche perfume etailer is LuckyScent, because they are majorly awesome and also because they offer a lot of samples. My current signature perfume is from LuckyScent: Il Profumo's Aria di Mare, a gorgeous marine scent that words cannot adequately describe.

I've recently discovered Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab, and I'm very intrigued by their list of fragrances. And the prices are great, too! I'm definitely going to have to try some out after Christmas.

Monday, November 23, 2009


China Glaze has released a preview of their Spring 2010 collection, Up & Away. And these colors look AWESOME.

I love fresh, spring-y colors. Fall is hard for me, because I'm not an earth-tone, orange and brown type person. (My husband tries to get me to wear orange, but with my black hair, pale skin, and light blue eyes, that is just not happening.) I do love winter's rich reds, purples, and greens, but by mid-winter I'm ready for bright spring colors. This collection promises to deliver the goods.

I am already totally in love with Sugar High, Four Leaf Clover, Re-Fresh Mint, Heli-Yum, Flyin' High, and Light As Air. I might even try Lemon Fizz, although yellows usually don't look too good on me; it might be cute as a base color with a fresh white French tip. Peachy Keen and High Hopes aren't doing anything for me, but whatever. It's rare that I love this many colors in one collection.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

My Tools of the Trade

Base Coat: Essie Ridge Filler (recommended for artificial nails, which I have), Orly Bonder, Orly Top 2 Bottom (for pedicures)

Top Coats: Seche Vite Dry Fast Top Coat, CHI Ceramic Top Coat, Zoya Armor, Essie Matte About You

Cuticle Care: CND Solar Oil, pure Vitamin E, California Mango Miracle

Hand Cream: Bath & Body Works Look Ma New Hands, Palmer's Cocoa Butter with Vitamin E (the thick cream, not the lotion)

Random Facts about Me and My Nails

I cannot grow my natural fingernails because my hypothyroidism makes them dry, thin, and brittle. I've been wearing gel nails continuously for 6 years. My manicurist is the shizz, by the way.

I am utterly incapable of using Konad art. I don't know why this is. I get horribly envious when I see other people's gorgeous Konad art. I somehow always wind up with about 1/10th of the stamp on my nail. So yes, I FAIL AT KONAD.

I trace my love of nail polish back to my childhood, when my mom bought me a bunch of Tinkerbell Cosmetics polish. (Who else remembers the awesomeness of the Tinkerbell Cosmetics line?) My mom has always loved makeup, nail polish, and beauty products, so she ensured I got started on the obsession early.

I'm especially fond of pink polish, as pink is my favorite color, but I also love reds, blues, greens, purples...and so on and so on...

Friday, November 20, 2009

Ulta Excitement

I am a Happy Girl today, because I got an awesome haul at Ulta.

This past quarter, I achieved Level 7 in the Ulta Rewards Program, which my husband said should come with a permanent parking space right in front of the door. So today I took my rewards certificate in to collect my bounty.

I got a Hot Tools straightening iron ($45) and an Ulta polish (So Sweetheart Pink, $5) for FREE as my rewards. Then I moseyed over to their 5-for-$5 table and picked up some eyeliners and two gorgeous limited edition Ulta polishes, Star Party and Deck the Halls. And I got a bottle of OPI's Visions of Sugarplum, an Ulta exclusive holiday polish. In all, I paid $15 for $90 worth of stuff. SCORE.

I will have swatches soon. I just have to figure out how to get the best shots. I don't have a macro lens for my Nikon D70s, so I might just use my little Sony Cybershot that I picked up Maui after being a complete flake and FORGETTING TO PACK MY NIKON CHARGER. (And OF COURSE the Nikon battery was totally dead the moment we arrived in Maui.) I will play with both cameras and see what works.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Current Wish List

Nfu Oh
Victorian Polish Number 051
Victorian Polish Number 035
Victorian Polish Number 056

216 – pale pink foil
397 – pink glitter

Creative Nail Design (CND)


Art Deco
134 – green grey shimmer
138 – dark blue shimmer

Hot! Hot! Hot! Red Nail Polish

Sally Hansen

Rescue Beauty Lounge
Killa Red
Black Russian (Revamp)
Under the Stars

Tulipe Noire

Barry M
Shocking Pink

Sexy Red
Hollywood Pink
Unfaithful Red
Fickle Amethyst
Impulsive Silver
Purple Rain
Peacock Feathers

Bikini With a Martini
Chrysler Red
Gypsy Queen
Fatal Affair
Hot People Like You

Diamond Cosmetics
#325 Cotton Candy
Don't Teal My Heart Away

Bikini Bottoms
No Tan Lines
Butterfly Kisses
Grecian Touch

Color Club
Velvet Rope
Catwalk Queen

Pin Up

Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics

Ruby Red Slippers


Pink Flamenco
Mermaid to Order (Sephora by OPI)
Vodka & Caviar

Love, Beverly Hills xx
Not Just a Pretty Face
Punchy Pink
Decadent Diva
Wrapped in Rubies
Sexy Divide
Swing Velvet
Surfer Dude
Short Shorts
Viva La Vespa
Damsel in a Dress
Starry Night
Status Symbol

Orgasm Cosmetics
In Your Dreams
Hot and Bothered
IMPossibly Pink
Indecent Proposal
Dripping Wet

China Glaze
Short & Sassy
Let's Groove
Branding Iron
Ruby Pumps
Mom's Chiffon
On Your Knees
Custom Kicks

Southbeach Ice

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