Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Twinsie Tuesday: Julep America

I'm a bit late with today's TT post, courtesy of the flu from hell, but thankfully I managed to leave my deathbed long enough to pull together a mani for this week's theme: inspired by a nationality, ethnicity, culture or flag. Although it's a pretty broad theme, I must confess to feeling uninspired for this one. I'm gonna blame my illness and also a desire to avoid nail art, but mostly my illness. ;)

My ethnic background is overwhelmingly Irish, so I toyed around with a couple ideas based on that, but ultimately decided to do a mani inspired by a flag--the American flag, to be exact, and I can't think of a better polish to embody the stars and stripes than Julep America! America is a red microglitter base with silver and blue hexes, plus some fun silver stars to top it all off. This is one coat of America over OPI Die Another Day, a metallic red.

Although my original idea may have not been all that inspired, I'm actually pretty happy with how this mani turned out. It's got this kind of kitschy, all-American '50s pin-up vibe to it that I really like.

Be sure to check out what my other Twinsies are wearing today too!

Amanda at Amandalandish
Anna at Going to the Showing
Anne at Grape Fizz Nails
Ashley at Art Evolve
Brandi at The Beaulieu Review
ChiChi at I'm Just Me...ChiChi
Cordia at Seriously Swatched
Elizabeth at Did My Nails
Jamie at Polish, Please!
Katherine at Haul of Fame
Maribeth at Obsessive Cosmetic Hoarders Unite!
Marisa at Polish Obsession
Meredith at Polish and Charms
Nory at Fierce Makeup and Nails
Rachel at Top Coat It
Sarah at See Sarah Swatch
Tara at Polishy of Truth

Monday, April 29, 2013

My Ten Friends Attack Ships On Fire

My Ten Friends Attack Ships On Fire is a warm-toned, shimmering gold with various sizes of orange and blue glitter. It was recently reformulated and is now available as the first polish in the "Blade Runner" tribute collection (love that idea) at My Ten Friends' Etsy shop. I have the older, original version of Attack Ships On Fire, but it's so beautiful that I think it's still worth showing off! This is two coats of Attack Ships On Fire over L'Oreal Amazon's Flash.

I don't think I could sum it up any better than the official brand description: "Magnificent and glorious to behold and certainly not to be forgotten like tears in the rain." It's a stunning polish full of bright, vivid colors. The blue glitter pieces come in a couple different finishes--matte, metallic and holographic--so there is some nice variety as well. Amazon's Flash seems to be a near-perfect match for Attack Ships On Fire's actual base color; I just used Amazon's Flash to amp up the opacity and make the blue and orange really pop.

My understanding is the new version did away with the large orange hexes and features many small orange hexes instead. I actually like the look of the new version more, because you seem to get a more even mix of blue and orange glitter. I had to fish for the orange hexes in the version I have and I know that's one of the problems the reformulation aims to fix.

I am all about recommending My Ten Friends, not only because of the brand's extraordinary polishes, but because of the stellar customer service too. The owner, MeiLynn, is very hands-on. She's answered questions for me on both Facebook and Etsy and she could not have been more friendly and helpful. I love when a polish maker is willing to go the extra mile like that!

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Lynnderella Glass Houses

Have you ever bought a polish for the name? I definitely have, but Lynnderella Glass Houses is a very special (and probably very weird) instance of me buying a polish for its name.

Yes, it's time for a tangent! I am a big Billy Joel fan, as is my dad, and I grew up listening to Billy Joel when my dad used to drive me to school. Billy Joel released an album called Glass Houses in 1980 and back in the day, my Pops used to jog down the mean streets of Philadelphia listening to this album on his walkman, because it was the 80s and that's what people did.

Glass Houses also happens to be my favorite Billy Joel album. Should someone in their early twenties even have a favorite Billy Joel album? Debatable. My boyfriend is the only other person my age I know who even listens to, let alone loves Billy Joel. (For the record, he prefers The Stranger to Glass Houses.) To answer your question, yes, we're both huge dorks. At one point we had a cactus named Leyna (R.I.P.), after the Glass Houses track "All For Leyna" and we even have this in our living room:

"Why yes, that is an authentic vintage 1987 poster for Billy Joel's landmark USSR concert. Thank you for noticing!" We've said to no one ever. Hey, at least we know we're nuts.

So naturally when Lynnderella released a polish called Glass Houses, my mind went to Billy Joel. Take that connection that my mind completely invented and throw in some mouth-watering swatches my friend Sarah did of Glass Houses for a guest post on my blog and I was sold! So there you have it: the long, strange tale of how Lynnderella Glass Houses came into my life. Hopefully you're still awake, because now it's time for some glitter!

Lynnderella Glass Houses is a metallic orange glitter with iridescent blue sparks. It's perhaps one of Lynn's simpler creations--there aren't dozens of different varieties of glitter at play here--but it's still as beautiful and sparkly as you would expect from the brand. This is one coat over Essie No More Film.

The iridescent flakes are my favorite thing about this polish. They are primarily blue, but flash magenta and teal at different angles. It's a really stunning effect and one that's difficult to capture on camera, although it's very noticeable in person. 

As a sidenote, I'm also am testing out a new peel-off basecoat, Nail Pattern Boldness Glitter A-Peel, with this polish. I'm going to try it with several manis before I write a full review, but so far I am impressed!

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Illamasqua Nomad

Hello all! I'm sorry for the two-day leave of absence. I haven't been feeling so hot lately. At first I thought it was allergies and now I'm pretty sure I have the flu. Ugh. But I am back today to show off my first-ever Illamasqua polish: Nomad! I received this polish as a gift from the fabulous Tara of Polishy of Truth! :)

Nomad is a bright jade creme. It's got a tinge of aqua to it that makes it too blue to be a true mint green but it has that same pastel softness to it that many mint greens do. It's actually a pretty unique color and I couldn't find another green quite like it in my stash, which is saying a lot when you have as many greens as I do! (Based on pics I've seen, maybe Essie First Timer from the new resort collection could be similar?) While Nomad may have me scratching my head in search of potential dupes, there is no doubting or denying her beauty!

Isn't she lovely? I think this is such a perfect shade for summer. It's so bright and fresh-looking! Nomad even manages to make me look (kind of) tan, which is no easy feat. The formula is stellar and covers in two coats. I admire Illasmasqua polishes all the time but Nomad is definitely going to serve as motivation for me to pick up more! It's an incredible color and I couldn't have asked for a better introduction to this line of polish!

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Pahlish Anticipating and Pacing

I've got another gorgeous polish to share today from Pahlish's Coney Island Queen Collection. Anticipating and Pacing--a warm-toned coral base with gold shimmer and blue glitter--takes its name from Lana Del Rey's song "Blue Jeans." Orange and blue is one of my very favorite color combos, so naturally I am a big fan of this polish.

I used two coats here. Anticipating and Pacing makes for an amazing summer polish. It reminds me of starfish and the ocean--kind of a random association, but it's one I can't get out of my head. This polish just has such a beach-y vibe to me. The base color looks orange in some lights, but once I took a good look at it outdoors, it really is coral. Either way, it's a lovely combination and I love how the base and the glitter contrast one another perfectly. The gold shimmer is the icing on the cake!

You can purchase Pahlish at Llarowe and Etsy.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Twinsie Tuesday: OPI Solitaire

This week's Twinsie Tuesday theme is to let someone else pick out your polish. I gave picking honors to my boyfriend, Michael. You may remember I enlisted him to paint my nails for a previous TT installment and I know this time he was much happier to let me do the painting duties. :)

Living with me means that Michael is exposed to a lot more nail polish talk than I'm sure he'd like, but he's always a good sport about it. He's recently become a fan of Liquid Sand polishes (well, as much as any average straight guy can really "be a fan" of any nail polish) so he tapped one of OPI's newest, Solitaire, as his pick. Solitaire is a glistening white with specks of silver glitter. It's quite unique. Despite the slew of textured polishes currently on the market, I can't think of another one out there like this one!

I hardly ever use white polish except for layering, but I have to admit that Solitaire is very pretty and easily avoids any "painting-your-nails-with-white-out" vibes, thanks to its beautiful sparkle and texture. It looks very demure and delicate. In fact, it reminds me a lot of freshly fallen snow. I could see myself reaching for this polish a lot around Christmastime especially. The formula is excellent and covers in three coats. One of the many things I like about the Liquid Sand polishes is they wear like iron! I've worn them for days at a time and have yet to see a single chip with any of them!

Be sure to take a look at what my fellow Twinsies have on their nails today!

Amanda at Amandalandish
Anna at Going to the Showing
Anne at Grape Fizz Nails
Ashley at Art Evolve
Brandi at The Beaulieu Review
ChiChi at I'm Just Me...ChiChi
Cordia at Seriously Swatched
Elizabeth at Did My Nails
Jamie at Polish, Please!
Katherine at Haul of Fame
Maribeth at Obsessive Cosmetic Hoarders Unite!
Marisa at Polish Obsession
Meredith at Polish and Charms
Nory at Fierce Makeup and Nails
Rachel at Top Coat It
Sarah at See Sarah Swatch
Tara at Polishy of Truth

Monday, April 22, 2013

Ruby Wing Poppy

A while back, I received some polishes from Ruby Wing to try. Ruby Wing is Color Club's sister brand and all of their polishes are color-changing. I have been trying to get swatches of my Ruby Wing polishes up forever but it has been all rainy gloom and doom here lately (Oh, the wonderful world of Michigan weather...), making it hard to really show off the color-changing effect. We finally got some sunshine yesterday, so I managed to snap some shots of Poppy.

Indoors and in the shade, Poppy is a vivid magenta creme. It's so bright and squishy!

In direct sunlight, it shifts to a deep red. It still has that jelly shine to it, but it's not quite as squishy-looking.

Topcoat doesn't seem to affect the polish's color-changing abilities at all. The shift happens quickly (no weird, in-between-colors period) and as you can see, there's a pretty dramatic difference between the two shades. This is so close to being a one-coater but I needed two just to cover up some VNL. I also wanted to mention that there is a strong floral scent to this polish. It's not an unpleasant scent, but it's definitely the most noticeable scented polish I've ever tried, so that's something to keep in mind if you're sensitive to fragrances.

It's been years since I've used a color changing polish, but I gotta say, they are pretty cool and I had fun playing around with Poppy. The whole color change thing can be kind of gimmicky but both shades of Poppy are beautiful to look at it and the concept is very well-executed.

You can purchase Ruby Wing at the brand's official website.

Disclosure: This polish was sent to me for my honest review. For more information, please see my disclosure policy.

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Alternative Uses For Nail Polish

Obviously we all use nail polish to brighten up our fingers and toes, but have you ever tried using nail polish as a quick fix or as part of a DIY project? There are seemingly endless ways to use nail polish, so today I thought it'd be fun to take a look at some of the many ways you can put nail polish to use around the house!

Make Metal Rust-Proof: This is great for objects in your bathroom (think shaving cream cans that leave rust rings in the shower) or outdoors. Just apply some clear nail polish on areas or surfaces prone to rusting and you're good to go!

Stop Bug Bites From Itching: Apply a dab of clear polish over a mosquito bite. The polish will cut the bite off from oxygen, stopping the itch temporarily.

Creat New Jewelry--Or Revamp Old Jewelry: Use polish to turn everyday items into fun statement pieces or add pops of color to old jewelry you no longer wear. Check out tutorials like this one and this one to help give you ideas!

Make Your Remote Control (Or Anything Else) Glow-In-The-Dark: Put a coat of glow-in-the-dark polish over your remote control buttons. Voila! No more squinting to tell the buttons apart in the dark! My old apartment also had glow-in-the-dark star stickers on all of the circuit breakers in the event of a power outage, so you could use glow-in-the-dark nail polish for this same purpose too.

Extend The Life Of Costume Jewelry: Inexpensive or costume jewelry can tarnish and leave green marks behind on your skin. Lightly coat your inexpensive jewelry with a bit of clear nail polish to help preserve it and prevent tarnishing. You can also use clear nail polish as a substitute adhesive to help repair broken jewelry, like for when you need to glue a loose stone back in place.

Threading A Needle: Coat the end of a cut thread with clear polish, then roll it back and forth between your thumb and index fingers to help it dry quickly. The thread will then be stiff enough to easily thread a needle.

Stop A Pantyhose Run From Spreading: This is one of my favorites and something I use nail polish for all the time. Apply clear (or black, if you want to help disguise the run in dark stockings) over a pantyhose run to keep it from spreading. It won't fix the run, but it'll get you through the day until you can pick up a new pair. You can use this same method for tears in window screens.

Protect Buttons: Use clear polish to keep button threads from fraying or to preserve the finish of decorative buttons, like pearl buttons.

Give Your High Heels A Makeover: Whether you're mimicking the famous red soles of Christian Louboutin or putting a splash of your favorite color on an old pair of shoes, start with a coat of white polish on the soles to make your color of choice extra vivid. Once the white polish has completely dried, go over it with a colored polish. Let it dry then hit the town in your fresh new heels!

Create Smudge-Proof Labels: Use clear polish to instantly waterproof your labels.

Color Coding: Use nail polish to differentiate between a set of keys or anything else that needs organizing.

Heal A Wart: Warts need oxygen to survive so sealing them off with clear polish will do the trick. I've never tried this myself, but it's widely reported on the internet that clear polish can kill off a war in about a week's time. Just make sure you throw out the polish in question afterwards so you don't spread any germs, or use a cotton swab to apply the polish directly on the wart to prevent contamination.

Do you have any tips and tricks for other ways to use nail polish? I'd love to hear them!

Friday, April 19, 2013

OPI Tiffany Case

Originally, I wasn't sure if I was going to pick up Tiffany Case from the new Bond Girls Liquid Sand Collection, since I was afraid it would be too similar to the other blue Liquid Sand polish: Get Your Number from the Mariah Carey Collection. But I fell in love with Tiffany Case when I saw it in person and I'm really glad I picked it up! It's entirely different from Get Your Number and is such a stunning polish!

Tiffany Case is a light shade of icy metallic blue, filled with all kinds of glittery, shimmery goodness. It is named for Jill St. John's character in Diamonds Are Forever.

While she may not have the sauciness of her collection-mate Pussy Galore, Tiffany Case has plenty of sparkle and shine to go around. Fitting for a polish inspired by a film that revolves around a diamond smuggling ring, this is one of the most glitter-heavy Liquid Sand polishes we've seen so far and I am loving it!

How gorgeous is this?! It looks positively jewel-encrusted on the nail. I really can't stress enough how much I love this polish! The formula is just as good as the other Liquid Sand polishes. I used two coats here. I've read several other reviews saying this polish stains, but seeing as I haven't been able to bring myself to take it off yet, I can't say if I encountered the same problem. I did double up on my basecoat though.

While both Tiffany Case and Get Your Number are blue Liquid Sands, they're surprisingly dissimilar and nowhere near dupes. Get Your Number is darker, less metallic-looking and less opaque than Tiffany Case. If you loved one and are debating about getting the other, I think they are totally different enough to justify owning both. As much as I adore Get Your Number, I think I may have to give the edge to Tiffany Case.

Tiffany Case is extremely eye-catching and any fan of blue, Liquid Sand or glitter is sure to fall in love with it. I highly recommend checking this one out. It's one of my favorite OPIs in recent memory!

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Hare The Sky Was Pink

In an effort to cut down on the massive amounts of untrieds I have, I've put myself on a no-buy and decided to work my way through some of the polishes in my stash waiting to be shown some love. Hare The Sky Was Pink is one of those polishes. I picked this polish up last fall and haven't managed to get it on my nails yet, but that changes today!

The Sky Was Pink is a bright pink jelly base filled with pink and blue glitter. I am not typically a big jelly fan, but this one really stole my heart. It's a perfect spring polish--so bright, girly and colorful!

Although The Sky Was Pink is a jelly, it covers any VNL, which is my main gripe against this finish. I used two coats here. It really is a gorgeous polish and perfectly captures the soft glow of a sunset on a warm day. (Not that I would remember. It snowed here earlier this week. Snow! In April!) There is a lot of variation in the shape, size and color of the blue glitter, which also gives this polish a satisfying amount of depth--not to mention that it's very, very pretty!

You can purchase Hare on Etsy or Llarowe.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

a-England Bridal Veil

a-England Bridal Veil is a black scattered holo from one of my all-time favorite polish collections, The Legend Collection. I've sung the praises of the Legend polishes up and down, but realized I've never shared this one with you! It's a gorgeous polish in its own right, but equally fun to use as an alternative to basic black for layering or nail art, like I did with my mani using the Born Pretty zipper decals last week.

The formula, as usual with a-England's polishes, is a dream to work with. I used two coats here. The intensity of the holo in Bridal Veil is easily the weakest of all the Legend holos, but I like how the holo peaking through the vivid black base creates a "night sky" effect. It's very pretty and the glossy smooth finish of Bridal Veil only adds to that effect all the more. If you're looking for a true linear black holo though, I highly recommend Color Club Beyond from the newest Halo Hues set!

Sadly, a-England can no longer ship outside of the UK directly from their online store (Such a shame because they had some awesome promo deals every few months!) but they do have a very helpful "Where to Buy" page on their website where you can find other sites to purchase their polishes from in your country.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Twinsie Tuesday: Game of Thrones Dragon Egg Mani

Tuesday always means one thing in my world: It's time for another round of Twinsie Tuesday! This week's Twinsie Tuesday theme is fictional animal print mani--essentially, imagining a mani based around a fictional creature, like a unicorn, dragon or what-have-you.

I am a huge fan of the TV show Game of Thrones, as well as the original Song of Ice and Fire books, so I decided to do a mani inspired by one of the most feared creatures of Westeros: dragons! In the first season/book, the character Daenerys receives three dragon eggs as a wedding present, which is what I used for my inspiration.

Since the show and the books are both very popular I figured there must be a nail art how-to somewhere out there similar to my idea and sure enough, I came across this video tutorial and while I didn't follow it exactly, it served as a nice jumping off point.

I spent a long time working on this mani, only to find that when I went through my pictures of it, most of them turned out terribly. The sun created a huge glare against my nails, so many of the pictures were unusable, but I managed to salvage a few that turned out kind of okay. I apologize if they aren't the best! I am really bummed that I spent so much time on this and don't have much to show for it!

I started with a thin coat of OPI Here Today...Aragon Tomorrow on my nails, let it dry for about 30 seconds, then used a dotting tool to freehand the "scales." (This was the hardest part! I don't have the steadiest hand or the most patience, so it was a bit of a trial and error.) Then I took a small bit of sponge and dabbled OPI Electric Eel over top to give the scales some sheen and sparkle. Finally, on my thumb, I used OPI Stay The Night to represent (SPOILER ALERT) when Dany rises from the ashes with her newly hatched dragons at the end of the first book/season. The texture of Stay The Night and the little glints of red glitter reminded me of hot embers in a fire, so it seemed appropriate. I used topcoat, which kind of smeared some of my lines, but it really brought out the sparkle in Electric Eel, so win some, lose some. :)

It didn't turn out quite how I'd envisioned it (and I certainly wish the pictures were better) but I'm still proud of the time and effort I put into this mani. I can't wait to see what the other girls have dreamed up this week!

Amanda at Amandalandish
Anna at Going to the Showing
Anne at Grape Fizz Nails
Ashley at Art Evolve
Brandi at The Beaulieu Review
ChiChi at I'm Just Me...ChiChi
Cordia at Seriously Swatched
Elizabeth at Did My Nails
Jamie at Polish, Please!
Katherine at Haul of Fame
Maribeth at Obsessive Cosmetic Hoarders Unite!
Marisa at Polish Obsession
Meredith at Polish and Charms
Nory at Fierce Makeup and Nails
Rachel at Top Coat It
Sarah at See Sarah Swatch
Tara at Polishy of Truth

Monday, April 15, 2013

OPI Pussy Galore

Naughty naughty, OPI... The fact that OPI has a polish named Pussy Galore makes me smile--and required that I add it to my stash immediately! I have a weird sense of humor that way. Pussy Galore, from the new Bond Girls Liquid Sand collection, is named for Honor Blackman's character in Goldfinger, one of six of Bond's leading ladies immortalized in the new collection celebrating the 50th anniversary of everyone's favorite super spy.

Despite its racy name, Pussy Galore is a perfectly demure and ladylike shade of baby pink strewn with iridescent pink shimmer. It's extremely feminine and I love the contrast of soft pink with the edge of a textured finish.

The formula is fantastic and just as easy to use at the original Mariah Carey Liquid Sands. I used three coats here. I really like the dash of pink shimmer in this polish, although it's next to impossible to capture on camera. It gives Pussy Galore a fun sparkle while perfectly matching the girly pink base.

I may have originally just wanted this polish for the name, but it really is a very lovely pink and one of the more unique-looking textured polishes on the market now. I wound up loving it on its own merits. It has this sugary, cotton candy kind of look to it that is impossible to resist! Whether you're a fan of pink, Liquid Sand or just polishes with unique names, I think you'll find that Pussy Galore is purrfection! (Sorry, I had to!)

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Nicole by OPI Gumdrops Preview

NOPI will be launching their own take on the textured polish trend, known as Gumdrops (not to be confused with the Julie G line of the same name). According to NOPI, the Gumdrops polishes will feature a "'sugar-like' finish that lightly shimmers with fine glitter particles." I'm really curious to see if these will be just like the liquid sand polishes or if they'll be closer to, say, Zoya PixieDust.

NI194_I Lilac Gumdrops
I Lilac Gumdrops
NI195_My Cherry Amour 
My Cherry Amour
NI196_Candy is Dandy 
Candy is Dandy
NI197_Cinna-man of My Dreams 
Cinna-man of My Dreams
NI198_Blue-Berry Sweet on You 
Blue-Berry Sweet On You
NI199_A-Nise Treat 
A-Nise Treat

These will be available this summer. NOPI's original press release specifically mentions a Walmart launch in May, followed by CVS in June and then a wider release in August, so keep your eyes peeled for where the Gumdrops will be popping up!

Friday, April 12, 2013

Born Pretty Zipper Nail Art Sticker Water Decals: Review & Swatches

My love for Born Pretty Store's nail stickers is well-documented. I've done two rave reviews on them already (HERE and HERE) and I've been really curious to try out their water decal stickers too. Born Pretty has a ton of different water decal options on their website, but I was drawn to this zipper design. With visions of bad girl biker chick nails in my head, I decided to give it a go!

The decals come in two colors: gold and silver. I opted for the gold set. They work similarly to temporary tattoos: dip 'em in warm water, wet your nail, then press down wherever you want them to go. If you mess up, you can always peel the decals off and wet them again until you get it right. Once you're happy with how everything looks, just put on your topcoat and you're good to go! They're super easy to use, so much so that I was able to do them on both my right and left hands with no trouble at all.  Here's my finished mani!

This has got to be one of my favorite manis ever! I am so pleased with how it turned out. I used a-england Bridal Veil for my base and Color Club Harp On It for the little silver peek-a-boo. I put a sticker on all ten fingers and still had quite a few left over for another mani. At just $2.99, these are a total steal, especially considering that you can get more than one mani out of them!

I absolutely adore these decals! Like all of the Born Pretty stickers I've used, these are eye-catching, affordable, easy to use and high quality. Whether you're a nail art expert or a n00b like me, I think you'll have a ton of fun with these!

If you would like to order anything from the Born Pretty Store, they've been kind enough to offer a 10% off code for Nailed readers:

Disclosure: This product was sent to me for my honest review. For more information, please see my disclosure policy.