Monday, April 29, 2013

Gel Haute Polish

Long time no see! Sorry; the semester was finishing up, and after writing 10 pages, I didn't feel like writing much more!  Plus the weather has REALLY sucked lately--like raining nearly every day that I'm off of work.  I filmed a video for my review of the "Gel Haute Polish" I wore in my previous post, but the natural lighting was, well, lacking.

I'll summarize it, too,  just in case the lack of contrast is annoying your eyes like it did for me.

I mentioned I was writing a paper, so I was doing a lot more tapping with my nails, and maybe that was my issue... but I was totally unimpressed by the lasting power of this gel polish.  I had some chips by day 4 created by stress on my nails from bending them (even though I cut them shorter and they weren't even bending that much).  I had more chips by day 6 from various things, most noticeably because this gel softened very easily with a good hand washing in hot water.   So I had little chips along the side-walls and cuticules.   The gel did shrink a little from the free edge when curing, which I didn't really think of as a problem... until it started becoming more noticeable and I had lifting at the free edge by day 5-6, with a little more lifting on the sides by day 7. I was pretty disappointed and ended up removing the polish at day 8.

All these problems, coupled with the gel curing in the clear bottle as I mentioned in the last post... well, I don't have a pretty good opinion of this gel polish.  I do have two more colors from Gel Haute Polish, though, so I'll try those out on another occasion to see if the shrinking and the wear issues were just due to the color I chose.

That's all for today!  Hopefully my next post won't be an entire week away. 

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Ulta Deals!

Hello again!  Just a quick post to let you all know Ulta's putting their Red Carpet Manicure gel polishes on sale. I don't think this happens often, but for 4/21 through 5/12 (I believe, at least) they are Buy-One-Get-One Half Off, making them $7.50 each. 

The sale is also online, too.

Aaaaaand, they also have one of their frequent $3.50 off $10 coupons, making this an even cheaper deal.

Have fun shopping! I'll be back later. :)

Saturday, April 20, 2013

"Gel Haute Polish"

Ok so, the title of this post probably sounds weird, right?  It does to me. Have you ever heard of this brand of gel polish?  Have you tried to google it?  Yeah, have fun with that... if you google it, you get mixed results for this brand, "Gel Haute Polish", and another "Haute Polish" gel polish.  So I'll explain a little bit before I get to my swatches.

The fact is, these two slightly different brands are produced by the same company (their websites are owned by the people that own Luminess--the airbrush makeup--and their contact numbers are the same).  They have slightly different brand names for different formulas, and maybe to target different demographics.  "Haute Polish" is marketed as a one-step gel polish, with no need for a base coat or top coat.  "Gel Haute Polish" is a system of its own, and requires the usual base and top coat to make it shiny.  The bottles look a little different, but they have the same style of sticker on the front, and they are both clear bottles.

...Wait, CLEAR bottles for UV-sensitive gel polishes?  How does that work?

Well, in my opinion, it doesn't.  I took a photo of my bottle after I had used it, and it had some funky polish around the inside of the bottle, and no matter how much I tried to shake it, the patterning it had made did not move.  Which leads me to believe that it had cured in the bottle from exposure to UV rays found in lighting in a warehouse, while I was painting my nails, etc.  Here you go:

What's worse, after I took this picture, I forgot about the bottle being clear and left it out by the window for a bit, which resulted in even more polish getting "stuck" or cured against the side walls of the bottle. As far as I can tell, it's only a thin layer on the outside that cures, but it's still annoying and it's still a small percentage of gel that's going to be unusable!

Anyway, I haven't heard much about "Gel Haute Polish", and the only reason I bought it was because I saw it on when I had a coupon there last year--you can't even buy the set of three I bought there anymore, unfortunately, but the link for this color is "Pewter".  The polishes are the small .30fl oz/9mL size, and they're about $12 each or $26 for a set of three. Only the latter is a good deal, if you can find a set that has unique colors. 

I'll have a more in-depth review as my nails wear, but so far, I actually like this color!  I used Gel Haute Polish's "Pewter" shade (by the way, keep your receipts, because no where do they state the color on the bottle!)  It's very unique--it's a nice light grey speckled with holographic silver shimmers.  The only downside is that this is very sheer!  I used three coats, and you can still see visible nail line (or VNL).  When the light hits it and the color of my natural nails shines through, it transforms the shade from a cool grey to a warm taupe-y greige.    But I like the scattered holographic shimmer although it didn't photograph too well, and to jazz it up I applied OPI Gelcolor "Which is Witch?" at the base of my nails to make it stand out a little more.  I'll probably do more on the OPI Gelcolor a little later. 

Well, did you sit through and read all that?  Sorry, I can get a little verbose.  So FINALLY, here's the color!  In natural light and with flash:

You can see the holographic glitters in the second picture a bit, right?  They didn't want to photograph too well.

Monday, April 15, 2013

Sally Hansen Salon Gel Polish Review After 2 Weeks

Hi again!  I wanted to do more reviews, so since I had a pretty good experience with my most recent manicure using a somewhat newer gel brand (Sally Hansen Salon Gel Polish), I thought I'd record a video review of it...

Due to limitations,  I recorded this video on day 10 of my manicure.  But I actually just removed this gel today, which is day 15, and it still held up almost just the same as in the video.  I had one part that lifted on the free edge, because I'm completely terrible and I misuse my nails, and I had one part lift up on the side due to doing a nail repair there before painting my nails.  So that part was going to be weak, anyway. 

Overall I liked this polish--at least this color--even if there were "dupes" for this color already out on the market.  I hope they expand their line in the future, because it's pretty affordable with Ulta's sales and coupons!

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Half-Moon Manicures--Super Easy with Gel Polishes!

In my last post, I had a pretty bright red on my nails.

I'll be honest: reds scare me a little.  I love outlandish colors, but RED? I understand this is totally weird, especially because I have about 20 shades of red lipstick that I love to wear, but only about 3 red nail polishes. So to encourage me to wear red a little more, I decided to do a half-moon manicure again.  I know, I know, I do simple things like this a lot.  But hear me out!

Red is a staple color from many decades in the early to mid 1900s (when the half-moon manicure first became popular).  There's a great German-based website that has a vintage makeup guide for the 20's through the 40's that has a few interesting things about nail trends/colors/advertisements here (just click on "extras" on the left).  I think it's a cool look into the past, and since red polish is a pretty simple, classic color, I felt a half-moon would be pretty fitting.

And what do you know... I think this does more wonders for my nails than I could have imagined!  The contrast of the half moon brightens up your natural nail beds and makes them look vibrant and pearly all on their own.  The moon shape at the bottom elongates your fingers, whereas usually I feel like red polish makes my fingers look stubby. I have never liked red on my nails so much; now I feel like my fingers glow kind of like a traffic light or a stop sign...but in a good way! I'm pretty sure I'm going to have to do this type of manicure much more often from now on. 

Since doing a half-moon manicure is so easy with gel polish, I decided to film a short "tutorial" of how I do it.  I'm still trying to find out what filming style is best, but I think this one came out pretty evenly focused:

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Sally Hansen Salon Gel Polish

I feel like it's been a long time since I've posted!  But I come bearing pictures!

(Maybe I forgot to mention that my camera doesn't like reds particularly well... Oops.)

This gel is a new one I found at Ulta; it's Sally Hansen's gel version of their "Salon" line of regular nail polishes.  Their selection isn't that great, but they do have some colors that coordinate with their regular polish shades.  They also sell "gel strips" too, which are a gel version of regular nail polish stickers/strips, but those don't capture my interest as much as regular old brush on polish does.

Anywho, I bought two colors, and the one I used on my nails is Sally Hansen "Red My Lips".  Since I don't have many plain reds I decided to pick this one up, but when I used it, I realized something: it's EXACTLY like my OPI Gelcolor in "The Spy Who Loved Me" minus the gold shimmer.  It even applies very similarly to the OPI Gelcolor!  I also happened to have received OPI Gelcolor in "Big Apple Red" recently, and I wouldn't hesitate to say these are also dupes, although I haven't applied "Big Apple Red" on my actual nails to test it out.  If you can't get OPI Gelcolor or want to pick up something in-person, I would try out this Sally Hansen color instead--and you can even add some fine gold cosmetic shimmer between layers if you wanted to make your polish more like OPI's "The Spy Who Loved Me". 

This post is about the Sally Hansen gel and not dupes, though, so I'll finish up: The formula of this polish is very jelly like.  But the jelly-ness isn't even visible from arm's length or even in my pictures--from farther away it just looks opaque.  However, if your nails are prone to getting dirty underneath, have some discolored bruises or blood spots from misuse, or if you really don't like any hints of visible nail line (or VNL), you won't like this.  But I think the jelly quality is very neat!

It applies super easily and evenly, it only took two coats for what you see here.  The color itself is a perfect cherry red. Even though my camera focus freaks out over red, I still think the color representation in pictures is pretty accurate. It's slightly blue based and a little bit pinker on the first coat, but by the second coat it looks classic.  If you see this in store, it matches the color on the box very well, although the cap on the polish itself is a bit more grey-toned or brick colored than the actual polish. 

I'll be back soon with an addendum or two to this post. I'm thinking I need to do more "how x gel holds up after y amount of days" types of videos/reviews to explain how the gels have lasted on my nails, but we'll see.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

"Nail Soakers"...say what?

Last year when I first started doing my nails, I thought these silicone reusable "nail soakers" would be the best, least wasteful thing to use to remove my manicures.  You can buy them many places online for under $5 for ten of them.  They claim to waste less acetone than using a bowl to soak off your gels, and they do not waste aluminum foil.

Well, I did a video review on them, and as you'll see, they're not that great of a product....

I kind of ramble on here, but I didn't want to edit the video, because once again I did a little "experiment" to show you why they do not work that well.

I always seem to do video reviews more on things I DON'T like versus the things I DO like.  I'm going to have to try to fix that, but between the weather, shift changes, etc... I'm never sure how often I can get to take pictures or video.

I'll have more polish updates soon, though, don't worry!