Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Deals: Nailuv on Hautelook Again

Hello!  Posts will probably be a little bit slower for now, since I'm taking a few days between removing my gel polish and repainting my nails.  Sorry!

But I just wanted to make a post about Nailuv coming back to Hautelook again.  The sale starts Wednesday the 29th of May, and ends on Friday the 31st.

It looks like this time they will be bringing out some fun spring and summer gel polish colors, too--It's about time!

Monday, May 20, 2013

My Vampire is Buff (and NOT Sparkly!)

Hi again! Today I've got another OPI Gelcolor on my nails.  I find myself reaching for this brand a lot, because it has virtually no smell--unlike Red Carpet Manicure or Gelish--and I own more colors than I do Nailuv. 

So today I have  OPI Gelcolor's "My Vampire is Buff", and boy was I kind of afraid when I ordered this color online!  I pretty much set myself on buying it by the name alone, because I wasn't sure if I would like such a light color on my nails, or if it would work on my skin tone at all.  But I LOVE it!

What saves this color?  It's not really white at all.  It's a subtle tan/khaki creme shade that is very diluted with white,  and it's just the right shade--maybe slightly yellow-toned, but not too yellow at all.  It reminds me of a french vanilla marshmallow, the pages of a nicely aged book, and maybe even a Starbucks Dutch Apple Frappuccino or the color you'd paint your walls.  Or, I mean, I guess you could go by the name and say that it looks like the blood-deprived skin tone of the walking undead. 

That's a really random set of color descriptions, isn't it? 

But anyway, I used three coats for this manicure.  That's not what I was expecting to use, but I don't think I mixed up the pigments well enough in my bottle--which brings me to the last thing I want to share...

I have one tip for this shade: OPI Gelcolor bottles say "shake well before using", and you will DEFINITELY want to do that with this gel! I changed my color choice for my nails at the very last minute, so I did not mix this up as well as I could have. Since it's such a light color, sometimes I feel like I can see visible nail line (or VNL, whatever you want to call it) because of my poor mixing.

Monday, May 13, 2013

OPI "Oz the Great and Powerful" Glitters!

Today there's no manicure photos--just a lot of pretty sparkly macros and a video.  (And text, because I do not know the meaning of "brevity".)

I bought the three glitter Gelcolors that OPI released with the "Oz the Great and Powerful" collection this spring, but for some reason I really took my time posting this review/overview! I've already worn two of the three glitter colors that I bought--I wore "Lights of Emerald City" with Gelish's "Seafoam", and before that, I wore "Which is Witch?" with Gel Haute Polish's "Pewter".  So it's about high time I post my reviews of these polishes.

First of all, the basics for all three colors:  they all come in a clear base, and they all have a slightly thicker formula than other OPI Gelcolors.  I think these gels are thicker so that the glitters stay suspended in the base a little better--since gel polishes in general have a different consistency than regular nail polish (RNP), and they don't seem to have those steel mixer balls that RNP would have, either.  What this means is that the gel polish doesn't self-level quite as easily as other gels, and it doesn't flood into your cuticles quite so easily, either.  It also means that you may be more prone to creating bubbles on your nails if you are not careful, especially if you are going to "dab" the gel on to try and place your glitter in a specific spot. These aren't top coats, and you WILL need a top coat for maximum shininess.  You may also need the top coat to keep any glitter from escaping--since the glitters may fall off if they are not fully encased in gel.

And one quick tip that I hear many suggest before I get to the photos--I didn't do it for these swatches, but it may be helpful to you if you want to get more "bling" out of your glitter shades.  That is: store your glitter gel polishes upside down the night before you want to use them.  The theory is that the glitter will be drawn downwards (to the top of the bottle) by the pull of gravity, so when you turn the polish upright to use it, the glitters will all be gathered at the top, ready for use.  This may be especially helpful with some of the large glitters found in this collection!

All swatches are two coats, over NaiLuv's "Hard Core Rock", a creme black.

When Monkeys Fly!: This is the only one I haven't used on my nails yet, so I'll do this first.  The glitters in this shade come in three sizes of hexagons: small silver holographic, medium sized silver holographic, and extremely large true-gold glitter.  I would say the biggest gold glitter is 3 millimeter in size, and it is the only glitter that isn't holographic in this "shade".  The RNP version of this gel has a lot of faults--the large gold glitter curls or "tacos" due to the chemicals found in regular polish, but I'm happy to say that this is not the case for the Gelcolor version at all!  The glitters all look great, although you may want to do some "dabbing" to get an aesthetic placement of the largest glitter.

Lights of Emerald City: All the polishes in this collection are neat, but this one is particularly different, mostly because the glitters are square! Actually, though, they're not perfectly square, as you can see in the macro, and there are some rectangular pieces hanging out here-and-there.  But generally, on the nail this is not an aesthetic problem at all.   The larger glitters are a plain white, and the smaller ones are a sheer opalescent.  The opalescent glitters mostly shine warm tones, but every so often shines green, too.  My only problem with these sheer opalescent glitters in general is that they look funny on your nails if they are not catching the light.  When I wore this with the seafoam color, the glitter looked flat blue-green, and in this swatch, when not hitting the light correctly, they look kind of  like hairs in my polish (you can see this on the left picture).  You may need to dab with this one as well, to get a nice placement of the white glitters.  I found myself wiping them off of my nail entirely if I wasn't careful.

"Which is Witch?": This is kind of a throw-back gel polish for me.  I remember having some holographic bar glitter polishes when I was a kid, so this doesn't seem too original, but what saves it is other varieties of glitters mixed in with it.  Oh, that and it's the most jam-packed polish in this collection!  I used two coats, but I think with three it would pretty much create an opaque layer of glitter.  The glitters here are all silvery holographic; there is a small holographic glitter that is almost like a "shimmer", a larger hexagon glitter, and a classic bar glitter.  Because it's so packed of glitter, it is also a great "shade" to use to create a glitter fade or "ombre" look, as I did on my nails.

Lastly, here's the video if you want to see these glitters in action:

Monday, May 6, 2013

Drugstore.com Deals!

I feel like every other post is becoming a deals post... I hope no one minds!   I haven't been taking advantage of most of these deals lately, but they're still really fun to look for.

Currently, Drugstore.com has 30% off anything in their beauty department until 5/10/2013.  That includes gel polish!  They sell Sally Hansen gels, Red Carpet Manicure, and SensatioNail, as well as starter kits and such for each of those brands.  (They also sell OPI gels, but their prices are extremely inflated, even with a sale, so I wouldn't suggest that!) I think the RCM polishes end up being about $6.30 each, and the Sally Hansen gels end up being $8.33.  They also offer free shipping for orders over $25, and new customers can get $5 off their order. 

Here's the tricky thing, though: this deal requires you to find the advertisement on their beauty page and click the link before the sale is activated.  The sale price doesn't show up on the product page, and you don't put any code in, but the sale price will be reflected in your cart once you do this. 

Here's what it will look like at the top of the website--if you don't see it try clicking around a few pages in the beauty section:

Have a great day, and happy shopping!

Saturday, May 4, 2013

"Lights of Emerald City" over "Seafoam"

Hello again!  I have a few things lined up, but I still haven't started posting more!

In the mean time, this is my most recent manicure:

I used Gelish "Seafoam" as the base color--it's a neat pastel green creme shade with slight blue and grey undertones.  So basically, it's just like the name, but it can also come across as rather "minty" colored, and pastel greens like this have been really popular over the last two spring seasons.  Formula-wise, I found this just as thin as the Red Carpet Manicure color I used recently--so I had to use three coats, and since it was a thinner gel it flooded my cuticles somewhat easily.  I've had this polish for a little while, so I'm not sure if I needed to shake it to mix it more, or what-have-you, but I was a little disappointed considering the high hopes I had for this color.  By the way, the first picture--the indoor picture with flash--is actually closest to what it looks like in most inside lights, although it does take on the bluer tone in more natural lighting.  

On top of that I have OPI Gelcolor "Lights of Emerald City".  This one is a clear gel with an unusual combination of square glitters--smaller ones that are sheer opalescent, and larger ones that are solid white.  The opalescent ones shine mostly warm tones--from pink to red to yellow--but they sometimes may shine a little green, too.  The funny thing about this gel is that it seems thicker than other OPI Gelcolors I've used so far!  It's so thick, it does not self-level as easily, and it does not flood into your cuticles very easily, either.  It seems to me almost like the Axxium gels I've tried--which are OPI's thicker pot-style gels.  I found this both good and bad.  It's good because it helps you to place the larger square glitters nicely,  because I personally tended to brush them off my nail entirely if I didn't dab them into place--and the same happened with the small glitter to an extent.   It's bad because, well, it can be hard for a newbie like me to make your nail surface look smooth and even with such a thick gel, not to mention the dabbing itself caused miniscule bubbles.  As with all glitters, sometimes I have problems getting the glitter to "stick" to the gel.  I STILL feel like gel + glitter do not mix well, an in fact resist each other.  The glitters in this gel seemed to be firmly encased under the surface once everything was all done, but I still had one large white square lift off.  You might even be able to see where it was on my pointer finger.

Anyway, my other caveat with this glittery gel is that I feel like sheer opalescent glitters (just like the ones in Gelish's "Silver Sands") sometimes don't show up on the nail very well, depending on the lighting.  With this combination, the glitters looked a cool blue when they weren't reflecting light, but that changes depending on what shade you layer these glitters over--and they can seem to disappear altogether if you layer it over black.

Overall these nails kind of reminded me of polka dots, but instead of the usual organized polka dot, more like the random "ditsy dot" fabrics that were popular in--I think--the earlier 1900's.  It's kind of like nail art without all the work!