Saturday, December 6, 2014

UV-Nails Deals on Zulily

Hi again!  I should be getting some holiday reprieve soon, with the chance to gather up some blog posts with swatches and reviews.  But, in the mean time, I do have the time to share another deal I found!

From now until Tuesday Morning, UV-Nails Gel Polish is on sale for $8.99 on Zulily. 

I only have a limited experience with UV-Nails so far, but the experience I had was awesome--the colors were unique and applied well, you receive a full size 15mL bottle for the price, and their color range is AMAZING.  I'm not sure I have the money to spare on this deal, because if I buy 1 bottle, I'm going to want to buy 10!  I'm really into green and brown colors this winter, and they have a great selection of those plus many, many more.  And did I mention UV-Nails Gel Polish now carries a matte top coat?  Pretty neat!

Thursday, November 27, 2014 Black Friday Deals!

I've got another awesome holiday deal to share with you all today!  

For two days only, 11/27 and 11/28, all Red Carpet Manicure gel polishes are half off.  This deal can only be taken advantage of on their website,, but it's still a pretty awesome steal!  They even offer free shipping for orders over $50.00, so if you order 10 polishes for half price--that's a total of about $50.00 without taxes--you'd get free shipping.

Look closely at their website, too; you might notice that they have a few shades on there that are from limited edition collections over the past year or so.  You can't buy these shades at Ulta anymore, but you can find them on their website!  In particular, I'm kind of sad I didn't pick up more shades from the "Post Cards from Milan" collection last fall, but all six shades can be found at the end of the list on their color selection page.  And their gold and silver sparkle shades from the 2013 holidays are still up there, too!

To make things even more interesting, Red Carpet Manicure also has 3 sets of 6 gel polishes on sale for $29.99. The downside here is that the site doesn't tell you exactly what colors you're getting in these prepackaged sets, and the 50% off coupon code doesn't stack with them... so the deal really isn't any cheaper than picking out your own polishes.  But if your gel polish collection is a little small, and you're in for a holiday surprise, you might want to pick these up.

Once again, have fun shopping! :)

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Black Friday Deals at Sally Beauty - Starting Today!

Hello again!  Like I said in the last post, I've been looking out for some gel polish deals for this holiday season... well, a email from Sally Beauty Supply today presented me with some awesome deals!

Sally Beauty posted their Black Friday deals online already--and as a bonus, you can also take advantage of the deals if you shop on line, too!

Of major interest to gel polish lovers like myself, ASP Gel Polish is $6.99 a bottle and Gelish gel polishes are $8.99 a bottle.   This deal lasts from now until 11/30/2014, although if you want to catch the deals in store, they won't start until black Friday, 11/28/2014.  And since this is a regular sale, it should combine with any discounts you have--such as a birthday reward, a 15% off coupon, etc!  

Check out the Black Friday deals page!

And if you want to shop online, here's the links for some things that might be relevant to your interests:

ASP Gel Polish

Gelish Gel Polish

Gelish Complete Mini Starter Kit

As an aside, FingerPaints gel polishes are also on sale for $8.99 this month, although that isn't a sale at all if you're already getting the benefits of a Sally's Club Card.  But if you buy two, you get a free wristlet as a gift with purchase.  Now if only FingerPaints came out with some holiday collections - I haven't seen anything new from them since this summer!

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Gellaka Deals on Zulily!

Hello again!  I've been really, really busy lately--and while I've still been painting my nails and taking pictures, I've been too busy writing papers to edit blog posts.  I'm really sorry, guys!   But I've been hoping that some stores and online businesses will start having some great gel polish sales in preparation for the holidays, though, so I've been trying to keep my eye out a little more.

Well, today I just realized that Gellaka is finally back on sale!  Gellaka gel polishes are on sale at Zulily from now until 11/21.  Individual gel polishes are $7.99 each for 8 ml, or you can buy some pre-made sets that save you a little more - each gel polish costs as low as $6.00 in some of these sets!

I've only used Gellaka two times before, and while I had an iffy experience with soaking-off the color the first time around, I did things a little differently the second time and had much better results!  Plus,  I like the size of the Gellaka bottles for the price, and their color selection is a-maz-ing!  If you can manage to spare some money for yourself at this time of the year, you might want to check them out. :)

I hope to see you guys again soon!

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Fingerpaints "Fine Art Auction"

I've been eying up FingerPaints' gel polishes ever since the end of summer, when I fell in love with "As If Figuratifs".  Truth be told, I never really noticed that color in FingerPaints' permanent collection before--and when I found it, my first thought was, "what other duochrome gems are hidden in this rack?"  Well, I started opening up bottle after bottle, and I found this duochrome (or more appropriately: a MULTI-chrome!) along with it:

Yeah, another gel polish I couldn't stop taking pictures of.  But look how gorgeous it is!  I tried to get one picture with flash at the end there, but mostly, you need some good overhead lighting to make this polish shine.

FingerPaints "Fine Art Auction" is a multi-chrome metallic brown gel polish.  In some lights, it is a warm red-brown with a light aquamarine-like blue-green duochrome.  In others, it is much more fuchsia toned with a violet to light lavender-blue duochrome.  The shifts in color were so different, sometimes I felt like I was wearing two different gel polishes in one!  I took two pictures in the same setting, one in the sunlight and one without any direct sunlight, to show you how different it can look:


It reminds me a little bit of that famous MAC cosmetics pigment called "Blue Brown", or their very similar eye shadow called "Club"--but more awesome!  Funnily enough, I'm not sure if this was the most flattering color on my skin tone, especially with the very warm brown base, but I was so enamored by the shifting colors that I didn't even really care. 

And again...I couldn't stop trying to take pictures.  I was trying to capture the multiple shifts all in one photograph--I think I kind of succeeded!


Formula-wise, it required three coats for full coverage, although you could probably get away with two if you have shorter nails. 

I'm so excited to find out if FingerPaints has more duochrome gel polishes now! I think there's one more I'm missing--a blue-pink color. 

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

#ManiMonday on Hautelook: featuring UV-Nails

Hello again!

I've been really busy, so I'm a little late on this, but I wanted to mention that one of the new-found brands I really like, UV-Nails, is currently on sale on Hautelook again. 

From Monday until Thursday at 8AM PST, UV-Nails is on sale at Hautelook for $9.50 a bottle.  That price is a little high, but with UV-Nails you get a full 15mL/0.5fl oz bottle, and they have a TON of colors to choose from.

There's some more deals I've been meaning to post about--and I have a lot of swatch pictures to post as well.  Hopefully I'll get a minute to share all of that with you soon!

Thursday, October 9, 2014

DIY Hard Nails "Blue Cocktail" Glitter Gel Polish

I'm back again...and I've finally got the second half of my DIY Hard Nails review!  Today I'm focusing on the glitter top coat that I used as an accent with DIY Hard Nails thermal color changing gel polish earlier (PS: I posted a video with it on, too).

In case you haven't seen that post, here's a refresher.  I'm going to post my manicure when "warm" and "cold" so you can see how the glitter in "Blue Cocktail", concentrated around the base of my nails, looks when paired on top of a light or a dark gel.  The color changing gel underneath is DIY Hard Nails "Pink Frost", which I've linked the review to above.  I'm also going to post photos of both hands, because...well, you'll see soon!

DIY Hard Nails "Blue Cocktail" is a rather simple gel polish in theory: it consists of four styles of hexagonal glitter in a clear base.  The small glitters are predominantly a light cyan blue color, with some silver holographic glitters mixed in.  The large glitters are about 1mm big, and are predominantly silver holographic.  Mixed in with this, though, is a 1mm blue holographic glitter, too--it looks almost like the same cyan color as the smaller glitter at first, but on closer inspection, it has a holographic reflection that shines from dark blue to a yellow green in the right light.  I took a pretty good macro shot showing this applied with a single coat and three coats, and while you can tell that this is a sparser glitter that is not going to build up to be "opaque" on its own, it IS a pretty fun and unique shade!  It fits right in with the ideas and themes behind the Gelish "Trends" collections, although it's also quite different than anything in that line.

May I also add that the application of this gel in particular was near perfect. I'm sure any nail polish lover knows how tricky complex glitters can be to apply: they can leave bald spots or spots where all the glitter pulls to one corner, and sometimes you have to fish and dab larger glitter spots on.  But I had almost none of that with "Blue Cocktail"! It applied evenly, and I was even able to create a pretty nice gradient effect just using the brush that comes with the bottle.  On top of that, even though creating my gradient required some more dabbing and working with my gel polish than normal, this gel did not "move" or flood into my cuticles while I was working--it stayed right where I put it. I only needed one coat to get the look I wanted for my nails in these pictures.  And here's another thing this polish didn't do: You know how sometimes glitter "flakes" off of a gel manicure because the smooth surface resists the gel trying to cover it? I had absolutely no faulty, flaking glitter problems with this gel.

The only downside to this gel polish that I noticed is where the photos of each hand come in.  Remember when I said I didn't need to fish and dab the larger glitter on my nail to create an even manicure?  Well, I was partially right... If you pay close attention, one hand has a lot of 1mm blue holographic glitter, while the other hand has nearly none.  Yeah, don't ask me how that one happened!  It must have been a fluke, because obviously I still got a lot of 1mm silver holographic glitter on my brush.  Luckily, it didn't look much different from far away. :)

Once again, I did receive this gel polish color to review for free from DIY Hard Nails--but my experiences and reviews are all my own.  I was pleasantly surprised by this new brand, and I want to share the love!

Sunday, October 5, 2014

October Deals & Happenings at Sally Beauty

Hi again!  Today I have an interruption from swatches for another deals post again... This one is a bit different, though!

First of all, did you guys know Sally Beauty is selling Orly GelFX now?  

I've used their consumer version, Orly SmartGels before, but I've yet to buy any GelFX of my own, so I'm pretty excited. :)   They sell the regular 0.3oz/9mL bottle that you can buy online anywhere,  AND it's competitively priced at around $9.99 per bottle.  Unfortunately, this isn't on their website yet, and I know from perusing the stores that Sally Beauty doesn't carry the full range Orly has to offer in gel polish.  Hopefully they'll expand in the future if there's enough demand!

Also, one of Sally Beauty's newer gel polish brands--ASP Gel Polish--is buy-one-get-one-free for the month of October.  I haven't tried this brand yet,  but they have a new fall collection with some pretty brown shades that I'm pretty sure I'm going to have to try out.  They're pretty cheap, too: each bottle is $9.99, or $8.99 if you have a Sally Beauty card.  You can check them out in store or check ASP gel polish out online

I haven't seen any more new fall gel polish collections lately, but I'm still keeping my eye out!

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

DIY Hard Nails Color Changing Gel Polish!

Hi again!  Finally, I have the follow up to my last post, where I showed a video of the awesomeness of this color changing gel polish.  It's harder to capture the color changes in a static picture, but hopefully you will get more detail here to compensate.

Let me explain a little bit about my nails first.  For this manicure, I'm wearing DIY Hard Nails "Pink Frost" with DIY Hard Nails "Blue Cocktail" dabbed at the base of my nails.  The blue and holographic glitters you see are the added sparkly-ness of "Blue Cocktail"--which I will review separately. I did receive these complimentary in order to review and provide a video on, but that isn't affecting my review at all--I've never had a color changing gel polish before, and my enthusiasm is truly genuine!

DIY Hard Nails "Pink Frost" is a bit of a misnomer, because it's not a frost in the traditional, highly shimmery and metallic sense.  Instead, it's an almost sheer jelly like base filled with four different sizes of hexagonal glitter.  The largest size is about 1 millimeter, and the smallest is, well, actually a little too small for me even to see to classify as a hexagon!  With the jelly like base of the polish, this adds a lot of depth, and it looks dimensional and speckled.

What about "base" color of this gel? Well, that's the fun part: it's a thermal reacting (AKA color changing) gel!  When warm, the base color is a sheer milky white with just the tiniest hint of pink--it makes your nails look very dainty, especially with the layers of glitter glinting in the light.  When cold, however, the base color is a very saturated, opaque hot pink--almost fuchsia--and the silver glitters stand out more against the bright pink background.  I don't know if it's the bright pink color or the juxtaposition of the pale white to hot-pink color change, but for some reason this gel polish makes me think of Revlon's "Cherries in the Snow" lipstick, which was one of the first red lipsticks I ever bought. :)


The temperature range at which this color changes is perfectly suited to me!  When I wash my hands in cold or warm tap water, the colors change.  When I'm freezing in the air conditioner or my hands are heating up in the sunlight while I'm driving, the colors change.  When I grab a hot cup of coffee or a cold drink from the fridge, the colors change.  Basically, what I'm trying to say here is that it doesn't take an extreme temperature to get this color changing gel polish activated.   When changing temperatures, though, it can take on a mind of it's own.

Sometimes it's more like a smooth gradient:

(Bonus macro shot of the glitter! I was trying to capture a more intense gradient on my thumb):

At other times it's a bit mottled looking--but it looks almost purposeful, not patchy, thanks to the speckled look the multitude of glitter adds (by the way, these next two shots were the only flash images I could capture--all others are in sunlight):

Most of the time, though, the free edges of your nails gain or lose heat faster to equalize with the air around it--which means the resulting temperature difference from nail bed to free edge gives you what looks like an instant, hassle free French Manicure: 

Pretty cool, huh?  I'm glad I could let my nails grow out a little this week to let the full effect of this gel polish shine through--on shorter nails, a French manicure look may appear, but it probably wouldn't look so bold.

By the way, did I mention I only used two coats for this manicure? Yeah!  Two coats of "Pink Frost", and my manicure was even and lovely--not to mention surprisingly strong.  Some other gels I find myself layering on just for strength, but there was no need to waste time on that with this color. It lasted just as long as any other gel, too.   And-and-and (I can keep adding ands here!), it was also extremely easy to work with: it didn't shrink from the edges of my nails, it didn't flood into my cuticles, and the glitter didn't all want to pull in one place or separate itself from the gel base, as it is sometimes wont to do.  Not to mention, when you cure the polish the heat emitted from the reaction causes the gel polish to change colors, too--so it may go under the light looking pink, and come out of the light looking sheer white! The minute amount of radiating heat is just enough to turn the next layer white too--as you apply it. It's kind of a mind game when applying!

Yeah, this gel polish had me a little excited. 

I'll review "Blue Cocktail" next time--hopefully not too far away! School's kicking my behind lately.

Sunday, September 21, 2014

DIY Hard Nails: Before I Get to a Full Review...Look at THIS!

Hello again!  I have a lot of posts in mind, but not a lot of time to actually post lately. So... I have a video this time instead!

I'm working on a full review of the two gel polishes I'm wearing in the video (they're from a pretty new brand called DIY Hard Nails, and the shades I'm wearing are "Pink Frost" and "Blue Cocktail"), but it's taking me a bit to sit down, look through pictures, and write up the post. Since one of the colors I received is a thermal "color changing" gel polish, though, I figured it'd be kind of neat to show off how the gel polish works in a video!

The color changing shade here is "Pink Frost", and it has a pretty good range of color and reactivity--it's just about perfectly formulated to change with my hands as they go from hot to cold (or vice versa) on their own.  It changes from a bright hot pink to a neutral sheer, milky white-pink shade--and all the while the multitude of glitter keeps it from looking patchy or plain old boring.  Watch the video to see just what I mean. :)

I did receive these two shades to review, but that in no way has affected my experiences with this gel polish so far--I'm pretty intrigued by the color changing qualities and the almost "jelly-like" finish the gels provide with the glitter inclusions!  Their shades are now $14.99 on Amazon or the owner's website, although that price is a little higher than what I normally pay for gels, I might consider a few of their other shades because of their uniqueness.  Of course, there's a green I'd love called "Jade Glitz", but colors like "Heartbreaker", "Coca Cola Float", and "Sun Glow" would be pretty autumn-appropriate.

Saturday, September 13, 2014

And Now for Something Completely Different... NaiLuv "Not So Innocent"

Hey again!  Today marks quite a milestone: this is the first time in the entire two-year history of my blog that I have a translucent nail polish color to show you--without layering it over an opaque base color.  That's remarkable to me because, well, I don't usually go for the "visible nail line" or "French manicure" look.  But the times, they are a-changing.

NaiLuv "Not So Innocent" is a clear gel filled with tiny clear iridescent hexagonal glitter.   It's pretty amazing for being such a simple gel polish, though; the iridescent quality makes these glitters shine in all colors of the rainbow, with orange, green and blue-purple being the most predominant.   Because the glitter is clear-based, when light is not reflecting off of it, the glitter may "disappear" on the nail bed and create the illusion of a "bald spot" sans glitter--but since gel polish offers much more dimension than a flat regular polish, this rarely happens. Worn alone like this, "Not So Innocent" looks really clean and girly--and somehow even healthy--a gel polish like this brings out any natural pinkness in your nail beds and makes them look pearly and clean.  It's also demure enough that you might get away with it at places where brighter colors are prohibited.  I tried to capture a few extra photos to show how awesome it is:

First up, a macro shot--towards the sides of my nail beds you can see what look like "bald spots" without any glitter, but that's really just the illusion I talked about earlier:

Then a slightly blurry shot in a  somewhat successful attempt to show off the iridescence (believe me, it looks better in real life!):

And finally, I found this pixelated low light shot when going through my camera's images.  It's not "blog-quality" for sure, but look how this glitter glows even in the worst lighting!

I used three coats to get the look you see here, although it would look ok with one coat, too; the glitter would just be more sparse.  This is part of the "Rebel Without a Cause" collection, and like the other shade I reviewed so far (NaiLuv "Acid Rain"), it's a much thicker gel than usual--maybe because it needs to suspend all of the glitters in it.  So when applying, it feels more like a traditional "pot" style gel than the kinds that I'm used to--you know, the ones that come in a nail polish style bottle.  This can cause a bit of a learning curve when you go to apply it, then: you want to get enough gel on your brush that you get glitter coverage on your nails, but you don't want to get too much that you flood your cuticles! It also creates layers that are thicker than normal, which increases the strength of your manicure, but also increases removal time.  Last time, I wasn't so careful with application and my manicure didn't last too long.  This time, however, I got about 9 days of wear out of my manicure, with only one nail that had application problems.

Like the other shade in this collection, I also received "Not So Innocent" free because I won NaiLuv's Facebook contest (where I got to name 3 of their colors)--keep an eye out on their parent company's page, Chrislie Formations, and hopefully they will do more things like this soon!

I should do an overview of all the colors I received too... maybe?  Because, as you might be able to guess, all the colors are following the same theme as "Acid Rain" and "Not So Innocent"--and it's a pretty unique theme!

Monday, September 8, 2014

September Deals at Ulta!

Hi again... so I'm a little late on this one, because technically this deal started on 9/7/2014.

But for almost the full month of September, until 9/27/2014, Red Carpet Manicure gel polish is buy-one-get-one 50% off at Ulta.

You can shop, as usual, online (they have their regular line or their "After Party Exclusive Trends" line) or in store--and as usual you can "combine" this with the $3.50 off of $10.00 coupons Ulta sends out to all beauty rewards members to help you save a little more!

I'm personally really hoping they bring out a fall collection soon--the only gel polish one I've seen this year so far (in any store) is the fall Gelish collection at Sally Beauty!

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

September Deals at Sally Beauty!

Hi again!  Apparently I missed out on a Gelish deal at Sally Beauty last month, and I'm determined not to let anything like that happen this month, because they have a couple more pretty cool deals.

First of all, FingerPaints gel polishes are 2 for $18 for the month of September.  I wonder if they're going to come out with some fall/winter limited edition shades soon; what do you think? And I know, that isn't a huge deal, but there is more.... (UPDATE: Actually, if you already have the Sally Beauty Member card, that's not even a deal at all, considering the everyday price for members is $8.99...what's up with that?!)

Anyway, a better deal is this:  15% off your entire purchase!! Yes, I feel like Sally Beauty doesn't offer these coupons all of the time--but they do for this month!  You can view the 15% off coupon on page 12 of their online flyer.  

Another thing to look out for is a bunch of FingerPaints and Gelish clearance items--including some Gelish gel polishes from the "Trends" line, which I've never seen on clearance before. They do have two shades on clearance online, Gelish "Sweet 16" and Gelish "Candy Shop", but to take full advantage of this deal and find the best selections, you'll probably want to go in-store.

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Fall-Ready with OPI Gelcolor "Casino Royale"

After all these bright colors recently, I was feeling ready for the I pulled out this color from OPI's Skyfall collection in winter 2012.  It's no "Radiant Orchid", but I feel like it's a warmer and darker take on the color that keeps it a little more in line with the fall season. 

I included two sunlight shots this time because they show  the brightness and depths this color goes to--the second shot in particular is a bit more angled away from the sunlight.

And the usual indoor flash shot!

OPI Gelcolor "Casino Royale" is a deep, jewel-toned red-violet creme shade I used it as an accent color a while ago, where I described it as more blue-toned--and that's true, if you consider it next to a red shade.  But if you compare it to a purple, it's definitely more in the realm of the red-tones!  So I guess "red-violet" really is the best way to describe it--although part of me wants to describe it as "dark fuchsia", or maybe simply "berry"?  It's hard to pinpoint this color!  Overall, though, it is a really rich color with a lot of depth, sometimes almost mimicking a wine shade when the lighting is dim.  Hence my two sunlight photos--so you could kind of see the highlights and the shades this color takes on depending on how the light hits it!

Anyway, I used two coats for this gel polish--yes, only two! It was insanely pigmented, which could also be seen as a detriment, because it stained my top coat brush like crazy.   It also shrank a little bit, maybe because of all the pigment.  Although that didn't decrease wear time, it was visible at some points, which may be seen on my pointer in the last picture.  The formula also slipped around on my nail beds a little more, leading to the uneven cuticle area you can see in the pictures.  Yeah, I still need to work on that! 

Overall though, it's a beautiful color--you just have to keep in mind those tricks for working with gel polishes that have a tendency to shrink or "move" on the nail bed. :)

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Gelaze "Orange Knockout"

Hi again!

I've been thinking a lot about fall and HALLOWEEN (yay!) already...crazy, I know, right?  But I didn't want to let go of the brights I've been wearing a lot this summer just yet, so I pulled out this color from China Glaze Gelaze called "Orange Knockout".  It's a perfect neon, but it still allows me to think about orange glowing jack-o'-lanterns.

These two pictures are in direct sunlight and indirect, by the way...and it is kind of a knockout, isn't it?  It even tried to knock the senses out of my camera when I tried to take a flash picture!

Anyway, down to the facts: China Glaze Gelaze "Orange Knockout" is a traffic-cone orange creme color.  If I had to get into particulars, I'd say this orange is a little more red-based, but because it's such a bright color, it looks pretty middle-of-the-line between red and yellow at some points.  And like a true neon, it definitely glows in a lot of lighting situations!

I used 4 coats for this manicure, although I'm really not sure  why.  At 3 coats, "Orange Knockout" was perfectly even, but looked just a tad sheer--I layered on a 4th coat hoping that would solve the last bit of sheerness, but it actually provided no noticeable difference.  The funny thing is, once my manicure was finished and I went outside, I didn't see any of the visible nail line that I saw before, either!  The glowing neon quality really masked the nail line a lot of the time, although in indoor lighting it still stuck out.  I tried to capture  the visible nail line with an indoor, no flash shot here:

You can see it especially on my pinky and middle finger, if you look close--I felt it looked a little more apparent in real life than it does in any picture, though. 

The formula of  Gelaze "Orange Knockout" did shrink a little for the first coat, but that was easily solved by only capping the edges of my nails and curing them before applying the next coat.

And to be totally honest with you, your mileage may vary with this gel!  I was painting my nails in a hurry, so I may not have mixed up the gel polish in the bottle as much as I should have, leading to an improperly mixed formula that may have caused my little issues.  I also had a little bit of decreased wear time--around 7 days--but hey, I was also trying to crochet and knit up a storm. :)

Monday, August 18, 2014

Hautelook "#ManiMonday" Again...AGAIN with NaiLuv!

I'm posting a lot of deals lately, I know. I hope no one minds!  It gives me something to look forward to besides painting my nails, the endless amount of crafting I've been trying to finish up, and all the schoolwork I'm dreading that I'll start to get in....well, a few hours from now.

Anyway, NaiLuv is back on Hautelook again this week, from today, Monday 8/18 until Thursday  8/21.  This time, the 15mL/0.5fl oz bottles are selling for $8.00, with the usual $5.95 flat rate shipping.

They have a ton of colors in the sale--not including their newest collection, but still including a bunch of colors that will be great for the fall!

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

NaiLuv Color Block with "Acid Rain" and "Sexy Sabotage"

Hello again world! I  have been really bad at updating this month so far.  Although I haven't stopped painting my nails, I've been pretty busy trying to do lots of things in the 3 weeks that I don't have classes--funny, you think now would be when I have the most free time!  These nails I actually wore a little while ago on vacation, and I had a hard time getting pictures of my nails because of that, so I apologize beforehand.

Anyway, this time I have NaiLuv "Acid Rain" on the base of my nails and NaiLuv "Sexy Sabotage" on the top half of my nails:

I'll start out with NaiLuv "Acid Rain": this is one of their new colors out for the summer in their "Rebel Without a Cause" collection, and I actually won this color free because I helped name it on Facebook! It's a neon/florescent lime green translucent shade filled with clear iridescent glitter.  The glitter looks kind of like hexagons, but is actually very tiny irregular flecks, and the iridescent quality of the glitter reflects mostly silver, yellow-green and sometimes orange.  The florescent green is shade is pretty neat, too--once again it reminds me of toys as a kid--because the green translucent base appears more yellow in some lights and almost glows lime green in others, especially in sunlight.  I used one thick coat for my nails, because I found this formula a little hard to work with.  It's a very thick formula to begin with--it applies kind of like a thicker gel that you would buy in a pot versus in a bottle.  Since it is in a bottle, though, a lot of it gets on the brush at once!  It was hard to find a good medium between too much gel on the brush and accidentally wiping off too much gel before applying (and taking the glitter along with it).  Just because it's thick, though, doesn't mean that it won't sneak into the side walls of your nails if you're too heavy handed, so that was something else I had to watch out for, too.

See how it glows?

It can also "glow" more yellow-green--and maybe you can see the glitter flecks!

NaiLuv "Sexy Sabotage", on the other hand, was much better to work with!  It's a light spring yellow-green creme shade, almost like it has equal parts yellow, green, and white mixed in with it--in certain lights a lime green color comes out more, and in others the yellow overpowers the green slightly.  It looks quite different with the different lighting conditions I took pictures in, and I didn't even color edit anything at all! I used three coats as usual, but you could easily get away with two coats--which I found to be a little pleasant surprise for such a light, almost pastel color.

I quite like the nail design I did with these two shades, too--all I did for this "look" was concentrate the sheer shade on the base of my nails, and perfect the line with my opaque shade using the long side of my brush.  It was pretty easy, and while my lines aren't perfect, I think it looks a lot more unique than a  French manicure!

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Red Carpet Manicure "Mimosas By The Pool"

Finally I have some colors to post again!  I actually passed up Red Carpet Manicure's "Mimosas By The Pool" in 2013 when it came out, because I thought it was a boring red-coral shade.  Well, this year I was looking to expand my "collection" of pink and red shades, so I took this one home from Ulta...and I'm so glad I did!  It's so much more than I ever imagined. 

Red Carpet Manicure "Mimosa's By The Pool" is a bright coral red shade that has highly transforming qualities for being a simple creme gel polish.  It's neon red in bright sunlight, and can be a glowing neon hovering between pink and orange in bright indoor lighting. It can also look a bit underwhelming as it did when I first looked at it in Ulta  a year ago--it can look grey-tinged pink or it can look like a typical coral red.  The best way for me to show you how this shade transforms, of course, is to inundate you with pictures!  I took quite a few photos comparing the shade in different lighting situations... I'll keep the pictures smaller for this post, but remember you can always click on them to make them bigger.

Indoors by the window--with flash and without:

Without direct sunlight and with direct sunlight:

 Indoors (artificial lighting) with and without flash:

And lastly, I tried to capture the confusing red-orange-pink neon quality that this color takes on in some lights:

See what I mean?  Sometimes when I leave a room or go outside, "Mimosas By The Pool" looks like a totally different shade!

As for application, I used 3 coats to cover my nails, although the formula is nice enough that you could get away with 2 coats if your nails are shorter and/or blemish free. 

Now here's the fun part: Dupes! I was shopping for some China Glaze Gelaze polishes while wearing this color, and I found this shade to be so close to both Gelaze  "A Rose Among Thorns" and Gelaze "Pool Party" that I ended up passing on both gels!  If I had to pick a closer "dupe", I'd say "A Rose Among Thorns" is most similar to RCM "Mimosas By The Pool".

Monday, August 4, 2014

#ManiMonday on Hautelook - With Gellaka This Time!

I know, I know; I haven't posted since Hautelook's last gel polish "#ManiMonday" sale--which was just last week!   The fact that I've been seeing more gel polishes on Hautelook's weekly nail polish sales is making me happy.

From today (08/04) until Thursday (08/07), Gellaka gel polish is on sale for $7.00 per 8mL bottle on  They also have sets/collections available that allows you to save a little more money, too.

I've bought Gellaka gel polish from Hautelook before, and I've worn two of the shades I bought so far--which you can see reviews of in my tag for Gellaka if you'd like. I thought the formula for this gel was a bit thin, but I LOVE the range of colors they have!

Sorry for the absence, as well. I was actually on vacation last week, and I had pictures ready to post, but I ended up not sitting down at a computer for more than 10 minutes the whole time! And taking more pictures wasn't really on my agenda, although I managed to snap a few while we went down to "the shore" at Island Beach State Park:

Maybe that's boring to some of you, but water always has an insta-calming effect for me. :)

I'll be back to posting gel polish very soon!

Monday, July 28, 2014

#ManiMonday on Hautelook Again--Orly SmartGELS!

Hello again!  This week's "#ManiMonday" on Hautelook features another gel polish brand - Orly "SmartGELS"! From now until Thursday 7/31, Orly SmartGELS are $7.00 to $7.50 on Hautelook.

I've worn only a few colors from the Orly SmartGELS line before--the first time I wasn't so impressed, but I LOVED the summery florescent quality of "Oh Cabana Boy", so I thought I'd share the sale that's going on now--especially since they have a ton of new (summer-perfect) shades included in the sale.

And you know what else is even cooler?  They also have the "Shade Shifter" included in the sale! Don't know what I'm talking about?  Well, the "Shade Shifter" coat basically transforms any gel polish manicure into a "mood polish"--you apply it on top of any color you'd like, and it will change from black to transparent depending on the temperature! Check this out!

The one downside with this sale is that it is the consumer based version of Orly GelFX that you see in the video, so the bottles are a much smaller 0.18 fl. oz size.   But if you'd like to try out some neat shades--especially "Shade Shifter"--this might be the time to jump in!

Friday, July 25, 2014

Summer Gel Polish Picks!

Hello! I  know summer technically started last month, but I wasn't happy the first time I recorded this video, so I'm a little late to the game.   I mostly wanted to share with you, though, the fact that some of this season's coolest colors are already in gel polish form--and many of them aren't even from brand new collections of gel polish!

The bright summer time colors this year have a lot of creamy white bases--some are almost pastel--not to mention neons and bright, summery jewel tones aren't so hard to find anymore, either. Well, hopefully you'll watch and see what I mean. :)

I had some issues with this video again--although I recorded it twice--I've got to remember to stabilize myself a bit more to keep everything in focus!  I tend to move back and forth within the field of vision, and my camera doesn't quite like that. 

Oh yeah, my nails in this video are Red Carpet Manicure "Mimosas by the Pool".  It's pretty awesome, and I'll be reviewing that next!

Saturday, July 19, 2014

GELibility + Regular Nail Polish = Gel Polish!

Today I have something really different and really fun to show you guys! It's called "GELibility", and it's a two-product system that gives you the ability to easily turn your favorite and hard-to-duplicate regular polishes into gel polish that you cure under your LED/UV lamp.  I've heard people wishing for a product like this--and I've heard whispers about this brand before--but I don't think I've heard of anyone that actually tried it out.  Not to mention, I know a somewhat similar idea called the "gelly sandwich" gel manicure (with gel base and top coat, and regular polish in between) is popular, but also pretty problematic on its own.   So when Brandi, the creator, gave me the opportunity to try this system out, of course I had to jump right in.

Let me start this review by telling you a little bit about how GELibility works from my small experiences so far--it's quite a bit different than the usual sandwiched gel/regular polish manicure:
  1. Start with the "Stick It! Soak Off Bonder", which needs to be cured under your lamp for the usual time.  This is your base coat, too--no need to use another brand of base and top coats!  But of course, if you have a system that really works for your nail chemistry, I'm sure you could combine them. 
  2. Mix up "Fix It! Soak Off Gel" and your regular nail polish.  Use a small palette, and with your brushes loaded with polish, drop equal spots onto your mixing surface.  GELibility says to use a 50/50 mix of gel and regular polish, but Brandi mentioned to me that a 60/40 ratio of regular polish to gel polish would work if you find your colors to be too sheer.  Remember, though: thin and slightly sheer coats is the aim to properly cure a gel polish.  Then, mix it up with the regular polish brush, or grab a nail painting brush--like a small filbert brush--to mix it if you are worried about preserving your regular nail polish (it shouldn't be an issue, though, it's only a very small amount of gel that will get mixed in.)
  3. Paint those nails! Cure between each layer, as usual.
  4. Once you're satisfied with the coverage, use the "Fix it! Soak Off Gel" as a top coat, without any regular polish mixed in. 
  5. Clean it all off with alcohol, and you've got a "regular nail polish" manicure with increased wear and without all the drying time!
Here's some pictures of what I mixed up with a regular polish I had laying around, OPI "Rally Pretty Pink"  This color is a warm gold and a duochrome, with a dark mauve jelly base loaded with irregular true gold flecks.  Although this is an older release, a color like this is really on trend for this year, but you can't find anything like it in gel polish form. I took a lot of pictures because, um, hello...duochrome makes my mouth water.  Click to make the last photo bigger for some macro glitter fleck action!

I used three coats of my Gelibility + "Rally Pretty Pink" mixture on my nails here. Compared to some plain regular polish swatches, my combo looks a bit lighter and the duochrome is a bit more muted--but it's still pretty obvious! In some lights you can see a bit of visible nail line, however I feel like you can pick out that in some regular polish swatches, too.  "Rally Pretty Pink" appears to rely on a translucent dark purple-mauve base to contrast with the gold flecks and give it its duochrome appearance, so when you apply the color thinly or mix it with something clear like Gelibility, the whole polish appears a little bit lighter.

Application of GELibility was really interesting, because I have to admit, I was a little skeptical at first.  I've heard horror stories about how long "gelly sandwich" manicures can take to dry, and how the regular polish layers can bubble or wrinkle if they are not properly dried before you apply a gel top coat.  I was really afraid of this happening--but for no reason!  Each coat cured perfectly with my LED light, without any wrinkles or bubbling from trying to mix up my polishes. While applying, I found that the resulting combination acted exactly like you would expect a hybrid of regular polish and gel to act--it seemed to thicken up a little bit the longer it was exposed to air, but it also cured hard in my LED light just like a normal gel would.   

How about the wear time?  This wore as long as most other gel polishes I've tried so far--it lasted about nine days, or I gave it about that time before I wanted to paint my nails again.  And yes, it was totally dry once cured--I could do the dishes right after painting my nails with no smudges!  One thing I do have to mention is that despite my manicure being 5 layers of gel, it still felt thin for a gel polish--although it wasn't so thin that it caused my nails to bend and crack easily.

So despite the fact that my regular nail polish appeared to become a tad bit sheerer with GELibility mixed in, I'm still incredibly impressed and want to experiment some more!

PS: Currently you can buy Gelibility from their website, for $37.95 for the set of two. I received mine complimentary to test out, although I wasn't "sponsored" or required to do a positive review at all!   If you have a lot of regular nail polish that you wish you could find gel "dupes" for, I can say this is totally worth it!