Friday, March 28, 2014

Nein! Nein! Nein! Ok Fine!

I'm hopefully going to make this post short and sweet because, although I planned on doing another mylar "flakie" gel polish comparison in this post, I think it will be just TOO MUCH to review the glitters and the base color all in one post.

But you can catch a glimpse of the awesomeness of these FingerPaints flaky gel polishes on top of my nails here:

The base color underneath all the glitter is OPI Gelcolor "Nein! Nein! Nein! Ok Fine!"  (Unfortunately, I didn't take any bottle pictures with this gelcolor once again... oops!)   I used three coats for opacity, mostly because the first coat was just a little too streaky, and I wanted to ensure full coverage in bright light.  It did shrink from the edges of my nails just a little--you may be able to see that on my pinky in particular--but just like a good OPI Gelcolor should, it didn't affect the wear of manicure at all.  I did have to re-cap the edges of my nails before curing, though, to fix the worst of the shrinking.

The color itself is awesome, but I'm not sure how to describe it!  The original, regular nail polish version of "Nein! Nein! Nein! Ok Fine!" is described as a green-toned grey.  Personally,  I feel like this gel is a very slightly cool-toned dark asphalt creme color--it does look ever so slightly green-toned in some lighting (see the second picture), but can also look blue-toned, too.  To be honest, though, the undertones are so slight that this color can almost pull itself off as the perfect mid-tone dark grey, depending on your lighting and what other colors you may pair it with. See how it makes a great neutral base for both the cool-toned glitters and the warm-toned ones?  In bright light you may easily tell that it is is not black, but in dim or indirect lighting the difference is much more subtle--so I feel all my photos are pretty true to color, even though they look pretty different.

What makes it different from other greys?   It is much darker (almost black) and more cool-toned than most other popular grey polishes, which lean more towards "greige"--more like a brown or purple tone.  Actually, I'm not sure if I know of any other gel polish color like it on the market! :)

Next post will be a glitter overload.  I promise!

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Gellaka Gel Polish in "New York, NY"

I know I'm late with my St. Patrick's Day manicure, but I'm doing some intense studying--and at the moment typing isn't high on my list of things I can do.  BUT I finally wore one of the Gellaka gel polishes that I ordered from Hautelook a little while ago, and I wanted to give you my thoughts!

The color itself is amazing.  Gellaka "New York, NY" is the perfect emerald green jelly creme polish with very slight blue undertones--the first photo is most true to life here! It is opaque in three coats, although for some reason the bright lights and macro setting in my photos pick up some transparency you can't see in real life.  The pigmentation is very saturated and even, though, so this gel would look great with even one coat or as a "jelly sandwich" layered with some sparkles. 

Of course, for the holiday I paired  this color with some gold 1.5mm hex glitters from the Born Pretty Store.  Unfortunately, I'm still working on finding the best way to adhere these metallic bits a year later! 

Anyway, back to Gellaka--formula wise, this gel polish is pretty thin in consistency.  It didn't shift or shrink on my nails, but if you look towards my cuticles the edges look a little jagged, because I felt like this gel just didn't go where I wanted it to!  This thinness became more of a problem as my nails started growing out; my nails kept bending because I didn't have that extra teensy bit of thickness most gels give my nails, and the gel even cracked in some spots where they bent.  Although the gel polish didn't shrink back from the free edges of my nails,  I feel like it just didn't want to "lay down" over the free edges, either, leading to an increase in tip wear--enough that I had to remove this manicure after day 7

...Now let me mention the removal, because this gel polish acted rather strange here, too!  After being soaked in acetone, most gel seems to break up and remove itself in little "sheets".  But this Gellaka gel broke down mostly into tiny millimeter sized pieces, and it almost seemed as if each layer of the gel wanted to break down and remove itself separately from each subsequent layer.  Since most of the pieces of gel were so little, it was hard to remove them all from my nail bed--leaving lots of little green dots stuck on my nails.  I get the feeling I would have had to soak my nails twice to get a good removal, but I didn't have time for that!

Thursday, March 13, 2014

A Mylar Flake Gel Polish Battle!

Hello! This post might be kind of dense, since I've got quite a few polishes to cover here... Hopefully you won't mind!

I've noticed that a few gel polish brands have recently released some gel polish glitter coats with mylar flakes in them--otherwise known as "flaky" or "flakie" polishes, or even simply "flakies".  I thought that day might never come, and then all of a sudden Red Carpet Manicure, Gelish, and FingerPaints started releasing them within a few months of each other!  For now,  I tried out two such glitters--the well-known Gelish "Rough Around the Edges", and a Red Carpet Manicure one I stumbled upon by accident, "Stealing the Spotlight".

First of all, let me give you a quick rundown on the base colors I used:

The white color on my accent nails is Red Carpet Manicure "White Hot"--which, up until now, I had only used for nail art accents.  To paint my whole nail, I needed 4 coats for it to look mostly opaque.  I definitely wasn't impressed with that!  The color itself seemed a pretty true white creme shade to me, but it did tend to take on a slightly yellowed-paper type of tone in indoor lighting.

The main color on the rest of my nails is OPI Gelcolor "A Grape Fit".  (As an aside, this color is the EXACT same as Sephora by OPI Gelshine in "Iris I Was Thinner", which costs $17.50 for a bottle 2/3 the size of a Gelcolor can figure out which you shouldn't spend your money on.)  The color itself is a neat blue-toned purple creme  halfway between pastel and bright.  The "Pantone color of the year" is "Radiant Orchid", and this shade isn't too far off from that--just a tad more blue-toned.  It can look a little more pastel or bright and bold depending on the lighting, making this a great color for those wishing for warm spring/summer months.  I only needed two coats for opacity with this gel, and I noticed no fading at all, even though light purples can be kind of tricky in gel polish form!

Ok, now for the glitters:

First off is Gelish "Rough Around the Edges".  I used one coat for this on all my nails, just so you could get a good idea of the amount of glitter present in these gels.   The clear iridescent mylar flakes are nice and uniformly warm-toned--shining mostly red and orange and yellow, with maybe a hint of spring green here or there.  The second photo, with flash, is a little deceiving for this glitter--since it's clear, it mostly takes on a cool purple-ish tone like the gel polish underneath it, but it is a good reference for the amount of glitter and the size of the flakes in this polish.  Speaking of which: the flakes themselves are rather small and sparse within the gel polish--as you can see, some of my nails seem to have more sparkle than others because of this.  Worst part of all was the fact that these flakes seem to have been shredded or torn, rather than precisely cut, leading to what sometimes looks like flat light grey plastic looking pieces stuck in my gel, rather than nicely cut, iridescent glitter.  You can see that here:

I thought maybe I had gotten a bad batch, so I looked over at Gelish Geekery's swatches and then Chickettes, and noticed what looked like the same thing in all their swatches. 

Of course, due to the irregular glitters in this gel, there were a few spots that didn't level out very well on the nail.  You could take your time to push down the annoying bits with a brush before curing or apply two coats of top coat, but personally, I found the flakes were so small in this polish that it wasn't too much of a problem.

Now for the next one!

These last three photos are Red Carpet Manicure "Stealing the Spotlight", which I stumbled upon by accident; I didn't really know what I was getting when I picked up the box from the "Dazzling Gems" collection that had a pearly white nail on the outside.  Go figure!  In actuality this gel polish is amazing--once again I'm going to remind you that I only used 1 coat for these.  And look how jam-packed the glitter is!  This gel has rather large, irregular clear mylar flakes with a mix of cool and warm toned iridescence--although it's mostly cool toned (think spring green, light blue, and purple), it has just enough glints of red and orange in the mix to give it some added interest.  And! And! And!  It also has tiny clear iridescent shimmers that sparkle light blue and purple, with maybe a hint of green depending on the lighting, to further ensure that your nails will never look flat or boring.  It was so sparkly, I had a really hard job trying to capture a macro photo on this one--the best I could do was the last photo, that kind of shows off the iridescent shimmers a bit.

The only downside here is that since the flakes in this gel polish are larger, it is a little more prone to unevenness on the nail--once again you could fix that by carefully pushing pieces down with your brush before curing, or applying extra top coat.  But the glitter is so mesmerizing, I think I'm willing to put up with that.

Whew... after all of that... I still have one more thing.  Since iridescent flaky polishes like this can be hard to capture in photos, I recorded a video to show them off a bit, too.  Keep in mind, though,  I didn't have direct sunlight here, so they will look even more sparkly under direct light!  I rehash a lot of the same information in the video, so you can put it on mute and watch for a few seconds, or just watch if this post was a little TL;DR again for you.

Monday, March 10, 2014

Gellaka Gel Polish from Hautelook

Hello again!

One of my favorite places to look for gel polishes online is "flash sale" sites like or  Although sites like these don't sell the most renowned brands like Gelish or OPI Gelcolor, I know that the site is reputable...versus trying to buy from Ebay, where I may take a gamble with the seller.

These sites don't have gel polishes on their flash sales a lot--and they don't always have them for prices that are any better than Gelish or OPI Gelcolor prices on Ebay--but sometimes they do have good deals.  And sometimes it's fun to take advantage of these deals to take the plunge and try out a new brand of gels!   After all, my first trip into the world of gel polishes was after I bought my LED light and some gels when  Hautelook had a NaiLuv sale nearly two years ago. 

Last month, I noticed a new brand on Hautelook called "Gellaka", a brand made by a company called "GlamourNails".  At a price point of $7.00 (plus Hautelook's $5 flat rate shipping for everything) for 8mL sized gel polish bottles, I thought this sale looked pretty intriguing.  The final thing that pulled me in, though, was Gellaka's unique selection of shades.  Normally, new gel brands stick to "safe" colors that they know will sell--pinks, reds, a purple here or there, French manicure shades, and maybe a black and grey.  Gellaka, on the other hand, had some more interesting colors on Hautelook, including a pastel yellow and one of the brightest, truest greens I've seen in gel polish.  So I had to buy!

And of course, since I had to buy, I decided to do a haul including some first impressions of this brand:

In just a little bit, I'll have a better review on this brand of gel polish. :)  (Next, though, will be a post on those gorgeous "flaky" gel polishes you might have caught a glimpse of on my nails in this video!)

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Sally Beauty Supply...Deals!

I've never really posted about Sally Beauty Supply a lot, mostly because they're guaranteed to have a sale every other month or so on some gel polish.  Sometimes you need to pay for their club card in order to receive these deals, too.  Buuuuut, this month they have a few interesting deals going on!

First, and most exciting, China Glaze is coming out with their gel line called "Gelaze".  And lucky for all gel polish addicts, this whole month (3/1 through 3/31) all China Glaze nail polishes and gel polishes are buy one get one FREE!  Unfortunately, this gel line is so new, it's not even in all stores yet.  I should know: I just tried to check out one of my local stores today and was out of luck.  But you can peruse the shades online (although it doesn't look like the sale is online) or try to contact a local store near you to see if they're in stock. Even if they're not on sale, it looks like Gelaze has a pretty cheap price point--$11.99 for a bottle, or $10.99 if you sign up for their club card.

Here's a clip from Sally Beauty's monthly flyer online:

On top of that, FingerPaints Gel polishes are also on sale for $9.99, or $7.99 if you have their club card.  Luckily, FingerPaints has just released some new gel polish collections, too--including three"flaky" sparkle shades!

...Oh yeah, and one more thing: Don't forget to check out the clearance sales at Sally Beauty, too.  This time, I found a sparkle shade from the winter 2013 Gelish "Snow Escape" collection for $5.95, and lots of other Gelish polishes ranging from $8.95 to $10.95.  

Saturday, March 1, 2014

It's a "Fader"! RCM "After Party Playful"

Hi again!  I showed my manicure a little a while ago, but in that post, I refrained from posting a review of the gel polish I used on my accent nail.  I wanted some more time to test it out, and I didn't want my review of this gel to get dwarfed by the macro shots and review of my main gel polish color!

Let me give you a quick refresher.  This natural lighting photo has two Red Carpet Manicure polishes--the brown, called "Toast of the Town", and the pink accent, called "After Party Playful".  I'd say the colors are most accurate in this photo, but I do have more photos to see on the link above--and I also reviewed "Toast of the Town" there, too. 

This time, I want to review Red Carpet Manicure "After Party Playful".  As I have noticed with some other lighter creme shades, I felt like this color applied a bit streaky; I needed 4 coats to achieve opacity.  

This color starts out as a nice, mid-tone pink shade--kind of the stereotypical "Barbie pink", but not too bold or flashy.  I actually felt like this color leaned a little cool-toned, too. 

...But wait, why am I talking in the past tense?  Hopefully, you've noticed that the swatch in the photo above looks kind of salmon pink, and not cool pink.  That's because "After Party Playful" started to fade within 3 days of application to a more orange-toned salmon pink, like you see in the photo above.   

 Of course, it didn't fade evenly, either--it looked a streaky mess after 5 + days, and it finally settled into a very yellowish, infected/inflamed flesh-tone type of color.  I'm not sure how else to describe a color like this, honestly.  If I was really reaching and trying to be flattering, maybe I'd liken it to "apricots and cream", but that doesn't attest to the strangeness of this streaky yellow-laced-with-pink shade on my nails.

The best way I could get a photo of this was to paint half of my nail with a few coats of fresh polish to show a side-by-side comparison:

See that streakiness in the left hand photo?  See that yellow shade?  At this point, I could barely believe it was ever pink. And unfortunately, this comparison swatch is the best "fresh" swatch of "After Party Playful" I have as well, considering by time it took me to get good photos of my manicure (which was only about 3 days), it had already faded.

RCM's "After Party Playful" is a pretty shade out of the bottle, but this color is now making me wary of  any lighter pinks!  I've had slight problems so far with some orange, salmon-pink, and light purple gel polishes, but never a pink like this.

The problem is that not all gel polishes have UV stable pigments, so with exposure to different combinations of heat and light, you may notice fading over time.  Luckily every shade varies, even ones by the same brand, so I guess my only choice is to keep swatching on. :)