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!