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.