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.