Thursday, October 28, 2010

E.L.F. Dark Navy Nail Polish

Sometimes I place something aside for awhile and forget how much I love it. I've been all over M.A.C. and O.P.I. lately I've been neglecting my E.L.F. polishes. So I took out Dark Navy the other day and began swatching. I didn't have time to clean up around my cuticles, please excuse the sloppy job.

E.L.F. Dark Navy Nail Polish ($1)
Dark Navy is an incredibly deep blue, almost black. The blue is barely visible unless under sun/bright lighting. It would be great for many applications where you wouldn't want to use a black but still need something dark.

Eyeslipsface Dark Navy - No Flash - Indoors

What I love most about this nail lacquer, besides the color, is that it goes on smoooth. It's not a thick polish, but this particular color went on with full coverage with only one coat! Yay! It also dries much faster than most of my other brands of polish. At $1 a bottle how can one go wrong?

Eyes Lips Face
The only downside I've found to E.L.F. polishes is some colors can dye nails to match your painted color. Always use a base coat to prevent that from happening. I didn't have much trouble removing the offending dye however. Dark Navy has a slight dyeing effect, so your nails could turn blue-grey(the worst offender I've found so far is Punk Purple, however).

If you're just interested in a few polish from E.L.F. it's usually a sound idea to wait for a %50-%75 site wide sale(shipping kills it), but they happen once maybe twice a year from what I've seen. There's always great coupon codes flying around online. This month SHIP25 is free shipping over $25 or EYES50 for %50 off eye makeup (through 10/31). Their absolute best eye makeup is the mineral eyeshadow (in my opinion), I'd avoid the $1 eyeshadows, I didn't like them too much.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Cute Nail Design

This super cute nail design was a bit of a pain to master at first. I could not get the stamp straight by "rolling" the stamper across the nail. It kept veering to one side or the other making a crooked line. However, In the end (after several attempts) I finally figured out a great way to do it and it turned out to be a really cute design.

O.P.I Whats With The Cattitude?
Konad Special Polish in White
Konad Image Plate m71 for French Manicure Design

I figured out the trick to hold the tip of my nail perpendicular to the stamp to align the placement, then to roll from the top of the nail to the bottom. I put a good deal of pressure to get good coverage on the sides (to the point of bending my nails, be careful). I suppose someone with more experience with Konad french plates would not have as hard a time. I still wish I made the stamp higher on my nails to look more like a cute french tip and less like a design mid nail...

The Sunflower was done with Konad plate m54 and Sky Pearl special polish

I finished with a blue sunflower design on the middle finger. Give or take, it looked very nice either way. I love the color of Sky Pearl polish by Konad however its sparkles do not show on the stamps.

Do you like?
I love how the design looks like I placed lace on my nail, it would be a lot of fun with a true sheer pink. Right now my poor nails are stained STILL from my Earthly Harmony swatch! I've tried everything to remove it and this time nothing is working. I think because the Mavala nail hardener causes more cross linking in the nail it also holds onto the yellow pigment. I wish I had de-stained with baking soda and hydrogen peroxide before using it.

Amazon has a limited amount of Konad products(available in links above). You can also visit to find a retailer near you.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

testing comments

I'm switing back to blogger comments. I'm not sure why but intense debates wasnt showing up and some people were able to comment, while others were not. It's become a huge problem between both blogger and between intense debates. I'm sorry for the change (again).

M.A.C. Venomous Villains Nail Polish Brush

When I posted my reviews on M.A.C. Venomous Villains nail polish collection I mentioned the faulty brushes on both Mean & Green and Bad Fairy. They were formed odd, and there was curled fibers on the brush. Making it VERY hard to paint. I had read I wasn't the only person with the issue so I contacted M.A.C. by e-mail  to let them know of the problem. It took a few days for a reply by e-mail so heads up. Calling is the best option.

They asked me to call their customer service number. I got to speak to the original service rep from my e-mail and she was very very sweet. She explained that their quality department will be informed of the issue and I gave her the batch numbers for the problem polishes. She asked if I'd like to exchange my polishes(for other colors most likely). I explained how I had a hard time finding them in the first place, and I knew I wouldn't be able to exchange them locally for the same colors. I told her I'd rather keep the polishes as is then exchange for other colors as I REALLY love the colors. (cont. below)

Mean & Green
Bad Fairy

She was trying to figure out how to help me as they (M.A.C.) do not make individual replacement nail polish brushes. The main company was also out of the colors so they could also not exchange the bottles.

She then offered a solution which was above and beyond what I had anticipated (it was my main concern just to inform them). She said she was going to send me M.A.C. overlacquer so I can swap the brushes. I was extremely happy to say the least! I give M.A.C. customer support an easy A+ and my awesome rep also gets creativity points.

So if you had problems with the Venomous Villains collection brushes there is a solution. The U.S. customer service number is 1-800-588-0070

O.P.I. Done Out In Deco

It is a beautiful, warm day out here in New England. Probably one of the last of the season. I'm enjoying it while I can. I, of course, still had to make time to post today.

I was going to grab another lavender color during my O.P.I. shopping spree. However, I really fell in love with O.P.I. Done Out In Deco from the South Beach spring 2009 collection. Plus, I was able to nab it on sale. I'm always a sucker for items on sale.

O.P.I. Done Out In Deco
South Beach Spring 2009
I was originally grabbing for the Shrek collection color Rumples Wiggin but Done Out In Deco is a deeper lavender color, and more to my liking. I may eventually get some lighter and darker lavender shades as the color compliments my ghostly pale skin nicely.

O.P.I. Nail Polish Swatch : Done Out In Deco
For coverage this one is great, in most of my applications it took only 2 coats for full coverage. Which is great for a lighter color. It dries faster than "What's with the Cattitude?" (I painted both on the same day, and What's With The Cattiude? took twice as long to fully dry... What's up with that? Has anyone else noticed this issue between O.P.I. polish?)

Yay my nails are growing!

Alone, this color is not extremely shiny. If you want a good shine you should use a good top coat. This color would look amazing with a matte top coat too.
I attempted a free-hand french over it with a deep purple, and totally botched the whole polish job in the end. Which made me quite sad as I was hoping to keep this color for a few days. However, I can't wait to do some great designs with this color in the future. I have some new freehand brushes coming in the mail and will practice and hopefully post some step by steps to freehand nail art.

Are you a fan of lavender nail lacquers? Which ones are your favorite?

Monday, October 25, 2010

Easy Nail Patterns for Halloween

I love Halloween, and it's a good time of year to use colors or nail designs you would otherwise avoid. I wanted to do something that looked good from afar and not over the top. It started off a perfect project, but I think I took it too far. I guess I was really bored. This is really easy to do, since you stamp the nail on on and none of it was freehand.

Simple Halloween nail design
Konad M70
For the above pattern I used O.P.I. You Don't Know Jacques! for the base then did some Konad stamping art with image plate M70 and O.P.I. Take the Stage. This could easily be replicated with a very skinny nail art brush too, but I used stamps since I have trouble using brushes with my left hand. I need to practice my freehand art more for sure.

Embellished even more with Spiderwebs and Moon
For the moon pattern I used GCOCL plate M10 and Konad special white polish. The moon was way too white for my tastes, so I used a nail art brush and went over it with E.L.F. Moonlight nail polish. The GCOCL and other knock off Konad plates are NOT as nice as Konad by far, and you can see that it didn't transfer well. Even toned down it was too much.

The Spiderwebs were done with GCOCL plate m93, which stamped far better than the moon. I used Konad special polish in black. Overall if I sport this again I think I'll just stick with the orange and maybe the spiderwebs. The moon took it too far over the top for nail designs, in my opinion. Then again, Halloween is about being over the top.

What are you sporting on your nails for the Halloween season?

Friday, October 22, 2010

OPI Review You Don't Know Jacques!

So far, I've been using O.P.I. a lot lately for my nails. Honestly, I haven't used O.P.I. much since I was pregnant, which, at the time most O.P.I. polishes contained formaldehyde.Thing's have changed. 
To sum it up formaldehyde essentially causes polish to last longer. I've noticed that my new O.P.I. polishes actually last longer than previous versions (but dry slower).

So I wanted to sum up my O.P.I. Review with some swatches of You Don't Know Jacques!

O.P.I. You Don't Know Jacques!
Review: O.P.I. Polishes now have a wider brush on most of their bottles. I personally, love this. I'm good at application with any size brush but the Pro Wide brush makes my life much easier. Some may not like this, as you can easily pick up too much nail polish. (note, I still sometimes find bottles with the skinny brush, but usually it's part of the other lines like O.P.I. Feet)
OPI Nail Polish You Don't Know Jacques!
in creme colors is also slightly thicker than most of my other brands. However, sometimes it still takes 3 coats for good coverage depending on the color (tip: lighter colors usually mean more polish coats).
O.P.I. polishes take FOREVER to dry. At least it seems that way to me. I use a hair dryer set on "cold" to speed up the process. You really have to make sure the first coat is dry before applying the second coat, otherwise it will NEVER dry.
However, once fully dry, they don't chip as bad as other polishes. With a good top-coat I can keep my polish on for 3 or more days. Without a top coat its 1-2 days.
The price is the one thing I'm not fond of in most retail settings. I can get O.P.I. for $2.75-$4.25 a bottle at a local beauty supply store. However, I've seen the price go easily to $9 or more in consumer settings (Salons and even grocery stores).

O.P.I. You Don't Know Jacques! Is a beautiful deep rich grey-taupe tone. I don't really know how to describe it. Sometimes it seems it has hints of purple(it doesn't, I think cooler lights have this effect), other times it just seems deep taupe or a warm grey. I guess it depends on how you describe colors. Regardless, it's a beautiful color that's totally in this season.
You Don't Know Jacques! in cooler light
It's also super shiny, even without a top coat. I couldn't stop staring at my nails. The shine was so much that my camera had a rough time focusing (check photo above). This color in particular is also more durable than my other O.P.I. lacquers, I have been wearing it since Tuesday with nail art on top and have not had a single chip. I'm very rough with my nails.

You Don't Know Jacques Under warmer light
The potential for this particular color is amazing. Even plain it's gorgeous and sophisticated. However, with nail art on top it's perfect too. The only thing I might not suggest is using it for a french tip as it'll probably just look like dirty nails. I did a Halloween theme for the past week on my nails that I'll post up Monday.

So what do you think of the current O.P.I. polish vs their old polish from a few years back? Do you like it more or less? Do you think it's important nail polish is more "green" and safer?

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Nail Designs : Ruffian Manicure

I've been trying to think of the easiest way to do a Ruffian Manicure design. Which is (in my mind) a reverse french manicure. It's one of the more popular Nail Art designs in 2010. I really like the overall look, especially since you can wear a black nail without looking goth. So here is my How To Do a Ruffian manicure the easy way!

Ruffian Design
I watched some freehand tutorials on how to do this, and decided I just don't have a steady enough hand for this. I'm usually quite well with freehand, but not smile lines (or in this case, a frown line?).

Wet N Wild Precious Metals #351 Steel
E.L.F. Nail Polish Black
Step by step, here was how I did it. 
First I painted Wet N Wild Precious Metals in Steel after a base coat. I usually leave a gap between my cuticles but it made this design look silly. So I painted the steel color as close as humanly possible to my cuticles and sidewells without causing a mess. This was tough, but easy to do with this particular nail polish. I used 2 coats and let dry for quite awhile.

E.L.F. black is not creme, but has red sparkles visible in very bright lighting
Then I used sticker guides from a Sally Hansen French Manicure kit to create the reverse smile line. I never ever use the guides for actual french manicures as I either freehand my manicures, or clean it up with an art brush and acetone. You can purchase Sally Hansen Manicure Aides French Manicure Guides  separately  for $1 on Amazon and save some money.

Ruffian Design is a popular in 2010
The trick is to work fast when using guides. Make sure the sticker is FLAT, if it bubbles the polish will run underneath the guide and cause a mess. Paint your 1-2 coats of black as quickly as possible and remove the guide by pulling straight up. Use a new guide for every nail.

The design may not come out perfect, and thats OK. If your shimmer coat is completely dry and you worked fast with the black portion it will be easy to fix. Dip a stiff very small craft brush in acetone and carefully remove any small imperfections. Since the shimmer polish is dry (and hard to remove anyways) and the creme color is still wet you should be able to remove most of the black imperfections without ruining the overall design. Don't worry about imperfections you can see 1-2" from your face, only the ones visible 1-2 feet away as no one else will notice them anyways... Unless you're a perfectionist. I went a bit overboard and had to touch up my silver after (again, with a craft brush, as it's more precise then using the brush that comes with the polish.

I did my Tips rather far up, in most cases it's further down. But I really wanted to show the contrast and it still looked beautiful

Let the black dry VERY well. Then finish with top coat. You'll have a beautiful Ruffian Nail Design.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

O.P.I. Ali's Big Break

The last installment of my O.P.I. Burlesque collection swatches. I only purchased one set of Mini Teasers by O.P.I. on my last shopping trip. So far I've really liked all the colors. While Ali's Big Break is nice, it's just not me. However, for all other reasons it's a really great polish. If you like red, I'd highly suggest it.

O.P.I. Burlesque Collection Ali's Big Break
This nail polish is a deep red, with lighter red sparkles. It's so shiny on its own, but also very sparkley. The pictures look like a creme red, which it is not at all. I suppose there was so much shine from the polish that the sparkles did not show through properly.
While it's beautiful, I suppose I'm not confident enough to sport red nails? Now that my nails are growing longer I suppose I could sport it well.

Burlesque Box
I think however, for me, I would only wear it IF I did some serious nail art over it. To me, red nails remind me of 1980's secretaries. I guess that's what I get for watching too many 80's movies. Hehe. Red polishes in this general hue also tend to make me look paler and wash my skin color out. this color would look amazing on my asian sister-in-law who has beautiful naturally tanned skin. She can always pull off red MUCH better than I can.

O.P.I. Nail Polish Swatch Ali's Big Break
The great news is, this color glided on like butter. I didn't do much post clean-up on the polish. It also seemed easier to remove then the other colors in the Burlesque collection.  Afterwards I began thinking I might wear this color on Halloween (if I dress up in a costume) so I have that "Hey LOOK at me!" thing going on.
It took about 2-3 coats for full coverage, and is slightly sheer. It's a very dynamic lacquer and I'm sure most red lovers will appreciate it.

Monday, October 18, 2010

O.P.I. What's With The Cattiude?

I promised a Monday blog post! Sorry for the delay, I had lot's of errands.
I know its behind the times, but I fell in LOVE with What's With The Cattitude? at the store. It's from O.P.I. Shrek Forever After collection. It reminds me of blue skies and perfect days. Since the cold weather and clouds have been rolling in here I've been needing some blue skies and sunshine. What's With The Cattitude? was the perfect way to lift my spirit for the time being.

O.P.I. What's with the cattitude
O.P.I. What's With The Cattitude

I wanted to start with a swatch and review before I moved onto Konad features with it. I can tell it's going to be one of my fave colors. I almost grabbed others from the Shrek Collection but didn't. I'll save for those for later, as they're pretty spring colors.

O.P.I. Nail Lacquer Shrek Forever After What's With The Cattitude review

The color is mid light blue, like robin eggs. It did take 3 coats of polish for full coverage. It's a creme color, so it's void of any sparkle. Which I love. I'm not usually a blue nail polish fan, but this color is out of this world. It's also very very shiny even without a top coat. It also sort of reminds me of Tiffany & Co blue, although without a box next to me I can't compare for sure.

O.P.I. What's With The Cattitude Nail Polish Swatch

The colors from the Shrek Forever After collection should be readily available at any O.P.I. retailer. It's new enough that most still carry it, but old enough that the sold-out rush is long gone. I've even seen it at Stop & Shop, however, it was $9 a bottle! I got it at C.B. Sullivan for about $3.50-$4 for licensed tech's. I'm sure you could also find it on E-Bay or Amazon quite easily.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

O.P.I. Burlesque Rising Star Review

Continuing with the Holiday 2010 OPI review theme; next up is Rising Star swatch.

Rising Star is a part of the Burlesque collection and is a beautiful copper-gold. It's the same color (in my eyes) as pure 999 gold. If you've ever seen pure gold you'd know what I mean. It's mostly a yellowy gold, but with some pop to it. It's hard to explain, this is definitely not a 14k hue. I really enjoy this shade of nail polish and will probably end up buying a full size bottle of it.

O.P.I. Burlesque collection Rising Star

What I love is it's not your typical gold polish, and the pictures do not do it justice. Flash just made it look orange, and without flash it looked very gold. I assure you, it's a bit in between. It's a very warm gold color. It is extremely shiny and glittery which I love. The bottle looks quite small, as it's a mini teaser bottle. I wasn't so sure about this collection so I didn't purchase full size bottles. I'm actually overall, so far, quite happy.

OPI Rising Star Review and swatch

I think it would be a perfect color for the reverse french design (I'm not sure of the exact name, can someone clue me in?) as it would work well with black. It took 2 coats for full coverage on most nails. My pinky I did rather thin, and required 3 coats. As far as removal goes, like with the other Burlesque colors I've reviewed so far, the glittery colors are a pain to remove. However, they aren't as bad as some other glitter lacquers I own. Just be prepared for it to take a few extra minutes.

O.P.I. Nail Polish review Rising Star
Best photo of the color

I hope I have time to post tomorrow. There's a lot going on around here. Rest assured, if things get too crazy, I will be back for sure on Monday. If I don't post till then, have a safe and fun weekend!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

M.A.C. Bad Fairy Konad nail art on O.P.I. Alpine Snow

I was planning on doing another swatch of O.P.I. Burlesque today, however, I really wanted to do some nail art stamping. So I went with what I wanted to do rather than what I SHOULD be doing. hehe.

I started with 3 coats of O.P.I. Alpine Snow. It's a pure white color with very good coverage. It did take 3 coats for decent coverage, but they dried well. Each coat of nail polish didn't have to be thick.

O.P.I. Alpine Snow base
M.A.C. Bad Fairy
Konad Nail Art Plate M54
I did the nail art using Konad stamping plate M54 and M.A.C. Bad Fairy from the Venomous Villains collection. It is not the easiest polish to stamp with as it's very sheer. But It created a beautiful dainty image on the nails. It looks splotchy close up, but I assure you its not. If you decide to stamp with Bad Fairy then I'd suggest double scraping the plate and hoping for the best. It slightly shows up on the dark pink stampers so you can get an idea of placement.

Flower Nail Art
Tomorrow, hopefully, I shall go back to the Burlesque Swatches.

On a side note, I'm trying to rebuild my Blogroll list. If you'd like to exchange blog roll links please email me or comment.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

O.P.I. Burlesque Take The Stage

Here in New England it's beginning to feel like fall. The perfect color to match the season? O.P.I. Burlesque collection "Take The Stage" for the Holiday 2010 season. It's a beautiful harvest orange. It just reminds me of fall leaves, pumpkins, and Halloween.

Burlesque Collection
Take The Stage
Winter 2010
I tried some fun Konad and GCOCL halloween stamps in black after, but I totally messed them up. I'll try again soon in the coming days. I wish I had some stamps of leaves. I took the picture with a miscellaneous O.P.I. bottle as the bottle I have is a mini teaser edition. If you really want this nail polish I'd highly suggest buying full size. It's very hard to control the mini bottle brushes.

O.P.I. Burlesque Take The Stage
It took only 2 coats for full coverage, and that always make me a much happier person. I really dislike nail polish that take more than 2 coats for coverage.

O.P.I. Take The Stage
The pictures do not do the shine justice. It's a deep orange with a lot of shine and sparkle. Exactly the same hue as one would envision for Halloween.

Speaking of Halloween... I'm getting all excited for trick or treating. My daughter already has her costume (she wants to be a ninja). The hubby and I are deciding where would be best to take her. What do you plan on doing for Halloween?

Monday, October 11, 2010

O.P.I. The Show Must Go On Burlesque Collection

I happened upon the possible almost dupe for M.A.C. Bad Fairy quite accidentally. It wasn't until after I painted on O.P.I. The Show Must Go on that I saw the resemblance.

This color is from the Burlesque Holiday 2010 collection from O.P.I.. It is a beautiful deep pink with pink sparkles. Although not an exact dupe for Bad Fairy (The Show Must Go On is slightly deeper pink), you would be hard pressed to tell the difference without painting two separate nails with each.

O.P.I. The Show Must Go On nail polish swatch
Under Warm Light

The color is gorgeous, and also shines different under different lights. Taking on an almost red appearance in deep warm light. In cooler light (like outdoors) it's more pink.

O.P.I. Burlesque The Show Must Go On Review
Under 14k light

I think O.P.I. hit the color just right. It's a pink that would be great for the holiday season. My sister in law couldn't stop complimenting my nails. Like most glitter polishes, it was sort of a pain to remove. The sparkles are thicker and slightly bigger than MAC Bad Fairy sparkles.

O.P.I. Nail Lacquer Burlesque collection The Show Must Go on Holiday 2010

I'd actually like to apologize for the delay too, I meant to post this on Thursday, but for whatever reason my wifi refused to work all last week so I couldn't get online. Hopefully I have no issues this week.

So what do you think... Does O.P.I. The Show Must Go On have a good resemblance to M.A.C. Bad Fairy?

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

M.A.C. Venomous Villains Mean & Green

Today is horribly crummy out, rainy and cold. Luckily, I had prepared my photos for todays swatch post today. I had promised to show you all MAC Venomous Villains nail polish in Mean and Green.

MAC Venomous Villain Swatch Mean & Green

I really can't stop staring. I really thought this would be my least preferred off the three in the Venomous Villains collection. I really enjoyed Bad Fairy, and while it's beautiful it seems to lack some depth that both Formidable! and Mean & Green contain. I suppose because Bad Fairy is pink on pink while the other two are two clashing colors.

MAC Nail Lacquer Mean and Green
Mean & Green under warm light

As you can see, like the other two in my earlier posts, Mean & green also takes on a different look in different lighting. It's a deep forest green with pink sparkles. It reminds me of the beautiful colors of gasoline floating on water. Beautiful and dangerous.

MAC Nail polish review Mean and Green Venomous Villains Collection
Mean & Green under 14k light

It definitely doesn't come off as dark as Formidable, nor as light and airy as Bad Fairy. It also took 3 coats for full coverage of the lacquer. As I was staring at my nails I really wished the beautiful shimmer Mean & Green has would show up in my other MAC nail lacquer - Earthly Harmony. The similar pink sparkles barely show through.

Venomous Villains collection by MAC Mean and green

The collection sold fast, and I'm sure while you can probably find a few bottles scattered between M.A.C. Stores and Macy's it'll be a hard time finding some. On a good note ORLY Space Cadet is an almost exact match.

MAC mean & green vs ORLY Space Cadet

I'd actually suggest tracking down ORLY Space Cadet first only because it's cheaper and because M.A.C. seems to be having brush issues.
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