January 30, 2013

Illamasqua- Glitterati [Swatch]

I wanted this polish for so very long, so I'm super excited to share it with you!  It's Illamasqua- Glitterati from the 2012 Holiday duo (with Viridian).

Glitterati is  a very rich, dark plum-wine / warm burgundy with multi-sized, hexagonal holographic glitter throughout.  It's super pigmented, and the consistency is somewhere between a creme and a jelly- so, a crelly?

Artificial light, two coats:

Window-filtered daylight:

Pictures don't really do this one justice; you need movement to really see how sparkly the glitter is, peeking through at different depths.

Outside, shade:

Glitterati is another polish that is basically a jelly-sandwich in a bottle.  We're seeing more and more of those, I think, and I totally approve.

The neat thing about Glitterati is that, in most lights, the glitter is sort of mysteriously sunk into the murkiness of the base color, but the fact that it's so holographic gives it flash, and you notice it when you least expect it.  Sort of a surprise on your nails!

Up close!

Formula:  Glitterati's formula is very decent, and I have no major complaints- although I will warn you it is definitely on the thick side; I think it has to be a thick consistency in order to properly carry the glitter.  It might need thinner in the future, but gave me no trouble on first application.  Opaque in two coats!

One negative: the glitter was a bitch to get off, moreso than I thought glitter of that size would be, so probably wear this one with a peel-off base coat or the Elmer's glue method!

It's so nice to have a major lemming satisfied! (Haha, I am such an addict....)

January 29, 2013

[Nail Art] Burgundy & Metallic Side-stripe Ruffian

Here's some quick easy nail art.  I used Scotch tape to tape off the side of each nail, then painted one coat of Zoya- Blair on top (of Color Club- Antiquated), leaving a Ruffian-style gap at the top. 

The Ruffian part is kind of messy, and I wish I had left it out and just had the side-stripe.  I think it would have made my nails look longer if the stripe extended to the cuticle. Next time, I'll just try the side stripe, and tape off a smaller section so it's narrower.

The accent nail is Cirque- XX, an absolutely gorgeous layering glitter that I want to put on everything.

I wasn't really a fan of this nail art, and didn't wear it very long.  I thought the colors would look good together, but it ended up reminding me of a sports jersey or something.

January 28, 2013

Melmer: Reorganization & Storage!

So, the other week, Michaels (the craft store) had an awesome deal on their Recollection line of storage: Buy One Get One!  I knew it was the time to finally purchase what nail crazies (myself included) call the "Melmer," (Michaels + Helmer) AKA the three-drawer cube.

So, I have hopped aboard the Melmer train!  And, it was about time, because my nails racks are overflowing, and I am certainly not getting another:

Here's a look at each of the four racks up close, for fun!

More will fit (especially if I turn more of the square-shaped ones sideways), but I keep them color organized so they can't just be jammed in anywhere.  My overflow was hanging out on top of my PC tower, which probably is not the best storage solution ever. 

So: Melmer!

I bought two (BOGO!), and they basically took a whole weekend to assemble (or it felt like it).  The instructions/ construction is actually pretty simple and straightforward; everything is labelled.  It's just that you're hand-screwing in dozens and dozens of screws into pilot holes with a screwdriver.  It takes time and elbow grease.

Of course, a drill with the right bit would've sped things up, but ours wasn't charged so I went ahead without.  The first Melmer came with the hardware just all jumbled together in a plastic bag.  Sorting it according to the not-to-scale illustrated key was a pain.

Luckily, the second Melmer, for some reason, came with them pre-sorted, like this:

Handy.  Here's what I used:

It says you only need one screwdriver for assembly, but I found I needed a smaller size for the screws that join the drawer panels together.

And....here's how Hambone pitched in to help the assembly process:

...by basically lounging around and doing nothing. His life is so hard.

The first finished one:

...with most of the polish overflows on top, ready to be stored! That other thing is a jam-packed desk drawer containing all my nail art supplies, nail care stuff, top and base coats, and additional polishes:

What a mess!

So, once the second Melmer was completed (which went a lot faster since I knew what I was doing), I began to organize stuff!

The first drawer from the top is just nail art supplies:

Makeup sponges, binder rings for half-moon designs, striping tape, feathers, Konad & Bundle Monster stuff, rhinestones & swarovski crystals, loose glitter, nail glue, and some SH Salon Effects.  There are also some dotting tools and an art brush but they're hiding. The glass container is for striping polishes.

Second drawer is my entire Sally Hansen Complete Salon Manicure collection, as well as all my Orly minis, and my top and base coats (foremost):

Third drawer is random drugstore and miscellaneous polishes:

There are some Sally Hansen Xtreme Wears, some Color Club (& a Layla) Magnetics, random non-glitter Revlons (glitters are in the rack), and some other assorted polishes.

The next two drawers are empty, which is great.  Hopefully I won't ever need to use it all for polish.  Maybe some other beauty-related stuff can go in there. I'm not sure yet.  Or socks.  Socks always need homes.

The very bottom, and last, drawer has polishes I don't plan to keep- that will either be swapped, sold, or given away:

Also some Kiss nail appliques which I find appalling (trypophobia, hello), but someone else may rock. 

A couple things: One thing I'm not thrilled about is that the drawers are not self-supporting, which means that when you pull them out far enough, you need to support the weight of them yourself with your hand or else they hang at a strange angle, and everything inside will slide around.

The other thing is that I need to pick up some drawer liners or something so that the polishes have something tackier to sit on so they don't slide around so much.  Any suggestions for these?  Dollar store?

Anyway, here's what the final thing looks like!

They are made to be modular/ stackable, so they are secure and sturdy stacked like this (there are little pegs that connect them if you choose to stack them).

I love how clean and unobtrusive it looks.  There's plenty of space on top for my crazy container of swatch sticks, and any polishes that are waiting to be swatched or organized or anything else! I'm glad my overflow polishes now have a home!

January 27, 2013

Color Club- Antiquated [Swatch] & [Comparison]

Here is one I have been meaning to try for a while: Color Club- Antiquated from the Fall 2011 Foiled Collection.

Antiquated is a burnished gold/ light pewter foil finish- almost a rose gold, but not quite.  In some lighting it almost looks silvery on my skin, but it's definitely warmer than a true silver, yet much cooler than a true gold.

It's flattering on pale skin.  I can't get away with wearing many golds, but this type of subdued metallic shade, I can.  The name is also very appropriate; it's like a softly aged, patinaed metal.

Artificial light, two coats:

Window-filtered daylight:

Outside, shade:


Definitely looks more pewter-y in sunlight.

Formula:  Very nice, opaque in two coats, and no consistency issues.  Also brushstroke-free as any good foil should be!

Comparison Time!

Antiquated is of course very reminiscent of a popular rose gold foil polish: Orly- Rage, which I love for its lack of clashing with cool undertoned-skin.

Color Club- Antiquated, Orly- Rage

I also wanted to show them next to a real gold, so you can get a better idea of the metallic tone:

Zoya- Ziv, Color Club- Antiquated, Orly- Rage

And- the swatches:

Outside, shade:

Window-filtered daylight mixed with artificial light:

Unfortunately, my photos do the difference very little justice.  They are a shade or two apart, with Rage being much more rosy.  In comparison, Antiquated looks much more golden. 

Maybe too similar to each other to justify owning both, however they're definitely not dupes.

I love both of them!

[Press Release] China Glaze Avant Garden Collection

Here is the main Spring 2013 offering from China Glaze!  It's a collection called Avant Garden hurrr that contains twelve new blossom-inspired shades, six of which are the 'Blooming Brights,' and six of which are the 'Pastel Petals.'

Blooming Brights:

Budding Romance- moss green
Sunday Funday- bright blue
Fancy Pants- indigo with pink and purple shimmer
Snap My Dragon- bright red with pink shimmer
Passion for Petals- bright salmon-pink
Mimosas Before Manis- coral with a light wash of shimmer

Pastel Petals:

Life is Rosy- blushed mauve
Pink-ie Promise- iridescent baby pink
Tart-y for the Party- light lavender creme
Fade Into Hue- periwinkle creme
Keep Calm, Paint On- sea foam green
Dandy Lyin’ Around- shimmery vanilla icing

So, aside from some of the very groan-worthy names, I'm looking forward to these.  I know a lot of people are tired of pastels this season (we've certainly seen a lot of them already, and it's still Winter), but some of these look pretty special to me, and I can't wait to swatch/ see swatches!

What do you think?  Are these interesting, or are you over-pastel-ed?

January 24, 2013

Layla- Turquoise Wave 'Magneffect' [Swatch]

Here is the Layla- 04 Turquoise Wave, the magnetic ("Magneffect") polish in that came in the January Nail Art Society bag.

It's a really nice teal-leaning blue shimmer finish, which of course contains the special magnetic particles that react with the magnet provided in the polish cap.

Artificial light, two coats:

I applied one coat to all my nails, and then added a second, much thicker, coat and immediately held the magnet above the nail as close as I could, working each nail individually.  You want the polish to begin to dry while it is being magnetized, so that the magnetic particles stay separated from the rest of the polish.

I found that you really don't need to hold the magnet above your nail that long- maybe 5-8 seconds!  Compared to other magnetics I've tried, that's amazing! A definite plus for this polish.

Formula: Was great, no complaints: pretty much goes on like butter.

One thing I don't like is that the magnet is located on the top of the cap, which means that you have to have the bottle open [chemicals evaporating out of the polish] the entire time you're magnetizing the polish on your nail.  This may make the polish goopy in the future.

(The Color Club magnetic polishes overcome this by having a separate magnetic cap apart from the cap that actually closes the polish, which I feel works better to preserve the polish.)

The magnetic cap:

It's just a diagonal line, so you could use it in multiple ways: straight across the nail, vertically, or diagonally like I did.

Here's what the polish looks like before becoming magnetized, two coats:

It's nice on its own, albeit a little brush-stroke-y, which is not noticeable at normal viewing distances.

Another thing to note is that the magnetic effect is much stronger before topcoat is applied.  I'm not sure why this is, but it is.  You can see above on the swatch wheel that the design is much crisper and more dramatic compared to what's actually on my nails.  It's because there's no topcoat on that.

Additionally, topcoat does smear the design a little bit, even if you try not to touch the bristles to the nail.  So, I guess I'd recommend not using topcoat with these if you want the design to be especially sharp and defined.

This one was, by nature, relatively quick-drying on its own, so it shouldn't be too bad to forgo the usual quick-dry topcoat.