Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Wet n Wild- nameless "Wild Orchid?"

A rare and fragrant orchid
her bud unfolding silently in the still night
casting her glow on all who take time to notice
---Woods-Orchid, poem by Philip A. Thomas


This unusual polish is why I bought this $4 set at Dollar General last month. It came with 5 polishes, which claim to be Wet N Wild "Wild Shine" polishes. None have names. There is one dark orange with gold glitter, 1 frosty blue which I think is "Shiver" or "Rain Check", 1 frosty pink, which I think is "Wild Card", 2 identical bottles of a metallic silvery grey, which I think are "Metallica" and then this one, which is a blurple with tons of mostly red glitter. In the bottle, the red glitter is basically all I see. Once applied, a few more colors show up- gold, silver, maybe even green or blue? Hard to tell. It takes at least 4 coats to be somewhat opaque and it has a gritty finish, but it's very unique. I kinda like it. It might be fun for a holiday or themed mani maybe even for layering or a 4th of July skittle?

I WISH WISH WISH WISH WISH they had included names or at least numbers to cross-reference, but nay not so. It looks very similar to Wild Orchid, but I've compared the bottle to pics of it online and they look different. This is more purple too than I think Wild Orchid is, aside from the different glitter compositions. But they are very similar. Maybe a color they intend to release later, or perhaps one from a long time ago? Maybe a pre-Wild Orchid experiment? Who knows? This and the orange one have me confuzzled as to their identity. If you have any clues, please share! I'm thinking it may be one of their Craze polishes, Inferno?

Anyway, report card:

Color= A- (pretty unique, in my opinion)
Formula= C- (meh, it's a jelly, so I know it's going to be sheer, but it's just weird)
Brush= D- (crappy thin, unwieldy handle plus a blah brush, makes for difficult application)
Price= A+ ($4 for 5 polishes, so is a win for me!)

Overall= C+

Monday, November 29, 2010

Arissa- Rockin Amethyst

Rock is so much fun. That's what it's all about - filling up the chest cavities and empty kneecaps and elbows.
---Jimi Hendrix


Fun color! This is a dark, true purple and is laden with rich purple glitter. It's not quite holo in effect in my opinion, but it's close and very glam. I feel like I oughta go to an Alice Cooper concert with this polish. It is indeed a "rockin" polish.

I think it applied easily and dried fairly well, and the rubberized handle made application even easier. I didn't wear it long, out of boredom, but it "felt" like it was hardy, if a bit heavy on my nails. This is 3 coats, so it took some time to make it truly opaque. I think it is likely a jelly, but for a jelly, it isn't too sheer. It would probably be pretty layered over a bright red I think? Also, I think this is mostly a polish for winter wear or for special events (Alice Cooper here I come!). It's just pretty "cold" looking on my hands.

I bought this for just 2 bucks at Family Dollar, so that's pretty awesome as well.

Report Card:

Color= B- (not the most unique, but it's fun)
Formula= B (pretty spot on average)
Brush= A- (better than average for sure)
Price= B+ (2 dollars, w00t!)

Overall= B

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Nic's Sticks- Need it Yesterday

But I'd trade all of my tomorrows for one single yesterday
To be holding Bobby's body next to mine.
---Me and Bobby McGee


This is just a fun color. And it ends up very glossy and smooth. It is hardy and so vibrant! It's a bright electric purple with some faint metallic sheen.

Now, I won't lie- the application with these sticks are tricky. And some of the formulas are even more difficult. For this one however, I found it fairly smooth and easily applied. It was fairly self-correcting also. Unfortunately, it took a while to dry. But if you are patient, you will have some very bright, very fun, lovely nails.

Report card:
Color= A (unique in my opinion, and very fun)
Formula= B (tricky with the stick-applicator, and slow-drying, but worth the effort)
Brush= C- (not really loving these quite yet, they tend to get somewhat globby and there's some drag, so there should be at least 3 coats)
Price= F (for the price, you could invest in something less tricky to apply and with more for the money)

Overall= C

Saturday, November 27, 2010

OPI- Nice Color, Eh?

The soul becomes dyed with the color of its thoughts.
---Marcus Aurelius


Yes it is! This is another of my favorites. It's lighter than "I'm Not Really a Waitress" and "Soho Nice to Meet You" so it seems more appropriate for casual or day wear. It's a pretty strawberry red with a faint shimmer, and the finish is lovely and kinda matte.

Of course, the brush and formula are great, as it's OPI. Worth the expensive price tag in my experience, if this is a color you know you will wear.

Report card:
Color= A- (everyone has a red, but this again is red done right)
Formula= A+ (the tops!)
Brush= A (always nice)
Price= D- (expensive, I won't lie. At about 8 bucks, you have to treat it as an investment, only buy if it's a color you know will get a lot of use)

Overall= B

Friday, November 26, 2010

Nicole by OPI- It's Possible

It's possible for a plain yellow pumpkin to become a golden carriage. It's possible for a plain country bumpkin and a prince to join in marriage.
---song from Rogers and Hammerstein's Cinderella


I immediately thought of this movie when I saw the name of this polish. I watched that movie with my mom as a kid and it is a very cherished memory. Aside from that, this color did not live up to my expectations. I looooove metallic, shiny polishes and especially purple-tinged ones. And since I like the quality of Nicole by OPI, I was very surprised by the streakiness of this one. The color is great. It just streaks sooo bad. And it's kinda thick.

I like it on my toes though, I just don't think I'll be putting it on my fingers. It would be a fun color for year round but I see it more a winter and perhaps early spring.

Report card:
Color= B (fun, but a little generic. Just about everyone makes a metallic lavender)
Formula= C- (applies fairly easily, but it thick and streaky)
Brush= A- (I like NOPI brushes)
Price= D- (this was a gift for me, but they are 7.50 normally, and otherwise too expensive for me to buy frequently)

Overall= C

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Arissa- My Favorite Red

When in doubt, wear red.
---Bill Blass


This isn't the best picture. We've had nearly no sun for a while, it's been drab and wet and dreary outside. Anyway, this is a pretty color, and I think it's a jelly. This is 4 coats and I think it really needed another. It has a very slight shimmer and it also has a pink cast to it, so I don't think it's straight-up red. More of a fruit punch kind of red and more appropriate for spring or summer in my opinion. It was just 2 bucks at my local Family Dollar. They only had 3 colors, this one, a really dark red, and a purple glittery color. I bought this and the purple.

It's ok, especially considering the price, but I don't think it's anything special, and certainly not my favorite red as the name proclaims. But it's fun in its own way.

Report card:
Color= C (pretty standard, nothing to write home about)
Formula= B- (very sheer, but still a nice polish to work with, and dried fairly quickly with a pretty glossy finish, and it seemed hardy as well)
Brush= B+ (slightly better than average. I really liked the slightly rubberized-feeling handle)
Price= B+ ($2 is all. Well, it might be a good investment if you need a good red jelly to franken with, or maybe a fun glossy red for summer or spring, but I think it is likely to be overshadowed by other reds you probably already have in your collection)

Overall= B-

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

China Glaze- Chiaroscuro

"We're each of us our own chiaroscuro, our own bit of illusion trying to emerge into something solid, something real. We've got to forgive ourselves that. I must remember to forgive myself. Because there's an awful lot of gray to work with. No one can live in the light all the time."
---Libba Bray (A Great and Terrible Beauty)


I love this color in the bottle. It's a nudish pink with delicate green and golden shimmer. The formula applies easily and smoothly and dries fairly fast. However, it was so sheer, and it took on a ruddier cast once it was on my nails, making my hands look puffy and my fingers look stubby. But it was hardy and the glossy finish was nice.

I don't think you should buy this color unless this is the kind of look you know you'll like. I tend to like colors like this, but this just doesn't work for me.

Report Card:
Color= C (interesting in theory, fails in execution)
Formula= C (great with application and hardiness, but too opaque)
Brush= A (fairly good brush)
Cost= D+ (5.99 I think? I wish I had my money back on this purchase for sure)

Overall= C+

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

OPI- I'm Not Really a Waitress

You were working as a waitress in a cocktail bar
When I met you
I picked you out, I shook you up, and turned you around
Turned you into someone new
---Human League "Don't You Want Me"


This is my favorite red, maybe even my favorite polish ever. It's my go-to. It hits all the marks for me. It's classic, it's sexy, it's versatile, it's got faint shimmer, it applies like a dream, it dries quickly, has a glossy finish, and lasts for days. I would happily pay the 8 bucks for another bottle if I ran out of this one. It's just a perfect red for me.

Report card:
Color= A+ (everyone has red, but to me, this is THE red)
Formula= A+ (no complaints at all)
Brush= A (OPI brushes are always great)
Price= D- (OPI polishes are 8ish bucks, which is a lot of $$$ but this polish is a great investment)

Overall= B+

Monday, November 22, 2010

Borghese- Palermo Plum

This is just to say
I have eaten the plums
that were
in the icebox
---William Carlos Williams "This Is Just To Say"


I really like this color, but it would not dry. Two days later, it was still, yes STILL, gummy. And riddled with all sorts of imprints, I'm assuming it's what people mean when they say they wake up with "bed nails." They were glossy and shiny when I went to bed, and when I woke, it looked like Gil Grissom was going to be able to use them for forensics.

I dearly love Borghese brushes, but for this particular formula, which was fairly runny, it caused some slipping around and messed them up, and it was fairly staining and vaporous.

If I could find this color with a better, hardier, glossier formula, then I'd be a happy gal.

Report card:
Color= A- (I like it, but it's a classic plum, so not ground-breaking)
Formula= D (runny and never dried completely)
Brush= B (great brush, by itself, but with this runny formula, it was added bother)
Price= D- (8 bucks, although I paid 4 for mine on clearance, 8 bucks is too much for me)

Overall= C

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Nicole by OPI- Deeply In Love

And so we remained till the red of the dawn began to fall through the snow gloom. I was desolate and afraid, and full of woe and terror. But when that beautiful sun began to climb the horizon life was to me again.
---Bram Stoker


This color makes me think of vampires. It's truly blood red and it's so sensual and sexy, I think it would look right at home on the fingertips of some vampy woman. It's a deep brownish red with no shimmer. It has a matte finish, and absolutely no sparkle or shimmer. It doesn't need it though, it's class and sex appeal all on its own. The formula was thin, but very opaque, and easy to manage with the nice brush.

So far, this is probably the favorite red of my collection, and I definitely will be using it again. I thought at first that it was a fallish red, but I actually think it is more appropriate for any season. It's a classic red and I think classic is always in season.

Report card:
Color= A (Red done right!)
Formula= A (tres bien!)
Brush= A- (another plus!)
Price= D- (A blemish on an otherwise nearly flawless review. This polish was a gift to me from a friend, but since these retail for 7.50 at Wal-Mart, that's an ouchy price in my opinion. However, I think it's worth it if you are looking for a gorgeous, enduring, classic red.)

Overall= B

Friday, November 19, 2010

Sally Hansen- Golden Cinnabar

Who is the girl who lives in my dreams?
Seduced by the kisses of Cinnabar Sweet
---Mercury Rising "Seduced By The Kisses of Cinnabar"


This is a flamboyantly chromatic polish, one that my camera and photography skills are unable to capture. It has a variety of flashes, depending on the light, from golden to greenish to pink to a ruddy salmon-color. In the bottle, it looks as if it will contain darker flashes, so I had surmised this might be a fallish type shade, but nay not so. I definitely consider this too poppy and perky and is much more fitting for spring or summer.

The formula was ok, especially considering it was an el cheapo Dollar Tree find. It felt a little thick on my nails and remained slightly tacky and prone to fingerprints for the entire twenty four hours that I wore it. I wasn't as in love with it as I hoped to be and was eager to try something different, so I changed it. All in all, it's an ok polish, but unless you just really like duochromes and flashy pinks, I wouldn't bother I guess. I prefer other duochromes much more, like Nina Ultra Molten Copper. The formula is just much nicer and the flashes are more fluid.

Report card:
Color= C (Meh...I was surprised, since from the bottle it looks to be such a unique color, but I think it's so different that it must be an acquired taste)
Formula= C (I have had much better, even for just 50 cents, which is what I paid for it)
Brush= C (kinda doing that cheapie flaying about thing, not cool)
Price=A+ (woot, just 50 cents, and I certainly don't feel like I want my money back or anything, so it's all good)

Overall= C+

OPI- Soho Nice To Meet You

"Destination unknown
Ruby Ruby Ruby Ruby Soho"
---Rancid "Ruby Soho"


This is one of my first polishes and is very cherished. It is darker red than my favorite OPI red, I'm Not Really a Waitress. It has a delicate shimmer as well, and the formula is awesome, even with my bottle that is several years old at this point. It basically applies itself. Even though I complain about the price, for me, there really is not much better than OPI. Excellent color selections, flawless formula, great brushes, and awesomely clever names really add up to a wonderful polish.

This will continue to be the color (along with INRAW, which is actually even more awesome in my opinion) I go for when I want to feel sexy, confident, and classy.

Report card:
Color= A+ (Some people may prefer more daring or unique colors, but honestly, classics are classics for a reason)
Formula= A+ (easily applied, durable, shiny, and quick-drying, this formula hits all the marks)
Brush= A+ (just right! Makes application extremely easy)
Price= D- (8 bucks is just such a pricetag for nail polish on my budget. I do consider it a good investment though if this is a color you will wear a lot, so I can't bear to give this an F)

Overall= B+

Thursday, November 18, 2010

From the mouths of babes...

I'm beginning to think I've been a little too obsessed with my nail polish lately.

Exhibit A: My 3.5 year old daughter Matilda, upon waking this morning, was set upon by me. I was tickling her like crazy. She noticed my bare nails (I have been to busy with school to even have enough time to paint them these past 2 days) and suddenly exclaimed-

"Mommy! You don't hab your nails cubbered!"

I guess they look naked now, lol.

Sally Hansen- Adorable Amethyst

She smokes like an amethyst
Moving her way through my skin
She moves me
---Fightstar "Amethyst"


More apologies for crappy application. What can I say, I am a hurried n00b. Ignoring this, pay just attention to the lovely color. It's a rich, vibrant plummy hue with delicate shimmer. I really enjoy the formula as well, although I feel like it is slow to completely dry. It has shine like you wouldn't believe though. I believe it is a color that probably would look good on most skin tones also, even if it might not be the most unique color in the world.

Wish we had more sun, so I could take better shots!

Report card:
Color=B+ (average color, above average shine)
Formula=B (right at average in my opinion)
Brush=C+ (a little long, which is a poor fit for the slightly runny nature of the polish)
Price= B- (I paid 2.17 for mine and I think they are just 3 bucks at Walgreens anyway?)

Overall= B-

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Sinful Colors- Courtney Orange

People do give me a hard time about my hair because it's orange and it's big.
---Carrot Top


This orange is indeed orange and big. I love it! It's the perfect color for a fall-loving, funky-polish addicted, rootin' tootin' Volunteer fan. A lovely friend sent this to me along with several other polishes, and I am pretty sure this is one of my favorites from those. I know I did a crap-job of application, since I was juggling textbooks and studying at the same time, so there are no favors being done here. Trust me though, it's vibrant and so juicy looking I just want to take a bite. It's my only orange, and honestly, I don't think I need another. If I want to wear an orange, this is just-fine.

This also is a good example of why I like Sinful Colors. Great brush, great polish, great colors, great price. Can't beat that, my friend. So, if you're poor like me, but still want fun colors and quality polish without spending all your money, this is the brand for you.

Report Card:
Color= A- (fun and versatile. Maybe it's a common shade, but I like it, and I think it would look good on most skin-tones)
Formula= A- (pretty darn good, it might be a little slow to dry? Maybe I am just impatient)
Brush= A (better than average, and almost the best I've experienced. It might be a little prone to fanning out though.)
Price= A- (1.99 is hard to beat)

Overall= A-

Monday, November 15, 2010

Jazz - 18K Gold

Nature's first green is gold,
Her hardest hue to hold.
Her early leaf's a flower;
But only so an hour.
Then leaf subsides to leaf.
So Eden sank to grief,
So dawn goes down to day.
Nothing gold can stay.
---Robert Frost "Nothing Gold Can Stay"


I found this at Fred's for $2. I had been looking around for months, years even, for a color similar to one I had gotten with a pedicure like, 2 years ago. I only know that it was OPI. I thought it was something like Harvest or Cornicopia, but my internet-delving has proven fruitless. It was a truly vibrant golden color with shimmer, not glitter, and it had a slightly greenish base, maybe chromatic, I can't remember. But this looked fairly similar, and for 2 bucks, I wanted to give it a go.

I REALLY like this polish. The formula was nice, the brush is ok, and the color is pretty neat. It doesn't quite fit what I was aiming for however, it's a bit too vibrant for the color I was trying to get. Plus, I think if I was going to wear a gold-toned polish, I'd certainly reach for China Glaze Classic Camel first. But, it's nice enough, especially for just 2 dollars.

Report card time!
Color= B- (too much on the greenish end of the spectrum)
Formula= B (exactly average, although it gets very tacky/gummy with more than 2 coats)
Brush= B (once again, average)
Price= A- (just $2! and they had a nice selection, but mostly traditional colors)

Overall= B

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Orly- Prince Charming

"Prince charming can you rescue me
Are you real can you make me feel
Feel unreal"
---Willa Ford "Prince Charming"


This color is a lovely, milky cocoa color. It has no shimmer, it is straight-up creamy, chocolatey goodness. The formula took some getting used to, it was thick, but not in a bad way. It was very forgiving and smoothed out quickly with application. I could probably get away with just a single coat, which is great for days when I'm on the run. I prefer it for fall and winter, but I also think it's neutral enough to work year-round. It lasted perfectly for 2 days and showed no sign of stopping, but I was bored and itching for something new.

The brush was adequate, but something that really made application much easier was the rubberized handle.

I bought it at Sally Beauty and it was a spicy meatball for me- $5.99. I will only pay that for unique colors in the future, even with the nice formula. I get so bored so quickly, that I don't have to have the long-lasting quality, I'm all about the color my friend, and I'm pretty sure I've seen similar colors with cheaper brands.

Report Card-
Color= B+ (not entirely unique, but is a flattering color I think for most people)
Formula=A (just about the best I've personally used, but a smidge thick and not very fast-drying)
Brush= A- (Average quality brush, but the handle earned extra credit)
Price= D+ (almost regret buying it at 5.99, I'm budget-challenged)

Overall= B

Friday, November 12, 2010

L.A. Colors- French Cream

French Cream:

* 1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese
* 1 cup powdered sugar
* 1 cup whipping cream
* 1/4 cup granulated sugar
* 1 lemon, zested and juiced
* Pineapple juice


Soften cream cheese and then whip with powdered sugar. Whip cream and sugar together until it forms soft peaks. Combine beaten cream cheese, whipped cream, lemon juice and zest; continue to beat, adding just enough pineapple juice to achieve desired consistency. Serve with fresh fruit tray or fruit salad.
---Paula Deen, Food Network


French SCREAM is more like it, because that's what it made me want to do when I put it on there, and not in a "OMG, it's the Beatles!" kinda way but a go-ahead-and-commit-me-I-am-losing-my-mind kinda way. Super thick, streaky, globby mess. Dried fast though, but sometimes you can have too much of a good thing. This was one of those moments. It dried nearly as fast as I drew it from the bottle, and eventually the brush, which was already sub-par to begin with, started to glob up. I couldn't get the streaks out either. The pic is with 2 coats, and the more I added, the worse it got.

At least I only paid a $1 for it. But hey, I coulda bought tons of better things for that buck.

Report card
Color= D- (next to falling, it's sorta pukey looking, but it's sheer enough and serves the purpose for a sheer, traditional mani)
Formula= F (streaks, globs, and fugliness)
Brush= C+ (obviously less than average, but was doable)
Price= B (I can't in good conscience put an A, even though it was a buck, since it was such a horrible buy, I'd rather have my dollar back)

Overall= D+

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Sally Hansen- Rose to the Occasion

"When you came along, with a strange new song
and the sweetest innovation
And you said "One should never fall in love,
but rise to the occasion..."
---Nanci Griffith "Rise to the Occasion"



Wow, my pic does NOT do this justice. It is such a gorgeous pink with a delicate, barely-there shimmer. It is so fun and retro-looking. It immediately makes me think of Barbie's high heels, My Little Ponies, and my coveted LA Gears. I love it.

The polish is decent, although it definitely needed at least 2 coats and then another coat of a good topcoat, since it was fairly gritty looking without it. It also only lasted about a day. I probably could have done a better job with the application and maybe a better job with the topcoat, so it might have lasted better, but I'm not thinking it would have been much more than another day. Sad, because I really love the color. Even with the shoddy formula, I'll be whipping this out again in the future, for whenever I feel like being totally rad.

On to the report card!
Color: A (LOVE IT, absolutely FUN. Not for everyday and every skintone, but I personally dig it)
Formula: C (worse than average, but it was not so awful that I won't wear it again)
Brush: C+ (sorta thin, sorta flimsy, but got the job done)
Price: A+ (found it at Dollar Tree in a two-pack for a buck. So 50 cents? I'm there!)

Overall: B

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

OPI- Chicago Champagne Toast

"A cause may be inconvenient, but it's magnificent. It's like champagne or high heels, and one must be prepared to suffer for it."
---Arnold Bennett


This is a polish I've had forever. I may need to chunk it. It was amazingly thick and globby. I don't recall it being that bad when I applied it in the past, so maybe it's just bad. I love the color though, a rosy frosty delight. I'm unhappy with the formula, but again, it may just be because it's an old bottle. It was thick and unwieldy, and only because of the nice brush did I even get it halfway properly applied. It took a while to dry as well, and this was just two coats. Hours later it was still VERY tacky to the point where it was impossible for me to cook dinner without destroying it. Alas, this only lasted for a few hours. I thought I had painted it in time for it to be dried before I had to begin dinner, but it just refused to dry. I'm sad, it kinda used to be a standby for me. I think the color is great for year-round but especially for the fall and winter or fancy occasions. I guess it's ok though, I have a similar frosty rosy pink color by Borghese, La Strada Rose, which I REALLY liked. I'll swatch that soon. Whenever my nails get a smidge longer. They are still fairly stubby.

Report card is as follows:
Color= B+ (it's a generic sort of color, but I like OPIs knack for delicate shimmer)
Formula= D (I'm holding out hope that it's just an old bottle, and if I can come across it again, I would be up for revisting this grade. I normally love OPI)
Brush=A- (better than average for sure, but not the best)
Price= D- (OPI is $$$, at least in my neck o' the woods)

Overall= C

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

whoa, a fellow steampunk/nail polish junkie?

Sign me up! Plus, fun giveaway alert!


Heard about a holiday giveaway!

I decided to be brave and enter it too, it is from one of my favorite nail bloggers. I love her pictures and she really talks in a similar way, easy for people to understand and follow.



Finger Paints- Putty in My Hands

"With one wave of you hand,
I'm your slave to command
But I'm glad it's okay
Oh anything you say, I'm like a hunk of clay..."
-"Putty (In Your Hands)" by The Shirelles



I bought this along with 2 other polishes at Sally Beauty this week, since they had a deal going where they were a buck off plus, if you bought 3, you got a little wallet thingie. I needed a new one, and I love excuses to buy polish, so voila. I bought Putty In My Hands, Art You Blue, and Fiji Weejee Fawn. I'm kinda confuzzled at Fiji Weejee Fawn, since it has nothing to do with fawn at all. It's a dark plummy mauve. I thought it was pretty, regardless of the silly name. But I'll cover that polish later, my nails had to be cut short since I had a booboo with my left middle finger. This is common, since I am a lefty and I hold my pens/pencils funny. I put a lot of pressure on that nail and it will break at least twice a month. So for now, I'm doing the lighter of my fall colors.

So, onto "Putty In My Hands". It's a pretty caramel color with a very delicate, ever-so-slight shimmer, though I still count it as a matte in my little world. Anyway, I put it on, and honestly, I immediately had trouble with it. It was thicker than I am used to, and I dislike the brush, I think it's either too long or too flimsy. It just slid around all willy nilly. It also dried too fast and since it was so thick, it was globby. I was sad. I loved the color. I took it off and decided to try a different color, but then afterwards, I googled around and other people liked Finger Paints, so I decided to give it another try. I took the thickness and quick-drying into account and did a better job of the application the second go-around and I am very glad I gave it another shot. The color is just great- a lovely neutral with a warm, caramelly-coffee-with-milk-and-sugar look. The faint shimmer is a nice touch, making this a very versatile polish. I can see this for all seasons, and it's neutral enough for casual and business but also shimmery enough to transition into classic fancy or night-time look.

So here's the report card:
Color= A- (Lovely color, probably flattering on most skin-tones, but also sort of commonplace at the same time)
Formula= C+ (Too thick for me to apply smoothly, but it did dry to a nice gloss and was very hardy, it lasted 2 days perfectly for me, and probably would've have went longer, but I wanted something different)
Brush=C (could definitely be better)
Price=C- (3.99 is what I paid, which isn't too bad, but it was a special, and normally 4.99, which is almost too rich for my blood.


L.A. Colors- Topaz

"I do not love you as if you were salt-rose, or topaz,
or the arrow of carnations the fire shoots off.
I love you as certain dark things are to be loved,
in secret, between the shadow and the soul."
-Pablo Neruda "XVII"



I found this for a buck, yes, a BUCK, at one of my favorite stores, Dollar General. What a great investment! It's got shine, long-lasting power, quick-dry time, lovely color, easy application, etc etc. They have an assortment of colors available, so I think I will try those out sometime too, but I want to swatch my current reds first, so I don't double up.

As I applied this for the first coat, it was very sheer, and I was somewhat disappointed, I was afraid it would stay that way. On the plus side, I decided it would be a nice "lazy manicure" with just one coat, to add some simple glitz. When I applied the second coat, I was surprised at how opaque it became. I still had some nail line showing though, so I added a third for good measure. Normally I am 2 coats and that is it, but since this had a great drying time, I was ok with another coat. In certain lights, there still were some angles that showed the nail line, but eh, I thought it looked great anyway.

It is a gorgeous color, pretty spot on for a topaz tone, with a fine array of gold, bronze, and silver shimmer. Additionally, the metallic sheen made it resemble rose gold to me. I LOVE rose gold, so I really enjoyed this effect. In addition to the nice color, the quality of the formula was excellent. It applied so easily, the brush was not hard to use, and it lasted forever. After 3 days it was still as if I had just applied it. My nails grow fast, so the new growth was too visible and I was ready for a new polish anyway, but I am certain it would have lasted for days and days more.

The report card for this color:
Color= A (I love the color personally, but I realize it might not be unique per se, but I do think it would be flattering for most people, so it's a solid A)
Formula= A+ (I've never had better, honestly)
Brush= B (solidly average)
Price= A+ (I think without being clearance, $1 is pretty much the best you can hope for with a polish)

Overall= A-

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Nina Ultra- Never Glum Plum

“What is more mortifying than to feel that you have missed the plum for want of courage to shake the tree?”
-Logan Pearsall Smith




These pics aren't quite true-to-color for me. Well, I guess when I took them, it was. But I swear this polish "aged" into a darker color within a few hours of my pics. It got very dark and when I asked my husband what color he thought this was, he said "black?" That's how dark it was, seriously. It's certainly much darker than it looks in the bottle, which is annoying, because I wanted a color that is basically the same as the bottle. Oh well, just an excuse to buy another bottle sometime!

The formula is good, maybe a bit globby, but it dries quickly and is slightly self-correcting. It isn't too expensive, and the brush was average, as far as ease of application goes. In my world, it is matte* (remember, I know nothing of jellies and cremes and whatnot).

The negatives, other than it's apparent color-changing issues, are that I found it to not look good on short nails at all. It made my fingers and nails look so stubby. So, I'm relegating it to longer-nails only. Also, and it might have just been the frantic car-cleaning I had to do while I searched for a school textbook, but it chipped before it had even been a day. So, that was annoying too.

So, the report card is as follows:

Color= C* (it's a nice color, but it's ambiguity is annoying to me)
Formula=B+ (slightly above average, but lost points due to globbiness)
Brush= B (average, nothing special)
Price= C+ (I think it's 3.99 at Sally Beauty, not too bad, but for me, it's slightly above what I prefer)

Overall= B-

Friday, November 5, 2010

I think I just realized a reason I like nail polish so much...

Synesthesia. Just about everything has a "personality" or "aura" to me, especially colors.

So when I wear certain colors on my nails, or toes, I feel like a bit of those auras or related personality traits are in a sense imbued in me. Furthermore, I have noticed that I tend to put the colors I connect with more personal or private emotions on my toes, where they are "hidden." If I put it on my hands, I am proud to show off those emotions to everyone.

I think I'm going to keep a list of my polishes and the associated synesthetic connections. So, I'm going to tag this "synesthesia" and then use this blog post as a running tally of sorts.

China Glaze (Classic Camel)- Regal, intelligent, capable, fancy, confident. Think Lady Di.

Finger Paints (Putty In My Hands)- Classic, scholarly, kind, bookworm, intelligent, demure. Natalie Portman.

L.A. Colors (Topaz)- Confident, optimistic, dramatic, fancy, regal. Dame Judy Dench.

Nina Ultra (Never Glum Plum)- calm, yet dramatic, stoic, intelligent, emotional, seductive. Makes me think of Shannyn Sossamon.

China Glaze- Classic Camel

"Gold! gold! gold! gold!
Bright and yellow, hard and cold!
~Thomas Hood"

(Here's my swatch. I know I have cuticles and such and it isn't perfect, but it's the best I can do, and as far as the cuticles go, I just learned about those in Anatomy and Physiology, and they are more important than you think, so I let mine do their thing.)

I was very intrigued with this color, which I found in the clearance bin at Sally Beauty, which only just recently opened up in my town. We otherwise have few options for polish, without traveling 45 minutes to over an hour.

What first struck me about this color is that it looked matte, even in the bottle, which I found peculiar. I also noticed it has very fine glitter, which, if my eyes are correct, contains some silver and even a few faintly-lavender flecks. I knew I had no other color like it, and it was 1.99 I believe, so how could I say no? Even if it was a bust, I figured I could play around with it if I ever got a stamp kit or the guts to try marbling.

Anyway, it's basically a golden-mustardy-honey tone with very faint amounts of glitter. I would call it simply "matte" so whether it's a creme or a jelly or a gravy, I can't tell you. But its finish was very matte on my nails with no frosty/metallic sheen, and no chromatic effect. That's basically the 3 types of nail polish in my lexicon- matte, metallic, and chromatic.

The formula is nice. It went on smoothly and easily. The brush was good, maybe even better than average, for application ease, and the smell wasn't abnormally vaporous. I was impressed with the drying time, although a little annoyed at the initial translucence. I am not one to put on more than 2 coats (and that includes top and/or basecoats!), so I hoped it would work with just two. I still did have a faintly detectable nail line after the second coat, but only in certain angles and light sources, so I was not concerned.

I wore it three days, including school with hard wear-and-tear from schoolish activities. By the end of the third day, it was still perfect with no tip-wear. I received several compliments on it, and I personally felt like it was flattering. There were a few times in certain lights that I thought it had a greenish tone that wasn't flattering, and I'm not sure it will be flattering on all skin-tones, but for me, overall, I really loved it. I do feel like it's more a fall color, or a color for a "fancy" occasion, so it probably isn't something I will wear year-round. However, it will most definitely be getting heavy wear this fall and winter!

So the report card overall is:

Color=A* (*with my skin-tone, but it probably isn't for everyone)
Formula= A+ (I wish all polish was with a similar formula)
Brush= B (I've had better, but I'd say it's average)
Price= C- (I'm going to take into account its full price, not what I paid for clearance. Full price is 4.99 and for me, that's a bit rich for nail polish. But, I've seen worse, and I'd gladly pay it for a color I love)


Thursday, November 4, 2010


I have just recently returned to my high-school love affair with the fun, eternal pick-me-up that is nail polish. Granted, I am not really familiar with all the nail lingo and I have a limited array of options available to me, what with me being a full-time SAHM, full-time student living on just one income from my hardworking hubby. He's a fantastic provider, but I refuse to pay an arm and a leg for nail polish when I personally have just as much fun with the el cheapos! Occasionally I get some nice splurges from my mother-in-law or fancy polish hand-me-downs from my mom, but for the most part, these are your common drugstore variety. And I love them. :)

I hope you enjoy my collection as well as my comments. I know one thing that annoys me about some other nail blogs is that it almost seems like reading a medical report, what with all the jargon. So I plan to keep it simple and just the stuff that I find important as a conscientious consumer, like the price, the quality, if I received comments on it, the drying-time, etc.

Without further adieu, let the nail-frivolity begin!