Wednesday, November 25, 2009

China Glaze Short & Sassy

China Glaze Short & Sassy was my only pick from the Retro Diva collection. The color is nice cool red shimmer suspended in dark base and you don't need more than 2 coats to get the full intensity of the color, with short nails one is enough. The shimmer is actually very prominent, but these indirect daylight images lose it almost completely. So I added an ugly image with artificial lighting for more accurate impression of the texture.

Somehow this felt too christmassy for me when I first tried it on... ...and I instantly knew that I will not leave the mani on. So excuse the stains on the cuticles and overall sloppy application. One coat, no topcoat.

Friday, November 20, 2009

OPI My Daddy's the King

The cool tones tend to work better on me than warm, but this is not true with nude nail polish shades. Pink based shades don't look that good on me. Nude peaches with hint of beige might be my color when I want something discreet on my nails. That does not happen too often, though, but the nail disaster made me wear my manis longer than usual - and in these cases discreet options are welcome.

My Daddy's the King is really good peachy-beigy fleshtone with nice, subtle and well behaving pearly shimmer. The shimmer adds some dimension to this gentle shade and I actually like the look more than I thought. Three coats for opaque look, easy to apply.

Monday, November 16, 2009

OPI Give Me Moor!

This vampy little number is OPI Give Me Moor! from autumn 2009 spain collection. Color-wise it is not that special, nearly blacks I have seen many. The base shade has some blue in it, it's more plum than red. But to be honest this was the first time when OPI impressed me with quality. This polish is very velvety and easy to apply. 2 thick or 3 thin coats is enough to achieve the full intensity of the color and with this color the pro-wide brush did really good job (only my pinky was bit difficult, the nail bed is so curved and narrow). Relatively fast drying even without the topcoat, no bubbling.

I might slightly prefer my previous favorite Chanel Rouge Noir as a shade, but this is certainly easier to apply and does not give as bad beetroot fingers as Chanel when removing.

2 coats and fast drying topcoat in the picture. Great vampy!

Monday, October 26, 2009

Orly Purple Velvet

I have worn a lot of both of my matte Man Glazes - so I was really happy to find out that my local department store had stocked the new Orly mattes. The local prices are very high compared to Internet store prices, so I opted for just this one shade: Purple velvet.

This is gorgeous! The texture is not as interesting as shimmer packed Man Glazes, but it is not as flat as Opi mattes. This shade has a slight amount of silvery shimmer and although it's not too noticeable it still contributes to the velvety look somehow. The purple is absolutely beautiful, darkish, slightly to the red side and beautifully muted down with gray. Very easy to wear. Does not dry as quickly as Man Glaze, but still pretty fast. Lasts quite well for a matte polish. This is two coats.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

China Glaze Luna

China Glaze Luna is the second of the China Glaze glitters - and this one is crazy! Lunatic! Mad! I guess that the silvery blue base is shimmery - and it is packed with silver microglitter plus two sizes of holographic glitter. Two coats cover the nails perfectly and the result is sparkly like the Liberace sequin coat. Definitely one of my manicures for holiday season.

The surface is bumpy - but in this case I think that it actually does not matter. The sparkling really distracts the eye, and I just don't notice the lumpiness at all. Annoying to remove... ...but that's really not a surprise.

Sorry about my messy thumb and stained fingers, cleaned it up after the photoshoot...

Saturday, October 17, 2009

China Glaze Stellar

So I decided to overcome my fear of glitter and ordered couple of China Glaze glitter specials. This is Stellar - a pretty beige nude shade with silver and gold small glitter. The glitter is quite dense, this is two coats and looks pretty good, one more might be a good idea. There is no bare patch on my forefinger, the light is just doing tricks.

This creates quite sandlike texture - which I actually like! One or two layers of topcoat would probably solve this; but this one does not need the top coat for drying purposes, it dries really fast. The glitter is pretty showy even in indirect light, but direct sunlight or artificial light makes the nails sparkle madly. My final verdict - I really like it. Removing was not easy...

Definitely an accessible entrance to the world of glitter.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Rimmel Coralicious

Rimmel 60 Seconds is my favorite from supermarket polishes. Shades are pigmented and easy to apply. The shade selection in Finland is not too wide, but there are some neat and unconventional ones within those few.

Coralicious is by no means unconventional, it is just a beautiful bright coral creme - and perfectly satisfies my sudden craving for something bright and cheerful now when the daylight time has started to shorten drastically. Application is super easy, drying time pleasantly short (if not under 60 seconds promised in the bottle). Glossy finish even without topcoat. And one coat is enough for short nails - well, second one makes it look even better, but if you are in a hurry, you get along with one.

The shade itself is practically everything I wanted from a coral. My skin tone is pretty cool, so coral should be very bright to go with it. The shade shifts beautifully between bright tomato red to true coral and pinkish coral depending on lighting. Definitely one of my favorites in the coral realm.

Downside of this polish is that it does not last too well. The marks of wear are clearly visible after two days. That is not too bad though. When I start with one layer it is easy just to apply one extra coat after day two and the minor wear of the thin first coat is perfectly camouflaged. So I get out 4 to 5 days of wear from this polish with minor effort.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Mavala Violet Diamond

I decided to give a chance to the glitter! This is one of the Mavala autumn shades, there are six pure glitters in clear base available. The shades are quite beautiful, I took this mauve and another, flesh toned pink one for test drive. Unfortunately the glitter is not too dense in these, this is four coats and could use one more. On the other hand that property makes them very usable in layering - and the application is not too difficult, you just can't see small mistakes in this kind of polish. The surface is bit bumpy, but nothing that one coat of Seche could not handle. Removing - total PITA.

But the glitter is extremely sparkly, it reflects light insanely. I will definitely use these for some special occassions.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Nail depression

Ouch. That nail staining incident has done very bad things for my nail enthusiasm. There is a natural explanation to that. I really like bright colors in my nails - but they don't go with everything. When my nails are in good shape I have always the option just to remove the polish if my bright manicure is too much.

With stained nails I feel that I need some sort of cover all time - plus I have abandoned my plans to grow the nails a bit, I'm keeping them almost tipless to get rid of the yellow as soon as possible.

I'm not good with superfast manicures, I always end up with a mess when I do my manicure in a haste. So I have end up using super safe color options that go with almost everything: black, gray, opaque neutrals. Both of my Manglaze polishes have been in constant use, I really like them in everyday use.

The stains are now halfway of my nails and I have slowly started to browse through the autumn shades.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Zoya Zara

Mixture of light purple and rich gold is surprisingly flattering. The downside of Zoya Zara is the sheerness, these two coats are still quite see through. I was in a hurry, just covering the Entourage disaster and did not have time to do more. Application was ok, bit runny, but nicely settling. In real life this polish is much more stunning, the golden shimmer is very deep and perhaps has a hint of multicolour in it.

But my Seche Vite starts to be bit goopy - and the bottle is not even halfway. Not impossible to work with, but bit difficult to apply near the cuticle. I'm slightly disappointed.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

French manicure, Essie Pinkadelic

Before I stained my nails I had one decent classic french manicure on for several days. I haven't been too into french manicures, but for some reason recently they have started to look somehow better. Maybe it's the light tan I have, maybe it's just curiosity to this so popular look.

I have done it by myself just couple of times before - and have it done perhaps two or three times professionally. Never has the application nor the color choices been perfect. Personally I lean towards Beverly Hills manicure style, where the tip is more natural - but I also want to experiment with this style and find the best variant for me. So I plan to publish a short series about frenchies, starting from this post. But I have to wait my nails to clean before next post on the series after that unfortunate Entourage event.

This is quite a classic version with Color Club Tip White on tips and Essie Pinkadelic on top.

CC Tip White is excellent for bright white tips. One coat was enough, excellent self leveling and fast drying time. Just remember to mix the color well, there is ample amount of pigment in this.

Essie Pinkadelic on the other hand did not level as well. It is not stripy, but after two coats bit blotchy. I think that super thin layers might solve this problem - but on the other hand I like that the brush has ample amount of color especially on the first coat after tip, so I don't sweep the tip away. The color is not the best for my skin, but the nice thing is the subtle red shimmer that is clearly visible in some light. And it took away the excessive brightness of the tips in a very nice way.

I used a special technique for the tips utilizing the advice from YouTube video that I'm not able to find anymore. But because you really can't see any details from that video anyway, I plan to publish a short tutorial soon. These tips are by no means perfect, but they still are the best ones I've had.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

China Glaze Entourage

Ok, this must be one of my this summer favorites: China Glaze Entourage. A gorgeous bright grass green with slightly cooler green shimmer. Looks darker in the nail than in the bottle. The shimmer is subtle in the nail, but does not entirely disappear and makes the tone to shift from warmer to cooler, depending on light. Two coats covered my nails well. Application was pretty easy, perhaps the consistency was bit runny, but nothing unmanageable.

I've heard some rumors about this polish being a very bad nail stainer, so I did something unusual and used some base coat underneath. I will update this post later to tell how my nails look after the removal.

My manicure cycle will be somewhat slower now, I try to grow my nails a bit and it helps to not use nail polish remover every other day. But I aim at least weekly updates from now on.

Enjoy the rest of the summer and wear the brightest of all polishes!


Okay, it stained. Bad. My nails look like I had the worst nicotine addiction. My thumbnail had two coats of basecoat and it is not stained as severely as other nails, so with basecoat it is possible to protect the nails. But this is huge minus and I don't believe I'm wearing this shade soon again.

Monday, July 27, 2009

BB Couture for Nails, Dark Knight

I've been a bit lazy blogger lately but excuse me. The summer weather has finally arrived and I've spent lots of time outside. Well, actually I photographed two summer manicures, but did both shoots in such a haste that pictures turned out to be too crappy to publish.

This is one of my older pictures: BB Couture for Nails Dark Knight. A must have for all black lovers - rich black infused with tons of gold & platinum microglitter. The overall impression is softer than regular black and I get even a slight hint of olive in this in some lights. Beautiful!

Application was flawless and two coats enough for my short nails.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Nubar Orange Crème

Orange Crème is definitely the brightest of the Nubar pastel colors I own. In some lights there is even a flash of neon type glow in it. But don't be fooled by this image, this color has the chalky pastel side, too. Neat and quite unusual color.

Application is three coats, beginning with terrible streaks and improving gradually. This polish dried crazy fast, I almost felt that there was no need for Seche (but I used it still).

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Essie Pound Cake

I've found my favorite neutral! This is Essie Pound Cake, a super flattering pale beige with slight gray and pink tinge. It gives my hands super fresh and clean look, is much more interesting than plain white and more classy than pale pink.

The color is from Essie's basic selection and I found it accidentally from Polishaddicts blog. Her images are always top quality and her picture of Pound Cake is definitely worth a look, it gives the better impression about the pink and gray tones of this pale but intriquing shade. Essie is not available at this side of the world, so I'm totally dependent of polish pics and descriptions when picking Essie colors.

The consistency is little bit on the sheer side. My manicure is three layers (+ top coat) and I could use fourth for perfect cover. Application was bit streaky, but not anything that could not be handled with some patience. It dries bit slowly, even with Seche.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Essie Sag Harbor

Essie Sag Harbor
I have coveted this color for a while - and now I have it. Beautiful! The color is grayed out light blue, grayed so far that in some lighting you don't get the blue at all. In a bottle there seems to be a fair amount of silverish shimmer, but it magically disappears on the nail and the color looks very creamy.

This is truly unique color and very approachable at the same time. I think that if you are not used to any unconventional polish colours but would like to try one, this is a good candidate for your first adventure in the world of color.

The shade is quite flattering against my tan, but I guess that it might be even better with pale skin.

I had no application issues, this is two layers and fast dry top coat.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Essie Punchy Pink

Protect your eyes, Essie's Punchy Pink is definitely the brightest highlighter neon pink polish I have seen!

Essie Punchy Pink nail polish
Color-wise this is everything I expected - I was not in search of shy and demure pink. Although I managed to capture the neonness of this color somehow, you really have ro see this IRL to understand how blindingly bright it truly is. And please see the original of the previous picture (*click*!) - for some reason the Blogger image resizing algorithm did very bad things for the quality of this particular image.

But quality-wise I'm extremely disappointed. I've read mixed reviews about the quality of Essie 2009 neon colors and unfortunately I can't join to those who praise it. The consistency was thin, which is totally ok - but also awfully sheer. This is four layers. The first layer was probably streakiest I've ever seen - and layers 2 and 3 gave me worst cuticle drag issues ever. It might work better with base coat, but I don't own any so I can't really tell.

I used my best trick to tackle these problems. After coat three one coat of fast dry topcoat (Seche) stopped the cuticle drag issues, after that just one additional coat was needed for full cover. And another coat of Seche for shiny surface - Punchy Pink dries almost matte as many real neon colors do.

Comparing to my Color Club neons CC wins hands down in quality. This experience left me wanting to try for example Misa's Lather, Rinse, Repeat - it seems to be a neon pink with similar brightness and I don't have any bad things to say about any Misa quality.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Nubar Baby Blue

nail polish, Nubar, Baby Blue
This is Nubar Baby Blue, two coats (actually some nails in my other hand have up to five coats, but I just messed up my manicure). I photographed this in late evening light to emphasize the weird, glowing shade of pale blue. This shade really pops even the slightest tan and looks very clean and sober in a futuristic way... ...a great summer shade!

The application was not nice, the consistency was very runny and the first coat really streaky. Somehow the second coat attaches really well on top of the first one and at least the color gets even relatively easy. But cleaning the cuticles was a huge job, the thin polish just runs around the whole rim of the nail bed. I'm definitely getting some vaseline just for protecting the cuticles.


Nubar Cuticle Oil is excellent stuff! It smoothed my dried out cuticles after this pastel bleed project in a snap. Sweet Almond scent is quite bad though, pick one of the fruity ones instead.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Zoya Angel

I found few older pics of some pinks in my hard drive. Zoya Angel is one of my favorite pinks, very soft and super flattering to my skintone. The base shade is dusty rose with a hint of mauve in it. The polish is packed with shimmer that seems to be a mix of pink and perhaps pale gold or silver with warm tinge. The overall impression is grayed rose in my eyes. In the bottle the shimmer is very dominating, but on the nail this color can be surprisingly cremelike, especially in indirect light.

The light in the picture is warm indirect evening light and it gives a little too warm impression of this color - although it really has a beigeish nature in warm light. The bottle image gives a good impression of the color in more cool light.

This polish can be used with just one sheer layer or 2 to 3 layers for more opaque look. The consistency is thin and fast drying, easy to work with if you don't try to make thick coats.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Half moon mani attempt with Opi Time-Less is More and Color Club Fast Woman

The half moon manis have been bubbling around - at least in burlesque circles. Dita von Teese has been sporting the style quite a lot.

And lately the half moon circles have been seen in the runway, too: in Dior, Thakoon, Ruffian...

The manicure definitely has the retro vibe in it. The origins of this style are on 30's and 40's. Personally I remember seeing it first long time ago on Imelda Marcos in some magazine. Images of Imelda, her perfect manicure and several thousand pairs of shoes was contrasted to strong photography from Manila protests for 1986 election...

As you can see, my first half moon attempt was not an immediate success, but I definitely learned something in the process.

I started with two coats of Opi Time-Less is More, this is nice cool but soft shade of white. The two coats i used here were perhaps bit too sheer for this purpose. The red polish is Color Club Fast Woman, a rich deep cool red. For some reason this polish is really hard to photograph, it easily looks brown based.

On the pinky I tried freehand application - a total disaster, I did not even bother to clean up the mess. On ringfinger I tried a paper guide - it bled. On middle and forefinger I went back to freehand method, but this time I rolled the finger I was painting instead of trying to achieve the shape with brush stroke. This provided quite decent results.

For line painting it is essential that there is not too much polish in the brush. But after creating the arch shape you need quite a thick coat of color to disquise the stroke painted to vertical direction. Add the top color immediately after the stroke so that the vertical stroke still blends to the color area. A thick coat can be easily applied close to the color border, the vertical stroke will act as a light barrier for bleeds if you are careful. The blending is not perfect in the previous image, but I made another round with better success. I'm sure that practise will help with this.

And few random thoughts and ideas about this kind of mani. For top colour I would pick shades that are decent looking with just one thick coat - the half moon circle will not get prettier with several applications of top color. The classic way is to use pale base and strong contrasting top color, but I quess that inverting the colours could be nice effect. I can easily see the half moon mani done with more subdued shades - or bright contrasting ones - and different textures could be utilized as long as the base shade leaves a surface smooth enough to work with - a rough glitter base might not be the best idea. I would not try to paint the moon over the main color, but with steady hand and small decoration brush even that could be possible.

Glamour magazine has a clever trick for half moon manis, the editor uses the paper hole reinforcement stickers as guides for the half moon. I certainly will try this, although I think that the guides usually create a little too harsh edge between the colors. Plus one has to wait the base color to be completely dry before applying the stickers, otherwise the stickers will ruin the base.

I guess that the best results could be achieved by shaping the arch with small, sharp brush and remover afterwards leaving the half moon area bare (that's the classic way to go) - but of course then I could not use two polish colors for this. And I quite enjoy the strong contrast that the white base creates... Maybe I just purchase a separate precision brush, perhaps a small slanted one for painting the first line with dark polish? Or maybe a thin one with long and flexible bristles would be even better? That kind of extra brush might also help with french tips and cuticle cleaning... ...perhaps I should take a closer look to my artists brush collection!

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

NYX Hawaii & Seche Vite in test

There are some polishes those I wished they would work - but they just don't. One of them is NYX Hawaii, a beautiful pale blue that leans slightly to aqua. I'm a bit confused about the finishes, in the past I would have definitely called this kind of color pearl, but I see that many brands call them frost.

I like pastels in general and this particular shade of blue always catches my eye. The problem with this polish is that it is awfully sheer. With one coat I get a subtle layer of shimmer that looks almost white. I could use this as part of funky french manicure, I think that the effect might be quite cool.

Streakiness is typical for this kind of colors and this is not an exception. I'm not skilled enough to avoid it totally, but very thin, carefully applied coats keeps the streaking in acceptable levels...

Second coat starts to build the color a bit, but this is still far from the bottle color. This is probably the ugliest phase, the application looks very uneven and the pale blue is not particularly flattering in semi sheer.

Third coat helps a lot, but it is not opaque enough to my taste. This is usually my breaking point, manis over three coats are just too much for me plus the strenuous application off this particular color really turns me off. But because I wanted to test Seche Vite in real action I still added one thin coat more - and the fifth thicker coat to my thumbnail just for curiosity.

This is the result with four coats and one thick coat of Seche Vite. This polish has good shiny surface by itself, but clear and very shiny coat of Seche still adds some dimensionality to the finish. It is extremely difficult to capture that in the images, though.

Seche did excellent job with four thin coats of this polish. I got one bubble to one nail, but I had just carried the bottle in my purse and there were some bubbles in the top coat, this one I noticed too late to brush it away. Ten minutes from the application of Seche the nails were ready for light work.

On thumbnail the five coats were too much for Seche. The dryer penetrated only the top layer of polish and dried that in a snap - but now I had a dry layer of polish over completely wet layer; extremely vulnerable for dents. I added one more ample coat of Seche and witnessed a curious phenomena: the whole polish layer wrinkled to funny, organic looking micro folds. But the wrinkles started to disappear while Seche dried, and to my surprise I got almost perfect finish to my thumb, too (minus the dent, I tested the dryness too vigorously).

So Seche Vite is good stuff in my books. Of course I have to test it with other brands, too.

About Hawaii, I would love to love it.

I mean what isn't there to love in these glowing, cyborg-chic tippies? It's the application, that is just too much for me...

Monday, June 22, 2009

China Glaze Rodeo Fanatic

Old news is good news in this blog... Rodeo Fanatic is my first and only color from China Glaze's Rodeo Diva collection. I have been very hesitant to try this on, it looks all too flashy in the bottle. Shimmery, tealish blue with quite strong purple flash, from the bottle I would judge this borderline duochromatic. Ouch!

But on the nails this is fabulous, blackened enough to be stylish, but definitely blue in different lighting. The purple flash seems to almost disappear on the nail, it only makes the color less teal looking in some light. On the other hand the warm shades of artificial light brings the teal shade up nicely. This is Rode Fanatic in indirect natural light:

Sunlight really shows the beautiful shimmer.

But the best thing with this color is the application, it's flawless. I really dig CG brush, not too small, not too big - just perfect. And the best for last: this is one coater on my short nails, longer ones might benefit from two.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

A polish with double personality: BB Couture Opposites Attract

Lately I have swatched all but summery colors - but today I'm happy I did. BB Couture Opposites Attract has a weird double nature that is fully revealed in full sunlight. In indirect light the polish can almost pass as cool medium gray creme. Just a hint of unevenness suggests other.

There is quite a load of glasslike crystal shimmer packed in this polish, plus some deep blue shimmer, seen as almost black dots in indirect light. The shimmer is extremely difficult to capture to photograph, but it reminds me a lot of China Glaze glass shimmers (for example White Qvik Silvr).

Nah, this does not show the shimmer as I wished it would.

Consistency was perhaps a bit watery, but the polish is well pigmented and fast drying, definitely a two-coater. I really like all BB Couture polishes I've tried so far.

My topcoat on the other hand is almost finished, thick and gooey, bubbly, annoying to apply and almost ruins the manicures. A bottle of Seche Vite is on its way to here!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Manglaze The Death Tar

Manglaze-manis make me truly happy.

After the gorgeous Fuggen Ugly I was a bit hesitant to try the black version - it's ordinary black after all, huh, can't be as beautiful and extraordinary than FU.

Well, I was wrong. Death Tar is gorgeous in it's own right. I love this less loud than shiny black, velvety, secretly shimmery, stealthily mean look. Perfect application, this is two coats.

Excuse my purple stained fingers...

Sunday, June 14, 2009

BB Couture for Nails, Blind Love

More metallics! I've had Chanel Caleidoscope, a gorgeous greenish shade of silver - and I lost it. Some time ago I cleaned up my nail polish stash leaving just few favorite shades. I'm certainly sure that I was not about to banish the beloved Caleidoscope, but something strange happened and I have not been able to find it since. This spring I got an urge to find a duplicate to it - I'm not paying the eBay prices from the original.

BB Couture Blind love comes satisfyingly close. It has the same foil like finish, but the sunlight reveals a super sparkling shimmer of this color. The color is beautiful, slightly oxidised shade of silver. In my memories Caleidoscope was slightly greener, but I guess that I can settle with Blind Love.

Application of this polish is really good, it gives surprisingly smooth surface with no bad brush stroke stripes and dries fast. This is two coats without top coat. I guess that it is only the memory of beloved Caleidoscope that prevents me to use the tag "Great" in conjunction to this color.

Working with color - complementary colors

I have no background in makeup artistry or fashion, but I've been working as a graphic designer / art director for about ten years - and now I have year and a half of fine art studies on my back pocket. So I have been working with color quite a lot - why not write something about it.

Combining colors can be quite instinctive for some people, but if you feel insecure there are always the basic tool to get started with: the color wheel, familiar probably for all of us.

Most people feer very combortable when combining color siblings or analogic colors: colors that are located next to each other in color wheel. Complementary colors, however, might feel more challenging. Complementary colors are located opposite each other. To get little bit more out of this little exploration I will choose not just plain single complement pair, but analogic scheme from blue to purple plus complementary accent color from the other side of the wheel. It looks like this.

I know that there are at least of some people who really can rock color schemes like this. But usually it needs quite strong colors in hair, skin and eyes - plus lots of courage. The task will get easier when the other parameters of color are adjusted as well. I pick the four brights from this complementary palette and adjust the saturation in one row, lightness in other.

Wow, much more manageable! Of course it is possible to adjust both, saturation and lightness at the same time. And adjust the lightness towards the dark end. The whole set is not meant to be used together, but from here you can easily pick few colors that nicely complement each other.

And here's a real life implementation of this palette. I actually wore this last week (but forgot to photograph the deliciously yellow nails):

Deep, super saturated blue tights from We Love Colors, an old H&M dress in particularly uggly-attractive shade of yellowish pale brown plus cheap and cheerflul Rimmel nail polish (055 Sunshine) plus some black, white and gold accents.

The dirty shades from the opposite side of the color wheel + just one accent color create particularly easy and attractive combinations, they usually benefit from the freshening touch of white (or off-white) used in the same combination.

Here's another example with coordinating these complements, this time with makeup only. This is not real life experiment, but when I saw the images I knew that I will use this look combined some day. Color Club Catwalk Queen is from the blackened but saturated end of purples.

That manicure would look fabulous combined to simple but bright make-up. I really like eyeliner and don't feel uncomfortable at all to experiment with brights in makeup that relies strongly to eyeliner. I would pick any shade that has yellow component dominating the color, preferably a rich gold in tone (reddish, dirty, greenish, pure, yellowish...) that complements the skin and eye color for simple but festive look.

This is Fyrinnae Lucky Charmed, an incredible metallic finish gold with chartreuse tint. It foils like a dream with water or mixing liquid.

Sorry about the skintone, my camera has fixed settings for white balance, there are lightings when none of those settings quite work. And I'm too lazy to fiddle with RAW images for blog use...

There are many online color wheel tools to play with, try for example the particularly nice and easy Color Scheme Designer.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Decadently gorgeous Zoya Richelle

Nail polish, Zoya, Richelle
This is one of my older nail pics with slightly longer nails. That might be my favorite length, still very practical but starts to have that finger elongating elegance of long nails.

Zoya Richelle on the other hand is one of my favorite metal polishes. The finish is very metallic but not actually foil like, larger sparckling particles disguise the brush strokes really well. The polish is thin, but two coats is enough for opaqueness. In addition to the perfect application I like this warm, slightly copperish, slightly dirty shade of gold.

This might not be the most obvious summer shade, but I really wait to test this out with simple grecian-style draped dress, some bejewelled sandals and light tan.

Alberta Ferretti dress from SS 2008 collection.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

OPI Hey Get In Lime

I think that this color has nothing to do with lime... ...but I still love it! It's not the palest and shyest mint green, it has some depth. And there is a slight edgy gray tinge in it - the result is color that is both flattering and unusual. This is three coats, but I'm afraid that with longer nails the tip line would still be visible. Application was easy and drying time reasonable, I definitely will keep this. Mint nails will probably be huge in the autumn, especially if Chanel releases a mint green polish as speculated. Not that I would be too much concerned about being seen in the "it" colors, though =)

See more Chanel RTW detail images at

Got to confess that colors like this make me toy with the idea of my own nail polish brand, very centered in color design. It would be fabulous to produce very well thought palette instead of endless arrays of reds and nudes. I guess that Rescue Beauty Lounge is doing this, kind of, but their prices are far off from that price range I usually pay from polish.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Color philosophy

I see painted nails as an accessory, not necessarily as a touch up or make-up. For that "me, just better"-look I think that well maintained, natural nails do a pretty good job for me. That shiny surface of traditional nail polish always exceeds the boundaries of "natural" somehow. For that reason so called "natural" manicures make me just feel a bit funny, like planting plastic trees to my backyard. Yes, they can look quite natural, from a distance!

So when I color my nails I usually opt to bright, funky colors. I try to complement my outfits and general look with nail polish, and there are much more factors than color of my lipstick that affect to my color choice. There is no official flow chart for color selection for me, but I've noticed some rules of thumb that I tend to use - most of the time.

I combine bright and loud nails with quite natural and light makeup, or light makeup with just one heavy accent. There are two reasons for this - manicure time uses up a big chunk of my maintenance time, so there is usually no time for anything too complicated after that. And I try to avoid "too done" look on me, whatever that means.

I like to contrast my nails to my outfits, somehow. Orange or pink brighten up often my gray or black outfits. If I wear soft colors it is nice to have something shiny and and loud on my nails. When I wear jewel tones I opt for bare nails - or in some occasions bright contrasting colors. Black, charcoal and almost black nails are my safe choice, those I can coordinate to many outfits and looks.

From varnish finishes I go often for opaque cremes, jellies layered to opaqueness, shimmers and some times foiled metal finishes. I hate to remove glitter polishes, plus I think that they are extremely difficult to coordinate to my outfits in satisfying ways, so I don't have too many of those in my stash. Duochromes are not my favorites, either (although there are exceptions in this category) - and holographic polishes are far out from my comfort zone. But matte look is just so totally me, especially in those safe black and gray! My general appearance is 101% feminine and I really like the nice contrast that matte nail look creates to all that excessive femininity...

I don't fancy to purchase whole seasonal collections at all. Of course sometimes there are colors that I especially wait and want, but usually I like to see some real life swatches on several nail types and make my decisions after that. Or I hunt for color with specific mood and don't care if it's new or old, collection or basic selection, popular or rarity. I want to keep my stash size very reasonable, so I tend to recycle my unsuccessful purchases and occasional shade duplicates. So you don't probably see too many news in this blog, but I hope that these images help someone else with those difficult choices and decisions to make.

Nail art is not my thing - too time consuming and too little impact for the time invested. That does not prevent me to admire a well made and exceptional ones on other people's nails. Well, I might do an occasional French manicure with a twist, or I could try a half moon mani with brights, but those really don't count.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Manglaze Fuggen Ugly

Nail polish, matte, Manglaze Fuggen Ugly
I'm able to figure out several reasons why to get some Manglaze to your stash.

1) These matte, but slightly shimmering colors kick ass.
2) Manglaze customer service kicks ass. My Death Tar and Fuggen Ugly arrived in less than week from US to Scandinavia. That's better than most of the local Internet stores can promise.
3) It really kicks ass that you don't have to wait for all those trendy matte nail polish collections. You can have your matte and ugly nails right now!
4) Application of this polish kicks ass. No issues, whatsoever. This is two coats.
6) This rock chic style kicks some serious ass. If you happen to be a nerd like me it kind of kicks ass to match your nails to the smooth aluminium surface of your beloved MacBook. These are definitely darker, true graphite gray, but oh, they go so well together!

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Essie Guilty Pleasures

I really like Essie's take on bright reds. This is Guilty Pleasures from summer 2008 collection - a moody shadeshifting coctail of bright pink and radiant coral. Very uplifting, very flattering. Only downside is the pigmentation, this is three layers and I could have added one more for perfect result.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Going bananas with Nubar Lemon Sorbet

Nail polish, Nubar Lemon Sorbet
Aww, cute! Oh, edgy! That is my first impression of Nubar Lemon Sorbet. Color is more banana ice cream than lemon sorbet to me, but whatever, I'm liking it (almost licking it)! Probably not the best color for my winter skin, but now when I have slight tan it looks actually quite delicious. Don't mind about the skincolor in this picture, I had to adjust the colors a bit to give a truthful impression of the polish color (and was too lazy to protect the other parts of the image).

Surprisingly nice application and 3 layers were enough for perfect cover. Some bubbling issues that might be due of uncompatible top coat (Trind Quick Dry) or my hasty manicure style. Bubbles appeared surprisingly late, in the image the surface is almost perfectly smooth.

Orange rocks my world - Color Club Orange Revenge

Nail polish, Color Club Orange Revenge
I'm drawn to neon polishes - oranges were the first to catch my eye, but now I'm lemminging more shades. Color Club does good job with neons, this beauty is Orange Revenge, unbelievably bright true neon orange - and surprisingly well covering with just two coats. It really needs a shiny topcoat, it dries almost matte. But when you put on the shine please attach the seat belt and protect your eyes.

Application was not pure pleasure, I don't know why neons tend to be somewhat goopy. But it is definitely not my worst polish to work with - and I really enjoy the eyebrow action this polish creates all around.

I'm warming up for pastels, too. These babies just arrived and I see nail polish removing happening really soon!

Nail polish, Nubar pastels