Sunday, May 31, 2009

Nail care philosophy

I'm pretty low maintenance gal, after all. So my nail care ritual is quite stripped to basics, but it works well for me. My nails are on thin side, but they are very bendy and don't really crack or peel easily. Nail surface is extremely smooth with natural shine and weirdly they resist staining naturally. They also grow pretty fast, but there is some natural fluctuation in the growth speed. I like to keep my nail short or medium length (under 5 mm tips), my nail beds are quite long and shortish nails just feel comfortable and easy.

My skin and cuticles are on dry side, so that needs a special attention. Otherwise my cuticles are quite carefree, they are small and easy to keep detached from the nail. I usually push them lightly after showering with fingers and that's enough. Those cuticle sticks give me creeps... My right hand thumbnail grows sometimes little bumpy, but I guess that it's pretty much my only regular nail problem. If I tear my nail it tends to break just under the tip and from side, the tear is usually very short. So it is very probably possible to repair it with glue.

Here's few things that work for me.

Natural oils. I have noticed recently that natural oils penetrate the cuticles extremely well and improve their condition significantly. Oil is not the most practical hand cream, but I keep a bottle in the living room and massage my fingers and nails with oil while watching TV and remove the excess with tissue if needed. My favorites are almond and coconut oil (very penetrating and well absorbing) and vitamin rich avocado and pomegranate seed oils.

Cuticle oil I have used cuticle oil for a long time - and this oil massaging therapy has not replaced it. I use it mainly when polishing the nails. I protect the cuticle and nail surroundings with oil - it eases the stain removal process and moisturizes at the same time. I'm not faithful to any brand, pretty much everything with application brush works. Right now I have LCN Nail Therapy Nail Builder from the Spa series (for some reason I can't find the exactly same product there) - I like the generous bottle and lovely light scent of this oil.

Clippers I don't know if I'm lazy or crazy, but I think that clippers work beautifully for my nails when they need shortening. Clippers don't promote peeling and give a very smooth edge. I use nail file only to fine tune the nail shape and smooth down occasional damages from the nail edge.

Nutrition. My eating habits are not the best - but at least I do eat a good variety of non processed home made food, fresh vegetables and fruit, enough protein and variety of fats. I don't eat frozen meals and my fast food intake is minimal. Fortunately my vices: full fat non-pasteurized cheese and chocolate actually seem to promote nail health... ...don't know about the red wine and beer :-D.

Things that don't work for me

Buffing - my smooth nails don't need it and I don't really get why to thin out the top layer of the nail. I use the buffer very sparingly, usually to smooth down a glued tear or sometimes very lightly to my bumpy thumbnail and toenails.

Nail hardeners promote breakage with my nail type. If thin nail gets hard it actually snaps really easily. So I rather try to maintain the natural stretchiness of my nails.

Fast dry drops - uh, I don't like the feel of this stuff at all.

Edit. Here are my bare nails, very short, almost tipless. I had a tear in my right forefinger few days ago, followed by minor tear in the left thumb on the photographing day. I've had a special project going on and it puts quite a lot strain to my hands and although I usually protect my hands when working this time it was not possible. The project will be over in a week - and my nails can grow in peace! Usually my tips are somewhere between 2-4 mm but I go for supershort look deliberately time to time.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Sugar coated with Orly Rock Candy

Nail polish, Orly Rock Candy
There is actually at least one duochrome I like: Orly Rock Candy. This polish is very sheer by itself, but just one layer is usually enough for beautiful layering results. In the image you can see one layer of it on top of the previous Opi Tickle My France-y manicure.

The basic shade of this polish is different in natural and artificial light. In natural light there is pale electric blue dominating, in artificial light the basic hue is mint green. The hue shifts to mauve and pink depending on the angle.

Opi Tickle My France-y

Nail polish, Opi Tickle My France-y
Here's an older image of Tickle My France-y for comparison to Misa High Waist Hue. I still haven't decided which one of these should go. It might be that Francey is bit more flattering on me, but on the other hand I prefer Misas formula.

I have to say that I'm not too into nudes. Like my husband said, once you decide to paint your nails it would be nice to notice the result. These popular mushroom shades are perhaps just a bit more interesting than more traditional nudes in my records - but it does not justify keeping these dupes in my stash.

Friday, May 29, 2009

Misa High Waist Hue

Nail polish, Misa High Waist Hue
Misa High Waist Hue is a very close relative to Opi Tickle My France-y - it has just a tad more pink in it and very secret blue shimmer, which I can't really see in the nail (got to check it out in bright sunlight, though). I prefer Misa's consistency, very nice to apply and perfect cover with two coats while Francey needed three. I know that I have a picture of Francey, too, I will publish it later for comparison.

Nail polish, Misa High Waist Hue, Opi Tickle My France-y
I guess that these are so close, that I'll probably give another away. I try to keep my nail polish stash reasonable, so I keep only the shades I absolutely love and try to get rid of duplicates.

Color Club Sexsea - the shiny happy red

Nail polish, Color Club Sexsea
I do like reds, especially when they are beautiful and well behaving. Like Color Club Sexsea that I wore yesterday and day before. This color does not scream sex to me, it has bright and happy girlish and perhaps a bit retro feel in it. The color is extremely bright tomato red - but is it my imagination or what, I think that I can see a hint of raspberry in it sometimes. This is two coats + Mavala Mavadry and the result is nearly perfect.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Zoya Casey - a beauty with issues

For me these almost blacks are the safety blanket of manicures an they have been that for a long time. I guess that I was lured by some woman's magazines ages ago and bought one of Chanel's outrageously priced polishes: Rouge Noir - and was hooked. When some girls reach for their favorite nude I grab my trusted nearly black and feel instantly good about my manicure.

I've been looking for a reasonably priced alternative for Rouge Noir for a while and Casey really delivers. When speaking just about the color Casey does an excellent job. It is not an exact twin for Chanel polish - Casey is more purple and very dark, Rouge Noir is more red and tad lighter (will dig an older pic of Rouge Noir later for comparison). But there is that same dramatic outlook that I adore. As an added plus Casey is extremely shiny. With Mavala topcoat I can almost fix my lipstick using the reflection from my nail. And see those bluish higlights! This image shows the colour very black, but the red purple flashes beautifully in bright light.

I have to say that I have some issues with Zoya. All cream polishes and light shimmers bubble really badly - I guess that they are not compatible with Mavala Mavadry topcoat. Casey was also chipping on the next day after application. I have zero interest to try Zoyas color lock system. First, I think that it is expensive. Second, my nails don't stain and they are quite smooth - so for me the basecoat feels like totally unnecessary extra step in the manicure. Third, I hate fast dry drops.

So I really need to find a fast drying topcoat that works with Zoyas. I'm open to all suggestions!

Color Club Tangerine Scream <3

Color Club's Tangerine Scream is certainly my favourite of my recent purchases. This color surely makes a reaction. I guess that I got more comments about my manicure in those two days I weared this beauty than I've received ever before, counting all comments!

Like CC:s Power Play, this is very wearable and quite grown up neon - if that is possible. Base shade is beautiful vibrating neon orange, boosted with some unexpected mint green and silver shimmer for most beautiful neon I've ever seen. It is pretty on the pictures, but seen IRL it is almost unreal. Do you see the pinkish cast on the higlights? This color has some sort of weird double nature, it is not totally warm orange, it has this cool tinge, too. And I guess that it makes it easier to wear with different skintones.

Application was quite good for a neon, this is two coats + Mavala Mavadry. In these pictures I tried to capture the overall impression and "neonness" of this beautiful shade, not necessarily the details - and you can't really see the shimmer but it kind of adds some detail even in this kind of pics...

Second take on Frenchies: Opi Pink Before You Leap (plus some additional bling)

After my first French manicure I decided to take a look to my small polish stash, surely there had to be at least one white to try out in tips. An oh yes, several years old but still in decent condition: Mavala Izmir. This is quite soft and sheer white and I certainly would prefer slightly more distinct tips. But it applied really well, perhaps I should try other Mavala whites, too.

On top I used Opi Pink Before Leap. Not the most typical choice for French manicure, but I think that it actually works beautifully with my skintone. And although the sheer dusty rose base shade is quite dark, the white and crystal microglitter makes the tips look quite crisp.

I refreshed the look on next day with Orly Groupie, a sheer gold shimmer with randomly scattered larger holo particles.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Opi does mattes

Temptalia writes about Opi's matte collection, announced to be out on July.

I'm quite excited! It seems to me that Opi did not take the safe route with blacks and grays, the color choices look interesting! I think I need You Don't Know Jacques in matte...

Edit. and here's All Laquered Up on Opi mattes, she's the true early bird!

Friday, May 15, 2009

Rimmel French manicure

This manicure is made with Rimmel Nail tip whitener and Rose Praline. It is my first self made French manicure ever, so it's far from perfect, pardon for that!

It is also a start for my quest for a really good tip polish. Rimmel version is truly a bright white and it has a neat innovation: slightly slanted brush that eases the application, especially on the corners of the tips. Those are the goods. Bads: the formula. It is extremely difficult to apply evenly and slightly too thick for a tip polish. I strongly dislike thick nail tips... ...I will give this a second chance, though, but it definitely needs thinner.

Rose Praline is not a perfect choice for French mani, either. It was a bit streaky after two coats - and after the third it is too opaque for pretty French effect. But otherwise I have to say that this is one of my favourite nudes. The base is perfect soft bone white, enriched with beautiful pink shimmer and crystal twinkle. You can get a distant idea of the beautiful shimmer at least from the larger image, but the indirect lighting does not get the best out of shimmers. It is there, and it is beautiful, trust me! The color is pale, but not boring. Application is not perfect but evens nicely with the third coat.

My nail beds are quite curved and that is definitely a challenge for manicures. With too big brushes I'm not able to get to the side edges of the nails without staining the skin badly. On the other hand, cleaning that skin afterward is difficult, too. I easily end up ruining the polish...

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Rimmel Pompous - a glistening true purple

Rimmel is probably my favorite supermarket brand. They have some excellent mascaras and I do like their nail polish. Formula is good - I like especially the 60 seconds version. It keeps the promise and dries fast - and covers with two coats. I could use more shades, though. For some reason they are not importing all colors to Finland. And that's really a shame, the palette is quite adventurous for a supermarket brand.

This beauty is Pompous. A sophisticated, shimmery shade of purple, more mysterious or regal than vampy. Blue and red tones are quite well balanced in this shade, I'm quite tempted to call this a true purple. Also the shimmer is a mix of blue and magenta shimmer, slightly accented with crystal coloured twinkle. It might have a wintery feel on it, but this shade of purple looks really good with slightly tanned skin, too. So I won't bury it on the bottom of the stash for the summer. I might get that feel for purple nails, anyway.