China Glaze Shower Together has long been a favorite of mine, along with it's doppelganger predecessor ChG Aqua Baby. It's a saturated, yet subdued, turquoise-leaning blue creme with great coverage. To be honest, Shower Together is a bit more green than most of these photos show, which is a shame because it's that touch of green that really makes this polish. ST loves my skintone, which might be one reason I love it so much. Anyway, I chose it as the base for my first all-zebra manicure ever. I've attempted zebra a few times but usually without much success, but this time it turned out pretty well. I love Shower together with the simple black design over it. The design isn't original or fancy, but I was proud of the end result! I used an Art Deco striper polish from the Dollar Tree for the stripes, and Seche Vite, as usual, for my topcoat.
Happy 4th of July, everyone!! Here's my Independence Day mani; a festive french with an accent nail of "stars" and stripes. I used China Glaze Snow for the tips and the base of the ring finger. The blue is China Glaze Bermuda Breakaway, and it's applied over the tips of all fingers. On the french fingers, I used China Glaze Phat Santa for the dots, and on the ring fingers i used a sparkly red Art Deco striper polish to do the stripes. I made thin silver lines to separate the "stars" and stripes with China Glaze SIlver Bells. Everything was topped off with a coat of Seche Vite!
This is my current manicure and it's basically a complete ripoff of this manicure by Wah Nails. I loved it so much, and I knew as soon as I saw it, I had to try it. it's genius! The "cutout" of leopard is so awesome, and the contrast of light creamy blue with neon orange is amazing. I used Orly Snowcone and a Migi nail art pen for the leopard and the tips are Color Club Amp'd Up. I don't know what shades Wah used, but it looked pretty similar to me.
From the new Island Escape collection from China Glaze come Electric Pineapple! It's a creamy pastel acid green. At first it looks almost like just plain yellow, but in most lights there is a green tinge to it which is an answer to a prayer for me. I've been dying for an acid green, and while I'd love it if I could find one slightly more neon than pastel, this one will definitely do for now. The formula is pure China Glaze, creamy and covers evenly and has a gorgeous finish. This isn't a neon, so it doesn't dry matte, but the shinier you make it with a topcoat, the more vivid it seems. I found that unless I was in bright light, the color blended too much with my skin, so I decided to improve upon it with a little China Glaze Crackle Glaze in Crushed Candy!
Ever since those Sally Hansen Nail Art Pens came out years ago, I was driven to distraction by one of the designs in the advertising for them. I always figured that checkerboard designs were for only the steadiest of hands, but recently I found that this isn't really the case. I did that black and white checked design for the Indy 500 this weekend and I was surprised by how easy it was. I had never actually thought about how to go about it in a way that would make it easier than I was imagining, but when I decided I would at least give it a try, I found that by just making a grid of lines and filling in every other box was so freaking easy it made me feel sort of dumb. So since this magical door opened in my brain, I decided to pull up the Sally Hansen ad, which I keep in a folder on my PC desktop labeled "Nail Inspiration" and decided to give something similar a go. I used China Glaze Something Sweet, OPI DC Cherry Blossom and Sally Hansen's own Pacific Blue. Here is the original:
Illamasqua is becoming my "splurge" nail polish. It used to be Chanel, and I do still enjoy the occasional Chanel, but Illamasqua is almost half the price and every bit as luxurious, and most importantly; it's accessible. Sephora has nearly the full line of nail colors from this British brand, so it's easy to collect your favorites one at a time. $14 seems to me a little much to pay for nail polish sometimes, even being a nail junkie, but it's not much more expensive than OPI or Essie in all reality. So I buy only the ones I absolutely have to have and call it a splurge. This time it wasn't even that big of a splurge; I bought it on ebay at $12 and had a $10 coupon! I'd been eyeing Fern up for a while since blue is my favorite color, and finally snapped it up.
I was suprised in a couple ways by this polish; I was surprised by the gorgeousness of the icy silver microglitter shards, and I was also slightly dismayed by the texture which is thicker than any Illamasqua I've tried and it dried somewhat dull. I'll reserve judgement on it since I did get it from eBay (BNIB) but it's always possible it was tampered with. It sort of behaves as if it had a little remover added to it. Anyone have Fern and can tell me what the texture of theirs is like? I topped it with a coat of a fairly old and thick bottle of Seche so it took a while to dry and shrank up like mad. I've cracked open a new bottle of Seche Vite and will try it again some other time. Overall, I love the color, and while the application was a bit yucky and thick, I like the end result; a vibrant blue with a winter wonderland of microglitter.
Hard Candy Just Nails - Sky - $5 at Walmart
Long time, no see guys! I've been off the radar for a couple days, but I have a few cool things to show you this week, starting with this new Hard Candy polish I found. Back in the 90s, during Hard Candy's run as a mid-priced prestige brand, they released the iconic sky-blue nail polish called Sky that they became known for. Alicia Silverstone, back when she was still riding the Clueless train, was on David Letterman wearing it and I still remember thinking how awesome it was when I saw a photo of it in some magazine afterward. I had to have that polish and so I bought it, finally, on my very first Sephora order soooo many years ago. Blue has always been my favorite color and Hard Candy Sky was my first blue polish. As I became more immersed in nail polish, sampling tons of other brands, shades and formulas, I finally realized that Sky applied horribly and there were other sky blues out there I liked better. I think I may still have a bottle of the original Sky sitting around somewhere for posterity, but I can't find it. I also can't find a previous swatch of it so I'm sorry about that. It's basically like this without the flash of blue shimmer floating on top. Anyway, so when I was at Walmart earlier in the week looking at the Hard Candy display and I saw a light blue (that looked like a creme) and yelled in my mind, "SKY!" I picked it up and sure enough that was the name but then I saw the shimmer and was half upset, half intrigued. Long story short; it's Sky, still applies like crap but it's pretty, cheap, and you can find it at WalMart. Let's take a look.
Here's my second favorite of the three glitters I bought from the Burlesque collection; Simmer & Shimmer. It's another clear-based glitter that is dominated by blue with a little gold, silver, and a tiny smidgen of pink thrown in. Overall the look is a light silvery blue from arm's length, but up close it's a glittergasm of fun. I liked this one quite a bit, but wished the blue was a bit darker. I'm excited to try this with a copper or gold konad design on top. Like Sparkle-icious, this is pretty sheer and needs about 4 coats to be near opaque. Five coats might be asking too much of some people, but it dries fast and most people like to wear glitters longer due to the mind-numbly annoying removal process, so it may be worth the extra effort to you. I like this polish pretty well, but I don't think it's the star of the collection. My picks for Burlesque are The Show Must Go On, and for the glitters you can't do better than Sparkle-icious. I'm interested in picking up Teasey Does It because I've heard a few raves, but time will tell. I'm rather picky with which OPI I buy due to the price, and the controversy over their marketing recently. You can't deny that OPI does surprise us with amazing polishes you just CAN'T pass up once in a while, so I don't have the strength to boycott or anything, lol.
Here's a nail design I did last week. Another leopard, yes, I can hear you through the computer... I can't help it, I love leopard and there are so many awesome color combinations I'm dying to do with it. This particular one was done with two polishes my awesome swap buddy Michelle sent me. They were the first I used from this latest swap package... They're from H&M and they're called Blue Sky and Grey Sky and I love them. They're both surprisingly unique! The blue sort of reminds me of OPI Suzi Says Feng Shui but a little lighter perhaps. The grey is a light warm grey with shimmer! I thought of doing a sky to match the names but decided that was too predictable, so went with the less predictable (LULZ) leopard. What do you think? I used the blue to dot the print on the grey nails and vice versa... I liked it.
OPI Designer Series Magic - $7 at transdesign.com (not affiliated)
One of OPI's two new Designer Series addition for this Fall, Magic is a gorgeous and glistening blue hue. Like all the other Designer Series, or DS, polishes it dries fast and has an interesting finish. The DS line consists of several finishes from flecks to holo, but the common theme is that they're just about all incredibly stunning. Magic is a purple-toned blue with duochrome flecks of shimmer. There's a peek of pink in the shimmer that brought to mind and old China Glaze favorite of mine that I've got in the back of a drawer in crisis preservation mode; Drinkin' My Blues Away. While DMBA is less purple in the base and more of a clear blue, the flecks are very similar in these two polishes down to that peek of pink I was talking about. Coverage is decent in two coats, but unless you use thicker coats I recommend three. Below the jump you can see more photos as well as a comparison to Drinkin' My Blues Away!