OPI collections are completely off my radar anymore. My local Trade Secret shut down and you can't get them at transdesign.com or 8ty8beauty.com anymore, so I usually don't pay a whole lot of attention to OPI because they're hard to find for me now. If there is a particularly special color, which seems to be rare anymore, I do make a point of searching for it or getting it on eBay. I ran into this one by accident at a salon, and they had several along with Steady as She Rose, which I should go back and get now that I think about it. I was very excited about finding it randomly after almost forgetting about it because it was the only one that really interested me. It's a washed out herby green with a touch of a clay grey to it. It's so unusual and pretty, so I'm happy I grabbed it. I don't have Essie Da Bush to compare it to, but I know that they're very similar. The application was alright; I needed three thin coats to cover to my satisfaction and I really enjoyed wearing it. It wore well for the whole two days I actually kept it on, but I can't vouch for it past that.
On a side note; looking at this picture I realize that I think it's finally time to take down my nail length a bit. They're starting to look a little scary, are they not? I always loved having short nails, but over the last couple months I've let them grow for two reasons: I don't keep my nails long very often and it's a fun change, and also I thought it would be cool to have them long for nail art reasons, but I think I may file them down soon. Just thinking out loud here.
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Zoya Yara - from the Smoke & Mirrors collection - $8 at zoya.com
Here's another Zoya beauty I got in my latest order. I often forget what beautiful polishes Zoya can make. I go a few months without paying much attention to anything but China Glaze and Color Club, sometimes Essie and OPI, but I have to remind myself to check out what's going on at Zoya. I have been missing out because so many gorgeous shades have been released since my last order. Yara is from one of the most recent collections and it's amazing. It's a fatigues green creme with some golden shards of large shimmer floating on the surface. It applies perfectly in two coats and the finish is just unbelievable. I love it!
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Zoya Cynthia - $8 at zoya.com
You're going to be seeing a few Zoya posts from me this week because of that order I did last week, so just be warned. Today is Zoya Cynthia, which is a very deep peacock color. It appears as a creme in most lights but there is a slight shimmer when you look at it in the sun. This one took three thin coats for opacity but it looks beautiful once you're done.
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Jade Dragon is from last year's F/W 2010 Jin Soon Nail Trend Collection, but I ran into it this week at the CCO. CCO stands for Cosmetics Company Outlet, and it's a store full of Estee Lauder brands that you may find in your nearest outlet mall. They carry Clinique, MAC, Bobbi Brown and more all at discounted prices. You can usually find some treasures from recently retired collections, so it's always worth a look. Jade Dragon is crazy gorgeous. It is a deep jade green cream with blue shards of shimmer that float on top. It's really interesting to look at and the formula is amazing. It's almost a one-coater, and it applies evenly and is highly pigmented. I loves it lots.
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Last night I picked up Orly Fresh at Sally and did some nail art with it. I don't know how but I didn't realize this polish existed. WTH? Anyway, it's a bright spring grass green. It's not neon, but it's bright and beautiful. I don't think I have anything like it at all, but I do recall having OPI Greenwich Green which I believe is similar though I apparently didn't like that one enough to keep it. I think perhaps it was sort of sheer? I don't remember, but Fresh is a creamy jelly with great coverage in two coats. For this manicure I kept it super simple. I used those little circle notebook paper hole reinforcement stickers cut in half to mask 1/3 of my nails, painted them Orly Fresh, then using Konad Special Polish in black and Konad plate m51 I stamped on this swirly pattern. After it dried, I removed the stickers and put on a coat of Seche Vite. This manicure isn't really a half-moon, and it's not exactly a french either. It's a French moon, if you will. I like the look of those obnoxiously prominent white tips you see on acrylics sometimes, and I like the half-moon thing, so I thought this was a pretty cool compromise. I like the look of the naked bottom 1/3 with really busy tips.
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$25 at chanel.com
From the Fall 2011 Illusions d'Ombres collection from Chanel comes Peridot, which is one of three polishes available. I very seldom cave in and buy Chanel polishes unless they seem very unique. The last two I've bought; Kaleidoscope and Paradoxal met these requirements for me and I was very pleased with them, so I went ahead and jumped and, as usual, I'm glad I did. Peridot is a complex green/gold metallic polish. In most indoor lights it comes off as a green-tinged gold, more green around the edges. Then in bright outdoor light it appears amber from some angles and seafoam in others. Sometimes you can see some turquoise as well. The finish is a beautiful metallic, and in low lights it sometimes appears as a chrome. It applies a little streakily, but when it dries it is very smooth. I used three coats, as it is somewhat thin. It can be a little tricky to apply, and can drag at the cuticle a bit so I would recommend letting it dry well between coats. I've included a huge amount of pics because you really have to see it to appreciate it.
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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!
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Sorry I've been MIA for a few days... I haven't really mentioned it on the blog, but I'm getting married in two weeks! We've been so busy that I haven't had a lot of time for nail-related stuff. Besides there being a million wedding things to do, the whole family has been sick on and off for a few weeks, our kiddo has had lots of soccer stuff going on and there just seems to be tons and tons of stuff to do. I'm also a worrier. Something is wrong if I don't have something to worry about, but luckily there's plenty to be anxious about in the near future... Just for a quick FYI if you're interested, my fiancé and I have been together for almost 9 years (on and off, lol) and we have a 6-year-old little girl, and we're finally ready to tie the knot. It's going to be a lot of fun and I promise to post some photos after I get them. So think about me and wish me luck on 10-10-10!
Anyway, here's a manicure I did tonight because I just felt it was time to some fun nail art after this hellish week. I used an awesome Essence polish from the Surfer Girl collection as the base. It was sent to me in a swap from the lovely Michelle from The Lacquer Files (one of a ton of amazing polishes she sent that I'll be sharing with you over the next couple weeks). Over it I did dot's in varying colors:
From bottom to top:
Color Club Pretty in Platinum ($2.49)
Mix of Color Club Pretty in Platinum and OPI Who The Shrek Are You? ($5.24)
OPI Who the Shrek Are You?
Mix of OPI Who the Shrek Are You? and CND Urban Oasis ($10 as part of Night Factory set)
CND Urban Oasis
Wet n Wild Black ($.99)
I used a small dotting tool and applied the dots diagonally all the way up. It's far from perfect and I think it looks more graduated and pretty in person, but oh well. I love the look of it on grey and how it almost looks textured. I've been wanting to do a gradation manicure, but I figured I'd give this a try first. Honestly I'm really afraid of failure on the straight-up gradation... I'm sort of confused on how to do it to be honest. I've tried it with a sponge and didn't love it. Perhaps I need to use different polishes or try another method. Have you ever tried a gradation on your nails? What's you favorite gradation method?
Essie Sew Psyched - $8 at essieshop.com
Essie Sew Psyched from the brand's collection for the Autumn 2010 season is a big winner. Creamy and pigmented, it's two-coat perfection. I don't normally gush about Essie, but this is such an amazing shade. Some say from photos it seems close to Chanel's new Khaki Vert, but according to Temptalia, it's a bit more blue in comparison. Another difference is that while Khaki Vert is a creme, Sew Psyched has a touch of shimmer. I have to admit, I love the look of Khaki Vert, but I hate hate hate buying Chanel. It's just a tic in my mind that hates it. I love the polish itself, but rationally I know it's not better quality than China Glaze or Color Club which are so much cheaper. Time will tell whether I cave and buy Khaki Vert, like my heart tells me to, but for now I honestly feel like Temptalia's flash photo of KV alone looks like Sew Psyched does on my nails right now. Flash tends to wash out polishes, and I like how it looks in that photo, so perhaps that means I'd end up liking Sew Psyched more than KV? (My mind struggles to justify a purchase). Sure it might look more blue in comparison to Khaki Vert, but alone it's a green-grey perfection. It works with the beige in my skin really well and it's really chic and applies efforlessly. LOVE IT.
Here's another straight-from-the-plate Konad design I did recently. I've a bad habit of using a few of my Konad plates and ignoring others, so I'm challenging myself to use them more, just to get some use out of them. It's so easy and requires no creativity really, but I like looking at the design/color combos other people come up with for Konad, so I figured I'd post it. This one is OPI Jade is the New Black from the Hong Kong collection with bamboo from plate m66 stamped on randomly in Black special polish. This is a really straight-forward design that takes no creativity at all, but looks super cool, and the color and design were made for each other, in my opinion. On a side note, what the hell is going on with my bottle of JITNB? It's going all yellow at the bottom. Do not like. Luckily it applies the same, I can't believe it's already doing that, it just came out a couple months ago. Weirdness.