A Note on Big 3 Free Nail Polishes

    Good morning, Dear Reader!

    Since I've recently decided to primarily use Big 3 Free nail polishes, with the "Big 3" being toluene, formaldehyde, and DBP (dibutyl phthalate), I've been paying more attention to them and how other people are using them as well.  I thought I'd pass on the results of some of my own experience and some research I've done on the topic in light of something I've observed.

    I've noticed other ladies doing something which I've found does not consistently work: mixing Big 3 Free products with "regular" products, or those which do contain any of the Big 3 (in my experience, specifically toluene and formaldehyde).  By mixing products I mean combining a base coat and color, or color and top coat, that are not of the same composition.  What's happened to me with that is (i) using a toluene containing top coat over B3F color resulted in the nail polish coming off in large chips within hours, and (ii) using a formaldehyde containing base coat under a B3F color resulting in severe staining of the nails.  Mixing products may work for a given color, but odd results may also happen - it simply is not predictable, and is thus not recommended.

    I'm not suggesting that one should necessarily stick to using the same brand for base, color, and top coat, but that one should be aware that B3F products are not intended to be combined with toluene, formaldehyde, or DBP, and strange outcomes can occur when they're mixed.  I do know that several of the B3F companies, notably Zoya, Nubar, and Carolyn New York, strongly recommend the use of their own base and top coats with their color.

    To be honest, I've been mixing brands myself, using Nubar Nu Nails Nail Strengthener as a base and Nubar Diamont Seal & Shine Quick Dry as a top coat with Nubar, CNY, Orly, and Zoya colored nail polishes and have had fine results.  I just wanted to point out the companies' recommendations, as it's likely a "your mileage may vary" issue.

    I just wanted to get that little product rant out there, Dear Reader.  Now that it's out I can say until next time, love and nail polish to you!

Yet More Nubar Swatches for the Last Day of Their Sale

    Good morning, Dear Reader!

    I have my last round of Nubar nail polish swatches for you - not the last time you'll see me in Nubar, but the last ones I got done to help you plot an order to use the 20% off $50+ coupon code.

    Here we go!

    This, Dear Reader, is the only yellow shimmer I've found to be opaque on its own in two coats, Yellow Mellow.  



    Next up is a natural shade, but it ain't no Essie!  This is J'Taime. 


    To brighten up J'taime, I added to it two coats of Shimmering Tulle.


    That brings us to what I'm weraing now.  Just as Yellow Mellow is to yellow what Pasadena Purple is to purple, the same can be said of Hollywood Pink.


    And here's Hollywood Pink with two coats of Sugar.


    That's what I have for you today, Dear Reader.  Until tomorrow, love and nail polish to you!

Matte Nail Polish in Every Color: Nubar V for Men Top Coat

    Good morning, Dear Reader!

    I've been intriqued by the completely matte nails polishes, but not so much that I'm willing to hand over $22 for them or to wait for a coat of NailTek II (to which I attribute some recent problems with my nails) to dry over a polish.  But I found a solution from the good folks at Nubar that I thought I'd try out before their sale is over so we could see if it really works or not.

    The verdict?  It works like a charm!  The product is their V For Men Quick Dry Top Coat, which dried as fast as Diamont, but to a completely matte finish.  I decided to keep it simple for the test drive and just tried it over black.  The top coat picked up no color with zero wait time between coats, had my polish completely dry in just a few minutes, and is matte as can be.

    'Nubar Nubar V For Men Top Coat over Black

    Nubar V For Men Top Coat over Black

    The upshot of this find is there's no more waiting for anyone to come out with a matte color I want - the topcoat can just make anything matte.  What fun!

    On the topic of Nubar, tomorrow's the last day of the 20% off coupon code.  The code is 20% off $50 or more through the 31st, and is nlphle2050.  Their free shipping over $75 policy still applies but only after the discount is applied.

    That's all I have for you today, Dear Reader.  Until tomorrow, love and nail polish to you!

    EDIT:  I just tested the chat window I had my eye on - stupid thing put an ad right over my pic!  I'll try to find another one.

    New Edit:  I just added a chat window.  It's under "Chat" on the sidebar.  You can register a profile, but don't need to. If we meed to change that later, I can.  What I've found is that you can upload an avatar if you have a square pic online, and I made it so that if you're a regular commenter and you want to use your commenting name, you can password protect it by creating a profile.  I don't know if I have to create it for you or if you can do it too.  I password protected Siobhan, though, so the messages from Siobhan are really me.

    I just checked, and you can in fact password protect your own name, so you don't need me to do it for you. 

    If you have questions, please post it in a comment below, as I'm sure others do too, and I'll research and answer as fully as I can.  I'm figuring all this out as I go too, so we'll see how we like it and if we want changes.

CHI Tropical Paradise Collection for Summer 2009, Part II

    Good morning, Dear Reader!

    I just finished my swatches of the rest of CHI's Tropical Paradise Collection of Summer 2009 for you, so you get to see the remaining four colors today.

    They're all two coats over a base, with the exception of one which is three coats, and the last has a top coat as well.  Let's get straight to the pictures!

    Sunny Romance of Saint Tropez is the three-coater, a yellow shimmer, and I still have a bit of VNL.  It looks like this one needs a coat of white under it.

    CHI  Sunny Romance of Saint Tropez 'CHI

     CHI  Sunny Romance of Saint Tropez 'CHI

    Under Water at the Great Barrier Coral Reef is a vivid coral creme, and likely has the longest name I've ever see on a polish.

     CHI  Under Water at the Great Barrier Coral Reef 'CHI

     CHI  Under Water at the Great Barrier Coral Reef 'CHI Under

    Brown Sands on Maui Beaches is a meduim brown with a strong shimmer.

     CHI  Brown Sands on Maui Beaches 'CHI

     CHI  Brown Sands on Maui Beaches 'CHI Brown

    And my favorite of the whole collection, Purple Nights at the Mexican Riviera is a deep purple shimmer that reminds me of velvet.

     CHI  Purple Nights at the Mexican Riviera 'CHI Purple

    CHI  Purple Nights at the Mexican Riviera  'CHI Purple

    That's CHI's Tropical Paradise Collection for you!  I got mine from sparkling*nails, but she doesn't seem to have them listed yet.  If you look at Part I, I explained the details of how to get hold of her if you see anything you need.

    Until tomorrow, Dear Reader, love and nail polish to you!

CHI Tropical Paradise Collection for Summer 2009, Part I

    Good morning, Dear Reader!

    I told you I had something fun and otherwise impossible to find online in store for you this weekend!  It's CHI's Summer 2009 Collection: Tropical Paradise.  Today I have the first four of the eight, and tomorrow I'll show you the other four.  I saved my very favorite of the collection for tomorrow, but am giving you my second favorite today (in fact, it's my Nails of the Day). 

    I love CHI polishes, particularly their seasonal collections.  The color selection in their core line isn't anything I'd jump up and down about, but their seasonal collections usually have some real standouts.  The hard part?  Finding them!  I've been hunting online for any info about what they'd be putting out, if anything, and came up with nothing.  Even their website still has the Success ACHIeved Collection (which I showed you last Fall) under "New Stuff."  The only down side to the collection itself is the length of the names - if I were to go the usual route and put them on the pictures, I'd have to use four point font!  Instead, I used captions above the pics.

    Anyhow, I have come to rely on sparkling*nails on ebay to be my resource to find the impossible to find.  She let me know she had access to the new collection, and I said, "Sign me up!!!"  She hasn't photographed or listed them yet (I've dealt with her outside of ebay since before I started The Nailphile), but she will soon, probably this week.  Here's a link to her CHI nail polishes in order of most recently listed, so when they're available, they'll be at the top of the list.  The other option is to email sparkling*nails and ask her to hold anything you see that you like for you, and she will (and do the transaction through ebay for you).  She's got the best customer service I've ever encountered, hence my loyalty to her.  She also ships for free to the US and Canada for orders of $100 or more, so poke around in her store a bit...

    We're almost to the pics, I promise!  I'll just give you the details of the polishes and application first: CHIs are 3-Free (no toluene, formaldehyde, or DBP), and apply just beautifully.  I could tell from the application that they were 3-Free, but did verify that on their site.  I'm accustomed to the application of 3-Free polishes, so they went on really well for me, and were absolutely opaque in two thin coats.  The pictures are in order of my preference from least to greatest, with the first three being the two coats over a base and the last being a full manicure with a top coat as well.  I now present Part I of CHI's Tropical Paradise Collection!

    First up is Montego Bay Orange Lush Resort, which is my least favorite simply because I'm not personally wild about orange.  It's actually a nice cheerful shade of orange and a creme.
    CHI Montego Bay Orange Lush Resort Nail Polish'CHI
    CHI Montego Bay Orange Lush Resort Nail Polish Bottle'CHI

    Next up is Passion on the Mediterranean Cruise, a really nice pinky berry creme.  It's next to last just because the other in this collection are cooler...

    CHI Passion on the Mediterranean Cruise Nail Polish'CHI

    CHI Passion on the Mediterranean Cruise Nail Polish Bottle'CHI

    Rounding third we have A Fine Glass of Wine in the South of France, which is a slightly fuchsia grape-y creme.
     CHI A Fine Glass of Wine in the South of France Nail Polish'CHI

    CHI A Fine Glass of Wine in the South of France Nail Polish Bottle'CHI

    Landing at Number Four, my favorite of today's batch and my NOTD, is Aqua Water on the Isles of Mikonos, a really great aqua shimmer.
     CHI Aqua Water on the Isles of Mikonos Nail Polish'CHI Aqua

     CHI Aqua Water on the Isles of Mikonos Nail Polish Bottle'CHI Aqua

    That's the first half of CHI's Tropical Paradise Collection for Summer 2009, and the rest are in store for you tomorrow, Dear Reader.  Until then, love and nail polish to you!

As Exclusive as OPI Gets: Euro Exclusive Cherry Much in Love & Ulta Exclusive Merry Holly-Days!

    Good evening, Dear Reader!

    The exclamation point in the title is courtesy of OPI, not me - it's part of the name of the second nail polish.  I've been a day or two behind in showing you my manis for a while, but just got some pretties I really want to show you this weekend that prompted me to catch up with an extra post today.

    Yesterday I finally got the OPI European Valentine's Day Exclusives I've been looking for since January.  My local post office is not the most efficient in the world... In any case, the OPIs are sparkly and beautiful (I only got the two glittery ones), and I broke into Cherry Much in Love this morning.  From what I've seen in pictures, I knew I need to layer something under it lest I have wicked VNL,  and the OPI red closest to the base color of Cherry Much in Love that I had handy was the Ulta Exclusive froom Christmas 2008, Merry Holly-Days!  (again, that's OPI's exclamation point, not mine).  The result is an ultra exclusive OPI mani!  This is three coats of Merry Holly-Days! and two coats of Cherry Much in Love with a top coat.

    OPI Cherry Much in Love Nail Polish 

    OPI Cherry Much in Love Nail Polish Bottle 

    Nice and sparkly, isn't she?  The only down side is that my nails feel like coarse grit sandpaper with top coat.  That's not very nice.  So as long as no one (including me) touches my nails, this is a great manicure - one that's meant to be admired from afar...

    That's what I have for you this evening, Dear Reader.  The things I have to show you this weekend are really fun.  I haven't heard a peep about them otherwise, and I've hunted for info, so I'll have to hurry up and get some pictures for you!

    Until then, love and nail polish to you!

Nubar Lemon Sorbet + Nubar Angelic Glitter = Sunshine

    Good morning, Dear Reader!

    I've got a happy sunshine mani for you today: Nubar's Lemon Sorbet topped with Angelic Glitter.  I've shown you Lemon Sorbet before, but to simplify things, I took new pictures of it for you.  This is two coats over a base.

    Nubar Lemon Sorbet Nail Polish 

    Nubar Lemon Sorbet Nail Polish Bottle 

    Surprisingly non-streaky for a yellow in two coats, no?  That's why I like it so much.  I perked it up by adding two coats of Angelic Glitter and topping it all off with one coat of Diamont.

    Nubar Angelic Glitter Nail Polish 

    Nubar Angelic Glitter Nail Polish Bottle 

    Now my nails are like little suns!  It's just right to combat the rainy weather here in Chicago, so it makes me happy.

    We're coming up on the last days of the Nubar coupon code ending March 31, which is why I'm trying to show you all of them so you can plot an order.  If you still need the details, click on the "Coupon Code" link at the bottom of this post, and the third post down has all the details about it.

    That's all for today, Dear Reader.  Until tomorrow, love and nail polish to you!

Essie Greenport Plus A Little Sparkle

    Good morning, Dear Reader!

    Today's pictures are of a recent mani I did using Essie's Greenport from the North Fork Collection.  I really like the color, but I am weary of cremes, so I added a little something to it: Nubar Sour Candy.

    Here's what I started with, Greenport on its own, three coats over a base.

    Essie Greenport Nail Polish 

    Essie Greenport Nail Polish Bottle 

    Then I added the two coats of Nubar Sour Candy, and that livened things up quite a bit!

    Essie Greenport Nubar Sour Candy Nail Polish 

    Essie Greenport Nubar Sour Candy Nail Polish Bottle

    That's all for today, Dear Reader.  Until tomorrow, love and nail polish to you!

    EDIT:  That wasn't quite all, Dear Reader!  

    I just found a something I'm thinking of adding to the site.  It's a chat window that allows anyone who's on at the same time to chat with one another (including me), only if you feel like participating, with no login and no tracking.  You just enter the name you want to use within the chat, or else the chat assigns you a number if you don't enter a name.  

    I added a poll right under the Search function on the top right for you to let me know whether you'd like me to add it to the site, which will be up for three days.  I'll do my best to add it if you'd like it.  I didn't want to clutter up the page if you didn't want it, Dear Reader, so thank you for your input!

Zoya Moxie & Trouble in Paradise

    Good morning, Dear Reader!

    There's a bit of trouble in paradise, and if you're reading this, you worked around it.  For this moment, "www.thenailphile.com" isn't working properly, but "thenailphile.com" still is.  I'm in the process of sorting it all out.

    Today's Big 3 Free mani is from Zoya, from the Twist Collection, called Moxie.  This is two coats with a base and a top coat.

    Zoya Moxie Nail Polish 

    Zoya Moxie Nail Polish Bottle 

    That's what I have for you today, Dear Reader.  Until tomorrow, love and nail polish to you!

    Adding a little update:  My URL is working again!  Whew!

Nubar Sexy Red & Goldy

    Good morning, Dear Reader!

    Now that it's the last week of the Nubar coupon and they're taking preorders for Pasadena Purple and the Cleopatras, I'm going to try to show you as many of the cool Nubars I have that you still haven't seen in case you're trying to plot an order.  If you need the details, I just click on the label "Coupon Code" at the bottom of this post - the last one I posted with that label has all the details.  

    Speaking of labels, a little sidenote: wixbetty asked about hex glitters in a comment recently, and as I listed them for her, I noted I should have created a label for them as a category of their own.  There are still more to come, so I'm creating the label "Glitters - Hexagram" now and will go back and shift the older posts from "Glitter" into the more specific category this morning so they're easier to find.

    So, on to showing you more pretties!  Today's mani was an effort to use another hexagram glitter, one I've had my eye on since I got them, called Goldy.  The trouble is I don't have a good Big 3 Free gold base to put it over, so today I decided to try it over a red, which looks good, I think, but does tend to give the overall effect of Christmas in March.  Ah, well, I suppose they're not all going to turn out as planned!  The mani shows you both polishes really well though, so I decided to post the pictures anyhow.

    The red I selected to start with is Nubar's Sexy Red, and that it is.  This is three uber-thin coats over a base.

    Nubar Sexy Red Nail Polish 

    Nubar Sexy Red Nail Polish Bottle 

    I could have left Sexy Red alone, yes, but when have I just left a polish alone lately?  I added two coats of Nubar Goldy to it, which made it nice and sparkly.  A little Christmas-y, but sparkly nonetheless!  I know five coats sounds daunting, and I would have balked at that a couple of weeks ago myself, but I'm telling you, this Diamont top coat is incredible - it's the only reason I've been up for as much layering as I have been lately.  Four to five coats are dry in less time than three with other top coats.  That sounds unbelievable, but I swear it's true.  Here's the Sexy Red, Goldy, and Diamont.

    Nubar Goldy Nail Polish 

    Nubar Goldy Nail Polish Bottle 

    That's my Nails of the Day and my continued effort to show you more cool Nubars, Dear Reader!  I hope they help you if you're plotting a haul, and entertain you if you're not.

    That's all for today.  Until tomorrow, love and nail polish to you!

Nubar Pasadena Purple, Cleopatra Collection, & Fun Site Update

    Good evening, Dear Reader!

    I updated my last post with some of this news, but then made a discovery that made all of the news worth an update post!

    First, the Nubar Pasadena Purple and Cleopatra Update: I got an email today from Nubar telling me they are taking preorders this week to ship on Monday, March 30, for those things, which I'd shown you in previous posts and went out of stock.  I wanted to let you know about it since they're running a 20% off $50 or more coupon code through the 31st, nlphle2050.  Their free shipping over $75 policy still applies but only after the discount is applied.  Get 'em while the gettin's good!

    The thing I'm all excited about that prompted me to post is the fun site update!  Those of you who've been here for a while know that I changed the comments feature recently.  I'm still getting adjusted to it myself, and I just discovered it has a Private Message feature that you can use if you leave comments.  You can message other commenters privately (like an email), and it really is private, or you can use it to contact me privately.  I can't see the private messages other than my own, and don't know when or what one person sends one to another, so feel free to chat away at will!

    I just tested it with someone who left a comment recently who I also chat with on IM, and it works.  I thought that was a cool little feature I'd pass on to you, Dear Reader, in case there's someone you've wanted to say, "Hello," to...

    That's all.  Just so we stay on topic, as this is a nail polish blog, I'll give you some pictures from the vault.  It's one of my favorites Nubars, Purple Beach.  

    Nubar Purple Beach Nail Polish 

    Nubar Purple Beach Nail Polish

    It's purple, it's a duochrome, what's not to like???

    That's the update for now, Dear Reader.  Until tomorrow, love and nail polish to you!

Nubar Dolcetto & Pink Dot: The Return of the Glitters

    I have an update for you, Dear Reader!
    I just got an email from Nubar that they're now taking preorders for the Cleopatra Collection and Pasadena Purple to ship on March 30 (Monday).  That means there's plenty of time to get in an order using the coupon code they're running through the 31st, nlphle2050, which is good for 20% off an order of $50 or more.  Their free shipping still applies to orders totaling $75 or more after the discount, so have a nice haul!

    Good morning, Dear Reader!

    Today I have a mani with a pair of nail polishes that turned out exactly like I wanted it to.  I went back to The Big Box o' Glitter and took out Nubar Pink Dot, and I matched it with Nubar Dolcetto for a base color.  

    I showed you Dolcetto a while back when I showed you the Vineyard Collection - it's my favorite from that collection.  Here's two coats of it on its own.

    Nubar Dolcetto Nail Polish 

    Nubar Dolcetto Nail Polish 

    So that's the starting point.  To it I added two coats of Pink Dot, which made it a million times more fun!

    Nubar Pink Dot Nail Polish 

    Nubar Pink Dot Nail Polish 

    Pretty dang festive, huh?

    That's what I have for you today, Dear Reader.  Until tomorrow, love and nail polish to you!

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