Versace Heat Nail Lacquer in V2046 & A Cool New Blog!

    Good morning, Dear Reader!

    I have a really fun nail polish to show you today, one that held surprises for me. For a while, my friend L8B has posted pictures on a message board of Versace Heat Nail Lacquer inV2046, and my, how I have coveted it! I managed to get my hands on it a few weeks ago, but since it's ancient, have put off using it because of my aversion to old-school chemicals (formaldehyde, toluene, DBP), especially with my nails being a bit fragile.

    Well, today is a special day. It's my mom's birthday, and she was a HUGE celebrator, so in her honor I decided to do something special and break out the Versace (obviously, I'm doing more tonight, that was just my little personal gesture...). I reluctantly hunted down an old bottle of Seche Vite to use over it, lest Diamont have some weirdo reaction, lamenting that I'd have to wrap my tips (which I don't so with Diamont) and that I'd likely have shrinkage with SV, but I really wanted to use the Versace.

    All, set, I applied Nu Nails (chemical reactions be damned, I'm not staining my nails!), then the first coat of the Versace. It was more than I'd hoped for, very richly pigmented, easy to apply, smooth as silk. The noteworthy thing was that it did not stink - being used to Big 3 Free, when I smell the old-school stuff now, it literally stings my nose. I stopped, got the ancient box the Versace came in, and read the ingredients. Much to my surprise, and thanks to the fact that the European regulations are way ahead of ours, I found that it was B3F! I finished the mani, turned up my nose at Seche Vite, and topped it off with Diamont.

    This is truly the most incredible medium blue. I am in love - it was worth the months of pining! Here's the two-coat finished manicure. Be sure to check out the power lines from the olden days in second picture - they're still suspended from those poles rather than underground here. I think it's quaint now, but when there's a storm and I have no power, I doubt it'll be as charming...

    Versace Heat Nail Polish
    Versace Heat Nail Lacquer Bottle

    And here's the cool little Versace insignia on the top of the bottle. You know how I love ornamented bottles!


    That's the Versace. Or a Versace. She has sisters! I'll show them to you soon...

    In the title, I said there's a cool new blog! Well, there is. You know that although I like to show you the latest and greatest whenever I can, I'm largely just doing my own thing here. Like showing you a random Versace and throwing caution to the wind with nail length. I recently found out there's another site doing the same - showing the latest and greatest with his own twist and doing his own thing (yes, his), all with exceptional pictures, great commentary, thoughtful color comparisons... You name it, he's got it. His knowledge of nail polish is amongst the best, and I expect his site to take off fast. I love it. If you don't know him yet, I am proud to introduce you to ybpolish! He's written a lot already, and updates often, so be sure to keep an eye on him.

    That's it for now, Dear Reader. Until next time, love and nail polish to you!

SpaRitual Fall 2009 Collection: Forbidden

    Good afternoon again, Dear Reader!

    I had a little window of time, and took it to swatch the last three SpaRitual Forbidden Collection colors for you. Since when I showed you the first three, I mentioned that seeing the collection in its entirety really gives an impression of how cool the whole collection is, I decided that rather than just showing you Part II, I'd show you all six colors this time around so you'd get to see what I see. I'll just show you the with-the-bottle pictures so the page loads this century.

    All six colors required three thin coats to be opaque and even, but applied very smoothly, evenly and overall very well. The conditions for each picture are different, so I'll just tell you what's going on in each as we go.

    Of course, browns and purples are hot for this Fall, and that's evident in this collection. It can be split down the middle into the predominantly brown and not predominantly brown shades, so I thought I'd do just that. I'm showing you the pictures from the previous post as if you'd never seen them, but it's to let you see the collection as a whole. It goes together nicely for me.

    I'll start with the tamer predominantly brown shades so we can end with my favorites. I called a favorite earlier, that became plural with this round of swatches... In order of depth of color for the browns, favorites for the non-browns, here they are.

    First is Mystic, a taupe creme, which is exceptionally smooth and even for such a pale shade (typical of SpaRitual though). This is no top coat, but with base coat.

    SpaRitual Fall 2009 Nail Polish Bottle

    Second is Inner Sanctum, a light peach brown creme, which is darker on the nail than in the bottle. Also with a base but no top.

    SpaRitual Forbidden Fall 2009 Nail Polish Bottle

    The third you haven't seen yet, and is a full manicure over Nu Nails with Diamont. It's Hush, desribed as "a warm brown creme." I think it looks like milk chocolate. It's a contender to unseat Lippmann Maneater as my favorite brown - that's why I'm test driving it.

    SpaRitual Forbidden Fall 2009 Collection Nail Polish Bottle

    That brings us to the not predominantly brown shades. The first is described as a "burnt orange red creme," which seems accurate, and is called Intrigue. I got a call while I did this one, and it dried super fast, and especially shiny. This is dry, no top, with base.

    SpaRitual Forbidden Collection Fall 2009 Nail Polish Bottle

    The fifth one you've seen, but is worth seeing again. Hypnotic is described as a "charcoal brown shimmer," and is just cool as heck - it's the one I declared a far and away favorite. It looks on the nail more like the bottle itself in the picture below, and this is a full manicure with Nu Nails and Diamont.

    SpaRitual Forbidden Collection Fall 2009 Nail Polish

    Last is Regal, decribed as "plum creme," which taught me not to decare a favorite based on the bottle alone. It's like Fall 2008's Solitude in that the description and general idea are not particularly noteworthy, but the color is absolutely striking. I thought this one would be a nightmare to photograph, but it really wasn't at all. I think this is one hell of a plum.

    SpaRitual Forbidden Collection Fall 2009

    Again, the release date for these is September 2009, and the retail is $10. That's higher than it used to be. I emailed sparkling*nails on ebay (that's a link to email her) to ask her what her price will be, as I assume her costs have gone up as well, but haven't heard back. She's usually the cheapest source for SpaRitual, has amazing CS (I've bought from her for years, pre-blog), and ships internationally. The other thing is that she usually will reserve stuff in advance if you email her. When I contacted her about her prices this morning, I asked her when she'd get these and if she'd be reserving them in advance, but don't know that for certain yet either. If she says "No," I'll edit this part out... In any case, I provided her email so that if you want any colors, you can ask her to set them aside for you now you you don't have to stalk her store for them in September. She'll just email you when they're in.

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

SpaRitual Fall 2009 Collection: Forbidden, Part I

    Good afternoon, Dear Reader!

    This is what I'd hoped to be able to show you: SpaRitual's Fall 2009 Forbidden Collection. Unfortunately, I didn't have enought time to swatch all six colors, so I have to show it to you in two parts. Today's three colors don't really give you a sense of how cool the collection is overall because I swatch by lining the colors up from lightest to darkest and start with the lightest, got two done, saw the time, picked my favorite for a mani, and called it a day. The three that remain have great variety, being a tomato-y red, a plum, and a chocolate brown.

    In any case, the three I swatched requred three very thin coats and went on very well. They're well pigmented and behave like SpaRituals. The first two are over Foundation with no base coat, the third is a full mani over Nu Nails with Diamont on top.

    Mystic is described by the manufacturer as a taupe creme, and that's accurate. It's a light taupe, just a little darker than oatmeal (I must need lunch - I've associated all of these with food!), and it's really smooth and even in three uber thin coats.

    SpaRitual Fall 2009 Nail Polish
    SpaRitual Fall 2009 Nail Polish Bottle

    Next, I swatched Inner Sanctum, which you can see is a bit darker on the nail than in the bottle. It's described as a "light peach brown creme," and again I would agree, with the emphasis on light with respect to the brown in the description.

    SpaRitual Forbidden Collection Nail Polish
    SpaRitual Forbidden Collection Nail Polish Bottle

    The last picture for today has nothing to do with how I lined them up when I started swatching. It's not often that a collection shows up where I've seen no preview pictures, but with SpaRitual, that's sometimes the case, and was with this one - I'd only seen the press release. When that happens, I inspect each bottle as I unwrap it and form an opinion, and there was one in this collection that made me say, "Cripes, SpaRitual!"

    That's the one I picked to use for a mani, Hypnotic, which I think is aptly named. I could get lost looking at this one. It's the only shimmer in the collection, and it's the crazy SpaRitual glowy shimmer, described as a "charcoal brown shimmer." Charcoal brown? Yep. That's what it is. My usual artifical light didn't get the glow at all, so I went outside for this picture. It really does look on the nail like it does in the bottle - all swirly and glowy. It's crazy, and it's far and away my top pick of this collection. It's up there with Steel Magnolia and Solitude as a SpaRitual classic.

    SpaRitual Forbidden Collection 2009 Nail Polish
    SpaRitual Forbidden Collection 2009 Nail Polish Bottle

    Back to press release info: the release date for these is September 2009, and these are not just free of toluene, DBP, and formaldehyde (and formaldehyde resin - I love you so much, Dear Reader, that I peeled a label to read ingredients!), but they're vegan as well. The only other nail polish brand I know of that can claim all of those things is Nubar, so that's a pretty small club! They retail for $10, but sparkling*nails on ebay will have them for less, I'm sure, and does ship internationally.

    I think I've covered everything for now. Until next time, Dear Reader, love and nail polish to you!

Orly Holiday 2009 Collection: Femme Fatale

    Good evening, Dear Reader!

    As I unpacked the package I told you about earlier, I came across mystery items, and they turned out to be Orly's Holiday 2009 Femme Fatale Collection, so I'm all excited. Since it was only three colors to swatch, I decided I'd have at it and tell you about it right away! The rest of the package was indeed the cool stuff I was hoping it would be, but since this was even better and to be honest, I knew nothing of this collection, it came first.

    All took three very thin coats for me, and applied well. The first two are over Foundation base coat without a top coat, and the third is a full manicure over Nu Nails topped with Diamont. I'll get straight to the pictures!

    Siren is described by the manufacturer as a "bright red creme," which is accurate. This one's a really vivid, classic, 1950's red.

    Orly Femme Fatale Nail Polish
    Orly Femme Fatale Nail Polish Bottle

    Next up is Goddess, which the manufacturer calls a "red brown creme," but I think it looks kind of red plum. Might be six of one, half dozen of another, I don't know...

    Orly Femme Fatale Collection Nail Polish
    Orly Femme Fatale Collection Nail Polish Bottle

    Finally, the one I absolutely had to use, Temptress is described by Orly as a "deep red shimmer," I see it as kind of a red brown. I love browns, so that's no criticism! This is a great color, my favorite of the three.

    Orly Holiday 2009 Collection Nail Polish
    Orly Holiday 2009 Collection Nail Polish Bottle

    So those are the colors. I expect some comments that they're boring, but to be honest, I see two classics and one twist one a classic. The reason 1950's red is still around in 2009 is that it's one heck of a red, plum is always good (especially this year), and Temptress is just plain hot. That's just my one opinion, whatever that's worth - I'm just here to show you the colors and tell you about them.

    That brings me to the next point - Orly's formula is now totally free of formaldehyde and formaldehyde resin as well as toluene and DBP. So use it in good health!

    I hope to have time to show you the rest of the cool package tomorrow, Dear Reader... It's good! Until then, love and nail polish to you!

Nubar Reef Green & Konad M32

    Good afternoon, Dear Reader!

    Although Sephora by OPI Dark Room was pretty, it surely wasn't very summery. I decided I needed something little more cheery today, and reached for Nubar Reef Green. The shimmer on this one, as with all of Nubar's California Dreamin' Collection, just glows (it shows well in the second picture below).

    This one's a two-coater, and since the damage to my nails shows up pretty clearly through two coats, especially a shimmer, a thought a little well-placed Konad might be in order. I added the two-butterfly pattern from plate M32 in Psyche Pink Konad Princess Nail Polish. The result is summer, cheery, and masks my jacked up nails. What more could I ask for?

    Nubar California Dreamin Nail Polish
    Nubar Nail Polish Bottle

    Just before I sat down to write this, UPS came with something I haven't seen online yet (I think, I didn't open it because I just finished my mani, but I'm going by the return address), so I hope to have something cool for you tomorrow. Either I'll have something cool or a great big letdown for both you and me, one or the other... We'll hope for the former.

    So we'll see what's in the mystery box tomorrow, and until then, love and nail polish to you!

Sephora by OPI Dark Room

    Good evening, Dear Reader!

    I have a quick drive-by post for you tonight. I was all set with my Desire mani when my Sephora by OPI Dark Room, the Beauty Insider color, showed up, and I had to try it out.

    It's a dark green. slightly bluish, slightly grey creme, and I like it quite a bit. I know some have had some difficulty with its application, but with three very thin coats, it was just fine for me. Here it is over Nu Nails topped with Diamont under artificial light.

    Sephora Beauty Insider Nail Polish
    Sephora Beauty Insider Nail Polish Bottle

    That's it. Hvaing tried it, I just thought I'd give you a peek. Until tomorrow, Dear Reader, love and nail polish to you!

Nubar Hot Green & Konad Plate M74

    Good morning, Dear Reader!

    Today I have pictures I took for you yesterday during a break. I've been working like a dog, and did a nice little Konadicure to clear my head. When it came to the pictures, they're not the best I've ever taken - I was racing the battery in my camera, so I was looking at the flashing dead battery icon while taking them.

    For the manicure, I used a base of three coats of Nubar Hot Green. It's a great neon green because it's neon, but just shy of burning out one's retinas like Sinful Irish Green. Then I cracked open a fresh bottle of White Konad Princess Nail Polish to stamp it with a pattern from Konad plate M74. In doing so, I realized my old bottle of White Konad Special Nail Polish really needs to be thinned - it's way thicker than the fresh bottle, and has been smudging a bit with any top coat lately. I think it's just evaporated a bit since it's more than half empty, so I'll thin it to the consistency of the new one and test. As you can see in the pictures of the finished manicure, topped with a coat of Diamont, there's no smudging of the new Konad polish.

    Nubar Neon Nail Polish
    Nubar Neon Nail Polish Bottle

    I did this mani and took these pictures to have something to show to you today. I have something to do this evening for which I did a safe-but-fun mani: Nubar Desire. Since you've seen that one before, I'm not taking new pictures.

    I also have some product testing on the horizon. In addition to the breaks I had packing, I had some weird "bends" of my nails with the acrylic overlays on them that resulted in breaks across the nail bed. The one on my left ring finger shows in some pictures (not today's, I just checked). My left index finger has a pretty bad one, too, and they've already grown to the point that they're just past the nail bed. My right hand is worse. I'd planned to do my best until I could file off the damage, but it looks like I might be able to do better.

    I was in touch with my contact at Nubar, and mentioned how badly wrecked my nails are, asking if their ridge filler might hide it. She said it would, but that she could do one better. It turns out they have a product called Nail Weaver that's intended for nails on the mend from acrylic damage like this that kind of holds everything together. Then I'm supposed to put the ridge filler over it to smooth things out, then color. So that's on the way, and I'm just hoping all the pieces stay put until it gets here! The other thing coming is something called Nail Clear. I was telling the contact lady how happy I was about how the stains on my nails were growing out, and that the new growth since I've been using Nu Nails is white, and she tells me they have something that removes the old stains. So basically, I showed you that picture of my gross, stained, naked nails for nothing - there is a product that would have removed all that before I took the picture, and the growing out is not necessary. Argh!!!

    So that's what's on the horizon. If it turns out these products actually work as well as Nu Nails, it'll honestly have been worth it to me to have jacked up my nails with acrylic to test them and find out for all of us that there's a solution for it. I'm really, really not looking forward to the "Before" pictures for the whitener, but I guess I'll survive with that little chunk of my dignity gone! In any case, whatever happens, I'll show you the results in pictures rather than just tell you what I think. So we'll see.

    That's it for today, Dear Reader. Until next time, love and nail polish to you!

SpaRitual Delight & Konad Plate M57

    Good morning, Dear Reader!

    Last night I did a nice little Konadicure after a long day of work. It was a day of painfully detailed work, which exceeded my attention span by several hours. By the time we were done, I wanted to relax with a quick, finite project, so what better thing to do than a Konadicure?

    I started with a base of SpaRitual Delight from their Spring 2009 collection, which I showed you a while back. This one is a three-coater for me. Then I added the little bow pattern from Konad plate M57, using Konad Princess Nail Polish in Coral Blue. The one thing I dislike about both Konad Special and Princess Nail Polish is that they don't have a label on them (the Regular do though), so every time I use one and want to tell you what color it is, I have to go to WowSoCool and look at the bottle pics to get the name. The good news is that the bottle pics there are super accurate, so it's not hard to find it. Now that I got that out of my system, I won't mention it again!

    Here's the finished Konadicure.

    SpaRitual Delight Nail Polish Konadicure
    SpaRitual Delight Nail Polish Konadicure

    So I got up this morning with a nice fresh manicure. However, it's part of my drinking-coffee-and-waking-up routine to do my nails. Since I had the pictures to publish today, I decided I'd do a color I simply wanted to wear, and I picked Nubar Wildlife. I had no intention of taking pictures since you've seen it before, but I was again struck by how just plain cool this color is and took some pictures outside to show you. As was the case last time I photographed it, my pictures fall short of showing how extreme the duochrome effect is, and there's no way for me to show you how the color shifts with every tiny move. These new pictures do show you a little more since I had my yard and driveway to take them, rather than the 6'x3' balcony I used last time, and it's a bright, clear day here.

    The first is in full shade. On this one, check out how the top of my thumb nail is totally green, but the middle of the rest of my nails are the bronzey brown color.

    Nubar Going Green Collection Nail Polish

    The second is in full sunlight. Here, though the duochrome effect is evident it is less pronounced, and the sparkly shimmer of this nail polish really shows up well.

    Nubar Going Green Nail Polish

    The last one was taken in my driveway, just inside the shadow of the house next door, so it's shade but with much more indirect light - kind of halfway between the two pictures above. I like this one because it shows the duochrome on each nail. The center is the bronzey brown, and the sides are the green. The one of my ten nails that has a bit of curve from cuticle to free edge is my left index finger, and at the cuticle on that one, the green is pronounced. So depending upon the shape of the nail over the nail bed, with mine having a strong curve from left to right, the colors show up differently. I think this is cool as heck!

    Nubar Green Nail Polish

    Now that I'm at the end, I see I've shown you more pictures and written more about my Nails of the Day than what's in the title (I write the title first). There was simply more to show and tell you about a wicked duochrome than Konad M57 over a creme, and if I tack more on to the title it'll be insanely long, so I'm leaving it the way it is. I guess that'll happen if I change my mind about pictures, but as my dear ol' dad says, no children will go to bed hungry tonight if I don't fix it.

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

Konad Regular Nail Polish & Plate M69

    Good morning, Dear Reader!

    Today I tried another Konad Regular Nail Polish, this time Neon Pink. It's a good one. It took three coats to be even and opaque (like most neons), applied well, and dried quickly. Here it is alone with a base and top coat.

    Konad Regular Nail Polish
    Konad Regular Nail Polish Bottle

    Using White Konad Special Nail Polish, I added a pattern from plate M69.

    Konad Regular Nail Polish Konadicure
    Konad Regular Nail Polish Konadicure Bottle

    I used plate M69 because it was still out from yesterday's mani, which was Nubar Pink Creme with Cool Red Konad Princess Nail polish, using a different pattern. Here's that one.

    Nubar Nail Polish Konadicure
    Nubar Nail Polish Konadicure Bottle

    Now we're all caught up! Until next time, lova and nail polish to you!

China Glaze Short & Sassy

    Good morning, Dear Reader!

    Short & Sassy is a nail polish from China Glaze's Retro Diva Collection for Fall 2009. I have a few from this collection, and have tried this one and Thunderbird. They're both pretty three-coaters, but I found that the wear of Thunderbird was pretty shabby - I used it for a pedicure and had chips on the second day. Since I change my manicure every morning, I don't know if the same is true of Short & Sassy.

    Here is three coats of Short & Sassy in the sun with a base and top coat.

    China Glaze Retro Diva Collection Nail Polish
    China Glaze Fall 2009 Nail Polish Bottle

    That's it for now, Dear Reader. Until next time, love and nail polish to you!

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