nails nails nails

    wow! like almost 1 year i never come to my blog! cos i lost my password!!!! now i found it back and start again the blog...

    This is Fumiko's nail and she likes lace very much. she likes most of the blue type colors.

    this is Kazusa's nail and this is my first time doing nails for her with the pink base and flower.. lovely!

    this is Fumiko's friend. akane san's nail. this is my 1st time doing nails for her..does it looks nice?

    I've forgot who's nail it is but is a very cute nail and she like it very much!

    well.. trying to post my old nail design to share .. hope u guys will like them! this nail is like 3 years ago and this is when i start doing my nail business with the Japanese people . most of the time they choose to have their pedicure done cos they need to take care of their children! but they like to do it every month! this is where my money come from.. hehe

CHI Secret Fantasy Collection for Summer 2010

    Good afternoon, Dear Reader!

    Another post, another collection, this time CHI's Secret Fantasy Collection for Summer 2010. This one, I bought from sparkling*nails on ebay, and they've been spotted at Ulta as well. I only have six of the eight colors here because it's kind of a weird collection: one re-release from Summer 2009's Tropical Paradise Collection (Sunny Romance of Saint Tropez, a yellow shimmer, which you can see in the original post I just linked), two core colors, Double Fisted Fuchsia, which I do have here, and Salsalita y Margarita, an orangey red creme I don't have, then five new ones. You can tell the re-releases by the names, too - they don't fit in with the collection theme.

    Of the six I swatched here, all were two coaters. The applied easily, and the polish was easy to control. The first coat looked thin for most, but the second made them all opaque and even. The pictures were taken in sunlight.

    My Secret Fetish is a new one, and is a vivid fuchsia with the same kind of almost flaky glitter as Mistletoe Kisses.

    CHI My Secret Fetish from The Secret Fantasy Collection
    CHI My Secret Fetish
    CHI My Secret Fetish Nail Polish, Two Coats

    Passionate Kiss, another new one, is a slightly muted purple with a subtle shimmer. It's a near dupe for Nicole by OPI's Bah Plum-Bug, but the shimmer in Passionate Kiss is more pronounced.

    CHI Passionate Kiss from The Secret Fantasy Collection
    CHI Passionate Kiss
    CHI Passionate Kiss Nail Polish, Two Coats

    Midnight Rendezvous, also a new one as far as I know, is a bright primary blue with a great shimmer.

    CHI Midnight Rendezvous from The Secret Fantasy Collection
    CHI Midnight Rendezvous
    CHI Midnight Rendezvous Nail Polish, Two Coats

    Picnic in Central Park is a pale green that I'd call a creme, although there's just the slightest secret shimmer in direct light. It's also is a new one as far as I know, but the name doesn't fit in with the others so I'm not sure. In any case, it's a good color.

    CHI Picnic in Central Park from The Secret Fantasy Collection
    CHI Picnic in Central Park
    CHI Picnic in Central Park Nail Polish, Two Coats

    The last new shade (assuming I'm right on the ones above) is In Between the Sheets, a muted slightly grey purple creme. It's one of my favorites from the collection.

    CHI In Between the Sheets from The Secret Fantasy Collection
    CHI In Between the Sheets
    CHI In Between the Sheets Nail Polish, Two Coats

    The only re-release (or core color, I think) I have is Double Fisted Fuchsia, which is more of a bright pink that a fuchsia and has a strong shimmer and a bit of a flash.

    CHI Double Fisted Fuchsia Nail Polish from The Secret Fantasy Collection
    CHI Double Fisted Fuchsia
    CHI Double Fisted Fuchsia Nail Polish, Two Coats

    So that's CHI's Secret Fantasy Collection for Summer 2010, and probably the weirdest collection I've seen with mixing in core and re-released colors. I'm happy with the ones I got, and I do like the yellow from last year. Salsalita y Margarita shall remain a mystery to me, as I'm not sold on the idea that it's my kind of color.

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

SpaRitual Believe Collection for Spring 2010

    Good morning, Dear Reader!

    A while back I showed you half of the SpaRitual Believe Collection, three samples that the manufacturer sent to me, but today I have the full collection of six. I thought the three I had already were good, the other three are amazing.

    For the sake of continuity, I swatched all six today, so that the lighting and nail length (which affects how many coats are required) would be the same for all of them. It seemed that switching back and forth would be distracting, too. I'll start with the three you've already seen, then show you the others. One note: when I showed you the first three, I said the bottles had little charms, and they do, but the three I bought do not.

    I Am The Light is a very pale lavender pink creme, perfect in two coats.

    SpaRitual I Am The Light Nail Polish from Believe
    SpaRitual I Am The Light
    SpaRitual I Am The Light Nail Polish, Two Coats

    Hope Springs Eternal is a delicate medium pink shimmer, also good in two coats.

    SpaRitual Hope Springs Eternal Nail Polish from Believe
    SpaRitual Hope Springs Eternal
    SpaRitual Hope Springs Eternal Nail Polish, Two Coats

    Spread Your Wings, a deep red jelly that took three coats, is the last that I showed you before.

    SpaRitual Spread Your Wings Nail Polish from Believe
    SpaRitual Spread Your Wings
    SpaRitual Spread Your Wings Nail Polish, Three Coats

    The other jelly in the collection, also a three-coater, is I Believe in You, a vibrant orange.

    SpaRitual I Believe in You Nail Polish from Believe
    SpaRitual I Believe in You
    SpaRitual I Believe in You Nail Polish, Three Coats

    Yes, I Can is a leaf green creme that only takes two coats.

    SpaRitual Yes, I Can Nail Polish from Believe
    SpaRitual Yes, I Can
    SpaRitual Yes, I Can Nail Polish, Three Coats

    The one I'm wearing is Shoot for the Stars, an amazing purple creme.

    SpaRitual Shoot for the Stars Nail Polish from Believe
    SpaRitual Shoot for the Stars
    SpaRitual Shoot for the Stars Nail Polish, Three Coats

    That is SpaRitual's Believe Collection for Spring 2010, and all I have for this morning. Until next time, Dear Reader, love and nail polish to you!

China Glaze Poolside Collection

    Good morning, Dear Reader!

    Yesterday was an epic nail polish day - I also received a sample set of China Glaze's Poolside Collection for Summer 2010 to swatch for you (amongst other cool things to come). I have the press materials on this collection, and it will be released on April 1st, which is Thursday, so there's little wait for this one.

    I've avoided reading reviews on this collection so I could form my own opinion. My first impression upon taking the bottles out of the box was that they appeared to be amazingly sheer. My little test for opacity, which is normally pretty accurate, is to roll the bottle and look for how easily I can see the mixing balls through the polish. On all six of these, I could very clearly see them. Additionally, my first impression was that they were pretty dupey on the whole to existing neons. I discovered upon swatching them that I was wrong on both counts, and I'll tell you about that for each color. They're all neons, and five are cremes, one a shimmer.

    As for the pictures, I took them under a halogen lamp made to emulate natural light, despite the forecast for a sunny day. A while back, probably a good year ago, I showed you the difference lighting makes in the inherently difficult to photograph neons, comparing the halogen lamp, an Ott light, and direct and indirect sunlight, and the result was that the halogen lamp was the clear winner - the other light sources washed out the neon colors.

    I considered swatching these over a white, given that my assumption was that they were super sheer, but decided for collection swatches, that would not be truly representative of the polishes, and swatched them alone. They dry a bit matte as most neons do, but top coat fixes that. All but one were three coaters, with the other requiring four.

    That said, let's look at pictures of nail polish!

    Yellow Polka Dot Bikini, in the bottle appeared to be yet another highlighter yellow creme. In swatching it, I found the color more lemon yellow than the highlighter shades. The first coat was unbelievably sheer, just a slight wash of color, but it built up well. This one did require four coats, but it was the only one of the six that needed that many. Truthfully, four coats for a neon yellow is not that bad - many require more.

    China Glaze Poolside Collection, Yellow Polka Dot Bikini
    China Glaze Yellow Polka Dot Bikini
    China Glaze Yellow Polka Dot Bikini, Four Coats

    Kiwi Cool-ada is a vibrant green neon creme. This one, I think likely has a Color Club dupe.

    China Glaze Poolside Collection, Kiwi Cool-ada
    China Glaze Kiwi Cool-ada
    China Glaze Kiwi Cool-ada, Three Coats

    Flip Flop Fantasy is a unique one - it's a coral orange creme, and I don't think I've ever seen this shade in neon before.

    China Glaze Poolside Collection, Flip Flop Fantasy
    China Glaze Flip Flop Fantasy
    China Glaze Flip Flop Fantasy, Three Coats

    Sun Worshiper is another unique color. This one is somewhere in between yellow and orange, and the vibrant shade is perfect for a neon creme.

    China Glaze Poolside Collection, Sun Worshiper
    China Glaze Sun Worshiper
    China Glaze Sun Worshiper, Three Coats

    Pool Party is a fuchsia pink creme, and this is the other that I think should have a dupe out there somewhere. I'm thinking Nubar Hot Fuchsia.

    China Glaze Poolside Collection, Pool Party
    China Glaze Pool Party
    China Glaze Pool Party, Three Coats

    The previous five pictures were swatches, this one of Towel Boy Toy is a full manicure with top coat. Initially I thought this was dupey to Nubar Hot Blue, but when I swatched it I saw it has a shimmer. The shimmer in Towel Boy Toy is subtle, but stronger than a "secret shimmer."

    China Glaze Poolside Collection, Towel Boy Toy
    China Glaze Towel Boy Toy
    China Glaze Towel Boy Toy, Three Coats

    For the collection as a whole, I thought the formula was good. After two coats most were streaky, but the third coat evened things out. The polishes were relatively thin, but easy to control and work with. The one I did a full manicure with dried completely very quickly, and I found that in swatching, when waiting for each coat to dry a bit, that the drying times of the cremes were very good as well. There are plenty of neons out there, but these are strong, and the collection has more unique shades than colors I suspect of having a dupe.

    That's China Glaze's Poolside Collection, and the end of what I have for you this morning. Until next time, Dear Reader, love and nail polish to you!

Essie 2010 Resort Collection

    Good evening, Dear Reader!

    I got a package from Essie just a bit ago, and inside was a box of sample bottles of The 2010 Resort Collection. I was looking forward to this collection from the promo materials I'd seen. This is a snippet of the press release with the images and color descriptions that piqued my interest.

    Essie 2010 Resort Collection
    Essie 2010 Resort Collection Release

    The promotional pictures and descriptions sound good, but I tell you, it sells the nail polishes short. They are fabulous. You can evaluate the colors yourself from the pictures, which were taken in moderate sunlight, but I can only say good things about every aspect of this collection. The formula is a bit thick, but easy to work with and sort of guides itself into an appropriately thick coat. All four shades, which are cremes, required only two coats to be even and opaque, and the one I did a manicure with at the end of swatching dried very quickly. There is simply nothing to complain about with the polishes themselves.

    As for the theme and names, I love them. The colors really do remind me of different things about a resort (I've been to one once, I'm no grand traveler!), and the names are descriptive of the colors, fit the theme, and are cute without being so over the top that I roll my eyes. Here's my one and only complaint about Essie's Resort Collection: its release date is May 2010, and it's only March 29th.

    All that's left is to look at the colors, and you'll see why I'm excited about them. Essie can do a color like Mesmerize and thrill me, and I had the same reaction to all four shades of The Resort Collection. I'll just follow the press release left to right with the order here.

    Lapis of Luxury is described as "a dreamy ocean blue," and I'd agree with that. It's just dark enough to fall short of being pastel, although lighter than the promo image.

    Essie 2010 Resort Collection, Lapis of Luxury
    Essie Lapis of Luxury
    Essie Lapis of Luxury Nail Polish, Two Coats

    Splash of Grenadine is the one I'm wearing. Described as "a playful magenta pink," it's both softer and more purple than the promotional picture. The closest I think I have to this is Nubar's Isis Purple, but Splash of Grenadine is a bit darker and more purple. I absolutely adore this one.

    Essie 2010 Resort Collection, Splash of Grenadine
    Essie Splash of Grenadine
    Essie Splash of Grenadine Nail Polish, Two Coats

    Playa Del Platinum is called "an elegant and sheer sandy gray." I'd agree with elegant sandy gray, but it was opaque in two coats for me. It's the color of the beach sand at the one and only resort I've been to, and strikes me as a warm weather greige.

    Essie 2010 Resort Collection, Playa Del Platinum
    Essie Playa Del Platinum
    Essie Playa Del Platinum Nail Polish, Two Coats

    The last color in this collection is Turquoise & Caicos, an almost (but not quite) minty turquoise creme. It's like a much darker twist on all the mint shades we've seen this year, another home run.

    Essie 2010 Resort Collection, Turquoise & Caicos
    Essie Turquoise & Caicos
    Essie Playa Turquoise & Caicos, Two Coats

    That, Dear Reader, is Essie's 2010 Resort Collection, and the whole thing knocked my socks off. We'll begin the countdown to May when the collection is released! Normally, I wait to wear pre-release samples after showing them to you until the release date (when everyone can have them), but I'm sure that won't be the case with these. I'm just too pleased with each of them to hold off that long, so you'll see completed manicured with all four between now and May.

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

SpaRitual Nail Polish Swatches, Part II

    Good morning, Dear Reader!

    The sun decided to come out late yesterday afternoon, so rather than "enhance" the gold SpaRitual I was wearing, I considered swatching another six, and was surprised to discover I had it in me.

    You've seen some of these before, but not recently. Two are from last year's Spring collection, one's just a classic that had to be shown in the sun, and the other three, I don't think I've shown you before. These are more from the $2 each thing I explained yesterday. They had the full collections for $10, I think it was, so I just got the whole Spring one from last year since I wanted to replace a few and a backup of one.

    As in Part I, some of these are older and only labelled "DBP-Free" (again, not my punctuation), and a while back I peeled a label on an older one to find toluene and formaldehyde in it, so I'll make mention of whether each is Big Three Free for those of you who care as I go through them.

    Also as in Part I, most were all two-coaters, with the one exception being a three-coat jelly, and all applied just beautifully. Again, the shimmers can look frosty when wet, which is when I took the pictures, but that dies down to a strong shimmer without brush strokes.

    Bohemian Rhapsody is a delicate champagne shimmer, and I had to have it for the name. This one's labelled "DBP-Free."

    SpaRitual Bohemian Rhapsody Nail Lacquer
    SpaRitual Bohemian Rhapsody
    SpaRitual Bohemian Rhapsody Nail Polish, Two Coats

    Enlightened is a girly pink shimmer with a subtle blue flash, a great Springy one, also only DBP free.

    SpaRitual Enlightened Nail Lacquer
    SpaRitual Enlightened
    SpaRitual Enlightened Nail Polish, Two Coats

    Revere is one from last Spring, an orange shimmer that absolutely glows like hot embers, and is Big Three Free.

    SpaRitual Revere Nail Lacquer
    SpaRitual Revere
    SpaRitual Revere Nail Polish, Two Coats

    Against the Grain is a deep red wine shimmer that's labelled "DBP-Free," but one of my favorites just the same.

    SpaRitual Against the Grain Nail Lacquer
    SpaRitual Against the Grain
    SpaRitual Against the Grain Nail Polish, Two Coats

    Steel Magnolia is the classic, and was hard to find for quite a while. I suppose that's because a ton of it was sitting in a warehouse somewhere. It's a steel blurple shimmer that lights up in the sun, also labelled "DBP-Free."

    SpaRitual Steel Magnolia Nail Lacquer
    SpaRitual Steel Magnolia
    SpaRitual Steel Magnolia Nail Polish, Two Coats

    The last is also from last Spring, Love. It's a slightly peachy pink jelly, and it's the one for which I needed three coats.

    SpaRitual Love Nail Lacquer
    SpaRitual Love
    SpaRitual Love Nail Polish, Two Coats

    I think now I've shown you the colors from that order that you hadn't seen before. I should have some others to show you later this week, but we'll get there then...

    Since most of these are more recent, if you "need" any, sparkling*nails on ebay probably has them in stock. If not, you can ask her about a color via email, and she's really helpful.

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

SpaRitual Nail Polish Swatches, Part I

    Good afternoon, Dear Reader!

    I'm having a lazy Sunday afternoon on a cold rainy day watching a marathon of a TV show I like, so I thought I'd swatch some of those SpaRitual nail polishes I'd mentioned to you recently. If you missed that, a site was selling them for two days at $2 each, but I'd never ordered from them before, so I didn't want to tell you about it until I tested the company to see how they did (after that epic etailer fail that happened last time I didn't test a company first). It took a month to ship and they OOS'd me on one item (of many, many), but overall, it was good. If I get another notice of a sale, I'll let you know about it.

    So now I have a bunch of SpaRituals to show you! Since my attention span for swatching is somewhat limited, I swatched six of them today. They're all two-coaters, a testament to their quality, but I did notice one thing - the formula on the older ones from a few years back, though free of DBP, does contain formaldehyde and toluene. Some bottles are labelled "DBP-Free" and some "DBP, Formaldehyde and Toluene Free." I didn't peel a label on any of these, but I did a while back on an older one that just had "DBP-Free" (with the hyphen being the label, not mine) and the ingredients did include formaldehyde and toluene. I know many people don't care, but formaldehyde stains the heck out of my nails, and I know there are people with an allergy to it, so I'll let you know what each bottle indicates as we go through the pictures.

    One caveat on the pictures: some of the shimmers look frosty, but I've found that with SpaRituals, that diminishes to a strong shimmer with no frosty look or brush strokes once they dry (I didn't wait for these to dry). I'm wearing one now that looks a little frosty in the picture, but it's not at all now. The same holds true for the classic SpaRitual Steel Magnolia - wet, it's one big brush stroke, dry, it's gorgeous. Now that you have all the background info, let's look at nail polish!

    Jet Setter is a slightly peach neutral with a strong shimmer, and has a low-level SpaRitual glow. This one came in a two-pack with one I really, really wanted and have been unable to find forever, so I sprung for the $3.50 for the two-pack and got this as a bonus. The happy surprise is that I like it. This one is Big Three Free.

    SpaRitual Jet Setter Nail Lacquer
    SpaRitual Jet Setter
    SpaRitual Jet Setter Nail Polish, Two Coats

    Smart Cookie is a great one. It's a deep burgundy creme that looks brown at first glance, but it's much richer and more interesting than a brown this dark would be. It's certainly not a traditional Spring/Summer color, but I need a break from the bright shades pretty often, and this will be a good one to break things up. Tragically, this one says only "DBP-Free," so I'll suffer stains.

    SpaRitual Smart Cookie Nail Lacquer
    SpaRitual Smart Cookie
    SpaRitual Smart Cookie Nail Polish, Two Coats

    Foxy Lady is a pinkish red with a strong shimmer, a nice lighter red for the warmer weather than I'm truly hoping is coming soon. Foxy Lady has that special SpaRitual glow that is unique to this line. Why the manufacturer doesn't ever toss this glow into their other brands, I'll never know - it's what initially got me hooked on SpaRituals. This one is only "DBP-Free."

    SpaRitual Foxy Lady Nail Lacquer
    SpaRitual Foxy Lady
    SpaRitual Foxy Lady Nail Polish, Two Coats

    Never Say Never is a fantastic bright pink creme. Although it's bright, it's nowhere near neon and therefore a good bit more wearable for most people. It's just a perfect bright, vivid pink creme, and great for Spring and Summer (can you tell I'm hung up on that? It's freezing in this house...). Again, only "DBP-Free" on this label.

    SpaRitual Never Say Never Nail Lacquer
    SpaRitual Never Say Never
    SpaRitual Never Say Never Nail Polish, Two Coats

    Gold Digger is the one I'm wearing, a somewhat light gold with a strong glowy shimmer. I plan to add a few things to it shortly, when I resume watching my marathon, so you might see it dry tomorrow. If I mess it up getting a little too creative, then you won't (not after I showed you the doily mani yesterday...)! Gold Digger is Big Three Free.

    SpaRitual Gold Digger Nail Lacquer
    SpaRitual Gold Digger
    SpaRitual Gold Digger Nail Polish, Two Coats

    Finally, the last one is the one I mentioned with Jet Setter, the one I've wanted like crazy but never seen available. It's called Ice Ice Baby, but the polish itself makes me forgive the name, the earworm, and the visual of Vanilla Ice with the decoratively shaved eyebrow. Essentially, it's Lippmann Collection Rhapsody in White without the brush strokes that so characterize Rhapsody in White. It's a clean opaque white with a strong shimmer with a bit of a glow. That sounds so simple, but I've never seen one quite like this, and it's a great year-round color. Ice Ice Baby is Big Three Free.

    SpaRitual Ice Ice Baby Nail Lacquer
    SpaRitual Ice Ice Baby
    SpaRitual Ice Ice Baby Nail Polish, Two Coats

    This is half of the bunch I ordered that I don't think I've shown to you before. Some might be worth showing you again anyhow. The application of these is excellent, and I'm a huge fan of the formula, particularly the Big Three Free (which is really what counts, since that's what they make now). It's a bit on the thick side, but is very easy to work with. I does not have that thick-yet-runny quality that so many three free formulas have. Since it is thicker than average, some might be tempted to thin them, but they really don't need it. Two coats and they're good with a great dry time, just the way the come on the bottle.

    That's Part I of my cheapo SpaRitual haul. I'll have Part II for you later this week. Until tomorrow, love and nail polish to you!

    A little afterthought: although the sale on these is done, if there are any you "need," I've found sparkling*nails on ebay to have the broadest selection of SpaRitual nail polish, and she charges less than retail. She also ships internationally, and for free within the US over $100 and for $10 to Canada over $100. If you don't see a color you're after in her store, she's incredibly helpful about hunting things down - just email her and she'll let you know.

Color Club Ultra Violet & Konad M75

    Good morning, Dear Reader!

    Today I have a polish with one of the most overused names: Color Club Ultra Violet, from last year's Electro Candy Collection. NARS, Color Club, and Estee Lauder all have an Ultra Violet, but this one is the on that most lives up to the name for me.

    Color Club's Electro Candy Collection is one of my all-time favorites, definitely a Top Ten Collection. What I like about them is that they're such a great twist on neons, which are traditionally cremes, and these are shimmers with a flash. They're like amped up neons, and Ultra Violet is one of my favorites of the collection. The fact that they're super cheap is just a bonus!

    I used three coats of Ultra Violet, and here it is alone.

    Color Club Ultra Violet Nail Polish from Electro Candy
    Color Club Ultra Violet
    Color Club Ultra Violet, Three Coats

    To it I added a little pattern from Konad plate M75 in Konad White.

    Color Club Ultra Violet Nail Polish with Konad M75
    Color Club Ultra Violet Nail Polish
    Color Club Ultra Violet, Three Coats with Konad M75

    So this is my manicure to redeem myself for the silly one I did last, night, and I think it does the job.

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

CHI Sultry Nights

    Good evening. Dear Reader!

    I had an early night tonight, so while watching a little TV, I decided to play with some new decals I picked up this morning (regular adhesive ones, not water decals). They're from the same batch I showed you earlier, and I ordered them from Korea.

    I picked out some white ones I wanted to use, and thought they'd be good over a dark blue shimmer. The darkest blue shimmer I had handy was CHI Sultry Nights. I needed three very thin coats, but the drying time on this nail polish is excellent, so I was able to put on the decals in about 15 minutes. Here's Sultry Nights alone.

    CHI Sultry Nights
    CHI Sultry Nights Nail Polish, Three Coats

    So that was by base, and the decals I added are white, lacy, and have super tiny rhinestones on them. Looking at the decals in the package, I thought they looked lacy. It turns out that they look a little more like doilies than lace.

    CHI Sultry Nights Nail Polish
    CHI Sultry Nights Nail Polish, Three Coats, with Decals

    I randomly added some other bits from the same sheet in an effort to minimize the doiliness, but I don't think it was too effective. Now it looks like doilies with random other bits around them.

    I'll surely take this off tomorrow, but I don't think I've ever shown you CHI Sultry Nights, which is a great one, so I figured I would now. It a discontinued color from a seasonal collection a few years ago, and another example of CHI's great seasonal colors,, despite the core collection consisting of 35 shades of red.

    I included the picture with the decals because I thought it might give you a laugh. It makes me laugh. The most tragic part is that these are great decals. They're super thin, have adhesive that allows for do-overs in placement, and I love the itty bitty rhinestones. However, none of that compensates for the fact that it looks like an Irish sitting room circa 1900 on my hands.

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

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