China Glaze Black Mesh & Sexagon

    Good morning, Dear Reader!

    This morning there's no real sun out to accentuate the glory that is China Glaze Sexagon, but I still didn't have the heart to remove it, so I added a coat of China Glaze Black Mesh.  I went with Black Mesh rather than OPI Black Shatter because I find Black Mesh easier to apply more thinly so the cracks are greater in both number and size - I really wanted Sexagon to show through well.

    It worked.  Black Mesh-ing went well, then I added one coat of a clear to it, just one I had around, to smooth it out a bit before sealing it with Diamont.  It's not as smooth as when I've used Gelous rather than the random clear, but I think one additional coat of the clear would close that gap, although it's smooth enough to not bug me at all with just the one coat I've used here, which is what I'm really after.

    China Glaze Black Mesh Crackle over Sexagon
    China Glaze Black Mesh Crackle Glaze over China Glaze Sexagon

    I think it looks cool.  I believe the conclusion I've reached is that I most like the crackle polishes over holos and neons, as long as it's smoothed out well at the end.  I was reflecting on my initial reaction to trying out OPI Black Shatter - I recall proof reading the post and getting frustrated because I didn't want to keep using the word "hideous" to describe it, but that was the only word displayed on a flashing neon sign in my brain, which made it really hard to drum up others.  I'm glad I found a way to use it that appeals to me, because now I think they're a fun second-day addition to a manicure that I really like and want to draw out for another day, like Sexagon.

    I don't really have any good stories to tell you today.  This has been an amazingly long week, scurrying about taking care of loose ends on old stuff and making slow but sure progress on establishing new and better things, so for the most part there have been a whole lot of unrelated events in close succession, which doesn't make for a very good tale.  I do have a good short funny for you though, a quote from one of my dear college friends.  I was blessed with a bunch of the brightest, funniest quirkiest friends anyone could ask for in college, and more often than not we were making each other laugh like fools.  Here's an example of how...

    I'd stated that I found the very existence of this seemingly normal jar candle priced at $375 disturbing (I see that it's sold out despite the cap on quantity one may purchase in 30 days, which is even more disturbing).  My friend's explanation after reading the item's description was this:
    "It creates 'a mystery that unravels with time.' It would probably be cheaper if the mystery unraveled all at once. Time-release mystery is ALWAYS more expensive."

    On that note, I'll wrap it up.  Until next time, love and nail polish to you!

Rockabilly nails - better pictures

    I promised you guys some better pictures and here they are! 

    As you can see I was a little impatient with the top coat and smudged the black a little bit on Love and cherries but overall I am very happy with them. I included a couple of pictures of my left hand too as you rarely get to see it XD
    For details on the polishes I used see the original post

China Glaze Sexagon

    Good morning, Dear Reader!

    After we arrived at a group consensus yesterday that Revlon Blue Lagoon was a complete failure, I felt a need for redemption and reached for something reliable for today.  I selected China Glaze Sexagon from their Kaleidoscope Collection of holographic polishes, and this is the version with a white label and black print.

    Sexagon is the silver, and a particularly spectacular silver at that.  I like it because it has both the super fine holo pigment like the China Glaze OMG Collection or the Nfu Oh holos, and it also has little holo bits like the Milani holographics.  It's a good one, and I had fantastic sunlight to take a picture of it.

    China Glaze Sexagon
    China Glaze Sexagon Nail Polish, Three Coats

    What's not to love about this polish, right?  The manicure is a base coat (just some bottle I had lying around, I'm not sure what), three thin coats of Sexagon, and one coat of Diamont top coat.  The polish is somewhat thin, but that makes it easier to apply than some holos, and it dries very quickly and to an unusually smooth finish.

    I haven't racked up any experiences worth telling you about yet today, so all I have for you now is nail polish.  I figure since that's most likely why you stopped by in the first place, that works out just fine.  Until next time, Dear Reader, love and nail polish to you!

Nail Blog Round Up

Rockabilly Nails

    I saw Imelda May on Something for the Weekend on Sunday and she inspired me! She has a really cool way about her without being stuck up. She used to have a crow called Dave and she sings rockabilly.

    I started out with a base coat of Nails Inc (Diet Coke Promo) Caramel with Models Own Becca Brown and black nail art pen for the leopard print on all the nails. I then drew on the designs using black and white nail art pens and No & quick Dry polish in Siren. I don't particularly like No 7 Polishes I might if the bottle was different and would never spend £7 on them but more often than not they give £5 off No 7 vouchers at boots so I have several in my collection.
    Sorry the pics are a bit pants! I'm going to take some in the sunshine tomorrow :D
    So what do you think? Let me know! If you feel inspired to do a rockabilly design let me know I would love to see it XD

    Stacie xoxox

    Edited to added: Better pictures are HERE

Revlon Blue Lagoon

    Good morning, Dear Reader!

    It just occurred to me now, almost three years into this blog, that it might have been wise to make labels summarizing my assessment of whatever I'm telling you about (like good, average, etc.).  In the case of Revlon Blue Lagoon, I was specifically wishing that I had a "Completely Blows" label.

    The shade isn't anything to write home about, a nice pastel blue, but the finish on it's gorgeous, which is why I got it.  It's like the cool finish of Sally Hansen Gentle Blossom.  I used three coats of Blue Lagoon, and I let each dry for a few minutes in between since Revlons are hit or miss for me, with drying properly being the misses, and finished it with Poshe.

    Blue Lagoon was a huge miss.  I had a zillion bubbles by bedtime a few hours after applying it, but just went to bed.  I woke up with a zillion bubbles and every nail covered in sheet marks.  I memorialized the mess this morning...

    Revlon Blue Lagoon
    Revlon Blue Lagoon Nail Polish, Three Coats
    Great look, huh?  It looks like my nails have a pox erupting over their acne scars.

    Just so today's post isn't mopey with just a big Revlon miss, I have bonus pictures for you that I took early this morning.  It was so early that not everyone was awake yet.

    Sleepy Duck
    Sleepy Ducky :)

    That's a normal Mallard, there are also far more fabulous Wood Ducks here.  They were awake.

    Wood Duck
    Wood Duck Having Breakfast

    When a day starts with sneaking up on a sleeping duck and taking his picture, it kind of doesn't matter what doesn't go exactly my way for the rest of the day.  That's going to be a fun day no matter what.  On my way back, I was walking down a path and a goose was standing in the middle of it, and I'm terrified of geese (what a lame fear!).  I decided to be all brave (well, "normal" might be a better word here) and just walk by, but evidently he's not a morning goose and hadn't had his coffee yet because he started hissing and charged directly at me.  I was running backwards, and was astounded at my ridiculous instincts - I was trying to reason with him!  Know what?  Angry, hissing, charging geese don't seem to react one way or another to the assurances of the target of said charge that there's no malevolent intent, even when presented with evidence of that.  I ended up having to backtrack to where I started and go around a longer way, and by then the goose-charging incident struck me as ridiculously funny.

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

Lots o' Konad

    Good morning, Dear Reader!

    A mid-morning post and the reappearance of the temporary ads can only mean one thing, right?  I'll explain Seinfeld style: I started the new job, yadda yadda yadda, now the job hunt resumes.  The up side is that although I'm horrified that at my age naivete is still so problematic, in this day I get to do absolutely nothing that my Creator has explicitly asked me not to do and my conscience won't have to cringe even once, so all is well.

    I still got up at workday time and did a few things that I wanted to accomplish, then I got to Konad the heck out of my sparkly off-white manicure.  I found that the light rose fragrance of the Anna Sui 001 polish markedly diminished by the end of the first day of wear, and it's gone now.  Frankly, I don't even know which plates I used here and already put them away.  The only thing I distinctly noticed while stamping and chatting on the phone was that the only stamp that's messed up, my pinky nail's ladybug, is from a Bundle Monster plate.  I can never get a perfect stamp from a Bundle Monster plate, only Konad and Chez Delaney are reliable for me.  I made a happy manicure for today...

    Lots of Konad Stamping :)

    See what a difference there is between the one Bundle Monster stamp and the Konad used for all others?  I used Konad polish for all stamps, and the ladybug's red is Konad Princess Cool Red, the same as the rose, so the polish isn't a variable, only the plate used is. That's a fair representation of the results I get overall.

    I also have a tangential topic that I'd really like to get your thoughts on if you'd care to weigh in.  Every time I've broken a nail in the last year or so, my beloved tells me to only "cut the others just partway because the short one will want to grow faster to catch up."  The first few times, I thought he was kidding and laughed, but in the last week when he said that (when I was lamenting doing some evening out this weekend), I threatened to post his theory to get more input on it, which prompted a defense of the theory.  Now I'm not so sure he's kidding.  This is a logical man, a systems analyst with a degree in math, harboring the notion that nails have the capacity for self awareness and assessment of others as well as the ability to take action to influence a desired change in that state of affairs.  Do you buy it, and if not, is there anything that could make you cosign that theory?  You know I'm not huge on discussion topics, but every one of my brain cells screams "Nooo!" in reply to both questions, so I need some assurance that there either is or isn't information I don't currently possess that would change my answer...

    That's the update for today, Dear Reader.  Just like last time, I give you my sincere apology for the necessity of the extra Google ad and my assurance that I'll take it down as soon as possible - I'd be tickled pink if I can this week.  Until next time, love and nail polish to you!

Anna Sui Nail Color 001

    Good morning, Dear Reader!

    To start off a new work week, I changed my polish to one that's far less attention-grabbing than a neon yellow.  I looked through some untried colors and found Anna Sui 001, which is a kind of sheer off-white base loaded up with lots of fine flaky glitter, and of course, being made by Anna Sui, is lightly rose scented.  Since I wanted the manicure to be opaque, I used a base shade that was close to the Anna Sui in an opaque cream, American Apparel Cotton.  Cotton took two coats and was a still bit blotchy after the second, but I figured the Anna Sui would even that out, and it did when I added two coats of it.  Finishing with one coat of top coat smoothed everything out nicely.  Here it is in the best sunlight I saw yesterday.

    Anna Sui Nail Color 001
    Anna Sui Nail Color 001 over American Apparel Cotton, Two Coats Each

    This turned out much better than I'd expected at the start.  Since I used a white background for the picture, the color looks distinctly off-white, but without real white nearby for comparison, the polish gives the impression of being white without being stark.  I think the addition of the glittery Anna Sui makes it far more interesting and appealing to me than American Apparel Cotton would be on its own.  I'm quite pleased with the result, and I hope it holds up for a few days do I can add Konad  to it, as I'd hoped to but didn't get around to adding to the last few.

    I found a few good things in that little box of untrieds I stumbled upon, so I set aside a few of them to show you soon.  I also found some odd items, such as a refill bottle of Seche Clear base coat, which I don't currently use and don't recall ever using regularly.  All I remember about the stuff is that my nails stained easily when I used it, so I have absolutely no idea what I'm doing with a big refill bottle of it.  I wish I'd tape a note explaining why I've chosen to own something before placing it in a box!

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

Happy Easter!

    Hi Everyone
    I hope you had a lovely Easter Sunday and are looking forward to a good Easter Monday. Sorry I haven't been around that much... I have had to spend a lot of time polishing up my CV and looking for new jobs. I have 2 interviews lined up which is good, one with a recruitment consultant and one with an employer. I hope know the right opportunity is just round the corner. 
    As minor compensation for lack of nail art I will distract you with pictures an adorable baby bunny

    I am working on some nail art designs and will try to get them posted soon. Taking my Nieces to Woburn Safari park tomorrow which is going to be great fun XD
    Hope everyone has a lovely day too
    Stacie xoxox

Lem-on Crushed Candy

    Good morning, Dear Reader, and Happy Easter!

    For today I doctored up my Color Club Get Your Lem-on manicure, but I used China Glaze Crushed Candy Crackle Glaze rather than Konad.  I was thinking of what color to use for Konad, and I kept nixing choices because I know that the color shows up strangely on neon yellow, when it occurred to me to try out Crushed Candy for a potentially Easter-y version of Get Your Lem-on.

    I added a coat of Crushed Candy, then two coats of some Nutra Nail strengthener that's clear and a coat of quick dry top coat to smooth it out.  I'd been using one coat of Gelous rather than the Nutra Nail, which worked just fine, but I don't have enough Gelous left for one manicure and most likely won't repurchase it.  The sun came out for a bit yesterday, so I was able to take a picture in sunlight.

    China Glaze Crushed Candy Crackle Glaze and Get Your Lem-on
    China Glaze Crushed Candy Crackle Glaze over Color Club Get Your Lem-on

    This worked out well for me since it tones down the yellow so much and I'm wearing this manicure to church today.  It's like an Easter egg is getting cracked open and the yolk shows (although that imagery doesn't withstand close scrutiny - I really don't want an egg with a neon yolk).  I can also still catch the lemon fragrance under all those additional coats, which is pretty impressive.

    That's my manicure for Easter, and so far, Easter is shaping up into a pretty dang good day.  Until next time, Dear Reader, love and nail polish to you!

Color Club Get Your Lem-on

    Good morning, Dear Reader!

    There's nothing quite like ten solid hours of sleep, is there?  You get to benefit from my fabulous sleep in that it's more likely I'll keep my thoughts generally focused!

    Last night I changed my manicure to Color Club Get Your Lem-on, the yellow from Wicked Sweet.  It's a very nice highlighter yellow shimmer and the polish was easy to control, but it did take five coats to be opaque.  I'm sure a white base could reduce that number, but when I'm trying it out the first time and want to tell you how many coats it takes to be opaque, I just use the color.  There's still no sunlight, or hope for it, so I used artificial light for the picture.

    Color Club Get Your Lem-on
    Color Club Get Your Lem-on Nail Polish, Five Coats
    Although I love this polish. I think it's just okay on me - it's not horrible, but not flattering either.  Neon yellow is such a fun color that I wear it anyhow.  I like it best on very dark brown skin though - to my eye neon yellow just pops off of dark hands, and it makes the skin tone look really cool.  For me, since I want a little more than "not bad," I'll probably add Konad to it today.

    Get Your Lem-on has a great fragrance.  It smells like someone's making a pitcher of Country Time Lemonade from the can of powder (I'm assuming those still exist) while another person is zesting a lemon nearby.  I've been sniffing this one a lot!  Again, the scent is not too strong, and I do have to have my hands near my face to smell it.

    That's just about it for this morning, Dear Reader.  Until next time, love and nail polish to you!

Color Club Space Case

    Good morning, Dear Reader!

    Well, I'll tell ya... Starting up a new tech-y type department in a company carries with it loads of frustration stress (when you're the kind who wants everything done perfectly for all time yesterday), and last night I could think of only one thing to counter it that's totally harmless, and that's fairy princess nails.  That meant no Konad got added to my scented orange neon, and I switched to Color Club Space Case and Starry Temptress from the Starry Temptress Collection, although as I mentioned, I prefer to believe that it makes me a fairy princess rather than a starry temptress.

    I showed you this combination already when I posted the whole collection, and it's what I wore after swatching because it's fabulous and I love it.  Space Case is the slightly shimmer neon pink with lots of holo glitter, and is very well pigmented and perfect in two thin coats.  I added one coat of Starry Temptress, the glitter top coat, to it just because a true fairy princess really can't sparkle enough.  I'd wear a tiara in public on difficult days if I could.  The opportunity to wear a tiara in public was actually central in planning my first wedding - the only things I put real effort into were the vows, the tiara, and the honeymoon trip (which was to Great America to ride roller coasters).  In this moment, I'm just astounded that I managed to drift from details of swatching a collection to telling you about riding roller coasters on my honeymoon, so I'd better pick up the pace and show you  a picture before I start rambling about the tensile strength of silk or something...

    This is the manicure, which is two coats of Space Case and one of Starry Temptress with two coats of top coat to smooth it out, under artificial light - I'm writing this last night, hence the weary stream of consciousness, and it's storming and will be today as well, so there's no chance for a good sunlight picture.

    Color Club Space Case
    Color Club Space Case, Two Coats, with One Coat Color Club Starry Temptress
    Seriously, could you write a venomous email with that manicure doing the typing?  I can't, that's why I like it.  I might have a little tantrum here or there, but then I get distracted by sparkly hot pink and suddenly the world is a wonderful place to be.  I had the world's best Quaker Parrot for several years (he'd say literally hundreds of phrases, often in context), and we always related well on the level of our appreciation for sparkly things.

    Okay, this is totally unrelated to the post, and were I less tired it wouldn't have been brought up, but I have a funny Arthur story for you.  Arthur was my parrot's name (I wanted him to have a dignified name).  I had him from right when he was weaned until he was five, but then he started getting stressed because I was working too much overtime, so I got him this over-the-top bird loving family 200 miles away (they actually got him another Quaker, despite having many other parrots to be his new flock), where he lived for another year and a half before he died of cancer.  He was super cute and smart, but also ridiculously territorial and jealous.  There was an occasion the first few months I had him, when he was still learning not to bite, when he got too excited at seeing some pizza I was bringing him (one of his favorites) and he bit me hard enough to break skin and exclaimed, "Pizza!"  I got mad and said, "You don't get any!"  From that moment on, any time he was mad he'd say, "You don't get any!"  I felt so bad I never spoke those words again.

    Part of the territoriality was that while he knew him when we were dating, Arthur hated my first husband.  I really can't emphasize "hated" enough here.  If we were sitting on the couch, Arthur would bite H#1 as hard as he could, sometimes not letting go until I pried his little beak open, then he'd say "Don't bite!" and heartily laugh in my laugh.  Once H#1 and I had a big disagreement, the kind where some time is taken to evaluate whether to continue or break up, and H#1 was coming over to talk about things.  I was stressed and just didn't want to have some grueling awkward talk, but when the doorbell rang, I answered.  Arthur ran as close to the door as he could and pulled out the big guns with an emphatic, "You don't get any!" at H#1.  If only I'd listened to the parrot...

    At this point, I'm so tired that I'm just rambling about random things, so I'll just end now.  But if you have a Quaker Parrot and are dating, please heed his warnings.  Until next time, love and nail polish to you!

Color Club Always Get My Man-darin

    Good morning, Dear Reader!

    I completely changed my nail polish last night - the last one just had too much tip wear after two days of lots of typing.  I so enjoyed wearing one from the Wicked Sweet Collection that I used another, although color selection is getting tough - my options that I haven't shown you were the green (lime), yellow (lemon), or orange.  Obviously, I went with the orange since I'll be at work, and that's called Always Get My Man-darin.  That's a super Suzi name for a Color Club, but Suzi on a good day (not the day Iris I Was Thinner was named...).

    Truthfully, the plan for today's manicure had been to do medium green with a yellow, green, and red striped accent nail with that Bundle Monster pot leaf pattern right in the middle of it just I so could make a post entitled "It's 420!", but that had to go by the wayside when I returned to an office.  I acknowledge that would have been completely inappropriate for anyone, particularly a woman my age, but it would have been funny enough to me to do it (clearly, I'd thoroughly planned it out!).

    Since that was off the table, I was content with my Always Get My Man-darin choice.  It's a vivid yellowish orange shimmer, a very unique color.  I used two coats of a tinted base (two coats in my desperate attempt to keep my unstained nails that way), but the Color Club still took about seventy billion coats.  Not really seventy billion, but it was either six or seven, I lost count, so we'll say six.  I think that's why there aren't more neon shimmers, but I happily used this many coats of a few of the Color Club Poptastic [I meant Electro Candy - I'm sorry] shades, so although I wasn't thrilled, I wasn't horrified.

    I waited a few minutes between each of the coats of polish and finished it with Diamont (I'm still working on a 16 oz bottle I got before the formula was changed and changed back to the original a la New Coke).  I'm not sure of dry time, as I'm writing this last night about an hour after applying all that polish.  It's dry enough to do things, but I have no intention of scurrying off to wash my hair when I finish writing this.  I'm just hoping for no sheet marks!  Like the others in this release, the polish was very easy to control, so it doesn't look odd (to me) despite all the coats.

    Color Club Always Get My Man-darin
    Color Club Always Get My Man-darin Nail Polish, Six Coats
    I really like the color and I'm smitten with the shimmer in this, which is like the shimmer in the Poptastic colors [edit: throughout this post, I said Poptastic when I meant Electro Candy.  I'm really sorry if I confused you!  Fact is, I was and am confused because I'm exhausted, but an email exchange with a reader made me double check when I got home... Please forgive weary ol' me!].  Since it came out, Poptastic [again, I meant Electro Candy here] has been my favorite neon collection overall, but the addition of nice smells to the Wicked Sweet polishes may just put them in the lead.  They're incredibly fun!

    As for the fragrance of this one, it's as subtle as the others, where I have to sniff it to really catch it.  It smells like the kitchen after making fresh orange juice out of really good oranges - kind of sweet, but there's also a nice orange peel smell to it that keeps it from being too sweet.  I was a little apprehensive about this one because I was afraid it would have that overly sweet artificial orange smell (which makes my stomach turn even if it's not too heavy), but this is very pleasant.

    We'll see how this holds up.  I'd like to add some Konad to it just because I'm a Konadin' fool, but I think the color stands on its own just fine.  I'm also not willing to either stay up until 3:00 am waiting for this to dry enough to stamp or get up at 5:00 am to do it then in order to have pictures for this post.  I ♥ sleep far more than nails!

    So that's just about all I know.  I notice in proof reading that today's post is just loaded with informational links.  I have no idea what's up with that, but what the heck, I'm leaving them... Until next time, Dear Reader, love and nail polish to you!

Color Club Gimme A Grape Big Kiss

    Good morning, Dear Reader!

    On Sunday afternoon, I changed my nail polish to Color Club Gimme A Grape Big Kiss from the Wicked Sweet Collection, the scented neons for Summer 2011.  It's not really a true neon, more of a vivid purple creme.  The polish was easy to control and it applied well, but required three thin coats to be entirely opaque.  That's not terribly out of the ordinary for such a bright shade or for a scented polish, so the extra coat didn't throw me off.  I finished it with top coat, and it's a really striking polish.

    Color Club Gimme A Grape Big Kiss
    Color Club Gimme A Grape Big Kiss Nail Polish, Three Coats
    For this particular shade, I would have been willing to do three coats of color at the outset.  When the fact that it smells like grape Bubble Yum bubble gum is tossed into the equation, I'm willing to do three coats and my little heart goes pitter-patter while I do.  As I write this (which was last night, I wrote it ahead of time so I could sleep in a little longer today), it's about an hour after I added a refresher top coat to it, and it still smells of grape Bubble Yum when I sniff it, about as much as it did yesterday. The fragrance is pleasant but not overpowering at all - I really do have to specifically sniff it to catch the scent (and my sniffer is better than ever after a week of not smoking!).  If the often sickly sweet fragrance (odor?) of the Revlon Scents of Summer fruity polishes put you off of scented polishes, the Wicked Sweet Collection might just sway you back and make you love them.  Personally, I generally liked the Revlons, but I do recall that when settling in to sleep with my hands close to my face, that coconut one was somewhat sickening, but I had no such problem last night.

    I'm really happy with the color, and a young-ish lady coworker enthusiastically complimented it, so I'm glad that I've worn it plain for a bit.  At the same time, it's screaming at me to Konad it, so I'll likely do that tomorrow evening if it lasts another day without chips.

    That's just about all there is to tell you, Dear Reader.  Until next time, love and nail polish to you!

Lancome Exotique Kiss

    Good morning, Dear Reader!

    Yesterday I changed my nail polish to a nice subdued shade for the week, and I went with Lancome Exotique Kiss.  It's an opaque peach with lots and lots of sparkly shimmer in it.  It applied very well and only needed two coats.  I'm a pretty big fan of Lancome nail polish - they're like Dior in that the quality is superb.  After my little rant about Chanel's constant price increases, I was thinking of that with high end brands, and Lancome has recently gone up a buck or two to $18, the only change I recall in several years (also like Dior), and in proportion to the total price that seems reasonable to me.  The only down side to Lancome is that the color selection is pretty slim.

    I had good sunlight to take pictures of Exotique Kiss, and here it is.

    Lancome Exotique Kiss
    Lancome Exotique Kiss Nail Polish, Two Coats

    I think it's great - I tend to prefer a strong finish like this paired with a more subtle color, so it works well for me.  Unfortunately, the two repairs on my right hand were hastily done and didn't hold, so this manicure got as far as a trip to church.  I changed it when I redid the repairs in the afternoon to something completely different, but I'll show the new one to you later.

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

Konad m83: Konad Returns

    Good morning, Dear Reader!

    As I hunted down some supplies to add a bit of Konad to OPI Big Hair... Big Nails, I realized that this has probably been the longest stretch that I've gone without stamping since I first tried it out, and for no good reason!  I'm glad a stop has been put to that bleak period.

    I settled on Konad plate m83, using a full nail pattern with Konad White Pearl Special Polish.  I thought I'd done a really good job and I like how it looks, but as I went through pictures I discovered that I made tiny smudges over all the stamping in applying the top coat.  The good news is that it doesn't look smudged at all in real life, the bad news is that you're sitting at home looking at a picture I took, not standing here looking at the manicure in person, so I have no way to show you how it really looks.  The best I can do is say that it looks like the picture only without smudges.

    Konad m83
    Konad m83 in White Pearl over OPI Big Hair... Big Nails

    I like it quite a bit, but anything I use this particular pattern for will simply be a substitute for the manicure I want to use it for until I finally get the one I picture out of my head.  My mom had some flamboyant taste in home decor in the '70's and '80's, and if I were to double-stamp this pattern on very long nails in gold over a burgundy base, it would really look a lot like the early '80's dining room wall paper I associate with that.  For some reason, that makes me really want to do it, even though double-stamping this pattern seems like it would be a bear.  For now, white on orange on short nails is the best I can do, so I'm enjoying it just the same.

    My coffee is now ready and waiting for me, and the details of this manicure are just about all I know with certainty at this hour without any coffee running through my veins, so I should wrap it up here and get started on caffeinating myself.  Until next time, Dear Reader, love and nail polish to you!

OPI Big Hair... Big Nails

    Good morning, Dear Reader!

    Today I thought I'd take advantage of shorter nails and use OPI Big Hair... Big Nails.  It's one of the jelly polishes (or "sorbet" if OPI is paying you) from the Texas Collection, kind of a reddish orange.  The name of this one tickles me because I have big red hair and usually have some pretty big nails, so it seemed entertainingly fitting.  I don't have any sense of whether the stereotypical Texan big blonde hairsprayed crowd finds humor in their huge hair and nails, but somehow the name is even funnier to me if they don't.

    I didn't get any of the OPI Texas jellies until I'd been assured that they don't require a zillion coats and the VNL isn't too bad, and I found those things to be true as well.  I used three coats of Big Hair... Big Nails, and that's given me even and almost opaque coverage.  With a short free edge, the remaining hint of VNL doesn't creep me out, so I like how it looks.  When I sat down to change my polish, I'd planned on using white Konad of some sort on this, but was surprised that I like it well enough on its own that I'd prefer to wear it plain for a while before adding to it.

    OPI Big Hair... Big Nails Nail Polish
    OPI Big Hair... Big Nails Nail Polish, Two Coats in Artificial Light
    Using nail polish again this week after having gotten accustomed to the soak off gel, I really have no idea which I'll end up sticking with.  At this point, having done some damage to my nails that I have to grow out that's unrelated to either polish or gel, they're so little that they hardly need the protection of gel, and I'm not too enthusiastic at the prospect of the additional application time of gel.  I wouldn't use it right now anyhow because as you can see, my application skills are much weaker with shorter nails and I think gel would take me an eternity to get right, so for now, I think I'm going with polish.

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

Kate Middleton Engagement Ring inspired Manicure

    There is so much rubbish in the shops to do with the Royal Wedding that it's inspired me to do a manicure. Weird really because the only thing that interests me about the wedding is the day off!
    Anyway picture is on my new tumblr account
    I used a blue that was in a hello kitty nail art set from Claires Accessories it's the blue and red french looking one and some massive rhinestones I had from my card making days. I've already taken it off but thought it was a good laugh for my tumblr XD
    Stacie xoxox

Nail Blog Round Up

Nubar Purple Aster

    Good morning, Dear Reader!

    I just finished my back-to-the-office manicure, and I went with Nubar Purple Aster from this season's The Spring Garden Collection.  The collection was sent to me for review before it came out, and I discovered that getting a decent picture of a washed-out pastel on super pale hands is quite a feat.  I actually swatched the whole thing twice and took pictures of all eight with and without the glitter top coat (Dew Drop), but the sunlight pictures made the polishes all look off-white and my hands look really red, even though it didn't look that way in real life.  It was frustrating (especially since I didn't have the good sense to import and check the first picture on the second round of swatching - what a dummy!), but I finally got a good picture of Purple Aster, so all is well.

    Purple Aster is a pale lavender with a very delicate white shimmer.  I like it - I think it's a nice twist on the usual pastels, being much paler and a shimmer, and I really love pastels in Spring.  I know pastels in Spring are considered by some to be predictable and boring, but I love them, and I think the fact that they evidently sell well enough to continue to produce them for Spring indicates that I am not alone.  Purple Aster is extremely pigmented, and one coat would be plenty for a base for layering (I prefer the shine of two coats using it alone).  Here it is finished with a coat of Diamont under artificial light.

    Nubar Purple Aster
    Nubar Purple Aster Nail Polish, Two Coats
    You can see how stubby my poor pinky nail is here, but we'll just have to ignore that for now.

    I think Purple Aster manages to be understated,  feminine, and Springy without being little-girl.  I'm pleased with it.

    That's just about all there is to tell you about today, Dear Reader.  Until next time, love and nail polish to you!

Revlon Black with Envy

    Good afternoon, Dear Reader!

    I left the last gel manicure on for 14 days, the last week of which I was really hard on my hands, and I got the first chip on the 13th day.  I took a picture before removing it, but will spare you - what finally prompted me to change it was breaking off the entire free edge of my left pinky nail, and the little stump next to the four grown-up nails isn't a very attractive picture.  I filed all my nails down because in addition to the major break, the fake tip and repair I was sporting, I managed to break five more nails (cracks across, but not all the way through).  I can handle a repair or two, but two tips and six repairs is a little excessive, so I did a chop.  Two nails are broken about halfway down the nail bed, so they'll have to stay shorter than usual for longer than usual (much to my dismay).  I'll tell you the tale of their demise after the pictures.

    When I did the gel removal, which was a painless one, it was a truly spectacular Spring day, and I simply didn't have it in me to stay cooped up in the house doing my nails for an hour when I had the option of slapping on some polish and going out, so I went with polish.  It's Revlon's take on Chanel Black Pearl, called Black with Envy.  The little red sticker on the brush handle says "New Color" rather than "Limited Edition," so I really don't know whether it's here to stay or not.  Honestly, I like Revlon's new schtick of copying the last big Chanel (I'm thinking Perplex from Fall, then this one) - I like the Revlons better in both cases.  With Chanel bumping up their prices again, I think I'm just over Chanel completely.  I recall that in 2007 they were going for $17-$18 (we'll say $18 to give Chanel the benefit of the estimate), and a $7 increase constitutes a 38% price increase.  That's ridiculous.

    Wow, I hadn't realized I had a Chanel tangent in me, sorry about that.  This is about  Black with Envy, which applied beautifully and is perfect in two coats, and really is a great substitute for Chanel Black Pearl.  Here it is in sunlight on my stumpy nails, which will be back to normal as soon as they can be...

    Revlon Black with Envy
    Revlon Black with Envy Nail Polish, Two Coats
    For $19 less than the Chanel, I'm sorry that I bought the Chanel.
    So, want to hear how I managed to break all but two gel-reinforced nails in a week?  It was due to what I shall forever recall as The Febreze Incident of 2011.  The weekend before last, I was working on the house, reorganizing and preparing for a new routine when I start the new job this week.  I got some Febreze Air Effects, and went about the business of freshening the air, carpet, drapes, etc., at the end of a long day, Saturday evening, I think.  Well, what I hadn't been aware of was the ridiculously high pollen count at the time, with pollen being a huge allergen for me, and as a consequence I had virtually no sense of smell.  I became aware of how impaired my olfactory sense was after taking some Benadryl and heading off to bed - I woke up absolutely choking on the hideous soapy air a few hours later.  I opened windows and turned on an air purifier, but in the morning it was just as bad as ever.  Searching online brought me to many discussions of "Febreze is the Devil" and things like that - some people were reporting no improvement after a month of trying to eliminate that noxious soapy chemical smell.  I tried a few things (bowls of salt and cider vinegar, a Heloise trick, eventually was the thing that made a huge difference), but for three solid days the focus of my cleaning efforts became washing every piece of laundry, throwing out anything porous and not washable, etc.  In that process, my nails took a real beating.  And if I'm ever caught using Febreze again I shouldn't be allowed into my own home until I get more sense.

    The good news out of it was that it made breathing enough of a hassle to get me to quit smoking after twenty-five years (I'm really hoping quitting takes).  I'm also now quite knowledgeable about the myriad non-chemical ways to freshen air, so I guess The Febreze Incident of 2011 was not a total loss...

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

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