Tuesday, July 31, 2012

31 Day Challenge Day 10 - Gradient

I've seen some really lovely holo gradients around the nail blogging world, so of course on gradient day I had to try one.

I used all Wet & Wild polishes for this (again, haha), starting with a base of Metallica from the Wild Shine line. It makes a good base for sheer polishes, a little shimmer without color interference, and a little toning down of the shade for those of us who don't like the brightness that a white base gives.

For the gradient I used Blue Wants To Be A Millionaire and Hannah Pinktana from the Fastdry line. These both have scattered (nonlinear) holo microglitter in a very sheer jelly base, light blue and dusty pink respectively. 

My camera doesn't do justice to the holo in these babies. I did get an intentionally blurred pic that shows it off a little better:

These are really nice inexpensive holos ($2!) even if they're not as blingy as some of the pricier options. It takes a few coats to build up the glitter, but it's lovely. Sponging it on gives more glitter and less base on the nail, to speed things up.

Friday, July 27, 2012

31 Day Challenge Day 9 - Rainbow

I had to think long and hard about what to do for Rainbow. I decided it would be an excellent opportunity (like this whole challenge, really) to use several of my untried polishes. Here's what I finally came up with:

For the sake of because I felt like it, I decided to use Wet & Wild polishes for as much of this as possible, which means everything except orange. But then I decided to use an untried white for the base instead of French White Creme (which, turns out, is a better/less streaky formula... oh well now I know), I used L.A. Colors - Energy Source. 

Going from red -> purple, the polishes used (all Wet & Wild except for orange, as noted):
Sinful Colors - Patrika
The Wonder Yellows
Sage in the City
Blue Bijou
Eggplant Frost

Jezebel, Blue Bijou, and Eggplant Frost are from the Wild Shine line, while The Wonder Yellows and Sage in the City are Fastdry.

After doing a sideways gradient to try to blend the colors together across all the nails, which turned out a little rougher than I would have liked, I decided it needed more bling so I added a coat of Wet & Wild Wild Shine - Hallucinate, an iridescent-holo glitter topcoat. 

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Sinful swatch spam

In light of the recent rumors (not absolutely confirmed, but there's evidence enough to be scary) that the Sinful Colors brand is being discontinued, I break from the regularly scheduled nail art challenge to bring you swatches of my entire Sinful collection. I only swatched each polish on one nail so I could do four at once and save time, since I'm also in the process of moving into a new apartment. 

All polishes are shown with two coats, no topcoat, and since I kind of rushed through this any application issues should be blamed on me rather than the formula unless otherwise noted.

I'll point out dupes or close alternatives where I'm aware of them. 

On to the polish! Starred polish names indicate those I remember for sure are in the regular core displays. 

Left to right: Toxic Shine, Mama-San, Dancing Nails*, Sugar Sugar*
(Toxic Shine and Mama San are some of my first Sinfuls and I'm pretty sure they're not readily available anymore. Dancing Nails would make good alternative to Mama-San, at least)

In this batch, all except Toxic Shine could be a one-coater if you're careful. All except Sugar Sugar show some brushstrokes, Mama-San less so.
Sugar Sugar might stain if your nails are prone to it.

Left to right: Gorgeous*, San Francisco, Mint Apple*, Cinderella*
(San Francisco might be in the core display. About 50% sure either way :/ )

Gorgeous and San Francisco show brushstrokes and are sheer at the first coat. San Francisco might take three coats depending on how thickly you paint and your VNL tolerance.
Mint Apple and Cinderella both have milky bases that are prone to balding and require a little more babying than most Sinfuls, but nothing ridiculous. 
Cinderella is super unique, with pink glassflecks that don't show up nearly as well in pics as they do in reality.
San Francisco stains a bit, use double base coat. Wet & Wild SaGreena The Teenage Witch may or may not be a near-dupe.
Gorgeous is a pretty standard teal shimmer, quite a few brands have something similar, though this is maybe slightly lighter/more silvery than most. Unless you're a major teal junkie (like me) you can probably do without this one.

Left to right: This Is It*, You Just Wait*, Bali Mist, Let Me Go
(These are possibly all in the core display.)

Except This Is It, this batch is pretty sheer. Bali Mist might hit opacity with three or four coats, I recommend layering the others. 
Let Me Go looks like it might be a duo/multichrome. I'd have to try it over black to be sure.
This Is It has some gorgeous bluple/green iridescent microglitter that my camera didn't pick up well, but trust me it's fantastic!

Left to right: Forget Now*, Flutter, Glass Pink*, Purple Diamond
(I think Purple Diamond is in the core display as well but I'm not 100% certain)

All of these are glassfleck polishes. Purple Diamond and Glass Pink are super sheer, probably better for layering. Flutter has the same milky kind of base as Mint Apple and Cinderella, same inclination to balding.
The glassflecks in Glass Pink have an almost-holo iridescent shift to them, absolutely fabulous! 
Forget Now seems to be very similar to one of the OPI Minnie Mouse collection (I'm All Ears, I think it was called), and L.A. Colors has something similar as well.

Left to right: I Miss You*, Hottie*, Nail Junkie*, Pearl Harbor

Here we have holo/iridescent glitter polishes. I believe the only one of this type I'm missing from the core display is Pinky Glitter, the so-girly pink twin to Hottie.
I Miss You and Nail Junkie could probably go opaque. Pearl Harbor never will, it's just blue/green iridescent glitter in a clear base. Hottie also should probably be layered.

Left to right: Fiji*, Let's Talk*, Fig, Cream Pink
(Fig is recently available in the same collection as the re-release of Winterberry, and I saw a lot of Cream Pink when I was at Walgreens yesterday)

Cream Pink is the oddball of my SC collection, with its satin half-matte finish. It's a great pink with a lovely golden shimmer.
Lets Talk is somewhat purpler than it looks here, my camera seems not to have liked it much and turned it a shade bluer than it really is. Can be a one-coater. I suspect Wet & Wild has a dupe in their Fastdry line. It stains.
Fiji is pretty sheer and could benefit from a third coat.
Fig has an absolutely lovely formula and requires no babying whatsoever.

Left to right: Kissy, Call You Later*, All About You*

Kissy is Forget Now's teal cousin. A slightly greener version of Wet & Wild's Teal of Fortune, which would make a good alternative. Stains. :(
Layer Call You Later. All About You can go opaque, but IMO it's better layered, with those fabulous gold glassflecks.

Left to right: Zeus, Winterberry, Slate, Secret Admirer
(Winterberry and Slate are recently available though not in the core display)

This whole batch has fabulous formulas. Any of these could be a one-coater if you paint carefully, and not one needs the slightest bit of babying. You can't really see the gorgeous pink hidden shimmer in Zeus in my pic, but it's AMAZING.

Left to right: Cloud 9*, Patrika, Oledia, Tokyo Pearl*
(Let's Meet is in the core display and looks to be a close cousin to Oledia, a glassfleck instead of a shimmer and maybe a smidge lighter yellow)

Except for Cloud 9 these are all pretty sheer on the first coat but build up nicely, and have a tendency to show brushstrokes. Cloud 9 seems to have the same iridescent flecks that are in Glass Pink, but the orange base limits them quite a bit.
Oledia stains, double basecoat is a necessity!

My personal must-have list, AKA the bottles I will be buying backups of (if I can get my hands on a second bottle) just in case:
-- Glass Pink, for the iridescent glassflecks. So, so pretty and since it's so sheer it can be layered over anything without significant color change.
-- Mama-San, simply because I adore the color. If I can't find it I'll get a backup of Dancing Nails.
-- Toxic Shine, for the same reason as Mama-San
-- Fig, because the color and formula are so amazingly delicious
-- All About You, the best glassflecky gold I've ever seen
-- Zeus, for that hidden shimmer
-- Patrika, because it's the only shade of orange I've found that actually looks good with my skin tone
-- Tokyo Pearl, because it makes the best all-purpose undies and I've never seen another frosty pure white like that from another brand

A lot of bloggers rave about Winterberry and Cinderella... they're not my personal favorites, but they are pretty unique and if those colors are your cup of tea, you should definitely snag 'em up while you can!

Let me know if you'd like to see any particular comparisons or layering combinations with these, I take requests!

Sunday, July 22, 2012

31 Day Challenge Day 8 - Metallic

For the metallic day of the challenge, of course I had to break out my favorite gold of all time. And then I did nail art on it.

I started with a base of Sally Hansen Xtreme Wear - Golden I, which is an absolutely fantastic gold foil polish. One-coater, if you're careful! I did two coats because I tend to paint very thin. I taped off triangles at the base of my nails, and painted over that with Revlon - Copper Penny, a nice copper metallic polish. Also a one-coater, this time even for me and my tendency to paint thin! Finally I added pink dots at the tips of the triangles with Sally Hansen Xtreme Wear - Pink Satin. More a chrome finish than a foil, goes on very smooth and like Golden I can be a careful one-coater. 

I love Pink Satin even though it's one of those kind of "old" looking pink shades... to me it's retro rather than granny, and I like to rock it with a denim jacket and some 80's style.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

31 Day Challenge Day 7 - Black and White

The obvious thing to do for black and white was typography nails. 

Pretty good for a first try, no?

I used Wet & Wild - French White Creme as the base, and cut up an old Reader's Digest for the letters, following standard typography manicure procedure. I think bright white is not the best color for my skin tone, but I *really* like the typography look. Gonna be a staple of my nail art repertoire from now on I think!

Saturday, July 14, 2012

31 Day Challenge Day 6 - Violet

Ok, yeah, I REALLY got lazy on the cleanup on this one. In my defense I did it at work on a slow day, and I have shitty lighting at work. And when I got home I didn't feel like bothering.

For violet I decided to make a jelly sandwich. For the base and top layers I used two L.A. Colors polishes that came in a set of mini bottles from Ross, the fuschia creme (polish name unknown) and Nuclear Energy (purple jelly). In between I used Orly - Can't Be Tamed from the Glam FX collection. I think it turned out really pretty well, considering I've never been a fan of my jelly sandwich skills.... I actually do like this one.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

31 Day Challenge Day 5 - Blue

I got a bit lazy with this one, but really I just was waiting for an excuse to use this polish so I may have rushed things in my excitement...

The base is Orly - After Party, which is simply fabulous even though I haven't been loving dark polishes lately. The little purple and blue glassflecks just make it super yummy.
I used a bobby pin dotting tool and Wet & Wild - Rain Check to give it a funky sort of french tip in dots.