Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Ethereal Lilac Haze and Kokoist Excel Builder Gel

I didn't really do any Vday mani this year, as I really didn't get the inspo.  I did wear this gorgeous pink holo, which I think pink is sort of Valentinesy.  BTW I have swatched and posted this before here.  This is one of the indies that I wish came back.  The polishes went beyond my expectations, and none of the ones I have are faded.  I did a destash sale (my store here), and when I was organizing my polishes, I was shocked to see all the fading indies.  Glitter curls too *shrugs*

I didn't want to do a post about all of the faders and shine a light on the negative side of indies.  Instead, I wanted to show one of the pretties that is still going strong, and that I still love.  Perfect application, finish, and drying time after a few years.  That being said, if you have any faders that you would like to talk about, I encourage you to use the comment section here.

Another thing that I wanted to talk about is the Kokoist Builder Gel.  For this, you will need a Led or UV lamp to cure, as well as a brush.  I have posted one of their soak-off Kokoist gels on my IG here.  They have a wide range of colors and they are very durable.  I stumbled onto the builder gel on night, because I was looking for something that would allow my nails to repair, when broken, while not necessarily wearing gel polish and not making them look so thick.  I know that the quality of Japanese products is exceptional, and I have tried a couple of their gels before, so I took a chance on this expensive tub of plastic.

The result was a thin layer of smooth gel that is very sturdy.  The best part is that it can be worn under regular nail polish, as you can see it in these pictures.  I apply it over a gel basecoat, cure it, wipe off the sticky layer, and then I can apply whatever I want over it for two weeks.  My nails grow strong, and they don't break or bend.  I have waited to review this until I was sure that it worked.  It is consistently good, and their customer service is superb.  I still change my mani every 2-3 days and I remove it with OPI expert touch which does not disturb the builder gel.  Can you tell I am wearing anything over my natural nails other than my holo polish?

Layering Order:
Gelish Basecoat
Led 5-45 Lamp
Kokoist Excel Builder
Led 5-45 Lamp
Essie Strengthener Basecoat
2 coats Ethereal Lacquer Lilac Haze
OPI DS Topcoat

Where to buy in the US:
Unfortunately, Ethereal is nowhere to be found except destash sales

If you find something wrong with this post, please let me know, broken links, type-os, different opinions, etc.

These items were purchased by me or sent to me by a friend.  The above are not affiliated links.

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Essie Let It Glow and Tonic Peacock Parade

I always quickly glance at the Essie stand when I go to the drugstore.  Last week, I got a coupon specifically for Essie, because they probably read my mind or who knows!  So, I spent a little more time looking, and of course I had to squat; 2018 and they can't make these at arm level, seriously.  Anyway, I saw this bubble gum pink & peach mix with gold shimmer that totally caught my attention.  Essie's formula is still horrible by the way, but the color was so nice.

The Essie needed something, so I grabbed this multichrome from Tonic that I had on my to-swatch pile.  I definitely need to get more nail vinyls, because they really make nail art effortless.  I though about pairing the two up right as I was polishing my first coat of pink.  The end result was worthy of this pic-heavy post.

I really like this Tonic.  I didn't want to buy it thinking that I had too many like it.  Thankfully, my friend K sent it to me, and boy was I wrong.  This is nothing like the other teal-to-purple duochromes I've seen or tried.  This shifts to so many beautiful colors, including copper, blue, and pink.  It 'glows' in the shade and indoors.  It is so mesmerizing, because the shift happens really fast, no matter the lighting situation.  I have to say, the finish is a bit brush-strokey.

Overall, I like both of these polishes a lot.  Lately, it has been hard for me to become impressed by new polishes coming out, but these two are definitely winners.

Layering Order:
Gucci Basecoat
2 coats Essie Let It Glow
Seche Vite topcoat
Star Vinyls from Vinyl Boutique (discontinued)
1 coat Tonic Peacock Parade
Guerlain topcoat

Bonus Pictures - Essie Let It Glow by itself

Where to buy in the US:

If you find something wrong with this post, please let me know, broken links, type-os, different opinions, etc.

These items were purchased by me or sent to me by a friend.  The above are not affiliated links.

Wednesday, January 31, 2018

F.U.N. Lacquer Flashing Lights

Hello again!  Ok, I couldn't do Instagram.  I tried!

It's just not for me.  I really dislike social media, and the algorithms of the home page, comments, posts, etc.  I don't know how long Blogger will be up, it's really not the best either.  I know a lot of people have stopped blogging (burnt out); and that it used to be a thing 10 years ago, but not anymore.  Remember when people used to say " I write a blog about..."?  I haven't heard that in a long time, but as long as this platform is up, I will post here.

One thing though, I added ads.  If you really dislike them you can try installing an ad blocker, maybe.  I tried to make them as discrete as possible.  Please let me know if there is anything that I can do to enhance your experience here.

Alright, on to the polish.  I am not buying as much polish as I used to, but when I see something like this on sale, it's hard to resist.  This one has holographic dust (I wish it had more), and a really nice UP-like pigment <--- yes, I will be using np world lingo, because who else reads this blog?

I think the pigment was cute, but not really obvious, unless you really looked at it up close.  The shift was ok, but this pigment made the polish a bit gritty.  I don't know how to explain it, but it just looked bumpy overall.  I liked this shade of grey-white on my skin.  I think that I will possibly franken with it, and add a bit of SF or something.  I love FUN, but I have to say this was the first disappointing polish I got from them.

End post, RANT ahead.

Well, I should probably explain why I dislike instagram so much, instead of being so cryptic.  At first, it was just glitchy, and to me it was (and it still is until this day) very frustrating that they do not allow for a direct repost.  They do not have an "enter key", so I have to carefully type what I want to say on a notepad on my phone, and then copy paste there, if I want a sentence to begin in a new line.  There is no way to see all of the comments in one place.  Sometimes, I get a notification that someone made a comment, and I have to scroll up and down until my eyes hurt, to see where, what, who posted.  Finally, what did it for me, is that I do not see the posts that I really want on my feed.  I tried to enable notifications for it on my phone, for when bloggers I follow post something new; but I must be dumb or something, because I get redirected to my phone settings, and nothing happens.  Oh and don't get me started on accidentally swiping on a post and losing the spot of what I was watching or accidentally tapping on someone's live story (with sound!).  I get the appeal of IG, it's just not for me.

Layering Order:
Gucci Basecoat
2 coats F.U.N. Lacquer Flashing Lights
Seche Vite topcoat

Where to buy in the US:

If you find something wrong with this post, please let me know, broken links, type-os, different opinions, etc.

These items were purchased by me or sent to me by a friend.  The above are not affiliated links.

Monday, September 4, 2017

Moving to Instagram

Update 2018: Not moving anymore, staying here.  Instagram is the worst thing that humans have done to the art of photography.

Hey lovelies!  Follow me there

Ask me anything here, I will check it once in a while.  I am going to leave it up, because it is years of swatches, and I know that some of this stuff is helpful for you!

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Urban Outfitters Violet Aura

This is a nice matte lavender polish to have.  I am not a big fan of the formula from the matte UO polishes, but in this case, the color was worth the extra work.  Lately, they haven't really put out anything exciting, so I sort of just grabbed this, along with a neon polish, from the 2 for $8 bin.  The neon one turned out to be a re-purchase.  When I got home, I was like oops, I already have this, so I guess I'll try this matte instead.

Layering Order:
Gucci Basecoat
3 coats Urban Outfitters Violet Aura
Swarovski Crystals (accent nail)
no topcoat in these pictures

Monday, December 5, 2016

cupcake nails

I am randomly posting old swatches here because I'm currently wearing and enjoying my mani.  I hadn't gotten my nails professionally done by anyone in over 8 years.  I posted those recently on IG.

Long story short, my computer broke, and I couldn't blog for a while.  Health issues also; I am getting a surgery at the beginning of next year, so that would be taken care of soon.  Then my camera broke.  Luckily,  I went to Samy's Camera, and they found the culprit.  They're awesome BTW, if you have them in your area, check it out.  Well, then the holidays came too so things got bit hectic.  Woo hoo!  I love the holidays <3

I did this using stencils over an Uber Chic mat.  I have to say, this was not as easy as those tutorials make it out to be.  I screwed up a couple of sets before I got it right.  I learned that you have to set the stencil, add a non-sheer (1-coater preferred) polish, and remove it fast, before it dries.  Working with different colors was a challenge, because you have to have all the bottles opened at some point.

Ok, then picking up the design after it dries and placing it on the nail can be tricky as well.  After it is set, it might have some rough edges that will show up over cremes (like a cheap sticker would), and are not easy to hide with the topcoat.  That is why I added flakes to this mani.  All in all, this has a learning curve.  I had to re-do one of my nails, because I tried to set the cupcake on the wet polish and is made a dent.  This sounds like common sense now that I'm typing it (haha) but the base color must be dry before adding the design.

Layering Order:
Gucci Basecoat
2 coats OPI Funny Bunny
2 coats Dance Legend 603
Various polishes used for the cupcakes (such as Tonic Polish Light of Lyra and Alexandria's Genesis)
Seiche Vite Topcoat

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Orange and Grey with Flower Accent

This is a good idea for a Thanksgiving mani.  The grey and orange say Fall, and the flowers look festive.  Thanksgiving manis are tricky to me.  I'm never sure what to draw.

Layering Order:
L'oreal Mango Mamma
2 coats Barielle My City Apartment (ring only)
dot or round glitters for the flowers
Seiche Vite Topcoat