Thursday, December 8, 2011

The Jungle Look by Ulta

The green is such an interesting shade. In the light, as seen in the picture, it has an almost shade or teal feel to it. Out of direct light it's much more the color of a Christmas tree. I love that it's so versatile. The coverage was great, it achieved this rich hue in just two coats, and Ulta has somehow managed to make their polishes feel ultra smooth once dry. On a side note, this picture is also evidence of my new experiment with nail length. I'm trying to let them get a little longer than I'm normally used to; we'll see how I like it. 

Rating: B

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Mix & Match: Gold and Copper

After staring at my bottles of custom glitter for almost a full 24 hours, I caved and just had to try them out. I was already wearing Ulta's Gentle Ginger so the copper sparkles were a perfect fit. The polish applied easily, and the fine glitter didn't cause an uneven finish like some sparkly shades do. The mixture of copper and gold is so eye-catching, and I can't think of anything better to get me through these endless days of writing papers.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Another Day, Another Purchase

Today I got some bad news about my car (last night on my way home I noticed smoke pouring out of my engine, nbd). As per my usual, my first move was to buy myself a little pick-me-up. I have been dreaming of Deborah Lippman as of late, and I decided today was the day to take the plunge. Deborah's colors are gorgeous and unique, and the woman certainly knows her sparkles. I decided to go for colors I didn't have anything similar to already, and I ended up with these gems:

Between the Sheets


Along with all my purchases from this weekend, I cannot wait for these to come in. Everyone raves about the brand, and I'm excited to finally see what all the excitement is about. 

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Glitter Frankens

Last Christmas I gave nearly every female in my life custom frankened nail polishes. Then today, while I was supposed to be writing a paper, I was struck with the brilliant idea of frankening my own glitter polishes. I mean, there's no such thing as too much glitter, and how great would it be to able to specifically select my own color combinations?? Turns out, it's pretty freaking great.

It being Sunday night, Michael's and Sally's were both closed by the time I went out to buy supplies. That meant I was stuck with the selection at Target. I was stoked about being able to find bottles of clear polish for just $2.50 (Xpress Nails), but a little bit less than stoked about the lacking choices of glitter. I settled on a pack of six tubes (copper, gold, white, silver, and black) that was just $3.80. As you can tell, one of the biggest draws to this idea is the affordability. When I got home I got right to experimenting, and I made sure to capture every step!

Step 1: The supplies

glitters, clear polishes, index card, Scotch tape

Step 2: The funnel
Use the index card and Scotch tape to create a funnel that will fit into the mouth of your polish bottle. This gives total control of how much glitter you put in at one time.

Step 3: Setting up
Take your brush out, making sure to get as much excess polish off as possible and set it aside. Then fit your funnel securely into the bottle. Select your glitter start adding in small intervals. 

Step 4: Shake, shake, shake
After each little bit you add, put the top back on and give the bottle a good shaking. Mixing progressively like this makes it easier when your bottle is entirely filled with glitter. This is especially important if you'll be using more than one color of glitter. 

Step 5: Having gorgeous new glitters
These are my finished products. The bottle on the left is just copper glitter; I used less glitter in this bottle so that I could use it to layer with other polishes. The one on the right is a combination of black, silver, and copper. I absolutely love how they both turned out and I can't wait to wear them.

Gentle Ginger byUlta

Once again, I have been so pleasantly surprised by the constancy and coverage of the Ulta brand. This color looks like an almost sheer gold in the bottle. One the nail it achieved total coverage with just two coats. The shade of gold is soft, not brash, and catches the light so beautifully. Every time I look at it I seen a new glint or depth to it. Definitely one of my favorite golds, and perfect for the holiday season. 

Rating: A

Saturday, December 3, 2011

What Happens When I'm on the Internet

Today I have a lot on my plate. Rather than face my to-do list head on, I defaulted to my favorite time waster: getting lost in the internet-rabbit hole. This time, as so many times before, I found myself researching all the wonderful holiday collections by some of my favorite brands. BUT today I decided to branch out. That is how I ended up ordering my first polishes from Butter, Zoya, and Julep! I have been dying to try out all three of these, and cannot wait for my purchases to arrive. With the approaching holidays in mind, these were my selections for Christmas and New Year's respectively:

Holly by Zoya

Wallis by Butter 

In my internet travels I also stumbled upon Julep Maven. This program allows women to receive a box of brand new polishes and mani/pedi care products on their doorstep every month! Julep sends these boxes to beauty editors of magazines such as Vogue and Allure, and they decided that their costumers deserve the same first-peak advantage. For just $19.99 a month, you receive $40 worth of products. The products are selected according to the results of a style quiz, but if ever they are not to your satisfaction you can request a different selection. The best part is the flexibility of the program--any month you can chose to send your box to a friend or even cancel the box, free of charge. No hassle, no commitment, just half-price, pre-released polish every month. What could be better?! For my first month I will be receiving these products: 
Julep Nail Therapy, Kim, Trina, and Christina

I may not have been as productive as anticipated this afternoon, but now I can now slave away on my work with the knowledge these all of the beauties will soon be mine. It is indeed the season to be jolly.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Concrete Evidence by ULTA

Being my first experience with ULTA brand nail polish, I was pleasantly surprised by the cover and durability of this color. Normally with light grays I end up using three or more coats to get a noticeable amount of color, but this one only required two. I brush is smaller, and that allowed me to really control where the polish was going (as compared to the extra large brushes of some brands that leave my entire finger tip covered in color). Overall I really enjoyed the color and the many compliments it received. 

Rating: B+

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Deep Purple by Xtreme Wear

When you've got a habit as serious as mine, you can't always afford the more expensive brands of polish. An inexpensive brand (only $2.50 a bottle!!) that I've come to love is Xtreme Wear by Sally Hansen. The polish is high quality, long lasting, and the brand is XTREMEly fond of iridescent colors and glitters. I'd been on a hunt for an iridescent grape color, and I may have screamed a little when I found this gem in Target. Let me tell you, it did not disappoint. It covered smoothly, managed to make it through Thanksgiving cooking and three rounds of Black Friday shopping without chipping, and garnered numerous compliments from strangers. This picture is in the sunlight and shows the color after two coats.

Rating: A

Sew Totally Psyched by Essie

I could once have been accused of being an OPI snob, but the second I gave Essie polishes a chance I knew how wrong I'd been. The coverage is amazing, the polish goes on incredibly easy, and their colors are refreshingly unique. Now that I've gushed about how much I love the brand, you can imagine how excited I was to give this color a try. In the bottle it looks like an army green, but once on the nails it has gray undertones that made it near and dear to my heart. This picture shows two coats in sunlight.

Rating: B

Wocka Wocka by OPI

As we continue our journey through the land of the Muppets Collection, we arrive at this wonderfully rich red polish. In some lights it almost looks maroon, but this picture is taken in sunlight so show its true color. I used only two coats, because I didn't want it to get too much darker. Red is a definite go-to for the holiday season, and this shade gives a new depth to this classic choice.

Rating: A

Rainbow Connection by OPI

Another visit to OPI's amazing Muppets Collection, this color is without a doubt the best combination of colors and sizes I've ever seen in a glitter. This diversity makes the polish incredibly versatile and perfect for mixing and matching. This picture shows it after three coats and in direct sunlight. The coverage is incredible, the colors are beautiful, and removal is pleasantly easy. It was definitely love at first wear with this one.

Rating: A++++

Divine Swine by OPI

This gorgeous color, part of OPI's brand new Muppets Collections, is made entirely of magenta and silver pieces of glitter. The clear base allows the smaller flecks of color and bigger pieces of silver to go perfectly over a color or create a statement all their own. This picture is taken in the sunlight, so the sparkle can really be seen, and features three coats of the polish. The coverage is surprisingly good for a glitter, but the removal is just as much a pain as glitter polish has ever been.

Rating: A-

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

If My Life Had a Title

If my life had a title it would be "The Nail Polish Chronicles." No matter where I am or what I'm doing, you can bet that I've paid meticulous attention to my nails. I buy and research nail polish constantly. I could talk about it for hours on end, and sometimes I do just that. This obsession has garnered me quite a collection of polishes, and I realized recently that I've been neglecting some of them. I have almost 90 bottles and have not even worn some of them. This is a serious problem. 

That's why I've decided that I'm going to make a point to wear every single color I own. I want to enjoy each and every color, because I'm crazy enough to believe that that's what they deserve. That is what's brought us here. I am about to embark on a very serious and awesome journey, and I don't want to do it alone. To ensure completion of this task I figure I should set a few ground rules for myself.

1. I will paint my nails twice a week. 
2. I will work my way, from left to right, through these color wheels.

3. If the polish is an affect (i.e. shatter or matte) I'll put it on top of the color prior to it on the wheel.
4. If (when) I buy new colors they'll jump to the beginning of the line.
5. I will post a picture and blurb about each color on here before I change to the next color. 

I currently own 83 bottles. This means that I'll complete this project 42 weeks from now, putting my date of completion at August 25, 2012. Now, that's only if I don't purchase any new polishes in the next 10 months, and that's nearly impossible. So, I could finish next summer, I could finish 5 years from now, but the only way to know is to get this party started.