lördag 31 december 2011

OPI It's My Year

Really, this is the obvious pick for the perfect New Year manicure!

Three coats over Lumos Base coat, Seche Vite on top. I don't need to tell you all the great things about this polish, you know all about it already.

Suffice to say, this is my year. It can be yours too!

Happy New Year!

Even if my blog is quiet at the moment my polish habit is still going strong. The last few days I have been able to set aside some time just for me. I used the time to finally start my swatching project.

What you see is 308 "swatch sticks". They are from 3 Swedish brands, H&M, Depend and Isadora. Like flowers, right? :-)

Actually, the painting gave me some really nice surprises. Very many of the polishes showed great quality, good pigmentation and easy handled brushes. Sometimes I forget that all good polish doesn't come from the major salon brands we polish junkies often concentrate our interest to. 

Sometimes, happiness is close to home!

Please let me wish You All a fabulous 2012, shock full of nail polish and other nice things!

måndag 26 december 2011

A England Perceval

Happy Holiday Ladies! 

Even if my blog is really on the back burner at the moment, I couldn't resist showing my christmas manicure.
This is A England Perceval, a glowing red shimmer. This is a beautiful, true red with a hint of darkening at the edges to really bring that glow out. The color pops at you from a distance, but not in your face, just elegantly red.

To compare it to other red shimmers I showed, it is not as brown as Illamasqua Viridian and not as bright and orange hinted as China Glace Red Stallion.

(and please excuse my even lesser skills in photography way back then. Hrrm, something has changed for the better at least.. )

It behaves beautifully too, almost opaque in one coat, I used two over usual Lumos base coat, Seche Vite as top coat. Unfortunately it chipped badly within a couple of hours. 

I will not put the blame for the chipping on A England without another go at it though, as my nails are in such a bad shape right now, weak and splitting as there were no tomorrow. 
I guess it is the Blog God punishing me for not updating and posting regularly :-p

söndag 23 oktober 2011

Color Club Noveau Vintage

Maybe I'm back from my blog hiatus, we'll just have to see about that. A word to all the readers who are still here: awesome!!

Thank you, you rock!

Last weeks manicure was Color Club Noveau Vintage. I'm really not happy with this polish at all. It looks fab in the bottle, brown-green-copper multicromish, but on the nail, nope!

First of all, this is a streaky little s*b. The first coat left me with huge bald spots. I tried to work with it on the second coat but it was very thick, still with bald spots. What you see here is three painfully applied coats, plus my usual Lumos top coat. I'm still not very happy about it. Just to make things worse, this photo is taken on day 6, so there is a lot of wear and tear too.

Now the color needs to be talked about. So many blogs wrote this up as being the gem in the color club fall collection. When I got it in the mail, I was awed by the color too and I couldn't wait to try it on. 

Well, no cigar!
In the bottle, the color shifts from muddy brown to green to bronze. Just beautiful. On the nail however, in most lights it is just a dusty brown shimmer. It is not a bad color, appropriate for fall and sure it is pretty. But it is not what I expected at all.

If you look carefully at the photos, you will see what lured us into thinking this was a great color. There is sparks of red, green and gold in the thick, unyielding formula. There are all the parts of a great polish in the making present here. It just didn't happen!

söndag 11 september 2011

Del Sol Peek A Boo

This is the very last day of my vacation. Tomorrow morning a new work year is starting and I'm looking forward to it. A good excuse to show you the most work appropriate polish I own.
This is archived pictures from very early spring, you can see the snow in the background.

Del Sol Peek A Boo. Two coats with Nubar Foundation and Seche Vite. Excuse the sloppy application, but it's much harder to do clean up when you can't see the polish! 

I do love these novelty items, I get so much fun out of little things. Like noticing friends giving my hands a second glance when going outside, or passing by a big window.

Del Sol chips easy on my nails and this one was no exception. I got three days wear out of it, all of them highly amusing. In my opinion, that's totally acceptable!

torsdag 25 augusti 2011

OT: Our daily bread

Just to show you that I'm not dead yet. I'm on vacation finally, after a long summer filled with rewarding work. 
To relax, I bake bread. I also planned a lot of nail related posts but I'm struck with blogger's block. I'll better go knead another dough instead :-)

At least I have a back log of NOTD's to show you as soon as this block goes away. Until then, happy painting!

måndag 25 juli 2011

piCture pOlish blog fest: Nude

Recently I was invited to review a polish from the Australian brand piCture pOlish. The premises was that I would be sent a random shade of polish and have the review ready to post today, July 25. Of course this is a cunning promotion scheme for piCture pOlish, but I kind of liked the idea. Today the nail blogosphere will be filled with notd or swatches of this rather obscure brand. I think this is clever marketing and I approve!

Now, let's move on to the actual review.

I was sent the shade called Nude. The text on the bottle reads: Dare to bare, flash some flesh!
At first I was a little disappointed with the color in the bottle but when I took some time considering, I started to feel like a lucky girl. I wear neutrals, nudes and sheers all the time at work. That was why I felt a bit let down but really? 
Who else should review this shade but the self appointed Queen of Beige :-)

I used this for a notw a couple of weeks ago. The picture is taken on day 5. I wished for sun but I finally had to take the pictures anyway, here is natural daylight in the shade. This is three coats over Lumos base coat and topped with Lumos top coat. 

With first and second coats, I wasn't  fan of this color. It was streaky and uneven. The brush did not do the application any favors. It is narrow and bendable and yet it picked up enough polish to flood my cuticles a couple of times. 
By the third coat, everything leveled and my nails took on a fresh and serene state. No more streaks, just shiny nude quality polish. It was shiny without a top coat but I always use one anyway.
The first days I still wasn't sure of the color but it grew on me. By day five, when I actually took the photos in this post, I adored the polish.

For me, this polish has great mileage. I wore it for seven days without a single touch up. Since after a week of piCture pOlish Nude on my tips I was still enjoying it, I spruced it up with a layering polish, and wore it another full week. As polish endurance go, you can't get much better than this. 

måndag 11 juli 2011

Lumos Bottom Coat and Lumos Top Coat

Some family issues have drained my energy the last month, and I put my blog on the back burner. As this is a blog I write for my own pleasure I won't apologize for my absence. I will however reach out to my followers with a big smile and a Thank You for still hanging in there!

Actually, there is another reason for the lack of posts. It's called the Lumos Base and Top Coat! 

As you know, I never swatch. Instead I show my manicures as I wear them, one slow notw at a time. I barely redo my manicure more than once a week. Sometimes, I will do a minor touch up. If I have to redo the full manicure, I will probably think the polish is a fail. I have managed to keep this habit for more than a year, mostly using Nubar Foundation as my base coat and alternating top coats among Seche Vite, China Glaze FF and BB Couture Top Rock.

Well, earlier this spring, I was contacted by the Lumos Company and asked if I wanted to try out their new base and top coat. Since the company tends mostly to the professional market, I must say I was a little flattered to get the question. Probably, that makes me biased, but there you have it.

Now, I have used this products exclusively for a couple of months. My manicures don't last one week anymore, but two. I will give you the short advise on this first: Why shell out on Shellac when you could use the Lumos!

Now, to a more in depth review.
Let's start with the base coat. It is thin and not visible except for a discreet shine. It dries very fast. I does not feel "sticky" but in my opinion, it keeps the polish from peeling or chipping very well.  
If you want a ridge filler, obviously, this is not for you. I tried it over Nubar Nail Weaver (a base coat with glass fibers to mend small tears) with excellent results, so if your polish chips when used over a ridge filler it might be worth trying out.

The brush is a little novel, at least to me. It is flat and almost as wide as the newer OPI brushes. It is not at all as full as the OPI brushes, so if you think the OPI's pick up to much polish, you might love this one. For me, the brush works great with the base coat where you need an even, thin coat.

The best part of the base coat, I do think it prevents staining! I usually wear light colors so this is not a major problem, but all polishes (in my experience) can make your nails turn yellow. This base coat has prevented this, and now my nails are whiter than ever since I started to paint them.

The Lumos Top Coat was a little more of a mixed bag for me. The flat brush was even thinner, and being used to a big and goopey top coat dollop a la SV, this was a change indeed. The formula is thin. That might be a good thing, since you could use multiple layers of different polishes without taking your manicure off and starting from scratch. It is not a good thing if you want to cover heavy glitter. My biggest worry is that the Lumos Top Coat let the colored polish "bleed" unto the brush. Since I almost always use very fair polish, sometimes even sheer, this was no big problem for me. I cannot however fully recommend the top cot to someone using bolder colors.
The top coat dries as fast as the best of them. It stays shiny. I never experienced any dragging or shrinking whatsoever. If you want to refresh your manicure, it is very easy to do with a new layer of Lumos Top coat.

All in all, I think they're definitely worth a try. Maybe even two!

måndag 13 juni 2011

Depend 251

This will be a short post, just to show you all that I'm still alive and kicking.

This weeks manicure is Depend 251. It is part of the Depend summer collection. The polish is light blue, bordering on grey. I believe it is much more blue than CG Sea Spray in the bottle, I would need to do a comparison to know for sure. It has a pretty heavy silver shimmer that shows up in the sun. In low light you might mistake it for a super shiny creme, but not quite.

The formula was thick and gloopy and I was worried after one coat. The first coat was very streaky and uneven, but the second coat actually leveled the problem. I love the end result (and I know there is some random debris stuck to my pinkie. You'll have to live with it.)

This is two rather thick and lumpy coats, base coat and top coat as usual. I like this even more IRL than in my pictures, It is well worth picking up if you live in my part of the world.

All in all, a buck well spent! See you later ladies.

måndag 6 juni 2011

China Glace I'm Not Bitter

Today is the national day of Sweden, our Independence Day if you like.
I, however, have chosen to celebrate another independence altogether. Today it is exactly one year since my ex husband left home. It has been a year that started of with a feeling of relief. That sense has grown into a calm happiness I really didn't think I deserved to feel. Life is treating me and my children very well.

I'm Not Bitter is a glamorous deep red shimmer. It is from the Voodoo That U Do collection that was released in 2005. This is old school China Glace, thin and precise and very pigmented. Just lovely to work with!

One coat would have been enough but I was not prepared for that and used two coats to make up for my mistakes. The two coats deepened the shimmer even more and I am very pleased with this polish. This is one of those rare polishes that looks even better in shade or low light than it does in the sun. I love it, and I'm Not Bitter!

söndag 5 juni 2011

Wet'n Wild Gray's Anatomy

So, like I promised, I'm back. I'm home from my spring business travels and finally, I'm starting to catch my breath and see the summer coming to my part of the world. So beautiful!

This week, I was on call 24/7 monday to friday except for one single night. I thought it was just the right choice to wear Gray's Anatomy because of this. I have no trouble recalling a time when I spent as much waking time studying the d*mned book. Thankfully, I've passed that point in my life. :-)

Wet'n Wild Gray's Anatomy is a wonderful polish. Since it is a true multichrome, it had my heart from the first streaky coat. Showing is 3 coats over my usual basecoat of Nubar foundation. One coat of SV on top. I did this manicure just before bed time and I got some sheet marks on my left hand, that is why my pointy doesn't show. I do think this was a handlers error though.

If I would say something negative about this truly awesome polish, it is a little sheer. I could probably used 4 coats for even greater appearance, but I'm quite happy with the result in three coats (and it was way past bedtime anyway...)

lördag 14 maj 2011

The Guessing Game

I've been MIA the last couple of weeks. Very very busy. I came home from a business trip the other night, leaving for a new one tomorrow.

So where have I been? What polish am I wearing? The polish is a clue to the city and the city is a clue to the polish :-D

Of course I took some time off to haul a few pretties. I promise to show them to you as soon as I can. I'll do a proper post of the mystery polish as well, but this will have to do for now.

måndag 25 april 2011

Playing with my Stash

This was the day when she finally decided to order her polishes by color. Not to be totally overwhelmed, she started with her OPI. The polishes made such a rainbow.

I just wanted to share this :-)

söndag 24 april 2011

Deborah Lippmann Glitter in the Air

Here is my easter manicure. Tonight I'm invited to dine with my mother, just the two of us. It is a great treat, to sit down us two grown ups without any kids to care for and just enjoy eachothers company.

At first I really didn't understand why this polish felt like just the right choice for easter. Then it dawned on me. One of the obvious symbols of easter is eggs. This polish is like a very delicate wild bird egg shell. Beautifully light blue, flecked with dreamy glittery spots.

I bet it's no ordinary wild bird either. I think this is the color of the shell of the Phoenix bird egg, lying on a bed of ash, waiting to be reborn..

This is four coats of Glitter in the Air, over my usual Nubar Foundation base coat. One coat of SW. I don't think this polish ever is going to be opaque, but I don't care. I love the delicate sheerness of Glitter in the Air.

Happy Easter everybody!

lördag 9 april 2011

Catherine Arley 669

I must have forgot how much I love a true holographic polish! When I got this beauty on my nails, I started to smile. As I write this my manicure is going on the 6th day and let me tell you, I'm still smiling!! There is no tip wear or chipping, it still looks like a fresh manicure.

This is a true linear holographic polish with a strong holo flash in the sun. In the shade it takes on a muted light gold with grey edges, beautiful and subdued, not quite a duochrome but it is aspiring to get there.

Pictured is two coats over OPI NNS and Nubar Foundation. SW on top. I never found any polish losing its holographic shine due to the top coat and the manicures just stays on longer and dries faster with it.

Love, Love!!

söndag 3 april 2011

Essie Nude Beach

I'm not really sure how to feel about this polish. I used it as my manicure the week before last, but I've been putting of writing about it because I have mixed feelings about this. I needed something very sheer and Nude Beach is all that. It has a nice white shimmer that comes out to play in the sun and then it is very pretty. But when you least expect it, the polish flashes a weird green flash. Suddenly, my nails looks suspiciously stained for a second, then it goes away and all I see is pretty, nude shimmer. This is a strange one indeed.

Here is Essie Nude beach, two coats over Nubar Foundation BC and with Essie Good to Go TC. Not expected, the polish bled a little on the top coat brush, lucky for me the color is almost non existent so no harm done. I still would have thought Essie polish should play nice with Essie top coat. As I said, this is a strange one.

torsdag 17 mars 2011

Illamasqua Brigitte

This weeks manicure is a polish from Illamsqua. Ladies, look at that color! So exquisitely squishy jelly pinkish red (I'm getting out of breath here..)

I thought this was going to be a very sheer pinkish color on the nail. See how sheer it looks in the bottle, the ball bearings are clearly visible. I found the polish in an online store on sale and bought it unseen and I have to admit I was a little disappointed when I got it. I should have known better than to doubt an Illamasqua polish!

This is four very easily applied coats, over Nubar foundation as usual. The polish almost applied itself. I usually think four coats is a pita, but I didn't mind this at all. Drying was a bit slow even with Seche Vite but I guess that is what you'll have to pay for a four coater.

I always shunned jelly polishes. I didn't think my nails looked good with a VNL, and I really didn't see the point in making a polish slightly see-through in the first place.

Until now. I've been at home for the last two days tending to little ms PolishPiglet who is suffering from a violent case of stomach flu. If you are covered in all the plentiful fluids that springs from a five year old with the gripes and still want to lick your fingernails because they look so.. tasty.. then you have a great nail polish!

I have been fighting a lemming for the OPI Texas collection for along time, but no more. Those sorbet babies are coming home to me asap!

lördag 12 mars 2011

Quirius Sunshine Orange

I long for summer. Hot days with blinding sun, long, sweet nights with the magic, nordic light. Still plenty of snow here, but at least I've got summer on my nails today.

This polish is a little streaky, I needed four coats to even it out, but then I was very happy with it. The color is really juicy. Not a neon but definitely a color you notice from a distance. I think the polish will look even better with a tan.

This is four coats over Nubar foundation. Seche Vite on top, you will need it because this polish dries semi-matte.

A word about durability. I know this brand has gotten mixed reviews in the nail community. Actually, that has refrained me from order from Quirius until now. But, with the $ very affordable at the moment, I finally caved and got a few of them.

I have been wearing this manicure the whole week. Yesterday (day five) I decided to try my hand at some nail art. This is my first attempt with fimo and I'm very pleased with myself :-)

The important thing however, is that apart from a new coat of SV on my ring fingers, this manicure has not been touched up at all. Not one chip and almost no tip wear after five days of wear. You can call me happy!

onsdag 9 mars 2011

My Life According to Google

I usually do not participates in awards or other activities tagging other blogs. This however, involves only me. You can join yourself, in your blog ore just for a private laugh. I found it over on Bec's Beauty Buzz and it was really funny. To find out what your life is about, just substitute your name for the section that says [name]. Then you copy what the very first hit is - no cheating - it's not nearly as fun!

1: Type in "[name] needs" in the Google search:
Single in the City: How to tell it's time Karin needs a hug.
That was close. Single in the small village is maybe more accurate.

2: Type in "[name] looks like" in Google search:
Wes Portland Totally Looks Like Karin Dreijer Andersson

3: Type in "[name] hates" in Google search:
Karin hates lizards and wants to be a tiger. Seriously.
yes, seriously! lol

4: Type in "[name] goes" OR "[name] has gone" in Google search:
Karin goes to Hollywood
yes, please!

5: Type in "[name] loves" in Google search:
Karin loves her fugly pc... and BB
that must be BB Couture?? and I don't have a fuglly pc, I have a beautiful mac :-)

6: Type in "[name] eats" in Google search:
Karin eats a spoon of cinnamon

7: Type in "[name] has" in Google search:
Karin has herpes
What?? Not nice Google :-p (and certainly not true!)

8: Type in "[name] works" in Google search:
praise for Karin's work - Vocal solutions
hmm, a little praise is always nice

9: Type in"[name] lives" in Google search:
Will Karin live? Will Sakura heal her?

10: Type in "[name] died" in Google search:
Karin died - MangaFox's Online community

11.Type in "[name] does" in Google search:
In what episode of kamichama does Karin meet jin?
Hmm I got hijacked by a manga figure, go figure!

12: Type in "[name] will" in Google search:
Karin will save Akatsuki.

13.Type in "[name] is" in Google search:
The "Karin is a slut" FC
Really, no comments on this one! ;-)

Well, this is the wisdom of Google. I might be better of with a traditional shrink :-D

And, since I just can not do a post without a picture I will give you a taste of a great summer night in my garden. In real life, I am caught in a raging snow storm, praying for spring!

måndag 7 mars 2011

Isadora Graffiti Pink Bite

The last two weeks I've totally ignored my nails. A crazy work load can do that even to a polish fanatic. Last week, I sported two coats of Misa Honeybunch. That really is the perfect polish if you have no time at all for nails, it just keeps going. I blogged about it earlier in this post.

By the end of the week it did look a little under the weather. I added a third coat, dried it completely and topped it with one of my new Isadora Graffiti polishes, Pink Bite. This is my first experience with crackle polish and I'm impressed. Seche Vite as top coat.

This pictures are taken on day 6 of the crackle manicure. I know the manicure has chipped a bit but I wanted to show you anyhow, since the crackle effect actually hides the chipping very well if seen from a distance.

Obviously, this must be the new favorite trend for lazy girls like me!

söndag 13 februari 2011

Cult Nails My Kind of Cool Aid

A couple of months ago, Maria, nail addict and blogger behind the blog 3Daily decided to start her own nail polish brand. This is the first polish from Cult Nails. As a long time follower of course I had to order a bottle. I probably would have done so no matter what color she presented, it takes a lot of courage to follow your dream and I admire her.

Lucky for me, the color is absolutely gorgeous. It is a greyed out lavender with a discreet shimmer. In the bottle it looks like a silver shimmer but look closely on the nail and it is actually blue and pink! The shimmer is subtle, in inside lightning it looks like a very shiny lavender creme, outside it looks more grey and the shimmer is just barely noticeable.

Application gave me a little trouble. The polish is very thick and tended to stick to the brush in an awkward way. It is very well pigmented and after a few drops of polish thinner the second coat went on pretty smoothly. Showed is two coats over Nubar Foundation, Seche Vite on top.

Now, I have read good things about the lasting power of this polish and I aim to put it thoroughly through the test this coming week. I will work in tight rubber gloves all the coming week, with about 30 hand scrubbings a day. Any polish that lives through that is up there with the best of them. Ladies, I will keep you posted.

In the meantime, why don't you check out Cult Nails? I pre-ordered the other polishes as well and I look forward to them very much. Maria will ship internationally for a very reasonable fee and the shipping is lightning fast.

(this polish was bought and payed entirely by me and I am not affiliated in any way with Cult Nails. Actually, I don't think Maria knows I have a blog.)