Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Zoya Shawn Wear Test

I'm just going to start this by saying that I have no idea what happened. I've heard of Zoya manicures lasting over a week with only tip wear. So this test is not conclusive, I may have another try at this polish with a different (better) top coat eventually.
I did a review of Shawn earlier this month, which you can find here. I didn't take any pictures of Shawn until day three so if you want to see what it looks like fresh and pretty I would check out the review.
So here we go..

Not too bad. There's tipwear, which can be expected of any polish. You can see cracks in the finish though on my index and middle fingers though. I'm not entirely sure but I'm assuming that's due to my topcoat.
So that't not too bad but then we have...

This finger, let me tell you, it's been rough. It broke, I filed it, I was a little sad. Then it broke AGAIN.

So then I had one awkwardly short round fingernail. If you look closely at the tip you can see where this is headed..
Day 4

No, what you are seeing here is not major chipping, but instead peeling. I used to have really bad peeling problems with my nails, but I bought the Sally Hansen Hard As Nails base coat and the peeling seemed to go away. Well, now it's back so I guess I have to find a new base coat.
Back to the intended point of this post: as you can see on my other nails there is still just tipwear.

More peeling. More sadness.

This picture shows the chips I had on my left hand, and it also shows the top coat that I used. I'm going to blame the top coat for all of the cracks and chips that I had unless someone has a better explanation. Once I use this up I think I'm going to try out Poshe.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Mystique Nail Appliqué Review

Mystique is a newer company that sells nail appliques, a not so new concept. I got the chance to try some of these out, so I'm just going to get straight to the review.
Mystique offers a wide number of colors and designs, and I decided to try out Golden Shimmer.

If you can't tell from the pictures, I had a bit of trouble applying these. I think it might be due to the fact that my nails are pretty curved, but I had trouble getting these to stick to the sides. The instructions that came with these were pretty clear, but I've never used anything like these before so it did take some practice. One thing that I noticed was that these are pretty stiff/inflexible, which may have been why I couldn't smooth these out very well.

You can see how the applique lifts up a bit on the side of my nails, and on my index finger it wouldn't stay down in the middle. I was originally going to do a wear test on these (Mystique states that these last for 7-10 days), but throughout the day the sides kept catching on things, including my hair! I did get a lot of compliments on these, so that made it a little better, but I don't think I could make it through another day of wearing these, I felt like I had weird foreign objects on my nails all day.
That brings us to removal. The instructions didn't say how to remove these so I just assumed that these are to be peeled off, so that's what I did. I made sure to go slowly so as to not rip up my nails. A tiny bit did peel off of my pinky, but it's not horrible.
My apologies for the yellow nails

As you can see, these left behind adhesive on my nails (which then attracted fuzzies from my shirt), but it's not too hard to remove. I prefer adhesive to ripped up nails or an hour of scrubbing.
Would I recommend these? Maybe. My guess is that if your nails are fairly flat you would have an easier time applying these. And they do look pretty cool, they're just not for me.
Mystique Nail Appliques retail for $9.95 at, although you can't create an account in order to buy something unless you have a technician license number.

*This product was provided to me for review by Mystique. All opinions expressed in this post are my own.

Monday, February 20, 2012


Chalkboard Nails is hosting a nail art contest that has to feature a dotting tool of some sort, and I knew I wanted to do something fun for my entry! I've been wanting to do cupcake nails for a while so I figured this would be the   perfect chance to try them! Another rule was that nail art brushes could not be used so everything is done with either the nail polish brush, a toothpick, or a needle.

I have to say, it killed me not being able to use a brush, especially for the outline, but I think it still turned out pretty good with a toothpick! The base colors used, from thumb to pinky: Ulta Mint Condition, Sinful Colors Vacation Time, Sally Hansen Mint Sorbet, Sally Hansen Lacey Lilac, Julep Hayden
Other colors used: Sally Hansen Black heart, Wet n Wild French White Creme, Sinful Colors Pull Over, Sally Hansen Blue Me Away!, Sinful Colors Dream On.

More details on the contest can be found here.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Bright and Subtle Polka Dots

When I got Ulta Mint Condition I really wanted to water marble with it and I picked out two other colors that I thought would look really good with it. Unfortunately those polishes weren't working for water marbling so I decided to do polka dots instead!

The base is two coats of Mint Condition and the dots are Julep Hayden and Sally Hansen Wet Cement. I love how Hayden is so bright while Wet Cement is a lot more subtle. I love polka dot manis and I have a paintbrush that is great for making tiny dots, and the best part is that this is something I can do with my left hand too!

Ulta Mint Condition

The other day I received my Ulta rewards certificate in the mail and I was really excited to see that I could get a bottle of Ulta nail polish at rank 1! I decided on Mint Condition because it reminded me of China Glaze For Audrey, a polish I have been wanting for some time.

The picture is with flash, which makes it look a bit brighter than it is in person, but the pictures without flash made it look a lot more grey and sad. I have two coats on here, but I definitely could have used a third. The formula was a bit of a pain to work with. It was thin, and it seemed like I always had either too much or not enough polish on the brush. Luckily I managed to stay away from my cuticles for the most part because my guess is that this would flood them. It is a really pretty color though, and I'm willing to deal with the formula. When I was wandering through Ulta I found a bottle of For Audrey hanging out with the Electropop collection, and looking at the two next to each other they are very similar, but Mint Condition has more blue to it.

Ulta Mint Condition retails for $6 at and at Ulta stores.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Mermaid Nails + A Mini Lesson in Photographing Flakies

Lately I haven't been feeling very inspired when it comes to nail art, but after swatching Sinful Colors Kissy yesterday the colors got me thinking of the mermaid/fish scale nails that I have seen around. I've been meaning to get more practice painting designs on my nails so I thought fish scales would be something fun and easy to do!

Accent nail is two coats of Sinful Colors Rise and Shine topped with one coat of Sinful Colors Kissy. The scales were painted with Rise and Shine. The other nails are two coats of Love and Beauty Nude topped with two coats of Essie Shine of the Times.
This mani is essentially a collaboration of many of the things that I love in nail polish: flakies, glitter, accent nails, nude polish, and teal/green polish. Love.

Something I've learned from photographing Shine of the Times (and I'm sure this applies to other flakies as well), sunlight is necessary if you really want to capture the flakies. It's the difference between this

and this!

Helllooo giant difference. Also, if you're wondering, that's one coat of Essie Shine of the Times over two coats of OPI Russian Navy.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

SinfulColors Dream On and Kissy

This week Walgreens has Sinful Colors nail polish on sale for 99 cents each. I went in determined only to buy two colors, and man was the decision hard! I was immediately drawn to Cinderella, but in the end I picked Kissy and Dream On.

This is three coats of Dream On. My index and middle fingers have a top coat while the other two fingers have no top coat. As you can see it dries slightly matte, which is a characteristic of most neons. The most accurate description that I can think of for this would be neon magenta. And man is this color hard to photograph. Most pictures that I took turned out like this next one;
*not accurate*

This is closer to how it looks in the bottle, although this is still a little too pink and should have more purple to it. It dries closer to the first picture. As for the application and formula, I had not problems. This is easily a two coater, but I decided to go with three. This is a really neat color and I'm glad I picked it up because I don't have many neons or pinks, so it's a good addition to my collection.

Next up is Kissy. First I just have to say that this color is very pigmented and will stain a bit if it gets on your hands. The up side is that it's really easy to apply; I had barely any cleanup at all. I only left it on long enough to swatch, so I'm not sure if it will stain nails, but my guess is probably.
I think this polish is the best of both worlds, because you can layer it over other colors without losing them and it's also opaque in two coats if you want to wear it on its own!
One coat over the first three, two coats on the pinky

My personal favorite is over Shawn because it really brings out the green in this polish. Kissy is made up mostly of blue/green duochrome glitter in a teal base, but there are also some hints of gold in there as well.

This shows off the green and gold better

This polish is amazing and my only regret is not swatching it with a matte top coat.

Sinful Colors Kissy and Dream On retail for $1.99 and can be found in Walgreens stores and online. There is also a Sinful Colors website, but it is currently closed for maintenance. These do often go on sale for 99 cents at Walgreens, or there will be coupons in their weekly ad.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Valentine's Day Watercolor

I had a lot of problems deciding what to do with my nails for Valentine's Day. Probably because I own two reds and maybe three pinks. And one purple. So you can see my dilemma. I wasn't really in the mood for in your face hearts, so I decided to go with something softer that could showcase (almost) all of the Valentine's Day Colors that I own on each nail! I got my inspiration from Chalkboard Nails who links to a video tutorial from Beautygeeks.
Zombie hands were necessary to get accurate colors

Obviously mine didn't turn out quite like the tutorial, but I still really like them.
The colors, in the order that I used them:
Wet n Wild French White Creme (base)
SinfulColors Vacation Time
OPI Bullish on OPI
Sally Hansen Lacey Lilac
Petites Pink Candy

Again, necessary zombie hands

These were really fun and easy to do, and they didn't take much time at all!

Sunday, February 12, 2012


I've been wanting to do finger print nails for a while now, so that is what I did instead of something Valentine's Day themed because I am horrible at ideas for holiday-themed nails.

The base is two coats of Sally Hansen Wet Cement and one coat of Love and Beauty Cream on top in order to make it a bit lighter. The finger prints are done with black and white acrylic paint. To avoid globs of paint of my nails instead of finger prints I took a small paintbrush and painted the paint onto my fingers (I used my thumb and index finger). I then rolled my finger over my nail (kind of like stamping). Cleanup was really easy because acrylic paint washed off with soap and water and a tiny bit of scrubbing, just make sure you put a top coat over the paint on you nails!

Fun Fact: I have actually been finger-printed before. The story behind it isn't really that exciting; I work for my school and this past year the district mandated that everyone employed by the school had to be finger printed. There was no ink involved, they had this scanner thing that they roll all of your fingers over. When I was waiting for them to get the machine ready I had to sit on a bench with handcuffs attached to it, so that was fun.

Orly Chocolate Martini

I bought Chocolate Martini back in October and it quickly became one of my favorites, so I'm kind of sad that it only comes in the mini version. I think sometimes when you get a miniature version of a polish it can be hard to work with because the brush is smaller also, but I had no problems applying this.
Two Coats of Orly Chocolate Martini

Chocolate Martini is a beautiful coppery polish with some golden shimmer to it. I'm not usually a huge fan of metallics but this is just so pretty!

With Flash

I figured I'd include a picture that used flash, although the color is not very accurate. The flash makes it look more red-orange than it actually is. This actually looks almost exactly like China Glaze Harvest Moon from the Hunger Games Collection. I'm up to 7 polishes that I want from that collection now. Possibly 8. Good thing my birthday is right around when it comes out!

Here it is matte, which is how I chose to wear it for the rest of the night. Love.

Orly Chocolate Martini retails for $3.99 at or for $3.50 at Ulta stores, which is where I bought mine).

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Earthy Rainbow

When I first started getting into nail polish, I would generally change my nails once a week. Now I'm up to 4-5 times a week. I know a lot of people will just add on to polish that they already have one, but I haven't up until now. I had on Zoya Yara and decided that I wanted to add something because plain nail polish is just to.. plain.
From left to right: Orly Chocolate Martini, Sinful Colors All About You,
Zoya Yara, Zoya Shawn

I tried sticking to colors that would compliment each other and I didn't realize until after I was done that it looks like a very earth-toned rainbow! This was very quick and easy to do and I used scotch tape to make the stripes. I apologize for the tipwear, this was after only one day of wearing Yara after I wrapped the tips.

Also, I know you can't see it very well but ohmygosh Chocolate Martini is so pretty and I wish that I had more than just a mini bottle of it.

Zoya Yara

Yara was the second polish that I received from the Zoya New Year promo. Yara is described as "A medium smoky olive drab with an illuminating splash of bright gold glitter." I was a little disappointed when I first saw it because I expected it to be more green (I have found that most pictures make Yara look more green than it actually is, including mine), but it has been slowly growing on me. 
Two coats of Zoya Yara

Its certainly a very pretty color, and I love the gold glitter, but I guess I just don't like it as much as Shawn.  I don't dislike it, and like I said it is really growing on me, I guess I just wish there was more green to it. The formula was also great to work with, little to no cleanup, which is always great! I'm really liking Zoya and I hope to add some more to my collection in the future.

I think it looks interesting matte, not sure if I would do a full mani like that though. Because there is a pretty big difference between glossy and matte for Yara, it would be interesting to play with both finishes, like what I did with Orly Galaxy Girl here.

Zoya Yara retails at $8 and can be found at

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Zoya Shawn

In late December/ early January Zoya was having a promotion where you could get two bottles of polish for free, you just had to pay for shipping. I had never tried Zoya before but I had heard great things about them and I had seen a lot of colors that I liked. I ended up picking Shawn and Yara. The first of the two that I'm going to show you is Shawn.

Shawn is described as "Warm, mossy yellow-toned medium green cream with olive undertones." I really love it, and it definitely fits me because I love earth toned colors and that's pretty much all that I wear. And as much as I love glitters, I love the way a nice creme looks. 
With Flash

This is two coats of Shawn with a coat of Sally Hansen Dries Instantly top coat. Application was great as the formula and brush were both east to work with, I think I had minimal to no cleanup. It dries fairly quickly but I don't think I was patent enough because...

Bubbles! I blame this on myself though, not the polish. Sometimes I'm just too impatient. Overall I really love this polish, it's such a me color, I haven't been able to stop staring at my nails. I was going to do a wear test for this but I accidentally got red nail polish on some of my nails and it's really bothering me, so I'm going to move on to Yara next!

Zoya Shawn retails for $8 and can be found at

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Bloody Splatter

"It will have blood, they say; blood will have blood." Macbeth: Act 3, Scene 4

We just finished up doing Macbeth at my school so these were my nails for the week of the show. I started with two coats of Love and Beauty Nude. To do the splatter I dipped a straw into my bottle of OPI Bullish on OPI, aimed at my nail, and did a short, quick breath. I used a coffee-stirrer straw from subway to do this, because I find that normal drinking straws are too big and when I tried splattering with them I just got huge globs of paint all over my nails. I would also recommend taping around your nail because, as you can see, this gets messy.

All clean! Well, for the most part, I had a hard time cleaning up my cuticles.

Julep Hayden

Hayden is the final nail polish I received in my Julep Maven box (not including the Fast Dry Topcoat). I was really excited about this one and it did not disappoint! It is simply described as "neon peach" which I think is very accurate. Hayden is a great color for spring and summer, and it makes my hands look tan (which isn't as noticeable in the pictures)!


This is two coats of Julep Hayden, no top coat. This formula was a bit thicker than Leah and Megan but it wasn't too difficult to work with.

Please excuse the shadow from the window screen in the last picture, and the fact that I smudged my index finger after I applied the matte top coat. Hayden is still pretty matte, but there's nothing really special about the matte version, unlike with Megan. Overall I really loved this color and I can't wait to wear it this summer!

Julep Hayden retails for $14 at

Julep Megan

I meant to review all of the Julep polishes that I received one after another, but as you can tell that didn't work out the way I had planned. I've been extremely busy with theatre and I just got some time to swatch Megan and Hayden.

I'm going to start with Megan, which is described as "a playful and sultry Mediterranean aquamarine shimmer".

This is three coats of Megan with one coat of Julep Fast Dry Top Coat.

I absolutely loved the way Megan looked with a matte top coat! I did one coat of Essie Matte About You on my index and middle fingers.

As I said before, I used three coats. You could probably get away with two but I think it looks a lot better with three. Application was great and I needed almost no cleanup. I was pleasantly surprised when I put this on because I expected not to like Megan as much as Leah and Hayden. It still isn't as unique as the other two but I can see myself wearing it with a matte top coat (just look at that last picture!). Would I buy this if I saw it in a store (especially with a $14 price tag)? Probably not, but I am glad to have it in my collection.

Julep Megan retails for $14 at