Archive for the nail care Category

The Greening of Summer

Posted in nail care with tags , , , , , , , on July 3, 2009 by penemuel

Disclaimer: Please ignore the crapplication in some cases. I do not have a good digital camera, and am making do with my ancient Kodak DC215 ZOOM. I’ve cropped and prepped the pictures in Photoshop, but tried very hard not to change the colour. These are all flash photos from indoor light.

Okay. I love green nail polish. At some point when I was younger, green was my favourite colour, before I decided purple was. Green is a great colour for nail polish, and it’s not all that common, although the bigger companies have been adding it to their lines more and more often. They’re not dumb — they realize when something is big with the customers!

I’m trying to figure out what’s the best Slytherin Green to wear to the HP movie, with stripes of Zoya Trixie (very silver) as a great HP Slytherin manicure. I do know some greens that aren’t right:

MAC Peppermint Patty:

The first picture is the first time I wore it, the second picture is a number of weeks later when I wore it again, after my nails had grown considerably. It’s a gorgeous minty green (and is not as blue as it photographs!) , but the application is difficult to say the least. It’s a pastel creme finish – cremes are bad enough, but a light colour along with it just makes it so hard to deal with. Lots of streaking and cuticle drag… I think this is 4 coats. Neither picture is showing tipwear, it’s just that one of the shots has a lot of reflection along the edges.

Misa The Grass is Greener on My Side — a pretty neon teal green. Shimmery and bright. It dries matte, but this is with a topcoat so it’s obscenely shiny!

China Glaze In the Lime Light — NEON lime green. This dries very quickly and dries matte like many neons. It has a slight shimmer, which shows up best if you use a topcoat.

Sally Hansen Insta-Dri Jumpin’ Jade — this is a specially formulated polish that dries under 1 minute. The brush is WIDE and weird, and the polish is very pigmented, but I thought it was covering in one stroke and only after I’d added a topcoat and all did I realize it was streaky and blotchy. You’d do better to do two coats, being careful not to do anything odd because it really does dry THAT fast. Here’s another picture (where you can see how uneven it is):

This colour is available now, at Target and probably CVS and other drug stores. If you love dark green/teal shimmer, I advise you grab it now while you can!

And finally, two that might actually fit the Slytherin Green. Both of these are creme finish, and other than 3 coats each and a nice shiny topcoat, both of them behave about the same.

1. Rescue Beauty Lounge Recycle:

and 2. Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics Blackboard:

Blackboard is exactly the green of an old chalkboard from my high school (in grade school, we actually DID have blackboards, but once we got out of the old buildings, they had the green ones…). It’s a little more blue-shaded and blackened than Recycle, so I’m thinking it might not be the best for a Slytherin green. I’m pretty sure Slytherin green is a more yellow-tinted green. Recycle may be the best, or one of the ones I haven’t tried yet (Like Illamasqua Rampage…). Whichever one I end up going with, I’ll make sure to post pictures of my movie night manicure! 😀


More Nails of the Day

Posted in nail care with tags , , , , on September 27, 2008 by penemuel

I still desperately need to buy a new camera. This one has a terrible zoom (it was good when I bought it, but that was something like ten years ago!), and the battery tray catch has broken, so it is held together by a rubber band…

I also have no decent natural light, because I just don’t get out during the day. I am so nocturnal it’s not funny, and work from 9am to 6:30pm, so I spend most of my life in indoor lighting…

However, I’m still stupidly taking pictures of my nails, so, here are some of the recent ones:

First, Zoya Colbie. It’s a beautiful rich red shimmer, a much better colour than this picture shows. I don’t wear bright reds — this really is not a good example of the true colour:


Next, Misa Fatal Affair. SO many other people have posted better pictures than I have, but I still figured I should post this. I put this colour on, and it refused to shimmer except under flash lighting. In all other lighting it was nearly a creme finish. So eventually I put a Nfu-oh opal colour over it, but I haven’t edited those pictures yet. Here’s the ONE picture I got that even remotely showed the beautiful colour of this polish’s shimmer:

Fatal Affair

Here’s Misa Forbidden Lust, one of the most gorgeous shimmery purples of the fall collections:

Forbidden Lust 1

Forbidden Lust 2

And last but not least, China Glaze Passion in the Pacific. I know Scrangie mentioned a while back that she was having trouble with her ChG polishes not drying — this was one that I had the same problem with. I put this on, and a full 24 hours later, it was STILL soft enough to dent. I ended up taking it off and putting on the Forbidden Lust mani above. BUT, it’s such a pretty colour…


That’s all for now — we have huge storms, and I still have to edit a bunch of other pictures before I can post them. If anyone out there is actually reading, *hugs!*

A little upset with Zoya shipping practices

Posted in griping, nail care with tags , on September 7, 2008 by penemuel

So. I got an e-mail from (Zoya distributor) saying that there was a code for a free Zoya polish ($6 credit). I had wanted a few more colours and needed more Qtica cuticle balm, so I ordered the cuticle balm, Zoya Akyra, and Zoya Casey.

First, only ships via UPS, so there’s a ridiculous cost there to begin with (plus I can’t have it shipped to my PO box which is the safe place for me to receive mail; instead I have to have it shipped to work because our hours keep us from being home to get UPS or FedEx packages). $6.95 shipping for the package, even if I’d only bought one polish.

However, the real problem comes from the fact that you can’t tell when you’re ordering if an item is out of stock, and unlike there’s no option to ask to have the shipment held until everything is available. Casey happened to be out of stock at the time, so my box with the cuticle balm and Akyra shipped by itself. $6.95 shipping, boom.

And then Casey, my free polish, shipped. For another $6.95.

I actually ended up spending $.95 more on the order than I would have if I’d got one shipment and paid for both polishes.

It’s not terrible, but it’s still a little aggravating — I’d rather know up front if something is out of stock (I’d pick something different, then), or would rather have the shipment held until the out of stock item is available, than pay overly expensive shipping, twice.

On the plus side, Akyra and Casey are beautiful colours, and Qtica cuticle balm is the best in the world.

Various Nails of the Day

Posted in nail care with tags , , , on August 25, 2008 by penemuel

So, I don’t have a good camera for close-ups (and have to use flash because of poor lighting), and because I’m a leftie and my camera’s button is on the right (most of these are flipped 180 degrees), I have trouble getting decent pictures, but here are some recent nails of the day (and my incredibly sloppy manicures — I’m working on it, but I still can’t keep from getting polish all over my fingers):

First (and possibly neatest), China Glaze Sexagon, from the Kaleidoscope collection. It’s so pretty, all holographic silver glittery goodness. It dries quickly and smoothly — no glittery lumps.


Second, Zoya Yasmeen (gorgeous purple with a shimmer that’s a little on the gold/peach side), and Zoya Rihana (lovely burgundy shimmer — it looks a little more magenta here. And that really is a terrible photo…):



And most recently, Misa A Sin Worth Committing — gorgeous dark blue with a shimmer that just explodes in bright light. It’s so pretty! This picture almost doesn’t suck…


Rehabilitating Bad Cuticles

Posted in nail care with tags on August 5, 2008 by penemuel

So. I’m a very lazy person when it comes to beauty — I don’t wear makeup (first, my skin is too picky for it, and second, it’s just too much trouble), and only recently got back into wearing nail polish. My cuticles are terrible. They have been neglected and abused and have been trying to swallow my poor nails whole. They tend to be hard and crunchy and just all around NASTY. (No infections, though, just bad skin!)

After paying good money for China Glaze and OPI nail polish, though, they’d look pretty stupid on my nails with the terrible cuticles, so it was time to dig in and DO something about them.

I couldn’t have done any of it without the assistance of some of the great nail polish blogs out there — some of them have the most amazing helpful hints!

Here are some of the steps I’ve been taking, and I’m already seeing improvements after two weeks:

1. Sally Hansen Cuticle Remover — this stuff is brilliant! Use it once a week to remove the dead cuticle, hangnails, and those stupid raggedy bits we all end up with after all the things we put our hands through. It says to leave it on for only 15 seconds, but you will probably need a bit more time unless your skin is sensitive. It does actually dissolve a layer or two of skin, and will also dissolve a layer or two of your nails, so following masa_inn’s advice, I’m now only using it when I’m actually wearing polish. It’s also great for calluses — I have a terrible one on my left middle finger from writing, and this has been getting rid of some of the worst of it.

Other than leaving it on for a little longer than the advertised time, follow the directions on the bottle. I like the wooden cuticle pushers — can’t stand the feel of metal on that part of my fingers — but your mileage may vary. And be sure to wash it off when you’re done!

2. Cuticle oil, balm, cream, etc. etc. — there are a lot of different ones, but whatever one you use, put it on whenever you’re able to. I’ve followed a lot of peoples’ advice and have some at work, some at home near my chair, some in the bathroom, and I’d put some in the kitchen except that as soon as I leave the kitchen I’m in the living room near my chair, so I just put some on then. There is no such thing as too much cuticle oil/balm/cream/whatever.

Some of the ones I’m using right now:

LUSH Lemony Flutter — it’s a bit pricey, but a little goes a long way. It’s a delicious lemon scent, and also works on dry heels and elbows. It’s also cruelty-free and the company has some really good environmental ethics. (Most of their products are also vegan, but Lemony Flutter is not because it has Lanolin and Beeswax in it.)

Qtica Intense Cuticle Repair Balm — also a bit pricey, and a tiny jar, but you use so little on each application it will last a long time. It’s a bit sticky — a very heavy cream — but put a tiny bit on each cuticle and then massage in, and it makes them feel AMAZING. It actually sinks in pretty well (use a tiny, TINY bit!), and if you end up with too much left over, just rub it into dry areas on your hands — you’ll be glad you did.

Creative Solar Oil — this is a very light mixture of oils that can be brushed directly on the nail/cuticle and then massaged in. It sinks in like magic, with no stickiness at all. It also comes in lots of different sizes and isn’t expensive at all. I got three of the tiny bottles for ‘stashing everywhere I go’ use.

Creative Solar Balm — a paste/balm/cream version of the Solar Oil — great for travel (it’s a solid, so you don’t have to worry about leaks), but definitely use only a tiny amount. It’s a little bit greasier than the liquid oil — I got too much this morning in the car and ended up having to rub it all over my hands and elbows too.

OPI Avoplex Cuticle Treatment — I use the ‘Cuticle Oil To Go’ right now. It’s somewhere between an oil and a cream — kind of a gel — with a brush to apply it directly to your cuticles. I also brush a little bit under my nails to hopefully soften the skin that gets so hard there. It smells really good to me, too.

I want to try the Avoplex Exfoliating Cuticle Treatment, too, but for now I’m in the middle of the heavy-duty rehabilitating process instead of just maintenance. I’ll probably try that once I get things a little more under control. One of the things that does the best though, is persistence. I have to keep at it instead of getting lazy again.