Sunday, July 31, 2011

Sunday Special - Scotch Tape Mani

Base: CG Let's Do It In 3-D Tip: OPI Tease-y Does It

Inspired by various nail blogs, I decided to attempt my first Scotch tape mani over my current one. Not only does it change the look of my nails, it is also very handy to cover tip wear when you are too lazy to put on a new polish.

All you need for this mani is a piece of scotch tape (and of course, polish!)  Then follow the easy steps below:

  1. Put on a base color of your choice
  2. Allow the base color to dry completely
  3. Take a piece of Scotch tape, stick it on your skin, peel it off, and repeat this until the tape is barely sticky. The tape could potentially remove bits of your base color if it has too much glue on it
  4. Place the tape on your nails at whatever angle you wish (you can also do a French manicure using this method)
  5. Apply a different nail polish to the area that is not covered by the tape
  6. Carefully and slowly remove the tape before the polish is dried. If you peel off the tape too fast (like waxing), you may smear the edge which results in an untidy tip (see my index and middle fingers in the photo above)
  7. Voila! Your Scotch tape mani is done! 

Step 5 - apply polish to the tip
The finish look after the tape is peeled off

Saturday, July 30, 2011

A Unique Holo Beauty - China Glaze Let's Do It In 3-D

Let's Do It In 3-D, two coats with no base or top coat (artificial light)
Thanks to Chelsea, I have been able to kill one of my biggest lemmings - Let's Do It In 3-D from China Glaze. It is from the much coveted but discontinued Kaleidoscope collection.

Let's Do It In 3-D is a charcoal grey polish packed with diamond-like scattered holographic glitters. It is a special polish because its unique shade stands out amongst a sea of pink, purple, blue and black holos. Although the Kaleidoscope polishes are known for their scattered holo goodness, the holo effect for Let's Do It In 3-D is so strong,you can spot a subtle linear holo under some angles (see my middle finger and you will know what I mean).

The formula is pretty easy to apply. A bit watery on the first coat, but it evens itself out after the second coat. Rumor has it that some top coat would dull holo polish, so I am always wary when applying a top coat with holo. the photo below compares whether the rumor is valid, at least with this particular holo and CND Super Shine.

L to R finger: w/ top coat, no top coat, w/ top coat, no top coat
I have applied top coat on both my index and ring fingers, and as you can see, there really isn't much difference. The top coat initially did dull the holo effect, but it returned to its awesomeness once the top coat dried out.

Thanks to international swaps, I am now the proud owner of 10 polishes (out of 12) from the Kaleidoscope Collection. Let's Do It In 3-D is definitely my favorite one I have tried out so far. Do you like it as much as I do? Which one is your favorite from the collection?

Friday, July 29, 2011

Comparison - Nubar Gem vs. Jewel

Today I am doing a comparison between Nubar Gem and Jewel. I rarely do swatch comparison, so I hope you will like it!

Nubar Gem (L) vs Nubar Jewel (R)
When I received these two bottles, I was surprised at how similar they are. Both are from the Nubar Prisms Collection, where Gem is of a lighter brown shade than Jewel.

L to R: Jewel, Gem, Jewel Gem
As you can see on my nails, while both polishes have a brown base, Gem has a strong purple undertone, and Jewel is a medium brown. Although both are packed with scattered holographic glitters, the sparkles on Jewel appear to be more colorful. I am guessing this is because the holo effect is more apparent with a darker base color?

L to R: Jewel, Gem, Jewel Gem
I can't quite decide which one I like better. They are both unique in their own way. Do you prefer Gem or Jewel?

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Nubar - Gem

Nuber Gem - artificial light

Today I have put on one of my untrieds - Nubar Gem from the Prism Collection.

Gem is a brown taupe with a purple undertone, scattered with tiny rainbow holographic glitters. The purple shade is stronger under soft lights (see below photos), and under strong lights Gem looks more brownish.
Day light
Here you can see the sparkles better
It is quite a unique polish, I think it is "office-appropriate" with just enough glitters to keep things interesting. The only thing I don't like about the polish is its grainy finish, even after two coats of topcoat.

The above mani is done with one coat of SV treatment, 2 coats of Gem, and 2 coats of CND super shine.

A Surprise Haul Today!

Gosh Rainbow (left) and Gasoline (right)

Look what I picked up from a local chemist today! I cannot believe my luck when I saw this  "Rainbow" bottle sitting on the Gosh shelf! I mean I visit this shop every week, but never did I think I'd find this baby! (maybe I day I'll come across Gosh Holo, one can dream right?)

I also got Gasoline on a slight discount too, can't complain about that!

Monday, July 25, 2011

A somewhat fail-mani on my behalf

After debating whether I should blog about my semi-fail mani, I decided that I would so you could learn from mistake.

OPI Grape-Set-Match layered with Servin' Up Sparkles
What is the mistake you may ask? Well there is nothing wrong with the polishes themselves, but more so with the way I applied it. For those polish addicts out there, you would recognize that this mani is done with the OPI "Grand Slam! England" Serena set, the last installment of their collection. The purple "base" polish is called "Grape-Set-Match", while the glitter top coat is named "Servin' Up Sparkles".

Anyway back to my fail nails. On its own, Grape-Set-Match is a gorgeous shimmery purple packed with red and blue micro glitters. It reminds me of a lighter version of the Skinfood polish I blogged about earlier.

Grape-Set-Match by itself
However, I do not like the finish look after I have layered it with Servin' Up Sparkles. Don't get me wrong, Servin' Up Sparkles is a very blingy, clear base polish loaded with tiny silver glitters and large hexagon flakes, but because I tried to get more of those large flakes off the brush and onto my nails, I overdid with the glitters and my nails ended up looking like they have dandruff on them. It is not a very flattering look at all (on nails or on head)!

So the moral of the story: don't be greedy trying to apply too much glitter onto your nails!

Friday, July 22, 2011

Finally, the perfect Pink! Essie "Your Hut Or Mine"

Essie - Your Hut Or Mine
Like many polish lovers, I have many bottles of pink polish in all shades and finishes. Yet for some reason, I don't have a go-to pink polish until now. May I introduce you to Essie - Your Hut or Mine.

Your Hut or Mine is from Essie Resort 2011 collection. It is pink coral with subtle orange and gold shimmers throughout. Apologies that my crappy iphone camera failed to capture the gorgeous shimmers, I am hoping to make a DIY light box in the near future so that I could take better nail pictures!

The formula is very nice. Essie polishes have been known to be too watery sometimes, but this one is just perfect. Two easy coats and I get full opacity. I think I have finally found the perfect pink polish that suits my skin tone!

I have been quite impressed with Essie lately. Along with Smooth Sailing, Your Hut Or Mine has become one of my latest favorites. Perhaps I like shimmer polish more than I think?

The above manicure is done with one coat of SV nail treatment, 2 coats of Essie, and one coat of CND Super Shine.

Edited: I was bored and wanted to do more to my manicure, so I pulled out my stamping kit and added some leopard prints to my nails using Fauxnad plate #m57 and Color Club Wild At Heart. What do you guys think?

Can you see the tiny holos trying to escape from the bottle?

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

China Glaze - How About A Tumble?

I have been wearing a lot of holographic polishes lately, because I just love the amazing sparkles!

How About A Tumble? under artificial lights

Today I tried on yet another holo polish - How About A Tumble? from the China Glaze Kaleidoscope collection. It is a soft, light purple polish with scattered, diamond like rainbow effect. It is so sparkly and gorgeous under bright lights, yet subtle enough for a daily office look, I love it!

I have no trouble with the application either. The polish might be a little sheer, but it gets opaque after two to three coats.

The above manicure is done with one layer of SV basecoat, 2 coats of HAAT, and one coat of CND Super Shine.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Black Dazzle

Black Dazzle under room light

Black Dazzle is the name I give to this BK polish. I think the name is pretty self-explanatory really; it is a black holo polish that dazzles under bright lights!

As you can see in the photos, the linear holo effect of this polish is pretty awesome. Rainbow sparkles are screaming out from this manicure. I cannot wait to see my nails under bright sunlight!

The formula of the polish is relatively nice. It appears to be a bit streaky and uneven on the first coat, but a second coat evens everything out. Applying a top coat also does not dull the holo effect, which is a plus. The above manicure is done with a coat of SV nail treatment, 2 coats of Black Dazzle, and a coat of CND super shine.

BK polish is apparently a Korean brand; however I have only seen this polish being sold in one place in HK so far. I wish it is more accessible so I can get my hands on more holo goodness!

Do you like this holo polish as much as I do?

Friday, July 15, 2011

Holo Heaven!

Hello fellow polish lovers! If you love holo polishes as much as I do, then you would be as excited as I am, because I have finally tracked down some holo polishes locally from HK!

As we all know, it is very difficult, and often expensive, to track down the coveted and often discontinued holo polishes from OPI and China Glaze (i.e. Designer Series, OMG! and Kaleidoscope collection). So you could imagine my excitement when I called up the shop and the lady says the holos are in stock!

L to R: Pale Lilac, Lavender, Berry Pink, Black Dazzle
I decided to bring back four babies home. These polishes are from a brand called BK (I think Born Pretty sells the creme version of this brand?). There are no names for these polishes, so I decided to name them myself. 

The BK holo polishes have very strong linear holographic effect with scattered rainbow sparkles. I would say they are similar to the Nfu Oh holo polishes, except the BK holos are more glossy! How awesome is that! 

The black holo polish is my favorite one out of all. It is simply mesmerizing! I do not own the holo version of OPI My Private Jet!, but I have a feeling they are pretty close.

Black Dazzle in a bottle

Black Dazzle (#114) swatches on nail wheel
 The above photo clearly shows the strong linear holo effect of Black Dazzle, and my crappy iPhone camera does not even do it justice! 

Pale Lilac from the bottle
Lavender in bottle

Pale Lilac (#111) and Lavender (#113) on nail wheel
Pale Lilac (#111) is a very pale lilac holo polish, while Lavender (#113) is in the shade of purple mauve. For some reason it is easier to capture the holo effect with light shades, so the above photo should give you a very good idea of the holo goodness of the BK polishes!

You may also see the difference between linear and scattered holo polishes. #44 is How About A Tumble from China Glaze Kaleidoscope Collection. It is more of a scattered holo, but nevertheless just as pretty.

Berry Pink from bottle
Berry Pink (#112) swatched on nail wheel
 Berry Pink (#112) reminds me very much of Tickle My Triangle (#45) or QT from China Glaze. It is a lovely dark pink holo polish. Again I apologize for the crappy photo, it looks 100 times better in real life, trust me!

I also have nothing to complain about the formula of these BK polishes. They are easy to apply, dry time is very quick, and I can get full opacity with just two coats. If I have to be pedantic and picky, then I would like their brushes to be longer, but since they are mini size bottles (6ml or 2fl.oz each), it would be an unrealistic request.

Overall I am over the moon I found these BK polishes. The shop sells about 10 different colors from the BK holo range, so I will definitely go back and buy some more (unfortunately the shop does not have all the colors swatched on the wheel below)!

The shop lady is nice enough to let me take a photo of their nail wheel. I bought #3, #5, #17, and #20 from the above wheel

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Who is your BFF?

I have always thought BFF is for high school kids, and that I am way past the concept of BFF now. I have a few close friends, but none that I'd declare as my BFF.

China Glaze - BFF
Anyway back to polish talk. BFF is from the China Glaze OMG! Collection, which has long been discontinued. It is a gorgeous pastel pink with linear holo effect. I love how brightly it shines under lights. Like all holo polishes, I could not stop staring at my own nails all day :)

The formula is a tiny bit on the thick side, but it smooths itself out after two coats. I have also put on a coat of CND Super Shine topcoat. Some might claim topcoat dulls the holo effect of the polish, but I don't notice such problem.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Epic Nail Day! Nail Wheels, Polish Drawer, and Swap Package Arrived!

What a day! Almost everything revolved around nail polish, just the way I like it!

Firstly, my new polish drawer was delivered and put together by my bf today. Finally my polishes have a proper storage place!

My New Polish Drawer
A quick glance of my top drawer

As you can see, it has four drawers where each drawer can hold ~70 polishes. Hopefully it will take me awhile to fill it up as I currently have 98 polishes (not including topcoats, basecoats and minis). I have put all my polishes in the top two drawers, and the bottom drawers are for other nail products such as stamping stencils, dotting tools, nail wheels, and whatnot. 

Then my first international swap package from the lovely Kristin has arrived! I felt like I was in polish heaven when I opened the box, so many goodies that I have been waiting for!

Epic swap package!

Awesome handmade magnets and ring from Kristin! Love them!
Check out the little giftbox wrapped with cute monkey ribbon, isn't that just gorgeous? Inside are two fridge magnets and a ring handmade by Kristin herself! Check out her blog if you are interested in buying these lovelies from her!

I have also just received some nail wheels yesterday, so I decided to do a few wheels according to color shades tonight. It is definitely a fast way to test out all my new and untried polishes!

Purple Nail Wheels

Pink Nail Wheel

Blue Nail Wheels
All in all, it has been a good day. I am anticipating more nail mails to arrive this week, hopefully they would get here soon!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Holo Goodness - China Glaze He's Going In Circles

China Glaze - He's Going In Circles

China Glaze He's Going In Circles is my first ever polish from the famed Kaleidoscope collection. I have more coming from Caroline from Austria though, and I will be swatching them as soon as I receive them!

He's Going In Circles is a scattered holographic polish in the shade of pale aqua green. I wanted to maximize the holo effect, so I did not apply any base or top coat. The formula is a bit watery on the first coat, but evens out after the second coat. For complete opacity, I did tree coats of HGIC for the above manicure.

Taken under natural sunlight
I was in the bathroom and all of a sudden noticed the holo awesomeness under the bathroom light!
Holo polishes have always been one of my favorite finishes, and this polish is no exception. My nails look like they are packed with diamond crusts that reflect gorgeous rainbow color under bright light. The photos do no justice to the true beauty of this polish at all!

Sunday, July 10, 2011

My Happy Go-To Polish - OPI Teenage Dream

OPI Teenage Dream
I was in a blingy mood a couple nights ago, so naturally I went to OPI Teenage Dream.

Teenage Dream is from the OPI Kate Perry Collection. It is a soft pink base polish loaded with tiny silver glitters and large multicolor sparkles. If you think it looks gorgeous in the bottle, it looks just every bit as awesome on nails. It is so sparkly my bf says he needs to wear sunglasses when he looks at my nails LOL

Although the polish is a little bit on the sheer side (which is to be expected for glitter polish), I have no trouble applying it. It dries quite quickly too.

This is definitely my go-to polish when I feel girly or giddy. It is just so pretty. Before trying on this polish, I thought it could a bit too teenage-y for me, but once I tried it on, I cannot take my eyes off it. After all, there is always a little girl inside us, agree?

The above manicure is done with one coat of SV base coat, one coat of OPI Passionate, two coats of Teenage Dream, and one coat of CND super shine to top it off.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Reunited with my long forgotten Fauxnad Stamping Plate!

I bought a few Fauxnad plates online half a year ago, and although I have attempted several times with various polishes / patterns, somehow I just couldn't stamp the patterns on my nails neatly and consistently. I don't know whether it was because of the stamp, the plates or my polish, I just couldn't get it to work.

Since joining a couple FB nail polish groups and following many new polish blogs, I am inspired to try nail stamping again. So today I decided to brush the dust off my Fauxnad plates and give it another try.

Fauxnad Plate - m2

I picked up plate m2 (I believe this is the same plate as the Konad one?) and decided to use the pattern in the middle. Note how they called it Kand Template? LOL, you got to love the names they come up with for fakes sometimes!

The print on my pinky looks the best!
Check out the shimmers under bright lights! Disco balls on my nails!

I used Color Club Love 'Em Leave 'Em for stamping. Wow! Am I surprised to see how well the stamping turned out this time! Although there is still a long way to go with my stamping skills, the patterns are at least clearly visible on my nails!

Overall I am quite happy with the result, and this encourages me to try more stamping from now on! I might even go and buy more Fauxnads now!

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Skinfood - A Gorgeous Shimmery Royal Purple (VI408)

I am always on the lookout for polishes by the less popular brands, and it is almost love on first sight when I saw the beautiful shimmer in this polish bottle!

Skinfood - VI408

I am happy this polish lives up to my expectation. It is a very dark royal purple polish with multiple blue, green and purple shimmers shining through. It is just gorgeous!

Check out the shimmer in the bottle!

The polish is also a dream to apply. Very nice formula, and one coat will get you full opacity (I only did two coats because I'm used to it). Dry time is on the quick side too. Looks like I am definitely going to try more Skinfood polishes from now on!

The above manicure is done with:
  • one coat of SV nail treatment
  • one coat of SV base coat
  • two coats of VI408
  • one coat of CND super shine top coat

Sunday, July 3, 2011

My First Cyberspace Award!

The lovely Kristin from The Manicured Monkey has nominated my blog on hers! Thank you so much, it is my first online award of any sort, I am honored!

Rules of receiving an award:
1. Thank the person that gave you the awards, and link back to them.
2. Post seven things about yourself.
3. Pass the love to 10 bloggers.4. Let them know they've received the awards!

Seven things about me:
  • I am a fanatic Collingwood supporter (for those who don't know, Collingwood is a football team under the Australian Football League (AFL). AFL is a football code in Australia)
  • I love rainbows, but now I try to avoid this word because my bf's ex's name is Rainbow :@
  • I love to procrastinate
  • I cry easily over movies / books
  • I can be a tad nerdy, I jailbreak my own iphone 
  • I love eating junk food
  • I like staying up till the wee hours in the morning

Bloggers that I love:

Essie - Smooth Sailin'

Essie Smooth Sailin'

I did not think much of this polish when I saw the press release of this Essie Resort 2011 Collection, but once I saw swatches of Smooth Sailin', I know I must have this polish.

Smooth Sailin' is a purple-ish blue shade with gorgeous silver shimmer particles. It is quite a unique polish, very pretty without going over the top. I cannot stop staring at my own nails all day!

Although Smooth Sailin' reminds me of Essie Coat Azure, it is of a darker blue than the latter. I might do a swatch comparison later. The formula of Smooth Sailin' is excellent. I have no trouble applying it, and it is fully opaque with just two coats.

This manicure is done with one coat of SV base coat, two coats of Essie, and a coat of SV top coat to finish off.