New Year's Eve Nail Party; Business Appropriate Colors

I don't really "go out" on New Year's Eve although I have no objection to "going all out." So for the last couple years my boyfriend and I have stayed in and made grandly caloric dinners (roasted bone marrow...not for the faint of heart, quite literally). But staying in doesn't mean I have to have unpainted fingernails, oh no! So I will be wearing this:
Suede Shoes,Sation,blue,jelly,glitter,hand,labeled swatch

Oh, it's lovely. A bright blue jelly with tons of silver microglitter, this polish dries to a smooth shine. Next time I might consider wearing it over a dark blue or black creme, but this is three coats and it's fine. It's only in front of bright light that you can see the nail line a bit. And for a polish that cost $1.39, the application was thrillingly good.

Okay, so I mentioned I'm starting a new full-time job on Monday and I'm nervous for all the usual reasons. Ultimately I'm sure it will be great but you always have that awkward phase where you're not sure of all the rules. During this time I'll be wearing some of my more subtle nail colors so as to gauge the office's tolerance of more daring colors.

Do you think...

I have enough?

Haha, that's a joke.

During the interview process for this job, I wore three separate sheer/neutral colors and I like to think they brought me luck. So I'm going to stick with that tactic for the time being and then maybe, when everything's going really well, I can wear Suede Shoes to work and no one will bat an eye.


More Happy Holiday Colors

I promised to share a few more holiday colors with you, so here you go.

On Christmas Day I wore Zoya Ginessa, a subtly shimmery silver white that looks like snow.
Zoya,Ginessa,shimmer,hand,white,labeled swatch

My mom let me do her nails with this one. I offered to do them, thinking she'd prefer clear (I've never actually known my mom to wear colored nail polish...even when we went for pedicures together, she chose sheer pink). But she surprised me by unearthing FOUR bottles of nail polish, though I vetoed them all on the grounds of being too frosty and a bit dated. So she asked for this one, which I was wearing at the time. The finish of this one is weird, it looks almost pitted though it's very smooth with a top coat.

Currently I'm wearing this:
Nina,purple,glitter,hand,labeled swatch

This is part of an effort to get some of my more obnoxious colors out of the way for a while because I'm starting a new job and want to test the waters with neutrals, pinks and reds before beginning the parade of greens, blues and glitters that I will inevitably want to wear. I don't see it being a problem but I don't want my first impression to be Blue Glitter Fingernail Girl, so I'll take it easy at first and share those colors with you as well. Anyway, this color is called "Purple-Xing," which I don't mind telling you drives me nuts. Is it purple ex-ing? Purple Crossing? Purple Zing? And why is that hyphen there, it doesn't even make any sense. Ultimately it doesn't matter I suppose because the polish is amazeballs -- purple jelly loaded with large and small silver holo glitter. This would be great for New Year's, I think.

Or really any time of year...as long as you're not starting a new job.


Minty Fresh

I love this.
Claire's,Dream Catcher,mint,shimmer,dupe,hand,labeled swatch

It's Claire's Dream Catcher, supposedly a dupe or at least a very close relative of the sought-after Chanel Jade. But $4, instead of whatever godawful amount of money somebody wants on eBay.

Here are some other tasty minty greens, too.

L-R: Essie Greenport; Essie Mint Candy Apple; Dream Catcher; Sally Hansen Mint Sprint.

Mint Sprint! I love it!


Another Seasonally Appropriate Color

So here's a funny story.

My family got together today for my cousin's birthday and as we were waiting for dinner my mom noticed my nails. "Oh!" she said. "Now the other day when you were down here, your nails were red, and now they're green!"

God MOTHERRRRRR that was TUESDAY. AS IF I would leave a color on that long!

Anyway, here's the green. Ta-daaaa:
Sephora OPI,green,glitter,labeled swatch,Absinthe Makes the Heart,hand

The name of this polish troubles me a little, not so much because I do or don't like it very much either way, but because it confuses people:

Other person: That's a nice color, what's it called?

Me: Thanks! It's 'Absinthe Makes the Heart."

Other person: Grow fonder?

Me: No, it's 'absinthe.' The drink. Just 'Absinthe Makes the Heart.'

Other person: Yeah, 'grow fonder' is the rest of that saying.

Me: But it's not the saying, it's 'absinthe,' not 'absence,' so it's just...never mind.

Anyway, naming troubles aside, it's a beautiful polish. This is one of those that causes some controversy on the MUA nail board (inasmuch as there can be said to be "controversy" there) because some people REALLY love it and some really hate it. And if you spend $9 on a polish you really want to love it, you know? So it's disappointing when it doesn't happen for you.

In my opinion, what's not to love about a dusty evergreen jelly loaded with green, gold and coppery-red glitter?

And here's a bonus: My Dita von Teese nails with a matte top coat.
chevron,Essie MAY


Movie Star Nails

I have been obsessed with doing this for a while and I finally bit the bullet:

For this look, I used Illamasqua Jan as the base coat. I had this on as a regular manicure for a day or so before I attempted the chevrons, which I think is the best tactic. You will want the base coat to be very, very dry.

Incidentally, I love Jan on its own:
Illamasqua,Jan,pink,creme,hand,labeled swatch

For the black part, I used Chanel Black Satin. Normally I would have reached for my go-to black, Milani Black Magic, but when I tried this out on one nail my boyfriend was still asleep, and I didn't want to wake him by rummaging through boxes of nail polish. But I knew Black Satin was within reach, and actually I really like this result because the polish has an ever-so-slight platinum shimmer.

A lovely MUAer suggested I used tape to create the chevrons, which worked like a dream. I used the wide, satin-finish Scotch brand tape. I just used the right angle of the tape to reduce the chance of variations. I put the tape on my fingernail to gauge placement, then trimmed around the bottom of my nail. (Creating a pie-shaped piece of tape.)

Once the tape was in place on all my fingers, I painted on the black polish. When that dried, I removed the small pieces of tape with tweezers.

Then I put a coat of OPI clear over the whole manicure, followed by a coat of SV.

One thing I would recommend is getting enough of the clear coats on the brush so you don't have to go back over the pink part...I had a few little streaks of black polish come through.

I'm not usually one for nail art, like, AT ALL. But I love the retro-glam appeal of this look, which is reminiscent of Dita von Teese's moon manicure.


Nail Party, Christmas Edition

So I don't really condone Christmas sweaters or candy cane-shaped earrings, but I do like decorating myself for the holidays. Nail polish is ideal for this because of the variety of colors and the extent of the "bling" factor -- and since the glitter/color is confined to a very small area, you can really go all out. (By the way Bridget Callahan, I am waiting to hear how those fancy Zoya glitters worked out for you.)

Below are some Christmasy polishes I have in my vast stash. I'll post more as I change my own nail polish over the next couple of weeks. What colors are you wearing for the holidays?

Butter London,British Racing Green,shimmer,green,hand,labeled swatch

A deep, dark holiday green reminiscent of evergreen. Slight shimmer. You can buy Butter London at Beauty.com. If you use Drugstore.com or VisionDirect.com, you can earn discounts and rebates that are applicable on Beauty.com. This is good if spending $14 on nail polish -- plus shipping -- is not appealing.

Illamasqua,Rampage,green,jelly,hand,labeled swatch

Known on MUA as "The Jesus," Illamasqua Rampage is truly one of the most stunningly beautiful polishes I own. It looks like green glass on the nail. You can get Illamasqua at Sephora or direct from Illamasqua. This is another pricey polish, but WORTH IT. Practically applies itself.

Sally Hansen,Sally Hansen Salon,Canadian exclusive,Project Runway,green,jelly,glitter,labeled swatch

This gal is harder to lay hands on because it is a Sally Hansen product exclusive to Canada (at this time, anyway). But very festive and Christmasy with the dark green jelly and twinkly gold glitter.

China Glaze,Emerald Sparkle,glitter,green,jelly,vampy,hand,labeled swatch

Here's one that's inexpensive and easy to find: China Glaze Emerald Sparkle, available at Sally Beauty stores and many, many e-tailers.

Emerald Sparkle,China Glaze,green,glitter,Matte About You,Essie,hand,labeled swatch

Mattified, this polish looks even more exceptional with a matte topcoat from Essie. There are other matte top coats from Orly, China Glaze and other companies; I like Essie and it's widely available. Try Ulta if you must have it.

Sally Hansen,Sally Hansen HD,Zip,red,shimmer,hand,labeled swatch

So far as I know, Zip is still available, though it is part of a limited edition fall release from the ever-elusive Sally Hansen. Anyway, it's a great, glistening holiday red, with that molten glass look I like so much.

Misa,Cherry Topping,red,jelly,hand,labeled swatch

Applies beautifully, does Misa. These are great, great polishes -- high quality, fashionable colors, fantastic application, and typically less than $3. This is a beautiful and sexy bright red, perfect for a holiday date, if you do such things.

Christian Dior,red,Geranium,creme,hand,labeled swatch

If you like a more retro, Joan Holloway-type red, this Dior fits the bill. May be hard to find at this point, but you can find a similar one in almost any polish range.

OPI,OPI Holiday 2009,Ulta exclusive,Visions of Sugarplum,purple,glitter,hand,labeled swatch

This is a holiday OPI exclusive to Ulta stores. Just a very pretty, sparkly purple. It would probably look killer with a matte topcoat, so maybe I'll try this color again before the end of the year and mattify it.

OPI,OPI Holiday 2009,Merry Midnight,flakie,glitter,purple,hand,labeled swatch

Another holiday OPI, but this one should be available anywhere OPI is sold, including e-tailers. This is a purple jelly, so it looks better over a red, purple or black creme base coat. In my opinion, anyway.

More to come, I'm sure...ho ho ho.


Another Week Of Nails

This week's theme was Maybellines Past & Present.

Some of my earliest nail polish memories involve Maybelline polishes...polishes I wish I'd kept as they are highly sought after now. You can still find old Maybellines at dollar stores and close-out places and lots of nail polish ladies really love to find them. I think for most of us it's more the nostalgia than anything else. These were some of the first cosmetics I bought with my own money, back in the day when blue glitter nail polish was truly out there.

I have a lot of Maybellines, which, please understand, I acquired recently and all at once for literally pennies each. So I decided to go through a bunch of them at once and see if I could find any favorites.

Maybelline,matte,Matte Grey,hand,shimmer,labeled swatch

This is actually an older picture, but it's an old Maybelline so I thought I'd throw it in. I found this at a dollar store and I actually remember having owned this polish previously, maybe in college or right after. Mattes are back again, you know. Fashion is cyclical even in nail polish.

Maybelline,Maybelline Wet Shine Diamonds,Plum Solitaire,pink,glitter

I liked this one a lot even though "sparkly pink" isn't really a go-to look for me.

Maybelline,shimmer,orange,copper,labeled swatch,hand

Very pretty.

Maybelline Express Finish,Maybelline,burgundy,shimmer,labeled swatch,hand

This wasn't a favorite, though to be fair I only tried it on without using base coat or top coat. Browns in general don't do a lot for me on the nail, and even though this has a lot of red in it I'm not totally sold on it.

berry,Maybelline,labeled swatch,creme,hand

Ding ding ding, winner. This is much more my style and I actually hated to take it off. Shiny? Berry? Creme? Yes please.

Maybelline,Blushing Bride,cream,sheer,white,pink,shimmer,hand,labeled swatch

I'm having a real moment with sheers and neutrals even though I generally despise French manicures. This color was necessitated by a meeting, but if I'm being honest I was happy to have an excuse to try this one. I also used two coats of Instant Artificials as a base and was really happy with the results...sigh...this is the kind of Nail Polish Crazy that I can't talk about in public. Thank you, Internet, for being my enabler.


Theme Week: Sally Hansen Salon

So, this is one of my favorite brands of widely available drugstore polish and now I hear it's being discontinued? *cries*

Oh well. In celebration of these lovely square glass bottles with their sturdy rubberized caps, I present to you: Sally Hansen Salon Week! What follows are pictures of all the polishes I wore during the week, plus a couple of bonus pics of colors I'd worn previously. What do you think? Do you like this line, are you sad to see it go? Or are you too eager to use the new Sally Hansen Complete Salon Manicure line to care?

Sally Hansen,Sally Hansen Salon,Arabian Night,purple,glitter,hand,labeled swatch

This is from the Tracy Reese collection from Spring 2008. I had to find it on eBay because it pre-dated my most recent love affair with nail polish, but I didn't really pay much more for it than if I had bought it at CVS or Walgreens. I really like this polish, and it looks really sharp with a matte topcoat, too.

Sally Hansen,Sally Hansen Salon,Azalea,labeled swatch,hand,pink,creme

From Tracy Reese, Spring 2009.

Sally Hansen,Sally Hansen Salon,Honeydew,hand,labeled swatch,green,shimmer

Also Tracy Reese Spring 2009.

Sally Hansen,Sally Hansen Salon,Sweet Creams,cream,creme,hand,labeled swatch

This is the first Salon polish I bought, and I think perhaps they haven't made it in a couple of years? It's my very favorite neutral/sheer polish, although when I pulled it out again last week after not wearing it in a while, it was much more stark and almost mod-looking than I remembered. I really like polishes that are seemingly neutral but still have a fashiony edge to them...OPI Tickle My France-y is another one that's good like that. Essie Chinchilly, too, though that's more pigmented, not a sheer at all.

Sally Hansen,Sally Hansen Salon,Canadian exclusive,Project Runway,green,jelly,glitter,labeled swatch

This is a Canadian exclusive that I only recently got my hands on. They are not sold in the US (yet, anyway...one never knows), but I managed to get four of them through a fellow (Canadian) nail polish buff. I thought Project Runway would be the green version of Arabian Night, but to my surprise it is a deep green jelly with lots of fine gold glitter. Very pretty.

I'll be sad to see these polishes go, but of course, I'm looking forward to trying the new line. I haven't seen it yet around northeast Ohio. What about you? Have you seen it? Going to try it? Or does the price tag put you off?