Tuesday, June 26, 2012

NOTD: Nail Junkie Over a Gradient


I've been testing out more gradients lately. I can't seem to stop; they're just so much fun and they look so awesome.

The other night I tested out a gradient for a friend using Essie Borrowed and Blue with Sally Hansen Insta-Dri Brisk Blue. It looked really neat, but I've been wearing it for a couple days now and I thought it could use a little something extra to freshen it up.

So I layered on two coats of Sinful Colors Nail Junkie, and this is the result:

I reeeeally love how this looks. I've had a bottle of Nail Junkie for ages and this is the first time I've tried it out. I've read that it's a good layering polish, and I'm really glad I had this gradient on because Nail Junkie really brings an interesting element to this mani. It is actually really green compared to this picture, though. Nail Junkie turned Brisk Blue into a perfect teal! I'll definitely be trying more looks like this.


Sunday, June 24, 2012

Rainbow Gradient Nails Revisited!

I did these for a friend/client using the same sponge method that we nail junkies know and love! Picture tutorial here.

Polishes used:
  • Sinful Colors: Ruby Ruby
  • Essie: Fear or Desire
  • Sally Hansen Insta Dri: Lightening
  • SH Insta Dri: Just in Lime!
  • SH Insta Dri: Brisk Blue
  • SH Insta Dri: Lively Lilac


Random Assorted Jessica Swatches & Review

This weekend I picked up a (rather battered-looking and taped together) box of five Jessica nail polishes from Marshalls. I wasn't expecting to see nail polish at Marshalls, and even though I've heard some good things about Jessica I hadn't tried any of their polishes yet. So I figured, why not? It was a good deal, too. Around six bucks for four colors and a base coat.

The colors in my box were (left to right in the picture) Summer Lovin', Viper Room, Electric Blue, Red Dawn, and the Coat of Armor Natural Nail Shield Base coat.



Outdoors (shade)
I was a little excited to try Summer Lovin', since I don't own any other nude polishes and I thought this might be a good color for me. It is nice, but it's a little light against my skin. I don't know if I really like it that much, but I'm going to try using it as a base for sponging and french tips some time. It evened out nicely at three coats. This was the only one with a finicky brush.


Viper Room is a deep reddish plum color (more like the first picture) with sort of a cream/jelly (crelly?) finish. I really liked this polish. The formula was perfect, thin and smooth, and the brush was great. I'm wearing two coats in the pictures. This shit is GLOSSY too. Just look at it!

My ONLY issue with this one is that I kept picking it up when I applied top coat! Major frustration! I hope I didn't ruin my Seche Vite.


Electric Blue. Kind of a frosty, brushstroke-y, metallic blue shimmer. Really nice and bright... I actually really liked this one too! Once again, awesome formula, two coats.


Red Dawn. The name makes me laugh, but this polish is spectacular. This'll be the second red polish I own, and I absolutely love it. Densely pigmented red jelly, packed with silver shimmer. Glides on perfectly in one coat! I can definitely see myself wearing this one again. This polish has changed my mind about red!

I was really happy with all of these polishes. If you happen to see a box of Jessica polishes at Marshalls or TJ Maxx, you should definitely go for it! It's a great deal and these polishes are just wonderful. Great formulas, great brushes, and definitely a variety of colors. Drying time was also not bad.

I used the Coat of Armor base coat under all of these polishes, and it's pretty good. The brush is a little unwieldy, but it dries pretty fast and I'll probably end up using it again.

I also did some funky french tips with two of these polishes, so you'll see that pretty soon!


Thursday, June 21, 2012

NOTD: Royal Ruby Jelly Gradient

Hey y'all!

I've been meaning to do something like this for a while now; I love the idea of doing gradients, and I especially love mixing bright saturated colors!

This is two coats of Revlon Royal and Sinful Colors Ruby Ruby sponged onto two coats of Essie Blanc. Royal and Ruby Ruby are definitely two favorites of mine, but Blanc always gives me trouble! Unfortunately it's the only white creme I own.

I imagined the two colors mixing together to create a nice dark purple gradient. It's not as obvious as I hoped it would be, but it's a little more obvious in person.

These bright colors didn't agree with my camera and I had a hard time getting a color accurate picture. These two are the best I could do!

I'm also trying to get the hang of using a small paintbrush to clean up my cuticles. It's new to me, but it seemed to help a little bit with the amount of polish I sponged onto my cuticles. (You can still see that red jelly polish on my cuticles!) I think I'm starting to get better at shaping my nails as well, but they're quite short right now so it's difficult for me to do much with them.

Anyway, I guess that's all for now! I'm going to keep doing gradients and I plan on trying some other nail art techniques soon. (Yes, water marbling is going to happen soon. I hope I know what I'm getting myself into.)


Monday, June 18, 2012

Restored Polish: Chanel Ruban Ribbons (Swatch)


I had a tiring weekend out of town, but I had a chance to visit my mom for a while and relax. While I was there, I asked her if I could take her one and only Chanel polish so I could restore it to its former glory. (It was a dry, globby, thick mess!)

I gave the bottle itself a little TLC and cleaned off the built-up polish on the inside of the lid, but the main thing this polish needed was a couple droppers full of Seche Restore. If you don't own any Seche Restore, go and get some now. I mean it. It works wonders!

I don't know how to describe this color, but I've seen it described as a mauve pink? I'm thinking it's a bit rosey. It has a strong gold shimmer that I really like. It looks awesome in the bottle, for sure.

Here is my swatch of Ruban Ribbons:

This is two coats of thin, smooth, restored Chanel goodness.

I honestly didn't think I would like it on my nails, but it's super pretty and fun to look at. I just wanted to restore it for my mom, but how could I pass up on swatching it? :P I think the only thing I don't like about this polish is the smell... It has that old nail polish smell that I think is a little nauseating. It smells stronger than the Seche Vite I used, and it's been hours since I swatched it! :/

Of course, like a good nail polish blogger, I googled it plenty of times to find out more about it, and I was pretty shocked to see ONE bottle for sale somewhere for $120! D: Yikes!

I just want to say one last thing...


Thanks to everybody who has taken a look at my blog in the past month that I've been doing this. And an extra big thank you to those who have commented. :) I really appreciate it, and even though this blog doesn't get tons of views, it's still exciting to me that people are interested in this silly boy and his nail polish obsession.


Wednesday, June 13, 2012

NOTD: China Glaze & Essie

Hey y'all!

Just gonna leave this here. ;)

This is two coats of China Glaze Re-Fresh Mint with one coat of Essie Pure Pearlfection on top. I've done this combo before... waaaaay before I even considered starting a blog, but I had completely forgotten how hard to work with that China Glaze is! It's pretty streaky and runny, and gave me major issues on my index finger. :/

Still a pretty combo though.

So I'll be out of town to work for the weekend and I won't have any time to do my nails, but I'll see what I'm up for on Monday. :)


Sunday, June 10, 2012

NOTD (Before the Sun Goes Down): Gradient Mani

Hey y'all!

I decided to try another gradient since my first one went so well. Tonight I have OPI I Have a Herring Problem paired with Sally Hansen Xtreme Wear Black Out.

I didn't realize how much of the glitter in I Have A Herring Problem would show up! I felt like I was mostly sponging glitter onto my nails while doing this mani! It's also all over my fingers. Whoops!

Anyway, I actually have to go finish my other hand now. Haha...


Friday, June 8, 2012

Rainbow Gradient Nails (my first gradient! woohoo!)

This is a really really REALLY shoddy picture but I'm feeling pretty proud of myself! At least a few of my nails actually don't look half bad (my thumbs sure look great), but I definitely have room for improvement.

Rainbow, of course! :P
The sun was going down, which accounts for the bad lighting, but I really just want to share! I of course used the extremely helpful picture tutorial from The Nailasaurus. Her blog is super excellent by the way--I just love her nail art.

That's all for now! I actually did this rainbow mani for an LGBTQ Pride event that's happening in town where I live, so maybe I'll get some more pictures of them tomorrow. And if I see anyone else with rainbow nails, I'll try to snap a picture of our nails together. ;P

Update 6/10/2012:

Here are a couple more pictures of my nails. I tried to get one that shows that my pinky nail isn't completely red! You can also see how messy it actually is. (Low quality pictures are so much more flattering sometimes...)


outdoors in the shade

Pridefest was fun, but exhausting. I'm pretty much burnt out for today, which means I'm going to be relaxing... which means I'm probably going to clean this rainbow off of my nails and re-paint them!

Oh, and by the way, the colors I used for this gradient are:

  • Sinful Colors: Ruby Ruby
  • Essie: Fear or Desire
  • Sally Hansen Insta Dri: Lightening
  • SH Insta Dri: Just in Lime!
  • SH Insta Dri: Brisk Blue
  • SH Insta Dri: Lively Lilac
Sinful Colors Ruby Ruby is actually the only red I own... I sure own a lot of Insta Dri polishes though! :P


Thursday, June 7, 2012

Chanel Delight - Swatch & Review

(click me!)


So, it sure didn't take long for me to give in and paint my lil' nails. :P And I know what you're thinking... What's this joker doing with a bottle of Delight?!

Here's the story: Not too long ago, my boyfriend was flipping through the pages of Allure magazine and came across a picture of Chanel Delight. I glanced at the picture and said "eh, it's okay I guess," but he knew we had to have it. Fast forward to two Sundays ago, and I was inside Nordstrom swatching Delight on my ring finger.

It. Was. Beautiful.

We took it home of course! And here are some pictures that don't quite do it justice:



indoors, but right next to my window!

The formula was just perfect. It went on in two smooth, thin, and even coats, but you could definitely get away with just one coat. It looks spectacular either way.

The finish reminds me of Graphite--it's the same foil-y, shimmery finish, but Delight is gold (rose gold?), bronze, and champagne instead of, well... Graphite!

That's all I have for now, but tomorrow I plan on attempting a gradient mani using some sponges, and hopefully I'll have some sweet results to share.

Oh yeah, I also switched cameras to one that I think is at least a little bit better than my old one. Still not as good as a DSLR though. :/ Sigh. Someday.


Yeah I'm doing that Bloglovin' thing too...

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PS: I am finding it very difficult to resist painting my nails right now. I just gave them a bit of a buffing and shining and took care of my cuticles; they just look so nice! :(

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Nail Polish Thoughts (Pt. 1)


Today I have something different to share.

So... I haven't painted my nails in several days. A couple of my nails started peeling pretty badly before I bought my crystal file, and I've been trying to nurse them back to health, which included trimming down all of my nails as short as possible (so I wouldn't feel the need to paint them), and fixing my rough ends with the crystal file. The damage is mostly on my right hand, so I could still swatch something on my left hand if I wanted to! I've just been avoiding it because I know that will make me want to do a full mani. :P I still have some time before my nails will be okay to paint. :( It sucks waiting.

So instead, I thought I'd hammer something out about my thoughts/experiences regarding nail polish. Today I'm going to keep it pretty personal. No big ideas about other men wearing nail polish; this will mostly be about myself.

But first, a general idea about nail polish:

Society views nail polish as a form of gender expression. I don't think most people would actually use the term "gender expression" when describing nail polish, but we know that it is almost always associated with femininity and femaleness. There are some exceptions in certain music scenes and subcultures. But let's be honest. Most rock n' roll dudes are sticking with black. So did I, when I first started painting my nails.

For most of my teenage years, I never once painted my nails or so much as touched a bottle of nail polish. I would sometimes tag along with my mom and/or younger sister into the cosmetics aisle in the supermarket, and silently admire the colorful images and swirling pots of pigment surrounding me, but when my sister wanted to look at nail polish, I would stand next to her, picking out bottles and making fun of the names.

Nail polish was so pointless and difficult! Of course, I would say things like that out loud, but deep down I thought painting my nails would be... cool.

I was intensely attracted to the idea. I can't remember exactly when it was, but I sloppily painted my nails a few times during my last few years of high school. I borrowed the bottle from my sister--a near-black Sally Hansen creme. I think it was an old one from our mom's collection, but at the moment I have no idea what it was.

Like I said, it was sloppy, and I only did it a few times. At that point in time it just didn't stick with me.

Eventually when I made some new friends in college, nail polish made its way back onto my fingertips. I surrounded myself with amazing queer people who shared new ideas with me about sexuality and gender, and I found myself wanting to be a little more relaxed about my own gender expression. I let myself be more feminine, and I loved it.

Most importantly, I bought my own bottle of Sally Hansen Xtreme Wear.

In Black Out, of course. :P

I probably wouldn't have taken my nail polish obsession any further without my boyfriend.

I'll admit it, before we met I was afraid of being "too" feminine; I was worried that other men would be turned off by my femininity, and I was only a little afraid of being single forever.

But five months ago when we were first getting to know each other and I showed him my meager makeup collection, he was intrigued by my one bottle of nail polish.

"Oh, you like to paint your nails?"

"Well, yeah... I mean, only sometimes. I kinda wish I had more colors though."

"Well then we should get you some."

I was afraid he wouldn't like it. Once again, I was worried about being too feminine. (as if such a thing were possible!)

But he encouraged me to paint my nails, and I found myself enjoying it more and more. Soon I was painting his nails too, and I was slowly getting better at using nail polish. I started looking up techniques. I started researching brands and searching for shades and swatches.

I still remember the first time I searched for "essie swatches." After that, I started reading nail polish blogs.

The rest... is history I suppose. Nail polish is important to me. I will probably be sharing more thoughts on that at a later date! For now, I have some cleaning up to do. And then maybe I'll reward myself with nail polish. ;P


Friday, June 1, 2012

Essie Summer 2012 Swatches and Review

Howdy! So not too long ago, my lovely love and I spent way too much money at ULTA... (Oh wait, we do that all the time. :P) But during this particular shopping spree, we picked up four mini bottles from the Essie summer collection. I'm just having too much fun with tiny bottles of polish!

We also picked up our first crystal nail file, which was pretty exciting for me. :D

Anyway, here are the four shades that came in the little box:

From left to right: Bikini so Teeny, Mojito Madness, Off the Shoulder, and Fear or Desire. I'll show you the swatches in that order, and then give my opinion at the end.

Bikini so Teeny:

Bikini So Teeny is a periwinkle or sky blue creme with a bit of purple in it (I've seen it also described as cornflower blue). It has a really pretty silver shimmer that shows up in the bottle, but is veeeeery faint on the nail. You can't see it at all in these pictures. This was three coats.

Mojito Madness:

Really nice warm light green creme. I think this was two thick coats. Not much to say here, except I was surprised at how nice this looked on me.

Off the Shoulder:

I have to say, I really liked this one! I don't wear pink often, but I actually liked how Off the Shoulder looked against my skin. Very flattering, in my opinion. This was three coats, I believe.

Fear or Desire:

Just as far as color goes, this was definitely my favorite in the collection. When I put on the first coat, my first thought was "Mmmmm... Cheetos!" I was tempted to lick my fingers. ;P It's just such a nice, tangy, crunchy, cheesy orange... Wow I'm making myself hungry now. Anway, this was four coats. I'm also usually wary of oranges because I don't think they look good on me, but I loooove this color!

As a whole, this collection was not the best... The formula on all of these was streaky, but Mojito Madness was the easiest to work with, while Bikini so Teeny and Fear or Desire were the worst. If Fear or Desire didn't take four coats to even out the streaks, I'd probably be wearing it right now! Off the shoulder was not bad, but I have to say I'm kinda glad I didn't go for any full-size bottles. :/

The other two colors in the collection that didn't come in this box were All Tied Up and Cascade Cool, which I'm a little sad I missed out on. All Tied Up looks really interesting to me, and Cascade Cool just might be another pink that I would enjoy wearing.

Looks like that's all for now! I think I need some Cheetos to satisfy a craving...