Sunday, June 3, 2012

Girl with the N7 Nails

So, I'm essentially obsessed with the Mass Effect series. Even Diablo 3 couldn't dislodge the singular fixation I have with the game. I've had my eye on the Tony Moly Galaxy line for a while, and I wasn't sure why, but Mercury in particular called out to me.

 Tony Moly Mercury: Black jelly base and silver, blue and red glitter.

It just screamed Mass Effect to me. So I did the only thing a lacquerista with a nerdy obsession could do: I did a N7 themed manicure.

Non-dominant hand. I messed up the logo a bit on my right hand. Nail polish fumes and lack of sleep do not mix my friends.
Tony Moly Mercury (GT01) with a sheer black jelly topcoat to darken and create depth. Accent nail was done with homemade tape strips using Zoya Purity and Zoya Carmen. Underneath that is Zoya Raven stamped with Julep Kim.

Got my thumb in there!

This glitter is seriously stunning in daylight. 

Macro glitter shot! I finally figured out that the red and blue glitter reminds me of Paragon vs. Renegade

I want to do an entire series of themed manis centered around Mass Effect. Archangel or Shadowbroker nails next I think. 

Summer Days

Oh my poor neglected blog. So post-transfer applications and transcrip request insanity, I decided to go seasonal and do a beachy manicure inspired by a Reddit lacquerista Colieshark. I also thought it would be the ideal opportunity to try out a water marble (but only on 2 nails, I wasn't about to overextend myself).

 Right Hand: Zoya Zuza on pinkie and index.
Marble with Zuza, Zoya Wednesday, American Apparel The Valley, Diamond Cosmetics Head Over Teals, and Zoya Purity.
Accent Nail: Essence Irreplaceable, Butter London WestEnd Wonderland, Butter London Tart with a Heart

 Left hand. Same colors!
Tart with a Heart + WestEnd Wonderland combo blew me away. It ended up looking like a holo, but a holo with scattered glitter bits and specs of tiny black glitter. It was the perfect sand!
Close up for glittery sand goodness! In the sun.
And in the shade, either way, it was stunning!

Okay, but my absolute favorite part of this manicure was this:

Tiny nail surf on a tiny nail beach! I got quite the kick out of it because I'm easily amused.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

When Life Snaps Your Nails...

You buy nail art wheels!
Just in time to swatch the new Diamond Cosmetics Spring 2012 collection!

Diamond Cosmetics Cherry Blossom, Tiger Lily, I Love Iris, and Cactus Flower

Diamond Cosmetics Cherry Blossom (2 coats, natural light)

Pale cool-toned pink creme. In the bottle it looked very similar to OPI Pink Friday and as you can see, its just a shade lighter. I'm curious as to how this would compare with Ciate's Strawberry milkshake. Formula was easy to work with. I haven't been big on pinks until recently, so I'm glad to have this to close the pink gap in my collection.

Diamond Cosmetics Tiger Lily (2 coats, natural light)

Creamy orange with a silvery micro-shimmer. I thought I would love this more than I actually did. I think the silvery shimmer puts me off a bit, silver and orange aren't my favorite of color combinations. 

Bottle shot! Looks really close to Butter London Bossy Boots. Threw the minty ORLY in just for fun

Diamond Cosmetics I Love Lily Comparison (Natural light 2 coats on each swatch)

Warmer and slightly darker than bossy boots. Jealous, Much? is just in there to show how non-minty these colors are. I do love pale greens of all kinds!

Diamond Cosmetics Cactus Flower Comparison

Look at this gorgeous microshimmer!

Cactus flower is in the same color family as Caitlin and Grape Gumball. Zoya Lotus was much darker and less blue toned. Cactus flower pulls the most blue of them all.
I couldn't capture the microshimmer very well. In person it's still fairly subtle but far more noticeable than in these pictures.
Macro to see the beautiful shimmer! Gah, I love shimmery cremes so much!

I forgot to do a non-macro bottle shot for this. But it is part of the Diamond Cosmetics Fall 2011 collection. Head Over Teals. Natural lighting

Indoor lighting, varied coats (2 and 1). This polish is so thick, I'd recommend only using 1 coat. 2 makes it really lumpy and the creme is too thick to let the glitter really shine through.
Indoor lighting (1 coat with 2 coats Seche Vite)
Indoors, this teal pulls more green. In natural lighting, it's bluer. Gorgeous teal!

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Packaging Motivated Splurge

Terrible blog upkeep aside, I'm going to be very upfront with the fact that I love product packaging. There are several brands I just wont buy because I hate the bottle design (Nicole by OPI, what is UP with those bottles?). So, is it really that surprising that I bought three Paul and Joe nail polishes simply for the fact that they look adorable?!
#20 (Manhattan) #15 (Venus) #29 (Toujours)

Close up of the bottle and cap designs. I love these bottles, they just beg to be set out on top of a vanity.

Also? The box is so lovely! I'm keeping all of them :D

Paul and Joe Venus (indirect sunlight, variation in coats)
The quality of this swatch isn't that great (notice that my middle nail STILL hasn't grown out? GRAH!). Highly recommend checking this color out on Polishaholic. Pointer and middle finger show 1 coat and other fingers have 2. I love this color sheer and I love it opaque. Although if you don't want a visible nail line, that will take 3 coats. Also the bottles are small (2/3rds the size of a regular polish) which makes me content with a bit of VNL. This color reminds me of Cinderella's dress!

Closer shot of the glitter in the shade. Gold, silver and iridescent blue.

More swatches to come! 

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Cute Blog Award

Jonochi of Just Add Polish has given me a Cute Blog Award. Super cute :D

1. What is your favorite make-up product? Obviously, nail polish. I go neutral and classic with my make-up, so nails are the perfect place to go bold. But, I don't think I could live without my BB cream, mascara, or eyeliner either.

2. What is your favorite fashion trend of 2011? I was a big fan of the dusky purple trend in nailpolish last year. Purple is my favorite polish color (although you wouldn't know it because thus far, I've posted mostly my pink manicures) and greyed purples don't make my hands look like I just stuck them into a pot of boiling water to serve up later with butter. 

3. What is your favorite dessert? Its a tie between lavender créme brulée (don't I sound snobbish and fancy?) and flan. I love all food that has the jiggly pudding texture. 

4. Favorite color? Yellow. I  almost never wear it on my nails because the shade is so limited (and usually so hard to apply). I was loving the mustard yellow polishes this last fall.

5. What's your middle name? Suzanne. Gross. It's like I'm a character written by Laura Ingalls Wilder.

6. What was the last song you listened to? Trick by SNSD. I love KPop. A bunch of adorable/super hot Korean chicks with awesome choreography AND  skimpy costumes. Yes. It kicks regular Pop butt so hard.

7. Cats or Dogs? Neither, I'm a bunny person :)

Something about myself that you don't know:
Whee, uhm, I speak Japanese fairly well and I can sing in Japanese and Korean. 

I'm supposed to award other blogs with this and pass the love but I'm honestly still super new at this and I have a very limited blog network. So, I'm going to hold off on this step for a bit. But thank you Jonochi!

Jane Austen and the Death of a Fingernail

Rest in peace, fingernails of my thumb and middle finger on my swatching hand. I will forever regret slamming you into my desk drawer on accident because I was distracted by Colin Firth.

On the upside: SALES!

I recently purchased Illamasqua's Raindrops. Swatched to perfection by Temptalia: here
This was the shade that made me fall in love with Illamasqua. I grabbed it for $15 during their most recent sale and paid $15 in shipping, making it the most expensive bottle in my collection. Well, turns out it has been DISCONTINUED. What?! How? I checked for it on Ebay and it is going from anywhere between $60 and $120 a bottle. Oh my goodness. I'm so glad I bought it when I did.

I also took advantage of a KGB deal on and got $50 worth of Zoya and Niki Minaj's OPI polishes for $25 (now expired :\ this blog post is sadly late)

Last but not least, Julep's penny deal! All of this for a cent (even shipping!). Awesome :D

This sale IS still going on. If you aren't familiar with Julep, this is for a monthly subscription that normally costs $20.

 Honestly, with the quality of the polishes I got, $5-$6 per is very reasonable, so I'm going to let my subscription continue and simply skip the months I don't like. I'll do a full review when my middle nail recovers a bit more. Interesting fact: the topcoat is lovely but smells like a foot. Less shrinkage issues than with Seche.

Link! and then add code: JULEP2012 at checkout.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Stellar Customer Service and Fierce Brand Loyalty

After seeing a post on Polish or Perish recommending Diamond Cosmetics, I decided to try the brand out with small fear of it harming my miniscule pocket book. There was a small mix-up with my order and the customer service was so stellar. Fixed immediately and a free polish thrown in to bribe me into being forever in love with their brand because of how nice they were.

Another company that has bought my shameless affection is Zoya, currently giving away 2 free nail polishes for just the cost of shipping. I love this brand. I love their constant color selection and availability, saving me the trouble of hunting down rares on Ebay or polish swapping sites. I love their packaging, I love their adorable Facebook messages to their frequently disgruntled fans. Both of these brands rock my socks. NOTE: I have in no way been officially bribed or sponsored to talk up their products on my little blog.

Now, onto the swatches: Diamond Cosmetics Fall/Winter Collections 2011!

L: Whisper Softly R: Falling in Love
Whisper softly is GORGEOUS. A soft jade green flecked with iridescent flakes. Bottle close up!

Seriously, check out this flake action. Its much more subdued on the nail however.
Indoor, natural lighting. 2 coats

Formula was thick but smooth and easy to apply. I do wish the color was a bit less opaque to let the flakes shine through more. But simultaneously, I love how subtle it is. Easily my favorite of the collection so far.

 Indoor lighting 2 coats. 
I am not big on reds. It is easily the most under-represented of colors in my collection. However, I really like this pinkish red. Rather unique for fall, as it is neither berry nor vampy. Muted and subdued but with a nice shimmer that glows in the light. Formula was buttery smooth and opaque in 2 coats.

 Check out how dry my hands look. This is the result of non-acetone remover, it leaves this odd dry looking film on my hands after I use it.

Up close you can see the pink, silver and a hint of lavender shimmer.

L:  Plum Crazy for You  R: Snowflake Scandal
I love purples. I can't have enough of them. I'm not into pinks or reds and blues/greens tend to make my hands look like the cheeks of a drunken Irishman, so purples are my happy medium. Plum is a lovely purple with a delicate silver shimmer. The formula on this, like the rest of the collection was wonderful. The longer dry times I'm used to from Diamond were surprisingly a non-issue for this collection.

Direct sunlight. 2 coats.
My indoors shot for this color turned out really blah. So natural light outside. 

Up close for the shimmer! 

Up close for the glitter details! Its a bit hard to discern but there is a size variance with this glitter that allows for much better coverage. I frankened a glitter like this and it turned out very poorly because of the uniform grain. 

 Snowflake Scandal over Whisper Softly (1 coat), bare nail (2 coats), Plum Crazy (1 coat), and Falling (1 coat) with natural lighting.