Monday, November 21, 2011

China Glaze Hunger Games Preview

Howdy friends.  The Hunger Games trilogy has been on my reading list for some time.  It seems like everyone is talking about it, from colleagues to my teenage cousin and even my mom.  Now that I'm a Texas resident I can go get a library card (wooh!) and hopefully check it out, but if not I could always just watch the movie that's going to be released in March.  Which brings me to the exciting point; China Glaze is reportedly coming out with a nail polish collection to coincide with the release of the Hunger Games movie.  Here's the sneak preview of the colors:

  • Primrose *inspired by Prime
  • Rebel *inspired by Gale
  • Catnip *inspired by Katniss
  • Coal Hearted *inspired by District 12
  • Joined at the Seam *inspired by The Seam
  • Fight to the Finish *inspired by the night sky the tributes look into
  • We Could Runaway *inspired by the forest Katniss & Gale hunt in
  • Baker's Son *inspired by Peeta
  • Cinna-mon *inspired by Cinna's gold eyeliner
  • Fire in Flight *inspired by the Flaming Mockingjay
  • Heat of the Moment *inspired by the costumes Katniss & Peeta wear into the Arena
  • Flaming Gems *an overlay inspired by Katniss' interview dress

I don't know what any of this means because I haven't read the books, but I certainly am intrigued.  I wish this nail polish collection/movie release tradition had started sooner, like say for Harry Potter!  Oh well, there's still hope.  And in the meantime, all you Hunger Games fans, get excited!

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Deborah Lippmann for Spring 2012

Howdy friends.  Deborah Lippmann has released some fabulous shades (Bad Romance, Happy Birthday, and the ever popular Across the Universe) and her polishes always have a formula that's unbeatable.  Today on Facebook, she shared with her fans a sneak peak at her upcoming collection for Spring 2012.  I can't think of a nail polish brand I'd want to preview more!

Check out my swatch of Mermaid's Dream here.

Deborah Lippman, a "wildly enticing" preview of Spring 2012 collection

WOW.  We weren't given any names or description of these polishes, so the best I can do is guess: The left-most polish looks like a Caribbean ocean blue creme.  Moving to the right, polish 2 looks like a teal/ sea foam green micro-shimmer.  Polish 3 looks like a beautiful rich navy blue creme/jelly with copper flecks in it.  LOVE.  The polish on the end looks like it has the same copper flecks but in a hot pink base.

These polishes will be available in March at Neiman Marcus.  Lippmann polishes are priced at $16 to $20 per bottle.

Thanksgiving Water Marble

Howdy friends.  Thanksgiving is almost here, and I was inspired today by the rich autumnal colors of the Harvest.  I tried a nail art technique I've never done before: water marbling.  No, it's not something they do in prisons.  It is a way of making marble designs with different color nail polishes in water, and then dipping your nail onto the pattern.  It sounds hard, and it kind of is.  And it's messy.  But it's a fun way to combine different colors into a beautiful manicure.

The colors I marbled were OPI Rising Star, China Glaze Naughty and Nice, and Deborah Lippmann Kiss From A Rose.  Before I marbled I painted my nails with one coat of Zoya Minka, just to give myself a nude base.  Here's how it turned out:

Right Hand: Water Marble with OPI Rising Star, China Glaze Naught
and Nice, Deborah Lippmann Kiss From A Rose

Left Hand: Water Marble with OPI Rising Star, China Glaze Naught
and Nice, Deborah Lippmann Kiss From A Rose

I love the autumnal color palette.  It was time consuming to do, but know that I feel like I have a hand on the technique (hah, no pun intended), I'd like to try it again.  I have some great Christmas combinations in mind!

Friday, November 18, 2011

Bahama Breeze Nail Art with Lippmann and OPI

Howdy Friends.  Showing you guys the OPI shatter polishes rekindled my adoration of them.  That being said, while browsing through Pinterest, I was inspired by this picture to create a multi-color shatter manicure.  I used one coat of Deborah Lippmann It's Delovely, one coat of OPI Suzi Says Feng Shui on the bottom half of my nail, and then one coat of OPI Black Shatter over the whole thing.  Finally I sealed it with one coat of OPI Top Coat to give it some shine.  I will tell you, this is the first time I've used OPI's top coat and I'm very impressed by it.

my Bahama Breeze manicure
"I'll have another, please."

When I first applied SSFS, it looked really bumpy over the tip of my nail.  But as the polish dried, it evened out over It's Delovely and created this slight purple fade in between the two polishes.  My colleague at work asked what I call this manicure.  My first response was a hodge-podge of the impression it gives me: "Bahama Breeze on the Beach at Sunset."  Realizing this is too long for a catchy name, I've since trimmed it down to simply "Bahama Breeze." 
This picture is exactly the impression I get from this manicure

What color combination would you like to see under Black Shatter?

Thursday, November 17, 2011

OPI Black and Silver Shatter

Howdy friends.  Today lets have a view at the two shatters I will be giving away in the Castinails Thankfulness OPI Giveaway.  If you haven't already, click here to enter.

Shatter is fantastic because it is an easy way to add fun art to your manicure.  There are so many color and finish combinations you can play around with, I don't think there's any way to get bored with these polishes.  Personally, I love the way shatter looks over bright colors.  Here is OPI Black Shatter over OPI Meep-Meep-Meep.

The way shatter works is that when applied over completely dry polish, the shatter breaks up as it sets.  Be sure to wait until your base color is completely set before applying shatter, otherwise you'll end up with a weird mess.

OPI Silver Shatter is the other shatter polish in the giveaway.  I think this one is absolutely amazing.  I can imagine how awesome it would look if you played around with wearing it on top of other metal sparkles like gold or copper.  I think over white or black too it would look completely stunning.  Or, over green it would look like tinsel on a christmas tree.  Aaaaah.

Well there you have it.  Good luck, make sure to enter by December 1st 12pm CST

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Meet our Giveaway Polishes: OPI Meep-Meep-Meep

OPI Meep-Meep-Meep, one coat

Howdy friends.  Let's take some time to meet the polishes I will be giving away in the Castinails Thankfulness OPI Giveaway.  If you haven't already, click here to enter. 

Today we have Meep-Meep-Meep from The Muppets Holiday 2011 collection by OPI.  Meep-Meep-Meep is a fuchsia sparkle.  Believe it or not, this is one coat.  This bright polish is a great compliment to pale winter skin, and the vibrancy of the pink will definitely lift your spirits and have you singing holiday carols in no time.  It dries quickly and would be a great, low-fuss, festive holiday manicure.

What Beaker has to do with hot pink I'm not quite sure,
but he certainly is cute.  Meep-Meep!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Castinails OPI Giveaway

Howdy friends.  This has been an absolutely crazy week for me.  My car was stolen, I bought a new car, the Police found my car, Toyota returned my new car and gave me a complementary rental car while my old car is in the shop!  I'm amazed and so lucky for how it all worked out, and I'd like to now pay my thankfulness forward to you guys.  So here it is, my first ever giveaway.
Castinails OPI Giveaway
Prize includes OPI Silver Shatter, OPI Meep-Meep-Meep and OPI Black Shatter
OPI Meep-Meep-Meep 
OPI Silver Shatter over OPI Meep-Meep-Meep
OPI Black Shatter over OPI Meep-Meep-Meep

How to Enter: One lucky winner will receive a bottle of OPI Meep-Meep-Meep from the The Holiday Muppets Holiday 2011 Collection, as well as OPI Black Shatter and OPI Silver Shatter.  To enter, leave a comment on this post with one thing you are thankful for.  If you have a blog, you will receive one extra entry for blogging about this giveaway, just leave a link to it in your comment.

Rules: Only one comment per person.  You must be a follower of Castinails to win. Be sure to leave your follower name or email in you comment so I can contact the winner.  Winner must have a valid US mailing address (sorry international fans).  Contest will close on December 1st at 12pm CST.  Winner will be chosen through and will have 48 hours to respond before a new winner is chosen.

Good luck! I look forward to hearing about what y'all are thankful for :-)

Monday, November 14, 2011

OPI Rising Star

Howdy friends.  My weekend blogging hiatus was the result of having to go out and buy a new car.  But I am back now with a nicer vehicle and another sparkly polish to share with you!  Really, everyone wins here.

OPI Rising Star was released last year with OPI's Holiday Collection, Burlesque.  The collection was made for the release of the movie with the same title, so all of the polishes have showbiz names.  Rising Star is a toffee orange microglitter.  I prefer the formula on Rising Star to the two polishes I showed you from the Zoya Sparkle collection.  OPI's formula is a little thicker so the polish doesn't run as much.  It also dries quicker.  I used two coats.

OPI Rising Star, two coats

OPI Rising Star, two coats
  • Color: Orange tinted gold micro glitter.  
  • Finish: Microglitter
  • Price: Moderate, $8
  • Application: Good
  • Coats needed: 2
  • Dry Time: Average.
  • Impressions: Rich holiday gold, great for parties, Antique gold frames
Overall:  This is a great polish for dark winter days because it really sparkles indoors.  Not entirely flattering on my skin tone, but still a fun festive color.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Zoya Ivanka

Howdy friends.  A lot of terrible things happened yesterday, and I was glad I at least had Zoya Mimi on my nails to cheer me up. (Who knew anyone would want to steal a '97 Honda Civic?  Guess I'm going car shopping this weekend.)  I'm sticking with the Sparkle collection again today, so now I have Zoya Ivanka to share with you.

Zoya Ivanka is a kelly green glitter with yellow gold flecks.  I say glitter, but when you look at the polish you don't see any pieces of glitter.  It's more just an intense all-over sparkle.  This collection is definitely aptly named.  I used two coats of Ivanka over base coat.

Zoya Ivanka, two coats in shade with flash 
See the great yellow flecks!
Zoya Ivanka, two coats in shade with flash
The formula for Ivanka is exactly the same as Mimi.  A little thin, so you'll want to apply two coats for complete opacity and go slow to avoid cuticle drag.  I got this bottle in a St. Patti's day promotion last March: $5 each for 3 Zoya greens.  Fabulous!  The other two it came with were Shawn and Suvi, which I will have to show you soon.

  • Very unique gold-tinged green
  • Finish: sparkle flecks, very glittery
  • Price: ordinarily $8, moderate
  • Application: Pretty good.  Polish a little thin, go slowly to about cuticle drag.
  • Coats needed: 2
  • Dry Time: Dry to the touch in normal time.  Takes a long time to fully dry without top coat, remains in danger of smudging for up to a day.  Yikes.
  • Impressions: St. Patty's Day, Shamrocks and Leprechauns, Ivanka Trump, $$.
Overall: This is a fun, unique polish, and even better for being $5!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Zoya Mimi

Howdy friends!  Today I have a polish to share with you that has a special meaning for me, Zoya Mimi.  This is the polish that I was wearing when I won my job with the San Antonio Symphony.  In addition to that special memory and the fabulous royal purple glass-flecked color, I love the name of this polsih- Mimi!  It always makes me think of the end of La Boheme, when Rodolfo is screaming the name of his girlfriend, who has just died.  Click here for that clip, sung by Pavorotti.

This polish doesn't look anything like dying sopranos though, it definitely looks like a fun purple party on your nails.  Let's check it out.  This is two coats of Zoya Mimi.

Zoya Mimi, two coats with flash

Zoya Mimi, two coats in sunlight
  • Color: Incredibly unique
  • Finish: Sparkle flecks
  • Price: Moderate, $8
  • Application: Pretty good.  Polish is a little thin, go slowly to avoid cuticle drag
  • Dry Time: Average
  • Impressions: Royal purple, funky, fun.  
Overall:  Mimi has an aria in La Boheme about how whenever she goes anywhere, she is so fabulous that people can't help but stare at her.  I'd say that's a pretty accurate description of this polish.

Stay tuned for another polish from the sparkle collection, this time a fabulous green.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

French Horn Nail Polish

Howdy.  When Rescue Beauty Lounge had their "Would you like to see your dream color come true?" contest last spring, I was of course eager to enter.  My color inspiration came from none other than my French horn.

  • As a French horn player, my hands hold an extraordinary instrument for many, many hours each day.  The horn produces a tremendous range of tone colors; heroic fanfares, aching melodies, serene nocturnes.  And the bell of the instrument, the deep cavern of sound where my hand rests, is a matching rainbow of colors; brassy yellow, rose gold, oxidized green, dark rust.  It is my dream to have a polish that matches this mélange of metal, so that my fingertips can shine next to the exquisite beauty of the instrument.  Please, if you could create this color, a yellow gold with darker hints, copper accents and a green shimmer, it would be a life-long dream- a shade to lend the beauty of the horn to the hands so essential to it, and a complex, unique metallic unlike anything every seen.
I didn't win the contest, but thanks to Chanel I got my wish!  Peridot is an exact match to the greenish tinted yellow brass of my French horn.

Monday, November 7, 2011

L'OREAL Waters Edge

Howdy.  Here is a lovely polish for you,  L'OREAL Waters Edge.  It's from the 2010 Passport to Paradise Summer collection and is a gorgeous aqua creme.  You'll notice my nails are suddenly longer.  No, I did not get tips, these are just older pictures.  Peridot is so beautiful I couldn't bear to take it off!
L'OREAL Waters Edge, two coats, direct sunlight
I love how satiny smooth the finish is.  And the shade is just so creamy and vibrant!

L'OREAL Waters Edge, two coats, shade
The orchid was at a friend's house.  I think it's gorgeous, especially the fucsia against the teal.  Makes a very nice backdrop too.

  • Color: Beautiful, moderately unique
  • Finish: Perfect Creme
  • Price: Reasonable, $4
  • Application: Tricky.  Polish gets thick and sticky.
  • Dry Time: Very long.
  • Impressions: Summer, beachy, cool, modern
Overall: Beautiful color, finish, and low cost is enough to make up for difficulty in application.  Just use a nice quick dry top coat.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Chanel Peridot

Hello.  I have something special to share with you this lazy rainy Sunday.  Peridot, part of Chanel's Fall 2011 precious metals collection, is a complex sophisticated antique gold/olive green duochrome.  Duochromes, polishes that have two distinct colors depending on how the light hits them, can sometimes be very juvenile, but Chanel has created a very sophisticated take on this with Peridot.  And for the hefty price of $25, they darn well should!

In the light this polish is a beautiful antique gold with lots of sparkle flecks.  In the shade it takes on an olive green sheen.  The less direct light it receives, the darker the olive green effect.  I used two coats of Peridot with no top coat.

Chanel Peridot, two coats
Chanel Peridot, two coats
Peridot is fairly easy to apply and dries very quickly.  So quickly in fact that I had to keep extra polish on the brush so that it would stay wet while I painted.  20 minutes after manicure time and Peridot is ready to take on the world.

Image of Peridot gem, photo courtesy of

I like the way Chanel has played on the way light hits an actual peridot gem, picking up the range of colors between dark olive green to gold.  Peridot is the birthstone for August, so those of you late summer babies might want to pick up this polish for that alone.  What do you think?  Does this color have you pining?

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Zoya Minka

Howdy Y'all!  I hope everyone had a wonderful Summer (and Fall).  It's great to finally be back to you, now live and permanently from the state of Texas.  That's right, I am officially a Texan now.  But more importantly, I am moved into my apartment and have been reunited with my entire stash of nail polish.  I think they were lonely without me.

Today I have for you Minka, from Zoya's Touch collection.  This collection was released over the summer and contained three full-coverage neutrals designed to work with your skin tone.  Minka is the lightest of the three shades and I thought it would work well with my sightly olive complexion which I attribute to the Greek side of my family.  This is two coats of Zoya Minka, no top coat.  I've been on a no-top coat kick recently.  The specific finish of each polish intrigues me, I guess you could say I'm taking a test run at being a nail polish purist.  Since I'm not using top coat to even out flaws and prevent bubbling, I had to wait extra long in-between coats just to be safe.

Zoya Minka, two coats with flash 
Zoya Minka, two coats with flash

As I suspected, this color is much more flattering now that my hands are a little paler.  Usually I dont have that problem, but being in Texas keeps me a bit darker I guess.  I love that it has just a bit of sheen.  You can really see it in the bottle and then just a little bit when it's on.  It's definitely complete coverage as advertised.  Some nails were almost ok after one coat, but I did two just to make sure everything was completely even.  If you go too thick you might have a problem with streaking, but overall the polish is pretty self-leveling.

 One quick word about not using top coat- Be sure to wrap your tips!  After you've finished your last coat of color, take a quick swipe of the brush over the tip of your nail to lock in the color.  This way your manicure lasts longer.

So what do you think?  Does such a pale color appeal to you for winter?  Have you picked up anything similar?