Friday, May 27, 2011

Revlon Minted

I always love good deals, and when HEB provides a $3 off Revlon coupon, I can't pass up the chance for a  $0.98 bottle of nail polish!  Especially when it's a color I've been eyeing for a while.  Revlon Minted is a springy pastel sea-foam green.  The color complements my skin tone very nicely; for me its the perfect minty shade.  I used two coats and one coat of CND Air Dry to help even the surface and prevent bubbling.  Minted applies a little unevenly, but not as much as Zoya Avril.

Revlon Minted, two coats, indirect sunlight

Revlon Minted, two coats, indirect sunlight
Love it!  Already I can tell I'm going to have a hard time figuring out which polishes to bring to Tanglewood this summer...

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Zoya Avril and Sally Hansen Antiqued Gold Crackle

Today I have an elegant crackle manicure to share with you.  While at Walgreens I ran into the Sally Hansen new crackle collection and decided to get Antiqued Gold.  I chose to pair it with Zoya Avril, a beautiful dusty pale pink creme.  Avril takes time to get a smooth manicure.  I got away with two coats because I was putting crackle on top, but if you want it opaque on its own or have longer nails, you will need three coats.  Here is Zoya Avril on its own:
Zoya Avril, two coats with flash
After the polish was completely dry (I waited 15 minutes)  I added a coat of Sally Hansen Crackle Overcoat in Antiqued Gold.

Zoya Avril with one coat Sally Hansen Crackle Overcoat in Antiqued Gold

The effect is very subdued but I think it has the elegant look of ballet and Versailles and yes, antiqued gold.  This crackle didn't crack as much as the OPI Black Shatter, so I recommend using a very thin coat.
Overall I'm pleased with how this turned out.

What do you think?  What colors would you pair gold crackle with?

Sunday, May 22, 2011

OPI The Color To Watch

A few days ago I found out I get to go to a wedding this weekend.  I LOVE these events, so I gave great consideration to what would be on my nails.  (More consideration, in fact, than to what I'll actually be wearing.)  At first I thought I'd go with Chanel Morning Rose, but when it came time to paint my nails yesterday, I decided I was in the mood for something with a little more complexity.  Chanel Paradoxal and RBL Insouciant were considered, but I ended up deciding on OPI The Color To Watch from the Fall '10 Swiss collection.  I fell in love with this shade after choising it for an outsourced pedicure.  It looks fabulous on toes!  Not wanting to miss out on this shade, I caved and bought a bottle from ULTA.

The Color To Watch is a beautiful sophisticated lavender/blue shimmer.  It's not quite a duochrome, but both hues are definitely present.  It falls somewhere inbetween RBL Insouciant and Sally Hansen Virtual Violet.  Insouciant has a more strong lavender base and Virtual Violet has a stronger blue flash.  For this manicure I used three coats of The Color To Watch and one coat of CND Air Dry.  The top coat really helps give TCTW a glossy finish.  TCTW has a thin formula so I experienced minor cuticle drag.  Aside from that, application is pretty good.

OPI The Color To Watch, three coats, indirect sunlight

OPI The Color To Watch, three coats, direct sunlight
This polish is officially on my list of all-time favorites.  It is also my permanent go-to pedicure.  Happy Sunday, I will take lots of wedding pictures to share with you!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

RBL Insouciant & some tips on Short Nails

Hello everyone, I'm back!  I apologize for being so remiss in posting.  My last semester of grad school turned out to be a whirlwind, and the following day I moved three hours West and started a new job.  Finally, I feel like I've regained some control back over my free time and I'm happy to be back sharing pretty colors with you.

It seems fitting to start off with Rescue Beauty Lounge Insouciant.  This shade was my mother's present to me after winning my job.  How did she know that I would absolutely love this sophisticated dusty lavender with a subtle blue shimmer?  I may have suggested it.

RBL Insouciant, two coats with top coat, flash

RBL Insouciant, two coats with top coat, flash

You may notice that my nails are significantly shorter than before.  I'd been having a problem with peeling and so decided to file them all down and let them grow out again to see if that fixed the problem.  Since they've been short, I have noticed a few positive benefits:

  • Manicures last longer.  With shorter nails there is much less tipwear, so manicures look much fresher.
  • Products last longer.  Shorter nails use less polish, less top coat, etc.  One bottle of top coat will take you farther.
  • Removal is a cinch.  Let's face it, those Deborah Lippmann glitters look phenomenal on long nails, but they are a pain to remove.  On shorter nails, there's less polish to take off, so removal is much quicker.
  • More Colors Look Good.  Shorter nails are suited by a greater range of colors.  (Not that this ever stopped any of us with long nails from wearing whatever color we wanted.)
I've run into a lot of people that keep their nails short who think that manicures just won't look good on them.  I highly disagree.  I think the short nails is a chic look that can perfectly pull off any shade imaginable.  Let's not forget that Coco Chanel counseled her boutique maidens in the movie Coco et Igor that long nails were "trop vulgare."  While manicure execution may be slightly more difficult to pull off on short nails, here are some tricks I've found that greatly help with achieving a professionally-done look on short nails.

  • Make sure nails are filed to a uniform length and shape.  This will make your nails look professionally groomed no matter what the length.
  • Attend to your cuticles.  Soak cuticles in warm soapy water and gently push them back with an orangewood stick.  This will give your nailbed a greater surface area, and it looks more groomed.
  • Moisturize.  It's always good to moisturize your nails and the area surrounding them.  I like Burt's Bees Lemon Butter Cuticle Cream.  Doing this right before painting your nails also makes clean-up easier since any extraneous polish on your fingers will wipe right off.
  • Cleanse.  You've moisturized your nails, now you need to make sure you have an oil-free surface for polish to adhere to.  Before painting, use an alcohol-free facial toner and swipe over nails with a cotton ball.
After having my nails short, now I understand why a lot of people prefer this look.  I am seriously considering keeping this look for a while.  What do you think?  How long do you keep your nails?  Which length do you think is most desirable?