Monthly Archives

May 2012

Simple Manicure

Rescue Beauty Lounge Chinoise

May 31, 2012

Morning, all! Today I have Rescue Beauty Lounge Chinoise on my nails. It’s such a beautiful red! Love love it!

I did need to do three coats, but I think if I had mixed up the polish (rolled the bottle in my hands) it might have been a better consistency and applied in just two coats. As it is now, I can just barely see my nail line. But it’s not too noticeable. After all, who will be looking at my hands with my nails only 10 inches away from their face except for me. :)

Application was great and it self leveled over time. I used the RBL Prep, Basecoat, and Topcoat as well. All were wonderful and a day later (I painted my nails yesterday afternoon), I have no chipping and no tip wear. I sort of want to wear this manicure for as long as possible to see how long it lasts.

Chinoise sort of reminds me of Pushing Your Luck from the Sephora by OPI Betsey Johnson collection. I might have to do a comparison swatch of different reds for you guys soon. :)

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Simple Manicure

Deborah Lippman Mermaid’s Dream

May 30, 2012

Picked up Deborah Lippman Mermaid’s Dream last week from Nail Polish Canada. I’ve worn it once on my nails, but I think it will become a pedicure polish instead. It’s a pretty chunky glitter and I can’t stand anything but immaculate smoothness on my nails (thank you, Seche Vite!). I even put two coats of my topcoat on. Still was kind of bumpy, though. But for toes, I think it wouldn’t bother me.

It sure is dreamy, right? Very mermaid-y. :)

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Tips & Tricks, Travel, Video

Traveling with Nail Polish: Packing Polish for Air Travel

May 29, 2012

Hi all! This is the first blog post in a short series I’m doing on traveling with nail polish. In this first post, I’m covering how I pack nail polish for air travel. I usually use this method when I’ll by flying on an airplane, and it works well for travel by ground as well.

Things to note:

  1. Some polishes travel better than others. In particular, I’ve noticed that my CND polishes don’t travel well. They tend to leak no matter how tightly I close the bottles. For that reason, I usually take Orly Rubberized Bonder insead of my usual CND Stickey Base Coat.
  2. For nail polish remover, I use a small travel size bottle (the 2 oz. bottles of Zoya Remove+ are great for this). I “double bag” the remover and then put it either inside the padded toiletry bag with the polishes (if it fits), or just inside my suitcase. As long as the top of the bottle is tightly closed, I don’t have any problem with leaking.

Oh, and CLICK HERE for the info on the cosmetic bag (links to the tutorial).

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Simple Manicure

Zoya Fleck Effects Maisie & Ibiza

May 25, 2012

Morning, all!

On my nails today I have two coats of a dark navy color from Zoya called Ibiza (it works well for stamping, too). Then I put a coat of Zoya Maisie over the top. It looks cool, but I don’t think I’ll leave this on too long. It’s a bit… flashy? LOL! Like glitter isn’t, right? Hmm… maybe I need to just let it grow on me. :)

Ibiza is really pretty on it’s own, too. I took this picture before adding Maisie on top…

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Simple Manicure

Essie French Manicure Colors + Color Discrepancy

May 22, 2012

I’ve used the same colors for doing a French manicure for nearly five years: Essie’s Marshmallow for white (the perfect soft pearl color) and Essie’s Mademoiselle (a pale, sheer pink). The perfect colors, I think, for a natural looking French manicure. I don’t usually like the stark white manicures, so the pearly white of Marshmallow with Mademoiselle over the top is perfect for me. [See these colors used in a video showing my French manicure process HERE]

When I went to Ulta the other day I thought it would be smart to pick up a couple back up bottles. After I came home, I realized that I really only needed a new white bottle. I had plenty of the pink, but for some reason thought I didn’t. Anyhow, after I did my manicure last night I kept thinking that something looked different. I wasn’t able to place it until I looked at the new bottle of Mademoiselle next to the old one…

The new bottle is much more yellow than the original. Almost more nude. Well, crap. :(

I still like it on my nails, but the pinky-ness of the older bottle usually makes my nails look more healthy. Not so much with this new version. So, Essie, what’s up? Did your color checker take a day off when you approved this color coming off the line in production? So strange.

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Simple Manicure, Tips & Tricks

Butter London Slapper + Butter London Basecoat and Topcoat

May 21, 2012

This gorgeous teal blue is Butter London’s Slapper. I adore it so much! I’m really into blues and teals at the moment. :)

Butter London Nail Foundation Flawless Basecoat & Hardwear P. D. Quick Topcoat

I noticed when used Seche Vite Topcoat (my favorite!) with Butter London polishes I get a bit of shrinkage (the polish pulling away from the tips of my nails). Not the most attractive thing in the world. Definitely not as much shrinkage as when I use Seche Vita with Zoya polishes, but enough to make me want to try the Butter London base and topcoats.

I found a set at Ulta Beauty called Backstage Basics that came with the basecoat, topcoat, remover, and then a polish color of your choice. For my color, I chose Slapper. It really is a great way to try out Butter London since you save $30 when you buy the set!

As you can see from the photo above, the basecoat is a pale nude color. It goes on pretty sheer and dries to a semi-matte finish (I would call it a satin finish). It was actually very pretty by itself.

After I let the basecoast dry for about 3 minutes, I applied two coats of Slapper, waiting about 3 minutes between coats. Then I topped it off with the Hardwear topcoat. It dried fairly quickly and I was good to go after about 15 minutes as long as I was still careful not to dent it. It was dry to the touch, though.

Four days later, I had very minimal tipwear…

Granted, I had a few very easy days. I didn’t do any housework since I was out of town, but I did do a bit of packing and moving things around. Generally when I’m doing lots of dishes or putting my hands in water quite a bit (even just to take a shower), my polish doesn’t last as long. That being said, I thought my Butter London manicure lasted a long time. :)

The verdict? I love the Butter London basecoat and topcoat. It helps Butter London polishes last for a long time. The only thing I miss is the high shine of Seche Vite topcoat. But for the better wear and no shrinkage, I’ll happily use all Butter London when I want to use a Butter London polish color. :)

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Nail Art

Teal Stripes & White Dots

May 18, 2012

Experimenting with more tape manicures. I also tried a Sally Hansen Nail Art Pen, which I really liked. I used the white pen for the dots and white stripes. Truth be told, I only did this on my left hand since I was just playing. I didn’t have time to attempt it on my right hand as well. Anyhow, it’s certainly fun! :)

Dark Navy Base Color: Essie Midnight Cami
Lighter Aqua: Color Club New Bohemian
Teal: Butter London Slapper
White Dots and Stripes: Sally Hansen Nail Art Pen

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Nail Art, Simple Manicure

OPI Pure Lacquer Nail Apps

May 17, 2012

While as Ulta last night I saw the new OPI Pure Lacquer Nail Apps. They are OPI’s version of all the real nail polish nail stickers we’re seeing everywhere (like from Sally Hansen, etc). There were a lot of fun designs, so I picked up a couple to try out.

Long Lasting?

The main attraction of these nail apps is the fact that once applied they last a long time. I’ve heard that if you put a top coat on as well, they last even longer. Kind of nice! That would be a major draw for me except that I love to change my nail polish so often. Since I’ve only had these on overnight, I can’t attest to the longevity of these nail strips, but going off of what numerous bloggers are saying, I would assume they are long wearing.


When it comes to the price, I think you’re definitely paying for the brand name with the OPI Pure Lacquer Nail Apps. The high price point of $11.95 at Ulta seems steep for something I’m only going to wear for a couple days. For the average consumer, though, I think it would be a great alternative to going to the salon for a professional manicure. You can get the Sally Hansen Nail Effects strips for a few dollars cheaper and they seem to be the exact same thing. And the Sally Hansen ones come with a nail buffer and orange stick. Seems like a better deal all around. You can find the OPI strips cheaper online if you shop around. Here the exact ones I tried but for half the price that I paid at Ulta.


The application was fairly easy, but they only give you 8 sizes (2 of each). The two largest were WAY too big (maybe for toenails?), and the smallest was way too small. I was left with the few in the middle and I had to trim the sides on those to get them to fit right. Even then, I couldn’t get the shape of the strips to look as nice on my nails as I could have with a traditional nail polish manicure. I’m a perfectionist and it really bothers me. You can see in the photo at the top of the post that the strip on my pinky finger wasn’t the correct size. Just a small thing that bugged me.

That being said, I think I’ll hold on to these for the next time I go on a trip. They would be great for travel since all you would need is a nail file to finish off the application. (BTW, I’ll do a “Traveling with Nail Polish” video soon. I have a trip coming up so I’ll film how I pack my nail polish).

To see an example of how these nail polish apps work, view this video from Kandee. She shows the Sally Hansen version, but the application is the same.

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