Saturday, March 31, 2012

Wet 'n Wild Megalast Sugar Coat

This is Wet 'n Wild Megalast in the color Sugar Coat.  It retails for 2$.  This is the new (as of about a year ago) formula.  I was going to review the new formula, but things went awry in a way I won't bore you with.  I think this color is very pretty.  It is not pretty on me.  It makes me look like death.  This is four coats of polish, although I could have got away with three coats.  This color is not only sheer, it goes on streaky.  It takes 3-4 coats until you don't see the streaks.  I hate any hint of the nail lines showing trough, so when in doubt, I add another coat.  This has a large brush and I absolutely adore large brushes.  Some people love the large brushes, and other hate them with a passion. 
Over the top of Sugar Coat I did a newspaper manicure with the crossword solutions.  The link has a video that explains how to do a newspaper mani.  This reminds me of my Grandma who used to finish the Sunday crossword puzzle in pen before church.  Well, sometimes there was a stray letter missing, but for the most part they were finished.  The newspaper didn't transfer to the nail as well as I would have liked, but you still get the general idea.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Hunger Games Manicure, The Girl Who Was on Fire Nails

Why didn't I take this picture with the Hunger Games book?  It is currently out on loan.  Catching Fire is the second book in the series.  If you haven't read The Hunger Games, you should.  In the book they mention a manicure the main character, Katniss, got in her Hunger Games makeover.  It is described in the book as flames carefully painted on her nails.  Here is how I did my version.

This will all sound way more complicated then it is.  I did a yellow/coral/red gradient nail with a make-up sponge.  Then I used a dotting tool to add black over the top to make flames.
Step 1-  Base coat.  I used Essie All in One Base.
Step 2- One coat of white or milky colored ridge filler.  Most yellows take several coats.  Over a white polish, you need less coats of yellow polish.  I used Sally Hansen Whirlwind White.
Step 3-  Do as I say, not as I do.  Add one coat of yellow to the entire nail.  I used Wet n Wild Spoiled Mind Your Own Beeswax.  I only added the yellow halfway on the nail, but the orange/coral polish will cover better over yellow then it will white.
Step 4-  Add a 2nd coat of yellow halfway up the nail.
Step 5- My only polish color that didn't have shimmer was the yellow.  So I added a coat of Essie Pure Pearlfection halfway up the nail over the part that will remain yellow.  If none of your polish colors have shimmer, wait until you are done with the yellow/orange/red gradient, and then add a coat of shimmer.  You will want the entire gradient to have shimmer. This part will eventually become the fire.
Step 6-  Sponge an orange or coral polish beginning half way and ending 3/4 of the way up the nail.  I use a small section of a make-up sponge to do this.  If the orange/coral ends up being sponged on the entire last 1/2 of the nail, that is perfectly fine.  You will go over it with red anyway.  I used Zoya Rica.
Step 7-  Sponge a red polish onto the last 1/4 of the nail.  I used Zoya Jade.

Step 8-  Paint squiggles on the nail with a black polish.  I used Wet n Wild Black Cream.  Ideally you want a cream finish to contrast with the shimmery fire gradient.  You can either use a dotting tool or a nail art brush to paint the squiggles.  I used a dotting tool.  When I was trying this out over an old manicure a few weeks ago, I used a art brush and that worked fine too.
Step 9-  Paint black in a fine line along the edges and cuticle of the nail using either a dotting tool or a nail art brush.  Paint closed any areas at the top (by cuticle) that seem like they should be connected.  I connected a few too many squiggles.  The video shows how to do step 8 and 9 and shows an alternate way to do a fire nail. 
Step 10- Top coat.  I used Seche Vite.
I'm obviously a nail art beginner (see above pictures :)).  But, anything I can do, you can do.  I have the art skills of a second grader.  This looks complicated, but isn't.  It does take a bit of time, but probably less then you think it will take.  You could do this with other colors as a base (blues?) to look like cars or bikes painted with flames.  And remember...
May the odds be ever in your favor.

Essie Smooth Sailing

This is Essie Smooth Sailing.  I found a box of four mini Essie bottles on clearance, which included Smooth Sailing.  :)  Smooth Sailing is a pretty periwinkle blue.  It has subtle sparkles that only show in the sun.  I think the shimmer was pink and turquoise??  I can't remember for sure.  It is a bit too cool toned for my skin, but I think I can still pull it off.  I used Wet 'n Wild Kaleidoscope to make a glitter gradient.  Then I added some Essie Pure Pearlfection to the gradient.  It was better before the Pearlfection.  I think this mani on the whole was better without the glitter gradient.  The glitter gradient picture isn't the best, but you get the general idea.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Maybelline Full 'n Soft Mascara

Maybelline Full 'n Soft mascara is the go to mascara for people who have problems with mascara clumping.  If clumping is your major issue with mascara, then this one is certainly worth trying. Mascara always clumps for me.  Full 'n Soft was definitely the least clumpy mascara I've ever used.  The downside is that it smears, and this is the waterproof formula.  It doesn't give you big, bold nearly fake lashes.  So if that is what you want, you should try another mascara.  If you prefer a more natural lash, then this one is for you.  It darkens the lashes and make them slightly longer without clumping.  For me, the smearing is a deal breaker.  I'm going back to L'Oreal Double Extend Beauty Tubes.  That mascara also has its problems, but I prefer it's downfalls to the smearing of Full 'n Soft.
Left:  no mascara,  Right:  Full 'n Soft
Mascara is a very "your mileage may vary" product.  Peoples lashes hold curl better/worse, are thicker/thinner, longer/shorter, etc.  How mascara works varies greatly from person to person.  That is why there are so darn many mascaras on the market.  What mascara I love you may hate and vice versa. 

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

St. Patrick's Day Manicure/Wet n Wild Megalast Garden Hose

Happy St Patrick's Day (in a few days).  This is Wet n Wild Megalast Garden Hose with Emerald City clovers.  I used a tooth pic to paint the clovers.  I made the dots with a tooth pic.  Making dots can dull the end of the tooth pic.  Make sure to use a sharp end to paint on the stems.  Most of the clovers are three leaf clovers, but there are a few four leaf clovers in there.  Below is a picture of my right hand, painted by my non dominant hand.
Wet n Wild Megalast Garden Hose was limited edition from the 2010 spring collection.  Wet n Wild has changed the formula and bottles since then.  I've read the new formula is similar but better then the old formula.  I haven't tried the new formula, but I'm completely in love with the old formula.  It wears like iron for me.  My newspaper manicure where I used this polish lasted about 13 days with only minor chips.  I could have worn it even longer, but the bottom that was growing out from the cuticles was driving me nuts.  I normally get about 6-7 days wear with this polish.  Not only is the new formula reportedly better then the old formula, it is also in bigger bottles for the same price, 2$.  They also added a big brush, and I love big brushes.  The old formula is one of my top two favorite nail polish formulas, the other being Zoya.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Revlon Emerald City

Revlon Emerald City has a matte suede finish.  The finish is matte, but not as matte as you will get with a matte top coat. The first picture (big one) is without a top coat.  The second picture is with Essie Good to Go as a top coat, which gives this polish a shiny finish.  Without a top coat, this polish will begin to chip the first day for me.  If you wear a regular top coat, the finish of the polish will be shiny, like a regular nail polish.  Matte top coats do nothing to extend the wear of a manicure.  So what is the solution if you want the matte suede finish?  Lets say you are planning to use 3 coats of this polish (2 work fine, like in the first two pictures, but three wouldn't hurt).  Put on your base coat, two coats of Emerald City, one coat of top coat, and finish with one coat of Emerald City. This way you get the extended wear of a top coat and the matte suede look. 

In the third picture I did a funky french tip with Sinful Colors Green Ocean.  Pic four is Revlon Emerald City topped completely with Green Ocean in the shade, and pic five is in sunlight.  Green Ocean is a flakie polish.  The mica like glitter flakes in this sheer polish flash from blue to green to purple.  Green Ocean is part of Sinful Colors St. Patric's Day collection.  So if you want it for about 2$, you should pic it up soon.  I got mine at Walgreens.  This polish was also part of the 2011 St. Patric's Day Collection, so it may show up again next year.  The formula for Green Ocean is thick and gloppy.  Unlike Essie Shine of the Times, you need to add a top coat for a smooth finish.  Also, if you don't have a top coat, the flake glitter will pull away from the nail.  If the flakes pull away, they look like white bits of lint instead of cute color changing glitter.  This is my first time wearing Green Ocean, so I haven't fully formed an opinion yet.  You may want Green Ocean just to stare at the pretty bottle.  It glows in sunlight (see picture five). 

To do the funky french manicure I used a DIY nail art brush to paint a straight line.  Then, I used the brush that comes with the polish to fill in above the line.  If you have more skills, you could just use the polish brush to make a french tip.

The last step in this evolving manicure was to add a coat of Hard Candy Matte-ly in Love, a matte top coat (picture six).  The versions of this manicure I liked are the Green Ocean funky French and the matte suede finish.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Wet 'n Wild Spoiled Nail Polish from CVS

Wet 'n Wild has released a line of 72 colors called Spoiled that is sold exclusively at CVS.  I got mine on sale, but I believe these are about 2$ a bottle.  If you love metalic blues, you are in luck.  There are lots of them.  There are also several sparse, chunky glitters if that is your thing.  The most talked about thing with Spoiled polishes is the brush.  It is huge.  In the picture on the right, you can see the size of the Spoiled brush (yellow) vs. the Essie brush (lavender).   Most people seem to hate it.  I however am completely in love with this brush.  I've had polish on my nails almost continuously since the 5th grade.  This is the first brush ever in my entire lifetime that has allowed me paint inside the lines.  I'm positively thrilled with this brush.  I think the reason the giant brush works for my nails is a combination of the fact that my nails are very curved and my cuticles are curved.  At least this is what I think may be why I like it based on what I have read.  However, my litmus test for nail polish is how it wears.  I like to get 6 to 7 days out of a polish.  I only got 3-4 days with this polish, so I won't be getting more of this line.  Well, I may go back for a glitter, because most glitters wear well for me.  Click to see more Spoiled swatches on Nouveau Cheap.

The yellow color is Spoiled Mind Your Own Beeswax.  I bought this mainly for nail art purposes.  Yellow is just not my color.   In the pic above I used 4 coats.  That is pretty much par for the coarse for yellow polish.  A good plan for yellow polish is to do either a coat of ridge filler (milky color) or a coat of white before using yellow polish, so you don't need so many coats.  The brown color is Spoiled Pumping Gas with 2 coats.  I don't know what is on the thumb in the picture.  It wasn't there in real life.
 The smiley face nail art was done with a tooth pic for the eyes and a DIY nail art brush for the smile.  The smiley faces painted by my left (non dominant) hand looked deranged.  Here is the tutorial I used for how to do the smiley faces.