Saturday, 30 June 2012

Weekly Nail Art Challenge: #1 Blue for AMC Awareness: KKCenterHK Decals

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This is me cheating at nail art! It's only because I'm on holiday without any nail art accessories and a very limited amount of polish! The theme is blue, and there's some blue sky on these water decals, so I might just scrape through on a technicality!!!!!!!!!!!!!
This is another one of Jilltastic Nail Design's brain child's, so be sure to visit her website for a list of participants.

Today's challenge is simply BLUE.

And here's a bit of a ramble explaining how I got to this post:

KK Center HK kindly sent me some nail decals for review early this year. I've posted about one set here
I requested some easter egg and bunny decals especially for an Easter themed manicure, unfortunately, in typical Michaela style, I left them in Chch when I went on Easter break :(
It felt  bit silly to do a very belated Easter post once I went back to uni so I just put them to one side until I could think of something non-Eastery to use them for.

The other decals I got for review required long nails and I haven't had them all year without major breaks! I got some gorgeous floral french tips and the full nail water decals that I'm showing you today. The french tips are very long and I want to show off the whole pattern so they will be used for a special occasion. The full length ones were just too cool to wait for longer nails so I bit the bullet and brought them on holiday this time with the express purpose of wearing them!!!

This is what the set looks like.

 You get 10 decals in a pack so you use them for one full manicure or as accents I suppose. I'm not sure why they have made the two biggest (presumably for the thumb nails) decals off centre. The the middle two in the pattern should be the biggest but instead the 6th and 7th decal are so the bird gets a bit mucked up unless you have tiny thumb nails!

On the back of the pack are instructions for application, but you basically roughly cut them out take off the protective coating and soak them in water til they come off the backing. Then you place them on your nail and smooth out and crinkles and wait for them to dry.
Then you file off the overhanging decal on the free edge and apply a layer or two of clear top coat for protection, shine and longevity (I suspect they could fall off whenever your nails get wet otherwise!!!).

Well here's how mine turned out:

 Keep in mind that this was my first experience applying full nail water decals! I included the close-up of my pinkie because that was my tidiest nail!! I didn't end up doing my right hand because it was so much work!!!

I have to say though, that it's not really the decal's fault!!!!
From just a metre away my nails looked great, you couldn't see the wrinkles/creases.

My nails just do not conform to the dimensions of the decals is all! Or any sort of stick on nails/ nail polish strips that exist on the market.
I have very small nail beds so every decal had to be trimmed down. This was very finicky because I had to soak them, apply them, remove them, trim them down slowly til they kind of fit, then wet them and apply them again, wait for them to dry and file the huge amount of excess decal off (my nails are very short at the moment). All the crinkles mainly came about because I didn't trim them enough and then I didn't apply a thick top coat so they wrinkled a tad from the brush strokes. I added more top coat later and they looked way better. Mum told me she really liked this, she thought it was polish though...

What I Like:
On nails that are wider and longer these decals would ROCK! The design is really cool, like a dragon bird!!! If you mess up the application you just add water and start over!!!!
Also as messy as my photos make the mani look, only people who examine your nails up close will see the mistakes!
Also water decals are a way cheaper alternative to the nail apps/polish strips on the market from Sally Hansen, OPI etc. The wear time is probably shorter due to the material they're made of, but I would never get my money's worth of wear out of the '2 week polish strips' on the market.

In NZ Sally Hansen strips retail for something like $20 - extreme and I won't be buying any of them for this price ever!!!
The KK Center HK decals however, start at US$5.05 - way more cost effective. You can find these decals and HEAPS more on the KKCentreHK website.

They were also kind enough to provide a 10% discount coupon to my readers BLGA345MI10. You can find it any time on my sidebar under all the Labels links. They have a 15% discount running at the moment as a Facebook promotion, so if you plan on buying from KK soon, get to it!


Friday, 29 June 2012

I Wish I Was a Pretty & Polished BEACH BUM

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Oh, if only it was Summer and I was in Whangamata, stick thin and stretch mark free, sunbathing on the beach!!!!!!
That's the dream!

Instead it's a very chilly winter and I'm about 50 kg away from being/having a beach bum!!!!
(I did have a pre-dinner nap (can you say 95 year old woman?) with the lovely Charlie though. He slept under the covers with me and everything!!!! That's a plus for winter!!)

Wearing Pretty & Polished Beach Bum helped me to 'make believe' the dream though!!!

Pretty & Polished Beach Bum



Beach Bum is a slightly blue tinted transparent base with loads of fine matte blue hex glitter, medium and large blue/green shiny hex and square glitters. I'm wearing 3 coats which gives a full coverage look, without being opaque. I didn't have any application issues, besides the giant hexes wanting to stay on the bottom of the bottle. I just gave it a good shake and left it upside down if I couldn't get any on the brush.

Chels just announced that she has reformulated Beach Bum so I'll be interested to see if it looks any different. I think she's probably found lighter hexes to fix the sinking problem like she did with the reformulated Jawbreaker.
It's killing me that she isn't shipping international any more!!!! Why can't I live in America?!!!!!! Maybe I should make Canada my home, best of both worlds? I have family there too...


Amandalandish: Dreamy Cremes: Giveaway Time!

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Amanda's having an awesome giveaway to celebrate having over 1000 blog followers! You could win 5 must have basic cremes from the Wet n Wild Megalast  collection. C;ic on the link below to enter.

Amandalandish: Dreamy Cremes: Giveaway Time!: Hello, ladies! I am thrilled to announce that in honor of reaching over 1,000 followers, I will giving away 5 of the dreamiest cremes for...

Thursday, 28 June 2012

Unintentional Mermaid Nails

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I've been trying to tackle some a lot of untrieds lately.
I'm already doing the Try It On Tuesday thing, but I got a huge influx of nail mail in May that I have barely managed to even look at, let alone try on, so I brought heaps of it on holiday with me.

I've been wanting to try some of my Pretty & Polished mini glitters for weeks and weeks and China Glaze Hi Def was as good a base as any, so...





Mind Control has a clear base with small sized aqua square glitter and ultra fine bright blue, violet and bronze-gold/opalescent glitter. In the swatches I'm wearing 1 coat over Hi Def. I didn't think they'd really look good together but I didn't bring any good base colours with me, so I gave it a go. And viola!
When I stared at my nails I felt like I was looking into the glistening sea with the sun reflecting on mermaid scales!! i.e. it looked very pretty.

Application was very easy too, I didn't have to struggle at all to get the squares out and I ended up with a rather even distribution of the glitter.

Definitely a win!!! I can see myself using Mind Control in a Revlon Royal jelly sandwich too!!!!!!!!


Wednesday, 27 June 2012

datyorkLOVES: 10,000+ Views WORLDWIDE Giveaway!!! datyorkLOVES

Pin It datyorkLOVES is hosting a giveaway to celebrate 10,000+ views!!!
Click on the link below to enter.

datyorkLOVES: 10,000+ Views WORLDWIDE Giveaway!!! datyorkLOVES: (Click image to see larger version) Its simple and a great reason to give away an awesome least I think its pretty awesome. I...

Tuesday, 26 June 2012

Try It On Tuesday: China Glaze HI DEF

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It's that time of the week... TRY IT ON TUESDAY!

Jilltastic Nail Design is also spearheading a weekly nail art challenge group; with the theme this week being BLUE, in honour of AMC.

I have no idea what nail art I'll be doing for the challenge. Considering I am on holiday with only a box of polishes for company, it could be something dull indeed. I might manage a sponge gradient though... Don't hold your breath!!!

So I also chose a blue untried in keeping with raising AMC awareness - which I'd never heard of before today.

I bought 4 China Glaze Tronica scattered holos from Dandy Nails blog sale, some months back. I think they arrived during a tidal wave of nail mail and I only ever managed to swatch them on a nail wheel! But I've brought them all on holiday with the hopes of trying them out.

Hi Def
lamp - flash

lamp - flash

lamp - macro

Hi Def is a greyed/silvery cornflower blue scattered holo. The holo particles are ultra-fine unlike the Milani 3D polishes, so to me, the Tronica polishes look like 3D shimmers when they hit the right lighting. We're having some seriously strong wind and rain storms at the moment so it's impossible to get a photo outdoors, let alone in full sun!!!

You only need 2 coats, but application is a PITA!!! It's just like applying an OMG holo, every time I paint over the same spot, it scrapes off all the polish!!! Make sure you let the first coat dry fully before applying the 2nd layer! I ended up barely putting any pressure on the brush and sort of floating the nail polish on to my nails... It looked alright in the end with 1 layer of INM Out the Door top coat.

Does using an aqua base coat solve the tricky application issues? I can't find any that cost less than an arm and a leg! MJ Nail Bank sells Nfu Oh Aqua Base, but only in sets with their holos and I don't need any more!!!!!!

For a full list of Try It On Tuesday participants click HERE or there is an incomplete list on my side bar.

What 'untried' are you rocking today?


Victoriana Principles of Modernity Swatch & Review

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Victoriana Intemporal Nail Polish was a pretty big let down for me.

When I first discovered this Indie on Etsy I thought they all looked amazing and I was right on board with the Victorian era, steam punk theme.

I ordered 3 and after at least a month they turned up, 2 underfilled, 1of which also seemed to be lacking in glitter also - like it was the dregs of a poorly mixed batch. Basically, when I compared my own swatches to the listing  swatches, what they showed as being 2 coats took 4+ for me to achieve.

Principles of Modernity looked like an royal blue jelly with bits of holo glitter. In reality it's a purple that photographed blue (an acceptable mistake IMO and I probably should have read the listing properly, then I wouldn't have been so disappointed to find it wasn't a blue!). Also it's super sheer and the glitter is SPARSE!

For the photos below I'm wearing BYS Ultra Violet a base and 2 coats of POM.

Principles of Modernity

 It's pretty and all, but I feel like the glitter ought to have been much more dense at 2 coats and that the base of the polish ought to have be able to build to opacity. I really hate when products are misrepresented!!!!!!

Here's BYS Ultra Violet by itself.
Ultra Violet

Victoriana has also just disappeared off the face of the earth recently!!! Overall Beauty could not get in contact with the polish maker and product shipments never turned up so OB was forced to refund all outstanding orders and sever the partnership. The Victoriana etsy store has also been deleted with who knows how many people left in the lurch? I know that some were refunded without explanation.

So all in all, I suppose I'm lucky I actually got my order. Though, since they're not at all what I wanted I would kind of prefer to have been issued a refund!!!!

Has anyone else had any 'burning' experiences with indie polishes?

This is my only negative one to date and at the time I was willing to just not buy from Victoriana and leave it at that, but since I learned of the rest of the shadiness that went on I wish I'd complained at the time!!!!


Sunday, 24 June 2012

Fingers Polish Mania: Elevation Polish Giveaway!!

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The awesome Jen or 'Fingers' from Fingers Polish Mania is hosting an Elevation Polish giveaway! I haven't managed to get my fingers on a single Elevation, so I'm crossing my fingers and toes!!!! You could win the entire 180 Degrees South Collection plus Aurora!!!

Fingers Polish Mania: Elevation Polish Giveaway!!: The time has come for this fabulous giveaway!  I have teased you enough.  Elevation Polish was generous enough to donate an entire set from ...

U Jelly?

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Or you very soon shall be, unless you've already bought your own bottle of The Hungry Asian's u jelly?

Bottle shot because 1) it's so cute & 2) I couldn't get a non-spaz swatch while holding the bottle!

 My mum got a way more awesome camera with 20x optical zoom so these photos are 100x better than usual. If only there was some decent sunshine!! Most of the photos were taken in sunlight as opposed to shade but not full sunshine; more during the parting of the clouds.

u jelly




u jelly? is a very pink leaning red jelly filled with square and hex glitters in various sizes. In person the glitter just looks red, but in the macro shots you can see some glitter looks to be either pink or silver - I love the added complexity and depth it gives!
UJ? looks great with just 2 coats, but if you want full coverage I'd go with 3. At 3 coats I had only a hint of VNL if I scrutinised my nails!!! Application was fantastic too, very sheer on the first coat but it looks squishy and even after the second.
I wrapped my tips and added 1 layer of INM Out The Door and after 3 days, I still only had a tiny hint of tip wear and NO chips!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! First time ever!!!
So snaps to Kae for such an amazing polish.

Two of my friends absolutely adored this mani, so I'm sure many of you will too!
I actually gave the mini bottle to Bex because I know I'll be buying a full size as soon as possible!!!

You can get your hands on more of Kae's polishes at her Etsy store for US$4.50 (mini) and $9.25 for a full sized bottle. It will not disappoint!

In unrelated news: I've been a little lazy since I got home and have been lavishing attention on Charlie and Buster rather than blogging! If they're not in my arms or spooning with me in bed, I'm chasing them round the house or playing tug of war or fetch with Buster!!  I have an idea that spooning one's dog is possibly creepy and weird, but Charlie loves being little spoon!!!! Plus he's like a super soft hot water bottle! Buster prefers to curl up on my pillow :)

Anyway, have no fear; I brought a box of 'untrieds' up to Auckland with me (seriously, my suitcase was HEAVY!) and plan to knock out some swatches this week.


Tuesday, 19 June 2012

Try It On Tuesday: Pretty & Polished Midnight Rider

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Hey guys,

Jilltastic Nail Design and some of her nail friends were talking about how they had so many untried polishes lying around and decided to wear 1 untried each week and share it with their followers!
A lot of other bloggers have jumped on the bandwagon, including me, so every Tuesday for the foreseeable future will be dedicated to showing an untried polish. It's called TRY IT ON TUESDAY!

I have had Midnight Rider sitting around for a wee while now - I'd seen it on Chalkboard Nails and fallen in love, but it arrived around the same time as Lynnderella Very Pretty Vampire and since they seemed a bit similar I let MR fall by the wayside.
Then Jill started talking about untrieds on facebook and I thought I'd whack it on.

Midnight Rider

Midnight Rider is a dark purple shimmer with red hex and purple square glitter in it. This is not the same formula as the original Midnight Rider that I saw on Chalkboard Nails, which upset me a little because I didn't realise there had been a change made!! Plus the Chalkboard Nails swatch is still being used on the etsy listing, so it's a bit misleading...The original had a blackened purple jelly base with the same glitters in it. I don't really care much for glitter in shimmer bases myself, but MR still looks pretty great. I did 2 coats of MR and 1 layer of top coat for the photos

It's nice to get the first Untried out of the way!
What have you got sitting around waiting to be worn for the first time?

Here's a list of the core bloggers taking part in Try It On Tuesdays. I hope you can take the time to see their posts too!

Jilltastic Nail Design
Beauty Gnome
DIY Polish 
365 Days of Color
Munchy's Nails
College Polished
Tall Girl In Heels with Pretty Painted Nails
Princess Polish
Peace Love Lacquer
Beyond Beauty Lounge

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Monday, 18 June 2012

Dollish Does Polish - Dining at the Pink Taco

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I'm home!
No more exams!
Back to my Buster & Charlie & Mum!!!!
And a relatively warm climate!!!!

To celebrate here's a filthy little pink polish.

Dining At The Pink Taco is an almost frosty pink with fine glass fleck shimmer. I'm not really one for this shade of pink but it actually looked really good on me! I bought this purely because the name grossed me out (I'd never heard the term before) and cracked me up at the same time. I have a thing for toilet/guy humour but I also have ladylike sensibilities that kick in on occasion :)
I really wish I could have got a shot of DATPT in sunlight but there was none to be had for so long that I gave up and swatched it in the miserable overcast-ness that is Christchurch right now.

Now on to the nitty gritty: it's got a thick formula which applies fine, but takes a very long time to fully dry. Even with quick dry top coat it was smudge/dent-able for ages! I tried my Nicole by OPI quick dry drops but they caused bumpiness ( which happens with quite a few of my polishes actually). Other than that DATPT gets the thumbs up for me. Wearing it made me feel like a Pink Lady from Grease!!!!

Who else enjoyed this naughtily named collection from Dollish Polish?
BTW Thank God Dolly has got her suspension base now and can make all our favourite glitters again!!!!!!


Sunday, 17 June 2012

Sunday Spam: Amy's Nail Boutique

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It's a mini spam of Amy's Nail Boutique matte glitters!!!
These are my very first matte glitters and they DO NOT disappoint!

Cotton Candy over OPI Lucky Lucky Lavender

Cotton Candy is a matte blue and pink ultra fine glitter in a clear base. I layered 2 coats over a lilac/pink creme. The blue is darker in person but for some reason no one seems to be able to photograph it true to life. Formula wise this is ok, it's not really got great stand alone potential, but 1 coat over a base is very pretty. I['m wearing it here with 1 coat of NYC Grand Central Station top coat and it's nice and smooth.

 One Sweet World over Barry M Strawberry Icecream

One Sweet World is my stand in for NailVenturous Pinkerbell! It's a mix of ultra fine pink, blue and yellow matte glitter in a clear base. So it's really just Cotton Candy with yellow glitter but the coverage seems to be better. This is again 2 coats over a baby pink creme. I used 1 layer of NYC top coat again, but it's still textured looking in the macro. I love the yellow, might tint the base pink and wear it alone!

Nautical Nonsense over Orly Frolic

Nautical Nonsense is a blue and white small hex glitter in a clear base. This one stands alone at 3 coats and looks awesome!!! I'll show you one day soon :) I'm wearing 2 coats here over a Frolic. I rushed the 2nd coat so the glitter clumped a bit, my bad!

Roxy over Illamasqua Vice

Roxy is the one I was most excited for! It's a mix of purple and pink small hex in a clear base - just like Nautical Nonsense. I just love the magenta pink in Roxy - it's a fairly unique coloured glitter and I love it! I rushed the second coat on this one too, which is why the glitter is a little clumped. I tried this one alone and needed 4 coats which gets a bit too thick IMO. I'd love a tinted pink base (HINT HINT Amy...). I'm wearing it over the berry Vice rubber finish from Illamasqua, yum, like raspberry and blackcurrant!!!!

Hope you enjoyed my first Sunday Spam! You can purchase Amy's creations HERE from her Etsy store at $4.50 a mini or $8 for a 15mL bottle.


Saturday, 16 June 2012

A (brief) Roll In The Hague

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Arghhhhh, got my first exam tomorrow morning so I shall keep this romp in the orange hay very brief!

A Roll In The Hague

ARITH is the most vivid, intense, dark yet bright orange creme I have ever seen! I was too lazy to get all the photos I took of it off my camera, so this one photo will have to, though it does not do ARITH justice. Haha, a little pun of my own!!!!! It's darker in person and a hint more red toned.

This was my birthday mani this year and by the time I photographed it, I think I'd had it on for 3 days, hence the tip wear.
The formula is uber pigmented and slightly thick, self levelling dream to apply!!! You could get away with 1 thick coat, though I opted for 2 moderate coats.

I seriously stared at my nails non-stop for the first day I wore ARIYH, then I'd find myself distracted by them every now and then in lectures and while driving!!!!! Talk about a hazard!

One thing I love is that it almost wants to verge on red, but it still has yellow undertones so it is somewhat flattering on me :)

Did you pick up A Roll In The Hague when the Holland Collection came out earlier this year, too?

Time for bed now, so I can be bright eyed and bushy-tailed for my exam!!!


Friday, 15 June 2012

Rescue Beauty Lounge Anne

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Good Morning!

Mine started ultra early when I woke around 3:45am with a blood nose!. Normally I'd have fallen straight back to sleep, but my bed linens looked a little crime scene -ish so I had to strip the bed and put on a wash, remake it and clean my face up too, so I ended up wide awake!!
Pity my flatmates weren't up, because I suspect my mad dash to the bathroom cupping my hands under my nose and desperately trying to avoid any dropping blood on the carpet was highly comical!!

Since I can't sleep I thought, "Why not blog?".

Here's my first ever RBL lacquer, the beautiful Anne


Anne is a dark olive/brownish green loaded with gold, pink and purple micro shimmer. It's super beautiful and elegant. I snapped it up for AUS$10 from The Polish Haven's blog sale. I used 2 coats for the pictures above with zero application issues! Dry time was good too.

This is part of the Tudor Wives Collection that I hope to get the complete set of one day - thanks to TPH I'm halfway there!!! Will have to show you Catherine H sometime soon - a Wedgwood blue with the same gorgeous pink and purple shimmer as Anne!!!!

What Rescue Beauty Lounge lacquers are you drooling over?


Thursday, 14 June 2012

OPI I Have A Herring Problem - hearing loss is no joke!!!

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Hey guys,

Seriously, thanks to broken ipod head phones I have noticeable hearing loss in my left ear! It cracks me up to be honest because it only happened because I was way too cheap to buy new head phones when the right side stopped working.

I had the ear bud type that go right into your ears and attempt to cancel out background noise. I used to crank up the volume when I went to the gym etc to drown out all the other sounds - which is hard to do when only 1 ear can hear the music. Once I did get a new set, I realised the music was always way quieter on the left compared to the right  :( wah waaahhh

If I'm on my mobile call I usually have to hold the phone to my right ear because everything is muffled in the left. It's pretty shocking screwing up your own hearing in your early 20s!!

So if you listen to music with head phones PLEASE wear both ear buds so you don't munt your own hearing like me!

oh i'm a silly billy!!!

Back to the OPI, I really like this pun! So many of the OPI names annoy the heck out of me but I Have A Herring Problem makes me giggle!! And IHAHP is so pretty too.

I Have A Herring Problem
white light



 So it's a super dusty blue verging on concrete grey with gold shimmer fleck. The gold sort of sparkles other colours in certain lights too. In my photos it's picking up a lot of pink, which is awesome! I used 2 thickish coats for full coverage.

I Don't Give A Rotterdam is very similar to Herring but it's much cooler toned so Herring is my favourite! I love that OPI pulled a bit of a Zoya by including the warm/cool option. I feel like they don't pay much attention to flattering all skin tones in every collection the way Zoya tries to.

Which polish from the Holland Collection is your fav?



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