Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Pink Wednesday: Island Girl Island Treat

Oh, I'm long overdue for a Pink Wednesday post! Far too long, I think. Island Girl Island Treat is a polish that Jen from The PolishAholic picked out for me - she did good! This is stunning. It's a deep raspberry pink foil - raspberry jelly base, lighter pink and silver metallic foil shimmer. It's gorgeous. I used three layers here for opacity. It's not as much of a top coat eater as the Milani One Coat glitters are, but it's got potential, so I doubled up on the shiny top coat.

Umm yum yum! I just love this. Perfect. Are you wearing pink today?

Comparison: China Glaze Midtown Magic and Color Club With Abandon

I found a near dupe for Midtown Magic, so I thought I'd show you guys a quick comparison. These two are not dead on dupes, but they're sisters, very close. Color Club With Abandon came out with the fall 2009 collection Wild At Heart.
Now, I have to apologize here - I was trying an experiment with a new quick dry top coat, so the fingernails that With Abandon are on have weird wrinkling. You can still see the similarities and differences, thankfully.
My index and pinkie are With Abandon, and my middle and ring are Midtown Magic. Two coats for each polish - they have similar formulas as well.
The main difference is the base - With Abandon is a black jelly base, and Midtown Magic is a deep reddish purple (wine) base. Also I don't think I can spy any red shimmer in With Abandon. It's mostly copper and gold.

In this shot the color difference in the base is obvious, I think. Both of these are beauties! Hope you found this helpful.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Color Club Total Mystery

Total Mystery is from the Color Club spring Alter Ego collection - the Keep It Undercover half! I picked four shades from this half of the collection. I have not picked up any of the other half of the collection, but if you're looking for good neutral shades with excellent formulas, Color Club always wows me. They make some of the best neutral creme formulas I've used.
Anyway! Total Mystery is stunning. It's a bright, royal blue base with blue, pink and purple shimmer. Naturally this doesn't want to photograph right, you probably already figured that out just from the description! It's more vivid and purple-toned in real life, and the pink sparkles show up a bit more, although I was able to marginally capture those in the macro shot.
I used two coats for this, the formula was fabulous.

Now, when I had Focus On Blue week, I had swatched Orly's Lunar Eclipse. Loodie mentioned that she thought it looked quite a bit like Total Mystery - so I have a side by side bottle shot for her! The base blue is very similar. I don't think Total Mystery is a true duochrome, though - but Lunar Eclipse is a multichrome, as you can see from the bottle, it flashes blue, purple and pink - sometimes all at once! They are both startlingly beautiful shades.

I'm a huge fan of Color Club and I've started picking up the shades I feel like are essential for my collection. They're highly underrated outside of the blogging world, rarely when I'm wearing one and people ask me what brand it is do they know what I'm talking about! Do you have any Color Club favorites?


I know, you're getting more posts out of me today. I apologize for spamming your readers/dashboard!
Anyway, this is a real quickie post - I've been featured on two very lovely blogs!
First up, I was interviewed for Hebridean Sprite beauty blog, check it out here - Krista said some very sweet things about me - and Nightly Nails - that made me blush! But seriously, it's super nice to hear feedback from people about what you're doing.
Next, I did a guest post for Jeanette at The Swatchaholic! *faints* I feel like that scene in Wayne's World where Wayne and Garth meet Alice Cooper. "I'm not worthy! I'm not worthy!" Haha, but if you're interested, I've pulled out the big guns, one of the beauties from my hoarded Martini Pedicure collection. Hope everyone likes it!

Etailer Reviews: Victoria Nail Supply

This is a new series, after asking for some feedback and finding out people were interested, I thought I would go ahead and post reviews of online retailers I have tried.
First up is Victoria Nail Supply. I think this was the first etailer I ever purchased from, actually! I have made many purchases from them, and they are easily contacted both by email and phone. I actually placed a phone order a couple of years ago, so I can say that it went very smoothly!
Alright, so I placed my online order (after MUCH plotting) with VNS late on August 22nd. By late, I mean around 11PM. I received my order confirmation immediately. Mind you, this was a pretty large order! On August 24th, I had communication from VNS via email about a polish that wasn't in stock from my order. They offered to let me either pick another polish, or do a refund for that amount. I chose to pick another polish. The very same day I received my shipping notification. Two days later, I had my package! Shipping was very reasonable, and they offer multiple shipping options.
Let's show off the packing job, which is very impressive! There is a packing slip in a waterproof cover on the top of my box and a very clear packing slip inside.

Okay, so hopefully you can see that my goodies were securely and very tightly packed! I love it when they use the little shipping boxes for nail polish. I had not quite enough polishes to fit into another box, so the three extra polishes were bubble wrapped very well and put on the side. Everything was cushioned with brown paper, and brown paper on top.
I'm editing this to add a bit more information:
I bought a pretty large amount of polish with this order - I think over 30 polishes! - and my shipping came to just under $14.00. I chose the cheapest shipping option, but there were several other options as well. As I mentioned, my package arrived pretty quickly, within two days - so I was pleased with my choice. I felt like for the amount of nail polish I bought, the shipping was very reasonable. I've seen other etailers with much higher shipping rates for a significantly lower amount of nail polish.
Price range is less than what you'll pay at a retail location - China Glaze can be purchased for $2.75, unless there's a specialty collection, which may cost a bit more. Color Clubs are $3.00. I bought a couple of the retired OPI colors which vary greatly in range, but mine were $6.95 - I bought the three from Holiday On Broadway, so I considered that a steal!
Now, the only thing I feel that I should mention, because I have a lot of overseas friends, is that Victoria Nail Supply does not ship overseas. I do not know the reason behind this - maybe they haven't found a cheap enough method to make things feasible, through legal channels? I would suspect this is the case.
Overall, I can give Victoria Nail Supply an absolutely glowing recommendation. I've never had a single problem with customer service or promptness, or packaging - my many experiences with them have left me completely satisfied.
I hope you guys find this helpful! Let me know what you think - would you like to see more etailer reviews, as I place orders?

Monday, August 29, 2011

China Glaze Midtown Magic

I have so many fall polishes I want to show you guys, so I'll be working on getting them swatched and posted over the next couple of weeks. Hopefully that's okay with everyone!
I picked out five polishes from China Glaze Metro that I felt like I had to have. I ordered them from Victoria Nail Supply - I'll be posting a review on my experience tomorrow during the day, if you're interested! I want to have a look at the rest of the collection in person, I may pick up one or two more to fill "holes" in my collection.
Midtown Magic is the first of my Metro picks that I want to show you, and it's a beauty. I must have taken over a hundred photos of this, trying to capture the beauty, hopefully you'll like the ones I picked out!
Let's hope I can describe this finish, because it's complex and I hope I am seeing this right. The base is a dark purple red jelly - think wine - that is absolutely packed with greenish gold and red shimmer. Wow. I think I got that right! Although it's a jelly base, this gets opaque in two coats. Let me tell you something, if you remotely think you might need this polish, YOU DO. GET IT. It's absolutely stunning. It's really pretty, although dark and vampy, in low light, but when you get it in the sun - holy cats. It's sparkly and mesmerizing. Although I am loving all the olivey greens I've been seeing in fall collections, I'm just going to go ahead and say that this is probably my favorite polish from this fall's offerings.
My photos here are not as perfect as I'd hoped for, but I hope you'll be able to see the beauty of this. I included a direct sunlight photo that's for crap, but at least you'll be able to see how it sparkles and glows and absolutely lights up.
Enough raving.

Seriously, click on those and enlarge them. Do you love this or what? Did you pick out any of the Metro collection?

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Zoya Yara

Oh, this is a beauty. Zoya Yara is from this fall's Mirrors collection - it's a dusty olive green creme absolutely packed with gold shimmer. It's beautiful, and the shimmer doesn't sink when it gets on your nails, it's obvious. I couldn't stop staring at my nails!
Application was flawless, I only needed two coats. I actually wore this all weekend, so three days with not a single chip. I only took it off because I get bored too easily! This was one of the colors I was most interested in, and it definitely lived up to my expectations.

I think that this is actually a couple of shades darker, but the gold is making it look a bit lighter on camera!
This is my first swatch of the Smoke & Mirrors set I won from the sweet Zara of Never Unpolished.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

With A Little Help From My Friends: GIANNA!

I don't think there's many of you who don't know who Gianna is - she runs the absolutely amazing blog Nouveau Cheap. It's literally the go-to on affordable beauty! I remember stumbling across Nouveau Cheap and being instantly attracted to G.'s writing style. I later found out that she's almost exactly a year older than me - my fellow Sagittarius sister, and we have SO much in common! As soon as I asked her if she would like to be included in my series, she replied with a very enthusiastic yes, and I'm very gratified to say that she is my friend. I love her positive outlook and her overall enthusiasm about everything. She's got that happy go lucky Sagittarius trait in spades, I tell you. We even like many of the same TV shows, in addition to beauty products! We both were huge Lost fans, and eagerly discussed many episodes together, including the very controversial finale.
Gianna sent me this montage - a favorite photo of herself, and TWO favorite manicures! The first manicure is her Borghese syrup mani, and the second one is her Retro 80's Half Moon Mani. I LOVE the color combination she used for that, so very eighties!

1. How long have you been blogging?

About 2-1/2 years.

2. What inspired you to start blogging? How did you come up with the name of your blog?

A group of female colleagues at a previous job used to refer to me as their "beauty guru" because they'd come to me with beauty-related questions or problems. One of them urged me to start a blog so I could share my info with others, so I eventually took the plunge!  "Nouveau Cheap" came about because I wanted a blog title that conveyed that it's possible to be cheap yet still be stylish. It's a play on the term "Nouveau Chic", of course.

3. What is your favorite color? Is it your favorite polish color, as well?
Great question! My favorite color is very, very pale pink. That is definitely not my favorite polish color though.

4. Is there a polish color you won't wear?
I won't wear muddy rust-browns because I just think that's an awful color for nails in general (sorry to any muddy rust-brown lovers out there!).  

5. Do a lot of people offline notice your makeup or nail polish? What kinds of comments do you get?
Another great question! As for makeup, that rarely gets noticed because, for daytime, I'm very subtle with my makeup (I'm of the less-is-more approach). As for nails, when I go all out (patchwork manis, lots of glitter, etc.) they definitely get noticed--especially by cashiers in stores.

6. What are some of your favorite blogs? (Doesn't necessarily have to be polish/makeup related!)
I love all of the blogs in my blog roll, for starters. For non-beauty blogs, here are just a few: I love humorous grammar-oriented blogs like Apostrophe Abuse and the "Blog" of "Unnecessary" Quotation Marks, I love craft blogs like Dollar Store Crafts. I also love food blogs like Veggie Belly and Candy Blog and I'm totally obsessed with Anna the Red. She creates the most amazing bento boxes EVER--check out her gallery here. She does things with food that will blow your mind.

7. What other hobbies and interests do you have outside of makeup/polish and blogging?
I'm an avid reader (I just finished Freedom by Jonathan Franzen, which was amazing), I'm ridiculous addicted to reality tv (I've never missed a season of Big Brother, which I can't believe I'm bragging about), and I LOVE anything crafty/DIY. Sagittarians are notorious for starting projects and then growing tired of them quickly, so I have an endless array of dead craft projects in my spare room: knitting, card making, jewelry-making, cross-stitch, you name it, I've probably tried it.

8. Tell us a bit more about yourself. Any tidbits you'd like to share!
I studied tap dance for 18 years. I could listen to Foreigner's Waiting for a Girl Like You over and over again all day. I hit snooze on my alarm at least five times before I officially wake up. I'm left-handed, which means I ROCK at using drive-thru ATM machines. I am in and out of there so fast it would make your head spin.

9. What is the one beauty item you cannot live without - you won't go out of the house without using or wearing it?
Without hesitation, my Physicians Formula Healthy Wear Powder Foundation SPF50. That bad boy has saved me from many a rough situation!

10. What is the craziest/most interesting thing you've ever done?
The craziest thing I've *ever* done? WOW. Thanks for making me reevaluate my entire life, Nicole. Ha! But seriously, I'd never share with the world THE craziest things I've ever done, but I do have a funny one I can share. But keep in mind, this was crazy for the time: in junior high (in the early 80s) I was the first person in the school to have an asymmetrical bob haircut (you know, where it's longer on one side than the other?). So for MONTHS, all the guys in my school would walk down the halls and look at me and tilt their heads to the side as a way of making fun of me, which was completely devastating. But sure enough, about a year later, every single girl in the school had that same haircut. And this, my friends, was the beginning and the end of my trendsetting abilities.

Extra tidbit:

Since I know this will probably be read mostly by nail bloggers and those who love nail bloggers, I really want to take a moment to THANK the nail blogging community for being so incredibly kind to me. Even though I'm a nail polish novice (heck, I didn't even know jellies could contain glitter until Niki schooled me!), I have a sincere love of nail polish and I am incredibly honored to have such wonderful friends in the nail community. Many of my favorite bloggers are nail bloggers and you all are such an amazing group of people--so ridiculously talented, generous and thoughtful--it's an honor to be friends with you.

I told all of the ladies when I sent their interview questions that they could feel free to elaborate with long answers and any extra tidbits they might like me to include along with their answers - so thanks G. for adding this! Gianna is one of two ladies I've interviewed so far that run a blog that includes makeup reviews as well as nail polish reviews, so I was interested in her answers and thoughts, makeup blogging is definitely a different experience than blogging solely about polish. So many times, I wish we all lived closer together so we could see each other.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Finger Paints Military Green

I am seriously loving all these olive toned, dusty greens in fall releases. This is right up my alley! I knew for sure that this would be another color I'd pick out from the Finger Paints fall release.
Military Green is a dusty, soft olive green. A neutral with a twist, I guess? I don't know if most folks would consider olive green a neutral but for me it's the perfect neutral. At any rate, this is a creme, and almost as opaque as Cordur-Orange, it's just slightly thinner so I ended up using two coats. For cremes, both of these colors I've tried applied very smoothly. I sometimes have trouble keeping cremes even on my nails, because they're thicker, but these have an absolutely buttery application.

Again, you can see that this dried just a shade deeper than the bottle color. Lovely!

This is a foodie post.

So, I'll understand if you want to skip it. I post non-polish related stuff during the day, in case anyone hadn't realized it yet!
As a matter of fact, when I first started this blog I intended to also post the occasional bath and body review - that's coming up soon, as well. But today I thought I'd share some food pictures - this girl right here likes to eat.
Let me preface this by saying I am by no means a food photographer!
You may have seen most of these if you follow me on twitter and see me raving about food all of the time.
Okay, so this first photo is not so much about the Domino's pizza inside, but being ABSOLUTELY TICKLED about fall and Halloween coming up - and last night, our pizza box had this on it! I actually laughed aloud when I saw it.

Next up, a late night conversation about fluffernutters drove me to the grocery store to pick up a jar of marshmallow fluff and I slapped that together with some peanut butter - NOMMMMM.

Okay. This ice cream is my ABSOLUTE FAVORITE KIND, EVER. Peanut Butter Panic, teh yummeh! Seriously, it combines peanut butter and chocolate, my favorite sweet combination.

Last on today's menu is a fall item - YESSSS. I stopped by Dunkin Donuts at 4AM to get my traditional cup of joe, and they had these pumpkin muffins out! I was as giddy as a young child. This muffin is history, y'all. I can report, it's delicious!

Have a great day!

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Island Girl Oahu Paradise and Island Volcano

I've had a couple of great packages over the last few days! So, let me show you the first one, which is from Jen of The PolishAholic. When she went to Las Vegas for Cosmoprof she offered to pick me up some of the Island Girl polishes - and she sent me six beauties!

Okay, so from left to right are: Mahalo Dream, Island Volcano, Oahu Paradise, Hawaiian Volcano, Island Treat, and Island Sunset. Mahalo Dream and Island Volcano are very much like OPI I Lily Love You and Color Club Covered in Diamonds, in that they have those odd shaped mylar opalescent flakies! These two both have glitter as well. Oahu Paradise is an emerald green jelly, Hawaiian Volcano is a duochrome shimmer (!), Island Treat looks like a raspberry pink foil, and Island Sunset is a deep grape purple with holographic glitter! Great choices for me, all of them! Thanks so much Jen!
So the first thing I did of course, was open up that Oahu Paradise and slap it on. I thought it might be a creme but *swoon* jelly! Naturally, it's sheer, being a jelly. It's very close in shade to my beloved New York Summer Amaranth. I thought I'd recreate the jelly sandwich - with flakies! It worked wonderfully and I got an ABSOLUTE TON of comments on this. As a matter of fact, I took a bunch of ladies to the Britney Spears concert last night and they were all raving about it - they were trying to guess which brand, OPI, Essie, China Glaze - and of course, it was none of those, so I explained about Island Girl polishes, and they thought that was really neat. I really should get some business cards for Nightly Nails, as many questions as I get about my nails. Anyway, so what you see below is one thin coat of Oahu Paradise, one coat of Island Volcano, and another thin coat of Oahu Paradise. Awesome! I want to play some more with both of these flakie glitters. Island Paradise covered very well in one coat, by the way - but it is sheer on its own.

I'm excited to play with the rest of these! So pretty. I also got a package yesterday from Zara of Never Unpolished. I won her Zoya Smoke and Mirrors giveaway! I was super excited, because it's such a pretty set.

Umm, ignore my weird thumbnail color. It was a layering experiment gone horribly wrong! Thank you so much Zara, I can't wait to play with these. I can't even decide which one to put on first!
Okay, if you're burning with curiousity, I picked up OPI Greece Just Blue Me Away. It's an older polish, very thin and watery on its own - with what seems to be a slight duochrome. I've been trying to figure out what best to layer it over and I still haven't come up with anything! I then slapped one of the Island Girl flakies on top of that mess, and that's what you see.
Wow, this post is extra wordy. Bravo, if you made it through all of that! Thanks for bearing with me.

In which I answer my own interview questions.

It was requested by Liz of Life and Polish that I answer my own questions, so here goes!

1. How long have you been blogging?
I've been blogging forever, actually! I started blogging around 2004 or 2005. I started nail polish blogging around May of 2009.

2. What inspired you to start blogging? How did you come up with the name of your blog?
Ahh, I originally started blogging about makeup and nail polish, but there were a couple of things that happened! I started getting more comments on my nail polish posts, and less on the makeup posts. I also stumbled across some folks who were blogging exclusively about polish - there weren't many at that point, but to name a few you'll know, Mary of Body and Soul, Kae of The Hungry Asian, Brooke of Getcha Nails Did, Kelly of Vampy Varnish, Scrangie. Well, reading these blogs created some serious lemmings, and so off things went. Lemmings bought, (horrible) swatches posted, and two-plus years later, many lessons learned. My first blog was named to coincide with my YouTube channel. Nightly Nails - I could NOT come up with a cute name. But I knew I was a night owl, and it was available, so there you go.

3. What is your favorite color? Is it your favorite polish color, as well?
My favorite color is green, followed by purple. Green is definitely my favorite polish color!

4. Is there a polish color you won't wear?
Nope, but there are finishes I hate - anything resembling a traditional frost, anything that's prone to brush strokes.

5. Do a lot of people offline notice your polish/nail art? What kinds of comments do you get?
Actually, yes. People stop me all over the place - Walmart, Sally's, drugstores, you name it. And I don't do a lot of nail art so it's pretty neat they're noticing my polish colors!

6. What are some of your favorite blogs? (Doesn't necessarily have to be polish related!)
Well, I read mostly polish blogs, but I like beauty blogs as well, so I'll tell you a few of those - Phyrra, Nouveau Cheap, Makeup and Beauty Blog, Temptalia.

7. What other hobbies and interests do you have outside of polish and blogging?
Well, I love to read, and I play with cooking a lot. I watch as many movies as I possibly can, although I don't watch a lot of TV. I love music. I'm pretty boring, actually! I also like board games and card games. Yeah, that's right in the boring category.

8. Tell us a bit more about yourself. Any tidbits you'd like to share!
I'm terrible at coming up with this stuff, so let's see: I've lived all over the place, but I call Maine home. I love to travel. I'll probably never be a skinny girl because I adore food. I'm hypoglycemic, which is often confused with diabetes - diabetes is hyperglycemic, so hypoglycemic means I have low blood sugar. It's much easier to control. I hate to be photographed. Hrm, that's all I can come up with off the top of my head!

9. What is the one beauty item you cannot live without - you won't go out of the house without using or wearing it?
Lip balm. Seriously, addicted to it - I have SO many. That and lotion.

10. What is the craziest/most interesting thing you've ever done?
Haha, that's a tough question! Probably the craziest thing I ever did was pack everything up and move to Nashville for a year. I just picked it out as someplace I thought I might like to live. I didn't know anyone there! I did love it, and I miss it sometimes.

Okay, so that's it! I always find it awkward answering questions about myself. I am terrible at coming up with facts when it comes to doing those tags, so I like questions better, but still.
If you're interested, today I'm also featured in an interview at Just Nice Things. Thanks Helen!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Finger Paints Cordur-Orange

I AM READY FOR FALL. It's still warm here - not hot, but warm. But I'm long past ready for the fall weather to swoop in and save me.
To me, Finger Paints Cordur-Orange is the perfect fall color. I knew I had to have it before it ever showed up at my Sally's. It's a rusty orange, a bit deep and dusty and with a hint of red. Also, the formula is perfection - this is a ONE COATER. I'm completely smitten with this! I think it dries a bit darker than the bottle color, so do be aware of that, if that's a concern for you. I think this shade would be so flattering on so many folks. Also, it dried super quickly! I don't have enough of this brand and actually, I quite like them. The bottle shape is cute, and the handle is nice and long.

Yeah, that's a beauty! I love this so much. Have you guys picked any out from this collection? Which ones are you lemming?

15 Weird Facts About Me

Having seen this on Kris and Gianna's blogs, I knew I wanted to do this.
But first - guys, I'm terrible about doing tags. I know I am! I can't even keep up with all the ones I've been given to do, so I'm sorry for that. Life's been busy for me lately, but it's slowing down a bit now.

Okay, so let's get started.

What's a nickname only your family calls you?
I really can't remember one. But my dad always spells my name as Nicky, like, the boy version of Niki.

What's a weird habit of yours?
I count everything. I don't even realize it half the time, and then when I do realize it, I can't seem to quit.

Do you have any weird phobias?
Not really weird, but spiders terrify me.

What's a song you secretly love to blast and belt out when you're alone?
Oh gosh, haha! Far too many. I'll show you a couple. This is just a little bit of my weird musical taste (as in, I like sooo many different genres)! The Rihanna videos is a little racy, fair warning, and some of the other songs have some foul language.

What's one of your biggest pet peeves?
I hate being late. It makes me massively cranky!

What's one of your nervous habits?
Well, it used to be chewing on my cuticles. I thankfully have curbed that! I do run my fingers through my hair when I'm nervous.

What side of the bed do you sleep on?
The left side.

What was your first stuffed animal and its name?
Well, I know it was a Snoopy, because I have a photo with it, but I can't remember what I called it.

What's the drink you always order at Starbucks?
Salted caramel hot chocolate.

What's the beauty rule you preach, but never actually practice?
Hah! I don't actually do a lot of preaching - but I do tell people how important it is to moisturize your cuticles and that's a habit I'm trying to form myself. It's best to baby them several times a day - which, I can't seem to remember.

Which way do you face in the shower?
Towards the spray!

Do you have any weird body skills?
Hrm, weird? No, I don't think so. Not double jointed or anything. I have mentioned this on other surveys but I snap with my ring finger instead of my middle finger - which is apparently an inherited trait!

What's your favorite comfort food thats 'bad', but you love to eat it anyways?
It's hubby's southern cookin'. Seriously - he makes THE BEST fried chicken and country fried steak I've ever had in my life. YUM. The man is a genius with gravy, too.

What's a phrase or exclamation you always say? 
Actually, like Gianna, I say dude entirely too much. Also I'm quite fond of the annoying "that's what's UP!" haha!

Time to sleep - what are you actually wearing?
Pretty boring, a nightgown or comfy pajama bottoms and a t-shirt.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Milani Rad Purple

Milani Rad Purple was one of the neons that came out last summer. These were all in opaque bottles. Kind of weird, but I was glad I snagged this, because not only is it a red-toned purple, which I love, but it's an awesome jelly! Seriously, for me this is right up there with New York Summer Amaranth. It's a perfect jelly - you'll see how light and squishy it is at the tips! So, being a jelly, you should know if you read my blog enough that this will have VNL. It does, even after three coats. I'm okay with that, and since this is billed as a neon, it definitely dried matte. Since I like neons shiny, I slapped a coat of Revlon Quick Dry Top Coat on it. As you can see from the photo, super shiny!
As if this wasn't enough awesome for me, I decided to do a little layering, and added a coat of Pure Ice Busted. Too sheer to wear on its own, it's an awesome layering polish - and combined with Rad Purple, it's magic!
I can't tell you how much I love this. I got so many compliments on it!
Speaking of compliments, I went to get my hair cut and my brows done yesterday, and all of the girls were oohing over my pedicure - which, of course, I do my own. I used Sonia Kashuk Taunting Teal and Sally Hansen Xtreme Wear Set The Stage. I'll have to show off this combo on my fingernails!
Alright, enough blathering. On to photos!

Hopefully you can see how Busted flashes both pink and purple! SO cool.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Supplies: Revlon Quick Dry Top Coat

This is a series I was running on my other blog, so I think it's useful to continue it here. I hope you all will like it and find it useful! When I talk about supplies, I am referring to things like top coat, base coat, treatments, cuticle removers, nail polish removers, etc.
I want to talk briefly about formula. Not every top coat works the same way with every person - for instance, there are a lot of folks who absolutely adore Seche Vite. I can't stand it, it doesn't work for me at all. It shrinks every single manicure, and I don't want to have to thin the bottle halfway through. Same for Out The Door, which works great for many folks - it never dries on me! I had previously been relying on CND Air Dry, which is not billed as a quick dry top coat, but for me it dries relatively quickly, never thickens, levels out polish imperfections very well, and most importantly - no shrinkage! So it hit all of the major points I look for. However, I read a couple of reviews of Revlon Quick Dry Top Coat, and I decided to give it a whirl.
There were a couple of reasons I decided to try it out - when CND changed their bottle style, they also changed the brush. Air Dry now has kind of a moppy brush that's almost too big for my taste, I have less control. Secondly, the Revlon is roughly half the price of the CND!

So, does it work? For me, yes! It's self leveling - meaning, I rarely ever have to use a second top coat, and any imperfections in application get smoothed out. It dries quickly, no shrinkage, and hasn't thickened up at all! Even better, sometimes you can nab this at the drugstore on sale. So it's easy to find, you don't have to go to Ulta or order online! If you love CND Air Dry, and you have problems with Seche Vite and Out The Door like I do, this may be the solution you've been looking for.
Edited to add: This makes my polishes super shiny! I used it with my China Glaze Flying Dragon manicure, for reference. So it is very glossy!

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Revlon Grape Fizz

Late much on posting this? Yeahhhh. This is the last of the scented jellies I picked up from Revlon's summer collection, and it too has small flakies. Grape Fizz smells like grape kool-aid! Straight up candy. It's not ridiculously obnoxious, but if you're sensitive to smell you might not like this. It's a red leaning purple jelly, and the flakies flash blue - that's why it looks like a blue reflection on my nails! Very thin, this is four coats. I slapped some China Glaze Matte Magic on it and it looks great like that too.

Thankfully the layers of this dry quickly, or I don't think I could tolerate how thin this was. But it's so darned pretty.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

With a Little Help From My Friends: SOLVEIG!

You know what, I can remember receiving comments on Magic Maid from the very beginning from Solveig. There were very few people, obviously, stumbling across my little site when I started, other than the few that followed me from YouTube. It's kind of mind boggling when you realize how long you've "known" someone! Solveig runs an absolutely lovely blog called Nailin' It. She'll mention it in her answers, but when I first met her she was living in Qatar! I was so interested to hear that. I knew she was from Norway originally, and she would mention visiting home once in a while on her blog. I think between her and Tuli, they may have been my first "overseas" readers and I was SO thrilled to be able to make friends from all over the world. Solveig strikes me as one of the most kind-hearted people I know. And she's beautiful! (I might be a tad bit prejudiced - I think all of my girlfriends are stunning.) Be aware, though, that if you start following her blog, you may end up lemming polishes you didn't even think you wanted. Perfect example of this was Chanel Peridot - I DID NOT WANT THIS. Then I read her post and drooled over her photos - she absolutely kills me!

1. How long have you been blogging?
 I've been blogging for two years.

2. What inspired you to start blogging? How did you come up with the name of your blog?
 I got hooked on nail polish when I found Karianne's blog Neglelakkmani ( in 2009. I wanted a place to share my excitement about everything nail polish related, and so Nailin' It was born. I chose the name because I was a total newbie when I started blogging, so the blog was going to be a sort of documentation of my experiences in nail polish and nail care, hopefully "nailin' it" eventually.

3. What is your favorite color? Is it your favorite polish color, as well?
 My favorite color is pink, and I definitely have a lot of pink and purple nailpolish.

4. Is there a polish color you won't wear?
 I've tried most nail polish colors, and I love trying new and "weird" colors. However, I don't really like how turquoise and teal look on me, but I've decided to try getting used to them again. They look so pretty on other people!

5. Do a lot of people offline notice your polish/nail art? What kinds of comments do you get?
 Most people don't comment when I'm wearing a "plain" manicure, but obviously Konad and stamping manicures get a lot of attention. Most people ask if I've done it all freehand, and I've been explaining the stamping technique more times than I care to count.

6. What are some of your favorite blogs? (Doesn't necessarily have to be polish related!)
 It's hard to pick a favorite nail polish blog, because I like different aspects with each blog. Some have great swatches, others have beautiful nail art and some have interesting pictures and articles. I usually visit all the blogs in my blogroll daily, and I love each and every one of them. 

7. What other hobbies and interests do you have outside of polish and blogging?
 Other than blogging and nail polish, my hobbies are singing and knitting. I sing in a choir called Jazz√•Koret, we usually have two concerts every year, one Christmas concert and one pop-themed concert. We have so much fun, almost too much fun sometimes.

8. Tell us a bit more about yourself. Any tidbits you'd like to share!
 I'm a crazy cat lady (so is my husband, actually), and I usually have long conversations with my cat Gizmo. He replies as well, so I'm well versed in cat-speak by now.

9. What is the one beauty item you cannot live without - you won't go out of the house without using or wearing it?
 Nail polish, of course! I don't really think there's anything else I won't leave the house without. 

10. What is the craziest/most interesting thing you've ever done?
 The most interesting or crazy thing I've done is probably moving to Qatar in 2009. My husband was offered a job there, and I was very reluctant, to say the least. Luckily, I changed my mind and we decided to take the plunge and go, and I haven't regretted it a day! We stayed there for a year and a half, from January 2009 to May 2010. I think everyone should try living abroad for a while, it's such an eye-opening experience.

You know what, I'm SO glad she picked out this photo as one of her favorite manicures - this is her pink fish scale manicure and I loved this one. I think Solveig is very creative! I wish I were that talented. Another of my favorites is her Everything's Peachy manicure - so gorgeous. I would LOVE to hear her sing!

Friday, August 19, 2011

NYX Girls Robotic

I'd been wanting to replace my China Glaze Blk-Bila-Bong for a while now, because I really liked it. So imagine my surprise when I got around to swatching this NYX Girls Robotic, and it looks like a dead on dupe! What a bonus. I don't have the two to compare, but I'm going to reference you to Helen's swatch of the China Glaze, so you can know what that looks like as well.
Robotic is a black jelly base loaded with teal metallic shimmer. It's an awesome vampy polish! I had to use three coats to get it to this level of opacity, but I didn't mind that - I actually anticipated it, a lot of times these types of dark jellies with shimmer require more than two coats.

Ahhh it just glows! This will probably not appeal to those of you who don't like dark polishes, but I LOVE polishes like this and I just crave them. They were my first loves, before I branched out into bright colors.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Focus On Blue: Orly Lunar Eclipse

I do believe this is my last blue for the Focus On Blue series. Also, it was the most difficult to photograph - I couldn't seem to capture the duochrome effect at all! I took almost 200 photos of this, and I did two different sessions. My second session was much more successful, but I do ask that you click to enlarge these photos to truly see the purple/pink flash.
Okay. So Lunar Eclipse is a searing bright royal blue, when you look at it dead on. The Cosmic FX collection is jam packed with very rich shimmer, and Lunar Eclipse is no exception.
Ahh, this is a bit pic heavy. I couldn't help myself - the last shot I decided to show you guys because the bottle shot is AMAZING. *swoon*

Ahhh, isn't this gorgeous? Now, if you don't have any of the Cosmic FX, you should stalk your local Sally's Beauty Supply. I've been seeing these pop up in the clearance display!
I loved Focus On Blue week. Thank you all for participating with me, and I'll have the next Focus On vote up tonight! I hope you enjoyed this month's color choices.
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