Wednesday, February 29, 2012

A Luper a Day: Following Instructions

BPAL's description: South Indian sandalwood, amber-encrusted wood, white grains, massoia bark, and hops.

My reaction: I have some weird skin--this smells like a maple tree being tapped for syrup on me. I get the wood notes and then a really strong sweet maple note. Not for me, because I'm not a big fan of such sweet scents.

Ulta Lav-Ish, a purple not even clowder could love!

My friend clowder is a fellow purple nail polish aficianado, and I think she would agree with me that this is not really purple. Lav-Ish was part of my free Ulta Lavender Fields set, and it's a greyed-tan with gold shimmer that pretends to be purple. It's a good thing it was free, because I do not like it one bit. At two coats it still had bald spots, but I gave up because I couldn't stand the color.

Even in the sun, it's unpretty:

With flash:

Without flash:

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

A Luper a Day: Calligraphy Practise

BPAL's description: "White sandalwood, beeswax, clary sage, olibanum, opoponax, violet leaf, and oudh."

My reaction: I don't get any violet leaf or strong resinous notes, just a pretty, very sweet, herbal beeswax scent.

Ulta Freebies

When Ulta had their free shipping with $25 purchase last week, I decided it was time to grab one of the 13-piece sets free with $17.50 worth of Ulta products. I got the Lavender Fields one, I'm quite impressed at the sheer quantity--this is a pretty fabulous set in terms of value. I'll evaluate the individual products in further posts this week.

The set consists of a mini polish, two full-size eye shadow quads, two mini double-ended eyeliner crayons, a mini blush, a double-ended lipgloss, a full-size lipstick, three brushes and a full-size mascara.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Red Glitter comparison

Last week, the lovely GG asked if I had any other Nubar Sparkle polishes, and I got my Zoya Valentine's Day free polish, Delilah, so I decided to combine swatches of both in a quick comparison post with Color Club Santa's Cinnamon and China Glaze Ruby Pumps. All four polishes are lovely, not too thin and not too thick, with sparkling red glitter in a red jelly base. Three of the four are blue-based reds, and although they look similar in the bottles, one is an odd duck of an orange-based red.

Gratuitous bottle shot:

All swatches are two coats. Left to right, they are Santa's Cinnamon, Ruby Pumps, Fire Sparkle (which could have used a third coat) and Zoya Delilah.

In the shade:

In the sun:

I adore all of them, and while Santa's Cinnamon, Ruby Pumps and Delilah are very similar, I couldn't imagine parting with any of them. Fire Sparkle is unique because it's an orange-based red jelly.

Friday, February 24, 2012

A Luper a Day: Before The Snowy Window

BPAL's description: "Snow-dusted cherry blossom, passion flower, peach musk, and tuberose."

My reaction: The snow reads as pine, and then I get the cherry blossom and a little bit of peach. Lovely.

Purple Week: Color Club Fashion Addict and Wild at Heart

I should warn my readers that this is not strictly a nail polish post, it's also a bit personal and maybe a little philosophical and probably a lot sentimental. In 2009, I had to have my beloved heartdog, Stormy, euthanized and in 2010 I had to have my other sweetheart, Beau, euthanized. I donated the outfit I was wearing when I took Stormy to the vet's to Goodwill, and I haven't worn Color Club Wild at Heart since the day of Beau's euthanasia. It's a beautiful polish, and I own the holo version, but every time I looked at it, I remembered my nails on the steering wheel on that sunny August day, and I'd put it away in favor of something else. It's been a year and a half, and I decided to see if I could wear it and maybe fade the memories or merge them with new ones.

I didn't start out with a full Wild at Heart manicure. Instead, I wore Color Club Fashion Addict, a pale lilac holo, for a couple of days. I did actually manage to get a shot of this one in the sun. This is two coats of Fashion Addict and one coat of Nubar Diamont (which did not affect the holo at all).

In the sun:

Indoors with flash:

Indoors without flash:

After a couple of days, I got out my circle labels and did a half-moon mani with Wild at Heart, which is a gorgeous deep purple holo. This is just one coat, and thank goodness the polish is gorgeous, because my stickers need to be replaced! Sadly, I was indoors during the approximately four minutes we had sunshine today, so I just have indoor pics.

Indoors with flash:

Indoors without flash:

Am I going to be able to wear this now without mourning Beau? I think so, largely because I'm so vexed with myself for screwing up the half-moon nail art and because I'm wondering how the word "holographic" which translates to "wholly written" and is used in the legal field to mean an handwritten will became a word meaning "related to the use of coherent light from a laser in order to make a hologram that can then be used to create a three-dimensional image."

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Please follow me on Bloglovin'

Follow my blog with Bloglovin

Purple Week: The Face Shop PP906

Such an unromantic name for such a romantic color! PP906 is a shimmery, vampy, deep reddish purple swimming with glitter. It was a little bit thin, and took three coats for opacity, but the color is worth it. This lovely day-brightener was a gift from the fabulous JenJenRebecca, who lives in California. I think she bought it in Hawaii. I've not seen it available anywhere in Ohio, but that's not a surprise. :p

Indoors with flash:

Indoors without flash:

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Purple Week: Models Own Dusty Mauve

It's a shame this color is so not me, because the formula was lovely. Dusty Mauve is a shimmery, dark grey-taupe with hints of purple. Two coats to opacity, no pooling, no bald spots. I bought it based on the color drop on their website, and it's just not a Jammies color. But if you like it, you can get your own bottle at Models Own, where they take Paypal and ship internationally!

Indoors with flash:

Indoors without flash:

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Purple Week: Sinful Colors Fiji

Fiji is part of the Sinful Colors core line, and is available at most drugstores for $1.99 (or less if there's a sale on). It's very thin, and really wanted to pool around my cuticles, and took three coats to be semi-opaque. For some reason, I thought this was a jelly, but it's just a blue-based dark purple shimmer that's more work than pleasure to use.

Indoors with flash:

Indoors without flash:

Monday, February 20, 2012

Purple Week: Nubar Petunia Sparkle

This is such a fun, uplifting polish I thought it was a great way to counteract the Mondays! Petunia Sparkle is a purply-magenta glitter which I think is suspended in a clear base. It's hard to tell, because the polish is so filled with glitter that it's opaque in two coats and I really didn't ever get a good look at the base! It's available at, and is totally worth buying!

Indoors with flash:

Indoors without flash:

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Great Green Grab-bag Giveaway!

The Giveaway is now closed.

Congrats to bbbrandnewww!

I loved doing the giveaway with Lilypad, so I'm going to do another one for St. Patrick's Day! The giveaway starts now and ends on March 1st, so I can get your mystery grab bag in the mail in time for St. Pat's.

Yes, I said mystery! I can promise there will be green nail polish in the bag, but there will be other green stuff as well. So, if you're feeling brave, and you follow me, just leave me a comment.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

A Luper a Day: Medical Procedure

BPAL's description: "Linen, tobacco flower, white sandalwood, and dragon's blood resin."

My reaction: I can smell the tobacco flower, but the linen is the strongest note, and it winds up smelling like soap. :(

Friday, February 17, 2012

Gah, my hands are a mess!

I've been doing trial prep most of this week, which means a lot of copying and collating, so between the papercuts and the staple punctures, I do not want anyone seeing my hands for a while! I'm also way behind on testing my BPAL Lupercalia decants, but until I can get my mind settled a bit, I'm going to hold off on those. In the mean time, here is a picture of the spare cabinet I didn't need for nail polish. I used five of the postcards that come with BPAL orders behind the shelves, and I'm putting my BPALs with my favorite labels inside it.

Happy weekend, everyone!

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Whimsical Cinderella

I figure that by now, if you're interested in drugstore brands at all, you've seen the swatches of Sinful Colors' new core color, Cinderella. If not, well, there are two plain swatches at the end of this post. Cinderella is a cloudy pastel blue jelly, not completely opaque in two coats, loaded with microglitter which flashes gold and pink. It makes me think of spring, and gumdrops in Easter baskets, and I love it. It also made me think of Revlon Whimsical, which is a cloudy pastel blue jelly with pink and blue hex glitter and blue microglitter. So what else would be appropriate but to layer them? Photos are of one coat of NailTek Foundation II, two coats of Cinderella, two coats of Whimsical and one coat of Nubar Diamont, which was all I needed to make this mani glass-smooth and shiny.

Indoors with flash:

Indoors without flash:

Cinderella on its own, indoors with flash:

And indoors without flash:

And just a note to many of my fellow nail bloggers:

Look, I love all your blogs, which is why my blogroll is huge. But it drives me crazy when you don't stop and think before you post "it's self" or "on it's own". Pretend that little apostrophe there is the word "is" and think about whether it makes sense. If it doesn't, try saying "itself" or "on its own" and grammar-crazed English majors will love you forever.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

17 Magnetic Nail Polish in Green

17 Magnetic Nail Polish is a drugstore polish available in the UK, so I have the lovely Angelkitty to thank for this custom purchase! Thanks so much, Jules, you rock.♥♥

Green (such a creative name) is a deep hunter green with more blue than yellow in its composition, and a silky metallic finish that dries satiny rather than shiny. I'm still working on my magnet technique, and when I did this mani I was playing with the China Glaze magnet instead of using the one on the 17 bottle. Both swatches are of two coats of polish, no topcoat and pre-cleanup, because I was sloppy as hell for some reason applying this. Oh well, knowing me, I'll be bored and take it off in 24 hours anyway!

Indoors with flash:

Indoors without flash:

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Sally Hansen Salon Effects Polish Strips in Cross My Heart

Happy Valentine's Day! I may be permanently single, but there's no reason I can't rock a cute heart mani. :)

Aside from unfortunate flashbacks to Playtex bra commercials of the '70s and '80s, I can't find a thing wrong with these Sally Hansen strips. They're thin and flexible, long enough that I can use one strip on two micro-nubbins, and they have now lasted for two full days with only minimal tip wear.

Indoors with flash:

Indoors without flash:

Lilypad Giveaway Winner!

Congratulations, Jillybean! You can send me your preferred shipping address at l y n n 1 5 5 1 (at)

Monday, February 13, 2012

Disaster management

The disaster in question being my nail polish stash. Two hundred twenty-five bottles theoretically corralled in boxes but in fact spread all over the place was not a recipe for happiness, order or serenity. Soooo, I went to Hobby Lobby, after seeing a post on the Lush message board about using tabletop cabinets for storage and display, and bought five cabinets. I only managed to fit four into the space I had, so I'm debating whether to take the other one back or just find it a place elsewhere in the house. Anyway, pictures:



So much happier!

Saturday, February 11, 2012

A Luper a Day: Geisha In Orange Kimono Admiring A Samurai

Yes, my Lupercalia decants from Black Phoenix and the lovely JenJen have arrived, so it's time for a Luper a Day until I get them all tried! First up is Geisha In Orange Kimono Admiring A Samurai, one of the Shunga series.

BPAL's description: "King mandarin, tuberose, white sandalwood, white moss, yerba mate, tangerine, and styrax."

My reaction: This is a sharp, strong orange, with hints of zest and a tiny bit of fleshy white floral underneath. Definitely a bottle purchase!

Friday, February 10, 2012

Pink Week: Broadway Nail Strips

These pretty nail strips by Broadway have no name, only the designation DMT286. They're a glittery rose pink, half plain and half with a gold beaded strip down the center. The 18 strips are evenly divided between the plain and the beaded, so I alternated between the two. These are not actual nail polish like the Sally Hansen strips, nor are they as thick as the Inque decals. The directions are pretty standard--apply the strips to clean nails, fold over the edge and file off.

Because these strips are so very long and I'm still wearing micro-nubbins with no free edge, I cut them with scissors rather than folding them over and then filed. I wrapped the tips with Nubar Diamont to make sure of the seal. There are 18 strips in a package, which basically means one manicure and some leftovers I may use for accent nails. I really liked that these were mounted on a clear plastic backing--I could hold it directly over my hands to see which strip fit each nail best.

Indoors with flash:

Indoors without flash:

The strips on the plastic backing:

A really bad picture of the packaging:

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Pink Week: OPI Excuse Moi!

Excuse Moi! was part of the OPI/The Muppets collection from the 2011 holiday season, and it's a pink jelly base with silver hex glitter and pink micro glitter. It can be opaque in three coats or used as a layering polish. I wore one coat of Excuse Moi! over two coats of OPI The Show Must Go On.

Indoors with flash:

Indoors without flash:

On a nail wheel, with flash, from left to right, three, two and one coat(s):

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Pink Week: Zoya Happi

Happi is a midtone peachy-rose shimmer with a strong gold flash. Without the gold, it's a light Barbie pink. It has the same formula as Lillith, slightly runny, but because it's lighter, it took three coats for complete coverage.

In the sun:

Indoors with flash:

Indoors without flash:

And a weirdly angled shot so you can see the base color:

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Pink Week: OPI The Show Must Go On

The Show Must Go On is a gorgeous dark pink/rose copper duochrome, and it was my consolation prize for not having any money for the 20 minutes or so that Mac Bad Fairy was available for purchase. I've heard from friends that the forumula on Bad Fairy is troublesome, and this one is a dream, so I'm happy with my second choice. All swatches are two coats.

Indoors with flash:

Indoors without flash:

And finally, a couple of oddly-angled pictures to try to show the copper: