Archive for August, 2012

Darling Diva Polish, Take 2

Hello again all!  Tonight I have the second part of my Darling Diva polish review- and it’s my very favorite!  I have Dangerous Driver and Ringer to show off!

These two are both GORGEOUS.  For those unfamiliar with Ringer- it’s a dupe of Max Factor Fantasy Fire, which is dupe (ish) of Clarins 230, better known as ‘Unicorn Pee’.  Dangerous Driver is a holographic version of Ringer- which just makes it more fabulous in my opinion!

Enough talking- on to the pictures!

This is 3 coats of Dangerous Driver, outside on a sunny day.

The color shift of Ringer isn’t quite as visible in Dangerous Driver because of the spectacular holographic effect.  But this polish is jaw-droppingly gorgeous.  I think these photos look pretty good, but they still do no justice to this polish.

A comparison shot- I took both inside my bedroom; one was in front of the opened window, and the other was under a lamp.

Next up: Darling Diva Polish Ringer!

Ringer is a beautiful polish.  It is almost a dead-on duplicate to Max Factor’s Fantasy Fire, but just a tad more sheer and lighter if you’re not layering it.  This photo was taken with 4 coats, and you can still see a bit of VNL.  But none of these colors are really at their best without a polish underneath!

Sadly, I had already traded away my Fantasy Fire before I took these photos.  I did a swatch comparison, so I can say that they are almost identical (but now can’t find that swatch wheel!).   However, the reason I traded off Fantasy Fire… was because I finally got my hands on a bottle of Clarins 230 itself!

Ready for some comparison photos??  Here we go!

The first comparison shot is both colors with no underwear.  This is the biggest area that Clarins will differ from it’s competitors.  Clarins 230 is a completely different base color, and it honestly just seems a bit more ‘deep’ than the others.  But that is really something that almost no one will notice.  Swatched over black, however…

Over black there’s almost no serious visible difference between Clarins 230, Ringer, or Fantasy Fire.  Clarins is a bit more ‘vibrant’, but its a subtle difference.  Over black, Dangerous Driver’s beautiful color shift is clearly on display along with the beautiful holo effect.

*Sigh*  So many sparkles in one photo!  These 2 above photos were taken indoors next to an open window to still get the sparkle, but allow the color shift to shine through more (the full sun makes Dangerous Driver sparkle like crazy- as you can see below!)

And to round off the comparisons, I took photos of Dangerous Driver and Ringer outside in the full sunlight.

You can find Darling Diva Polish on Facebook, and you can buy her beautiful colors at her Etsy shop.   All of her colors are $8.00 with the exception of holo colors, like Dangerous Driver, which are $12.00.  And she ships internationally for a reasonable rate!

Be sure to check her out!  I really feel like Dangerous Driver is a must have- and Ringer is for sure if you haven’t found Fantasy Fire (though you’ll want it if you’re like me and just love having similar colors!).

*Some of the products shown in this post were provided to me without cost for an honest review*

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Indie Wednesday: Darling Diva Polish, Take 1

Hello All!  I have a TON of Darling Diva Polishes to show off, so I’ve decided to split them into 2 posts.  Today I will feature Cotton Candy, Sophia, and Princess Luna!  Friday I’ll be showing off Ringer and Dangerous Driver.

Earlier this week, I had a big swatch-a-thon with all of these beautiful colors.  Everything looked nice in person, however, I’m not entirely happy with the photos for this particular post (I think Friday’s pictures look great though).  I already promised this write up for today, and I won’t be home tomorrow, so I wanted to go forward with posting.  But I think I’m going to retake some photos this weekend and add them in.

First up, we have Cotton Candy!

Cotton Candy is a pretty shade of pink, with various sizes and shapes of white glitter- but not a ton of glitter, so it gives the polish a dainty feel.   These photos were taken with 2 coats of polish.

I only used Cotton Candy for the photos, but I think next time I’ll try layering over a very similar pink (maybe Zoya Lara?)- since the second layer does cover up the first layer’s glitter almost completely.   Either way, you’ll have a beautiful look!


Next up, we have Sophia!

For Sophia, I opted to use an underwear coat of Love My Nails Electric Blue, with 2 coats of Sophia.

Sophia is a beautiful periwinkle blue fine glitter, sprinkled with the occasional gold holographic hex glitter.  I had to work to get the ones I did on my nail!  I’d say average use would be closer to 1-2 on each nail without any fishing.  This color would look beautiful over black or white, and I bet it would look pretty over a red for a patriotic look.


And last but certainly not least, we have Princess Luna!

Princess Luna is inspired by the lovely Nightmare Moon/Princess Luna of My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic.  I’ve said it before, but I actually recommend MLP even for grownups.  Seasons 1 and 2 are available for streaming on Netflix, and they’re awesome.   Princess Luna is the sister to Princess Celestia, who is inspiration for another polish by Darling Diva Polish!

Much like her inspiration, the polish version of Princess Luna is a beautiful blue, full of sparkles, accented by deep purple and teal glitter, with a bit of white thrown in.

Like Sophia, I layered 2 coats over Love My Nails Electric Blue.

I placed some of the larger glitters, but I didn’t have to fish for any of these, they came right out to play!  I think this is my favorite of tonight’s colors 🙂  But I may be partial due to the reference!

You can find Darling Diva Polish on Facebook, and you can buy her beautiful colors at her Etsy shop.   All of her colors are $8.00 with the exception of holo colors, like Dangerous Driver, which are $12.00.  And she ships internationally for a reasonable rate!

Be sure to check her out, and also check back on Friday for Part 2!  Ringer and Dangerous Driver are SO GORGEOUS- I’m definitely saving the best for last.  You won’t want to miss it!

*Some of the products shown in this post were provided to me without cost for an honest review*

 


(Just Another) Mani Monday: Nail Foils (aka Robot Nails)

 

 

Most of us have seen the nail foil pictures floating around the internet, particularly Pinterest.  Most of the time they don’t link to anywhere (seriously, that’s a huge pet peeve of mine…), and often the captions will claim that there’s a magical polish that will create this effect.  Some say Sephora, some say Essie.  The closest you’ll get in a polish is Layla Mirror Effects… but it’s still not perfect.

What IS creating those lovely nails?  Nail foil!  (Or Minx nails/fake nails).

A lot of ladies are familiar with nail foil, but I think just as many have never even heard of it.  I didn’t know about it until recently!

I bought my foil and glue from Transdesign, but you can also get them from Dollar Nail Art cheaply.

Supplies you’ll need:  Foil Glue (this is important- it remains sticky after it dries, which is absolutely needed), nail foil, and a Q-tip.  I cut the foil into small nail-sized squares.

I’m going to go over a brief how-to, but this is the video I used for reference:  it’s by Miss80Million and you can find it here.  I did these earlier while my husband was at work, so there was no one to take ‘action’ shots.  With the video, you can watch her put the foils on from start to finish.

First step: Glue!

Here’s a shot of a nail with a layer of glue, and the one next to it plain.  You simply paint a layer of glue on the nail.  You don’t want it to be too thick, but you do want it to cover everywhere you’d like the foil.

After the glue is completely dry (do not touch it- it will be clear when its dry), place a piece of foil carefully over the nail.

Use the Q-tip to carefully smooth it out over the entire nail bed.

Once you’ve smoothed it onto the nail, the sheet will easily be removed.  There’s a thin plastic layer over the foil that pulls away (along with all foil that didn’t adhere- hence why you need glue everywhere!)

I won’t lie, my camera took AWFUL photos of these.  I’ve never had to photograph something pure metallic, so I’m sure there’s tricks or things I was unaware of.

They were a little bumpy- I didn’t take a ton of prep time, and simply laid down a base coat, glue and foil.  Much like the metallic polishes, these look a lot nicer on a smooth nail bed.

Little blurry shot to show off the effect.

The downsides?  This was the first time I EVER applied these, and my glue lines weren’t super great so the sides of my nails were wonky and uneven.  You also need to be careful- it can be so easily to bump your nail with a sheet before you’re ready, and it WILL adhere instantly.  Not good!

But overall, these are super cheap, and it’s a really fun mani.  They’re not Dollar Nail Art in particular has TONS and TONS of foils- the patterned/holo ones wouldn’t show off every bump and imperfection as much, either!

One last note.  They tell you not to use a fast dry topcoat, so of course I did just that.  Here’s the result:

Crackles!  This would be a fun look for a ‘broken mirror’ effect, right?

One thing I did not buy, and should have, was the foil topcoat.  I’ve heard that a non-fast dry topcoat works fine- but I discovered today that I don’t OWN any non fast-dry topcoats.   A topcoat of some kind, though, is absolutely needed.  All my nails but the thumb (with the fast dry topcoat) remained slightly sticky and were almost instantly messed up.

So anyways- try to overlook my not-so-great photos this time- and be sure to try this out!  There are some awesome foils to try, and they’re really quick, easy, and CHEAP!


The I’m Not 30 Yet Giveaway!

Hello everyone!  As promised, today is the big day for my August Giveaway!

Many of you know- today is my birthday!  I am now 29 years old- 1 more year left in my 20’s!  The thought of turning 30 doesn’t bother me yet, but I still like being able to say I’m in my 20’s.    And I like giving things away- so what better time than now to combine the two?

This is one of my larger giveaways in terms of winners.  I have a giveaway planned every month, and most have 3 winners- this one will have at least 7, potentially 8-9.

So what can you win?  Well, anything in that photo (every winner gets 1 polish, the others things go along with them), plus 1 or 2 things that I don’t quite have in my hand yet (so they’ll remain a surprise for now!).   I have a few Chanel Peridot dupes (my birthstone!), a few Deborah Lippmann Happy Birthday dupes, along with 365 Days of Color’s Birthday Bash, and Girly Bit’s Wet Bikini (August’s Calendar Girl color).   The ‘extras’ can range from KBShimmer Happy Birthday bath bombs, a Bath and Body Works scentportable, 365 Days of Color’s Birthday Cake Cuticle balm, and some cupcake bites!  There’s also a few other surprises not shown 🙂

Onto the rules.  I’m sticking with my same rules as last time- you need to follow me somehow.  Facebook is the best method (I’m fairly active there), but there’s also email blog updates, BlogLovin’ (see the sidebar), and Twitter (Polish_Monster).  Just let me know how.  Following counts as 3 entries.

The final entry is an optional share.  This is for 1 extra entry- that way no one feels obligated to share if they don’t feel comfortable (I didn’t like to share on my personal page, so I understand!).   If you share via FB- PLEASE make sure it is public so that I can see it.  Message me if you need help doing this.  I had to throw out quite a few entries because of that last time, and I hate doing that!   You only get credit one time- if you would like to share every day that’s great, but it’s only 1 entry.

The giveaway will run until next Friday, August 31, at 11:59 CST.

Open to international followers, 18 and over (if you’re under 18 you can still enter, provided you have parental permission).

Giveaway is CLOSED.  Thanks for participating, winners will be announced soon!

 


Battle of the Blues: A Comparison

When I first became interested in nail polish, one of my early favorites was Sinful Color’s Cinderella.  I loved the name, the shade, and adored the pink shimmer.

I did not, however, adore how sheer it was, or that it took 4-5 coats to build up.

Unsurprisingly, I’m attracted to this ‘type’ of color- and I recently realized I have quite a few that look similar!  So I decided to compare all 5 that I own in 1 post.

Girly Bits Arctic Sunrise, Cult Nails Princess, Models Own Indian Ocean, 365 Days of Color Bora Bora, and Sinful Colors Cinderella.

As you can see, none of these are really the same, though a lot have the same qualities.  All 5 are blue with a pink color shift- but that’s where the similarities end.

Girly Bits Arctic Sunrise and Models Own Indian Ocean are the most similar, with the Models Own being a bit more ‘in your face’ sparkly.  However, Indian Ocean required 4 coats to be opaque (it’s better to layer), and Arctic Sunrise was opaque at 2 coats.  Indian Ocean is a bit stinky, as well (not 3-free), for those with sensitive senses.

Though it shows a pink shift in the photo, Cult Nails Princess is a bit more of a gold/pink shift.  365’s Bora Bora has the most subtle shimmer, but it’s a gorgeous blue with just the tiniest ‘bling’… it’s one of my favorites to use in combination with glitter layering polishes (see here and here).

And then of course we have Cinderella herself.  It’s a BEAUTIFUL color- the most baby blue of the bunch, with a pretty significant shimmer.  The biggest downside is just how sheer it is… but layered over another blue or white, it works out well.

Here’s where you can get each of these pretties!

Girly Bits Arctic Sunrise:  Girly Bits Big Cartel site $10;  Harlow & Co. $12; Llarowe $12
Cult Nails Princess:  Cult Nails website $10; Overall Beauty $10
Models Own Indian Ocean: Ninja Polish $8; Harlow & Co. $10
365 Days of Color Bora Bora: 365’s Big Cartel Site, $8
Sinful Colors Cinderella:  Walgreens, $1.99 (not available online at the moment, but I’ve bought it via their site in the past)


Indie Wednesday: Girly Bits Jelly Shoes

Today I’m going to show off one of the newest additions to my collection:  Girly Bits Jelly Shoes!

Now, I’m a child of the 80s, so I lived in jelly shoes as a kid.  But I know some may not be familiar with them, so here’s a picture:

Jelly shoes are a slightly-see through, usually neon, slip on shoe.  My favorite version was always pink, so I’m thrilled that the polish holding this name is that exact color!

I used 2 coats of Jelly Shoes over 1 coat of Julep Kate (a white shimmer).  Next time I may go with nothing underneath, but the white REALLY made this color pop!

As you can see, there’s a blue/purple shimmer through the neon pink jelly polish, which is what really makes this color a must-have.  The shimmer is *almost* dense enough to be called glass fleck- at least in my opinion!

I made the mistake of taking these photos out in the sun earlier this week, and didn’t review them at the time.  I should’ve had a few shade pictures to show you!  But in the sun, this color is just gorgeous.  These photos are very true to life for the color- it’s really that blinding when you layer it over white.

A better shot of the shimmer for you!

Application was awesome, and I am absolutely in love with this color (as well as Arctic Sunrise, which I also bought… that will be featured tomorrow with some others!).

Pam is SO sweet and I really highly recommend ordering from her!!  She also sells Franken starter kits with some bottles, base and a choice of glitters if you’ve ever wanted to make your own colors, as well as solvent resistant glitters and of course her beautiful polishes.

The *only* downside in ordering (if you’re in the US) is that Girly Bits is in Canada, so shipping takes a bit longer when ordering directly from Pam (they’re worth the wait, but it’s something that needs to be mentioned).  However, you can also purchase her lovely polishes from Llarowe and Harlow & Co– so international ladies can absolutely enjoy the pretties too!

Girly Bits can be purchased directly from Pam on Big Cartel, and you can keep updated on news by liking her Facebook page.  Most people are familiar with Girly Bits, but if you’re not be sure to check it out, you won’t be disappointed!

 

 

 

 

 


(Just Another) Mani Monday: Fun with Striping Tape

Hey all!  Sorry for the long break.  Things got a little busy here in preparation for school starting!  Syd starts back tomorrow and is really excited- I’m sure that feeling won’t last for many more years.

So for today, I did something relatively quick and easy.   Some of you may have seen my ‘Haul’ post on Facebook that showed a ton of striping tape rolls.  I got these for a couple of bucks from China- so while I did wait forever to get them- now I have a lot of options!

I’ve seen many, many people demonstrate better than I could how to actually do this mani- but basically, you paint your nails 1 color, and let them dry completely.  Place the striping tape over the nail in the places you want, and then paint over the nail (and the tape) in a different color.  Remove the tape, voila!  A super neat look!

For this I used China Glaze’s Love’s A Beach covered by Cult Nails Nevermore.  Love’s A Beach was only 1 coat- on it’s own I’d probably opt for 2, but as a peek-through undie only 1 was needed.

So much fun!  I didn’t realize at the time that I made 2 A’s right next to each other… I need to pay closer attention when I do this again!

My daughter decided to watch me doing this, and just ‘had to have’ the same thing done.  The idea of making multiple striping lines on all 10 of her wiggly, can’t-stay-still fingers wasn’t exactly appealing, so I convinced her to just go with pink and the striping on the thumbs.  And then she HAD to show the off, so hopefully you guys won’t mind the kid-photo too much 🙂

Now she’s all ready for her first day of school tomorrow with some fun nails!

And of course, I took a Mommy-and-me shot.

I forgot to add- she insisted on a glitter topcoat over hers.

Can you tell she’s my daughter?!  🙂