Sunday, February 24, 2013

KOTD: Atomic kitsch

Just a quick post today. Busted out my stamping plates for the first time in a while so I figured I might as well document the extra effort. I love this kitschy 50s atomic pattern...

click to enlarge

I wish I had better photographing conditions today. Utterly depressing low-hanging clouds pretty much snuffing out any semblance of light. In real life, this mani is much more fun and bright. I used Essie Butler Please (2 coats) and stamped over it with Sally Hansen Insta-Dri in Just in Lime which, despite my lying picture, isn't the slightest bit olive green but a zingy bright lime. The plate I used was CH 46--a fun outer space themed plate from Cheeky's summer 2012 collection (available here). Top coat was Seche Vite.

Working on more posts for the coming week, including swatching my new Pure Ice glitter polishes I talked about here, a "what I'm loving right now" post and a post all about my new favorite Youtube beauty vlogger. Stay tuned!

Monday, February 18, 2013

Newest Lip Color Obsession: Fergie by Wet N Wild Centerstage Lipsticks!!

OMG, is this me doing a non-nail polish post? You bet it is! You see, I haven't completely abandoned my original intentions with this blog (to rant and rave about ALL reasonably affordable cosmetics)--it's just when I am short on time and/or money, I default to my original lacquerholism and all other beauty interests fall by the wayside (so, essentially, what I morph into is a disheveled, raggedy-ass mom in sweats who just happens to have fabulous nails)...

BUT I've recently stumbled across an amazing new lip product that brought me out of my makeup slump and despite the fact that there are already many posts proclaiming the awesomeness of these babies, I couldn't resist adding my voice to the choir of praise.

Behold the new Wet N Wild Fergie Center Stage lipsticks:

(click to enlarge. scroll to bottom for swatches)

from left to right, we have: V.I.Pink; Penthouse Sweet; Fuchsianista; Saraghina; Old School Glam; Ferguson Crest Cabernet.

There are a few other shades in this line--a nude shade, a very shimmery wine colored shade and even a black shade, but I passed on those because they made me go "meh." 

These lipsticks remind me of the Megalast lipsticks Wet N Wild released in 2012. Both lines have some similar shade offerings. Both lines are also very pigmented and they wear for a nice long time. However, I found the Megalast lipsticks super-drying and difficult to apply (too much tugging) and too matte for my liking. Also the Megalast lipsticks feathered on me but the Fergie lipsticks give me none of these issues. To make a long story short, here's why they won my heart in the end:
  • They are nice and creamy but not slippery or thin and they are fully opaque in one pass over the lips.
  • Like I said, they DO NOT feather at all--not even after hours of wear. This is pretty much my BIGGEST reason for loving these so much. Lipcolor LOVES to feather on me and I usually need to layer a lipliner and an anti-feathering lipbase under my lipcolor to keep that from happening--but I can wear these Fergie lippies with NOTHING else under them and they stay where they are supposed to.
  • They are only $3.49 a piece at my local Walgreens!
  • They stay creamy and lush. Their consistency does not change to a sticky goo or a flaky mess like some cheaper lipsticks do after prolonged wear. 
The ONLY thing I don't like about these lipsticks is the bullet of lipcolor does not fully retract into the tube--which means clutzes like me are doomed to accidentally nick the exposed lipstick tips when we go to put the caps back onto them. (doh!)

Ok, enough yapping and onto some swatches.

indoors, natural light

outdoors, direct sun

From left to right, we have:

V.I.Pink:  warm creamy pink.satin finish
Penthouse Sweet: a brighter, slightly cooler, more blue-based pink. satin finish
Fuschsianista: gorgeous bright magenta with violet flash. very slight shimmer but more or less a satin
Saraghina: the perfect blue-based red. satin finish
Old School Glam: coral-leaning warm red. satin finish
Ferguson Crest Cabernet: cool blue-based plum

Fuschsianista and Ferguson Crest Cabernet are my absolute favorites. I've been wearing them alternately ever since I got them and am seriously contemplating getting back-ups! Well done once again, Wet N Wild. Thanks for hooking up cheap girls like me with such affordable fabulousness!!

Have you tried any of these yet? Which ones are your favorites?

Sunday, February 17, 2013

new stuff to stick on my nails: hot pink nail art studs from Born Pretty Store!

In posts past, I have professed and undying love for sticking junk to my nails. Glitter, poly clay slices, rhinestones, wee bits of metal--if it is small enough for nail art, you better believe I'll be featuring it in a mani. So, of course, when I was contacted by the folks at Born Pretty Store requesting a review for one of their products, I jumped at the chance to snatch up some brand new studs to experiment with. 

If you are not already familiar with Born Pretty Store, they are an amazing etailor of everything from jewelry to makeup to nail art supplies. They are an excellent source of all things sparkly and shiny and reasonably priced--nail art rhinestones and glitter, stamping plates, flocking powder, nail foils just to name a few items--and they are always adding new products to their inventory. Oh yea and they offer FREE worldwide shipping,!

So, here's a pic of the studs I got. 

They're 2mm hot pink studs and HERE is the official link to the item's listing. The studs are completely smooth, domed and hollow on the underside. They come in the resealable plastic pouch they are pictured in above and you get TONS of them. The amount pictured in the bag  is actually AFTER I had done 2 different manis with the studs. I'll have these for a long time!

The above is a shot of a mani I created with the studs. I wanted something fun & obnoxiously girly, so I went with a dotticure using a base of China Glaze Creative Fantasy (a neon purple hot mess of a polish--don't even get me started on the abysmal formula). The white dots were made with a dotting tool and Finger Paints Papier Mache. I then used the same dotting tool dipped in a bit of clear polish to pick up the hot pink studs and place them where I wanted them while my polish was still wet. A quick coat of Seche Vite sealed the deal and I was done. Altogether, it took no more than 20 minutes start to finish for me to do both hands. 

These studs are SUPER neon bright. Because of how saturated the color was, I was a bit afraid that the studs  might bleed when I applied topcoat, but amazingly enough, they were totally colorfast! Win!!

shot to show height of the studs

One thing I need to note about these studs is they DO have a higher profile than any of the other rhinestones or studs I've used before. That being said, though, I was amazed at how well they stayed on my nail. I wore this manicure for 3 days without losing a single stud. Probably has something to do with the hollow dome shape filling up with the clear polish & getting everything all good and stuck down when I put the studs on my nail (yes this is me trying to sound scientific--scary isn't it?)...

So do I recommend these studs? Without a freakin doubt! In fact, I'm planning on getting the other neon colors Born Pretty Store offers. They are cute, bright, don't bleed, stay put and I can't wait to do more manis with them!

If you, too, feel moved to give some moneys over to crazy fun bright nail art, then be sure to use this coupon code the peeps at Born Pretty Store created especially for The Awesome People (aka, all you fine readers of my blog).

(disclosure statement: yes products in this post were provided to me for review. no that does not mean I lied about liking them)

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Dupe comparison: Butter London The Black Knight vs Pure Ice Private Show

Omg youze guise, we have a $1.98 dupe of a $15.00 polish over here. Yep, Dupetastic and dupe-alicious, that's what Butter London The Black Knight and Pure Ice Private Show are! I LOVE when this happens, though granted I love it more when I haven't already bought the expensive version (but hey, at least I got the Butter London during a big holiday sale, so that helps it sting a little less!)

Check it!:

Bottle shots in shade

Bottle shots in less crappy lighting (indirect sun)

(indirect sun. 3 coats each, no topcoat)

Nail wheel swatches in indirect sun. The Black Knight is on the left and Private Show is on the right. The only real difference I see is TBK has slightly larger, slightly less dense glitters. Other than that, the shapes and colors are identical, as is the black base. And they're EVEN pretty much the same formula-wise. The above swatch is 3 coats of each polish with no topcoat. Same general consistency and opacity for both of these (i.e., they both start out frighteningly sheer, then about 75% opaque at coat 2 and then coat 3 gets full coverage. Now that I think of it, I should have taken pics of each coat--bad blogger!!)

(indirect sun. 3 coats each. Seche Vite topcoat)
And here is a shot on my nails.  The swatch order from left to right goes Private Show, The Black Knight and then Private Show again. In this light, you can't even see the difference in glitter sizes. 

(indirect sun. 3 coats. Seche Vite topcoat)
This is Private Show by itself. I must mention that, in addition to this polish being $13.00 cheaper, you also get more of it--Pure Ice bottles contain .5 oz of product while Butter London bottles only have .4. DOUBLE SCORE!!

So there you have it, kids. If  you love The Black Knight but aren't crazy enough to pay $15 for it, Pure Ice Private Show is sure to kill that lemming. And if you are amongst the crazies like me who have already dropped the big dough on TBK because you just hadtohaveitomgitissogorgeous, then hey at least you can get a nice cheap back up!!

You can find Pure Ice polishes at Walmart.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Pure Ice Haul + NOTD of Pure Ice Irreplaceable

Much to the delight of lacquerheads everywhere, Pure Ice, purveyors of gorgeous, cheap nail polishes, recently came out with, like 7 zillion new shades for 2013 (ok it's more like 29). Well, I stumbled upon a display for all their awesome new pretties the other day and this happened:

(click to huge-ify and please cut me some slack while I figure out how to finesse the best pics out of my new camera)

Oopsy. Yea and this is actually AFTER I made myself put several bottles back. SO MUCH GLITTER!! and they're only $1.97 each!!

Can we get some shade names up in here? Top row from L to R: Over You (holographic teal hex and bar glitter with lavender microglitter in a clear base); Irreplaceable (silver and black microglitter with larger gunmetal hexes in a black jelly base); Look My Way (bright blue hexes with smaller purple glitters in a clear base); Watch Me Go (super fine blue and green glitter in a clear base). 

Bottom row L to R: Never Satisfied (large silver, magenta and purple hexes with smaller teal glitters in a clear base); Tame Me Now (red and orange glitters with larger silver hexes in a clear base); Freedom (blue hexes, silver stars and large and small red hexes in a clear base); Private Show (magenta, red, blue, and silver microglitter in a black base...I smell a Butter London The Black Knight dupe here!!)

Ok, SOMEONE in the Pure Ice polish naming department obviously has one hell of a sleazy, jilted love life...but I digress...

Being the black glitter  polish nut that I am, the first shade I picked to wear was Irreplaceable:

I have yet to see anyone come out with a black polish that has such interesting glitters in it. I LOVE the larger gunmetal hexes. They're rather unshiny and they give the polish an industrial feel--they look like rivets or bits of antique metal or something, and since I am all about bad-ass deconstructed grime glam (yes these are my terms--who else would cook up such ludicrous phrases), I am falling all over the place for them. The smaller silver and black glitters in the base lend an almost mineralistic feel to this polish. If someone pulverized obsidian gemstones and made them into a nail lacquer, this would be what you'd get. 

The aforementioned awesomeness pretty much makes up for the fact that the formula is evil in a bottle. Thick, gloopy consistency that drags into bald spots all over the place, glitters that clump together, craptastic mop of a brush...all the shizz that polish addicts hate--it's all there. I basically had to glob one layer on, let it dry and then glob a second layer on & push it around. It was more like spackliing than painting. A good thick coat of Seche Vite helped even everything out for the most part...but on its own, the polish has an uneven, gritty texture. 

So my final word on Irreplaceable by Pure Ice is it is only for true die-hard black glitter polish fanatics.  Its merits are in LOOKS alone. The only way you will get complete fulfillment out of this stuff is if you secretly like to be tortured. 

Stay tuned for swatches of the other polishes in this latest Pure Ice haul!! 

Saturday, February 9, 2013

are bad pics better than no pics?

So, I thought about it and decided--what the hell,  I'll post all my bad cell phone pics of the manis I've done over the past few months. VIEW AT YOUR OWN RISK. In addition to being shot by inferior equipment in inadequate lighting, these pics feature work that was never intended to see the light of day--that means there's all kinds of ragged, dry cuticles, sloppy application & little to no clean-up. Think you can stomach it?

Orly Pre-amp stamped with Konad special white. This was sometime in late December...

Zoya Fei Fei stamped with Wet N Wild Black Creme. Mid December, maybe??

Purple ruffle mani done with more purples than I can remember and a dotting tool. 

My New Year's nails. China Glaze Blonde Bombshell stamped with Wet n Wild black creme with some decals thrown in for good measure. 

Icicle nails! The baby blue base  is a new for 2013 New York Color polish (I can't remember the name for the life of me and I can't find the bottle--arrgh!). The icicles were done with a Kiss nail art striper and then I topped it with a subtle teal blue glitter polish by Confetti (which I also can't remember and can't find...doh!)

Wacky acid trip nails! I started by making a bullseye pattern with all the bright colors from the China Glaze Cirque de Soliel collection, then I stamped over all that crazyness with Konad Special white. Utterly headache-inducing!

More colors from China Glaze Cirque du Soliel (my husband got me the entire collection for Christmas--told ya he was awesome!!). This is a base of Hanging in the Balance, dotted with Def Defying. The smaller dots inside the bigger dots are Hanging in the Balance again, which ended up taking on a dark green hue over top of the chartreuse--unintended but I still liked it!

So that's just a little glimpse of what I've been up to nail-wise over the past few months & what I thought was unworthy of blogging about. Ugh I cry just looking at those poor dry cuticles!! ::::rubs Burt's Bees Lemon Butter Cuticle cream feverishly into fingertips:::: I promise, cuticles, as God as my witness, you shall never go thirsty again!!

Friday, February 8, 2013

Where I've been and where I'm going

Well shoot, here we are 2 months into 2013 and you all haven't heard from me since November of 2012. Sad, sorry and triflin, isn't it? I am still alive, and still on this planet (well, physically, anyway). I've just been BURIED--in mom stuff and kid stuff and wife and house stuff and sick stuff and depressed stuff and then my already crappy camera broke completely and I lost all will to blog. 

Time went by, calendar pages turned and I started seriously missing my silly little corner of the interwebz where I could escape to ramble about the latest nail polish awesomeness to people who would be just as psyched as I was about it all. The fact of the matter is nail art is much more fun when I am plastering crazy pics of my latest endeavors all over this joint right here. Maybe because I'm an exhibitionist. Maybe because I want to show others how to do what I have just done. Maybe because the only way to  make nail art truly last is to post about it. Otherwise, it fades &  chips, you  crack open the remover, take everything off & throw out the mucky cotton balls as if nothing ever happened. ::sob--oh the heartbreaking brevity of it all!!:::

Don't get me wrong. I have been doing my nails every now and then & snapping craptastic pics with my cell phone because it was all I had left (damn straight--ain't no way I'm gonna spend an hour and a half on a mani and then not even TRY to document it in some way). I  posted the pics on my personal facebook page because I decided they were horrifically unworthy of anything more. I sat there and pined away for my busted & trashed  camera (as much as I complained about it, it was better than nothing!!)...and then the other day my husband surprised me with this:

CHOIRS OF ANGELS, people!! Do you hear them??? Not ONLY did he get me a new  camera, he got me a bad ass BANGIN' big girl camera with a buttload of accessories and a friggin tripod to prop that mama up on because shit this epic deserves a pedestal!! 

So what does this mean?

1) I obviously won the freakin lottery as far as spousal awesomeness goes. 
2) I am BAAAAAAAACK, like AC/DC Back in Black  back
3) My pics are going to NOT SUCK!! Hell they might even be <gasp> clear and crisp and color accurate (somebody get the smelling salts before I faint!!)

So, um, yea. Consider yourselves warned. I'm bout to turn some shizz soon as I figure out how to work my pretty new Nikon, that is.