Monday, October 31, 2011

This is Halloweeeen - with pics and mani!!

I finally was able to upload pics into Blogger, so I can show you what should have been my post of this morning. As a new idea for a Halloween manicure (see what I did for me and Minnie here and here, and those from my friend Barbara here and here), I had a double inspiration: Colette first with her crazy goggly-eyed mummies, and Gery, the China Glaze shipping guy, with his glow-in-the-dark mummy (if you don't know Gery-the-shipping-guy and his amazing talent, check out China Glaze's FB page). So I wanted to try and associate the two ideas: do a water-marble, then apply glow-in-the-dark top-coat and draw the mask, so that it would look like a ghost in the dark. 
After trying several times, I finally found the good combo for the marble: I primed my nails with one coat of white polish, and then marbled Orly Nite Owl, OPI My Private Jet brown version, and UD Love Train (*sigh* I miss my longer nails...). One coat of Chine Glaze Ghoulish Glow, and then a black stripe, two drops of white and Ghoulish Glow and two final dots of black for the eyes. Top-coat to finish and there you go. I took pictures of my pointer on Friday night, after finding my marbling combo, thinking I would do the other fingers during the week-end. But on Saturday, I was helping some friends to move out, and I broke several nails, so they ended being too short to marble on and I was left with only this pic to show you!

And now, take out your pointy hats, paint your cats black and get ready to trick-or-treat "'til your neighbour's gonna die of fright".

Pumpkin pics found on the internet, I do not own them in any way.

This is Halloweeeen!!!

Hi everyone! It's finally the end of October, meaning that I can put my pinks back into my Helmer and go for funnier things: I have received six OPIs from the Muppets collection that I can't wait to show you and a couple of others things in store. For today, I had meant to show you my last Halloween manicure but all didn't turn out as I thought it would (life, not the manicure!!), so in the end I just had one nail to show you and now Blogger is bugging again and I can't load the pic. I'll make another post in the day if it gets fixed.
Minnie's article should be up tomorrow and then (hopefully) resume the usual rythm because, tada, as I speak, the almighty and often-cursed thesis is being printed, so that'll soon be behind us. 
Nailwise, news are bad, I've had to turn them back into nubbins again, they keep breaking, I'm at my wits' end and it's really getting on my nerves. But there's not much I can do apart from pampering my nails and hands and hope for better days.
So that's it for the moment, hopefully I'll be able to post some more during the day and with pictures!

Saturday, October 29, 2011

October is Pink! A-england Iseult + comparison OPI Play the Peonies

I'm ending the pink series with my most recent acquisition, Iseult from a-england. Remember what I said about not resisting some colours even if I already have similar ones? Well, that's typically it!! Iseult is a milky-pink shimmer and it really stands apart from the rest of the Mythicals. It's the only pale colour that's not meant for layering (as Morgana or Merlin), and while it is fairly opaque in two coats (in real life, it is, though less on pictures), which is quite rare for a pale colour, the formula was a bit different than the other Mythicals I tested. It's a bit more liquid so it requires a more careful application. After two coats, it's perfect and gives you hands worthy of the legendary "Iseult of the White Hands".

And then I wanted to compare Iseult to my darling from last summer, OPI Play the Peonies. You see both in two coats, without topcoat (don't mind the dreadful application on the pointer). 

OPI PtP on pointer and ring, Iseult on middle finger and pinkie.

As you can see, PtP is a bit whiter and more shimmery. Somehow, PtP feels more like summer to me and Iseult more winter, so it's perfect!!

Friday, October 28, 2011

Friends' Friday - Barbara's 2nd Halloween Manicure

Barbara's back!!
"Here is the orange version of my Halloween stamping, much more classic. This time I took OPI's I Eat Mainely Lobster as a base (after a basecoat of course), in two coats, and then stamped the spiderweb design in diagonal French and the cats in black. It was then sealed off with Seche Vite. Stamping references are fauxnad T29 for the cats and H25 for the spiderweb."

Thursday, October 27, 2011

October is Pink! OPI Steady as she Rose

Yeah, another pink, woohoo!! Seriously, get ready for vampy shades and glitter next month, I'm booooored with pinks!! But as pinks go, this one is edgy and quite interesting. It's the only polish I bought from the Pirates of the Carribeans collection, the mauve/pink Steady as She Rose (btw, can someone explain that name to me? Most of the time I do understand OPI's weird names, but I don't get this one). It's quite opaque for a pale colour, two coats are perfect with a nice glossy finish.

Wyrd Wednesday - Am I an Addict??

Hi everyone. I'm late for my Wednesday post, because I spent a good part of the day yesterday writing my first instalment about Celtic Women and I'm not satisfied with it yet. It's hard to find the right mix because a subject that fascinates me, so I want to talk about it, and that is quite "technical" too, so it can be boring quickly. So it won't be for this week yet, and I decided to talk about something else.
Lately I've come to wonder where I stood in the nailpolish addict world. Yes, as you might know now, I think way too much! What prompted that was the release / promo pics of several collections from brands I usually love (OPI and China Glaze) that had everyone jumping all over the place and left me completely cold: China Glaze Winter Collection Let It Snow, OPI first 2012 cooperation and OPI Spring Collection. 

Pic taken from All You Desire, see her swatches HERE

While I agree that CG's Let it Snow collection is everything a Christmas collection ought to be, well, it is everything a Christmas collection ought to be: some greens, some reds, some glitter, a bit of gold, silver and white, and one blue. I guess if it were burgundys, purple and greys I would be head over heels, but as it is, I'm not (actually, having badly sprained my ankle yesterday, I would hardly be able to be head over heels right now anyway!!).
Pic from OPI, see details HERE

The OPI Nicki Minaj collection doesn't strike me as original either: there was a purple shimmery shatter in the first ones CG released this year, the dark metal grey glitter seems really similar to CG's Haunting (and even Tinsel Town from the Winter collection), the silver rainbow glitter seems awfully dull and the three bright colours look like already existing ones (I'm thinking about the Shrek collection for the green, the Brights collection for blue and I'm pretty sure this is not the only bubblegum pink OPI has).
Pic from OPI, see details HERE

As for the Holland collection, well, all the usual Spring colours plus some brighter ones but all in creams, once again, I won't be waiting for that one.
Besides the fact that I had absolutely no idea who Nicki Minaj is (and I'm still not sure I do) and that I'm getting a big tired with OPI acting like the E! Entertainment nail polish equivalent (let's not forget the Nicole by OPI Justin Bieber and Kardashions collections -_-), I discovered that I found myself more and more going "yeah, well, not impressed" when seeing new collections. 
Of course, having a small budget and not having any partnership, I do have to think carefully before buying a polish, it's a treat each time. And yet, my polish collection is way bigger than what a person who's not into nail art would have (even if I'm not impressed by those upcoming collections, I still have a lot of things to show you!!), I keep reading blogs to see new things. Two years ago, if you had told me I would wear blue or bright pink nail polish, I would have sniggered. At the same time, I'm still attracted like a magpie by vampy shades and pale pinks, no matter how many I already have. So I'm starting to wonder if after feeling like a kid in a candy store and buying plenty of polishes, I now have everything I "need" and every extra has to be really worth it! 
That's it for the musings of the day. What about you? Are you getting bored with collection sometimes or no matter what, you can't resist?
Edit: some OPI swatches HERE

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

October is Pink! OPI Bubble Bath + Makes Men Blush & Peony for your Thoughts

Still in the nude pink chapter, I'm showing you a classic today: OPI Bubble Bath. Beige pink, quite impossible to build up, it's clearly meant as a French polish. Here's what it looks like with two coats (yes, I know, my nails are yellow, I'm working on that!!)

No matter the light, it doesn't look as if you're wearing any polish at all. I usually use it as a base for similar shimmery polish, just as I do with Step Right Up that I showed you yesterday. I have two polishes of this kind, one is quite well-known, it's OPI Makes Men Blush, same base colour but with red shimmer, and the other is A Peony for your Thoughts from the Yokohama collection, with blue shimmer. I actually got this polish by mistake: I was looking for a full-size bottle of Play the Peonies from the Nice Stems Collection and I must have had a moment of inattention and realised my mistake only on receiving the bottle. I don't regret it at all, my only problem with is that it's a black label, old formula, so that means runniness, sheerness and slow drying. On the up side, the shimmer shows a lot more in this one than in Makes Men Blush. You can see the differences below, it's one coat of either MMB or PfyT over two coats of Bubble Bath:

You can click to view the pics bigger and try to discern MMB's red shimmer on the middle finger and pinkie.

As a final view, I added another coat of each and it's finally opaque!!

October is Pink! OPI Step Right Up + Mavala Osaka

So, yesterday I showed you a polish that's too "bubblegum" for me and today I'm showing you the kind of nude pink that I love, OPI Step Right Up from the Femme de Cirque collection. It's a milky pink, midway between pale pink and white. Applies beautifully, but since it's a nude, it's sheer, so here's what it looks like with two coats.

If I wear it alone, I usually gor for three coats, but it's also a great base for French manicure or a nude shimmery manicure and that's what I chose to show you: I added one coat of Mavala Osaka, a pretty milky pink with red shimmer.

Next time I will show you a similar manicure with a different base colour.

Monday, October 24, 2011

October is Pink! OPI Fair Dinkum Pinkum

It seems I'm finally coming close to the end of my pink stash since I'm now picking up my "boring work-appropriate nude pink" bottles. Well, actually, there's one that I intended to show you that's definitely not pale and nude, but I didn't manage to photograph it: OPI from Monop' with Love, an exclusive polish that you can only find in a certain chain of supermarkets in France. I had a long debate with two blogging friends as to whether this polish was pink or red, and for me it's clearly pink, though on my pics today, it appeared red *insert crazy smiley*. To my defence, the light was particularly crappy today, so I'll try it again another time, and instead I'm showing another OPI, Fair Dinkum Pinkum. Pale pink with silver micro-glitter, it sounded perfect, but I'm afraid it's too "bubblegum pink" for me, I don't really like it. Luckily for me, Minnie adores it (and it's super for watermarbling). You see FDP in two coats, no top-coat.

Oooh, see, I have a pinkie again!! I still have some spots on the nail where it's thin and soft so I know I'm not totally saved still, but it feels good as long as it lasts :).

Minnie's Beauty Minute - Perfume(s)

 Ok, so it's official, this post is cursed. Minnie found tons of pictures to illustrate it but I never could include them in Blogger. Then, I tried to find them again on internet to download them directly, but I couldn't include them in Picasa to post here. So, after seeing this message for three weeks in my draft folder, I decided to post it without pictures and see later if I have the time to try again!

There I am again!! This time I've decided to share my crazy and boundless love for perfume with you... Anyone who's been unlucky enough to enter a Sephora with me know that I can stay in there for hours (which is great, because it means time for me to be in the make-up/nail polish sections!!)! I still remember with emotion my school trip to Molinard in Grasse back in 1995 and my first "true perfumes" bought in Yves Rocher thanks to my grandma's fidelity vouchers! The It perfume back then was Magnolia with its sweet, soft and subtle notes, but I also loved Cap Nature Red Berries, Cap Nature Vanilla (a bit too sweet to be honest) and the legendary Perle Nature with its very girly pretty pink box. If Yves Rocher is quite an acceptable reference in terms of perfumes, I soon grew out of it and fell into the world of luxury brands: Calvin Klein and Contradiction (urban and pure), Emporio Armani and She (very sensual and feminine), Givenchy and Eau Torride (fire under ice!), Lolita Lempicka and Lolita (magic mix of violette and liquorice), Sisley and Eau de Campagne (fresh and bubbly), Van Cleef & Arpels and Féerie (rose, blackcurrant and violet), Dior and J'adore Summer Perfume (to wear in the sun without risk), Kenzo and Ca sent Beau (definitely flowery and lemony) and of course Thierry Mugler and Angel (come on, who hasn't tried this one at some point?)
It's not an exhaustive list but it shows quite clearly that I've developped a strong taste for violet (Lolita and Féerie) that culminated with Angel Violet, which is sadly no longer produced. This was probably the only perfume I could have been faithful to, and I have to admit that I was devastated when I couldn't find it any more. I then turned back to old loves (Grasse roses, not Yves Rocher!!) and chose Parisienne from Yves Saint Laurent (violet still with some Damas rose).

Saturday, October 22, 2011

October is Pink! Zoya Astra

Pink, pink, pink and more pink!!! I have to admit that I'm getting a little bored, but well, I still have some polishes to show you on this theme to go through the month. But just to give you a break from pink and make up for my own lack of green polishes, I invite you to go and have a look at what Colette did. My nails are still too short for water-marbling and it makes me crazy because I miss it :(. So as the polish of the day, I reached for a Zoya glitter, Astra the magenta-pink glitter from the Ultra-Glitter collection. It was my first Zoya and the brand has never disappointed me since! Quite often, glitters are made of a clear base with glitter, but the Zoya have a base that's tinted in the same colour as the particles, which makes them more opaque, and somehow easier to wear, since everything is in the same colour. You see it in two coats without top-coat (as you can see, it's not very bumpy for a glitter, though when I wear it in manicures, I do wear top-coat).

Friday, October 21, 2011

Friends' Friday - Barbara's Halloween Manicure aka "The Cats of Queen Beruthiel"

Today I once again leave my virtual pen to Barbara (it seems all my other nail-obsessed friends are too shy to show up...) to show you her Halloween nails, that I've named "The Cats of Queen Beruthiel" for reasons I shall explain at the end ;)
"I saw your pics from Disneyland and the associated Halloween manis and I LOVE THEM!!! So I couldn't resist, and in between two piles of essays I tried my first Halloween mani. The colour is not very Halloween and Guinevere would probably have been very scared of all the spiderwebs, but what can I say, I received my a-England order last week and ever since I've been like a 5-year-old kid at Christmas, I'm changing my manicure every day just to try them all! So now we have a-england's Guinevere with cats and spiderwebs... I promise that next time I'll go for a total look with orange as a base colour!
I have to throw in some words about a-england polishes, I'm a total FAN!! Thanks Lélie for this amazing discovery (you're welcome ;) )!!! Application is perfect, colours are wonderful and it stays for days without chipping! It's a dream!!
On the pics you can see Guinevere (after one coat of The Knight as basecoat) in two coats, and a stamping with Fauxnad H25 for the spiderweb and Fauxnad T29 for the cat. Stamping was done with Konad black polish. Then I applied The Shield as topcoat but it smudged my designs, as you can see on some pics, so I had to do it all over again... I'm not a maniac, it's just that it's already hard for me to accept that the designs cannot be stamped the exact same way on every nail, so if there are smudges, it's way more than I can bear!! For the second try, I replaced The Shield with Seche Vite and it was perfect. SV is really my favourite top-coat because it dries so fast and doesn't make the stamping design smudge (especially with black Konad). I'm now ready to face the savage trolls, errr, I mean, my pupils!!"

Note on The Cats of Queen Beruthiel: this is one of those things that remained a literary mystery for a long time in Tolkien's world. In The Lord of the Rings, Aragorn speaks of Gandalf saying "he is surer of finding the way home in a blind night than the cats of Queen Berúthiel" and for many years, no other information could be find, until The History of Middle-earth was published. If you want to know more about Beruthiel and her cats, click the links. When Barbara mentionned the encounter of Queen Guinevere and Halloween cats it made me think of them, and as a true Tolkien geek, I couldn't resist sharing that piece of trivia with you :)


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