May 31, 2013

Trelly's M.I.S.C Polish Summer 2013 Collection: Swatches & Review (pic heavy)

Trelly's M.I.S.C Polish is a new-to-me indie brand, but I am in LOVE. The entire summer collection is soooo swoonworthy! Because I am a crazy person, I've swatched all of the 9 polishes in the collection twice so you can enjoy different base color pairings. Get ready for lots of fun glittery goodness and neons, with 5 glitter toppers and 4 colored-crelly-based glitters!!
*Products in this post were provided for my honest review and for swatching purposes!

Manicurity | Trelly's M.I.S.C Polish Summer 2013 Collection: Swatches & Review

I swatched everything with butterLodon's Nail Foundation as my base coat and OPI Rapid Dry tc if you're curious! They're arranged in alphabetical order for easy sorting, too. The formula on all of the polishes was EXCELLENT and I had no problems painting. All photos were taken in indirect Ott Lite ("natural"), except where stated as flash in the caption [there's just one with flash]. Grab a drink or a snack before diving in because I've got LOTS of photos!

May 30, 2013

Tri-Polish Challenge: Abstract Floral Tapestry

While I had previously declared this the Tri-Polish Challenge where I do all these designs I hadn't done yet, but when I sat down to do some blue & grey china pattern inspired nails I ended up with this abstract floral with scrolls instead! The florals are inspired by Mr. Candiipants, of tumblr nail art fame. I really loved these!

Manicurity | Tri Polish Challenge: Abstract Floral Tapestry with Pure Ice polishes

Manicurity | Tri Polish Challenge: Abstract Floral Tapestry with Pure Ice polishes
with flash

Manicurity | Tri Polish Challenge: Abstract Floral Tapestry with Pure Ice polishes

My base is two coats of Pure Ice Kiss me Here, then I used the brushes from the polish bottles to do the 'painterly' floral prints. I used my favorite, newly trimmed striper to do some flouncy scroll bits and completed it all with some teeny dots! Ta dah! I love love these. I didn't put top coat on these because I like the texture & most of the polishes are glossy without it (the red is a little satiny). This was really easy and quick and I LOVED the results! Yay!

Check out the other TPC nailz below!

May 29, 2013

Strong Stash Starters: Neutral-ish Glitter

Manicurity | Strong Stash Starters: Pretty, Neutral-ish Glitter

Flakies, and opals, and holos, oh my! Do you remember that one year when almost every brand had some sort of flakie out and everything was beautiful? I do! I could get Essie Shine of the Times at the DRUGSTORE within walking distance. Now flakies have gone the way of the dinosaurs, even Nfu-Oh has discontinued their line of fantastic flakies (imagine profuse crying when I read the email). So while I really wish that the answer to this one was simply, go getcho self a flakie polish at your local store, that's not a real thing anymore. Instead here are some of my favorite neutral 'effect' glitters. I had a hard time narrowing down with this one because glitter, so I present to you the top picks AND some honorable mentions.

Neutral-ish glitter is really great for lots of stuff: holiday themed things like Easter, Christmas, Valentine's Day, etc., a good palette cleanser, being generally good looking.

The Top Picks
  • On a budget: Wet n Wild's Wild Shine Kaleidoscope ($.99) is a great holo glitter topper for a dollar! I love it because it has different sized glitters in it, which is what I usually prefer in a glitter. It's great to add to art like galaxy nails for a little extra sparkle.
  • Mid-range: China Glaze Snow Globe ($5) is like the ultimate opal glitter; it has so many different sizes of glitter and the bottle is packed. I love that it has red-orange-yellow and blue-pink-purple-green-something, etc. so it shifts all the different pretty colors. Pretty! Especially good for Easter and Christmas and looks really pretty over pink, too (check out this post, I love it over pink). I sort of dislike how it can look 'sunken' on lighter colors, and it can be a little overpowering because it's so packed with glitter, but I do love it.
  • A-little-more-than-mid-range: Essie As Gold as it Gets ($8) is a gold flakie, but not like real gold - like some magical, thin gold flakes of fairy dust. It's really thin flakes like 'original' flakies; it's really reflective and generally good looking. Sorry, I just get a little drooly, it's nice *_*
  • Treat Yo Self (i.e. 'luxury'): Deborah Lippmann Boom Boom Pow ($20) I like this one because it has little gold bits in it, supposedly gold dust, along with the occasional gold hex (two sizes, love those small hexes so hard). I think it's really pretty and one of those random things you can be like "Uhm, this has real gold" because people won't think that's pretentious or anything when they ask you what you're wearing. Especially pretty over black!

Manicurity | Strong Stash Starters: Pretty, Neutral-ish Glitter = Deborah Lippmann Boom Boom Pow, Essie As Gold as it Gets, China Glaze Snow Globe, Wet n Wild Wild Shine Kaleidoscope
$$$$$ -> $: Boom Boom Pow, As Gold as it Gets, Snow Globe, Kaleidoscope 

Here's only one coat of each glitter below (accidentally expensive -> budget order because I took the photos this way, whoops)! Top photo is OPI Don't Touch My Tutu, bottom is random black creme

Manicurity | Strong Stash Starters: Pretty, Neutral-ish Glitter = Deborah Lippmann Boom Boom Pow, Essie As Gold as it Gets, China Glaze Snow Globe, Wet n Wild Wild Shine Kaleidoscope
$$$$$ -> $: Boom Boom Pow, As Gold as it Gets, Snow Globe, Kaleidoscope 

Honorable Mentions
  • On a budget: Sinful Colors Hottie ($2) has a blue base, which can show up over lighter colors, but looks extra fab over black. It's a great opal-y glitter, but with lots of variety in glitter sizes and packed with 'em.
  • Mid-range: China Glaze Luxe and Lush ($5) is a 'flakie' in the sense that it is irregular shards of opal-y material, but is thicker shard pieces than typical flakies. It might be hard to find because it's from last year's Hunger Games collection, so I apologize for including it [but it's definitely easier to find than Nubar's 2010 which has finally gone up to like $25 on Amazon, sadface]. It looks kind of gross over black, but is pretty over white and lots of other colors! The formula is sort of sparse, so it adds some cool effect without being too overpowering.
  • A-little-more-than-mid-range: OPI Piroutte My Whistle ($9) - is really delicate! The small silver glitters look like a starry night sky over black! I like how super soft it is.
  • Treat Yo Self (i.e. 'luxury'): REAL gold leaf topcoat ($15 - 32) - Here I'm wearing Zoya Gilty, which was LE, but this past year was The Year for these real gold top coats so there are lots of brands and options to choose from. I think they're just really pretty + I love the irregular shapes and texture that real gold leaf has! I don't love how much suspension base comes out (I guess it's important to keep the flakes in the polish, duh), but you could easily paint some onto a makeup sponge and then sponge the flakes on (weird trick to get rid of all the extra clear goop).

Manicurity | Strong Stash Starters: Pretty, Neutral-ish Glitter = Zoya Gilty, OPI Pirouette My Whistle, China Glaze Luxe and Lush, and Sinful Colors Hottie
$$$$$ -> $: Zoya Gilty, Pirouette My Whistle, Luxe and Lush, Hottie 

Manicurity | Strong Stash Starters: Pretty, Neutral-ish Glitter = Zoya Gilty, OPI Pirouette My Whistle, China Glaze Luxe and Lush, and Sinful Colors Hottie
$$$$$ -> $: Zoya Gilty, Pirouette My Whistle, Luxe and Lush, Hottie 

Thinner flakies are rather hard to find lately, but some of the thicker ones, like China Glaze Luxe and Lush, are currently available from Revlon! For whatever reason I have a really tough time picking things between $9 and like $20, I guess because I'm totally fine with great cheap-ish polishes (who isn't) and when I get fancy things I get really fancy things.  I don't consider them 'MUST HAVES' but Butter London Tart with a Heart and West End Wonderland are really pretty, too.

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Please keep in mind that this series is a combo of my personal opinions (obvs, as is everything you've ever read here) and experience with polishes that I find fundamental. To read the post in which I interview myself about this series, click hereI expect your Top Ten Necessary Polish Choices to be different & I'd love to hear what they are; please leave a comment, chat with me on Facebook, or tweet me about it (@manicurity)!

Did I list your favorite neutral-ish glitter?! Or do you have a different neutral glitter I don't even know?
OR would you totally blow off white for a different polish altogether for your Top Ten?!

Check back next Wednesday for another Strong Stash Starter pick!

To read Beginning with a Basic, the first post, click here!

May 28, 2013

Tri-Polish Challenge: Freehand Stripes Galore!

For this month's Tri-Polish Challenge, I challenged myself to do some ish I still hadn't bothered to try - first was clouds, then some "ikat", and for today I've finally finally tackled The Braid (and also threw in a zig-zag/chevron at the last minute). I also mixed it up and did some different stripey patterns with my newly trimmed striper brushes!! After my laughable last "outline" attempt I decided it was finalllllly time to buy a cheap $5 pack of brushes at the craft store and cut them how I wanted (with help from this Robin Moses video). How did the new brushes do? Pretty well I'd say! Look below and marvel!

You may or may not remember, probably don't so I'll tell you again, that the Tri-Polish Challenge is 4 different manicures using only 3 main colors. For May I'm using three Pure Ice colors Crimson (red), French Kiss (blue), and Kiss me Here (grey). I tried dipping my stripey brushes into the polish bottles instead of doling out a little dibby-dab of polish and then putting my brush into it; I think for the most part it helped. Obviously my lines are still all sorts of wonky, but it looks er...rustic? Cute? Let's just pretend I was aiming for the Anthropologie look. Below are the brushes I used most frequently for this; the top brush (with the melted handle) is from a nail art kit with some scragglies cut off, then two brushes from the cheapo craft store pack I cut down [loveeee the white one], and finally the clean-up brush I use is a tiny round brush [most people use an angled one, but this is ~my special brush~].

Check out the other TPC nails for today!

May 27, 2013

Jamberry Jamboree: Like a Sir with Mo Mo

Happy Monday, my peaches! Apologies that this post is later than usual, but at least it looks cool anddddd I'm really happy with this week's Jamberry Jamboree post because I applied my nail shield really well this week! Mwhahaha! I chose my favorite pattern from my sample sheet, Mo Mo, and went to town doing some skittle'd patterns in similar colors.
Check it out!
*Products in this post were provided for my honest review.

Manicurity | Jamberry Nails Mo Mo pattern shield wrap

Manicurity | Jamberry Nails Mo Mo pattern shield wrap

Manicurity | Jamberry Nails Mo Mo pattern shield wrap

I did a simple black with a mini french tip in CND Perfectly Bare on my pinkie, which hilariously just makes my nail look very short >.< My middle nail is Dollish Polish Putting on the Ritzzzz (which I desperately need many more bottles of and am very sad that's going to the 'acetone vault', probably my favey black & white glitter) over CND's Perfectly Bare. On my pointer I've got Orly Pure Porcelain with pointy french bits that looked a lot like a collar, so I put some dots on it.

Mo Mo is a repeating black mustache pattern on a pale pink-nude base; the background color is between the CND Perfectly Bare and Orly Pure Porcelain, almost exactly as if they were mixed together half and half. I had no issues applying the shield this time; I warmed it up a little longer than I did the first time and really focused on getting the very end of the shield warm so that it could form around my cuticle better. I'm so happy that it's pretty darn easy to learn how to do these quickly! I think my most important tip is that nothing negative will happen if you just keep warming it up for a few extra seconds; in fact, it will only stick better to your nail ;D Now that I'm a little better at these I can more confidently say that I would be a little more likely to purchase a sheet, but I'm still not totally the 'target audience' and it's definitely not in my current budget.

For my first impression with Jamberry & a more detailed review, check out this post!

Manicurity | Jamberry Nails Mo Mo pattern shield wrap (Like a Sir)

Psst. These definitely feel fun and snazzy, very much like a sir (source)!

Comments on this post have been closed.

*Products in this post were provided for my honest review.

May 26, 2013

Strong Stash Starters: Extra Info

Hey lovelies! I'm absolutely radiant about the positive response my wittle mini series has gotten, but I realized that there might be some things you're wondering about - like what I look for in a polish [both in life and for these posts], my feels about opacity, and how glitter can ever be 'neutral'*? Here is some additional background information that was in my head while thinking up this series, but wasn't expressed in the initial post. I even made up some questions that you might be wondering (but hadn't asked me yet) because sometimes I pretend I'm famous and people are interviewing me. Enjoy!

How do you pick the polishes // what makes a polish "good"?
I am picking polishes that I personally enjoy using and have used multiple times; i.e. staples from my own stash (of too many bottles). For me, these polishes have formulas that are either really opaque (1-2 coats) and don't take too much effort (yay!) OR are otherwise generally easy and pleasant to work with. As an example from the first post, the WnW white creme I mentioned is opaque quickly, like 2 coats, and I love that, so it went on the list. I also included OPI My Boyfriend Scales Walls even tho it takes way too many coats for my usual happiness level, but those too many coats are easy to paint because the formula is thin, dries quickly, doesn't drag, I am a pro-wide brush fan, and I like the end color, so it still makes my list. I paint thicker coats than most because I'm a bad girl (more realistically I can't paint thin coats, just like I can't really jog) and because quick dry top coat doesn't judge.

Why isn't there anything from brand _____ or country_____?
I'm currently a United States resident living in a large city in the South with access to a variety of drugstores, but I'm trying very hard to pick polishes that are widely available, at least across American drugstores and those with no qualms about ebay or Amazon. I'm leaving seasonal, HTF, and otherwise limited edition polishes off of my lists. If you live in the UK I recommend Barry M for pretty much anything; I have never been disappointed by Barry and his M. If you live somewhere with Catrice and/or Essence, I also highly recommend them. I'm not as familiar with other national brands, but I'd be happy to point you to my favorite blogger friend in your country if you need help!

What about cruelty free/vegan products? What about not putting lots of bad chemicals on my body?
I am a bad person and when the polish is pretty, I buy it and put it on my fingers anyway. Essentially I haven't made a decision in regards to these topics, but I think it's important to stay educated in general about what products you're using. Sheila at Pointless Cafe has a helpful post + list about cruelty free brands here. In terms of chemicals, to the best of my knowledge most popular drugstore brands are at least 3-free, some like Zoya are 4-free.

Are you getting paid to play favies?
I am not getting paid to pick any of these polish (this isn't a real magazine, you guys). I may choose some that I have received as press samples because I honestly love them + use them and think you could love them, too

Are these posts in a specific order?
No? I'm trying to keep the series interesting by contrasting the types/categories of polishes from week to week. I'm worried that if I talk about my love of plain creme base colors for 6 weeks and then finally talk about glitters no one will be around anymore -_-

Do I actually need all the things you're saying I need?
YES! BECAUSE POLISH! Actually, no, absolutely not. I definitely think you need a good, solid white and black polish, but other than that it's your call. Maybe this list will inspire you! Or you might hate glitter and then we'd be awkward friends, but I 'get' the fact that we're all vastly different polishaholics ;D

Thanks for doing the budget categories, but can you explain what the dollars really mean?
Yes! I hate when people designate something as being like a $$ budget out of $$$$$ but it's like a $200 cotton t-shirt. Whaaaaaa? So here's my budget break down; from my general knowledge polish prices go from $1 up to $27 for Chanel, possibly more for something fancy that I don't know about and will probably never afford in my life. I'm attempting to use the suggested retail prices; I try very hard to find deals and use beauty supply websites that sell below the suggested retail with easy to reach free shipping barriers, so I'm not super in tune with what people might typically pay? [Ulta is VERY over priced for polish, fyi] There is obviously some shifting around between budget tiers because some brands sort of straddle between them, but I'm trying to get a decent guesstimation going.

$ = 1 - 3 = lower priced drugstore brands like Wet n Wild, Pure Ice, Sinful Colors, NYC, Jordana, LA Colors, etc.
$$ = 4 - 6 = mix of drugstore + some beauty brands like Sally Hansen, Revlon, L'Oreal, Milani, China Glaze, etc.
$$$ = 7 - 10 = Orly, CND, Essie, Zoya, NOPI, OPI, etc.
$$$$ = 10 - 15 = Julep, butterLondon, Nails Inc., etc.
$$$$$ = 16+ = Illamasqua, Deborah Lippmann, Chanel, Dior, YSL, Tom Ford, etc.

Will I be happy if I buy the things you are suggesting?
Erm, hopefully? If you paint thicker coats like I do you will probably be very pleased with my descriptions and suggestions. If you paint reallllllly thin coats, then through math and science you will still have to do more coats than what I recommend works for me. I don't make any promises, tho, so no polish slinging, please. If all else fails, check the return policy at the stores you might purchase from before you take the plunge!

*Can you guess what the next topic is for Wednesday's post?!? YAY!

May 25, 2013

Tri-Polish Challenge: Ikat Nail Fail?

Soooooooo I did this freehand ikat design inspired by a Coach wristlet, but I thought it was awful and figured I would just skip TPC#2 in favor of Korean BBQ tacos because it was late on Thursday (when normal people post their Tri-Polish Challenge things like they are supposed to) and tacos and I didn't have time to redo my messy nails. But of course I had to Instagram it, because duh, and my lovely friend Bee said she liked it. Bee has amazing taste and is very cool and even works for two amazeballs nail brands, so if she likes it maybe it's worth posting? Plus I already did these gross nails and it will only take me like 5 minutes to write this post and show them to you anyway!

PROOF OF TACOS sweet potato tempura dinos. And the fact that I didn't have time to paint my left freaking hand

I threw down 2 coats of Pure Ice Kiss me Here (grey), then butterLondon matte top coat. Then I freehanded the black diamond designs and some blue Pure Ice French Kiss blobby things. Finally I attempted to to the white lines around everything with a striper brush. I think I should have done the white parts first and then the colors on top, but alas. Hilariously, I think this nail "art" is really photogenic, i.e. looks better in photos than with my eyes. And now I'd like to share with you one of those ~blogging life lessons~ that I sometimes forget: take photos of your nails when you like them, at whichever step of the process you think you're in. Example: I should have taken photos of this before I scribbled white lines all over what was a pretty cool circus-y thing, and I would have been super happy to show you that. Now instead, imagine me making a raspberry noise with my mouth the entire time I let you look at this post.

Here are the other, much better things people did for TPC #2

May 24, 2013

Rainbow Honey Fab Summer Set Collection: Swatches & Review (pic heavy)

Hey lovelies, happy Friday! I have some press samples of the exclusive summer trio from Rainbow Honey to share with you today - two squishy polishes with gold flecks and a gorgeous gold glitter topper. When I opened the box I was immediately hungry for Mexican food, which is pretty common for me 24/7 anyway, so maybe no one else thinks of salsa and margaritas with these colors?! But these polishes seem really festive and perfect for summer! For all of these photos I'm using OPI Natural base coat and HK Girl fast dry top coat. Here's the official description from Fab about this collection:
Exclusive to Fab, the Fab Summer Set is as refreshing as a cold sip of freshly squeezed lemonade. This set of three includes a dazzling array of shimmering polishes: kelly green, deep coral, and a sparkly lacquer that glitters with holographic flecks. Paint yourself in a beautiful new light. -fab 

First up is Tenda, a bright kelly green with subtle golden shimmer. It was very opaque at one coat, but I added a second for depth. The shimmer in Tenda is rather subtle, but really pretty when it catches the light. I feel like this is a really unique green - I had nothing similar in my stash and it made me think of some of the bright Essie greens, but they don't really seem to be a match. My photos relate Tenda as being sort of mottled looking with the gold shimmer reading as brown spots; in person I feel like the shimmer catches the light and is much more noticeable, then then other pieces that aren't in the light at that moment recede a lot more. The formula was a little different - not really thick, but it would drag at the tips and get stringy like it was very sticky. I experienced the draggy-sticky thing with both of the shimmers in this set, but more so with Tenda. I think a little bit of thinner would help out the formula issue and also make the shimmer a little more visible!

indirect natural light

direct Ott Lite

indirect Ott Lite

Costa del Sol (from this trio) over Tenda

Next is Schrammi, a deep coral with more visible golden shimmer. This polish was much less pigmented than Tenda at one coat, so I thought it would take a lot of coats to layer up, but it looked really great at two coats! I'm not usually a coral/orangey person, but man, this is really pretty! And so summery! It makes me think of salsa and some sort of fresh fruit at the same time (couldn't decide if it looks like guava or papayas more?). I thought it would be similar to OPI's Call Me Gwen-ever, but Schrammi makes Gwen look almost neon! Schrammi does shift between different tones of pinky-red-orangey and looks different in different lighting (hopefully illustrated below). I had the same dragging at the tips with this one as I did with Tenda. I found that the less these polishes were manipulated, the happier they were.

indirect Ott Lite

direct light

indirect natural sunlight

quickie comparison to OPI Call Me Gwen-ever, Schrammi is much deeper and pinker

Costa del Sol (from this trio) over Schrammi

Finally the glitter topper Costa del Sol, be still my heart. Costa del Sol is a gold glitter topper with different sizes and shapes of gold glitters including bars, tiny flakes, hexes, and holos. It is really pretty and the formula was flawless. If you don't like bar glitters you're out of luck because I think this polish packs two different sized bars. But if you're down with bars and like gold glitter, this is a must-have! Just wait until you see it over black below!! Costa del Sol looks a little sparse over Tenda and Schrammi because the smaller glitters blend in a bit with the gold shimmer already in the other polishes.

I like to swatch glitter toppers like this one over cremes because I think it's important to show what's really in the topper mix. You might miss the AMAZING little irregular gold flakie bits in Costa del Sol if you don't try it over a more plain base! For the cremes my nude color is CND's Perfectly Bare and the black I used was Super Black Lacquer Murdered Out (press sample).

Now we head into Macro City. Do you NEED 3 different macro photos of this glitter? Yes. Yes you do. And you are welcome.

Pricing & Availability
The Fab Summer Set is exclusive to for a limited time - the direct link to the set on is here
It's $25 for 3 full-sized, 15mL bottles (you save $5!) and free shipping on orders of $75+

There are other exclusive sets from Rainbow Honey here

*I have not ordered from myself, but I've heard great things about how quickly they ship.

For more Rainbow Honey, check out their webstoreFacebookTwitterPinterest, and Instagram

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This set is exclusively sold as a trio, so I feel bad playing favorites with the shades. I am in love with Schrammi and Costa del Sol. I like the color of Tenda a lot, but was disappointed with the formula. Will I end up purchasing the BIG bottles of this collection? Mayhaps. I love that gold glitter really hard and I think these colors are unique to my stash, so I'm verrrrrry tempted!!

*I received a press sample from Rainbow Honey for my honest review and swatching purposes. If you'd like to know more about my disclosure policies, please check out my disclosure page