Thursday, July 31, 2008

Fun With Konad!!

I love the Konad stamper. It's so fun, and really transforms an ordinary manicure into something special. There are so many designs, from stars and flowers, to animal prints and fishnet. I usually use the small designs, like the little stars and the spider and the little cupcake, but the other day I decided to dust off one of the pattern plates (M57) and this is how it turned out:

Chanel Gold Fiction with Konad Plate M57 and Borghese Espresso Brown F. My thumb has OPI Brisbane Bronze, but as you can see it came out a little too light.

The Konad stamper works best with polishes that are on the thick side. Konad polishes make the most crisp designs, but any thicker nail polish will work.

Once my poor broken nails grow out a little bit more, I'll be doing a post on the Konad French Manicure plates for wonderful reader Carla G.

Also, a small request from me!

As you can tell, I'm way behind on my swatching! I always take my pictures outside in full sunlight, but lately it's been too overcast to get a good picture. Is there a way to get good indoor pictures when it's dark outside? I bought one of those 200w Reveal bulbs yesterday to see if that works well indoors, but I haven't tried it out yet. Do you guys have any tips for me?

I'm currently waiting on some sunlight to do swatches of the China Glaze OMG and Kaleidoscope collections for another lovely reader, and those just don't turn out well unless there's bright light.

So, help! What do I do?

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Misa Reviews: The Basics!

I've been testing out these polishes for a while so I can give an honest, accurate review. All of these are colors that I probably would not have picked for myself, but I'm pleasantly surprised by how much I ended up liking these. I only wore them for a day each, but I didn't notice any significant tipwear, chipping or peeling by the time I removed them. There was also no staining, I'm happy to say.

One color from each of the basic nail polish categories- Black, White, Pink and Red.

Camellia Destiny.

A very pretty and delicate pale pink that is somewhat sheer in two coats and completely opaque in three. It applies well, the formula was a little bit on the thick side but it didn't give me any trouble at all.

This is the color I thought I'd like the least, but after I tried it out for a while it grew on me. I'm not usually the kind of person who wears pale pink, but I couldn't stop looking at my fingers with this on. It felt different- my fingers looked so feminine! This color is, like I said, delicate, and gives a healthy clean look to the nails.

Heaven White.

A clean, crisp white.

I half expected this to be a streaky, thick mess like most white polishes are, but it wasn't! I'm always somewhat hesitant to use these sort of pale, "white out" type colors because they are often a pain to apply. This was not thick and streaky, though it definitely needs two coats to look perfectly even. Without topcoat it dried to a glossy finish, unlike some whites that look matte when dry. I think this is a little too bright of a white for natural looking french tips, but it looks great on its own. This would be a great base for sheer polishes, and would look pretty awesome with some glitter over it. It also makes my hands look weirdly tan.

Red Hot Mamma.

This is a very bright color. In the bottle it looks mostly like a barely-shimmery vibrant red, but on the nails it has sort of a fuchsia look. It's bright and cheery and has a touch of shimmer. Again, not a color I would have picked for myself, but once again I'm quite pleased. This applied magically- the formula was the perfect consistency and this color only needed two coats. Even more important was how it removed: Reds usually cause massive finger-staining when I remove them, but this barely left any trace of red on my fingers. It also didn't stain my nails, but I only wore this one for a day, and I used Misa's BackBone base coat, so I'm not sure if the lack of staining was due to the color or the base coat.

I Will Survive.

I can't really think of any way to describe this color other than "black." It's black. Very black. Smooth, even, opaque, super-glossy black. This really only needs one coat to be completely opaque, but I used two anyway. It's important for a black to be opaque in as few coats as possible, because if you use them mostly for layering (like I do) you don't want to end up with too many coats of polish on the nail. Another thing that I like about this black is that it is extremely glossy. This is the shiniest black I've ever used. This picture is taken with no topcoat- see how shiny the polish is?

The formula was great, smooth and not too thick or difficult to control. If you can see in the picture, I had a tiny bit of bubbling. I don't think it's due to the polish formula, because it was nearly 100 degrees and humid the day I wore this one. I should give it another try on a cooler and less humid day to see if it still bubbles.

Overall, I think these polishes are of excellent quality. They apply very well and these particular colors dried a lot quicker than other Misa colors I have used in the past. There isn't really anything too spectacular about the colors, they're pretty basic, but there's also nothing bad to say about them. They're all pretty, plain and simple. Heaven White and I Will Survive are the standout colors here- they would be perfect for layering because they dry quickly and only require one or two coats to cover completely.

I am thankful that I got a chance to try these. Thank you, Misa!

Monday, July 28, 2008

Reader Request: Zoya Candy Collection

This is one of the most fun collections from Zoya, and definitely in my Top 3 Favorite Zoya Collections (number one is Downtown and number two is Chit Chat!).

Creamy, a beautiful lemon yellow. I can't think of very many creamy yellow things... Bananas? Creamed Corn? Odd name, but still pretty!

Sweet. Very sweet and innocent bubblegum pink cream.

Yummy. Fantastic blue-raspberry cotton candy blue! Love this one. It stands out!

Tangy. Green apple green shimmer with slight orange duochrome.

Tart. Medium blue shimmer, very smooth application!

Juicy. This is the only one out of the collection that I don't like. The color is very nice, but the formula sucks. It's extremely sheer and streaky. This picture is five coats. Five coats and it's still see-though and streaky! It needs six coats to look even. This one needs improvement. I could never wear this. If you like this color, you might want to try Color Club Power Play instead, it's completely opaque in two thin coats, it's brighter and it dries amazingly fast!

Reader Request: OPI Soft Shades

A request from lovely Tabe-Chan, here are a few OPI sheers.

These are all three coats, no topcoat.

Please pay no attention to the broken nail...

OPI Bubble Bath, indoors.

OPI Bubble Bath, sunlight.

OPI Get Me To The Taj On Time, indoors.

OPI Get Me To The Taj On Time, sunlight.

OPI Mimosas For Mr. And Mrs., indoors.

OPI Mimosas For Mr. And Mrs., outdoors.

OPI Passion, indoors.

OPI Passion, outdoors.

OPI Privacy, Please, indoors.

OPI Privacy, Please, outdoors.

All very pretty!

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Look-Alikes for Misa Poisoned Passion Collection

I've had a couple requests for dupes of the Poisoned Passion collection, but I'm waaaay behind on my swatching! I don't have any new pictures yet (working on it, though!). I do, however, have these pictures that I can use to compare.

If you can't wait until August 15th to get your hands on the new Misa collection, these colors should hold you over...

Misa Forbidden Lust, or....

Sally Hansen Flair, or...

Revlon Primal Purple, or...

NYX Wild, or...

Essie Viva La Vespa (index finger).

Misa A Sin Worth Committing, or...

MAC Naughty Nautical.

(OPI Yoga-Ta Get This Blue or Essie Aruba Blue might match well also!)

Misa Fatal Affair, or...

Misa Blueberry Glaze, or...

Sally Hansen Spark, or...

OPI Ink (though this looks much more purple in real life.)

Misa Love Bite, or...

Black Phoenix Trading Post Blood Countess, or....

Zoya Casey.

Misa Dying Love, or...

Lippmann Collection Hit Me With Your Best Shot, or...

Chanel Black Satin.

(Also, Zoya Freja or Zoya Raven might make good dupes.)

Misa Toxic Seduction, or...

CND Blue Blood. This is the closest match I could find, and it's not a very good one!
Also kinda-but-not-really similar:

China Glaze BLK-BILA-BONG.

Hope this helps!

Friday, July 25, 2008

A Little Nordstrom Anniversary Sale Action....

I hit the Nordstrom anniversary sale and picked up a few pretty things.... First, the polishes!

Dior Liquorice


Chanel Rose Tourbillon.

And some of the MAC Colour Forms collection....

Outer boxes...

Closed palettes...

Cool Eyes x5 Palette

Warm Eyes x5 Palette....

Naked To The Core lipstick...

Pop Circle lipstick, and

Play Around Pink Colour Forms powder.

Mmm, MAC and nail polish.... what more could you want?