Friday, February 27, 2009

Revlon Artificial Nails

Thank you all for your kind words- I'm feeling much better today!

As I'm sure you read from my blue post, I was feeling very sad last week. It's amazing how everything in your life can just pile up and hit you all at once! I was having such a horrible day, and just when I thought it couldn't get any worse, my credit card company raised my interest rate, I got sick, the cucumber I wanted to eat was in the back of my fridge frozen, I burned my arm making dinner and I broke two nails all the way down! It's days like these when I wonder why I got out of bed....

Ouch! I don't know if you can tell from the picture, but both the middle and ring finger were bleeding profusely. That's farther down than my nails can go! Any shorter than the length of my pinkie nail and they start to bleed and hurt until they grow back out.

Like I mentioned, the broken nails hurt. A lot. It was hard for me to do things like cook, wash my hands, bathe- every time I touched something, my fingertips hurt and sometimes would start to bleed again.

Life gave me lemons- I decided to make some lemonade.

This gave me the perfect opportunity to try out a product that I never really use- artificial nails, aka Press On Nails. I usually do acrylics to cover my broken nails until they grow out enough not to hurt, but I was sick and didn't feel like stinking up the house with acrylic or doing anything that involved moving or effort.

The nails I used were Revlon Color Allure nails, medium length in Vintage Velvet.

What it is is a set of 24 individual pre-polished nails, some glue, a nail buffer and an orange stick. The nails come in one length, but two sizes- they follow traditional nail tip sizing and includes sizes 0 to 9.

The application of these is extremely simple. You clean your nails, gently buff them for better adhesion, apply the glue to the entire surface of the natural nail, and press the artificial nail onto the glue until it sticks. Very easy.

The removal is also extremely simple. You soak the nails in acetone and they dissolve almost immediately. Similar to removing acrylics, but it seems a lot faster.

These types of nails are great for people who want a temporary nail look for an event- they come in tons of designs and there's no commitment and no damage from visiting a cheap nail salon for a set of carelessly applied acrylics. These nails will last for over a week, but they will start to grow out like any other nail enhancement and they will need to be replaced.

That's the basic idea behind this product, and here's my experience with it.

Applying the nails was easy- finding a match for my nail size was the hard part. I never really thought of myself as having petite nails, but apparently I do. I was only able to find a good match for two of my nails- 9 on my pinkie, 8 on my ring finger. The other nails were closest to size 7, but not a perfect match.

Not only were most of the nails too big, but the length of the nails is much, much too short for me. The artificial nails just barely covered the broken nails on my hand, but I had to file down my natural nail on my index and pinkie all the way just to get the artificial nail to cover them. My nails are now much shorter than I am comfortable with.

I would be a lot happier and more comfortable if these nails came in a longer length- at least twice as long as these medium length nails.

The entire hand took me about five minutes to apply. The glue bonds quickly. The most important part of applying these is making sure that there are no air bubbles or pockets, and that the glue covers the entire nail. You don't want any lifted areas where water and bacteria can get trapped.

Here's how they turned out:

What do you think? Do you like them?

The color of these nails is called Vintage Velvet. I love this color. It's extremely sexy. It's a vampy burgundy-brown with a very soft shimmer. One of those 'lit-from-within' vampy colors that I love so much.

The color is awesome- I wonder if Revlon makes this color as a polish? I'll have to look for it!

I have other likes and dislikes about this product.

I like the easy application, I like the sturdiness of the nails and the included glue is perfect. I like how long these nails last and how shiny they are. I also like that they are not damaging to my natural nail and also that they are not difficult to remove. The nails themselves are very thin and from a front view are not noticeably fake.

I LOVE the shape of these nails. They are, in my humble opinion, the perfect nail shape. Slightly rounded square, more commonly known as 'Squoval'. This shape looks good on just about everyone, and I find it to be the most flattering nail shape for people.

There are a few things I don't like about this product. The nails are too big for me- only two of the sizes fit my small nails and very curved nail plates. I am not very comfortable with how my middle and index nails look- they look too wide and unnatural compared to my natural nail. I now have a box full of artificial nails that are too big for me and I won't be able to use. I know that these nails are standard tip sizes, but I would love if the sets came in a 'petite' version which only had the smaller sizes, and maybe a new half size.

I'm also not comfortable with the length of these nails. The box states that they are medium length, and if this is medium, I can't imagine how short the short length must be! I understand that this length is perfect for most people- barely any free edge but enough to cover bitten nails. But for me? I prefer long nails. My natural nail plates somewhat long, which causes these artificial nails to be even shorter on me. This is just my personal preference. Longer is better to me.

Another minor imperfection in these nails is that they are perfectly straight and a little flat. I have a naturally strong C-curve and also nails that curve down slightly as they get longer. It is difficult to get the artificial nail to conform to my natural nail shape. If I get the tip of the nail to fit, the cuticle end pops up and leaves a gap and vice versa. This is remedied by applying extra pressure to the entire artificial nail, but you may end up with a little glue on your fingers by doing this.

One interesting observation about these nails: They make your cuticles look perfect! I think it's because they partially cover mine, to they appear smooth and invisible. Bonus.

These nails also get tipwear just like natural polished nails. I've been wearing them on my right hand for about three or four days now, and they're starting to show moderate tipwear. These nails can be re-polished, so that's not an issue. I just wish I had the same polish that's on these nails!

The polish on these nails does wear at the tips, but it does not chip. I can't imagine it being able to chip. It's like the polish is part of the plastic and is holding on for dear life. That's a good thing.

Overall, I really like these nails for situations that require a quick fix. I am definitely going to try out and review more styles of press-on artificial nails.

People who need to temporarily cover their nails to fix a broken nail or a breaking nail, but who don't know how to do their own acrylic nails will love these. I do prefer acrylic in this situation because it is more customizable and natural looking, but I know not everyone does.

They are perfect for protecting damaged nails that need to grow out, but are weak or painful.

People who also want their nails to look good for a special occasion but don't have the time (or patience or money, et cetera) to get a manicure or a set of acrylics should also try these. They are extremely inexpensive, there are a very wide variety of styles and colors and they're practically foolproof to apply at home.

What do you think? Would you ever try them?

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

China Glaze Summer Days Summer 2009 Collection

Still not feeling too good, so this post will be a short one. Just wanted to share a couple swatches of this new collection.

Cherry Pie. Orangey red with glass fleck shimmer.

Grape Juice. Medium soft purple with silvery glass fleck shimmer.

Orange Marmalade. Bright orange with golden glass fleck shimmer.

Raspberry Festival. Pinky-red with dark pink toned glass fleck shimmer.

Strawberry Fields. Medium pink with golden glass fleck shimmer.

Watermelon Rind. Green with hints of blue and silvery glass fleck shimmer.

These are all three coats. They're all pretty sheer. They look okay with two coats, but I'm not comfortable being able to see through them, so I need three. Three coats does tend to ruin the jelly-sparkle effect of these polishes by making them look a little too dense, but they're still pretty.

The formula on these isn't the easiest to work with- it has 3-free syndrome. Thick but runny at the same time. Not horrible, but a bit frustrating if you aren't expecting it. These take a little more patience to apply, that's all.

They're all really sparkly and contain China Glaze's signature glass fleck shimmer. Glass fleck shimmer is really lovely, it lights up and dances in the sunlight. For those of you who are not familiar with glass fleck, comparable collections would be China Glaze's Surf and Tequila Toes collections, just to name a couple.

Sorry about the short review.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Quick post: Nicole by OPI Spring Shades

I'm still sick, but I ventured out of bed to do a little fishing on the Selbina boat... Unfortunately the Sea Horror had other ideas, so I figured I'd pop in with a little post while I'm waiting for it to leave.

I've had these swatched for a while now and have really just forgotten to post them, but better late than never I suppose.

These are new shades from Nicole by OPI. I don't know much about them other than that! I'm not really sure if Nicole does traditional 'collections' like OPI, but they usually have new colors a few times a year.

Do Good... Feel Good. A soft, delicate petal pink. Semi-sheer, an almost jelly-like texture.

Dream Maker. An opalescent pink with crystalline shimmer. Not quite iridescent, but flashes hints of white, silver and gold.

Find Your Passion. A hot pink jelly.

Imagine If... A sheer silver holographic polish. Almost too dense to be a topcoat, but sheer enough that it needs at least three coats for opacity. This is four coats.

It's Possible. Pretty, shiny bronzy metallic chrome. Dries without brushstrokes.

No Limits. Very dark, inky blue-purple creme. Not obviously blue unless you're in bright light.

Light A Candle. A silvery chrome with a purple tint. Almost gunmetal.

Play Fair. A soft lilac shimmer. It's not as warm as the first picture suggests- it's closest to the second picture.

Positive Energy. Bright, gleaming silver chrome.

Reach Out. A candy-like medium pink jelly. Almost seems to appear coral colored in certain lights.

You're A Star. A sparkly and surprisingly opaque shimmering white. This is only two coats! It's extremely sparkly and it has hints of silver and blue.

Also worth noting: The chromes in this 'collection' work extremely well with Konad! Here's a demonstration:

No Limits topped with Imagine If... and Positive Energy stamp.

The chromes make such a crisp, clear Konad design, it's like they were made for each other.

The formula on all of these was excellent. I have no complaints. The only potential issue is the sheerness of a couple shades- Imagine If... and Do Good... Feel Good were definite three coaters, but this isn't really too much of an issue because these Nicole shades dry very quickly even without a quick dry topcoat. They are also very shiny and durable without topcoat. I kept my Valentine's Day Nicole manicure on for at least four days with no topcoat and there was no tipwear or chipping by the time I removed it.

Pretty, springy, versatile. A little bit of everything in this collection- sheers, pastel, vampy blue, holo, chrome, brights... Very cool. Now all we need is some green and some glitter and we'll have something for everyone!

Thursday, February 19, 2009


I'm feeling pretty sad today, so I thought I'd post some swatches to match my mood.

China Glaze Blue Sparrow

China Glaze Blue Without You

China Glaze Drinkin' My Blues Away (Which may or may not be what I'm doing...)

China Glaze Martini Pedicure

China Glaze Rain Storm

Nicole by OPI It's Up To You

Lippmann Collection Rehab

NARS Midnight Express

Misa Pour Me Something Tall And Strong

Misa On The Edge

Sephora Brand Glittering Nail Polish Blue Sapphire

OPI Glacier Bay Blues

OPI Blue My Mind

OPI Blue Moon Lagoon

Naturistics Crystal Blue Pearl

OPI Midnight Blue Glitter

Rescue Beauty Lounge Dead Calm

Sally Hansen Magical Nail Makeup Blue Aura

And now I'm going to go listen to...

Clarins 202 Metallica.....

.... Damn it, where's my picture of Lippmann Collection Fade To Black when I need it?!?!


Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Sinful Colors

Another drugstore brand that I really like is Sinful Colors. I used to have a lot of Sinful polishes in the 90's, so I have a soft spot for Sinful. Especially Sinful in the old bottle.

I haven't been able to swatch much of my Sinful collection yet, but I did take some bottle pictures which show the colors very accurately.

Before I post the pictures, I'd like to say one thing about Sinful...

The formula is TERRIBLE. It's not just that they're either too thick and globby or too thin and runny, they're all very sheer. It's very hard to apply these polishes. Sheer polishes with bad formula are especially difficult because you have to figure out a way to do enough coats to build opacity without making a gigantic clumpy streaky mess.

There are a few of them that don't give me any trouble- Dream On, Tucson, San Francisco. The rest are a pain in the rear.

However, the colors are so lovely and unique, the trouble is usually worth it.

I am missing a few bottles... They are in my house somewhere, but hell if I know where they are...

Please click the images to enlarge. These are much better in full size.

Sparkle, Heartache, Broadway Star, Treasure Island, Pearl Harbor, Kansas

Hottie, UFO, Pinky Glitter, Pink 4 Ever, Pink 4 Ever (version 2), Green Ocean

Pacific Ocean, Poison Ivy, Guam, Green Bean, San Francisco, Show Me The Way, Irish Green

Toxic Shine, Shausha, Dream On, Daddy's Girl, What's Your Name?, Pink Diamond, Tucson

Lagoon, Euro Trash, Old Gold, Morph Marie, China Gold, Canary Yellow, Serena & Chloe

And a couple that I swatched but can't find the bottles:

Swedish Blue

Greenland (five coats!)