Tuesday, September 19, 2017

A Month Later....

Here is my first post with polygel on my nails. I wanted to swatch an old favorite, Maybelline Tassled Taupe. It's a great formula and has a lovely shimmer.

If you haven't heard the hoopla, google Gelish Polygel and you will get both industry information and a lot of Youtube videos.

Having had issues with my nails just getting long and then needing to be wacked off because of a crack or a break, I've tried every nail strengthener, but nothing really can protect my nails from the beating they take. I had looked into acrylics, but the application process is far too invasive: too much filing down of my nail. I did want some gel stuff, but soaking off polish felt like a super drag. I haven't done acrylic dip, but since I change my polish a lot and with acetone, the videos didn't seem promising. I tried some non-acetone remover and it was just so awful. Ugh. 

So, I gave up.

When I heard about Polygel by Gelish, I thought, it's cheap enough to get into, they make it look so easy and they really seem to have a system that is workable until cured. Ok.

Went to Nail Tech Supply (awesome) and picked up a trial box ($70 by the time shipping was done). and promptly procrastinated for three weeks.

Then I just jumped in. Closely following instructions. Using my eBay/Amazon procured supporting products and an ELF brush, I applied it.

The slip really smells awful, but I guess if you work in a salon with acrylics it must smell nice, because all the youtubers sniffed it and pronounced it nice.

It's been a solid month and I am on a fill and some days out I think I am only still just getting around the filing side of things. It's still a work in progress, for sure.

The result:

Don't get me wrong, I'm not crowing about the result, but this is the first time I've looked at my nails and they are starting to get there. While far from salon perfect, it's a huge step forward and the first time I wanted to photograph my nails since applying this stuff.

The thing to remember that beneath the Polygel are my nails. Period. There are no extensions, nothing. I look at these as support. Even though I see videos of people doing forms and things, I just don't see that as a thing right now, if ever. I really just like not having to worry about breaks as much.

But of course, there are new worries and learning curves. 

I did have some lifting after the first application. I use a crystal file and a higher grit no-number one I got with a bottle of harmony bonder. So I watched a youtube video and saw how to get rid of the lifted section and reapply. That was at week three, and the only hinky part was just seeing the lift.

Because you use a slip to keep your brush from sticking, you need to use it with tact: it will dissolve the Polygel and it will get all over your skin. Of course using my non-dominant hand has been a flexing of nerves and muscles that just didn't have to think quite so hard, but it's just like painting my nails, but not. It really doesn't move like they say, and you can manipulate it, though I have no acrylic application experience, I did try to make it super thin and that might have been an issue.

So every time I change my polish, I tweak the filing, smooth things out, etc. 

The goal is to have uniform nails that can stand up to some light abuse. They don't need to be long, but I would like to eventually get a length and shape that works for me a little better for swatching.

I will post more about this, but my goal is to continue to swatch and work the side of the street I enjoy. 

Polygel is very strong. Well, I guess that is relative, no? I do know that I jammed my thumb into the roof of the car moving something and that would have been an automatic break, so nice!

I will probably find another brush, I'm using an ELF smudge brush found at Big Lots!, so it's not a total win. Next will be my ELF concealer, a more precise brush. If I need a better brush, I am sure there is a video that will cover it.

Thanks for reading my little nail polish journal!

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

L'Oreal's Holo Affair

In this abundance of holographic riches, mainstream brands like Revlon and L'Oreal are dipping their toes into the waters with things like holo toppers and holo nail polish.

I think it's great. Nothing more fun than that rainbow on your nails when you hit the sunshine!

Here's L'Oreal's Masked Affair 

This is a mauve holo, very pale, loaded with holo that is a scattered flame

Three coats, no top coat.

I it's not super smooth, but not bad. It takes a bit of oomph to pick up the holo. This is under my lamp with some fill flash, so you can see the color. It's almost purple, but in most light it's a pale purple mauve shade.

I think at first I was a little miffed when I saw it in the bottle. I thought it was kind of paltry with the holo.

On the nail, it gives it up in bright light, which is so nice.

Here  it is in lower light:

It definitely is show its gray roots here!

You can see that there are small and larger holo pieces, and I think if this was all a super fine holo that is mixed with some fine silver (I think it is, because some just doesn't pick up anything) it would be a flat out fail, but the bigger pieces help.

While not a holo monster, it certainly delivers.

Right now it's not cheap on eBay, and I am guessing that (since I've stopped following the drug store beat) L'Oreal does keep a stable of core shades (at least at Walgreens), but pop out special stuff on a seasonal basis. It is no longer on their site. It was a special edition, so it may have not been on the site long if at all. 

This came out in 2015, but hung around for a while. Though it's not longer in the L'Oreal stable, nor at an affordable price, it was nice to see holo polish hit mainstream.

I am surprised more brands don't do this: holographic pigment is not in short supply and everyone seems to like it, or at least enjoys dipping their toes every now an again.

I have a backup bottle and I am trying to use some polishes as stamping polishes. This has a density about it that make make it a candidate.

Thanks for reading my little nail polish journal!

Thursday, September 7, 2017

Old Princessas Never Die, They Just Layer Away

Here's a long time member of the collection who has never been swatched. I've worn it a few times: trying alone, then trying it over a dark shade. Finally finding it's raison d'etre: over a similar shade.

Princessa Violet Dream over Color Club Give Me a Hint

Two coats over GMaH, no top coat.

This type of mauve is very on trend, but in many ways they are classic. 

Both polishes are well over 5 years old and so it's hard to say that they aren't classic shades.

Meanwhile, Princessa Violet Dream is a perfect layering polish with flashes of blue that add to it's beauty.

CC Give Me a Hint has been blogged both here and here. It is gorgeous.

Thanks for reading my little nail polish journal!

Sunday, September 3, 2017

Layla Hologram Effect Part 2

Here is part 2!
For part 1, please click here!

Here's a recap of my previous post:

How they apply

1 - All of these are three coats - a must.
2 - Chipping -because of the rigidity of holo pigment, a good layering system helps with wear:
     Normal mani
     Add top coat
     Top off with another layer of polish
3 - Flame and top coats - Layla's flame is sensitive to top coats, I've watched while holo flame                  vanished with top coat application. The layering technique in 2 helps.
4 - Balding - these will pull up pigment with a second coat. I used a ridge filler and had no issues. 

Back to the swatches!

Layla Hologram Effect 05 Jade Groove

A very pale neutral green. It almost looks like a silver, but it's a green. They came out with a better green in their second batch, called Emerald Divine. I'd recommend this if you love a seafoam type of green.

Layla Hologram Effect 06 Mermaid Spell

A gorgeous light blue. I think it ranges from a soft periwinkle almost to a peacock. It's a pastel and it's beautiful.

Layla Hologram Effect 07 Ocean Rush

Bright medium blue. More color pigment this time around and it really pops as a blue polish.

Layla Hologram Effect 08 Flash Black

A favorite. Black holos are hard, but this is really a charcoal due to all the holographic pigment.
I love how it has such a warm golden flame. It has the full rainbow, but the cool shades are more diffused.

There you have it.

I did try some stamping with these polishes, but didn't post. These work out very nicely as stampers, some are stronger than others, so I need to get a post together on that aspect, too. Coming soon!

I came in to polish from a time when the concept of stamping with a holo felt extremely wasteful with a rare commodity. Well, times have changed. I love stamping and I really think it's time I played with some holos!

Layla does not have these polishes on their site, so I am sure they are discontinued. Even they knew the formula was tricky with pulling up on a second coat (they sold a buffing stick that I didn't use), so perhaps they couldn't support it in the way they liked.

I like them a lot, they are traditional holographics, with a few twists, and a strong holo presence.

They are priced competitively on eBay and some crazy price points on Amazon. I'd prowl eBay.
(I have a few listed on my mom's auctions, too, for full disclosure)

Thanks for reading my little nail polish journal!

Thursday, August 31, 2017

Layla Hologram Effect Part 1

When these came out the flame was just beginning with the indie holos, so these were not merely epic, but had a strong holographic flame that was longed for and well missed by those who loved the old China Glaze and OPI offerings.

This is for polishes 1-8, but they released more. All are readily available on eBay.

Pigments that seemed to be gone were not merely back, but mind blowing-ly back.

How they apply

1 - All of these are three coats - a must.
2 - Chipping -because of the rigidity of holo pigment, a good layering system helps with wear:
     Normal mani
     Add top coat
     Top off with another layer of polish
3 - Flame and top coats - Layla's flame is sensitive to top coats, I've watched while holo flame                  vanished with top coat application. The layering technique in 2 helps.
4 - Balding - these will pull up pigment with a second coat. I used a ridge filler and had no issues.

To the polishes!

Layla Hologram Effect 01 Mercury Twilight

A cool, classic holo silver. gorgeous.
Not much more to say here.
Oh. Wait. Gorgeous!

Layla Hologram Effect 02 Coral Glam

A copper pink that tends toward an earthy coral in most light. My photo pulls a little blue and softens it up.
At the top of nail on the pinkie and index, you can see the warmer copper shade come out.
A favorite, and very unique.

Layla Hologram Effect 03 Retro Pink

A soft red toned pink that is very nice. Classic and neutral.

Layla Hologram Effect 04 Ultra Violet

A classic true purple. Not a plum, not a violet, just a gorgeous purple.
A favorite!

Part 2 in a day or two!

Thanks for reading my nail polish journal! 

Monday, August 28, 2017

Flakie Bummer

I've been trying to break out more of my indies and so here we go: a polish I haven't featured before.

Glam Polish Secrets in the Sand over Color Club Give Me a Hint

Clear iridescent flakies and holographic particles make up this topper.

In the photos a strong blue/fuchsia shift appears, but on my nails I could only catch a little of that.

Why do I feel like I failed this polish? Damn.

I could get nothing out of it that approached all those photos.

From: Glam Polish
I tried a lot. So, I guess I will try again. 

In the bottle it's very translucent, so the bright colors don't pop as much in person. 

Normally I am super enthusiastic about  flakie toppers, so I don't know if my flash crushed the color or it's just the angle. 

No matter how many photos I took under my lamp and my flash, I could not recreate this color array on the nail, except in the smaller flake.

Friday, August 25, 2017

The Dearly Departed

If I've posted it once, I've posted it 100 times: I miss Diamond Cosmetics.

I finally got around to swatching an oldie!!

Diamond Cosmetics Chainmail Charm

A warm gray charcoal base with a load of holo to add some buzz. It forms a soft rainbow, so it's not a true scattered holo. I am sure with holo's these days you can define them in a lot of ways.

This is three coats, no top coat.

I think this came out before the indie market filled the huge gap in holos, so this was a semi-hot item in its day.

I like how earthy the holo looks here.

I can't immediately think of a dupe, but Cupcake polish and Illyrian polish make a similar one, but with a lot more holo. This one lets the base shine through.

Thanks for reading my little nail polish journal!

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

The Stars In the Rainbow

Color Club makes a line of art polishes they call Nail Art Stripers. Previously they labeled them as "Art Club" then discontinued them (how I got mine).

They have, at this writing over 60 shades. They run over $4 a bottle through their site, but can be had for about half a fiver most everywhere else. 

I love these for stamping, they are more dense and do a great job. A few weren't really stamping material, so I re-purposed it into a regular polish:

Color Club Black Hologram

I have a soft spot for these holographic scattered glitters. This is three coats with no top coat. You can see it has a soft satin finish.

A scattering of holo, micro and a little larger, make up this one. I think that the smaller one is silver, but it's hard to tell. 

This shade is no longer carried, but they have a lot of finishes, which is nice! Considering stamping polishes do go for a premium, it's nice to find some cremes that are nice and affordable. 

Thanks for reading my little nail polish journal!

Monday, August 21, 2017

Red Topper Duo

Orly 15 Minutes of Fame


I picked this up at TJ Maxx. Fairly excited by both flakies and holo in this jelly polish, I was keen to try it.
I put some over black and some over white, but neither impressed.

The components to the eye when I have the bottle in my hand are exciting: jelly base, flakies, holo,  and glass fleck.

Yet I really felt like it was not finding the right venue for this polish. I think a vamp red or maroon might be a better choice.

I might reblog it.

SinfulColors Devil's Stare

Two coats over both black and white.

This is another rare foray by Sinfulpolish to go into flakies.

I have to admit their offerings are very popular.

This is not a mylar flake like Red Ocean (or Green Ocean, for that matter), but not really a true flakie. It's like they processed the flakies into smaller bits this time around, which helps because there are no bits that want to pop up perpendicular to your nail, or hang off the edge. Nice!

I think you can see it around the web sponge manicured because if you want density, that's what you have to do.

I like SC, they are a cheap brand that does a good job with colors. I tend to steer clear of their shimmers, but like their cremes and glass fleck.

I like it best over a lighter color, but the jelly base is super strong on this one.

I think over a similar red, or a maroon, or violet red it would be very nice.

To conclude, both of these polishes weren't making me roar.

Both can be found online with some poking around, though Devil's Stare is easily found on ebay.

NOTE: blog sale page is up and running, so please take a turn and check it out. Let me know if you want to make an offer: I am open!

Thanks for reading my little nail polish journal!

Saturday, August 19, 2017

Capacity for Dystopia

I admit my encounters with young adult literature entailed a lot of horses and a lot of history and classical literature. I read one sci-fi that my sister liked (the Tripods trilogy), but I was much happier parsing the world of Walter Farley or Jack London.

So when I picked up a few random polishes from a big Nail Supply order I got a few that said "The Giver" on the lid. Based on a book, based on a movie it's a sad story about a sad future. (Read 1984, then look at the current news media, you don't need a book to show you dystopia!)

Reading the wicky-dicky about The Giver, I really have so little incentive to open the book, much less see the movie, that I can't really tell you much more than the bottles have "The Giver Limited Edition" on them. Although I've found a dupe, I am wondering if China Glaze pulled a few old recipes out of a box for this collaboration. I know they got hung out to dry on the Hunger Games movie (yet another sad future for us all, sigh), but this seems like something I missed then accidentally happened upon.

What I've got on: China Glaze Capacity to See Beyond (no pressure) topped with Nicole by OPI Wink of Twink.

A rich blue that is not super unique, but drenched with summer sky. I like it, although I did manage to slop it around with enthusiasm! I did try clean up, but as you can see, that wasn't the whole-lotta-win I was hoping for.

I like this polish at three coats and I won't complain about it. Much. It is loose, but I can award it props for being so pretty and drying very well.

I think you can rustle these "Giver" polishes fairly easily these days.

Wink of Twink is an old Nicole by OPI from  what sounds like a holiday collection. Though I tried flash, sun, angling my hand in the lamps, I could not get a decent holographic rainbow out of it. Even at close examination, I can't even find an implication of holo in my photos.

Having said that, it's a pretty silver topper that may, grab some holo in person in the sun, but it's not really very holographic at all. 

I am debating if I should just relegate it to silver topper or move it along. With the latter being pretty much my feeling towards it.

Too bad, it does have a soft twinkle but it's supposed to be holographic. 

Sad future for this polish.

Thanks for reading my little nail polish journal!