; Plisherrific: April 2012

Apr 30, 2012

Polish Haul - OPI, Nubar, Nails Inc, Maybelline, BB Couture, WnW, Color Club, Milani, Zoya, Missha, Sinful Colors, Sally Hansen, Revlon, China Glaze, Piggy Polish

Gee, that post title is a mouthful! It's time for another embarrassing haul post! Although tbh, most of these came from Kaz's blogsale... =p

However, before we get into that, I was super surprised to learn that I had won one of the prizes in Dragon Lady Nails' 200-500 Follower Giveaway! Mine was the second entry drawn and I had a pick of the remaining four prize sets and this was the one I picked:

[Dragon Lady Nails 200-500 Follower Giveaway Prize]
Milani Jewel Fx in Gems, Teal and Silver (L-R in the photo), an amazingly shiny glittery blue notebook, two rolls of nail art striping tape, a rhinestone carousel and five of the most adorable fimo heart canes I've ever seen!

[Fimo heart canes]
 Look how totally adorable they are! Can't wait to use them!

[L-R: Milani Gems, Teal, Silver]
Milani Gems is another of those Deborah Lippmann Happy Birthday-inspired ones. Teal is medium-sized blue/green/silver holo hexagon glitter with small blue glitter in a clear base. Silver is... well, silver! Hexagonal glitter in a clear base as well. Click the image to see the different glitter combinations better.

Thank you sooo much to the Dragon Lady for hosting such a wonderfully generous giveaway! She is now holding a 750 Follower Appreciation Giveaway with 4 bottles from the China Glaze Prismatic collection so make sure to try your luck!!

Okay, now on to my blogsale haul from Kaz of Pretty Random. I was so so greedy, oh dearrr... The speed at which those comments rolled in, gossshh! Kaz was super duper nice and I received my haul super fast with all the polishes really well-packed in bubble wrap. Yayyy, thank you so much!

[L-R: Color Club Fantasy, OPI Gettin' Miss Piggy With It, OPI Russian Navy Suede, Nubar Meadow Sparkle, Maybelline Racing Green, Piggy Polish (Unnamed), Nail Inc Chelsea Embankment]
[L-R: Sally Hansen White Pearl Chrome, Sinful Colors U Funny, BB Couture Studio 54, Zoya Kym, Maybelline Matte Olive, Wet n Wild Party of Five Glitters]
Aahhhhh all that matte/chrome/glass fleck/glittery goodness, be still my heart! I am so pleased with this haul, you have no ideaaaa~ =p It was like random Christmas!

I also bought a couple of things over the past few weeks. Here's a few that were on my desk when I was taking photos...

[L-R: Revlon Lilac Beam, Revlon Popular, Missha HGR01, Missha HKH01, China Glaze For Audrey, Maybelline Metallics Downtown Brown]
Revlon Color Illusion Lilac Beam was a lucky find after rummaging through a pile at Paddys Markets, wooo! Jme and I each bought a bottle of Revlon Popular during Priceline's recent BOGOF Revlon sale.

[Close-up (L-R): Missha HKH01, Missha HGR01, Revlon Lilac Beam]
A close-up to show the holo in Missha HKH01, and the duochrome in Missha HGR01 and Revlon Lilac Beam! Also, now that I own three different party multi-coloured glitter polishes, I can do a comparison of them! Here's a quick and dirty pic to show you the general difference between the three.

[Glitter comparison (L-R): WnW Party of Five Glitters, NYX Girls Carnival, Milani Jewel FX Gems]
Milani Gems has a lot more orange, NYX Girls Carnival has more gold and neither are present in WnW Party of Five Glitters so you get a much cooler tone with WnW, warm with NYX and in-between for Milani.

I'll write up a more comprehensive breakdown one day but for now, I'm off to stare lovingly at my stash...ALTHOUGH... I will be doing a blogsale sometime, I just need to find some time to weed through my stash (because it's almost at 400 atm, shhhh don't tell the boyfriend...) =p

Have a great week, all!

Apr 29, 2012

The Stripy Avengers - Nubar, Orly, China Glaze, Sally Hansen, Essence, Savvy

Am I still going on about Avengers? Yes, yes, I am. :P  I watched the movie on Thursday night, and it was spectacular and so much fun! I think Whedon really did justice with a superhero team movie.

Anyway, you might have seen my Avengers nail art on Thursday. While I can't draw on my right hand with my left, I did have an Avengers theme going on:

[Left to Right: Thor, Captain America, Iron Man, Loki and Hulk]
Yet again, I'm cracking myself up writing the captions. These are just colour representations of the characters of course.

By my warped logic, Thor gets blue, gold and red because he is blonde, blue eyed, and has a red cape. The others are based on their uniform, except for Hulk. He gets pale green and black, and only two stripes to represent his dual sides. I chose black because his hair is black when he's the Hulk. >_>  My geek really is reaching impressive levels of embarrassing here.

[Left to Right: Thor, Captain America, Iron Man, Loki and Hulk]

Here are the nail polishes I used:

Blue = Nubar Night Sparkle
Red = Nubar Fire Sparkle
Silver = Sally Hansen Celeb City
Gold = Orly Luxe
Dark green = China Glaze Emerald Sparkle
Black = Savvy Coal
Light green (Thumb) = China Glaze L8R G8R
Black-gold (Thumb) = Essence Gold Old Buffy

[Left to Right: Thor, Captain America, Iron Man, Loki and Hulk]
I haven't photographed my right hand much lately, because I broke my pinky nail and thumb nail. :(  Still doesn't look that great here, but I had to share the colourfulness.

I don't believe I have swatched Essence Gold Old Buffy before, but you can see a little of it on my thumb. It's a dusky black with gold-green glass flecks. The black isn't very dark because of the abundance of the glass flecks. It's a rather smooth application.

[Left to Right: Thor, Captain America, Iron Man, Loki and Hulk]
The mani was a lot shinier than my photographs can capture, but the above iPhone pics makes a better attempt at catching the shiny glitters. Nubar Fire Sparkle and Night Sparkle really are so very shiny, except they're annoyingly difficult to remove. Over here, you can also see the holographic shine to China Glaze's L8R G8R.

What are your favourite mix of colours when it comes to superhero/supervillain costumes? I admit that I'm partial to blue, red and white/silver. But after trying on this mani, I think I like Thor's colours the best on the nails. Blue, gold and red! So snazzy!

Apr 27, 2012

Loki-inspired Manicure - China Glaze Emerald Sparkle, Essence Make It Golden, NYX Girls Enchanted Forest

I was so impressed by Jme's Avengers manicure yesterday, aren't you all! In fact, I was so impressed I made us a Tumblr account just to show it off, lol! So check us out at...

By the time this post goes up on Friday, Jme and I will have seen the movie (we're heading to it Thursday evening)... YAYYYY!!

So... I wasn't as hardcore as Jme unfortunately, but wheeee! Here's my take on a Loki-inspired manicure! I was going to do some edgy funky french in gold and green but then I thought... NO...wait....

[Credit unknown: I've stolen this from somewhere but I don't remember, sorry!]

Asgard is after all a happy rainbow land filled with sparkles and shiny, and despite all his hang-ups... there is a little bit of Asgard in Loki....

Loki + Asgard = Green + Gold + Holo Rainbow Sparkle-arkle!!
[You just can't deny your upbringing...]
Let's take a look!

[Jelly Sandwich: Essence Make It Golden sandwiched between China Glaze Emerald Sparkle]
I started with a jelly sandwich of a one coat base of China Glaze Emerald Sparkle, one coat of Essence Make It Golden, then topped with another layer of CG Emerald Sparkle.

[Jelly Sandwich: Essence Make It Golden sandwiched between China Glaze Emerald Sparkle]
The sandwich added a hidden glitter to Emerald Sparkle and kept it from getting too dark which I was pretty pleased about.

[China Glaze Emerald Sparkle]
On a tangent, I've been searching for "the perfect green" and if you have a bottle of Emerald Sparkle and have seen the dense glitter settled at the bottom - that green is SO perfect, I'm still looking!

[Bottle to nail: NYX Girls Enchanted Forest over jelly sandwich]
Finally, the finishing touch is a carefully placed layer of NYX Girls Enchanted Forest. The base looks green but it's actually practically clear but there are three different sizes of pale greeny gold holographic glitter in it which adds amazing depth even with one layer.

[NYX Girls Enchanted Forest over Essence/China Glaze jelly sandwich]
Check out how the glitter overlaps. It is so shiny and the holographic glitter just catches the light amazingly, though photos don't capture that very well.

[NYX Girls Enchanted Forest over Essence/China Glaze jelly sandwich]
I was quite happy with this combination because the deep green is pretty classy and sedate but then all the holo gold just catches your eye with rainbows of light! =p A bit like a green galaxy manicure, even. Well, the Rainbow Bridge is kiiinda over space(-time)...!!

[Unfocused iThing photo]
[Close-up:NYX Girls Enchanted Forest over Essence/China Glaze jelly sandwich]
Just a crappy iThing pic to show off the glitter and one more close up (the glitter lies flat which is another great plus)! Sorry for the number of photos and amount of waffling on I did but it's been a while since I've been pleased with a manicure!

Apr 26, 2012

Earth's Mightiest Heroes - Nubar, Orly, China Glaze, Sally Hansen, Ulta3, Dong Dong

It's Avengers week! At least, it is in Australia! I'm so excited about this movie, so it's really no surprise what this entry contains...

[Captain America, Iron Man, Shield, Black Widow]
Avengers inspired nails! Aaaaah, my dork side is showing, but I can't bring myself to care! Even writing the caption for the photos is cracking me up. I'll go into detail about the nail polishes I used later on, there were just too many.

[Captain America, Iron Man, Shield, Black Widow]
Look, I took a million pictures in my over-excitement, so I'm sharing a few of the million, which is a mark of my great restraint!

[Captain America, Iron Man, Shield, Black Widow]
This seems like a sad selection of symbols compared to the full cast of The Avengers. The thing is, these are the most obvious symbols I could think up. The others are kinda difficult, or even more kiddy-like. (I didn't want to draw a hammer to represent Thor. -.- ) I also wanted a more colour-coordinated mani. Shield's logo is against silver, so it got the accent nail. Also...I didn't want to try to squeeze Shield's logo onto my pinkie. Black Widow was enough of a nightmare.

[Black Widow]
Macro shots! So Black Widow in the movie doesn't actually wear a black widow symbol, but since that's her superhero name, she gets represented by one. The background is Ulta3's English Rose layered over Nubar's Fire Sparkle. I wanted a bit more glitter, but I also wanted it lighter than Fire Sparkle. The spider was drawn on using Sally Hansen's Nail Art Pen Black/Noir. The legs were drawn on using Artline 200 Fine 0.4, because I needed finer lines than I could manage with the nail art pen. The orange triangles on the spider's back (which I took some artistic interpretation with) is Orly's Orange Punch. 

This is actually the second time I drew Black Widow. I did another interpretation, which I didn't share, a couple weeks back when I was testing out the Sally Hansen Nail Art Pen: 

[Black Widow, Take 1]
It was done on my ring finger, and since that gave me more space, I think my first attempt was actually a lot nicer. This one is against Revlon's Watermelon Fizz.

Shield's eagle logo is set against Sally Hansen's Celeb City, which is a silver foil. The eagle was done with Sally Hansen's Nail Art Pen Black/Noir as well. As you can see, it's hard to get sharp corners with its thick tip. I used the Artline pen for the semi-circles around the eagle.

I just realised that the director's chairs in front of Shield's symbol says Iron Man and Captain America, ahaha. But why?? Where's Joss Whedon to sit?

[Iron Man]
HELLO, IRON MAN! He's my favourite! And unfortunately, the least successful of my interpretations. :(  In trying to make the Iron Man mask cover most of my nail, I made his face too long. I didn't have a yellow enough gold as well. And I couldn't make the eyes glow despite my attempts at the tiniest gradients ever! Frustrating all around! I couldn't even take a proper macro shot of Iron Man without it turning out all blurry.

The background is China Glaze's Ruby Pumps, and the gold used here is Orly's Luxe. The gold mask was done by taping off the red parts I didn't want painted over. That took some planning. The black lines were done freehand with the Artline pen, and the white eyes is Glamnails Nail Art Pen Snow White.

[Captain America's shield]
The red here is Dong Dong 21, which is a red foil, the silver is Sally Hansen's Celeb City, and the blue is Nubar's Night Sparkle, which is a deep blue jelly with blue glitter.

The smallest red circle is so tiny because I was using round stickers as my guideline, and I couldn't find one at just the right size. Based on what I did for the silver circle, I think I could have cut out my own circles and make a much better shield. Maybe for the sequel. :P  I am so stupidly proud of that star. It was difficult to do! I used the Glamnails Nail Art Pen Snow White to draw it, and went over it with Celeb City using a dotting tool.

[Captain America, Iron Man, Shield, Black Widow]
So, what do you think? Did I succeed in having an Avengers themed manicure? Or did you go, 'What on earth are these?' before I did the comparison pictures?

In any case, you might have noticed that my thumb was left out. I broke my thumb nail about a week ago, which is just heartbreaking. :(  One of my workmates insisted I did something Avengers themed on it as well. Since it's so stubby, I couldn't really think of something that would fit nicely. I was tempted to draw the Hulk, but green would clash with the rest of my nails, and I didn't think I would have enough space. I thought I would try to have something Hawkeye-related instead:

[Hawkeye, Captain America, Iron Man, Shield, Black Widow]
AHAHAHAHA! Hawkeye, archer extraordinaire, represented by cupid's bow and arrow. Oh Jme. I considered that a total fail and wiped it off.

By the time I took the above picture, I had been wearing this mani for a few days, so there's some wear on the other nails. A sign of how fond I am of this is that this has lasted more than 5 days, and I'm still wearing it! I'm amazed they lasted so well against all the abuse I have put them through this week.

In case you're wondering (I bet no one is wondering), the title comes from a line in the trailer: "And there came a day, a day unlike any other, when Earth's mightiest heroes found themselves united against a common threat, to fight the foes no single superhero could withstand. On that day, The Avengers were born."

Of course, there's also the cartoon titled The Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes, which I find most fitting since my mani is rather cartoonish.

Alright, enough geekiness from me. I'll be watching The Avengers movie tonight, so I'm all gleeful!

Apr 23, 2012

Duping Scandalous - Jordana Magenta Magic vs Revlon Scandalous/Facets of Fuchsia

Sorry it's taken me this long to get around to this! I did a little teaser pic of this franken on Twitter a few weeks ago and have only now swatched it properly.

[Bottle to Nail: Magenta Magic franken dupe]
Here it is, bottle to nail! I wasn't going to pay $14 for Revlon Scandalous/Facets of Fuchsia in-store so when I saw Jordana's new collection of glitters (which are completely awesome, I must say!), I noticed this beauty here...

[In the bottle: Jordana Glitters in Magenta Magic]
Jordana Magenta Magic, dense tiny and large hexagonal magenta glitter swimming in a clear base! Only $3 at Cherry Culture for 15ml! I'm not sure why the product page lists it as 6ml, but it's most definitely a large bottle.

[Close-up: Magenta Magic franken dupe of Revlon Scandalous]
The glitter is fairly dense so you don't need much of it at all to dupe Scandalous/Facets of Fuchsia (and Deborah Lippmann Bad Romance!).

Recipe: Fill 1/3 bottle with Magenta Magic, then top up with clear and a couple drops of black, enough to tint the base to a black jelly. That's it!

[Magenta Magic franken dupe: 2 coats except middle finger (black base)]
These are all two layers of my franken without base, except for my stumpy middle finger where I layered it over black to check out the difference. You do lose a bit of the jelly look when you layer it over black so it might not be to your taste!

I've been in a photo-taking rut unfortunately so my apologies for the crappy picture quality. I'm out during the day so the only time I do my nails and take photos are at night by my desk lamp light. =( Oh well, I hope you guys find this useful anyway!

Apr 22, 2012

Sketch Sunday - #1: She Lived in a Swamp

Aside from working in a scientific lab, I do some illustration on the side. Today I felt like taking a break from work-drawing (for the past 8hrs!) to do something a bit fun. So, this is from last week's Lynderella post showcasing She Lived in a Swamp.

[I wonder what her face looks like... do I want to know?]
I thought to myself, all these wonderful names that polish companies come up with! So once in a while, probably quite rarely, I think I'll doodle a little something based on these names. =) Enjoy!

Apr 19, 2012

Success and Failures - LA Colors French White, Orly Orange Punch, Bys Bright Pink

I totally forgot about my Thursday post until pretty late, so let's make this a quickie!

I read about dry water marbling from Cathy at More Nail Polish, and I just had to try it out!

[Base: LA Colors French White
Dry Water Marble: LA Colors French White, Orly Orange Punch, Bys Bright Pink]
So this is my first attempt at dry water marbling! The thing is...I haven't tried water marbling before, because it seemed like such a mess, so that's why I was willing to give the dry version a shot. This is a random mix of patterns, because I still haven't mastered the ability to create even patterns before the nail polish dries in a complete clump.

[Base: LA Colors French White
Dry Water Marble: LA Colors French White, Orly Orange Punch, Bys Bright Pink] 
I won't go into the method since far more skilled people have covered those. But I will mention some mistakes I did. When tearing off the plastic, bits of nail polish had come off and one big piece stuck to the nail on my ring finger. You can see the random orange piece there. It just would not come off, oh dear. So I think I should have tried harder to be neat about the whole thing.

I still have a long way to go when it comes to dry water marbling, because here's my second attempt at it.

[LA Colors French White, Mode Glamazon, Essence Viva La Green]
How is my second attempt so much worse than my first attempt? Sad, sad, sad. For one thing, the pattern was way too big. The second thing was that the layer of polish was too thin. It chipped so badly at the edges when I removed the plastic, and then bubbled weirdly after that. The third, unexpected problem was that purple polish ran when I applied a top coat. I had to share this sad failure, though looking at the picture does make me cringe!

So have you guys tried dry water marbling? Do you have any tips to stop the layer of nail polish chipping at the edges when the plastic is being peeled off or how to add lots of colours into the water and still be able to make a pattern before the mix of polish dry up?

Apr 16, 2012

Extreme Pink - Sally Hansen Nail Prisms in Ruby Diamond

Apologies if I've been a bit uninspired lately, work has been pretty crazy busy. I get hangnails when I'm stressed and my thumbs are so raggedy now, arghhh. Also, I found out earlier this week that I am most likely headed to the UK in June so it's been a flurry of planning and making travel arrangements. *deeeep breath* Only a small portion of that is work though, so it should be fun!

ANYWAY! I pulled out an old swatch for today, but everyone probably already knows of the Sally Hansen Nail Prisms! Here's Ruby Diamond in all its shiny holographic gloriousness!

[Nail to bottle: Sally Hansen Nail Prisms in Ruby Diamond]
This pink is BRIGHT! The formula is thin, but it flows well and dries pretty fast - this was three coats.

[Sally Hansen Nail Prisms: Ruby Diamond (3 coats)]
The holo seems to be a cross between linear and scattered. Leaning a bit more scattered I reckon, but the last picture just below shows a faint hint of the "flame" you get with linear holos. (The first two photos are more color-accurate than the last.)

[Sally Hansen Nail Prisms: Ruby Diamond (3 coats)]
I once adored holos but I've moved on to glitter since because I'm so rarely out in the sun that I don't ever get to see the full blingy effect of holo polish. =( These are very pretty though and I'd love to get my hands on more! Alternatively, I should just get off my arse and make up that Spectraflair topcoat and I'll be set! =p

Apr 14, 2012

Silver Eggs Saturday - Revlon Popular, Silver bullions

You might have seen Fish Egg Friday going around blogs, and I thought I would join in. I have used a different name for the themed entry, because it's Saturday in Australia already, and I wanted to keep the alliteration. :)

[Revlon Popular
Ring finger: Silver bullions over Revlon Popular]
You probably have heard about the whole Ciate's cease and desist letter which sparked Fish Egg Friday. I think it's interesting to know that this beaded nail art was originally created by Dashing Diva in 2011. I wonder what will happen if other companies went around trademarking 'Half-moon manicure' and 'Crescent manicure', and demanded that no one else used these names. What a terrible PR job by Ciate so far!

All that silliness aside, let me go through my strange, haphazard process while deciding on this look!

[Revlon Popular]
I actually started the day preparing a swatch of Revlon's Popular. Popular used to be called Starry Pink, because Revlon loves renaming their nail polishes and confusing the lot of us. :O  Revlon's Popular is a very pale pastel pink base with silvery-gray hex glitter and finer glitter.

The glitter is almost matte, rather than full out shiny, and the nail polish applies smoothly, with a nice, even distribution of glitter. The glitter lies perfectly flat, which is great of course.

[Revlon Popular]
I used three coats of Popular, but do note that my nails are rather long, so you could possibly get away with full opacity at two coats on shorter nails. I do like how glitters look against creme polish. The pink is a little lighter than what I'm used to having on my nails, but I like how the big glitter gives it that extra glitz.

[Revlon Popular]
What I also like about this polish is that some of the silver hexagonal glitter have a dark gray edge. I have no idea why, or if it's intentional, but I think that makes the glitter stand out more.

I then saw Fish Egg Friday going around the blogs, and I thought it would be interesting to have an accent nail in silver beads, to match the silver glitter in Popular.

[Revlon Popular
Ring finger: Silver bullions over Revlon Popular]
I don't think silver bullions look very much like caviar or fish roe, but it does look a bit like armour, which pleases and amuses me. The bullions are shinier in person than in the pictures, because my camera is picking up more of the topcoat than the bullions.

[Revlon Popular
Ring finger: Silver bullions over Revlon Popular]
The completely beaded nail look is easier to achieve then I originally thought. All I did was put on a coat of clear polish, pour the silver microbeads/bullions over the wet polish, and repeated the process where necessary. Most of it stuck on the first try. It would probably look better if I had a silver base instead of a pink one, but it didn't turn out too badly, I think.

I have gone over the silver bullions with topcoat, because I want to see how long this mani will last. Without a top coat, the bullions were shinier and looked a lot more striking, but I doubt they would have lasted more than a few minutes. I have done some cleaning around my place with this mani on, and it seems to have come out unscathed so far.

You can easily buy the hole-less beads or bullions online at nail accessories stores, on Ebay, at craft stores, etc. I got mine ages ago at some dollar store, and these bullions are more for manicure accents. The bottles I have are pretty small, but they seem to go a long way!