Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Franken, Hamadryad

 :) Frankening is one of my favorite pasttimes, but I hadn't done it quite as often as I used to.  (Mostly because I had no empty nail polish bottles and stainless steel mixing balls, but I digress.)  Anyway, I'd wanted to create a normal green jelly ala zulu when I'd mixed American Apparel's Hunter with a load of clear when I realized it was a little too blue and a little too murky for the job. Not to mention that the jelly version of Hunter looked just like... well, Hunter.  (Which I haven't swatched yet, dangit.) Augh. Why make a franken when it looks just like what you started out with?

After that, I started experimenting.  I threw in a little bit of Onyx, that LA Splash Glitter I was having so much fun with, just to see how it holds (it sank and bled color, just so you know).  I threw in a little bit of tiny, square pink glitter (didn't sink, but bled profusely and turned silver).  Then in a fit of fury--and also because my Color Club Sex Symbol was almost out and I figured that if I mixed SSN Franken part 2 in there I'd need to get most of the glittter out to be as sparse as possible--I threw in some of -that-. About fifteen or so drops of it.

And now... I think I rather like this color.

Look how light and blue it is in the sun, and moody and green indoors. :) The glitters in Sex Symbol are irregularly shaped and slightly flake-like, which adds interest. It reminds me of speckled green river stones.

Three coats, and you'll need to be a light touch.  It gave me serious cuticle drag. .

Had the base color been blue, I might have considered this a Starry Night success. Oh well. :) I will probably be reaching for this one around Christmastime. :D

The Recipe:
-1/8 American Apparel Hunter
-5/8 Sally Hansen Invisible
-15 drops of Color Club's Sex Symbol
-Shake Well
Oh, I almost forgot--this bottle also has no frankenballz. I'm positive that a lot of the glitter even from Sex Symbol has sunk as well, so you may want to be lighthanded with the glitter if you like the sparkle quotient to remain subtle as it has in this picture. Glitter's often the easiest to handle in terms of color mixing, since the logic is fairly simple:  more glitter = more grit + more sparkle. Make it as you like it. :)

Monday, September 27, 2010

OPI, Dazzled By Gold

Dazzled By Gold is an Ulta-exclusive Holiday OPI that came out in 2009.  I saw it at Ulta, picked it up, heard tons of raves about the awesomeness of this polish, and then never wore it.

Isn't that absolutely insane? The truth, though, is that I'm very uncomfortable about wearing gold. Although it has a tendency to look good on my skin, I think it blends a little too much with it and then turns the bling into something a lot more obnoxious.  It always, always, always looks good on me--but I'm always afraid of wearing it initially. In any case, I found it in my drawer just a while ago and sucked it up. Good thing, too, because this baby is beautiful.

Here it is coming alive in the glint of sun:

What makes Dazzled by Gold so wearable is the fact that it's made entirely of little flakes of two (at least, I can only identify two kinds) kinds of gold:  glitzy, lux 24K; paler and more demure gold glitter. The overall look is foily and much like the finish on both Hard Candy's Mr. Wrong and Milani's I'm Online--the texture is partly what brings out this polish's appeal.

And look at how it shines in the sun and how it just glows in shade.

This was three coats. You can still kind of see the (messy) tips of my fingers--I might wear some sort of opaque nude color underneath this just to make the layering a lot easier.  Gorgeous polish--I'll probably reach for this again during the holiday season.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Illamasqua Rampage

I humbly introduce to you Illamasqua Rampage, which I have worn for ages but haven't shown you guys because of my inability to take a decent picture of it. This is still not decent--the gloss keeps getting in the way of all of the color's translucence and purity of pigment, but for now I think this will do. 

I think the reasons as to why I like it should be both obvious and maybe a little embarrassing in consistency. I like dark green. Rampage is dark green. I like jellies. Rampage is a jelly. I also like sleek, square bottles that ooze pretentious class, and, well, Illamasqua's bottles are laser-cut on the inside to make it even squarer and more compact and there's a pop-off square lid with its brand symbol on it and it comes in a glossy black box and--well, the brand's British. (I have the impression that the The-British-Are-So-Much-Cooler-Than-We-Are thing only applies to Americans. More on that another time.)


On a more purely polish-related level, though, jelly greens allow for the viewer to experience looking through green glass bottles as a child and marveling at color and translucency, but on your nails. Like this:

So... yes, that's that. :)

Do you see how Rampage just changes in the light? It's gorgeous.

By the way, this is two coats, perfect application.  I have no other words.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

RBL Grunge, Take Two

I wear polishes over and over again, and I'd taken a picture of this one early on in my blogging history.  I figured it was about time to try to do this one justice--it's top five for me, for certain, and my work appropriate color of choice due to application, wear, and the way it just looks so dang good on my hands.

This is two easy coats.

I took this on a gray morning, but in the sun it has a flash of secret golden shimmer. Yes, it's awesome. :)

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Oh my!

Happy First Birthday for Lemming Monster!!

I'd totally forgotten about it until just a few minutes ago, so I'm afraid that I will have to pull together a rougher article than the one that I'd imagined. Today, this little nail blog of mine turned one years old.  Isn't that incredible?

This was one of the ways that I could keep track of the colors I've worn and how it looked. I'd created Lemming Monster to be useful for myself as an easily accessible way to organize my thoughts on a product I have way too much of, and I have never even dreamed that it could possibly be useful to anybody else, as well. I am lucky, and touched, and so extremely grateful to have the following that I have now. Thank you very much.  Your existence has been essential for this blog to become what it has. 

I'd intended to have this GIANT and extremely valuable giveaway for this day, but I have been on a no-buy for a while since I have no income with which to fuel such a thing.  I'd also intended to have a giant giveaway for 250 followers, but I'm hoping that if I push the number back to 300 I'd be able to throw an even bigger and better giveaway.  Are you guys willing to wait for it? I hope so!

In the meantime, let's have a little blast from the past:  

Thank you all so much. :)

Friday, September 17, 2010

NOTD: Onyx

Has anybody ever been curious about the LA Splash glitters, yet?  I don't mean the polish, I mean the nail art glitters they give you in little round plastic containers so that you can dip your nail in and feel sparkly.

I've been very interested in these--primarily Onyx, the one that seemed to be filled with iridescent hex glitter and gunmetal square glitter as well, but it collected dust in my drawer until recently, when I pulled out Zoya Raven, did two coats, and decided it needed more of a kick.

Basically, this is the kick. by the way, I highly recommend NOT dipping your finger into the tub as they suggest.  It works the first few timew when the glitter remains high and one doesn't have to dip fingertips into glitter at an angle.  By the time I hit my eighth finger my hands resembled fur coats more than they resembled what you see above--the glitter was all sticking up and was too close for me to either remove or to flatten down.  Then there are bubbles when you apply topcoat and--yeah, bad news bears.  Take a piece of paper underneath the hand that you are applying and tap the glitter onto the nail carefully. Then you can even save on glitter and it's far smoother and easier to control than with dipping.

I think it's awesome that the hex glitter takes on a duochrome effect on dark polish--orange/gold in certain lights, green-blue in others.  It looks very alive and is very, very flashy. I also liked how my black polish took on a blue tint due to the gunmetal glitter.

This is really sparkly, by the way:

(a little too blurry for my taste, but eh. effective anyhow.)

Also, it glows like ember indoors.

 I think if anybody was very disappointed with the new Lippmann glitters, these are the far better investment.  I don't think you can use it for frankening--the hex is probably really heavy and likely to bleed--but it's really, really sparkly, and easy to control. You can even layer with them! What's not to love?

Monday, September 13, 2010

Hard Candy, Mr. Wrong

What, exactly, is this color?

Purple? Pewter? Gold? That weird, classy, and wonderful purpley-taupe that's become famous lately, highlighted of course by Chanel Paradoxal?

For that matter, what, exactly, is this finish? Foil?  Jelly shimmer? Irregularly-shaped glitter?

I'm not entirely sure. All and none of the above, probably. Mr. Wrong is the (revamped) Hard Candy's showstealer, a dusty sheer purple that encases irregularly-shaped pale gold flakes that come together to create a foil finish.  The conglomeration of colors playing with light is probably what causes it to look the way it does.  It's gorgeous, complex, and blends in perfectly with my yellow-toned skin, and takes three coats for opacity.

The gold is far more predominant indoors than out, where it just takes on the shine from the sun. :)


On a more personal note, this is the second time I wore Mr. Wrong. The first time I wasn't sure whether or not I liked it, and it just confused me. Still, I received a ton of compliments on this color, including one from a friend who's not fond of either shimmer or purple. I'm glad I gave it a second try. I think this color is great, and well worth its price and the trek to Walmart. It may just make my favorite go-to list (which, if you wanted to know, is tagged under HG in this here blog)... but I might need to wear it one more time to make sure. :P

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Zoya, Veruschka

I wore this polish for last Christmas, in lieu of all the people wearing ChG Emerald Sparkle/Ruby Pumps/things that are red, green, gold, silver, and shiny. I liked the velvety look of Veruschka, like expensive wrapping paper or like warm comforter. It suited my favorite part of Christmas more--less about the glitz and the parties and the wrapping paper, more about the fireplace glow of the holiday.

Anyway, it's September now (already) and Veruschka still seems appropriate for heralding in crisp mornings and red leaves and gray skies. It's a deep, blue-based forest green with a velvety sheen and little tiny silver shimmer particles interspersed within the polish to give it more depth than a flat, creme-like matte base would usually allow. I'm under the impression that it also helps with the overall smoothness of the polish--matte may normally allow for a lot of mistakes to show, but I could be wrong. Veruschka is my only matte polish.

Like any other matte (so far as I know), Veruschka dries extremely quickly, so there is little time to paint a nail completely. I still found application fairly easy and applied two coats just in case--if I were faster and more careful, one would probably have been enough. Of course, one should wait until the base coat is completely dry or not wear it at all--this rule also applies to topcoat.


And, of course, this is what it looks like without topcoat--kind of like a finish between the scattered and distinctly-particled glitter/glassfleck, and also the fineness and easily-removeable shimmer. I liked it a lot--it looked like it had tons of depth, although I can't really speak much for the sparkle. The gray days continue. :)

On to other news:  I've recently purged and reorganized my stash in a drawer underneath my desk and I've discovered that I'm a lot less of a brand collector than I thought I was. Also, that I had a ton more OPIs than any other brand. I'd somehow assumed that the list would be dominated by either Essie or China Glaze, but I have one Essie (that is, Jelly Apple:  I gave away the others to people who would've appreciated and used them more) and four China Glazes. My dominant finish of choice is creme or glitter, and there's hardly any other sort in sight. I have never not been on low-buy, and due to my nonexistent budget--I need every single coin I have--I have been on super-low-buy for months.

I know the must-haves for every single upcomming/recent collection, lately, and quite a huge lemming list of my own. But now I'm curious:  what are your top used/nostalgic/signature polishes that you can't live without, regardless of the new trends and the crazy lemmings? What brings you back to all of this, again and again?
 What have you noticed about your own collecting habits, if you collect at all?  :)

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Aaand it's back!

I couldn't find a camera charger, so I bought one, and it got here today! I didn't think I could waste another minute more than I already have, so here you go--today's NOTD. :)

This is LA Girls' Party Animal from the Rock Star line, topped with Pure Ice Heartbreaker, a blue sheer with a blue/green shimmer and a layering favorite on the MUA Nail Board.  I picked it up due to the hubbub the last time I was at Walmart, and I think it's a stunner--especially over contrasting colors like this vampy shade. More pics?

See that color shift from nail to nail?

You may want to click on the image to really see the shimmer--I did my best, but it's a dreary grey day in Southern California and the camera didn't want to cooperate.  Also, sorry about the tip wear--this is day three and it shows.

Trust me when I say that it is FAR more vibrant in real life.  In real life it also glows predominantly green, but the blue is very visible.  This kind of semi-surreal color/shimmer combinations always make me think of unnatural things. This is a color a witch might wear. I had a lot of fun with it. :)

It's good to be back, everyone!