November 2009 | Emerald Sparkled

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Tag: 15 Blogs I Love To Read

Today's post is not directly nail related =) My mani is still perfect, without tipwear, and I'll try to keep it until it chips. Gildedangel from Naive Nails tagged me for "I love your blog!" award. Thank you, gildedangel, I really appreciate this =)
I also know her from Specktra, and I obviously love her blog =) She has been already tagged, therefore I'm not tagging her again =)

I know it's a hard thing to pick only 15 blogs, I want to make sure that I love reading every blog on my blogroll. Anyway, here are 15 blogs I love to read (in no particular order):

Jellynat: Nathalie is a wonderful lady from France, who is very friendly, has a great personality and also gorgeous nails. And I enjoy seeing the colors of her choice on those nails.

Polish Hoarder Disorder: I just discovered her blog and fell in love with her konad ideas =) She makes those nails look beautiful and inspires me every time she does a new konadicure.

Azatoth Nail Art: Another new discovery. Look at those nails! There is so much creativity and patience in her work. And she makes those Fauxnad plates r-o-c-k! =)

Fab Ur Nails: Thrizsha is also one of the very creative konad lovers, who layers stamping in a very efficient way. I especially love her themed manis.

Lemming Monster: I simply love how she models with her hands =) She makes me wanna buy polishes I never intended to buy!

Kronicles of a Konader: Powerlifterchick does her manicures exactly how I like them, our tastes are much alike. I feel very familiar around her blog.

The Hungry Asian: Kae has beautiful nails, takes beautiful pictures and shows me polishes I either love very much, or I've been wanting for a long time =) I always have appetite for new polishes when I look at her blog =)

Getcha Nails Did: Brooke is a polish monster, but in a good way! She either has some new stuff, or old goodies, or frankens, or great konad ideas. Sometimes she posts multiple times a day, and she is so friendly and encouraging around new bloggers!

Nihrida: I love Sasha's style =) She is very talented, has great tutorials, a wonderful personality, and every nail she does - whether konad or not - is spectacular.

Never Too Much Glitter: I've been following Jen's blog for such a long time, she does great frankens, and is a very sweet and nice lady. I love everything about her nails, and she kindly answers every question someone asks - and tries to fulfill many reader requests. Just make sure to visit her Etsy shop - she has great fake nail designs!

Mini Nail Blog: The blog owner is very crafty, her fake nails are so artistic! I love her stuff. She also makes stuff like earrings, accessories, etc. I always wonder how she manages to make those tiny decorations on her nails. =)

Polish Lounge: She is a nice Austrian lady with great nails, nice konad combinations (which always attract my attention) and generous giveaways. She wrote her blog bilingual, but lately changed to English-only.

The Daily Nail: A nail a day is her challenge =) She does spectacular designs, more of a highly detailed art work. I always admire her patience and accuracy.

Dr. Frankenpolish: Another franken master like Never Too Much Glitter, Amanda creates polishes which I think should be mass produced. Luckily she includes the recipes for us DIY lovers.

Scrangie: If it wasn't for her swatches, I would have never gotten into this polish business. That's all I'm telling about her.

Like I said, I love every blog on my Blogroll, otherwise they wouldn't be there! Duh.
Out of topic but I'm just so excited for China Glaze's Up&Away collection. China Glaze included more pictures, and I'm definitely getting Light As Air, Re-Fresh Mint, Happy Go Lucky, Lemon Fizz, Peachy Keen & Something Sweet! And their Poolside Collection looks so promising, too.
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Saturday, November 28, 2009

NOTD: Khrome Flowers

Sorry for the lack of updates in the last few days... I had minimal connection to the internet, plus my last mani chipped the day I had put it on, before I could even take a picture, and I had no time to change it for three days, imagine such a thing! =D Anyway, today I really sat down for the sake of this manicure, and I think it turned out nicely. I know the name I've invented is totally lame, but I hope the mani makes it up for it =)
I started with two coats of China Glaze Metallic Muse. Actually one coat is enough, but I use Mavala Ridge Filler and it caused Metallic Muse to pull and left large gaps on the nails, which was very strange. So I did 2. Then I did a diagonal design on the tips with black polish, and stamped the tips with Metallic Muse & konad plate m73. Then I stamped the bottoms with konad special polish in black and plate m51.

With flash:

I just adore the Khromes. They are so mirror like! I wish they were more forgiving, too, but they provide great coverage, which is such a huge plus for us konad lovers.
My right hand is the mirror version of my left. It came out pretty neat, too, I just forgot to take a picture of it.
When you do things like diagonal tips or generally freehand something, do you try to make them symmetrical, too? I know Konad is not to be applied symmetricaly, and honestly, I don't care, but I try to provide symmetry when I freehand something. =)
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Tuesday, November 24, 2009

NOTD: Pink Paisley

This design is one of my favorites, yet I use it so rarely. This time I started off with one of my frankens, which I made of a medium warm red creme polish, some white creme polish and my own grey frankenpolish. It turned out to be this interesting dusty pink, like China Glaze Wild Mink. The franken is pretty opaque, and this is two coats. Then I stamped using plate m60 and special polish in Pastel Violet.

With flash:

I have to tweak the pictures a bit, because my camera isn't very friendly with me after the sun goes down =) Indoors it makes the colors look dull and too orange-y.
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Monday, November 23, 2009

NOTD: Lubu Swirls

Oh, I'm sooo excited about the upcoming China Glaze Spring 2010 Collection, called Up&Away! It will consist of 12 pastel cremes, including a mint green, a pastel lilac, two yellows and two greens =) I wouldn't be surprised if I'd order the whole collection!
Edit: Yay! See some swatches of the upcoming China Glaze Collection, Up&Away here:

I also want to get my hands on the OPI Hong Kong Collection, for sure. But I will always have a special place in my heart for China Glaze. =)
Today's manicure was actually supposed to be China Glaze Atlantis, but I had a last minute mind change and put on Lubu Heels. I was going to leave it that way, but I smudged two fingers. Lubu Heels takes forever to dry! Then I remembered gildedangel's vampy flowers color combination, which I liked very much, and stamped the nails using plate m56 and China Glaze Devotion.

With flash:

I think it looks pretty interesting when french tips are used this way. On my right hand they are placed more diagonally, because I still can't stamp with my left hand as well as I can with my right hand! Grrr.
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Friday, November 20, 2009

NOTD: Chick Flick Cherry Blossoms

After yesterdays mani, which frustrated me a bit, I did another mani and I was pleased with it. It started off as blank OPI Chick Flick Cherry, 3 coats. I could have probably gotten away with 2, though.
Taken with flash:

Then I stamped the tips with special black polish and lace design from m71. This is my first time using this plate, I always save things I love for better times =) Sigh... Anyway, it turned pretty decent, as I'm getting the hang of aligning the designs horizontally. Then I decorated my ring fingers with red heart rhinestones. I wanted to add a golden fishnet design to the bottom, also from m71, but the pattern is so tiny, that it dried in a milisecond and didn't wanna stamp. Normally it would, but I used China Glaze 2030 for the stamping, and I had to align it so that it wouldn't overlap the black tip design, and that took me a couple of seconds which made such a delicate design unable to transfer. So I switched to m74, and tried it with the blossoms.

Some blossoms are not whole, I know, but working in a tight space, not trying to overlap, makes stamping more difficult =) And they don't draw too much attention on the nail.

I really like my mani this time, so it's going to stay until it chips =)
By the way, I just realized that the color combination is just like powerlifterchick's Asian inspired manicure! OMG, talk about subliminal! (I loved that mani very much =)))
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NOTD: Moody Argyle & Flowers

Seriously, I'm having one of those times where no color, no design, no idea is satisfying enough for me. And I'm not sure if I love or hate todays manicure. I started with my own franken polish, which I made of black and white cream polishes, but the result was not grey. It was more of a really greyed out steel blue. I guess the black polish had too much blue pigmentation in it, and when I lightened it with white, it showed through.

Anyway, I decided to konad it, but wasn't sure what to do, so I took out the red special polish and plate m60 and stamped the argyle pattern in red. It looks like a reddish brown on my franken. Then I thought it was too dull, again, and stamped the nails with pastel pink special polish, and plate m50. Finally I placed pink rhinestones in the middle of the flowers.

IRL, the argyle looks more subtle, it shows up more on the pictures. And I have three flowers on my thumb, which I forgot to take a proper picture of.
That's the moody manicure for today. I guess I'm not taking my polish off until I have inspiration again!
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Thursday, November 19, 2009

NOTD: Meteor Shower Mattified

This is one of the rare times where I didn't love a China Glaze polish as much as I expected. When I first saw pictures of Meteor Shower, I wanted it so badly that it literally hurt. (lol =) But it's much thicker than I expected, and looks kinda lumpy on the nail. Maybe I applied badly, it's nighttime here and maybe I could have applied it thinner and more even. Of course I love the color and the glitters, and would never toss it aside like I did with China Glaze Tantalize Me (ew!), it's actually a lovely polish. Finally I decided to mattify it to make it even. I used China Glaze Matte Magic and I like the result, my nails look like sparkly dark blue stones.

It felt kinda lonely, and I stamped it using plate m59 and China Glaze Metallic Muse. Does anyone have tips on how to stamp the ribbon images well? They are kinda too big for my fingernails. The only option seems like stamping them diagonally, but that woud be when I have them longer.

Not too horrible. This is without another topcoat, the khromes look even better without one.
After yesterdays manicure brainstorming, I'm out of all ideas. I open my drawer and just stare at polishes, unable to decide what to wear. I love other people's manicures and wanna copy some, is it considered as idea theft? =)
Btw, please vote on my poll regarding watermarks. Thanks =)
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Wednesday, November 18, 2009

NOTD: A mani inspired by a pair of earrings =)

I finally emptied a desk for work and manicure reasons. I'm very proud of myself =) I was working in a tight corner until now, on my bedside end table. It was a nice change to work at a regular table, and it was important to me that I didn't mess up this manicure, because my mind was set and I would never want to start over when if I messed up after so many coats of polish. And my top coat was tacky, too! =)))
I really like this design, because I love the color combination and I think I did a rather neat job. (It could be worse =) It's inspired by the lovely earrings I got myself today. Of course it's not a dead-on design, it's only supposed to give the feeling, and I think it does. I like the end result very much.

This is one of the earrings =)
I used dark brown creme polish as the base, and then freehanded an arch using China Glaze Turned Up Turquoise and an old brush I converted to a nail art brush by trimming. China Glaze Shower Together would be more spot-on, but I thought I should give TUT more love =) Then I konaded using China Glaze 2030 and plate m51.

This is the second time you see a close up of my ear! =D
I hope you liked it! I'm proud of myself =) ^_^
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Sunday, November 15, 2009

NOTD: Holographic Water Lilies

Sorry for the overly tacky names lately =) It's hard to find out cool names in another language =/ Anyway, here is today's mani, using 2 coats of China Glaze DV8 (What? 2 Coats?) and plate m60 + Konad Special Polish in white. I'm using the last bit of my white polish. I've had 2 bottles of white polish and a bottle of black polish for the same amount of time, and black only started to turn bad when my 2nd bottle of white turned. That must mean black Konad polish lives much longer than the white.

Left hand:

Right hand with the poor pinky =/


It started as a bad mani day, but I managed to save it in the end. Some days, nothing seems to work. I had an entirely different thing in my mind, but it was ruined at the Konad stage, and I removed it. Maybe someday I'd try that again =)

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NOTD: Bubbly Butterflies

How girly is this name for a manicure? =) OK, after the last manicure, I decided to create something better. So I picked OPI Bubble Bath as the base color, and after 3 coats, I applied 2 coats of China Glaze Snow Globe. Then I stamped the nails using the butterfly design from palette m50 and Konad Special Polish in black. Finally I sealed using quick dry top coat and a coat of China Glaze Matte Magic. Phew!

W/ Flash:

I can't possibly describe how awesome mattified glitter looks. It's like looking at gems through thick ice or frosted glass. So wonderful and magical. Matte glitter is the new glitter!
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NOTD: Confused Fall Manicure

I did it. Because I had to do it.
For the first time in three months, I went short with my nails. I feel terrible. Today I realized after taking off my nail polish, that my right pinky was torn on the side. I tried to buff it so that the crack would sink in, but using my recessive hand caused a disaster, my nail tore from side to side, in a matter of a milisecond. It was painful, and I was frustrated! Then I decided to chop my nails, because it makes no sense to run around with long nails when one or two nails are just little nubbins. So I grabbed the toenail clipper and... You know the rest.
Don't get me wrong, I love short nails on other people and they don't bother me at all, but after all the effort for growing them longer, it's frustrating to have them break just like so. I wonder if I ever have even nails at one time. I swear, before I became obsessed with my nails, everything was smoother...
So today's mani is the offspring of my depression. I just slapped some polish and layered it, and this came out.

This is Inglot #202 (green/pink flakies) over regular black creme polish, topped at first with China Glaze Matte Magic, then the underside with shiny topcoat. So those thick lines are not intended to be french tips =) When using a matte top coat, I recommend using it over regular top coat, because even when matte top coats dry quickly, they are not like quick-dry top coats, and they dent.

Look how short they are! I only didn't shorten my left pinky, because pinkies are such a pain in the butt to grow.
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Friday, November 13, 2009

Long Awaited China Glaze Glitter Haul

Finally, my China Glaze haul arrived. I'm so happy =) As you know, China Glaze put an embargo on international orders, so I asked a dear friend to help me with my order, and she was very kind to send these to me. Yay!

L to R: Matte Magic Top Coat (I ordered 3.), Electric Lilac, Glam, Spellbound Top Coat, Snow Globe.

L to R: Meteor Shower, DV8, Atlantis, 2030, Metallic Muse.


Snow Globe and Electric Lilac.

Glam and Spellbound Top Coat.

Atlantis and Meteor Shower.

Finally, an update on yesterday's mani, using m27 and 2030 from Khrome Collection. They say the Khromes stamp amazingly, and it's so true. They are better than the Romantique polishes, more opaque and crisp. If you can't see, the first design is the Koi fish from plate m27.

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NOTD: Aqua Flakies

The past few days have been kinda hectic. I was busy and rushing all the time, and had to wear boring, professional colors. I actually love those classic shades, too, but I was in such a hurry that I did a slightly messy manicure and after taking it off immediately after the seminar, I celebrated my freedom by doing the following layering:


It's 3 coats of the aqua creme polish by Claire's, a dupe of China Glaze Shower Together, maybe a bit more blueish and vibrant. I topped it with green/blue opalescent flakies by Inglot, #203. The result is so beautiful, I can't take my eyes off of my nails. They remind me of exotic places, the ocean and aqua world, that's how refreshing they look. My boyfriend just fell in love with the color. He's an artist, and I took it as a great compliment =)


I took this picture yesterday after applying, and it's before the cleanup. Sorry about the messy cuticles =)
And this is what I wore for a few days, just before the seminar. A classic burgundy/red creme, 4 coats. Looks similar to OPI's Got The Blues For Red in the bottle.


By the way, my China Glaze haul from finally arrived today, and pictures will be up tomorrow.
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Sunday, November 8, 2009

NOTD: Indigo Jelly by Claire's

Here is the indigo jelly polish by Claire's I mentioned in my previous post. Like I said, it's indigo, and very very bright. Of course the camera didn't want to capture it correctly, so I tweaked the colors a bit. Now it's more accurate.
The application of these jellies are horribly streaky and uneven on the first coat, that they only get even at 3 coats. That I normally do 3 coats, I do +1 when I do these, so this is 4.



I wanted to konad this so bad, but I'm outta remover, and I wouldn't be able to clean the mess afterwards. So it's gotta wait. =)
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Saturday, November 7, 2009

Friend Haul & Water Marble Attempt #2

My lovely friend who studies in UK brought me some lovely things =) I have got my first Illamasqua polishes. Yaay!!! She brought me Rampage and Muse. I've been wanting Rampage forever, and I wish they had Milf, too, but it was sold out. It's alright though. And two OPI, Black Cherry Chutney and Chick Flick Cherry.


I love Chick Flick Cherry, it's my kind of a red. And Black Cherry Chutney is gorgeous with the red shimmer, can't wait to try it out.
And she got me Urban Decay 24/7 stash & 24/7 liner in Yeyo.


Thank you, Asli! You're the best. ♥♥♥

Btw, I tried another marbling on yesterday's mani, Sally Hansen Orange You Cute? with white She polish (ordinary white creme) and blurple Clarie's polish (which I'm yet to swatch). It's not tidy, I know, but at least I know a bit better about marbling right now =)


I wish my cuticles would heal quicker...
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Thursday, November 5, 2009

NOTD: Sally Hansen Orange You Cute?

This is actually mom's, but I nicked it for a mani =) It's one of the Sally Hansen Salon polishes, and this is 4 coats. I usually do 3, but I thought I still had VNL, so I did 4.
It's a bright, bright reddish coral, very smooth. The opacity was not great, but you probably can get away with 3 coats. The application was smooth as butter, and I just love the bottle.


I thought the name had nothing to do with the color, until I saw it through the camera in shade. The following picture is the same setting as before, only away from the sunlight. Please ignore my smurf hands =)


Tomorrow I'm going to meet a friend, who said she had a little something for me. I hope it's something that I'd been wanting for so long!
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Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Review: Fast Drying Top Coat

I've been using fast-drying top coats for a year now, and I've used 3 different ones. They are all very fast drying, but I had a few issues I'd like to share with you right now.

Sally Hansen Insta-Dri


This is the first quick-drying top coat I've ever tried. It dries within a minute, and in about 20 minutes, it's non-dentable. I've been mainly using this over Konad, because as everybody knows, Konad tends to smear. This top coat is extremely runny, like water. I don't need to put a thick globe on my nail, all I need to do is swipe it across the nail with a regular amount on, and it goes on without smearing. The shine is nice and I only experience minor tipwear after day 3. Remember my last manicure, the lilac one? It's still on, no chipping, no fading. Only some tipwear, which is acceptable.
The brush is wide and soft, it doesn't pull nailpolish or stamped images. What I don't like about it is the consistency. It's really, really runny. From heaving out of the bottle to applying it on my nail, it drips. And because of it being so runny, there is always too much amount on the brush, and you have to swipe carefully. (Remember, too much swiping - likely to smear the image.)
Oh by the way, when I reach the half of the bottle, it becomes gloopy and too thick. But I managed to control it with polish thinner, now I can use almost the whole bottle.
But I really like it, it's handy and I try to keep a bottle around.

Positive: Doesn't smear, nice brush, dries very fast, shiny, protective.
Negative: Too runny, becomes gloopy after a while.
My Rating: PhotobucketPhotobucketPhotobucketPhotobucketPhotobucket

Sally Hansen Mega Shine


I had very high hopes for this top coat. First of all, it really lives up it's name. It's extremely shiny, dries very very fast, in 10 seconds or so. It's very protective on the nail surface and provides a shield. It doesn't cause me any chipping, any tipwear for a reasonable time, nor any nail polish coming off in large chunks. I really like the look of it on my nails.
There are two problems with this polish. Actually three, but the third one is a common issue of all fast-drying top coats. First of all, the brush is weird. It's synthetic, like made of fiber, and it smears the design crazy. I can't use it with Konad, it bleeds on the nail and looks horrible. There are 2 ways to make it work with Konad, you can either use a regular, natural haired, soft brush to apply, or you can use it on another non-smearing top coat to seal.
Secondly, it shrinks. On the sides, it's clearly visible that it shrinks, and there is nothing I could do to prevent that. First few weeks the shrinking was not too noticeable, but then it was there and I just couldn't ignore it.
And last but not least, it becomes very gloopy, even gloopier than Insta-Dri. In fact, make it a triple.
And that you can't see the inside of the bottle because of the mirror-like finish, you don't have an idea how much polish is still left. And the stuff they covered the bottle with becomes so thick around the bottleneck, that it caused me too much pain and frustration every time I screwed the cap.
I'd recommend this top coat for a nice shine and it's super fast drying time, but it's only good for the first half of the bottle.

Positive: Dries extremely fast, very shiny, very protective.
Negative: Bad brush & bottle, becomes ridiculously gloopy, shrinks visibly on the nail.
My Rating: PhotobucketPhotobucketPhotobucketPhotobucketPhotobucket

Mavala Mavadry


This is the last top coat I've tried, and it's so far the best. Take the good aspects of Insta-Dri and Mega Shine, and you have Mavadry. First of all, it dries really fast. Maybe a bit slower than Mega Shine, but still, very fast. The brush is soft and nice, and I didn't experience any smearing. It's super shiny, looks beautiful on the nail. I can't say anything about the protection, because I was in a bad mood those days and removed my polish far too often. But I remember experiencing some minor chips in the corners when using this top coat, but this may be due to washing/cooking too much those days. I'll update on that aspect when I repurchase.
Other than that, I don't have much to say about it. It also became gloopy the second half, but I managed to use 9/10 of the bottle, and that's saying something.
The label covers the whole side of the bottle so you can't really see what's going on inside, but I thought of turning the bottle sideways and observe from the bottom, and that it's perfectly cylindrical, you can have an idea of the condition of the product inside.

Positive: Dries really fast, very shiny, doesn't become too gloopy, nice brush
Negative: Minor chipping(?), bottle is almost completely covered with a label
My Rating: PhotobucketPhotobucketPhotobucketPhotobucketPhotobucket

I hope this review helps some of you folks out there!
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