Month of Untrieds: Grunge Nails

Second to last post of my untried month, so I had to try and squeeze in as many polishes as I could. Today’s post features three in one manicure:

02-27-14 bottles

The China Glazes are from the New Bohemian collection of 2012, a small set of duochromes. It included a Chanel Peridot dupe, which I do own but can’t find currently and I thought the color wouldn’t show up very well in this manicure, anyway. Instead I threw Iris My Case into the mix, a Nicole by OPI polish that’s a dupe for the purple in the Bohemian collection that I wasn’t really into at the time, but the NOPI was on sale for like $2 and Lord knows I can’t pass up a sale. Anyway, I’d been wanting to try out Chalkboard Nails’ distressed tutorial, and I thought using these metallics over black might save me a step.

02-27-14 diagonal darker

Mine don’t look exactly like Chalkboard Nails’, because I slightly changed it up. If you didn’t follow the link, basically she achieves a “grungy” look by wiping almost all the polish off a brush and doing a few short strokes on the nail over a white base, then repeating with another two colors, then with black. For my manicure, I used a black base then swiped Unpredictable, Iris My Case, and Deviantly Daring over it. The black base showed through the brush strokes, giving it a similar look to if I had done a black coat over top.

02-27-14 curled around bottle darker

This almost looks like crackle polish, doesn’t it? I love how the colors are all cool, so they blend together well and almost look like my polish is changing colors if I move my hand (although it was hard to capture, the duochrome is visible, too – you can see it a bit in the macro below). I know I only used a very small amount, but these seemed pretty opaque and not very brushstroke-y, despite being metallics; I bet they would be great for stamping.

Totally crackle-esque!

Totally crackle-esque!

I wore this for five or six days and they held up pretty well; I had a little bit of tip wear and a few chips, but I just quickly touched them up because I liked this so much. I’m definitely going to try grunge again with brighter colors – it’s a really easy and quick but cool-looking manicure.

02-27-14 curled

Thanks for reading! Come back tomorrow for my last untried manicure! See you then – A x

Month of Untrieds: For The Twill Of It

Super short post today! Testing out just one polish this time:

02-24-14 bottle

I’ve been saying this about a lot of my untrieds, but I don’t really know what possessed me to buy this. I’m not a fan of the dismal duochromes big companies put out – they’re always boring colors and the shift is usually super subtle on the nail, anyway. For me it’s intense, bright color changes or GTFO. But For The Twill Of It (and its OPI dupe) intrigued me with that cool gasoline rainbow look in the bottle. I knew there was a 50/50 shot of FTTOI sucking on the nail, but I decided to try anyway since it was only $3.

02-24-14 around bottle

It’s okay. Not really my jam, though. There is color shift on the nail – not much, but some – although it was hard to capture on camera. You can see it on my pinkie in the photo above, and a bit in the photo below.

02-24-14 diagonal

See what I mean about the color being dull? That chrome-y, washed-out teal and purple…it just looks sad and boring to me. I tried to liven this manicure up a bit by adding some striping tape and black polish designs, but that didn’t help, either – my poor, old bottle of Wet ‘n Wild has gotten kind of thick and goopy, and I guess I didn’t pull the tape up carefully enough because my lines didn’t turn out very clean. Sigh. Can’t win ’em all.

02-24-14 curled (none)

Thanks for reading! See you next time – A x

Month of Untried: Indie Glitter!

Today’s manicure includes two polishes I really have been meaning to try forever because they look so fun, I just somehow never got around to it. Month of Untrieds to the rescue!

02-23-14 bottles

Hare Polish was one of the first indie polish makers on the scene, I believe. I somehow snagged this guy and King of Carat Flowers a year or so ago during a restock on Llarowe, and I remember I was sooo excited to have Bisbee, a huge blogger favorite. Hare is one of those brands that would disappear for months at a time when their stock ran out, so it was a scramble to grab some when they came back on sale. I think they’re better at keeping a few polishes in stock on Llarowe and the etsy shop now, though.

Please excuse those chips - I tried to touch it up but it just chipped again  :(

Please excuse those chips and the tip wear – I tried to touch it up but it just chipped again :(

I probably waited so long to try Bisbee because I put on King of Carat Flowers when I first got these, and I was not a fan of the formula. I’d forgotten what a pain in the ass polishes like this are to apply! The base is sheer so they usually need at least three coats to be opaque, but it’s also a bit goopy plus they’re so chock full of glitter that it’s difficult to maneuver on the nail, not to mention nearly impossible to be perfectly smooth (a big pet peeve of mine). You lose a bit of that “glitter suspended in jelly” look when you layer these kind of polishes, but I really hate when I can see my nail line, so I ended up painting one coat of Zoya’s Wednesday with two coats of Bisbee on top.

There's also bubbles and weird imperfections that happen with these jelly bases, as you can see.

There’s also bubbles and weird imperfections that happen with these jelly bases, as you can see in this macro.

I can’t tell if I like this or not – I feel like I should have my polish badge revoked for saying this, but I’m not sure if I’m really into these glitter-in-jelly-base polishes that indie polish makers put on the map and everyone goes nuts over. I do like the color combination of the glitter and base, though. The glitter looks lime green in all my photos because of the teal base, but it’s definitely a bright yellow/gold that’s surprisingly very reflective and shiny. I took this awkward photo when I was outside this weekend in an attempt to show how reflective it is.


My accent nail is China Glaze’s Happy Go Lucky (HGL). I bought this polish a looooong while ago, before I gave up my futile dreams of the perfect yellow polish. Yellow polishes are notorious for their terrible formulas, and on top of that it’s hard for me to find a yellow that’s a true, perfect yellow – not too pastel or too taxi cab. I gotta say, though, I think HGL fits the bill for my favorite yellow! I did have to do three coats to totally cover the streakiness, but by the second coat there was only a spot or two of balding; I bet if I was super careful and waited a bit longer between coats I could get this opaque in two coats. The formula on this bad boy was also really great. China Glaaaaaaaze, you wonderful bastard, you would create my perfect yellow!

I don't know why my skin looks so dead here. :/

Ughhhh I don’t know why my skin looks so dead in this photo. :/

I did the Bisbee tip on my ring by taping the section off with striping tape, then added a coat of Gelous and a coat of Seche Vite when everything was dry, but I still couldn’t get every nail perfectly smooth. Also, I had chips the very next day because of how thick this all was on the nail. I do like how Bisbee looks, despite how frustrating I find the formula, but…hmmm, jury’s still out on if Bisbee’s a keeper or not.

02-24-14 up with bottle

Let me know what you think of this mani (and help me decide if I should keep Bisbee?)! Thank you for reading! See you next time – A x

Month of Untrieds: Neon Mint and Textured Gold

I love this. After a few manicures that I was lukewarm about, I’m so happy with this one! I wore this bad boy until it was super chipped, which was almost an entire week! (Also, technically I used a polish that wasn’t an untried, but I consider China Glaze 2030 a “basic” since it’s my go-to gold stamping polish.)

02-21-14 bottles

Remember when I did my skittle manicure with last summer’s pastel neons from China Glaze, and I mentioned the store didn’t have Highilght of my Summer (HOMS), the bright mint green I wanted? Well…I went back about a week later (oops), and miraculously they had it! It’s not neon exactly, but it’s quite a bright mint, and “neon pastel” sounds awesome so I’ll continue to call it that.

Please excuse my janky-ass cuticles for these photos!

Please excuse my janky-ass cuticles for these photos!

The formula of HOMS is exactly like Neon & On & On – gloopy, kind of thick, and streaky so it needed three coats. I only did two here though, because I knew I was with stamping over it (although in retrospect I should’ve done a third coat on my pointer, which isn’t really covered up). With these kind of polishes you have to be careful because if you have a tendency like me to do thicker coats, it can end up looking grossly lumpy. Basically, HOMS is a pain in the ass, but for me the color is worth it.

Two thin coats of Honey Ryder was all I needed on my middle finger and thumb. While I do like the selection of colors that the Zoya PixieDusts have, OPI’s texture polishes are hands-down my favorite. Recently I proclaimed my love for It’s Frosty Outside, their fabulous silver texture polish, and while I don’t love Honey Ryder that much, I still really, really like it! Honey Ryder has tiny glitter pieces in it that feel a bit bumpier than the larger hexes of It’s Frosty Outside, but even that is smoother than the Zoya/China Glaze textures I’ve tried (and after a day or so that texture was gone, anyway). I do wish Honey Ryder had larger glitter pieces – I think it might make it more reflective like It’s Frosty Outside – but it’s still a lovely champagne metallic, my favorite kind of gold.

02-21-14 macro

I tried to capture the sparkle of the tiny glitter in Honey Ryder. The pink reflection is from my cardigan, sorry!

I tried to capture the sparkle of the tiny glitter in Honey Ryder. The pink reflection is from my cardigan, sorry!

I used Konad plate m79 for the polka dots and Bundle Monster plate BM-402 for the zig-zag-y design on my middle finger. Stamping was easy as usual with 2030, although I had a really hard time getting that zig-zag-y design in the proper place for some reason – I did my middle finger three times until it was centered, and even then some of the design didn’t come out properly at the tip but ugh I was over it by then. For my index finger I did a quick coat of Seche Vite and after that was fully dry just taped it off and used one quick coat of Honey Ryder. I love diagonal tips, but for some reason it’s difficult for me to get all the diagonals the same size/angle if I’m doing a whole hand.

02-21-14 outside around bottle

I had this manicure on when I went to Disneyland/California Adventure recently! I went back in October, which was fun because HALLOWEEN, but the weather was way better this time, lovely and cool. We also went a bit later in the day, which is great because I love Disney at night!

Tower of TerrorMain Street

We’re more than halfway through the month but I’m determined to get at least three or four more manicures of untried polishes up so I should be posting a lot in the coming week – let me know what you think them! Thank you so much for reading! See you next time – A x

Month of Untrieds: Fail

Bleh. Not a fan of this combo, so this’ll be quick. At least I know I can purge these and make room for some polishes I do want, which is the great thing about this month! I used:

OPI Save Me, Milani Dressmaker

OPI Save Me, Milani Dressmaker

Milani Dressmaker should’ve been a polish I really liked – it’s a pretty jade color, and I do love my yellow-leaning greens – but for some reason I just really, really wasn’t feeling this. It felt boring, almost kind of…frumpy, somehow? I know that sounds weird ha. It was also frightfully sheer – this is three fairly thick coats and there’s still VNL (visible nail line). A color has to be pretty spectacular for me to do four coats, and this just ain’t one of them.

The VNL doesn't really show in these photos, but trust me, it's there - boooooo.

The VNL doesn’t really show in these photos, but trust me, it’s there – boooooo.

Dressmaker dried fairly slow, too, so I waited a full five minutes or so between each coat. After it was dry, I added one thin coat of Save Me. This is from the Nicki Minaj collection a year or so ago, and I’m really not sure what I was thinking when I got it. I’m not a fan of glitters with plain silver glitter and bigger chunks of another color, and bar glitter isn’t usually my jam, either. Also, I thought the bar glitter in Save Me was holographic, and while some are, it’s mostly pink, blue, and yellow pieces.

Sorry for the crappy clean-up job - I had a feeling I wouldn't keep this on for long ha, so I didn't bother trying to make it look nice.

Sorry for the crappy clean-up job – I had a feeling I wouldn’t keep this on for long ha, so I didn’t bother trying to make it look nice.

I don’t know, maybe Save Me would look cool if it was built up or layered over a darker color, but I rarely attempt full coverage with glitter because I can’t stand the removal. It went on very nicely, though, and the bars weren’t hard to move around.

02-18-14 diagonal

I didn’t even wait a full 24 hours before this mani came off. I did replace it with one that I love, though, so I’ll get that up for you guys soon. Thank you so much for reading! See you next time – A x