Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Crystal File 75: Got Your Sunglasses?

As any nail polish fanatic knows, super bright polishes are always in style during the warmer months. Bold, bright polishes dazzle in the sunlight, and play well with sun-bronzed skin. This season several of my favorite polish brands are introducing polishes that fit the uber-bright neon trend.

Before moving on to the photos, i want to mention one factor that can often take a polish consumer by surprise. Polishes that contain neon pigments ALL, to varying degrees, dry more matte that those that do not. The more neon, the more matte the polish will be when it dries. Although many are initially put off by this, all you need is a coat of your favorite shiny top coat and you'll have a brilliant, shiny manicure or pedicure. Now, on to the photos.

First up the Essie Neon Collection for summer 2009. I have seen these already at my local Ulta and Trade Secret stores, so they're readily available!

From Index to pinky the colors are Funky Limelight (the photo is of 5 coats with Poshe top coat, i highly recommend layering this one over white unless you don't mind visible nail line), Punchy Pink (three coats and top coat), Perky Purple (three coats, but should've done two, and it's brighter in real life than the photo), and Flirty Fuschia (three coats and top coat).


Next we have the Color Club Electro Candy collection. All of these shades do contain neon pigment and have lovely irridescent shimmer added.

All polishes are shown with three coats and top coat. From thumb to pinky the colors are Pure Energy, Electro Candy, What a Shock, Ultra Violet, and Tangerine Scream. Bottle shown in photo is Color Club Volt of Light.


And finally we have the gorgeous bright creme shades from Zoya's La Di Da collection. Thumb and index (Dita and America respectively) are not neons, but i included them since they're part of the same collection. The three neon shades, from middle to pinky (Ali, Paz, Renee) are shown with three coats and top coat.


I hope you'll all be inspired to try a few neons, i promise they will brighten your day! Please stay tuned for more fabulous polishes for summer!

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Crystal File 74: My Newest Obsession (and Recent NOTDs)

I have this new obsession, and considering i never thought i'd have the patience to do any nail art what-so-ever, i am amazed at how addicted i've become. I am addicted to the dotting tool! The tool i've been using for my recent Polka Dot manis is actually an "embossing stylus" that i purchased at AC Moore for under $4. From what i understand this tool, while sold for use in card making and scrapbooking, is identical to a "dotting tool" one would purchase at a nail supply store. Ac Moore had a few different sizes/brands of this type of tool, each of which were double ended (each end being a different sized "dot").

Before i move onto some photos of my recent experiments in polka-dotting, i'll say a few words about using the dotting tool. This is an incredibly simple means of dressing up a mani. I've created all of these manicures using either regular polishes that are heavily pigmented (like Zoya Pippa, a bright, intensely pigmented yellow creme), or nail art polishes (such as Art Club White) which are by nature well pigmented.

I have found that the key is to test the polish i want to use for my pattern first. On scotch tape i put a couple of layers of the base i'm planning to use, and then i use my dotting tool to apply whichever polish i'm considering. I do this to avoid frustration, having tested, i already know if the polish i've chosen is opaque enough to create polka dots with. If you find that you have to put a large glob of polish on your nail to create an opaque dot, you might have chosen a polish that isn't pigmented enough. The down side to using too much polish for your dots is that you'll have a bumpy manicure, and you may also have trouble getting the dots to dry.

When you're applying the dots, hold the tool perpendicular to the nail surface and tap lightly to apply. The base polish does not need to be completely dry, but it helps if it has set enough that it isn't sticky. Practice helps again when you're figuring out how much pressure you need to use when applying.

Now, enough babble, onto the photos!

My first adventure in Polka-dots (China Glaze Entourage base and China Glaze Laced Up Polka-dots):


Next came Zoya Katy with Art Club White polka-dots on the ring fingers:


Then i took a break from the dot maddness, here are a couple of cloudy day photos of Zoya Tallulah (quite possibly my new favorite blue of all time!):


with flash:



And last, but certainly not least, my current Spring-y Easter Egg inspired mani using China Glaze Custom Kicks (turquoise) and Zoya Pippa (lovely bright yellow creme):



If you're looking for a fun way to jazz up your manis without having to use decals or commit to Konad, a dotting tool may be the way to go! This has turned out to be a simple and fun way to do a little something different.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Crystal File 073: Quick and Dirty!

Earlier this week i received the China Glaze Kicks collection and i have some very quick and dirty swatches of them to share. I am loving this collection. More so even than the Summer Days colors, if I'm being honest. For the most part these colors are pigmented enough to be opaque in two coats, with the exception of three of the colors which I'd consider jelly finish (How Street It Is, Style Wars, Sneaker Head), and one of the shimmers (Paper Chasing). I will add that for the most part I use a ridge filling base (Zoya Get Even) which can help hide VNL (visible nail line). These photos are no base, no top coat.

First up the cremes, my least favorites because I'm a shimmer kind of gal.

Index to Pinky: Oh How Street It Is, Sneaker Head, Style Wars, Laced Up (thumb is a repeat of Sneaker Head)


Next up the gorgeous blues and greens!

Index to Pinky: Paper Chasing (the base of this one is quite sheer), Entourage, Sky High Tops, Custom Kicks (a bit more dusty and turquoise in real life; thumb is also Custom Kicks).


Final photo Index to Pinky: Fly, Its Poppin, B-Girlz, Breakin' (thumb is a repeat of Its Poppin). Note there is a bit of VNL in this pic, but having done manis with a couple of these i can attest to the fact that a coat of Zoya Get Even solves any opacity issues.


I'm hoping i will get a chance to get better shots of these, especially my favorites of the collection (Fly, Its Poppin, B-Girlz, Custom Kicks, Entourage, Sky High Top). I also have the new Color Club Electro Candy collection in the wings to swatch this weekend, and i hope to have Zoya summer to swatch for you very soon! Stay tuned my lovelies :)