Friday, March 27, 2015

New to Me: Sinful Colors Cream Pink

Hanging out at Big Lots, one of my favorite places to troll for previously unspotted colors, I found Sinful Colors Cream Pink. A quick web search suggests it was originally released around 2011 or 2012, but I hasn't seen it in displays...until I bought it. Then I noticed that it had reemerged in the About Blooming Time collection, as identified by Nouveau Cheap. I was drawn to the gold shimmer, and the minute I put this color on, I knew I needed to photograph it. It. Is. Fabulous.

At first the name threw me off-why it's called Cream Pink when it's clearly a shimmer is beyond me. I was worried that all of that glorious in-bottle shimmer would melt away on the nail. Not a problem. The shimmer is very present, and mesmerizing. It's an instant favorite. On the down side, the formula is a little weird. It's not quite opaque, with VNL at two coats, but it's still a fairly thick consistency, so I had to be careful with the third coat an while it dried to avoid polish wrinkles. It dries to a kind of satin finish. Here I topped with Julep Freedom topcoat. Once you shine it up, Cream Pink is a delightfully squishy shimmery hot pink. Pink lovers must have this.

Not one to leave well enough alone, I added a sparkly gradient of Julep Joelle and China Glaze Fairy Dust. It's so pretty!

Are you a fan of pinks? Has Cream Pink made it into your collection?

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Nail Crazies Unite: Good Luck Goldfish

This week in Nail Crazies Unite the theme is Good Luck Charm. I like the idea that surrounding oneself with certain items, colors, or furniture arrangements could tip the odds, even if I don't necessarily believe in luck. I did some casual Googling, and I found out that goldfish are considered good luck in some cultures. Goldfish nails-how fun!

The base color on this mani is Julep Kiki. I love this color. It's so bold and shimmery, and ranges from what you see here to almost a light slate color depending on the light. My goldfish is freehand with Julep Ingrid, Karen, and Zoya Jesy. I didn't think I liked Jesy at first, but I've used it several times recently, and I'm falling in love with it. For this mani, it gave the perfect amount of sparkle and really set off the goldfish's underwater glow. Around the goldfish, I used dots of Sally Hansen Complete Salon Manicure in Tulle Kit for some shimmery transparent bubbles. I enjoyed this mani-I may have to do a full goldfish bowl look sometime!

Check out the other Nail Crazies in the link up:

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Nail Crazies Unite: Rainbow

February was such an awesomely bad month, and the beginning of March was super busy, so I'm glad to be back to the Nail Crazies Unite challenge. This week's prompt was Rainbow, a pattern I love, but can never quite get right. After a few much more complicated ideas, I finally went with something simple.

For this design, I used a new-to-me shade, Sally Hansen XTreme Wear Golden-I. I really like this one a lot. I bought it because my go to gold metallic, Revlon Copper Penny, was running low, and this turned out to be not quite a dupe, but an acceptable substitute. I used three coats thin coats here.

My other shades, chosen for their super shimmer sparkly qualities, were Julep Karmen (red), Sephora for OPI What's Your Sign (yellow/orange), Sinful Colors Happy Ending (green), and Black Dahlia Lacquer 90 in November (purple). I didn't want a glitter rainbow (this time), but I wanted it to sparkle like crazy. While the level of bling looks subtle here, I assure you, it is obscene.

Have I said lately that I love rainbow nails? They're fabulous. I may even do some more before the week is out. Be sure to check out all of the other delightful rainbow creations from the NCU ladies below!

Thursday, March 12, 2015

March Julep Maven Review and Simple Dotted Nail Art

I got home Tuesday from a weeklong trip to fabulous Las Vegas! One of the only moments the whole trip when I wished I was home was when I found out that my Julep Maven box had arrived in my absence. This month I wasn't as excited about the beauty products as the polish, so I ended up with four polishes from the Pop! collection: Janet (a pale peach in their new soft focus finish), Ali (a mint green soft focus), Nayely (a peach/papaya creme), and Nedra (a denim creme). This month, I was all over variations of hues I've been passing over lately like peach, mint, and blue. Every month it seems like I go for a more unique shade and end up kicking myself for passing on something I know would look good in a staple this time I snatched them up. Take a look at how they look together.

First up, the soft focus finish. I'm not really sure what the difference is between "soft focus" and regular old matte pastels, but they do have a soft, hazy quality without topcoat (I used Julep Freedom Polymer topcoat in the pictures here). Both are very pretty, and I would say I got what I expected from them. Ali is very, very similar to the swatches on the Julep website, and Janet is a little paler than it looks on my monitor. Janet is the base color for my accent nails. Both are more matte in person than they appear on the website. As pastels tend to be, they're a touch uncooperative in application and required three coats for full, clean coverage.

Nedra and Nayely are well behaved cremes, opaque and shiny in two coats. I wondered if Nayely would be super similar to Princess Grace, a papaya shade I regretted passing on last year, but it appears to be lighter and more peachy. It's a great seasonal transition color for people like me who aren't nuts about most pastels but don't want to completely skip spring shades altogether. Nedra, the main color in this mani, is a great all season shade. "Denim creme" is an accurate descriptor. It's rich and cool with the tiniest hint of grey undertone, not a weird color, but also not like any of my other blues. Even though I liked all of these enough to recommend them, Nedra would be my must have from this box.

What did you get in your Maven box? I love how well all of the shades this month coordinate with each other. If you're not a Maven and decide to give it a try, do me a favor and click here or on the cute little "Classic With A Twist" button on your right to use my referral link.

Monday, March 2, 2015

First Impressions: No Rub Power Gel Polish Remover

Recently Sandi at Cutepolish posted a video review of Nail-Aid's new No-Rub Power Gel acetone nail polish remover. It's advertised as an easier, cleaner way to remove polish, and comes in two formulas: Glitter and Nail Art and Stubborn Dark Polish. Sandi's videos were my gateway to nail art, and even though my inspirations are more diverse nowadays, I still value her opinion. The power gel seemed simple enough, and since it worked well for her, I decided to pick up the Glitter and Nail Art formula. The results were... mixed.

I started out using it to remove the jelly sandwich mani I put on a few days ago. I figured this would be a good way to test this product out since it was a thick layer of polish with multiple glitters. If it could power through this mani with its multi sized glitters and crazy layering, this stuff could do anything.

Before Power Gel
I was less than impressed with the results, though. The gel left little glitters all over from the jelly base, and didn't even put a dent in the big heart glitters. I still had to go in and remove quite a bit of polish with my regular remover. The gel was also sticky and hard to wash off of my fingers, which I found quite unpleasant-it was like having glue under my nails. Blech.

After Power Gel
Nevertheless, I really wanted to like this product, so I gave it a shot with a less stubborn glitter, Julep Cameron. Those results were much closer to what I'd hoped for. The polish wiped off pretty easily. In this round, I learned that you can't be dainty with this remover, the nail has to be fully coated in gel for the full four minutes to work. I was surprised at how gentle it was on my fingers for an acetone polish. It didn't leave my nails and cuticles crazy dry as I feared it might. I topped with cuticle oil once my nails dried like I normally do, and they looked and felt fine. As a side note- when they recommend rubbing it off with a paper towel, this is a very deliberate recommendation. In an attempt to avoid said stickiness, I tried to dab a little off with a cotton ball. As you can see a little bit below, that did not end well. This product seems to work best when you follow instructions exactly.

So does it work? My verdict is that it's too soon to tell. I was initially disappointed, but this Power Gel redeemed itself a bit on the second round. It was very easy to use, clean aside from the initial stickiness while washing it off, didn't have an unpleasant or even particularly noticeable smell (as long as you don't get too close), and overall did what it said it does...kind of. The ease of use makes it worth giving another try with a few more types of manis to see if it's something I would use on a regular basis.

Have you tried this yet? What were your first impressions? Tell me in the comments!