Friday, 19 August 2011

Taking a break

Hey people! As you probably noticed, my so-called break until September isn't going too well. It should, mind you, I have loads of studying ahead but motivation is below zero at this point. Which, needless to say, gets me worried quite a lot. I have to pass these exams, but I prefer to sit infront of the computer, or watch a good movie or read a good book ... basically anything. I can't make myself to hit the books as I should and I have only 10 days until my first two exams. No good! So I'm making it official, I'm going up north again for a couple of days, where I don't have internet and then, hopefully, I'll manage to stay away for a couple of weeks. I have to!

Have fun until then and wear lots of polish! *muah*

Thursday, 18 August 2011

Welcome to Slovenia, Depend! *hugs the Depend counter*

It's been almost two weeks since the first notice of Depend in SLO came to me (and I'm guessing to the general nail polish population in Slovenia). There was no rumors about it, not a whisper, nothing. One day I was having coffee with Kaneli and she said she saw the counter of Depend in our local DMs. Needless to say I almost fell off the chair. Depend! In Slovenia?! Holy crap!! I love Depend so so much and now Depend came here? I can buy my bottles like 5 minute walk away from where I'm sitting right now typing this away? I must say, I'm extremely happy about it. What is more, they cost almost half the Scandinavian price, with 1.70€ for regular polish and 2.10 for crackles.  

Naturally I had to buy one, just so I can say I bought one in Slovenia, I picked the purple crackle, since I regreted not ordering it from Finland months ago. Right now the counters are pretty empty, girls are buying them in big numbers. I'm happy about that, since that also means Depend will stick. And what's not to love, anyway? The colours are awesome, brush is great, formula can be a bit tricky, but completely managable. All for 1.70 €. 

You all know my favourite source for Depend is also one of my favourite blogs evah, Alizarine Claws, but just because my colleciton of Depends isn't so small, I'm giving you some more in this post too. Three are missing, I still haven't worn them, bad Ulmiel! 221 wasn't shown on the blog yet, so there's a new one too! With crackle effect on top. 

 221. Photshooting of this beauty is a bit tricky, usually the pictures came out way too blue. It has a little bit of green in it too, this is the best I could do. The application was excellent, it needed two coats only.

Sally Hansen Crackle Overcoat called Distressed Denim. Yes, you see me doing bright-dark blue crackle combination way too often, I know. But I love it. And this crackle is awesome because when you add TC, it gets very jelly-like finish. Love! 

And now those that you've already seen, but I want to show them again. Some swatches are horrible to me now, rookie. And sometimes my nail shape is just WTF. o.o

 Blue Crackle, 5002, my favourite crackle in the world, with or without TC (below you can see the magical shimmer it contains). Upper picture with Brucci Giana's Rockin' Blue, below with Wibo 311.

 Sadly discontinued, but too beautiful not to be mentioned. 170

 209, interesting colour, horrible nail shape. 

 225. The worst formula I've met with Depend.

 19. Classic red, bit boring to me.

 204. Gorgeous one, especially on the sun. 

 228. One of my favourites.

 249. Again, one of my favourites. :)

The red crackle, 5004. Not the best combination, I know. Still, crackle is a great one. Base is Essence Forget-me-not. 

Like I said, I love Depend. The formula can be a bit tricky sometimes, but even if it is, it's completely managable and most of the time it's just fine. I've heard about some drying problems with Depend. I've never, not once, encounter them. Fast drying TC anyone? With TC Depend behaves nice, even if there is slow drying present in the formula. All in all I can only recommend Depend. 

I still have three more to show you, if you count the purple crackle. But I think you had enough. :) 
Do you have any Depend bottles, what are you experiences with them? My Slovene ladies, did you grab your bottles in the first wave or are you waiting for the second round? :)

Thank you for reading!

Wednesday, 17 August 2011

Petites - Utopia

Me again. I had a big lunch, so until my blood returns to my brain, I just may show you another one. Btw, how are you with the Fall collections? I'm loving a few of them! My favourites are Zoya, Finger Paints and Orly. They really nailed it! I was always more of a fan of Fall and Holiday collections and I'm glad this year won't disappoint either. 

What? Oh, nail polish! Yes. It's Petites Utopia. The first time I ever saw these babies were at My Lucid Bubble, and I loved them, so I was happy to find them  in a swap box, yay! Utopia would be my favourite, if I haven't seen Daze and what Bruno from Acetone and Old Lacquer did with it. *dreamy sigh* Still, Utopia is simply stunning and I adore it! Even if it ate right through one coat of base coat and stained my already pinkish nails. Two coats of BS, people! But when Utopia shows you the little duochrome she's hiding there on the nails, all is forgiven.

See the duochrome, see it, see it?? 

The pictures don't really do this one justice. It's sparkly, vibrant teal colour with purple flash of duochrome, that makes you stare at your nails constantly. The duochrome isn't really strong, but it's there, and I love how this colour sparkles in low light too. That's why I love this type of finish! Although it needs more coats than a regular creme. This was 4 coats, because I'm a 100% cover freak, 3 will do, but you'll have VNL. The brush is aaawesome, it reminds me of that one in Jesse's Girl bottles, so easy to handle. 

All in all a wonderful colour with wonderful application. Come to think of it, Utopia and Daze are equal, I love Utopia a bit more since I actually have it. :D Lovely colour, I do recommend it!

Thank you for reading!

Tuesday, 16 August 2011

I can't wait to show you this: Brucci - Chris's Green Belt

I guess I need another label on my blog. Because this one is so gorgeous, I have to show it to you approximately 20 minutes after I put it on. It's just ... one of the best greens I have in my stash, and I have A LOT of greens in my stash! 
I have no idea why Brucci doesn't get more love, it totally deserves more publicity and acknowledgement. The brush is fantastic, they are usually two-coaters, the colours are ah-mazing, right up there with the expensive ones, but Brucci is also SO cheap! It's a total win! 

I have a few bottles, thanks to Kris from My Lucid Bubble and the last swap package had this little beauty hidden in bubble wrap too. It has to be the perfect swap package, you'll see why in a few days. But I can tell you also this: it had two fast drying top coats there too!! Woo-hoo, we're back in business! 

But now to this gem. I cannot see a possible way to not love Chris's Green Belt. It's just ... perfect. It's perfect, people!!!

Two effortless coats, I had no trouble whatsoever with this beauty. I finished with China Glaze Fast Forward and so my mani was done in like 10 minutes or so. Chris's Green Belt is an amazing colour, really, look at the shade of the green, look at the shimmer!! I don't get the name, but I don't really care, the colour is beyond perfect. And so is the application. Great one!!! Thank you, Kris!

Oh, my nails are short again, yes. The vacation was wonderful, but a nightmare for my nails. As you can see, I cut myself a bit on my index finger and my cuticles are still recovering from using hand cream only once a day (I usually use it once per hour!), since there was a lot of hand work and I couldn't get my hands all greasy often. So right now I'm pampering them to make it up to them, I hope they recover quickly. Which reminds me, I need to buy a new tin of Badger Cuticle Balm tomorrow!

What do you think of Chris's Green Belt? Do you ever find a polish you love so much you just have to show it to people ASAP? 

Thank you for reading!

Kiko: 278, 319, 205

Hey darlings! And welcome new people! Glad you can join us! I had the most amazing vacation ever, 6 wonderful days with great people on a great place in the middle of nowhere and it was just ... perfect, really. It's where and when I recharge my batteries for the whole year. Even my BF showed up for a day, it was the most beautiful surprise ever (I really didn't expect him to show up at all). So all in all a great week. I should be studying my ass of right now, naturally, but as you already probably know, I can't stay away for long. Forgive me for not replying to your comments, I read and appreciate them all, I just don't have the time to reply them. Sorry! And thank you!

I have another three Kikos for you today. I have three or two left in my untrieds, so I guess another set will be in order. I have *so* many things to show you, I have no idea when will I do that. So you can expect more combined posts.

 278. This type of purple and finish are all over the place. Sadly I get fed up of it fast for that reason, but it's still a beautiful one. It's lighter purple than the rest I have in this area too. A lovely colour, but it doesn't photograph well, you should imagine it tons cooler. I hate my pictures of it. :(

 319. I bet you didn't see this one coming! This was a gift from my cousin, who is the exact opposite of me when it comes to nails. She loves french manicure and the wildest she goes with the colours is this Kiko. So basically a major boredom for me. That's why I was shocked at myself when I realized I love 319. Pardon my arrogance, but it made my nails and hands look so beautiful. I got bored of it in a day, of course, but it's my favourite safe colour now.

A bottle comparsion with China Glaze Below Deck:

205 over 319. It's what I did the next day of wearing 319. Tevta got me 205 because it looks very much like China Glaze White Cap that was at that point completely sold out. Otherwise it has the "french manicure" sticker on the handle. Tell you the truth, if this is how White Cap looks like on the nails for real, I'm disappointed. 205 whitens the base colour way too much for my taste. Still, the golden sparkles are lovely.

278 needs three to four coats to be completely opaque. Not something I love about a polish, but the result is worth it. It looks like a brighter sister of Orly Out Of This World, but with less duochrome. It dries really fast, I didn't need TC for this one.
319 needs two coats only and it's really easy to work with, a very well behaved polish. 
205 is the one I'm not sure about. I don't like the milky bonus it adds to the base colour. The White Cap owners, tell me, does White Cap whiten the base colour too? 

The brush is fantastic and the application a bliss. Kiko rocks, seriously.

What do you think of these? I already have some comparison prepared, if you want to see the Below deck one on the nails too, let me know!

Thank you for reading!

Thursday, 4 August 2011

KKcenterHk review: X&D nail stickers (water decals, full nails)

Hey everyone! How are you doing? I have a review of a new to me nail product for you! Some time ago the nice people of KKcenterHk contacted me and asked if I wanted to make a review for them. I love their fake eyelashes but I was even more happy when they offered me something nail-related, the full nail water decals! They were so nice that they sent two sets of my choice! This is my first review, you know me, I'll be chatty, thorough and tell you all I feel need mentioning, it will be pic heavy too. But I want to make this as useful as I can. If you think the review is too long, my observations, advices and final verdict are at the very bottom (but I would appreciate comments on the whole story, since, you know, i did write it down :)). Here we go!

The first contact, their page is nice and inviting, I had no troubles browsing through all their labels and their choice is vast, from hair wigs to make up. If you need to contact them via email, they reply quick and polite, I had no troubles with the communication, they answered all my questions in a friendly manner. 

The water decals: their choice is great, I had such a trouble picking only two! They have full nail decals, french tip decals and DIY decals, I picked my two from their 52 images of full nail decals
I got the package in only 7 days, which is very fast in my experience, especially from outside EU. 

The water decals I picked are numbers  39 and 80.

 The instructions in the back. The sentences are shortend a bit weird, but are understandble. You'll see i didn't followed them completely.

The stuff you need. Excuse the state of my plastic sheet, I use it for everything polish related, so it gets a lot of polish on it.

Ok, now. To clear some stuff first. I'm a complete beginner to the usage of water decals, I've never tried them before in my life, so this was the ultimate test for these babies. Second, my nails are fairly large, especially my middle nail and thumb nail, so I was worried the decals won't be big enough. As it happens, the thumb one was a little too round on the edges and the middle finger one was just a tiny bit too smal, like when you don't apply your polish right to the edges of nails, but nothing too problematic, they are completely wearable to me. 

The problem began, when number 39 decal with the beautiful butterfly image on it won't stay smooth on my nails. I did everything I was supposed to and it all went well, right to the point I put top-coat on them. Then it wrinkled like crazy. I thought to myself, I must be doing something wrong, being a rookie and all. So I googled decals, found a few tutorials and the only thing girls warned about was not to use fast drying topcoats. Well, I wasn't! I was using Nfu Oh Ultra Shine top coat that isn't fast drying! Still, the final results were horrible.

 See how the ring fingernail is smooth (no TC there yet), but the pinky is completely wrinkled after putting TC on? Frustrating!

 From afar it doesn't look too bad, actually, it looks really cute and adorable, but it's the close up that kills me [picture below].
This has annoyed me like chipped polish annoys me. It's just not happening, not on my nails. 

I was really disappointed, I watched the tutorials and read the reviews to see if any other girl had the same problems and nothing appeared. I kept this on my nails to comment on duration of the labels, but the whole mani peeled off after about two hours.

I was actually worried to try the second one. I waited for about a week (I took my time, not knowing how long do these things last and since I wanted to comment on the duration too, I took about 5 days for each, just in case) and then put the other one on. And ladies, it was magic!! I have no idea what happened, what changed in couple of days, that number 80 behaved so nicely, went on my nails without a problem and went on well with my top coat. The difference is incredible, in every aspect. Even the decals seem a bit different on the touch, but it could be just me. 

 See how much smoother they are? They also held to my nail much better than #39.

 Look from afar is of course great, but even the close up is looking good! The index fingernail has a little wrinkle at the very tip, but that's my fault, I put the TC on too fast and forgot to smooth it out. :(

 Since these acutally behaved as I thought they should, I put them through a serious test. I was wearing them on a normal day, trying them out while preparing dinner, studying, washing my hands many times, jogging, and a long shower that included my night routine with my face-cleaning too. This is how it looked like after I came back to my lightbox from the bathroom. I was seriously impressed. Keep in mind my index fingernail is chipped because I messed it up while applying the water decal. The middle fingernail has little bit of tip-wear, but the ring and the little nails are untouched! 

The last one, made for fun, because I liked how this ring looks with the pattern. :)

Number 80 was tons easier to apply, I got them on my nails basically wrinkle-free, the TC didn't wrinkle it one bit and it lasted on my nails for 5-6 hours of everyday work, including a long shower and using a lot of hand creme, it was in the same state as on the picture when I got up the next morning, I had to remove it with a remover, it wouldn't peel off. 

You can see why I'm confused. While the #39 falls flat and is completely useless, the #80 is great and I can only recommend trying it out. Plus, the pattern on it is gorgeous

Here are my advices when applying the water decals:
  • I didn't use the cuticle pusher to adjust the decal, I simply used my fingers and then pressed the decal on the nail with cotton pad, it works better and faster.
  • If you don't like how the decal sits on your nails or if it starts to dry too fast, just put a few drops of water on it, it will get flexible again.
  • Don't file the decal in the end!! The tutorials also warn about this one. It's no good, you can tear the decal or at least pluck it and it won't look good at all. When you put your TC on, just remember to put a little bit on the edge of the nail, like when you wrap your nails, and then remove it with the wooden cuticle pusher. It will go off easily and fast.
  • If any decals are too small for your nails, place it in the middle of the nail, so the amount of naked nail will get lost on the both sides. But trust me, if the middle finger one was only a few milimeters too small for me, it will fit your nails for sure. :)
... and observations:
  • Water decals take less time for me than stamping (rookie in that department too).
  • They're tons easier to remove than polish.
  • Water decals are like a finished mani in one step. No layering, no stamping, no sponging and whatever we can all do with polish. It dries as fast as your TC, and then you're set to go.
  • For 4,50 dollars per set one could say they're expensive, getting only one manicure out of it, when you can get a bottle of polish to use it many times for that money. True. But go to your polish stash and count the bottles you have and used only once in months, even years. I think nail polish fans can afford to spend 4,5 dollars on water decal, since we spend that money on one manicure per bottle too sometimes. See the next dot for more on that.
  • I see the water decals (and nail stickers, for that matter) as something to spice up your outfit when you're going out on a special date or party or something. Not something you use on your nails every day. And for that purpose they pass the test. They last for hours, especially if the only thing you'll be doing is drinking, eating, dancing, sitting in a theatre and such. But they won't last for days like nail polish can, so I don't advise you these if you want your manis to last for a few days.
  • The one thing that bugs me is the 50-50 chance the water decal will work for you. Is #39 the only weird one, did I get a wonky set? There are problem children in polish department too, but the #39 is completely useless for me, you cannot save it, it looks bad, period. I don't like the odds, tell you the truth. I love #80, I love the pattern, how it works on the nail, the little trouble it gave me, but the odds are not good IMO.
Final verdict: You see, if I got only 39, I'd tell you never ever to try this and if I got only 80, i'd totally recommend you to try it out. If you rock the water decals, maybe the 39 would work for you too, for me it didn't. Still, the experience I had with 80 encourages me to try water decals again. If I'd get another bad set, I'd be seriously angry though. You pay 4,50 for something that doesn't work for you? Not a good impression, I'd say. But if you get something so gorgeous like number 80 is, I think it's well worth the money. So if you're into water decals, try them, all in all the experience was good, they are nice, deliver fast and when the decals are good, they're really good! I personally will consider them when having a special occasion to have something extra on my nails, since I prefer them over the whole stamping process. But if I'd get another bad set, I'd stop buying X&D for sure.

Wow, this is a long one. Thank you very much for reading the review! What are your experiences with water decals? Have you tried them at all, would you try these?

Thank you KKcenterHk for providing me these for the review! You can read about my disclosure here.

Wednesday, 3 August 2011

Finger paints - Groovy Green mattefied + my first (half-decent) stamping

Heya people. You can see I'm back to studying and that's why I'm not posting as much. I have planned one more post for this week, then I'm MIA at least until 14th August. Just to let you know. I'm preparing a mini giveaway for some time now and hopefully I'll launch it when I get back to full blogging again.

Today I have one of Finger paints from their Summer 2011 collection called Peace, Love & Color. I love that collection, but I effing worship their Fall one, Fall Fashionista (My Lucid Bubble review with added looks with the colours, love the review!)! It's SO awesome, so gorgeous, man, they beat the hell out of China Glaze and O.P.I. IMHO! The only one they couldn't beat is Smoke and Mirrors from Zoya for me. But they are a close second, I want like half of their collection, Cordur-Orange could make me cry, it's so awesome.

But today I have Groovy Green for you. The problem child of the collection, Kris warned me the formula was problematic and it sure is. Still, when I saw the mattefied version of it at Fashion Polish, I just new it will be love, no matter how the formula is.

Sam was right, this looks like green sister of Zoya Phoebe thanks to the silver shimmer, it's fantasitc!

This was three coats and a lot of cursing. The formula is a nightmare, effing tooth paste. I remember my right hand looking like a five-year-old would painted my nails. Still, the awful forumla aside ... isn't this green SO gorgeous? So fresh and crisp and ... springy? I loved it on my nails. Especially after putting the matte TC on, then it was just a plain perfection. Matte TC also reduces the visible brushstrokes, so yay for that. Still, you've been warned (several times now) - the formula sucks on this baby. Still, I love the colour so much, it goes to my Diva department. :)

Holly also sent me a Bundle Monster plate in the GA package and back then I was itching to try it out, having a bit of spare time on my hands. Btw, for stamping rookies such as myself, check Maestra's tutorial. It's fantastic, by far the best I've read and watched online. 
I tried two images, one on my left and one on my right hand. This is the first time I actually serously attempted to make a stamping pattern on my nails, so I know it looks awful, but give me some credit for trying. ;)

 I hate how I couldn't pick up the finer lines of this pattern, I like it so so much.

The best one  I did that day. Of course on my thumb, that is rarely seen. Only two fine lines missing, yay!

This was awfully off center, I know, I admire you girls greatly for placing the pattern where it should be. That was by far my biggest problem when doing this, I have no idea how you pull it off. I used Catrice Back to Black, of course, I thought it will be pigmented enough. I'd like to invest in some very well pigmented polish for stamping, any suggestions? I know, Konad does them best, but they are pricey. 

Oh well, hope this wasn't to awful for you to see. I actually had fun with it, but I couldn't do it every day, it takes a lot of time. 

Did you get any Finger Paints from Summer collection? What do you think about Fall collections for this year, which one is your favourite?

Thank you for reading!