Archive for the ‘Teal’ Category

Some Random Swatches from Nail Girls London and a Sad Story About the Worst Mani Ever

Tuesday, May 28th, 2013

 I recently traveled for a wedding in a small town in the mountains of North Carolina. Things were so hectic right before I left that I didn’t have time to do my nails (that and I was wearing a really fabu color that I didn’t want to take off, Nicole By OPI A Phil’s Paradise, review and post coming soon). Normally, I take my mani kit with me everywhere I go, but I couldn’t on this trip because the airline had some seriously oppressive baggage weight limits. So, my only option was a professional manicure. I never, ever get my nails done professionally, never. In the last five years, I’ve been once… for my wedding. And I really regretted not having done them myself. But I figured, eh, it’s just this once, what’s the worse that can happen, right? Famous last words.

My poor sister-in-law scoured the town looking for a reputable nail place. She went to about 5 different places before finding a salon that didn’t totally skeeve her out and had appointment availability. (Just to be clear, this salon was a random local NC salon, it was not affiliated with the Nail Girls salons in England). The nail tech was really nice but it was the worst manicure I’ve ever gotten. She took a scorched-earth approach to my cuticles, pushing them back so hard that it still hurts. She didn’t even remove all the polish I was wearing before she started painting. The paint job was uneven at the cuticles and had bald spots everywhere. While I did ask for her to fix certain issues, there was so much going horribly wrong that there was no way to keep asking for corrections without seeming completely rude and insane. So, mostly, I just kept my criticisms to myself and silently endured the crimes against my nails. 30 dollars and nearly 12 hours later, I fell asleep and woke up with sheet marks. SHEET MARKS!! I had to go to Sally’s to buy a bottle of China Glaze Ruby Pumps and Seche Vite to paint over the original OPI Vodka & Caviar mani and save the day. In conclusion, I will never, ever, ever get another professional manicure ever again, ever.

I’m sharing this sad tale of woe and despair for two reasons: first, doing your own nails is the way to go, period. Especially if you are neurotic like me.  If you don’t like doing them yourself, that’s totally fine too but make sure that when you do find a good nail tech you stick to him or her like glue because not all nail techs are created equally. And a truly bad manicure can have some long term consequences. It’s probably going to take at least a month for my cuticles to get back to normal.

In any case here are some swatches from the new-to-me-brand, Nail Girls London. Overall, I’m really impressed with this brand – good formula, good application, and great colors. I also really love the color name concept – don’t get me wrong, I enjoy the wacky OPI names but there’s something so intriguing and mysterious about a naming system as simple as ‘actual color + number’.

Nail Girls Teal 1

Nail Girls Teal 1 is a Dolphins-ish teal (ugh, sorry for the sports reference but I didn’t know how else to describe it and I happen to be a Floridian), leaning more green than blue. This color is seriously flattering, I got a ton of compliments when I wore it. The application was smooth and easy. Teal 1 is extremely pigmented and this mani was perfect at two coats.

Nail Girls Taupe 5

Nail Girls Taupe 5, is a gorgeous mushroomy greige. The base color is similar to Chanel Frenzy, but Frenzy is a smidge deeper and darker. What makes Taupe 5 unique is the dark ash-like particles suspended in the color. The specks give the color a cookies and cream type effect, but not too obvious. The over all look reminded me of throwing clay. This is unique, but work appropriate – conservative enough that I wore it for a trial. This NOTD was 3 coats.

Nail Girls Taupe 5 Bottle

The ash-specks are much more visible in the bottle shot above.  Although I really loved this color, the ash-specks do make the color look somewhat grungy, which I suspect will turn some people off to it.

Nail Girls Purple 8

And, finally, Nail Girls Purple 8 is a mushroomy griolet (think grayed-out-grape). The consistency during application was a bit like a jelly polish so this is 4 coats. The formula here was on the thick side, but not terrible. I was really impressed with the wear time. This was a Monday to Friday mani with no chips and minimal tip wear.

In terms of where to purchase these, I was able to get confirmation – these polishes are available on the Nail Girls London website (careful, it’s definitely not a .com lol). And they do ship throughout the United States because they have a distribution center here. (Which does makes sense since these polishes are manufactured in the United States.) These retail for £10.50 a pop, with the current exchange rate that is a little under $16 US.

 So, have you tried Nail Girls? Any other colors I should seek out? What about nightmare manis? Been there?

_____

Disclaimer: These polishes were sent to me for review by Nail Girls London. 

Edited to include updated information about shipping and also to explain that my manicure-nightmare was not at the hands of a Nail Girls manicurist. 

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Gasp: A Few A England Holos

Friday, March 22nd, 2013

I was back to blogging for about two seconds before this bomb was dropped on me: Holos – there’s a ton of them out there now and… they come in green. Having reached the peak of my nail polish collecting in 2009, this was practically unheard of for me. My first encounter with this unicorn, the green holo, was the glorious Glitter Gal Lizard Belly. It wasn’t too long before everyone told me about A England and the mantra was ”you need all of these, right now.” I was lemming about three-quarters of their line, particularly their holos. With that said, I’ve had these for months but it took me forever to photograph them because I didn’t want to just swatch them. I loved them so much I really wanted to actually wear them. And, sadly, although I have a lot more nail liberty now than I did before, I still can’t go balls to the wall all the time so getting this post together took a hot minute.

A England Dragon

A England Dragon *deep breath*  a sage green holo. The holo in these polishes is pretty subtle, definitely not blingtastic at all. In my opinion, the holo is neither linear nor scattered – a better description would be “ambient,” like a shimmery interference. Application was good but the formula was a smidge on the thick side, perfect at two coats but I did three. Dragon is my favorite of the three polishes featured in this post because this shade of green was very flattering to my skin-tone.

A England Saint George

A England Saint George is a teal leaning dark green holo. *swoon* Like Dragon, the holo is fine grained. This was my New Year’s Eve NOTD! Application was comparable to Dragon – this is three coats, but it would have been fine at two. It’s a bit of a stainer, so beware of sloppy application. Please excuse my gross flairy ring-finger nail. This photo was taken when I was struggling with peelies a few months back. My nails tend to flair like that when they’re weak. Taking biotin and switching back to my old holy grail base-coat that was unfortunately discontinued before its time, Sally Hansen Nail Quencher, really helped with the terrible peeling. My failed attempts to find a new go-to base-coat will be the topic of many anguished posts to come.

A England Lady of the Lake

Last but not least, A England Lady of the Lake, a dark grape ambient holo. This shade is consistent with Dragon and Saint George in terms of look and application. This is my current NOTD. As you can see I had to nubbinize so I used that as an excuse to holo-it-up - looooooove it. Generally, I have a love\hate relationship with purples. I feel like purple is so over done: the “red” of “wacky” colors, if that makes sense. But, like with red, I’m a hater until I actually wear a purple polish, then I remember why everyone loves the color so much. It’s just gorgeous. Not to keep making excuses for my sub-par nail situation but please also excuse this photo. Since the past few weeks were so rough, I fell off the wagon in terms of keeping up with my moisture regime - these cuticles are the sad, sad result. womp womp.

This was my first foray into A England and I’m hooked. A England is the brain child of Adina, an evil nail polish genius. (You can follow her on twitter @aenglandtweets). I feel like if we knew each other in real life we’d be total besties… a love for nail polish, legends & myths, a gothic aesthetic, and a touch of anglophilia … um, sign me up for that life long friendship. A England is an indie brand and hails from the United Kingdom. [edited - thank you Chia & Aglaya for catching that for me] Although A England used to ship to the U.S. they are no longer able to ship internationally. However, you can get them from U.S. retailers like Ninja Polish and Llarowe for $10. You can get additional information about where to buy A England here.

Have you tried A England? What do you think?

_______

Disclosure: These were sent to me for review by A England.

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Some More Belated Cult Nails Swatches

Sunday, November 4th, 2012

I meant to post these during all the Cultober festivities, but the last two weeks at work have been hellish. The upside is that I was so distracted by work that I managed to go nearly two full weeks without buying anything (woo hoo for small victories); the down side is that I neglected the blog big time. I also nervously picked at my nails the whole time such that they are now injured, little nubbins. The nubbins were also accompanied by peeling, oh the horrible peeling. My nails are in such bad shape, they have never been like this before. I can’t figure out whether the peeling is a result of my nervous picking (both from using my nails to pick and from the damage to the nail bed caused by peeling off nail polish) or whether it’s the new base coat I’ve been using, Nail Tek Foundation III. To combat these issues, I picked up some Biotin today. The next couple of weeks will be stressful too, but they shouldn’t be as bad as the last two. I’m making a conscious effort to stop picking. Hopefully, we’ll see some improvement too.

In any case, the polishes in this post were my biggest Cult lemmings. And, oh boy, they are every bit as amazing as I hoped they would be. All four polishes were worn as manis. I was very impressed with the quality, good consistency, perfect application and wear. The bottle style is standard and sturdy. I liked the brush style too. These retail for $10.00 on the Cult Nails website. All in all, I’m pretty impressed with this brand.

Cult Nails Awakening… LOVE IT. I first saw this color on twitter, instant lemming. Subsequently, I went into a panic when Maria tweeted that this color was being discontinued and that supplies were running low. I’m so glad I was able to get my hands on this before it was gone. (Hopefully, Maria will bring it back some day). Awakening is a very deep, dark muted teal that leans toward blue as opposed to green.  I would say this is a crelly, definitely more creme than jelly. This is 3 coats, excellent application. I wore this one to work. Not exactly work appropriate but I thought it was subtle enough that it wouldn’t offend anyone. The wear was outstanding: 5 days, no chips.

Cult Nails Vicious, another beauty, is a dark, red-leaning plum creme. The color is very well pigmented, great formula and application. Perfectly opaque at two coats. I used Vicious as the base for an evolving mani that I will post soon.

Cult Nails I Got Distracted is fine holographic glitter and small green hexagonal glitter suspended in a blackened green base. This was another twitter-initiated lemming and it’s pretty amazing. Totally not work appropriate but I wore it to work anyway because I’m a sneaky-sneak. My husband said it was okay because even though it’s blingtastic-like-whoa, the darkness of the base makes it as subtle as something this blingy can be. This mani was 3 coats, but it was good at 2. IGD is a top coat eater for sure, I used 3 coats of Gelous and 1 coat of Seche Vite.

Cult Nails Living Water is blue and green micro glitter suspended in a dark blue jelly base. I love colors like this, dark and sparkly without being ‘in your face.’ It dries a bit matte so I used a coat of Gelous under Wicked Fast. People are constantly raving about Wicked Fast – the jury is still out for me but my initial impressions were good. It was ultra glossy and it dried very quickly to the touch.

Here’s a side shot to exhibit the gorgeous glitter. Finally, like the others, the application and wear was awesome.

I’m really looking forward to picking up some polishes by Cult. Do you have any Cult favorites that I need to own?

_____

Disclaimer: These were sent for review by Cult Nails.

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