Monday, December 11, 2017

Double Moon Stamping Kit

I was excited this past summer when the Double Moon display showed up at Fred Meyer with stamping kits and polishes, so I bought (over the course of a couple visits, because I was being frugal or something) both of the the stamping kits and a polish. It took me a while to try them, but I finally did.

The two kits are called Wisdom and Beauty. They have the same contents, just different designs on the plate. Wisdom leans more geometric while Beauty is more flowery.

I chose Beauty for my test manicure. The box had an instruction booklet, small clear stamper, flexible scraper, and the plate (here still with its protective film in place).

To get right to the stamping and not have to wait for polish to dry, I put on Sally Hansen Insta Gel Strips in Plums the Word (yes, plums, not plum's) as my base color; I just didn't do the gel topcoat.

For the stamping, I used Double Moon Eucalyptus, a very pale sage green creme. Here's a look pre-cleanup, pre-topcoat. It stamped, yes, but it wasn't as opaque as I hoped. I know using a light color for stamping can be challenging, but this polish was in a display for stamping, so I expected a lot. I did like the stamper and the scraper quite a bit; they were easy to work with.

After clean up and topcoat, my mani looked like this. The pattern of roses was subtle but still visible.

Just for comparison and to add an accent, I stamped one finger with Sally Hansen Insta Dri Wild Strawberry. I felt those lines were a bit cleaner than the Double Moon polish. The color definitely stood out more, but it would as it's red.

The subtlety of the stamping is clear in this outdoor shot a couple days after I did this look:

One of the Fred Meyer stores I go to still has the Double Moon display but I'm not going to rush to get more of the polishes. Seems they're not specially made for stamping, so I'll just use what I have, like the Insta Dris. The kits are a nice beginner set, though; those would make good gifts for someone just starting out.

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Wheel A10: Crackle Polishes

I'm still sorting the last of my cremes and shimmers into major color groups, so they're not the point where I can just grab 20 and make a wheel, but my special effect polishes are to that point, since I do those by brand/finish rather than hue. So today I have a blast from the not so distant past: crack polishes. (Of course there's always the possibility that I will find more of the same finishes/brands as I empty the last of the boxes I'm unpacking, but I'm just gonna have to live with that. It's good for me to learn to deal with things like that.)

(all one coat over base of either white or black creme)

1. Pure Ice Crackle Pout
2. Pure Ice Vinyl Remix Art in Motion DJ Spinner [white base, the green and black come from the crack]
3. Pure Ice Vinyl Remix Art in Motion Glam Rock [white base]
4. OPI Shatter Paints Pink Shatter Paint [white base]
5. OPI Shatter Paints Orange Shatter Paint [white base]
6. OPI Shatter Super Bass Shatter
7. OPI Shatter Shatter the Scales
8. Sephora by OPI Blasted Blasted Opalescent
9. China Glaze Crackle Glaze Lightning Bolt
10. China Glaze Crackle Glaze Cracked Concrete
11. China Glaze Crackle Glaze Broken Hearted
12. China Glaze Crackle Glaze Crushed Candy
13. China Glaze Crackle Glaze Black Mesh
14. China Glaze Crackle Glaze Fault Line [this has a shimmer to it, but it's subtle; maybe topcoat would have brought it out more]
15. China Glaze Crackle Glaze Oxidized Aqua
16. China Glaze Crackle Glaze Latticed Lilac
17. China Glaze Crackle Platinum Pieces
18. China Glaze Crackle Glaze Haute Metal
19. China Glaze Crackle Glaze Tarnished Gold
20. China Glaze Crackle Glaze Cracked Medallion

Bottles 1 through 3:

4 through 8:

9 through 14:

15 through 20:

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

A Tale of Two Sleek Sticks

A little while back, I wanted to do a mani that didn't need to last long as I had plans for a swatching session, so I turned to the strips which have in the past given me a short wear time: Essie Sleek Stick.
I pulled a package of Steel the Show from my stash (I bought a bunch of these when they showed up at Dollar Tree some time ago); these have a light grey base with a silver honeycomb-like design. They applied much more easily than I remembered, with little wrinkling at the sides.

I liked that they coordinated so nicely with the purse I've been carrying lately:

For one reason or another, the swatching session got put off, so I was still wearing these six days later, and they didn't look too hideous. Yes, there was some tipwear, but the strips were about as pale as my nails, so it didn't show too badly, and it had worn off smoothly so I wasn't bothered by the feel of it. I was quite surprised I hadn't had to peel these off after two or three days.

Encouraged by my experience with the silver strips, after I did that swatching session, I pulled another set of Sleek Stick out to use. This time it was Stick with Style, a peachy solid with irregularly shaped dots in a regular pattern. These were much more what remembered: thick and prone to wrinkling around the edges. They didn't look that great even just after I put them on.

Two days later I had wear at my tips that was rough and catching on things and bothering me, so I took them off. These peel off without hurting the nail underneath, and I was ready to get them off that I did my right hand before I remembered I wanted a photo for the blog.

I guess what we learned is you take your chances when you use Essie nail stickers. That might be why they didn't stick around too long as part of Essie's product line. You can still find them online (I came across lots of 50 sets for $50 on a wholesale website), but I wouldn't bother. There are better strips out there, like Incoco.

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Wheel X9: Glitters from SinfulColors

Nail Wheel Wednesday is back. This installment stars glitter polishes from SinfulColors. About halfway through painting this, I really wished I'd done a black base under some of them but alas did not have time to both do that and get to dinner on time, and dinner won. Dinner will pretty much always win.

(all 2 coats plus clear topcoat)

1. SinfulColors Twilight Twinkles
2. SinfulColors Starlight
3. SinfulColors Heart of Gold
4. SinfulColors Sleigh My Name
5. SinfulColors Star Studded [star glitter required fishing]
6. SinfulColors Silver Belle
7. SinfulColors Silver Crush
8. SinfulColors Flake Out [snowflake glitter required fishing]
9. SinfulColors Cosmotion
10. SinfulColors Green Ocean [this is the non-flakie version, or one of them; I'm not sure how many variants there are]
11. SinfulColors Shamrockin' [four leaf flowers required fishing; other glitters are so pale they don't show on the ivory nail wheel]
12. SinfulColors Shamrockin' [yep, two versions of this one; this also required fishing to get the flowers out]
13. SinfulColors I'm Clover It [you guessed it; clover glitter required fishing]
14. SinfulColors Feeling Lucky [and yes, more fishing required for clovers, gold four leaf ones this time]
15. SinfulColors Planet Out
16. SinfulColors Top Me Off
17. SinfulColors If You've Got It Haunt It
18. SinfulColors Love Bombs [there are blue heart glitters in here but I was too tired to fish them out]
19. SinfulColors Sinful Sunrise
20. SinfulColors Spoon Full of Sugar

Bottles 1 through 5:

6 through 10:

11 through 15:

16 through 20:

Monday, November 27, 2017

Sally Hansen Color Therapy Trio

So yeah, I did go on another unplanned blogging mini-hiatus. This time it was due to a double whammy of travel (Mr. K and I left home on October 5th and got back on November 19th) and illness (I got an upper respiratory thing that I'm just finally feeling like I'm getting over now—to give you an idea how bad it got, I couldn't muster the energy to go to Meijer and look for new Studio M before we left Illinois in November). Much as I like blogging and nail polish, sometimes they slip down my priority list. The good news is I'm not planning on any more long trips for quite a while, and I did buy some new polishes on my trip and should be able to make the time to swatch them as ski season hasn't started in earnest yet (the mountain has been open on weekends, but terrain is very limited at this point). Today, though, I have swatches I did a while back of three Sally Hansen Color Therapy shades that were part of the limited edition release done as part of the Enchanting Gems display this past fall. I chose Rose Diamond, Smoky Emerald, and Opulent Pearl. (Back in the day I would have gotten all six of the LEs, so I am making some small progress toward getting my stash expansion rate down.)

Rose Diamond is a dusty light pink with very fine pearl shimmer. It's the sort of polish that I wore all the time when I was in my serious conservative professional woman phase: quiet, classic, goes with any skirted suit ensemble. Now these sorts of polishes are "palate cleansers" for me and a way to not attract too much attention to my hands when I'm feeling they're not at their best or I just don't want to field questions about what I'm wearing. My swatch is three coats, but two would probably have worked as well.

This has a nice soft glow in direct light:

Opulent Pearl is a pearly white with shimmer that flashes pink. In the bottle, it looked like it might be a bit sheer, so I experimented and put one coat of it on top of Rose Diamond. I quite liked this combination; Opulent Pearl added interest to Rose Diamond without changing its essential character as a quiet, classic option.

When I tried Opulent Pearl on its own, I did three coats of it alone on my index finger and two coats of it as part of a French manicure on my other digits. There was definitely visible nail line on my index finger, but it looked okay to me, almost like a very subtle French mani effect.

In direct light, the pink shimmer really pops.

I also tried Opulent Pearl over a variety of cream base colors. Top to bottom, one coat of Opulent Pearl on: Sally Hansen Complete Salon Manicure In Full Blue-m (light blue), Sally Hansen Diamond Strength M-asked to Dance (bright pink), Sally Hansen Xtreme Wear Out for Oxblood (burgundy), and black (I didn't write down which one). I'd say this is a pretty versatile topper. I liked it best over the black, but it did good things for the other base shades, too.

I had high hopes for Smoky Emerald. It's a black base (or maybe a green so dark it looks back) with teal shimmer that in the bottle appears to have a slight shift to purple.

In direct sun, there are even more colors that show up in the bottle:

On the nail, no shifting was evident, try as I might to angle my nails this way and that in various lights. Two coats of Smoky Emerald got me black with teal shimmer. It's fine, pretty even, just not shifty like I was hoping. I sometimes thought I caught a glimpse of purple along the sides of my nails, but it might have been wishful thinking.

I did try putting Smoky Emerald over a dark creme base to see if that would coax the shift out on the nail, but no, it did not. Guess that's not surprising given it's opaque in two coats. Those photos look pretty much just like the preceding three, so I am not going to spend the time to crop and watermark any of them.

I was glad to see some LE colors from Sally Hansen again; they used to do so many and I miss those days even though sometimes I got overwhelmed. My favorite of these three is Opulent Pearl; I can see using that to spark up cremes and subtle shimmers often.