Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Wheel P9: Textured Cremes

Remember textured polishes? If so, let's reminisce together. Today for Nail Wheel Wednesday I have textured cremes (which seems like maybe it's not quite the right term, but not sure what else can I call textures which don't have shimmer in the base).

(all two coats)

1. Sally Hansen Sugar Coat Sugar Fix
2. Sally Hansen Sugar Coat Sweetie
3. Milani Texture Yellow Mark
4. Sally Hansen Sugar Coat Candy Corn
5. Sally Hansen Sugar Coat Cherry Drop
6. Milani Texture Tainted in Red
7. Sally Hansen Sugar Coat Cotton Candies
8. Sally Hansen Sugar Coat Bubble Plum
9. Milani Texture Spoiled in Fuchsia
10. Kiko Sugar Mat 635 Wisteria
11. Sally Hansen Sugar Coat Gummy Grape
12. Milani Texture Purple Streak
13. Kiko Sugar Mat 637 Turquoise
14. Sally Hansen Sugar Coat Razzleberry
15. Sally Hansen Sugar Coat Laughie Taffy
16. Sally Hansen Sugar Coat Sour Apple
17. Milani Texture Aqua Splash [not sure why this one is looking lumpy; probably user error or inattention]
18. Sally Hansen Sugar Coat Speed-a-Mint
19. Milani Texture Shady Gray
20. Sally Hansen Sugar Coat Lick-O-Rich

Bottles 1 through 6:

7 through 12:

13 through 15:

16 through 20:

Monday, June 12, 2017

IEC Haul

As promised, today I've got the goodies I got at Indie Expo Canada. I am traveling with my lightbox (that's not strange at all, right?), so was able to take proper bottle shots of everything eventually, but first here's a quickie pic of all the VIP goodies on my hotel bed just after I'd unwrapped and sorted everything out. Polish, of course, but also a stamping plate, nail decals, emery board, soap, eyeshadow, a bath cupcake, and skin/hair serum. Well worth the price of the ticket, for sure.

I couldn't wait until after I set up the lightbox to try some of the bath products I got from SoGa, so they didn't get the glamour shot treatment. These bath snowballs looked so pretty; it was hard to pick just a few. I got Northern Lights, Cucumber Melon, and Lemongrass & Sage.

I used Northern Lights first and almost hated to toss it in the bathwater and see those gorgeous colors fizz away. I'm glad I did though, as it smelled great, sort of fruity and floral and woodsy at the same time, not overpowering but strong enough to linger on my skin for a while after I dried off.

I shared my creations from the pre-con polish making workshop in my other IEC post, but here they are again just for the sake of completeness. I love that Pam had special IEC labels for the fronts of our bottles and also made custom name stickers for the bottoms once we'd decided what to call them. Mine are Lost in the Forest, Flair Purple, and Bonus Flakes.

VIP bag polishes, part one—Girly Bits V.I.Polish, Superficially Colorful Lacquer Stealing Your Thunder, Fair Maiden Toronto Sunrise, Colors by Llarowe O Canada, Fiendish Fancies Red Herring, and Tonic Taking on Toronto:

VIP bag polishes, part two—Great Lakes Lacquer Love at Hyatt Regency, Bliss Toronto, Ever After Diamonds Are Forever, Native War Paints Sun Bathing on Lake Ontario, Alter Ego Generous Beauty, Hit the Bottle On the Loose with Chartreuse:

VIP non-polish goodies:

And now on to all the nail stuff I bought—please keep in mind I've been on a very low buy for quite a while now, so these were the first indies I'd gotten in well over a year, so I had some serious pent up demand.

Girly Bits—on top are Ultra Holochrome Powder and SFX Nail Powder in Alchemy; bottles are Brick House, Stayin' Alive, Le Freak, Refresh! Refresh! Refresh!, Sugar Beach, and Lost in the PATH.

Beyond the Nail—Holo Blue Microglitter, Fiddlesticks!, 416/905 (IEC exclusive), Tee Dot (IEC exclusive), and Space Cadet. This is a new brand for me.

Great Lakes Lacquer (also a new brand for me)—The Jewel of Ontario and Indie-cent Exposure (IEC exclusive); Native War Paints—Picnic in Trinity Bellwoods, Meet Me at Union Station, and Scaling the CN Tower, along with a mini of cuticle oil in Birthday Cake.

Alter Ego (yet another new brand for me)—Olympic Contender, B Informed, Precious Heart (IEC exclusive), Silver Cocktail, and Courtney's Frogspawn Coral (coral as in coral reef, not the color).

Fair Maiden (again, new brand for me)—Twilight, Cruel Summer, Northern Exposure (IEC exclusive), Moonstone.

Pahlish (not new to me, of course) Graffiti Alley (IEC exclusive) and Fiendish Fancies (new to me) I Want My Cake!, Lycanthrope, and I Can Feel Myself Rotting.

Moo Moo's Signatures (yep, new to me)—Cowgirl's Broken Time Machine, Yeti-Moo, The Last Ninja, and Mission Impossible in Toronto (IEC exclusive).

Ever After Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds and License to Lacquer, Colors by Llarowe Can We Have Trudeau?, Hit the Bottle Midnight Pumpkin, Electric Indigo, and Peacock Shimmer. Ever After and Hit the Bottle are new brands for me.

Whew. And there were a couple brands I didn't buy from but wanted to. Next time maybe I should try the approach of studying the shopping guides ahead of time and making a list and trying to stick to that. It's not really my style but it might help with the feeling of overwhelm that set in at a certain point.

I couldn't try everthing right away, of course, but did sample a few things. I started with two of the Hit the Bottle stamping polishes, grabbing a Salon Express plate from the box of stamping supplies I brought with me from Idaho (like the lightbox, totally normal thing to take on a road trip).

I stamped over my existing mani (the layered one topped with Bonus Flakes that I shared in my IEC recap post with Hit the Bottle Peacock Shimmer and Midnight Pumpkin. Since I don't (yet) have a clear stamper, my double/shadow stamping leaves a lot to be desired as far as alignment, but it's fun. I still need to practice more. When I'm going to manage that I've no idea. Retirement is busy, y'all. Oh, and see how part of my plate up there is nice and shiny and part is cloudy from acetone? I learned from mrsrexy that a rough-ish dish towel will clean up that cloudiness. (I used yellow towel in the background; it's a sort of waffle weave, while the one mrsrexy had was terrycloth.)

When it came time to start swatching, I chose the brightest of the lot, Fair Maiden Cruel Summer (thank for the earworm, FM). It's an orange-y coral with pink shimmer.

I used three coats on my nail. The shimmer is subtle but gives depth to the color. It's so bright I thought it might dry satin like a neon, but it didn't; my swatch is without topcoat. This is a great summer color for sure.

Next I sampled Fiendish Fancies Red Herring, because I had to know if my instinct that this would look good on me that led to me swapping away the warmer toned Harlot was correct. I think it was. I did three coats of this red shimmer, though a bit more care in application (yes, I was rushing again) would probably have made it fine with two coats.

Finally, I had to swatch some Girly Bits, as without Pam there would have been no IEC. I did two coats of Lost in the PATH, then added one coat of Refresh! Refresh! Refresh! on my ring finger for a subtle accent. Lost in the PATH is a purple shimmer; Refresh! Refresh! Refresh! has blue to green shifting flakies in a transluscent base.

Lost in the PATH is just the sort of polish I associate with Girly Bits; it looks equally good in indirect light (above) as in direct light (below).

I'm happy with what I got at IEC, definitely. I didn't get every exclusive and limited edition I saw, so feel good about having some restraint. Almost all of the ones I bought were shimmers; the era of the glitter topper seems to be over for now.

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Wheel O9: SinfulColors Glitters

I am planning to do a haul post from IEC, but right now, I have a group of SinfulColors glitters that's been patiently waiting for its moment in the Nail Wheel Wednesday spotlight while I've been gallivanting around two countries.

1. SinfulColors Late Night Haute (3 coats, black base on half the nail tip)
2. SinfulColors Sapphired Up (3) [bigger pieces of glitter got stuck in bottle for this one, and next three]
3. SinfulColors Don't Flake (3)
4. SinfulColors Tear It Up (3)
5. SinfulColors Couture for Sure (3)
6. SinfulColors Lively in Lilac (3)
7. SinfulColors Decadent (3)
8. SinfulColors Walk the Walk (3)
9. SinfulColors Piece Out Pink (3)
10. SinfulColors Pink Ansen (2 over half black)
11. SinfulColors Kandee Pink (2 over half black)
12. SinfulColors Night Owl (2 over half black)
13. SinfulColors Full Spectrum (3)
14. SinfulColors Gilded (3)
15. SinfulColors Black Magic (3)
16. SinfulColors Gold a la Mode (2)
17. SinfulColors Strike a Pose (3)
18. SinfulColors Silver Shivers (3)
19. SinfulColors Play Dead (2)
20. SinfulColors Diamonds Are Forever (3)

Bottles 1 through 5:

6 through 11:

12 through 15:

16 through 20:

Monday, June 5, 2017

Karen's First Polish Convention

If you've seen my Instagram over the last couple of days, you know I've been in Toronto for the inaugural Indie Expo Canada (IEC). Ever since Pam of Girly Bits fame announced the idea, I wanted to go. I like indie polish (well, all polish really, as you know), and I like Pam, and I like Toronto, so I bought a VIP ticket when they went on sale even though at that point I wasn't sure I'd be able to make the trip from Idaho. Obviously, it turned out that I was able to, making this weekend a feature of another long road trip.

I left home the Monday before Memorial Day, drove to my mother-in-law's house in Illinois over three days, then spent about a week in the Land of Lincoln, including a craft conference over the holiday weekend. The night before I was to depart for Canada, I did my nails, choosing a shade from the small selection of polishes I'd brought with me. Finger Paints DIY Diva is a summery orchid with blue shimmer, very pretty and very well coordinated with the outfits I planned to wear at IEC. Unfortunately the polish in the bottle I got was thick and goopy, so I had to thin it despite it being a recent purchase and never used before. It also really didn't get along with the first topcoat I tried on it, wrinkling up to the point that I had to take it all off and start over (a smarter and/or less stubborn person might have decided to switch to another color at this point). It did better with the second topcoat I tried (Diamond Dry) but still wasn't leveled as well as I'd like, so I added a layer of Sally Hansen Diamond Flash the next morning, and still wasn't happy, so put China Glaze Fairy Dust over the top the morning after that, my first full day in Canada. Here's a shot in natural light (in my car, which is where I added the Fairy Dust):

And here's the proof that my manicures don't always work out: attempt number one with the incompatible topcoat (in weird light at my MIL's house):

My IEC experience started with a polish making workshop on Saturday morning. Actually, it started a bit before that when Melanie and I took turns trying to get the pay station in the parking ramp to take our money. It didn't like her card, then it didn't like my card, then it did deign to take her other card, and I found enough change in the plastic bag of Canadian cash that Mr. Karen gave me to cover the fee. Then we were both able to go upstairs and take our places in the conference room for three hours of fun with suspension base and colorant and shimmer and glitter and flakies and such.

I had some inkling what we'd be doing, since I was fortunate to have done the workshop at Pam's studio a few years back, so I came in with the idea to make a polish inspired by the woods that surround me in Idaho, and pretty much managed to make that vision a reality with Lost in the Forest, a green jelly glitter topper that was my first creation at the workshop.

I couldn't wait to use it, so I put a coat of Lost in the Forest over my existing mani, even though I wouldn't usually put green over orchid. It didn't look too bad.

My second polish was inspired by a pen that Melissa loaned me that morning.

I had to try that one, too, but limited myself to an accent nail of the newly named Flair Purple.

After I finished my second polish, there was still a fair bit of time left, so I decided to use the leftovers in my mixing cup to make a bonus color, adding random stuff as I walked around the room looking at what other ladies were doing. Thus Bonus Flakes was born. There were leftovers from this, too, but no more time to keep creating.

After polish making, I had lunch with mrsrexy, then we returned to the hotel for afternoon seminars on blogging and marketing, after which we strolled around the city for a bit and continued to catch up with each other.

I ended the day back at my hotel tired and happy.

I wasn't too tired to do a new manicure for the main event on Sunday. I used Essence When Tomorrow Comes (taupe creme) and Chrome Paradise (charcoal duochrome shimmer) as a base for Bonus Flakes.

Sunday I donned my nail polish print skirt and headed downtown. I allowed myself plenty of time to deal with the effects of a freeway closure between my hotel and the host hotel, so was feeling pretty good when I pulled into the parking garage ahead of schedule. That feeling went away quickly when I realized I'd left my Canadian cash back in my room; fortunately the garage was attended so I could pay with my card that way. Digging around in my purse, I later found the coins I'd intentionally gotten the night before to pay for parking, but that wasn't going to buy any polish. Ah well, that's why we have Paypal and credit cards.

Check-in went smoothly and soon I was sitting in a comfy chair going through the pretties in the VIP bag. Jj happened to sit down nearby and we ended up chatting for a while and even did an impromptu swap of one shade of Fiendish Fancies for another since we each liked the color the other got better than the one in our own bag. Then we lined up to get into the ballroom and it was off the races. I hadn't done any planning as far as making a wish list or even studying the layout, so I just wandered from table to table in no particular pattern, picking up things that looked most interesting and putting many of them down again because my retirement budget is a thing. A thing that I stretched rather a bit as the day went on. Maybe I'll do a haul post at some point; that might be frightening (or impressive, depending on your perspective).

In addition to the shopping, there were tutorial sessions. I signed up for two: Advanced Stamping with mrsrexy (I decided since I'd graduated from the turtlechick school of stamping, I could be advanced) and Nail Art with Candace and Katherine. They packed a lot into these short sessions, and I learned some things you may see show up here on the blog before long. There was also a panel discussion in there somewhere, but I didn't see much of that as I needed to step out and have a snack lest my blood sugar do bad things. I unfortunately can't blame blood sugar on the two most embarrassing parts of my day: knocking over a cup of water during the nail art tutorial (not just into my lap but into that of the woman next to me) and flashing my underwear for an unknown number of attendees when I failed to notice my skirt getting caught up under my tote bag when I bent over to look at polish. Ooops.

All in all, it was a fun time and I hope I can return for future IECs. Perhaps by then I can figure out how to have more energy so I can go out and socialize at night instead of crashing in my room. Or perhaps I'll learn how to drink espresso. Time will tell.