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PWI twofer: Sinful Colors Love Nails and OPI Sedona Seduction

Okay, this gets pretty complicated. 🙂 You see, Mama T bought me a set of nail art tools!

I find nail art intimidating.  For one thing, I keep my nails SO short; for another, I fear it sneaks into an “even a grad student can’t get away with this,” even though I cheerfully wear disco balls and neon colors to work.  Also? It seems scary and hard.

But… those are dumb reasons.  I paint my lips non-earth colors all the time,* just not at work.  And being scared of nail polish is a bit mental.  I mean, really, what’s the worst thing that can happen?  Thirty seconds of acetone?

So.  Step 1 is yet another SC teal, Sinful Colors Love Nails.

photo 2

Pretty blue glowy things!  There
beginneth and endeth the joy.

This color and me, we are gonna love-hate fierce.  It’s really very pretty, and it kind of has a deep internal glow that sunlight catches beautifully (and cameras don’t).  But the deep internal complexity comes because this is six coats.  I don’t have time for six coats!  Nobody has time for six coats! >:-( THPT.  I’m wondering if I could get a similar look by layering it over a more polite teal, which I certainly have in abundance.

Anyway, next up, I grabbed OPI Sedona Seduction, a cold ice blue, and a dotting tool (least scary).  Also, Zoya Mosheen.

mosheen  left
Right hand: Sedona Seduction dots over Love Nails; Sedona Seduction alone; dots; Mosheen
over Love Nails; dots. Left hand: dots; dots; Mosheen over SS; dots; dots.

So yeah!  Love Nails is a beautiful PITA.  Sedona Seduction is a very icy, almost-silver blue, opaque enough to make dots with.  Mosheen is a very fine glitter; it’s hard to tell here, but it’s paler over Sedona Seduction.   I need to experiment with it further before I declare it PWI’d.

And… I can make dots! ^_^


* Speaking of:

lips

Lipstick color is true, achieved with lighting that makes the rest of my skin look grayish. I swear I’m not a Yuki-Onna.

I recently placed an order for a large number of inexpensive samples with the Portland Black Lipstick Company.  This is Artificial Amethyst, which Mr. Fix-it doesn’t hate.  (He kind of does hate some of the other weird ones.  Sigh.)  Also, their swatches are terrible, look for other people’s if you’re interested.

PWI twofer: Essie Penny Talk and OPI Gaining Mole-mentum

I know a lot of you reading already know this, but I have something of an obsession with copper.  It’s not my fault!  It’s genetic!  Passed from my grandmother through my mother to me.  

I like lots of copper.

I like amazingly new, weirdly super-pink copper.  I like more often-encountered, beautiful oxidized copper.  I even think verdigris is pretty cool, personally.  Not surprisingly, this has joined forces with my nail polish obsession.  I will buy pretty much any damn thing that is copper, or coppery, or copper-ish, or SAYS copper.  Sadly, in nail polish as in life, there’s a shockingly lame level of access to copper things!  (give me more copper earrings or give me death)

ANY way.  I started seeing things on the nail-o-blaggityblog-o-sphere about a copper polish,  Essie Penny Talk, which is outside my usual price range but cooopperr.  So I ordered it, got the bottle, and it was clearly gold.  I mean look:

Essie Penny Talk:

I even whined to Mr. Fix-It, and
he was all “Uh…hm. Gold is nice?”
So I put it on my nails.

So I put on my new gold nail polish.  Which did go on gold …until it wasn’t.  Like the weirdness of Push’n’Shove, over about a minute or two, it slooowly changed (cured?), until I was looking at this:

Totes copper.  Specifically, the very pink color of brand
new, totally untarnished copper.  *happy sigh*

What the hell, y’all,  Chemistry is magical.

So I really like Penny Talk!  But I didn’t top coat it, and like most foils, it chips if you move your hand through oxygen molecules, and after a day the edges were all ragged and sucky.  So I added

OPI Gaining Mole-mentum:

Up close you can see that it’s made of little shard glitters in gold, silver and copper.

From a little further away you can see that
it’s just sort of… confused sparkle?

I dunno.  When I did Rouge Rush, also with shard glitter, I liked the depth and the almost-flaky-level glow?  So I thought I would give this a try.  But I’m not so sure.  Also, layering it over copper made the copper glitter vanish, which I did not care for.  So I’ll try it over something else before I do anything drastic.

PWI: RED. (By which I mean OPI Red, plus threefer Jane Megawatt and Pure Ice Bare It All, but whatever. RED)

Soooo, two things about red nail polish!

1. One is always looking for the perfect, flattering, amazing red polish. (And lipstick!)
2. People* are Concerned that red polish may make one look Fast, and, perhaps, Loose.**

That said, one of my oldest polish acquisitions is…

OPI Red.

Red.  This shot makes it look pinkish maybe?  But it’s so primary,
unapologetically red. Maybe a hair blue leaning?  It’s not 3-free
or 5-free or vegan or whatever, and I know there’s a newer version
that is, but this is my canonical and beloved Fast Lady red.

There’s a new post-reformulation red.  I feel like I ought to try it, I guess.  Because I am not completely happy with my existing, classic, vampy, and hot red.

Anyway!  There are only about 4, 5 “nail art” things I’d be interested in?  The simple ones!  So I am interested in the “glitter gradient.”  Basically, you take a glitter polish with medium-to-bad coverage, and paint it in receding layers, so a gradient comes out.  Which is my thing!

The glitter is two things: JANE Megawatt – which is the solid glitter on my index finger – and Pure Ice Bare It All.  They are identical.  Weirdly so – they are both gold glitter with random copper glits.  The PI BiA has thicker coverage, so that’s a difference, the only one.  I’ma get rid of one, probably the Pure Ice, because it’s less usable for gradients.

My index finger is the Pure Ice.  Less gradient-y but otherwise identical.

But anyway: RED.


* To a certain Type of Person, don’t you know.  (The kind that sits on hiring committees.)
** …why? Red? It’s a color? I don’t… even…
Yeah, no, I really am.

Post-interviews nails time!

I’ve been rocking the Interview Nails for like… three weeks or summat.  And it is terribly dull to be honest, I mean mannequin hands are kind of fun but for heavens’ sake.  So you know what that means (or will by the next sentence):  nail color blowout!

This is not a PWI, but for fun, I’ll tell you it’s…

OPI Euro Euro and/or SC Enchanted,* Pure Ice French Kiss, SC Rise’n’Shine, Orly Lucky Duck, Wet’n’Wild SaGreena the Teenage Witch,**  Pure Ice Wild Thing, Rimmel London Sunny Days, SC Pull Over, Sinful Colors Citrine, and Orly [mystery red].†† 

This is not interviewy at aaaaalllll

Wheeeee! …I don’t know if I’ll wear this to work tomorrow. (I don’t even know if I’m going to work tomorrow.) But honestly I love the fact that I can have this little brainstorm, poke around in my stash, and accomplish it.

Ooo wait, sunlight (actual sunlight, Seattle is getting to that time!):

Indirect sunlight!  It’s, ahm, not very different.  But it was awesome of Mr. Fix-It to take pictures.

Okay, next is cooking many foods, answering many emails, deciding many things.  But loooook I can make rainbows!


* Yes a number of things were liberated from the PWI bin to make this happen!  The daylight shot is SC Enchanted, because by morning I had dinged my pinky. …somehow?
** A shimmer because I still don’t have a real green creme rrrrr. Also, I did not make this name up.  
THIS is the one-pass nail-staining monstrosity! Rrrrrrrrrrr… but it does work here 😛
†† There’s a sticky spot where the label came off… dude I’ma be honest. This is another probably-10-20 year old polish, I am sure it doesn’t exist any more in this formulation, and I only used it because my even older OPI Red was stuck closed. It’s red, ok?  
Except for green, dammit! And, uh. That one teal I ran out for.  Shhh.

Nail mechanics

Interested in the mechanics and some chemistry of nail-painting?  Possibly not!  Feel free to move on.  BUT if you are interested, here are some deets of how it all works!  Actually, all the deets.  Good grief.  Deets are long

Polarity!  Broadly, liquids come in polar (molecules have a magnetic positive and negative), and non-polar (they don’t).  Water is polar; acetone and other nail polish solvents are non-polar.  Nail polish floats on water like oil.  This will matter.

Three peel-off base coats, a regular base coat, and two fast-dry top coats.  In
general, for any given painting of my nails, I will use one from each category.
(PS: augh augh now I’m noticing the numbers don’t line up augh)

So the nitty gritty!

First step, for me, is always a peel-off base coat.  They don’t last anywhere near as long, and the failure mode is looking down and discovering a whole nail is missing – “Now where did I leave that?” But I’d (much) rather paint my nails a new color than fuss with nail polish remover.  Also, glitter tends to mechanically block the action of remover, so glitters are a damned nightmare to remove otherwise.

The players.  I start with:

1: Nail Pattern Boldness‘ Glitter A-peel.  This is the only one that is regular, non-polar nail polish chemicals.  I used to use this a lot, but the solvents in nail polish eat your nails, and I’d prefer to avoid that – I only get chipping, peeling nails when I’m putting non-polar solvents on them regularly.  Including this.  So I moved on to…

2: Homemade PVA base coat.  PVA (polyvinyl acetate) is Elmer’s glue (or tacky glue, outside the US), which peels off nails exactly the same as it peels off skin.  Lab Muffin is generally credited for working this out, although others have too.  It is water-soluble and polar!  So this is a bottle of Elmer’s wood glue mixed with water.  It doesn’t eat my nails, and it works.  Also, no fumes.

3: OPI Glitter Off.  Also PVA, and brand new to the market.  OPI is best known for their formulas, because they are amazing, so when I found out that this existed got some immediately.  This is my new best friend.  All the advantages of #2, plus it lasts about 2x as long as my homemade stuff, dries a bit faster, and really only needs one coat.

Next is a regular base coat!  This is important!  Polar base coats (PVA) don’t block the sort of pigments found in non-polar solvents (all nail polish), so after either #2 or #3 I need a regular base coat to do that.  If those pigments aren’t blocked, they (occasionally) soak into your nails and take up permanent residence.  Eeeww.

In case you thought the “interview nails” was entirely a problem
in my head, I’ve been asked about this nonsense.  I failed to use a
non-polar base coat one time.  That polish is already hall-of-shamed. 🙁

4: Orly Rubberized Bonder.  This is a very popular base coat for holding polish without chipping, and it prevents the horribleness of figure 2 there.  Always use base coat, kids.  If you don’t want to go peel-off, this is actually the first step.

Next is some kind of attractive polish!

You cannot tell me this is not wizardry.

Finally, a coat of fast-dry top coat.  Fast-dry top coat is the difference between bothering to paint my nails, and not.  About a minute, maybe two after application, your nails are bomb-proof and you can go about your life.  I love you chemistry!

5: Seche Vite Dry Fast Top Coat.  Probably the fastest-drying, and very thick, so one coat can even out glitter roughness and so on.  Magical clear nail armor.  I heart this very much.  It chips quickly, but not as quickly as the peel-off peels off, so for me it’s excellent.

6: Sally Hansen Dries Instantly Top Coat.  (SH Insta-Dry, red bottle, is also good.)  Dries reasonably fast, a bit thinner than Seche Vite, but less chippy.  I use this for interview nails, which are not peel-off.

And that’s it!  Glue, a regular base coat, fast-dry top coat, plus something pretty, and you’re good to go.  It sounds like a lot of coats, but since the world dries faster these days, it doesn’t correspond to taking forever (much less time than typing up this monstrosity!).  All you really need is base coat and color, if you’re feeling minimalist.

PWI twofer! OPI: Vant to Bite my Neck? and SOPI: Beam Me Up Hottie!

I did not choose to put these polishes together because they are both complete sentences with punctuation.  I would have, but I only just noticed.  Dumb sentences, sure, but better than [grabs a bottle at random] “Smush”.

This first one I kinda already knew would disappoint.  It’s from the same collection as Eurso Euro (have I blithered on enough about that one yet?), and when I got EE in all its indigo perfection, I hoped the purple would be equally glorious.  (Spoiler: it isn’t)

OPI Vant to Bite my Neck?:

These are both pretty color-accurate, because your human meat eyeball with its high dynamic range can see a lot more color depth at once.  So the way-overexposed shot on the right that shows the purpliness is, in human eyeball terms, just another part of this polish’s “depth of color”.  Stupid excellent meat eyeball.

So, in other words,

Eggplant.  Very dark purplish-black.  (Unless it’s white.  Did you know it’s called an”eggplant” because of the smooth round egginess of the white ones?  I didn’t.)  Aubergine.  Lovely color.  Source: the wikipedia article on “the color aubergine”

Look, aubergine is a lovely color that is mostly black.  Seriously, when your canvases are 1cm2, this is just… black.  In direct sunlight (well “sunlight”) it’s… black.  (Black with an excellent, long-lasting creme formula, because OPI.)

With hints of eggplant.

So, since I don’t actually really like this polish, I decided to try to spruce it up by doing something I know I dislike, which is adding a highly-contrasting glitter topper.

SOPI: Beam Me Up, Hottie!:

Left: what it actually looked like, which is, mysteriously polka-dotted nails.  Right: They’re very holographic
polka dots!  And I learned that a blurry picture actually captures the holo colors better.  I learned this from
real bloggers with better cameras.  Which I do not need one of.  Because I don’t need another hobby.

It seemed like a good idea at the time.  …no, no it didn’t.  It seemed like something I could reach without dislodging this cat.  So that’s like a good idea, kind of.

This is just a bottle full of silver holographic glitter hexes in a clear base.  Seems like my kind of looking-futuristic thing, but the formula is such a total goddamned PITA.  This is several layers, with much dabbing.*

So… all things being equal, total fail!  I’ll probably keep Beam My Up Hottie! for use over silver, where its holographic awesomeness can blend and glitter distribution is less obvious.  I kind of feel like McAubergine here is bound for a new home.

* (Basically what it sounds like – sort of “patting” the nail with the brush, pushing individual glitters (glits?**) around.)
** I am pretty sure an individual glitter is a glit

PWI: OPI Nomad’s Dream (interview nails selection!)

Since I made such a fuss, I’ll cop that I wondered all along if this would happen: I ended up using one of my possibly 5 oldest polishes for interviewing. This is pretty close to perfectly balanced between pink and gold, making it a good match for my super-noncommittal skin tone.*

OPI Nomad’s Dream:

I don’t have a conversational aside for this picture, possibly
because I am in New Jersey, slowly being drained of life

A little shiny, but on my short nails, basically unnoticeable, as desired.  It’s also pretty sheer; this is three coats.  Two is even more unnoticeable.

Nomad’s Dream was a special edition MANY years ago, but has been re-released in the last few years.  Since OPIs have been reformulated in the last ten years or so, it may be quite different – it looks different in the bottle.  I don’t care enough to pick up a new bottle and find out, and the internet’s fascination with nail polish post-dates the original.  Humankind may never know.

* Most makeup babbling starts with: “determine whether your skin’s undertones are pink (cool), or yellow (warm)”. This does not work for me, independent of being arbitrary and a bit odd.  OTOH, I pin down one end of the fair—dark spectrum pretty thoroughly.

PWI: Sephora by OPI Indi-go With the Flow

Yesterday sucked a lot. Today sucks. Tomorrow will suck. Eventually it will suck less.

Sephora (makeup store) sold “Sephora by OPI”, store-branded nail polish. Different bottles and different colors, but OPI quality. (They make really good nail polish. There’s at least one other “by OPI” brand out there). Past tense because the whole line has been discontinued, replaced by something in-house that costs $15 a bottle — not gonna happen… I’ll buy 2 or 3 OPIs or Essies instead.  But, I did pick up a few bottles of SOPI on mega-clearance.

This is Sephora by OPI Indi-go With the Flow:

Meh picture, meh nails, meh polish.

It’s glitter, a sort of steel-blue glitter with larger and smaller glitters in a clear base. I put it over some random fairly-close blue, since I didn’t know how many coats it would take for full opacity.

It’s strange. I could totally like this? I like all the words in the description. But instead I don’t. It’s sort of meh without being work-appropriate, full of glitter without being sparkly. Not Hall of Shame appropriate, just… totally unexciting. I’m not throwing it in the swap pile for now, but… so much meh!

Interview polish, maybe?

Since my nails are currently 1/2 ugly yellow (ssiiiiggghh), my need for a nude (ish) polish has stepped up. Like, I have to make something work before the first job interview. I wasn’t planning to wear nail polish to a job interview, but I wasn’t planning on dying my nails nicotine-yellow, either. Oops…

It’s not like this realization made me buy nail polish; it just made me buy comparatively boring nail polish. (Let’s face it, I was gonna buy nail polish.) This isn’t exactly a Project Wear-It, either, since I’m explicitly looking for something I plan to wear several times, soon…

So, the possibly-interview-ready OPI Dulce de Leche:

In indoor lighting it’s basically perfect…
…but in sunlight it’s pretty pink! You can see the slight gold shimmer.

It’s certainly a very pretty color! I’m just not sure if I’m feeling it for interviews. I do think it’s flattering, in an incredibly understated way. Not a bad thing to own, although I rarely want “understated” nails. I mean, if nobody is going to notice it, I would just go without nail polish. …usually.

Amusingly, I had to find the color name by slowly navigating OPI’s all-flash website, rather than walking eight feet and picking up the bottle.  Why?

you knew that was gonna be why

Project Wear-It: OPI Eurso Euro

This is an older picture, but I think it still makes sense to continue plowing through Project Wear-It, even though committing to not wearing it for a while makes me cry a little inside. Here we go with OPI Eurso Euro from the Europe Centrale collection:

It doesn’t even matter that my photo is bad when the
polish is so freaking gorgeous. Direct, overcast sunlight.

This is one of only two polishes that I have a (deliberate) backup of. I cannot get over how much I love this color. It’s a very saturated, intense, blue-leaning indigo*; not only is it just so freaking beautiful, but oddly, it actually manages to look professional! Ish. I mean, for blue. But mmmm so lovely.

I want a polish with this level of saturation and purity in every possible color. Please?

* “Blurple”? Really? Isn’t indigo already the color between blue and purple? And sounds less like an involuntary bodily function? “Hang on… oh god I’m gonna blurple

Project Wear-It: OPI Push and Shove

The blogosphere seems to have developed something of a love-hate relationship with OPI’s limited edition Gwen Stefani polish Push and Shove.  As an affirmed geek, it should be no surprise that I want mirror nails badly.  (I want to look like I’m from the future!  Is that so wrong?)

It is, as many others have said, super fussy.  Especially, I tend to do a lot of light strokes, and this drags so badly.  But I persevered, trying a few combinations, and the smoothest, shiniest look I got was pretty exciting!

A couple of pictures, both in indirect (and overcast) daylight. This was after dinner and 
sleep, and they’re a little dinged up, but definitely still wearable. (No, I do not take great 
photos or do cleanup particularly well, it’s true. Life goes on.)

The combination that worked for me was:

  1. DIY peel-off base coat
  2. Regular base coat*
  3. Lay down the Base base coat (included with the polish)
  4. One thick, unfussed-with layer of the shiny (two thick strokes for thumbs)
  5. Patience

I couldn’t get Seche Vite to work as an underlayer, although many people have had good luck.  I bet using it for Step 2 would work, though. I did find that top coat dulled it; only a tiny bit, but still.

* I used Sinful Colors Base Coat. Then I put it in a pile to get rid of, because it reeks. Bleah!