Aug 31, 2011

Essie's Smooth Sailing (#756)


For my NOTD I used Essie's Smooth Sailing, a periwinkle blue with light silver, blue and magenta micro shimmer.
The silver shimmer is the most obvious but isn't very visible on the photos, whereas the electric blue and magenta shimmers are barely noticeable as they are so fine. You need to look really close in order to see them, so get your magnifying glasses out!

Shimmers apart, this color is very similar to China Glaze's Secrect Peri-wink-Le as you can judge by the photo.

The formula was a bit streaky and left some bald patches for the first 2 layers so I applied a third coat followed by Sèche Vite to even the polish out.

Thanks for reading!

All photos were taken in natural daylight (late PM).

Aug 28, 2011

China Glaze's Rodeo Fanatic (#666) + Atlantis (#813) on ring finger


I'm back from Paris! Had a great time but am really tired from the non stop walking and drinking in all the culture I could. 

Summer is starting to fade over here and work starts again tomorrow. I'm happy to see my students and colleagues but would love to still be on vacation a bit longer!! Teachers get long holidays and a lot of people are envious of that, but that time is not all fun and sun; we need those extra weeks off to prepare our classes, read, perfect our knowledge etc. My summer was really productive. I needed to prepare for two new classes I'm going to teach. In addition to my chemistry and biology classes, one of the new courses I'm going to teach is science to 5th and 6th graders. I usually only work with High school students so this is going to be very new to me!

For my back to school mani, I chose something a bit dark but needed to get my nails used to Autumn! I used two China Glaze polishes: Rodeo Fanatic and Atlantis.

Rodeo Fanatic is a shimmery metallic dark blue with teal undertones. I love this color. It seems extremely dark from some angles but is in no way one of those almost black polishes. The blue shimmer lightens this color up and makes it incredibly shiny and almost metallic. I used this color as the base polish on all of my nails then added Atlantis on my ring fingers.
Rodeo Fanatic's formula was good. It wasn't streaky or goopy and went on smoothly. The two coats I applied dried quickly to a very shiny finish. 

Atlantis is a sheer teal polish with silver holo glitter. It's very very sheer. You would need at least four coats for an opaque coverage. I prefer more opaque glitter polishes (I'm thinking OPI's Teenage Dream, Spark de Triomphe etc.) but do not detest the sheerer ones that look nice layered over an opaque base color. You cannot see Atlantis' color over Rodeo Fanatic. I just looks as though I had applied a clear holo glitter polish over top. 

The topcoat I used (China Glaze's Fast Forward topcoat) is new to me and I'm pretty happy with it. It wasn't too thick, applied evenly, didn't cause any polish shrinkage and dried quickly to a high gloss finish.

What is your back to school/work mani?

Photo 1:   Artificial lighting, no flash.

Photo 2:   Daylight (early PM), no flash.

Photo 3:   Daylight (early PM), no flash.

Photo 4:   Artificial lighting, no flash.

Photo 5:   Artificial lighting, no flash.

Aug 24, 2011

Oldie but goodie: OPI's Bare it in Trafalgar Square (#NL B13)


I finally made up my mind on which polish I wanted to wear to Paris: OPI's Bare it in Trafalgar Square.

I'm not sure when this lacquer came out but it's OPI's old formula (before they removed certain chemicals), recognizable by the black writing on a white label and by the skinny brush. The new formula polishes have a white label with green writing. 

I really don't like the skinny brush but the chemicals don't bother me. I teach chemistry and deal with chemicals that are a lot worse than the ones OPI removed. What bothers me the most with the brush is that it doesn't pick up enough product and you have to dip it in the bottle several times to cover each nail. That obviously results in uneven application and streaks. My solution to solve the problem was applying 2 layers of Sèche Vite to smooth the surface out. It worked!

I'm really happy with the color: a muted rosy nude. This polish is similar to Orly's Pure Porcelain, only a bit fleshier and darker. I put 2 coats on but you might be able to away with one thick coat.

Hope you enjoy this!

Photo 1:   Artificial lighting, no flash.

Photo 2:   Artificial lighting, no flash.

Photo 3:   Artificial lighting, no flash.

Photo 4:   Daylight (late PM), no flash.

Chanel's Quartz (#525)


Ok ok I caved in and got the last Chanel polish from the Fall 2011 collection! 

I tried Quartz the other day when I got Graphite and I've been obsessing a little ( a lot!) about it ever since. Well I just couldn't resist (sigh) and got Quartz today!

Just as the other polishes from the collection, Quartz is a super sparkly shimmery metallic polish with micro fine glitter. This lacquer is certainly more discreet and classical than the other two as it a taupey gray that can easily be worn to work without getting any weird glances from colleagues! There is some glitter in Quartz (holographic, taupe, silver) but it isn't as noticeable as it is with Graphite. It is so fine and discreet that you can't even see it in the photos! Quartz has the most frosty shimmer and isn't a foil like Graphite and Peridot. 

The formula was ok. A bit tougher to apply as it was a little streaky. It seemed a bit sticky too but I think that's only due to the super hot weather and the fan blowing on me as I was putting the polish on. I know that wasn't a great idea but it's so hot here right now and there isn't a breeze.

All the pictures were taken in artificial lighting, without flash.
Please excuse the noticeable shrinkage on the tips of my nails. The layer of Sèche Vite I applied was too thick :(

What's on your nails?

Have a nice evening!

Aug 23, 2011

Waiting for my order


I just passed an order in at the amazing e-tailer Transdesign and am waiting for my package to arrive. Hurray, more polish!!

This website is great! They have Essie, OPI, China Glaze, Color Club and other polishes and nail treatments at affordable prices, much lower than the ones you find in stores.

I live in a country where OPI is expensive (23 Swiss francs a bottle which is like 18 USD!!!) and where China Glaze and Essie are not sold, so boy am I happy to be able to order on Transdesign. These guys are great! They send you an email with your tracking device within 24h and delivery is so quick! The shipping rates are a bit high but the good service and bargain polish prices compensate and still make it cheaper than buying at regular retail prices.

Check them out at

Aug 22, 2011

Matte blue candy mani


I hope you all had a nice Monday. 

Mine was very busy as I am still preparing classes for my students. School starts on the 29th and I'm not quite ready yet, and since I'm going to Paris on Thursday (only for 1 night) I need to finish before I leave. Today I prepared 10 science experiments to do in the lab and am very exited to do them with my students! Still have a couple more to prepare so it will be work work work until Wednesday evening. 

I'll surely do one more post before my trip. Not sure what polish I'll wear. I don't want something too crazy as I am travelling with my father. I'm thinking a nude. But I have several untried polishes that are waiting to be swatched... We'll see!

For today's mani, I just added Essie's Matte About You to the blue candy mani I did yesterday. I really like this matte version and matte polishes in general (always have!)! 
All the pictures were taken in artificial lighting, without flash.

What about you? Do you like matte polish and matting down glitzy manis?

Aug 21, 2011

Blue Candy mani


As I was working and cleaning pretty much all day, I messed up my nice blurple skittle mani. I wasn't wearing any gloves (I know,  I know....!) and the chemicals in the cleaning products attacked the matte topcoat, leaving white streaks.

For my new mani I felt like doing something festive and sparkly. No special reason to celebrate, just felt like having sparkly candy nails. I need glitter these days!

I chose OPI's No Room For The Blues for my base color, then I added Essence's nail art special effect topper in Circus Confetti (#02). As you can see in the pictures, the base color is a light to medium true blue creme. It applied evenly and dried quickly to a smooth and shiny finish. Two coats were needed for it to be completely opaque.

As to the glitter topper, it consists in multicolored (red, green, blue, green, gold, silver) and various shaped glitter in a clear jelly type polish. It dried to a semi-matte finish, so you really need to apply a topcoat for either a shiny or matte effect. I used Sèche Vite but will surely be putting a matte topcoat on tomorrow. 

All the pictures were taken in artificial lighting, without flash.

Have a nice evening!

Blurple toned matte skittle mani


I wasn't going to do my nails until tomorrrow or the day after because I loved Graphite so much, but I got carried away with customizing it and ended up with a horrible mess on my nails! Too much sparkle kills the sparkle!!

As I can't stand seeing my nails covered in a thick and ugly mess of lacquer, I removed the polish and decided to do a skittle/ombre mani. At first I thought of using warm tones, then greens, but ended up opting for blues and purples (a mix of warm an cool tones). 

I also thought it would look nice with a matte topcoat and am really happy with the end result. 

These are the polishes I used:

  • Thumb:   Nars - Night Flight (Blue shimmer in an almost black navy blue creme base) - 2 coats.
  • Index:     China Glaze - First mate (Navy creme) - 2 coats.
  • Middle:   China Glaze - Secrect Peri-Wink-Le (periwinkle creme) - 2 coats.
  • Ring:      OPI - Planks a lot (Dusty lilac creme) - 2 coats.
  • Pinky:    China Glaze - Light as air (Milky lavendar creme) - 2 coats.

The matte topcoat is Essie's Matte About You (1 coat).

I really like skittle manis and even wore a few to work. My students loved them! 

Do you ever do skittle manis? 

Artificial lighting, no flash.

Aug 20, 2011

Chanel's Graphite + OPI's Spark de Triomphe (#NL S18)


When I applied Graphite yesterday, I already had in mind that it would look really nice with OPI's Spark de Triomphe (the glitter polish that came with White Shatter in one of the Glam Slam duos) over top. Spark de Triomphe is a clear polish with micro gold and silver shimmer as well as mutli sized and shaped gold and silver glitter. 

Instead of applying the OPI polish on all of my nails, I decided to only use it on my ring fingers.

The colors of these polishes are so similar that you can barely see Spark de Triophe at all! It only brightened (almost lightened) Graphite up a bit by adding some glitter and extra shine. 

Unfortunately you cannot see any of Graphite's multi colored shimmer and micro glitter with Spark de Triomphe over it...

Have a nice day!

Photo 1:   Daylight, late PM, no flash.

Photo 2:   Daylight, late PM, no flash.

Photo 3:   Artificial lighting, no flash.

Photo 4:   Artificial lighting, no flash.

Photo 5:   Artificial lighting, no flash.

Chanel's Graphite (#529)


I finally got my hands on Graphite!!! Hurray! 

I've been waiting for it to be released in Switzerland ever since I started seeing swatches of it on US lacqueristas' blogs in July, month when it hit the US beauty counters. Although I wasn't quite sure about this lacquer when I first saw photos of it, I really wanted to see it in person. Peridot was the one I had my eyes on and I was lucky enough to get it thanks to my mother who was in the States when Chanel released their Fall 2011 makeup look. 

Funny thing, last night I dreamt that this polish would be in stores today, and I was right! I love those kind of dreams! I stumbled upon Graphite as I was shopping and couldn't resist trying it on a piece of scotch tape at the Chanel counter. One swatch and I was conquered! This polish is gorgeous!

Graphite is one of those polishes whose color is very difficult to describe. I almost feel like we'd have to invent new words to portray it. 
I'd say it's a metallic oxdized silver base with micro gold, green and holographic glitter. Well I can't decide whether it's glitter or shimmer. It almost seems like the base color has some dusty rose and green duochrome going on there. VERY mysterious polish. I'm captivated by it's almost hypnotizing effect!

Like all Chanel lacquers (at least the ones I've tried), Graphite's formula is excellent. Five stars for coverage, consistency, shine and drying time. 
Even though this polish is VERY shiny on it's own, I decided to wear a topcoat, just to smooth the rather gritty finish caused by the glitter.

I'll leave my mani like this for a day or two but I'm tempted to layer another polish over it.....(Sigh!) I already have an idea of which lacquer to use and actually have to decide between a few, but am not going to tell you! Surprise surprise :)

The photos don't do this polish justice but I tried my best considering the fact that all my pictures are taken with my phone's camera.


Photo 1:   Artifical lighting, no flash.

Photo 2:   Artifical lighting, no flash.

Photo 3:   Artifical lighting, no flash.

Photo 4:   Artifical lighting, no flash.

Photo 5:   Artifical lighting, no flash.

Photo 6:   Artifical lighting, with flash.

Basecoat:   China Glaze's Strong adhesion basecoat.
Coats of Graphite:   2
Topcoat:   Sèche Vite (1 coat)

Aug 18, 2011

Tape Mani 1

Hello again!

I've been wanting to try a tape mani in such a long time. I've been eyeballing them for a couple of weeks, especially those done by Nailside here on Blogspot. 

You must check her blog out: She posted a few tutorials for these "explosion" manis.

The polishes I used are:
  • Base:       China Glaze's Sunset Sail
  • Phase 1:   Nivea Calcium Power in Hot Coral (#43)
  • Phase 2:   China Glaze's Aztec Orange

This is my first attempt, so please be indulgent!

Phase 1:   All the pictures were taken in natural daylight (late PM).

Phase 2:   All the pictures were taken in natural daylight (late PM).

China Glaze's Sunset sail (#955)


For today's NOTD I used China Glaze's Sunset sail (from the 2011 Anchors Away collection), an opaque peachy nude with very discreet silvery white micro shimmer. I tried to capture the shimmer in the photos but it doesn't really show up too well... but believe me it's there!

The formula on this lacquer was rather on the thick side, even after having added a few drops of thinner, but nothing dramatic, I've seen a lot worse! I don't know if it's just my bottle, the hot and sticky weather here or just the formula itself. I will have to swatch this color when it's a bit cooler and I 'll see if it gets any better.


Photo 1:   Daylight, late PM, no flash.

Photo 2:   Daylight, late PM, no flash.

Photo 3:   Daylight, late PM, no flash.

Photo 4:   Daylight, late PM, no flash.

Photo 5:   Daylight, late PM, no flash.

Photo 6:   Daylight, late PM, no flash.

Coats:       3
Topcoat:   Sèche Vite

Aug 17, 2011

China Glaze's Starboard


For my NOTD I used a beautiful malachite green from China Glaze's 2011 Anchors Away collection: Starboard (#949). 

The formula on this polish was good, needing only two thin coats for the color and coverage to be fully opaque. The lacquer dried quickly to a very glossy finish; I did although apply a topcoat (Sèche Vite).

You can see that I smudged the lacquer on my index and middle fingers... That happened as I was picking up my gorgeous malachite stone. I fixed the polish after I took the photos and was too lazy to take more pictures :) so sorry for that!

What types of greens to you go for?

Thanks for reading!

Photo 1:   Artificial lighting, with flash.

Photo 2:   Artificial lighting, without flash.

Photo 3:   Artificial lighting, without flash.