Five Below Haul

I went into a Five Below store.  That’s a rarity, because well, I’m a solid 20 years older than their target demographic.   I had been in a Five Below a year or so ago, and I had a vague recollection of seeing nail polish there, so when my path crossed a Five Below a few weeks ago, I figured that it might be worth checking out. Was it ever!

Five Below is a chain of stores that specialize in trendy gadgets and accessories and whatnot  that appeal to the teen and tween crowd, so not surprisingly, the nail polish they carry is all very young and trendy.  They carry two lines of nail polish: Funky Fingers and Fresh Paint.  They were all $2 each or 3 for $5, which you could mix and match between the two lines.  I ended up with 6 polishes.  My little sis was kind enough to let me use her nails for swatching.  Here they are:

Fresh Paint: Guava

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This is a beautiful neon peach.  Although the middle and pinky fingers have a white base underneath, you don’t need it for it to be amazingly bright.  The formula is really great and it’s also a dupe for China Glaze Flip Flop Fantasy!  I had been itching for Flip Flop Fantasy for a few months, but I didn’t want to spend $7.  I actually went into a Sally Beauty Supply right after I picked this up and did a little comparison, and yep, they’re identical.

Fresh Paint: Sugar Crush

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This is an iridescent topper that pulls primarily orange, but also green, blue and yellow. It’s not really a glitter, but little flakes.  We tried it over Guava, white and black.  It looked great over Guava!  It sort of took Guava from just neon to classy neon.  It was not that amazing over white, but it was really fun over black!  I’m definitely going to be wearing it over black in the cooler months.

Funky Fingers: Glowstick

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This is a neon yellow that leans a little toward the green side of things with a subtle iridescent sheen.  Again, the middle and pinky fingers have a white base, which did make this polish a little brighter.

Funky Fingers: Pep Rally

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This is a really fun neon glitter with matte blue and pink hexes in different sizes, big green iridescent hexes, small metallic purple hexes, and small orange and purple bar glitter.  We swatched this glitter over Glowstick, white and black.  It really looked cool over all of those colors!  There are a few drawbacks with this polish.  The clear base is really thick and a little hard to work with.  I think I will end up using the makeup sponge method to apply this glitter.  Also, the glitters themselves were pretty thick, so it may take 2 or three layers of a thick top coat like Seche Vite to make the nails smooth.

Funky Fingers: Unicorn Farts

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This polish is all medium size metallic hex glitters in pretty much every color.  The glitter gives off light is a linear sort of way that gives the glitter the appearance of being curved, but it actually does lay flat on the nail.  The clear base is similar to that of Pep Rally, so I think I’m going to end up using the makeup sponge method with this one as well.  We tested it over white, black, nude, and green.  Actually, with the green I attempted a jelly sandwich, but it got a little thick and goopy   because of the thick clear base. This polish is just really fun and shiny and versatile, so I know I’ll get a lot of use out of it.

Funky Fingers: Sand & Stilettos

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This polish should be called The Most Sparkly Polish In The World.  these pictures just aren’t doing it justice.  This is a light purple -almost gray- holographic micro glitter.  In the picture, I believe we have 3 coats on bare nail on the first, two coats over white on the middle finger, and two coats over black on the ring finger.  The glitter is so dense, that it’s opaque in 3 coats, which is pretty amazing.  There are two kinds of holographic glitters: scattered and linear.  Scattered reflect all different colors all over the place.  Linear reflects a more defined rainbow so that you can actually see bands of color.  I really feel this polish is both scattered and linear.  You definitely get different colored sparkles all over the nail, but when sunlight hits the bottle of polish, I can see a rainbow, too.  I have this color on my toes now and I just feel like my toenails are covered in tiny diamonds.   Seriously, it’s the kind of polish that you just can’t stop staring at.

The polishes from this haul are so fun and I feel like they go together really well!  I think I could do a ton of different looks only using these 6 polishes.  If you follow me in instagram, you may have seen my current doticure using Guava and Sand & Stilettos.  They’re so fun together!

Thus concludeth my Five Below haul.  I highly recommend that you check out the polishes at Five Below, and if you do, please let me know what you think and what polishes you get!

 

 

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Nails of the Day

So, here are my nails of the day… My NOTD, as they say. 

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Whoa, I just learned how to add a boarder to my pictures.  I’m pretty stoked about that.

I was pretty happy to find this L.A. Colors Flash Pop in my local Dollar General / Family Dollar.  I’ve never seen these sets anywhere else, so my guess is that they may be exclusive to those stores.  It’s weird that there are polishes that are exclusive to Dollar General / Family Dollar, but there totally are.  More about that at a later time.

They thing that prompted me to buy this was the neon pink glitter.  Outside of the indie polish scene, neon glitter is pretty darn hard to find.  At $2.50, I couldn’t pass it up.

The pink glitter is mixed with some shredded black and silver glitter along with some silver micro glitter and tiny silver bar glitter.  The pink glitters are pretty thin transparent, so unfortunately, I don’t think they would show up well over a dark color, but I’ll have to test that out later to be sure.  Since the glitters are thin, they do lay nice and flat on the nail. The clear base is a bit gunky, so you sort of have to have a little patience to get it to apply how you want it, but it all smoothed out nicely after applying my Seche Vite top coat. 

I haven’t tried the purple shade that came on the other end, so I can’t give my 2 cents about that polish.  (It looks sort of blue in the picture, but it really is dark purple.)

This particular manicure is part of an experiment to compare 2 different base coats, so you’ll see these nails again later after the results are in. 

 

 

All About The Neon

So we’re smack in the middle of summer.  Summer is great for many reasons, not the least of which is wearing neon nail polish!  Actually, summer is pretty much the only season in which you can wear neon polish without looking…  What’s a nice way to say “trashy”?  (You are entitled to disagree with me, but that’s how I feel.)  Anyway, since we are in the season of neon, I figured it was a good time to talk about how we can all sport the most eye-searingly neon nails as possible.

Have you ever purchased a beautifully bright bottle of neon polish that you just couldn’t wait to put on your fingers?  You didn’t want much, just for your nails to be as bright as the bottle of polish.  Then once you got it on your nails, it was disappointingly drab.  It was streaky and see-through, and matte and just didn’t look like anything in the bottle.  It was a sad day.

Well, I’m here to tell you that you CAN have nails that are just as brilliantly bright as the polish appears in the bottle, and for the most-part, there’s just one really important step that you need to take before you slather on the neon polish…(Drum roll, please.)… You need to paint your nails white first.  A lot of neon polish has a pretty shear formula.  Those “highlighter yellow” polishes almost always have a really transparent jelly formula.  Because of that, the only way to get the true color to show up is to make sure it’s on a white background.

And you need to take your time and paint your nails really nicely with the white polish.  Since the neon polish is tends to be shear, any streaks or missed spots in the white polish are going to show through the neon layer, too.  Generally, two good coats of white will make a great base for your neon polish.

There are other bloggers out there (many of whom I like a lot) that claim that painting your nails white first should not have to be a requirement, and the nail polish companies need to step up their game and make true neon polish that doesn’t require a white base.  I say that those sentiments are all well and good, but the truth is, your neon nails will generally be a heck of a lot brighter if you just take the extra 5 minutes to put down a nice white base.

So, let’s get to some examples.  Here are the polishes that I tested:

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I arranged them nicely in rainbow order and took this picture in natural light to try to show the colors as accurately as possible. Starting with the upper left, the colors are:

  • Sally Girl #812157
  • Sally Girl #812158
  • China Glaze – Thistle Do Nicely
  • LA Colors – Hottie
  • Sally Girl – Crazy
  • Spoiled – Did I Dye It Too Blonde?
  • Broadway – Sour Apple
  • China Glaze – Turned Up Turquoise
  • Nina – Blue Blaze
  • Sinful Colors – Dream On

One each hand I painted my:

  • First finger: 2 coats of neon polish on bare nail
  • Middle finger: 3 coats of neon polish on bare nail
  • Ring finger: 4 coats of neon polish on bare nail
  • Pinky: 1 coat of white polish followed by 2 coats of neon polish
  • Thumb: 2 coats of white polish followed by 2 coats of neon polish

I did all of these swatches while watching The Bachelorette.  In retrospect, I should have done them during the day so that I could have photographed them in natural light.   It’s really hard to capture neon colors on camera as it is, and I think artificial light makes it even worse.   I should also point out that I am fully aware that my paint job on some of my fingers is pretty crappy.  I was mostly concerned with getting them all done before Andi gave out her final rose.

Here we go…

Sally Girl #812157:

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This picture is really deceptive.  The color is a crazy bright pink, and with this particular color, it is SO much more vibrant over white.

Sally Girl #812158:

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This is a neon bubblegum pink.  This one is actually just fine without a white base, as long as you do at least 3 coats.

China Glaze – Thistle Do Nicely:

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A hot pinky-coral.  China Glaze makes some really great neon formulas, and this is one of them.  Three coats without a white base looks great.

LA Colors – Hottie:

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This  is actually a bright coral.  This may not be a true neon, because the formula dries glossy instead of matte.  Three coats of this looks good without white underneath.

Sally Girl – Crazy:

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Traffic cone orange.  This picture is a little deceptive.  Without white underneath, it remains a dingy orange.  A white base makes the color blinding!

Spoiled – Did I Dye It Too Blonde?:

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This highlighter yellow is the color that most obviously benefits from a white base underneath.  On the pinky, you can see that the streaks from the thin coat of white show through.  I love how this looks on the thumb!  You definitely need two coats of white under this and then 2 coats of yellow, but the trouble is SO worth it!  You can stop traffic with these nails!

Broadway – Sour Apple:

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This color sure looks neon to me, so I was surprised that it dried glossy.  An amazing formula for a polish that costs $1!  Three coats without white and you are good to go.

China Glaze – Turned Up Turquoise:

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I LOVE this color!  This formula is great, so you don’t need a white base.  This is not a typical neon color, but it is part of China Glaze’s neon collection.  This looks really cool with it’s matte finish, but there is a greenish shimmer in this polish that really shows up when you put a shiny top coat over it.  This color, along with the last two, are actually colors that you can get away with wearing year-round.  Did I mention that I love this color?

Nina – Blue Blaze:

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Again the color in this picture is really deceptive.  I decided to include this color, because like most neons, it dries matte and it really is a bright electric blue in person!  It’s sort of irritating, but this color applies much more smoothly when it is not over white, but the color is much brighter when it is over white.  I think I’ll have to play with this one a little more to get it just right.

Sinful Colors – Dream On:

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This neon purple looks okay if you do 4 coats on it’s own, but a white coat underneath just makes it pop.

And here’s my little trash can by the end of The Bachelorette:

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You can see some of my husband’s peanut shells underneath.  He feels that it is important to shell and eat peanuts while he watches baseball on TV.   So, as long has he doesn’t complain about the nail polish bottles that are strewn all over our house, I won’t complain about the peanut skins that land on the carpet.  The things you do for love.

What are your thoughts on applying a white base under neons?  And what are your favorite neon polishes?