March Favorites

March.  For those of us in the eastern half of the US, it was one more month of winter weather when it should have been feeling like spring.  It was a heck of a lot better than February, though.  Am I right?

Anyway, onto what you are actually here for: my favorites from March.

IMG_4691Again March I participated in the Weekly Nail Challenge (#wnac2015) on instagram, and the theme for the month was holographic.  For that reason, a lot of my monthly favorites were holographic polishes.  Let’s start with the top left…

This is IMG_4587Nicole by OPI – Rock the Look from the Roughles collection.  This came out awhile ago on clearance… I’m thinking it was last spring or summer.  This was one that sat in my untried pile for months.  I haven’t been big into the textured polish thing, but I figured I should finally try it.  The longer I wore it, the more it grew on me!  It was just so soft looking and different from anything else I wear on a regular basis.  The feel of the textured polish took a little getting used to, but I really liked it!  I think I’ll be wearing this one again!

IMG_4633Next is Nicole by OPI – Party Bus.  I got this one on clearance for $149!  I mostly got it for the large flower shaped holographic glitters in it.  These are great to fish out and use for glitter placement manis.  Like most holographic things, it’s hard to catch the true beauty and sparkly-ness of these glitters. IMG_4642

The next two polishes become a monthly favorite when they are paired together.  Pictured is Revlon – Matte Pearl Glaze over NYC – Lexington Yellow.  I love yellow, but like most light-haired white girls, yellow doesn’t love me back.  I can’t tell you how many times I’ve picked happy yellow clothing of the rack while shopping only to discover in the dressing room that it makes my complexion look sickly.  It’s so sad.

When I first put on Lexington Yellow, it really didn’t look that great with my skin tone, but then I added Matte Pearl Glaze, and it transformed it into this soft yellow with a pinkish glow that was actually wearable for me!  Plus, my nails reminded me of Belle from Beauty and the beast.

IMG_4592Next we have Orly – Mirrorball.  Here’s the story with this polish.  Back before Christmas, when this polish came out, I stared at it in the store.  I held it.  I caressed the bottle.  Then I practiced some self control and put it back on the shelf.  I had been regretting that decision ever since.  Then one day last month, I was down in York, PA and I stopped in the Sally’s there.  Lo and behold, they had two bottles of Mirrorball in their clearance bin!  I couldn’t believe my good fortune!  My only regret is that I only bought one bottle.

IMG_4603Mirrorball has a fairly sheer formula, so it actually works really well as a topper to other polishes.  Here it is layered over Wet n Wild -I Need a Refresh-Mint.  (By the way, the current version of I Need a Refresh-Mint is a much brighter blue than the version I own.  The older version is pretty much a dead on dupe for China Glaze – For Audrey.)  I can’t wait to layer Mirrorball over all sorts of neon colors this summer.

IMG_4646The next polish is just like camping… It’s in tents.  (In tents… Intense.  Get it?)  Polish Me Silly – Tealing No Lies is the most holo of the holo polishes that I own.  The linear rainbow is just so strong.  Someday I’ve got to order me some more Polish Me Silly polishes.   IMG_4647Here’s some really simple flower nail art I did using Tealing No Lies as a base.  (I just used my biggest dotting tool to make 5 petaled flowers with a really light blue polish, and then I made slightly smaller petals with a deep blue polish over the light petals.  Then I used a little dotting tool to add some dots to the centers. Super easy and no artsy skills required!)

IMG_4341The last polish that was  monthly favorite was Fresh Paint – Honeydew.  I used this in several Easter manis, and I’ll show you those pictures in a separate post.  I’m pretty sure this polish qualifies as pastel neon.  It’s light and bright at the same time.  It water marbles well, and you can get away with almost one coat.  I think it will look great in the summer when I’ve got a bit of a tan.  (I’m foundation shade “fair” in the winter, but with a tan I’m can wear “light” colored foundation.)

So, that’s all I have for you today.  Thanks for reading!  I do post realy regularly on instagram, so follow me there if you want to see my nails as I do them and not a month after the fact.  Happy Spring to you all!

Battle of the Base Coats

I have long been under the impression that Revlon makes one of the best base coats out there.  I’m talking specifically about the Quick Dry Base Coat.   This stuff is sort of elusive.  It’s not always available at every Revlon nail polish display.  (The one place that consistently has it in stock at the best price is Christmas Tree Shoppes. )

It looks like this:

IMG_2631

I used this stuff for several years as my regular base coat, and was always really happy with the results.

Then Seche Vite (pronouced “SESH VEET”, according to French people) came onto my radar.  It pretty much seemed like everyone praised their top coat as being the best thing ever.  Well, I can now say from experience that they do make an awesome top coat, so I assumed that they made an awesome base coat as well.

That’s what prompted me to buy Seche Clear:

IMG_2634

The formula for these two base coats couldn’t be more different.  Revlon is thick and pretty much looks exactly like Elmer’s Rubber Cement.  It fills in any nail ridges and self-levels really well.  When it dries, your nails feel rubbery, almost sticky.  Seche Clear is crystal clear and super thin.  It feels like you are just painting a really thin clear polish on your nails.  When it dries, it is slightly shiny a bit tacky.

I have never put these two base coats to a head-to-head test, so I figured it was time to do so.  I painted alternating fingers with the two base coats and followed them with 2 coats of white polish, a cute neon glitter polish, and Seche Vite top coat.  Specifically, Revlon is on my first and ring finger on my left hand, and my thumb, middle finger and pinky of my right hand. Seche Clear is on my thumb, middle finger and pinky of my left hand, and first and ring finger of my right hand.

Let’s see what happens…

Day One:

IMG_2618IMG_2616

Both base coats trucked along beautifully for 3 days. On the 4th day, I started to notice a few little chips.

Day 4:

Seche Clear nails.  There’s definitely some tip wear, and a visible  chip on the pinky of my left hand, and the first finger of my right hand.

IMG_2700 IMG_2701

 

Revlon nails.  There’s some tip wear and a little chip on the middle finger of my right hand.

IMG_2707 IMG_2710

By day 5, I was getting really tired of looking at the same polish every day.  Under normal circumstances, I would have repainted my nails.  Since I wanted to hold out a little longer on this head-to-head challenge, I satisfied myself by adding some different colored glitter to my nails.

At the end of day 6, I got a HUGE chip on one of my nails.  The chip was huge enough for me to declare day 6 as the last day of this little challenge.  Here they are..

 

Day 6

Seche Clear nails.  The left hand doesn’t look too much different than day 4, but look at my first finger on my right hand!  I lost almost half of the polish!  It chipped off some time while I was at Hersheypark, but I didn’t actually notice when it happened.

IMG_2719 IMG_2720

Revlon nails.  Still only that little chip on the middle finger of my right hand.

IMG_2717 IMG_2721

I also compared the tip wear of each finger on my right hand with its counterpart on my left hand and found that…

Thumbs:  Revlon wins (on my right hand)

First fingers: Revlon wins by a landslide (on my left hand)

Middle fingers: Seche Clear wins (on my left hand)

Ring fingers: Revlon wins (on my left hand)

Pinky: Revlon wins (on my right hand)

This little experiment has pretty much confirmed my hunch that the Revlon Quick Dry Base Coat will help your mani look better longer than Seche Clear.  Revlon will continue to be my go-to base coat for the foreseeable  future.

What has been your experience with base coats?  What base coat do you love?

Four Days of Wear

I’m getting ready to take my current polish off to do some swatches for you, but I thought I should show you something first. Here are my nails after 4 days of wear, one of which involved 2+ hours of yard work:

IMG_2568IMG_2569

You can see a little bit of nail growth at the cuticle, and the tiniest bit of wear on the tip of my first finger, but that’s it.  (In retrospect, I probably should have taken a picture of my right hand, since that’s my dominant hand, but really, the wear is about the same.)

Anyway, my point is that this is why you should use a base and a top coat.  My polish would chip in a day if I didn’t.  For this particular manicure, I used Revlon Quick Dry Base Coat, 2 coats of NYC In a New York Minute Amazon green, and Seche Vite Dry Fast Top Coat.  In the near future, I am planing to put a few base coats and top coats up against each other in an attempt to find out which ones really are the best, but so far I’ve never been disappointed by the Revlon base coat/Seche Vite top coat combination.

I’m off to write a much more substantial post now on how to make your neon polish look as awesome as possible.  Until next time, happy polishing!