Friday, October 21, 2011

Five Finger Friday: Gold-Greens

Hello Lab Partners!

Welcome to another Five Finger Friday (5FF)! Today, we're going to take a look at five different gold-greens, one of the hottest colors this fall. Before I introduce you to today's polishes, let me tell you that I adore each of them. I had never tried them before this, so I didn't know how I'd like them. Each applied like an absolute dream!

From left to right: Cult Nails In a Trance, Layla Magneffect Golden Nugget, CQ Golden Green, Butter London Wallis. Inside, with flash

Color Club Nouveau Vintage. Inside, no flash

On the pinkie, I applied Cult Nails In a Trance. I'd been dying to try this polish, and it definitely didn't disappoint. The darkest of the five, it's an olive green with gold shimmer. When the light hits it at just the right angle, as it did in the above photo, it appears more golden.

I applied Layla Magneffect in Golden Nugget on the ring finger. This was my first experience with my new magnetic polishes, but it certainly won't be my last! I love the effect it created, and it couldn't have been any easier! However, the name is misleading--this is more of a greenish grey. There's nothing golden about the color!

On the middle finger is CQ Golden Green, a lovely shimmer. This was my first time using a CQ polish (stores in my area don't carry them), and if this polish is any indicator of what CQs are like in general, I can't wait to try more!

Butter London Wallis is on the pointer finger. This polish is another I'd been dying to try, and like the others, it didn't disappoint.  Wallis is a metallic, with quite a bit of gold. It definitely catches the eye!

Finally, on the thumb I applied Color Club Nouveau Vintage, a multi-chromatic polish that looked far more golden-green in the bottle than it actually is. As you can see in the photo, it has quite a bit of red-based purple in it. I love it, but it's not as golden as I thought it would be.

Below are some additional shots taken in natural light. Cult Nails In a Trance is the one that appears most different in this light. It's less gold than it is in the indoor photo, where the light from the flash hits it directly. Here, the natural light is indirect, and In a Trance appears much greener, which is how it looks in most light.

From top to bottom: Wallis, Golden Green, Golden Nugget, In a Trance. Outside, natural light

Color Club Nouveau Vintage. Outside, natural light

I don't think I could choose a favorite from these polishes; I love each of them. How about you? What do you think of golden-greens?


Thursday, October 20, 2011

11 Week Challenge: Week 1 Mani

Hello Lab Partners!

We're participating in an eleven week mani challenge here at The Polish Lab. This week's challenge is to do a mani inspired by your favorite cause. I have several causes dear to my heart, and one of those happens to be The National Breast Cancer Foundation. Like many families, mine has a history of breast cancer, including a recent diagnosis of this disease in a male family member. As October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, this was the perfect time to do something I rarely do: paint my nails pink. It's not that I don't like pink; it's just that it clashes with my red hair, so I don't wear it often. And yes, I realize it's neurotic to worry about my nails clashing with my hair.

I started my Week 1 Challenge Mani with a base color of Ulta Salon Formula Baby Doll, a very pale cream pink. I recently purchased several Ulta polishes, but I hadn't used any before trying Baby Doll. I've heard conflicting opinions on Ulta polish, so I was unsure what to expect. My experience with this polish can be summed up in a single word: YUCK. The first coat of Baby Doll applied unevenly, dragging on the nail and streaking. I hoped that the second coat would smooth out the unevenness and streaks, but it actually applied worse than the first coat! It dragged worse, tended to bubble, and left visible brush strokes. Credit for any evenness whatsoever goes to Posche top coat:

Ulta Salon Formula Baby Doll. Inside, artificial light. Unevenness, streaking, visible brush strokes
At this point, I faced a dilemma: did I want to go forward with the mani I had planned--a two-toned chevron French--or remove Baby Doll and go back to square one. I compromised: I went forward with my mani but with a change. I decided that a regular French tip combined with a bit of art across the nail might cover enough of the bubbles, brush stroaks, and uneveness for me to tolerate the Baby Doll base. So I sponged the tips with Color Club Poptastic, a neon pink, then applied Big Ruby nail tattoos to cover a bit more of that horrid base color. I adore Big Ruby tattoos. They couldn't be any easier to apply! They're a great way to spice up a mani quickly, without stamping or free-handing.

Tips sponged with Color Club Poptastic. Big Ruby Nail tattoos. Inside, artificial light

To further distract from the unevenness of Baby Doll, I applied a coat of Butter London Frilly Knickers, my absolute favorite micro-glitter. Frilly Knickers sounds like its name--its nothing if not girlie and delicate:

With addition of Butter London Frilly Knickers, Inside with flash

Overall, I'm not as dissatisfied with this mani as I feared I might be. I'm enjoying the pop of pink for a change, and the bright tips and lines draw my eye away from the many imperfections of Baby Doll.

If you'd like the join us in the 11 Week Challenge, please see our post containing more info, including a list of the weekly prompts. Feel free to post photos of your challenge manis on our FB page.

Until next time, sending lab love!


Monday, October 17, 2011

Mystery Mani Monday: A Blue-Grey

Hello Lab Partners!

It's another Monday, and you know what that means! It's time for another Mystery Mani Monday (MMM)! Today, our mystery polish is a blue-grey that will make you feel as if you're sailing on stormy seas. But not to worry, you can seek a safe place to weather the storm!

Do you recognize this color? There's a clue hidden in this post somewhere. Can you figure it out? Please submit all guesses by tonight, Monday October 17, at 9pm Pacific Time (Midnight Eastern). Only your last guess will count as your official answer. Anyone submitting a correct answer will receive one additional entry in our current giveaway, provided that person has completed the entry form for the giveaway. If your GFC name differs from the name under which you comment, please tell us your GFC when you submit your guess so that we can give you credit if your answer is correct. Now, with no further ado, here's today's mystery mani:

Inside, artificial light.

Inside with flash.
What's your guess?

Sunday, October 16, 2011

11 Week Mani Challenge Starting Tomorrow

Hello Lab Partners!

We wanted to let you know about a manicure challenge we'll be participating in. In starts tomorrow, October 17th. Each week will feature a prompt or a choice of prompts, and participants have one week to do a mani based on the prompt. This challenge will run for eleven weeks, ending on January 1, 2012. We hope you'll consider participating along with us! You're more than welcome to post photos of your challenge manis on our Facebook page.

Here are the prompts:

And don't forget--tomorrow is the last day to enter our A Blog is Born Giveaway! Until tomorrow, sending you lab love,


Super Supply Sunday Meets Nail Mail

Happy Sunday, Lab Partners! Today we have another Super Supply Sunday for you! We'll take turns and tag team it.

Part 1: Allison

Don't you love a week with good nail mail? This was a pretty good week for me! Some new polishes were delivered to my humble abode:  Ace sent me the Color Club Poptastic Collection and a Sally Hansen Glitter, and I also got three Funky Fingers:
Nail Mail! Color Club Poptastic collection and Sally Hansen Strobe Light
Funky Fingers: Sold Out Area, Sound Check, and Monster Ballad
So what does all this polish nail mail have to do with supplies? Well, let's keep looking! I also got a new hand cream from Paula's Choice. If you'll recall from my review of Julep hand creams, I love hand creams, particularly those with sunscreen. I'll review this new Paula's Choice cream with SPF 30 in the future.
Paula's Choice Resist Hand Cream, SPF 30

Ah, but now on the the BIG nail mail: Do you see the words on the side of the box? That's right--it's (another) new polish rack! A nice rack is one of the best supplies a polish lover can own. Before I got my first rack, I stored my polishes in assorted baskets and trays. That was fine when I had only a few polishes, but as my collection grew . . . well, it got a little difficult to see what was what. Then the happy day came when I bought a polish rack, and I was so happy with it I bought it a sibling. The reason I went with this particular rack is the fact that it's a standing rack, as opposed to a wall mounted rack. I know plenty of people who have and love wall-mounted racks. In fact, our very own Ace has one and will talk about it below.

Unlike Ace,  I wanted racks I could stand because 1) I didn't want to put more holes in the wall, and 2) I wanted racks I could move to another location if I chose to. And one of the best things about my standing polish racks is they come fully assembled. They're packed quite securely, and are remarkably light weight (until they're loaded with polish, that is).

Partly unpacked. You can see part of the packing strewn about the room!
No, this photo isn't upside down. The top of the rack comes flipped upside down so that it's tucked safely inside the rack. 
All that I have to do is flip it right-side up and voila . . .

But my very favorite thing about my polish racks is . . . they revolve. Check out this itty bitty video clip (you might want to have the audio on to experience the sound effects):

Pretty nifty, huh? I get a kick out of spinning them around from time to time. I'm easily amused.

If you're interested in purchasing one of these racks, I bought mine from Amazon for $69.99 plus $12.49 shipping. Not inexpensive, but not horribly pricey, either. In my opinion, these racks are worth every penny for someone with a rather large (and growing) polish stash!

Part 2: Ace

Just like Allison, I was sick of keeping polishes in boxes and spending a lot of time looking for things, sometimes with a half-dry mani on my hands. I don't have much counter or shelf space so a rotating rack like Allison's was out of the question (although I love that video, so much fun!). However, if I moved around some of the artwork in my home office, I decided I could make room for a wall-mounted rack or two.

I ordered a rack from Amazon for $33.99 plus $3.99 shipping. It arrived the next day (seriously!). The brand name is "Fiji" and it's a simple acrylic rack. Unfortunately, one corner had broken in shipping but it doesn't affect the functioning of the rack so I asked for a $15 refund instead of returning it. Then I ordered a second rack to go under the other. 

There are two pieces in the box: the main rack and the "polish station" sign. My husband mounted these for me so I can't comment on how difficult it was but it didn't take him long - maybe about 20 minutes.

Part of my home office showing my racks and my fab ergonomic chair (I need it with the hours I am on the computer!). The rest of the office is a mess of papers and cables and computers...
There are two identical racks - we just didn't put up the "polish station" sign on the bottom one.
Next to the racks, I have a rolling drawer cart thingy called Andy (Ikea), which may no longer be available. I use this to store spare supplies, cotton balls, gifts and giveaways. You can also see my mani/pedi box, which contains lotions, remover, base and top coats, files and other tools. When I want to do my nails, I just pick up the box and choose a polish from my rack. No more spreading all my polishes around the living room and creating clutter!

Additional storage in Ikea "Andy" and my mani/pedi box.
Something to keep in mind if you order a rack, you may want to assume the bottle count that will fit is less than what they advertise. My rack was listed as holding 96 bottles, though I've seen the same rack advertised as fitting 105 bottles elsewhere. Some bottles will take up more space (e.g., Butter Londons don't fit lengthwise) but then I have quite a few minis. In the end, each rack fits just under 100 bottles (including minis though).

I got some nice nail mail this week too! I had a great MUA swap and acquired my first Lippmann - will review these for you soon but so far I love these polishes - though I haven't swatched the OPI yet.
Makeupalley swap: Nfu-Oh 52, Deborah Lippmann Razzle Dazzle, Orly It's Not Rocket Science, and OPI Absolutely Alice
I also got an order from with lots of EOS balms - I've been addicted to these ever since Allison sent me one and I like gifting these. 

EOS Balm-fest!
The order also contained a polish, Manic Panic's Hellfire, but a half empty dried up bottle arrived so I am awaiting a replacement.

Was hoping to try Manic Panic polish for the first time - whomp whomp whomp... Must wait for replacement.

And finally, not nail mail but an arrival nevertheless were polishes from the UK that our friends brought. They were on vacation in the USA from London and were with us for a couple of days. They brought over some UK exclusive Nails Inc mini set, OPI DS minis, and a Paul & Joe set. The OPI muppets minis seen in the photo also arrived recently from Oh and I almost forgot - my Zoya BOGO order arrived too: Edyta, Colbie, Lauren and Charla (to replace the one that broke) joined their sisters on the rack and my Zoyas now have their own shelf.

Some UK goodies!
Wow, I have so many lovely polishes including untrieds and now I can see them all! Do you think this will make me buy less? I hope so. The second rack still has room for more polishes but I have group orders in the works. Whatever I acquire has to fit these racks because I don't have any more wall space for polish!

How about you, lab partners? How do you store your polishes? Did you get nail mail this week?

Until next time, sending you lab love!