Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Guest Post: Nail Care to Help Boost Confidence

 Hello Lab Partners!

Today, we have a special post by Jackie Clark, who the outreach coordinator at the Mesothelioma Cancer Alliance. Nail polish may seem frivolous to some, but we at The Polish Lab know that nail care can serve very important purposes, one of which is helping those with serious illnesses to feel better about themselves. We're pleased to have Jackie share some tips on how you can use your love of nail care to help those suffering from illnesses, and feel free to comment with any additional tips or experiences you've had with using nail polish to help boost someone's confidence.

Nail Care to Help Boost Confidence
By: Jackie Clark

One of the most difficult trials in life can be facing a possibly terminal illness. Illnesses such as cancer, including mesothelioma, can bring a person’s self confidence to a plummeting free fall. Given the treatments as well as their side effects and the concerns over what sort of mesothelioma life expectancy they may be looking at, it’s not a surprise that many women have a tendency to allow their selves to slip in certain areas of their appearance. One area that tends to be overlooked in such cases is nail care.

Nail care may not seem like such a large area of consideration when a person is suffering from cancer, the fact is that it’s the small touches, such as having attractive nails, which can help boost a woman’s spirits in an otherwise bleak time. While this is why it’s so important for a woman suffering from an illness to take the time for her self to be pampered, even if it is just taking the time to polish manicure and polish her nails. While this may seem like a trivial thing, the fact is that the little bit of time that it takes can make a big difference in how a woman suffering from such an illness can feel; especially during a time when her morale needs all the boosting it can get.

Taking the time needed for nail pampering isn’t as difficult as one might think. Many believe that nail care means going to a salon for a full manicure and pedicure, but it’s easy to make a fun girls’ day out of it with friends and family members. Imagine the excitement of having a group of female friends and family members together for a girls’ day of beauty. It’s simple to organize: simply get together a set of manicure and pedicure kits for all of your guests, and have everyone bring their favorite shades of nail polish and foot soak; you’ll also want to have everyone bring their own tub for soaking their feet. When the day arrives, simply enjoy yourselves-- and the best part is that you have helped her, a loved one, to feel a little better about their situation and given them a boost of confidence. 

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Mystery Mani Revealed

Hello Lab Partners,

In case you missed the answer to yesterday's Mystery Mani Monday, the polish was Cult Nails Time Traveler, a beautiful one-coater!

Cult Nails Time Traveler

Cult Nails Time Traveler with Zoya Trixie

Monday, December 26, 2011

Mystery Mani Monday: Navy Blue

Happy Monday, Lab Partners!

For today's Mystery Mani, we have a one-coater navy blue. Although it's from a recently released collection, this polish makes me feel as if I've been transported back to my high school days because it's one of my school's colors.
Today's Mystery Mani is a one-coater . . . it stains the skin a bit, as you can see, but it's worth it!

Today's Mystery Mani polish, along with Zoya Trixie and nail gems.

Today's Mystery Mani polish, along with Zoya Trixie and nail gems.

You know the way it works--there's a little clue hidden in this post. Submit your guesses by 7 pm Pacific Time (10 pm EST) by commenting on this post. You may submit more than one answer, but only your final guess will be your official submission. Those who guess correctly will receive an extra entry in our next giveaway. IF THE NAME UNDER WHICH YOU COMMENT DIFFERS FROM YOUR GOOGLE FRIEND CONNECT NAME, PLEASE STATE YOUR GFC NAME WITH YOUR GUESS. Only guesses received via comment on this post will count.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Five Finger Friday: Jade Greens

Happy Friday, Lab Partners!

Welcome to another Five Finger Friday. This week, I continue to work my way through the greens by focusing on five jade green polishes: Make Up Store Paula, e.l.f Teal Blue, Julep Emilie, Picture Polish Jade, and LA Colors Palm Tree:

Make Up Store Paula
Starting on the thumb, I used Make Up Store Paula, a gorgeous, streak-free one-coater with a cream finish. I'm in love. Admittedly, polishes from Make Up Store, a Swedish company, aren't terribly easy to come by. You can't purchase from their web site, so unless you're near a store that carries their polishes, your best bet is to place a phone order. In the U.S., call 303 708 0086 to reach the Denver/Lone Tree, Colorado store, which is currently the only U.S. stockist of Make Up Store polishes. This polish is worth the effort!

On my index finger, you see e.l.f. Teal Blue, which isn't very blue at all. Yes, next to the other greens, you can see a blue undertone, but this polish is distinctly more green than blue. In fact, it looks slightly bluer in the photo than in real life. I was skeptical of this polish, but--WOW!--was I ever surprised! You're looking at one gorgeous, streak-free coat. Not bad for a polish that normally retails for $2, eh? I only purchased e.l.f. polishes after they'd been reformulated, and then only when the wonderful Rebecca from rebecca likes nails gave her recommendations.

From L to R: LA Colors Palm Tree, Picture Polish Jade, Julep Emilie, e.l.f. Teal Blue

Continuing on to my middle finger, you'll find Julep Emilie. It's the darkest of the five polishes--definitely a dark jade that might be classified as evergreen.  Two coats gives a beautiful, streak-free finish.

On my ring finger is Picture Polish Jade, which is more mint than jade This one has some shimmer to it. Honestly, I was a little disappointed with this one. The application was okay, but it was a bit streaky on the first coat. It wasn't the glorious application I experienced with Picture Polish Wisteria. To make sure it wasn't a fluke, I later tried Jade on with a different base coat, with the same results. Again, the application is okay, but I expect more from Picture Polish.

Finally, my pinkie features LA. Colors Palm Tree. For some reason, I often wear this one on my toes. You're looking at two coats. It's nice--not glorious like Make Up Store Paula or e.l.f. Teal Blue, but nice.

If I had to pick a favorite of this bunch, I'd go with e.l..f. Teal Blue, followed closely by Make Up Store Paula. Which one do you like best?

Until next time, sending you lab love,


Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Holiday Splatter Mani with Simple Tutorial--Photo Heavy

Hello Lab Partners,

First, I'd like to wish happy birthday to my hubby, who probably isn't reading this, but in case he is . . . Happy Birthday!

Yesterday, I showed you Zoya Haley. After several days, it was wearing so well and I loved it so much I didn't want to take it off, so I decided to do a holiday splatter mani using Haley as the base color:

If you've never done a splatter mani, it's a fun, easy way to add some interest to your nails. I particularly like doing a splatter after I've been wearing a polish for several days and am ready for a change but not ready to remove the polish, as was the case with Haley. I've broken down the procedure for doing a splatter mani into several easy steps.

  • An old towel, paper towels or newspapers
  • Scotch tape
  • Drinking straws (I suggest one for each color you'll use for splattering). Medium sized straws work best--neither the jumbo kind, nor the little stirrer type.
  • A paper or plastic plate
  • Your regular mani supplies (base coat, remover for clean up, top coat, etc)
  • Polish to use as base color
  • Polishes for splattering. For this mani, I used two colors: Sinful Colors Envy and Zoya Snowwhite. But you can use more colors. Or you can splatter with only one polish.

1) Cover your working surface with an old towel, paper towels, or newspaper. This is a messy process!

2) Make sure your base color is completely dry before doing the splatter portion of the mani. As I said, I usually splatter a few days after I've put on the base color.

3) Once base color is completely dry, put Scotch tape around the side and bottom edges of your nails on one hand to make the process less messy. You will work one hand at a time. In other words, you will complete the entire splatter process on one hand and allow that hand to dry before splattering onto the nails of the second hand.
Skin around nail edges taped in preparation for a splatter mani
Straw has been dipped in polish, which will be splattered on nails.

4) Dip a straw into the first polish to splatter. You can try pouring a little polish on your paper plate, but I have greater success when I dip the straw straight into the bottle. If you do dip into the bottle, make sure you change to a new straw for each splatter color to prevent mixing your polish colors. If you only have one straw, you can try cleaning it very well, but it's not an easy task.

5) Using a short, strong puff of breath, do a few "test splatters" of polish onto your paper plate before splattering onto your nails, redipping the straw into polish as needed.

6) Once you've splattered all nails of one hand with the first splatter color, move on to the next color, if using one.
It's a messy process . . .

A really messy process!

7) When all splattering is complete on the first hand, remove tape, apply top coat, and allow the splatter polish to dry.

8) Repeat process on other hand.

9) Have fun cleaning up the mess you've made!

Post splatter mani mess

All cleaned up!

I like this one because you can see my hand reflected in an ornament. 

And there you have it!

I hope you've enjoyed this splatter mani edition of The Polish Lab!

Until next time,


Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Bench Work: Zoya Haley

Hello Lab Partners,

Today, I have an oldie but a goodie for you: Zoya Haley. Even though this isn't a newly released polish, it's a new acquisition for me. I've been in my red polish phase lately, and Haley is my new favorite!

Haley applies very smoothly. You're looking at two coats of what Zoya calls a "pin-up girl classic." As my husband put it, Haley is "bright without being garish." Not bad from the hubster, eh?  One of my friends (you know who you are) feels matronly when she wears red polish. Not me! I feel retro glam, especially when wearing this red!


Haley wears wonderfully. After three days, I had only minor tip wear. I'm very hard on my polish, so three days is an eternity for me!

So what do you think of my new favorite red?

Until next time, sending Lab Love your way!


Saturday, December 17, 2011

Sparkle Saturday: Essence Edward

Happy Saturday, Lab Partners!

As you may remember from my post on Butter London's Tea with the Queen, it makes great underwear for showing off a glitter top coat, so here's Tea with the Queen again--only this time it's been embellished with Edward from the Essence Bella and Edward twin set. Although I love the look of Edward layered over Bella, wearing a nude polish as underwear certainly makes it easier to see Edward's square and smaller round teal and green glitter particles. And if you look closely, you might catch a holo microglitter or two.

Seeing this glitter on top of Tea with the Queen reminds me of--brace yourself--dragon eggs. Not that I've ever seen a dragon egg, but this is how I imagine them: peach with green glitter. A strange association, I know. But I'm always coming up with strange associations. Last night, I dreamed of a bracelet with a blackened purple stone, surrounded by bamboo. In my dream, I planned to fashion an entire accessory collection around the bracelet and call it Viet Nam Vamp. Obviously, someone's been watching too much Project Accessory!

So what do you think of dragon eggs aka Tea with Edward?

Hope you're having a lovely weekend. Incidentally, I'm out of town for the weekend, so my apologies if I'm unable to respond to your comments until I return home.

Until next time, sending you lab love,