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Friday, May 13, 2011

CND Effects Teal Sparkle Over Wet n Wild Night Prowl - Oooh Ahhhh!!!

CND Effects Teal Sparkle Over Wet n Wild Night Prowl - Finger Paints Be A Pal-ette & Nail Art Sticker (two jewels "set" in silver) on Index Finger

I must say that despite my horrible cuticles and dry skin, this photo does NOT do justice to the beauty of this manicure! I tried and tried to get a good photo but this was the best I could do... Hopefully you can use your imagination a bit. :) It was truly stunning and if you have the products (or similar - the must-haves are CND Effects Teal Sparkle and a very deep glass flecky-y purple), give it a try and let me know what YOU think of it!!!

Here are the products I used:
  • Wet n Wild Shine Night Prowl - 2-3 coats
  • CND Effects Teal Sparkle #568 - 2 coats
  • Finger Paints Be A Pal-ette - 3 coats (index)
  • Nail art sticker - Two "jewels" in silver "setting" (index)
  • Poshé Super-Fast Drying Topcoat - 2 coats

IRL you could see little flashes of purple coming through the Teal Sparkle CND Effects as I moved my hands, which was awesome! The Teal Sparkle over WnW Night Prowl (which, I must say, is GORGEOUS on it's own! WnW really rocks it with a LOT of their products these days and for the past couple/few years!!!) creates nearly and emerald green color with very intense shimmer and sparkle! It's really kind of magical looking! :D

Can you tell I'm kinda in lurve with Teal Sparkle?? Yeah, I'm already almost 50% through my bottle and I've only had it for 6 weeks! Hehe! :D

What are your thoughts on this mani (all opinions encouraged and respected, have no fear! :))? Have you played with any of the CND Effects? So far I have 5 of the Effects, Teal, Red, Silver, and Gold Sparkle, and Perfectly Bare Shimmer. Silver and Gold don't do much for me China Glaze Fairy Dust and Golden Enchantment are way better, for example), Red Sparkle is nice, Perfectly Bare Shimmer is very pretty and quite versatile, and Teal Shimmer is a must-have in my opinion.

* All products in this post were purchased by me or received as a gift from a personal friend or family member.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

SWEET DEAL: MAYBELLINE BOGO1/2 & Express Finish Clearance @ Walgreens PLUS $1 Coupon!

Wanna snag some cheap nail polish? What's that you say?? ALWAYS??! Me, too!!! Okay, here are the details, 1-2-3!
  1. This week (5/8 - 5/14), all Maybelline cosmetics (including nail products) are BOGO 1/2 (Buy One, Get One Half Off) at Walgreens! This includes "Last Chance" (Walgreens version of "clearance") items! 
  2. Maybelline Express Finish Nail Color "Core Collection" colors (i.e. NOT Limited Edition colors) is on "Last Chance" sale (i.e. clearance) at Walgreens! It has the big orange "Last Chance" stickers and the the price is marked down to $2.29 (may vary from store to store or area of the country).
  3. There's a $1 Off tear-pad coupon (pics below) good on ANY Maybelline product located on one of Maybelline's "The Bright Side" (Maybelline's Summer 2011 LE Collection) displays - if you can find it (there are a few different "The Bright Side" displays and to my knowledge, only one of them has the tear-pad coupons on it)!

What does this all add up to? You can use the $1 off coupon WITH the current "Last Chance" sale AND BOGO 1/2 at Walgreens!

Now go out and shop! And if you don't have Sunset Prism, I highly recommend you remedy that situation! ;) It's one amazingly gorgeous duochrome!

One last thing: If you go out and get any new polish as a result of this post, would you come back and post a quick comment to say so? It's just really fun to know if anyone saw this and saved some money (or spent some! ;)) cuz of it! :)

Here's a list of Maybelline Express Finish Nail Color "Core Collection" (Non-LE) colors for your reference (taken from Maybelline's website):

Berry Boucle 250
Blushing Bride 40
Cocoa Motion 280
Crimson 170
Denim Blast 898
Go Go Green 900
Grape Times 896
Iced Mauve 220
Mocha Blast 290
Mod Mauve 70
Onyx Rush 895
Pink Shock 90
Plum Intense 210
Racey Red 160
Racing Rubies 190
Snow Bunny 12
Sunset Prism 330
Timeless Pink 85
Timely Turquoise 899

Friday, May 6, 2011

The 80s Called... More China Glaze Crackle Glaze!

China Glaze Crackle Glaze Broken Hearted and Crushed Candy, LA Colors Art Deco Blue Glitter, Finger Paints Get Real-ism!

 China Glaze Crackle Glaze Broken Hearted and Crushed Candy, LA Colors Art Deco Blue Glitter, Finger Paints Get Real-ism!

Uh, yeah... I wasn't going for *quite* this look when I created this mani, but thought I'd still share it with you for kicks! :D Not exactly sure where I went wrong but I *think* it was when I added the stripe of blue glitter down the middle of each nail! Lesson... probably not learned! ;)

Anyway, I found while I was wearing this that I kept having to resist the urge to don my 1982 pair of pink and white striped leg warmers (totally true), safety pin the hems of my already-tapered-leg jeans for that über-skinny-leg look (*gag*), throw my hair into a side pony, and grab a friend and head over to the roller rink! Hahahahaha!!! :D And THEN... the 80s called! They said they wanted their mani back! *GASP* ;-D

Although you can't tell because I added that nasty (not in general, just didn't work for this mani) blue glitter down stripe down the middle of each nail, I used scotch tape to create a nice, clean division of each nail vertically so I could easily apply the crackle without it becoming a wavering freehand mess. Once I did the first half I just removed the tape and was able to easily free-hand the other side! It was a breeze! More about scotch tape manis -below!!! Keep reading, please. :)

 China Glaze Crushed Candy Crackle Glaze, Finger Paints Get Real-ism!

China Glaze Crushed Candy Crackle Glaze, Finger Paints Get Real-ism!

This is a simple look but I enjoyed it. Again, I used scotch tape to get a nice, crisp diagonal line when painting Crushed Candy over Get Real-ism!

The top picture of this mani (with flash) actually captures some of the duochrome flash in Get Real-ism - SCORE! The bottom pic isn't very good but it shows the colors in more natural lighting. Just for reference.

Regarding scotch tape manis: I've *just* began playing with them and they are so much fun! All credit/blame ;) for my scotch tape mani experimentation/obsession goes to the AMAZING Jane at Nailside. She is a GENIUS at creating stunning nail art using only scotch tape! On her blog, you'll also find that she's created some sweet tutorials to guide you through different versions of her scotch tape manis step-by-step! I had never tried using scotch tape before stumbling on Jane's blog recently but now I'm hooked! If you haven't visited Nailside, I encourage you to check it out, I think you'll really enjoy!

Oh! Almost forgot - why isn't my China Glaze Crushed Candy in it's original bottle, you ask? A messy story...

I was shaking it before my mani as normal (rolling crackles to get them thoroughly mixed would take me forever and I don't experience bubbling from shaking - I don't get bubbling from shaking ANY polish, that is, not just crackles - bubbling issues signal something else for me, e.g. excessively thick coats, base coat doesn't play well with color, and so on), when the handle suddenly broke off in my hand!

Some spilled but I saved the majority by dumping it into an empty, clean Sally Hansen Nail Prisms bottle I had nearby! YAY! So... maybe shaking and me are not compatible regardless of bubbles?! :-S

* The product(s) in this post were purchased by me.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Finger Paints Get Real-ism!

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Finger Paints Get Real-ism!

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Finger Paints Get Real-ism!

I've been tempted by this polish since I first noticed it at Sally Beauty Supply recently... Tried to talk myself out of it by telling myself it wasn't "interesting" enough, didn't have enough duochrome flash, was most likely far too sheer and would take too many coats to become opaque... But it just didn't work! I kept picking it up each time I was in Sally's to find out the name of this "intriguing color"! :D So... I gave in on Saturday evening and made it my very own! *contented sigh* ;)

Very happily, I can report that all but one of the arguments I used to try to talk myself out of purchasing this polish were WRONG (I'll explain momentarily)!
  • Color: A dusty medium lilac with the slightest violet duochrome flash and super-tiny sparsely scattered shimmer particles (super-tiny yet very pretty - they really add that little "extra" something to this polish, IMO!). I have nothing else like it in my collection! YAY! :)
  • Duochrome Effect: The lovely violet duochrome flash you see in the bottle doesn't translate to the nail. It's just *barely* visible when applied. This is my only gripe, but one I can definitely live with in light of all the other positives!
  • Texture: Smooth and super easy to work with, not too thick or too thin, applies like a dream without any streakiness or patchiness, and quickly builds to full opacity after 2-3 coats.
  • Drying Time: Average or perhaps a shade faster  for a decent Big-3-Free lacquer currently on the market.
  • Finish: Dries to a high gloss. Personally, I nearly always use a fast-dry top coat (cuz I'm an klutz and tend to wreck my manis no matter how careful I try to be, otherwise!) but if you're the coordinated type you could probably get away without using one!
Finger Paints is exclusive to Sally Beauty Supply and can be purchased at Sally's physical locations or via their website HERE. If you haven't tried Finger Paints yet, I'd encourage you to give them a whirl as they have some really fun colors and are pretty affordable, too - SCORE!!! :)

* The product(s) in this post were purchased by me.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Sephora by OPI - A True Romantic & Techno Girl

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Sephora by OPI A True Romantic

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Sephora by OPI A True Romantic

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Sephora by OPI Techno Girl

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Sephora by OPI Techno Girl

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Sephora by OPI Techno Girl

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Sephora by OPI Techno Girl

Today I have 2 colors from Sephora by OPI for you. First up is A True Romantic. Sephora's website describes this as a "sheer cool light pink". I can testify that it is indeed sheer - the photos above show an incredibly lumpy FIVE coats on my nails!!! The problem is with the formula; while the shade may be sheer, it's horribly, horribly streaky! There is no way to apply 1-2 coats evenly! I was absolutely PLAGUED by brush drag and bald patches! The formula was a thick, sticky, goopy nightmare! Moving on to better things...

The second color, Techno Girl, applied very nicely. Full opacity in 2 easy coats (*sigh of relief*)!!! My only gripe is with Sephora's description of this color. On their website it's described as an "opaque vivid azalea" but there's nothing vivid about it! It's a mid-toned dusty rose crème. And I guess I have another complaint, the name. Techno Girl??? Huh? What's "techno" about this color? I don't get it! I'm a geek by choice and by training and this color doesn't say anything "techno" to me... Oh well, I just know that Techno Girl was slick to apply and wore very well. :) Not a terribly exciting color, maybe, but well-behaved, at least!

TTFN!!! Thanks for reading! :)

*Products in this review were received as a gift from a personal friend or family member.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

China Glaze Crackle Collection - Skittles!!!

After swatching Orly Pure Porecelain and Here Comes Trouble I decided to bring out my China Glaze Crackle Glazes and pop them on top of each to see that would look like! I have these crackles for over a month but have just *barely* played with them... pathetic, I know! :( Although I only did skittle swatches of the four China Glaze Crackle Glazes I own (I don't have Lightning Bolt [white] or Black Mesh [black]) they turned out kinda FUN, so thought I'd share them!!! On to the pictures - Review at the end! :)

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China Glaze Crackle Glaze over Orly Pure Porecelain (L to R: China Glaze Cracked Concrete, Crushed Candy Broken Hearted, Fault Line)

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China Glaze Crackle Glaze over Orly Pure Porecelain (L to R: China Glaze Cracked Concrete, Crushed Candy Broken Hearted, Fault Line)

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China Glaze Crackle Glaze over Orly Here Comes Trouble (T to B: China Glaze Cracked Concrete, Crushed Candy Broken Hearted, Fault Line)

So, I DEFINITELY liked the crackles over Pure Porecelain MORE than Here Comes Trouble, which was a bit of a surprise! I've seen a lot of swatches of the China Glaze Crackles over glitters and foils that look amazing! Maybe it was the depth and pigmentation of this particular glitter?? Possibly they would look better over a lighter colored glitter? Not sure, but it was a fun experiment anyway!

The formula was fine - crackle polishes are a different animal so we can't expect them to behave like regular nail polish or to have the same formula.

I've noticed that the China Glaze crackles polishes (and other brands of crackle polish, too), are quite prone to developing "boogers". I'm not sure why this happens, but it doesn't seem to matter how much you shake the polish before use or anything else I've been able to determine. If you get a crackle "booger" (a thick, gummy glop of crackle polish coating the brush and sometimes the stem as well), the best thing I've found to do is to wipe the brush off with a tissue from stem to tip. That has solved the problem for me. Otherwise, boogers can be difficult to wipe off against the bottle neck and if left on the brush can really mess with your mojo while you're trying to create your crackle art! Not cool!

I came across a couple polish "boogers" that weren't a major deal, but otherwise I felt the formula was easy to apply and consistent, with the exception of Fault Line (purple). Fault Line was a little thicker and did not crackle as well. It is also the only color of the four shades I own that contains a little shimmer, so maybe that has something to do with it. But, when all is said and done, it still crackles enough for me and isn't really difficult to apply, it just takes a bit more care than the others. All of them dry very quickly and semi-matte. They will also flake off without top coat, so top coat is a must with crackles. That's no big deal in my book, plus, it gets rid of the ridgy texture you'll otherwise feel from all those crazy cracks!

Last but not least, have to say that I'm really loving Orly Pure Porecelain as a base for crackle! It's so creeeaaammmmy! I wanted to look at it alll day!

Orly Here Comes Trouble - Orly Summer 2011 Pin-up Collection

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Orly Here Comes Trouble

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Orly Here Comes Trouble

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Orly Here Comes Trouble

Here Comes Trouble is from the Orly Summer 2011 Pin-up Collection. It's a bright, very slightly yellow-based green glitter. The base is a sheer yellow-green and is PACKED with regular and hex-shaped bright green glitter.

The above pictures show three coats of Here Comes Trouble. The coverage was quite good with two coats but there were a few bald spots and patchy areas that needed to be evened out. For full opacity, I needed three coats. That's not bad at all for a full out glitter! And the color is soooo vibrant! Green lovers will enjoy this color! I'm a huge fan of green (my fave color!) and I find it decidedly delicious! :) Texture is quite thick but not unwieldy. It did take a while to dry and needed drying time between coats to avoid brush drag. It has a fairly bumpy texture from the massive amount of glitter so prepare to use an extra coat of top coat for a smooth, lustrous finish.

Despite the longer dry time and bumpy texture, the combination of regular and hex-shaped glitter packed so tightly in this polish along with the gorgeous color make it a definite no-brainer for me! Bubbly Bombshell, also in the Pin-up Collection, is the same type of glitter but in a gorgeous purple! I don't have it yet (it was out of stock when I was shopping) but it's on my list!!! The other two colros in the Pin-up Collection are crèmes in shades that aren't terribly interesting to me so I don't think I'll be picking them up.

What are your thoughts on the Orly Summer 2011 Pin-up Collection? Do you plan on purchasing any or all of the colors?

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Orly Pure Porecelain - Orly Spring 2011 Precious Collection

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Orly Pure Porecelain
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Orly Pure Porecelain

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Orly Pure Porecelain

Today I have Orly Pure Porecelain for you. This polish is from the Orly Spring 2011 Precious Collection.

Originally, I didn't plan on getting any of the colors from Orly's Precious Collection - they all looked pretty ho-hum to me, most of all the off-white color, Pure Porecelain. Then I was in Sally Beauty Supply on Sunday evening and happened to see Pure Porecelain in person! I was bewitched! Seldom have I been so strongly drawn to any non-glitter, non-foil, non-metallic, SFW-colored polish in my entire life - in fact, I'd say NEVER before! It was funny to me! I HAD to buy Pure Porecelain and I couldn't WAIT to get home and try it on!

Pure Porecelain applied very nicely - the texture is great, not too thick, not too thin, very easy to control. It covered well, too - the pictures above show full coverage in two coats, with zero streaks or bald patches! Very impressive for such a light crème! Drying time was so-so - a little longer than the average China Glaze, for example, but not nearly as long as many Orly colors I've tried in the past, which was a MAJOR plus in my book. I used a second coat of fast-dry top coat to speed things up a bit and that worked out great!

I'm extremely pleased to say that I have a new love in my life - a crème love that's even paler than me (now THAT'S saying something ;-D)! I think it makes me feel TAN - LOL!!! Whatever the reason, I just know I'm in love with Orly Pure Porecelain... Mmmmmmm!!! <3

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Tascha Twinkletoes - Franken!

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Tascha Twinkletoes

This is a franken I created a few days ago. It's the second franken I've ever done and I'm really happy with how it turned out! I definitely don't have any other polishes like it in my collection. YAY!! :) But I had trouble capturing the true color with my camera. Grrr... Oh well. In real life, the jelly base is less purple and more blue - leaning *slightly* toward teal, even. And as you can see from the picture - both in the bottle and on the nail - it's jam-packed with hot pink and bright blue string glitter!

I named it Tascha Twinkletoes. Tascha is a dear friend of mine - we've seen each other through a lot over the past few years and we also share a mutual love of beauty products!!! We were fast friends from our very first meeting and she's priceless to me! Also, in nail polish she's a glitter FIEND and especially loves blues, purples, and greens! This franken SHOUTED Tascha to me right away! :D I'm now thinking of trying to create a small "collection" of frankens dedicated to her... We'll have to see what my brain comes up with! ;)

This is 3 coats, however, I could have gotten away with 2 coats if I had been more careful in application as even for a jelly-glitter this baby is opaque after 2 coats of medium thickness! But I had a few bald spots from brush drag so ended up just applying a full third coat to even everything out. Also, pictured here is my third day  of wear and I still have no chips and barely any tip wear! Tascha Twinkletoes dries somewhat slowly and kind of dull so a fast-dry top coat is a must in my book. It has a bit of texture when dry as well, due to all the string glitter, but it is easily smoothed out with 1 coat of top coat. 

What do you think of Tascha Twinkletoes? Do you franken? How do you name your creations?

Hope you have a wonderful day and a Happy Easter (to those that celebrate it)! <3

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Sephora by OPI Midnight Mambo

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Sephora by OPI Midnight Mambo

I purchased Sephora by OPI Midnight Mambo at least a year ago but hadn't tried it until THIS WEEK! Aaargh! It's too pretty to have let sit for so long! Yes, I love nail polish... and makeup... and good-smelling bath and body products! :-D

So, I'm Ruthie, and this is my blog, Frostbite Alley. So named because I live in the "frozen midwest" and often it feels to me as if I'm about to die of cold. Did I mention that I take a chill easily?? Yeah...

Anyway, welcome and thanks for reading. :) I plan to focus on pictures and reviews of beauty products, mainly, but I'll probably throw in a smattering of a lot of different subjects over time. Feel free to give me your suggestions and requests and I'll see what I can do:

Back to Sephora by OPI Midnight Mambo: The formula is thicker than average but not overly thick (e.g. "overly thick" to me is OPI Teenage Dream - at least the bottle I got had a consistency not unlike corn syrup at room temperature in a non-tropical climate!) and it dries very quickly. The finish is not too bumpy, especially considering the amount of glitter this baby has, but it dries semi-matte so top coat is a must if you want to really show off the full luster of that delicious glitterfest on your nails! I used 3 coats in the picture above to even out my application but I'm sure most people would only need 2 - I have a lot of difficulty with fine motor skills so it's not uncommon that I'll need an extra coat and you'll probably see me repeat that often. :)
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