I stopped by Sally Beauty Supply today and finally picked up a bottle of Seche Vite top coat and base coat. They are currently buy one get one free. I have read countless blog posts about how amazing this combo is but I was waiting on a good promotion so that I could finally get them at a good price. Shine of the Times is from the Essie’s Luxeffects Collection released at the end of 2011 and The Luxeffects Collection is available now at certain CVS drugstores, but there were only a few left at my local store and it is no longer available on Essie’s web page because it is currently sold out. So if you love it as much as I do don’t walk, run to a store in your area that carries Essie.
Shine of the Times flashes between red, orange, gold, and green in a beautiful rainbow flakie effect. I layered one coat of Shine of the Times over two coats of a nameless dark blue jelly from Urban Outfitters, and dare I say it looks like Cult Nails Unicorn Puke…. of course I do not have Unicorn Puke to compare it to, but from what I see online this may satisfy my craving for the now unavailable Cult Nails beauty (you can google an image of Unicorn Puke or look at my other flakie review to see a picture of the bottle). The flakies are varied in size and it is more densely packed than my only other flakie (Finger Paints Motley reviewed here) allowing for close to full coverage over a dark polish. The formula is easy to apply and dries quickly, especially after using my new Seche Vite which seems so amazing compared to other tops coats I have used in the past. My second photo of Shine of the Times is is less direct lighting and you can see more of the dark base color.
Within my collection I would have to say Shine of the Times is easily the most interesting nail polish. I would highly recommend picking up a bottle. Here is a close up below showing the amazing color morphing characteristics of this unique top coat.
These nails were inspired by the mermaid like color of Zoya’s Charla (reviewed here) and Little Nails Mermaid/Fish Scale Nail Tutorial (here). Little Nails has some great nail art designs and is definitely worth checking out. The first problem that I came across is that I do not have a dotting tool, so I decided to make one with things I had at hand. I used a bristle from an old brush as the functional part of the tool and for a handle I glued the bristle into the eraser of a pencil. You can try to just push it in to the eraser, but it tends to come out when you switch dotting colors. It may not be pretty, but it is functional and free 🙂
Once you have a dotting tool you then have to pick out your base polish and find coordinating colors for the scales. I used Zoya’s Charla for my base, I applied two coats to all my nails and allowed it to dry. Then I went to my polish stash and tried to coordinate scale colors I chose 4 different blues (Urban Outfitters- Green 9 and no name blue jelly, OPI- Azure For Sure, China Glaze- For Audrey) a gold shimmer highlight (Orly- Ingenue).
So one you decide what colors you are going to use you need to set up an area that allows you to dot and change the color on the tool quickly and efficiently. My set up is pictured below, I loosened the lids on all the bottles and put a small dot of polish on my strip of aluminum foil. You want to keep the bottles open because as you work your paint dots will start to dry up if the dots are too big, or will quickly be used up if your dots are too small. I also soaked a portion of paper towel in nail polish remover to clean the dotting tool between dots.
To make the scales I started with the first row close to the base of the nail and I dotted different colors across the nail, overlapping them like the scales of a fish. I avoided placing dots of the same color next to each other, but if it doesn’t bother you then I think you can get away with using fewer colors of nail polish.
This was a really easy manicure to execute, but it can be a little bit time-consuming. Even though my scales didn’t come out perfect I still love the final result.
I decided to break away from glitter, if only for a few days 🙂 I opted for a more neutral, but not boring grey and white tape manicure. I used Sally Hansen Hard As Nails Xtreme Wear nail polish in #300 White On and fully painted my index, middle and ring fingers with one coat. I love that this is a one coater polish but the only problem that I face is that it dries too quickly and can get a little thick on the brush and transfer too much to the nail. I may be on the lookout for a new white polish, so if anyone has suggestions I would greatly appreciate it 🙂 Then I used Urban Outfitters Grey 4 to fully paint my pinky and thumb nails with two thin coats. Using the same technique as my other tape manicure (here) I waited until the white was fully dry then I taped off a portion of my ring and index nails and painted the uncovered area grey. Then after I allowed the polish to dry for 15-20 seconds I gently peeled the tape off.
I was going for exactly half but it turned out a little diagonal. The photo above would have looked so great if I had gotten the lines perfect I got a lot of complements on this look and I will be trying this using glitters or bright neon colors soon.
I decided to try a half-moon manicure with my new Katy Perry by OPI polish Last Friday Night. I used the same technique with round reinforcement stickers that I used in my last half-moon post. I painted below the reinforcement stickers with an unnamed blue jelly polish from the fall Urban Outfitters nail polish set. And after I allowed the dark blue to dry I applied Last Friday Night to the upper portion by using a small nail art brush.
I tried a polish from Urban Outfitters Nude Collection called Nude 4. I really like the color in the bottle, it looks very close to my skin tone in the bottle, but alas it dried much darker leaving me with icky pale skin. I found the brush was very difficult to use because it was thin and super stiff. I applied two coats to achieve smooth application. It dries with almost a satin finish which is nice, but decided that it was a little too boring looking for my taste so I decided to do a design inspired by Polish Me, Please! (one of my favorite nail blogs by the way 🙂 http://polishmeplease.wordpress.com/2011/11/23/spring-2012-trend-watch-checkered-nails/) She has great instructions for checkered nails.
Here is two coats of Nude 4 before top coat:
Here is how I adapted the instructions from Polish Me, Please!
Step one: Cut out squares of tape making sure they have nice straight lines. I put them on the back of my hand to keep them within easy reach and to make sure they were not super sticky. If I forgot to do this the tape sometimes smeared or peeled up the polish.
Step two: Place the tape on nails in any design making sure it hangs over the sides of the nail for removal.
Step 3: Quickly paint the nail (I used Hard Candy’s Matte-ly in Love) and let it dry for about 15-20 seconds then you gently peel away the tape. And you are left with a cute easy design:) I only did two nails per hand but the possibilities are endless.
I tried a second polish from the Urban Outfitters Fall Collection. I really like the color, it looks very Tiffany and Co blue, but the brush was very difficult to use and had bent bristles. It took two coats to achieve smooth lineless application. I waited for it to dry and then used a tiny black sharpie brand marker to draw a cute little mustache on my ring finger. You have to seal any design made with a sharpie, but only after it has dried or you have streaking and or your design is ruined.
Here is the final manicure:
I decided to do a side by side comparison of OPI’s Teenage Dream from the Katy Perry Collection and the unnamed pink glitter from the Fall Urban Outfitters Boxed Set.
They look relatively similar in the bottle, but when worn Teenage Dream has better coverage, you can not see the nail line with two coats. The pink glitter base is very similar and from far away you can not really tell the difference between the polishes. The Urban Outfitters polish has smaller holographic pieces and has a smoother texture when applied. I personally prefer OPI’s Teenage Dream, but the Urban Outfitters was a much better deal. See a more detailed review of Teenage Dream here: https://blahblueblog.wordpress.com/2011/12/04/teenage-dream/
Here are side by side close up comparisons:
OPI's Teenage Dream 2 coatsUrban Outfitters Pink Glitter 2 coats
Urban Outfitters Pink Glitter 2 coats