Posts from the ‘Base and Top Coat’ Category

Journey from stark matte to watercolour fun

As soon as I saw this article online last week, I was itching to do this combo … so itchy, in fact, that I initially rushed into it with no cuticle or nail prep whatsoever and put a shiny top coat on it in lieu of matte, due to not giving a careful read to the step-by-step …

After only one day of quasi-hiding my hands, I redid the whole thing, using the Lippmann products I have:

1x Sally Hansen 18k Gold Nail Hardener

1x DL Gel Lab Pro Dirty Little Secret

1x DL Like Dreamers Do

1x Claire’s Matte Top Coat (honking bottle on sale many moons ago for $2 USD)

Since both models in the article images have darker and warmer skin tones than I, little miss pink- and blueberry, I was slightly disappointed by my own results. Maybe if I had had la Lippmann herself tending to my hands with the entire luxe gamut of her products, the result would have been more similar.

When flipping through the April 2018 edition of U.S. Elle, I homed in on the amazing beauty that is Kim K-W, this month’s cover girl and feature, and … on her manicure!

Right? Kris Jenner sure has produced some beautiful offspring …

Meanwhile, the weekend rolled right on up and I had some colour play on my mind.

These I’ve amassed sporadically, and always from discounters.

At first, I intended to use my untouched set of four Wet n Wild LE sheer jellies — in the bottles, they appear too similar to each other.

Chromatic Orange

I’m Never Amberrassed

I Can Teal You Like Me

Indigo Motif

Don’t Violet Me Down

I was in a big hurry to get to playing with these, too, so my hands and cuticles are frightfully unmoisturized in the iPhone snaps above …

Two days later, above … I had left my right hand without colour and wanted to take a photo of *it* holding this sample card, in front of the Kim K-W photo since the pool tile pattern in the photo mimics the BV intrecchiato replicated on the sample card … a task proven nigh impossible with my regular camera.

xx blueberry milk tea

Little Sunday-into-Monday nails

Not too long ago, whilst indulging my perpetual curiosity online, I suddenly craved ownership of a certain two Lynderellas like nobody’s business: A Neutral Party and Puppy Cake.

Being that I’ve not ever worn a one of the Lynnderella residents currently leading the life of Riley in a top drawer of the Alex varnish condo, I abstained from immediate purchase of the two aforementioned. Instead, I got to work scouting other floors of the condo, chasing the varnish visions dancing in my head.

I didn’t have to look far: everything my little nails were wishing for (neutral but sparkly, tiny black dots, holo microshimmer, gold, silver, bronze and then some) turned out to be in residence — no spending the winter out at the warehouse for these favourites!

Problem child extraordinaire and confirmed favourite, Big Universo Canel

Sally Hansen CSM Paparazzi, Anna Sui 32C

China Glaze I’m Not Lion, OPI Wonderous Star

A member of the Etude House x Annika Wester Wannabe Syrup Nails trio
Maybelline Color Show The Nudes LE Bronze Beam

In an abundance of caution, because my formerly known as long nails were catching on my tights, splitting and peeling per usual, I thought to start things off right on Sunday with a base coat of this 18k gold hardener.

The subtle flakes add a neat underlayer dimension to one coat of transparent Canel …

The brushes I used to execute my idea on oh-so-tiny canvasses:

Slanted tip Impala – SH CSM Paparazzi, one coat gradient effect

Mint green fan – Anna Sui 32C, one swipe on tips

Essence denser fan – China Glaze I’m Not Lion, one swipe on tips

OPI Wonderous Star – daubed on very edge of nails with bottle brush, which netted a surprising density of little black dots

Impala fan brush – Etude House glitter, one swipe a little farther down the nail than the others, to about 1/4 – 1/2 of Paparazzi

Maybelline Color Show Bronze Beam – laid bottle brush flat on its side at intervals on tips

Finally, 1-2 coats of Rimmel Base + Top Coat.

Before polishing my nails, I had done two rounds of Gena Cuticle Remover (which contains lots of naturally-derived hydroxy and salicylic acids, but no lye or ammonia products that I could spot) in addition to nail oils, cuticle oils and Lush Charity Pot.

To the naked eye, my efforts appeared to be effective. iPhone images, however, are unforgiving, detecting and magnifying every flaw. Even if I wanted to correct the imperfections visible in the photos of my nails above, I couldn’t — they just don’t show up in real life (thank goodness)!

Last image was taken in my car, Monday afternoon sun.

xx blueberry milk tea

Inspiration: anti-manicure a la Marni

I actually chose the images above of Marni print and necklace after I had already finished my nails. What I had been carrying around for months in my imagination was much less literal as to colour and shape, likely based on years of eyeballing and admiring scads of Marni runway shows, editorial and Instagram.

For my tiny canvasses:

Skin Food Pineapple Cuticle Cleaner
Rimmel Base + Top, one coat each used for base and top

Essie Pillow Talk, 1x
Sinful Colors Coco Bae, 1x sponged unevenly on about half to 3/4 of the nail

OPI Fiercely Fiona, applied haphazardly with a dry nail brush
OPI Sleigh Parking Only, ditto

Purchased from Sally Beauty for a small fortune over 5 years ago … first used here 🙂

Canvasses prepped: Rimmel base and Essie Pillow Talk

Sinful Colors Coco Bae, from the new 2018 additions to the core collection.

Possesses quite a hot pinky-peach flash/shimmer.

As soon as I laid eyes on her, I knew exactly how I would put her to uggles use in this jolie-laide manicure already taking shape in my mind …

xx blueberry milk tea

Hostess of an international sparkle + shine party

PicCollage

Left hand guests, above:

Italy – Kiko 3 in 1 Shine as base coat, 1x

USA – Essie Tennis Corset, tips only, 1x

Japan – Estessimo TINS – The Sacred Shine, dabbed on tips only

South Korea – Nature Republic 41 – Snow Shower, 1/4 nail tip only, 1x

South Korea – Etude House Forest Aurora Play Nail 375 – Morning Dew, 34 nail,  1x

Italy – Kiko 3 in 1 Shine as top coat, 1x

rhand1rhand2rhand3

Right hand guests, above:

Italy – Kiko 3 in 1 Shine as base coat, 1x

Japan – Estessimo TINS – The Sacred Shine, 1/4 tips only, 1x

France – L’Oreal The Magic Top Coats – The True Diamond, uneven 3/4 nail, 1x

Italy – Kiko 3 in 1 Shine as top coat, 1x

xx blueberry milk tea

Lady Marmalade

Not my collage image … think it might have originated from a Swedish site.

I loved this print when it came out and wish I had purchased the trickle-down version canvas bag with this print, spotted at Target a few years later :/

Jellies/sheers, one coat each

Nfu-Oh JS21

OPI Sheer Tints Top Coat – I’m Never Amberrassed

The Face Shop OR203

OPI Color Paints – Chromatic Orange

OPI Big Hair … Big Nails

OPI Guy Meets Galveston

Zoya Alma, Zoya Gabrielle, Sinful Colors UFO, Zoya Jesy, Zoya Soho Punch

One coat of glitter/shimmer over corresponding jellies:

Nfu-Oh – Sinful Colors UFO

OPI Amberrassed + Chromatic Orange – Zoya Gabrielle

TFS OR203 – Zoya Alma

OPI Big Hair – Zoya Jesy

OPI Guy Meets – Zoya Soho Punch (2x)

Not my street-style image; looks like it could be a Tommy Ton but have my doubts …

Above + below, prior combinations with a final coat of jelly/sheer

What’s your favourite citrus marmalade sandwich?

xx blueberry milk tea

Mid-week pick-me-up

25 bottles of varnish on the wall …

… averaging $10 USD each (at regular price) …

My receipt totaled around $140 USD! 🙂

They say it’s either time or money …

… this is what happens when you have the unexpected time to scour the clearance racks and bins!

Top row:

From Butter London Backstage Basics kit

1 – Nail Foundation (base coat)

2 – Hardware (top coat)

3 – Minted (my varnish choice – although the box was battered and the remover more than half gone, I still had my pick of a pretty polish!)

Middle row:

1 – OPI Infinite Shine 2 – Patience Pays Off

2 – OPI Hello Kitty – 5 Apples Tall

3 – ChG Girls Just Wanna Have Sun

4 – ChG Re-fresh Mint version one (lighter and whiter)

5 – ChG Re-fresh Mint version two (darker and yellower)

6 – ChG Grass is Lime Greener

7 – ChG Let’s Chalk About It

8 – ChG What’s She Dune?

9 – ChG Shocking Pink

Bottom row:

1 – Essie Adore-a-Ball

2 – Essie Absolutely Shore

3 – Essie Taj Ma-haul

4 – Essie Hot Coco

5 – Essie Delhi Dance

6 – Essie Too Too Hot

7 – Nails Inc. Gel – Palace Court

8 – Nails Inc. Gel – Princess Road

9 – Nails Inc. Gel – Portobello Lane

10 – Nails Inc. Gel – Duchess Street

11 – Nails Inc. Bling Bling – Victoria Gardens

12 – Nails Inc. Festival – Sloane Street

13 – Nails Inc. – Notting Hill Carnival

xx blueberry milk tea

South Korea, land of milk + honey

… and yoghurt 🙂

Coconut Milk, 3x

Mint Milk, 2x

Bebe Milk, 2x

Rose Milk, 2x (has a bit of shimmer)

Ice Milk, 2x

Carrot Milk, 2x

(No Milk Creamy Nail Base or Top Coat)

All, 2x

03 Egg Cream Beige

04 Super Duper Beige

05 Gateau d’Or

06 Caramelise

No (01) Base Coat (pictured far left above in bottle lineup) or Top Coat (don’t own)

The Face Shop Yogurt Series

Lemon Candy, Strawberry Milk, Grape Juice

Nature Republic GWH002 Milk Yogurt, GGR603 Mint Yogurt

All, 2x

Innisfree 85, Raspberry Yogurt

Revlon Whimsical (for comparison above and below)

L to R, above and below:

Innisfree 85 Raspberry Yogurt

TFS Strawberry Milk Yogurt

TFS Grape Juice Yogurt

TFS Lemon Candy Yogurt

NR Milk Yogurt

Revlon Whimsical

NR Mint Yogurt

Skin Food Mint Milk and Ice Milk have the best formulae

Skin Food Honey 04 Super Duper Beige looks best on me of these four

Skin Food Honey 06 Caramelise is a sheer gel varnish

Of the yoghurt series, TFS Strawberry Milk and NR Mint Milk flatter me most

Which would you prefer to be served?

xx blueberry milk tea