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

Tropezando con la misma piedra …

Lit. Tripping over the same stone

Fig. Making the same mistake

Kitchen table comparisons

Pretty sure Julio Iglesias sang the line above …

Now it’s Britney’s turn: Oops, I did it again …

No regrets for getting lost in the game … they all have my heart 😍

xx blueberry milk tea

PFF Series: Sands of Time

Happy New Year!

Meanwhile, I’ve had this comparison knocking about for over two years (already completed on a nail wheel, but I decided to redo it on my new Chinese sticks and promptly messed up the colour order, defeating the entire purpose of using sticks …)

FingerPaints Sparkle in the Sky, 2013 Enchanted Winter Collection

Wet n Wild Los Feliz Navidad, Holiday 2015 We’re the Wild Cats! LE

OPI Alcatraz … Rocks, Fall 2013 San Francisco Collection

Above three photos, at one coat … I wanted to show you how the light base colour of FP made me confuse the order of these three bottles.

In the process, I think I switched the order of the one-coat sticks above for WnW and OPI … but I corrected them for the final swatches below 🙂

Above seven photos, at two coats.

On the nail wheel, I had swatched them in proper order: WnW, FP, OPI.

WnW is the lightest and sheerest of the three, more silvery blue due to reflects; also has silver sequins lacking in its partners. Los Feliz is a Los Angeles neighbourhood; Feliz Navidad means Merry Christmas in Spanish.

FP is a closer PFF to OPI. OPI is a bit deeper and thicker in appearance than FP, with even more pink and gold shimmer … or perhaps it just stands out as such in the slightly more opaque base.

OPI came first; it’s the original Liquid Sand of this trio. Alcatraz is a calla lily in Spanish; here it refers to the name of the storied former prison in San Francisco Bay, built on what appears to be a massive rock sticking out of those treacherous waters.

xx best for 2018!
blueberry milk tea

Naughty … or nice?

IMG_0150

Whilst performing due diligence in finishing up this post, I noticed that after being in storage for a couple of years, OPI Teenage Dream had formed its own holiday layer cake! Squelching my immediate perfectionist tendency to turn on the mixer, lol, I instead snapped a photo for posterity.

What say you? Naughty or nice?

xx blueberry milk tea

P.S. Sparkly sugary sweets presently baking in the cafe oven!

Tonal play with new-to-me H&M

When I received my long-awaited H&M parcel today, my intent was indeed to play … but gee, did this turn out to be a lot of work!

Perhaps it was ill-fated from its inception — none of the varnishes and only a few of the eye shadows shown here were the ones I had chosen in my original, never-arrived order, placed way before Thanksgiving. By the time I re-placed the order (for which I am *still* awaiting a refund), the original shades I had ordered were no longer available — they had sold out.

I’m more than content with what I’ve received, but things started going awry from the get-go. My backdrop fell on top of the nail wheel with the four freshly painted H&M chips, so they have more coats than the other 14 chips, in order to remedy the dents.

It was very windy here in Northern California today, which caused me a number of problems, even though I was indoors. First, lack of light (my house is rather gloomy, even though it faces south). Then, there were the bubbles and/or debris appearing from nowhere on the chips. Especially with Giorgio Armani Parma Greige, which when I had used it for a manicure, was an utterly flawless formula! Enormously frustrating. I almost threw in the towel, since the images looked horrendous on my camera viewing screen.

I still don’t think the images I halfheartedly captured do any justice to what I see in person, but I posted anyway, because in the process I learned a lot about each varnish. Some of these I’ve had for years and hadn’t even used yet.

Below are my field notes:

1 – H&M Cloudburst and 4 – H&M Volcanic Mud required a third coat to reach evenness and opacity, whilst 2 – H&M Taiga and 3 – H&M Cobblestones were opaque at two coats. Cloudburst and Volcanic Mud also had, like, dried varnish specks in their more transparent formulae, which were no longer visible after the final third coat. Volcanic Mud is a much more interesting shade than it appears in the bottle, with green-blue undertones somewhere in that medium grey.

I probably should have included Chanel Khaki Vert to compare to the beautiful H&M Taiga (opaque at 2x), but I just grabbed whatever was staring me in the face on one of my varnish shelves. Khaki Vert was tucked in the back of the lineup somewhere. (As an afterthought, I should have included all of the Les Khakis here!)

H&M Cobblestones (opaque at 2x) is more of a neutral taupe with lilac undertones (as I had hoped it would be) — online swatches I referenced show it as a much warmer, yellower-leaning shade, with no cool purple undertone whatsoever.

5 – D&G Jaipur Blue – bliss at two coats. Great brush, colour, smooth formula. Shade is slightly dustier than you see here. This brand is worth every extra shekel you pay.

6 – Giorgio Armani Parma Greige – same as above accolades for D&G, including the dusty comment, although today the chip looked hideous. Debris, bubbles, ugh … only because I’ve used it before for a full mani do I know that it is indeed a thing of beauty.

7 – Chanel Horizon Line – this is a tester bottle, recently purchased in a panic on the auction site at a discount. I knew it was limited edition, but I had no idea back in August it would sell out so quickly. I don’t like the brush or the formula at two coats, same thoughts I had when I first tried Turban (the only one I’ve actually tried of these new Chanel bottles, although I have others). It’s like they’re heavy on plasticizers and that thin brush just wallows in and drags them around. Note to self: test your other new bottle Chanels before acquiring any more. Another thing: does anyone know how OPI Taupe-less Beach stacks up to Chanel New Dawn?

8-11 – Kure Bazaar Chloe, Boyfriend, Khaki, Hipster, all at two coats. Colours are smooth, opaque and pretty, but I don’t reach for these often. They’re touted as safe and natural, but they still smell just as strong and nauseating as the chemical-laden varnishes. I could not imagine using these while pregnant. Plus, on me, they never, ever dry — even on my toes at the height of summer. I must be doing something wrong.

12-13 – YSL Call Me Grey and Fur Green, both at two coats. Call Me Grey’s brush had a few wonky hairs. I left the tolerable wonkies and pulled out the worst offender. Stuff like this bothers me, as M. Saint Laurent’s image should not be allowed to tarnish in even the smallest detail, and it’s too late. A few years ago, when I ordered a Black Opium sample from the faux-luxe website, it never arrived. Then suddenly I received several, one after the other, each bearing a slightly different version of my name on the address label. They must have young marketing interns with no idea of the brand’s heritage in charge of this stuff. Fur Green, on the other hand, was perfection. Love this one.

14-18 – Uslu Airlines MYK, NIM, SBT, ACE, ABS. Perfection in a bottle, all. Two smooth coats. Beautiful brush, excepting SBT — it has the skinny old one. I can no longer purchase these in the U.S.; good thing I made a run while I could, although there are still several I yearn for that I missed. Oftentimes I imagine having to forsake my entire collection and being forced to choose only one brand for keeps. Uslu Airlines would be my choice.

xx blueberry milk tea

PFF Series: festive sparkle

SONY DSC

Venique Jolly Holly Twinkle

China Glaze Dancing & Prancing

Finger Paints Glisten Here

SONY DSC

SONY DSC

At one coat each

SONY DSC

SONY DSC

At two coats each

SONY DSC

SONY DSC

SONY DSC

At three coats each

SONY DSC

SONY DSC

SONY DSC

SONY DSC

SONY DSC

Venique Jolly Holly Twinkle – Holiday 2012
(purchased in mid-2013 at a local beauty supply)

China Glaze Dancing & Prancing – Holiday 2014
(purchased at Sally Beauty at a deep discount, might have been during 2015 holiday season)

Finger Paints Glisten Here – Winter Wishes Holiday 2014
(purchased along with China Glaze Dancing & Prancing, imagining to do a glitter fade with the two, since their color schemes appeared very similar in the bottles)

xx blueberry milk tea