23 October 2010

Still Painting... ^_^

Hello Lovely Readers!
I'm still painting and all my other stuff! Sadly, the pictures I took of the last couple manis didn't turn out well at all. I'm really sad about that because Sapphire In The Snow and Suzi Says Da! Are both a couple of my favorite colors! =( Sapphire In The Snow is a rich, deep, purple tinged navy with a creme finish and Suzi Says Da! is another creme finish in a shade of rich chocolate, like melted fudge. Both felt perfect for the cooler weather we're finally having!

My current mani is China Glaze Hippie Chic. I felt like wearing this one because so many of the trees by my house have this color dressing their leaves. Not to mention, it's been in my untried section for quite a while!

As I was taking the pictures I was reminded though, that the attack of the dries is well begun. Dry air, dry skin, dry lips (I put on my Clove Burt's Bees lip balm about 50 times today). But I hope you like seeing this color. It's my usual recent routine of a coat of Zoya Anchor, 2 coats of color and the Zoya fast dry drops. I hope you enjoyed seeing this color!

Happy Fall and Happy Scratches!
(mew) carakitty >^. .^<

10 October 2010

Steel-etto and Ick-A-Body

I felt grey so I pulled out one of my old favorites. It's Steel-etto by Revlon. It came out as part of their Dark Pleasures limited edition collection in Fall of 2008. There were two other "Blacker Lacquers" in the collection, all of them shimmery. One was a blackened purple, the other a rich shade of crimson. This was my favorite of the bunch, with it's shimmery charcoal base and barely noticeable blue tones sprinkled throughout.
If you like this shade, it appears that Sally Hansen Xtreme Wear in Gunmetal may be your closest match. Should I pick up a bottle of it for myself to swatch side by side? =)

Then after about four days of wear I noticed the tips looking a bit ragged. My local stores finally got in the China Glaze Awakening collection for Halloween so on my lunch break from classes I dashed over to snatch up my bottle of Ick-A-Body. *happy dance!* I almost got Mummy May I as well, but didn't spring for it because it didn't look quite right to me in the bottles. They looked like the glitter wasn't mixed in the right amounts or something.

I was so excited to have my hot little hands on the reddish orange glittery goodness that I couldn't help myself and swatched it right there in the parking lot! I had to wait until I got home from class to get a picture. This is two coats of old Steel-etto with one coat of China Glaze Ick-A-Body with a flash.
Remember to let the acetone-soaked cotton ball sit on your finger for a few moments before trying to remove this baby because like most glitters removal can be a bear. I really love this color though, I hope to show it to you in all its unlayered glory soon!

In other news, I forgot to mention that I changed up my manicure routine a bit. I am now using Zoya with my other colors. It is working out really well! The change took place starting with the mani of Orly Galaxy Girl, if I recall correct. I'm now using Zoya Anchor as my base coat and topping off with the HurryUp drying drops and no other top coat. I'm not sure if this change is what is allowing my manis to look fresher longer but will keep doing it for now because I am loving the results!

Another thing that's really making me happy is fall is falling here! Today it was gloriously gloomy and drizzly and downright chilly! The high was only in the 50's I believe. My daughter and I went out and got her some new boots with cozy lining and sneakers. I found for myself a pair of black and multi-color stripey mittens with the fingertips that convert to fingerless gloves! They are going to look so cute with my cat hat! =)

Happy Scratches!
(mew) carakitty   >^. .^<

29 September 2010

Red to Brown!

Hello Dear Readers =)

I was in the mood last week for a rich dark red, and Carolyn New York in Brooklyn looked nice in the bottle. So I put on my base coat and the two coats of color but it wasn't as dark on the nail as it was in the bottle.

This picture is with the flash. I decided to use my old picture of this mani because my current picture is completely awful! The finished mani was wonderful until I had to rush out the door to my shift at the animal shelter where it got marred badly but surprisingly wore really well for four days, with the only noticeable damage being tipwear.

I debated for a couple days about "frankening" it with some brown or black to get it to an accurate shade of what it was in the bottle and in my head. I didn't get around to doing that yet, but when I do I think I will do a half batch of black mixed in using Wet n Wild Black Creme and half with brown using OPI Suzi Says Da! Of course, I will do swatching and pictures and posting as soon as I get the chance!

Like I said, this Carolyn New York polish wore really well for four days despite the beating I was giving it. Since I was curious to hopefully see what effect brown would have on the color I had some layering fun. I topped Brooklyn with two thinnish coats of OPI Kris Kringle Makes Me Tingle. It was a Holiday exclusive at Trade Secret a couple years ago. If memory serves correctly, I was grumpy at KKMMT because it was sheer and I needed several coats to achieve the look in the bottle. So, I designated it for the layering crowd. Here is what I got...
This was taken outdoors in full sunlight. For comparison, here's my old original shot. This was taken under artificial light, no flash. I don't exactly remember how many coats it was but I think it was several. Kris Kringle Makes Me Tingle...
That is all for now. I hope you enjoyed seeing my latest nail adventures. Come back soon!

Happy Scratches!
(mew) carakitty   >^. .^<

27 September 2010

Orly Galaxy Girl

I had seen a few swatches of this one posted on my Google Reader feed and really liked what I saw on my screen. When I had a 'Coffee + Color' outing with a gal pal and saw this beauty in person it had to be mine! I told my friend to not let me leave the store without it no matter what! See, I have a tendency to pick up a color that I like and put it back on the shelf and leave, then regret it and kick myself black + blue once I get home. I kept this bottle in my hot little hand but I know my friend would have pulled through for me if I had lost my senses.

Then I was at the mall a couple days later and the MAC sales associate thought I'd gotten my hands on a promo bottle of Formidable. She said that my polish looks exactly like it and I told her that I wish I was on the companies promo lists! But that verbal exchange further cemented my love for this polish. And sadly, my picture does not do it justice at all. 
This lacquer is a beautiful deep plummy eggplant base which has a fuchsia shimmery flash to it at some angles and a teal-aqua flash at other angles. The formula was Orly's usual greatness: thin, so it dried quickly but not so thin that it was streaky or hard to work with. I did a base coat of Zoya Armor, painted on 2 coats of color and finished off with the Zoya Hurry Up Speed Dry Drops. 

16 September 2010

Died and gone to Nail Nirvana

Ever since I first saw it I've had the world's most wicked, undying, unfulfilled lemming for Clarins #230 lacquer. Today I did a combo that reminds me a lot of it, but I like it even better! If that is at all possible!

It is Sally Hansen Complete Salon Manicure in Hidden Treasure over Claire's Magic.

Here is is at a different angle to show more of it's color range...
I might play around with mixing HT and Magic in their own bottle, although I do fear that the lovely HT flakies will get 'lost' when mixed. That's what small bottles are for, I guess! I also want to try to get some better pictures. I 'only' have taken 20 so far and still am not glad with the ones I got.

Sorry for such a short post but I really wanted to share that layering right now!

Happy Scratches!
(mew) carakitty   >^. .^<

13 September 2010

A Few Of My Favorite Things

I love my Seche Vite Fast Dry Top Coat, as mentioned many times before. It is what literally saved me from totally quitting painting my nails due to drying time issues. Being a person with a busy life, as much as I'd love to sit around all night and watch paint dry, I simply can't.

California Mango Mango Mend is my own slice of heaven. I officially became addicted when my friend Myrna gave me a sample when we had a coffee + color meet up at one of our local coffee shops. I had it go missing for a while and was slightly distraught because nothing else I have works so well and smells so good!

Biotin is helping my nails stay in better shape. My left middle fingernail got slammed in the garage door by yours truly and completely fell off a few months ago. Thanks to the Biotin, it is now just as nice as my other tips! If I could remember to take it more often the results would probably be much more noticeable, but I will use my absentmindedness as an excuse to enjoy my next favorite thing...

Dairy products! Calcium and protein to help nails and hair! I put milk or half + half in my morning coffee and evening Chai lattes, spoon down some yogurt as part of breakfast or an afternoon snack, I sprinkle shredded or grated cheese on everything possible, and I know I'm part French because I sure do love my butter! We use only the real stuff when it comes to our dairy. We don't go so far as to do the raw unpasteurized things, but we have the full homogenized milk and half + half delivered weekly and straight butter.

The colors red and purple will always be in my top list. They are the most abundant in my polish stash and I have a couple great lipsticks in those families as well. I am pleased as punch that red and plum are hot this season and fully intend to rock them like nobody's business!

I hope to have some NOTDs to post soon. My pictures haven't turned out half as well as I'd like them to. Opened and cleaned my camera so maybe I'll have better luck next time I shoot my nails. School has been my top priority and finishing the quarter with two B's (Veterinary Science I and Medical Math) and an A (in Office Management) made missing out on some pretty polishing streaks worth it! Now I have a small break and hope to make up for some lost time on here!

Happy Scratches!
(mew) carakitty   >^. .^<

13 August 2010

An apology and somewhat recent NOTD

Hello Dear Readers!

First off, I want to apologize again for the lack of posting and follow-through with the reviews. Things took a turn for the worse with my old cat, and on 4 August, we had Roofus put to sleep. He was suffering too much and there really wasn't anything we could do to really help. This was the most difficult thing I've ever been through. Roofus has been in my family since birth, he was born in my parents laundry room. He never complained or got rough with anyone, even at the very end when we are sure he was hurting so badly. He was such a stoic cat, and fought so bravely. So rest in peace, old friend and we will see you again someday...
Roofus: 23 April 1992 - 4 August 2010

This is the bottle and my nails in direct sunlight.

Here they are indoors. I don't know why my camera didn't focus very well here, but this was the most accurate display of the bottle color so I'm showing you anyway.

Oh well, live and learn. I have the urge to layer with a couple polishes already in my stash to see if that gives the effect that the bottle showed but failed to produce on the nail.

I have at least a couple more NOTDs (Nails of the Day) to show you before I'm caught up and I'm still hoping to do the reviews.

Happy Scratching!
(mew) carakitty >^. .^<

29 July 2010

Still At It...

Hello Dear Readers!

Just wanted to let you know that I'm still out here in the land of the living. Please accept my apologies for the lack of postings lately. It has been crazier than usual around here. Having my oldest cat get very sick, studying for midterms,and general keeping up with day to day life has taken more effort lately. It hasn't been all bad and stressful though!

The first bit of good news is that with the aid of more medication it looks like my cat Roofus will be around for a bit longer, which is wonderful because although I've made peace with the fact that he is really old for a cat (18 years old!) I really wish our happy times here would never end. So in addition to his previous medications there are more pills to keep Roofus's tummy happy, and he is also on a trial run of Subcutaneous Fluids to help keep him hydrated and flushing things out more effectively. He was diagnosed with Hyperthyroidism several years ago and is now in Chronic Renal Failure as well.

The other good news is that my current GPA is an A! I have never had an A average before in my life! I will admit that one of these classes is a re-take, but still, I have never had such motivation in the past with school as I do now.

I am in the process of writing my reviews of the LUSH cosmetics hand creams and hope to have those up for you to read starting within the next seven days. Still have not decided if they will all be lumped together in one post or if each cream will get its own entry. I also hope to add more pages at the top soon, about my usual mani & photography routine and Disclaimers & Disclosures

That is all for now...
Happy Scratching!
(mew) carakitty   >^. .^<

17 July 2010

Wet N Wild: Black Creme

Wet N Wild Black Creme polish and I have had a long time love affair. It has been a constant in my collection for as long as I can remember. I confess to owning multiple bottles of it now because I will often use it to 'franken' new colors and also will layer my glittery, sheer, and shimmery shades over it. This polish has amazing potential for transforming some polishes and is a winner all on its own too!

On most manis I can get it opaque in one coat, but two does it every time. It is a bargain, averaging at 99 cents a bottle here in the USA and it dries pretty quickly too.

Happy Scratching!
(mew) carakitty   >^. .^<

*Disclaimer: These products were purchased by me*

13 July 2010

OPI Here Today ... Aragon Tomorrow

This rich, midnight forest green creme was introduced to us with OPI's La Coleccion De EspaƱa in Fall of 2007. I thought this was a Limited Edition color and was amazed to see it at my local Target just a couple days ago so I gave it a new home. It was the last one of its kind and looked so lonely and sad ;).

NARS was supposed to do a re-release of their cult color "Zulu" and I had planned this mani and review to coincide with that event but NARS has pushed the launch to October now. I haven't heard why they chose to do this yet. I was looking forward to hearing about the formula in the re-release and also hoped to compare OPI Here Today Aragon Tomorrow to Zulu. I don't personally own Zulu yet, but perhaps I'll somehow get my hands on a bottle.

I am liking this more than I thought I would. When I saw swatches in the past I usually thought "so dark might as well just wear plain black" but now on my nails it looks greenish even indoors. There is a very slight shimmer to this color but to see it, claws need to be in bright sunlight. The application on this was not thrilling. The first coat was a little streaky and grainy in texture. The grains smoothed out in the second coat but it can be seen if the tips are viewed when lit from behind. This lacquer is wearing very well for me! I don't know if the Claw Fairy sprinkled some sort of dust or what, but the only thing I'm noticing after the fourth, yes FOURTH day of wearing this mani is some tip wear. This is amazing considering that usually by the second day I've managed to get a chip or two which then results in the mani getting picked and peeled off. I know, bad habit!

For this mani there was the usual coat of CND Stickey, two coats of color, and topped with Seche Vite.

*Disclaimer: These products were purchased by me*

11 July 2010

Lincoln Park at Midnight

Tonight we have a lovely shade of blackened eggplant with a slight shimmer. OPI Lincoln Park at Midnight is part of their classics collection and was featured in a promotion called "Go Deliciously Dark" in Fall of 2008 I believe. The formula on this was reasonable. I did get some streaks when applying but I also made a mess of my cuticles when painting so the Pro-Wide brush was more of the problem causer perhaps rather than the lacquer. It's been a while since I used that fat brush and it takes a couple manis with it to re-learn for me it seems. I used a base of CND Stickey, 2 coats of color, and topped it with Seche Vite.

Here is my sunshine shot. Please pardon the wear! I was crazy busy while my parents were in town and am thankful there were a couple minutes to grab at least this shot before the mani died.

Update on the LUSH hand creme review: I've been slathering on the Helping Hands this week and taking notes in a text document. In a couple days I will start using Handy Guragu and give that a run for its money for a week. Then I will devote some time to Lemony Flutter. In the meantime I will be taking more notes on product performance and polishing!

Happy Scratching!
(mew) carakitty   >^. .^<

*Disclaimer: These products were purchased by me*

06 July 2010

4th of July- Layering Drugstore polishes

Wet and Wild Black Creme and Revlon Firecracker were what I chose for my 4th of July mani. I thought about doing a 'funky french' but then decided my nails still aren't long enough to pull off that look yet. I also thought about tracking down some decals, but didn't have the time to shop, how tragic. So I went with the Black Creme and Firecracker. Black Creme is still widely available. If WnW discontinued this shade there would be a total riot, hands down. It was pretty awesome because I was able to get it opaque in one coat, regardless of the fact I forgot my usual CND Stickey base. The shot which follows was taken in the late afternoon direct sun.

Firecracker has since been discontinued, but there have been many others like it made. Firecracker is a cherry-red jelly base with small red glitter in it. Some similar shades that come to mind are essie Ruby Slippers and China Glaze Ruby Pumps. This next shot was taken in the shade.
Funny how the camera and computer can pick up details our eyes miss in real life. I didn't notice my cuticles were so dried out that day! I did moisturize and drink water earlier but the anti-bacterial soap did me in without my realizing it!

That's all for now. Stay tuned, I have a beautiful purple from OPI coming up soon and a LUSH hand creme showdown is in the process!

Happy Scratching!
(mew) carakitty   >^. .^<

*Disclaimer: These products were purchased by me*

30 June 2010

China Glaze Up All Night

Hello again, readers! I'm so glad I was able to do a rough draft of this review and take my pictures early because this week has been absolutely crazy. I picked up a free bedframe from a friend of mine and moved it into temporary storage all on my own, made an out of the area trip for picking up a hat a friend knitted for me, and another quarter of school started this week too! So, I've been wearing a mani with China Glaze Up All Night and yesterday evening it finally died. It got pretty banged up during the bed moving and I started picking at the dents. "BAD KITTY!" I know, I deserve a slap on the paws =( But, I did take pictures of it before the chaos ensued so, with no further delay, here is my review and a couple pictures for you!

One of my goals with this blog is to feature currently available shades when ever possible. So, in researching Up All Night I was a bit shocked to find it on the China Glaze site listed in the Archives of 2005! Originally released in the Patent Leather collection with quite a wide range of other colors along side it, Up All Night was one of the darkest of the bunch. Thankfully though, China Glaze now also has Up All Night as part of their core collection so if you are lusting after this deep, midnight blue with a slight shimmer, it shouldn't be too hard to find. I've seen it both at Sally Beauty Supply and Ulta.

This is my sunshine shot
Please pardon the ding on the index finger. I didn't realise the paint wasn't completely dry, picked up a book to read to my daughter and BAM! there it was. And the ridges in my middle finger are no fault of the products. That is just the funky growing out parts from the door damage.

Here is a shot with indirect light
Both of these were taken in the morning, in my bathroom. I hope you enjoyed seeing Up All Night, because this mani is now dead! I'm now trying to think of something dark yet patriotic to do for this weekend. Then I will do a celebratory theme, because it's my daughter's birthday on the 6th. =)

Happy Scratching!
(mew) carakitty   >^. .^<

*Disclaimer: The bottle of China Glaze Up All Night was obtained through a swap. The remainder of products were purchased by me*

25 June 2010

Revlon Vixen

Revlon's Vixen has been a must-have in my polish collection since the mid 90s. So basically, the start of time in my nail painting world ;) This deep burgundy wine creme is certainly vampy but also sexy and sophisticated. This is one of my only colors which has been used up more than once! It feels right when worn with conservative clothes or the more alternative fashions.

For this application I used one generous coat of CND Stickey as a base, two coats of color, and the amazing Seche Vite fast dry fast top coat to finish things off. At the last moment, I mattified the ring finger with essie Matte About You top coat.

Thank you for reading, my lovelies, and for bearing  with me as I work out the kinks of taking good pictures and growing out my wounded middle finger. If enough interest is expressed in the story of how it happened, a post may be made- gory pictures and all!

Happy Scratching!
(mew) carakitty   >^. .^<

*Disclaimer: These products were purchased by me*

22 June 2010

The Claws Are Now Unsheathed

Hello readers, and welcome to my blog! My name is Cara, AKA carakitty, and one of my loves is collecting nail polish. I first got really attracted to it in 2007. Up until then I had maybe 15 colors at the most. Now... I won't confess ;) My nails have been mostly on the short side, and are almost always painted with something. They are especially short right now, partly due to an unfortunate incident the left middle finger had with the garage door this Spring. My favorite color families are reds and purples, mid tones to darks or 'vampies' especially. I plan to focus on reviewing darker shades and post at least once a week, with a current picture if possible. I have many from my personal archives which will more than likely pop up as well.

I will leave you tonight with one of my favorite tips: There is no such thing as too many lotions or creams! Find your 'Holy Grail' moisturizer, the one you could not live with out and start hoarding tiny pots from other product purchases. Fill those little babies up with your beloved and stash them everywhere! I've personally grown fond of those little black jars which LUSH gives their samples in. I have little lotion jars in my purse, at my bedside table, my computer desk, the center console of my car, at the 'message center' in my kitchen.... If you have the lotion everywhere, when you notice your cuticles are getting a bit dried out and crusty you can nip it in the bud. If I don't have my things easily accessible, I forget to use them!

Happy Scratching!
(mew) carakitty   >^. .^<