01 September 2012

August Claws- Blue, Pale Grey, Pink

According to the clock, it's already September but I'm still awake so my brain doesn't think so! Are you like that too, not counting it a new day until you've gone to sleep and woken up again? On to the last of my August Claws.

I did China Glaze "Blue Sparrow" for the 4th. It would have been one of my brother's 49th birthday, if he hadn't passed away from Leukemia. I wanted to do a cool color that he'd approve of. I think he would have liked this neon electric blue shade. It has aqua glitter suspended in it's slightly jelly-like base. It dries matte and is top coat hungry. I used my Revlon top coat before applying Poshe and that worked really well. Normally I end up doing extra top coats, and this time I didn't need to do anything else.
In the sun with one of my brother's favorite drinks, wearing China Glaze "Blue Sparrow".
China Glaze "Blue Sparrow" with Indirect light
Next I felt like doing something pale. The one that called out to me this time was "Sheer Your Toys" by OPI. This polish was not sheer, despite it's name. It is a shimmery pale dove grey with very subtle reddish copper flecks in it. There is also a bit of even more subtle pink shimmer too.
OPI "Sheer Your Toys" with Flash
OPI "Sheer Your Toys" in the sunshine
The month ended with pink claws! Orly "Sterling Silver Rose" is a bright mid-tone pink with a slightly frosty silver finish. It had the desire to be difficult and show every brush stroke at times but submitted nicely to me in the end ;)
Orly "Sterling Silver Rose" in the shade
Orly "Sterling Silver Rose", soaking up the sun!
I'm not sure what will be going on my claws after this. I may let them go colorless for a bit to test the new treatments I got. Good night and welcome to September!

Happy Scratches!
carakitty   >^. .^<

31 August 2012

August Claws- Jade Frost and Anastasia

It's late here so I want to keep this post as short as possible but I don't want to put it off any more because it won't be August much longer!

I haven't been painting as much lately. My gel nails got removed because I didn't get to having them filled in time and they just started popping off one night as Mr. Kitty and I were watching an evening Rockies game.

So now I'm in recovery mode and today went out and bought a bottle of Instant Artificials and Gelous, to see if either of those will be helpful in my manicure routine.

As for the colors, there were a couple that I tried and they didn't last long enough for me to get a picture! They were an old Wet N Wild polish called "Jade Frost" and Zoya "Anastasia". Jade Frost is a frosty sage green. It was bountiful on brush stroke issues but it's still quite pretty. I wore it a long time ago, and these are the really old shots I took of it. These were from when I was a nail newbie and at the time had basic nail care down pretty well but didn't know jack about effective clean up!
26 October 2007! Taken at night with artificial light.
Morning sunlight
Zoya describes "Anastasia" as "A warm brown with strong purple tones with golden plum duochrome and heavy gold microglitter. Magical and versatile for sparkling fall beauty" I agree with the color being magical and versatile, and I see the gold microglitter in the bottle and on the nail. To me it is much more plum than brown though.

Well, well, what do you know? I do have old pictures of "Anastasia" hiding on my hard drive, also! These are from September of 2008. Both in the morning sun light but in different poses to show the color shift. The gold doesn't seem to show up as well in these shots but it is there, in real life!
Old Zoya Anastasia, morning light
Old Zoya Anastasia, morning light
I have no idea what happened to my recent "Anastasia" mani to make it die so quick. It never really dried completely. If the nails bumped into something they'd get a big dent and then I could make the polish just slide right off! If memory serves me correctly, back then I was using Seche Vite as my top coat but this time I used Poshe so I have a strong suspicion that there's some chemical incompatibility going on here. All Lacquered Up and Loodie Loodie Loodie have some great posts about this, which I will have to look up later.

That's all I have for now. There are three more colors I really want to show you but I just don't have it in me right now, sorry. I'm falling asleep at the keyboard here and the Labor Day weekend hasn't started, yet! I do promise to be back very soon to spam you nice, so please do come back!

Happy Scratches!
carakitty   >^. .^<

12 July 2012

Chloe + Grey, Blue-Ming, Galapa-Ghost

I have lots of pictures for you today! I am trying to make up for the fact that the sun didn't come out like I had hoped it would before I changed my color again. I did get a couple decent shots of the Zoya Chloe over salon grey though. I forgot to use my quick dry top coat and ended up with sheet marks. Care to join me in a big "BOO!"? Other than that, I was pretty pleased. The final color was a greyed-out mauve base with the color shifting flakes. I'm looking forward to trying many other combinations with Chloe in the future!

This first shot was taken at night with my on-camera flash.
Here is what it looked like in the overcast afternoon light.

Next I wore OPI "The Flowers Are Blue-Ming" which is a lovely shimmering royal sapphire blue with scattered tiny holographic glitter. It was released as part of the ULTA Summer 2012 Exclusive collection, "Too Haute To Handle". There is a good comparison to some Nicole by OPI shades over at Frazzle and Anipolish. I'm thankful for people who take the time to hunt down these twins ans show us side by side how they look!

That shot was taken at night with flash and it shows all the pretty shimmers and glitters the best! Apologies for the cropped off pinky finger, that one seems to have a mind of it's own. TFAB-M is also quite beautiful in the shade and indoor lighting as well.  Here is a look of it in late morning indirect light.
Sadly, I seem to have picked up some sort of sinus bug from my recent travels and this color was just too much for my stuffy head to handle so I took it off. I was worried that there would be staining because I forgot to use base coat, but it was good to go. The texture of this also changed from when it was freshly applied. The day after it got duller and bumpy, but that may be from the lack of base coat. Are there any nail tech reading this who can tell us if UV Gel tips should be used with a base coat or not?

To cleanse my palette and give wiggle room for layering possibilities I chose OPI "Galapa-Ghost" which was originally released in the South America collection in 2002. As a side note, I had forgotten that another one of my favorites, Dulce De Leche, was also part of this set. It is my favorite color when I do Mannequin Hands or just plain don't know what to wear! Let's get back to Galapa-Ghost, shall we? It is an ivory shade with a creme texture and has a slightly sheer or jelly finish. I used 2 coats originally but had to add a 3rd coat in the morning and it was completely opaque by then. This color would possibly work well for an American manicure tip. This is how it looked last night (oops, before cleaning up, sorry!) with the flash.
Here it is this morning in the sun...
... and with indirect light.
Now we're all caught up with my claws! I need to force myself out of this chair now for some meds to unclog my head, and do some housework. Ta ta for now!

Happy Scratches!
carakitty   >^. .^<

08 July 2012

Zoya Lotus, Gel Tips

I couldn't wait to wear Zoya Lotus! It is a beautiful dusty lilac with golden pink shimmer. I was really happy with how well it wore also. I had it on for four days before it started getting chippy and I only took it off because I got gel tips put on for my brother's wedding.
The last time I had tips put on was probably close to 15 years ago. I was a little nervous about getting them done because there was a miscommunication regarding which service I wanted, originally, but I am overall happy with the end result. And without further ado, meet my new claws!
I'm still not quite used to them yet. They feel so long! I do plan on keeping them on for a while, so when I go for the fill they will need to be trimmed down. The nail place I got them done at doesn't have locations where I currently am, so the hunt for a new salon is in the works!

Last night I added some Zoya Chloe on top of the pale grey. Today it has been really overcast, on the verge of raining again, and I have pictures but am waiting to post to see if the sun will pop out for a bit so the details of these beautiful flakies will show up better. It almost looks like there's opals on my nails!
Farewell for now and...
Happy Scratches!
carakitty   >^. .^<

27 June 2012

OPI Shatter The Scales

Some people are tired of the shatter/ crackle/ textured trend, but I still rock it! I really like how it turns out different every time, the antique feel it can give to a mani, and seeing how different brands react. This time I wore OPI "Shatter The Scales" and it is my first OPI crackle polish. I love the color on it's own and wanted to emphasize it, so I just applied it right over my OPI Ridge Filling base coat.
The only shot I got of this was on my cell phone.
I found the OPI trickier to work with than the China Glaze and Sally Hansen crackles. I think the secret to this one is to apply it in thinner coats. I also plan to try it with a nude or sheer pink base instead of just the actual base coat to see if that helps too.

We're still working on getting the yard looking better and as a result my claws are looking worse! I don't think I'll have time to do my false tips before I leave for my trip. Time to research which nail goodies can be brought in which bags!

Happy Scratches!
carakitty   >^. .^<

23 June 2012

OPI Metallic 4 Life

This is OPI "Metallic 4 Life" from the recent collaboration OPI did with Nicki Minaj. I have no idea who she is, but I liked the colors of the collection. I thought I had dupes of most of them already but my heart was still a little sad about the nasty black with silver glitter that I got from Hot Topic ages ago so I got this one. I am not saddened by M4L in the least! In fact, I like it much more than I expected. The glitter is really jam-packed into this one! It is all silver in a variety of sizes and not too chunky for my liking. The black base is of a somewhat jelly consistency and is sheer on the first coat but nearly completely opaque with the second coat.
My pose was already in full sun, but the flash went off regardless. My skin is washed out but the color of the polish is still accurate. I decided to bring out the macro lens to play and got some decent shots of the glitter. Please, click on the picture and treat yourself to seeing all this glittery bountifulness in larger than life mode! I love macro!
 Here is a bottle shot. This was taken with no flash and indirect sunlight.
I have been wanting to do a trial run of DIY false tips because I want to have length when I go to see my brother get re-married on the 4th of July. This weekend though, we are going to be very busy with weeding in the yard and washing the dog so it will have to wait. When I can get around to them, I will share! I might even be lucky enough to have someone offer to get me a salon mani, although the thought of it makes me kind of nervous.

Happy Scratches!
carakitty   >^. .^<

19 June 2012

Revlon "Royal" and Color Club "Limelight"

On 8 June I put on Revlon "Royal" which is a bright, squishy, royal blue. The first coat was pretty streaky for me but when I shook up the bottle some more and let the bubbles settle out it applied better for the second coat. The pigmentation seems to need a little help to disperse evenly but it is such a lovely shade and it's worth the little bit of extra effort!
Next was a neon. Color Club "Limelight" made my camera freak out! I'm not sure if it was the pure brightness of it, or because I accidentally put on my old lens for the pictures, but my Rebel couldn't seem to focus correctly. Next time I'll try manual mode. Like most neons, "Limelight" dried matte. It also was a little bit  thin and streaky but worked out well as I built up coats. I used 2 coats over OPI Ridge Filler and topped with Poshe quick dry top coat which is my usual routine these days.

Happy Scratches!
carakitty   >^. .^<

18 June 2012

From 5 June- Zoya "Yummy" and "Kara"

These two colors I've worn before, but a very long time ago. I decided I was in the mood for some bright colors again so Zoya "Yummy" got put on my tips and Zoya "Kara" got put on my toes.

I first wore these in 2008. "Kara" was recieved in a swap. The makers describe it as a "Bright, clean orangey-coral with a hint of pink in a pigmented creme base. A cheerful and flattering shade for any skin tone, great for summer." Perfect description, in my opinion, and I certainly can see myself keeping this on my little piggies for quite a long time!
I bought "Yummy" on my own, when the "Candy" collection was originally released. Again, Zoya is spot-on with their description of the shade by saying "Bright, cheerful light robin's egg blue in a milky creme finish. A sweet sky-blue that pops on both deep and pale skin tones."

That's all for now, stay tuned for more fun colors!
Happy Scratches!
carakitty   >^. .^<

13 June 2012

From the Claw-Set: May 2012

Yesterday we took my Precious to the airport for his business trip, and in the evening it was the Kitten's softball practice, so, another busy day but thankfully not as crazy as the weekend was! Here is what I did with my claws in May...

I started off with my franken "Dove".
Then it was Zoya "Juno".

Followed by OPI "Nantucket Mist".
And finished up with a tribute to the crest of Dinger, mascot of the Colorado Rockies.
The base color is Orly "Charged Up" and the dots are Orly "Lemonade", Zoya "Yummy", OPI "Don't Be Koi With Me", Revlon "Gumdrop", Revlon "White On White", and my franken "Forest".

We are all done peeking into the Claw-Set for now! Next will be catching up with the manis of June. Thanks for stopping by and hope to see you soon...

 Happy Scratches!
carakitty   >^. .^<

11 June 2012

From the Claw-Set: April 2012

Well, hello there, Monday! You sure popped up quick! What a busy weekend it was! Yesterday I completed my first bike race, most of Saturday was spend enjoying baseball with my Precious and our Kitten, and Friday I picked up my pre-registeration packet for my race but it was nearly an hours drive away so that ate up the whole afternoon and most of the evening too. Yay traffic! :p

So if you were waiting with baited breath for the April claws, my apologies, and wait no more!

I started off the month with OPI "Pink-Ing of You" on my tips and China Glaze "For Audrey" on my toes.

Next it was Orly "Charged Up" on my tips.

I then felt like another pale shade so I wore my favorite neutral, OPI "Dulce de Leche", and pardon the mess. For some reason my Poshe quick dry top coat did a really strange shrinking job on this mani. *insert very puzzled expression here*

Lastly, I tried out the Sally Hansen Salon Effects Real Nail Polish Strips in "Fly With Me". Do you think they could have thought of any possible longer name?!

You see that "Lasts Up To 10 Days" on there? Yeah, for me, these things only lasted maybe two days. =( Apparently I didn't press the strips down hard enough around the edges and they started lifting up after one day. I pressed them down again and put on some top coat to try sealing them down better but to no avail. I have another box that I'm going to try, when my claws even out their length again. They keep breaking.

And that's it for now! I hope you enjoyed seeing these colors, and that you'll come back soon!

 Happy Scratches!
carakitty   >^. .^<

07 June 2012

From The Claw-Set: March 2012

Hello again my lovelies! Now I present you with not the Ides of March, but the Claws of March! Another slow month for coloring the claws. I only did it three times.

First I put on OPI "Catherine the Grape" From the Russian Collection of 2007. In the bottle it seems to lean more purple and when on the nail, burgundy tones come out more. I think that OPI did a really great job of matching the name with the color this time. It really does remind me of a grape on the vine and as in a glass for wine (YUM YUM)!
Next I put on Nicole by OPI "Green Up Your Act!" again. I saw the Rescue Beauty Lounge release of the Fan Collection and Halcyon really caught my eye. I hoped I'd be able to recreate it on my own so I put on the NOPI and queried my wise beauties over at the Makeup Alley Nail Board for suggestions on how to recreate this pretty little thing.
In the end I decided to try adding Pure Ice "First Love" and while it turned out pretty, it wasn't an exact replica of the RBL polish. I liked the multi-chrome effect so much that I kept it on for a good two or three days which feels like a really long time for me! Here's a couple shots to show the different color shifts it made.
Stay tuned for the Claw-Set installments of April and May and then the real fun will start up again!
Happy Scratches!
carakitty   >^. .^<

06 June 2012

From the Claw-Set: Feb 2012

February was a pretty slow nail month. I did a total of four mani's the whole month. My first two mani's turned out so horrid that I will not show you the pictures I took of them.

The first one was an unlabeled black creme with silver micro-glitter from Hot Topic. It was thick and clumpy. The lid is ultra tiny, like something off a model paint jar and it was very hard to hold. I ended up taking the polish and pouring it into a new bottle with some nail polish thinner in attempts to salvage it because I like the black with silver color scheme.

My next polish was Wet n Wild "Black Creme," which I've featured here before. I didn't bother to clean up, and took only one picture of it just for prosperity's sake I guess.

Valentine's Day and my wedding anniversary are a week apart so I celebrated those with essie "Wrapped In Rubies". I wish the gold micro-shimmer showed up on the nail like it did in the bottle. Perhaps a thin coat of Orly "Sugar" on top would give the same effect?
My last for February was Zoya "Tama" and oh, how I love my Zoya! The formula is thin but easy to work with and they make such pretty colors! Tama is a bright glowing cool-toned pink with lots of shimmer.
Soon I will be bringing you the Claws of March!
Happy Scratches!
carakitty   >^. .^<

05 June 2012

From the Claw-Set: January 2012

Hello my lovelies! I apologize for my absence. I went back to school for a quarter and was really trying to succeed this time. Unfortunately, I've learned that my school just isn't compatible with the way my brain learns, and what life throws at me in general. So, I won't be going back to that school but I haven't given up on getting a Veterinary Technician degree and certification. It's just on hold for a little while, again.

I haven't been posting, but still took pictures of nearly all the mani's I've done in the mean time. So the next few posts will be featuring these mani's from my "Claw-Set", which is much more fun than simply calling them "Archives", right?

Here's January! First, I made another Frankenpolish. I actually dreamed this up for my dear friend M, who is my official local coffee shop and nail stuff haul buddy. The last time we went out, we stopped into Ross and saw some interesting Cosmetic Art polishes. She wondered how they'd look together and I promised I'd play with them when I got the chance. This is what I came up with:
The dusty greyed lilac and flakies are the Cosmetics Arts polishes and I put in some Revlon "Facets of Fuchsia" as well. I need to play with this some more. I think it needs to be brighter and have more purple to live up to it's "Twilight Sparkle" name I gave it.

Next I did Rimmel "Blue Bird" and I really wish they'd bring back these exact polishes. I love the bottle shape, size of brush, the formula, drying time, geeze almost everything about this line!
Then I did China Glaze "Ruby Pumps" which is one of the greatest reds out there! It has a nice squishy cherry red jelly base and ruby red glitter which glistens in the most jewel like way. Check out that bottle too. It's so cute and little and tiny and it just makes me want to squeal! It comes in a full size too which I will get my hands on, eventually.

The last of January was Rimmel "Zietgiest" which is probably my most favorite multi-chrome of all time. It flashes purple, bronze, golden-green, and fuchsia. It's impossible to get all of it's awesomeness in one shot, so here's a trio of images attempting to show off the best of it.
I hope you enjoyed the January claws! I have a lot more free time on my hands now, so stay tuned for the upcoming installments of the rest of my early 2012 claws and the current ones to come!

Happy Scratches,
carakitty >^. .^<

01 January 2012

Happy New Year Spam! *PIC HEAVY*

Happy New Year, dear readers!

I apologize for falling so far behind with sharing my manis with you. I hope you don't mind a spamfest. At least there's no calories to be gained here! =)

First one up is from Thanksgiving. I wore Revlon Top Speed in "Mistletoe".
The first color of December was OPI "Sapphire in the Snow"
Then I added OPI "Merry Midnight" on top.
After those came off I chose to wear one of my frankenpolishes, a light grey which I named "Dove".

Then I did the layering thing again, with China Glaze "Snowglobe" on top.
Christmas Eve and Christmas day found more China Glaze on my tips! This time it was "Jolly Holly" with an accent layer of "Cleopatra".
Last but not least, here is my most recent mani! I rang in the new year with "Blue Year's Eve" from China Glaze.
I hope you enjoyed seeing my recent colors. I got tagged by Nailzilla in her blog so I will be answering that soon!

Until then...
Happy Scratches!
carakitty   >^. .^<