Thursday, March 29, 2012

China Glaze Agro

This manicure started out as the lovely golden olive Agro from China Glaze's Capital Colors line. The formula on Agro is smooth and extremely well pigmented and dries fast- what else did you expect from China Glaze?  It's a very similar color to Butter London Wallis I think.  Wallis might be just a tad more goldish.

I wore it alone for a day then stamped over it on day 2 with a design from Bundlemonster plate M73 with my Sally Hansen Color Quick pen in Gold chrome.

Have you seen The Hunger Games yet?  I was able to catch it Saturday afternoon and thought it was awesome!

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Pretty Woman taupe magnetix

My nails are back to nubs.  I had a little bit of splitting and broke the corner off a nail so I decided to just shorten all of them.  One good thing about having shorter nails is stamping plates and magnetic poilshes work better on this length.

I bought this polish a couple months ago and wasn't sure if I liked the color.  It's not really something I'd normally wear but after I got it on I decided I liked it a little more than I expected.

The polish is a creamy taupe in the bottle, but after its magnetized it takes on a chocolate color for the stripes.  I applied 2 coats and the formula was good.  I didn't really care for the brush - it's way too short and quite uncomfortable to hold.  It comes with 2 separate magnets (one wavy and one straight) embedded in a silicone holder with finger cut outs.  I didn't really like the magnets either, so I ended up using the magnet from my Icing magnetic polishes.  Wear is average, I had some tiny chips and tip wear on day 2.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Really late Girl On Fire nails

Are you guys tired of seeing Hunger Games nails yet? I'm sure you are, but I decided to share mine with you guys anyway. Especially since it's been like 6 years between each of my posts... I figured I might as well get SOMETHING up for you :)

This was done by sponging orange and yellow all over then freehanding the black with acrylic paint. Pretty simple, but my flames look a little more ... abstract? than everyone else's. Haha.

Are you guys going to see the movie? I will be seeing it twice! My work is taking my department to go see it tomorrow (yes, really... I get PAID to see this movie...) and I'm also going with the BF on Sunday, as we made plans earlier to see it and he's looking forward to it too :)

Hope you all have a great weekend!

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Nail Art: Polka Dot Birdies

What's this?! Amanda's actually posting something?! I'm just as surprised as you are! Still trying to find the time to keep up with the blog in my new schedule, but I think I'm getting better at it. And I'm learning some neat things at work that I can incorporate into the blog too!

I don't know what it is about me and bird nail art, because this is the second or third time I've done something with birds. I just think the images that I look off of are so cute and they translate really well into nail art. But oh well, because I think it came out pretty well. I only wish I'd used acrylic paints instead of polishes. I didn't want to take the time to mix out the colors in acrylic paint. You'd think after whipping my butt in to shape for a 40 hour week my laziness would be gone....but nope! ^_^

The base of this is Orly Pure Porcelain. It's a good off white color, but the color is a little streaky so I find myself having to use pretty thick coats. Then I just freehanded the birdies and polka dots on with polish :)

Hope you all had a great weekend. The bf and I went to the Black Keys concert in downtown Indy on Friday night, and it was AWESOME. They throw a really great show, so I'd definitely recommend any of you guys that like them to go in the future. :)

Saturday, March 17, 2012

St. Patrick's Day mani

I have been having trouble getting motivated to do my nails lately and have been busy trying to get prepared to start my new job and Amanda has found herself so busy with work that she comes home exhausted every night.  We hope you will bear with us as we struggle to keep the blog going during this busy time in our lives.

I knew I wanted to do a green St. Patrick's Day mani but wasn't up for nail art or a complicated design.  As I was looking over my collection of green polishes I couldn't decide between my 2 favorite green shades.   Both happen to be Zoya - Ivanka and Verushka.  So I decided to use both!

The lovely Verushka is featured here with Ivanka as a highlight nail.  I used 2 coats of Verushka just for full coverage but it really covers pretty well in one coat.  Ivanka is a bit more sheer, requiring 3 thick coats to achieve this level of opacity.  Both are fabulous formulas, go on smooth, dry fast and just look stunning.  Hope you enjoy today's mani.

Friday, March 16, 2012

BH cosmetics review

I consider myself to be a pretty reasonable person.  I understand that there are things beyond a company's control, especially in regard to supply and demand.  But I have to share my disappointment with my recent order from BH cosmetics.

I ordered 4 items on 2/24/12.  I got a timely email confirmation of my order and a day later, a shipping confirmation.  I was so excited to get my products, because I've heard so much about their quality and great customer service.

So imagine my surprise when my coveted package arrives on 3/1/12 and I open it to find it 2 items short along with a "sorry your item is out of stock" note.  A note?  Really?  You couldn't have informed me when I placed the order that 2 of the items I ordered were out of stock ?  Or when you confirmed that "my order was shipped" - you couldn't notify me then?  I have to find out a week and a half later when I open the package and realize half of it is missing?  Where I was previously eager to try my products, now I was just... mad.  And it's not even because 2 of my items are backordered.  I understand that things like that happen.  It's because they made no effort to inform me prior to shipping.  I feel like I was misled.

Am I unreasonable in thinking that I should have been notified IN WRITING when I placed my order that half of it was backordered and given the option at that time to wait for a new supply or cancel my order?  That's just good customer service.  To be honest - I feel as if BH Cosmetics couldn't be bothered and simply didn't care that they inconvenienced me.

I tweeted them my displeasure - and got the same regurgitated  "sorry for your inconvenience, we'll ship your items soon" dismissal.  I sent an email via their "contact us" link on the website and got no response.. no response... no response...  FINALLY I checked my spam folder and saw that my email had bounced as being undeliverable March 8.  The email was sent March 1 VIA THEIR WEBSITE!

Fast forward to a week later.  I received a package via USPS - no indication that such package had ever shipped, no tracking number, etc. Just SURPRISE! the rest of your shipment is here!   I opened the package to find ONE of the two items that were backordered (I ordered 2 of the same item).  Color me very displeased at this point.  I called to inform them of the mistake and got a recording that customer service hours were 10am-5pm PST.  So you're telling me I have no way to contact you till 1:00 PM eastern?  RIDICULOUS! I did finally manage to find an email address on the website for support which - in their defense - was promptly and politely responded to and I was assured the 2nd palette would be going out in that day's mail.  It was at this point that I actually OPENED the palette to find that one of the shadows was busted.  Sure, it was only one out of 120, I could just fix it.  But at this point it was more the principle of the matter of keeping me waiting then the product arriving broken.

I contacted them again.  Again they apologized and said they would get a replacement palette out in the mail.  And I did get a tracking number for this third shipment.  Three days later the new shipment arrives.  And there are 2 busted shadows in one of them and one in the other.  (sigh)  At this point I'm just tired of screwing with it.  I'm not even blaming BH cosmetics for the broken shadows.  They were packed very securely and I'm sure it's hard to send something like that through the mail to have it arrive completely intact.
What is my overall experience with BH cosmetics?

Order fulfillment and shipping - F   I expected them to acknowledge that yes - I should have been notified of the status of my backordered items PRIOR to receiving the first shipment.  I expected - AT THE LEAST - to be informed when the second backordered package had shipped. I expected my 2nd shipment to be complete.  Three broken palettes that might have been broken prior to shipping and might have been damaged in shipping - I just don't know the answer to that one.

Customer service - C   I expected to be able to reach someone at the company by telephone during usual and customary business hours.  I was able to reach them via email and they were pleasant enough when I finally did get in touch with them.

Quality of product - B-   I have tried a few of the colors and find that it's hit or miss on the pigmentation.  Some  have really great color payoff - others you have to really pack the color on to be able to see it.  And the wear isn't very good.  Even with a primer I had to reapply the color to retain the level of intensity a couple times throughout the day.  But what do you expect for $20?  Overall I'm pleased with the product.

Color selection - A   No brainer here.  Every color you could ever want or need in this palette except neutrals and those are available in a separate palette.

I would say overall my experience would rate a C with this company.  And because of the bad experience I had with them, I doubt I will be purchasing from them again.  

And that makes me sad.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Green stripes

Today's mani is just a simple green stripe pattern for St. Patrick's Day.  I started with one of my favorite greens - Sally Hansen Grass Slipper.   I like the formula on this one.  It flows and levels well and the pigmentation is good with no streaking or dragging.  But it stains your nails REALLY badly so you might want to double up on your base coat before wearing this.

The stripes are done with a striping brush and Zoya Verushka and acrylic paint.  Looks kind of a like a watermelon doesn't it?

Oh, and some exciting news!   I got a job!!!  I've been looking since I relocated to Boston 3 months ago and am really happy with the place I found.  It's going to be SO nice to have money again!  Bye bye no buy!!! :-))))

Monday, March 12, 2012

St Patrick's Day funky french

Today's mani is a mint green funky french in honor of St. Patrick's Day.  My base color was 2 coats of Sally Hansen Green Tea, which is a slightly dusty mint green.  This one can be problematic, and I did notice a little bit of dragging and streaking during the first coat which (mostly) improved on the second coat.  I did still have a little bare spot on my index finger, which I chose to leave alone with just a topcoat rather than adding a third coat of color.  (You know how sometimes the more you overwork something the more noticeable the mistake becomes?) 

I taped off my tips and added Zoya Verushka.  Verushka is a simply gorgeous forest green matte polish with little flecks in it.  I really wanted the contrast of the matte tips with the glossy base, so I did not apply a topcoat over this step. 

Then I tried out the nail striping tape I got from Dollar Nail Art.  The tape comes with a slightly sticky back, but I wasn't sure it was enough to hold it down so I applied a thin coat of a slow drying topcoat to the back and pressed it onto the nail. After you apply it you use cuticle nippers to trim the tape to fit the nail (please be careful with this step as nippers are very sharp and I actually took a tiny bit of nail off the sides of couple fingers!) 

 Have any of you ever used nail striping tape before?  Keep reading for my experience with it...

Elegant isn't it?  I just loved how this looked.   Below is a pic of what it looked like before I applied the tape.

And here is Green Tea by itself

So shortly after I applied the tape I noticed the ends lifting.  So I took a tiny bit of SV and applied it under the ends to stick it back down.  No Bueno - it wouldn't hold.  So I decided to bite the bullet and go ahead and just topcoat over the entire mani and headed to the beach for lunch.   You would think the topcoat would seal the tape in...  Nope.  the tape continued to pull up at the ends on several fingers throughout the day.  I wore this mani about 5 hours and it looked like this...

I could not wait to get home and remove it.  So sad - I really liked this one too!  So what is your experience with striping tape?

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Pink Wednesday - Wicked Roses

Hi girls. Sorry for neglecting you lately. Still trying to get in the swing of this work thing. I swear, I get up at 6am, go to work for 8 hours, come home, have about 4 hours to myself, go to bed, then do it all again. There's not enough hours in the day to do my nails and blog :(

Anywho, I finally found some time to sit down and do my nails last night (yay!). I used China Glaze Wicked Style as my base....which is definitely not this orangey-red. Wicked Style is much more of a berry pink color in real life, but of course it has to be a nuisance and throw off the color balance of my camera. And of course I'm too much of a noob to know how to alter the just pretend, mmkay?

I wanted to do some sort of quick nail art over top of this so I could still have some time to myself. I decided on Konading, but the design and polish I picked smeared together so I decided to do some freehand roses. I've tried this once before, and they didn't come out too well. This one looked funky at first, but after I painted the leaves on I think it really came together. The roses are made with Revlon Candy, Essie French Affair, and Zoya Erika. The leaves are China Glaze Starboard with China Glaze Entourage for the highlights. I finished with one coat of China Glaze Fairy Dust (duh) and a coat of Seche Vite and voila!

I'm actually liking the way this came out, considering I was kind of hurrying myself along. And I actually did it on all ten nails...shocking! I can't get away with only doing one now that I have to actually go in public and talk to real live people ;)

Hope you are all having a happy hump day! Only two days til the weekend (it's weird that I have to count down to it again now after being unemployed for so long....ha ha)!!

Friday, March 2, 2012

Brownstone bling!

Hi guys, happy Friday :)

Today I'm showing you a blingalicious mani that I did over the weekend. I wish I had something newer to post, but my first week at my full time job has been killing me. I'm soooo tired :P

This is two coats of China Glaze Brownstone (I love this color, yadda yadda, you've all heard it before...) and three coats of Sally Hansen Golden Ticket on the ring fingers.

I liked this one! It was so simple but nice and flashy and eye-catching at the same time :) I'm sorry I don't have more to say, I'm kind of brain fried by now. But I hope you all have a great weekend! :)