Archive for top coat

A butterLONDON fairy tale

Posted in Original Posts Archive with tags , , , , , , on February 4, 2012 by clairesayswhat

Once upon a time, a girl was pressed for time and decided she needed to do her nails right that very instant. But alas, she was away from her own home and didn’t have the customary supplies. So of course she traipsed on over to the local Ulta in hopes of finding just the right polishes.

She looked high and low, at brands old and new until she happened upon a curious new product. Verily, she had seen it before, but this time the price was right and well, it’s always fun to try something new! And just look at the crow in the crown, the butterfly and gorgeous flowers and pretty jewels….how could our heroine resist?

Image by clairesayswhat

Indeed, she held onto the nifty box for a few weeks, unable to bear throwing it away. But on to the task at hand! She tried the Nail Foundation first and found it to be an extraordinary name for an equally extraordinary product! The girl could scarcely believe her eyes when it quickly dried to a miraculously smooth, satin, semi-opaque finish! It was somehow eerily alike her own skin color, too. But she was most pleased that it smelled so nice (much less offensive and even quite pleasant compared to other brands) and made the application of polish a sheer dream. She now loves this product so much that she won’t consider using anything else!

Finally, she came to the end of her journey and applied the Hardware top coat. While not quite as good as the Nail Foundation (it must be noted that it caused a bit of dragging at the nail bed), she still found it to be a quite good top coat in comparison to many others. The consistency reminded her of treacle and spread across the nail nicely, drying with an almost silicon-like finish. Seche still wins the race for our heroine, but the Hardware put up a good fight and will be used occasionally. She thinks it will make a great top coat for glitters, but that will be another tale for another day.

Before this tale is done, though, our heroine would also deign to mention a few more notable features of these products:

  • The bottles are a large size at 0.6 oz., which makes them a full 0.1 oz. larger than most other similar products. A superb value indeed!
  • Due to the tallness of the bottles, the brush is also thankfully long enough to reach to the bottom so none of this wonderful product will go to waste. The brush is quite sturdy as well and didn’t impede application in any manner whatsoever.
  • Although quite minor, our heroine also appreciates the twee little crown that is stamped atop the bottle cap that you will see once the outside black cap is removed. It’s the little things, eh?

And so this tale ends happily because a a most wondrous new product was discovered and the nail polish realm rejoiced!

The end.


“Tina!…Bring me the axe!!!”

Posted in Original Posts Archive with tags , , , , , on July 15, 2011 by clairesayswhat

I’m going to apologize up front in case this gets long winded, and it most likely will. If you’re not in the mood for rambling tonight, then you should probably just skip this entry. Don’t say I didn’t warn you if you decide to keep reading past this point…..(or just scroll down to the CUE the Polish Review section)

Tonight, the water is out at my complex due to a nearby water main break that happened on Wednesday (why this is just now causing water pressures problems is beyond me) so I had to run to Walgreens to get some bottled water, baby wipes and baby oil. Which sounds odd, but I had decided to try some Nads wax strips I bought a couple weeks ago on my legs and rather than removing the hair, the wax just stuck to my leg! WTF? Some wet wipes I have for my face mostly did the job, but there’s still some residue. Hence the baby oil to take care of that and the baby wipes for hand washing. THEN, I came home and gave the cats some cold water from my Evian bottle (yeah, you read that right…I promise they don’t always drink imported French water. Usually they drink out of the toilet even though I provide them with a bowl of yummy tap water, but as I said, the water ain’t workin ’round these parts, folks), and one of them proceeded to run into the bowl and spill it all over the floor! Seriously!! And they’ve never even done that before. My efforts to spoil them with fancy cold water were, sadly, in vain. So yeah…I’m a little irritated at the moment!

Not to mention that before all this happened I was already frustrated with my Deborah Lippmann polish and starting to feel a little like Joan Crawford…err, Faye Dunaway (aren’t they really one and the same now, anyway) in the scene from Mommie Dearest when she screams at Christina to bring her the axe so she can chop down that ugly, offensive,  good for nothing shrub.

Yup, just like that. So now I’m watching Daria in an attempt to assuage my frustration. But you’re really here to read about nail polish, and since that is ostensibly what this blog is about, the show must go on, ladies and queens!

CUE the Polish Review: I ordered my Deborah Lippmann polish from HSN because they were selling things in sets and made me feel like I was sort of getting two-for-one (even though, for the price, this was totally not the case). First, I chose the Simply Beautiful Nail Care Set that includes the Turn Back Time Rejuvenating Base Coat and On a Clear Day High-Gloss Top Coat. I was pleased with the base coat overall. It’s a nice, benign, neutral color and applies well. The brush is nicely flexible, too. I was pleased with the brushes of all the polishes….until one of the bristles came out when I was applying the top coat. Again, not cool for the price point!

Speaking of that top coat, I am not pleased with it whatsoever. I experienced bubbles both times I used it, although fewer the second time after I used some of the tips I found at this Lacquerized blog entry from last year. Since I ended up with less bubbles the second time, I thought, okay, I’ll give this top coat another chance. Until it had been on for over 45 minutes and I went to put on my shoes to make that Walgreens run, and it smudged BIG TIME. Like, the worst smudge I’ve ever experienced. Crazy! So I think I’m done with it.

Now, as for the polish colors I ordered, they are part of the Lippmann Collection that is exclusive to HSN I think. I’m not entirely sure if the formula is different from the other Lippmann polishes, but I’m guessing so. I tried Daytripper first which is a coral shade. It applied nicely but the top coat caused so many bubbles that I removed the whole shebang as soon as I got home from work today. Then I tried P.Y.T. (Pretty Young Thing) which is a semi-sheer pink-ish shade that’s more 1980s peaches and cream than anything else. I would’ve stuck with it, though, had it not been for the world’s biggest smudge. Scroll down for images of these two colors. I had to post them separately since HSN is now sold out of that set. Oh, and did I mention how these two shades came in a MINI set? Yeah, I wasn’t too happy about that since they appear full size on the HSN site. Perhaps I should’ve checked the ounce size and compared first. Also, the colors were quite a bit different than what I saw on my monitor. Even though I expected that to be somewhat the case, this whole experience has only served to remind me why I typically avoid ordering nail polish off the Internet.

Basically, for the price I paid for all of these, I am less than impressed. I think I’ve decided to return them to HSN, get my money back, and head to Nordstrom for a future Deborah Lippmann purchases. It’s unfair to judge the brand as a whole when some of the product I ordered may be an alternate formula, so I’ll have to give Deborah Lippmann another chance in the future. Phew! I need a strong,  Joan Crawford-style cocktail now!




Deborah Lippmann polish preview

Posted in Original Posts Archive with tags , , on July 14, 2011 by clairesayswhat

Photos by clairesayswhat

Look, y’all! My Deborah Lippmann polishes arrived from HSN today! The two colors came as a min set and are P.Y.T. (Pretty Young Thing), left, and Daytripper (right). The full-size bottles also came as a set and are the Turn Back Time rejuvenating base coat, left, and On A Clear Day high-gloss top coat, right. How could I resist that top coat named after a Barbra song, right? Okay, so she didn’t sing it first, but still. I have to say, naming nail polish after songs as Deborah Lippmann does is absolutely genius marketing because it gets gals like to me to buy, buy, buy!

Daytripper is drying on my nails as I type, and I will post reviews and more info on all of these Lippmann products tomorrow. I couldn’t wait to give a preview, though!

The Top Coat Chronicles, Part 1

Posted in Original Posts Archive with tags , , on July 12, 2011 by clairesayswhat

So I found out fairly early on in my nail polish obsession that not all top coats are created equal! Call it a mini obsession, if you will, but I’m on a quest to find the best top coat of them all. The Top Coat Chronicles will be an on-going series detailing a variety of brands that I’ve tried in my search for the ideal top coat.

Image from Ricky's online

First, let me just say that I do LOVE Seche Vite. I also love Ricky’s. Oh, how I wish we had Ricky’s down here in Texas. But alas, they are only in NYC and surrounding areas. Every time I go to NYC I literally set aside money for trips to Ricky’s because they have that much cool stuff. Sure, they’re online now, thank goodness, but the experience just isn’t the same if I’m not on 23rd Street….

When I first tried Seche Vite after reading about it in, I think, a feature in In Style magazine, I was literally in heaven! Here was the top coat of my dreams! Yes, it costs $10, but this was in the early days of painting my nails, and I would soon get over paying that much for nail polish. Of course, once I made it halfway down the bottle, I discovered the downside to the good stuff. The major problem with Seche Vite is that it gets thicker the more you use it (that’s what she said…ha! Sorry, I couldn’t resist!). Which is such a disappointment because it really is great stuff. It self-levels so nicely, gives any polish an out of this world shine, resists chipping, AND makes any mani last longer. Oh, and it dries quickly, too, and doesn’t smudge. But it’s like some weird chemical reaction between oxygen and Seche Vite takes place inside the bottle and makes it go all goopy. And it doesn’t help that the brush doesn’t reach to the bottom of the bottle, so trying to get the goop out at this stage becomes a hassle and a half.

Now, I know that Seche makes the Seche Restore drops for just this issue, but this is part of why I continue to hunt for other top coats. Because if something already costs $10, I’m just not too keen on spending more $$ to return it to it’s original state. Why can’t they just improve the forumla, is what I’d like to know. I should probably just order this professional kit from Amazon that looks like it includes a ginormous bottle of Seche Vite and a tip for squeezing it into the smaller bottle! $20 seems a reasonable price for something like this. I’ll check Sally next time I’m there to see if they have it and pick up a bottle of the Restore drops because, of course, I want to try them out to review. See how I rationalized that purchase so nicely?  Until next time…the search continues!