Friday, January 27, 2012

[NOTD] - P2 forever

For some reason I'm not a huge fan of the P2 polishes. They're okay in terms of formula, application, colour range and the price (€1,55) is great, but I just can't get excited about them.

Still, I use them occasionally when I feel like wearing a cream in some muted greyish colour. Yesterday I chose P2 color victim -  690 Forever.

On the nail it comes out somewhere between a very muted berry an and antique pink with a lot of greyish undertones. It's much lighter in the bottle and I must admit I was a bit disappointed when I first bought it. It's still a nice colour though.

The formula is a bit thick and it's hard to achieve a really thin coat. One slightly thicker coat is entirely sufficient for opacity however, I used two to deepen the colour. Unfortunately my topcoat doesn't seem to like it and I got a bit of shrinkage. *pouts* Doesn't matter though, P2 never lasts more than two days anyway.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Color Club & Douglas Absolute Nails Reviews

First of all, it seems I acquired my first readers *excited*  A very warm welcome to you and I hope very much you enjoy this little blog!

I haven't posted much this week because I was wrapped up in writing a term paper. Finally finished it yesterday! You have no idea just how relieved I am. Unfortunately, exams start in just over a week, so no rest for the wicked.
Nevertheless I had time to do my nails, twice even. I only had a few moments for pictures however, so there's only one for the first polish and none for the second.

The first polish I want to present today is from Color Club's 2011 autumn collection Back to Boho. I posted about finding one of the sets at TK Maxx and I decided to try the one that immediately stood out:

This beauty is Color Club 922 Nouveau Vintage. It's got a dark brown-red base and is filled with densely packed green/copper shimmer.

Price & availability: Limited unfortunately, but I've seen it on ebay. No idea if you can still get it elsewhere and what it would cost.

Formula & application: The formula is a dream - definitely not too thick for me - despite the dense shimmer. The first coat is very streaky, the second makes it perfect. I'd say the final result looks like a foil.

Wear & tear: lasted for 5 days with only some tipwear, even though I did unspeakable things to it.

The best of it is the colour however. Depending on the light it takes on a variety of colours between olive green, bronze, copper, brown with shimmer, antique gold and probably a bunch more. By playing around with matte topcoats or a bit of polish remover, the colour can be transformed into something else again. Very versatile! Unfortunately, I neither had time nor light to capture it's beauty, this was the best I could manage:
1 coat of P2 Perfect Nail Hardener
2 coats of Color Club 922 Nouveai Vintage
1 coat of Essie Good to Go
Ringfinger: P2 Matte Victim Topcoat

My second review is going to be quick, as I have no pictures to show. I replaced Nouveau Vintage with Sara by Douglas Absolute Nails:
This is a white with fine golden shimmer. In the bottle it looks very delicate and feminine, unfortunately I didn't like it at all. White definitely does not suit me. I wore it only for a day and then used it as a base for watermarbling experiments. (I'm getting there! Maybe next time I'll have something worth showing!)

Price & availability: 4,95€ in a Doulgas store or online shop.

Formula & application: The formula was a pain. It's quite thin and watery and I felt like I needed crazy precision skills to apply it. The first coat was very streaky and sheer, the second was less streaky but still sheer, the third was mostly smooth... and still not fully opaque. That was 3 thin coats. Three thicker coats were opaque, but looked, well, thick. I don't like bulky nails. I think a bit of sheerness was nice, but unfortunately this meant more visible streaks. Needless to say, I wasn't happy with this.

Wear & tear: I wore it for less than two days. On the first I got a small chip and something that might have been tipwear and might have been shrinkage, not sure. Oh and it turned slightly yellowish on the tips of a few nails.

On the whole - not my colour, not my polish. I hope the other two Douglas polishes I have fare better.

Friday, January 13, 2012

[NOTD] - Rosé shimmer

I'm was the mood for something simple and elegant today after almost a week of grey (Cocktail Bling lasted most of Thursday too!) sand I decided to use a sheer pale pink. That was a bit too boring however, so I added pink shimmer to spice things up. I really like the way it looks, but it was absurdly hard to get a picture where the pink actually stood out proper. I think I took some 50 photos, below are the best of them.

I used KIKO 211 French Candy Pink and Essence Feels So Good aka the love topcoat.

1 coat P2 Perfect Nail! Hardener
1 coat KIKO 211 French Candy Pink
1 coat Essence Feels So Good
1 coat Essie Good To Go

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Shopping mania

Naturally, besides work and uni, I'm busily spending my hard-earned money. Instead of saving it like a good girl. I need to find some way to get a grip on my (mild, I swear!) shopping addiction. Not having any ready money to spend is a good temporary deterrent, but not a solution.
I tried withdrawing only the small amounts I need for the cantine and such. Didn't work. I tried leaving my cards at home. Didn't work. Any suggestions?

Anyway way. Stuff I bought. Much more interesting topic.

On Saturday, while still enamoured with shiny flakies and sparkles I went to look for a very deep dark blue, creme or with minimal shimmer and to sound out the duochrome options in the regular shops before I turn to ordering online (very unsatisfactory).

I ended up getting Lara from Douglas Absolute Nails (11ml for 4,95€), a very dark royal blue with blue shimmer. I have read so many conflicting opinions about Douglas's polishes, I decided to give them another try. It was also the only polish in the colour I was looking for that didn't cost 10€+, so my decision was easy. Still, I now have three and I'm going leave it at that until I've tried them myself properly.

And since I was in a blue mood, I also grabbed the Anny mini-set Blue Ocean - Miami Beach (3 x 6ml for 9,95€). I think it was a limited edition available last summer, one of the Douglas shops in Bonn still has a bunch, together with the similar autumn trio Havana Meets Miami (I was tempted, but ultimately they're not my colours).
Picture of four nail polishes: Douglas Absolute Nails Lara, Anny Blue Ocean - Miami Beachset

And yesterday, I just happened to pass a TK Maxx... *cough* My first Color Club polishes! The brand is not available in Germany, so I was very happy to find it. Apart from this set from the Back to Boho Collection, there were also some sets from the Foiled and the All About French Collections, all for just 9€. I've no idea, what the regular price for these is, but at 1,50€ (I'm not counting the top-coat) per bottle, I can't complain.
Picture a set of seven polishes from the Back to Boho LE from Color Club

I also saw 3 different and somewhat randomly combined sets of OPI polishes, apparently from some Texas themed collection. I was very tempted but... reason won. Especially since I always only liked one of the two polishes in all three sets.

I'm not going to hurry with swatches of these, since they are all from past collections. They'll have to wait until I order more nail tips. Looks like I'll need to get 2 packs at once, with the backlog I'm building...

Essie - Cocktail Bling Review

I tested my first Essie polish polish this week and, barring some tiny problems that are more my fault, I'm very satisfied.

Unfortunately, I didn't have an opportunity to take a picture during daytime, flash & photoshop will have to do. The polish colour is almost true to life (on my screen at least), even though my skin looks way off.

I used Essie's Cocktail Bling, a beautiful cool grey creme from the winter 2011 LE by the same name:

1 coat P2 Perfect Nail! Hardener + 2 coats Essie Cocktail Bling + 1 coat Essie Good To Go

Price & availability
7,95€ in Germany, currently only available in Douglas.

Formula & application
The formula is lovely, not too thick, not too thin. The colour is opaque after just one (thick) coat if you're careful. I wasn't, so I needed two. My biggest problem was the brush. It's just a midge too wide and flat and I found it very hard to judge how much polish is on it - I rarely have to dip again because I don't have enough, here I needed to do so with practically every nail. Still, I think it's something I can get used to and since I plan on buying many more Essie polishes, I'm sure I will. My application ended up somewhat uneven, but the topcoat took care of that.

Now, I have to say that polishes very, very rarely survive more than one day on my nails. I don't know why - maybe I'm using the wrong basecoat, maybe it's the topcoat or maybe just my nails, but practically everything starts chipping after 24 hours at the very latest. If they last 2 days without major wear, I'll be giving them top ratings. And nothing ever survives my retail job. Ever. Cocktail Bling lasted two full days before a tiny bit on the left thumb flaked off. I repaired the area and also another small bit that went when washing my hair. I did my nails on Sunday afternoon, it's Wednesday evening now and apart from those two chips I barely even have any tipwear. Not even on my right hand, which is usually the first to go. And... not even a scratch after an afternoon in the shop. I'm amazed. Stunned. In love. This is so totally worth every cent I paid for it. It's just... great.
I'll be taking it off now because I want another colour, but I'm sure it could last a fourth day easily. If all the Essie polishes are like that, they just gained a huge fan.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

[NOTD] - A variety of sequins

Today's nails are a bit messy because I actually only wanted to try out some different layerings but ended up liking them so much I did both hands. By the time I finished it was late night (or rather early morning) and I didn't feel like cleaning up.

The not-so-secret star is the KIKO Sparkle Touch - 270 Aqua Sequins, a topcoat with lots of opalescent hexagonal half-transparent flakies. I'm not sure flakies is the right term, they do actually look like sequins.
It's currently discounted - I got it for 1,50€. I believe it's supposed to leave the permanent range.

The flakies are in a transparent base and take on an amazing variety of colours, from pink to green to turquoise, silver and even a bit of gold - unfortunately only in the bottle. Depending on the colours you use them on, they can look absolutely stunning or lose all their vibrancy and make your nails just look spotted. The pink never actually makes an appearance and the colours that dominate on the nail are blue and turquoise, which is why I decided to try it over black and blues/greens.

The light wasn't very good and I still haven't figured out how to take proper close-ups which means the pictures are nowhere near what they should be, but I hope I managed to get the basic impression across. The colours are somewhat exaggerated - they are a bit more subtle in reality. I used Essie Good To Go over them all (another new acquisition and I can only say - I'm in love!)

Right hand:
From left to right:
1 coat of black Franken + 1 coat of Essence 76 hard to resist + 2 coats KIKO 270
2 coats of Essence 77 in style + 2 coats of KIKO 270
Black Franken + 2 coats of KIKO 270
Black Franken + Essence re-mix your style LE 01 Feels So Good*
Another view:

Left hand:
Black Franken + Essence special effect topper 01 it's purplicious
Black Franken + 2 coats of KIKO 270
Artdeco Ceramic Nail Lacquer 121 + 2 coats of KIKO 270
2 coats of Essence 76 hard to resist + 2 coats of KIKO 270

And another:

Personally, I think it looks best with black or a very dark, deep blue. I didn't have a blue darker than Hard to resist (this has been remedied - I bought Lara from Douglas Absolute Nails earlier today) so I had to try and get it dark with a black base. In the pictures it looks looks brighter than it actually is.

I did have some problems with KIKO 270. Apart from the already mentioned incompatibility with many colours, there's also the pink-silver side of it. In the bottle it looks lovely. On the nails, the pink, as I said, is not visible. Except when, at a certain light angle all the flakies turn a pinkish silver - on any coloured base it looks like the natural nail colour is shining through, which makes the mani look... pitted, for lack of a better word.

Also, the flakies are not very densely packed and they are very clingy - they love to hug the the sides of the bottle or the bruch or each other, but when the times come to transfer to the nail, they seem inexplicably reluctant. This makes it very hard to get a satisfying amount of them and spread it evenly - I always needed at least two coats.

On the whole, I think it's a lovely topcoat that can produce gorgeous results but isn't as versatile as one might think (or wish) and that has its difficulties in application. Still, it's certainly worth the 1,50 Euros I paid for it.

*The Feels So Good topcoat is amazing. I haven't seen it mentioned much compared to the other popular polish from the LE, the Waking Up in Vegas flakies, and it's a pity. It's an absolutely gorgeous dense silver-pink shimmer that looks stunning over anything with a hint of pink, red, purple or, like here, over black. I've seen it floating around in the discout-boxes and I'd recommend picking it up if you haven't yet.If you're in Cologne - Ihr Platz in the main station still has bunches of them.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Shopping mania

I went out on two small shopping forays in the last two days and, apart from a present for my Mum and a new vanity mirror (with a height adjustable frame, yay! No more ingenious contraptions to raise the mirror to my eye level. Why did I wait so long to get it?) for myself, somehow a bunch of nail products ended up my shopping basket. No idea how it happened, really.


Ich war gestern und heute recht spontan und planlos einkauf und, Wunder über Wunder, es landeten einige Nagelsachen in meinem Körbchen. Neben einem Geschenk für meine Mutter und einem höhenverstellbaren Schminkspiegel (wieso hab ich mir das Ding nicht früher gekauft? Was hab ich mich mit meinem alten Teil ohne hohen Standfuß abgemüht...).

Das kam mit:
Kiko - 250 Hot Pink
Kiko - 270 Sparkle Touch Aqua Sequins
Kiko - 233 Sparkle Touch Beige Glitter

Essence special effect topper - 01 it's purplicious
Essence Vampire's Love LE - Gold Old Buffy
P2 - 052 goodnight kiss

Catrice - 470 Snow Motion!
Catrice - 120 Plum Play With Me
Catrice - 660 I'm A Star...

The three Kiko polishes are supposedly they are being discontinued. They've been in the discounted part of the display for months - looks like Kiko isn't in any hurrry to get rid of them.

As for Catrice, I wanted to get look at all the colours slotted to be discontinued in February before the aisle is picked clean and in the end I choose these three. The white only because I simply didn't have a pure white creme yet.

Die drei Kikolacke sind schon seit Ewigkeiten reduziert, sollen wohl das Sortiment verlassen, allerdings scheint Kiko sich dabei etwas Zeit zu lassen.

Die Catricelacke habe ich vor allem in Hinblick auf die baldige Sortimentumstellung gekauft. Habe mir alle gehenden Lacke raus geschrieben und heute in der Stadt ausgiebig angeschaut. Bei den meisten kann ich auch verstehen warum sie gehen. Habe am Ende nur drei genommen, Snow Motion! auch nur, weil sich sonst kein reines Weiß mit Cremefinish habe und es schon öfter vermisst hatte.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

[NOTD] - The Dawn Is Broken with sponged tips

I actually wanted to try water marbling, but after the sixth attempt didn't work I gave up and decided to try sponging instead. I kinda like the results although there are a number of things I'll do differently the next time.

It's not very visible in the pictures but I have a matte topcoat over the grey base on all but the middle finger (no topcoat) and the thumb (glossy finish topcoat). It was left from the previous mani and since the lacquer was still perfectly fine, I didn't want to repaint it entirely.


Eigentlich wollte ich ja das Marmorieren üben, habe aber nach dem sechsten misslungenem Versuch aufgegeben und mich stattdessen an sponging gewagt. Insgesamt mag ich's ganz gerne, werde aber beim nächsten mal einiges anders machen.

In den Bildern sieht man's schlecht - Ich habe auf dem kleinen, dem Ring- und dem Zeigefinger einen matten und auf dem Daumen einen glänzenden Topcoat über dem grauen Lack. Kommt noch von der vorgestrigen Mani und da der Lack noch keine Macken hatte wollte ich ihn nicht abmachen.

Daylight, clouded

Managed to catch the 5 minutes of sun we had today.

Polishes used:
Essence Vampire's Love LE - 04. The Dawn is Broken
OPI - NL K08. The One That Got Away
Essence Vampire's Love LE - 03. True Love (tips)
Essence re-mix your style LE - 01. Feels So Good

I like The Dawn Is Broken best without any topcoats. The fine glitter particles in it produce a nice, slightly rough texture which very interesting to the touch.

I mag The Dawn Is Broken am liebsten ganz ohne Topcoat. Der hat so eine schöne, leicht raue Oberfläche durch den feinen schwarzen Glitter, die sich seltsam angenehm anfühlt.

Collection - January 2012 / Sammlung

I'd like to start this year with a short summary of my fledgling collection.
My nail polish obsession started only a few months ago and for now I have mostly restricted myself to brands readily available in Germany. Or maybe I should say readily available for an acceptable price. OPI is also available, but I'll be dammed if I pay 16 € for it!

Before September I only had a handful of polishes, most of them at least 8 years old. Most had dried out... I've only kept a few and have converted some into (more or less successful) Frankens.

This is what it looks like now:


Kleiner Überblick über meine putzige kleine Sammlung zu Beginn des neuen Jahres.

Angefangen habe ich damit erst im September und hab mich zum großen Teil erstmal auf gängige Marken beschränkt - die, die es zu einem vernünftigen Preis gibt versteht sich. OPI gibt's ja auch... aber da zahl ich keine 16 Euronen für.

Davor hatte ich nur eine Handvoll alter, zum großen Teil ausgetrockneter Lacke. Von den Paar, die ich behalten habe wurden einige (mehr oder weniger erfolgreich) in Franken konvertiert. Das muss ich aber noch üben.

Und so schaut's im Moment aus:

From the front:
1st row - OPI, Essie, Douglas Absolute Nails, Mavala, BeYu, Artdeco
2nd row: Catrice & Essence
3rd row: Kiko, P2
4th row: cheap stuff - Fairdwind, Glamline, H&M, Aldi
last row: old (Manhattan, Jade, Chicogo, Astor) & Frankens

After I started painting every even vaguely suitable surface around me to try out the colours, I ordered a bunch of these Nail Tips. And lo, it was love on first sight! Great stuff!

The pictures aren't very good - especially the dark colours look prety much the same. I'll have to figure out some better way and place to take pics.
Still, you can more or less see what colours I already have and what range I'm still missing. So far, I haven't been overly daring and have restricted myself to colours I know I'll like, which is why so many of them are quite similar (though with two exception I have no dupes).


Nachdem ich angefangen hab alle glatten weißen Plastikoberflächen und mich herum zu bepinseln und die Farben nebeneinander sehen zu können habe ich mir gleich ein Packen von den Nail Tips bestellt und was soll ich sagen. Es war Liebe auf den ersten Blick *schmacht*.

Die Bilder sind nicht besonders - besonders die dunklen Farben sehen alle irgendwie gleich auch, da muss ich noch dran arbeiten. Trotzdem kann man so ungefähr erkennen was ich hab, und vor allem wo die Lücken sind.

Ich hab mich noch nicht so ganz getraut und hab mich auf meine Lieblingsfarben beschränkt. Deswegen habe ich sehr viele sehr ähnliche Farben (aber mit zwei Ausnahmen noch keine Dupes!)

Reds and Purples

Greens and Blues

Anything that is neutral enough to pass as nude.
Some look a tad too dark to count, but it's my lack of picture taking skills, not the colours themselves.

It'll be interesting to see how this will look like a few months hence. I've already run out of nail tips and will be ordering some more as soon as I get paid :D


Ich bin sehr darauf gespannt wie das ganze in Zukunft aussehen wird. Die erste Packung Nail Tips habe ich schon verbraucht, mit dem nächsten Gehalt werden gleich welche nachbestellt!

An alle, die sich hierhin verirren - wie sieht das mit dem zweisprachigen Text aus? Soll ich dabei bleiben oder vielleicht besser nur auf Englisch schreiben? Bei den Büchern bleibe ich bei nur-Englisch (außer ich will ein deutschsprachiges Buch besprechen) weil ich ja eh zu 95% auf Englisch lese. Aber bei den Lacken bin ich mir nicht sicher.