Thursday, June 28, 2012

KISS: Stars and Hearts Cheeky Plates Mani

Hey lovely ladies,

Today I have some very simple, well for me, nail art.  Occasionally, I burn out on my designs.  This happens when I've been doing super intricate or complicated mani's in repetition.  That's when I take a step back and return to what turned me from a regular lacquer lover into a hardcore polish prisoner.  Shoot these days I'm so into polish might as well call me the warden round these parts lol! But today  I'm returning to simplicity i.e. KISS and my initial love - stamping.

I started with Color Club's Chelsea Girl.  Chelsea Girl IMO is the most dubious jelly polish I've run across to date.  The formula is terrible - gooey, streaky, and a bit of a PITA to apply, but once you get it on you've got color pay off for days!  Actually if the color wasn't so rich I'd have gotten rid of this polish long ago because of the troublesome application.  I'm wearing between 3-4 coats here due to the humpy bumpy finish of this polish.  I stamped these nails using China Glaze Millennium and Konad Special Polish in White and Pastel Blue using Cheeky Plate CH26.  My accent nail was painted with 2 coats of Color Club's Age of Aquarius, a delicious Tiffany's blue that applied like a dream.  I then topped it with All That Glitter's Hole Hearted and Elemental Styles Unuseptium (117).

Cheeky Plates Stars and Glitter Jelly Mani

Speaking again on the formula of Chelsea Girl it split and cracked on one of my nails as I was laying it down. I have to admit this is not an easy polish to work with much to my disappointment given the vibrancy of the color.

Cheeky Plates Stars and Glitter Jelly Mani
I have to admit the first time I used Hole-Hearted in was a real problem getting the stars out but this time many were coming out on the brush each time making the placement easier. My featured drink here is a Green Tea Frappacino - yum!

Cheeky Plates Stars and Glitter Jelly Mani
Up-close I can see all my tiny mistakes how brutal! Lol!

What do you ladies think? Sometimes it's nice to do something easy and straightforward like this.  Of course I still needed a bit of bling to feel "me", but overall I enjoyed this quite a bit.
Song Stuck in My Head: Titanium by David Guetta feat Sia.  It's like punch drunk dancing! I love the message of feeling strong no matter how many shots are taken at you.  Plus Sia is a woman after my own heart.  She's got a voice like a bolt of lightening! Anyway thanks for reading and toodles.
Tuesday, June 26, 2012

The Relevation of Elevation....Polish, That Is

Hey polished prisoners,

Get ready for some serious polish smackdown!  I have been sitting on my Elevation Polish order for a few weeks now.  Mainly because I wasn't sure which to start with first and secondly because I have so many untrieds these days that I need to to try and get through some of them so I seem less insane for acquiring so many polishes at once.  If you haven't heard of Elevation these polishes are amazing! Check them out on I Dig Brown Polish.  The creator Lulu has some of the most coveted polishes in the indie polish sphere.  So of course I couldn't pick one when I set down do do my manicure.  I got the idea for a braided fishtail manicure from Nails Like Lace and then added my own geometric accents. The result was a braided fishtail manicure featuring Owen, Ubsunar, Pata on the Back, and Aurora with Essie's Mojito Madness and Sonoma Nail Art's Russian River Glitter accents.

Elevation Polish
Bling Bling...gleam!
Now let's talk formula!  Pata On The Back and Ubsunar were 5 star wonders both in density and intensity of formula and ease of application.  This was also true for Essie's Mojito Madness, a lime green cream that was opaque in gasp one freaking coat! Essie has been killing me with their spring and summer collections this year and I am super impressed!  I wanted Owen and Aurora to have the same formula as Pata On the Back and Ubsunar, however maybe it was because of the density of the shimmer, but they were much thicker and a bit more difficult to apply since the polish dried rapidly.  They reminded me a bit of working with crackle polish i.e. the need to be quick and concise, but the simmer in these two made it well worth the effort so 4 out of 5 stars.  As an accent I used Sonoma Nail Art's Russian River, which went beautifully with Mojito Madness, it also gets 5 stars for formula and ease of application.  Finally, I used my LA Colors Nail Art stripper in gold glitter to add a geometric twist. What do you ladies think?

Elevaation Polish
This fishtail took me 3 hours.  I used Color Club Dry Ice to speed the drying process and my beloved Poshe Fast Drying Top Coat.

It was exceedingly difficult to capture the hue of Owen but I finally got it!

Elevation PolishElevation Polish Sonoma Nail Art Polish

Elevation Polish
All this sparkle makes me happy!

Elevation Polish
Just seeing what I could do with the Elevations makes me eager to try other combos of the fish tail!

This is probably one of my favorite nail art manicure's to date! It looks so intricate and yet simple simultaneously and trust me that is tough to pull off.  Plus look at all that shimmer from the Elevation Polishes, and the yumminess of Mojito Madness combined with Russian River!  There wasn't one polish I didn't love here!  I cannot wait till the next Elevation restock, but let me give you some good news.  Fingers Polish Mania is doing a giveaway of Elevation's 180 degrees collection - here! Ugh of course I entered since getting my hands on Lulu's amazing polishes is no mean feat, but you should likewise enter too as the colors of this collection are amazing - see them here.  Will you be entering? Do you have any favorites in the collection or must have Elevations? I do - everything lol!  Thanks for reading and toodles!
Sunday, June 24, 2012

Essie's Action: Summer Skittles Makes Lacquerista's Happy

Hey lacquer lovers,

Friday was quite the productive shopping spree for me.  All drama aside, I got my virtual hands on some lovely HARE polish pre-orders! I'd been lemming these polishes for so long I was so happy to see the shop open again and can't wait to receive my polishes! So now I'm in the mood to celebrate with a fun and funky mani  Recently The Nailsaurus posted a look that has been plaguing me since I saw it - the Sandy Skittle.  To say it was exquisite would be an understatement.  She took one color and put her spin on it in 5 different ways.  I wanted to do the same but not necessarily in the same way so here's my translation using Essie's Action, a bright orange jelly polish released for their Poppy Razzi Neon Collection.

Nail Art Key
Thumb - Tiger print freehanded with Kiss Nail Art Striper in Black.
Index - Microbeads of multicolors.
Middle - Jelly sandwich comprised of two alternating layers of each polish using Lush Lacquer's Lite Brite and topped with Essie's Matte About You.
Ring - Leopard print french tip freehanded with Orly Liquid Vinyl and Kiss Nail Art Gold Glitter. CND Effects Gold Shimmer is also over the base coat.
Pinkie - Gradient using China Glaze Harvest Moon stamped with cG passion using  BM20 (Series 1)

Summer Neon Skittle Mani
Can you say jelly? Lol! I haven't been this impressed with a neon orange polish since Color Club's Wham Pow!

Summer Neon Skittle Mani
Isn't the mattified sandwich here so juicy looking? The more I look at Action the more I realize I need absolutely every color from the Poppy Razz Collection. I'm only missing Bazooka so game on!

Close-up's of Lush Lacquer's Lite Brite

Lush Lacquer Lite Brite
Lush Lacquer Lite Brite

Summer Neon Skittle Mani
The microbeading on this gave me so much trouble. It's my first time using them in this manner but jeez it was quite a bit of work to get them placed properly.
Summer Neon Skittle Mani
Ultimately, I'm happy with how things turned out.  It's like a small jungle in here :)

This is definitely funky and not for the faint of heart!  My favorite nail is the matte jelly sandwich closely followed by the glitter leopard.  This was fun albeit time consuming. The final result is so upbeat this would be perfect for a night out. What do you ladies think? If you are interested in Lite Brite and other amazing glitterbombs find you can find Lush Lacquer on Etsy.

Song stuck in my head today: Nighttiming by Coconut Records. All about cheating hearts minus the angst - lol.

Anyhoo, thanks for reading and toodles!
Thursday, June 21, 2012

Darling Diva Polish Bazinga! Jelly Leopard Manicure

Hey lovely ladies,

Lately the indie polish world has erupted with some serious drama that has left me feeling a bit unhappy and bummed out.  I'm a big supporter of these independent lacqueristas, but I can't stand drama at all.  The first sign of trouble and I'm out! So I was feeling a bit down and wanted to create something playful, lighthearted, and easy to lift my spirits a bit.  Enter leopard print and DDP's Bazinga! Bazinga! is a creamy white jelly polish loaded with multi-colored hexes small round and bar glitter.  It is yummy and reminds me of candy, ice-cream, and all things sweet!  I used Essie's Marshmellow, a squishy white jelly, as the base and then used three layers of Banzinga! to reach opacity.  I probably could have done it in two but I wanted to make sure I didn't have any VNL like I did with my last mani.  I used a more subdued color, Essie's In Stitches, for the base of my leopard print.  It's a very rich deep colored rose creme polish that is opaque in 2 coats.  The leopard pattern was freehanded with China Glaze's Passion and Orly's Liquid Vinyl.  Check out the final results below.

Darling Diva Polish Leopard Manicure
See what I meant about the Banzinga! just being layers and layers of milk and sprinkles? I really love this effect of jelly finish polishes!

Darling Diva Polish Bazinga!
Bottle shot of Bazinga! It looks like melted ice-cream with tons of sprinkles.  Yum!

Darling Diva Polish Leopard Manicure
This is a picture I took before I started adding the leopard print - indoor lighting.  You can see how In Stitches adds a bit more somberness to the festive quality of Banzinga!
Darling Diva Polish Leopard Manicure
I think the extra metallic quality of CG Passion that I used for the leopard spots really added a 3rd dimension to this manicure and really made the pattern pop.

Darling Diva Polish Leopard Manicure
Quote on DDP labels: "The Prettiest Girls are the Happiest Girls.  Be Happy! I love that!

I really like how this turned out and can't stop looking through all the layers of Bazinga! to see the glitters underneath all the jelly base!  I think polishes like this are so fun and easy to wear.  You just layer it up and it's instant art by itself.  Also because Banzinga! is so packed full of glitter I didn't have to do any fishing at all just strategic placement of the glitters as I added layers.  While I don't enjoy the drama behind the indie scene these days I will always be a fan of innovative and unique polishes, and I'm so glad I've had the opportunity to buy so many awesome polishes!  If you're interested in Bazinga! or want to see more Darling Diva Polish you can find her shop here on Etsy.  The seller is super sweet, super responsive to emails, and always happy to set up custom listings. 

Theme Song of the Moment: Ruin by Cat Power.  All about traveling, heading home, and complaining when you have lots and others have nothing.  I like this song because a) it's utterly dancible, b) it makes me grateful for what I have and gratitude can keep you balanced when other things are falling apart and c) because it's Cat Power and she hasn't released an album since 2006's The Greatest.

Thanks so much for reading and I'll see you next time.  Toodles!

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Lush Lacquer & Elemental Styles Jelly Sandwich

Hey polished prisoners,

I don't know about you but these days I'm starving for jelly! Luckily I have just the right indie polish "fixings" to whip up a very lady-like sandwich. Yum, yum, yum! But to make a good sandwich you need some great glitters and I chose two awesome ones.  The first is Elemental Styles Xenon: Warrior Princess (50), a matte glitter polish consisting of magenta, white and dark pink small sized glitter. It has zero element of sparkle and all my love! Xenon gets a 10 for formula and ease of application - it's a winner all around. I also chose to use one of my newest Lush Lacquer polishes.  Chubby Checker is gorgeous pastel pink glitter with loads of ultrafine holographic shimmer and small black and white squares, hexes and round glitter. Chubby gets a 8 for formula because it's a sinker.  It's nothing that ten minutes upside down and a few shakes of the bottle can't fix, but I disliked how quickly the settling reasserted itself.  Nevertheless the sparkle on this bad boy was fierce so 8/10 all around. Finally for the the main ingredient I chose Essie's Sugar Daddy a very light pink super sheer jelly polish.

My recipe: One layer of Essie's Sugar Daddy followed by one layer of  Xenon. Then another coat of Sugar Daddy followed by a layer of Chubby Checker and finally one last layer of Sugar Daddy.  For my ring finger I just put Xenon at the top and added a layer of CND Effects Copper Shimmer.

Elemental Styles Lush Lacquer Jelly Sandwich
This is outdoor lighting unfortunately when haven't had much sun so the light was low, but this is true to color.

Lush Lacquer Jelly Sandwich Elemental Styles Jelly sandwich
You can still see a bit of VNL even with so many layers, but I love how the hexes and matte polish peeps through sugar daddy.


Lush Lacquer Jelly Sandwich Elemental Styles Jelly Sandwich
This is was shot indoors. Unfortunately I had a very hard time getting the lighting right and the pink here is much darker here than it actually is.

Lush Lacquer Jelly sandwich Elemental Styles Jelly Sandwhich

What do you think? It's another first for me. I'm getting rid of an awful lot of firsts these days.  Maybe I should change the name of my blog to Cherry Lockdown, but oh my what would the readers think?!?  The truth is as obsessed with jelly polishes as I am these days I expect to be making many more sandwiches in the future.  I'm on a quest to find lots of great jellies and since I have so many glitters they would come in handy.  Do you ladies have any favorite jelly finish polishes? If you're interested in the glitters I used you can find Lush Lacquer and Elemental Styles on Etsy.  Thanks for reading and for now I'll bid you adieu and bon appetite!

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Holy Holographic: Dandy Nails Look Around + Color Club Twiggy & Nars Zulu Gradient Konadicure

Hey polished prisoners,

In case you didn't know I'll tell you now that I love love love green!  It's probably a tie with blue and purple as my all time favorite shades.  So when I saw Dandy Nails Look Around, a forest green holographic polish, I clicked Add to Cart at the speed of lightening.  Mine mine mine and now yours for the viewing.  You probably only need 2 coats for opacity, but I used 3 here.  The formula on this was amazingly smooth with even distribution of the holographic particles.  The only downside to this polish is that I disliked the brush in the polish.  It reminded me slightly of those NOPI "perfect brushes" that drive me insane. Other than that everything else was WIN!

For an accent I also painted my index and fourth digit with Color Club Twiggy and then used Nars Zulu to create a gradient. Finally I stamped these nails with Konad image plate M63 using Konad Special polish in black and stamped over that using Shany 2012 plate SH20 and Konad Special polish in pastel green. FYI, I also tested Look Around out as a stamping polish but it's a bit too thin to be quite effective. Now onto the nails...

All this green makes my head swoon!

Close up of my creation.
Color Club Twiggy before the gradient was added. I actually painted this over Essies Blanc first so that the color would really pop.
Bling bling!

I really love how the pattern turned out.  I'm surprised too at how Zulu became re-translated when I used it for a gradient.

 Sickening, no? I was worried about the shallowness of this pattern on the Shany plate but it came out very clearly. Wanna hear something outrageous? This is my first holo manicure ever! How is that possible?!? Even I don't know how, but now I want lots and lots of holos after seeing this mani come to life!  Do you ladies have any recommendations for holo's that make you forget to breathe? You can find Look Around and other great polishes at Dandy Nails. She's planning another sale during the last week of June. Thanks for reading and happy Saturday!
Thursday, June 14, 2012

Lavender and Gold Floral Konadicure

Hey stamp scamps,

What happens when you have an unending lust for stamping mixed with a desire to layer stamps to maximum effect? Only pretty things darlings!  As I mentioned before I just got in my order of the Shany 2012 stamping plates and boy was I ready to play.  I was going for light fluffy and pretty with a hint of shimmer yumminess.  I used Funky Fingers Sugar Plum Fairy as the base.  This polish is a pale lavendar color with light blue undertones and a golden shimmer.  It's beautiful but like the FF polish before required thinning and two coats to reach opacity.  I stamped first with China Glaze TTYL using SH20 floral pattern.  I then stamped over that with CG Passion using plate SH13.  Finally I added butterflies using Dashica's Shimmer Purple stamping polish using plate CH3.  For the accent nail I did a simple gradient using Sugar Plum Fairy as the base and Orly's Close Your Eyes.  CYE's is a gorgeous deep plum colored polish with paler purple and gold shimmer throughout.  I finally put a simple coat of CND Gold Sparkle over it and abracadabra I had my pretty layered mani!

I used a new method for my gradient nail this time which made the transition between colors look a lot smoother.

I love the contrast of fresh green with lavender sort of like flowers peeking out of greenery.

Love the flashes of gold from cG Passion!

You can really see the holo jump out on this one.

What do you ladies think - very feminine right?  What I like the most is that the Shany plates have so many freaking cute designs! These plates, like the Bundle Monster one's, really give you a big bang for your buck for about $12 you get well over 100 images.  Honestly, I love stamping enough to find this quite a good deal.  If you're interested in the plates check you can find them here on  They are also eligible for super saver shipping, yay, so you can grab a couple things and get it shipped on the cheap!  Thanks for reading and stay tuned for a massive indie polish haul.  My clicking finger got trigger happy in a major way when I spotted some of these little babies!  Toodles.
Monday, June 11, 2012

Cheeky Plates Have Arrived + Funky Fingers and Windestine

Hey Lacquer Ladies,

I recently placed an order for new nail art plates - uh because clearly I don't already have enough lol.  I picked up the Cheeky Stamping Plates plus the Shany 2012 plates in one quick Amazon escapade.   I was also severely tempted by several Manglaze polishes but just managed to make it out with just the plates. I felt like I'd waged some kind of war against myself lol!  Anyway I decided to give the Cheeky plates some loving and see how they did.  I also wanted to make use of my new glitter polish from Windestine. This was sort of a quick let's see what these plates can do thing - very spur of the moment and removed almost one day later for the manicure I'm currently sporting.  I also wanted to use this opportunity to try out some polishes my mother bought for me from the dollar store called Funky Fingers.

I wanted bright so I applied Kingston a super saturated melony-coral color.  Yum - too bad the formulation on these guys leave a lot to be desired. Super thick as I've now ascertained with another from the trio and two or three coaters to get an even finish.  Translation super annoying but with nail polish thinner not impossible to use.  While we are on the subject of formula Windestine's glitters gets five stars in this category.  They are like butter - perfectly melted butter.  Now onto the nails!

The blue accent nail here is Essie's Beach Bum Blu with a coat of Windestine's Jeweled Sand.

I used China Glaze Passion and Konad Special Polish in black and Cheeky plate CH4 to create the gold black gradient.

The black pattern reminds of watermelon seeds and all things summer!
 These plates are awesome and have tons of great designs that I can't wait to use.  Check out a review of the plates here and here on Youtube from soguesswhat and plasmaspeedo.  You can find Windestine's butter-like polishes here at her Etsy shop.  She is currently out of stock, but should be back soon with more delicious sparklies.  You can also find the Shany 2012 plates and Cheeky stamping plates on 

Theme song of the moment: Even Angels by Fantasia.  All about recovering from big blows and while I'm not recovering from a broken heart in the emotional sense I am recovering from having a broken heart in the medical sense lol.  I'm almost one month out from open heart surgery the process has been deeply frustrating, emotional, and oddly empowering. I love the message in this song sort of like keep on trucking lol!  Thanks for reading!
Friday, June 8, 2012

Zinc Poisoning, Corroding Balls, Tacoing Polish, Indie NP Love/Hate Oh My!

Hey Lacquer Ladies,

So I am an active member of many NP forums.  I go on and read up on swatches, formulas, customer reviews, etc.  It's a great place to pick up information and unfortunately misinformation as well.  Recently we all have seen the world of NP explode with custom-blended indie brand polishes creating unique shades, glitters beyond our imaginings, and universally taking the NP world by storm.  However, along with these great new innovations have come a host of quality control issues.  Glitters melting into witches brew, separations of pigments, sinking ships from glitter polishes being placed into non-suspension bases, and now the latest problem corroding zinc coated BB's and the threat of zinc poisoning.   TraceFacePhiles posted a Facebook link with all of the sellers currently using stainless steel BB's, which are preferred for use because they don't breakdown in the NP solvent, and those that don't.  This has created a lot of drama and a lot of angst for both sellers and buyers.  Why? Because when zinc coated BB's breakdown they cause discoloration and ruin the NP that they are in.  See Exibit A below. 
Exhibit A - discoloration of polish as a result of zinc coated BB breakdown inside NP.

Here's my two cents on the issue.  Now ladies trust me when I say on the other side of my life past the NP and art and all of the zaniness of the indie NP world there is probably no one in this community that has seen as much vitamin toxicity as I.  I'm in the medical field and I've confiscated trashbags full of supplements from well-meaning and poisoned patients.  

While I am no expert in these matters and I don't claim to be I honestly think the issue with zinc ingestion, inhalation, and absorption as a result of corroding zinc coated BB's is being blown slightly out of proportion to the concern. People tend to poison themselves with OTC supplements faster than they would through the use of cosmetics especially those applied to dead tissues or those without mucosa. Again I've seen vitamin toxicities on the wards - the amounts of supplements these patients are using is shocking and mind-boggling.  Should anyone be ingesting/inhaling toxic quantities of zinc? No. Do I think that over years of such ingestion their may be a slight cause for concern? Perhaps, depending on the amount ingested, but honestly the levels of IUD's needed to cause real harm is in magnitude far higher than what you would be getting through the use of NP.  Though I would not advise  using a polish that has signs of the BB breaking down already. It's not the zinc that is a concern so much as the substance that the zinc coating was trying to keep out of the polish that has potential for damage.

As an FYI the nail plate is dead, but the cuticle is alive so if you had an open wound on your cuticle there would be more potential for absorption, but I would say the risk is higher for getting a bacterial infection through exposed cuticles than zinc poisoning. In terms of inhalation unless you are actively galvanizing your NP which I don't know why you would be doing that this is really not a concern. In a world where indie polish is a hot and exploding new trend ultimately the right thing for these sellers to do is switch to SS BB's, move on, and address future concerns as they arise while acknowledging the potential for such concerns does exist.   I also think everyone needs to relax just a touch regarding the issue of zinc poisoning.  Alright ladies that's my two cents on this burning issue for today.

The List
Thus far Lacquistry, Darling Diva Polish, KB Shimmer, Dollish Polish, Nail-Venturous, Pretty & Polished, Amy's Nail Boutique, Red Carpet Lacquer, Pahlish, Lac Attack, Dandy Nails, Rockstar Nails, Sonoma Nail Art, Once Upon a Polish, Sparkles by Julie, Daring Digits, Glitter Daze, FeverLacquer, Rainbow Honey, The Hungry Asian, Nails by Laura, Lush Lacquer, Huemorista, Northern Star, Everybeautyboutique, Utopiasbows, Kunimitsu, Candy Lacquer, Girly Bits, Whimsical, and Million Lacquers have all stated that they use SS ball.

It looks like Aphrodite, Windestine, Elemental Polish and All That Glitters used to use zinc and have now made the switch. Haze Glaze is unsure and double checking. 365 Days of Color claims to have only used SS BB's historically but I will let the picture above do the talking.
Thursday, June 7, 2012

Cupcake Manicure and Red Carpet Lacquer's Mrs White

Hiya fellow polish fiends,

I'm dedicating today's post to something so yummy and delicious that it needs no introduction - cupcakes!  I'm actually quite a cupcake connoisseur IRL if I do say so myself, and Washington DC has no shortage of such shops if you want to indulge including the oh-so-famous but IMO overhyped Georgetown Cupcake.  I have my favs - namely Baked and Wired, Hello Cupcake, and Crumbs so when I sat down to do a sweet manicure the first thing that popped into my head was cupcakes.  Lots of other ladies have done them, but for some reason I hadn't until now.  I started with Essie's French Affair and then added a layer of Essie's Peek A Boo.  PAB is a very sheer pink polish that really functions more like a super sheer low volume blue shimmer sparkle polish than a stand alone but I love the effect here.  I also accented one nail NYC Cashmere Creme - a pale metallic baby blue that is opaque in 2-3 coats.  The cupcakes were made from various polishes which I listed below the photos.  I wanted to keep the other nails crisp and simple but cute so I added RCL's Mrs. White as a final touch.   I ended up loving the way the PAB peeks out from under the chunky white circles of glitter.
In the words of one of my favorite drag queens sickening no? (Indoor lighting). Can you see the PAB glittering gently on the pink of French Affair?

Sprinkles are Color Club Blue Ming and Chelsea Girl, China Glaze Purple Panic & Lemon Fizz and Essies Bangle Jangle.  Cupcake base is OPI Chocolate Moose accent by Essie's Buy Me A Cameo.

Still trying to figure out how to make my cuticles look perfect post-clean up :(

  I really love how Mrs. White is it's own sort of sprinkles here as well.

My friend L said this mani was like the perfect birthday treat - cute right!

I gotta say this is another indie polish winner for me, and maybe it's just me but I think cupcakes got a whole like yummier.  Thanks for reading and please let me know what you thought below.