I found this on clearance and because I've had such great luck with other Nailtek products I decided to give this one a whirl. The box description says it's supposed to "clean, prime and reinforce" your nails for a manicure. It also says that "the multi-fruit alpha-hydroxy acid complex cleanses and primes the nail plate while reinforcing nail strength. Prevents polish chipping and peeling..." The bottle looks like the standard round Nailtek bottles but the formula is almost like water and the brush is very small and stiff. I brush it over my nails, being careful to avoid my skin and cuticles. It soaks in almost immediately. I do a second coat on one nail that is very thin and peely then apply Nailtek Ridgefiller, color, etc. I've been using this for about 2 or 3 weeks now and I think I actually do see a difference. I had one nail that was pretty thin and week and if I'd have bent it at all I could have easily peeled it in several places and broken it right off. Since using this treatment the layers of that nail seem to be more bonded and not nearly as flimsy as they were. When I have my nails painted with ridgefiller and color they always seem pretty strong, but even with no polish they seem to be pretty sturdy, so maybe this is actually helping. It does makes me wonder if it is "fortifying" my nails at all because the formula smells like rubbing alcohol and disappears almost as soon as I put it on, which makes me think it's actually drying out my nails. But it's working so who knows? (By the way, the first two ingredients listed are indeed alcohol.) I don't know...I'm not sure I'm completely sold on this but it does seem to be helping so I guess for now I'll continue to use it and decide whether to rebuy when this bottle is gone. I'll come back and update if my feelings change one way or the other. It does do a great job of getting rid of any extra oil that might be on my nails. I always scrub my hands really well after removing my old polish and if I use an antibacterial soap, there's sometimes a residue left behind. This seems to get rid of that and therefore helps the polish really adhere to my nail.
Kaleidoscope Him Out is a pretty, baby blue holo from China Glazeís Kaleidoscope collection. Itís very, very similar to 2NITE from their new OMG holo collection but to my eye KHO is just the tiniest touch darker. It also has more glitter and the holo seems more intense than in 2NITE. I think the best way to describe it is like this: 2NITE is a base of baby blue with a strong holo topcoat. KHO seems to be a baby blue shade with tons of holo glitter mixed in. It seems the glitter/holo in KHO is more a part of the color rather than just being on top of the color, if that makes any sense. Application wasnít completely smooth but it wasnít too bad. I used 2 coats of White-Kwik-Silver as a base then went for the holo. When I applied the first coat of KHO to my first nail I had terrible dragging and pulling. Since I know from working with the OMGs that this can be the result of not allowing enough drying time for my base, I sat for a few more minutes before doing the other 9 nails. That seemed to help a little, but I still had to be careful not to overwork or overlap my brushstrokes because the color has a tendency to pull and leave bare spots if messed with too much. I allowed a few minutes of dry time before attempting coat #2 and that went on with no problem. A layer of Nailtek and then SV on top and my manicure is good and shiny. And rainbow-y! It pains me to mark this ĎNoí for repurchase. Overall Iím really happy with it but because it is so similar to 2NITE (and because I have 2 bottles of that one) I probably wonít need to keep both colors and I probably wonít repurchase. Not because I donít love it, but because theyíre such close dupes and even as much as I love having backup bottles I donít think I need three.
This is a pretty, light lilac holo from China Glazeís Kaleidoscope holo collection. Itís very, very similar to IDK from their new OMG holo collection but to my eye OGW is slightly darker. It also has more glitter and the holo seems more intense than in IDK. I think the best way to describe it is like this: IDK to me looks like a base of lilac color with a strong holo topcoat. Octa Gone Wild seems to be a lilac color with lots of holo glitter mixed in. It seems the glitter/holo in OGW is more a part of the color rather than just being on top of the color, if that makes any sense. Application wasnít completely smooth but it wasnít too bad. I used a base of Nailtek Ridgefiller and when I applied the first coat of color to my first nail I had terrible dragging and pulling. Since I know from working with the OMGs that this can be the result of not allowing enough drying time for my basecoat, I sat for a few more minutes before doing the other 9 nails. That seemed to help a little, but I still had to be careful not to overwork or overlap my brushstrokes because the color has a tendency to pull and leave bare spots if messed with too much. I allowed a few minutes of dry time before attempting coat #2 and that went on with no problem. A layer of Nailtek and then SV on top and my manicure is good and shiny. And rainbow-y! It pains me to mark this ĎNoí for repurchase. Overall Iím really happy with it but because it is so similar to IDK (and because I have 2 bottles of that one) I probably wonít need to keep both and I probably wonít repurchase. Not because I donít love it, but because theyíre such close dupes and even as much as I love having backup bottles I donít think I need three.
FiveZero hit it dead-on with her Ďlove at first sightí observation. I saw this in a dusty a few months ago and passed it over the first few times I was there. I was finally curious enough to bring it home with me and I couldnít be happier that I did. As soon as I had the first stroke of color on my first nail it absolutely was love at first sight. In the bottle itís nothing too specialÖjust another dark color. But on my nails it is a *gorgeous* reddish-plum shade. Itís amazing! I see teeny tiny flecks of red that really make this glow from within. Just perfect. Last time I wore this I had several people tell me that this was a color that was made for me. It looks fabulous against my light skin. Very few polishes give me that ďI canít stare at this long enoughĒ result but this one did. I just couldnít stop looking at my nails. I canít rave about this enough. Application was a little tricky on the first coat, but only because I was so used to working with OPIs awful new formula that I had to adjust. But the second coat went on perfect and was enough for full coverage. The next day I added a 3rd coat and that only served to deepen the red and purple shades. I think I like it better with 2 coats though, so I will continue to do 2. My one and only complaint with this color is not with the colorÖitís with the fact that once my bottle is gone Iíll never see it again. Why does OPI discontinue their absolute best colors? *shakes fist at OPI* I adore this shade and it makes me sad to think Iíll never see it again. I would love to use it frequently but I am trying to keep it around for a while so I will use it sparingly.
This is a wonder color. In the bottle itís a bright aqua blue with green shimmer running throughout. If swatched alone itís practically clear and not noticeable at all but apply it over another color and watch the magic happen. It makes Aqua Baby take on a bright green sparkle and over black I can see flashes of blue, green and yellow. Amazing! This is kind of a blue version of Clarins 230. It doesnít really change the color of your base polish it just adds tons of extra oomph and sparkle. I canít recommend this enough. And you absolutely cannot beat the $1.97 price tag. Seriously, why are you still sitting there? Go get this polish! And when you get it home layer it over every color you ownÖyou will be amazed how much better they look with this on top.
I didnít expect to like this color as much as I do. I bought it way back when I was new to China Glaze and the nail board and I bought it strictly from seeing a (bad) bottle picture on a website. When it arrived I was a little hesitant to try it because it was so out of the realm of colors I was used to wearing that I wasnít sure Iíd be able to pull it off. After seeing more and more pictures of it on the nailboard I decided to pull it out of the untrieds and slap it on. Iím so glad I did. Itís such a fun color! Even though I have tons of different shades of blue itís definitely not like anything else I have in my collection. Itís a very definite aqua creme, no shimmer whatsoeverÖjust perfect and it really stands out and looks nice against my light skin. I can see this being great for a pedicure, too! Very fun, color-wise. Application was really easy, as it seems to be with all China Glaze colors. I had almost complete coverage with one coat but it did need the 2nd just to fill in the small gaps and make the color completely solid. There was very little cleanup necessaryÖit applied like a dream. I think China Glaze has definitely replaced OPI as my favorite polish as far as formula is concerned. I have such an easy time applying these that it makes me hesitant to struggle with the watery, goopy mess OPI has become. Because I change my color every day I normally donít get to comment on wear but after having this on only a few hours I had a small chip at the tip of one thumb. (I used my usual basecoat of Nailtek and a final coat of SV.) Weird. But I think this may be the result of the layer of Pure Ice Heartbreaker I used on top. Iíve had problems with those chipping, so that may be the culprit. Besides, my color only has to last me one day so it definitely wonít keep me from wearing it again in the future. I just love this color and definitely recommend it if youíre looking for something bright and cheerful. I think I might even get a backup bottle.
Sunscreen -Neutrogena - Ultra Sheer Dry-Touch Sunblock SPF 55
ceeRennycee 4/23/2008 12:14:00 PM
I had never thought to apply sunblock as part of my routine but when I had my first facial a few years ago I got a very stern talking to about wearing it. The thought of putting actual sunscreen on my face every day was a little weird so when my sister recommended this little gem I had to try it out. This was the answer to my problems. I donít wear foundation or powder of any kind so I wanted something that wouldnít be too greasy or make my face oily-looking. But I also needed something that moisturized so I donít have to do both. This fits the bill. I apply it as a moisturizer after cleansing in the morning and within a few minutes itís worked its way into my skin and leaves it soft and moisturized without making me an oil slick. I love it! I have used other SPFs and havenít really noticed any difference in the level of greasinessÖjust the same great results with each. I usually have several containers of this on hand so I wonít run out. Great stuff!
I use Oil of Olay for my daily face wash with good results but I find itís a little light on deep-cleaning power. So once or twice a week I substitute this to really get in there and scrub everything clean. Itís a little harsh for every day use but once or twice a week is fine as long as I use it gently and not like a maniac. Plus I find that it does a great job of cleaning that I really donít need to scrub more than that. It smells really good and leaves my face feeling soft for days. It also gets rid of the little flakes of skin that my regular cleanser just doesnít seem to get. This is and will probably remain my HG for deep-cleaning.
Iíve really found myself drawn to plum and berry shades lately and this one is perfect. I would describe the color as deep plum with gold shimmer. The gold isnít too visible under regular indoor light but under bright/sunlight itís perfect. The shimmer totally pops and really makes the color sparkle. Indoors itís a really dark plum that borders on chocolate brown. Itís a perfect shade against my light skin. Application was really easy and two coats were enough for total coverage. This is my first Merle Norman polish but Iím definitely thinking about getting more after trying this one. I received this in a swap so Iím not sure how much they normally are retail but if theyíre in line with my usual polish brands (OPI, China Glaze, etc.) Iíd be ok purchasing. If youíre looking for something vampy that has noticeable color and interesting depth Iíd highly recommend checking this one out!
I usually use black polish strictly for layering so it seems silly to pay too much for one, especially when this is available for 99c. I really like the formula. It applies very evenly and I have complete coverage with just one coat. One coat! My only complaint is with the brush. The bottom of the bristles seem jagged, which makes decent application almost impossibleÖitís very uneven. This isnít good, especially when youíre using black, because any little flaw or mistake is very noticeable. Itís impossible to get a straight line. In fact the few times Iíve tried using it I got so irritated that I gave up and removed it after painting only a few fingers. The wonky bristles get the color all over my skin and helloÖhave you tried removing black? It wonít budge. I have other colors from WnW and I donít recall any of them having a sucky brush. I got both bottles of Black Creme at the same time so maybe that batch just had a defect or something. Iíve heard great things about Milaniís Black Magic from the gurus on the NB so Iíll probably end up giving that one a try. Itís just a bummer that Iíve found a formula I like for such a cheap price but I canít use it because the brush blows. I think what Iím going to do is transfer this polish to an old OPI bottle. If that works Iíll definitely stick with this one because you really canít beat the quality of the formula for such a cheap price.
Black Patent Leather is a LE polish from Sally Hansenís Salon collection in the square bottles. I donít know why I was so intrigued by this colorÖI have several basic blacks that I use for layering or frankening so I didnít really need another one. I guess Iím just a sucker for this line. At any rate, I finally got around to trying this and I really like it. Itís your basic black creme, absolutely no shimmer whatsoever, but it looks like patent leather on your nails. It dries super shiny. It reminds me of the patent leather Doc Martens I had in high school. I have had amazing application with other Salon polishes, but this one seemed to be a little trickier. I think maybe the brush was a little funky, because I had weird gaps when applying near my cuticles. Like I was using a wide-toothed comb to do my nails instead of a brush. Or maybe it only seemed that way because black is so dark that any little mistakes are visible. But one coat was almost perfect and the second coat filled in the gaps and made it really shine. I almost didnít need a topcoat because it is so shiny on its own but because I used a glitter topcoat with it I decided to go ahead with a layer of Colorstay and then my usual layer of SV. I donít know that Iíll wear this very often because it really deserves to be seen and not covered up with another color as I usually do but I would definitely repurchase if I ever came across it again.
I should have known that this color wouldn't work for me, but I was swayed by the swatch pictures I saw. In the bottle it's a very pretty soft gray but against my skin it looks more like a dirty, muted purple. Very weird and unflattering. Application was ok. I'm getting used to the new Pro Wide brush but I still prefer the old style. I didn't have too much trouble controlling the formula as I have with other new-formula OPIs. I've found the new formula polishes to be very watery and hard to control but this wasn't too bad. The coats are pretty streaky though and I probably should have done a 3rd, but I was in a hurry. If I were to ever wear this again (which I don't think I will) I'd definitely need 3 coats. As it was I removed it after 2 hours because I couldnt stand to look at it anymore. I definitely won't be repurchasing and the bottle I have is going t find itself in a new home.
I received a tube of this from a friend and it sat in my drawer for a while before I got around to trying it. I keep hand lotion on my desk at work and never really thought to try anything different because I have pretty good results with it. But towards the end of last Winter I noticed my skin was still really dry even after applying lotion throughout the day, so I knew I needed something heartier. I remembered this product and pulled it out to give it a try. Wow. Right away I was able to feel the difference. My skin was instantly softer and the dry patches around the base of each finger were gone. I can really tell that it is soaking in and hydrating my skin. It even works to soften my elbows, too. Because the lotion is really thick it does take a few minutes to soak all the way in but it doesnít really bother me too much. I just rub it in as much as possible and let it sit for a few minutes before typing or driving. I also try to be careful about applying too much at once, because once or twice Iíve gone overboard and the majority of the lotion never worked into my skin. It just sat on top and I ended up wiping some of it off with a napkin. At 1.7oz the container is a little small. I really only need to use a little at a time because the formula is so thick, but even still I seem to run through a full tube pretty fast if Iím using it every day, so thatís kind of a bummer. The sales girl at B&BW mentioned that they make a bigger tube but they were out of it at the time, so I ended up buying 3 of the 1.7 size. I only have 2 tubes left and I *think* (but am not positive) itís been discontinued, so Iíve been trying to cut back to using this only in the morning and at night every other day to stretch out my supply. It hydrates well enough that I can use something else in the meantime and my hands arenít dry. I don't really like the smell too much but it works well enough that I overlook it. This is awesome, awesome stuff and I highly recommend it.
I had seen this one in my favorite beauty supply place several times and each time I would look at it for a minute and put it back. It just didn't seem to stand out in the sea of purples I already own. But I finally bought it and I couldn't be happier that I did. This is a gorgeous plum shade with a flash of bright purple in the bottle. (I'd equate the flash to the color of Jewel of India.) On the nail, however, the flash only serves to add deep depth and dimension in a rich burgundy shade. In regular indoor lighting this has a slight brownish cast to it. Very pretty. The formula was a little watery but it wasn't difficult to work with like some of the other older-formula OPIs, it just took an extra coat for full coverage. After two coats there were still tiny patches where my nail was visible so I did a third coat and they disappeared. Perfect and flawless with very minimal cleanup needed. This looks great against my light skin. I intend to get a backup of this before it disappears because I know it will get frequent use. I can see this being a great mani or pedi color.
I wasn't sure I'd like this color. I bought it on a whim and it has sat in my stash ever since, being passed over in favor of more interesting colors. Yesterday while doing a monster purge I was all set to put it in my swap box but then I swatched it and decided to keep it. Last night when I used it for an actual manicure I was pleasantly suprised. It's a deep brownish red creme and looks nice against my lighter skin. In certain lights the brown is very noticeable and at other times it is definitely red. It's not a duochrome, it's just that different levels of light bring out the different depths of the color. Application was ok, but a little tricky. Two coats were fine for coverage but the formula seemed a little watery and it stained my skin. When doing manicures I use a scraper tool to remove excess polish but this one didn't disappear when I scraped it away, it just streaked and stained the area around my nails. Nothing that a little acetone and a Q-tip wouldn't fix, but it is one extra step I don't usually have to do. Also, because the formula is so watery I ended up getting it all over the rim of the bottle and subsequently the inside of the cap. No matter how careful I was this got everywhere. I'll have to clean it up today so the bottle won't be glued shut. I can't see myself using it too often or buying it again, but it's unlike any other color I have so for now it will stay in my stash.