The joys of Ninja Polish 100% Colombian…plus mystery bags! [image heavy]

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I haven’t disappeared!  Seriously!  I resolved not to blog unless I was inspired and it didn’t make my life unduly complicated.  Turns out inspiration only strikes periodically…and time to blog is even rarer.  Ha!

In any event, I finally found a reason to blog.  A few months back, I posted on the Cuticle Pusher Facebook page that I wished with all my might that I could find Ninja Polish’s 100% Colombian.  Sadly, Ninja Polish had gone out of business awhile back. (They were a great source not only for lots of indie and semi-indie polish brands, but her own polish line was GREAT.)  I stalked eBay and Makeup Alley to no avail.  And no one on FB had any leads, although they had a few good suggestions for similar polishes.  However, it just wasn’t the same!!

Then, like a bolt out of the blue, Ninja was back!  She said that she was offering mystery bags, and she did have Ninja Polish products available.  I decided to take a chance and order an Indie Mystery Bag.  In the comments, I mentioned that I would be super pleased if a bottle of 100% Colombian fell into my bag.  And lo and behold, I got it!!

Did I love it?

Does a nail blogger love rhetorical questions??

Of course I loved it. I’m a big fan of deep browns and multichrome.  Thing is, this completely surpassed my expectations.  I tried to get pictures of all the various facets of this polish, but it’s basically impossible.  You’ll see what I mean from the pictures (which don’t even do it justice).

Here’s the particulars: this is a thin formula.  One coat is not enough.  Two coats look magical.  Three coats looks otherwordly.  (I actually used four coats here because I needed to fix some painting errors, but three coats gives the same effect.)  It was definitely easy to work with – smooth, and medium-to-fast drying. The base is a dark coffee brown base, with shimmer that shifts from red to gold to green.  The shifting can be strong during the most unexpected times (like while driving!).

Here’s a few pictures.  I’m wearing a base of Orly Bonder and topcoat of Seche Vite:

 

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This is direct sunlight.  Shift a bit, and…gold!

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Try it in indoor light, and…get a glimpse of red!

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Here’s the weirdest shift, though.  I’d been trying for most of the week to get a shot of the green shift in this polish.  I swear, there were times I thought I was wearing an olive green.  The full green shift mostly happened during cloudy days.  Well, we got a cloudy day, and here’s the best I could do.  (Please ignore the tip wear – it’s been on for at least five days now!):

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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It’s almost a completely different polish!

This polish is definitely my cup of tea (or coffee), and one of my biggest lemming scores ever. So, if you’re into happy surprises, I’d highly recommend ordering one of Ninja Polish’s mystery bags!  She has all sorts of options.  Here’s what I got in the rest of my bag:

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L to R: Pretty Serious Gargoyle Ganache, Dandy Nails Eager Eyes, Serum No. 5 Sunset Flare, and Femme Fatale Maddening Whispers.  All but Pretty Polish are new brands for me!  It’s like she was reading my mind!  I’m really looking forward to playing with these pretties. Getting these polishes was definitely a pick-me-up from the winter doldrums.

You can order your own mystery bag from the Ninja Polish website.

Movember nails (with Zoya Harley and Jinx)

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Movember nails (with Zoya Harley and Jinx)

First, I want to thank all of you for your suggestions in my blogiversary giveaway post!

Some of you asked me for tutorials/nail art ideas.  Although I’m no nail art expert (and I’m even worse at tutorials!), I thought I would share for you something really simple that I did recently for Movember.  (Hey, if my husband can grow out all of his facial hair in November, I can at least paint my nails with a mustache, right?)

This is based on a tutorial by cutepolish, who makes just about the BEST video tutorials out there!

First, I painted my nails in a neutral color – in this case, Zoya Harley, which is a light/medium grey polish with a hint of shimmer.  Then I decided to use Zoya Jinx for the mustache because – well, aren’t reddish brown mustaches cute?  I love both of these polishes – they apply like a dream, they dry well, and they’re just generally friendly to work with.  NOTE: I had to use two coats of Harley because it’s a bit sheer, but the end effect is lovely.  (I generally use at least two coats for most polishes anyway.)

I used a dotting tool to make a few big dots to mark the center of the mustache, then smaller dots for the outer points of the mustache.

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Then, I used the dotting tool to carefully connect the dots, making the middle of the mustache thick and the ends of the mustache pointy.

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I finished with Seche Vite.

Hope you like the design, and I hope you check out the rest of cutepolish‘s tutorials.  They’re really great!

Happy Movember!

 

Cuticle Pusher One Year Blogoweeniversary Givaway!

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Wowee!  I can’t believe that it’s been a year since I started this blog!  I’m not the most prolific blogger (obvs), but I’m proud of what I do here, and I’m thankful for all the people who take the time to look at this here little blog.  Awww, thanks to all of you!  (And if you’re new here, welcome!)

I guess what I’m saying is, I feel like celebrating. And what better way to celebrate than to have a giveaway!

I’m so glad that my blogiversary is happening around Halloween so I can make this a “Blog-oween-iversary” giveaway.  I’m giving away some polishes that remind me of fall, because fall polishes are my absolute favorites.

Three lucky readers will win the following:

Prize 1: Orly Right Amount of Evil, China Glaze Harvest Moon, Hot Topic glow in the dark polish

Prize 2: China Glaze Howl You Doin’ and Bat My Eyes (from the 2013 Monster’s Ball collection!), plus Hot Topic deep red glitter polish

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Prize 3: LynBDesigns Padparadscha Papphire and Imperial Topaz from the NEW Gem Show collection!

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Contest starts at midnight on Monday, October 21 and ends on midnight on October 31.  Winners will be notified within 48 hours and must respond within 24 hours.  Good luck!

ETA: This giveaway is open to US only.  Sorry, international readers!

Click here to enter the giveaway!

Quick Tuesday Post – SOPI Happy Earth-Day To Me

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Since the line is being discontinued, the prices on Sephora by OPI just keep dropping! I’ve gotten quite a few SOPIs, and I’ve had pretty good results with the ones I’ve tried, although that’s not a universal opinion in the nail polish world. (As if there was such a thing!) I’ve found SOPIs to have a good formula, good coverage, and REALLY good resistance to chipping – probably the best I’ve seen (with Orly Bonder underneath and Seche Vite as a topper). So in general, I’m a fan!

It’s therefore surprising that I’m a bit less than enthusiastic about SOPI Happy Earth Day To Me. I’d read excellent things about the color, but it was a bit darker than the glowing olive green I expected. It’s still a pretty, rich color though! The formula was on the thick side, although I tried to keep the coats as thin as possible. The initial coat is very streaky, but 2-3 coats offers fair coverage. Coverage was a bit uneven around my side nail edges because I was having trouble working with the wide brush. Again, this is weird, because I’ve never had trouble with a SOPI brush – they’re narrower than regular OPI brushes! Maybe I’m having an off day, or maybe the dark color shows my painting technique’s shortcomings, lol!

This IS a nice addition for anyone who would like an olive/army green. The picture below is 2-3 coats with Seche Vite on top:

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My verdict: if you can get it cheap (from the Sephora site or in Sephora stores) pick up this addition to your polish collection. If not, there’s no need to search the earth to find Earth Day!

What do you think?

Fall 2013 Nails – My Top 14 Fall Polish Picks

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Have you been pondering your fall polish wardrobe? I have been pondering fall polishes forever! Fall polishes are my favorite, so I always anticipate a bit.

Here’s what’s on the top of my list for 2013. Some of these are new, some aren’t. Some of these I have, some I don’t…and some I will pick up soon! (I tried to include where to get the indie polishes if you’re a Usian.)

14. Pretty Serious Seasonal Sunset (Christmas Without Snow collection, Winter 2012)

Image courtesy of Pretty Purple Polish.

Christmas in autumn? What? Although it’s in a Christmas collection, this rusty orange polish screams fall to me. (Pretty Serious is based in Australia, where Christmas is in the middle of summer, which sounds AWESOME. But I digress.)

Happily, I just picked this up through a blog sale, and I gotta say I love it. The formula was very smooth (not super thin, but opaque in 2-3 coats), and the color had just enough POP to make me wear the heck out of it. I believe you can get this at Llarowe if the polish gods are kind and a restock goes your way…

13. CrowsToes Heartshaped Box of Horses#@T (ValenCrows collection, Valentine’s 2013)

Image courtesy of More Nail Polish.

Again, this is a winter polish, but I love the sparkly brown and gold, plus the name…lulz! I just saw this was in stock at Llarowe. Yay!

12. Glitter Gal – Belgian Chocolate

Image courtesy of Ashley is Polish Addicted.

Mmmm, tasty! I’ve decided I have a thing for brown and block holos this fall, and this is one of the first that caught my eye. This one is occasionally available at Llarowe and Ninja Polish.

11. Colors by Llarowe – Burnt Sugar

Image courtesy of Pointless Cafe.

Brown holo again! This is obviously from Llarowe. i don’t have it yet, but I’m putting it on the ol’ wish list.

10. Ninja Polish – 100% Columbian (The Enigmas collection)

Image courtesy of Pointless Cafe.

The depth in this picture seems incredible to me! Although Pointless always takes great pictures, I’ve gotta say, I’ve seen a lot of good pictures of this one, so maybe it’s just generally gorgeous. This is going on my Ninja Polish wish list.

9. China Glaze Budding Romance (Avant Garden Collection, Spring 2013)

Image courtesy of Lydia’s Nails.

I KNOW! It’s a spring polish. But it’s such a nice “pretty-ugly” shade of green! It’s not one of the typical spring pastels in my book. Plus, I’m old and l live the in Midwest, so I make up my own fashion rules!

8. Bad Ass Polish Chocolate Covered Cherry

Image courtesy of I Heart Pretty Polish.

Bad Ass Polish is one of those smaller indies that has great ideas! They took my brown holo and put a little red in it – two, two two shades in one! I really want to eat this model’s fingers, and I don’t even like real chocolate covered cherries. Available from the Bad Ass polish website.

6. and 7. Zoya Flynn and Louise (Cashmeres and Satins collection, Fall 2013)

Zoya Flynn

Zoya Louise

Images courtesy of Stephanie Louise – All Things Beautiful.

I could have kicked myself that I didn’t pick these up during Zoya’s buy one get one back-to-school sale. (Who buys polish for back-to-school? I guess I would!) I’m constantly in a search for a good muted yellow like Flynn. And Louise is such a lovely brown polish.

5. OPI Peace, Love, and OPI (San Francisco collection, Fall 2013)

Image courtesy of Vampy Varnish.

I’ve got several dupes of this, but I bet the formula and coverage is great. I’ve been eyeing it ever since the collection came out. For me, it’s the clear standout if the collection.

3. and 4. China Glaze Ick-A-Body and Zombie Zest (Awakening collection, Halloween 2010)

China Glaze Ick-A-Body

Image courtesy of Scrangie.

China Glaze Zombie Zest

Image courtesy of The Swatchaholic.

No mainstream polish does Halloween like China Glaze! I probably could have chosen all their Halloween polishes for this list, but I limited it to the ones I own. I always put on Zombie Zest while watching the premiere of The Walking Dead. Mmmm…brains!

2. Above the Curve Fallen Angel

Image courtesy of Cosmetic Sanctuary.

Above the Curve is one of those indie brands you should know! They’re steadily gaining in popularity, and if you follow them on Facebook, they have some fun giveaways on Fridays. They give some of their proceeds to a very worthy cause, too – Shriner’s Hospital for Children.

I’m really looking forward to their fall collection. (And ATC, what’s up with that awesome greeny-gold polish? You must have made that just for me!) But until then, I’m jonesing for Fallen Angel. Fallen Angel is a black-based holo with purple and pink and blue glass flecks. I also want to try Fallen Angel 2.0, which is a bit more of a linear holo than the original Fallen Angel. You can order from their Big Cartel site.

1. KB Shimmer Quantum Leaf

Image courtesy of Manicurator.

SQUEEE!!! I’ve wanted this polish forever. FOR. EVER. It’s like fall in a bottle. I got it for my birthday in July, and I’m not touching it until at least the first official day of fall. I mean, the mustard yellow base, the orange/red/gold glitters, even the name – it makes me want to buy 27 decorative gourds and mull some cider with the Great Pumpkin! Arrrrgh! In other words, I’ll be trying this one soon. I don’t see it available on their website – I hope they’ll restock!

So, what are you going to wear in the coming months? Are you going to stick with fall colors? Start the holiday season early? Is it spring where you’re at? (Or is it spring in your mind, and you plan to break out the pastels or neons?)

[Disclosure note: the pictures above are not mine – however, they are all linked to their original sites. Consult those sites for further disclosure information regarding polish sources . No polishes were provided to me for review, and any reviews of these polishes are from polishes that I purchased.]

 

Quick Tuesday Post – Sephora by OPI Mermaid To Order

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In my non-polish-related life, I work with college students. The other day, one of my students was wearing a beautiful glowing pink nail polish. We got to talking about which polishes we like the best, and she said that there was a mermaid-something-or-other teal one that she liked a lot. A quick Google search revealed that it was Sephora by OPI Mermaid To Order. I told her I might have to get it, since the SOPI polishes are on clearance now, and this one looked pretty neat. But then I found out…I actually already had it from a SOPI collection from QVC that I got for Christmas! Sometimes I don’t even know my own collection. (File that under #polishhoundproblems. Cue violins.)

I decided to give this polish a whirl, considering my student’s positive review. I do like the final effect: a shimmery glowing teal that I think looks pretty good on my pale cool skin tone. However, the formula itself was just okay. It was a little thin, although surprisingly not streaky for such a shimmery, almost metallic polish. It was pretty easy to work with, although I probably could’ve gone with three coats to get full coverage.

What you see below is two coats with Orly Bonder as a base coat, and Seche Vite on top.

Final verdict: not a perfect polish, but I still kinda like it!

Have you tried this polish? What do you think?

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Quick Tuesday Post – China Glaze Stone Cold

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Quick Tuesday Post – China Glaze Stone Cold

Now that September is staring us in the face, I’ve been jonesing for darker “fall” nails. I’ve had China Glaze Stone Cold (from the Hunger Games collection) sitting around untried forever. Even though it didn’t look that great in the bottle (it looked a little thin and dark), I figured I’d give it a quick try to see if I liked it.

Y’all, I don’t know why I was so slow to get on the bandwagon for this one. I LOVE this polish! Seriously, the formula was great – a bit on the thick side, but workable. It dries lighter than the color in the bottle, and it dries into a pretty gorgeous matte finish. It reminds me if pencil lead!

I couldn’t wait to share, so this is a cell phone picture. Check it out:

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It’s just what I was in the mood for! This is two coats, Orly Bonder underneath, and no topcoat. I was tempted to do some silver stamping on top, but I decided against it today. I’ll try it sometime though!

Have you tried this one? Thoughts?