6 April 2009

Lacquer Lundi

Up until now, all the polish swatches I have shown you have been singles. However, sometimes I like to layer polishes for a different effect. Depending on how the layers are applied, many nifty looks can be achieved. Usually, I like to start with an opaque polish and then layer something sheer or sparkly over top to add an extra dimension to my nails. Another wonderful use of layering is to refresh a tired manicure - small chips and tip wear can be completely disguised by the addition of an interesting top coat.

In each grouping below, I have a picture of the base nail polish by itself and another photo of the base topped with a second polish. In each case, you can see how a second layer can change the mood and character of the underlying polish.

On to the pretties:

Orly - Close Your Eyes & Nfu-Oh - #51
- Close Your Eyes purchased at Sally's Beauty Supply for $5.99 CDN
- Nfu-Oh purchased at fabuloustreet.com for $8.50 US

Close Your Eyes is just luscious. The colour reminds me of ripe summer berries. It has a rich magenta base with copper shimmer that makes the polish glow on the fingers (photo to the left). As with all the Orly polishes I have used, the application is wonderful due to the great polish consistency - not too thick, not too thin. I especially like the cap to which the brush is attached; it is nicely shaped and rubberized for easy grip-ability. This polish wore well for the day I had it on (I would have left it on longer, but I was jazzed to try layering over it.

Nfu-Oh (pronounced "en-foo-oh"), a South Korean company, makes some amazing polishes. The one I have for you today has a sheer purple base chock full of fine shimmer and colour-shifting flecks (large flakes that dry smooth on the nail, unlike large glitter which can leave the surface of the polish bumpy). Depending on the angle at which you look at this polish, it flashes orange or green. In the photo to the right, the Nfu-Oh polish has been layered over the Orly. I have also included a close-up picture; enlarge it to see how the flakes are both orange and green on the nail. This polish is nice indoors, but it comes alive outdoors under natural light - the first time I walked outside, I actually gasped at the beauty. Unfortunately, it is nearly impossible to capture the brilliance and personality of this polish in a photo. The only downside is that the polish is a bit runny and blobs of polish run down the brush during application. Although it is a bit annoying, it certainly does not discourage me from using this product.

One of my favourite parts of the Nfu-Oh experience is the bottle. It is adorable. I love the Victorian feel of the packaging and have never seen anything quite like it elsewhere. From the front, with its anatomically correct corset and floral design, to the back, with its laced up ribbons tied in a bow over a full gathered skirt, the entire bottle is a small work of art. Even the heart-shaped top of the bottle is embellished with design. So cute!

Scroll down below for some more Nfu-Oh fabulousness!

Sally Hansen Hard as Nails Xtreme Wear - Marine Scene & New York Color - Starry Silver Glitter
- Marine Scene purchased at Zellers (chain discount store) for $2.17 CDN
- Starry Silver Glitter purchased at Rexall (chain drug store) for $1.36 CDN

Sally Hansen is one of my favourite polish companies. Considering it is "just a drug store brand", I have consistently been happy with their offerings. My favourite Sally Hansen line is the Hard as Nails Xtreme Wear. The array of colours is excellent - my collection of 32 bottles range from subtle sheer pinks and mauves to in-your-face blues, greens and oranges. The price can't be beat - usually under $3 and often under $1 on sale. The quality is excellent - application is a breeze and I get days of chip-free wear. Today's polish is no exception. Marine scene is a lovely sheer turquoise shimmer that reminds me of the ocean. Since I like my polishes somewhat opaque, I applied four coats to build up to bottle colour.

For an extra bit of sparkle, I layered Starry Silver Glitter over the turquoise base polish. NYC (New York Colour) is another cheap drug store find. I enjoy the pure gaudiness of the small silver glitter combined with the large hexagonal shaped royal blue and hot pink glitter. (Being a chemist, I can't help but be amused every time I look down at my nails - it's like benzene is on an acid trip!) This glitter fest just screams to be looked at - so much so that a young cashier at a local diner complimented me on my nail polish. I prefer to think it's because even at 38 I am still hip enough to impress a teenager!

Finger Paints - Lavender Highlight & OPI - Stars in My Eyes
- Lavender Highlight purchased at Sally's Beauty Supply for $4.99 CDN
- Stars in My Eyes purchased at my hair salon for $7.00 CDN

"I love you. You love me..." Every time I looked down at my nails while wearing Lavender Highlight, I couldn't help but hum this tune. Although not his exact shade of purple, this polish reminds me of Barney.

I really liked this Finger Paints polish - this brand has given me great results in the past and this was no exception. It went on smoothly and the consistency was good. Only two coats were required to even out the colour and eliminate any streakiness. I have to admit I wasn't as careful with it's application as I would be if I planned on wearing it without another polish on top.

To give this manicure a bit more oomph, I layered one coat of Stars in my Eyes over the purple base. This OPI polish has a silver shimmer with a hint of purple that gives an interesting frosted look to the nail. I got many compliments the day I wore this to work - both from colleagues and students. It seemed to be a look that appealed to all ages.

Sally Hansen Insta-Dri - Jumpin' Jade & Nfu-Oh - #56
- Jumpin' Jade purchased at Zehrs (chain grocery store) for $5.99 CDN
- Nfu-Oh purchased at fabuloustreet.com for $8.50 US

Sally Hansen Insta-Dri polishes are pretty great once you get used to them. First off, the brush is different than any other I have ever seen - it is quite large and paddle like (it is around twice the width of other brushes). So, if you have small nail beds or you aren't confident with a larger brush, you may end up with more nail polish on your skin than on your nail. I, however, like this extra width as I find I can get polish on the nail with far fewer swipes than usual. And with this polish, it's a good thing as it is fairly thick and dries very quickly and with every extra stroke you run the risk of lumps and bumps. I think the brush and the formulation are an acquired taste - some will love it and others will hate it.

Jumpin' Jade was very pigmented and although I used two coats, I could easily have gotten away with just one. This is great for the quick manicure. I estimate one coat would be dry to the touch in one minute and dent proof within five minutes - talk about out the door fast!

I layered the Jumpin' Jade with another Nfu-Oh beauty. Like the one above, it is packed with sparkling, light catching flakes. This time the translucent base and the multitude of flakes are an eye-catching kelly green. This would make the best St. Patrick's Day manicure - it looks like a leprechaun threw up on my nails!


gwensews said...

Thank you for the photos and posts on nail polishes. You have some very interesting combos. Something I like to do is what I call a "reverse french manicure". I polish my nails with a light color, and then brush across the tip, width-wise, with a darker color, 1/8". Sometimes, I use gold. Or, light blue, dark bluem etc.

What fun!

Gretchen the Household Deity said...

I am way too lazy to paint my nails, which I instantly ruin doing dishes, but it's almost time to show off toenails so these are great ideas!

angie.a said...

Love love love the Nfu-Oh!!! I need to do some more nail polish shopping I see. :D

Rose said...

Thanks for the pictures and info. There may be a stash of polish in my future - probably for toenails. Hey, I'm lazy about things like nails. At least you have me keeping them filed regularly now.