28 September 2009

Lacquer Lundi

I have had a few commenters ask about my nail care routine. Here's a link to a previous post with all the pertinent information.

Now, on to the pretties:

Finger Paints - Copper Elements
- purchased at Sally Beauty Supply for $4.99 CDN

Copper Elements is a beautiful deep orange base with (not surprisingly) a delicious copper shimmer. It is a perfect colour to welcome autumn.

As with all the Finger Paints polish I have used, Copper Elements applied extremely well. It flowed on smoothly and spread evenly. I only needed two coats to achieve a nice opaqueness. It also wore very well. After two days, I only had very minor tip wear. I wish Finger Paints had a few more interesting colours (enough with the pinks, corals and mauves already), as I really like this line.

Sally Hansen Hard as Nails Xtreme Wear - Celeb City
- purchased at Rexall (chain drug store) for $2.99 CDN

When I saw Celeb City in the new Sally Hansen display at my local drug store, I remembered how much I liked my other silver polish (Orly Dazzle) and decided to pick it up. Boy, am I glad I did. It is really nifty. It's got an interesting silver sparkle that makes it look like silver flakes are on the nail. Very pretty.

Celeb City was a breeze to apply. Two thin coats covered the nail to a perfect finish. The wear was quite good too - just tip wear after two days and it was barely noticeable because of the sparkliness (yep, I think I just made up a word) of this pretty polish.

Sally Hansen Hard as Nails Xtreme Wear - Ocean View
& Shooting Star
- both purchased at Rexall (chain drug store) for $2.99 CDN each

Ocean View is a beautiful blue that is sort of teal and sort of royal blue all at the same time. Regardless of what colour you call it, it is definitely a lovely shade. And it was made all the better by adding Shooting Star (a sheer purply-blue base with oodles of multi-coloured glitter - see photo to the right) over top.

Ocean View was a dream to apply and was opaque in two coats. Shooting Star on the other hand was a bit thick and gloppy and required a bit of patience to even out on the nail. I will be adding thinner to this polish to allow it to flow more smoothly next time.

Despite any minor difficulties with application, this manicure was stunning. Pretty indoors and spectacular in the sun outdoors. The only problem is that the glitter requires two thick coats of top coat to diminish the bumpy fell on the surface of the nail. But, it's well worth the extra effort in my opinion. So gorgeous!

BB Couture - Prenuptial
- purchased at overallbeauty.com for $9.00 US

Bronze perfection. That is the best way to describe Prenuptial. It is a medium brown base (with yellow undertones) enhanced by a goldish frostiness. To me it's a nice sedate colour with a bit of oomph. Another shade that is perfect for welcoming the falling leaves of autumn.

Prenuptial was a dream to apply. It flowed on easily and covered in two thin coats. It also wore well - only minor tip wear after two days.

27 September 2009

More Fabric Love

40% off gorgeous wool suitings at Fabric Mart, you say? Hmm, let me think - do I want any beautiful wool fabric? Yup, sure do! Two yards each, baby - oh yeah!

Now, assuming I pulled the trigger fast enough and I actually get all these fabrics, I foresee a pants making odyssey in my future.

23 September 2009

Thanks a Bunch!

The gorgeous Trudy (who, by the way, I have decided that I'm going to look like in my next life - c'mon reincarnation), of Sewing with Trudy, has awarded me the Kreativ Blogger Award. Mucho gracias!

The requirement for acceptance of this award is the posting of seven things you don't already know about me.

1. I am very particular about what I eat. So, much so, that my best friend has created "Shannon's Food Phobia List." The list includes such gems as "do not mix meat and fruit - lemon chicken is gross", "it ain't dessert unless it contains chocolate" and "raisins are disgusting because they look like squishy, headless bugs." There are actually upwards of 25 rules on the list, but I'll spare you.

2. I was in several musicals while in high school. If you were in SW Ontario in the mid to late 80s, you may have seen me in such productions as Pippin or Little Shop of Horrors. And let's just say that Jesus Christ Superstar would not have been the same without Leper #2.

3. I hate situations that involve unknowns. Calling a customer service line to speak to a stranger or being the first person through the door into a new restaurant can strike fear into my heart. Once I have had a certain experience and know what to expect, then I'm completely at ease and can do it over and over from there on out. Yep, I'm a freak.

4. I dislocated my knee during university playing coed softball. The entire lower half of my left leg was turned at a 90 degree angle from normal. It's the only time I have ever had an ambulance ride and the paramedics wouldn't even turn on the sirens for me. And I asked so nicely. Sheesh!

5. I was the reigning beer chugging champion during much of grad school. No one, male or female, could down a glass of beer as fast as I could. Doesn't that make me sound sec-say?? The irony is that I rarely ever drink now - I think I had a glass of wine during the summer of 2007, but my memory is fuzzy.

6. If I had to choose another profession, I think I'd have a hard time deciding between a gemologist, an architect or an archeologist.

7. When I get tired and slap-happy, my sense of humour devolves to that of a 12 year old boy. During these times, the use of words like "balls", "jugs" or "probe" is pretty much guaranteed to make me collapse into fits of giggles. I guess I'm just a classy broad!

I am now supposed to nominate seven other bloggers for this award. But, I can't choose just seven - I like way more people than that. So, let's try something else. If you were born in a month ending in "-ber", then I nominate you.

21 September 2009

Lacquer Lundi

Straight to the pretties:

China Glaze - DV8
- purchased at head2toebeauty.com for $3.29 US

I love DV8, with unbridled, burning passion! This scrumptious turquoise holographic polish from China Glaze's OMG! Collection is so beautiful it's almost painful. There is nothing bad about this polish.

DV8 applied wonderfully, so smooth and easy. It covers perfectly in two coats, although I could have gotten away with a single coat if I had been a bit more careful. It wore well over two days - just minor tip wear.

If you love blue and you're looking for a unique holo polish, this is the one! I can easily say that this is one of my favourite polishes.

BB Couture - Little Deuce Coupe & Revlon Glimmer Gloss - Banana Blaze
- BB Couture purchased at overallbeauty.com for $9 US
- Revlon purchased at Rexall (chain drug store) for $5.49 CDN

Little Deuce Coupe is a pretty lemon yellow from BB Couture's Rot Rod Collection, which hit the market earlier this year. It is a great addition to a warm weather polish wardrobe. While wearing it, I received many compliments from colleagues and students - as can be expected, yellow is a real eye catcher.

Although the polish had a fairly nice consistency, I was faced with the same application issues that seem to plague all yellow polishes. Even after three carefully applied coats, Little Deuce Coupe was still slightly streaky and uneven. However, unless the observer's eyes are mere centimetres from the nail, it's not that noticeable. This polish wore extremely well - essentially no tip wear or any other blemishes after two days of wear.

Since my Little Deice Coupe manicure still looked so fab, I didn't really want to take it off, but I did want a change. So, I applied two coats of Banana Blaze over top. Banana Balze has a sheer yellow base with tons of sparkling yellow shimmer. However, it still fairly subtle - only when light catches the shimmer does it really come alive. Enlarge the picture to the right to see the tiny sparkles.

Wet n Wild Wild Shine - Sapphire Blue, Caribbean Frost & Bijou Blue
- purchased at Zellers (chain discount store) for $1.97 CDN each

Sapphire Blue is a frosted dark royal blue (on thumb and pinky fingers), Caribbean frost is a frosted emerald green (on pointer and ring fingers) and Bijou Blue is a frosted turquoise (on middle finger). I decided to create a manicure inspired by the ocean and immediately thought of this trio of blue and green untried polishes sitting in my stash.

All three polishes applied rather nicely. However, each polish required a different number of coats to be opaque. Sapphire Blue was perfect in one single coat (nice!), Caribbean Frost needed two and the sheerest of the three, Bijou Blue was still a tad see-through after three coats.

In the past, I have had major issues with the crappy wear of Wet n Wild polishes and these were no exception. I had major chipping (heck, I had flakes coming off the edge of my thumbnail) after less than 24 hours. Also, removal was a PITA. I am now the proud owner of Smurf fingers, as the blue has stained my nails (even though I used a base coat) and cuticles. Blech!

20 September 2009


I love the bamboo french terry and bamboo fleece that Wazoodle manufactures. In the past, I have always found it to be of high quality at an exceptional price. Unfortunately for the last while, they have only had these fabrics in colours that don't really appeal to me. Today, as I was surfing around, I finally came across a new batch of these fabrics (60" wide - 65% bamboo rayon, 28% cotton, 7% lycra - $7 CDN per yard) up for sale. So, I dove in with both feet:

Chocolate Bamboo French Terry (10 yards) & Dark Oyster Bamboo Fleece (5 yards)

I see a bunch of new exercise clothes in my future. Thank goodness! Most of my existing active wear is in a sad state. So sad that I was considering purchasing some ill-fitting RTW just to get me by. Now, I have other options!

17 September 2009

It Is Easy Being Green

Pattern: Simplicity 3874 (view B shortened to a top) & Loes Hinse Hepburn Pants (view A).

Size: Top - size 8;

Fabric: Top - beige popcorn stitch tencel knit from Wazoodle; Pants - heathered green RPL from Timmel Fabrics.

Project Photo:

Comments: I have had a SWAP plan put together for a while now. I had originally debated about joining last year's Stitcher's Guild SWAP contest using this plan, but in the end I decided to pass. Unfortunately, passing on the contest also caused me to forget about my plan. Well, no more, the plan has been unearthed (and revamped - more on that later) and the sewing has begun.

Behold the first two pieces from the "It Is Easy Being Green" plan. The pants are my TNT Hepburn pants. The top is a shortened version of S3874. I love this pattern as a dress, so I figured why not crop it up into a top. I like the result - basically a T-shirt that has been given some extra interest due to the under bust tie.

Conclusion: Two great transitional pieces for fall. Now, I just need to find some time in my busy schedule (I tell ya, all this workin' for a living really is cramping my sewing mojo!) to continue working on this SWAP plan.

15 September 2009

That 70s Dress

Pattern: Butterick 5754 (vintage)

Size: size 8

Fabric: Sand poly blend micro-basketweave suiting from Fabric Mart.

Project Photo

Comments: Ah, the 70s...I was but a young child during the 70s, but I do remember a few things: Donny & Marie, Sonny & Cher, disco, Wonder Woman and hairy men. But, the one overwhelming thing that pops to mind when I think about the 70s is the horrible, cheesy fashions.

Now, before you cry foul, take a look at my evidence: polyester leisure suits, athletic shorts and striped knee high socks a la The White Shadow, bell bottoms, spandex jumpsuits (holy camel toe Batman!) and the always appropriate pimp look. Fashion took a serious bitch slap in the 70s.

However, it is possible to unearth a few nuggets of sanity from the wasteland that is 70s fashion. Case in point, B5754. I can't believe this dress is so normal and classic.

This dress went together smoothly. Ever noticed how excellent the drafting is in vintage patterns? They are always a dream to use.

There is nothing I don't like about this dress. Comfortable style - check. Cute whether belted or not - check. Pockets - check. Adorable yoke and collar - check. No zipper or buttons to mess with - check. Looks great alone or with a cardigan - check. Compliments from colleagues and students when I wear it - check. Heck, what's not to like?

Conclusion: I will most certainly make this dress again. I can see it in a soft wool for winter (worn with a lightweight top underneath).

14 September 2009

Lacquer Lundi

Straight to the pretties:

Sally Hansen Hard as Nails Xtreme Wear - Ivy League
- purchased at Zellers (chain discount store) for $2.99 CDN

Ivy League is an absolutely gorgeous medium spring green polish, that positively glows from within due to a beautiful golden shimmer. This polish is definitely one of my favourite greens.

Ivy League has a nice formulation and applies smoothly and moves around the nail nicely. The only issue is coverage. It took me three coats to build up the colour enough to be opaque. I prefer a one or two-coater polish, but for this stunner, I'm willing to make an exception. This polish wore well - only tip wear after a day.

China Glaze - Vintage Crepe
- purchased at head2toebeauty.com for $2.99 US

Vintage crepe is a coral orange creme, with a very subtle pinkish cast. It is the perfect colour for warm summer endeavours, yet it is also appropriate for crisp fall days.

Vintage Crepe applied nicely and was opaque in two coats. It wore well for the day I had it on - only very minor tip wear.

MAC - Beyond Jealous
& China Glaze - Golden Enchantment

- MAC purchased at maccosmetics.ca for $14.50 CDN
- China Glaze purchased at Sally Beauty Supply for $2.00 CDN

Beyond Jealous is another of the latest releases from MAC (I have reviewed two others the last two Lacquer Lundi posts). It is an extremely deep, dark forest green creme that almost appears black in certain lighting. It is most certainly a vampy colour.

Beyond Jealous applied very nicely, covering in two coats, due to very good pigmentation. It also wore well for the day and a half that I had it on alone.

When I decided I wanted a change from the MAC polish, I was too lazy to remove it and start anew, so I brushed Golden Enchantment over top. Golden Enchantment is a pretty polish with a sheer golden base , packed with micro glitter. The glitter shines in every colour of the rainbow on the nail, providing a interesting pick-me-up to a tired manicure. Ooo, sparkly.

My only issue with Golden Enchantment is with removal. As with all glitter polishes, this baby was a pain in the arse to take off. Lots of soaking with an acetone laden piece of felt sped things along, but believe me, there was still swearing!

MAC - Dry Martini
- purchased at maccosmetics.ca for $14.50 CDN

Dry Martini is the piece de resistance in the new MAC offerings as far as I am concerned. Its camouflage greenish-brown shade is unique. I am always smitten by slightly odd, somewhat weird colours and this polish falls firmly in that category. I do not have any other polish in my collection that even remotely resembles Dry Martini. I love it!

Dry Martini flowed smoothly onto the nail and it was opaque in three coats. I can't comment on wear, as I just put it on last night, but it looks great so far!

12 September 2009

Butterick 5335 & Loes Hinse Oxford Pants

Pattern: Butterick 5335 (view B) & Loes Hinse Oxford Pants (view B cropped to city short length)

Size: Top - size 8; Shorts - size S

Fabric: Top - floral and dot print rayon/lycra knit from Lucy's Fabrics; Shorts - dark brown linen/rayon blend woven from Fabric Mart.

Project Photo
Comments: I don't often wear shorts, but I do have the occasional need for them. So when I had a small remnant of the brown linen/rayon blend woven left over after using it for a few projects, I figured why not squeeze out a pair of shorts. I had my LH Oxford pants pattern nearby, so I folded up the legs and went to town. Quick and easy!

I have always loved a good raglan sleeve top and I'm always on the look out for the next great pattern. So, when I saw B5335, it was a no-brainer to give the cropped sleeved raglan tee a whirl. Well, I pronounce the experiment a huge success. This to fits very nicely and it uses less than a metre of fabric. I can see myself making more of these babies!

Conclusion: This is my last hurrah for summer clothing. Ah, parting is such sweet sorrow...

10 September 2009

McCall's 5042 - Numero Cuatro

Pattern: McCall's 5042 (view A)

Size: size 8

Fabric: Yellow with orange, black and white floral print stretch cotton from Fabricland (Canadian chain fabric store).

Project Photo:

Comments: This is a V-neck version of the pattern that has been near and dear to my heart as of late (see here, here and here).

This dress is done is a heavyweight stretch cotton that I picked up for a song in the clearance section of my local chain fabric store last year. I really like the funky floral pattern.

This dress is made the same way as the other three, so not much to add.

Conclusion: Another quick and easy, yet flattering and fun to wear version of M5042.

8 September 2009

McCall's 5042 - Numero Tres

Pattern: McCall's 5042 (view A)

Size: size 8

Fabric: Brown with lime and white floral print stretch cotton from Fabricland (Canadian chain fabric store).

Project Photo

Comments: As a comment to my last sewing post, lsaspacey said..."You should definitely try the V-neck now!" Well, don't ever say I'm not responsive to my readers - you ask and I deliver.

I am not normally a fan of the V-neck. My smaller than average chest is typically not flattered by showing an expanse of sternum, so I tend to stick to crew necks, boat necks and the like. However, this V-neck is high enough that it is still flattering.

As with the other two dresses (here and here) made using this patterns, this new dress also sports a lined bodice and an unlined skirt.

Conclusion: Due to the dark brown background of the fabric, this dress should do an excellent job of transitioning me into fall. On warmer days, it can go solo. On cooler days, I can toss on a cardigan and perhaps a belt. So versatile.

On a non-sewing note, today is my first official day back to work - with classes and students and all the chaos that goes along with it. Wish me luck - I'm sure I'll need it!

7 September 2009

Lacquer Lundi

Let's start off today with a question:
said..."Here is my question: Do you find that the polish you wear is enhanced by the clothing that you wear? The color I applied for Sunday was lifeless against the black and white outfit I wore to church, but today it delights me, sparkling against the bronze tones of my top and hinting a bit of gold itself. What do you think?"

Absolutely! I consider nail polish to be an accessory just like scarves or jewelry. In the same way that accessories can harmonize with or contrast pleasingly against the rest of an outfit, nail polish serves the same purpose. I have been known to change clothing because one of my garments clashes with my fingers!

Now, on to the pretties:

China Glaze - TMI
- purchased at head2toebeauty.com for $3.29 US

As many of my regular Lacquer Lundi readers know, I am not a pink fan. However, I am always willing to make an exception for the dark coral pink holographic beauty known as TMI. This beautiful polish is from China Glaze's Summer 2008 OMG collection. Although not as insanely blingtastic as some holo polishes, TMI is still quite the looker.

I have included an indoor (to the left) and an outdoor (to the right) photo.

TMI slides onto the nail easily, covering in two coats. It stood up okay to two days of wear with tip wear and minor chipping. I never seem to get excellent wear from my holo polishes, but I still love them!

Sally Hansen Hard as Nails Xtreme Wear - Peach Daiquiri
- purchased at Zehrs (chain grocery store) for $1.34 CDN

I don't tend to enjoy sheer polishes, so when I put on Peach Daiquiri I was a bit dissappointed. Although it is a pretty peach (with subtle silver shimmer) in the bottle, it is very, very sheer on the nail. The photo you see is five (yes, five) coats of polish and it is still too see-through for my taste.

For those in the crowd that enjoy a sheer polish, you will be pleased by the formula - it flows on easily. I however, removed Peach Daiquiri right away as I can't stand VNL (visible nail line) and the five coats were taking forever to dry. I will however try layering Peach Daiquiri over another polish at a later date.

MAC - Cool Reserve
- purchased at maccosmetics.ca for $14.50 CDN

Another of the new Fall 2009 releases from MAC. Cool Reserve is a greyed-down medium lavender creme polish. It is a fairly unique colour (although I did find something comparable if you don't want to shell out the mega bucks for the MAC - see below).

This polish applied better than the previously used MAC polish (see above link for Rich, Dark, Delicious review). It went on fairly easily, although it required three coats to be completely opaque and streak-free. I had higher hopes for the formula of a polish this pricey.

The wear was quite good however. After two very active days with my hands (back to school organization), I only had minor tip wear.

Rimmel Play Fast - Hit That
- purchased at Rexall (chain drug store) for $3.26 CDN

Looking for an inexpensive alternative to MAC Cool Reserve? Consider, Rimmel Hit That. Although it is not an exact duplicate, it may quell the lemmings enough to get by. The base colour of the two polishes are pretty much the same. The only real difference is that Hit That has a subtle bronze micro-shimmer that Cool Reserve does not. If truth be told, I actually prefer the Rimmel polish - it's bit more interesting.

Hit That glides on easily due to a great formula and a nice wide brush (a better brush than the MAC polishes IMHO). It dries quickly too, which is another bonus. I also got just about the same level of wear with the Rimmel polish as with the MAC. So, if you like the dusty lavender look, get the Rimmel and save your shekels for a rainy day.

Sally Hansen Hard as Nails Xtreme Wear - Sun Kissed
- purchased at Zellers (chain discount store) for $2.99 CDN

SHHANXW polishes have recently come out with a ton of shades, some of which are new and some are re-releases of older, popular colours. You may have seen the huge display at local drug stores. It was at one of these displays that I found Sun Kissed and fell in love. It is a gorgeous bright orange polish that reminds me of an Orange Creamsicle, that tasty cool summer time treat from my child hood.

As with all my SHHANXW polishes, Sun Kissed flowed on smoothly and moved around the nail nicely (I love the nice wide brush). It did however take three thin coats to ensure opacity, but since this polish dries quickly, it wasn't much of an imposition. It wore well for the day that I had it on.

6 September 2009

More Fabric Haulin'

As many of you know, Fabric Mart has a 20% off sale on right now. Well, I spoted some silk charmeuse that I need for a project, do I figured I'd pick up a few yards. Then the flood gates opened:

The first two fabrics (an avocado and an olive silk charmeuse) are for the project. The brown floral silk charmeuse, brown wool knit, tan tropical wool, grey graphic silk twill and heathered grey suiting have less distinct usages in mind. They just seemed like they would like to come live with me. I also picked up a free bundle (premium members can still get the bundle during the sale - just click on "check for special offers" button at the bottom of the shopping cart page).

All in all, I'm still in the negative for fabric acquisition this year, so I maintain that my halo is intact.

Update: It looks like I didn't get the last two fabrics. Double crud! I was really looking forward to adding some more grey to my wardrobe.