Sunday, January 31, 2010

Sunday Sneak Peak

Despite not being particularly good in 2009, I still had one hell of a long list for Santa (see picture left, he looks perplexed doesn't he).  And, boy howdy, the old boy delivered.

This week is all about my Christmas lemmings.  Chanel, Illamasqua, China Glaze (a collection you've all seen swatched a million other places but I love it) and one colour from Jessica that I think every single person should have in their collection.  Oh, and one new lacquer I recently purchased all because of Nea (Nea, you're a terrible enabler). 

Just a reminder, too, to vote in the Great Aussie Swatch Watch.  Voting is now open and the results, so far, are extremely close.  As in, at least three lacquers are tied for first and the other two are only a vote or two behind.   If you haven't voted as yet, now's the time!

I hope you're all having a great weekend.  It's hot here in Melbourne (36 celsius, or 97 for the non metric), which means lots of sunshine, icecream and cold showers. God bless whoever invented air conditioning.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Great Aussie Swatch Watch - Ulta 3 - VOTING NOW OPEN!


Ladies, it's time to vote. All week, I've swatched lacquers from fab Aussie company, Ulta3. Now is your chance to vote for your favourite!

The rules with this are simple:

1. Scroll down to the entry form below.

2. Select your favourite Ulta3 Lacquer from the drop down box.

3. Fill in your name and email address.

4. Click 'Submit Entry'.

5. Do a happy dance because you've just got your entry in.

6. At the end of the week, the lacquer with the most votes will be declared the winner. For those of you who voted for the winning lacquer, one name will be drawn at random and that person will win the bottle of lacquer they voted for.

7. This competition is open to everyone (so long as your postal service can accept nail polish) and will close on midday, Saturday 6th February 2010, Australian Daylight Savings Time (I know on the competition form, it says 8pm Friday 5th 2010, but that is US EST time)

Good luck everyone!

Naily News #17

Don't forget that voting in the Great Aussie Swatch Watch opens today. Make sure you vote for your favourite!

Diana takes a Nubar lacquer and turns it into a piece of art.

If you're having a bad day, check out Kaz's Extreme Wear swatches.  100% guaranteed to cheer you up.

Kitty to Karen trials RBL's Scrangie.  Is there anyone out there who doesn't adore this colour?

Nail Juice is making me hungry.

Skye creates the perfect spring / summer manicure.

If you're hooked into the manicure hands trend, make sure you check out Gilded's attempt.  It's pretty darn perfect.

Scrangie takes us to the East with her OPI Hong Kong Collection swatches.

Katie trials another RBL Blogger Lacquer.  I'm not telling you what it is.  Just click for cuteness.

Nicole duochromes her heart out.  And it's awesome.

All You Desire is making me hungry again.  This time for grapes.

Friday, January 29, 2010

Ulta3 - Grey Silver

Grey Silver?  Ulta3 aren't even trying sometimes with their naming conventions.

Grey Silver is a remarkable lacquer, but not for its colour.  It's a chrome silver which are a dime a dozen in the lacquer world.

What is remarkable about this is the application.  What do you normally think of when you think of a silver-ish chrome?  Streak city, right?

Nuh-uh!  This applies like a dream.  I couldn't streak this (and I tried because I just didn't believe a chrome wouldn't streak).  I've got, at least count, at least 30 of these types of lacquer and they all streak.  Whatever Ulta3 have done with this formula, they need to keep on doing it because it's literally amazing.

So, that closes off the five swatches.  Starting tomorrow, you'll be able to vote for your favourite Ulta3 and, if you're lucky, win the lacquer you vote for!

Thursday, January 28, 2010

OPI - Mad as a Hatter - Take II

I had a conversation with a manicurist friend that went along these lines:

Friend: So I saw that Mad as a Hatter swatch.  Freaking disaster.

Me: I know!  Couldn't believe how bad that turned out.  Lemon formula.

Friend:  Pffft!  No such thing as a lemon formula.  Just a lemon manicurist.

Me: What?  Lesbian?  What does that have to do with anything?

Friend: Huh?  Lesbian?  Oh god, you're dumb.  LEMON MANICURIST.  Not lesbian manicurist.  You really are dumb sometimes.

Anyway, the upshot of that conversation was that I decided to give this lacquer another try, with some advice from said manicurist friend.  She advised me to, as opposed to just dipping the brush in and out, swirl the brush around in the bottle before applying a coat.

Bingo!  I now see what you were all talking about with this lacquer.  It's magical and wonderous.

Don't you love happy endings?

Ulta3 - Beesting

(Once again, please forgive the overall crappiness of this photo.  We have just moved house and I'm still tinkering with the lighting situation. Thanks for being understanding!)

Ooooh, I have such a weakness for dusty pinks and Beesting is a little ripper.

This is a lovely, frosty, almost velvet-like pink. It reminds me (and this is a good memory) of my French grandmother and the stunning 19th century curtains she had in her home.  I remember, as a child, buring my face in those curtains and reveling in the warmth and softness.

This is like those velvet curtains.  Old world elegance and softness.  Perfect for work and infinitely suitable for evening wear.  For me, this is my absolute and utter favourite out of all of the Ulta3s.

I've had a few of you email me about the longevity of these.  I'll be honest.  They won't last a week on the nail, even with a good base and top coat.  But they do last two-three days before chipping.

So, what do you guys think?  Stay tuned later today.  I have a Take II on a lacquer I recently tried and failed with.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Ulta3 - Blue Glitter

Blue Glitter is very unimaginatively titled.

But don't let the name underwhelm you.  This is a stunning, amazing, beautiful blue glitter. 

Formula wise, if you're looking for opacity, this is not the lacquer for you.  The swatch on the left is three coats and, as you can see, that's one heck of a visible nail line there.

However, I don't think that holds this back at all.  Because the glitter is fine, it dries to a very smooth finish, with no hang nails.  And it dries super fast.  I did not need to resort to Seche Vite, which is normal for me when dealing with glitters.

And removing this is a breeze.  No scrubbing.  No tearing of cuticles.  Just a quick soak of the nail in polish remover and it slides off beautifully.  I have no idea what Ulta3 have done to achieve this, but it's a winner in my book.

I know what some of you are already thinking with this.  How does it compare to OPI's Absolutely Alice, the other blue of the moment?  Well, I've put them side by side in a comparison to show you, after the jump!

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Happy Australia Day!

Australia is a pretty good place to live.

We have great weather, Vegemite, Tim Tams, Hugh Jackman and, of course, the Gum Leaf Mafia.

But possibly the best thing to ever come out of Australia is Haigh's Chocolates.  My work building is right across the road from Haigh's. This is a very bad thing because, on a daily basis, I am haunting the shop, prowling for new flavours and thrills. 

Today, I bought some handmade dark chocolates.  And promptly ate them all.  My favourites were the Rose Cream, Strawberry Cream and the Lemon Myrtle Cream. They were just so cute and delicious that I decided to create a nail art tribute to celebrate a classic Australian brand and to celebrate Australia Day.

To create this, I used RBL's Au Chocolat as the base. Of course.

For the flower, I used Mecca Cosmetica's Luciana and Helen with Sportgirl's Nail It! Apple. To create the flower, I used the end of my nail art brush as a dotting tool and then brushed the leaf on.  It's not the Mona Lisa, but it's definitely not a train wreck.  So I'm happy.

To all of the Gum Leaf Mafia, have a wonderful Australia Day.  To all my international readers, there's nothing in the Australia Day rule book that says that internationals can't celebrate also.   So lift your glasses and toast a great country that provides the world with a plethora of great food, hot men and superfly nail bloggers.

Ulta3 - Bottle Green

No, I haven't lost a finger.

But I did momentarily lose my mind whilst doing this swatch and simultaneously smudged and lifted off the polish on my index finger.  Hence, for this post's purposes, my index finger is resting on the bench. 

Bottle Green is a stunning, frosty / chrome green.  I've tried to capture the different ways it looks in this photo (in the process of trying to capture the colour, I blurred the marshmallow out of this swatch - my apologies).  Sometimes it looks like a deep green (as you can see on my ring finger), whilst other times the frost just can't be contained (see my little finger).

I knew I was onto a winner with this when my very conservative mother (who only wears red, red and more red), asked 'Can I borrow that?'  For her to deviate so far out of her colour comfort zone says something about the awesomesauce (sorry, Kaz, this is my word of the week) of this lacquer.

If you're looking for a dupe, you're in luck.  Barielle's Spring 2010 Wildflower Collection, swatched here by Scrangie, has a near dead-on dupe called Snap Dragon.  Scrangie's swatch looks marginally lighterand more of a chrome, but we are talking a matter of a few degrees here.

Stay tuned later today for a special Australia Day manicure!  I've attempted a nail art exercise and, for a change, it actually looks good. Stop laughing!

Monday, January 25, 2010

Ulta3 - Plum Violet

Uh, does this look like a Plum Violet to you?

Plum Violet is the first Ulta I'm trialling this week and it's - as we commonly say in Australia - a beeeaut-ayyyy.

A magnificent pink creme.  The quintessential Barbie Pink.

Formula wise, this is one of the best creme formulas I've found.  Opaque in two coats, dries to a high shine and the colour is absolutely true to the bottle.

But the absolute best thing about this is the price.  $2.50.  And you get 13.5mls for that price.  It's extraordinarily good value and one of the big reasons why this is such a big brand in Australia.  We get gouged on pretty much anything imported (did you know we pay $85 for Nars Orgasm blush) so to have something that is dirt cheap AND good - HEAVEN!

Does this pink tickle your fancy?  And does anyone want to hazard a guess as to why this is called Plum Violet when I don't see any plum or violet in it?

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Sunday Sneak Peak

This week is all about the Great Australian Swatch Watch.

The way this works is super simple.  And anyone is eligible to enter, so long as your postal service is prepared to deliver nail polish.

1. Each day this week, I will post a swatch of an Ulta3 lacquer (see left for the bottles).

2. Once all five swatches have been posted, you will be able to vote for your favourite lacquer (one vote per email / IP address). 

3.Voting will stay open for one week.

4. At the end of the week, one lacquer will be declared the winner / reader favourite.

5. For those of you who voted for the winning lacquer, one name will be drawn at random and that person will win the bottle of lacquer they voted for.

Good luck everyone!  Do you have an early favourite?

Saturday, January 23, 2010

January Giveaway Winner!

Thank you to everyone who entered the January 2010 Giveaway.  I appreciate every person who reads YGN, comments or sends me emails.

The winner for this month is.......

Magic Maid aka Nicole aka Unbelievable Hotness on Two Legs.

Congratulations Nicole!  Drop me an email and I'll have your five Models Prefer lacquers in the post quicker than you can say 'Models Prefer B-Bold Nail Color Collection'.

Don't forget that, next week, I start the Great Australian Swatch Watch.  You could win a bottle of Australian nail polish.

The February 2010 Giveaway will go live on February 14th 2010.  It will be a Valentines Day Giveaway.  Because I'm a big softie and I love love. 

Naily News #16

Sigh. There's nothing else to say. It's Kae's nails and all I can do is sigh when I see them.

Gilded Angel masters the Lubu Manicure.  It's a glorious manicure you have to see.

Mary is torturing me with Tortuga.  Ok, so it's not a great play on words but this manicure is something to behold.

All You Desire is making me want candy.  DO NOT look at this manicure if you're even slightly candy lemming.

Sheesh, Brooke is doing it too!  What is it with food at the moment ladies?  Your manicures are making me hungry!

Kaz is awesomesauce.  I'm not going to explain.  Just click.

Nicole ices it up with China Glaze's Refresh Mint.

You want purple?  You want shimmer?  Then you'll want to be seeing Katie's super duper purple monster manicure.

RBL totally turn the concept of a Spring lacquer on its head.  Check out Lacquer Laine for some amazing swatches from RBL's Spring 2010 Collection.

Kirsten has one of the most beautiful plum / burgundies I've seen in a while.  It kinda helps too that Kirsten's nails are divine.

Violet Le Beaux is just a big ball of stupendous creativity

Finally, Kitty to Karen has nails that shine like justice.  An obscure Cake reference but one I certainly appreciated.

Stay tuned guys.  I'm just about to draw the January Giveaway (just getting the last of the names into my software).

Friday, January 22, 2010

Rescue Beauty Lounge - Black Russian

Yeah, so I saved my favourite lacquer for last.  Of course.  It's like saving the icing of the cake until the end and then basking in its sugar-rush glow.

Black Russian (or Zee Black Russian as it's called in this house), is one of the most spectacular lacquers I've ever seen.

It's a black lacquer with tiny red particles through it.  Definitely click on the larger image to see this in all its glory.

The key with Zee Black Russian is its subtlety.  The black cream is perfect on its own and is stunning.  The red just adds a hint of mystery and interest.

Ji Baeck calls this 'goth, all grown-up and very sophisticated' and I couldn't agree more.  I feel like I'm super-chic and cool wearing this.

If you don't want to wait until the next RBL 50% off sale, or don't want to spend the money (and this is an expensive lacquer), then there are cheap dupes that are readily available.

On the left I have Black Russian, China Glaze's Lubu Heels and Milani's Garnet Gems.  Lubu Heels and Garnet Gems are both available for under $5.

If you have a look at the swatches on the left, Black Russian is very subtle.  Garnet Gems is totally in your face (it's the hotness).  Lubu Heels seems to sit comfortably between the two.

For me, Black Russian is my preferred lacquer.  I love the subtlety and elegance of the understated red.  And the formula is out of this world.  Much smoother than the other two and far glosser when it dries.

So, what do you think.  Do you love Zee Black Russian as much as I do?  It makes me want to watch Dr Zhivago all over again.

You've Got Duped - BYS Aloha vs Collection 2000 BMX Bandit

I've had so many requests for side by side comparison of BYS Aloha and Collection 2000 BMX Bandit.

So, here it is!  Definitely click to see the larger version

Both of these are gorgeous periwinkles.  However, to my eye anyway, BYS Aloha is darker and more purple, whilst BMX Bandit is lighter and more 'dusty' looking in appearance.

These differences are pretty marginal though.  I'd say that, if you can't get your hands on BYS Aloha, then definitely try BMX Bandit as an alternative.

If you have a periwinkle that looks similar, paste the link to your post in the comments.  Let's have a Periwinkle Polish Party!

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Rescue Beauty Lounge - Scrangie

Scrangie is named after the one and only Scrangie.  This lacquer came out as part of a Blogger collection involving Michelle of All Lacquered Up and and The Polish Addict.  All three lacquers are amazing, but it was Scrangie - with its hypnotic mix of green and purple- that caught my eye and never let go.

You can see why.  Scrangie is a lacquer that never looks the same way twice. One moment, it's a deep and alluring purple.  The next minute, the green bursts through like sunlight in the morning.

The complexity of this lacquer made it so difficult to photograph but I think I've captured both the green and purple here.  The purple more so on the index and middle finger, whilst the green shines through on the ring and little finger.

This is a glorious lacquer.  Scrangie pulled together a colour that is true to herself, but oh so wearable for the rest of us.

What do you guys think?  Did you buy any of the other lacquers from the Blogger collection?  How did you find them?

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

OPI - Alice in Wonderland

I mentioned that my fifth lacquer was going to be a surprise.  Well, it's not so much a fifth lacquer as much as it's four lacquers!

Today, I've got swatches of the OPI's Alice in Wonderland collection.

There has been so much hype about this collection (and about the upcoming Tim Burton film) that, when I saw this advertised on Transdesign, I quickly snapped it up.

For me, this collection is what I'm calling 'Three Hits and One (freaking, absolutely horrific, nail train wreck) Miss'.  You'll see why after the jump!

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Rescue Beauty Lounge - Au Chocolat

Don't forget that my January Giveaway ends this Friday!

I've also added a FAQ section for some of your... well.... frequently asked questions!


It's darn near impossible to find true brown lacquers. Sure you get reddish browns but to find a milk chocolate brown is so so rare.

So you can understand, then, why I snatched up Au Chocolat as soon as I saw it in the recent RBL sale.

This is an absolute dream to work with.  Opaque in one coat, although I did two for the swatch here.  This dried to a high shine and just looks like liquid chocolate on the nail.

So far, I've fallen in love with RBL lacquers.  They really are the Ferraris of the nail world.  Now I just need to wait for another 50% sale so that I can afford to buy more of them!

YGN in the News - Essie Newsletter

I've just gotten another reason to love and adore Essie lacquers.  Not that I needed any encouragement of course!

One of my Essie manicures, Mint Apple, is featured in the most recent Essie Newsletter!

For me, it is a really big honour and privilege to be mentioned in the same space as the great Essie Weingarten.

I'm floored and humbled.  And a little stoked.  :-)

Monday, January 18, 2010

Rescue Beauty Lounge - Sheer White

The first of the RBL lacquers I want to show you is Sheer White.

Now, you guys may remember that I had some initial issues with this lacquer.  When I first applied this, I applied it over a nude nail.  For the first two coats, it looked AMAZING.  But then I decided to tempt fate and apply a third and fourth coat.  Disaster.  My tips looked yellowed and aged.

I now realise that this lacquer is meant to be worn over a French tip.  Once I did that, all my issues were resolved. 

I think it looks gorgeous.  It gives my nails a milky appearance, negates the harshness of the white tip (is it just me or does anyone else HATE french tips without a cream / pink overlay), and is just pure sophistication and elegance.  If you're a French manicure fan, I don't really think you can do without this topcoat.

If you're also someone with stained nails (and don't we all have that problem at some point), this is a great lacquer to hide the yellowing, whilst not continuing to damage and/or stain your nails.  

Finally, just to prove that my initial issues were operator error, and nothing to do with the lacquer, the swatch on the right is Sheer Milk with four coats (and a French tip).

I think it looks even more awesome than two coats - if that's possible - but let me know what you think in the comments.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Sunday Sneak Peak

Ladies, this week, I have some really super special lacquers to show you.

I've been trialling my RBL lacquers for a little while now.  And I'm in love.  Seriously, I want to move to New York and stalk Ji Baeck.  I need to be around greatness.  She is it.

But, hang on, that's only four lacquers?  What gives?  Well, ladies, my fifth lacquer is going to be a surprise.  :-)

Unfortunately, my nails are very, very short this week.  Two weeks of swimming pools and generally being lazy about my nail care has taken a toll.  I saw my manicurist last week.  She sighed.  Tutted at me.  Sighed some more.  And then recommended I go short to restore the shape and to get rid of the weak ends.  So I apologise to all the talon-istas who love long nails.  You'll get no love from me this week on that score.  Thankfully, the uber-coolness of the colours should off-set the shortage.

I hope you all have a wonderful week!  I'm back to work full time this week and it's going to be crazy.  New job, new boss and all new challenges.  And I can't wait.  :-)

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Naily News #15 - proudly brought to you by the Polish Bloggers Network

Have you heard of the Polish Blogger Network?  This group of fab nail bloggers have just launched their weekly link love feature, bringing you articles from some of the best blogs out there.

This week's Naily News is a special edition, brought to you by the Polish Blogger Network.  Regular Naily News goodness will be back next week.


ChromaticMisadventures brings you Victoria's Secret Rush Beauty with a Cherry on Top... while CucumPear swirls up some Green Agate on her beautifully water marbled tips.

NaildPolishd brings to you the highly coveted American Apparel polishes in Mousse and Hassid and Body Soul Beauty has managed to get her hands on some new Milani Holographic nail color.

You've Got Nail trials a Racing Green that will make your heart flutter... as Travels with Euridice tries out the dazzling China Glaze Ginger.

Now it's Time to Add Some Chic with Tuli Nails but don't forget to check out a few tools everyone needs over at Nails of the Day

There are also a few giveaways going on.
Be sure and check those out too!

PolishFreak is giving away a set of American Apparel's backordered nail polishes.

Polish Galore is giving away Cina Glaze's Up & Away Grape Pop, Seche Vite Top Coat, and a bottle of Matte Magic.

The Swatchaholic is giving away a host of different polishes along with some nail jewel accessories and Body Soul Beauty is hosting her weekly Friday Freebie giveaway.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Barry M - Violet Gold

The final lacquer I'm trying this week was the lacquer that, when I first saw it, I could not take my eyes off it.  I still can't.

I apologise in advance because my photo just does not do justice to Barry M's Violet Gold.

This is a duochrome violet and gold.  In the bottle, and on the nail, this is just an amazing and magical lacquer.

It glides on beautifully with no streaks, dries superfast and the swirls of violet and gold in the bottle play out beautifully on the nail.

The only problem I had with this was bubbles.  If you look at my ring finger, you'll see five clear bubbles sitting there.  I've applied this three times now and, every single time, it bubbles.  Usually localised in a single spot on the nail, but still bubbles.

I'd still wear this, though, just because of the colour.  It really is stunning.


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