Sunday, November 29, 2009

Fainting Couch on Atlantis

Hello ladies,

I suppose it's my turn to faint over China Glaze Atlantis. I will throw myself on the fainting couch that is a heap of those who have previously swooned. For the ladies who have since recovered their senses, please bring smelling salts or philters comprised of 100% acetone to help awaken the rest of us.

Yes, these pictures will enlarge. If you succumb to the sparkle and arise in a mysterious underwater kingdom, do not blame your whimiscal narrator. This polish may also attract mermaids.

Prettier than a perched bluebird, no?  

This is where I usually discuss application, but Atlantis is so beautiful, it's inconsequential. If you enjoy mesmerizing holographic glitter, the color teal and a jelly formula Atlantis requires purchasing. For the purists, I am wearing three coats. With one coat of CND Air Dry, there is some texture, but the finish doesn't feel rough. I have no real criticism of Atlantis. I feel a need to return to philosophy class and try to learn if this polish could possibly exist.

If you ladies need me, I will be using my fingernails to conjure peacocks, a hippocampus, a gathering of oceanic sirens and a muscular man with a trident.

Happy painting, ladies.

Friday, November 27, 2009


Hello ladies,

I decided to properly accessorize for Black Friday. This is the last mini polish from the Borghese Allegra collection I have to share with you. The black with silver glitter looks cosmic to me, like the path of a meteor descending to Earth in a shower of light.

This little butterfly from the Museum of Natural Sciences represents the color of the day. Before my little friend alighted to the stone bench, he rested on my hand and gave me a kiss. It was precious!

The black and silver glitter mini applied similarly to the other three polishes in the Allegra collection. What was curious is this polish had a full size brush. The red, gold and white glitter polishes had slightly smaller brushes. I found that all the polishes in my Serena mini collection, released at the same time as Allegra, had full size brushes. 

While black polish with silver glitter is hardly an original concept, the Borghese mini is a gorgeous representation of the idea. The silver is present in various sizes, from medium squares to a sprinkling of micro glitter. The base color is sheer enough that the glitter is visible at the surface, yet the shade builds easily to opacity in two to three coats. 

Happy painting, ladies! Happy shopping as well to those who were indulging today. 

Wednesday, November 25, 2009


Hello ladies,

I wanted to transform this rainy day. Without the sun brightening the sky, I chose gold for my fingertips to adorn myself with a color akin to light. This metallic with gold glitter sprinkles is a mini from the Borghese Allegra kit. It seems like a color that Goldilocks from the storybook would wear. Then, quite fancifully, I was imagining Goldilocks could turn objects as gilded as her hair by simply imagining it so. Perhaps that is what happened to the ginkgo tree I captured last week.

The Borghese gold mini polish applied similarly to the red I wore yesterday. I painted three thin coats with the smaller than average brush. Fear not! The brush is not as maddeningly small as an OPI mini. It does the job. Formula wise, I think this gold glitter would have been a two coater with a standard Borghese brush. I do wish this polish were available full size. The texture of the gold glitter felt fairly smooth after one layer of CND Air Dry topcoat. The glitter pieces are the right size to be prominent on the nail, yet still avoid bumpiness. Perfect!

Happy Thanksgiving to all those who celebrate and happy painting to each of you! 

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Dangerous red

Hello ladies,

The rain overnight marked the sky with clouds. I walked to a small park in the Art Museum area. There I found a coniferous tree and winter berries to highlight the red Borghese polish from the Allegra collection. My boyfriend decided this unnamed mini polish should be called dangerous red. I will leave you ladies to conspire as to what he could possibly mean by such a pronouncement. 

The Borghese mini has beautifully reflective red glitter in a jelly base. I carefully applied three coats. The two polishes I have worn from the Allegra set have slightly smaller brushes than those with the Serena mini collection. While I prefer the Serena brushes, the application was very precise. I did no cleanup around my cuticle area after polishing. With the heavy concentration of glitter, the formula seemed stickier or drier than usual. Keeping the layers thin, I had no trouble with application. 

The mini polish reminds me of China Glaze Ruby Pumps, but it's not a twin. It's a comely sister. I wish the sun had been present to really awaken the glitter, but the color is luminous even beneath cloud cover. 

I am excited about a little surprise I am planning for next week. I am just waiting for the mail to arrive and the sun to return. 

Happy painting, ladies!

Monday, November 23, 2009

Chinese Bellflower

Hello ladies,

Today I am combining Swiss Chocolate with Chinese Bellflowers. The luscious brown creme from the Nubar Chocolate Truffles collection creates the base for my interpretation of balloon flowers. The flora was drawn with Migi Nail art pens in green and violet. I adhered purple flat backed pearls to represent the flowers. 

The next two photos show my right hand and then a close up of my right thumb. I actually drew the leaves and attached the pearls on the nails of my right hand while chatting over coffee with my girlfriends. I am gaining confidence drawing with my left hand. 

Nubar Swiss Chocolate applied easily and was opaque in two coats. I have one polish left from the Chocolate Truffle collection to share with you. I am loving this collection so much I honestly wish there were more colors to review! Swiss Chocolate is a beautiful brown. Even though I love this shade without embellishment, it will certainly be a go to brown as a base for nail art. I used Diamont topcoat to seal the look. Diamont is wonderful as a layer to keep the pearls in place and gloss over the painted design, providing shine without smearing. 

Swiss Chocolate was sent to me for review. The Nubar Chocolate Truffles collection is available at

To adhere the pearls, I began by making three dots using the Migi Nail Art pen in violet. I then placed the pearl in the center of the dots. I followed with one coat of Nubar Diamont. My friend Lisa practiced with the green pen by drawing a wavy line near the top of her nail. She definitely gave me some inspiration for funky french designs! Migi Nail Art provided the violet and green pens for review purposes. Migi Nail Art pens are available for purchase at

Happy painting, ladies! 

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Chocolate and birds of paradise

Hello ladies,

Yesterday my friend David and I ventured to Longwood Gardens to view the final days of the Chrysanthemum festival. We walked through the meadow where the remnants of the wildflowers had dried to the color of hay and the sky was a watery blue. We spotted many songbirds and one golden butterfly before heading to the conservatory.

I wore Nubar's Raspberry Truffle, a lovely vampy brown with deep fushia shimmer pieces. While the base color is a dark brown, the glowing shimmer makes this shade read as purple in some lights. With two polishes remaining to try, I believe this will be my favorite of the Chocolate Truffle collection. 

The photos above were taken along the edge of the meadow as the sun emerged from behind the soft white of the clouds. Seen below, the sunlight coming through the domed glass ceiling in the conservatory was more brightly illuminating. 

David's man hand returns to painted Lady Fingers for more interpretive modeling. 

The chrysanthemums were cultivated into the shape of parasols! The flowers were trained to grow to fit a wire framework. Two different varieties were grafted to a single growing plant to create the tri-color arrangement of blooms. Such artistry!

Nubar Chocolate Raspberry was perfectly opaque in two coats and dried easily with Diamont topcoat. I kept this on my nails for two days and were there not so many other lovelies beckoning to be worn, I would leave it on longer still. The color is beautiful! Ladies who wanted OPI Black Cherry Chutney to be brighter on the nail in all lights would find satisfaction in Nubar Chocolate Raspberry. I am happy Nubar sent me this polish to review. 

The Chocolate Truffle collection is available at

Happy painting, ladies! 

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Indian Paisley

Hello ladies,

I created another look for you using Migi Nail Art pens. It's also a visual reminder that the last opportunity to enter the contest is the end of the day Friday. I wanted to experiment with a few of the pens I haven't yet tried: purple, aqua, and violet. I have been considering paisley patterns found in henna art as a source of inspiration. 

After doing some tricolor sketches, I began the design with a shimmering white canvas on the nail. I layered China Glaze White Out and the unnamed white glitter from the Borghese Allegra mini kit. With a white base, the violet and aqua colors from Migi read respectively as fuchsia and turquoise. As I was drawing, I realized my idea for a classic winter paisley bought a ticket to a Bollywood movie.

My ever elusive right hand. I am pleased with the finished look considering I drew it freeform using my uncoordinated left hand. 

My ever elusive right thumb. 

Purple, violet and aqua Migi Nail Art pens rest alongside a drowsy faery. 

China Glaze White Out was a fussy diva. The content of  my bottle of Zoya Get Even was ineffectually low. I managed one light coat over Creative Stickey, but could have used two thorough layers to combat the streakiness of White Out. I applied three coats of White Out, satisfied only because it was a layering note. The Borghese mini had a slightly smaller than standard size brush. I found it troubling, but not impossible to handle. I decided on one coat to soften the stark white and add a subtle shimmer. If I weren't using the Migi pens atop the Borghese mini, two coats would have been optimal. I had to paint carefully to get even coverage with one coat. The downsized brush was surprising since the polishes in the Serena mini kit were fitted with full size brushes. 

I had a great time creating the bright paisley designs with the Migi Nail Art pens. I found the violet and the aqua polishes to have a jelly formula. The purple pen drew more defined lines. While I needed to go over the violet and aqua shaded areas for opacity, I loved the stained glass finish of both colors. These pens are part of the Gold Set available for purchase at

I hope these paisley nails brightened your November day. Happy painting, ladies!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Apothecary: My favorite all natural hand cream

Hello ladies,

Today I am going to share news of my favorite hand cream. It's produced at an apiary by a small family run company, The Bee Folks. I purchase their hand cream every year at a shop within the Pennsylvania Renaissance Faire. This season I brought home two four ounce jars, one each in Lavender and Scottish Heather.   

The other varieties available are Citrus, Peppermint and Sensual Vanilla. The scents are created with a blend of fragrance and essential oils. The Scottish Heather hand cream contains lilac perfume along with heather. It's a gorgeous floral bouquet! The Lavender hand cream contains only lavender essential oil as the perfume element. All of the varieties have an undertone of honey intermingled with the chosen fragrance. The resulting aromas are ambrosial.


The consistency of the hand cream is on the thicker side. I use it every night before bedtime. Some ladies might prefer to do a heavy application before putting on cotton gloves as a moisturizing treatment. I find massaging a small amount perfect to maintain moisture levels in my skin and nails during the colder weather. 

The ingredients are all natural and healing. Apricot, avocado and jojoba oils combine with honey, beeswax, chamomile extract and vitamin E. All components are vegetarian. Since using hand cream from The Bee Folks, I have had no problem with peeling nails or winter dryness of my hands and cuticles. This hand cream could easily be transferred into a smaller container and carried in your purse for moisturizing cuticles throughout the day. While I prefer an absorbent lotion for daytime moisturizing of my hands, cuticles could benefit from the thickness of the cream for localized application. 

The Bee Folks hand creams are available in both four ounce and eight ounce sizes at the They do ship internationally as well. It's worth checking out their honey and beeswax candles while visiting the site. Enjoy!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Exquisite jam

Hello ladies,

Today I am wearing Rubies and Diamonds, a jelly polish stirred with red and gold shimmer pieces. Diamond Cosmetics has created a beautiful Holiday collection. 

There are two types of reds that truly captivate me: retro pin-up red cremes that are classic and glamorous and shimmering jelly reds that look like exquisite jam. Wearing this polish makes me think of the heroine in faery tales who has to undergo the trial of sitting at an otherworldly banquet of enticing and ambrosial foods without tasting a bite. I also think of Lizzie and Laura tempted by enchanted orchard fruits in Christina Rossetti's Goblin Market.  

A view of the inner branches of a large berry bush at the Morris Arboretum. I love how the branches are forming archs as they dip with the weight of the tiny red fruits. 

Rubies and Diamonds achieves better opacity than many other jelly formulas. While I painted three coats, I feel that most ladies would feel comfortable with two. I was concerned with how the polish would appear on long nails, in full sun and under magnification. I had the same issue with slightly longer than usual drying time as I experienced with the other two polishes from this collection. Rubies and Diamonds was sent to me for review. 

Rubies and Diamonds reminds me of Lippmann's Holiday from 2008. While it isn't a dupe as the shimmer in Holiday leans more towards a pinkish red, it's a lovely way to get a similar look with a beautiful, affordable and readily available polish. Rubies and Diamonds is for purchase at for $2.50.  

Happy painting, ladies.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Faery Queen

Hello ladies, 

Today I am wearing Amethyst and Diamonds, a violet frost with holographic glitter. This lovely shade is from the Diamond Cosmetics Holiday Collection. Amethyst and Diamonds is a mix of various elements I adore. The base color makes me think of the Victorian language of flowers and antique reproduction postcards with embossed bouquets and fanciful lettering. The addition of holographic sparkle gives me confidence that this is the perfect nail color for a faery queen.
As always, the pictures can be enlarged by clicking. If you are accidentally transported to faery land by doing so, I am not to blame.

My nails are so reflective with sparkle. I feel like I could make faery dust whirl through the air by moving my fingers. A bit of whimsy!

I discovered a rose blooming by the wrought iron fence.

It was temperate and sun filled day. I encountered a beautiful array of leaves in every color as I walked past Fitler Square. 

Amethyst and Diamonds was opaque in two coats. The finish, while not quite as perfectly smooth as Blue Diamonds, was shiny with one coat of CND Air Dry. My nails show a little more texture with Amethyst and Diamonds, but it is nothing to trouble this tester or a faery queen on promenade. Amethyst and Diamonds was sent to me for review. 

The Holiday Collection is currently available at for $2.50. These are currently located at the bottom the page with the color chart. I think I would prefer to see the new collections at the uppermost portion of the page. 

I was informed there will be a restructuring of prices in January. This is not cause for alarm as each polish will show a price increase of 25 cents. The formula on these is fabulous for $2.50. I think I can spring for the extra quarter in the new year! 

Happy painting, ladies!