Friday, May 24, 2013

Battle of the bar glitters

First off, updates and warnings.

I've had some major breaks in the past few days. I've hesitated swatching because the break on my photogenic hand was terrible.  It is downright dreadful so I wanted nothing to do with it.  The other hand (my left) has a noticeable unevenness to it on one of the nails but it isn't as bad as my usually hand so I'm using it in this post.

I today acquired some Biosil and I cannot wait to try it.  I'm not including it in my no-buy because I feel like I really need it.  It is supposed to help with hair, nails and skin, including making dry skin more moisturized.  I've long battled with dry skin, despite living in some of the most humid climates you can find in the US.  I've had problems with nails being paper thin, and extensive problems with hair and skin since before high school and I've tried a number of things.  I'm willing to give this a fair chance, and if it improves one thing I will be happy.

My no-buy is going strong!  I'm super happy with this because I've been resistant to putting myself out of the polish loop.  I've got a few more lemmings because of that and had to pull myself away from the Fuzzy Coats while in Target, but I've stayed strong and will most likely at least make it to June, if not beyond.

Now on to the good stuff!

In a very recent post, I mentioned how Faceted (Sinful Colors) reminded me of a color I already owned, Hard Candy's Tinsel Town.  I wanted to compare them because bar glitter is bar glitter, amirite?


These two polishes could not be more different.

Let's talk about Faceted first.

This is a pretty basic glitter.  It is a clear based top coat, filled with small round blue glitters and long and quite large bar glitters.

Tinsel Town is much more diverse than that.

It is a clear base as well, but it is packed with glitters.  Green and purple tiny glitter, as well as very small holo bar glitters.

I decided to swatch them one coat at a time.

The above is one coat on each nail.  The Index and ring are Faceted, middle and pinkie are Tinsel Town.  You can already see that Tinsel town is much more packed with glitter.

Now at two coats.  Tinsel Town is nearly opaque.  It reminds me seriously of Mardi Gras.

And at three coats.  Faceted is getting there, but it will always be a topper never a stand alone.

The formula on these is vastly different.  Tinsel Town is so packed with glitter that there is hardly any clear base.  It goes on easily and dries quickly.
Faceted on the other hand.  Oh dear.  It's a hot mess.  You can tell it's full of bar glitters, but they really don't come out on the brush all that well.  And the clear base? I have no other way to put this. It is like snot.  It actually grossed me out yesterday when I was just playing around with them. I guess you could thin it, maybe that would make the formula better.

I actually tried to capture the slimy factor for you; it's just hard to do that without it dripping while taking the shot.

One final pic with topcoat.

I actually like both of them, save for the formula issue. They aren't similar enough to say you don't need both. Faceted could really help a very boring polish just as Tinsel Town could.  Tinsel Town will not dry as shiny as Faceted.  It won't ever look as shiny I think, unless you used Gelous or a similar product and then topcoated.

Oh, removing both of these: surprisingly easy.  Reaaaally happy about that.  Fun, easy to remove glitter, how unusual.

Final verdict: Not dupes, no where close.  Feel free to get both!  Woohoo!

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

In the blue corner....

Helmer vs. Melmer.  The battle of the storage.  Which is better for you?

First, let me start by explaining how I ended up with both.  One magical day, the nail polish switch turned on in my head.  I had a few bottles but not really many.  But something happened one day; maybe I just realized how awesome polish was, I don't know, but I knew I had to have more.  I first starting storing my bottles in an old Caboodles traincase that I got from Walgreen's a few years ago.  It was a really big one, which I think they no longer sell.  It didn't work out for me and so I moved up to some cheap Target dorm furniture.  But the drawers were too big and so I decided to get something which would more suitably fit most polish bottles.  I really (reaaaally) wanted a Helmer.  The problem?  I live no where near an Ikea.  It was out of the question to travel to one for this sole purpose and also out of the question to ship it since shipping was half the cost the piece itself.  The reality of it also was that I really didn't (still don't) need so much storage.  I decided to compromise and go with another popular storage solution: The Melmer.

What is a Melmer?

Put simply, it is a scrap booking and craft storage solution. It's affectionate nickname comes from it's Helmer like resemblance combined with the store of purchase: Michael's.  It's true name is JetMax cubes, or Recollections storage (Recollections is actually a collection of scrap booking storage).  You can find this both at Michael's and probably Hobby Lobby (though I cannot confirm this personally).  If you are in want of it, simply ask a sales associate where the scrap book storage supplies are.  Sometimes a store is out, so you may have to ask specifically for the three drawer set so that someone can help you.

The Melmer is made of a composite wood.  It is fairly sturdy and quite heavy.  I believe it only comes in white but I'm sure you could paint it if your heart desired.  You must assemble it all yourself but I found it fairly easy to do.  One recommendation that I've seen (unfortunately after I built my own) is to use wood glue in addition to the included screws.  I do imagine this would help the life of this little cabinet, especially since polish is so heavy.  Additionally, you can stack Melmers upon Melmers to create ones the same height or taller than a Helmer.  Kind of a cool feature.

Recently, I found myself in a big(ish) city with an Ikea.  I took advantage of this and checked to see if they had Helmer's and if they had the color I wanted.  And they did.  That's how I ended up with both.

What is a Helmer?

It is a storage solution found at Ikea stores and Ikea online.  I have often wondered what Ikea was thinking when they came up with the Helmer.  I mean, what did they expect people to store in those tiny drawers?  They look like filing cabinets but you can't possible file any papers in them upright.  It's baffling to me personally, but hey, they work for polish and so I love them.

The Helmer comes in three colors: white, red and silver.  I would check online for the color before heading out to a store because you may come up empty handed.  You can also have it shipped for an additional $20.  It is made of a sheet metal (I believe it is aluminum but I don't know for sure).  It is quite heavy, I believe it weighed 29 lbs in the box. I think you can paint these, although I would look online at what and how others have done it before embarking on that.  At six drawers vs Melmer's three, it holds a significant amount more polish.

I really wanted to measure out drawer dimensions, but I walked around the house about 4 times and couldn't find the tape measurer.  I hope the photos will still help one decide.

The Melmer has a much wider drawer but the Helmer is longer.

Not a lot longer, but maybe one bottle of polish width wise longer.

But you can see the Melmer looks about two bottles wider across.

Also, the Melmer has taller drawers. It's hard to tell in these photos, but that bottle of Sephora by OPI is in it's box.  The lip of the face of the drawer is well above the box in the Melmer (above), but in the Helmer, the box actually is taller than the face of the drawer (below).

I apologize for the blurriness but you can still see what I'm talking about.  The bottle is taller than the drawer. still fits when you close the drawer.

This is the tallest bottle I have so I can't show you anything that would fit in a Melmer that won't fit in a Helmer.  I'm not really sure anything would fit in one but not the other; who knows?

I can't compare the durability of one verses the other because I just got the Helmer and haven't started using it yet.  It does seem like it will hold up just fine though once in use.  One other benefit to the Helmer? It comes with those casters you keep seeing in my pics.  I'm putting them on tomorrow because I'll need to wheel it around.  Pretty nifty if you ask me.

Price wise, they are similar, with the Melmer running around $40 regular price but easily had at around $20.  So for the same number of drawers, you'll have paid about the same amount of money. It depends on what you like more.  I think I like the looks of the Helmer better, but the Melmer has and will continue to serve me well.

Please ask me any questions if you have any.  I am more than happy to measure these out but I need to find a tape measurer to do so.  I hope this helps someone.

Sunday, May 19, 2013


All products were purchased by me.

Hello again.  I've got a rather large collective haul to show off.  I'm currently suffering through a no-buy so this is it for awhile.  But it's a lot, so hopefully I can make it through.

First thing I picked up were two of the Loreal jellies recently released as limited edition.  This collection was pretty large, I think it had 8 polishes and several infallible eye shadow shades.  It was hard to pick just two but I managed.

I've actually worn both of these.  No swatches of them but the orange (Mango Mamma) at three coats was not quite satisfactory.  I believe at 4 it would have been perfect.  The red (Jolly Lolly) was great at three coats.  I like these both, I actually liked the whole collection.

Up next, Sinful Colors.  I decided to wander into Dollar Tree to see if the rumors were true.  They were, they actually did have some SC polishes.  The selection was pretty limited but I got two colors.  At a $1 a piece, you can't really go wrong.

I haven't tried these yet.  Faceted is a bar glitter with some other regular glitters suspended in a clear base. I believe this was limited edition for their Christmas 2012 (I did not partake in any from that collection at the time).  It is similar to Hard Candy's Tinsel Town, but TT has shorter bar glitter. I think I might end up liking TT more than this. I will have to compare.  On the right is SC Daddy's Girl.  This one appears to be a jelly polish. it is a very deep purple with some shimmer.  I heard it's close to Chanel Taboo, but I really have no idea.
One thing to note is that some of these bottles at DT do not have a label on them.  Be sure to pick up the bottles with labels, otherwise you'll never know what you got!

Next up is my Zoya Earth Day haul.  I got 8 polishes, but one is not shown here as I just had a post on Daul the other day.

I decided to get most of the Ornate Collection.  I loved most of the colors but didn't get them before hand.  I already owned Aurora so obviously I didn't get that one.
Starting on the left, is Zoya Storm, a black scattered holo.  It is so beautiful, I cannot wait to wear it.  To the right of it, is Ziz, a gold foil.  Next is Blaze, a red scattered holo.  The next one I'm not sure quite why I ordered it, is Carly.  But when I received it, I realized why.  It's just gorgeous, I can't wait to wear this one as well.  The blue is Song.  I'm currently indifferent about it, hopefully that will change.  Logan is next, another Ornate color.  It's a gorgeous green foil. Finally is Wednesday, a blue green creme.

Finally, I got a Helmer.  I've been using a Melmer for quite some time but I was in Orlando and I've been wanting a Helmer for a long time.  So...

It's currently empty.  The casters are also off but they will be going on soon because it's too big for the space originally intended.  I'm probably going to start transferring things to it this week.  The Melmer will still be used somehow.  I'll probably do a comparison post of the two storage units.

That is all, I will be posting more swatches this week.

Friday, May 17, 2013

Wet N Wild -2% Milk

Woooo!  I'm back.  It's been awhile, I've been busy.  It's been hard to do much photographing period.  I'm going to try to do a bunch in a row so I have something to fall back on when life gets too busy.

Anyway.  Wet n' Wild.  I decided to pick this one up when they were half off at Walgreen's.  Many have raved about it so I just said what the heck. This is an amazing color.  Very "milky" looking, it isn't quite white, but it isn't pink either.  It gives the nails the MOST clean look imaginable.  It's just beautiful.  Please click to enlarge.

Caveat: It's streaky, I mean streak city.  I realize it's a sheer so it's going to do that, but man.  It would be so perfect if at three coats it evened out better.  I still had horrible streaks at three coats, but three was where I stopped.

I will probably pull this one out again because it really compliments my tan skin.  I might try top coating in between coats to try to get it to even some more.  I really don't want to do 4 coats because it doesn't need it.  Dry time was alright.  WnW tends to NEVER dry on me, so I waited a while between coats (maybe 5 minutes per) and then top coated it when it was still not try drying like I wanted.  Get it; you must.

These are normally $1.99 but can sometimes be had for half that.  I have nothing to disclose.

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Sunday Toppings - Episode One

Welcome to my theme day.  I'm calling it Sunday Toppings.  I love ice cream, so this is a great theme for me. This theme day will feature special effect top coats over various polishes.

Today is Essie As Gold As It Gets over Wet n Wild Disturbia.  The Essie is from the Luxe Effects line.  I keep seeing it all over the place, so I think these are permanent.  It is a gold flake top coat.  It isn't real gold, and it looks very different from the real ones.  It's still a great effect, and less guilt inducing.

The flakes vary in size.  None are big flakes.  It is mostly comprised of very teeny ones, with a few medium sized flakes thrown in for good measure.

This top coat really brightens up Disturbia.  It gives it an amazing look, much more depth than Disturbia alone.  I'm so glad I tried this. In my opinion, it makes the polish so much better.

Nothing to disclose.