Showing posts with label Gold. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Gold. Show all posts

Friday, February 14, 2014

Gold leaf nail art over Mckfresh Angel

Mckfresh Nail Attire is one of my favourite Aussie indie brands, made by a pretty damn cool chick. The Sunnydale collection was one of my favourites last year, and Angel in particular was one of most unique. It's a blackened purple base, with tiny silver specks and big blue iridescent bars, which are super thin and don't have any of the won't-lay-flat, looks-like-hair crappiness of many bar glitters. You can check out the swatch of Angel alone in my original post on the Buffy collection, but today I wanted to show you an experiment with gold leaf from Born Pretty.


I don't actually own a gold leaf topper yet, so I tried to make do with some shredded gold foil from Born Pretty. I used larger pieces in a mani for Artsy Wednesday a while ago, and it turns out that using smaller pieces is both better AND worse. Better, because you can pulverise the crap out of the foil. Worse, because it's super fiddly to apply. I used a cotton bud, much like the way I do glitter gradients, but since the foil is dry, I painted a slow-drying top coat over the original manicure first, to give it something to stick to.


Overall? I like the effect, but it seems like it would be so much faster just to cave and get a gold leaf top coat! I'm also considering dropping some of the foil into polish and seeing how stable it is - I've seen some nasty concoctions made from not-real-gold foil corroding in organic solvents though. We'll see!

Monday, December 23, 2013

Gold Holiday Spam

OPI Spark de Triomphe


Konad Stamping


Water Marbling


China Glaze 2030


China Glaze Hi-Tek


Lippmann Nefertiti

Dior Gold Nugget


Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Pretty Serious Mummy Mush

Another Pretty Serious polish from the Monster Mash Halloween collection today! This is Mummy Mush - a gold chunky shimmer with a greenish blue multichrome glow that really comes out over dark colours. Over the bare nail, like in my 3 coat swatch, it's warm-toned. Given my fear of shiny shiny nails, I won't be wearing this one on its own very often, but I'll be using this in gradients and layering combos!



You can buy Pretty Serious here, and they ship worldwide, so hide your wallets now!

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Purple/gold gradient

I've always done gradients with two cremes, so I decided to mix it up a bit recently and tried a gradient with a creme (OPI Vant to Bite My Neck?) and a foily metallic gold (Hello Darling likeomg).


I really loved this on my nails, and I'm definitely going to try it out more often! I usually hate how foils look on my fingers, but this was spectacular, and my right hand looked awesome, so this is going to be my foil-wearing design of choice.



How do you wear polishes you don't "do"?




Sunday, March 17, 2013

St. Patrick's Day! Pahlish: Stroke of Luck + gold flakes

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

I haven't posted in a bit -- this past week was my Spring Break and I went to Los Angeles for a few days and I just lazed around after returning (other than taking the GMAT yesterday, yikes). I've been doing NOTDs (which I've been posting on Instagram) but I'll catch up posting here, too :)

Now, I've been lemming gold flake polishes forever (starting with the Rococo original) but couldn't justify the price. Mainstream brands such as Zoya, OPI and Sephora by OPI were nice enough to release their versions of the gold flake polish. I got one from each brand, and they're all pretty different (in size of gold flakes) so I feel it's semi justified. That and I didn't pay full price for any of them (usually 50% off).

I was wondering what to use for a St. Patrick's mani when I thought, green of course! and the bottle of OPI: Man with the Golden Gun that was sitting on my desk caught my eye and the idea was born. Of course, I'm pretty sure I'm not the only one with this mani idea and I've seen a few NOTDs already with the same theme but great minds think alike, yes?

I layered all three polishes over Pahlish: Stroke of Luck (which I felt was appropriate also).








In the shade picture, you can see the square glitters in the Pahlish. It also has tiny gold glitter, which is hidden by my use of gold flake topcoats.

The smallest flakes are from Sephora by OPI, and the larger/medium sized ones are from Zoya and OPI.

I don't like shard shaped glitter but I like how the gold looks. Hope everyone has an excellent day!

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Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Pastel hearts and glitter rain!

This was my sweet Valentine's Day mani which I posted on my own blog, but before I took it off I added a glitter gradient with Hello Darling 24K, because I could.



I've developed a repulsion to the whole "buy things to prove your love"/"if your man really loved you he'd spring to get flowers" aspect of Valentine's Day, and I thought the boyfriend and I were happy not doing anything together for it (especially since we celebrated our anniversary the week before), but at the last minute he decided he felt neglected, so we ended up with the added guilt of trying to make rushed plans and failing. I guess that's what I get for dating an attention whore! I did make and demolish some kickass cauliflower soup though, so if nothing else, Valentine's Day really rekindled my love of the Brassica family.

Thursday, January 31, 2013

OPI Designer Glow


(2 coats) 


I'm moving apartments today.  I'm leaving my lovely but expensive one bedroom in Hell's Kitchen to a cozy roommate situation in Fort Greene.  I'm looking forward to the move and am hopeful me and my new roommate don't drive each other crazy.

I packed up my helmer - cosying all of my polishes into a jam packed 4 drawers (I'm super psyched to learn how much I've paired down my collection - just 4 drawers my god!) and lined everything with large, fluffy sheets of cotton that I had ordered from transdesign.  Because of that, I haven't really had access to all of the polishes.  I moved all of my nail polish treatments, topcoats and tools into a plastic shoebox.  I put all of my minis into the box too because I was worried that they were too small for the tight yet protected squeeze I was going for in the packing of the helmer.  So I've only had access to my minis.  It's been pretty enlightening.  I've already thrown out 3 of my frankens... just no.

Next in the bin is a tiny decant of OPI Glow that k2k sweetly sent me years ago.  I tried it when she first sent it to me then I sent it into the darkness.  The color is just way too close to mine.  This was photographed after about a day wear, it was so close to my normal skin color I didn't actually notice all the tip wear until after I downloaded the macro shots.  So sorry!  Anyway, I've been mattifying everything the past month or so.  I thought the effect with these super-shimmery polishes was kind of fun.  It was still super glittery, just kind of like the dull side of a crinkled up piece of tinfoil.

OPI Glow wont be heading with me to Brooklyn, and she wont be missed.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Australia Day nail art, and some reflections on racism in Australia

January 26th was Australia Day, also known as the day where Australians like me sometimes get told to go back to where we came from by drunken, jumbo flag-waving hooligans (ironically, we're often doing just that - catching the train home). Given some of the unpleasant demonstrations of patriotism-cum-xenophobia that've occurred in the past (not to mention the lovely verbal abuse I get to receive on public transport approximately once a month), I'm slightly wary of leaving the house on any holiday tinged with patriotism. But I had a dance class in the CBD, and if I stayed home, that's just letting the terrorists win, right?


I went to an incredibly homogenous primary school (I was one of two East Asians in my grade. My high school, where 75% of the grade were East Asian or Indian, may have overcompensated for that). We were fed symbols of Australiana which we were (rightly) told to be proud of - our beautiful landscape, our weirdass flora and fauna, our sporting prowess. We had special days where we wore the national colours, green and gold, to school. I used to wonder why my parents were so bewildered by my enthusiasm for drawing gold kangaroos everywhere (by my infallible kid-logic, a country with kangaroos had to be the best country in the world). Given my trepidation whenever drunken white males enter my train carriage (augmented by the presence of flags, football scarves or Southern Cross tattoos), I can't imagine the alienation and paranoia my parents felt 20 years ago, as recent immigrants with thick Chinese accents, arriving in a country where, 8 years later, the unashamedly anti-immigration One Nation party would attract almost 10% of the nation's vote. Despite the greater visibility of migrants (no doubt helped by the work of Asian-Australian celebrity chefs), migration (more specifically, intake of refugees) vs. the dominance of Anglo-Australian culture is as big a political issue as ever.


Most Australians aren't overtly racist (cue "Everyone's a Little Bit Racist"). Most groups of drunken white males who get on my train could never imagine themselves hurling abuse at an immigrant. But often, sensible, intelligent, upstanding white people mistakenly assume that other white people also share these same views. My lovely, pasty white boyfriend shook with anger for hours after a girl on the bus repeatedly told me they "didn't like [my] kind" around there. To him it was unthinkable, lunatic behaviour that demanded violent retaliation. I just mentally crossed off October.

So how was my Australia Day? It was fantastic! I didn't witness a single racist incident, and I got to delightedly remind the boyfriend mutiple times that he's descended from illegal boat people, while I am a perfectly legal Cathay Pacific person (he's a tad embarassed about his ancestors, not because they were criminals, but because they were "dumb enough to get caught". Also their cuisine). Not to mention that Lacquerheads of Oz, the blog that a group of Australian nail bloggers/indie sellers/nail techs started for storing ALL THE POLISH KNOWLEDGE, launched!


To end possibly my most humanities-tainted post of all time, here's a shot of my nails (Pretty Serious VT100 with ulta3 glitter and stamping, by the way) with a work by possibly my favourite Australian, Nick Cave (fittingly enough, he's emigrated).



Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Sally Hansen: Gilded Lily + Nail Pattern Boldness: Bitches Brew

I love a good gold polish, although silver is more flattering on me. I saw this polish a few weeks? couple of months? ago and grabbed it. Finally had a chance to wear it, as I was in a gold mood and put this on. How gorgeous is this?






It was incredibly shiny and pretty :) This got a few days of wear because of finals, too, and it held up pretty well. This is about 3 coats. I have read in a few places that it's a dupe for the gold in the OPI Bond collection, which may be easier to obtain than this Sally Hansen.

I added some glitter on top, of course, for the last day and I decided on Bitches Brew by Nail Pattern Boldness.


Not very seasonal seeing as we're approaching Christmas but it's still excellent. I love the small green glitter in it, almost wish there were more to add more depth but it was still really awesome. This is about 2 coats of Bitches Brew.

You can find Sally Hansen at drugstores everywhere and Nail Pattern Boldness on her Facebook here, Etsy here and also at Llarowe. Bitches Brew was a Halloween LE, sadly, but she makes lots of other glitter polishes! :)

Friday, November 16, 2012

Loki's Lacquer 3 Wise Men

Today I've got swatches of my favourite polish from the Christmas Collection by Loki's Lacquer (swatched in full here) - 3 Wise Men. It's absolutely gorgeous: gold, brown and blue/green/purple shifting translucent glitter in a clear base. This is over Darling Fifty, a taupe creme that's both edgy and subdued, and actually works with my skin tone:



And (of course) with matte topcoat:


I'm in love! The little iridescent glitters remind me of crystals as seen under a polarising microscope, and add a certain something to the otherwise neutral glitter.

Loki's Lacquer is available here, and there's an option for international shipping.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Butterscotch Penny - OPI Rising Star

I've been knee-deep in vampy polishes for a few weeks now, but when I feel the need to lighten up, I usually like to go with a bronze/gold metallic. (My favourite is OPI DS Glow.) Today, I bring you OPI Rising Star. I saw it on vintageortacky on YouTube one day and HAD to have it.



OK so this probably isn't the most flattering shade on me. BUT it is more flattering in person than in this picture. The colour is like a very clean penny coated in butterscotch. Yum. I do like this very much, but I am seriously a sucker for anything gold....

Are you a fan of bronze/gold polishes? Let me know your favs!
kittytokaren

Friday, November 2, 2012

OPI GoldenEye

OK, I have to confess...the nerdy fangirl in me really wanted the OPI Bond polishes. But especially this one. I remember going to see it with my mum at the cinema at the age of nine and bonding (sorry) with her over our shared appreciation for Pierce Brosnan. My now-boyfriend also helped work on the N64 computer game as a games tester when he was a teenager (he's older than me, before anyone does the maths and starts wondering!). So it had a pretty special place in my heart!




In the bottle, this one really grabs me. It's so glimmery and sparkly and it looks as though there are an awful lot more colours in there than there are. It catches the light beautifully. On the nail, it *is* sparkly and gorgeous, with a strange colour-shifting personality and a fleck that seems to be half-way between glitter and flakes. It's more yellow-gold than it appears here (Autumn light to blame), but there is a slight bronzey undertone in certain lights.


However, it is a bit sheer. This was three coats, and it really would need a fourth or a fifth to completely get rid of VNL. (I applied at night, so I didn't realise that it was a bit patchy). Next time I'll layer it over something else - this would look amazing over black, or a dark red...

What's your favourite of the Bond polishes? I'm desperate to get one of the metallics.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Spring pastel tape manicure with gold accents

This is a mani I did, inspired by the range of polishes Darling sent me. Darling are a new-ish Australian nail polish company, and their formulas are very impressive! They do that self-levelling thing that good polishes do, hiding fudgy application. As well as a range of gorgeous lacquers, Darling also carry mixtures of beads for caviar manicure (the Rock Candy range), and they've got some super exciting things in the works (super cute nail decals which I got to try out at the Beauty Bloggers Utopia conference, and something metallic for Christmas which I'm not going to leak too much about!


This is actually the NOTD I wore to the first day of BBU, which was a blast - chocolate for breakfast, learning exactly what Bioderma's "micellar water" is, hauling at IMATS, manicures in the media breakout room, going backstage at Legally Blonde The Musical with the founder of awesome sample subscription box Lust Have It! And of course, one of the greatest things in a beauty blogger's life has to be when other beauty bloggers gasp over your nails in real life! No complaints here :)

The polishes used are Darling's The First Corsage (lilac), Butter Wouldn't Melt (yellow), Hopelessly Devoted (pink) and likeomg (gold). And here's what the cremes looked like before the tape bonanza:


I think the gold really helps tie the skittles together!


Friday, October 12, 2012

OPI The Man With The Golden Gun

I've been drooling over this since the promo pics came out. Happily I can report that I'm still drooling. I mean...look at that bottle!! 18K gold flakes! And I am *such* a sucker for anything gold. It's as if OPI trespassed into my dreams. As soon as this delicious bottle arrived in the mail, I slapped it on over the mani I was rocking at the time - Essie Bahama Mama....



The formula on this is really easy to work with and smooth. This was two "coats". I say "coats" because its easier to get the flakes of gold off if you kind of dab at the nail as opposed to paint. It all levels out nicely. Unfortunately it does not dry as shiny as I'd like, so I did add another topcoat after all was said and done to bring back the intense shine. I think it also helped the golden flakes to pop more!

I think I'd like this *even better* over a darker colour - like OPI Lincoln Park After Dark or a really deep green. I also think I preferred the look with fewer gold flakes, but I did want to show it off to you guys so perhaps I went a little overboard. :P

So, this thing is expensive. But in my opinion, worth it. It's utterly fabulous. Will you be investing in a bottle?

kittytokaren

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Disappointment in Two Photographs - Essie Mirror Metallics

Often on blogs, we tend to post about the things we love - because well, that's what is exciting and fun to share! Sometimes there are polishes that just don't make the grade - usually these are booted out of my house before I have a chance to photograph them. I attempted to take pictures of a couple of the Essie Mirror Metallics for you, even though these polishes really disappointed me. Bringing a little balance to the blogging equation, if nothing else!

Essie Good As Gold


First up, Good as Gold. I tried this over the Revlon Colorstay basecoat. These colours are finicky, brushstroke-y, they pull, and are generally completely pants in terms of application. They seem to especially hate this particular base coat. A shame, as I like the colour quite a bit.

Essie Penny Talk


I tried a different base coat with Penny Talk, and it fared slightly better, though not by much. This is Barielle Hydrating Ridge Filler. Still get the pulling and general ickiness. The colour is absolutely smashing though, so this really hurts my heart!!

So, I like the idea of having an all-metallic collection. Well done on the concept, Essie. However, the application and formula was such a let down for me. Clumpy, streaky, and generally disobedient. I've tried them over more base coats than you see here, and none of them were successful. I even tried over bare nails, my ridges were super super evident, even though they aren't bad at all! I haven't used a formula this terrible in a long time. Such a shame because the colours are truly lovely. Even though I was initially super mad at Essie for putting something like this out there, I've decided to keep these. They actually make lovely nail art (when I say nail art, I mean polka dots, because that's all I can do) polishes.

Still disappointed, but happy to share that with you. Has anyone found a base coat or technique that makes these polishes work for them? I'd love to know!

kittytokaren


Monday, August 20, 2012

Rimmel Misty Jade + glitter gradient

I swatched this a while ago but it's been languishing at the back of my photos folder, because winter is no time for pastels. But it's warming up just a tad here, and spring is finally around the corner... Rimmel Misty Jade, 2 coats with Seche Vite:


Misty? No. Jade? Well it depends what light it's in! I've never seen a creme change so much depending on whether it's wet or dry, or what topcoat it's under, or what time of day it is. Weird!

I did a gold glitter gradient on top of it a while ago by coaxing Essence Make It Golden on top with a cotton bud, here's the result:


I think it's a really nice shade to have, and quells the For Audrey urges somewhat... if only it'd stay one consistent colour!

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Gold and purple all-over-the-place nail art explosion

Alanna of Pretty Purple Polish recently celebrated her first blogiversary by holding a nail art competition with a purple theme. She was one of my first followers and co-created Artsy Wednesday with me, and has really nice swatches and is generally all-round lovely.

For my entry, I decided to showcase a bunch of my favourite purples. I have a lot of purple polishes! I also had some big iridescent hex glitters, so I decided to explore a number of different nail art techniques on my nails. I only had 3 nail designs in total, because... I'm lazy :(


Thumb and ring finger: China Glaze LOL (Alanna grabbed this HTF for me from the mythical Bankstown nail supply shop - told you she's lovely! :D), glitter gradient with Essence Make It Golden, applied with a Q-tip

Index and pinky: These nails were the first I came up with. I wanted it to look like mermaid scales. The base is ulta3 Berry sponged over Rimmel Lively Lilac, then stamped with Mash-39 in ulta3 Gold Rush Fever and mattified with Rimmel Lycra Pro Mattifying Topcoat. I then stuck on hexes with clear polish.

Middle finger: one of my favourite but time-consuming and hard-to-get-right techniques - drag/needle marbling. I painted the entire nail with a thick coat of ulta3 Orchid, spotted some Gold Rush Fever on top, then dragged loops in the polish with the needle of a compass. Finished with Rimmel Mattifying.

For everyday wearing this felt over-the-top, but I think each of these would make good manis on their own, and I'll probably revisit them. What do you think?

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Subtle Jelly Sandwich with OPI My Pointe Exactly

Today I felt like something sheer with a little sparkle that wasn't the stereotypical pink, and this is what I came up with! OPI My Pointe Exactly, the most fantastic sheer grey - interesting, unique, but reserved - sandwiched around one coat of Essie Golden Nuggets, a very fine gold glitter in a clear base.



I love the way this catches the light and the contrast between the cool grey jelly and the warm gold glitter! Soft and delicate, but still special.

What do you put on your jelly sandwich?

kittytokaren


Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Kiko 274

Hola chicas!

After getting back from Spain I haven't really been in the mood for nail polish much - as predicted I massacred my nails while abroad (I ripped one of my right nails off at the nail bed which was every bit as unpleasant as it sounds, although I was trying on a pair of heavily discounted Zara shorts at the time, so I think that may be karma coming to get me). Since I got back I've been repainting the kitchen, so it hasn't really seemed worth it to do my nails.

Nonetheless, here is a colour I wore while away. My boyfriend found a Kiko store near the apartment we stayed in. He did mention that he thought pointing it out to me might be a big mistake, and so it proved. Nail polishes were €2.50 each, so I went predictably ballistic. I got so many that he had to put them in his case so that I wasn't over baggage allowance. True love, ladies.

This is Kiko - a sheer platinum comprised of gold and silver foil particles. It's much more sparkly in the flesh. Sorry for the subpar photography - this was in an alleyway in southern spain!




Saturday, July 28, 2012

One More Magnetic - Nails Inc Piccadilly

As promised, here is another magnetic polish! This one is from Nails Inc and instead of the typical 'wavy line' type of magnetic pattern, the magnet sold with this one makes a fishnet design!

Nails Inc Piccadilly


What I like is that the different magnets can be used with any magnetic polish - so let's say one day I'm feeling the colour and finish of Nails Inc Trafalgar Square, I can use this magnet to give it the fishnet pattern! Which I did one day and totally forgot to snap a pic. Doh.

That being said, I DO love this colour. It's somewhere between olive and gold. (NB: If you're into makeup, it reminds me of the L'Oreal Infallible eyeshadow called Bronze Divine. And it is divine!) I actually like this polish alone without magnetic effect perhaps more than with the magnetic effect. It's rather sparkly and therefore has a chunkier texture than the other magnetics I've tried (here and here) which makes the design less obvious and in a way, messier.

I think that's probably it for me with magnetics! I do love the three that I have, but I think I'm set for this trend. Do you own any magnetic effect polishes? Love/hate?

kittytokaren


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