Saturday, June 29, 2013

'Nidhi' & 'Rica' by Zoya

I mentioned a few posts ago that I was waiting for a few shades from a particular brand I've been wanting to try for awhile.  Well, they came!  Below are the first two from the haul I ordered from Zoya's Summer Flashback FLOGO Sale (which I learned of through All Lacquered Up).  I see Zoya all over the internet and Instagram, but have never come across it myself in real life.  Upon reading about the brand, I learned that I had never seen it in stores, because they can only be found in spas, nail salons, and resorts.  And I don't frequent any of those places.

You learn something new each day.

First up:

How: Two coats of Zoya's 'Nidhi' and one coat of Insta-Dri Clearly Quick.

Verdict: I liked this shade of red, but felt the finish was a bit dull, even with the aid of a clear topcoat. However, I did like the shiny metallic flecks of gold (and pink?), which added an interesting look, despite finishing up rather dull.  Another con to this one is that I had to keep retouching it, as it chipped several times in the first 24 hours of wear.

How: Three coats of Zoya's 'Rica' and one coat of Insta-Dri Clearly Quick.

Verdict: This color is really fun to look at!  So much metallic goodness over a beautiful coral/pink.  It definitely feels summery.  I can't speak to whether it chips easily or not, though, because I've only been wearing it for about an hour.

All in all, I like the Zoya polishes, although I wish I'd ordered more of a variety of shades and finishes.  You'll see in my next Zoya post that the other two colors I ordered are also metallic (such a messy, glittery cleanup!), and I stuck to the red, orange, and coral/pink families, whereas I probably should've checked out some of their "cooler" colors, like blues, greens, and purples.  I will say, Zoya has pretty good brushes, which is always my favorite feature in a nail polish.  Although I was only able to coat about 1/3 of each nail with each swipe, the bristles were such that they allowed a good, even, clean coat of color, and I didn't even get too messy around the sides of my fingers and my cuticles!  Maybe that's from having more practice, but I like to give credit to a good brush whenever I can.

Stay tuned for the next two Zoya colors I ordered, and a bonus comparison between the orange color from Zoya and an orange from Sally Hansen's Diamond series!

Monday, June 24, 2013

'Shocked' by Picture Polish

It's midnight sun season up here in Interior Alaska, and to kick things off, I decided to participate in the Midnight Sun Run 10k.  It was my first organized race, and I was so proud of myself for finally manning up and taking the plunge into the running world, so I treated myself to a new set of running gear.  I was saving my new orange Mizunos for the beginning of July (because I insist on replacing running shoes every six months, exactly), but when I picked up a fantastic orange Nike Dri-Fit tank and some black and orange Nike running shorts at Sports Authority, I knew my orange Mizunos needed to make their debut.

Sent this picture to my mom.  It was my proof!

With all that orange going on, I needed to offset it with a fun pink.  Cue 'Shocked' by Picture Polish.

How: Three coats of Picture Polish's Shocked and one coat of Insta-Dri Clearly Quick.  As always, Picture Polish's brush and formula make applying an even coat a breeze.

Verdict: LOVED Shocked.  I put it just half a notch lower than 'Kryptonite' on the awesomeness scale.  For all its holographic flake-y goodness, it still doesn't pop the way Kryptonite does, but still --- it's a fantastic pink, more fuchsia than anything else, and it's super fun to look at in the sunlight.  My pictures never do these shades justice, so you'll just have to take my word for it.  I would never lie to you.

We fought mosquitoes and ate a lot of dust to 4-wheel up to this lookout rock.

I feel compelled to make a public service announcement.  See those smiling faces up there?  Those faces came at the cost of my shiny Shocked manicure.  What I discovered yesterday, as a group of us were preparing to take out some 4-wheelers and drive up a really cool trail to that lookout point, was that mosquito spray destroys your manicure.  We're talking full-on dull-age of the shine factor, replaced by icky gunk from the deet.  I hope you don't have as big of a mosquito problem as we do; they really are the party poopers of summertime.    

This concludes my Picture Polish series!  For now....

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Obligatory blog claimin'

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'O'Hara' by Picture Polish

The nail polish haul I referred to in my last post didn't arrive as scheduled yesterday, so I'm back with another Picture Polish shade.  And this time, ladies and gentlemen(?), I am sadly not thrilled.

The shade in question is 'O'Hara,' a red (as you might've already guessed).

Just as I did with 'Kryptonite,' I accidentally deleted the picture off my camera roll on the iPhone, and sadly, if I email myself the picture straight from Instagram, it loads tiny and won't zoom clearly, so if you really want to see O'Hara up close, personally, and not blurry, click here.

How: Three coats of O'Hara and one coat of Insta-Dri Clearly Quick.

Verdict: I had high hopes for O'Hara, because as I've mentioned in the past, reds and pinks are most flattering with my skin tone.  I have never felt outlandish, cheap, funky, or any other negative feeling when I've worn a red or a pink.  I wouldn't say I felt any of those things when I wore O'Hara, but I wouldn't say I felt the same level of confidence as I normally do.  It was somewhat difficult to achieve opacity with this one (for me, at least), and the glitters were a tad underwhelming.  I think, perhaps, it's because they aren't multi-colored; they appear to be a light pinkish, so it doesn't pop out of the red polish hardly at all.  I guess I just expected it to be the red version of Kryptonite, but I was wrong.

All hope is not lost, though!  I think either Picture Polish's shades 'Dorothy' or 'Vegas' might have multi-colored holo glitter, so that would be more satisfying to my eye.

Sorry for the pictureless post (a real faux pas for a nail polish blog), but if you took the time to click the link to the picture, what did you think?  Did O'Hara stack up against the other Picture Polishes so far?  Or does it fall a little short for you, as it did for me?

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

'Kryptonite' by Picture Polish

I know, I know... I named this blog Polished on the Weekend, so what am I doing blogging about nail polish on a Wednesday evening?  Rest assured, I am not wearing nail polish right now.  As you know, that would definitely not fly in my no-frills profession.  The reason I'm blogging about nail polish tonight is due to two reasons:

  1. I've been on a Picture Polish kick as of late and realized I had worn one of their shades prior to creating this blog, and it was such a fantastic color that I didn't want to risk forgetting to blog about it.
  2. I finally was presented with an excuse and opportunity to purchase some nail polish from a company I've been searching high and low for in stores around here, but without any luck.  I took advantage of an online sale last weekend and am eagerly awaiting the arrival of four new shades (new to me, anyway) which, according to the online USPS shipment tracking, should be here by Friday.  If that's the case, I'm going to want to try them as soon as possible and then blog all about it.  
In the chute? 'Kryptonite.'  In case you're unfamiliar with Superman, this particular shade is green.  

Unfortunately, I mistakenly deleted my full-handed Kryptonite photo today, so my thumb will have to do for now.

How: Two coats of Kryptonite, one coat of Insta-Dry Clearly Quick.  Again, great brushes in both bottles, makes my life easy.

Verdict: Had naming this shade been up to me, I'd have given it a name alluding to the Land of Oz.  The Emerald City.  Something along those lines, because as a May baby, Kryptonite is what I always wished affordable emeralds were.  A deep, dark green, Kryptonite explodes with color, thanks to the holographic glitter in the formula.  It's an effect you don't fully realize until you're out and about in the sunshine.  I noticed it while I was driving which, I must say, was almost distracting.

Before recently, I mostly played it safe with reds and pinks, but Picture Polish has produced a beautiful, not funky green that I know I'll wear again and again.  Seeing really is believing with Kryptonite, and it's definitely my favorite of the Picture Polish bash you see in the photo above. 

Sunday, June 16, 2013

'Aphrodisiac' by Picture Polish

A few months ago, my boyfriend, Andy, informed me that his battalion was having their ball on the Army's birthday.  A couple days later, I found out that my entire brigade was throwing a ball a couple week's after Andy's battalion.  Now, while I think the brigade will put on a lovely function, I prefer a smaller, more intimate setting, so I decided to attend Andy's ball, instead of my own.  Plus, I would be allowed to wear a civilian ball gown to Andy's function, whereas my ball would just be one more occasion where I would have to appear in uniform.

It was an easy decision to make.

A shameless selfie.  It's rare that I get to look like a proper lady.
As soon as I found my dress (which I left 'til the last minute to do; typical), I knew what shade of nail polish I was going to wear with it, and that was 'Aphrodisiac' by Picture Polish.

I've sung Picture Polish's praises before, and just prepare yourself to hear me do it again.  'Aphrodisiac' did not disappoint.

Let's ignore the fact that my fingers look like they belong to a corpse in this photo (I don't always choose the lighting or angles), and focus on the color, shall we?

How: Knowing that I would have very limited time between work and the ball, I wisely chose to pre-paint some press-on nails during the week, so I wouldn't have to worry about painting and cleanup the night of the event.  It's always weird for me seeing fake nails on my hands, but I'm really glad I did that.  Two coats of Aphrodisiac and a top coat of Insta-Dri Clearly Quick resulted in the rich royal purple you see above.  As always, Picture Polish's brush made it easy to evenly coat the nail with color.

Verdict: If you dig purple, you must get Aphrodisiac.  So smooth, so rich, and it dries pretty quickly, as well (always a plus).  If you're using it for an event, like I was, I hope it's either outside or in a well-lit venue, because Aphrodisiac definitely wasn't allowed to shine the way it should've at the ball, so it just appeared black to most people.  When I stepped outside, though, the sunlight revealed its true beauty.  

I hope no one's getting tired of back-to-back Picture Polish reviews, because there are more coming this way soon!

Friday, June 7, 2013

'Denim' by Picture Polish

I got off work a little early this Friday, because the big boss wanted to give our battalion a little head start to the weekend after our 6-mile brigade run this morning.  Naturally, I drove straight home, so I could test out one of the colors I've been dying to don.  Okay, so I actually made a pit stop at Wendy's for a small vanilla frosty, but that's neither here nor there...

Back to the nail polish.  I follow Bernadette on Instagram (@bdettenails), which is where I got my introduction to a great company, Picture Polish.  Bernadette posted an amazing purple called 'Aphrodisiac.'  And thus started my love affair with these Australian nail polish geniuses.  I'm not exaggerating or trying to be cute when I call them geniuses, and if you've ever worn one of their amazing colors you know firsthand that I'm not kidding.

Perusing Picture Polish's online store threw me back to when I was a kid, and Toys 'R' Us was king.  It felt like I was rabidly running up and down the aisles, not a clue as where to start, and was completely overwhelmed by all the amazing shades I saw.  I clicked on all the pictures, read all the descriptions and reviews, and realized I needed to pace myself and make a short wishlist.  Not being from Australia, I first checked out one of their American online vendors, so I could save a little on shipping, but when the American shop didn't have everything I wanted, I knew I couldn't wait for them to restock and bought the last couple straight from Australia.

Yes, it was more expensive.  Ask me if I regret it.

No, is the answer.

Anyway, I drove home after my morning run and knew exactly which polish I needed to get on my fingers: 'Denim.'  Denim was one of my two "curiosity purchases."  I don't wear a lot of blue nail polish, but the description and color swatch hooked me, and I thought, This just might be the blue that makes me a believer. 

How: I applied three coats of Denim, because I have a tendency to struggle with opacity on the tips of my nails.  If you're better at applying nail polish, you'd probably be good with two coats.  Something I think is worth noting when it comes to nail polish reviews is the brush, and Picture Polish's brushes are... picture perfect (I had to).  The brush offers great coverage and makes it really easy --- even for someone with less-than-steady hands, like me --- to apply the color evenly.  As always, I slapped on a coat of my favorite top coat, Insta-Dri Clearly Quick.  I've tried several brands of top coat, but I prefer Insta-Dri, because of its great brush (I can usually get an entire nail evenly coated in one swipe), and its drying time really helps me seal in the color safely, so I can start using my hands without much worry.

Verdict: Denim has put me on the path to blue believer-dom.  I think the most important takeaway from this is that I think I prefer medium blues to paler or really dark blues.  Denim is enough to get noticed without making me feel like a total space cadet (sorry, there's still a lingering difficulty with taking blue seriously as a casual nail color), but it's not WHOA! TOO BLUE!  I wish the sun would come back out so I could accurately assess all the dimensions of this polish, but so far I can tell you that Denim has some silvery flecks that seem to lighten it up to what I would almost call periwinkle. 

And periwinkle is a fun word to say, so... added bonus there.

If you haven't already, I highly recommend you head over to Picture Polish and check out their inventory.  I can almost guarantee that you'll find a quality polish (or, five) that's right up your alley!

A quick 'hello'

I won't keep you long, but I figured I'd explain why I'm here. 

I'm Kara, and I am employed by the United States Army.  This means I wear an unflattering uniform and pull my hair back into a spinster bun most days of the week.  I'm pretty sure this is what fuels my passion for nail polish.  I was looking for something to help feminize me up on the weekends, since my civilian clothes mostly consist of jeans, t-shirts, and plaid (it turns out, I just look plain good in plaid), and it seemed like nail polish was the perfect fun accessory.

Nail polish, to me, screams GIRL!  There's an endless amount of looks you can achieve or supplement with nail polish.  For example, there are girly pastels and pale pinks when you are going for a pretty look.  Or, if you are feeling sassy, you have bolder, brighter colors that come into play.  Then, there are shades that just seem to go really well with different seasons: burgundy always reminds me of fall, and reds get a lot of use around December for me.  I love that I can grab a color and be matchy-matchy with my outfit, or I can put a little more thought into it and choose a contrasting-yet-complementary color to add a little unexpected flair.

Anyway, that's where I'm coming from, and I'm sure there are other women out there who can relate.  I know I'm not the only one who enjoys getting gussied up on the weekends.  I also genuinely enjoy sharing and discussing nail polish finds, so please don't hesitate to share your own thoughts and experiences!