Monday, May 28, 2012


Here is a walk through on my mechanics. The products do change as I try new things and go back to old ones, but this is what a manicure of mine takes.

First up, clean dry nails:

Have I told you I can't shape my nails for shite? Did I lie? I missed my last manicure, I should be due this week but don't have an appointment. Not good. This is a hot mess but I did the best I could.

Nice nick in the cuticle there on the birdie finger. I was gardening yesterday and gloves annoy me after awhile. I must have done this then. It stung when I washed my hands! But I put some Aquaphor on it and it's a little better. I haven't been taking care of my cuticles lately.

This happened to be the Tropical Sun from Models Own manicure so this is one coat of Models Own 3in1. As a base coat it was OK. My nails seemed to take to it and it didn't take a horrible time to dry. I don't typically let my polish dry all the way through between steps. It's not really necessary if you're careful. I am just careful and slow as I paint and usually by the time the right hand is done the left hand is ready. (I paint left to right)

Nailtiques 2 Plus. This is very glossy, as you can see, and picked up the fur from the pillow. Nice. Oh well. But this is a product you can easily use a top coat to refresh your manicure and it's good for your nails. It's a protein coat which should help with peeling if you have that problem. I have a serious problem with peeling. You can see here where they've tried it.

Seche Rebuild coat 1. Nice index finger. *sigh* I tend to pick at my cuticles as a nervous habit. I'm very self-destructive in this way! I pick my cuticles, chew my lip...awful habits.
The important thing here is that Rebuild is also to help strengthen your nails. It has a milky quality but it is sheer. you could wear this plain but note the texture of it, mostly notable on the pinky nail. It's not as rough as Orly Nail Armor, which I love and hate, but it does have some texture.

Another shot at one coat. Despite the slight texture, it has a nice sheen.

Two coats Seche Rebuild are on, we're ready for color. You can see the slightly milky quality it gives the nail. It's not a good base to load a sheer up on. If you're looking for help reaching opacity I would go with Fiberglass Network or Orly Nail Armor. The thing I hate about Nail Armor is that you have to put it on thick and the silk fibers in it tend to stick off the end of the nail and get caught on things causing chips. Otherwise, it's probably one of the best things out there for helping you keep your natural nails in tact. I think I may just not be that good at putting it on, honestly.

So that's the mechanics. It's not glamourous, but it IS necessary. These steps help preserve the health of your nails, the length of your manicure and prevent staining from your lacquers. Those rich cobalt blues that I love so much stain badly, so do some reds and rich greens, blacks...anything with tons of pigment can cause bad stains. Take these steps to keep your nails healthy, please! It's worth it. The chemicals in polish are not really good for us, it's worth the time and energy to lay down a foundation that is at least including things that are good. Plus, it just lays a nice canvas to paint on. Any minor ridges or even little divets you might have (I have a divet...lost an argument with a stapler as a child. Right through the nail and I carry the reminder to this day, but you can't see it, can you? I know from whence I speak!) are nicely filled in. If you have serious ridges then please add in a ridge filler. Buffing will only be a temporary help and may actually make the situation worse. See a professional if that is a bad problem for you.

OK? So now when I list the mechanics at the bottom of the post you will know this is what I mean and how I go about it. You still want to avoid your cuticles and keep things tidy here.

It's important to Happy Talons!

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Models Own - Tropical Sun

I think I mentioned yesterday that I have been looking at some different cruelty free brands and this is one. They advertise themselves to be "Furry Friendly" and go on to explain if you click on it, that they do not use animal products or test on animals. Good enough!

I don't honestly know how long this brand has been around but I've seen it on other blogs and there are some rather spectacular colors. This is a British company which means overseas shipping and they do charge for it. Quite a lot. So I didn't screw around. I bought a bunch and made the shipping feel more worth it. Also, as it was my first order I was able to get a free black eye liner which helped with the shipping sting as well. I picked up the Beetlejuice collections, both of them, plus the Hed Kandi collection. Today I decided to try Tropical Sun. It's a peach so it's springy, but it definitely has a hot feel to it.

I thought, too, since I'm always telling you the mechanics of a manicure that I should show you what these steps look like, but I think I will make that a separate post as it would make this very picture heavy and keep you from looking at something you might really be interested in. So without further ado, here is Models Own - Tropical Sun:

It's a lovely pinky orange sort of thing. It's really very complex.

Here is one coat over everything I'll show you in the next post:

OK...very sheer, and very pink. It's really not this pink going on. It took me awhile but I figured it out. Between the natural sunlight from the window and the But that's OK because there really is quite a bit of pink in it.

A closer one coat shot. Let's see what we have here...a pink sheer with a yellow gold flash. OK...I buy that. I also feel a sort of green in this. Does that make sense? I don't detect green consciously, but it feels very green...and very hot. If this color had a temperature it would be hot. White hot.

Two coats and looking very pink here. It really honestly isn't and I can show you that in a bit. Just hang with me because these pink shots DO help explain the polish some. This is the pink in the peach. In normal every day lighting you will never see this pink but it's in the polish. It's there and it's what gives the color depth.

A two coat shot. I think I was still deciding if three was going to be the way to go. I did three and more, actually, but we'll get there. I'm still using a flash here.

Here is what happens when wonder genius (me) takes the flash off:

Ah. The actual color. But see what is happening? It's like a duochrome effect, with gold flash. THe pink is in there but it's not that noticeable. However...those bubbles are. I barely shook this so what is up with the bubbles? Oh where ohr where is that Twit in the Beret when I need her?

My right hand was better able to be in the sunlight from the window where I was sitting and this shows the color beautifully. You can also see what a rubbish paint job I typically do, but regardless, this is a great representation of the color. There is a lot happening here but it's very wearable. This is three coats. Three coats gave a nice opacity. Two might have been OK, but I like three better.

Less light here, but a nice show of the color in low light. It becomes more tangerine, which is also very pretty. I was wondering what this would do on someone who could generate a tan. I cannot. I will be this ghostly no matter what. Redhead. But it's pretty on me, I think.

A nice bottle shot. Ugh. The bubbles! I will walk you through how I attempted to fix that.

The bottom label shot. Note the pink at the top of the bottle. Fascinating!


1 coat Models Own 3in1 - It came with the set.
1 coat Nailtiques 2 Plus
2 coats Seche Rebuild
3 coats Models Own Tropical Sun
1 coat Models Own 3in1

The was a nice base coat. We'll see how it wears. As a top wasn't bad, but it was slow to dry. Not terrible, but remained tacky. I had a dinner to put on and tacky wasn't going to cut it. Plus, I had those bloody bubbles. So. I put on a fourth coat of Tropical Sun and then a coat of Seche Vite top coat.

Here are the results of that in natural sunlight:

OK, blurry but neat photo. The camera focused on the barn wall and not my fingers. However, this does show the glow this polish has. It looks like a Tropical Sun. Isn't that great? No hint of the pink we saw before but without it this wouldn't work, I don't think. It's really quite lovely.

Against the black top. A nice glowy peach. You can see here how wearable this is.

Now all we need to do is see how it wears. Now...with the fourth coat of lacquer over the top coat it should wear very well. I find that is a cute little trick to get the most out of your polish. I've already had a casualty, however, where it apparently didn't dry all the way through and got pushed back on one nail and bungled on another. I didn't take pics. We'll see how it does over all. I need to go make a repair attempt on these two and we'll go from there.

Some notes on the packaging. The bottles come individually shrink wrapped. At first I was really not amused by this. What a nuisance! Then I thought of the LCN debacle. They keep emailing me and I keep not ordering from them. I'm not wasting my money on polish that comes open and spilled all over. I suppose the shrink wrap system DOES prevent that. I was grumbling inwardly because I almost always ruin a nail getting that crap off when..what did I spy?

 Check it! It's a little pull handle! I should have known. The company IS purported to be owned by models, which means they have probably applied a layer of lacquer or two in their day which means...they may know my pain! This was painless!

Pull the little tab and Voila!:
It comes down the little perforations like a dream. Un-zips in a lovely way and no split nails over it. Nice.

The formula was...runny. Not terrible, not watery like the horrible experience with Spa Ritual but runny enough. Several times I had to stop and re-dab the brush because polish was running down the wand. It wasn't hard to control but you had to pay attention. Which probably explains why I have lacquer all over me. I was trying to root on Tony Kanaan (Maybe next year is your year, baby! You keep driving like you drive! Third is COMPLETELY respectable at the Indy!) and I wasn't fully focusing on my paint. Sorry, but I've been pulling for Tony to get an Indy win for over a decade now. I just love to watch him drive. And no, I've not met him personally but when you root someone on faithfully for 11 years you FEEL like you're on a first name basis. The drivers I met in my youth (and my parents wilder days) are now coaching from the pits. But I always root for Tony.

I suspect if I left the top off this for about an hour it would thicken up nicely and be a breeze. It was kind of annoying but it wasn't unbearable.

So let's see how it wears!

Happy Talons!!

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Tricksie is BACK!

That is, if blogger will stop being a wanker. It just deleted an entire sentence. You guys have no idea what we bloggers go through for our addiction to just having to tell you about our makeup or our nails or our hair or whatever.

My life has changed dramatically since I last wrote. I have a new job but we're only talking about good things on here. It has two significant things going for it: my gas gauge doesn't move at the end of the day, it's that close, and I'm not driving into the sun both ways like I used to do. I will give it that.

In the interviewing process, I busted out all the neutrals. I wound up with one completely reliable didn't have to worry about it look that worked. I knew it was pretty but neutral and it wasn't attracting any attention. I've worn it several weeks since you last heard from me...and I have no swatches of it. Sorry. I will one day do it again so those of you out there who have or will struggle with this same problem of interview nails, this, or a similar better for your complexion look may well be your answer. I read a lot of advice online looking for the correct answer to the interview nail problem (there is a point to all this, I promise. Don't I always have a point? It's been so long since I have posted you may not remember. Yes. I always have a point.) and what I found a LOT was "just go with a nude nail". Or "go with a nude buffed nail". AUGH! OK, if I haven't done this rant before, buffing your nails, while making them look nice, will also cause your polish to slide off like water off a ducks back. Plus, it weakens the top layer of your nail...just...NO. I only buff if they are peeling and only to get off that nagging little bit that wants to peel but won't and if it does you're going to end up trimming, etc etc etc.

Besides, you need to be comfortable when you go in to face the firing squad, Emma Right? I know. I am. If you are a dedicated polish hound, like I assume you are if you're sticking with me through my prattle, then you realize immediately the problem with the "nude nail" philosophy. You're so used to having polish on that a nude nail just feels WRONG. Plus, they feel weak, though probably they aren't because you're devoted to your strengtheners, right? Oh please say you haven't given up on your nail care products! Have I taught you nothing? *sigh*

The moral of the story is, a nailista doesn't feel like herself without her polish and that is a bad sitch to put your psyche in when going to an interview. Do I rock some Illamasqua crazy for it? No. But I don't go in nekkid, either. It would be like not wearing...make up. WTF?

Incidentally, for my new job I went to training at our corporate office and was the only female in a room of 8 wearing makeup. I immediately regretted NOT rocking the Illamasqua bright yellow and fuschia-purple eye look I had created for my last week at my other job (So long, farewell, auf wiedersein, fuck off!) because it would have freaked some people right out. Ah well.

So in this process, I tried a lot of different toned down stuff.

In the process, I came across this little lovely in my drawer that I had not forgotten, but not busted out, either. I thought...a beige holo. Woo. But I bought it because I adore almost all things ButterLONDON, though...I haven't tried the lippys yet. They have lip gloss now. Yes. I have yet to try it.

When Alexander McQueen died, RIP - Moment of Silence for the Genius of McQueen....


Butter did a little group of polishes to pay homage to the amazing designer. Marrow, which is gorge and I believe is in this blog somewhere, Bumster, which is a yellow, and this little gem. Now...I had full sunlight for these swatches and I took full advantage of it. In fact, it was this darling of a polish that convinced me that the fight to put out the blog is worth it! You HAD to know about this.

Originally put out as All Hail McQueen it was changed after I bought my initial bottle. Yes, I have two bottles of a polish I thought was ho-hum because I'm psychotic. It's no longer available under it's original name so this is and can be purchased wherever you like to purchase your butters as The Queen. As in "All Hail The Queen". Maybe there was a copyright infringement on his name, who knows. But if you fall in love with this, forget all about that McQueen stuff. You won't find it unless it's on that evil site and it won't be mine. I'm holding onto this sucker because it looks like this in the sun:

Zow-eee! MA MA MAMAMAMAMAAA! Yep. See why I just had to come back? butters aren't popular in the blogger world usually, but I have loved them and they are cruelty free and everything I support and promote and holy crapola I was betting you weren't aware of this little beauty.

Now. I do not have any non-sunlight pics, but I assure you, on the death of my polish collection, the most sacred vow Tricksie can give, that this is perfectly great for an interview. It's a nice sedate tan cream in indoor lighting. None of that diamond in the rough thing shows up when you're inside. In fact, Ruby Pumps commented on it at dinner the other night. "You're doing very tame nails these days". I shrugged and said "New job..interviewing...keeping it appropriate" because...even I will wait to gauge the workplace before I bust out the yellow.

A label shot for you.

This is some hard core holo action for you. Look at that. I mean...just LOOK at it! I recommend clicking the pics and seeing them larger. Not that the holo is exactly hidden here.

The particles pretty much stick to a gold and silver pallet here, but you will see some rainbow effects if all the lacquer planets align correctly.

Lovely neat cuticles, you know, or you may remember, that is my litmus test for how easily a polish applies and handles. I should mention, this is two days of wear.

And let me just add a caveat to that: I mean WEAR. Dishes, paperwork, typing...the new job...well, let's just say there are employee papers that haven't been filed since 20 TEN. Yes. 2010. I found them shoved in the back of a drawer. So after I get finished meeting the myriad of daily deadlines, which is lots of paper and typing, I work on that. These nails have plowed through stacks of papers. This manicure took some abuse and then lasted another two days.

This is me playing with new ways to take pics. I'd do something arty and whatnot but my phone doesn't have a place for a tripod. Yeah...I take my swatches with my phone. See...I live in BFE. I love that. It's quiet and if the neighbors are a pain in your butt you can just feed them to the pigs. Not really. I don't have pigs. But the downside to all this rural quaintness is a limited internet usage. I have wifi...don't get me wrong. We have all our teeth out here, and we read and have indoor plumbing and everything, but unlimited internet is a decade away for us out here. So with my phone, I have unlimited internet, but not using it as a hotspot. Are you bored yet? Don't blame you. So I use my phone to take the pictures because...getting it? I can upload them for free from it. Yep. Tricksy Tricksie.

I wanted to take wear shots for you last night because it was good for this, but all started to peel off in sheets for some weird reason. I had just done a lot of could have been a combination of hot water and Seche, I suppose. Very odd, though. That not withstanding, this wore for a solid six days of hard use. This manicure was not coddled and I didn't reapply anything, though I should have.

So. This is sort of the perfect lacquer for the job hunters out there. Definitely wearable, definitely neutral, definitely suitable for many different skin tones - on some luckies possibly even nude. However. In natural sunlight, this will satisfy even us nail hounds who love to wear something different. Something the other girls aren't wearing. And you can sit in your interview and smile because ya wanna know why? You have a secret! Yes. This is the little black thong of nail polishes. "I LOVE to work overtime, Mr. Interviewer Man" SMILE SMILE SMILE! **I'm secretly wearing some wilder than normal nail polish, Mr. Interviewer Man, but you can't see that!**

Whether you wear a black thong to an interview is your business entirely.

So my mechanics on this were:

1 coat Sech Base Coat
1 coat Nailtiques 2 Plus (I'm having terrible peeling issues right now. I had been off the Nailtiques but I'm back on)
2 coats Seche Rebuild (Had been off this, too. Seeing improvement with just one mani.)
2 coats butterLONDON All Hail The Queen
1 coat Seche Vite Top Coat

It's possible my great wear stems from everything being brand new and unopened. I don't know that, but it occurs to me writing this that they were all brand new, every drop. Well, The Queen had been in the drawer a long while, but never opened.

I hope you like this. I am thinking that in this economy, I need to do a good interview mani post from time to time. I'm sure many of us are struggling out there, and part of the point of this blog, if anyone has read back that far, is to offer up honest information on wear so you know if you're spending your nail lacquer money wisely. It's one of my promises to you guys as readers. I'll tell you if it chips, if it doesn't wear well, repair well, etc. No matter how gorgeous it is if an expensive polish doesn't wear well then I want you to at least spend that $24 wisely. (I'm looking at YOU, Chanel!) Regardless, I really struggled when I started interviewing. I knew I couldn't feel confident and comfortable following the advice out there to go nude, and I really needed help. I worked it out on my own, thank you Rescue Beauty Lounge, but BMWWU turned it up a notch and it's worth filling you in.

I hope you're glad I'm back! I'm glad to be back!

I will probably not be posting as much as I was. I want to get back to my roots which is posts on wear, on care, on not torturing bunnies...I've found some new brands I want to try, I want to tell you about those. I want to talk about the trends and how to use what you already may have. And...I want to give you GOOD suggestions on what to rock in an interview that won't make you feel self-conscious but self-confident, even if you're interviewing at a bank, which I personally did. I'm adding it as a label to this post, actually. "Interview appropriate". I would have appreciated that when I was looking. Maybe I can help someone who is feeling stuck. I may branch out more, talk more about makeup and skin care. I have finally found something that works on my difficult tangly hair! Maybe we should talk about that! I don't know! It's not tested on animals and it smells like...yum.

I also have a lot of swatches that I did before that I want to get edited and talk about now that I think I have this photo thing figured out. I hope I do.

So. All that very long post aside, Happy Talons!!