Monday, March 30, 2015

Funky Fingers You're the One That I Want Collection Swatches and Nail Art

Today I've got the latest collection from Funky Fingers, which at the time I included it in a display post, I wasn't exactly sure what it was called since I'd yet to see it with any signage. Since then, I saw this:

So the planogram I saw was pretty close; that said "You Are the One That I Want", while the display cards (which I consider official since it's what they've chosen to show us customers) say "You're the One That I Want".

The five colors are Hand Jive (orange), Pink Ladies (pink), Beauty School Dropout (purple), T'Birds (blue), Greased Lightnin' (green).

These are all jellies packed with small iridescent glitters and a scattering of holographic glitters. The formula is a little bit goopy, probably to make sure the glitter stays distributed. I did Skittles with three coats of each, starting with Hand Jive on my thumbnail, then Pink Ladies on my index, Beauty School Dropout on my middle, T'Birds on my ring, and Greased Lightnin' on my pinky. There was still a hint of nail line, so if that bothers you, wear opaque undies with these; I wouldn't recommend more than three coats of these glitters due to how thick the formula is.

The holo bits pop more in direct light than in the lightbox:

The sheer and sparkly nature of these Funky Fingers combined with their color range made me think of my old friends in the Zoya Bubbly collection, so I tried adding some gradient tips with the coordinating Zoyas. In some cases, they blended so well the transition was almost invisible, in others, they really could have used something in between to bridge the gap. Starting at my thumb and working to my pinky: Hand Jive plus Zoya Jesy, Pink Ladies plus Harper, Beauty School Dropout plus Binx, T'Birds plus Muse, and Greased Lightnin' plus Staasi.

The Zoyas have more pigment to them and also larger glitters in their mix, which makes them just different enough to show up against the Funky Fingers (well, blue Muse is a bit too strong for its counterpart).

Seeing how nicely they mixed with the Zoyas, I was curious about how they'd play with each other. I first laid down a white creme base, then went to town with gradients in different combinations. Top to bottom: Hand Jive plus Pink Ladies plus Beauty School Dropout, Pink Ladies plus Beauty School Dropout plus T'Birds, Beauty School Dropout plus T'Birds plus Greased Lightnin', T'Birds plus Greased Lightnin' plus Hand Jive. I loved all of these combinations, and together thought they made my nails look like Easter candy.

All of these looks have topcoat. Though the glitter is small and lays flat, it does seem to leave little divots sometimes, like the glitter is sinking into the pillowy thick base.

There was a time when I avoided Funky Fingers, mostly because the bottle is so wide that it takes up a lot of space in my Helmers. I'm glad I loosened up about that, because these are fun, and I can't think of any Color Club dupes for them (Funky Fingers shares a corporate parent with Color Club, same as Studio M does).

Friday, March 27, 2015

Core Displays, Ulta Edition

As I mentioned in my last display post, I have seen some new (or maybe just new to me) core line displays that I wanted to share. With so many new collection displays popping up all the time, the poor core displays get neglected when it comes time for me to do my shopping round ups, so today I'm trying to make it up to them by giving them the spotlight all to themselves.

First up is Mineral Fusion, which I've only ever seen at Ulta. This line touts itself as cruelty free and does not contain formaldehyde, toluene, DBP, or camphor. The bottles are 10ml and retail for $7.99 (though with coupons and sales I've not paid that much).

Colors in top row: Skipping Stone, Pebble, Precious Pink, Blushing Crystal, Glint of Mint, Cerulean Rock, Grotto.
Second row: Blossom, Coral Reef, Citrus Cove, Meadow, Sapphire Dream, Rock Cress.
Third row: Brilliant, Shimmering Shale, Pink Crush, Emerald Sand, Galaxy, Meteor Shower.
Fourth row: Garnet, Fiery Lava, Brick, Canyon, Rose Quartz, Amethyst.
Bottom row: Nickel & Dime, Pretty Penny, Vintage Pearl, Dazzling Diamonds, Top Coat, Base Coat.

Some of these names make perfect sense, while some are so wrong I'd wonder if the bottles were mislabelled except the names on the shelves match. Coral skipping stones and pink pebbles? Guess they're from a cartoon universe. I like that they included the greens and blues to spark up an otherwise traditional lineup of colors.

Unlike the Mineral Fusion, which I've seen at multiple Ulta stores in my area, I've only seen this next brand at one Ulta location. It's 2B, which the display touts as "a new brand from Europe". I almost missed that there was polish in this display; walking by, the wide band at the top neatly hides most of the bottles from view for a person of my height (I held the camera below eye level to get this shot).

They manage to cram a lot into this little section of the display. Below you can see Jeans Look, Holographic, and Feathers effect polishes.

Below the Feathers, there are Leather Effect colors.

On the right side, there's an assortment of regular cremes and shimmers as well as base coat, top coat, and black light effect top coat.

I didn't get names of all the 2B colors, but I did buy some for later swatching. I also didn't record the prices on these; I don't think they were expensive, maybe around $3, but the bottles are on the small side.

Staying at Ulta, most (maybe all?) of the ones I frequent now have Whim, a brand exclusive to Ulta. They are selling this as a 3-stp system for a gel-like manicure, but I ignored their base and top coats and looked just at the colors, of which there are many. These are $10 per 9.5 ml bottle, which is premium pricing, but so far I've been able to use the Ulta coupons on them, even the ones that exclude premium brands.

I did get the names of all these (mostly because it was easy; they are printed on the display). Settle in and read or skip over, as you wish.

Front row, left side: Cover Your Bases (base coat, three slots), City Scape, More Sequins Please, On Top of It (top coat, three slots).

Front row, right side: Heavy Metal, Dipped in Gold, Champagne Taste, Steel Drum, Wine Me Up, Sparkle Sparkle Everywhere, Fit for a Royal, Catwalk.

Second row, left side: Musical Note, On Wednesdays We Wear Pink, Pop-sicle, Dreaming in Pink, In Love With Love, whim.sicle, Party Perfect, Drinks at Sunset.

Second row, right side: Ripe from the Tree, Best Dressed, No Rules Apply, Burning Up, Firecracker Fury, There's No Place Like Home, Gone Glamorous, Retro Vibe.

Third row, left side: Twerk Your Tailfeather, Moody Blues, Serendipity, Bling Ring, Rule the World, Midnight Wink, Indigo Waters, After Hours.

Third row, right side: LBD, Rock 'n' Stroll, Marshmallow Mousse, Barely There, Sand & Stone, This Calls for Cava, Fan-TAN-sy, Spanish Lover.

Back row, left side: Frosted Cupcake, Royal Dreams, Sheer Nightie, Dance Recital, Pink Tulle, Is My Tiara On Straight, Tea Party Proper, TGIF.

Back row, right side: Catching Confetti, You're Tutu Much, Do You Lilac Me, Lemon Drop, Mojito Mint, One Last Kiss, Blue Sky Melody, I'll Send You a Postcard.

The above Whim photos are all of the introductory display which was setup in the front of the stores. Some stores have already reset the brand into a more permanent display back by the salon nail polish. The shades are the same, but the arrangment is different:

One last thing from Ulta: I noticed they'd tweaked the Essence endcap to slip in the Shake Me I'm Pretty topcoat that I'd seen in the standalone display recently, as well as two new Effect polishes, Never Stop Dreaming (red) and Rock My World (silver lilac).

I have a few more core displays still stuck in my folders but those will have to wait for another day as I'm just about ready to step away from the computer and start my weekend. Happy shopping, everyone!

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Lace, Strips, and Cinderella

My nails of the day photos tend to pushed down my posting priority list in favor of whatever collection has caught my swatching eye most recently, but today I am going to catch up, all the way to what's on my nails right now as I type.

Way back at the end of January, I went to my company's holiday party (which we have after the holidays) wearing gold and lace on my nails. After base coat (Qtica Natural Nail Growth, which I used twice and then misplaced the bottle so don't have any idea if it really works for me), I did one coat of China Glaze White Cap, decided it wasn't quite what I was looking for to coordinate with my dress, and followed with two coats of Chanel Pearl Drop and Sally Hansen Diamond Dry topcoat. Then I added Sally Hansen Nail Stickers in Little Black Lace, which I picked up last fall but hadn't tried yet. These are actual lace on a clear sticky backing sheet. These were a little trickier to work with than nail polish strips because you can't take off little bits at the base or sides after application to neaten up the fit like I sometimes do with polish strips, and the excess at the tips really needs to be cut off rather than filed, and that's hard to do with one's non-dominant hand (I found a nail clippers worked better than a scissors). I wore these to the party without topcoating them, in part because I liked the texture, and also because I was curious how they'd hold up, but mostly because I was running late. Here's what they looked like just before I left for the party:

And here's how they looked when I got home six hours later—you can see the lace frayed some at the tips:

Before I went to bed, I did try adding topcoat (Hong Kong Girl). A thin coat seals the lace but still leaves some texture; laying it on thick makes the lace shiny, as on my middle finger.

These lace stickers were great for the party; I got a lot of comments and compliments. If I were planning to wear them for more than a night, I'd definitely use topcoat.

I was back to regular nail polish strips the next weekend, when I applied Sally Hansen Salon Effects in Out of Line at the beginning of a quilting retreat with some of my friends from work. I did it right at the table we were all setting up our sewing machines at, so it was fun to show them how fast and easy the strips are. I picked this particular design for the weekend because it reminded me of a quilt (I have others that are more quilt-like, but these colors seemed happier to me, and at the time I needed extra cheering up as it was the part of winter that drags on and Mr. K had been gone for two weeks and I was missing him).

My NOTD between those strips and now did make it into the blog already, but I did want to share what my St. Patrick's Day mani looked like afer a week of pounding my keyboard at work (yeah, I left my holiday nails on all week). There's some tipwear and base gaps due to nail growth, sure, yet they look pretty darn good still. I imagine if I'd used topcoat they might have looked even better (though topcoat doesn't keep my nails from growing, so maybe not that much better.) Points to Incoco for making a good product.

And now I'm caught up to what's on my nails right now: three colors from the Morgan Taylor Cinderella collection. I've got If the Slipper Fits, a light blue shimmer with holo glitter, on my index fingers (and thumbs), Best Ball Gown Ever, a periwinkle shimmer with gold flash, on my middle and ring fingers, and Party at the Palace, a seafoam green with golden shimmer, on my pinkies.

I used two coats of each of these colors, but three probably would have been better. Two coats of topcoat on the glitter would definitely have been better, as I can still feel some bumpiness. The sparkles of color coming off the glitter nicely distract me from all that, though.

If I had this latest manicure to do over (and I suppose I could), in addition to the extra coats, I think I'd do a funky French tip on my pinkies with the glitter, to better integrate that green nail in with the blue on all my other fingers. Obviously it hasn't bothered me that much since it's been on my nails since Saturday; I didn't feel a need to make any changes before I had met up this past Sunday with some of my nail friends. We had lunch and then headed to Sephora to fondle the polishes there and pose for a group hand shot. That's me in the lower left, of course, then going around clockwise it's honeybee_nails, traceyloveslacquer, and holoqueen.

It was great being able to get together with all of these partners in polish; I hope we follow through on our intentions to do it more often.