50 Shades of Red Nail Polish #18

RapidRed(SH)Name: Rapid Red – Sally Hanson


I decided to break away this time from the more ‘upscale’ polish brands and try out a drugstore brand. I like Sally Hanson, used their Hard As Nails polish in the nineties and never had a problem. One reason I decided to try this was because I felt like I was becoming a nail polish ‘snob’ and only using expensive polishes.

This is a crisp, red colour that stayed the same shade inside and out. It has a wide brush with a tapered end, to make application easy as according to Sally Hanson promo – just brush and go (after 60 seconds).


This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Application Process:

Because of the wider brush, it took me a couple fingers before I felt comfortable using it and I did have some over-flow, but it cleaned up no problem. The colour I found was very opaque. I could get away with just one coat, but habit made me put on two. As for the fast drying, they were right. It dried so quickly that a few times it would clump up before I got to the end of my nail, but even then I still gave it a good 30 minutes between coats.


Wear and Tear:

With a base and topcoat, it lasted a full seven days. The problem came when I went to take it off. The red soaked through the pad and transferred to my other hand. It got under my nail and I ended up used close to a dozen cotton pads and Q-tips to get it all off. It was a mess. The only reason I may keep this polish is for stamping. Will have to see.



Nail Art: Add Some Glamour with Striping Tape.

Nail art can be as complex or as intricate as you want. Sometimes it’s as easy as putting a few dots on your polish (like I did for my Ladybug design) or if you want to go with something a little more glamourous, you can use striping tape. It comes in a mind-boggling array of colours and can add a touch of class to your mani.

I call this look Blue Steel.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.


Having said that, be warned, using striping tape is not for the weak. I watched hours of YouTube videos on striping tape, but I wasn’t truly prepared for the frustration that would ensue. I decided to do my right hand first (as I’m right-handed and always photo my left hand) and glad I did. What a mess. This is definitely something you need to play with a few times before you get the hang of it. My left hand went on in half the time, so I’ll assume that my frustration was in part, due to my using my non-dom hand.



  • OPI’s Yoga-Ta Get This Blue
  • Striping tape
  • Tweezers
  • Nail cutters
  • Clear top/base coat


-base coat

-two coats of polish

-cut a length of tape wide enough to cover the nail horizontally. NOTE: cut the tape a little longer than your nail width. You can trim the sides later.

-with tweezers, carefully pick up the striping tape on one side. Try not to touch the sticky (un-shiny) side of the tape as the oil from your fingers will dull the sticky.

– (here’s the tricky part) place the tape on the nail in the position you wish. It may take a few tries, be patience. Once in place, press down on the tape with your fingers. I also used a dotting tool to press it to the nail.

– once the tape is in place, trim up the edges. It’s okay if you trim a little short. As a matter of fact I recommend it. I found the tape would lift at the ends even with a topcoat. I think a shorter strip seals better.

-brush on your topcoat. Make sure you cover the ends and don’t be cheap when applying. A good amount of top coat (especially on the corners) will keep the tape from curing.

50 Shades of Red Nail Polish #17

SookieZoyaName: Sookie – Zoya


Keeping with my brand experiment, this time I tried Sookie, by Zoya from their 2011 Zoya Summertime Collection. This was a little costlier than the other polishes, over $10, but look at that colour! This is a nice, crisp summer red. A nice shade too. Not too orange, not too deep. It’s not a fire truck red, more like a tomato red; that nice red shade of a ripe beefsteak tomato. Okay, now I want a BLT.


Application Process:

The formula for this is nice. Unlike the OPI products, this does tend to run a little watery, and the first time I used it, it got away on me. This isn’t really a problem. I just have to adjust my application method a bit. It applies evenly across the nailbed but it takes two coats to get an opaque finish. That doesn’t bother me either as you need two coats for most polishes. It’s shiny with or without a topcoat, but I use one for extra protection.


-two applications of polish

-top coat

Wear and Tear: This polish didn’t chip or split for the week I wore it. Even with me tapping on the cash at work and my keyboard at home. Even with the high-end price tag, this is definitely a brand I would wear again.


50 Shades of Red Nail Polish: #16

SunSetTheMoodMini(ChinaGlaze)Name: Sun-Set the Mood – China Glaze


Continuing with my experiment, the next brand I tried was China Glaze. They’re well-known for their ‘true’ neon polishes (true neon simply means you don’t need a white basecoat), and they have a fun variety of colours. This is also the first matt nail polish I’ve owned. I’m so used to seeing a shine on my polish, that the matt finish kind of threw me.

This is a nice tropical punch shade that looks more orange undertone inside and pink undertone outside. I woke up the other day and was surprised at the orange tone this colour had. I actually lay there and stared at my fingers, in awe of such a drastic colour change. Because of that I feel this colour would really pop with a tan or with darker skin tones.

Application Process:

The formula was a little goopy and it either streaked or went patchy. Considering all the wonderful things I hear about China Glaze, I was more than a little disappointed. It took more than one coat to get a final colour. I had to apply two just to get an even coverage and I should have put on one more. That being said, I think it’s worth it just for the vibrancy of the colour.


-two applications of polish

-top coat

Wear and Tear:

Another reason I will use this brand again is durability. Sealing in the polish with a topcoat gives an extra layer of protection against chips. I put my nails under a lot of stress with typing and work, so the fact that my manicure stays chip-free for a full seven days makes it worth it for me.




Nail Art: The Art of Dry Brushing.

I went to ceramics with my mother-in-law and sister-in-law for about a year back when Sithboy was a baby. It was my one night to get out and I loved it. Ask me how many dragons I painted. Too many, and until recently I never thought I’d use the dry brush technique again. Who would have thought my ceramic classes would come in handy outside the class.

I was wrong.


CyberGoth Grunge

I call this design Cyber Goth Grunge. Done with three colours, it was probably the easiest first attempt of a nail art design I’ve done so far.


-clear basecoat

– 2 coats Essie’s Pretty Edgy

-let dry



[l-r] Pretty Edgy, Blanc, 7th Inning Stretch

Here’s where the fun begins. Starting with Essie’s Blanc, I scraped off as much polish on the rim of the bottle as I could. Two or three scrapes at least. I dragged the brush across the polished nail from top to end until I was satisfied with the amount. For this design, think less is more. I then used OPI’s 7th Inning Stretch (which is a nice dark, blue shimmer) the same way as the white. The good thing about this, the two design colours will dry quickly so you don’t have to worry about one colour running into the other. Finish it off with a topcoat and you’re all set! This is by far the easiest nail art I’ve done so far. I did add some neon pink on one, but it changed the overall ambiance of the design so I kept to the three colours. I’ve seen some videos where they’ve used for or more and it still looks good.

A Darke Kind of Beauty: Summer colours and shades.

It’s that time of year, folks. Time to pick out my colour palette for the summer. Now I’m IN LOVE with Kat von D products and I love her eye shadow quads and I’m finding I love quite a few of her products.

I wore the plum quad all spring with Kat von D’s Everlasting Liquid Lipstick “Berlin” (a warm rose tone). I don’t go over-board like you see on some of those tutorials on YouTube. This is how I do it for work. I haven’t done anything for an evening out, probably a darker or more purple for the eyes and a more red lipstick.

‘SAGE’ – Kat von D eyeshadow quad.

I plan on using Kat’s SAGE for summer because I LOVE the green in this.

I’m unsure about a colour for my lips. I did some research and found the main seven (yes, seven) colours for summer 2017 are as follows:


-cherry red

-dusty pink

-deep plum (personally, I’d wear that in winter)

-fuchsia pink

-a punchy red (think tropical punch fruit drink)

-rosey pink

– bright orange (they’re calling it an ‘electric’ orange)


– and a clear gloss.

That’s a wide range of colour for just about any skin tone. Not too sure about the orange thought, at least not on me. I like reds, so I’m torn between a cherry and a punchy. I’ll have to compare the colours with the eye shadow pallet and see what I like. Sephora has an app that lets me ‘test’ the colours, but nothing is as good as putting it on.

50 Shades of Red Nail Polish: #15

VinyLuxPinkLeggingName: Pink Leggings by CNC VinyLux


I stepped away from my regular brands of polish for a while. I like to experiment and see how the others work for cover and possibly future nail art. The first colour I chose is PINK LEGGINGS by CNC VinyLux. I swear to the nail polish gods, this color is haunting me. This is a nice bright pink that reminds me of Revlon’s CHERRIES IN THE SNOW. It also reminds me of BACHELORETTE BASH by Essie. It’s bright like a neon in the sun, and goes quite dark with indoor lighting.

The formula is in between Essie and O.P.I. I found this colour a little gloopy and too thick for my liking.

Application Process:

Even with the gel nails, I have to use a base and top coat. I experimented with just the polish and wasn’t surprised to see that it started to wear off after a day. Also, as the gel nail grows out, the polish clings to the edge and I end up with an oval mark across the nailbed.

  1. -basecoat
  2. -two applications of polish
  3. -top coat

Wear and Tear:

With the extra protection to the polish, this lasts well over fourteen days with no chips or wear. Taking it off was another story. It. Took. Forever. At least five minutes for each finger and I used quite a bit of polish remover too. I’m not sure if it was because I used a base coat or maybe just the formula; I even wondered if I bought some shellac by accident. I’m not sure if I’ll use this colour or purchase this brand again.

%d bloggers like this: