Thursday, April 1, 2010

Mint Apple


For all of you who are college students like me, I hope that this time of year is treating you well! It's crunch time at my school, and everyone is scrambling to work on final projects, put together creative writing portfolios, and catch up on any makeup work that needs to be done. So, while I might not be painting my nails as much as usual, I did have time for this baby:

This is SinfulColor's Mint Apple (#957). It's name is an obvious take off of Essie's Candy Apple polish, which is also mint colored. However, the two polishes are definitely different. I have Candy Apple at home in Florida, and from what I remember, it's lighter than Mint Apple and also a creme, not a shimmer.

Mint Apple is an awesome color. I have similar shades in my collection, but none quite like this one, although I'm sure similar polishes do exist. It's a little on the thick side, but not difficult to work with.

If you love this kind of color, at about $1.99, you really can't beat Mint Apple!

Friday, March 12, 2010


Every lover of nails has one: a list of “holy grail” products that she just can’t live without. Here is mine:

Solar Oil by CND

If you've read a nail blog before, chances are pretty good that you've heard of Solar Oil! If my cuticles look like they need a little extra love, I rub some Solar Oil on them and they immediately look better! I'm not crazy about almond-scented things, but the light almond scent of Solar Oil doesn't really bother me. The consistency is amazing, and I always see results! Plus, I can buy it at Publix! My tip: I like to use Solar Oil when I push back my cuticles!

Lemon Butter Cuticle Creme by Burt's Bees

This cuticle balm comes in a small tin, which is super convenient. I love Solar Oil, but it's not the easiest thing to apply on the go! Plus, it works really well. Don't be turned off by the initial consistency. It can seem "hard" in the tin at first, but once you work through the initial top layer of product, it softens up and becomes super easy to apply. It's a bit tacky feeling when you first apply it, but that doesn't really bother me. I like that it stays on the cuticle! Sometimes you put a balm on and it absorbs so quickly that you feel as if it's not working at all! Not so for this Lemon Balm! 

One Minute Manicure

My mother actually bought me this product the first time! It's a mix of dead sea salt and nourishing oils that sloughs away dead skin and moisturizes hands and nails! After I use this product, my hands feel baby soft and look fabulous! 

Note: Barielle makes a similar product called Sixty Second Mani-Pedi, which I have not tried. Barielle's is 12 oz of product for $25, while One Minute Manicure is 13 oz of product for $29.95. The ingredients are very similar, however, from what I can tell, One Minute Manicure has a few advantages: for one, each jar of the product comes with a spoon attached to the lid, which is REALLY helpful (believe me). Plus, One Minute Manicure comes in 11 different scents, while Barielle's only comes in one. Also, Barielle's only comes in one size (it used to be 9 oz only...I'm not sure if they still sell that one), while One Minute Manicure comes in three (3 oz, 13 oz, and 30 oz) which is nice if you want to try out the product, or if you LOVE the product and want to buy in bulk. 

I haven't tried Barielle's product, but I definitely want to do a comparison soon! For reference, here is the link to Barielle's dead sea salt scrub.

In a Snap by Orly

This is my favorite top coat! It's a quick-dry top coat but it also helps my polish last a long time without chipping or tip wear. My favorite top-coat used to be Seche Vite. However, after only a day of wear with Sech Vite, I used to get really bad tip wear, so, I thought I'd try something new. With In a Snap, I now get little to no tip wear. Also, I rarely get chips, which is a major plus. It's not as shiny as Seche Vite, but it still dries super fast! 

Tip: I use this top coat for non-glitter polishes, which are more prone to tip wear.

Seche Vite

Ah, the old standby! This top coat dries SUPER fast and is SUPER glossy. HOWEVER, I also get horrible tip wear when I wear it! So, I no longer use it for cremes/shimmers, etc. I now exclusively use this top coat over glitters. Glitter polishes are more resistant to tip wear in my experience, so that's not even a factor. Plus, it's super thick and eliminates the roughness of glitter polishes. 

Nail Envy by OPI

This is one of two base coats that I regularly use. When my nails need a bit of TLC, I whip this out! It keeps my nails from peeling, which is REALLY important to me! It doesn't necessarily help your mani last any longer, but its nourishing qualities make it worth wearing. I tend to use this when I'm swatching or when I'm not going to be wearing my polish for more than 2 or 3 days. I definitely notice a difference when I've been wearing Nail Envy!

Ridge Filling Base Coat by Essie

This is the base coat I use when I really want my polish to last! It dries matte, so the polish really grips the base coat. Sometimes I just wear this base coat plain when I don't feel like wearing polish. It covers up any stains or imperfections on the surface of the nail, so you still have a bit of coverage when you're not wearing polish. This base coat is also great for people with nail ridges, and especially for those who want to wear cremes (which can make ridges stand out). 

Remove + by Zoya

I LOVE that the 8 oz version of this comes in a bottle with a pump top! I only wish that they had a bigger pump version as well. This smells a lot better than most removers. I also find that it doesn't dry out/damage my nails and cuticles like other removers can. It's more expensive than other removers that you might buy at the drugstore, but if you're like me and you only wear your polish for 1-2 days before switching, then it might be worth it to pamper your nails with Remove +.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Bold & Sexy by Black Radiance

Hey nail fans!

Sorry for the long hiatus! I've been really busy traveling back and forth from Atlanta to Orlando, doing family stuff and seeing friends from home (and of course leveling up my Draenei Death Knight, who is now 75 and decently geared!)

I stopped in my local Rite Aid on the way back from the airport yesterday and bought a few nail polishes, including two by a brand I had never heard of before: Black Radiance. It's a brand of cosmetics specifically made in colors that compliment the coloring of African American women. On their website they only show their "Calcium Enriched" nail polish line, however, the ones I bought were from the "Bold & Sexy" collection, and feature a unique bottle shape.

I threw away my receipt like the dummy that I am, but I looked around online and they seem to be fairly cheap ($1-$3, depending where you look). They are also big-three free!

Here are the two I picked up, both of which are shimmers:

This is Risqué, a gold-flecked deep brown with a slight plum undertone. I used two coats and was supremely satisfied with the opacity and pigmentation. This polish was SUPER easy to apply...super flawless! It actually reminded me a bit of Borghese polishes, in both the consistency and the brush as well.

Next up, Provocative! This raspberry toned color appears redder in the bottle than it does on the nails. It is also flecked with gold shimmer, making for a very rich color on the nails!

I'm super impressed with these colors! Obviously, I'm SUPER pale and white, but even so, I found that these colors complimented my skin tone really well, even though the colors were designed for women of color.

Now, about the brush:

It's fairly wide...not as wide as some of the Sally Hansen brushes, but it still gave me a bit of trouble when I painted my tiny pinky nail. However, I actually like a bigger brush, as long as it's of good quality and the polish itself is easy to handle. This brush falls under that category, and so I really liked it, even though it was rather wide.

However, if you are one of those people who HATE larger brushes, you might want to avoid these.

On Black Radiance's website, it says that you can purchase their brand at Rite Aid, Walgreens, CVS, Target, Walmart, K mart, and even a few stores that I haven't heard of...HOWEVER:

As a drugstore aficionado, I have ONLY ever seen these at ONE store...a Rite Aid. That particular Rite Aid is located in a black community that tends to stock more cosmetic brands that cater to African American women. If you do find these however, try them!

See ya later nail nerds!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010


If you're like me, you love drugstore nail polish. You stalk the makeup section of CVS and Walgreen's on the off-chance that they've stocked the latest polish collection of your favorite drugstore brands. However, drugstore polish hunting can be an often disappointing pursuit, as most drugstores stock new collections days or even months after the collections are released.

So, you end up looking through the permanent collections to heal your wounded heart...and more often than pass by a strange looking brand of polishes called Borghese. You think to reds and pinks? Lame...and look at the bottle! Ridiculous! Ho ho ho! Well...maybe you don't 'ho ho ho'...but I do (shame-face).

So, while looking for the new Borghese duochromes that were recently released (more on that in a later post) I noticed that some of the colors were actually quite pretty. Although they retail for about $8, which is pretty ridiculous for drugstore polish, I decided to give them a try...


This is Bellisima Rose, a stunning red creme, in natural light. The formula on this was like butter...SUPER pigmented, barely visible nail line with only one coat, fast dry-time, and SUPER easy to apply. I've only tried two of their cremes so far, but I'm SUPER impressed. Cremes can be tricky...for instance, I often have a hard time with China Glaze's cremes. They can be rather thick and hard to manage.

Yes, these are expensive. Yes, I'd buy more of them, because the formula is amazing! Try them! Besides, every woman should have a signature red creme. Why not shell out a little bit more for that special shade that you can slap on when you want to feel a bit sexy?

This is also Bellisima Rose, but in typical shoddy indoor lighting (aka: that of my dorm room). As you can see, it turns into a vampy red :D

And for reference, here is the brush. It tapers out a bit towards the end, which can cause problems on super small pinky nails (like mine), but it's do-able. The brush isn't as stiff as Sally Hansen's (which also have large brushes), so application is easier in my opinion.

Larger brushes can be daunting, but once you get the hang of them, they make application not only easier, but possibly FLAWLESS :D

See you next time, nail nerds!

Monday, February 1, 2010

Hello again! The other day I picked up four of the new Milani "3D Holographic" polishes. I got Cyberspace (blue), Hi-Tech (green), Digital (pink), and Hi-Res (purple). The names aren't exactly original for holographic polishes, however, I think that their finish makes them unique. The holographic glitter in these is VERY fine and very bright. It almost makes the polish look 'coarse' in the bottle, but on the nails, these are perfection!

The formula was thin but manageable, which is pretty much the norm for Milani polishes. All of the pictures below show two coats and no top coat. To bring out the brilliance of these holos, I would recommend pairing them with a super shiny top-coat!





For you ladies who love drug-store polish (I do!) you should be sure to pick these up! I found mine at CVS, but not every CVS has them...I know because the one by my college does not!

Also, two random bonus polishes, both by Sally Hansen, and both purple!

Sally Hansen Hard as Nails X-treme Wear "Virtual Violet." This polish is hard to describe. It's not really a pearl, and it's not a has an opalescent finish, it that makes sense. It's quite sheer, and required three coats for me.

"Grape Going!" DRUGSTORE DUOCHROME GOODNESS! This is a purple with subtle flashes of blue when it hits the sunlight. Shown here is two coats, but I think that at three you'd really see the depth and shine of this polish better.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Polish Find!

When it comes to nailpolish, the CVS that's closest to my college is a barren wasteland. Of course, there's Maybelline, Revlon, and some other polishes that are part of the standard cosmetic lines at CVS, but as for individual nail polish brands, there's really only Orly, Sally Hansen, and Borghese. I looked for the new Milani polishes...not there. I looked for the new Sally Hansen insta-Dri polishes...not there. Barren.

Last night I was visiting my aunt in Marietta, and after a delicious dinner of pasta, I needed to stop into CVS to grab some aspirin and other misc. items. As I always do, I stopped by the cosmetics section to check out the polish. I was GOBSMACKED. I found the new Sally Hansen insta-Dris. They had Barielle (!), and new collections by Orly, Milani, and many other brands.

As I was checking out, the girl at the counter saw that I obviously had a lot of polish. She informed me that she had the new Milani 3D holographic collection in the back, if I'd like to check it out. So she brought it out and let me have first pick!. So, I grabbed all of the colors except for silver and gold, two colors that I never wear.

So, I'll be swatching those in the very near future. If you live near Marietta, Georgia, go check out the CVS on the corner of Johnson Ferry Road and Roswell Road NE...I'm pretty sure it's's the CVS by the Trader Joe's and California Pizza Kitchen. Check it out!

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Introduction + Sally Hansen

Hello! *waves* Welcome to the very first post of Nerd Loves Nails, a new blog where I can talk about something that I love...nail polish! My name is Valentine, and as of today, I am a 21 year old college student living in Atlanta, Georgia and part-time in Orlando, Florida. I'm 10 kinds of quirky, but it's a good kind of quirky. I don't bite. :D Besides being a nail fanatic, I'm also a creative writer of poetry and short fiction, a WoW addict, a Trekkie, and a fan of Asian pop music.

The idea for this blog first came about when I was thinking to myself, wow, Barielle's "Blackened Bleu" reminds me of the Death Knight class from World of Warcraft! It was a a perfect moment in time when two of my major interests were suddenly combined into the most amazing ball of nerdy awesomeness ever.

To say the least, I'm a total nerd. So, chances are that I'll be combining a lot of that nerdiness into this blog. So, if that sounds like your cup of tea, stick around!

So, the other day I was quite bored after class so I swung over to CVS to look for the new Milani holograms. I didn't have any luck (my local CVS is quite small and lacking in nail polish), but I did pick up two Sally Hansen polishes from the Insta-Dri line.

This is "Lively Lilac" (#26). Shown here with one coat plus a coat of Seche Vite on top. Depending on the lighting, this color can appear to be a bit pinker than my image shows. It has a slight pearl-finish to it, which adds a little bit of dimension to the finish. I'm such a sucker for lilac lately!

The consistency of this is...really thick, which wouldn't really be a problem, except for the fact that this polish dries incredibly fast. So, you really don't have time to fiddle with your preparation. It can 'gloop-up' quite easily during application, so you have to be steady handed and get things right the first time! Other than that, application was very simple. I normally *hate* polishes with giant brushes because my nails are so narrow, but this one was tapered and slightly rounded at the tip, so it didn't bother me that much.

It's also really pigmented, so I only needed one coat! Awesome!

I also picked up "Mint Sprint" (#28). This is two coats + Seche Vite. I just adore the name of this! It's not incredibly original, but it rhymes so it's cute :p Anyways, this polish is actually a bit less turquoise than it appears in my picture. I just couldn't really capture it accurately for some reason.

Anyways, this is a standard creme. It had pretty much the same consistency as "Lively Lilac." The only distinct difference that I noticed was that this one was a bit streaky and a tad less pigmented. It required two coats to be completely opaque rather than just one.

See you next time, Space Cadets :)