I’m coming at you today with a fun tag. At least, I think it’s fun. This is the All Things Nails tag. It was started by threesixtynails. She can be found at the following media spots: threesixtynailsTV (YouTube), threesixtynails.com (blog), and @threesixtynails (Instagram). I was not specifically tagged for this, but I watched a couple of videos with this tag, including the one done by threesixtynails. At the end, she tagged anyone who wanted to do the tag. And I thought, “Well, I’m anyone!” So here we are. Doing the tag … making some copies … dancing the dance …
Okay. Now it’s awkward. I’m just going to jump into this tag. There are 20 questions, and I tend to get chatty. So this could be a long one. But fun! Right? *ahem*
- Favorite base coat you’ve ever tried?
I have three base coats I use regularly. I’m such a rebel! Right off the bat, guys, I’m a rebel. A rebel without a cause. Okay. I’m going to stop talking like this now. Seriously. I promise.
CND Stickey used to be my absolute favorite base coat. For quite a while, it was my can’t-live-without-it-ride-or-die. It’s an easy base coat to use. It applies quickly and dries quickly. I had great luck with it helping my manicures last a decent amount of time. I’ve had manicures last over a week with this underneath them. Truthfully, this isn’t such a big deal to me. I seldom wear a manicure that long. I’m more of a change it every night kind of gal.
For a peel-off base coat, I like Unt. I’ve also used the Fingerpaints peel off base coat, but Unt peels off easier. It also dries quickly, which means I can get to the color that much faster. Yay!
My new absolute favorite, ride-or-die base coat is Gelous by American Classics. I have some ridges in my nails. I’m sure I am not alone in this. I found that, under some colors, the Stickey caused those ridges to stand out a little too prominently. Gelous fixes all of that! It is beautifully thick, glossy, and glassy. It acts as a ridge filler. I love the way it just glides onto the nail’s surface. It’s cheap. It’s available at Sally’s. And it also works as a glitter food. This baby does it all! I love you, hard-working base coat. You guys can’t hear me, but I’m sitting here making kissy noises at my bottle of Gelous. But … you didn’t need to know that. Moving on …
2. Favorite cuticle / hand cream?
For cuticles, I like the Lush, Lemony Flutter Cuticle Butter. It’s rich and creamy, and it isn’t overly oily or greasy. Well, it’s not oily at all because it’s not an oil. But, anyhow … It’s also a lot of fun to say the name over and over again, really quickly. The only drawback to Lemony Flutter is that it has a strong citronella scent. For me, the scent was pretty overwhelming when my tub was new. I had to work up to using it more than once a week. But, as my tub has gotten older, the citronella smell has become much less. Now, it’s there but it doesn’t knock me over. I even find the smell pleasant. I’m not sure if this is because it’s not as strong or because I got used to it. I’ve had my tub for a little over a year. It is nearly empty. I can see the bottom now, but there’s still a decent amount in there. In the winter, I find my cuticles get a bit dry and crispy. I use Lemony Flutter here and there during the day and at night. In the rest of the year, I mostly just use it at night.
My other cuticle favorite is California Mango, Mango Magic Cuticle Oil. I use this almost constantly during the day. When swatching, I put this on my nails and cuticles in between each swatch. I love the way this smells. And I love that it’s easy to get at my local Sally’s.
For hand cream, I have two favorites. The first is Neutrogena, Fast Absorbing Hand Cream. This lotion is nice and light, but still moisturizes like a champ. It sinks into the skin almost immediately, which is a huge plus. I hate for my hands to remain greasy. I hate the feeling of heavy lotion on my hands. I also love using this on my face during the day. It works great with my sensitive skin! The only downside to this lotion is that it’s not available in any stores around me. I have to order it from Amazon. My sweet husband set up a monthly order for me. Every month, 4 of these come to my house. And I go to town with moisturizing. Woo Hoo!!
My second favorite is Soap & Glory, Hand Food. This lotion has a fantastic texture and weight to it. It’s heavier than Neutrogena, but still not greasy. It also absorbs into my skin quickly. I’m often adverse to scents in products, but I happen to love the way this lotion smells.
3. Favorite mainstream brand?
I have two favorite main stream brands. I told you guys I was a rebel, right? Mwuahahahahaha!!
OPI is a sentimental favorite for me. My picture shows (L-R) Feel the Chemis-Tree, Stranger Tides, and Light My Sapphire. This brand has been a favorite since my teenage years, when I would save up my money to buy a bottle every now and then. It was such a treat and luxury to teenage me. I still like this brand a lot. I generally prefer their Fall and Winter collections to Spring or Summer. I have lots of great memories associated with this brand, and I still enjoy wearing it on my nails. I like the bottle shape, and I like the brush shape and size. I know OPI has some duds, formula-wise, but I think they hit it out of the park more often than not.
China Glaze is a more recent favorite brand for me. My picture shows (from L-R) Simply Fa-Blue-Less, Sunday Funday, and Up All Night. I started my China Glaze stash around 2013 or 2014. It grew slowly at first, but I now have about as many China Glaze polishes as OPI. My guess is that the China Glaze part of my stash will surpass OPI this year, especially if OPI continues putting out scads of pinks and reds. I don’t love China Glaze’s long, skinny brush. But I do love their fun and often creative take on polish. For a mainstream brand, they have done some pretty crazy and “out there” things, like fun glitters and shimmer and crazy color combinations. Also, they have some pretty great blue polishes. Just tossing that out there … You know. For fun.
4. Favorite polish from that brand?
I don’t really have a favorite OPI polish. I probably do, but one didn’t come to mind right away when I sat down to think about this question. For China Glaze, though, the answer is easy. My favorite is Up All Night.
Here’s a swatch photo, so you can see it on the nail. This is a dark, deep, murky, almost vampy blue. I love how deep and rich it is. It looks like velvet on the nail. I love the way light plays over it. It has a fabulous formula that nearly applies itself and is opaque in 2 coats. It’s just … perfect. So, so, so perfect. *sigh*
5. Favorite indie brand?
Super easy question! I love a lot of indie brands. I’ve been an indie-buying fool this year, and I’ve discovered some new loves in the process. But my favorite indie brand remains Colores de Carol. My picture shows (L-R) Santa’s Swimsuit, Wizard Lizard, and Palm Tree Topper. This was the first indie brand I ever purchased, and it remains near and dear to my heart. Carolina has such an eye for color. Her collections are always unique, playful, and beautiful. She makes beautiful, delicate crellies. She makes fabulous multi-chromes. She makes amazing holographics. In short, she is a polish wizard!
6. Favorite polish from that brand?
This is Demeter. She was one of my first Colores de Carol purchases. And she remains my favorite.
Here is Demeter on my nails. Isn’t she spectacular? Ugh. I love this polish so much. I want to hold hands and run through fields of wildflowers with her. That’s a lot of polish love, guys!
7. Glossy or Matte?
I have no picture for this, but it’s glossy. Glossy all the way. I don’t even own a matte top coat, which is pretty much why I have no picture for this one. Moving along …
8. Long or short nails?
I tend to go both ways on this. Mostly, I think I like nails that are kind of “medium” length. Is this a total cop-out?
This is about the longest my nails have ever been. Or, the longest they have been in a while, anyhow. Last Summer, I spent a month or two in Texas visiting my parents. I did not spend a lot of time doing my usual house things, like laundry and dishes. I wasn’t on the computer a whole lot. So my nails ended up growing like gangbusters! I let them go for a while, just to see what it was like. These aren’t really that long compared to a lot of gorgeous nails I see out there as I wander the inter webs. But they were long for me. I liked them this length. I liked polishing them, and I really liked doing nail art on them. I had so much more room for designs! In the end, this length wasn’t compatible with my every day life. I broke two nails within about a week of returning home.
And so, I went back to what is a more normal length for me. These are a little on the short side. But, I don’t know. I’ve kind of been feeling the shorties lately. I think I will keep them at or close to this length for a while. It’s easy for my everyday life. It’s easy for typing. And I like the way pretty much every color looks on my nails when they are short.
9. Dark or bright polish?
I like both brights and darks. But I have to say dark polish wins out by a fairly large margin. If I could only wear one type of polish for the rest of my life, it would be dark. I love to wear dark colors all year long, no matter the season. I tend to love Fall and Winter collections the most because they tend to have all darks in them. I like the richness of dark polish. I have very fair skin, and I like the way darks contrast with my skin tone. This is Zoya, Olivera, by the way, representing for the darks in my life.
10. Thick polish formula or thin polish formula?
I don’t have a picture for this one, either. I prefer a medium, middle-of-the-road formula. I’m sure that’s what pretty much anyone would prefer. If I don’t have the choice of that middle-of-the-road, perfect formula, then I prefer slightly thicker. There’s a chance of getting a one-coater, and it won’t run down into my sidewalls or cuticle.
11. Nail art or solid color?
I often wear solid color manicures (like Zoya, Yvonne, here) just because it’s easier and faster. There are times when I love a color so much that I just want to see it on its own. I tend to do my nails in the evening before bed, so getting everything done in the smallest amount of time is key.
But there are times when I want to sit and just take my time. Like, really, really take my time. When I have the luxury of doing that, I love to lose myself in doing a nail design. It makes me happy and gives me a feeling of calm. It might seem silly, but it’s one of those little things I can do for myself as a pick-me-up.
12. 3D Nail Art?
I don’t have a picture for this, either. I love looking at 3D nail art. There are some amazing, amazing and detailed designs out there. I also love seeing it created. But this isn’t something that’s right for me. I generally don’t even like wearing textured polish. I want my nails as smooth and glossy-shiny as they can be.
13. Favorite top coat?
I have three that I use: Out the Door, Poshe, and HK Girl. I used to use Seche Vite, but I haven’t used that in a while. I use Out the Door for swatching. It dries quickly, is easily available, and it comes in a BIG bottle. I use a lot of top coat when I swatch! I like Poshe for my manicures or over nail art. It’s a nice, thick top coat that dries quickly and doesn’t smear stamping.
But, my favorite — and she is a brand-new fave — is HK Girl. I love, love, LOVE this topcoat! I got this bottle from my nail bestie as a Christmas gift, and it’s already nearly half empty. I’m going to need to get a second bottle soon. I love that it dries quickly. And it’s beautifully thick and glossy. It doesn’t shrink my polish, either — not even Zoya or my beloved indies. It’s so perfect!!
14. Least favorite polish of all time?
This was easy. I didn’t even have to think about it. China Glaze, Celtic Sun. I hate this polish. Hate, hate, hate, HATE this polish. It has a horrible formula. You have to use a white undie with it. And it looks really terrible on me. By the way, I destashed this one during my China Glaze swatch-a-palooza. But the swatch photo lives on. Oh, the humanity …!!
15. Favorite polish of all time?
Another easy one for me. China Glaze, Up All Night. I already said how much I love this and how fabulous it is in a previous question. So I won’t rattle on here. Much. Just enough to say: I LOVE IT!!!!
16. Favorite polishes for Spring, Summer, Autumn, and Winter.
This is kind of a hard one for me to answer. I know I’ve mentioned a few times that I’m not a seasonal polish wearer. By that, I mean I basically like to wear dark polish all year long. And then, I will toss in different brights or pastels here and there. I tend to be a little more seasonally appropriate with those. A little. But not always. So there are going to be a few pictures in here.
I particularly love to wear pastel blues in the Winter because I love the icy look of them. I also love this type of pastel blue in the Spring. Because, in addition to looking nice and icy, it’s also the color of a lovely Spring Sky. Orly, Forget Me Not is serving as my example here. Because it was one of my favorite polishes from 2017, and because I really couldn’t get enough of this on my nails. Love it! Rawr!!
For Autumn, I particularly enjoy wearing browns and rusty-toned red-oranges. This is Zoya, Tawny, by the way. She is functioning as my Autumn place-holder. Because she is a fabulous rusty-toned red-orange, with teeny bits of brown in the mix. And because I love her. Did I mention she was fabulous?
For Spring, I love these types of vibrant and bright pinks, represented here by Zoya, Morgan. I don’t wear a lot of pink, although I’ve been having some pink moments recently. Anyhow, I love this type of color in the Spring. It matches the lift in my spirits that always happens after a long, dark, and gray winter has ended.
For Summer, I particularly enjoy golden, yellow-oranges, such as Moon Shine Mani, Photosphere. They are sunny and vibrant and just pack a wonderful visual punch that feels perfect for the sizzling hot summer days. Also, they look fantastic in sunlight!
17. Natural or fake nails?
No picture here, either. I’m a natural nails gal. I’ve never had fake nails, and I’ve never wanted them. I think they look fabulous on other people. I’ve seen so many in real life and on the internet that are beyond gorgeous. But they just aren’t for me.
18. Nail salon or no nail salon?
Nope. No nail salons for this gal! I love my polish stash, and I love playing around in that stash. I’m an introvert, so the thought of sitting down face-to-face with someone while she or he touches my hand gets a huge mental NOPE (!!) from me. I just can’t do it.
19. Most expensive polish you’ve ever purchased?
I’m cheating on this question a little bit. My polish purchases (both mainstream and indie) generally stay in the $10-12 range. The most expensive polish in my stash is this F.U.N. Lacquer, Black Holo Witch. But I didn’t buy it. It was a gift from my ever-awesome, amazing nail bestie! PS: I love this polish! It’s so black and holo and witchy-perfect. Yum.
20. The least expensive polish you’ve ever purchased?
I’m not sure of actual price, but the least expensive polishes I’ve purchased are probably Sinful Colors and Bitzy. I don’t have a lot of Bitzy, but I have a few that I purchased when they were on sale for about 75 cents. And Sinful colors is usually $1.99 to $2.99. I buy Sinful Colors on a fairly regular basis. It’s my favorite drug store polish, as well as my favorite “cheap fix” polish.
Whew! That was a long tag! I feel a little bad that this ended up being such a long post. But I wanted to include as many photos as I could. So … there you go. A long post. I had a lot of fun with this tag. It was fun to think about my old favorites and my new favorites. Any time spent chatting about nail polish is fun time, in my opinion!
So, what about you guys? What are your favorites? Least favorites? I would love to know.