Tag Archive: Hard Candy


2 posts in one night!?!  I am determined to catch up on my blog!

So let’s get down to business! This is the mani I have on now, but I just couldn’t wait to post it! It is my very first attempt at water marbling, so please hold the laughter until the end. 🙂

For this marble I chose 3 of my untried colors: Sally Hansen Grey by Grey, Hard Candy Sky, and Sally Hansen Thinking of Blue.  Not my original color combo, but my first few choices just would not ring out! My white being the worst. It needed some thinner, so I am hoping that was the problem and it will work next time. Otherwise, I’ll be off to pick up a new white polish.  Also, I suck-diddly-uck at placing the design on my nail. I think I managed to place an actual design on 3 nails (one being a thumb).  I’m trying not to be too hard on myself since this is my first try, but I have serious nail OCD. Hell, the cuticle line that isnt like the others is driving me nuts!  Yup, I’m that girl that will re-do an entire mani over 1 smudge.  I’m working on that, really I am!

Okay, here is my marble!  Pics all in natural lighting:

 

 

 

 

I did end up with a little smudging from my top coat, but I am a genius and didn’t realize that my Revlon top coat is (or at least acts like)  a deep dry and I needed to be so-very-gentle or it would smudge the design. I tend to be a little heavy handed with my polish, so I’m learning to be less than brutal.  Hopefully I can perfect this skill before I attempt my konad tomorrow night!

Off to more pic editing! I should be posting my itty bitty dupe find, LCD, and Icon tomorow.

 

Happy Polishing!

-Kimber

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Wow! I have been so bad about posting here!  It’s not like I haven’t been polishing away! Quite the opposite! Life just has a way of getting out from under me sometimes, and this month has been one of those times.  Planning our wedding has taken most of my free time. It’s stressful, and usually I relax by – you guessed it!- polishing my nails!  But before we get to the polish, I feel the need to vent some top coat frustration.

Like so many polish fanatics out there, I am very picky about my base and top coats.  Having 2 kids, one of which a fast-moving, curious toddler, I adore fast dry top coats. I’ve tried just about every top coat out there, and my quest for my HG of top coats, of course, led me to Seche Vite.

I have a love/hate relationship with Seche Vite. When I first tried it out, I was absolutely in love! I love that it actually dries lightning fast.  I love the super glassy shine.  I love that it’s a deep-dry top coat – infiltrating every later of polish and drying them all as opposed to the top coats that dry the top layer and leave us all open to the giant polish smears. It applied perfectly, was rock hard and I could not imagine ever doing a mani without it again! Fast forward about 2 weeks: All of a sudden my perfect top coat wasn’t so perfect. I began to notice shrinkage at my tips and along the cuticle line. At first I thought I may just be applying it a bit too quickly, and my cuticle line weirdness must have been due to clean up! It couldn’t be my magical SV! So the next time I sat down to polish my nails, I made sure that I coated the entire nail surface with SV, and waited to apply it until I had finished clean up around my cuticles.  I am a nocturnal polisher, so I stayed awake long enough for my nails to dry, and then turned in for the night. The very first thing I did the next morning was check my mani. Low and behold: shrinkage! My tips had receded enough to look like my mani was a few days old. My cuticle line looked shabby and as if I hadn’t bothered to clean up my cuticle line at all.  Did I have oils on my hands? Was it the soap I had washed with before polishing? I quickly removed my polish and tried again. I made sure that my hands were squeaky clean, and that all traces of moisturizer, oils, dirt, dog hair, etc. were removed.  After laying down my base coat and color, I grabbed my SV and again made sure that it covered my entire nail surface and extended a bit below my color at the cuticle line. Waited for my mani to dry completely and went about my usual business. A few hours later I noticed the dreaded shrinkage again! So I hit google and was amazed to find that this was such a common problem that there are literally hundreds, if not thousands, of message board threads and blog posts dedicated to this issue.  I began to try some of the tips and tricks that I had read: from wrapping the tips to applying my SV while my polish was still very wet, damp, slightly tacky, the list goes on. Nothing worked. And around this time, I was just about halfway through my bottle of SV, and it had become so goopy and thick that it was unusable. What had happened to my amazing top coat!?!

The gooping halfway through the bottle is fixable with Seche Restore, but it pains me to have to spend more money on a product to fix a product that is barely halfway gone.  I feel like my top coat shouldnt become unusable that quickly.  I realize that all polish evaporates, losing some key ingredients in the process, but that’s easily fixed with a few drops of polish thinner, which isn’t expensive and I don’t need to buy a different thinner for each polish. You see where I’m going here. However, if that was the only issue, I would’ve sucked it up, shelled out for the Restore, and resumed my love affair with SV. But the shrinkage! I just can’t deal with my mani looking so shabby within the first few hours of application.  Back to google and all the polish blogs that I pour over (I swear I will update my blogroll!) to find something to help.

I couldn’t find an absolute fix for the shrinkage issue. I tried every tip and trick out there, and nothing worked. Which led me to do something I really didn’t want to do: cheat on my SV. I still love it dearly, but it wasn’t honoring its vows, so I simply had to turn elsewhere.  It pained me to do it, Dear Readers, but you understand. Right?

Today I picked up 2 top coats that I have read glowing reviews for. Orly Sec N’ Dry and Revlon Quick Dry. Orly Sec N’ Dry is a deep-dry top coat, similar to SV in that it seeps into all layers of polish to dry it all at the same time.  On my test nail, so far so good! I applied it over 4 layers of polish, made sure to wrap my tips, and sat back to see what happened. Its been a good 4 hours now, and no signs of shrinkage! Dry time was a touch slower than SV, but still pretty darn fast.  The formula is nice and thick, with no streaking or bubbling. The shine is a touch less than SV, but it still has a lovely high gloss sheen.

Revlon’s Quick Dry Top Coat was my second choice. I had read about it over at Lacquerized (http://www.lacquerized.com) and decided that it was worth a go! I love her blog, and wish my nails were that gorgeous, so if it was good enough for her, I was certainly going to try it!  I applied this top coat over 4 layers of polish, again making sure to coat the entire nail and wrap the tips. The formula is a bit on the thin side, but anything seems thing compared to SV! It applied like a dream though, no streaks or bubbles, and dry time, albeit slower than both SV and Sec N’ Dry, was still pretty fast. I applied this at the same time as Sec N’ Dry, and it took maybe a minute or so longer to dry. Also, thus far, zero shrinkage! 🙂 What really set it apart from Sec N’ Dry was the shine! It is very, very close to SV as far as that amazing glass-like shine.  I wouldn’t have thought to try a Revlon top coat, but I am so glad I did!

So now I have 2 very awesome top coats, and (hopefully) will no longer have to worry about shrinkage. I have read that some people have had issues with some shrinkage, as well as chipping and peeling with Sec N’ Dry. I can’t remember a time that I have worn any polish for longer than 3 days, and I have never had an issue with chipping or peeling, even when using a very basic, slow as molasses, for shine only, 99 cent no name top coat.  And I am so hard on my nails!  I don’t foresee any issues other than possible shrinkage, and I’ll cross that bridge when, and if, I come to it. Today my biggest top coat issue is which to use for my next mani! 🙂

Now that I’ve shared my SV experience, on to the polish!!

I have desperately wanted to get my hands on Orly Space Cadet for some time.  I’ve checked and double checked my usual Sally’s as well as a few of the other Sally’s in town. Everywhere that I have been that sells Orly does not have this polish!  Most Sally’s had almost every other color in the Mineral Effects collection, but Space Cadet seems to be the most popular color out here, and is just impossible to find.  I was considering ordering online, but I am an instant gratification girl and always talk myself out of it.  Not always a good thing, since had I just ordered online I would’ve had Space Cadet long before I found this polish.

I was going through the “Drugstore Dupes” section on Nouveau Cheap (I love that site!), and back aways I came across a post about a dupe for Space Cadet and Mac Mean and Green – Hard Candy “Beetle”! I own a few Hard Candy polishes, and Wal-Mart carries them, so I made a trip down the road and picked up their last bottle! What luck!! In the bottle, it didn’t look like an exact dupe, but still very very close. I had done my internet research and had looked at several swatches on several different sites, and on the nail it certainly did seem to be an EXACT dupe! This is one of those polishes that had me speeding home to try out.

Hard Candy Beetle is a gorgeous duochrome polish. In the bottle it seems to be beautiful burgundy/gold/green duochrome with hints of teal, and damned if that wasn’t just as gorgeous on the nail. It is rather sheer on its own, taking about 3 coats to reach opacity, so I decided to play off the hints of blue/teal in the polish and layer it over Finger Paints “Art of Theft”, a striking midnight blue with purple holographic shimmer and hints of pink.
Here it is on its own, before clean up:

The lighting in my house at midnight isn’t great, so it was near impossible to capture the holo purple/pink in this polish. It’s not an in your face holo, it’s very subtle.  As for formula and application, I love Finger Paints polish. I have never had an issue with formula, and just like all my Finger Paints polishes, Art of Theft applied like a dream! No bubbling or streaks and dry time is relatively fast.  No gooping on the second coat, and the polish barely thickened. Lovely!

After laying down 2 coats of Art of Theft, I grabbed my bottle of Beetle and went to work!  I own several Hard Candy polishes, but Beetle is the first that hasn’t come home and is left sitting and waiting in my unused polish bin.  I was very impressed with the formula, expecting it to be thick and a bit hard to work with. Not at all!  This polish was a lovely consistency, thick enough to stay where i put it, yet thin enough to spread over my nail easily.  And the color! Wow!! The color just jumped right out at me on the first coat!  I probably could’ve left it alone right there, but I applied 2 coats of Beetle to make sure that the color really stood out.  I sealed it all with Seche Vite (while praying to the polish gods to spare me the shrinkage), and voila! Instant love! I never wanted to take this off!!

Here’s Beetle in Natural light:

Is that not one of the most gorgeous polish colors out there? I spent a lot of time turning my hands in the sunlight, watching the colors change.  Stunning! I will definitely be putting this polish into rotation!

Wear on Beetle was awesome as well. I wore this for 3 days, and aside from the tip shrinkage from my SV,  had very little wear.  I seriously had  hard time talking myself into taking it off!

I promise to post the rest of this week’s manis ASAP. I’ve gone through a few manis since wearing Beetle. Currently I am wearing Nail Fetish polish in “Icon”, which I can only explain as a duochrome gold/silver in a slate grey base. Part of my awesome Dollar Tree haul that I nabbed yesterday. I also picked up  a couple 2 packs of some NYC glossies and  some 2 packs of some older Sally Hansen colors (Mandarin Mantra, Chile Pepper and some french mani bases). I’ve been hitting the dollar stores since occasionally people have lucked out and come across SH Nail Prisms, which I desperately want!! Wish me luck!

Happy Polishing!

-Kimber