Monday, July 22, 2013

Mint Manicure for Talia Joy Castellano

I'm a couple of days late to this because I wasn't aware of Talia Joy's struggle with cancer until Friday night and wasn't able to pick up a mint polish until last night.  I'm really sorry I didn't learn about her until after her fight was over, but I thought about her all weekend long.  13 year old Talia struggled with cancer- preleukemia and neuroblastoma, to be exact- for half of her life, but managed to maintain her sense of humor and charm throughout it all and posted many lovely makeup tutorials on Youtube.  She also loved having her nails painted and the last photo she shared on Instagram was of her, her mom, and sister all with matching mint colored nails.  You can read about her here.

While the death of any person (especially a young person) is saddening, Talia's death hits close to home for me.  My childhood best friend had leukemia 3 times: for the first time when she was 6, then she relapsed again at ages 8 and 12.  Thankfully (and somewhat miraculously!), she survived it all 3 times, but just barely.  Seeing firsthand the effect of cancer on her life and how she suffered and the vortex of emotions and fears surrounding it all had an profound impact on me and childhood cancer is an issue that's close to my heart.

For Talia, I painted everything but my ring finger with Essence brand Grunge Me Tender polish and used Different Dimension brand I Will Follow You Into The Dark for the accent nail.  Grunge Me Tender is a really pretty shade of pale, minty green with an understated shimmer and a slightly matte (satin?) finish.  It has a nice formula but was fairly streaky, even a little bit after 3 coats, though not too bad.  If I hadn't been painting my nails at 2 am they probably would have turned out better!  There were also a few teeny tiny specks of something gritty in it that showed up on a couple of nails.  Issues aside, I do quite like the polish and am happy I purchased it, especially since it was only $4.  I topped my nails off with Sally Hansen Insta-Dri, so the Grunge Me Tender is a bit shinier than how it looks on its own.

I Will Follow You Into The Dark is really nice.  It's a dark gray metallic looking polish with a nice formula and was opaque after 3 coats.  Easy to apply and no problems with streakiness.  I did overdo it a smidgen with the last coat on the finger in this photo, but it still looks decent and is perfect on the other hand!  Can't wait to use it more.


Overall, I quite like how the two polishes look together and think of Talia every time I look at them. 

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Blanc and Wish You Were Here

I've learned about a few different nail polish brands from lurking about on other blogs.  Why is it so fun to look at other people's nails and read about polishes?!  If not for all the polish blogs out there with their creativity and showcasing of different polishes, I would find all this nail painting business much less interesting!  Anyway, through nail polish blogs, I've heard about Essie and of course indie polishes such as Different Dimension. 

So far, my only Essie polish is Blanc, a stark white creme.  Not super exciting, but I think I'll use it a lot for assorted manicures.  If I recall correctly, I had to apply 3 coats.  It was still a teensy bit streaky after the 3 coats and didn't level super nicely, but it was okay.  Wouldn't want to use it all on its own, but it worked just fine under the fabulous Different Dimension polish and I think provided a great contrast!

I ordered two Different Dimension polishes and picked Wish You Were Here specifically because my husband really liked it (he even said I could paint his toe nails with it!).  It turned out to be wonderful.  It has great big round magenta, teal, and silver glitter, medium pink (not the same shade as the big ones), teal, and silver circles, even smaller circles of the same colors, plus some squares and hexes and really tiny glitter.  Awesome!  I was nervous about how easily it would go on because of the big glitter, but it was great.  There were ZERO problems fishing out the jumbo glitter and it all brushed on nicely.  I kept a toothpick nearby to help steer the jumbo glitters to the right places, but other than that, let it go where it wanted.  Used one coat and didn't have any coverage problems.  The surface of my nails was a bit rough from the glitter after a layer of Sally Hansen Insta-Dri Top Coat, but not bad and my nails stayed looking nice for 4 days.  Overall, I really liked this polish, especially over white!  Can't wait to use it again and I will not shy away from buying other Different Dimension polishes with super big glitter- I'm looking at you, Orion Nebula!


Pardon the not so awesome clean up, again- hard to do with Q-tips and nail polish remover!

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Revlon Moon Candy Orbit

I saw several of the Revlon Moon Candy nail polish duos at Fred Meyer and WalMart and could not resist!  As a big fan of purple, I of course went with Orbit, which has a very dark reddish purple creme base with a gorgeous, iridescent lavender flakie polish for on top.  The two polishes come in a long, skinny, double ended bottle and you're supposed to apply the flakie over the creme. 

The purple creme was pretty impressive.  It was opaque after one coat!  I  used two coats just because, but it basically stilled look the same.  I was a little concerned about the flakie because I'd never used one before, but thankfully I did not have any issues with its application.  For the most part I brushed it on, with a bit of dabbing mixed in, and got good coverage that way.  Had a toothpick on hand to nudge individual flakies into place, but I didn't have to do it much and it was a cinch for a beginner like me.  Even after a layer of top coat (Sally Hansen Insta-Dri) the surface of my nails was a bit rough.  I thought this might bug the bejeezus out of me, but it was actually fine.  The polish held up nicely for a solid 4 or 5 days and was kind of a pain to remove (next time I will use the tin foil method!), but there was no staining from the purple polish, which might be because I used Seche Clear for a base coat.

Application and longevity aside, I really liked how Orbit looked.  Wouldn't have minded if the purple creme was a tiny bit lighter, but I loved the overall effect and those flakies!  Beautiful!  I work with special needs kids and most of them noticed my nails.  One little boy in particular is crazy about purple and he actually squealed with delight when he saw them.  My mom also liked the look enough to go out and buy her own bottle so she can do her toe nails.

This polish combo is definitely a winner in my book and I will probably pick up Supernova and Moon Dust, both to use layered like you're supposed to and to mix and match with other polishes.

Please pardon the slight messiness, the dark purple polish was hard for me to clean up with a Q-tip and a bottle of nail polish remover!  Also, it looked decidedly more purple/less blue in real life.

Sunday, July 14, 2013

L.A. Colors Cotton Candy

I have a tiny backlog of posts to share since I started taking pictures for this blog a couple of weeks ago!  Might as well go in chronological order, so my first post is about L.A. Colors Cotton Candy.  This polish caught my eye at the store a little while back when I was looking for something understated.  It is definitely sheer, but was easy to apply.  As you can see, there is still visible nail line after 3 coats.  That seems to be a no-no in the nail polish world, but with this being such a delicate, almost natural color, it doesn't bother me at all.  I think of this polish as a nail enhancement --like clear polish with a bonus-- rather than one intended to completely change the color of the nails. 

Sheerness aside, this is a very sweet pale peachy pink with an understated but unmistakable shimmer.  I find myself looking at my nails quite a bit whenever I wear it.  It lasted about 5 days of looking great without a top coat, not too bad!  So far I've worn this polish 3 times in about a month just because I really like it.


 Inside, fluorescent overhead lighting

Inside with flash

This one was hard for me to photograph.  Because of my negligible photography skills, the color doesn't really show up quite right.  In person the color is a bit more evident, and so is the shimmer.  You can see the shimmer best in the flash photo, though. 


Welcome to my blog!  I'd like to share a bit about myself and why I have started this blog.

My name is Anna, I live in Alaska, and in all honesty, I am not a girly girl.  I only buy new clothes when I need them and prefer to get the shopping with over with as quickly as possible.  There are maybe 5 pairs of shoes in my closet and I only get my hair cut once every year or two.  My general approach is to grow it out long, chop it off to shoulder length, then grow it out again.  The only hairstyles (if you can even call them that) I wear are a rather low ponytail or a single braid down my back.  If you can believe it, I've never been to a nail salon and my cousin and best friend did my nails, makeup, and hair for my wedding.

In spite of all of this, I have recently become intrigued with the world of nail polish.  As a kid and teenager, I was of course interested in it, and as an adult I occasionally paint my finger or toe nails, but it wasn't until I happened upon some nail blogs a couple of months ago that I realized just how amazing nail polish can be!  I love color and doing crafty things, and I think the nearly limitless choices and combinations of nail polish appeals to that side of me.  A manicure is like a tiny art project that you can design according to your current whims and mood, enjoy for a little while, then remove and do again completely differently.

I decided to start my own little nail polish blog simply to keep track with photos and descriptions of what I've done with my nails.  If you see my nails and think they look atrocious, please keep in mind that I am VERY new to this and it takes a while to develop a steady hand!  Up until now I have never done anything with my nails other than trimmed them every week or so, so my cuticles and every single thing about my nails are completely natural.  I've never applied cuticle cream, pushed back my cuticles, buffed my nails, filed them (okay I have done this one a couple of times!), or anything like that, so please try to be kind if you choose to leave comments.  Painting my nails is just something fun I've decided to do and so far am enjoying it immensely.

A quick note about the slightly odd name I chose for the blog:  I spent a good couple of weeks trying to think up a good name.  Turns out, most of the good names have been taken already!  I decided to go with Glitter Sand Witch in honor of the glitter sandwich, which I love the looks of.  Glitter Sandwich and Glitter Sandwiches were both already taken.  The Little Mermaid came out when I was 4 and I thought it was hilarious to make my dolls pretend to be Ursula, the Evil Sandwich instead of Ursula, the Evil Sea Witch.  So I guess this blog is named for my lifelong love of puns!

The photo of glitter in my blog header is a stock image from FTN1 on Deviant Art.  Thank you for letting me use it!