Swatch Sunday: Claire’s Mystery Pink (Hot Stuff)

Swatch Sunday is back! Today’s polish is an oldie, one of the first I ever bought as an adult. This polish, whose shade label came off years ago, was purchased in 2007 or ’08 and saw a lot of use in those days. I’m wearing it at three coats with one coat of Dream Polish‘s Gem Glam top coat in the Melon Baller scent.

This mystery pink, as you can see, is a neon pink creme. I can’t speak much for its formula, product consistency, or application, since it is old and I thinned it out prior to this use. It was pretty thick and goopy before that. Coverage was okay; it took three coats to even out the opacity. It dries with a matte finish; I used top coat for shine.

Even though I love this polish, I do admit it’s not the most high-quality polish. You know how some polishes just feel thick, like the pigment never really blends into the polish base, and it’s like you’re just brushing wet pigment onto your nail? That’s what this feels like, like the ingredients just didn’t fully incorporate. I wish I’d taken a photo of it without the top coat, because the top coat disguises the poor quality. It dries matte, but not in the chic way, but the cheap way. Like I said, I really like this polish and I hate to call it poor quality, but I’ve used way better polishes. Also, as I mentioned, this is a nearly ten year old bottle of polish, and I don’t intend to judge all Claire’s polish by this one. If you’re still preteen enough to shop at Claire’s — and I know you are — don’t let this one dissuade you from trying others.

Claire’s polish is sold at Claire’s.

Update: Melanie of Polish is the Key to My Heart recognized this shade as Hot Stuff! Thanks for the tip, Melanie!

I bought this polish myself.

Manicure Monday: January Flowers

It’s the first Manicure Monday of 2015! However, I don’t think I’m totally pleased with this mani. It was cuter in my head. I’m wearing three coats of LA Colors’s Daisy, two dabbed coats of Claire’s Hippie Chick on my accent nails, and one coat of Ciate’s Speed Coat Pro top coat.



Daisy is a cheerful yellow creme polish. The first coat was streaky and worrisome, but the color evened out after three coats. The consistency was a bit thick, because apparently my bottle doesn’t close tightly; it just spins around and opens again if you turn it too far. I had to thin it out to make it usable. It dries quickly, I’ll give it that, and takes on a nice satin finish. It’s not bad to use, but it’s not great.



The same is true for Hippie Chick. Hippie Chick is a clear-based glitter topper with lavender and purple flowers and fine iridescent glitters. It looks way cute in the bottle, but there are very few large glitters in it. I spent most of my manicure time fishing them out of the bottle without getting tons of lacquer on the brush. I think it dried pretty quickly, so there’s that.



Forgive my gross dry hands. Winter SUCKS.


I put these two together because I love complementary colors; I thought the purple and yellow would make a much bolder statement than they do. It didn’t occur to me until just now that the polish names work together. That’s fun.

As I said, I don’t feel too jazzed about this manicure. I definitely should have gone with another glitter. It just needs more.

Swatch Sunday: Claire’s Mystery White

For this edition of Swatch Sunday, I am bringing you a super oldie. This is a polish I’ve had since about 2008, and I almost thought this would be this bottle’s last mani. This is a mystery polish from Claire’s; there’s no indicator of the shade name anywhere. I’m wearing this at three coats with one coat of Ciate’s Speed Coat Pro top coat.




This mystery polish is a milky and frosty white with small iridescent glitters. Before I put this on, it was thick and goopy. I might have put too much thinner in it, because the application was quite streaky, and three coats was still pretty sheer. The white pigment is very chalky and dries matte, which doesn’t do any favors for the glitter. The finish is gritty and the glitter is covered up, leaving it to look like chunks and bubbles in the finished look. It’s not ideal, and probably wasn’t intended. This polish did dry quickly, so it has that going for it, which is nice.


Like I said, I’ve had this bottle for many years. It’s one of the oldest bottles in my collection. I remember I grabbed it because I just wanted a white polish, and this was the first one I saw. This wasn’t long after I’d finally stopped biting my nails, and is one of the first bottles of polish I owned as an adult. Even though the polish itself is kind of sucky, I’ll be sad when this runs out, just because I’ve had it forever. It’s like one of my oldest children. When it’s finally gone, it will be kind of sad. I might even feel the need to recreate it in the future.



If anyone reading this happens to know the same of the shade, I’d love to know what it is!

Summer of Untrieds Day 22: Teal

This is the 22nd day in a row I’ve worn a polish I’ve never tried. I still can’t believe I was crazy enough to do this. I’ve never changed my nail color this often, and I’m not sure yet if I like it. Anyway, this 22nd day has a teal theme, so I’m wearing a teal I’ve had for a long time, Marine Blue from Claire’s. I bought this as a birthday gift for my sister that I ended up keeping for myself because I’m an awful, awful person. I am wearing three coats of Marine Blue with one coat of Seche Vite.




So I’ve been dealing with a lot of chameleon polishes lately, it seems, because I’ve had a recent string of polishes that seem to change color when I take photos of them (alternate theory: I suck at my camera). In reality, Marine Blue is a dark, rich peacock blue-green, but in every photo I took, it’s much lighter, much bluer. I am so frustrated that I can’t capture how beautiful it really is. It’s such a deep, enigmatic, dramatic color, and it totally does not look like it here.





Aside from that problem, I rather like wearing it. Marine Blue was easy to put on; it dries quickly, but with a matte finish. This may not be a problem for you, but I don’t like the matte finish right off; I tend to associate it with cheap or low-quality polish. Thankfully, Seche Vite can make even the cheapest polish look incredible. I have to give the topcoat most of the credit for making this look so fantastic.


Outdoors, full sun


I don’t like to post cell-quality photos here, but I will, because my phone actually took a photo where the color is actually pretty close to what it’s really like. It’s greener here than in the others, though it’s still a bit too light. It’s still a lovely color regardless of how you look at it, I suppose.

Indoors (CFL lighting), cell phone

Indoors (CFL lighting), cell phone

Manicure Monday: Turquoise Hologram

This week’s Manicure Monday is an oldie, but a goodie. I admit I hated this polish when I bought it last decade, but now I’m in a place where I can appreciate it. This is three coats of Turquoise Hologram from Claire’s.

Turquoise Hologram is a light blue jelly with fine holographic glitter. When I bought it, I was just looking for a nice blue polish that would match this light blue eyeliner I was into. I liked the glitter in this one, so I grabbed it, and when I put it on, I thought it was horrible. It took six coats to achieve total opacity and I couldn’t stand it. I put it away and never used it again until now, now that I know what jellies are.

I think I might still have hated it on longer nails. Because they’re not very long, you don’t see much of a nail line, because I barely have one. I must have smudged it with top coat on the index finger because of that bald spot, and the Seche Vite must have shrunk the edges. I’m not very happy with this manicure in particular, but there is hope for this polish after all.

It’s kind of satisfying using one of the oldest polishes I own. It was probably 2008 when I bought this one, seeing it was about that time I stopped biting my nails and put some effort into nail care. I’d been painting my nails since before then, but growing up, we always had family bottles; my mom, sisters and I all shared one collection. I left home in 2005, but didn’t really bother with my nails much, since I was still a raging nailbiter. I had a handful of polishes for myself then, and maybe a hundred when my boyfriend moved out in 2012. Now I’m hoarding it. I don’t know how I survived with only a hundred bottles of nail polish.

Manicure Monday: Neon Pink and Flaky Glitter

I’ve been doing a lot of so-so manicures lately. None were so bad I had to take them off right after, but I was never really pleased with them. None of them had that sparkle, that appeal, whatever it is that makes me stop what I’m doing to look down at them. I don’t know whether it’s the flaky glitter or the neon pink, but I love these nails a lot.


I started with a base coat and two coats of white polish, then two coats of the pink color. I don’t even know how many coats of the flakies I put on, I was talking to someone on Skype and I got distracted. This is the first time I’ve used flaky glitter, even though I’ve been buying it obsessively since I discovered Revlon’s Moon Candy. This pink color, a nameless Claire’s polish I’ve had for like five years now, is still easy to work with. It’s so bright that I probably could have skipped the white polish I put on under it. I was also unsure if the flaky glitter would give me the warm gold tones I wanted. I’d say I got that, and more.


Of course, no matter if I’m happy with the manicure or not, I always think it’s better than it turns out in photos. I don’t notice the white coat sticking out on the bottom, the nick in the polish on the index finger, the little piece of top coat I missed in cleanup. After I take the pictures, I can’t unsee them. I guess it’s like looking at bikini pictures of yourself; no matter how happy you are with yourself or how good your self-body image is, they always take you down a peg.


From left to right: Orly Bonder, Hard to Get, Nameless Claire’s polish, Luxe & Lush, Seche Vite

Here’s what I worked with this week. The Seche Vite bottle was half full last week, now it’s maybe a quarter full. It’s really thick and comes off in strings with I pull the brush away from the bottle. Even though this happens, I’ll probably buy it again, as well as the thinner that goes with it. Just this weekend though, I bought a bottle of Out the Door, and tried it out on one nail. I hope I’ll like it as much or even more than Seche Vite. Even if I don’t like it as much, I only paid $6 for it.

Manicure Monday: White, Brown, and Orange Dot Gradient

After last week’s accidental Italian food manicure, I knew one thing was true. I probably couldn’t do much worse than pizza nails, and if I did, I would really have to screw up for that to happen. I was in a tricky spot, though. After seeing many of the nail artists on Reddit doing designs with dots, I wanted to try one. I wanted this magnificent waterfall of polka dots cascading down my little nails. After searching for tutorials, I found a tutorial from Chalkboard Nails and followed it as well as I could.  It’s not quite there, but it’s not bad for my first attempt.


It kind of looks like animal spots, now that I think of it.

These are some of the saddest looking bottles of polish I have. The Claire’s polish doesn’t have a name, but it’s chunky and thick and even though there’s some light glitter in the bottle that doesn’t apply well to the nail, making it bumpy and coarse instead. The old Maybelline polish was an outlet store find about eight years ago; I can’t believe I even still have it. Wait, yes, I can, because I use everything until I lose it. The orange/yellow LA Colors is part of my paint your nails so you don’t go crazy shopping binge. It’s kind of watery, kind of uneven, but it looks nice against the white. I was worried it wouldn’t show up well at all.


I always feel weird using Orly and Seche Vite with these old and cheap polishes. It’s having Dom Perignon with my Big Mac. Earlier manicures with that white polish were never successful; it would always slough off in flakes like dandruff by the second or third day. Of course, that was before I discovered that there was a purpose for top coat after all.