Saturday, April 28, 2012

Happy (Extra Belated) Earth Day! + Maui's Dolphins

Hey guys! Sooo almost one absolutely miserable week later, I finally have the last post for Earth Week for ya'll. 
This time, it's Maui's Dolphins:

I love their nubbly little fins and chubby bodies.

    Maui's Dolphins are a tiny group of dolphins endemic to the North Island of New Zealand. They're a sub-species of another Kiwi species of dolphin, Hector's Dolphin. Like most dolphins, these guys are a really social and clever species and can be observed playing and chatting with each other as they go about their business. They're also really cute, unless you're one of those people who are terrified of dolphins. But anyway, a combination of the Maui's Dolphin's tiny living space and reproductive cycle, which includes waiting like 9 years to have kids and then only having one baby every 2 - 4 years means that its numbers have traditionally always been on the low side, compared to most dolphin species, but they've been steady. But lately, their numbers have been declining at a crazy fast rate with there only being 55 of them left the last time anyone checked. 55! In the whole world. The reason is that fishermen will use nets to catch other fish and will end up catching the dolphins instead. Dolphins caught in a fishnet can't get to the surface to breath, so they drown to death, which is a terrible way to go for anyone, but even more sad for marine mammals like Maui's Dolphins. Of course, an easy way to stop these guys from going extinct is to make stricter rules about or outright ban the use of nets in the dolphins' habitats, but nobody wants to do it. Why are people so mean and selfish to the animals? ;___;

For their vaguely greyish-blackish coloring (which up-close is apparently quite beautiful), I decided to wear Sephora by OPI If You Got It, Haunt It, from their Halloween 2010 Collection. 

If You Got It, Haunt It is a bunch of tiny black and silver glitter in a black jelly base, with larger pieces of blue-green opalescent hex glitter mixed in. It's pretty interesting. 

Sunlight, no flash.

Ottlite, no flash.

Ottlite, no flash.

Sunlight, no flash.

      If You Got It, Haunt It is quite looks a lot better in person lol. Sometimes, black-grey glitter comes out kind of dull or bleh-looking even with topcoat, but I find that's not the case with this. It's not super-sparkly or anything, like Milani Silver Dazzle, but it sparkles just enough to get a hint of the glassphalt look. The opal hex glitter is also a nice touch. It's kind of subtle and doesn't come across too well in the pics, but in real life, I can look down at my nails and get little glints of other colors amongst the black, which I love. 
    Formula-wise, I didn't have any trouble with If You Got It, Haunt It. It was opaque in three coats, went on easily, and dried quickly. Cleanup was also a snap because it was pretty easy to control, and I actually found that it wasn't as gunky as some other glitter polishes. So yep, I am a happy camper. 

And that is the end of Earth (Semi)Week! 
Sorry for missing so many days, but I will try to post some pretty things this week to make up for it lol. And I'll be posting a giveaway soon, so keep your eyes peeled for that!
Thanks for reading, and have an awesome night!

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Jade Vine

Hi guys!! Sorry for dropping out on ya'll like the past two days, things have gotten incredibly real so I haven't had time to paint my nails at all. Been strolling around buck naked...not even any clear coat for protection...just enjoying the breeze.
But moving right along, today's post is going to feature a plant instead of an animal. Animals are cute (sometimes) and fine, but really, it's plants that allow us to live on Earth today. Without them, we would have no air. So we have to pay attention to them too. This is the Jade Vine:

    Although this gorgeous plant can also be seen in botanical gardens and greenhouses and is cultivated in Hawaiian gardens for decorative purposes, it is native only to the tropical rainforests of the Philippines. Jade vines provide food and shelter to bees and butterflies, which are important organisms in the rainforest, as so many plants there rely on bees and butterflies as pollinators. Without pollinators, there can't be any seeds. And no seeds mean no new plants when the old ones die. Since the jade vines allow the bees and butterflies to live happily, that makes them an important part of the rainforest ecosystem too. Sadly for the jade vines (and the butterflies and bees), they are quickly disappearing in the wild due to deforestation. 

I really loved the colors of this plant, so I wanted to base my nail look on them:

Sunlight, no flash.

Sunlight, no flash.

Ottlite, no flash.

Sunlight, no flash.

     To do this, I started with two layers of Diamond Cosmetics Tranquility and let that dry. Then I used a chunk of a kitchen sponge (didn't have a makeup sponge lol) to pat on some Zoya Breezy and let that dry a bit. Next, I patted on some Color Club Pucci-licious, and when that was still wet, I applied topcoat, to try to blend the colors in a little bit better. Obviously, the blending did not happen, but I still like how this turned out. 
I also think it would be cool to water marble with these, so when I can find the time (maybe after finals), I'll do that and show it to you guys.

But that's all from me today!
Thanks for reading, and have an awesome Saturday!! (Mine will not be will be filled with homework and misery. ;__;)

P.S. Earth Day is tomorrow!! :D

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Chinese Giant Salamander

Hi guys! So today's animal is definitely not a good-looking one. I know I said that about the condor yesterday, but even it had its redeeming features, like the bright colors on its head, its glossy black feathers, and the cuteness of its babies. But today's animal really doesn't have anything that people would like to look at, unless you like big slimy things that creep about in the night. However, ugly creatures should not be wiped off the planet just because they are ugly. They deserve help too. So the animal we're gonna look at today is the Chinese Giant Salamander:

I wonder why this one is peach-colored. I also wonder why it's smiling like that.

    The Chinese Giant Salamander is kind of cool because it's actually the biggest amphibian in the whole world. It can grow up to six feet, although most adult salamanders today only make it to about 3 feet and 66 pounds. Which is small for the species, but still scary big for a salamander. They spend most of their time underwater in mountain streams, are nocturnal animals, and eat insects, frogs and fish. But sadly for them, they  are coming awfully close to extinction because they are losing their habitats due to pollution and development. This has forced them into smaller places, which is partly why they never really grow into the magnificent giant salamanders that they are supposed to be. They are also seen as a delicacy in China, so people will overhunt them to use in presumably delicious dishes. They actually can't see and hunt by feeling vibrations, which makes it extra unfair, because people can just kind of run up on them and snatch them up before the salamander even knows what's happening. It's like kidnapping a blind person. Poor salamander, right? :(

So here are my Chinese Giant Salamander nails. I tried to replicate the splotches on the salamander's skin:

Sunlight, no flash.

Ottlite, no flash.

Sunlight, no flash.

     To do this, I started with two layers of OPI Bling Dynasty. Then I used Sally Hansen Sequin Scandal and a dotting tool to apply random splotches and dots to my nails. Last thing was to carefully apply topcoat, so the pattern didn't smudge and that was that. 
    Overall, I like how it came out. When the design is supposed to be random, it's easier to get away with stuff lol! My only thing is that I wished I had done a few more splotches and maybe made it matte. It would have looked really cool matte.

P.S. If you're wondering what happened to my nails, I broke a large chunk of corner off one of them in a horrible collision with my desk, and in a fit of rage and maybe madness, I filed all the rest of my nails into pointed nubbins. It's weird not having square nails anymore since that's been my nail shape for the past...three years. But it's cool too, and I kind of want to see what happens with them as they grow out. 

But that's all from me today!
Thanks for reading, and I hope everyone has a wonderful day!

Monday, April 16, 2012

California Condor

Hello people! The animal we're gonna look at today is the California Condor. Warning, there's nothing cute about it.

Except for the baby. The baby is kind of cute. 

     The California condor is a gigantic bird that lives in Arizona, Utah, and of course, California. It's a carrion bird, so it pretty much only eats things that are already dead, being particularly partial to the bodies of large mammals like livestock, coyotes, and deer. The California condor is perfectly content to live its life minding its own business and peacefully eating dead things, but it is facing extinction today because of dumb people. Dumb people killing them to put them in museums and dumb people hunting them out of fear that the condors were killing domestic animals. A quick trip to the library would tell you that these animals are lazy and don't even like to hunt. Finally, the condors were dying from other things like lead poisoning, flying into electric wires, and eating meat poisoned by pesticides The government has been trying to bring their numbers up by breeding them in captivity and teaching them to avoid dangerous things, but these birds are still very close to extinction right now, which would be sad because in a way, they're the last of their kind.

 For my California condor nail look, I did this:

This was about as easy as it looks. I did two layers of Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics Radiate, and then put one thick layer of Zoya Loredana on top, in a v-shape. Lastly, I put a little yellow gem at the bottom of the V. I didn't use any topcoat, because I wanted to keep the flatter texture of the colors. 

This time around, I didn't want to do a literal thing for the bird, but more wanted to represent the colors on the condor in the same proportions that they appear on the actual animal. My index finger came out kind of janky and the lines on the other fingers are not straight (I should have used tape), but all in all, I'm happy with how this turned out. In real life, you can't see the imperfections, so it looks a little smoother. I also like the contrast of Radiate's brightness against Loredana's darkness and the flatness.  So I'm a pretty happy camper.

And that's all from me today!
Thanks for reading, and have a great Monday!

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Earth Week 2012 + Polar Bears!

      Hi guys! So Earth Day is exactly one week away, on April 22, which means that it's time for Earth Week around here. Last year, I did a week of nail colors based on endangered species and people seemed to like it okay (plus it was fun to do) so I thought it would be good to have that as the theme again. I can't promise a post every single day, with the way my life is going nowadays, but I'll do my best lol. 

The first animal we're gonna look at is one that everyone is probably very familiar with, the polar bear!

      Polar bears are really great animals. They live in the Arctic Circle and spend most of their time strolling across sea ice and swimming in the ocean. They eat mostly seals, although they will eat other kinds of meat if they can't find what they normally like. They're also very smart and surprisingly gentle, unless they are hungry or someone is bothering them, which is when they can get angry and vicious. And since they are huge and powerful creatures, the last thing anything wants to deal with is an angry polar bear. Unfortunately, these guys have alot to be angry about. The ice that they depend on for pretty much everything is quickly becoming a thing of the past thanks to climate change, as as a result, polar bears are starving to death or are having trouble caring for their young properly. Of course, this means fewer polar bears in the future, so if we don't want to lose these guys forevah, we have to take better care of the Earth so it won't be so damn hot anymore. 

I don't think my nails came out quite as cute as I intended, but here they are:

   To do this, I started with two layers of Color Club Pretty in Platinum, and then applied a layer of Studio M Fast Play on top. When that dried, I used Color Club Where's the Soiree and a dotting tool to draw the bear faces. Then I put topcoat on, and that was it. 
 In retrospect, maybe I should have left the faces off? Or made the lines finer? Or put on ears? Something. 
Oh well though..what's done is done and that's my polar bear look. 

To wash the sight of my nails from your eyes (even though what has been seen cannot be unseen), here are some gratuitous shots of adorable polar bears doing adorable polar bear things:

I love this. 

And that's all from me today!! 
Thanks for reading, and have an awesome Sunday! 

Thursday, April 12, 2012

China Glaze Electrify

   Hi guys! For today, I have the second (and last) polish that I got from China Glaze's Colors from the Capitol collection, Electrify.

Electrify is a bunch of small, bright gold and slightly larger red hex glitter in a clear base. There's alot of red, but more gold. 

Sunlight, no flash.

Sunlight, no flash.

Sunlight, no flash.

Sunlight, no flash.

Ottlite, no flash.

Ottlite, no flash.

Sunlight, no flash.

Sunlight, no flash.

        Electrify was named for District 5 (which is in charge of giving electricity to all of Panem) and happens to be my absolute favorite polish from the collection. At the most superficial level, I love this because it's ridiculously sparkly and fun, and ya'll know how I feel about GLITTAH. But I also like that you can see how the district fits in with the polish, and I can also see some other Hunger Games stuff in there too, like the girl on fire costume and even the cornucopia. My only sadness is that more of the collection didn't come out like this, but I guess my wallet is relieved about that. But bottom line, Electrify is magic. Get you some. 
    Formula-wise, Electrify was good. I used three coats for the pictures and was really happy with the coverage. However, Electrify does dry gritty and dull, so to get the most out of it, I needed two layers of topcoat: one thick layer of Gelous and another thick layer of Poshe on top. It was hellish to remove, but at least everything dried lightning quick and was absolutely gorgeouss. 

But that's all from me today!
Thanks for reading guys, and have an awesome Thursday!! ^_^