GOT Polish Challenge: Pink with Courrèges Vernis Éclat Rose (and leftover nail wrap accents)

So this is my first blogging challenge!  I’ve never attempted to do one before, mostly because I kind of bristle at the thought of anything that might turn this blog that I love into ‘work’ or a chore.  I’ve always admired other bloggers who are able to keep up with challenges, though, especially daily ones (mad respect to anyone who can do their nails and write a blog post about them every day for a month; you are a better NPA than I).  But my favorite nail blogger, Debbie Crumpet, posted about her GOT Polish Challenge last week, and I just loved the idea so much that I’m going to give it a go.

GOT stands for Golden Oldie Thursday, and in this challenge participants will be doing manicures with their older polishes every Thursday in 2014.  Each week there is a theme around which everyone will be selecting their polishes and nail art designs.  I’m woefully unskilled where nail art is concerned, but I have tons of old polish, and I’ve been trying to ‘shop my stash’ more lately, so I reckon this is the perfect challenge for me!

The rules are pretty simple, and I’m copying them below from the original blog post about the challenge:

* the polish you use should be at least one year old
* if you haven’t been a polishaholic that long, you can use the oldest polishes you have
* the polish should be previously used, but if you’re stuck, you could free a yearling from Mount Untried (seriously, some of mine are reaching puberty out there)
* you can use more than 1 polish as long as it fits the theme and the rules

And here are the themes for the first few months of 2014.

GOT Polish Challenge Themes

When I was looking through my pinks for today’s theme, I found a polish that I purchased ages ago that has somehow survived the many destashes I’ve done over the years.  The polish is from the brand Courrèges, and the shade is Rose (No. 173).

This polish is a medium rosy pink jelly base with a strong greenish-gold duochrome shimmer.  The green shift in this polish is visible in all lights and angles, and it really adds a bit of intrigue to this otherwise ordinary color.  My love of color, texture, and ~*sparkle*~ are what originally drew me to nail polish, and, when I look at this polish, I can see how it fulfills all of those loves.  I remember that the gold to green to pink shift held such intrigue for me when I found this polish all those years ago, and this color play is one of my favorite things about nail polish.

Despite its age, the application for this polish was relatively easy.  It applied smoothly and did not need any thinner.  It did take a while to dry, which is not at all surprising considering its age.

In keeping with the spirit of the challenge, I used some leftover nail wraps for accent nails with this mani as well.  Although they were not more than a year old, I’ve had them sitting around for months but hadn’t yet incorporated them into a mani.  I thought a challenge in which I was using old polish was the perfect time to haul out some old, leftover nail wraps and use those, too!  The accent nail is the Scratch nail wrap design Vintage Rose.  I liked them so much and received so many compliments on these wraps when I first used them.  Sometimes I just discard the leftover wraps after using them for a mani, but I love the Scratch wraps so much that I’ve been holding on to the leftovers to incorporate into other manis.  Since I opened these a while ago, I knew they weren’t going to last much longer at all, so I’m glad for an excuse to use them before they die.

On to the photos!  I used three coats of Courrèges Vernis Éclat Rose for these photos, along with base and top coat.  I used top coat over the nail wraps as well.

Courrèges Vernis Éclat Rose

Courrèges Vernis Éclat Rose

Courrèges Vernis Éclat Rose

And one in indoor lighting:

Courrèges Vernis Éclat Rose

What do you think of this golden oldie polish?  Can you think of a polish from any of the recent collections that looks like this one?

I’m so excited to participate in this challenge this year and am really hoping I am able to keep up with it!  I can’t wait to see what everyone else posts today and as each week progresses.  One of my favorite nail bloggers, Ruth from The Adorned Claw, is also participating in this challenge, so definitely go check out what she’s done with today’s theme as well!

I purchased this polish many years ago in what seems like another lifetime when I was living in Japan.  It may well be the oldest polish I own (I still kind of can’t believe that I’ve never gotten rid of it in one of the massive destashes I’ve done when moving or just clearing out in the past).  According to the label, I paid ¥900 for this polish.  I purchased the Vintage Rose nail wraps from Scratch’s Kickstarter campaign last year for $25.00 for a set of 3 wraps.  They are currently out of stock on the Scratch online shop, but they may be restocked someday.

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Christmas Nail Art NOTD: Scratch Tartanium Nail Wraps

Of course I wanted my nails to look utterly fabulous for Christmas, but spending loads of time on them was not an option this year.  Luckily one of the nail wrap sets from Scratch’s December Monthly Mani Box had a Christmas-y look to it, so I wore them to this year’s Christmas Eve and Christmas Day gatherings.

The Tartanium nail wraps were designed by textile designer Emily Wagner, and they feature a red-based plaid with metallic gold accents.  The set contains four different wrap designs of different sizes that can be mixed and matched, allowing the user to customize the look of the manicure to some extent.

The Scratch nail wraps are a little thicker than some other nail polish strips that I’ve tried, an advantage of which is that they can be moved around and re-positioned without tearing, which is not always possible with thinner wraps.  I did not use a base coat with these polish strips, but I did apply a top coat (in part because it is recommended by Scratch in the directions for use).

tartanium1

Scratch Tartanium

Scratch Tartanium

Aren’t these nice and seasonally appropriate without being over the top?  (Not that there’s anything wrong with over the top, don’t get me wrong.)  I was told that my nails looked like wrapped Christmas presents today, and I totally agree!  Love these.

I purchased these as part of a set of three nail wraps in the Scratch Monthly Mani Box for $30.00.  They can also be purchased individually for $12.00 from the Scratch online shop.

Sally Hansen Salon Insta-Gel Strips in Perfect Poison Review

The main appeal of gel manicures is that they are quite long-wearing, and, as someone who changes her nail polish every other day, long-wearing polish is not something I focus on that much.  I love trying new things, though, so I purchased a set of the Sally Hansen Insta-Gel Strips a few months ago, figuring I’d eventually find an occasion to wear them.  Since I was traveling over the past week and knew I would not have time to do my nails, I figured it was the perfect time to test out the Insta-Gel Strips to see if they wear as long as they promise (the packaging claims they can last up to 14 days).

The application of these strips is a little more complicated than normal nail polish strips, but it is no more complicated than the process for a normal gel manicure.  Starting with clean, dry nails, one first applies the nail polish strips to the nails in the same manner that other polish strips are applied.  After the polish strips are applied to all nails, the included gel top coat is applied over the strips, which should be done one nail at a time.  After painting each nail with the top coat, it must be cured under a UV lamp (which is provided in the Insta-Gel Strips Starter Kit).  This curing only takes 30 seconds per nail.  After this process is finished, each nail is wiped with an alcohol pad to remove any excess top coat, and the process is finished!  It really does not take much longer than applying regular nail polish strips, especially if you prefer to use top coat with them (sometimes I do, sometimes I don’t).

The strips themselves are very similar to Sally Hansen’s non-gel nail polish strip product, but they did feel a trice thicker to me.  The thickness of all of these strips varies by brand and design, it’s true; the design I used for this manicure was a metallic snakeskin print design called Perfect Poison.  I’ve used metallic nail polish strips in Sally Hansen’s normal range before, and they are usually on the thin side and somewhat easy to tear.  The gel strips did seem slightly thicker to me and not quite as delicate as the regular ones.

These first two pictures were taken right after I applied the strips.

Sally Hansen Perfect Poison

Sally Hansen Perfect Poison

I think they turned out nice, don’t you?  I received some compliments on my nails while wearing these, so other people liked them, too. 🙂

The real question, though, is “How long did they wear?”  Right?  I ended up wearing these for 6 days (which is an eternity for me).  At the end of that time, about half of the strips were showing tip wear, and half still looked relatively pristine.  One of my thumb nails had a larger chip, but that happened when I banged it on the edge of a table, which may not happen to every wearer.  :-p  The photo below shows the strips on Day 6.

Sally Hansen Perfect Poison after 6 days

You’ll see that my index and middle finger show tip wear, but my ring finger and pinky still look pretty good.

The verdict?  I think these strips are a good option for someone who prefers not to do their nails very often (I hear they’re out there), or for someone who knows they will be too busy to do them for several days.  In order to get the best wear, it’s important to cover the edges of the strips completely with the gel top coat.  I paid particular attention to the free edges of my nails when applying the top coat (which is recommended in the instructions), yet this is where all of the wear and tear took place on the strips.  I imagine that, had I not spent so much time covering the edges with top coat, they may have chipped even sooner.  And, while I think that 6 days is a decent wear time for a mani, I can’t imagine these lasting for the 14 days claimed by the packaging.

That being said, I’ve had similar wear results with normal nail polish strips from other brands; I wore a set of regular strips from another brand with Seche top coat for 5 days once, and there were no chips at all when I finally took them off.  So I’d say these aren’t a necessary purchase unless you can get them on sale (like I did) or you just love trying new things (like I do).  In that case, definitely give them a try!  They worked out pretty well for me. 🙂

I purchased these strips from CVS with some ExtraBucks when they were on sale; they normally retail for around $14.00 for a set of the strips themselves (which also comes with the gel top coat) and around $25.00 for the starter kit (which includes a set of strips, the top coat, and the UV light).  Drugstores are always having sales on Sally Hansen products, though, so it’s worth waiting for one to purchase these.

NOTD: Incoco Mirage

My NOTD for today is Incoco’s nail polish strips in Mirage.  Mirage features purple and black zigzag stripes, although the purple looks more pink to me (I often have a hard time telling the two apart).  I’ve used the Incoco design manicure nail polish strips a few times before and have been impressed both with their ease of application and with their staying power.  They last longer on me than most traditional nail polishes do.  They are a good option for more complicated nail art designs that I just don’t have the patience or skill to do by hand.

Incoco Mirage

Incoco Mirage

Incoco nail polish strips can be ordered online through the Incoco website.  The Mirage nail polish strips are $8.99 for a set of 16 appliqués.