The Polish Influenza

The only cure is a manicure


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Green and Brown Water Marble!

Hi folks!

THE POLISH INFLUENZA IS MOVING. CLICK HERE TO BE REDIRECTED.

I hope that all of my US readers had a fantastic Thanksgiving, and that all of my Jewish readers are having a fantastic Hannukah! The holiday season is all about bringing family and friends together in celebration, and it was wonderful seeing my extended family last night. I’m so thankful for all of the wonderful people I have in my life, and I’m most certainly thankful for the support I’ve gotten since starting The Polish Influenza. You all are amazing, and I can’t thank you enough for the amazing feedback I’ve gotten. I hope you’ll continue to enjoy my nail reviews and designs through the holiday season and into the new year!

For Thanksgiving weekend, I wanted to do a water marble in order to bring some festivity to my hands. I recently picked up Essie’s Shake Your $$ Maker, a bright green, from Walgreens for $4 (a bargain for Essie, I know), so I knew I wanted to incorporate it into the design. I thought that a dark, coffee brown would go well with the green, so I settled on Rue Beauté 063. Unfortunately, I soon found out that Shake Your $$ Maker would not spread in the water. I still wanted to use it, though, so I devised a plan.

I painted my nails with a base of Ulta’s Snow White, and then painted two coats of Shake Your $$ Maker overtop. Once that dried, I marbled 063 and OPI Topcoat in the water, so that the clear part of the marble would show the green. It worked wonderfully, and I’m super happy with the result! Pictures below are with OPI topcoat sealing the design.

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I am so happy with this design, I especially love the green! What do you think of the design? And what are you doing this holiday weekend? Taking advantage of any of the nail polish Black Friday sales (Zoya has some AMAZING deals on their website!)? Let me know in the comments below!

~Beth~

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Hunger Games Nail Art!

Hello tributes!

Happy Hunger Games! And may the odds be ever in your favor! In honor of tonight’s release of the new Hunger Games trilogy movie, Catching Fire, I decided to pay homage to the popular series with a little nail art! The Hunger Games is honestly one of my favorite book series of all times. I read all three books while I was recovering from surgery last spring and it kept me engaged and distracted from the pain. I’ve heard good things about the second movie, and I love Jennifer Lawrence (such a classy lady), so I can’t wait to see it sometime soon!

The most well known symbols of the Hunger Games series are the mockingjay and fire, since Katniss is “The Girl on Fire”. On all my fingers except for my ring finger, I painted two coats of China Glaze Smoke and Ashes, a smoky black with a subtle blue and green duochrome, and is appropriately part of last year’s Capitol Colors Collection (the District 12 shade!). On my thumb, I used a toothpick and a small dotting tool to freehand Katniss’s iconic mockingjay pin using Body Central Gold. On my ring finger (which I painted with 1 coat of e.l.f. Sunflower), I created a flame inspired gradient, using Ulta Ruby Slipper (the red), OPI A Woman’s Prague-ative (the orange-y gold) and e.l.f. Sunflower (the yellow). On the rest of my nails, I used a medium sized dotting tool with Gold to create a line of dots across the sides of my black nails. I’m super happy with how this turned out! Pictures below are with OPI topcoat.

Artificial, indoor light

Artificial, indoor light

Artificial, indoor light

Artificial, indoor light

I’m getting so much better at freehanding things these days, I’m quite pleased with myself. I hope I get to wear this to the movies- I always take off manicures so quickly in order to blog. Guess I’ll just have to go see it tomorrow! What do you think of my Katniss Everdeen nail art tribute? Let me know in the comments!

~Beth~


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Diabetes Awareness Month Nail Art!

Hi everyone!

Though the arrival of November to most people means Thanksgiving and the holiday season, for many, it also signifies the start of National Diabetes awareness month. 8.3% of the population of the USA has diabetes: that’s 25.8 million people. And quite honestly, that’s 25.8 people too many. Though I myself am lucky enough to not have the disease, one of my best friends in the world, Tory, has type one diabetes, and has struggled with it since her diagnosis at age 7. Though she has every reason in the world to be bitter and depressed about her disease, she’s one of the most optimistic, positive, uplifting people I know. And today’s nail art is dedicated to her ❤

JDRF’s (Junior Diabetes Relief Fund) color to represent diabetes is blue, so I knew I had to incorporate it into the design. I decided to make a blue and white water marble on my pinky, middle, and pointer fingers using Ulta’s Snow White and Wet n’ Wild Fastdry Saved by the Blue. To create the water marble design, I alternated between the white and the blue, then drew random lines with a toothpick in the bullseye to create a random marbled look. On the pinky finger, I created a red ribbon on a black background, to represent the colors of National Diabetes Awareness Month. I used Love and Beauty Black for the background and Markwin Red for the ribbon. And finally, on the thumb, I painted a red background with Markwin Red, a black heart in Love and Beauty Black, and in Rue Beauté 009, I wrote Tory’s name over the heart, to represent her fight against diabetes. Pictures below are without topcoat!

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Artificial, indoor light

Artificial, indoor light

Artificial, indoor light

If anyone who reads this blog is diabetic, has a family member or friend who is diabetic, or just supports the cause, please let me know in the comments below. Diabetes needs to be stopped, and I know a cure is going to be found. Also, make sure to leave some loving for Tory below, I know she’ll appreciate it 🙂 Make sure to wear blue for diabetes this month! I know I will be.

~Beth~


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Sally Hansen Triple Shine Nail Polish Review and Swatches!

Press Release 

WARNING: THIS POST CONTAINS EXCESSIVE SWATCH PICTURES. VIEW AT YOUR OWN RISK (OF BECOMING ADDICTED TO POLISH)

Hi everyone!

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I got an early Halloween treat this year! On Thursday, I got a package in the mail from Sally Hansen containing some of the BRAND SPANKING NEW Triple Shine nail polishes!! Man, was I excited. I saw the press release for this a while back and was enthralled. I love love LOVE shiny nail polishes and unique glitter mixes, and with the release of the Sephora Formula X line, they’ve become all the rage this season. Unfortunately for me, the Sephora polishes are a little out of my price range for the moment 😦 Luckily, however, the Sally Hansen Triple Shine line provides an affordable alternative, and packs just as much, if not more, glitter in every bottle.

Sally Hansen describes this line of polishes in their press review:

“[the] Biggest, boldest, shiniest colors. When it comes to a brilliant shine, the key word is more, more, more. That’s why Sally Hansen is bringing maximum radiance to the season’s most covetable colors with the new Triple Shine Nail Color. Sally Hansen knows that high shine is what you crave. Yet, daily hand washing can eat away at color due to water’s high pH, detergent can dull shine, and everything from chlorine to heat can damage polish’s precious luster. Luckily, this innovative formula features a one-of-a-kind Ultimate Shield Complex, designed to help polish withstand the wear and tear of everyday living. As the latest breakthrough from Sally Hansen, the definitive color authority, Triple Shine Nail Color marries sheer brilliance with the shades of the moment for non-stop shine in the colors you covet”

These colors really do pack a punch! There are 3 mini 10 piece “collections” within the main line:

Iridescence: A range of nine ethereal, pearlescent pastels and shimmering metallics

Pop: A rainbow of ten vibrant, saturated polishes in bold brights

Fanta-Sea: A glittering selection of ten aquatic tones that evoke the sun-dappled sea

In edition, there is also a new topcoat being released. I got 2 polishes from the Fanta-Sea Line and one from the Iridescence Line, so let’s get started on the review!

Great White is a shimmery white polish with subtle blue and silver shimmer running through it. It’s from the “Iridescence” line, and it definitely lives up to that! It’s SUPER sheer though, which is sorta disappointing. But I loved the color so much I went to great extents and used 4 coats for pictures below, no topcoat.

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As you can see, the VNL is still visible. So, I decided to try it layered over 2 coats of Ulta’s Snow White, and the result was fantastic! Definitely a layering polish, and definitely a winner! A pic of it layered is below.

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Sparks Fly is a dark blue gelled base with large, medium, and small silver hex glitters packed in. This polish packs a glitter punch! I love how the base gives some of the glitter a subtle blue hue, it really looks like starlight dappling the surface of a lake. I think this is my favorite of the polishes I was sent! I used 2 coats with no base for pictures below.

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Twinkled Pink is a baby pink gelled base with large silver and pinky/coral hex glitters, and tiny silver hex glitters. This one is pretty sheer on its own, and it’s also kinda thick to apply due to the glitter density. Still, the contrast between the silver glitters and the base color make for an interesting contrast, similar to Sparks Fly. I used 2 coats for pictures below, no base.

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I wanted to see what both of these glitters looked like layered, so I decided to try them over 4 coats of Great White. I SO love the combination, they work great together. The VNL disappears, and the overall effect lives up to the polish’s name- TRIPLE SHINE! These are definitely meant to be worn together, they look fantastic paired. Pics below are 4 coats of Great White with one coat of glitter over each.

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The pink reminds me of the color of a fairy this way, or bubblegum. It’s so pretty! I love it!

Overall, what I’ve tested of this collection is fabulous. I especially love the brushes, they’re very similar to the Complete Salon Manicure brushes- wide and able to cover the nail in one stroke. I’d love to get my hands on more of the Fanta-Sea glitters, and I’d really like to try some of the Pop rainbow colors as well. Oh, who am I kidding. I just want the whole collection! What did you think of these sparkle-tastic colors? Let me know in the comments!

Sally Hansen Triple Shine polishes retail for $4.99 a bottle, and can be found at most chain drugstores, beauty supply stores, and on their website, here.

~Beth~

Product in this post was sent to me for review by a brand representative. For more information, please see my Disclosure Policy.


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Happy Halloween From The Polish Influenza!!

Hi everyone!

HAPPY HALLOWEEN! Hope everyone is having a spooktacular day! We got to wear parts of our costumes to school today (pictures at the end of the post) and there were some pretty creative ones! Of course, to celebrate the day, I did my nails up all special. I used Sally Hansen Xtreme Wear Sun Kissed for the orange, Love and Beauty Black for my ring finger and thumb, Ulta Little Black Dress for the writing, Sinful  Colors’ Snow Me White for the ghosts, and Rue 21 Glow in the Dark over the ghosts for a boo-tiful glow! Pics are without topcoat!

Artificial, indoor light

Artificial, indoor light

Artificial, indoor light

Artificial, indoor light

I tried to get a shot with the glowing ghosts for you guys, except, this is what happened…

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I considered water marking this, just for the lols, but opted against it. Too much work!

And of course, I can’t leave without showing you my Halloween costume! While I didn’t go trick or treating (I’m a little too old for that now- I just take candy from our own candy bowl!) I still wanted to get all dressed up. You’re never too old for that! I saw an amazing makeup tutorial to transform yourself into a doe from a makeup guru called From Head to Toe. She’s got some great wearable makeup too. I followed her instructions, stuck on a pair of antlers, and voila! I have become a deer! Here’s a pic.

Doe-n't I look cute? (Deer pun lol)

Doe-n’t I look cute? (Deer pun lol)

So that’s it for me today. I hope you all had a great day full of tricks and treats! Stay boo-tiful!

~Beth~

 


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NYC In a New York Color Minute Topcoats Review and Swatches

Press Sample

Hi everyone!

Recently, with my busy schedule, I have not had the time to do my usual nail art on my nails. There just isn’t time between schoolwork, extracurriculars, and work to take time out of my day for an artistic manicure. It’s disappointing, because there’s nothing I like more than having an intriguing design on my nails. I’m not the kind of person who likes to wear a “plain” manicure (though there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that!) Fortunately, the new NYC In a New York City Special Effects Topcoats provide a quick and easy element of pizzazz to any  manicure, in a flash!

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Today, I have two “effects” to show you: the Sparkle Topcoat, and the matte topcoat called Matte Me Crazy. Both come in 0.33 fl. oz. bottles, which should last for PLENTY of manicures. Each has a thin application brush for precision, which especially helps in the glitter placement of the Sparkle topcoat. I was so excited when these came in the mail, so let’s get to the review!

The Sparkle topcoat is a small blue and pink hex glitter mixed with a very fine silver glitter, all in a sheer pink base. It looks very similar to Sally Hansen Xtreme Wear’s Supernova in the bottle, but Supernova isn’t nearly as glitter-dense as this NYC beauty, and Supernova doesn’t have a pink base, either- it’s base is clear. Since the base of the polish is pink, I thought it would look best over other pink polishes (though I also wanted to see it over a blue since there is blue glitter in the polish itself). The colors I chose to test the Sparkle topcoat with are below:

From thumb to pinky: Ulta "Fuchsiamania", Love and Beauty "Pink", Claire's "Hot Stuff", NYC "Empire State Blue", Revlon Scented Parfum "Cotton Candy"

From thumb to pinky: Ulta “Fuchsiamania”, Love and Beauty “Pink”, Claire’s “Hot Stuff”, NYC “Empire State Blue”, Revlon Scented Parfum “Cotton Candy”

Then, I applied one coat of Sparkle topcoat over all of them…

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Holy glitter Batman! I love this over all of these combos except over Hot Stuff. I think the base is just too coral-y for the cooler pink and blue to really stand out. Now, over Revlon Cotton Candy, this glitter is divine! I also love how the pink is played up over a blue polish base. I can’t wait to experiment with more color combos! Overall, the glitter requires minimal placement, if any at all, and looks great in one coat, though, the more coats you add, the more of a “punch” you’ll give your nails! Formula was nice, not too thick or thin. Love this!

Matte Me Crazy I will admit I was dubious about. I have an Ulta matte topcoat that I got for about $10 in a set of 4, and I really hate it. It turns my nails satin, not matte at all- the shine still peaks through. So when I found out this polish was under $2 at drugstores, I really had my doubts. Nonetheless, I decided to give it a whirl. To fully test it, I picked some really shiny base colors to layer it with:

From thumb to pinky: Fresh Paints "Dragon Lady", Revlon "Scandalous", OPI "A Woman's Prague-ative", Love and Beauty "Peacock", Essie "For the Twill of it"

From thumb to pinky: Fresh Paints “Dragon Lady”, Revlon “Scandalous”, OPI “A Woman’s Prague-ative”, Love and Beauty “Peacock”, Essie “For the Twill of it”

All are super pretty on their own, but let’s see what mattifying them with Matte Me Crazy does…

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Um, wow. Just wow. I have no words. THIS IS FANTASTIC. Look how matte they all got! I love it over Love and Beauty Peacock because it really brings out the subtle purple duochrome of the polish (which my camera refused to pick up on, but I promise it’s there in real life). And please, do NOT get me started on how much I love Matte Me Crazy over Revlon Scandalous. It really emphasizes the pink hex glitters against the black jelly background. I really love every single one of these pairings! Formula-wise, Matte Me Crazy is pretty identical to Sparkle Topcoat, easy to apply, not too thick or thin, and super fast drying because of its matte nature. A real winner, easily beats Ulta as my favorite topcoat of all time.

I’m in awe at both of these polishes. They seriously blew me away, and far exceeded my expectations of a drugstore brand. They’re worth every penny (and they don’t cost that many pennies, either!) Applause to NYC, you very well might have made me a matte lover. And that is not an easy task to do.

So what do you think of these two special effect polishes? Will they be making their way into your stash in the near future? And are you a fan of nail art? Let me know in the comments!

NYC polishes retail for $0.99-$1.99 a bottle, and can be found at drugstores, Target, and on their website, here.

~Beth~

Product featured in this post was sent to me for review by a brand representative. For more information, please see my Disclosure Policy.


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Update: New Page “The Stash” Available for Viewing!

Hiya everyone!

Sorry for my absence this weekend, it’s been pretty hectic. I promise I will resume my usual posting schedule on Monday!

Today, I took the time to catalog my entire nail polish stash. Here’s a picture to emphasize the severity of my addiction…

Dat stash

Dat stash

I think the total is 226… Yeah, I have a problem xD But I mean, this isn’t even that big compared to other nail gurus, so I don’t feel too bad about it…*shifty eyes*. The number 1 brand dominating my collection is Ulta, followed by Sally Hansen, Rue Beauté, and Wet n’ Wild. But I have a pretty good representation of everything!

The fruit of my labor is now available for your viewing pleasure. If you head over to my new page, The Stash, there’s a link to a googledoc containing my full polish catalog, which I will do my best to update on a regular basis as more polish enters the stash. It’s alphabetized by brand, but also lists polish name, color, finish, specialty, and, if applicable, collection. Feel free to browse through and let me know which is your favorite, which ones you’re lemming for, and which ones you flat out hate! I’m curious to hear your opinions.

Hopefully as my polish collection grows, my follower base will also grow. Thank you so much to everyone who follows me, your support means so much. I love hearing your opinions on my work, and I’d love to get my work out to a broader audience. I appreciate everyone who has helped me in my efforts. Let’s continue to spread the influenza!

~Beth~


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On Wednesdays We Wear Pink- Ulta Salon Formula “Sunset Bronze”

Hello all!

It’s hump day! I also have no school because of standardized testing, so it’s been a nice refresher to stay home and sleep! Of course, no relaxing day would be complete without painting my nails a gorgeous color, and the color I’ve chosen for this Mean Girls Wednesday sure fits the bill!

Sunset Bronze, despite the name, is a shimmery, subtle pink. It definitely leans more towards the blue/silver in the color spectrum. It’s very frosted, but the brushstrokes were surprisingly not an issue, I was pleasantly surprised. It’s RIDICULOUSLY shimmery, I love it so much! Formula-wise, it’s definitely workable, although a smidge too thin for me (usually I have the opposite problem, lol). It’s kinda sheer, but builds up in 2-3 coats. I used 2 for the picture below!

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The pictures make the brushstrokes look worse than they are, I promise. In real life, they are really difficult to notice unless you get really up close to the nail.

So what do you think of this dusty pink polish? Is it something you like to wear for the fall season (or any time, really). Let me know in the comments below!

Ulta Salon Formula Nail Lacquers retail for $6 (though there are often sales) and can be found in Ulta stores, and on Ulta’s website, here.

~Beth~


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Nail Art- My First Attempt at Konad Stamping!

Hi everyone!

Happy Sunday! AND THERE’S FINALLY SUN. I seriously haven’t seen the sun in a week, the sight is just too beautiful. How has your weekend been? I’m still coming off a birthday high, lol!

And speaking of birthdays, my friend got me something I’ve been dying to get my hands on for-EVAH, a Konad Stamping set with 3 stamp plates!!!! You don’t understand how excited I am to finally get to try this out! For today’s design, I decided to try out the M-60 Konad plate, with the argyle design.

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To create the design, I started with two coats of Ulta Salon Formula Nail Lacquer in Ultraviolet Femme, a gorgeous blue-based purple. I then painted Sinful Colors Snow Me White over the argyle design, and scraped off the excess with the Konad scraper. I picked up the design using a rolling motion with my stamper, and rolled it over the nail. Not going to lie, it took me about 4 tries to get the design you see, and it’s still nowhere near perfect, but with practice, I’m sure I’ll get the hang of it! I then put OPI topcoat over my design, and the purple must have bled into the white, because it now looks like the stamp polish color is lavender. I don’t mind, but I kinda wanted it to be white… I guess next time I’ll wait longer for it to dry. Pictures are below!

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Artificial, indoor light

Indoor, artificial light

Indoor, artificial light

Overall, I’m really excited about having this Konad stamper, and will definitely be doing more designs in the future! What are your thoughts on Konad, or other similar stamping systems? Let me know in the comments below!

If you want to purchase your own Konad stamper, they’re available on Amazon for as little as $5, or you can purchase them off of Konad’s own website, here.

~Beth~

 

 


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Nail Art- Homecoming Nails!

Hello ladies!

So, today is my birthday! I’ve had a great day so far spending time with my family (I got an Oracle Team USA America’s Cup t-shirt!!!), and to top it all off, tonight is my school’s homecoming dance! Of course, I can’t go out with naked nails, so I’ve put together a really fun, sophisticated and EASY design that you too can use for your school dances!

To create this design, you’re going to need nail art (also known as bullion) beads. They generally come in a little wheel like this:

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I bought mine from Dollish Polish, but you can get them from most beauty/nail supply retailers.

I started by painting my nails a base color of red, except for my accent nail (ring finger), which I painted a shimmery black. The red I used was OPI’s The Spy Who Loved Me from the Winter 2012 James Bond collection, and the black was Ulta Salon Formula nail lacquer in Little Black Dress. Once that dried, I used my old, thick bottle of Sally Hansen Diamond Strength Nail Lacquer in Flawless as a glue for the beads. I used a damp toothpick to pick up one bead at a time, and arrange them in the pattern I wanted. I used black beads on my red nails, and red beads on my black nail (alternate colors).You could create anything you want with the beads, it’s all up to interpretation. Once the “glue” is dried, apply a heavy layer of topcoat (I used OPI topcoat) to seal in the design. Without that topcoat, the beads fall off. Expect some beads to fall off anyway if you’re going to be dancing, but the topcoat reduces the bead “shedding”. Pics are below!

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I also did my sister’s nails in the same design, but with navy and gold instead to match her dress! The navy I used was Rue Beauté in 043 and the gold was an unnamed Body Central color. Her pics are below!

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I hope you guys like the design- it took almost 2 hours to do both of us! The process of patterning the beads is extremely painstaking, but worth it if you have the time, because it isn’t difficult to achieve. I even was able to copy it on my right hand, which I usually can’t do because I’m right handed!

So what will you be wearing on your nails this homecoming? Will you be using my design? Let me know in the comments below! I had a great birthday, and it was made even better by you guys. Thanks so much for reading, I love you all 😀

~Beth~