Nail polishes that rock: Essie Shine of the Times

I’ve developed a fondness lately for mind-blowing, color-changing nail polishes. Not exactly the best fondness to develop at a point in my life at which I’m trying to look like a grown-up, but what can I say?

I first saw Essie’s Shine of the Times topcoat on my nail blogger friend several months ago, and I’ve been meaning to buy a bottle of my own since. I finally managed to snag one on a trip to Walgreens with my mom last week (thanks, Mom!), and let me tell you, it’s so worth the wait.

Shine of the Times doesn’t look like anything special in the bottle, but when you paint it on (I used two coats!), the flakes all clump together to form something that I can only describe as a foil-like coat. Like the Forever 21 polish I wrote about a few weeks ago, this topcoat is impossible to adequately describe with words or capture with a photo. Depending on how the light hits it, it’s red, copper, gold or green. Layer it over an indigo solid like I did and you’ve got a complete rainbow. Amazing, right?

I’ve been wearing this polish for a week now, and I’m still impressed by it, as is everyone who notices it. So cool. If you like distractingly shiny polishes as much as I do you, Shine of the Times is definitely the way to go!

I couldn’t find a good link to buy Shine of the Times online, but it’s available at some Walgreens and Walmart stores for about $8. I wore it over an old Forever 21 Indigo polish, just to get every color involved, but I’ve also seen it recommended over a dark red. If you try it out, let me know what you think looks best!

My favorite things: San Francisco Soap Company Sugared Citrus lotion

Admit it. When you stay in hotels and find tiny bottles of lotion in the bathrooms, you take them with you when you leave. More often than not, they’re watery and useless and don’t smell like anything, but they’re at least something to throw into your purse for emergencies.

A year ago, I stayed in a hotel somewhere in Iowa for a band trip. I don’t remember anything about the hotel but this: The complimentary lotion was the best I’ve ever smelled. Not only did I grab my bottle on the way out, but I asked a friend in another room to snag me his, too. I’d never heard of the brand, San Francisco Soap Company. The scent is called Sugared Citrus, but I don’t know how to describe what it actually smells like; “citrus” always means “orange” in my brain, but it doesn’t smell like an orange. It’s strong, but too good to get tired of it. I kept one bottle in my purse for a year, one in my backpack, and they were well loved.

When Christmas rolled around this year and my family started asking me what I wanted, I remembered this lotion and thought it was time for an upgrade. I didn’t know where you could find the lotion in a store, but it wasn’t hard to find the San Francisco Soap Company website on Google, and on Christmas morning I had a nice box of Sugared Citrus under the tree.

I haven’t used the body butter or the shower gel yet — don’t want to use everything at once! — but the lotion is great. It’s a lot thicker than the version I got from the hotel sample, perfect for super-dry winter skin, but the scent is just the same, just as wonderful. If you’re looking for a great new scented lotion but don’t want to wear the same Bath and Body Works scent as everyone else, I highly recommend Sugared Citrus. Cheers.

Genius tip: How to remove glitter nail polish

You guys remember the crazy glitter nails I did for New Year’s Eve, right?

They were a pain and a half to paint on, but fun to wear, and I loved them. But, when they finally chipped enough that it was time to take the polish off, I learned an annoying truth: Nail polish that is a pain and a half to put on will more often than not be a pain and a half to take off. Glitter is stubborn! I spent about 20 minutes and 5 cotton balls on one hand, and this was still the best I could do.

The photo doesn’t do it justice; there was shredded cotton everywhere, my skin was dried out from the polish remover and my nails were scratched where I tried, unsuccessfully, to scrape the polish off. That last bit of glitter wasn’t going anywhere. Desperate and out of cotton balls, I tweeted, “Things that are impossible: removing glitter nail polish. Any tips?” Before long, I had a reply from my follower Stephanie (@Sn0wf1ake123): “Douse cotton ball in acetone remover, secure to nail with wrapped tin foil, wait 3-5 minutes, then twist/pull off everything!”

I was skeptical. I had read about this trick before, some sites suggesting variations including felt or straight acetone, but I was hesitant to try it. Just sounded ridiculous! But I trust my Twitter community, so I gave it a try.

I dug felt out of my old craft bin, got nail polish remover all over my sink and sat on my couch watching CSI with my hands looking like this:

Try explaining this one to your dad.

And, you know what? It worked! I didn’t leave them wrapped for long — just the time between CSI commercial breaks — and they turned out like this:

All gone! So, thanks, Stephanie. Next time I wear glitter polish, I’ll definitely do this before I run out of cotton balls. Cheers.

Investigating mystery-color nail polishes: Forever 21 Blue/Green

For the most part, nail polish is pretty straightforward. For example, it’s easy to go to the store and look at a bottle and say, “That’s a red.” You might not know how deep the red will be on your nail, how clear or opaque it is, how much it will glitter in the sunlight or other details, but you know, for sure, that it’s red.

One in a while, though, you stumble across a color like this one:

I spotted this polish sitting next to the register at Forever 21, and it just intrigued me. It’s labeled “Blue/Green,” but what color is it, really? Is it blue? Green? Purple? My camera added the gold shade to the photo, but otherwise, all of those colors are in there. I wondered how it would look on nails, and I figured that for $2.80 I could take it home and find out.

The result? Just as interesting as it is in the bottle.

This photo hardly captures the color. In regular indoor light, it’s a teal, a blue-green, true to its name. In dim light, or reflected in a computer screen, the purple shines through. I can’t stop looking at my nails, because they’re different every time I look at them! Call me easily impressed, but, well, I am.

There’s no “Blue/Green” available on F21’s site, but judging by the photos, the site’s “Jade” looks like the right polish. However, there have also been different shades sold with the “Jade” name, so be careful. Your best bet would probably be to go try to find it in the store. Who knows? You could stumble upon some other mystery shade. Let me know how it goes. Cheers.