Saturday, June 26, 2010

Ulta Professional After Hours and a Word on Smurf Fingers

Today I have a picture and review of an Ulta Professional polish and then a word or two of nail polish removal advice for the people. So let's dive right in!

I had a very long and trying week, so I uncharacteristically left on my Funky Fingers Alice mani for a shocking three days, and I can report that the wear was excellent. I only started getting chipping on the finger currently sporting a patch over a split, and that isn't really the polish's fault.

The day I finally did get myself to change, I went with an old standby of laziness, the dark nail polish. Why the standby of laziness, you may ask? When I do not want to put a lot of work into removing polish to make a clean slate for the next color, I do it half-heartedly and make up for it with a dark color. The reason for this is Smurf fingers, which I will explain shortly.

This is a color called After Hours from a set of Ulta Professional minis called the Glam Goth collection (so, those of you who know me personally know that I was obligated by all forces natural and spiritual to buy these minis), so it can't be purchased on its own. Because there is no such thing as too much nail polish, I do not see this as an obstacle to its purchase. I used a flash picture for this color to really capture the sparkle in the dark blurple (nail polish lingo for a bluish purple) base. In bad lighting, this looks almost like a creme, but get it in some good light, and hello tons of blue and red shimmer! Like the other colors in this set, this is a truly stunning shade.

The one problem I did have with it is the brush. Now, I love the OPI Pro Wide brush, which many find to be way too wide, so I thought I would like this one. This brush is just about the same as the OPI, but somehow... different. Maybe it's fuller, or thicker, or maybe because it's on a shorter base, but I found it a bit unwieldy which accounts for the funky application around my cuticles. The good news is that even I, a serial, unapologetic three coat evangelist, only needed two coats for total opacity, which is good since the bottle is so small! I know, I say this like I will ever run out of it.

Now, a word on Smurf fingers. Smurf fingers are what occur when you remove a stubborn blue polish. There are alternative versions of this with other colors, notably red and neon pinks, and the concept is the same. When you try to remove the color with remover, it stains the skin around the nail, so you end up with tinted fingers that can ruin the look of your new manicure. You can't see it very well in this picture, but the cuticles on most of my fingers are blue from Alice, and all because I didn't do such a stellar job of removing it. If I had wanted to paint my nails with a pastel after and not have the horrible blue cuticles, I would have employed one of the following methods:

1. Nail polish removing tub of doom: At Target, you can buy this fabulous device that looks like your standard sponge in a tub remover, but is so much more. Instead of a sponge, it is a hole, not unlike the sarlacc pit in Jedi, surrounded by plastic bristles. It is filled with pure acetone, so not for the weak-willed. You stick your finger in, let the acetone dissolve the polish, and then scrub it off with the bristles. This thing is fabulous for glitter and dark polishes.

2. Protect the skin first: Alternately, you can slather your fingers and cuticles with cuticle oil or a heavy cream before using your standard removal method. Like putting vaseline on your forehead before dyeing your hair, this acts as a protective barrier and prevents the disintegrating polish from sticking to your skin.

I hope this dissertation helps someone else removing a dark nail polish. Keep an eye out for a truly shocking post I expect to make tomorrow when I put on a sheer, neutral nail polish! The humanity! Until then, Polish to the People!

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