Thursday, December 30, 2010

Kodachrome is dead! Long live the film!

Today, my last 2 rolls ever of Kodachrome film are being processed by Dwayne's in Parsons, Kansas.
At least, I hope they are - I held out for as long as I could so I could use up every precious frame of that stuff and had to next-day it to the lab. Parsons is so small, however, that USPS doesn't have daily service there. That's what the gal at the counter told my anyway.

I know I've mostly posted about nail polish but this isn't a nail polish blog. I just happen to like nail polish.
I also happen to really like film photography. I've been a "soup and fixer" shooter since I was a freshman in high school, worked at a photolab for a while, went to a pretty high-class photography school, and was looking toward a job with Hedrich Blessing when life did a 180 on me and brought me to where I am now.

The end of Kodachrome is the end of an era. Kodachrome was far from the first colour film - but it was the BEST. Because of the *rolls eyes* difficult processing it had to undergo (seriously, anyone who processed it in a modern automated lab, chime in on the "difficulty") Kodachrome resulted in a highly stable negative.

My dad is a shooter, my grandmother was a shooter, and both her father and stepfather were shooters...
Have a peep at Great Grandpa II's Kodachrome and tell me why Kodak got rid of this:
Great Grandpa I's box of 1930's Kodachrome slides were passed on to me several years ago. Despite poor storage following his death in 1938, his stunning images of Cuba, Manhattan, and aerial views from a DC-3 are crisp and easily colour corrected.
Seeing the world at that time in colour film is a delight and draws us closer to the past.
What will our great grandchildren think when they look at poorly saved, pixelated mush that was our graduation photos and holiday snapshots?

For me, this discontinuation of Kodachrome processing is a huge smack in the collective face of photographers by the corporate hand of Kodak.
When it was announced in June of 2009 that Kodachrome would be no more, finally confirming the rumours everyone had been chasing for almost 5 years, we were assured that we would have several years of processing left. Photographers everywhere snatched up rolls to freeze and preserve so we would have it in those several years. Myself, I snagged 2 rolls from the last shipment in Chicago.
Seeing the love, savvy marketers put their shipments up on eBay and other storefronts for insane prices. I saw single, 36 shot rolls of Kodachrome go for as high as 30 dollars....
But, out of nowhere, Kodak changed their mind and gave photographers just over a year to shoot up and process all those caches of film.


For me, the end of Kodachrome is more than just the end of a film. It's the end of corporate honesty.
Yes, we're all familiar with "Truth" campaigns and everyone is pretty solid in their belief that Philip Morris, BP, Monsanto, and lord knows who else is lying to us. But film can't lie.
When a company says, "this film is 100 speed", it IS 100 speed.
When a company says, "this film is infrared sensitive", is IS infrared sensitive.
So when a company says, "you have a few years to enjoy this classic product", we expect a few years to enjoy that classic product.

Kodak lied to their photographers.

Perhaps the people that buy the piece of junk $60 digitals from Wal-Mart don't care.
Perhaps the people that enjoy the $100,000 scientific sensors don't care.

But to the thousands of photographers (Dwayne's - the only Kodachrome processor in the world - does did 700 rolls of Kodachrome a week) who watched Kodak discontinue large format Kodachrome.... Then 200 speed Kodachrome.... Then listened to some suit try to convince us that Ektachrome was just as good, Kodak is a bunch of lying snits.

I just hope Kodak doesn't pull a Tom Petters.
Almost immediately after scrapping all the machines that made Polaroid instant film, the market for instant photography SKYROCKETED! Now Fuji's instant cameras are being sold in clothing stores and on QVC for like 100 bucks.
Kodak has recently started production of new large format stocks.  They see there is an obvious need for professional films - one of which being Kodachrome - so I imagine we may see the production of Kodachrome films (or a direct copy as Fuji has done with their pull-apart instant) again.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Kleancolor Holo Chrome

I first came across the Kleancolor brand at my local independent beauty store while on the search for makeup to go along with my 1940's living history persona. I found a daring red lipstick that went on smoothly, smelled beautiful, and wore almost all day!
So when I found their nail polish at another local store, I wasn't too hesitant about buying it.

Kleancolor Holo Chrome in the bottle... Featuring blur-o-vision to show the HOLO!!!

After reading this post by Emerald Sparkled, I am in a holo mood. I want everything sparkly and glitter and I WANT IT NOW!

Kleancolor Holo Chrome isn't quite like OPI Designer Series or what I imagine those Turkish lovelies to be like. It is a purple jelly (if my understanding of "jelly" is correct) with holo glitter in it.

Once on the nail, it has a slight grittyness, but nothing that wasn't cured with one coat of Out The Door's Northern Lights. What can I say, I just needed more sparkle!
I find I also really like the current Kleancolor bottle. It has a really chic look. Unfortunately, I discovered as I was shaking the bottle up at the store, the cap stem is not glued on. If you're a shaker, hold the bottle by the bottle instead of the cap. Thank God it didn't shatter all over the tile floor it landed on!!

The polish is very fumey and when dry (this one) has a grapey scent.
The ingredients are listed as: Butyl Acetate, Ethyl Acetate, Nitrocellulose, Formaldehyde Resin, Acrylates Copolymer, Steralkonium Hectorite, N-Butyl Alcohol, and Ethyl Alcohol.
So - long list short - NOT 3-free.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Orly Galaxy Girl

Found it on clearance for $3.99 at Sally Beauty Supply.
Hated it.
Exchanged it for China Glaze For Audry.
Am not sure if I'll like that either though :(

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Hello Kitty Beauty

Verdict: Meh. For more info, keep reading...

Today I checked my email and found the following:
Ah, so the presale ended today... I probably should have looked at my email sooner.

I'm a huge Hello Kitty fan I'm a huge Sanrio fan, with Keroppi being my favourite, but I enjoy Hello Kitty if only for her omnipresence so I figured I'd be pretty stoked for this collection. Maybe it's because I'm pretty broke right now, or maybe it's because I'm in a generally "humbug" mood, but it didn't strike me the way I thought.
Maybe Hello Kitty's omnipresence has finally desensitized me. I mean, we've already had a MAC Hello Kitty collection and if you like bling there's none better than Kimora Lee Simmons' pieces... And Tarina Tarentino. OH TARINA!!
I am so sorry this is on Jeffree Star. You can't deny, though, that he is FAB!!!

But this...
A) Who makes it?
B) Do you really expect us to buy a cosmetic without ever trying it?
C) Why, despite the "launch" at Small Gift, is nobody talking about this?
D) Why are so many products called "Charmmy" when Charmmy Kitty is NOT Hello Kitty, she is KT's pet?

I don't know. I don't know who makes it (though I'm rather sure that Hello Kitty is being licensed from Sanrio, rather than it being produced by Sanrio themselves). I don't know the quality of these cosmetics. And I don't know anything other than they're much more expensive than I would ever pay for such things.

To be honest, I feel like they're marketing toward people with more money than sense who will just see SHINY!!! KAWAII!!! MAKEUP!!! and drop the dollars. I mean, it's not like the diamond pendants or the officially licensed Smart Cars that cost only marginally more than non-branded items.

Ah, whatever. Just have a peek...

It honestly doesn't look like anything special to me... And I went INSANE over MAC's Hello Kitty collection despite my deep, intense loathing of MAC. The one that pisses me off the most is the "Bling Mirror" for 49 dollars. I don't know if it's actually sterling silver or whatever but for 20 bucks I got a couple of Target Dollar Spot mirrors a few cycles ago, some Swarvoski flatbacked rhinestones, and clear epoxy and I had a great time. I pull mine out all the time and people will stop and ask me where I got it - so I don't really see a point in spending 50 buck for something like that.

12 dollars for blotting papers?! Because they have a cartoon cat on them?!
I would like some of the crack they were smoking in that board meeting.

So, no. I don't believe I'll be buying any of the Hello Kitty Beauty products. Depending on the coming reviews of quality, I may pick up some of the nail polish because the bottle is very clever but...
Screencap from Beauty Ambition*, who is quite excited over the collection. you can see, it's nothing special. Even the Pink Sprinkles and Purple Sprinkles look very much like the Katy Perry OPI due out in spring.

Anyway, did YOU buy some this weekend? Leave a message and let me know how it goes for you.


Friday, December 17, 2010

China Glaze Party Hearty!

I picked this up at Sally Beauty Supply a few days before Thanksgiving, but I'm pretty hardcore on keeping Christmas in the Christmas Season - which, in my mind, will never overlap Thanksgiving.

I played with it and have worn it a few times since Thanksgiving, but forgot to post about it. There's not that long until Christmas, so I should get on it!

The set includes:
Phat Santa, a rich red
Holly Jolly, a deep holly green (I used this for the Zombie experiments too)
and Party Hearty, a festive glitter in green, red, gold, and silver.

Party Hearty looks really great layered or on its own.
Here is 4 coats of glitter, 2 of glitter, each of the colours with 2 coats of glitter and bare, and OPI Alpine Snow with 2 coats of glitter.
So far, I've had the best feedback with the white.
2 coats of glitter may seem excessive, but I REALLY like glitter. Christmas seems like the only time of the year where something this glittery is seen as festive rather than childish.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Hot Pop Collection

A week or so ago, I posted about Creative bringing Hot Pop Pink into the Shellac collection...
...with lackluster results.

So here's the rest of the collection. Now that I see the whole thing together, I'm falling a bit in love with it again but am still unimpressed. I hope the Shellac will be nice.

Nothing else to say about it, so here's the pics:


Today is my last day of classes for the semester!

(okay, it's not out for ever - just 4 weeks over the winter)

I had a pretty nice first portfolio review. I've had a rough time this semester because of being ill, but I worked through it.
Now I have a nice break where I can bang out and schedule some blog entries... and maybe finally get around to talking about that Benefit "Her Name is Glowla"!

I hope everyone else has had lovely finals and will have a safe and enjoyable winter!

OPI Tuxedo Collection

A recent post on Body and Soul, a blog I follow, reminded me of the beauty that is was is the Tuxedo Collection by OPI.
She titled it "Old School!", to which I replied "oh come now, it's not THAT old..."

Then I found it in a 2005 advertisement in a nail magazine.
For the fashion world, that's ANCIENT!!!

Even so, it capitalised on one classic rule of fashion - black never goes out of style.
Which to me is kind of funny because this was one of the first times that black was IN style for nails. Previously, black nails had pretty much been reserved for goths, punks, and all the other rockin' counterculture kiddies.  We had to stock up during Halloween and put up with the sheer, spotty coverage of what Markwins gave us. (And I do have to say now, Markwins is putting out some quality stuff - just look at everyone's reviews of the Wet N' Wild holiday palettes.)

Not only did OPI give us deep opaque coverage in a lush black creme - they gave us 3 different finishes!
Midnight Blue Glitter, Black Satin, Black Onyx, Alpine Snow
This pic is junk. I'm sorry. I swear I went to photography school. Really.
Anyway, OPI offered in the Tuxedo Collection:
Midnight Blue Glitter, a charcoal gray glitter with deep blue specks (needs 3 coats, but I give it 4).
Black Satin, almost a precursor to the Suede Collection - it is black with silver/gray shimmer and a gloss finish. It really looks like when you put a gloss topcoat over the Suede polishes.
Black Onyx, a beautiful pure black creme that is opaque in 2 coats and hard wearing.
Alpine Snow, a standard white shade. It had always been our beauty school standard for french tips but on the whole nail I find it needs a minimum of 3 coats, sometime 4, for complete opacity.

The ads all showed different ways to give yourself a tuxedo manicure like doing the tips black or even drawing a little bowtie on the nail. I actually find the suggestions to be clever and it would be really fun to go to a black tie event with that kind of whimsy (and that thought may be the reason I've only been invited to one black tie event).

Alpine Snow and Black Onyx are now part of OPI's standard line. I've seen Black Satin pop up from time to time at the nail supply shop but I don't know if it is old stock or if OPI releases small amounts. Midnight Blue Glitter, to my knowledge, has not been produced since 2005. It can be found on eBay usually without the HUGE markup of other discontinued shade.
With storage in an outside garage for a year, my bottles did not suffer a bit (they were inside in a closet the rest of the years). Some of my polishes show separation from having frozen then been subjected to heat so bad all my LPs warped, but the entire Tuxedo Collection applied just as the day I bought it.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Glitter and Gel Part 2!

I've talked a few times already, I think, about how much I love the OPI Designer Series. Somehow, I missed out on China Glaze OMG (found some at the supply shop today, though) so I'm diggin' the holo sparkle of DS.

After the success of the iPod glitterizing with Spitfire, I decided to take my Divine manicure into a more permanant arena...

I didn't get a "blur-o-vision" of this one, but the holo on this is pretty amazing too! Divine sparkles with blues and silvers. Very lovely and multi-dimensional.

I used the same method as before but did both the front and back this time. On the back, the brushstrokes didn't level out all the way. I'm not sure if I should be using more or less gel, a wider brush, or thinner product. Time will tell.

Til then, here's some rad pics of the project...
Matching nails. This is just too good of a shade. I may need more bottles!

I wish this captured the many colours of the sparkle better.

I see blue, and I see silver, and I see gold, and I see....

Monday, December 13, 2010

Glitters and Gels

Last week, I got my order from Premier Nail Source. I love them as a distributor so, so much. Their shipping is quick, orders are packed safely and personally, and they give you a FedEx tracking number as soon as it gets picked up - I didn't even have to ask for one!

One of the things I decided to invest in is a UV Gel system. I have had brief tutorials on using a few gels from Young Nails at trade shows, but have never used them myself so I went with an inexpensive kit that came with a lamp and sample sizes of products.
The Nouveau Nails UV Gel Starter Kit
I don't wear false nails, though, so I don't really have anyone to practice on right now. I wanted to get the hang of working with the brush and lamp, so an old habit and a new colour inspired me...

Pure Ice's Spitfire really drew my eye. Even under the crap light at the WalMart, I could see the intense sparkle (check out the blur-o-vision!!) and as soon as I saw the name, I knew I NEEDED IT!!!
(Trivia: I'm a HUGE aviation nerd and one of my favourite memories is driving down the Dan Ryan as a formation of Spitfires flew overhead on their way home from Oshkosh.)

This colour was more than just a nail laquer - it was a lifestyle and I had to properly capture it!

One of my old hobbies was to cover most everything with nail polish for a customized look. I would do my sunglasses, my electronic organizer, my Tamagochi, my cellphone (in SRO Silver! WOOT!)... If it was paintable, it got painted.
The only problem was that it chipped easily and glitters left a bumpy surface.

The solution? Gel overlay!

After covering the face of a hard plastic Belkin iPod case with Spitfire, I used 2 coats of Nouveau Nails UV Gel (each cured under the light), and was able to skip any topcoats.
The gel came out a little bumpy and would probably benefit from a buffing, but I think it's pretty great for a first attempt!

I can't wait to use the gel more - hopefully on NAILS soon!

Sunday, December 12, 2010

China Glaze Zombie Zest

I don't know how behind the times it is to take a look at Halloween polishes, but I love Halloween and wear Halloween clothing and keep up my decorations year-round.
I found Zombie Zest, part of the Awakening Collection, at Cosmoprof for $1.99 on clearance. They had the whole boxed Awakening Collection for $7.99 but they also had the VooDoo box for $3.99 so I got just my favourite colour.

Wow! Looking to see if China Glaze still had a link to the collection, I discovered this polish was reviewed by some other bloggers as early as July this year. Now, my mantra is "Halloween is every day" but releasing a collection in July seems a bit early. Ah, that's the fashion world for you. I *AM* pretty behind...

When I first got the polish, I was wearing OPI Who the Shrek are You? and just put it on over. It looked siiick. It really looked like glistening, rotting flesh or the skin of a salamander. I got to thinking about using it as a layer glitter rather than on its own.

So I tested different greens!

The new colour balance makes everything look kinda blue.
CND's Hot Pop Yellow, OPI Who the Shrek are You, Sally Hansen Lickety-Split Lime, Some Neon, China Glaze 4 Leaf Clover, China Glaze Holly Jolly, Finger Paints Expressionist Red, and Zombie Zest.

I thought it would be neat to throw in a few odd ones. Zombie Zest over Shrek looked really sick, so I wanted to see if a red base would mystically transport me to Silent Hill or something.

Hot Pop Yellow, Shrek, Lime, Random Neon Green

4 Leaf Clover, Holly Jolly, Expressionist Red, 4 coats of Zombie Zest
Each colour got 2 coats of Zombie Zest and I also did just some Zest to see what it is like on its own.

On the Yellow, it really reminds me of a salamander and on the red it came out very gold. It was quite surprising to see the variations on Zombie Zest when placed on different bases. I almost want to take this nail wheel into my Colour Theory class for extra credit.
And as soon as I typed that, it sounded like a good idea.

*packs up schoolbag for tomorrow*,

Wednesday, December 1, 2010


Do I finally have relevant news? Goodness, I hope so!

I put nail stickers on my Japanese Rose Garden. I got them from XXI about a year ago...
They're.... okay. They were cute and I had fun with them but they chipped off quickly. At the salon, I have my hands in water all day so I really need longevity out of my stuff. I have a lot of polish that will last a week or so, but even the polish - not just the stickers - peeled off. Lame.

But that's okay!

It's time for a celebratory change anyway....


In addition to the current offerings, CND will be adding to the Shellac line:
Mother of Pearl
Clearly Pink
Iced Coral
Rock Royalty
Black Pool



Ooh, Hot Pop Pink was one of my most favourite colours. I still have the entire Hot Pop collection, as well as a display backer card I stole from the beauty supply store. Man, I even have a binder from beauty school that I did completely Hot Pop themed.
So yeah, I'm obviously.... stoked....?

Hm. This is not the Hot Pop Pink I remember. It's a bit washed out because I couldn't get the camera to white balance for anything but the flash, but that is pretty dead-on as far as the shade goes.
It's Barbie pink.
Not that I have a problem with Barbie pink, it's just that Hot Pop Pink was so loud and in your face and WOOO LOOK AT ME I'M PINK!!!!!
This took 3 coats for even a streaky coverage and is still sticky without top coat a half hour later.

This is not the Hot Pop Pink I remember.
Has anyone else had problems with their older polishes getting strange like that? Everyone seems to talk about needing to thin it out and having stringy application. This was quite unexpected.
I'll be swatching the rest of my Hot Pop collection to see if it's just a pink problem and will be hoping hoping HOPING that the polish, not my memory, is faulty and the Shellac will be nice.