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The ALU Archives

The ALU Archives – NYX Thunder

By on July 2, 2009
in Blue, NYX, The ALU Archives with 5 Comments
The ALU Archives focuses on older, beloved shades from the All Lacquered Up stash.

For this week’s Archives I wanted to dig out a polish I’ve never used before. Because I’m an impulsive shopper, I have way too many untried colors in my collection. It’s sad, I know. All those bottles sitting there, wanting to be loved. Well this week NYX Thunder is getting some attention.

I picked up Thunder at the Tulalip outlets north of Seattle when I was visiting friends over TWO years ago. I was so excited to see a NYX polish display in person, I could hardly contain myself. Check out this treasure after the jump! (Oh and make sure you vote in my Archives poll)

Thunder is a slightly muted sky blue shimmer. It’s not bright, not soft but somewhere in the middle. It applied smooth and even and I love the wide flat brush. Their brush is thinner than OPI’s so it makes applicaton easier for those with small nail beds. The only downside is the sheerness as it required three coats.
I purchased NYX Thunder at one of the fragrance stores at the Tulalip outlets but it’s available online for $3.50 to $4 at and

OK so here’s the deal. I try to only post available older shades for the Archives so that you can actually go out and purchase them. However, I have so so many discontinued and HTF colors that I’d love to share with you but it almost seems like a tease if they’re not readily available. So my question to you is… do you want to see them anyway or just stick with what I’ve been doing?

I would continue to post available polishes but mix in some DC’d ones as well. I know there are a lot of “dusty hunters” and ebayers out there so if including some HTFs would be of interest to you, speak out!


The ALU Archives – CND Wildfire

By on June 11, 2009
in CND, Creme, Red, The ALU Archives with 7 Comments
The ALU Archives focuses on older, beloved shades from the All Lacquered Up stash.

Mr. ALU is as much a fan of red as I am of green. Together we make the perfect holiday-themed team. In the 10 years we’ve been dating, he has owned two red Grand Ams, flocks towards red clothing every time I can actually get him to shop and continually compliments me anytime I don a red manicure. So this week’s Archives selection is all for him. It’s a shade that when I put it on, he not only noticed but said “Wow, I like that color.” As I’m sure you ladies know, that’s major in man-speak.

So read on to check out my flaming red mani in CND Wildfire.

Wildfire has been all over the runways the past two seasons at shows like Tibi, for spring, and on Retro Barbie for fall. A classic red like this transcends trends in its timelessness.

What really impresses me is how CND has perfectly combined pigmentation and smoothness of formula. Wildfire is practically a one coat red yet its viscosity is so thin you’d think it a sheer. Every time I put on one of their polishes I hope for new colors to release because the formula is just that damn fabulous!

The color itself is a cherry red with a hint a berry in its base. You can’t really see that as you apply it but as the lacquer floats down the bottle neck and thins out, it’s there.

As I’ve mentioned in the past, the only complaint that comes with the CND formula is dry time. I’ve seen so many MUA nail board girls bitch about getting sheet marks and dents even after waiting up to an hour for the polish to dry.

Drying tip: Use CND products with the polish. Product lines are formulated to work best with the accompanying products. Look at the Zoya Color Lock System for example. When I use Ridge Out base, Super Shiney top and SolarSpeedy Spray I can touch, even press my fingers on the polish, after only 20 minutes without leaving a mark.

CND Wildfire is available at salons and spas across the country and of course, our favorite e-tailers have it too.

What do you think fanatics? Feeling the fiery red?

The ALU Archives – China Glaze Groovy Green & Moody Blue

The ALU Archives focuses on older, beloved shades from the All Lacquered Up stash.

The Archives are going retro with a couple of fun, mod shades this week. As I was researching an article for StyleBakery Teen about mint colored nails, I dug out an oldie but goodie, China Glaze Groovy Green. I don’t know how I had forgotten about this gorg shade but that’s what happens when you accumulate way more polish than any one person should. While I was in unearthing mode I also pulled out GG’s Patent Leather collection sister, Moody Blue to show you.

Check ‘em out after the jump!

I remember when I first got Groovy Green I tried it on my toes. I thought it would be a cool, fresh look. The boyfriend on the other hand said it reminded him of Nosferatu. Of course I shared that gem with my girls on the MUA Nail Board which prompted one of my online pals to dub me “Nosfera-TOE!” Ah, memories!

Getting back to the color, Groovy Green really emulates pastel, mint green more than any other polish I own. If you’re looking for that Chanel runway look, this is the closest you’ll get unless Chanel actually releases the shade. A word of warning, GG isn’t the most opaque polish on the planet but the formula is smooth, like buttah. It takes four thin coats to get there but it’s so, so worth it.
Moody Blue is a pale sky blue creme that dries to a high gloss finish. What I love is that unlike a lot of pastels, it’s not chalky. Though like Groovy Green, it requires four coats for full coverage but I honestly love this whole collection so much that I ignore that.
In addition to these two shades the Patent Leather collection from China Glaze includes White Out, Go Go Pink, Lavender Lingo and Aqua Baby. Even though it’s an old collection all the polishes, with the exception of Go Go Pink and Moody Blue, are available on for $2.99/ea. You can still find bottles of Moody Blue floating around if you do a little online digging. If you find a well stocked supplier, please let us know.

So what do you think fanatics? We we feeling these mod cremes?

And don’t forget… My B-Day Chanel Giveaway ends this Sunday so ENTER NOW!!!!

The ALU Archives – Piggy Polish Sub-lime

The ALU Archives focuses on older, beloved shades from the All Lacquered Up stash.

Last night I trekked out to ULTA for a little retail therapy, to check out what’s new and pick up some staple items. While I was there I happened upon a Piggy Polish summer display with a gorgeous green. Sucker for greens that I am, without even contemplating whether I own a dupe, in my basket it went.

When I got home last night I dug through my stash looking for a twin and thankfully there were none to be found but I did come across my other green Piggy Polish, Sub-lime; perfect for the Archives. So in addition to Sub-lime I’ve also got my latest green treasure to show you, after the jump!

If you’re not familiar with Piggy Polish, it’s a small boutique brand of polish that I’ve only seen carried in ULTA stores. Their site lists Nordstroms and Chatters (?) as additional retailers but I rely on UTLA to get my PP fix. Anywhoodle, Piggy Polishes are marketed as pedicure polishes since their line is filled with fun, unique shades. But you know I’m not down with that game. What’s good for the goose is good for the gander. I’m not restricting anything from my tips.

Sub-Lime is a brilliant kelly green with gold micro-glitter. Looking at it makes me thirsty for a margarita. Granted a margarita that bright would probably be toxic but you know what I mean. The polish lays down with a lot of pigment, opaque with two coats though it doesn’t spread the best. I ended up with a bit of surface unevenness but nothing that a top coat can’t fix.
Now the sticker on the bottom of this next polish reads, The Rose Less Taken, but I fail to believe that’s the correct name. It just makes no sense. I haven’t been able to find any reference to the color online so I guess that’s the name we’re going with but if anyone finds out different, PLEASE let me know!

So The Rose Less Taken is a grass hued jelly polish. It applies sheer and amazingly smooth with buildable coverage. Using CND Ridge Out and three coats, I acheived bottle color with a bit of VNL (visible nail line) was showing. Though considering my detached nail beds and uber-white free edge, your level of opacity will vary.
Piggy Polish retails for $7 and you can buy the core colors online at but for the best selection and seasonal collections visit your local ULTA store.

The ALU Archives – Essie Ball-Timore

By on May 21, 2009
in Essie, Pink, The ALU Archives with 5 Comments
The ALU Archives focuses on older, beloved shades from the All Lacquered Up stash.

I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again. I’m not a pink kinda girl. I realize that means Elle Woods and I could never be BFF because I DO think orange is the new pink and I don’t consider myself “seriously disturbed” though you all may beg to differ. Now I will admit that from time to time, when the moon is full, I get a craving for a pink nail. And I don’t mean hot pink. I’m talking the bubblegum, ponytails-tied-with-ribbons, giggly girl kind of pink and when I do, I reach for my tried and true fave, Essie Ball-timore.

Check it out after the jump along with a promo image of Essie’s Summer Collection, if you haven’t seen it yet.

The pinks I love best have shimmer and are on the warmer side which is why Ball-timore suits me so well. It brings out any faint semblance of summer color I have in my skintone and just perks up my hands. Plus it totally reminds me of Hubba Bubba gum, which is only the best bubblegum EVER! I feel so young and girly when I wear it. Who can’t use a little bit of that in their day?
Also in case you haven’t heard, Essie recently released their summer collection of six romantic, creamy shades.

Lovie Dovie – True flamingo pink
Chubby Cheeks – Sunset coral
Luscious Lips – Sultry pink
Not Just A Pretty Face – Naturally nude
Cute As A Button – Juicy persimmon delight
Funny Face – Provocative fuchsia

Ball-timore can be found online at and the new Summer collection is available now at

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