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A England Briarwood with Dixie Plates Marbled 01 - super vacation nails!

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No posts at all in well over a week!  Well, that's because I was on an absolutely fabulous vacation to Italy, and we were so busy the whole time that I didn't get a chance to use the whole kit full of nail polish that I'd brought along.
Picking polish for a vacation is a whole system for me.  You can't go with anything limited edition or otherwise hard to replace, in case something goes wrong with your luggage.  You can't go with anything too sheer or fussy or difficult to clean up, because the entire mani desk and all the standard supplies aren't along for the ride.  End result:  pick something hard-wearing, easy to work with, and readily replaceable if necessary.
A England is an obvious choice.  I'm wearing Briarwood here, a lovely deep scarlet red with a delightfully autumnal brown tint.  Like most of Adina's magic, this is a one-coater if you paint with medium or thick coats, and adding a second is only needed if you do a very thin first coat.  I di…

KB Shimmer Let's Slang

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This week felt like something dark & vampy was called for, so I pulled KB Shimmer Let's Slang on over to the mani desk.

Let's Slang was an exclusive to last year's PolishCon that quickly sold out once people realized that the little glimmers within were the Clarins 230 type red-to-green shifty shimmer.  Thankfully, Christy was able to find more of this shifting pigment, and re-released Let's Slang along with a half a handful of other polishes with it a couple months ago.

This is a very saturated inky sapphire blue jelly, just sheer enough to let the sparkly pigment peek out.  The first coat was streaky and uneven, but much more obviously blue.  The second coat brought the base up to a really pretty sapphire just a touch lighter than the bottle, but was still a little uneven.  Three coats brought the color all the way as deep and dark as the bottle color, and was both completely even and completely opaque.

In bright sunlight (which we have had vanishingly little of …

Cameo Colors Victims Aren't We All?

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Though October is done, I'm not quite ready to stop with Halloween (in fact, no less than 3 stamping plates showed up on the 31st that had at least one Halloween design on them!  AAAARGH!!).  A blood red seemed just right to ease me back from bats & skulls without moving on entirely.

Cameo Colors came to my attention for a beautiful turquoise that is of course still in the untried pile (I'm nuts, and I'm ok with that), but one look at her store had this one leaping into my shopping cart to come along for the trip.  Victims Aren't We All? was from the November 2016 Magic 8 Box, with a 90s movie theme.  It's of course a quote from one of my all time fave movies, The Crow.

Victims is a red jelly base that really changes appearance based on what type of lighting you're in - sometimes it was a slightly berry-tinted blue-based red, other times it was definitely blood- or brick-red (all 3 photos here are color accurate to my eyes of the lighting conditions they we…

Multichrome bats - Happy Halloween!

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For my last all Halloween all October mani, my inspiration came straight from a fantastic pair of leggings that featured multichrome bats on a black background.

First up, these walmart leggings were both inexpensive and insanely comfortable - I'm hugely grateful to the lady in one of my FB groups that tipped me off to them!
I'm wearing 2 coats of Glitter Gal Serpent Black - it's a crelly, so needs 2 coats for total opacity, but the formula is very easy to work with, dries to a high piano-black shine even sans topcoat, and has a small, thin brush that keeps paint off my cuticles.  Yeah, I have to dip the brush twice per nail, but precision painting means I can skip the headache of scrubbing black out of my nail sidewalls, so I'm cool with that.
I've stamped with bats from 3 different Halloween plates I had with bats on them - the more shapes, the better!  The bats are done in El Corazon Mysterious Mars (red to bronze), El Corazon Himalayan Peaks (blue to purple), an…

ILNP Clever Girl

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One good ILNP of course deserves another, so more shifty shimmers for all Halloween all month!

ILNP Clever Girl is a cool, soft grey that's warmed up to a concrete tone due to the masses of bronze-gold chunky shimmer filling the crelly-style base.  I can see some VNL in macro shots here, but that wasn't the case IRL, the shimmer was enough to have this looking opaque at 2 coats.

In low lighting, the scattered holo flake gave Clever Girl a subtly speckled appearance, and the gold shimmer almost completely vanished.  Formula was great on this, and ILNP's brush never gives me any grief - super smooth, dried evenly, wore nicely.

In any kind of regular to bright light, though, the shimmer wasn't at all shy, and was a nearly metallic zing on top of the creamy grey base.  In brighter light, the silver holo flake vanished, leaving only a rainbow sparkle, but no speckling.  Also, the shimmer was a surprise duochrome, tilting distinctly greenish in angled light.

I've stamped…

ILNP Ava

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Since I was off to a conference this week, I kept my Halloween mani just a little more subtle, and based on a color that's just drop-dead gorgeous on its own.

ILNP released Ava as part of this year's Fall collection, and as soon as I opened the box it leapt to the top of the "must try ASAP" list.  It's a gorgeous purple jelly with a rather chameleon personality - the base itself is more violet, while the heavy copper shimmer warms things up to an overall plum shade.  It's also scattered with some holo flake, and ooooh look at that flash of contrasting rainbow around the bottom edge of the bottle!

Oh yes, that sweetness is showing just the suggestion of an rich emerald green flash.  Most all of my pics trying to catch the emeralds ended up unusably blurry, but it's there, peeking through the vines that surround this jack-o-lantern:
I've stamped here using a Halloween pumpkin design from XXL-3, using the dead tree motif next to it to serve as coiling vi…

Glow in the dark Vampire Bites

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Today, we have what became my absolute fave design of this month's all Halloween all October on my nails!

One of the ladies in my Facebook stamping group posted a fantastic black & white Halloween mani with stylized graphic designs that I had to immediately put my own spin on.  I've used a base of 2 coats of Pretty Serious Absence, stamped with bat designs in MoYou London Galaxy and fanged vampire lips in Pretty Serious Santa's Sunburn using XXL-3, a huge stamping plate mostly full of sugar skulls.  The Rocky Horror vibe from the lips is adorable, and I was surprised to find so many different bats hidden all over this stamping plate

In between the white base and the graphic stamping, I've sandwiched a layer of green glow from a very, very old bottle of Wet N Wild glow in the dark polish.  Seriously, this stuff is from college in the 90s!  It needed a few drops of thinner to keep the texture flowing nicely and get rid of some minor stringiness, then it was good to g…