Monday, January 2, 2017

New Year's Eve Nails - Cirque Idyllic

I've recently received so many polish packets in the mail that I was overwhelmed with choices for a New Year's Eve look - bronze, gold, purple, wine???  This one happened to be sitting at the front edge of the mani table shouting "LOOK AT MEEEEE" that all my plans instantly got simplified down to a clean monochromatic but blingy look.

indoor, bright CF lighting
Cirque Idyllic has the exact same perfect formula as her sister Halcyon, this time as a barely blue-tinted silver foil.  It's nearly a OCW, though I'm showing 2 thin coats + topcoat here.  After noticing that the bright turquoise polish on my toes was badly chipped, but having no time to fix it properly, I later slapped one single thick coat on top as a touch-up.  Idyllic covered the dark, saturated color opaquely in that one coat with no troubles.

bright CF lighing
I've stamped using my trusty NanaCoco Love Black polish with the perfectly well-etched numbers from Sugar Bubbles SBS-04 and the champagne bottle from MoYou London Festive 39, plus some clinking glasses on each thumb.


Rating:  a fantastic 4 out of 5 stars for Idyllic.  Other than the usual caveat about needing careful cleanup to get all the silver flakes off the skin, this was butter smooth and shiny as anything.  Forgive the edgewear - I would never expect any polish to survive the dish scrubbing and major house cleaning necessary the morning after the party here!

Where to buy:  direct from Cirque, but buy quickly as Idyllic is a holiday LE.

~Michelle

Friday, December 30, 2016

Picture Polish Big Bang

Back to something a little more restrained after the festive red & green, the man picked "denim blue" so I pulled out Picture Polish's Big Bang.

indoor, bright CF lighing
Big Bang is a deep sapphire blue with a slight dusty tinge, sprinkled with ultrachrome flakies.  It's a jellyish formula that needed 3 coats for opacity.  I debated a full-on galaxy mani (with a name like Big Bang, it's hard to not ponder doing so), but decided to keep it tame with a simple accent nail stamping using Sinful Colors Kameleon and the XXL-04 plate.

indoor, CF lighting
While never looking black or almost-black even in low lighting, the dusty quality of the blue in Big Bang meant that it did look very dark in lower lighting.

indoor, bright CF lighting
Rating:  3 out of 5 stars for this starfield.  Next time, rockets and comets are definitely in order.

Where to buy:  check the list of international stockists for PP.

~Michelle

Saturday, December 24, 2016

Xmas holo candycane nails

Despite the lack of sun to really make them sparkle, I had to bust out the holo polishes anyway for my festive xmas nails.

indoor, bright CF lighting for both
Inspired by a lovely lady on one of my polish FB groups, I went with candycane stripes.  The red here is Super Chic's Realm of Erotica, a slightly cool and slightly berry-toned red super holo.  The green is Dance Legend Android.  Over all of them, I've stamped using Emily de Molly's silver holo stamping polish and the doubled ribbony stripes from BM-423.  This was one of those strange times where my cindy hand looked way better than my model hand:


Happy Holidays!

bonus!  sunshiny holo goodness!
~Michelle

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Winter Solstice nails: Heather's Hues Maverick + snowflakes

The sun has been gone for what feels like forever, so it was time to start pulling out duochromes and avoiding holos like the plague...

indoor, bright CF lighting
Maverick was from Heather's Hues recent LE duochrome collection, all of which are in very dark, vampy bases.  You can just barely start to see the purple shift along the top rim of the bottle here, but for the most part, on the nail it was a smoky sapphire blue without much shift.

suuuuubtle purple shift
Cold as it's already been throughout most of the country, it's now officially winter, and this super dark blue seemed the perfect background for some Solstice nail art.

window-filtered morning daylight
I stamped using El Corazon Aurora Borealis - a super shifty blue to aqua to purple metallic shimmer - and the HeHe Fairy Tale 003 plate, which is a gorgeous assortment of individual snowflakes and snowflake patterns.

indoor, CF lighting
Rating:  3 out of 5 stars for Maverick.  The formula was just a little thick, but once I thinned it down it applied perfectly and wore great.  It's a bit darker than I'd expected, and does get close to looking black part of the time.

Where to buy:  this was an LE collection, so check blog sales/destashes to pick some up.

~Michelle

Sunday, December 18, 2016

CrowsToes Green Eyed Lady + a quick comparison

In the CrowsToes facebook fan group this week, someone asked for recommendations for all the dark green CTs there were...a clear reminder that I had yet to bring out Green Eyed Lady.

indoor, CF lighting
Green Eyed Lady is a deep, slightly-teal leaning forest green shimmer and not quiiiiite opaque gold metallic microflake in a dusky smoke-colored base; the overall effect is a forest green that has the glimmer of old bronze.

window-filtered overcast daylight
The flakies and shimmer obscure most glimpses of the smoky base - this isn't a flakie-in-jelly looking polish, even super close up.

indoor, bright CF lighting
That blackened base does mean that in some lighting this looks more black than green, but the little flashes of hammered bronze are always there, preventing this from ever being only black.

window-filtered sunlight
In bright sun, the tealy-green shimmer takes the forefront, but the flakes never get hidden completely.

outdoor, bright sunlight for both

The formula on this was perfect, with even opacity in 2 coats, and none of the stickiness or clumping that these flake-heavy polishes tend to do.

There's only one thing I have even sort of close to this, OPI Live and Let Die:

OPI Live and Let Die on the left, CrowsToes Green Eyed Lady on the right
Beautiful bright sun pics of L&LD had me buying that the moment I found a bottle...and then despite the perfect one-coater formula, I was soundly disappointed at how this looked mostly black most of the time, with only a suggestion of the gold glimmer from the bottle or those sun pics visible on the nail.  Ironically, my quickie swatch here looks far prettier than it did when I wore it (pre-blogging), but I'm still not going to be pulling it out of the trade box.  These two are definitely not dupes, but the overall effect is that GEL is L&LD with the shimmer all amped up to a wonderful place.

OPI Live and Let Die on the middle finger, rest are CrowsToes Green Eyed Lady
Rating:  4 out of 5 stars.  This wore fairly well on me, with minor chipping and noticeable edgewear within 3 days.  No staining happened, which can be of concern in saturated greens.

Where to buy:  direct from the Crow herself.

~Michelle

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Grace-full Blood Countess + a small comparison

Apparently, I'm on flakie-palooza lately, so here's one more:

indoor, CF lighting
Grace-Full released a vampire-themed collection earlier this year, and the one that caught my eye  was this lovely red somewhere between berry and ox-blood named for Elizabeth Bathory, Blood Countess.

indoor, bright CF lighting
Blood Countess is an utterly lush fall color, packed with ultrachrome flakies that shift pink, gold, and green.  This applied wonderfully evenly for a jelly polish, and looked great at 2 coats, though 3 coats brought the flakie density and color richness up to how the bottle looks.

indoor, window-filtered daylight
After wearing it solo for a couple of days, I added a stamp in Emily de Molly Rose Gold using UR Beautiful 01.  I later mattified it, but though there was a definite difference IRL, the pics were utterly the same before & after.  Weird.

indoor, window-filtered daylight
This beauty really reminded me of something else...

indoor, CF lighting, Blood Countess on left and Elle's Spell on right for both pics
Barielle Elle's Spell is utterly classic for polish geeks and hands-down one of my all time fave reds.  It's a gorgeous berry shading toward candy-apple red jelly, thickly stuffed with the sort of iridescent fiery flakes in Essie Shine of the Times and her dupes.  3 coats are required for Elle to look good, but wowzers it's amazing once you're done.  My swatch sticks show 2 coats and no topcoat for both polishes.  They're definitely not dupes - Blood Countess is an ultrachrome flakie to Elle's iridescent translucent flakies, and BC is more saturated at 2 coats since the opacity of this type of flakies can still stand out from a slightly more opaque polish.  On the nail, it's a very similar feel... they're different enough and both gorgeous, so both keepers, but I wouldn't say you need both if you already love one of them.


Rating:  4 out of 5 stars for the flakie goodness of Blood Countess.

Where to buy:  direct from Grace-full.

~Michelle

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Girly Bits Friends Don't Give Friends Fruitcake

It's December, but I'm somehow not even a little in a holiday mood.  A flakie mood, though, THAT I can get behind.

indoor, bright CF lighting
Girly Bits released Friends Don't Give Friends Fruitcake as part of their super fun Ermahgerd Flerkers collection last year - this was the one entry that was an opaque stand-alone polish instead of a flakie topper.  It's a very rich bittersweet chocolate brown, packed with red extra tiny microglitter, a scattered holo effect (or is that more with the microglitters?), and iridescent lime green flakies.

indoor, bright CF lighting
Though there's a lot in here, the formula was nice and smooth and went on without being sticky or clumpy.  2 coats was good for opacity, but both the color and flakie concentration deepened to match the look of the bottle with a 3rd coat.

window-filtered daylight
I've stamped here using El Corazon First Kiss (depending on the lighting, it's either a very dark pink or a very light red) and my recently received massive XXL-04 stamping plate.


Rating:  Fruitcake is a gorgeous 4 out of 5 stars.

Where to buy:  direct from Girly Bits or from any of her international stockists.

~Michelle