LynBDesigns Space Gandalf

Somewhen last week I decided to engage in my own personal challenge of using Creative Shop 50 several times over, coming up with a different look each go - this is round 4, and I haven't decided completely if I'm done just yet.

LynBDesigns released Space Gandalf as part of a 2013 Doctor Who series, and when I wore it back then I gave this glitterbomb 4 stars.  It started as a deep, smoky deep-space navy, but I think it may have faded just a bit in the intervening years, because it now looks smoky black even on the first thin coat.

Within the midnight blue-black base is a whole starfield of holo glitters, plus both diamond and moon-shaped larger glitters.  The formula is fairly thick to suspend all that, but behaves very well, applying right where you put it, without balding if you tend to overwork things a little to get those moons to spread out and lay down flat.

This polish is exactly as textured as you'd imagine, still feeling lightly pebbly with 2 coats of topcoat here…

Matte Black + Red Creative Shop 50

In these times of uncertainty, I've enjoyed painting maybe a little more often, trying to do more nail art than new polish swatches, and Creative Shop 50 keeps being amazing.

CS 50 is a smorgasbord of nature-themed images, from insects to leaf veins to organic geometrics to exotic mammals:

I started with the beetles, then moved on to the swirling nexus, and for this look used the rough-textured lines on the top center. Are they tiger stripes or flames or wood grain?  Who knows?  Either way, I love CS plates, and no matter how finely detailed the images are I get consistently good pickup and clarity.

This is one and a half coats of my trusty Nana Coco Love Black, stamped in El Corazon Kaleidoscope True Red (which amazingly stamps right over black with zero issues), and matted with Vapid's Onward Through the Fog.

Where to buy:  grab CS plates direct from her store or from several US stockists.


Literary Lacquers And So I Step Up

Well the man picked "red" for my inspo, and that beautiful new Creative Shop 40 plate was still lying around right there on my desk, so...

Literary Lacquers And So I Step Up is a muted smoky red jelly base that leans close to wine, liberally sparked with glass flecks that catch beautifully in the light.

Creative Shop 50 has a wide variety of nature-themed designs, including this wavy abstract converging lines look.  While a lot of CS's designs are too big for small to medium nails, their abstract designs like this one are perfect - very easy to reposition and change up a little to look like a unified but un-identical theme.

After stamping with El Corazon Kaleidoscope in Coral, I added individual holo glitter sequins from POP Polish.  As with other times I've stuck these on with only my regular topcoat, they last for a day or two, then start being pulled off one by one.  If you'd like your look to last longer, dab on with superglue.

I'm showing 3 coats of And …

KBShimmer Let it Beetle

Sometimes a plan just comes together so perfectly, you can't resist.

KBShimmer created Let it Beetle for last month's flora & fauna themed Polish Pick-up, and though I tried to talk myself out of it (my multichrome loving heart surely has something similar, right?), Suzy mentally slapped me upside the head.  "Michelle, it's a green multichrome, obviously  made just for you."  She was right, of course.

Creative Shop had an amazing flash sale last month, and my stack of gorgeous new plates and the PPU shipment arrived together.  CS 50 had a fantastic june bug image, and BM-S245 had a smaller pinky-sized beetle, so this look had to happen.

Let it Beetle is a gorgeous green-based multichrome, with a peek of jade green at the edges in most all lighting.  The shimmer shifts from a warm copper in direct light, to gold, to a cooler peridot, then emerald, and finally electric blue.

The above pic is almost the entire shift - the copper is harder to catch on camera but …

Tonic Oops 30

When my recently snagged Tonic oops treasures arrived at my house, I just happened to be in need of a new mani, and these were all super pretty.  Oops 30 jumped right to the front of the line.

Oops 30 is a sheer sky blue jelly base, loaded with a gold-to-green shifting aurora shimmer, translucent iridescent glitters in 2 sizes, and silver holo flake.

There's a whole lot going on in this polish, but everything works beautifully together.  Somehow, the shimmer, glitter, and holo all sparkle in harmony (not the same notes but always complimentary), with each taking center stage separately in different lighting but giving way to the other elements with only a slight tilt of the nails. 

The sheer base built nicely by the 2nd coat and came to visual opacity by the 3rd.  In most lighting, the shimmer was dense enough that it looks opape IRL, but the camera occasionally "sees through" the shimmer to the jelly base beneath.

Tonic's maker warned that this would be "a litt…

St Patrick's Day - Lacquer Lust One Lucky Unicorn

This world is head-over-heels crazy lately, and it frankly has me losing track of time since nails aren't what's keeping me up at night.  With St Patrick's Day coming up, it suddenly occurred to me that March had so far had nary a irish-winking green design, so time to get on that.

Lacquer Lust used to occasionally release limited edition unicorns, often around a holiday theme.  Each of these had a signature somewhat sheer silvery/neutral holo microglitter base, with various other glitters added for the theme.  I had to have this one as soon as I saw someone's sparkly swatch photos... and yet kept saving it for some other St Paddy's, unloved for 4+ years?

One Lucky Unicorn was, of course, a St Patrick's Day offering.  This version of the sparkly holo glitter base has translucent lemony yellow and bright kelly green glitters in at least 2 sizes each.

Pictures do not do this Unicorn justice.  In bright lighting, it's an explosive disco ball of rainbows that &…

Tonic Proto - Blue Aurora

Tonic just had a oops batch sale - this time, small batches of color studies, prototypes, or just pretty mistakes rather than individual bottles - and to celebrate scoring all 3 of my must-haves, I grabbed another Tonic prototype.

This particular prototype is unmarked with either a batch number or handwritten label, so I'm not at all sure if this is a one-of-a-kind or if there were several of this color made. 

It's a deep slate blue, slightly green-leaning, but really more grey-leaning, filled to the brim with red-to-green aurora shimmer.  In a lot of lighting, the shimmer is heavy enough to give the polish an overall metallic look, like a beetle's carapace.

 This was fully opaque after two coats, which I find super unusual for how shimmery it is - typically, polishes with this much sparkle need to be more sheer to prevent the base opacity from drowning the shimmer. 

This is absolutely the type of aurora that mimics Clarins 230's red to green shift, and I easily had re…