Pahlish Test Batch The Boy Who Lived

Completely breaking my tendency to switch between deep colors to lighter or more neutral ones, this go round I decided one vampy dark shade deserves another.

In preparation for a big Harry Potter themed collection, Pahlish released several of the polishes as test batch mysteries in 2016, and I was quite pleased with both I ended up receiving.  The Boy Who Lived is a rich royal purple packed with several different types of shimmer, and an electric blue microflake.

As you can see with the above bottle macro, the polish is fairly sheer though it's a quite saturated color.  I needed 3 coats for opacity and to build the color to the bottle shade, but test run or no, this went on smooth and easy, 100% ready for prime time.

It'd been a while since I wore a stamped mani, and felt like something geometric.  The man had picked "pink and green" as contrasty colors, and I nudged that a little into the minty sage green of Esmaltes da Kelly Carmello, filled in with Emily de Molly …

Bees Knees S. S. Georgie

I'm super in love with magnetic nail polish.  As long as you have the time to really hold that magnet while the top layer of polish and the topcoat set, dramatic nail art is a straightforward thing to achieve.  This particular day I painted, I had both the time and inclination to hold a magnet steady for a while, so I pulled out one of my more recent interesting acquisitions.

Bees Knees S. S. Georgie is one of a growing trend of shimmery polishes that look perfectly nice enough when worn unmagnetized, but reveal hidden elements once the shimmer particles are bunched up.  In this case, the magnetic shimmer is a pink to green multichrome that when drawn together reveals a deep slate blue base with a "UP sibling" pigment that shifts from gold to green.

I'm wearing 2 coats here, which was all I needed to get both even coverage of the deep base color as well as plenty of sparkle.  As usual with magnetics, I've applied the magnet to both the last layer of polish and th…

Femme Fatale Upon Seafoam

After any really dramatic color, I have a tendency to swing back to something on the opposite end of the color spectrum, and the recent spate of sunlight meant that a sparkly holo was called for.

Femme Fatale released Upon Seafoam as part of a collection inspired by Botticelli's Venus, all of which were beautiful colors true to the painting's palette. Seafoam is exactly that - a soft, cool aqua - packed with a warm metallic pink shimmer and a shimmery scattered holo that stops juuuust short of being linear.

This polish changed its look in different lighting, appearing a little more pale or a little more saturated depending on the angle (see above).  My swatch photos, as with the way it looked IRL were quite soft and pale as compared to the official swatch pics at the time this was launched in 2016.  I don't think my bottle is faded, though, because my swatch stick made at the time I bought it are the same shade I'm showing here, and still matches what's in the bott…

Indigo Bananas This Shift is Bananas

A couple of months ago, a polish sorceress/horrible enabler in one of my fb groups tipped me off to the magic that is Indigo Bananas' custom for a now defunct group called This Shift is Bananas.  Do I need yet another Clarins 230-infused purple polish?  Obviously, hell yes.

Yeeeaaaahhhhh, there's going to be a lot of pics of this business right here.

When you ask nail aficionados what the ideal base is for "unicorn pee" shimmers, the clear top winners are royal purple, saturated cobalt blue, or straight up black - cool, dark bases really allow all of the prominent colors of this pigment's shift, from red to bronze to green, to really pop.  This Shift is Bananas manages to hit a sweet spot in between all 3 with a dark, smoky eggplant purple.  It's truly unique in my stash, and is a deliciously vampy but very wearable color.

In bright indoor lighting and of course in sunlight, that 230 sparkle is nicely prominent - the amount of shimmer in the bottle is what yo…

Book Club Nails: The Forgotten Beasts of Eld

I've been really inspired lately to do themed nails for my book club, and my recent pick of Patricia McKillip's World Fantasy Award winner The Forgotten Beasts of Eld practically demanded a mani based on the beautiful fantasy imagery.

This amazingly beautiful book tells the story of a dark-eyed, ivory-haired sorceress and the menagerie of magical animals that share her home.  Selecting a theme for this design was easy, and fortunately my love of fantastic themed plates is just as strong as my love of fantasy books, so there were plenty of plates to pull from.

Throughout this mani, I've used the dragon scales from MM21 - as with my handful of other Messy Mansion plates, this is amazingly well-etched and gives zero grief with lifting images.  Also on my left hand, I have the black cat's eye from Marianne Professional No 20 and the sorceress' swirling hair and solemn gaze from Creative Shop 28, and these two are also fantastic plates.

My right hand has a lion in majes…

Bee's Knees Our Lord Uncanny

Bee's Knees has been releasing one stunner after another, with really interesting things in mystery bags and regular releases alike.  This pretty was still sitting on my mani table, ready to be filed away into the drawer that holds all my Clarins 230-type shifty shimmer polishes, and demanded to be worn first instead.

Bee's Knees released Our Lord Uncanny originally as a former mystery polish, but then brought back the fan faves for direct purchase last month.  It's described as a "grape purple" and does indeed look purple in the bottle, but on the nail, Uncanny is closer to fuchsia or wine.  The holo sparkles evident in the bottle shot are very much on the nail as well, but while they were described as small glitters, they laid flat and came off without any scrubbing at all.

Translucent blue-green-aqua flakies are more apparent in the bottle than on the nail, also, so all in all this is a polish that looks a little different than expected in several ways... whil…

Illyrian Moon Child + We Are The Weirdos, Mister

The moment Illyrian's Moon Child showed up, I knew I'd be using it as soon as I felt like a flakie bomb.  Meanwhile, I also realized just how long I'd had We Are the Weirdos, Mister lying around.  An Illyrian double-feature was clearly in order.

Moon Child was from a collection Illyrian called Opalescent, and it most certainly is that.  This is a sheer but easily buildable jelly base in a lovely sky blue-aquamarine color, filled to the brim with translucent iridescent flakies.  It'd be a gorgeous topper over any shade of blue or turquoise, but works just fine on its own as well.

We Are the Weirdos, Mister is a deep eggplant purple with plenty of holo dust - I have this filed as a linear holo, but the way I'm wearing it here, the look is definitely more scattered rainbow sparkle.

This look started with a medium-thickness coat of each polish on all nails.  Once that base layer was cleaned up and partially dry, I then went one nail at a time painting a thick coat of …