Friday, January 27, 2017

Burnt Apple Pie

It's been dreary and rainy and cloudy for about forever now, so no holo or super sparkle is going to shine their best, but snuggly warm colors seem to do the trick.

indoor, bright CF lighting
Burnt Apple Pie is a small oops batch from Baroness X - it's a few notches darker brown than the golden pie-crust brown of the original.

window-filtered morning daylight
Maybe a better name for this one would be chocolate ice cream with toppers, because that's about the exact color this was.  BAP is a creamy, chocolatey brown that went on in 2 perfectly smooth coats, sparked with a lovely duochromatic green to magenta shimmer.

indoor, CF lighting
The shifty shimmer went from apple-green head-on to raspberry at angles.

chocolate covered raspberries, indoor, bright CF lighting
window-filtered daylight
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars - lovely formula, smooth application, and a subtle spark to an otherwise fall/winter sort of neutral.  Several days later, I had smooth edgewear but no overt chips.

Where to buy:  this was a very small oops batch, so it's not likely to be hiding anywhere.

~Michelle

Sunday, January 22, 2017

GRAB BACK!

Yesterday, I marched alongside half a million people on the National Mall in DC.  It was an amazing experience, and I was utterly floored by the diversity of causes and people all there to say, unreservedly, it would be not only ideal but expected for this new administration to respect the lives of its citizens.



These pussies aren't backing down any time soon.

(Pahlish Weasley's Wizard Wheezes + NanaCoco Love Black + Messy Mansion Crystal 02 plate)

~Michelle

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Heather's Hues Oktoberfest

Once upon a time, I found swatches of Heather's Hues October 2015 LE, Oktoberfest, and swooned.  It was of course long gone by then (that's my luck), but Heather herself was able to track down a bottle for me (way better luck!).

indoor, bright CF lighting
Oktoberfest is a deep smoky (not quite black) base, with a gorgeous wine to green duochrome shimmer.

window-filtered daylight
My camera refused to accurately pick up the wine, but it was a lot more intensely red than these shots show, yet always blackened at the edges.  Very vampy, very dead-of-winter.

window-filtered daylight
The emerald green shift was quite intense, and came out with barely a tilt of my fingers.

indoor, bright CF lighting
Like a lot of duochromes in darker bases (most of ILNP's, CrowsToes Huginn & Muninn), Oktoberfest looked smoothly pearly in low or indirect light, then very shimmery in bright light.

window-filtered bright daylight
I stamped using the braid pattern and one of the gorgeous horse heads from Creative Shop 17 and Emily de Molly Rose Gold + Kaleidoscope Sea Depths.

outdoor, bright sunlight (finally!!)
Rating:  4 out of 5 stars.  The formula was a little thicker than I like, but the 2nd coat went on perfectly smooth after a touch of thinner.  This combo wore great, too.

Where to buy:  it's a long sold-out LE, so blog sales/destashes are your best bet.

~Michelle

Monday, January 16, 2017

Femme Fatale Infamous Riddle

Yeah, I could probably wear nothing but Femme Fatale for the rest of the year and still not get through all my untrieds...

indoor, bright CF lighting
Infamous Riddle (which wins for one of the best names of all time) is a mossy, yellowed spring green, with a very contrasting copper-red pearlescent shimmer overlay.  I'm not in the least sure whether these colors are more raven or writing desk (neither, obvs), but this is rather unique in my stash.

indoor, window-filtered overcast daylight
I gotta be honest, this color does not so much love my skin.  The yellow tint to the green is questionable on my not-yellow self, and the red tint to the shimmer is the color I look with lobster hands.  So though the formula, wear time, and uniqueness are all YES, the actual wearing is sorta NO.

indoor, bright CF lighting
See what I mean?  That pearlescent glow YESSSS.  The smooth, 2-coater formula, thumbs up.  My skin, ooohhh nope.

(dat shimmer, tho)
Rating:  3 out of 5 stars.  Sorta love it, sorta can't love it, sorta can't decide if it's a keeper.  #polishworldproblems

Where to buy:  since this was from the August 2015 collection and Femme Fatale tends to not keep restocking things, look through destashes to snag a bottle.

~Michelle

Friday, January 13, 2017

Lacquester Doomed Diva + Baroness X Sir Cockicorn

My hugest lemming is Cirque Coronation.  Yeah, shocker I know, anyone who likes purple, who likes shifty polishes, or even knows about that sparkle magic in Clarins 230 has a hankering for Coronation, so my tears are far from unique.  I've bought a whoooole lot of purple polishes with some sort of shimmer or shift in them to try and calm this lemming down, and it's always a fool's game since I don't have the original to compare them to.  But I think I came pretty damn close this time.

indoor, bright CF lighting
indoor, CF lighting
Lacquester's Doomed Diva is everything other people's lavish swatch pics made it out to be.  It's a devastatingly rich royal purple, slightly more blue then slightly more red depending on the lighting, and always suffused with a gorgeous coppery pink shimmer that stands out as a brighter flash along the center of the nail, so you get a devastating "glowing from within" look.  Yeah, I'm gushing.  Yeah, it's that good.  Then I layered one swipe of Baroness X Sir Cockicorn over the top.

bright afternoon sunlight for both

THUD.  I am dead.  That glow, that sparkle.  YASSSSS.  (Yes, still gushing.  Just wait.)

late afternoon sunlight
And there's that shift from ruby to bronze to emerald that just slays on top of the purple.

window-filtered daylight
The above shade pic is everything I needed to know re: the magic of this combo.  Sir Cockicorn is a FB exclusive for the Baroness X fan group that's the magic 230/Fantasy Fire shifting pigment in a clear base.  One coat of that + a layer of topcoat glossed the hell out of Doomed Diva's shine, and made it look ever so slightly jellyish, so the combo looks an awful lot like Coronation to my eyes.

outdoor, afternoon sunlight
outdoor, bright sunlight
Yeah, I'm in love here.

that green edge.  DEAD.
Rating:  straight up 5 out of 5 stars for both.  Doomed Diva's formula is delicious, and it's nearly a one-coater.  My only complaint is the flat, wide brush, which I always make a huge mess with, but I know many people that love these.  Sir Cockicorn is a perfect topper, with wonderfully even coverage in just one coat.  Love all around.

Where to buy:  direct from Lacquester, or now from Color4Nails for Doomed Diva.  Join Baroness X's FB group to catch notifications on if/when she'll be restocking any of her 230/FF magic polishes.

~Michelle

Monday, January 9, 2017

Femme Fatale Whispers of Velvet

One of my nail polish groups had a "thermal" prompt for this week, so I pulled out Femme Fatale's Whispers of Velvet. Originally, I'd skipped this one because of the flaming hot pink the warm state was often photographed as, but ended up quite pleasantly surprised.

indoor, CF lighting
Whispers of Velvet is a lusciously vampy dark plum when it's cold, then a soft rosy pink when warm.

window-filtered daylight for all 3


That funky-french effect that we all love a bunch in thermals was quite evident here.  Though it's about a year old now, the transition is still going strong with no problems.

more window-filtered overcast daylight.  seriously, there is NO SUN this winter.
In addition to the change from the thermal effect, Whispers is also jam-packed with duochromatic aqua-green to fuchsia-pink microflakies.

slightly brighter filtered daylight
indoor, bright CF lighting
The color shift in those flakies is the cause of all those super hot-pink swatch pics I saw, IMHO.  at sideways angles, when the polish is mostly warm, the pink on pink amps to a much hotter color.

window-filtered rainy drizzly winter daylight
But this was a whole lot more likely to look like a dusty rose sort of mauve than a barbie hot pink.


Rating:  4 out of 5 stars.  Great formula - smooth but slightly thin, this needed 3 coats for opacity in the warm state.  It's not at all thick or sticky like some super shimmery or microflakie polishes can be.

Where to buy:  check out Femme Fatale's list of stockists to see if anyone still has this beauty in stock.

~Michelle

Thursday, January 5, 2017

China Glaze Pearl Jammin' + comparison

For my first new mani of this year, I went straight for one that was on so many people's best of 2016 lists, China Glaze Pearl Jammin'.  This lovely lady sold out super quick, and for a while was going for INSANE prices on ebay, but I found one at normal retail price on Amazon.

indoor, bright CF lighting for both
Pearl Jammin' is a greyed sky-blue base packed with warm coppery shimmer that's thankfully just as beautifully flashy on the nail as it is in the bottle.  The formula is a little squirrely, the sort that's both slightly too thin and yet dries so fast that it gets gummy if you go over the same area twice.   3 coats are needed for even coverage with the sorta thin/sheer formula, but that's the price to pay for having the shimmer this bright, and all minor irregularities smooth out perfectly with a layer of topcoat.  I stamped my accent nails with the cute dreamcatcher image on BM-407 using Hit the Bottle Copper Haired Girl.


Then we promptly had no sun for days, life/work got crazy hectic the way it does after the holidays, and I never got around to taking outdoor shots of any sort (whoops).

But I did notice that this gorgeously wearable blue-grey & bronze show, for all its capture of everyone's hearts as a clear mainstream fave this past year, was not at all singular in my stash.

L-to-R for both:  SR It's Raining Men, CG PJ, RBL Réveillon, Shleee Strawberry Moon
slightly different angle from above pic, to highlight differences/similarities in the shimmers
I absolutely love SpaRitual's It's Raining Men, and the greyed-blue with bright warm flash is utterly similar between the two. The base is a touch darker and a touch more blue in the SpaRitual, so they're not dupes, but the SR is an easy-to-find core color with a superior formula.

RBL's Réveillon (a major lemming recently caught, but of course remaining untried) is another step darker and more opaque.  The shimmer is more of a pink & purple sparkle with larger particles, so nowhere near dupes, though they have a similar "feel" when worn.

Over on the right, I've added in Shleee Strawberry Moon.  The milky white base is of course nothing like the blue-grey of the others, but the warm bronze-copper shimmer is very much the same.  Shlee's Harvest Moon is much darker and more grey than any of these, and the shimmer is quite different - not worth comparing directly.

2 coats of each on sticks, no topcoat, and Strawberry Moon not here since the color is so different
On the nail, the other major difference is opacity.  Réveillon and Strawberry Moon are good to go in 2 coats, while It's Raining Men and Pearl Jammin' need 3.

2 coats of each, no topcoat, indoor bright CF lighting
For both pics, same order as the bottles above.  Index = It's Raining Men, middle = Pearl Jammin, ring = Réveillon, pinky = Strawberry Moon.  At 2 coats, IRM and PJ are nearly identical, with the difference in color only really showing up at the 3rd coat.

3 coats on the index & middle, still just 2 on the others
Rating:  Pearl Jammin' is indeed a gorgeous color, 4 out of 5 stars, though the formula is only ok.

Where to buy:  snap one up if you like it and find it somewhere, since I expect with all the buzz about it for the price to only climb in the secondary market.  Amazon is the best first shot.

~Michelle