Showing posts from March, 2014

CrowsToes Merope

CrowsToes is one of my super fave indie polish makers.  She has a flair for colors that are totally unique in a way that really catches my fancy.  As an added bonus, she makes up things in big enough batches that even if you miss out on one you really wanted at a collection launch, fear not, it'll be in stock no trouble by the next go-round.  Today, i have one from the Pleiades collection, Merope.

 Merope has a sheer bruise-colored jelly base that's packed with soft shimmer and color-shifting electric blue-to-wine microflakies.  Out in the sun, it's truly glorious.

The shimmery bruised-plum base color is like a dark neutral, making it softer around the edges than a starker base color would.  I'd assume it's very wearable for people of many different skin tones.  While the electric blue fire really sparks in direct light, an equally sparkly wine fire shows up in angled lighting.

The indoor look wasn't at all disappointing by comparison, just a little less metall…

Polished by KPT La Catrina

La Catrina, named for the original image that became the prototype for the day of the dead sugar skull icon, was part of KPT's fall 2013 collection.  The pink-to-green transition, reminding me of both flowers and their stems, works great for spring, too.

La Catrina is a bright kelly green in its cool/room temperature state, that ultimately warms up to a green-tinged taupe, with a coppery pink shimmer that's more present in the warmer color.

This polish went on very evenly in 2 coats and wears great - I got 3 days with absolutely no tip wear or chips at all.  It stays cool when wet just long enough that you can visually confirm that things aren't patchy.  In the cool state, it's fully opaque, with subtle shimmer.

When the funky french tip effect happened, it was really nice - the fully green color is opaque in contrast to the very sheer taupe, making the tips stand out even more from the rest of the nail.

The warm state, though, always retains at least a little green ti…

Orly Angel Rain

Orly's Angel Rain looked awfully interesting when I found it on sale at Ulta a few months ago, but Suzy assured me she had a bottle of it I was welcome to (since she usually dislikes things that go teal on her), so today's post comes to you courtesy of her being awesome.

Angel Rain is a very sheer light blue to aqua duochrome with plenty of very fine fuchsia/pink shimmer (feel free to debate whether the shimmer is instead part of the duochrome effect, I vote it's a separate thing, but YMMV).  Shown here is 2 to 2.5 thin coats, but I don't think opacity would have happened any time soon with even a few more layers.  The color is very pearly and ethereal - it might be great for a fairy or mermaid costume.

My camera had a real pain trying to capture what it looked like accurately.  Of the dozens of photos I took, these ones are color- and density-accurate, but few of them manage to show much of that fuchsia flash, which is there to some level the vast majority of the time…

Colors by Llarowe Precious Metal

I was first snared by Llarowe's P-series/tribute to the Reno Air Races polishes by Pointless Cafe's incredible swatches of P51 - sadly LE and likely never to be found again.  When she released some new polishes based off of racing airplanes a few months ago, I crashed right into love with Precious Metal.  It took a few restock stalkings, but eventually it made it here.

Precious Metal is a creamy light grey that leans periwinkle blue, packed with the red-to-green color shifting shimmer that makes many a polish junkie's heart skip a beat.  In the bottle and in most promo pics and even most of the time on the nail, the shimmer looks to be a reddish copper.

But I got a very pleasant surprise when using my hand as a sun shade while driving around - at oblique angles, this has that luscious emerald flash.

In a weird way, I sort of hated this when I was painting a couple of nights ago.  The brush in my bottle was too soft and flopped around my nails like a mop.  The formula was s…

Science experiment! Nail Pattern Boldness Glitter A-Peel + HK Girl Topcoat

As all polish crazies are plenty well aware, getting glitter off your nails can be a metaphoric and literal pain (seriously, that stuff can etch your nails while scrubbing it off).  To make life easier, some peeps on the interwebs swear by plain elmer's school glue used as a peel-off base coat... while others say that the water-soluble properties of this means it has a tendency to lift off your nails in the shower.  Last year, I picked up a bottle of Nail Pattern Boldness Glitter A-Peel: it's designed to be a quicker-drying base coat than craft glue, solvent-soluble instead of water-soluble, but still with the peel-off ease of shedding glitter painlessly.  I tried it with 3 different types of glitter (big chunky glitter, glitter in crème polish, microglitter topper on regular polish), all with the same results - everything was chipping off in big sheets way less than 24h after I'd painted it on there, and certainly with no help on my part.  Doing its job TOO well = FAIL.


St. Patrick's Day take two: Wet n Wild SaGreena the Teenage Witch + OPI Fresh Frog of Bel Air

Last night I decided to switch out the poison green for a true green, and end up with something more conventionally holiday festive. I busted out the Wet n Wild SaGreena the Teenage Witch that I'd bought over a year ago when I first started going polish-crazy, along with OPI's Fresh Frog of Bel Air that Suzy had given me (she knows my green love all too well) when she was making her picks from that OPI Muppet collection.

In the bottle, SaGreena (the way they try and cram TV show names in there cracks me up a lot) is a nearly perfect, glowy, rich emerald.  The first watery, thin, streaky, sheer coat, though, reminded me of the difference between budget stuff and the high-end indies I've been hoarding more recently.  And yet, POW!  By the time i got back to my first nail, the thinness meant it had flawlessly self-leveled, erasing every single brush stroke, creating a thin wash of very smooth color.  Huh.  I guess you just have to be careful to not let the stuff puddle a bunc…

St. Patrick's Day take one: Orly It's Not Rocket Science

While contemplating last week which of a pile of surprise sale SpaRitual polishes I needed, I was reminded that I'd recently picked up a near-dupe for Optical Illusion that was languishing in the untried pile:  Orly's It's Not Rocket Science, from their LE Cosmic FX collection a few years ago.  It's discontinued, but easy to find on amazon or ebay for reasonable prices.  I tried this out over the weekend as my St. Pat's green.

The name alone would have been enough to tempt me (Science!!), but the totally unusual bronze-yellow-green is unlike anything else in my stash.  There's a subtle duochrome peeking out from the edge of the bottle pic above, and it does translate to the nail, about as subtly.

At long angles (or, oddly enough, reflected off the front of my fingers from the computer monitor's glow while typing) this poison green shifts to richer emerald with a hint of aqua peeking out.  It's not the flashiest duochrome, but it's definitely there.

Ruby White Tips An Ocean Full of It

After totally loving my first go with Ruby White Tips, I immediately grabbed the next one of theirs in my stash when it was time to change colors.  Here's An Ocean Full of It, from their Breaking Bad collection.

Ocean is an appropriately oceanic aqua color, that in low or indirect lighting looks like it has a glowy pearl finish.  In sunlight or direct lighting, there's a bright finely shimmery gold that totally changes the look.

In a lot of ways, this is Jane's Lemming's flipped sister: where that one was a warm-toned color with cool flash, this one is cool-toned with an almost warm golden flash.  The blue fire of Lemming looked like a sky reflection even when the sky wasn't that nice, and Ocean's gold fire looks like a summery sun reflection, even in the tail end of our winter.

Depending on the light, it'll lean a bit more blue or green (bluer in brighter light), but it never really looks like one or the other, it's totally aqua.

There's a subtly m…

Ruby White Tips Jane's Lemming

After Suzy raved about her picks from Ruby White Tips, I checked out the store just in time for a cyber Monday 2 for 1 sale, and ended up with a pair that I like a whole lot.  First up is Jane's Lemming.

Jane's Lemming is described as brown with blue hues, but I'd call it a warm mushroom taupe.  It's a rich neutral that occasionally looks like a subtly red-leaning lavender, especially in low or indirect lighting.

But just a little bit of sunlight or the office fluorescents overhead, and POW!!

Wow, check out that electric blue fire!  And yes, it totally translates to the nail:

While driving around, the blue often looked like the polish was just so glossy that the clear winter sky was reflecting off of it.  Except that the sky-blue flash was there even when the sky was nowhere near that prettily blue itself.

You can see in this pic that i had a couple of patches where the color wasn't 100% even (much more evident in the pics than in real life).  This was a true "…

Fresh Paint Nebula

I didn't often shop at 5 below (not much in the way of locker decorations is necessary in your 30s), until i realized they had some pretty nice nail polish for pretty damn cheap.  One of their staple brands, Funky Fingers, is made by the same parent company as does Color Club - basically, you're getting CC polishes for a steep discount.  I'm assuming their other staple brand, Fresh Paint, is the same.

Nebula is a rich wine shade with plenty of shimmer.  It comes close to being vampy, but is never near-black. It took 2 easy coats with a surprisingly good formula - unlike a lot of "drugstore" type polishes, this isn't at all runny or thin, and I didn't get pooling around my cuticles.

There's a gorgeous metallic pink shimmer in the bottle that made me think this was going to look like a sparkly foil finish, but that didn't really translate to the nail much at all.

Plenty of shimmer and sparkle, no metallic foil.

Rating:  3 out of 5 stars.  It's s…