Showing posts from April, 2014

SpaRitual Invention

SpaRitual is a new to me brand that's recently popped up at Ulta stores.  I snagged Invention, from the 2013 holiday collection, and a couple others to try from a recent sale at

All the pics here were taken on the same rainy afternoon.  The muted grey light really brought out the flash, but all the shimmery shift in this polish was evident in any lighting.  Invention is a warm coppery gold color, packed with very fine glass fleck shimmer.  Apparently, it actually is glass, as the whole holiday collection is supposed to contain recycled glass.

That glassy shimmer often looks like a foil finish.  It's very fine, not chunky sparkle particles at all.  It shifts from a cool, flashy gold all the way to verdigris green.

It's fairly sheer, and needs a good 3 coats.  The glass fleck would likely be lovely over a very dark color or black, but you'd lose a lot of color that way since the translucent base would be easily overwhelmed by something more opaque.

It's a pre…

Indigo Bananas 2% Butterscotch Ripple

Indigo Bananas is an indie polish maker with a little something for everyone - there's a wide range of styles in her store, from glitterbombs to holos - with most available as either minis or full-size bottles.  This one here is 2% Butterscotch Ripple, from a Willy Wonka collection.

 2%BR is a wine jelly base packed with small round glitter.  If you look for the sparkles in the bottle shot there, you can see some occasional holo glitter bits thrown into the mix.  The majority of the sparkles, though, have the same sort of duochrome gold-to-green color shift as Chanel Peridot and all its various dupes.

The blurry shot shows a good mix of the colors those shifty glitters flash.  Since they're glitter particles suspended in a translucent jelly base, they don't all end up laying the exact same way, so the flash is a little different off each one.

Around the edges, you can see how sheer this jelly finish is.  I wore 2%BR around for a day or two with 2 coats and was not super pl…

CBL Dirty Diana

Apparently, I'm going holo-crazy lately, so here's Colors by Llarowe Dirty Diana.

Dirty Diana was from a Michael Jackson tribute collection.  It's a rich magenta-wine color that took 2 coats for opacity.  The linear holo is very clear in most light, indoors or out, but of course is most POW in the sun.

Interestingly, the holo flame tends to show more amounts of the red and blue streaks of the rainbow, rather than have the whole ROYGBIV in even amounts.  This makes the color look like it's subtly shifting from red to purple, though it's definitely not a duochrome.  The faux-color-change effect is most obvious in lower/indoor lighting.

As with the last CBL I tried out, I really kinda hate the brush for being too soft and floppy.  It's near impossible to paint neatly, there's going to be cleanup involved.  I also had minor chips within 12h of painting.  This formula doesn't love me much, but the rainbow of color has me watching my fingers a lot.

I'll a…

Different Dimension Good Evening Clarice

For my easter-time nails, I went with a soft minty green very subtle holo...that just happens to actually be a Halloween polish and also happens to glow like a raver kid on drugs.  Here's Different Dimension's Good Evening Clarice.

Clarice is a pale minty green, that often looked dusty or slightly greyed-out in lower lighting.  It was pretty sheer, so you could totally try a layer of this over a lighter color for a touch of subtle shimmer and a glow in the dark flash.
 There's some holo in this one, and it is actually a linear holo, but it's quite subtle.  Unless you're taking macro pics and looking for it, there's not really the appearance of the typical holo flame at any point.

What you do get is the typical silvery appearance of a holo polish when it's in low light.  The silvery shimmer was a nice compliment to the pale green shade, rather than a dilution of it.

What I'm not able to show you here is the AMAZING power of this polish's glow in the…

Dance Legend Tinsel

On a Dance Legend bender a couple months ago, I snagged all 3 of the candy flakes collection that caught my eye.  Here's the last one, Tinsel.

 Tinsel is a bright, true kelly green jelly filled with fire flakies (the sort that shift gold/copper/reddish).  It took 2 coats for even, near-opaque coverage, but more coats = a richer color.  You can definitely build this one up further if you'd like.

The flakes were always visible, but the vibrant, saturated color of the jelly base overwhelmed their color shift pretty much all the time.  In bright lighting, I'd get a subtle flash of gold-ish green, but it's definitely never the fiery color that peeks out of the bottle.  In artificial light, Tinsel is super saturated and super shiny, which tended to downplay the flakes a bit.

Word of warning:  that rich color saturation meant that it was a bear to clean up.  It's one of those greens (and there's plenty of blues that do it too) that stain the bejeezus out of the edge o…

Jade Magia (Negra)

A friend recently challenged everybody in the group to rock "a badass mani," and while I think the previous 2 were certainly contenders in the awesome arena, the real rockstar is Jade's Magia.

I've seen bottles labeled as "Magia Negra" and just "Magia," but either way they have it right:  this stuff is magic.  It's an incredibly strongly linear holo, with a fascinating bronze metallic flash in the center of the rainbow flame.

Yup, those zingers of sparkling metallic aren't just the reflection of the nice sunlight we had that day, they're really there, in any lighting bright enough to make the flame clear.  The bronze at the heart of this one really made it stand out for me.

The other huge winner was the formula.  Though it was definitely a jelly-type polish, 2 easy coats was all that was necessary for total opacity, and it wore like iron.  These pics taken after 3-4 days of wear, with only the most minor edgewear (as in, it looked like…

Sinful Colors Green Ocean (+ Wet n Wild Poison Ivy)

For today, I have a pair of limited-edition colors that their respective manufacturers have brought back twice each.  First up in this combo, Wet n Wild has re-released a whole Halloween collection in both '12 and '13, and if they do it again this year, Poison Ivy is well worth picking up.

Poison Ivy is a near-black polish packed with very dark emerald green shimmer.  This is definitely one of those things that will look black in low lighting, but wow, so worth it anyway.  It took me about a coat and a half (one full coat, plus a little touch-up here and there) for full opacity, and I'm showing it here without cleanup.  As in, yes, it stays that perfectly where you put it.  The formula is approximately perfect for a drugstore polish - for $2, it's a lot easier to work with than plenty of things 5x its cost.  The perfection of the thickness/leveling, though, is reeeeeeeeally necessary, given that soon as a brush and acetone touch it, this business is all up in every mic…

Nfu Oh-51

More frequently than you'd think, I happen to glance at my polish racks and notice something I'd been especially giddy about getting my sparkly hands on that's languished untried lo these many months.  The latest victim of my forgetfulness and far too quickly growing polish stash is Nfu Oh's number 51.

Packed inside Nfu Oh's incredible corset-and-ballgown bottles is the "opal glitter" series, numbered 37-60. The first few in the series are sheer, containing dense flakies in nearly clear base, but as the numbers go higher, they're colored jelly polishes packed with one of several kinds of shimmering flake goodness.  Number 51 is legendary among polish-crazy flakie aficionados for being basically Clarins 230/Revlon Fantasy Fire in flakie form, having the same blue-purple base and red-to-green color shift.

Oh, yessssss, check out those rainbows.  The flakes here are super shifty all the time; while the base of the polish stays about the same in most ligh…

CrowsToes Hellhound

After my first glass of wine with CrowsToes this week was so tasty, I decided to have another:  here's Hellhound.

Hellhound is part of  last year's fall collection, of which Indian Summer got all the attention.  It's a richly sparkly wine color, with a subtle duochrome shift.  While always being nearly glass-fleck sparkly, sometimes, it's rich wine...

And sometimes it's vampy red.

The gold duochrome is definitely there (you can make out some tiny flashes of gold sparks in each of the above 2 pics), but it's generally only noticeable at specific angles.

Despite the deep color saturation in the bottle:

This color went on really sheer in the first coat, then was overly thick in the second.  It happens with indie polishes that use thicker suspension base, but this has definitely been thinned prior to my using it again.  Bright light shines through the sheer places, though these weren't noticeable indoors.

Rating:  3 out of 5 stars.  A gorgeous color that i wish…