Showing posts from November, 2014

LA Girl Antique Gold

Like most polish crazies, I've been checking out a lot of black friday/cyber monday/just because it's shopping season sales to feed my habit, and I came across Ripley from OCC, and Temptalia's amazing swatch thereof.  Before I clicked buy, I remembered something awfully similar in the untried stash:  LA Girl's Antique Gold.

Ripley is described as "blackened, antique olive-gold," which I'd slap right on as the description for this one as well.  check out the darkened edges as soon as this gets near any shade.

It's a rich, cool bronze, with a fine foil finish - it dries smooth, but glosses up a lot with top coat, and would probably be killer mattified as well.

And yes indeed, just like Ripley, it gets to a murky swamp green in the right lighting.

Now, you can't actually call anything a dupe if you don't have the two things in hand to compare, but these pics are about identical to the pics of Ripley, so I'm definitely ok with not needing both…

Digital Nails Bitch, Plesiosaur

Other than the awesomeness that is Pale Blue Dots, my next pick from Digital's scientists collection was the thermal Bitch, Plesiosaur:

Bitch, Plesiosaur wins for having one of the best polish names ever, and in Raph's words, "is a nod to Marry Anning, and play on words which gives acknowledgement to my reaction of a patriarchal dominated field in her time, and still today." It's a golden nude (warm) to warm brown (cold) shimmer, packed with matte white glitter in a few sizes/shapes.

The cool shade is a rich, opaque chocolate that leans ever so slightly to mahogany - i.e., it's got just a touch of red in the brown.

At all times through the color shift, there's a lovely golden shimmer visible, that sometimes flashes just a little green.  I'm also rather a fan of how well the glitter matches, warm or cool.

The shimmers & glitters don't need bright sunlight to shine, either, and when completely warm, it's a nice almost office appropriate nude…

Elevation Polish Mount Cangayan

Today, I have yet another pretty thing that's been languishing untried for far too long:  Elevation Polish Mount Cangayan:

This was one of those purples that both my regular and cell phone cameras REFUSED to capture with any color accuracy.  IMHO, it's a royal purple, nowhere near as blue as the bottle shot above.

Now, everyone else's description of this (including the maker) has it as a shimmer polish opaque in 2 coats.  This is 3, and as you see, it's a glossy, glassy jelly, with VNL in most lighting.  The only thing I can figure is that despite my thorough shaking, it's settled out a lot?  Despite the sheerness, the formula was lovely - perfect thickness, easy to work with, flawlessly self-leveling.

The thing that makes this one special is the gorgeous coppery red shimmer.  In the right light, it's got this lovely glow that's the closest my budget is likely to come to Cirque Coronation.

Rating:  3 out of 5 stars.  Here's hoping I can get it more opaq…

Colors by Llarowe Sherwood Forest

As part of the recent Fall 2014 collection, Llarowe released several limited edition one batch & gone colors.  The one I had to have was Sherwood Forest:

As far as I could tell, all the LEs seemed to have a hefty dose of the infamous red-to-green shifting sparkle pigment found in Clarins 230/Max Factor Fantasy Fire, and SF was no exception.  It's a deep forest green jelly packed with this shifting shimmer, which ends up meaning it's got quite a few different personalities.

Like some jellies, it's a bit sheer.  I'm wearing 2 coats here, which was fully opaque when the shimmer was fired up, but showed through around the edges at other times - 3 coats would take care of things just fine.

When viewed straight-on, sometimes the green base is completely masked by the shimmer pigment.  At those times, it's a red/brown, dark to the point of vampy (though never completely black), with little if any green to be seen.

In softer lighting, the duochromatic nature of this s…

a England Sleeping Palace & Rose Bower Gradient

Suzy recently posted an utterly flawless gradient of 2 of the new Elizabeth & Mary a England colors, so after texting her to get the technique sort of figured out, i gave it a go myself.

This is Sleeping Palace at the base and Rose Bower at the tips, both from a England's Burne-Jones Dream collection.  It's my first attempt at a gradient, and I almost took it off before finishing - after sponging on the colors, it was an uneven textured mess.  Top coat, however, returned it to the gloriously glowy finish I usually get from this brand.

Rose Bower is one of my go-to fave reds, and Sleeping Palace is a fave of many a polish junkie... nuts that this is one of those untried-for-a-year things!!

Yeah, more pics than a simple gradient needs, but I loved how this was a different look in different lights - the subtle scattered holo flash in bright light, and a deeper stone-to-fire feel in lower light.

Where to buy:  check out a England's list of international stockists to pick …

ILNP Sirene, Nfu-Oh 40 & Comparisons

Well, if one ILNP is good, two is great, right?  A friend recently picked up a bottle of Dance Legend's LE Phobos, which is an aqua-to-purple duochrome with flakies that shift similarly.  I wondered if I could recreate that look with what I already had (spoilers:  YES), so I switched up to Sirene, then topped it with Nfu Oh 40.  Unfortunately, I forgot shots of Sirene solo, until the one nail in the comparison below.

Sirene is a vibrant undersea teal head-on that very easily shifts to royal blue, magenta, and deep purple.  Nfu Oh 40 is likewise electric blue-green that shifts up to lavender purple, but as translucent flakies in a clear base.  All pics here are 2 coats of Sirene and 1 of 40.  In some bright light, the two were at the same place in their shift - all emerald - so that the flakies were a subtle bit of texture.

Other than those head-on views, though, the flakes and the base color shifted at just enough of a different angle that I ended up with complementary contrasting…

ILNP Undenied (H)

ILNP has some pretty amazing new stuff coming out, and every time she releases a new collection of color-shifting awesomeness, it reminds me of the untried ILNPs in my stash...

Undenied is a very shifty "ultrachrome" - that is, it's a lot more than colors.  I have the holo version; the color change is the same in the regular one, but with a lightly linear holo added.  When viewed straight on, it's a deep, cool-toned purple.
At any angle, a scarlet red creeps across the curve of the nail, then out to mahogany brown, and ultimately golden bronze.
2 coats to total opacity, no undies were needed at all, and it's opaque enough that I don't think you'd get a huge difference over black anyway.  Unlike some duochromes, the shifting is just as clear in bright light as in shady light, and this is definitely one of those where you catch different colors with every tilt of your fingers.
Likewise, the holo flashes in any bright light,indoor or out.
Rating:  4 out of 5…

Pahlish Valley of Ashes

Apparently, I'm on a Pahlish kick lately...

Valley of Ashes is from a Great Gatsby-inspired collection, and I think it may be the most ingenious interpretation of source material I've ever seen: it's grey like the valley, with a bright emerald flash peeking through like the green light across the water in the book.  Awesome.

Valley is a crelly finish that had a much thinner consistency than I typically expect from indies in general, and Pahlish in specific - I often have to thin down her crèmes a little, but this was smoothly flowy and bordered right up to the edge of being too thin.  The thinness means that if you want to use it as a layering polish, or if you like the subtle VNL veiled look, one coat will do ya:

The electric green sparkle to this was more hidden in low light, and strangely nonexistent when in light from multiple sources (example: in a high-ceilinged department store that had more than a dozen lights overhead).  It never appears to be a flat grey, though,…