Showing posts from January, 2015

Lucky 13 Flame of Udûn

Part 2 of the Lucky 13 stash I recently received as a gift is Flame of Udûn.

Flame is a dark charcoal, off-black jelly sprinkled with ember-colored microglitters.  There's bits of red and gold in there, most obvious when the light sparks on them.

The first coat went on a little streaky, as some jellies do, but the second evened things out.  This would probably also work great as one layer over black or very dark grey if you wanted to avoid any secret see-thru patches or don't like hints of VNL.

Rating:  3 out of 5 stars, a very nice goth shadow sort of color.  The fiery bits of glitter keep it from looking flat black in most lighting.

Where to buy:  Lucky 13's web store.


Lucky 13 Now Wrath, Now Ruin, and A Red Dawn

A lovely friend sent me a surprise box in the mail that contained a trio of Lucky 13 polishes, and the gorgeous Now Wrath, Now Ruin, and A Red Dawn immediately demanded to be next on my fingertips.

UUUFFFF.  Wrath & Ruin is a deep, murky teal jelly that dries to a perfectly glassy shine.  There's plenty of silver glitter swimming in this dark water, hexes & squares in a few sizes each, plus a scattering of small blood red hexes.

That gorgeous teal gets a bit darker and murkier with each coat (there's one thin and one thick one here), but goes on surprisingly smoothly for a jelly, and is completely self-leveling by the 2nd one.  I love how the silver ends up looking like different shades of teal as the glitter bits flash up from the depths.  Perfect "squishiness" in one bottle.

In lower lighting (or with less sunlight glinting through), it appears darker, but never approaches almost-black.  A tilt of the fingers has the color stacking up on itself and appeari…

a England Fotheringhay Castle

Sometimes, you gotta change your polish as soon as a new box arrives in the mail.  That was definitely the case for my instant swoon from a England's new Elizabeth & Mary collection, Fotheringhay Castle.

FC is a rich, earthy moss green - there's more than a little bronze-yellow undertone here, and it doesn't lean teal at all.  Formula was flawlessly easy to work with, typical for me & aE polishes, and it of course has that signature softly scattered holo shine.

In the dead of winter like we are, this one wasn't sparking rainbows at every turn (even subtle ones), but it did have a lovely lit-from-within sort of glow plenty of the time.

In natural cloudy light, the glow damped down to a more sombre mossy shadow.

Rating:  4 out of 5 stars.  a England's offerings are consistently some of my faves.

Where to buy:  aE maintains a list of international stockists on their website.


Pahlish Jardim Botanico

Pahlish's August in Rio collection from last summer (as per usual, things hang out in the untried pile fo-evah) was a handful of black light-reactive microflakie shimmers.  The deep jade green of Jardim Botanico was my one must-have.

JB is arguably a neon pigment: rich and vibrant, but with a squirrely formula.  It was thick and dragged a little if I didn't let the first coat dry, and without topcoat, it had a dull, almost rubberized finish:

A bit of topcoat gave a shine that brought out some lovely purple & teal microflakies:

But even my champ topcoat couldn't prevent the chips.  Thick formulas generally always lead to an irregular finish that just doesn't hold up evenly, and this was no exception. Note that the colors here are all a little different - this is definitely a shade of green that's blue enough to be challenging to photograph accurately, hence my orangey fingers in a couple of these shots.

Rating:  2 out of 5 stars.  I love the color but didn't…

LA Girl Groupie & Comparisons

What is it with cameras refusing to accurately capture purple?  Color correction for purple, especially if it's an indigo/violet sort of blue-ish purple, is a photography/blogger trick that I have not yet mastered.  Which is to say, some of these here shots of LA Girl's Groupie are less than accurate.

Color accuracy for the polish was helped a whole lot by informing my camera we were taking pics in sunlight instead of indoors, which is a fail for color accuracy for my hide.  Oh well.  Groupie is a rich, saturated blue-leaning purple with plenty of blue and red shimmer particles.  There's a whole lot more blue than red, but they're both very much there.

Those aren't chips off the edge in the above shot, that's just how shiny this is (amped even more with topcoat).  The shimmers sparkle in most lighting conditions, and this polish never appears black.

The contrast of the sparkles from the underlying base color makes this one that definitely has a lovely lit-from-…

Glitter Gal Wild Violets

A couple of years ago, Aussie brand Glitter Gal released a couple different series of duochromes, with the "soft shades" being pearly shimmers and the "brilliant shades" being glass fleck sparklers.  I've previously worn and loved Last Light from the brilliants (though I didn't blog it at the time), so I snapped up the other of the brilliants that looked totally unique from anything else in my stash, Wild Violets.

Wild Violets is a fairly sheer plummy purple jelly base that's packed with color-shifting glass fleck sparkles that go from blue to wine to almost golden.  It's sheer enough that plenty of people wear it over black (where it loses the purple undertone) or otherwise use it as a topper.  Here's one coat:

It's fairy princess my-nails-but-better at one coat and it self-levels well enough to leave it this way if you like.  At 3 coats, though, WOW.

Check out those blue-wine stars!  For all the sparkle going on here, there's no textur…

Sinful Colors Nova

I've been less than excited about polish lately - I keep wearing a bunch of stuff that I like but don't love.  Feeling dark and winter blue, I pulled out a dark, wintry blue from the untried pile, and BAM.  What have I been thinking skipping out on this beauty for lo these many months?

Nova is a deep sapphire blue crelly with blue, aqua, and not-quite-gold shimmer.  Though it looks near-black in most of these pics, that's all some weird camera issue, this was definitively BLUE in most lighting.

Nova dries to a glossy shine on its own, and one layer of topcoat has it looking like melted glass.  OOOF, that shimmer!

Cuticle clean-up is exactly as much of a pain as you'd expect with a dark blue, so paint careful, people.  The crelly finish wears better for me than a standard jelly would, with glossier coverage than a crème.

Rating:  4 out of 5 stars.  Minimal application issues, and decent wear time.  It's a winner all around, and would be the ultimate base for galaxy…

Models Own Pinky Brown & Comparisons

Llarowe had a bunch of pretty fantastic sales between black friday and the holidays, one of which had all Models Own polishes for too good to pass up something on my wishlist, so Pinky Brown came on home.

Pinky Brown is what the name says it is:  a duochrome that shifts from deep metallic pink to an almost brownish-bronze.  It has plenty of shimmery flash, and is mostly opaque in 2 coats.

It's most frequently this pink-wine shade, often with a little subtle shift off to one side or another.

While dead-on it's an even deeper fuchsia, at angles that bronze comes right on over the edges.

Now, I love me some duochromes, they're easily my fave flavor of polish.  And in this endless quest to swatch the bajillion untrieds in my stash, I keep finding duochromes that are variations on a theme but not at all unique, strictly speaking.  In other words, apparently, when I find a color I like, I keep liking it over and over and over...

Which obviously begs a comparison.  Now, this wine…

Hits Sadok Lamed

Brazillian brand Hits has been releasing a bunch of collections in the last year or so that we're only getting recently stateside.  Sadok is all named for letters in the Hebrew alphabet, and this one is Lamed.

Lamed is an earthy brown-tinged plum shade that I can't help but think of as "bruise colored."  Unflattering as that sounds, I really do love bruise polishes - I think it's a very trendy shade of neutral that looks pretty awesome on most people's skin tones.  Lamed adds a ton of  mostly teal blue glass fleck shimmer that cools this bruise color down a lot.

For as richly dark as it is, this doesn't look black until all but the lowest lighting - the redness of the plum shade somehow keeps it from slipping even darker.

The long tapered cap is comfortable to hold, and the brush is MUCH neater than some of the older things I've gotten from Hits.  The brush is still very wide and flat, so how you feel about wide brushes will impact whether you love or…