Showing posts from February, 2015

Butter London All Hail the Queen

Though Butter London doesn't always work great with my body chemistry, ever the eternal optimist, I picked up a bottle of plenty of peoples' favorite nude, All Hail the Queen (aka, All Hail McQueen in a prior version).

Queen is a deep modern nude - somewhere between tan and taupe - with a softly scattered holo effect.  The formula was dead perfect for me: not too thick or thin, tolerant of plenty of manipulation and over-brushing, almost no cleanup required, and dried to the sort of lovely, lustrous shine that topcoat only enhances but isn't required for.

The holo sparkle was subtly present in bright light, but never as a linear flame/arc on the nail, and to a lighter degree than even the a England type scattered holos.  Though the holo wasn't even a little obvious from the bottle, instead there was an interesting magenta/red flash in the bottle that wasn't present even a little on the nail.  Weird.

This was several shades darker than my skintone, and dried a small…

Red Carpet Nails: Jessica Street Swagger + DD Ringer + PP Festival

For my friend's themed Oscars party last night, I skipped out on dressing up, but decided to have "Red Carpet" nails instead.

I started with a base of Jessica's Street Swagger, a rich Chanel Vamp-type dried-blood red crème that I got in a Ninja Polish mystery bag.  This is one coat with no cleanup - a fantastic formula and lovely dark color.

On top of this, I added one thick coat of Darling Diva's Ringer (a Clarins 230/Fantasy Fire type red-to-green color shifting shimmer), then one light coat of Picture Polish's Festival (a multicolored flakie).

In lower light, the rainbow of flakes took center stage, but at angles and brighter light, Ringer was queen.

I was fascinated by the apparent color shift of the flakies in Festival, the way they blended into Ringer's emerald shift especially.

Rating:  3 stars for the sorta sparse but pretty flakes in Festival, 4 stars for Street Swagger's fantastic formula, and Ringer has to be upgraded to a perfect 5 after t…


I've wanted to test drive a multichrome flakie over undies of the same base color, and since Birefringence restored my faith in that blue-to-bronze shift, I decided it was due for a layering with Luna.
Luna appears to be both purple and blue when viewed directly.  It may be a flakie version of either Birefringence, or the slightly warmer Cygnus Loop (the two are very similar, and I don't have the latter for a direct comparison).

Either way, those flakes flash 100% spectacular.  Exactly as expected, the irregular surface of the flakes on top of the smooth base means that all the possible colors can coexist on the nail at once, giving you the same color spectrum of a multichrome that you'd otherwise need underwater photos to capture.
With the flakes on top, this combo became one that I was constantly flashing fingers to watch.
Luna does hit the same blue as the base color, though it's more often a touch more purple.

And then it shifts over to a teal that makes me want t…

Zoya Storm

I picked up a couple of Zoyas during a recent promo sale, including a fave for a lot of people, Storm.

Storm is an inky black liberally sprinkled with silver holo microglitter.  Perfect, creamy opacity happened in 2 coats, but cleanup was a real bear, with the black clinging like glue to my cuticle edges.

The holo sparkle in here is very much the type present in the Picture Polish galaxy LEs, where it most frequently looks like superfine silver mylar shards.  In other words, this is no dramatic super-rainbow with a linear flare.  It updates flat black to a more fun and pretty shade while still being dramatic, but it's not very often prismatic.  Wear time was ok, with edgewear and minor chips showing up by day 3.

Rating:  3 out of 5 stars.  It's nice, but would definitely be more of a winner for me if the rainbow was more obvious and the black wasn't such a cuticle stainer (no stains on my nails on removal).

Where to buy:, Ulta, or other beauty supply shops.


Hits Artsy & dupe

I've had the nail polish junkie version of seasonal affective disorder lately: the lack of sun has me mildly depressed every time I ponder the uselessness of wearing any holos. Then I remembered that duochromes often shine their best in lower lighting, so I pulled the long-untried Hits Mari Moon Artsy on out.

Artsy is a rich cobalt blue duochrome that shifts down to purple and up to red and bronze-gold.

BAM.  Yeah, the color change is that lovely.  Unfortunately, Artsy's formula is thin, sheer, and took 3 coats to get to mostly opaque... and then, even with my super trusty HK Girl topcoat and a solid half hour before bed, I woke up to bad sheet-imprint wrinkles on most of my Cinderella hand, and the middle finger of this one.  So go back and look at the pics above and notice how my middle finger is a little more color saturated, and doesn't show the see-through tip that the other fingers do.  That's because I fixed the wrinkled fingers with the far superior ILNP Birefr…

Cult Nails Disciplined

Recently, Cult Nails announced their upcoming closure, which prompted me to pull the trigger on a couple things I've had my eye on for a while now.  My top pick from the batch is Disciplined.

Disciplined was described as "a sheer but buildable grey," and I think that's completely accurate.  The first coat is only a subtle veil of color, and if you have a smooth hand with the painting and wanted only a light wash of shimmery tint on your nails, this would be a lovely look.  In 3 coats, it builds to a crelly finish, with plenty of not-quite-teal blue and lavender shimmer sparkles.

The shimmer is present but subtle - when I'm not in bright light or trying to snap a macro pic, it's rather restrained, though not hidden.

The grey here is fairly neutral, neither particularly brown nor blue, and it's sheer enough that you could give it a whirl as a shimmery/smoke topcoat.  Wear was quicker than I'd like, with white edges by the second day, but no chipping iss…

a England Sleeping Palace

Another quick post now that I'm home from my business trip... this one is a England's Sleeping Palace.

Unfortunately, I didn't snap pics of the whole thing (work and hiking and some wine drinking totally got in the way of polish documentation!), but the two partials that I have here show you the important parts.  Sleeping Palace is a lush stone grey-purple, with the signature soft holo with which a England rocks my world.  This one happens to have a strong bronze shimmer to the holo arc (you get a glimpse in both shots) that warms up this cool color.

It's a gorgeous blend of cool and warm that I think would look fantastic on a lot of different skin tones, and I totally see why this ended up on so many people's best-of lists for 2013.  Indoors, the holo can be quite subtle, so this would count as a slightly subversive neutral for a lot of people.  Even in bright direct sunlight, the holo isn't OMG, just softly shimmering.  Gorgeous.  Unusually, the formula was a…

Dance Legend The Soothsayer

I'm on a business trip this week, so just a couple of quick posts of the ones I brought with me.

Soothsayer is one of the 2014 HallOWLeen trio, made by Dance Legend in partnership with their blogger Anna Gorelova.  Each one of these 3 is an "effect" polish, with this one being a red-to-maroon thermal.  When warm, it's a bright, warm, tomato red, and when cool, it's a very dark maroon (never quite black).  It's almost identical to the color shift of DL's thermo 170, but with a slightly more crelly-like finish, and with the addition of the little silvery holo microflakies from the galaxy polishes.

The transition was very shifty, and I often had the funky french tip effect.  Many of the women also attending this conference with me liked it so much that I ended up lending it out twice!  Wear time was decent, with smooth, even edgewear after 3+ days, but no major chipping.

Rating:  4 out of 5 stars, a solid winner, and one of my fave thermals.

Where to buy:  D…