Showing posts from September, 2015

Morgan Taylor Best Ball Gown Ever

Earlier this year, Disney released a live-action Cinderella movie, which Morgan Taylor used as the tie-in for their spring collection.  The clear stand-out for me was Best Ball Gown Ever.

Morgan Taylor is an entirely new brand to me.  A friend who wears it occasionally has raved about it, but until this particular color struck my eye, I'd not sought any out.  Ball Gown is basically the shade of Cinderella's dress in the movie, a lovely spring periwinkle that shifts from lavender in some lighting to sky blue in others.

The shimmer is a spectacular greened-gold that has the texture (visual texture only, this went on quite smooth) of crushed pearls.  There's not really individual sparkling particles visible, instead a rich wash of shimmer.  Compare the 2 shimmer-focused macros below: in softer light (bottom), the shimmer was a silvery gold, while in brighter light (top), it absolutely has a greenish firefly cast.

The formula was totally unusual - it started off all bad and th…

Enchanted Polish Vampires Suck

For the last 2 years running, Enchanted has released Vampires Suck as part of a single-pour Halloween collection.  I'd been interested, but had a full-on lemming moment once a friend posted swatches that were undeniably fantastic.

Vampires Suck is a blackened brown linear holo with a duochrome that shifts from red to bronze.  With all these warm colors going on, most often it had the reddened rusty brown shade of dried blood - love it!  Of all the pics I took of this shifty holo, the bottle shot above was the only one that captured the subtle green flash that was occasionally there IRL.

The holo didn't grey out the base color at all in low light.  This is a depth of winter sort of dark color pretty much all the time.

In bright sunlight at direct angle, a gorgeous warm redwood flash streaked across the rainbow arc.

This is definitely a blackened brown, and it does appear nearly black around the edges of the shimmery red/bronze or when the light is at long angles.  It's not …

Pretty Serious Swatch and Learn

Pretty Serious Cosmetics has a handful of really interesting collaboration shades (they know how to pick their bloggers!), but the one that was an immediate must have when I saw it was Swatch and Learn.

S&L has a very yellow-leaning jelly base that puts it firmly in that "pretty/ugly" camp of unusual shades - the only thing remotely similar in my stash is Orly's It's Not Rocket Science.  Like the Orly polish, this one has a duochromatic microflake shimmer, but this one is so sparkly that it most often looks like a glassfleck.

The sunlight photo is how S&L appeared most of the time in bright light indoors or out - yellow green and super sparkly, with the shimmer taking on a silvery sparkle.  In lower light, though, the microflakes showed off their chameleon powers.

Oh yessssss - that bottle shot didn't lie, these little flakes shift from pale aqua through emerald and on over to pink and orange.

When viewed dead-on in bright lighting, all the flakes reflect…

ILNP Blue Steel + braid accent

Fall is creeping up on us - the temperatures are already way lower than just a couple of weeks ago - so it's definitely time for the last hurrah of untried holos before the winter greys roll in.

Blue Steel is from the first time ILNP released "ultra" holos, somewhen in 2013.  It's a touch grey, like a nicely worn denim, with a rainbow arc fiery enough to cause the camera to have some fits.  Topcoat didn't dull the holo impact at all.

I used Femme Fatale's Mirror of Dawn and Deepstone to add a braided accent nail, and all 3 were crazy holo in the sunlight.

Blue Steel is holo-y enough that it does have the little silver flecks visible in low light that's typical of spectraflair, but since the base color is already a little grey, it doesn't detract from it at all.

This was fully opaque in 2 coats, with the very nice formula (not too thick, not too thin, easy to control) that's typical for ILNP.  Cleanup was minimal, and this blue didn't stain eit…

Femme Fatale Our Scorching Sister

Femme Fatale is easily one of my absolute fave nail polish brands - for all of 2015, they've been releasing a new collection every other month or so (yep, just counted, 4 and a trio for 9 months of the year so far), and yet there's at least 1 or 3 from EVERY collection that I have to get my paws on.

Along with the other beauties from the recent Narnia/White Witch collection, FF dropped a handful of "oops" shades, where a batch hadn't been up to snuff and Sophie fixed it.  According to the FF facebook group, Our Scorching Sister is an oops for The First Northern Witch, a much lighter and cooler stone grey with gold flake shimmer.
Scorching is a deep concrete grey, packed with small bronze to iridescent flakes (they sometimes flash just a little green or pink in low lighting), plenty of gold dust shimmer, and scattered with holographic microglitters.
While the gold dust predominates in the sunlight (this so an amped up, richer version of things like Takko Electric…

Ethereal Lacquer Whimsy + Ulta Love Fern

I've proven to myself many times over now that I love me some duochromes, so much that I end up buying the same color combos over and over and over (click on that "duochrome" category over to the right and just see how many comparisons of the same colors I keep finding in my stash.  Sigh).

On a fairly recent order from Femme Fatale, I stumbled across Ethereal Lacquer's Whimsy, a lovely (yeah, even ethereal) teal shimmer.  The swatch I saw certainly has this layered over white or palest grey, since the bottle I have is nowhere near opaque.  Here I have 2 coats, with 2 coats of Ulta's Love Fern layered on top.

You can see from the edges of the bottle shots that Whimsy isn't solely teal - the edges are indeed pink then purple.  Though I was 100% unsuccessful in capturing the purple flash that's undeniably there at long angles to the light, I'm 99% sure this is the same aqua-to-purple duochrome that's in Picture Polish Illusionist, ILNP Sirene, and th…

Emily de Molly Living After Midnight

Apparently, i really loveme somewine-colored holos, maybe because wines are usually so much more flattering on my skin than true red, and yet less "dramatic" than royal purples?  In any case, toss in a vampire-themed name, and I'm sold.

Emily de Molly's Living After Midnight is a lovely wine linear holo with a rosy center flash.  It's totally wearable with my skintone, utterly feminine, and would absolutely count as a subversive neutral if you can get away with polish this dark at work.  I have plenty of much darker or blackened wine shades, and I wouldn't classify this as anywhere near "vampy".

2 coats of LAM and you're good to go, with a nice shine and easy cleanup.  The rosy central flash made this look more red or more bronze in different lighting, though it's not actually duochromatic.

In the shade, the holo particles are visible as a light dusting, but this never looks muted or greyed-out.

Rating: a solid 3 out of 5 stars.  It's no…

Femme Fatale Deepstone + a England Prosperine Gradient

For some reason, I'm on a crazy nail art kick lately, throwing all my hits and near-misses right on at you.

Today's attempt is a gradient of Femme Fatale's Deepstone (the 2nd time this pretty is making an appearance in nail art, though I've still never worn it solo) and a England's Prosperine.  I both love the murky colors fading darker, and simultaneously think the gradient line is way too harsh of a stripe rather than a gradual blending.

That bronze glimmer peeking out of Deepstone's wine base is fantastic, I really need to give that one a whirl on its own.

Learning curve hot tip:  don't pick a pair of polishes with widely different opacities (Prosperine's one-coat and done vs Deepstone's need for 2), or else don't just lay the gradient down onto basecoat (i.e., definitely put a base layer of color down first).