Showing posts from 2016

Picture Polish Big Bang

Back to something a little more restrained after the festive red & green, the man picked "denim blue" so I pulled out Picture Polish's Big Bang.

Big Bang is a deep sapphire blue with a slight dusty tinge, sprinkled with ultrachrome flakies.  It's a jellyish formula that needed 3 coats for opacity.  I debated a full-on galaxy mani (with a name like Big Bang, it's hard to not ponder doing so), but decided to keep it tame with a simple accent nail stamping using Sinful Colors Kameleon and the XXL-04 plate.

While never looking black or almost-black even in low lighting, the dusty quality of the blue in Big Bang meant that it did look very dark in lower lighting.

Rating:  3 out of 5 stars for this starfield.  Next time, rockets and comets are definitely in order.

Where to buy:  check the list of international stockists for PP.


Xmas holo candycane nails

Despite the lack of sun to really make them sparkle, I had to bust out the holo polishes anyway for my festive xmas nails.

Inspired by a lovely lady on one of my polish FB groups, I went with candycane stripes.  The red here is Super Chic's Realm of Erotica, a slightly cool and slightly berry-toned red super holo.  The green is Dance Legend Android.  Over all of them, I've stamped using Emily de Molly's silver holo stamping polish and the doubled ribbony stripes from BM-423.  This was one of those strange times where my cindy hand looked way better than my model hand:

Happy Holidays!


Winter Solstice nails: Heather's Hues Maverick + snowflakes

The sun has been gone for what feels like forever, so it was time to start pulling out duochromes and avoiding holos like the plague...

Maverick was from Heather's Hues recent LE duochrome collection, all of which are in very dark, vampy bases.  You can just barely start to see the purple shift along the top rim of the bottle here, but for the most part, on the nail it was a smoky sapphire blue without much shift.

Cold as it's already been throughout most of the country, it's now officially winter, and this super dark blue seemed the perfect background for some Solstice nail art.

I stamped using El Corazon Aurora Borealis - a super shifty blue to aqua to purple metallic shimmer - and the HeHe Fairy Tale 003 plate, which is a gorgeous assortment of individual snowflakes and snowflake patterns.

Rating:  3 out of 5 stars for Maverick.  The formula was just a little thick, but once I thinned it down it applied perfectly and wore great.  It's a bit darker than I'd expec…

CrowsToes Green Eyed Lady + a quick comparison

In the CrowsToes facebook fan group this week, someone asked for recommendations for all the dark green CTs there were...a clear reminder that I had yet to bring out Green Eyed Lady.

Green Eyed Lady is a deep, slightly-teal leaning forest green shimmer and not quiiiiite opaque gold metallic microflake in a dusky smoke-colored base; the overall effect is a forest green that has the glimmer of old bronze.

The flakies and shimmer obscure most glimpses of the smoky base - this isn't a flakie-in-jelly looking polish, even super close up.

That blackened base does mean that in some lighting this looks more black than green, but the little flashes of hammered bronze are always there, preventing this from ever being only black.

In bright sun, the tealy-green shimmer takes the forefront, but the flakes never get hidden completely.

The formula on this was perfect, with even opacity in 2 coats, and none of the stickiness or clumping that these flake-heavy polishes tend to do.

There's only…

Grace-full Blood Countess + a small comparison

Apparently, I'm on flakie-palooza lately, so here's one more:

Grace-Full released a vampire-themed collection earlier this year, and the one that caught my eye  was this lovely red somewhere between berry and ox-blood named for Elizabeth Bathory, Blood Countess.

Blood Countess is an utterly lush fall color, packed with ultrachrome flakies that shift pink, gold, and green.  This applied wonderfully evenly for a jelly polish, and looked great at 2 coats, though 3 coats brought the flakie density and color richness up to how the bottle looks.

After wearing it solo for a couple of days, I added a stamp in Emily de Molly Rose Gold using UR Beautiful 01.  I later mattified it, but though there was a definite difference IRL, the pics were utterly the same before & after.  Weird.

This beauty really reminded me of something else...

Barielle Elle's Spell is utterly classic for polish geeks and hands-down one of my all time fave reds.  It's a gorgeous berry shading toward c…

Girly Bits Friends Don't Give Friends Fruitcake

It's December, but I'm somehow not even a little in a holiday mood.  A flakie mood, though, THAT I can get behind.

Girly Bits released Friends Don't Give Friends Fruitcake as part of their super fun Ermahgerd Flerkers collection last year - this was the one entry that was an opaque stand-alone polish instead of a flakie topper.  It's a very rich bittersweet chocolate brown, packed with red extra tiny microglitter, a scattered holo effect (or is that more with the microglitters?), and iridescent lime green flakies.

Though there's a lot in here, the formula was nice and smooth and went on without being sticky or clumpy.  2 coats was good for opacity, but both the color and flakie concentration deepened to match the look of the bottle with a 3rd coat.

I've stamped here using El Corazon First Kiss (depending on the lighting, it's either a very dark pink or a very light red) and my recently received massive XXL-04 stamping plate.

Rating:  Fruitcake is a gorgeous…

Illamasqua Raindrops

After a week of bright, fun, tropical color followed by a return to the dreary impending winter, a neutral palate cleanser was in order.

I can't remember what swatch pics made me fall swoonily in love with Illamasqua's Raindrops, but this was on my lemming list for a while - it's tricky now to get this brand since they no longer sell in any US stores - and snapped it up when it was listed on a facebook destash recently.

Raindrops looks exactly like what it's called (apparently the inspiration pic that crafted it was indeed rain on a glass window).  It's a barely blue-leaning grey jelly sprinkled with silvery-white translucent flakes.  It's quite neutral on me (not a tan- or obviously blue-tinted grey), and I think it'd look nice on a broad range of skintones.

This was perfectly self-leveling on first coat, but slightly less so on second - it's very possible that if I'd waited for that first coat to 100% utterly and completely dry that the second wou…

Vacation Nails: Pretty Serious Khepri's Amulet

Suzy had the marvelous idea to get the heck out of dodge for the Thanksgiving holiday and let someone else do the dishes, so we just spent a week in sunny Puerto Rico!

Now, I don't have a whole post worth of pics, because I was too busy being on vacation (don't hate, just bask in remembered sunshine with me).  BUT this one pic right here tells you pretty much everything you need to know.  Pretty Serious is becoming my go-to vacation nail polish:  it's gorgeous, it wears great, touch-ups if needed are no biggie because the formula is so nice to work with, and if something happens to the bottle I can grab more in her store later (i.e., this isn't LE).

Khepri's Amulet is from Kaz' amazing "Museum of Naileontology" series, where she's captured the look and color of some very old, very hard to find polishes - in this case, Street Wear Hippy Dippy.  I'm wearing Khepri in 2 coats here, and the formula was basically perfect.

Rating:  This aqua pearles…

Doctor Lacquer Whirlpool

The weather has been a little shifty lately (cool outside and the heaters kicking on inside), AND my nails are of a length to make it work, so it's thermal time!

I think Whirlpool came home to me as part of last year's black friday shenanigans...but yeah, my pile of untrieds is so huge I can't keep em straight.  In any case, Doctor Lacquer had a whole collection of thermals that are the almost-clear to smoky-off-black sort, each with a different duochromatic shimmer added in, and this was my pick from that set to try out the brand.

Whirlpool has a similar shift to CrowsToes Season of the Witch, a pretty emerald green head-on that tilts to a lovely plummy purple at angles.

The color shift is most obvious on the cool state of a dark background (rather like layering any duochrome over a black undie to make it pop), but the clear-ish warm state gives an ethereal glowy pearl look that's quite lovely.

Like most thermals, this one dries to a satin, nearly matte finish.  Unlik…

NerdLacquer Holy Grail

Well, this week has been depressing as hell.  I needed something more cheerful than black mourning ASAP, and damn if some NerdLacquer didn't fit the bill.
Holy Grail is a soft, watery aqua with that little touch of grey that makes it wonderfully wearable for me with no lobster hand shenanigans.  It's packed with silver holo hexes in at least 3 sizes:
It's got a sparkly scattered holo finish beyond what the glitter sparks in bright sunlight:
And if that's not enough to make your inner 3-year-old smile, it glows in the dark to boot:
Holy Grail goes on in 2 painless coats, with no need for glitter fishing or placement.  It looks thick and the GITD pigment looks kinda sandy in macro pics, but none of that was an issue IRL.  Obviously, a Nerd glitter is gonna need more than one layer of topcoat if you're not down with some texture, but no big effort required.
Rating:  4 out of 5 stars for this cool, greyed but upbeat autumn sky.  Bonus:  it wore like IRON - note that my…