Showing posts from January, 2016

CrowsToes Finnnally, IT’S HOODIE TIME!! and a quick comparison

I have a love-hate relationship with subscription/collaboration boxes.  On one hand, lots of makers use them to try out ingredients they only have a limited quantity of, or try making something splashy far outside their typical comfort zone, and the results can be stunning.  On the other hand, I've never yet come across one of these boxes that I just had to have more than one or two of the polishes, so I end up scrounging for the special one in the secondary market later.

When the man suggested "blue with orange stars" (i <3 my colorblind color maven) for polish, I was reminded of this epic lemming hanging out with the untrieds.  CrowsToes Finnnally, IT’S HOODIE TIME!! was from the September 2014 a box, indied, and quickly became a fan fave, ending up on several best-of-the-year lists, then going for crazy money on the secondary market.  It's a gorgeously dusty navy blue jelly packed with orange metallic glitters in several sizes, inspired by Lauri's fave Syr…

Cadillacquer Winston + Snowpocalypse stamping

Continuing both my Cadillacquer untrieds and my neutral/traditional color following a bold one, today i have Winston, also from the Eat the Rude (Hannibal) collection.

Winston, named for the main character of the show's shaggy dog, is a grey-leaning taupe with Cadillacquer's signature loosely linear/tightly scattered holo, and an  interesting flash of blue courtesy of some microflake shimmer.

This is a warm or putty type of taupe (debatably grey) that's cooled down interestingly by the blue flash.  Same typically creamy formula from Cadillacquer, with the propensity to stay only where you put it, minimizing necessary clean-up.

The holo sparkle is both pretty and subtle, far more integrated than in-your-face, as typical for this maker.

With our recent snowpocalpse (we had over 30" in one weekend here!!!!!), I was inspired by the multitudes of blue & white snow manis on one of my nail groups on facebook, so used the same Born Pretty BP-01 plate's snowflakes as …

Cadillacquer Wolf Trap + some stamping + a quick comparison

I only have a few Cadillacquers left in my untried pile, and conveniently, one's a dark and dramatic color while the other is a modern neutral, so my alternates game can continue if I go through them both.  Wolf Trap, from the recent Eat the Rude collection inspired by Hannibal (we loved this show at my house!!) is first up.

Wolf Trap (named for the region in Virginia that the show's main character lives in) is a rich hunter green with the same loosely linear/sparkly scattered holo that I'm now convinced is very much Cadillacquer's calling card.  It additionally has some blue-tinged green microflake shimmer that adds interest in lower lighting.

Office lighting also played prettily with the microflake:
I realized after a couple days of wearing Wolf Trap that it wasn't my solo dark green holo, so here's a quick swatch-stick comparison.
From left to right (for the sticks above and the bottles below) is Cadillacquer Wolf Trap, Pahlish Bialowieza Forest, and Glitte…

Cadillacquer A Dragon is Not a Slave + stamping

Continuing my back-and-forth of dramatic vampy winter colors alternating with neutrals, today I have Cadillacquer's A Dragon is Not a Slave, from their 2015 GOT collection.

The lovely bronze-copper flash on the edge of the bottle and down the middle of the nail is not at all a trick of the light - this is absolutely how Dragon rolls.  We have here a warm, taupe-y grey with a delicate linear holo and plenty of fiery shimmer.

The shimmer is subtly duochromatic, appearing more reddish coppery directly, and more golden bronze at angles.

The holo here, as with both of the other Cadillacquer polishes I've tried, is what some people call "scattered linear," not the sort with a blinding holo flame.  The very fine refractive particles create sort of a light dusting of rainbow.

The overall effect is of a smouldering fire within smoky ashes, and it's a fantastic color.
In shady or low light, both the shimmer and the holo become quite subtle, leaving a warm, very wearable g…

Enchanted Polish Neptune

Continuing her reign as greatest polish enabler of all time, Suzy alerted me several weeks ago to an upcoming Enchanted Polish restock, which included the launch of their new collaboration shade with iparallaxe, Neptune.

UNFF.  Just look at that color.  Suzy wins life/the interwebs/etc.

Neptune is utterly gorgeous in the bottle - a richly saturated, deep teal, sparkling with holo microglitters, that has a fantastic royal purple shift.  It's got a rather jelly-like formula that gets sticky in between coats and makes it challenging to wrap your tips without them getting too thick, but the shine was perfect even before topcoat, and it was nicely evened out at 2-3 coats.
But OMG is it worth any application troubles!  The tiny little holo glitters spread out to a nicely even distribution, the thickness of the jelly base means there's no pooling in the cuticles, and sweet baby octopus that color!
Winter is absolutely not helping my photography needs, refusing to dole out sunlight in…

Girly Bits Eggnogoholic + stamping

Apparently, my pendulum is going to swing with each mani from a light color to a vampy one.  Maybe that's my new deal this year:  office appropriate then crazy each week?  Who knows?!

Girly Bits Eggnogoholic was from a holiday collection (of course, given the name) from a couple of years ago.  It's a barely off-white color that my grandmother would have called "almond," and it's in a translucent crelly finish that gets a lovely shine with one layer of topcoat.

VNL was certainly happening in all lighting conditions, but in that delicately feminine way that I think is pretty and not a flaw.  I'm wearing 2 coats here, but I'm not really sure you'd get to opacity even with 4.

The small, opaque gold glitters in Eggnogoholic are a subtly festive touch to an otherwise subtle neutral.  They're not holo or flashy, just a gentle break in the color.  I wore this to a meeting with the big boss, with no concern that it was anything other than office appropria…

Femme Fatale Sideshow Sparkler

After my light, pretty gold, the vampy shades of winter reasserted themselves, and I was reminded I'd paid crazy shipping costs to get this single bottle of polish exported from Singapore: Femme Fatale's Sideshow Sparkler.

Sideshow Sparkler is a deep blue-tinged purple jelly, packed with a dark emerald green shimmer and scattered with holo microglitters in a rainbow of fruit flavors.  Both opacity and depth of the shimmer are achieved at 3 coats.

This polish was plenty sparkly and did an amazing job of catching any flash of light around, but it was surprisingly topcoat hungry, and I think I really needed more than the single layer I used to make this shine properly.  You can see the little holo flashes in the brighter pic above, while the various colors of the glitters are shown below.
Swatch photos I'd seen elsewhere really played up the green shimmer (to the point where some of them actually look more green than purple overall), and I think my lack of undying love for th…

Pretty Serious Mummy Mush

I was away on a lovely (and long overdue!) vacation mid-December, and my Pretty Serious haul had just arrived when it was time to pick a few bottles to pack up with me.  Sparkly Mummy Mush caught my eye immediately and was the first thing I put on.  It wore like IRON, looking flawless a week later.  I just had to repeat this one for my New Year's Eve mani.

This is a gold polish with a whole lot going on. First off, Mummy Mush is a delicate, sheer pink base:

Packed with sparkling glass flecks that shift from gold to green to electric turquoise:

And packed with enough gold shimmer to produce a hammered-metal foil sort of effect:

The overall effect is subtly shifty, like it's a surprise duochrome.  The pink base warms the color up and keeps it from being too stark, while the aqua sparkle cools things into a surreal, otherworldly shade.  Seriously, this stuff glows in low lighting, like it's catching the last rays of the sun and intensifying them - it was an effect impossible …