Showing posts from February, 2016

2016 Oscars Nails!

Anyone who knows me knows what a movie junkie I am, and Oscar season is my superbowl.  Watching all the nominated movies is my end-of-season playoffs, aided by a partner that manages a movie theater, so all my film frenzy is free.  For the past couple of years, I've been joining some other film nerds for an annual Oscar party that involves door prizes for a costume contest... that I totally won with my stamp-a-palooza nail design.

This was my most ambitious nail art project ever, and I ultimately used 18 polishes, a handful and a half of plates, some free-hand painting, flame and french tip nail vinyls, a dotting tool, and my trusty clear jelly stamper to make a nod to each of the best picture nominees.  WHEEEEE!

On my left hand, we have:

Thumb: the grey-blue windowless shed of imprisonment from RoomPointer:  US and USSR flags for Bridge of Spies (my partner says this one is super on point, ha!)Ring:  a rocketship blasting off from the red planet for The MartianPinky:  newsprint an…

Native War Paints Jessica

For a good while now, I've lemming'd Sinful Colors Zeus - a cool lavender-grey with a fiery shimmer - though they've sadly never brought it back again like they sometimes do with LEs from older collections.  You can imagine, then, how quickly I snapped up Native War Paints Jessica the moment I saw it.

Jessica is a shifty crème, and I never 100% concretely decided what color it actually was: smoky taupe?  Lavender?  Blued grey?  In any case, the coppery red-pink shimmer adds its own veil to the overall color, making it a little more taupe-to-lavender in shade, and shining beautifully in bright light.
The formula was a little thick but very workable, leveling nicely in 2 coats.  
It also wore rather like iron, meaning it got stamped upon rather than changed out right away.
I used the circuitboard design from Bundle Monster's BM-415 plate with Born Pretty's metallic silver stamping polish.  The silver set off the red flashes of shimmer intriguingly, and I totally love…

Bundle Monster Sloteazzy Watermarble Plate with OPI Christmas Gone Plaid & Pretty Serious Hack the Halls

Watermarbles are super pretty, super trendy, and a stupendous pain in the ass - I'm just way too lazy to spend 10 minutes per nail.  I'm apparently not the only one, as tutorials on how to cheat them using silicone mats or nail vinyls or dragging a needle across your nail surface abound everywhere.  Since I'm not alone in avoiding watermarbles, Bundle Monster released a stamping plate in 2015 that was a blogger collaboration with marbling pro Sloteazzy that's been sold out several times now.

Short review: it's amazing.  Good, clear etching, and plenty of design space no matter how long your nails.

To start off with, I used OPI's Christmas Gone Plaid, a deep dark evergreen crème that's aaaalmost a one-coater (2 here) and shiny before topcoat.  The formula is very nice and stays where you put it; this pic has very minimal cleanup involved.  Watch out, as per usual for blues/greens this heavily pigmented, it'll stain the crap out of your cuticles, so pain…

Baroness X Maharet

I've seen a lot of her polishes around the internets, and then recently took the plunge to try out Baroness X.  My first one here is Maharet.

Maharet (named for the character in Queen of the Damned, woohoo 80s vampire lovers represent!!) is a rich wine-colored jelly filled with duochromatic microglitters that shift from electric blue to a bright fuchsia berry.  There's a few flakie/shards in the mix, too, but overall they were very subtle on the nail.

The jelly base of Maharet is richly pigmented, and needed only 2 coats for the opacity you see here.  I actually liked the color better on the first coat, when it was more brightly vibrant, than the vampy result of the 2nd layer... but that could be because I got 3 different bottles in 3 different shipments that were blue-in-wine (all different finishes, but still!), so I may have been extra critical here.

The microglitters are utterly gorgeous, and  easily show through whether they're being aqua-blue or berry at the time.


Lucky 13 Hardships Unnumbered

Today, I have yet another untried that languished far too long in my stash, Lucky 13's Hardships Unnumbered, from their Labyrinth collection.

Hardships is a mossy green jelly packed with green and gold shimmer - the overall effect is a warm, slightly murky green with a lovely shine and sparkle.  This took 4 coats to get to the opacity you see here, but the formula was easy to work with and dried quickly so that this wasn't a big deal.  This did that thing some jellies do with the clearing at the free edge, so note that none of this is tip wear, just how this polish looked.

Lucky 13's bottles are adorable, with the name and logo on the top of the cap, making them easy to find in your polish storage unit.  The large round cap (like Cult Nails' design) is a little chunky and not as precise-feeling as smaller wands, but the brush is nice, so it's a tossup.

The dreary late winter weather didn't cooperate, so you'll have to trust me: in bright sunlight or very br…

Vapid Lacquer Dark Twisted Fantasies for Valentine's Day

I'm not so much a cute pink kind of girl, but I do like a little smattering of holiday decorations, and I wanted to keep attempting to master the Russian magic of the needle marble, so all of that led to a simple heart accent nail(s) mani with Vapid's Dark Twisted Fantasies (150% appropriate for the love holiday, no?) rubbing up against a England's Rose Bower.

Dark Twisted Fantasies is the darkest plum wine you can get without it looking black (in low lighting, it looks like a warm off-black).  It's almost a one-coater, but 2 evened everything out to perfectly smooth opacity.  The linear holo is light and sparkling, not scorchingly blinding.  And it drips nicely into Rose Bower to melt into little hearts once I've dragged a needle through the drops.

DTF is far, far more holo than the subtle flash of Rose Bower, especially in bright light, which just added nicely to the cute contrast between the two colors.

Pretty without being too cutesy, dark without being emo abo…

OPI Visions of Georgia Green + experiments in decal creation

OPI has released a few rounds of their tribute/collaboration to Coca-Cola products, and while most of them seem pretty basic to me (I'm covered in the red and silver departments, thanks), this series has had a couple of very interesting greens.

Visions of Georgia Green is supposed to be a color nod to the iconic Coke glass bottle, and I think they did a fantastic job with that goal.  It's a very sheer color, needing 3 coats to get to the almost-opacity you see here, but at one coat especially, it's very obviously the watery sea green of old-style glass.  To this delicate green base, they've added some bright emerald glass flecks that show up best in bright light, and a flash of lavender shimmer that shows up best in low light - all the interesting complexity promised in the bottle translates nicely to the nail.

My office lighting, while not super flattering to my skin, managed to make both the lavender flash and the little emerald sparks show up most clearly.

When the …

a England Incense Burner

The dreary winter weather lately had me reaching for a lusciously vampy shade, a England's Incense Burner.

Incense Burner is a vampy, rich plum-raisin color (is it purple?  brown?  wine?  all of the above?) with a medium-intensity shimmer overlay.  It went on nearly opaque in one coat and was perfectly done in 2... and then promptly refused to be photographed accurately despite many contortions of lighting and 2 different cameras.  Most of my pics have this being far more black than it was IRL.
The bottle shot macro above, however, is genuinely color-accurate, and tells you everything you need to know about what this polish looks like on the nail.  It's an earthy, browned purple wine, and will look like either of these 3 colors in different lighting.  Yes, it's almost-black dark, and it does in fact look warmly off-black in low lighting, but is rarely visually completely black.  And that shimmer, oh that shimmer.  IB's shimmer is a gorgeous antique bronze that sparks …

Rescue Beauty Lounge Bubblegum Punk

The indie polish world had a collective "gasp!!" recently when Rescue Beauty Lounge announced their imminent closure.  At half price, a few of these pretties couldn't be passed up, even though I knew Murphy's Law mandated I'd fall in love with a brand I can't ever get again.

Bubblegum Punk, from an R29 collaboration with RBL, is a sheer iridescent white that could easily be a shimmery topper, but is quite pretty on its own in 3 coats.

I'm not 100% sure if this sparkle is due to glass flecks or a very tiny microflakie shimmer, but either way, the particles responsible for that twinkling are ethereally lovely...and utterly sticky on the skin (paint carefully, polish fiends!).  Thankfully, the formula is approximately perfect, and stays exactly where you put it, so minimal clean-up is necessary.

The barely-nude sheer base suspending the sparkles is not at all sufficient for opacity, but this is the kind of VNL that I think is pretty and sexy, so that's a…