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Showing posts from May, 2016

Orly Mirrorball (over white)

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One of the sought-after goals of the polish-making world is a true white holo; the trouble being that holographic particles are themselves generally metallic in origin, in other words, silver, such that the very act of adding holo dust to a base tints it toward grey.  A recent facebook group discussion had no consensus on who has the closest effort, with all offered candidates being at least a little grey.  Might as well try to squash that lemming layering spectraflair topcoats over white instead of buying an endless parade of barely-grey holos, right?

Orly's Mirrorball looks so much more like an indie than a mainstream polish, and I've actually seen a couple of indies release something close to it in recent months.  It's a true silver (neither golden champagne tinted, nor pewter gunmetal) linear holo spiked with tiny holo microglitters.  I've layered 2 coats of mirrorball over 2 coats of Pretty Serious Presence (a stark true white crème)... and utterly failed to come …

Pahlish Stormcage

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Everyone else does this thing where new stuff sitting on the swatching table somehow manages to jump ahead of all the other spectacular things in the mountain of untrieds, right?

Stormcage is from this year's There is a Song collection from Pahlish - so named for moments of importance for River Song from Doctor Who.  It was listed as "violet" and the swatch pics convinced me it was a blackened purple... but it's absolutely one of those colors you can debate about.  I ultimately decided it was darkest navy blue, but YMMV of course.

Filling this navy/violet jelly base is a dense array of flakes in at least a few colors.  I see larger silver metallic flakes, itty-bitty cobalt microflakes (or are they chunky glass flecks?), and lavender and grey microflakes.  The overall effect at arm's length is closer to purple, but like I said, debate away.

No matter what color you think this is, the flakes are utterly luscious in all kinds of lighting, and help make sure that thi…

Emily de Molly The Glaring

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Once upon a time last year, there was a polish charity auction where every bottle rapidly soared toward (and often past) the $100 mark.  There was one in there that I was just AAAARGH over not being able to snag... and then Emily de Molly released this beauty a couple of months ago that captures everything I loved about that one-off long-lost lemming.

The Glaring (btw, Emily de Molly, wish like anything you'd explain your polish names in the listings, cuz whut?) is a stunning sapphire blue jelly with a rich emerald green fine-milled shimmer, plus silvery holo glitter rounds in a couple of sizes.  The glitter pieces were stuck to the sides of the bottle such that no shaking could budge them, and yet, glitter placement on the nail was a perfectly easy thing with no fishing or dabbing needed.

The overall effect of the blue base + green shimmer + holo rounds was somewhere between outer space galaxy and deep sea waters.  Are the dots planets, stars, or bubbles?  I dunno, but the dark a…

Parrot Polish Arauna + Northern Lights

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I recently saw a swatch photo of Parrot Polish's Arauna that had me rushing to their store to snap that one up, plus a few other interesting shades (apparently, magnetic polish is a thing again, woohoo!), and I'm super glad that this new-to-me brand lived up to that fantastic pic.

Arauna is a lovely raspberry wine crelly thermal that actually appears to be both cool- and warm-sensitive.  It has a scattering of very fine holo particles that you can see in the bottle above, but really didn't translate to the nail at all (I'm thinking the formula was too opaque when cold to really let them show through).  I topped it with a coat of INM Northern Lights (a finely sparkling silver holo particle top coat - a total fave), so all nail pics you see here are more holo than Arauna would be alone.

Arauna had a utterly lovely formula - smooth and easy to work with - that dried down to a rubbery matte finish, typical for most thermal polishes.  While wet and then drying but without t…

Baroness X Quixotica + quick comparison

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Apparently, it's jelly + flakie week around here, so I reached for the color-wheel opposite of my last one, Baroness X Quixotica.

Quixotica is a luscious cool-toned emerald green scattered with ultrachrome flakies and then packed with a brightly sparkling shimmer that shifts from gold to green, giving the whole thing a watery look.  The flakies are an accent rather than the main show; this one is all about that gorgeous shimmer.

In angled light (above 2 pics), the shimmer looked like emerald green glass fleck.  In more direct light (below 2 pics), it was an earthy gold flash.


Something I didn't even notice until after I'd been wearing it for several days: that shimmer actually shifts past emerald and on into electric blue.  Gorgeous!!

I didn't even realize until I started editing pictures that I'd seen this before...

Stand in the Clouds was part of  Femme Fatale's 2014 Cthulhu collection, and has been sold out at stockists for quite some time.  Quixotica is not …

Elevation When the Cherry Met the Spoon

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Ok, back from my work trip and done with being subtle, dainty, or professional, I pulled out a vibrantly colored Elevation Polish, When the Cherry Met the Spoon.

Cherry was originally a prototype that then made it to the core line with (IIRC) a bit more holo dust.  It's a saturated berry wine shown here at 3 coats, but was much closer to berry-red at one coat or in bright sunlight, as below.

I honestly preferred the more red color, and if had been sheer but even at one coat, I would have left it that way.  Cherry has a scattering of color-shifting chrome flakies and a handful of holo dust tossed into its jelly base for visual interest in different lighting conditions, but the look in bright light stayed my fave.

I've recently snagged a bottle of Baroness X's new group custom, Sir Cockicorn, which is a 230-type shifting pigment in a clear base instead of the usual bluish- or purple-tinted base.  Since Cherry already had flakes and holo going on, why not add 230 and a stamp …

Faux White Watermarbling + Flakies

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This past week had me off to another work trip, this time for CE and hanging out with my colleagues from the other side of the country, so I went with professionally subtle, but with a definite nailista flair.

I was inspired by the lovely Emily de Molly - she had a gorgeous mani that involved flakies under a white stamp, and my new HeHe plates were just begging to be used.


This is one coat of Girly Bits Enabler, a gorgeously bright and seriously shifty iridescent flakie - it's more shocking pink than Essie Shine of the Times and her dupes, and I think might actually hit a few more colors overall, too.  I've then topped it with the freeflow watermarble pattern from HeHe 037, from their "Strange Stories From a Chinese Studio" collection.


Like most round plates, this one is pretty petite and I honestly would have liked it more if the marble design occupied an even half (or more) of the plate, instead of having the adorable goldfish and water lilies taking up 2/3 of the …

Flames because this week can DIAF

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I mentioned being out on a work trip last week, and boy howdy did I come back to a hot mess.  I've done nothing all week but put out fires, and I'm DONE.

I borrowed a page from Suzy - there was certainly no time for an actual re-do of a whole mani, so I topped my previous one with a darker color and was good to go.  This is Wet N Wild's classic plain ol' Black Crème, totally opaque in one thick coat, then topped with Born Pretty gold metallic then Pretty Serious Santa's Sunburn using the flame pattern in the bottom corner of Uber Chic's Out of Africa plate.


It was completely badass and exactly what I needed to get through the last day or two of the week.  Also, I think it turned out great.

~Michelle