Showing posts from August, 2016

Dance Legend Dirty Love

I caught a blog post a couple of days ago that reminded me magnetic polishes are so a thing again now (yay!!) and that there was a fistful of them sitting untried (what, surely you jest?!), and that was exactly the inspiration I needed to reach for one of them.

Dance Legend's Dirty Love is the only polish from their GoldenEye collection to not have a James Bond-inspired name (unless I'm missing it completely - do enlighten me, please!).  It's a warm, plummy wine packed with magnetic coppery shimmer, and dusted with electric blue glass flecks.  At one coat, all the magical ingredients are evenly dispersed and nicely visible:

After painting one thin coat on both hands, I gave it time to dry a bit more by going ahead and cleaning up around the edges.  Next, I painted one nail at a time and used DL's straight line neodymium magnet to pull the copper sparks into a diagonal across the nail.  After the last nail was done, I then topcoated one nail at a time, again holding the…

Femme Fatale Highgarden

"Red" was the color the man picked this week, and when I rolled my eyes at his choices being typically only red, blue, or green, he asked, "are there other colors?"  Silly boys.

Anyway, sorting through untried reds caused this gem to bob to the top:

Femme Fatale made Highgarden for the April 2015 Game of Thrones-themed What's In-Die Box.  Since this collab box was all-Aussie around the time that shipping polish out of Australia got to be more than a little tricky, not a whole ton of it made it stateside as far as I can tell.  The luscious emerald green shimmer overlay made this a die-hard lemming as soon as I saw a swatch pic, and I was lucky enough to snag a bottle in a sample sale last Fall.

Instead of the brick red with green shimmer I was expecting, Highgarden is a real chameleon with plenty of personalities in different lighting.  The base is indeed a brick or rusted red jelly with a gorgeously contrasting shimmer overlay, but for me this shimmer was more …

Wine Nails: a England Dragon & Princess Sabra

This week, I was off to a champagne tasting (bubbles all around!) with my fave wine nerd pal, so festive fingers were called for.

I started with a skittle of a England Dragon and Princess Sabra.  The coppery bronze flash in the middle of dragon and the olive base to Princess's gold complimented each other nicely.  Bottle pics show Dragon's contrasting shimmer better than these nail pics, but it's very much there IRL.

Dragon is a 2-coater; almost one if you paint thickly, but I needed a 2nd to just cover over some spots here and there.  PS was a 2-coater the first time I wore it a good while ago, but it was more 2 and a half this go-round - maybe I didn't shake the bottle back up enough?

In any case, both are shimmering scattered holos - more the subtle suggestion of a prismatic sparkle than an arc of rainbow flame.  Both required utterly minimal clean-up and had rather perfect formulas, because that's how aE rolls.

I stamped the gold nails using the grape & lea…

Vacation Nails: Turquoise Stone

I just got back from a fantastic vacation (woohoo!) where I'd actually kept the same polish on all week, even though I brought some spares to changes things up.  I just loved this so much and it wore so great that there was no switches needed.

I took my inspiration from Very Emily's tuquoise stone nails, and in fact, had bought HeHe plate 081 because of the fantastic tutorial on her post.  I was over the moon that this was one of the times where a pin/tutorial/how-to/instructionable/whatever actually worked exactly as planned!

I started off with 2 and a half coats of Elevation Polish The Merchant's son (originally part of collab duo with Pahlish), a beautifully rich mid-tone turquoise with a subtle shimmer.  This polish is supposed to be a tonal thermal, transitioning from light to dark, but my bottle appears to be dead.

Over the creamy base, I've stamped the most open-looking stone- or spray-marble pattern from this plate - there are 4 different very randomly organic …

Shleee Harvest Moon 2.0 + OPI Blushingham Palace + comparison

Shleee Polish used to be known for funky glitters, but I've become enamored of her recently released "moon" series of contrast shimmers.  When Harvest Moon 2.0 showed up at my house this week, it bubbled right on up to the top of the queue.

Harvest Moon is a cool blue-tinted slate grey, packed with an almost glass-fleck shimmer that shifts from pink to bronze.  I've paired it up with OPI Blushingham Palace, a mauve pink shimmer.

Both were nicely opaque in 2 coats, and both formulas were easy to work with (which surprised me considering the OPI is an old-school formula).  The pink managed to be pearlescent instead of frosty, and the grey's shimmer translated nicely to the nail, so good times all around.

Tying my pairs back together, I stamped over Blushingham with MoYou London Frosted Lips, and over Harvest Moon with MyL Galaxy, using the feathers image from BornPretty BP-75 plate.

The pink & grey is a little more girly than my typical, but I think it turned …

Blue-Eyed Girl Bound to the City Life

Apparently, it's blue week around here, because one just wasn't enough.  This round went darker but still sparkly with Blue-Eyed Girl Bound to the City Life.

Bound to the City Life is a rich, deep blue with just a touch of teal.  The jelly formula builds quickly, opaque enough in 2 coats, but with a matte finish that absolutely needs topcoating.  The ultra tiny holo microglitters were unusually topcoat hungry, drying down to a slightly gritty texture and needing a 2nd layer of topcoat the next morning.

This shade of blue is right up my alley and looks great with my skintone.

The holo-y twinkles were shy in all but the brightest lighting, otherwise looking like dim stars in a midnight background.  Here's a blurred-out shot to show the overall quantity of rainbows:

I wanted to stamp with a delicate enough image that the holo could continue to twinkle through, and the stained-glass sort of kaleidoscope from Stampholic ST-1 fit the bill.

Rating:  3 out of 5 stars.  Unfortunate…

Zoya Muse

Sometimes, the urge to feel like a mermaid just takes hold of ya.

Zoya Muse is a light, swimming pool blue jelly filled with a sparkling shimmer somewhere between gold and aqua, and packed with plenty of tiny round iridescent microglitters.

The formula is smooth and easy to work with, needing 3 thin coats to get to the mostly-opaque state I'm wearing here.  This did cling to my cuticles like a darker blue would have; that plus all the tiny glitters meant cleanup was more challenging than usual.

Muse wore like a jelly on me, which is to say that there was some edgewear within a day and a half or so.  Fortunately, the normal irregularities of the finish meant that touch-ups were super easy.

Recently, my stamping plate pile is growing as quickly as my polish pile.  I've seen a few stunning examples of the large single fish image from Messy Mansion's MM 29 plate used across the whole hand, and since my nails were already ocean blue, this seemed like an ideal time to try it out…

Pahlish Hello Sweetie

After the rich, dark colors I'd been wearing, I felt the need to swing in the opposite direction, toward pastel and springtime.  Pahlish's Hello Sweetie to the rescue.

Hello Sweetie is a bright, cool blue-toned lilac that bordered on neon.  Wait, what?  Yep, that bottle pic above is pretty color accurate - HS dries down to a bit cooler and a lot brighter than what's in the bottle, with bright silver flakes peeking through.

I think this happens to be a pastel version of one of those shades that hits in the odd zone between blue and purple that makes most cameras freak out, leading to most of the swatch pics I've seen looking softer, lighter, and more greyed.  I've picked shots that I think are more color-accurate, but they still come off as a little muted from what this looked like IRL.

The crelly finish needed one very thin coat laid down first and allowed to dry nearly completely before moving on to avoid pulling and stickiness.  That first coat was patchy and une…

ILNP Peace, Enchanted Polish Entwined, and Chaos & Crocodiles Cheshire Rose comparison

While the ever-changing nature of duochromes captures my heart every time, there's one sad truth to keep in mind:  there's apparently only so many unique duochromatic pigments out in the world.  I've gotten snared by my same fave colors over and over so that I try to talk myself out of anything new that makes my heart flutter.  Peace is gorgeous enough that I've said no to some similar-looking polishes, and very conveniently I was road-tripping off to visit Suzy who just happened to have a bottle of a recent HHC I'd managed to pass on, so a comparison was in order.

The bottle shots give the story away pretty clearly:  none of these are dupes for each other, but they're all most definitely "cousins" if not "sisters" in the same color family.

For all nail swatches, my middle and pinky are ILNP Peace, index is Chaos & Crocodiles HHC Cheshire Rose, and the ring is Enchanted Polish Entwined.  I have here 2 coats each of CR and Entwined, and 3…