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Showing posts from October, 2016

Bats flying out of the night: Dance Legend thermo topcoat black

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I was off to a conference this week, so aimed for Halloween in a neutral-colored way to look pulled together with all my professional business attire, and ended up with bats flying in/out of the darkest night.

This is 2 coats of Orly Mirrorball, then stamping cute bats in NanaCoco Love Black (large accent nail bat from DXE20, smaller flying bats from BM-013), topped with 1 coat of Bow's Black Thermo, and with a final shadow-stamping of the big bat on the accent nail with Emily de Molly silver holo.  Black Thermo is a clear (warm) to black (cold) thermal with a scattering of holo sparkle that's been really popular for invisible/vanishing lace stamping designs lately.

This worked out 90% the way I wanted it to, but there were a few things I'd change up next time.  Important fact: Black Thermo doesn't warm up to a completely clear state - I could have skipped the 2nd layer of Mirrorball, since it doesn't show up as much as I expected underneath the greyish tinge of th…

Toma Copper Comets & Pumpkins

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This week's prompt on a stamping fb group was "black & orange only."  Orange is right down there with yellow as colors I don't touch, but I did have a quite orangey metallic copper that I thought would fit the bill.

Copper Comets was one of a half-dozen Toma polishes I picked up at some mall costume jewelry & hair do-dads place (Claire's or something similar) way back in the mid-90s.  Yes, kids, this polish is easily 20 years old, and with only a couple of drops of thinner it worked perfectly well.

I'd also just received the super cheap DXE20 plate from aliexpress, and while quality of the cheapies is always hit-and-miss, I'm happy to say this one gave me absolutely zero issues.  Pretty sweet trick considering how many broad open spaces there are in the designs I'm using, but I got perfect pick up and no bald spots every time without fighting for it.

All of these Toma polishes I picked up back in the day are "metallic illusion" serie…

Emily de Molly Sleep Walking

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The sun finally came out just a little, so time to switch up to a holo, and time to switch to something cool from all those earth tones.

Emily de Molly Sleep Walking is the first thing that's made me gasp with amazement in a while.  In the bottle, it's a rich sapphire blue, but as it's being applied the gorgeous teal-y jade green shimmer flashes to life.

The total effect most reminds me of the Femme Fatale holos that all had a gorgeous contrast shimmer, so whether or not you missed out on some of those, absolutely pick this up.  The formula was a little more simultaneously sheer and sticky that I like (2.5 coats are needed, but don't overwork it or you get dragged patches), but was utterly smooth under one layer of topcoat.  Cleanup was shockingly NBD for a blue this dark.

In the shade or low lighting, the jade shimmer sort of vanishes but makes the color lean a little more teal or slate blue.  The holo dust doesn't grey out the rich sapphire at all, though, and …

Shleee-o-ween No 3: Black Moon

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My last Shleee Halloween-a-palooza suggested itself the moment I started playing around with the bottle.  Black Moon is a black jelly base with blue microglitters and silver holo flake, plus a duochromatic shimmer that flashes purple to green.

The black base and purple/green flash is just exactly the opposite of an old favorite, CrowsToes Season of the Witch.  The base of the CT is more sheer and the duochrome is a glassfleck instead of a regular shimmer, but the magic here is that it's exactly the opposite:  Black Moon is purple head-on and green at angles, while Witch is purple head-on and magenta at angles.

Season of the Witch was roughly sponged over the tips of 2 coats of Black Moon.  Straight on above, and slanted angle below, where the colors are reversed.  Duochrome-ception!!

Witch is a good bit more shifty and always appears either green or magenta, while in lower lighting Moon is mostly black.  The silver holo flake and little blue sparkles keep it from being plain black…

Shleee-o-ween No 2: Royal Witch 3.0

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Back to the slightly interrupted all-Halloween-all-month nail fun:  Shleee Royal Witch.

Shleee isn't so much on the restocks on the regular, but with enough fan demand or a quick selling out of the first iteration, she does release "updated versions" of past colors, with very little variation in the batches that I can see.

Royal Witch is a lusciously vampy wine made of a plummy purple base plus some subtly duochromatic shimmer that tilts from a red-purple to a true red.  There's some extra tiny red glitters scattered in (about the same size as chunky glass fleck-type shimmer) that makes it dry down a little gritty; 2 layers of topcoat are needed to get a smooth finish over the 2 coats of polish here.

I've stamped using URB-10 and El Corazon white polish.  The skull design was just a skosh too wide for my nails, but the "shrinking" technique shown here works just as easily as it looks - the trick is to squish your stamper in the same direction you want t…

Negative Space Roses

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Weeeellll, not all Halloween ALL October, since I was at a wedding over this past weekend.  I stamped some large roses from URB-03 using Pretty Serious Santa's Sunburn over basecoat alone for a negative-space look.


It was pretty and delicate, but I think would have popped better and looked more finished over even one coat of a sheer white or nude.  Ah well, cute anyway.

Shleee-o-ween No 1: Eclipsed Moon Ritual + Strawberry Moon

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I've been picking up a whole bunch of Shleee's gorgeous contrast shimmer polishes lately, and her Halloween Mani contest means that now I'll be wearing them tout suite, too.

For the first all-Halloween-all-October mani, I picked 2 out of my little pile of Shleees.  First up, the gorgeous pearlescent Strawberry Moon, a barely grey base (see the edges of the bottle shot below) with a whole bunch of subtly duochromatic hot copper-to-bronze shimmer.  SM is fairly sheer, with some folks using 4 coats to opacity.  I'm wearing 2 here, and this kind of smoothly even sheer means I'm 100% fine with a hint of VNL.

I've paired SM with the deep dark chocolate of Eclipsed Moon Ritual, which contains a very similar copper-to-bronze shimmer plus a smattering of silver holo flakes.  EMR was a bit thick and sticky, and got draggy if over-manipulated, but covered completely in 2 coats.

In low light, EMR did have a tendency to look black, but the dusting of silver holo brightene…

Femme Fatale Sky Mirror

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Speaking of things I never really hope to have without forking over a bajillion dollars...

One of my biggest lemmings left to slay is RBL's Aqua Lily - I've bought more than a few teal polishes with a contrasty pink or purpley shimmer trying to soothe that one (all the attempts is certainly a post itself in the future!).  Recently, an absolute angel in one of my polish fb groups agreed to send me a swatch stick of Aqua Lily since it's a whole lot easier to decide whether or not a lemming is squashed if you have a reference standard.  The very same day this stick arrived in the mail, a group buy in one of my other fb groups was closing that included the 2 newest Beauty So Fly Femme Fatale exclusives...and that swatch was a dead ringer for Sky Mirror.

All of which makes Sky Mirror only sound cool for what it's close to, and noooo that's not the case.  After Liberty's formula left me cold, I'm leery of RBL cremes, and that swatch stick is most definitely an op…