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Showing posts from 2017

Clear Jelly Stamper Out of Africa, CJS-15 plate review

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This week, I hit the zoo with my coworkers for a sorta teambuilding event... but really, wine tasting at the zoo!  Themed nails were clearly called for, and i could either go with wine or zoo, but the animals won.


First, I painted one single perfect coat of Jade Extasy, a light silvery blue linear holo.  Side note, UGH do I miss Jade.  These are rather small bottles, but the formula is just perfection, seriously no cleanup needed, and BAM look at that rainbow!  Then I used a handful of different stamping polishes and the CJS-15 plate - it's called "Out of Africa" on their web page, but labeled only with the number on the plate.


As with other Clear Jelly Stamper plates I've tried, the images are really detailed but very small. These plates always look bigger than reality on the web store, but even the smallest nails will have no problem finding room for an animal on each one, and long or broad nails could easily fit a safari's worth per nail.  My nails are about …

Polished for Days Milky Way + Baroness X Singularity + OPI Movin' Out comparison

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This past July, the theme of For the Love of Polish was "galaxy," and while the other 2 polishes in that box got a lot of buzz, the deep navy from Polished for Days was the first one that caught my eye.

Polished for Days is a new-to-me brand, and this first try was a real winner.  Milky Way is a deep dark (but never black!) navy blue that is absolutely filled with ruby red shimmer, enough so that the look at arm's length tilts decidedly toward purple.  In my mind, this is OPI Russian Navy with the shimmer dialed all the way up to 11.

I'm wearing this in 2 coats, though it was aaaaaaaaalmost a 1 coater.  Milky Way has an excellent formula of ideal thickness that stays where you put it, with no cuticle pooling - pretty critical for something this dark that would be otherwise difficult to clean up.

Obviously, a navy blue background that's already showcasing a red flash prompted the need to top this with some 230/UP, and my picks from Baroness X's recent Shift in…

Emily de Molly Understatement

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I got away to the beach for this past holiday weekend, and the festivities required something fun and of course holo for the sunshine!

Emily de Molly Understatement is certainly anything but.  It's a rich, deep, true red jelly, filled with gold holographic glitters.

I'm wearing 3 coats here - the color was pretty and had leveled out nicely at the 2nd coat, but each coat deepened the resulting color from a brighter, more poppy or orangey red to a flaming scarlet at 3 coats, which matched the look of the bottle.

I made decals on my stamping mat using Esmaltes da Kelly Joanna and MoYou London Flower Power 04 for the tomato-red flower outlines, then filled them in with Tris.  I loved the retro summertime look!

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars, Understatement is simply my new fave red. It's a good formula and a fantastic color, AND it wore very well too.  Hearts & flowers all around!

Where to buy:  direct from Emily de Molly, or scroll to the bottom of her store to take a look at …

CrowsToes Always

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When Lauri released Total Eclipse of the Crow, I also snagged one I'd wanted from her "Triple M" collection earlier this year.  No polish should travel alone, right?

Always is a beautifully ethereal pearl pink base that exists only as a vehicle for the glowing electric blue shimmer.  It's duochromatic, shifting to magenta pink at angles, but most of the time the shimmer fired blue for me.  Always had an excellent formula of ideal thickness - I expect sheers to be runny or pool in the cuticles, but nope, this was perfection.

Most of the pics I have here make the glow of the blue look soft or subtle, and that was only the case in dim lighting.  In bright light outdoors or in, that blue shimmer truly was electric, and glowed like a ghost you can't get out of your heart.  The flash in the bottle below is very accurate, even where my nails look slightly more muted.

Always is of course a reference to Snape's heartbreaking revelation toward the end of the Harry Pot…

CrowsToes Total Eclipse of the Crow

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One good eclipse deserves another, right?  When the maker of CrowsToes mentioned she was having family in to watch the eclipse go right overhead, I shouted out for an eclipse polish...and with enough clamoring from the rest of the fan group, we got it!

CrowsToes Total Eclipse of the Crow is an inky sapphire packed with glassfleck shimmer in at least 2 colors to my eye - I see gold and green in there, maybe silver too?  I also caught a very occasional flash of sparkle that was suggestive of a pinch of holo dust thrown in the mix, but I'm not at all classifying this as holographic.

Eclipse was nearly opaque in one coat, but I've done 2 here for perfect depth and coverage.  This was  a touch too thick with all the shimmer particles in there, but a couple drops of thinner had it flowing nicely even.

In full sun, this was sparkly like stars in a night sky (stars in an eclipsed sky???) while not being glitter-style blingy.

In lower light, the glassfleck elements revealed themselves …

Don Deeva "Love Kills" Duo - Sid Vicious & Nancy

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"Unicorn Pee" (GAH how I hate that moniker.  but one must swim with the tide - note that my "230/FF" tag has been updated to include UP in there.  sigh.) is back in craze in a huge way with indie nail polish creators over the past few months.  I'm not alone in this being my fave sparkle pretty much ever, and even in a hoard that's kinda out of control, I just can't say no to this magic.

Don Deeva has been releasing a few Clarins 230/Fantasy Fire/Unicorn Pee polishes over the last year or so, then announced this pair in her fan group this month - a duo of jelly polishes with DOUBLE the typical amount of shifty shimmer in them.  Obviously, these got snapped up by yours truly ASAP.

The two have utterly identical formulas - both go on perfectly smooth, but need extra dry time in between coats due to their jelly nature - with Sid Vicious the more wine purple and Nancy the violet purple.

There was of course no way to pick which I was wearing first, so as the…

Solar Eclipse!!!!!!!!! Femme Fatale Gravity Lapse

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Being a scientist and a huge science nerd, I went all kinds of nutso over the solar eclipse that was at more than 80% of totality in my area...I got eclipse stamps at the post office (they're thermal!!!), scrounged up a pair of legit glasses last-minute, and of course had to get my nails all ready to go, too!

Gravity Lapse is from Femme Fatale's 2013 collection of linear holographics with gorgeous contrasting shimmer, all of which have space/Warcraft themed names.  This one is a steely grey with a subtly duochromatic shimmer that leans a little purple to a little green.

Like all of this collection, the formula is just flawless, with perfect opacity at 2 coats and approximately no cleanup needed.  Interestingly enough, the brush is noticeably smaller than what most indies in general and even Femme Fatale currently use.  Huh.  Oh well, no problems applying it anyway, even with the extra dips back into the bottle that were needed.

For my design, I went pretty literal, creating a …

Tonic Dragon Scale + stamper smoosh

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In my efforts to get through my big pile of untried polishes, it's nice to sometimes stop with my swatching and actually play around with learning new techniques.

Tonic Polish was a recent maker of the month for Hella Holo Customs, and the luscious forest green Dragon Scale was my immediate must-have.  It's a smooth linear holo in the typical somewhat thick Tonic style, with some subtle iridescent flakes tossed into the mix.  It's nearly a one-coater, and if you layer on your first coat with a heavier hand than mine, one is all you'll need.

For the 2 middle nails on both hands, I got the idea from a compilation video posted to one of my FB polish groups.  The video credited Sveta Sanders, but no hint of the mani I saw was to be found even after scrolling through the past year and a half of her IG posts.  The closest similar technique was one found in this video, where she layers drops of polish then smooshes them between 2 sheets of plastic.  On my middle and ring fin…

Femme Fatale Maze of Mirrors

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I mentioned in the last post that I was out of town for a wedding.  Well, it was a lovely after-5, dress up in cocktail dresses and enjoy the garden party sort of affair, which means I certainly had to have my nails compliment my deep turquoise dress and aquamarine jewels.

I've worn Femme Fatale Maze of Mirrors once before as an accent nail and striping polish, but this time I went with it solo.

This time, I did one less coat, stopping at 2 - it's a slightly lighter, more ethereal look than getting Maze up to complete opacity, but the bottle-glass aqua color is still there in full glory.  If anything, the golden shimmer seemed even more apparent to me this time.

While I'd originally intended to stamp using gold polish and a pattern that was complimentary to my dress, The gold shimmers and delicately blingy holo sparkle spoke for themselves enough to not need anything else.

While the shimmer and glittery bits were a little effort to remove later, they made things extremely…