Showing posts from 2017

Dreamland Lacquer Alpenglow II

As I'm sure we're all quite well aware, I'm a super sucker for Clarins 230-type shifty shimmer, and holy octopus did this pigment explode in popularity this year.  Not only did we get tons of toppers, but also more than a few really creative base colors to showcase the shift, and even a couple of long-lost fan favorites brought back for another round!

Alpenglow was a limited edition release back when Dreamland was called Smitten Polish.  She re-released it on a limited basis this year for the Dreamland Lacquer FB fan group, so pics here are the version labeled Alpenglow II. 

The name Alpenglow is utterly perfect for this polish - an alpine evergreen with a warm glow.  The base starts out as a distinctly yellowy green jelly that then becomes deeper and magically less yellow with each coat.  Smooth and even at 2 coats, it looked good enough to stop... but that 3rd coat deepened the color further to the rich promise of the bottle and brought the overall tone closer to pine gr…

Holiday Houndstooth

Ever since I did plaid nails, I've been wanting to do more textile-themed designs, and the holiday season inspired me to make it red & blingy.

Starting with one of my all-time fave black polishes, Blue-eyed Girl Together Dead and Lonely, I then stamped with SuperChic Realm of Erotica using the XXL-4 plate.

Realm of Erotica looks more true red in the bottle, but is in fact cool-toned berry red - my sunlight shots show this as just a hair warmer due to the warm tint of the light, but this shade shot is color accurate.  I've ended up liking this polish a whole lot more as a stamper than as full-coverage, with the bonus that the blinding linear holo is fare more apparent in thin stamping layers than at full thickness.

Happy solstice and all winter holidays to everyone!


Blue Snowflakes - Baroness X Bifrost

Baroness X has been making some truly amazing creations as one-and-done batches, sold as the monthly mystery polish.

Bifrost, the June 2017 mystery polish, is a pale icy blue that leans only very subtly toward aqua.  There's a delicately sparkling linear holo effect in there, plus an overlay of a 230/UP "sister" type shimmer pigment that tilts from the sort of fuchsia-pinky that my camera mostly refuses to see properly over to a soft minty green.

The green flash + the delicate holo effect is above, while the pink flash seen in direct light is below (though, again, IRL the pink was more dramatic):

Bifrost had a perfectly lovely formula that went on smoothly at 2 coats and proceeded to wear very nicely for the several days I had it on.

I've stamped here first with white stamping polish using a full-nail snowflake design from Kads 005, then put a small accent snowflake in Llarowe's CBL Addicts Blue Me Away using the tiny individual snowflakes from the same plate.  T…

Color Club We'll Never Be Royals + Orly Ingenue

A couple of years ago, Color Club came out with their versions of some duochrome colors that so many of us were in love with, and people who had never been introduced to this magic had their heads explode.  The stand-out must-have was We'll Never Be Royals, which I snapped up as an alternate to my much beloved Hits Unconventional (only hopefully with a better formula).

Royals is an utterly swoon-worthy plummy wine that shifts over to royal purple then sapphire blue on one side, or scarlet red on the other.  At extreme angles, it hits all the shades hinted at by my 2 quick pics here (work was KRAY this week, and with the super short winter days there's literally not enough hours in the day to get a good pic sometimes).  My ring finger is 2 coats of Orly Ingenue - a gorgeous cool gold microflake packed into a neutral, nude-ish pink base that's extremely wearable while being super blingy.  On all Royals nails, I've used a fan brush lightly dipped in Ingenue and then drug …

Plaid nails - OPI Yoga-ta Get This Blue

The holiday season is barreling down on us, and while I'm not one for santa & painting everything red & green, I am all about dressing up my nails for holiday parties.  This weekend, my book club was having a white elephant gift exchange, and I was inspired by another blogger's fantastic plaid nails to bust out plaid stamping plates of my own.

For the base of this rich holiday plaid, I'm using OPI Yoga-ta Get This Blue, a deep sapphire pearl shimmer that's aaaaalmost a one-coater.  Two plus topcoat here, of course, with the usual caveat about the need to paint super carefully when dealing with a blue this saturated so you're not later trying to sandblast your cuticles.  Pro tip: I've recently discovered that my electric toothbrush does a killer job at getting the last little specks of these really dark polishes out from under my cuticle edge when used with just plain water the next morning.  For the plaid design, I've stamped with MoYou London Silve…

Baroness X Ghastly

With the drop in temperature, and sorta warmer days but definitely cooler nights, it's the time of the year where thermals are best.

Ghastly was my instant must-have from this year's Halloween release by Baroness X.  It's a Thermal that goes from black when cold to barely grey when warm, layered with pastel iridescent flakes and a "sister pigment" to the Clarins 230 type that shifts from green to aqua and blue.  The overall effect when the polish is cold is of a deep blackened emerald, or a subtle smoke jelly when warm.

For the most part, this polish stayed somewhere in the middle for me.  Most of the time, it stayed more charcoal than the deep black seen in the bottle, then light dove grey rather than actually clear.

The transition color was plenty pretty, especially in the right light, with the little sparkle flashing off the iridescent flakies.

Next time I wear this, I think I'll try it with some light green undies - the name Ghastly is just a little too c…

Girly Bits Darkly Dreaming

It's rapidly getting colder around here, with less leaves on the trees, and a quick slide toward winter barreling down on us.  Definitely time for something vampy-dark!
Girly Bits Darkly Dreaming is a deep forest green jelly sprinkled with fiery copper shimmer.  It's a very wearable, earthy green that never tipped into looking black in lower lighting.  The first coat went on a bit streaky and uneven like saturated jelly polishes often do, and the 2nd coat didn't quite even that out for me.  Though I liked the slightly lighter color at 2 coats better, a 3rd coat was needed for opacity and evenness, which also brought it to the same color depth as what you see in the bottle.
In lower lighting, the deep base color swallowed up most of the shimmer, with just a little glimmer flashing out here and there, while more of the glowing embers look flashed out with light shining directly on it.
I don't always have the best luck with jelly polishes, and Darkly Dreaming is no except…

Bee's Knees Lacquer House on Haunted Chill

New to the scene Bee's Knees Lacquer is making a big splash all over my nail polish FB groups, with a whole lot of the oohs and aahs being about this home run, House on Haunted Chill:
Chill is a true chameleon, looking all kinds of different in different lighting - i.e., both the bottle shot above and the macro below are color-accurate though they look completely different.  First, we have a cool, medium-blue jelly base that's quite easy to work with; no pulling or sticky texture on the 2nd or 3rd coats.  Then, we have this utterly incredible multichromatic shimmer that's pretty damn near metallic in its light-reflecting flash, and shockingly doesn't stick too crazy bad to your cuticles to make cleanup impossible (though a later good scrub did help get the last stragglers).  Nice!  Note that the super shimmer did make this 100% opaque IRL, the above pic just happens to be the sort of angle where the camera "sees through" the shimmer and makes it look like VNL…

A England Briarwood with Dixie Plates Marbled 01 - super vacation nails!

No posts at all in well over a week!  Well, that's because I was on an absolutely fabulous vacation to Italy, and we were so busy the whole time that I didn't get a chance to use the whole kit full of nail polish that I'd brought along.
Picking polish for a vacation is a whole system for me.  You can't go with anything limited edition or otherwise hard to replace, in case something goes wrong with your luggage.  You can't go with anything too sheer or fussy or difficult to clean up, because the entire mani desk and all the standard supplies aren't along for the ride.  End result:  pick something hard-wearing, easy to work with, and readily replaceable if necessary.
A England is an obvious choice.  I'm wearing Briarwood here, a lovely deep scarlet red with a delightfully autumnal brown tint.  Like most of Adina's magic, this is a one-coater if you paint with medium or thick coats, and adding a second is only needed if you do a very thin first coat.  I di…

KB Shimmer Let's Slang

This week felt like something dark & vampy was called for, so I pulled KB Shimmer Let's Slang on over to the mani desk.

Let's Slang was an exclusive to last year's PolishCon that quickly sold out once people realized that the little glimmers within were the Clarins 230 type red-to-green shifty shimmer.  Thankfully, Christy was able to find more of this shifting pigment, and re-released Let's Slang along with a half a handful of other polishes with it a couple months ago.

This is a very saturated inky sapphire blue jelly, just sheer enough to let the sparkly pigment peek out.  The first coat was streaky and uneven, but much more obviously blue.  The second coat brought the base up to a really pretty sapphire just a touch lighter than the bottle, but was still a little uneven.  Three coats brought the color all the way as deep and dark as the bottle color, and was both completely even and completely opaque.

In bright sunlight (which we have had vanishingly little of …

Cameo Colors Victims Aren't We All?

Though October is done, I'm not quite ready to stop with Halloween (in fact, no less than 3 stamping plates showed up on the 31st that had at least one Halloween design on them!  AAAARGH!!).  A blood red seemed just right to ease me back from bats & skulls without moving on entirely.

Cameo Colors came to my attention for a beautiful turquoise that is of course still in the untried pile (I'm nuts, and I'm ok with that), but one look at her store had this one leaping into my shopping cart to come along for the trip.  Victims Aren't We All? was from the November 2016 Magic 8 Box, with a 90s movie theme.  It's of course a quote from one of my all time fave movies, The Crow.

Victims is a red jelly base that really changes appearance based on what type of lighting you're in - sometimes it was a slightly berry-tinted blue-based red, other times it was definitely blood- or brick-red (all 3 photos here are color accurate to my eyes of the lighting conditions they we…

Multichrome bats - Happy Halloween!

For my last all Halloween all October mani, my inspiration came straight from a fantastic pair of leggings that featured multichrome bats on a black background.

First up, these walmart leggings were both inexpensive and insanely comfortable - I'm hugely grateful to the lady in one of my FB groups that tipped me off to them!
I'm wearing 2 coats of Glitter Gal Serpent Black - it's a crelly, so needs 2 coats for total opacity, but the formula is very easy to work with, dries to a high piano-black shine even sans topcoat, and has a small, thin brush that keeps paint off my cuticles.  Yeah, I have to dip the brush twice per nail, but precision painting means I can skip the headache of scrubbing black out of my nail sidewalls, so I'm cool with that.
I've stamped with bats from 3 different Halloween plates I had with bats on them - the more shapes, the better!  The bats are done in El Corazon Mysterious Mars (red to bronze), El Corazon Himalayan Peaks (blue to purple), an…

ILNP Clever Girl

One good ILNP of course deserves another, so more shifty shimmers for all Halloween all month!

ILNP Clever Girl is a cool, soft grey that's warmed up to a concrete tone due to the masses of bronze-gold chunky shimmer filling the crelly-style base.  I can see some VNL in macro shots here, but that wasn't the case IRL, the shimmer was enough to have this looking opaque at 2 coats.

In low lighting, the scattered holo flake gave Clever Girl a subtly speckled appearance, and the gold shimmer almost completely vanished.  Formula was great on this, and ILNP's brush never gives me any grief - super smooth, dried evenly, wore nicely.

In any kind of regular to bright light, though, the shimmer wasn't at all shy, and was a nearly metallic zing on top of the creamy grey base.  In brighter light, the silver holo flake vanished, leaving only a rainbow sparkle, but no speckling.  Also, the shimmer was a surprise duochrome, tilting distinctly greenish in angled light.

I've stamped…