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Showing posts from 2017

Zoya Olivera

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One good purple-green duochrome deserves another, and after the bright metal of a England's Katyusha, I swung all the way back over to blackened vampy with Zoya's Olivera.

This bottle shot tells the whole story right up front:  Olivera is a lush, inky navy blue packed with a duochromatic shimmer that shifts from purple to emerald.  In one coat (and if you use a medium-thick coat, one is all you need), it's a more sapphire blue.  In two as shown here, the blue darkens out to navy - if you have some sweet skills managing consistency of your application technique, you really do have 2-in-1 here.

Olivera has to be the closest thing I've ever seen to the iridescence of a grackle.  In low light, it's never quite black, always keeping at least a suggestion of color around the edges, like a grackle in shadow.  Either Maleficent fans or birdwatchers or just lovers of vampy shades in general should just snap this right on up ASAP.

In the sun, again like the flash of sunlight…

a England Katyusha + a quick comparison

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Aaaaaah, a England:  how many times do I paint with one of Adina's creations and then wish that every formula could be just like this?  a England has had some incredibly similar-looking colors in her recent collections - quite a few of them now have had a pewter-silver in there - so I originally passed on all of the Russian Soul collection.  I don't remember which blogger to credit with my finally buying Katyusha, but this is one of my fave silvers ever now.

Katyusha is a gorgeous mid-tone silver (nowhere near as bright true silver as the cap, and nowhere near blackened pewter/gunmetal silver) that in low light looks quite cool-toned, with a bit of a purple/green shift visible in the bottle and a greenish tinge to the curve of the nails.
The lower and softer the light, the more noticeably shifty these cool colors are, picking up some of the aqua, green, and purple from the bottle, and then finally on over to a lovely aqua green at extreme angles.
In brighter light, though, the…

SpaRitual Lithophonic

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It's not my everyday M.O., but sometimes you just get the urge to go super matchy-matchy, like my nails are part of my jewelry.  Since I was wearing a green top with tigereye bronze & brown jewelry, SpaRitual's Lithophonic fit the bill.

Lithophonic is a cool-leaning dark brown with a very fine forest green shimmer that's only subtly apparent on the nail - the shimmer ends up being such a small particle so thoroughly integrated that it generally just makes this brown lean a little more green.

To echo the swirls in my tigereye jewelry, I've stamped using El Corazon's lush bronze-green foil Sea Depths and the radiating feather/teardrop geometric design from Creative Shop Plate 71.  Aside note - CS might be my all time fave plate maker.  She does gorgeously small, intricate drawn images that are always etched perfectly, and end up picking up effortlessly even with tricky polishes.  YES.

In lower light, the brown looked a lot more chocolatey, while in brighter ligh…

Pink Leopard Print

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We threw a surprise birthday showers for one of my work buddies this week.  Her soon-to-be tiny human is a little girl, and her fave thing ever is leopard print, so pink spots were in order!
I started with 3 coats of Sinful Colors Glass Pink, possibly my all time fave pink - it's sheer but extra glass-fleck-y (one of the most straightforwardly truthful names ever), and gorgeous as both a topper and on its own.  To that I added the leopard spots from Uber Chic's Out of Africa plate using SuperChic Lacquer Realm of Erotica.

It's a lot brighter in a KERPOW! way than I usually go for, but I ultimately thought it was adorable, and more importantly, she loved it  <3 div="">
~Michelle

Aliquid Lacquer Mercy, Mastery, Mystery + 2 Small Comparisons

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The man picked dark blue for this round of "hundreds of untrieds can't make a decision," so I pulled out this one from Aliquid Lacquer... which I bought along with a couple of her friends well over a year ago and yet STILL haven't tried out this brand.  Here goes!

Mercy, Mastery, Mystery (which is a total mouthful!) was one of my attempts to quash my lemming for Finnnally it's Hoodie Time, though it of course ended up being nothing much at all like that one.  What it actually is, is a slatey grey-blue with a beautiful scarlet red shimmer overlay and a scattering of warm orange multichrome flakes, overall giving the look of a subtle ember burning through smoke.

The creamy finish hid some of the flakies and went on a bit thick for my taste (there's a little chip in my ring finger here after only about 48h of wear, and I don't see much flakies at all on  my pinky), but one layer of topcoat brought out a great shine, and made it glassy smooth.

The red shimmer…

Femme Fatale The Overlook - Flower & Negative Space Reverse Stamping

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I had a conference in Arizona this week, and while it was a professional meeting it was a small group of my colleagues that know I have a thing for fancy nails, so I could toss a little more pizazz on my fingers than you usually would for a meeting.

The accent nail is Femme Fatale's The Overlook, a luscious dark pink holo (scattered + holo glitter) that stops a good few shades shy of red.  The rest is a nude jelly, quite sheer, tinted just enough at 2 coats to do a flawless "my nails but better" base for some negative space stamping.

Thanks to the magic of the internets, I tried a new reverse-stamping technique instead of making decals this time.  The flowers and arcing swirls are from TU-L018 and done in El Corazon white stamping polish.  The accent nail was of course stamped directly, but the rest were done by picking up the white outlines onto the stamper, coloring in the flowers with The Overlook, painting the nail with a "sticky" type base coat, waiting a …

March for Science!

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This Earth Day Saturday it was time to storm the National Mall again, this time in support of Science and all it does to safeguard and improve our lives.  This blog is run by a couple of scientists, so the March was near and dear to my heart!


As with last time, I preferred my protest sign small and imminently portable (hey, there's far more clever folks than me making signboards!).  Remember, guys, "alternative fact" is just a multisyllabic way to say "lies."


I'm a biologist at my core, so the science type I picked to compliment a demand for real facts was a twist of DNA on each thumb.

And because russian meddling in things is on everyone's mind, I had to give a whirl to one of the infamously impossible russian blogger hand poses (hat tip to my eternally amused partner for guest photography skills):


Educate yourself, read quality news sources, speak out against cutting funding for the government organizations that protect our health!

~Michelle

OCC Technopagan

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The rainy weather lately had me pondering untried duochromes or anything as far from holo as possible, and this vampy beauty popped right up.

Obsessive Compulsive's Technopagan is a royal purple with a phenomenally metallic bright blue contrasting shimmer - the exact combo that all my cameras just refuse to cooperate with.  I have pics from both my cell and my Canon, and both of them pick up the shimmer much more than the base.  This means the colors are accurate (the blue is this vibrant and POW!) but incomplete (dial up the purple at the edges a bit and it's right).

Now I know I said I went hunting for a duochrome, but this one shifts so subtly that I'm not inclined to file it as one at all.  The shimmer overlay does become more metallic lilac than metallic cobalt at angles, but that shift required very specific lighting and was impossible to catch on camera.  I've stamped over it with El Corazon Aurora Borealis (itself a duochrome that much more obviously shifts fro…

Cadillacquer Masterpiece

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Today, I have Cadillacquer's luscious jade green crelly, Masterpiece.

Masterpiece is from a 2013 Dexter-themed collection (it's a blood splatter, see?), and in the time it's been hanging out untried in my stash, it's developed the slightest hint of UBS and the glitter has all settled to the bottom.  Fortunately, a vigorous shake corrected both of these issues, but I did have to stop and re-shake every couple of fingers to re-suspend the glitters.

The crelly formula is sheer, but not quite watery, which both really let the glitters show through nicely and also brought out a fantastic shine even before topcoat.  The smaller glitters dispersed very evenly, but the larger ones needed just a dab of placement here and there to even out.  I was worried that the larger hexes would poke out of the thinner crelly base a bit, but nope, only one layer of regular (not "glitter taming" type) topcoat was enough.

2 coats of Masterpiece's easy to work with formula looked…

Hard Candy Blue Lagoon

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Who doesn't love a great blue polish?  There's a reason that Revlon Royal, Sally Hansen Pacific Blue, and Nails Inc Baker Street are all perennial faves, despite a lack of holo/glitter/shimmer/everything else that makes a nail polish junkie click "add to cart"... and I'm fascinated by how many of the best blues are drugstore finds.

Once upon a time, I sent my partner off to dreaded walmart to find one or two of the Hard Candy anniversary polishes (his office is literally next door to the den of iniquity), and he came home with a whole handful of these little test tubes beyond what I'd been hunting.  Blue Lagoon is a drop-dead gorgeous deeply saturated cobalt blue crelly that gets to an amazingly even opacity in just 2 coats.  Because some blues have a distinct whiff of sulphur, it's worth mentioning that this one really didn't.

That perfect blue is of course a perfect base for some nail art.  I've stamped here using Sinful's Kameleon and the f…