January 31, 2014

Colors by Llarowe - This Girl is On Fire..Help!! Swatch & Review

This Girl is On Fire..Help!! is one of those colors that, like, I don't know what the heck kind of fancy magical camera I need to capture its wondrous beauty or what, but the pictures don't do it justice.

For startsies, it has this deep blurple base with teensy weensy pink and blue (and purple? And green?! My eyes are confused) sparkles and oh um also there's holo. It's not the strongest holo in the, uh,  holo brigade... but it's there.

Fully covered in 2 coats. Shown here with a layer of Essie G2G which didn't appear to dull the holo, but I guess maybe I could have taken picture beforehand to compare. Dries a tiny bit dull on its own.

Another stunner from CbL. I wish I knew the reasoning for its name. I get that it probably has something to do with that Alicia Keys song, but why is it blurple? Please advise.

January 30, 2014

Zoya - Jules Swatch & Review

Jules was one of like 18 polishes I got from the first Pinterest board sale I ever bought from. That was so awesome.

Anyway, Jules here is this greige base with loads of gold and silver shimmer. Zoya does these kinds of polishes so well. A little watery but it built well enough in three thin coats. Essie G2G on le top.

Jules is one of those neutrals that had a nice added oomph, like skin-tone polishes that have, say, pink shimmer. Definitely one of my faves.

January 29, 2014

Crochet Manicure Nail Art

I want neat nail art, you know?

At first, I thought maybe I could layer a few colors on top of each other and use polish remover and small brushes to gently reveal the layers of color.


For this, the "crochet manicure," I painted two layers of Sinful Colors - Thimbleberry, two layers of Essie - The Girls Are Out and two layers of Essie - Carry On (I'm pretty sure... I got it without a label). I then took the smallest paint brush I could find and went back and forth over the same spot like twenty times until the pinks started showing through. Then I did that about eight hundred more times in a crochet-y looking pattern. Me and lines, man.

Thimbleberry and The Girls Are Out look are too similar for there being two pinks to even be necessary. Next time I try this I'll use more contrasting colors.

Anyway, I topped the end result with Essie G2G and called it a day. What do you think? Meh?

My cuticles were a disaster... I tried to clean up as nicely as possible but Carry On got all down in there and I was just like F this. Oh well, at least now I have somewhat of an idea of what I'm doing.

Colors by Llarowe - Unorthodox Annie Swatch & Review

Have I talked about how much I love my OttLite yet?

Jumping right in, Unorthodox Annie is a burgundy/raisin sort of color with in ya face holo action. Opaque in two thin coats and supremely easy to work with, I'm not 100% sure why I decided to sell it, but so it goes.

Below shows two coats, no topcoat.

The more I look at these swatches, the more sellers regret I experience. I'm just not into dark reds much these days... besides swatching this little darling, I don't feel like she would have got much use. Still, sure is nice to look at.

I'm really loving Llarowe holos lately. It's too bad the drama llama seems to follow that lady around everywhere... there are quite a bunch of catty chicks in polish world. Buuuuut I still like it.

January 28, 2014

Formula X by Sephora - Hyped Swatch & Review

I'm not into this year's "it" color - Radiant Orchid. I dunno... it's too Microsoft Paint for me, you know? Hyped is in the same color family, but way awesomer. Plus it's neon. Plus shimmer.

Hyped > Radiant Orchid.

Below is three coats with Essie G2G as it dries matte (which still looks rad). The formula is a little thick but not unhandle-able. However, I noticed that even after 3 coats there were still spots that were patchy in certain light.

Those superfine flakies even! It has a bit of pink/blue sparkle that doesn't quite show up in the photos. I'm pretty excited by Formula X by Sephora... there are a lot of polishes in the current line that I've got my eye on.

January 27, 2014

Tape & Texture Polish Rainbow Chevron NOTD

I love chevrons, okay? Like, a lot.
They make even sad, small nails look rad. And they're easy with tape.

The thing about texture polish is that it dries super fast, plus it's textured. It's easy to bump the brush of a different color against the dried already-painted section so I don't have to go crazy with the tape. Loads easier to work with than non-textured polishes and the result is just as awesome.

For this manicure, I used good old Scotch tape aaand (starting at the cuticle):
Sinful Colors - Got a Blush on You
OPI - Jinx
Ulta - unnamed lime green texture
Sinful Colors - Emerald Envy
OPI - Alcatraz... Rocks
L.A. Girl - Sands of Time

And with a couple layers of Essie G2G for good measure:

PinkDipsyBulle - Water Lily Swatch & Review

Disclaimer: I don't own RBL - Water Lily, but I do own Gap - Bright Pool which I have seen is very similar to the RBL.

Unlike Bright Pool, PinkDipsyBulle - Water Lily is a jelly, and the base is less straight turquoise and more of an ocean water green that gets its turquoise-ness from the pink shimmer.

Below is three thin coats, topped with Essie G2G under daylight lamp.

As uuuuusual, the pink doesn't photograph as color-accurately as I ask it to. As you can see, there's still some VNL action.

I'm a jelly junky and I loooove Bright Pool, so it's nice to have a happy combination of the two.

January 26, 2014

Sinful Colors - Rainstorm Swatch & Review

My favorite place in the world to find Sinful Colors is Big Lots. I got this guy a few weeks ago (along with, like, ten others... I really should just suck it up and do an SC spam post one of these days) but he got lost under the coffee table until today. But then I found him. And then I swatched him.

1. I got an Ottlight during the sale at Michael's last week (they're usually $80 but they were on sale for $24. Um, yes?)
2. My nails are SO WONKY. They don't look that wonky at the moment, seeing them with my eyes, but the get so lumpy and weird in photos. Close-ups, man.
3. I feel like there was more but I forget. Oh well.

Rainstorm is a dusty medium blue. A pretty apt name if I do say so. Applied all right; no problems but nothing to write home about. I haven't swatched just a creme in about a thousand years, huh? I can't remember the last one. Was there ever one? God, my brain.

Anyway, this is two medium coats with Essie G2G on top with fancy light!

So, yeah, there's only one. I was too nail self-conscious, the rest of them were weird looking and kind of blurry. The light is awesome, the camera isn't so bad, but I have very un-steady hands. Things, things, things.

January 24, 2014

Sally Hansen Sugar Shimmer - Sugar Cloud Swatch & Review

Guess who's back to rocking shorties? They're not quite as short as they used to be when I bit them, at least. OH WELL. My goal is to keep blarging despite my nubs. So, onward!

Today we have a polish I picked up on clearance at Ulta (though I thought this collection just came out kind of... at least I didn't hear a lot about it) whilst contemplating purchasing a few from the Gwen Stefani/OPI collaboration. It's a Sugar Shimmer which I guess differs from the Sugar Coat line SH put out by being, well, shimmery. I don't like creme textures, so I never bothered with the Sugar Coats.

Sugar Cloud is a sheer baby blue texture with a pink/yellow duo-tone shimmer. I decided to wear it over Sinful Colors - Cinderella, which shares a similar shimmer (say that shiz three times fast why don't you) because 1. my nails are stained the most awful dead person yellow and I didn't want to taint the loveliness of this polish (I mean, it's really sheer) and 2. it's.. um.. really sheer. I'd like to experiment layering this over different colors for funsies.

The swatches below are two coats Cinderella topped with two coats of Sugar Cloud in sad Ohio winter daylight because I was literally too lazy to set up my light box. Meh.

Like usual, it was hard to get the pink to show up on my camera. You can see a pretty accurately colored pink colony at the left uppermost corner of the bottle.

Sugar Cloud isn't my favorite texture of all time, mostly because I don't love layering polishes to get their full effect. I'd like to get on my nail what I see in the bottle. The drying time wasn't that great either (though I'll blame my impatience on letting four layers of polish dry thoroughly enough) compared to other textures. Pretty color, but I don't think I'll go out of my way to get any more of them.

On a side note, I think my new goal is to get my fingers to stop looking like stumpy sausages in pictures. My hands are possibly my favorite part of me buuut I certainly don't make it look that way, amirite?!! I need to take Hands Photography 101 for real.

I need to find someone who teaches Hands Photography because that person has got to be awesome.

January 19, 2014

Ciate - Pucker Up and True Blue Swatches & Reviews

I've not tried Ciate before (partially because I really, really hate the phrase "paint pots" for some reason... they're bottles, okay? And it's nail polish, or lacquer, or whatever. Nobody calls it 'nail paint'. I know it's some cute marketing thing, but I hate it). I'm a spendthrift (mostly out of necessity) so I typically try to swap for polishes that I want or if I'm going to drop a full dolla dolla amount it's only on indies, etc. Since I got a Sephora gift card for Christmas, I decided to try a few brands I hadn't yet. Ciate has this pick-3-for-$18 end cap there where you, uh, pick out 3 mini Ciate paint pots and they fit inside this little box and it's pretty adorable, okay. I actually liked quite a few of the options, but I decided to go with Pucker Up, True Blue and Risky Business.

Pucker Up, according to Sephora.com is a "Glimmering Pink". Meh! I would describe it as a highly textured metallic orchid with gold and violet shimmer. Seriously sparkly, but very very tactile... Texture polish is the one trend that doesn't set my teeth on edge so it doesn't bother me. Unlike some texture polishes (the L'Oreal Gold Dust line immediately comes to mind) it took a couple coats to get an even-looking texture on the nail. A little streaky at first, if that's even possible, but the result is worth the deliberation.

Below is three thin coats, artificial light.

With one coat of Essie G2G. I realize for full smooth-ocity I need way more than just some top coat, but even just that really brings out the color.

True Blue doesn't even have a description on the site, because duh kind of. It does, however, have a super awesome green sparkle that pictures don't show very well. There's also this pink shimmer in the bottle that doesn't translate onto the nail. Sad face.

This is two coats, artificial light. Much easier to work with than Pucker Up. Looks like straight glitter on the nail in real life. Definitely my favorite of the two.

With Essie G2G.

Top coat gives it a lot more depth and contrast. I lily like it.

As far as Ciate textures go, they're not as easy to work with as some, but their color/glitter combos make them a welcome addition to my stash.

January 14, 2014

Literary Lacquers - Pan Galactic Gargle Blaster Swatch & Review

I'm a total teal whore. I don't even care. My favorite color for the last 23 years has been cerulean blue, but I think teal is slowly eeking its way into Favoriteville.

This is another one of those polishes that I've kept on my wishlist for a while now. Why didn't I just buy it as soon as I saw it?

PGGB is the most unngghhh bright teal jelly with a mild linear holo and tiny holo glitter. I need need need need need need need to find a light for my light box that does to holo what sunlight does to holo. Is there such a light? I'll find out, guys, it's okay.

This is 3 thin coats. Essie G2G on top. Artificial (not holo-friendly) light.

The last one's with flash, for good measure, obvs.
I need more Literary Lacquers in my life. 

January 13, 2014

PinkDipsyBulle - Indian Ocean Swatch & Review

1. I bought this polish on a whim as I've never been much for pink.
2. It's seriously one of my favorite polishes of all time. I don't know how meaningful this is as my polish addiction is only a little over one year old. BUT OF ALL TIME THOUGH.
3. I lost my first bottle. I tore up my whole house looking for it. I'm pretty sure my toddler stashed it somewhere (like the trash can) and I mourned for like, three whole days.
4. I practically begged for somebody to sell me theirs as it's no longer being made, and somebody did!!

So, I don't know what it is about this polish, but I love it so much. The color is so good, you know? It's a blue base that looks periwinkle mostly because of the strong pink shimmer, and it's nice and opaque in 3 thin coats that dry amazingly fast. It does dry just a touch matte so it's shown here with (say it with me!) one coat of Essie G2G in artificial light.

It's just radiant, you know? I don't even know a less dorky way of describing it. Radiant.

I always (not always always, I guess) read reviews about polishes that "practically apply themselves" and that got me wondering what that kind of polish felt like. This is the polish that explained it to me. It's like, it knows that it's supposed to be all over those nails and it wants it. If it was a color PinkDipsyBulle still produced I would enthusiastically urge you to get it, but it's not, so you can just stare at my fat-looking fingers and pretend they're yours and get kind of sad about missing out. I just bought two more bottles from her today, and I cannot wait for them to arrive.

January 10, 2014

Femme Fatale - Winter Hyacinth Swatch & Review

I have been scoring the most awesome polishes lately. I've been smitten with Winter Hyacinth for a while now... magenta holo and circle, salmon pink and white matte glitter (kite shaped too even!) in a translucent turquoise base? Duh, I say!

This is three coats (plus a little bit of dabbing here and there) with one coat of Essie - G2G in artificial light. The first coat was super sheer and glitter coverage was "meh," but it wasn't frustrating building up to opaque and it only took a little glitter fishing (especially for the white kites) to evenly disperse the good-goods.

Side note: I hate the hardest time getting a good (decent) stupid picture on this day. I don't know what the deal was. Like, some days the lighting is just fine and my skin doesn't look freakish (I'm quite pale, really. The German genes won over the Italian ones, I guess) and other days it, you know, does look freakish. Like, silly putty looking. I don't even know.


January 8, 2014

SinfulShine - Who's the Gloss Swatch & Review

Hey! It's that polish swatch I was telling you about yesterday!

I keep typing "Who's the Glodd". It's happened like forty six times. Who is the Glodd?

Who's the GLOSS is, you know, it's a member of the fancy Sinful Shine branch of the Sinful Colors family, with its metallic cap and Gel Tech. Ooooooh boyyyyy.

Applied much nicer than Zeusy-poo, but still didn't smooth out as much as I would want a polish that's supposed to be not so much requiring a topcoat to do that job to. I don't even know what I just typed there. But do you get what I mean, kinda?

Anyway, so. It's, like, dark gray sort of, but like, barely plum-toned... and the shimmer is violet and still a little bit sneaky. I'm like 98% sure my brain is hibernating right now. I can not thoughts. Thinking is no.

Uh. Three coats, artificial light, no top coat. NOOOO TOPPPP COAAAAT.

I need food.

January 7, 2014

Sinful Colors - Zeus Swatch & Review

I like polishes that have sneaky shimmer, or shimmer that's like 2 tones off from the base color. That being said, Zeus has a VERY shy shimmer that only comes out in a very particular light. That's okay since the base is a pretty rad dusty purple-toned periwinkle. How, by the way, did periwinkle become a thing? I'm going to Google it.

Also, I've recently become pretty obsessed with Sinful Colors. It's my favorite drugstore brand by faaar, probably in my top three mainstream brands. Zeus was a fairly streaky nightmare, however, but became opaque in three very deliberate, heavy-handed coats. It's shown here in artificial light with Essie GTG on le top.

I acquired Zeus via Pinterest sale (God, I really love those, you know?) along with Sinful Shine - Who's the Gloss, which I'll be posting tomorrow.

ON A SIDE NOTE: it's cold as serious balls in Ohio right now. This would then, of course, be the week after the week I stalked Pinterest relentlessly for lemmings and bought them. Lots of them!

Oh, I can't wait. I love nail mail. Except when it's frozen to death. Poor babies. :(

January 3, 2014

Comparison Post! ILNP - Cygnus Loop & CrowsToes - Indian Summer

The first time I saw a swatch of Indian Summer I was OBSESSED. Multichromes are my jam, and it looked unlike anything I had in my (mostly unimpressive) collection. However, upon receipt, it instantly reminded me of Cygnus Loop.

The differences are apparent right from the bottle, though. I had hastily thrown Indian Summer onto my swap board for about a week in a frenzied effort to get a hold of polishes I really wanted. I took it off right after swatching, ha ha. I need both, the end.

These are 3 thick-ish coats with Essie Good to Go on top. Artificial light, all of 'em.

You'll immediately notice the difference in the range of shift. I mean, these pretty much don't look like they're even in the same, like, class together at this point.

At least on the nail they look like they could be cousins. Cygnus Loop is much more blue-toned purple than Indian Summer, and it's less saturated. *Edit: "The difference is in the finish I would say, where ILNP is more metallic and Crowstoes is more like a thin jelly". Yeah! Thanks Ashley Rose Jordan. :)

Indian Summer shifts violet through magenta, red and stops just short of orange while Cygnus Loop goes right on through to bright gold.

Aaaaand a glamour shot:

I guess I should mention that in darker lighting, the difference really is pretty small. But that's irrelevant, because duh.

January 2, 2014

Sinful Colors - Got a Blush On You Swatch & Review

Happy New Year, you guys. I spent a super low-key evening with three of my four favorite people alive. A few years ago, my resolution was to stop biting my nails. It only took like 8 years but BAM nails time!

Arriving super late to the party as usual, my first swatch of the new year is from the Sinful Colors Crystal Crushes collection. I picked this guy up as well as Treasure Chest aaaand I'm going to grab a few other colors while they're still around. I'm kind of wary of 'trend' finishes (see: crackle, matte, etc) but I really love a good texture. My first texture polish was China Glaze - Itty, Bitty & Gritty and I haaaated it. The JulieG Gumdrops polishes redeemed textures for me though, and I've been hooked ever since.

Got a Blush On You is a blue-leaning magenta with pink and blue sparkle. Pretty much opaque in 3 thin coats, the dry time was quick and the texture is reasonably fine. It doesn't feel like sandpaper all over my nails.

(Side note: my mother-in-law-ish got me a light box for Christmas and these swatches are the first to utilize it! Hearts explosion!)

Artificial light.

Artificial light.

Natural light.
I don't have a resolution this year. I dunno. Do... things? I'm such a homebody these days. Maybe maintain a blog that doesn't tooootally suck butt. My swatches are getting better, at least. Thanks, light box!