Saturday, June 29, 2013

Red, Silver and Gold Glitter Gradient Skittlette with A England and OPI

What was originally planned to be a creative and daring set of silver-gold-red skittle nails using glitter gradients going in different directions and striping tape became a simple accent nail skittlette mani with one-way glitter gradients and no striping tape because of a series of unfortunate events and my terror of new things.

This mani was a bit of a learning experience for me.  Firstly - don't shake the bottle of PVA glue before you apply it.  It sounds logical, because of the whole bubbling thing, but I did it anyway and had a whole pile of huge, unsightly bubbles all over my nails that were not completely obscured by the glitter I piled on top of them (luckily, all the nails on my photo hand except for my thumb were spared).  Secondly - don't use tape on a PVA base mani.  This also sounds logical but, yet again, I did it and all my polish peeled straight off with the tape.

Well, we live and learn; and I do like how it ended up.

I began with a PVA glue base coat then used one coat of A England Perceval (my soul for all the perfect A England polish, seriously).  On my pinky and middle fingers, I did a tip-down glitter gradient with A England Merlin.  On my index fingers I did a tip-down glitter gradient with OPI Goldeneye and on my thumbs I did a tip-down gradient of Goldeneye that covered about 2/3 of my nail then swiped some Merlin over the tips.  On my ring fingers I used three coats of Goldeneye for complete opacity.  I topped all my nails with one coat of Cult Nails Wicked Fast.

Despite all the application issues, I love how this mani turned out - it's vibrant and classy (got me a lot of comments!); reminds me of Chinese New Year decorations!

Base & top coat:Base - PVA glue
Top - Cult Nails Wicked Fast
Polish used:A England Perceval - one coat
A England Merlin - glitter gradient
OPI Goldeneye - three coats + glitter gradient

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Gloss 'n Sparkle Lead Paint

Hello all!  This polish is Gloss 'n Sparkle Lead Paint, a dark grey jelly shot through with silvery shimmer and gunmetal grey hexes of different sizes.  I'm wearing three coats over a PVA base with a coat of Essence Gel Look and Cult Nails Wicked Fast on top.

Application of the polish was fine, I didn't need to fish for glitter at all and the polish flowed onto the nail smoothly.

Personally, I'm not a huge fan of the colour - it was a bit too dark for me and the glitter, while adding interest, gave the polish a dull look.  Which makes sense, because it's called Lead Paint; but it just doesn't do it for me!

Base & top coat:Base - PVA glue
Top - Essence Gel Look Top Coat + Cult Nails Wicked Fast
Polish used:Gloss 'n Sparkle Lead Paint - three coats

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Experimenting with Orly Sugar

I've had Orly Sugar, an almost-clear honey coloured base with tiny gold flecks sitting in my stash for ages now.  I had intended to gift it to someone, but I my curiosity overcame me and I decided to have a play with it.

I used one coat of Sugar on my pinky, then one coat over two coats of Cult Nails Evil Queen on my ring finger, one coat over one coat of A England Camelot on my middle finger and one coat over two coats of Illamasqua Scorch on my index finger.

My photos don't fully show Sugar's sparkle, which is a beautiful golden dust-sprinkled look in person.  This polish would be great to enhance a shimmery polish or to add sparkle to a creme, and with more coats, the sparkle would be more apparent.  I think it'll look great over YSL Bronze Aztec to bring out the shimmer that shows in the bottle!

Base & top coat:Base - none
Top - none
Polish used:Index: Illamasqua Scorch (two coats), Orly Sugar (one coat)
Middle: A England Camelot (one coat), Orly Sugar (one coat)
Ring: Cult Nails Evil Queen (two coats), Orly Sugar (one coat)
Pinky: Orly Sugar (one coat)

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Covergirl Tickled Pink

I have another Covergirl polish to show off today, as well as a little comparison.  This is Covergirl Tickled Pink (165), which I won in Mel of Nail & Polish's giveaway.  It's a lovely medium pink creme and in the photo above I'm wearing two coats with top coat.

Have I mentioned that I love the Covergirl bottles?  They're comfortable to polish with and a great shape for storage!

When I was swatching Tickled Pink, I noticed that it looked very familiar and I immediately thought of another pink creme in my collection - Sinful Colors Feeling Great.  Indeed, when I swatched them side by side (two coats of each), they were virtually indistinguishable from one another.  The Covergirl has a better formula, so I'll hide the Sinful Colors away somewhere and pop the Covergirl in its place!

Base & top coat:Base - none
Top - OPI Top Coat
Polish used:Covergirl Tickled Pink - two coats
Sinful Colors Feeling Great - two coats (for comparison)

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

OPI Go On Green!

Hello all; today I have a swatch of OPI Go On Green!, a polish I received in Mel of Nail & Polish's giveaway.  Go On Green! is a foamy blue-green polish with a green shimmer throughout.

It's very sheer so I tried different layering combinations to see what worked best; I used one coat of A England Camelot as my black base and two coats of Illamasqua Scorch as my white.
At one coat, Go On Green! is a shimmery overlay on the nail that shifts from pale blue to pale green in different lights.  At four coats, the polish is still not fully opaque (apologies for the bald spot - I was a bit impatient with my application) and mainly shows a pale blue shimmer.  Over black, the polish is more green with a faint duochrome shift to blue.  Over white, the polish shows grey-blue (a bit of a washed-out dirty colour, in my opinion).

I like Go On Green! best at one coat over black, and I can see it working very well in brush-stroke manis as a nice shimmery colour.

Base & top coat:Base - none
Top - none
Polish used:Index: Illamasqua Scorch (two coats), OPI Go On Green! (two coats)
Middle: A England Camelot (one coat), OPI Go On Green! (one coat)
Ring: OPI Go On Green! (four coats)
Pinky: OPI Go On Green! (one coat)

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Nfu Oh JS01

Here I am with another lovely Nfu Oh Jelly Series polish!  This one is JS01, a black jelly.

I did a quick swatch to see how opaque it was, and this one's fully opaque in four coats with no streakiness at all.  I'm not wearing top coat here, and it's super glossy!

This, like JS15, was a joy to apply and I hope my nail polish future will involve a lot of jelly shenanigans.

Base & top coat:Base - none
Top - none
Polish used:Nfu Oh JS01 - one to four coats

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Greyscale Gradient with Illamasqua and A England

I was rather ambitious with my first attempt at a gradient.  Ever since I found myself in possession of a grey polish, I'd been quietly aching to do a monochrome mani; so instead of doing something with tape, I decided to go all out and try my hand at a gradient.

I used Illamasqua Scorch, Color Combos CBL115 (from a Sasa in Hong Kong) and A England Camelot.  I started by painting my nails with two coats of Scorch (it was still a little streaky at two coats, but that's okay since I was covering it up) then let that dry for about ten minutes.  Then I put some tape around my nails to keep the polish off my skin.

I then chopped a bit off a makeup sponge and painted the black, grey and white polishes straight onto the sponge.  (Some time I'll get around to trying the Nailasaurus' swirly method and see if that makes the gradient any smoother).

I finished off with a coat of Cult Nails Wicked fast top coat - I had to be careful not to smudge the darker colours back onto the white, even after leaving it to dry for a while.  I achieved this by using a generous amount of top coat while 'floating' the brush over the nail and not dragging it through the polish.

I was actually quite pleased about how this turned out - the most annoying thing was clean up.  Despite the tape, I still got quite a bit (i.e. heaps) of polish on my fingers as it was difficult to get the gradient onto the very sides of my nails without squooshing polish everywhere.  To clean up, I used a cotton bud dipped in remover and an angled eyeliner brush to get the bits closer to my nails.

Overall, my first foray into gradients was a reasonable success and I love the cloudy, rainstorm look this gives my nails!  (I think it'd be nice with some silver glitter dabbed somewhere as well...)

Notes on wear time and removal: I wore this mani for four days with minimal tipwear (in the form of the black gradient wearing back a little to reveal white at the tips) and I only got one chip late on the fourth day.  No issues with removal.

Base & top coat:Base - OPI Natural Nail Base Coat
Top - Cult Nails Wicked Fast
Polish used:Illamasqua Scorch - two coats
Color Combos CBL115 - sponged
A England Camelot - sponged

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Revlon Scandalous

Hello all!  I have a delightful polish to show off today; this is Revlon Scandalous.  I'd been quietly wanting this for a while, so when I found it for a very cheap price, I jumped to pick it up.  It's a black jelly based polish with large pink hexes and pink microglitter.

I'm wearing two coats of Scandalous over a PVA base and topped with a coat of Essence Gel-Look top coat and a coat of Cult Nails Wicked Fast in these photos.  Application was great, the jelly base flowed on smoothly without thickening and going gooey on the nail.  The glitter spread well and minimal manipulation was required to distribute it across the nail.

It looks absolutely gorgeous on the nail with a glowing-from-within effect.  I definitely recommend this polish!

Notes on wear time and removal: I wore this polish for one and a half days without any tipwear and only one small chip.  No issues with PVA removal.

Base & top coat:Base - PVA glue
Top - Essence Gel Look Top Coat + Cult Nails Wicked Fast
Polish used:Revlon Scandalous - two coats

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Birthday Mani: a layering extravaganza with Nfu Oh 51 and Fantasy Fire

Hello all!  It was my birthday this week, and I have a beautiful layered mani to show off.  (I've also bitten the bullet and started using curved watermarks because my old ones were too far away from the main image content to do their job!)

To create this mani, I used a base colour of A England Camelot, then one coat of Nfu Oh 51, one coat of Max Factor Fantasy Fire and a coat of Wicked Fast top coat on my pinkie, middle and index fingers.  On my thumb and ring finger, I skipped the Fantasy Fire and went for one coat of China Glaze Snow Globe, then finished with a coat of Essence Gel-Look top coat and Wicked Fast.  

I'm in love with this combination!  The Fantasy Fire gives that extra oomph to the multichrome goodness of Nfu Oh 51 without obscuring the flakies, creating a glowing-from-within effect.  China Glaze Snow Globe is much better than I expected it would be - what is faintly iridescent in the bottle jumps to life on the nail and reflects yellow, green, blue, purple and orange.  I'll definitely be reaching for Snow Globe again!

Notes on wear time and removal: by the second day, I had some minimal tipwear on a couple of nails and a few small chips.  I removed this mani after the third day of wear and quite a lot of elbow grease was required to get the flakies off my nails and even more for the glitter - I highly recommend using  PVA base for China Glaze Snow Globe!

Base & top coat:Base - OPI Natural Nail Base Coat
Top - Essence Gel Look Top Coat (ring fingers and thumbs), Cult Nails Wicked Fast
Polish used:A England Camelot - one coat
Nfu Oh 51 - one coat
Max Factor Fantasy Fire - one coat
China Glaze Snow Globe - one coat (ring fingers and thumbs)

Monday, June 3, 2013

May Haul (Part 2 - butter LONDON)

Here's a little post with the second part of my May haul - three butter LONDON polishes that I bought from HoneyHoney when they were on sale.  I picked Jack The Lad, Tart With A Heart and The Black Knight.  All three are glitterbombs and I can't wait to wear them!

Sunday, June 2, 2013

May Haul (Part 1)

It's that time again; another haul post!  Hooray!  In this post, I'll be showing you what I picked up at the beginning of May.

Firstly, I got some Nfu Oh polish and a China Glaze from Crush Cosmetics, an Australian-based online store.  I had a freak out when I saw there was Nfu Oh there!

Left to right: Nfu Oh 51, Nfu Oh 58, Nfu Oh JS01, Nfu Oh JS15, China Glaze Fairy Dust
The Nfu Ohs are two flakies and two Jelly Series polishes, and China Glaze Fairy Dust is a gorgeous clear-based polish packed with holo microglitter.

As for the e-tailer, Crush Cosmetics; I highly recommend them.  Delivery was prompt and my polish arrived all safe and sound.  If you're in Australia and are wondering whether to do an order, I say go ahead!


Next up is my little haul from Pretty Serious.

I picked two gorgeous polishes up; Daphne's Birthday Party, which is for Pretty Serious's first birthday celebration, and BSOD (a.k.a. Blue Screen Of Death).  They both look absolutely amazing, and this photo doesn't do BSOD's glorious sparkle any justice at all.

Left to right: Daphne's Birthday Party, BSOD

And now, a few polishes I picked up from Priceline; a couple of Sinful Colors polishes, Revlon Royal and Essence Gel-Look Top Coat.

Left to right: Endless Blue, Pistache
I grabbed Revlon Royal because I've heard a lot of good things about it, and it's a gorgeous deep blue jelly.

I picked the Gel-Look top coat up because I've heard that it's a good glitter tamer; and I do love a glassy glossy mani.