Saturday, August 31, 2013

Zoya Rocky

I must, once again, sing Zoya's praises.  This lovely polish is Zoya Rocky, a light blue creme that applied flawlessly.  On some nails, one coat was almost enough.  Application was lovely and I love that the Zoya brush is so easy to control!

I'm wearing two coats with no top coat in these photos.

Base & top coat:Base - Duri Rejuvacote
Top - none
Polish used:Zoya Rocky - two coats

Friday, August 30, 2013

OPI Don't Burst My Bubble vs Don't Touch My Tutu

Hello all!  I was at my favourite pharmacy that has discount OPIs when I came across Don't Burst My Bubble, a pale pink jelly from the recent Oz collection.  This post is a comparison between Don't Burst My Bubble and another sheer OPI, Don't Touch My Tutu.

Left to right: OPI Don't Touch My Tutu! and OPI Don't Burst My Bubble
As I began painting, I let out a little groan of disappointment because they do look extremely similar.  I layered three coats of each polish on alternating nails (as can be seen below) - they were both still sheer at this point.

There is a slight visible different between Don't Burst My Bubble and Don't Touch My Tutu - Tutu is definitely a purer white while Bubble has a pinker tint.  Despite this, they are very similar!

Base & top coat:Base - none
Top - none
Polish used:OPI Don't Burst My Bubble - three coats
OPI Don't Touch My Tutu! - three coats

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Butter London Aston

Hello there!  Today I have a swatch of Butter London Aston (received from Mel of Nail & Polish in her giveaway), a lovely tan polish with silvery shimmer throughout.  I'm wearing three coats with top coat.

The formula was great and easy to apply, but a little sheer.  Two coats were just okay on some nails but I did three for complete opacity.  As the for colour - it's very neutral and understated, but I can see myself wearing when I'm a bit older!

Base & top coat:Base - Duri Rejuvacote
Top - Cult Nails Wicked Fast
Polish used:Butter London Aston - three coats

Monday, August 26, 2013

Glitter Gradient with OPI and Gloss 'n Sparkle

Hello all!  I managed to blast through two of my untried polishes with this mani - OPI My Boyfriend Scales Walls and Gloss 'n Sparkle Merry Go Bye Bye.

I began with three coats of the OPI My Boyfriend Scales Walls.  If you aren't familiar with it, it's a slightly blue-grey off-white creme that has received a lot of praise throughout the nail world.  I was quite excited to try it because I've always had trouble with my other white, Illamasqua Scorch.  I am pleased to report that I'm quite happy with how MBFSW applied - I did require three coats because the formula was a bit watery and a bit streaky on the first coat, but application was very easy with no flooding or dragging.  Perhaps, with a bit more experimentation, I can get it to work for me in two coats.

As for the colour, I liked that MBFSW wasn't a stark, harsh white and it's definitely much gentler on the eyes and more wearable.

Afterwards, I did a glitter gradient with Gloss 'n Sparkle Merry Go Bye Bye.  This polish consists of orange, blue, magenta, gold and transparent iridescent hexes in a clear base.  The iridescent hexes were very camera-shy but they do show in real life as a glint of aquamarine-purple as you tilt your fingers.  They were a very pleasant surprise as I couldn't see them in the bottle!

Doing the glitter gradient was a bit difficult since the glitter was quite sparse in the suspension base - I ended up lumping a whole pile near my cuticles then using the brush to manipulate them until everything was where I wanted it to be, but I love the end effect (even if it was very thick!)  On my thumbs I dabbled one coat of Merry Go Bye Bye over the whole nail and application was definitely easier like this.  The glitter does dry quite gritty so you will need two coats of top coat or a glitter tamer to make things more flat.

eta: If I did this again, I'd probably use Lab Muffin's cotton bud glitter gradient method to minimise the thickness of the polish.

Notes on wear time and removal: I wore this mani for about six days and I only experienced minor tipwear - no chipping whatsoever!  Removal was a lot of effort; you will need either the foil method or a peel-off base coat for Merry Go Bye Bye.

Base & top coat:Base - Duri Rejuvacote
Top - Cult Nails Wicked Fast
Polish used:OPI My Boyfriend Scales Walls - three coats
Gloss 'n Sparkle Merry Go Bye Bye - glitter gradient/one coat

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Gilded Metallic Nails with Essie

Hello all!  Here I have a mani that I'd wanted to try for a while.  It didn't really turned out as planned, but I still quite liked it!

I used Essie Brooch The Subject, Penny Talk and Good As Gold.  I began with two coats of Brooch The Subject, then painted one nail at a time with Good As Gold and dabbed it off with a crumpled bit of cling wrap.  I then painted Penny Talk onto the cling wrap and dabbed it on top of my nails, and did the same with some Brooch The Subject in spots I felt were too metallic.  I finished off with Cult Nails Wicked Fast top coat.

The end result is not as I expected - it looks more like a blobby splatter mani than the more delicate cling-wrapped look I was aiming for, but I still wore it for a couple of days.  It may have been better if I used white for a cleaner-looking base instead of a nude.
However, I was very pleased with Penny Talk and Good As Gold and I think they'll be very versatile in my collection!

Base & top coat:Base - Duri Rejuvacote
Top - Cult Nails Wicked Fast
Polish used:Essie Brooch The Subject - two coats (+ extra cling wrapped)
Essie Good As Gold - one coat (cling wrapped)
Essie Penny Talk - one coat (cling wrapped)

Friday, August 23, 2013

China Glaze Aquadelic vs For Audrey

Hello, all!  I have a quick comparison between China Glaze Aquadelic and For Audrey.  I'm wearing two coats of each with no top coat.

As you can see from the swatch, there is a difference between the two; Aquadelic is brighter and more teal while For Audrey is a softer, dustier blue.  The difference was more apparent in person.

Formula-wise, For Audrey was a bit streakier than Aquadelic, though they both went on alright in two coats.  As I was removing the polish, I noticed that Aquadelic definitely stained my nails - however, it's worth noting that I didn't use a base coat for the swatch.

Base & top coat:Base - none
Top - none
Polish used:China Glaze Aquadelic - two coats
China Glaze For Audrey - two coats

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Girly Bits Howl At The Moon

Hello, all!  Girly Bits Howl At The Moon has been wallowing in my stash for a while now, but I finally got around tot trying it - and I love it so much more than I thought I would!

These swatches show one coat of Howl At The Moon over one coat of black creme (A England Camelot).  This polish could be built up on its own in about three coats, or could be worn with two coats over black for that lovely jelly sandwich effect.

Application was smooth and easy.  I didn't have to fish for any glitter and while the larger hexes tended to clump together on the nail a bit, they separated easily just by swiping the brush through them.

Overall, I love this polish  - the formula is great and it really reminds me of wolves howling at a full moon.

Notes on removal: I didn't need the foil method to remove this baby, just a bit of effort, but nothing too strenuous was required.

Base & top coat:Base - Duri Rejuvacote
Top - Cult Nails Wicked Fast
Polish used:A England Camelot - one coat
Girly Bits Howl At The Moon - one coat

Monday, August 19, 2013

Dotticure with Zoya Ivanka

Hello all!  Today I have a swatch and a simple dotticure to show you.  This is Zoya Ivanka, a green glass fleck polish that is insanely sparkly in the sunshine and some indoor lights.  I'm wearing three coats with top coat in these photos.

The formula of Ivanka is great; smooth and easy to apply.  It is very sheer, though, and three coats was only just enough for opacity - there were a few spots that could have done with a fourth coat.

I decided to spice things up a bit by using some of the dotting tools that have been languishing in my supply box.  I used Essie Good As Gold then dotted over some of the larger dots with Ivanka.  I am rather fond of the result, and it makes me think of the Emerald City from The Wizard of Oz!

Base & top coat:Base - Duri Rejuvacote
Top - Cult Nails Wicked Fast
Polish used:Zoya Ivanka - three coats
Essie Good As Gold - one coat (dotted)

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Royal Nails with Zoya and Pretty Serious

I have so many untried polishes in my stash that it's almost shameful.  Out of the almost 150 polishes in my stash, over 60 are untried.  Whaaaat??  I don't even know what to say for myself.  So, in order to cut down on the untrieds, I've started using one or more of my untried polishes in every mani.

Today, I've got some awesome nails going on that feature Zoya Ziv and Pretty Serious Purple Monkey Dishwasher.  I've been wanting to do a purple-gold colour combo for a while because it looks very luxe and royal, so when I saw these two in my stash I knew that it was meant to be.

On my thumb and ring finger, I used two coats of Ziv.  I'm so glad I got this polish - it's absolutely beautiful and applies so easily!

On every other nail, I have three coats of Pretty Serious Purple Monkey Dishwasher, an indigo-based polish with purple microglitter.  This one's amazing; I originally thought that it was a purple version of Pretty Serious BSOD.  While I found that BSOD was a little difficult to apply due to the polish getting goopy while on the nail, I had none of those problems with Purple Monkey Dishwasher.  The base was not as pigmented as BSOD, so I was worried that I'd have to do four coats for opacity, but three were fine.  If you prefer, you can layer two coats of Purple Monkey Dishwasher over a quick coat of purple or black polish.

It dries a bit gritty, so you'll need a glitter tamer or two coats of top coat to get a smooth finish.  It's also very annoying to clean up from the sides due to all the glitter bits, so try to be as neat as you can during application!

Notes on wear time and removal: by the fourth day of wear, I had minimal tipwear but a couple of chips.  Removal of Ziv was fine, but Purple Monkey Dishwasher was a bit more effort.  I suggest either a peel-off base coat, the foil removal method or simply leave a remover-soaked piece of cotton wool on the nail for a few minutes before scrubbing gently and removing (worked for me!)

Base & top coat:Base - Duri Rejuvacote
Top - Cult Nails Wicked Fast (two coats)
Polish used:Pretty Serious Purple Monkey Dishwasher - three coats
Zoya Ziv - two coats

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

August What's In-Die Box: Wreck-It Ralph

I have a very exciting post today - I received my first What's In-Die Box, a monthly all-Australian indie polish box with five exclusive shades from different indie polish makers.  This month's theme is Wreck-It Ralph (I love the movie so I couldn't pass up a chance to have some Ralph-themed polish!)  and the contributors to the box are Peita's Polish, Glam Polish, Gloss 'n Sparkle, Lilypad Lacquer and Sayuri Nail Lacquer.

The polish comes in a cute little box with the logo sticker on the top.  The polish bottles were individually wrapped in bubble wrap and a card noting all the names of the polish was included.

Now for the best part - here are the polishes included this month!  They are all limited editions (there are 45 of each polish in existence!)

Left to right: Sayuri Fro Cone, Gloss 'n Sparkle Bad Anon, Peita's Polish Ralph, Glam Polish King of all the Candy!!! and Lilypad Lacquer Vanellope
Read on for individual bottle shots and descriptions.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

OPI Metallic 4 Life

Hi there!  I've got an OPI polish to show you today - this is OPI Metallic 4 Life, from the Nicki Minaj collection.  I picked this one up in the very early stages of my polish addiction.

It's a nice polish; a black jelly base with different sized silver hexes gives it a starry sky look.  Application is easy and I'm wearing three coats of Metallic 4 Life with top coat in these swatches.  The sheer amount of glitter packed into the base means that the polish will sit very thickly on your nail, but this effect can be mitigated by layering one or two coats over a black creme.

Base & top coat:Base - none
Top - OPI Top Coat
Polish used:OPI Metallic 4 Life - three coats

Friday, August 9, 2013

Essie Brooch The Subject

Hello all!  Here I have a lovely nude polish to show you - this is Essie Brooch The Subject.  I picked this one up from because it's a pretty good dupe for OPI Don't Pretzel My Buttons (see The PolishAholic's post), and I'd loved the swatches I'd seen of the OPI.

I'm pleased to say that Brooch The Subject was a good choice!  I'm wearing two coats with no top coat for these photos.  Application was easy - the first coat was a bit streaky but it evened out by the second coat.  You may need a thicker second coat or a third thin coat on some nails depending on your application, but I was fine with two coats.
It's worth mentioning that the dry time is great as well; I didn't put a quick dry top coat over these nails and somehow I managed to keep bumping my hands on things while getting my photos taken, but my nails remained smudge-free!

As for the colour; Brooch The Subject is a beige/nude creme that reminds me of the colour of sand.  It made my hands look a bit mannequin-like on its own, though it's not an exact match of my skin tone.  I wouldn't wear it on my own because I'm not a neutral-nail kind of person, but I will definitely use it as a base colour and it is a great asset to my stash!

Base & top coat:Base - Duri Rejuvacote
Top - none
Polish used:Essie Brooch The Subject - two coats

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Butter London Jack The Lad

Hello all!  I've got another lovely Butter London polish to show you - this is Jack The Lad, a blue-leaning dark green glass fleck polish with glimmers of blue and light green showing through.

Jack The Lad is opaque in two to three coats; I wore two coats on some nails and three on others, all topped with China Glaze Fast Forward.

I quite liked wearing this polish.  It's dark enough not to be in-your-face, but it's still interesting and very elegant.

Notes on wear time and removal: I wore this polish for three days, I believe, and tip wear occurred after the first day of wear (I've found this to be the norm for the Butter London polish I've tried).  I got a few small chips on the second and third day.  Removal was fine, but a lot of little glass fleck shimmer bits got on my fingers (a bit of scrubbing with a brush under running water can fix this up just fine!)

Base & top coat:Base - Duri Rejuvacote
Top - China Glaze Fast Forward
Polish used:Butter London Jack The Lad - two to three coats

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Picture Polish Splash with Fishtail Braid Accent

So, I finally got around to trying one of my Picture Polishes out.  This one is Splash, and it's a beautiful bright blue glitter polish with medium and tiny hexes in a clear base.  I wore one coat of Splash over one coat of Sinful Colors Endless Blue on all nails except my ring finger, with China Glaze Fast Forward top coat.

Splash applied smoothly and easily, but since the glitter is quite sparse in the clear base, I had to be a bit careful to get enough glitter on the nail while not making the polish lay on too thickly.

On my ring fingers I started with a coat of Sinful Colors Endless Blue, then used A England Camelot, Barry M Silver Foil Effects and Endless Blue to make a fishtail braid going down half of my nail.  I used Cult Nails Wicked Fast as my top coat for this design.

I'm really happy with how the braid turned out - it was much better than my first try and by using a thicker layer of top coat and floating the brush, I managed to avoid any smudging whatsoever!  Since all the polishes I used are one-coaters, I could use thin coats for the braid and so the thickness of the final design wasn't too bad.

I loved wearing this mani - I got heaps of comments about it at work and I'm so glad that my attempt at a braided mani worked out!

Notes on removal: I didn't use a PVA base for Picture Polish Splash, but I'm happy to report that it removed with only a little bit of elbow grease.

Base & top coat:Base - Duri Rejuvacote
Top - China Glaze Fast Forward
Polish used:Sinful Colors Endless Blue - one coat
Picture Polish Splash - one coat
A England Camelot - one coat (fishtail braid)
Barry M Silver Foil Effects - one coat (fishtail braid)

Thursday, August 1, 2013

July Haul

I can hardly believe that it's already time for another haul post; but this one is rather glorious.  I was going to do a no-buy July since I already had two polish deliveries scheduled to arrive during the month, but then Llarowe restocked their Nail Pattern Boldness polish and I caved.

Oh well.  Onwards to the beautiful polish!
Firstly, I ordered some Zoya polishes from eBay (this seller).  They were shipped promptly and arrived safe and sound; I love them all!

Left to right: Zoya Amy, Thandie, Rocky, Ziv and Aurora
Secondly, I ordered a range of polish including some Duri Rejuvacote from eBay (this seller).  I originally ordered OPI A Roll In The Hague instead of In My Back Pocket, but the seller informed me that they were experiencing problems with that polish, and I was able to adjust my order easily.
I forgot to photograph OPI Eurso Euro, but I picked that one up as well!

Left to right: Duri Rejuvacote x 3, OPI In My Back Pocket, Essie Chinchilly, Essie Bobbing For Baubles and China Glaze Cowgirl Up
Finally, my glorious Llarowe haul.  I'm so excited about all of these!  I'd been lusting after Nail Pattern Boldness Oodiful (if there are any Doctor Who fans reading, hello sweeties!) and The Tin Man for so long and I'm over the moon that I finally have them.

Left to right: Nail Pattern Boldness Oodiful, Bigger On The Inside and The Tin Man
Left to right: A England Camelot x 2, St George, Holy Grail (original) and Galahad
Left to right: Elevation Polish Haba Xueshan, Elevation Polish Toubkal, Pretty Serious Purple Monkey Dishwasher, Contrary Polish Somebody Loved, Contrary Polish Ain't No Sunshine and Crowstoes Absolum/Your Potions Master