Monday, September 30, 2013

Misa Ripe Raspberry


Hi all, I have a swatch from Misa's Fresh and Fruity collection - this is Ripe Raspberry, a purple-leaning bright baby pink.  It's very soft but provides a nice pop of colour.

I'm wearing two coats with no top coat in these photos.  The formula was great, the polish flowed onto the nail easily with no streaking or dragging.  An all-around lovely polish!



POST SUMMARY
Base & top coat:Base - Duri Rejuvacote
Top - none
Polish used:Misa Ripe Raspberry - two coats

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Butter London The Black Knight and Tart With A Heart



Hello all!  Today I've got swatches of two Butter London polishes - The Black Knight and Tart With A Heart.

I'm wearing one coat of The Black Knight over one coat of A England Camelot on my index, middle and pinky, with two coats of Tart With A Heart over three coats of Illamasqua Scorch on my accent nails.  I used two coats of top coat to finish off.


The Black Knight is a sheer black jelly based polish with pink, blue and silver microglitter.  It can be opaque in three to four coats on its own, but I chose to layer it over black to minimise thickness and grittiness.

Tart With A Heart looks honey-coloured in the bottle, but at two coats over white it shows a pink tinted base with silver microglitter and small iridescent hexes.  At one coat, the base is more of a very pale honey tint.

I really like this combo, it's very sparkly but not too over-the-top.  The contrast between the black and pale pink is quite stark but since the glitter is the same size it all ties together.


Notes on wear time and removal: I wore this mani for three days.  I had tipwear by the second day and a few chips by the third.  I used the foil method to remove Tart With A Heart  and the normal soak and swipe for The Black Knight.

POST SUMMARY
Base & top coat:Base - Duri Rejuvacote
Top - Cult Nails Wicked Fast
Polish used:A England Camelot - one coat
Butter London The Black Knight - one coat

Illamasqua Scorch - three coats
Butter London Tart With A Heart - two coats

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Peita's Polish Ralph



This is the first polish that I've tried from the August What's In-Die Box - it's Peita's Polish Ralph, a glitter polish comprised of large orange hexes, smaller turquoise hexes and smaller bronze-gold and orange hexes.  I'm wearing one coat as an accent over two coats of Essie Little Brown Dress.  I used two coats of top coat over the glitter polish because it's pretty bumpy.


Ralph represents Wreck-It Ralph, the main character of the film by the same name.  The polish is a great representation of Ralph's costume!

Application of Ralph was quite easy - I did need to fish for the large hexes a bit and some placement was required, but pickup of the smaller glitter was fine.  The formula was a nice consistency, not too thick.


One issue with this polish is that the large hexes curl.  This was a problem because it did cause a couple of the glitters to stick up and be pointy, even with two coats of top coat.  With tweezers and a bit of patience, you could make sure the glitters all face downwards so they aren't pointy, but that would be a lot of effort.


Other than the curly-glitter issue, I really like this polish and it brings me fond memories of the film!  The dark brown + glitter combo is very Autumnal to me.

POST SUMMARY
Base & top coat:Base - Duri Rejuvacote
Top - Cult Nails Wicked Fast
Polish used:Essie Little Brown Dress - two coats
Peita's Polish Ralph - one coat

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Blue Jelly Sandwich with Zoya, Picture Polish and Nfu Oh


I am glad to say that I've finally done my first jelly sandwich, and I love it!  It's amazing how milky and soft the glitter becomes with a layer of jelly on top.



I started with two easy coats of Zoya Rocky, then added Picture Polish Mardis Gras to my thumbs and ring fingers, and Picture Polish Gene doll to all my other nails.  Mardis Gras has medium-sized teal, pink and silver glitter with silver and teal microglitter, while Gene Doll has medium-sized and micro pink glitter.  Both glitters applied easily, though they are quite sparse in the clear base so I had to be careful not to make the coat too thick while trying to get enough glitter onto the nail.


Zoya Rocky topped with Picture Polish Gene Doll and Mardis Gras (no top coat)
To finish off my jelly sandwich, I added one coat of Nfu Oh JS15, a sky blue jelly that's a shade or two lighter than Zoya Rocky.  I finished with Cult Nails Wicked Fast top coat.

The finished product is light and milky, very delicate and feminine.  I had heaps of comments from different people about this one!



Notes on wear time and removal: I wore this mani for about six days, and only experienced minor tipwear (no chips!)  No issues with removal, though you will need a bit of scrubbing to deal with the glitter.

POST SUMMARY
Base & top coat:Base - Duri Rejuvacote
Top - Cult Nails Wicked Fast
Polish used:Zoya Rocky - two coats
Picture Polish Gene Doll - one coat
Picture Polish Mardis Gras - one coat
Nfu Oh JS15 - one coat

Sunday, September 22, 2013

OPI Euro Centrale Skittles


Hi all!  I broke out my adorable mini OPI Euro Centrale polishes to do a skittle manicure.  The polishes that came in the set are Suzi's Hungary Again (bright coral creme), You're Such A Budapest (periwinkle with a faint silvery shimmer), Oy - Another Polish Joke (the gold shimmer) and Can't Find My Czechbook (blue creme).  



I used three coats of each polish for this look.  Their formulas left much to be desired, in my opinion - I've usually had great experiences with OPI polish so this may be because the minis are different somehow, but since I haven't tried these polishes in full size bottles I can't be sure.

At three coats, Suzi's Hungary Again wasn't completely opaque and still had a few bald spots, and Oy - Another Polish Joke still had VNL.  Budapest and Czechbook were relatively well-behaved, but they both needed three coats anyway to cover some streakiness and bald spots.



Though I am a little disappointed with the formulas, I did love the colours - they looked really cute all together and individually, I like how bright and lipstick-like Hungary is, the periwinkle of Budapest was gorgeous and Czechbook is a dupe for Zoya Rocky, of which I have a bottle (see comparisons at The PolishAholic).  Oy - Another Polish Joke was very shimmery in real life and I can see myself using it with undies as an accent.

POST SUMMARY
Base & top coat:Base - Duri Rejuvacote
Top - Cult Nails Wicked Fast
Polish used:OPI Suzi's Hungary Again - three coats
OPI You're Such A Budapest - three coats
OPI Oy - Another Polish Joke - three coats
OPI Can't Find My Czechbook - three coats

Friday, September 20, 2013

Jewel-tone Glittery Brushstroke Mani


I'm so glad that I got my act together to do this mani because I love it!  The brushstroke aspect of it is inspired by Gorgeois and Chalkboard Nails (follow the links to see their gorgeous manicures) but I wanted to do it with some jewel-toned microglitter polishes because why not.



I began with a base of my trusty A England Camelot, just one coat.  I then went in with Zoya Ivanka (green glass fleck), Ulta3 Infamous (teal jelly with microglitter), Pretty Serious BSOD (blue jelly with microglitter) and Pretty Serious Purple Monkey Dishwasher (purple jelly with microglitter) for the brushstrokes.  I had planned to use China Glaze Atlantis as well, but the glitter in that one is bigger than the other polishes and it didn't work well.

To create the look, I swiped most of the polish off the polish brushes and then dabbed them onto the nail.  I made sure to overlap the strokes a bit so that the design meshed together.  I probably could have gone with more coats to overlap them more and get a 'deeper' look, but I left it looking kind of patchwork-y instead.  I finished by dabbing a bit of China Glaze Fairy Dust here and there for extra sparkle, then sealed the design in with two coats of top coat for maximum glassiness. 


Natural light
I'm really happy with the end result - it's insanely glittery and I love the flashes of different colours as my hands move.  The brushstroke method was very easy, even for my non-dominant hand, so I can see myself using it again in the future!

Notes on wear time and removal: I wore this mani for four days and only had minor tipwear and a bit of chipping on two of my nails.  No issues with removal, no need for the foil method.  I did find that I had some staining on patches of my nails - I think it was from the Ulta3 polish.  The staining came off with a bit of soap and scrubbing.

POST SUMMARY
Base & top coat:Base - Duri Rejuvacote
Top - Cult Nails Wicked Fast
Polish used:A England Camelot - one coat
Zoya Ivanka - brush strokes
Ulta3 Infamous - brush strokes
Pretty Serious Purple Monkey Dishwasher - brush strokes
Pretty Serious BSOD - brush strokes
China Glaze Fairy Dust - brush strokes

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Essie Little Brown Dress


Hello all!  I've got a lovely swatch for you today - this is Essie Little Brown Dress.  It's a dark, chocolate brown creme that applied flawlessly.

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



POST SUMMARY
Base & top coat:Base - Duri Rejuvacote
Top - none
Polish used:Essie Little Brown Dress - two coats

Monday, September 16, 2013

Crowstoes Voodoo


Hello all!  Crowstoes Voodoo has been lying around in my stash for ages, and I'm a bit ashamed because it is gorgeous.  I was in raptures when I painted this baby onto my nails!  Voodoo is a true glitterbomb: there are orange bars, hexes and microglitter; purple squares, hexes and microglitter as well as green microglitter.  The range of glitter sizes makes for great coverage and complexity on the nail.

I started with a base of two coats of OPI Eurso Euro, a navy blue creme, then dabbed one coat of Voodoo over the top.  I suggest keeping a pair of tweezers handy to tame any wayward glitter that sticks up or tries to leave the nail; none of the glitter was curly but some bunched together and needed a bit of manipulation to get them separated.



Voodoo does dry quite gritty due to the sheer amount of glitter, so I used two coats of top coat to smooth everything out.  The end result is a blurple-looking, glittery extravaganza that I loved wearing!

Notes on wear time and removal: I wore this mani for about four days and experienced some tipwear but no major chips.  I used the foil method for removal and had no issues.

POST SUMMARY
Base & top coat:Base - Duri Rejuvacote
Top - Cult Nails Wicked Fast, two coats
Polish used:OPI Eurso Euro - two coats
Crowstoes Voodoo - one coat

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Essie Good As Gold and Penny Talk

Hello all!  Today I have swatches of two Essie metallics: Good As Gold and Penny Talk.

First up, Good As Gold is a gold metallic.  It covers well in one coat but I'm wearing two coats with top coat for swatches.



Secondly, Penny Talk is a lovely rosy copper colour.  Again, coverage was fine in one coat but I'm wearing two coats with top coat for this swatch.



I'm really happy with these, the colours are excellent and the formulas are great too.  I had no issues with application or removal.

POST SUMMARY
Base & top coat:Base - none
Top - OPI Top Coat
Polish used:Essie Good As Gold - two coats
Essie Penny Talk - two coats

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Cult Nails Princess



This is Cult Nails Princess, a soft light blue polish with pink shimmer throughout.  The shimmer is quite apparent in the bottle but unfortunately doesn't transfer to the nail - I only saw the barest hints of it in certain lights.

Formula-wise, Princess was a joy to work with - it went on in two smooth coats.  I'm wearing two coats with top coat in these photos.  It's a real shame about the shy shimmer, because otherwise this polish would be amazing!


POST SUMMARY
Base & top coat:Base - Duri Rejuvacote
Top - Cult Nails Wicked Fast
Polish used:Cult Nails Princess - two coats

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

OPI Every Month Is Oktoberfest vs China Glaze Let's Groove vs China Glaze Cowgirl Up



I nearly cried with joy when I dug a vampy, shimmery purple China Glaze polish out of the overflowing bin of polish in a local pharmacy.  It was China Glaze Let's Groove - then I brought it home and was putting it away and thought, crap, it looks just like OPI Every Month Is Oktoberfest.

Not so, ladies and gentlemen, there are no dupes here!

I compared China Glaze Cowgirl Up with Let's Groove and Every Month Is Oktoberfest.  For the swatch, I'm wearing two easy coats of each polish with no top coat.


Cowgirl Up is the colour that stands out as being very different - it's more of a plum than a purple, and seriously, I love it and can't wait to wear it as a full mani!  Every Month Is Oktoberfest and Let's Groove looked very similar on the first coat, but after the second, Let's Groove revealed itself to be more of a dark purple while Oktoberfest is a darker blackened purple.  Phew.  I was very relieved not to have any more dupes in my little stash.

They all have a gorgeous shimmer throughout, and I'd definitely recommend all three of these polishes.  They're gorgeous!


POST SUMMARY
Base & top coat:Base - none
Top - none
Polish used:China Glaze Cowgirl Up - two coats
China Glaze Let's Groove - two coats
OPI Every Month Is Oktoberfest - two coats

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Chocolate Honeycomb Gradient with A England and YSL



One day I will do a gradient with colours that are close to each other in the spectrum.  But it is not this day.  This day (we fight) I'm showing you all a gold/bronze/brown gradient using A England Holy Grail (original), Yves Saint Laurent Bronze Aztec and a little bit of Orly Sugar.  It reminds me of chocolate coated honeycomb, so that's what I've dubbed it!



Unlike my first gradient attempt, when I painted the polish straight onto a sponge, I used the 'swirly method' (shown here at The Nailasaurus).  I painted Holy Grail and Bronze Aztec onto a piece of foil, swirled them together a bit with a dotting tool then sponged up the polish and sponged it onto my nails.  It took two rounds of sponging to get the gradient opaque enough for my liking.
I used a makeup sponge for the gradient, some tape around my nails to keep everything a bit tidier as well as an eyeshadow brush and acetone for clean up.  Thank goodness for pure acetone, that's all I can say!

Below is a photo of the gradient before Orly Sugar and top coat were added.



For a little extra sparkle, I painted a bit of Orly Sugar onto the dark part of the gradient.  I found that the honey-sparkle of Sugar helped to unify the gold and the brown a bit more, as well as give a bit more oomph to Bronze Aztec.  For top coat, I used Cult Nails Wicked Fast (no smearing or smudging whatsoever!)



I loved wearing this mani, and I'm glad I tried the swirly method out - it definitely makes for a smoother gradient and it wasn't as annoying as I thought it would be!

POST SUMMARY
Base & top coat:Base - Duri Rejuvacote
Top - Cult Nails Wicked Fast
Polish used:A England Holy Grail (original) - two coats
Yves Saint Laurent Bronze Aztec - sponged
Orly Sugar - one coat

Friday, September 6, 2013

OPI Is That Silva?



Hello all!  I've had OPI Is That Silva? for a long time but I hadn't had a chance to photograph it until recently.  Part of the Skyfall collection, Is That Silva? is a magnetic gunmetal grey polish with scattered holographic particles that flash mostly green and red throughout (you can't see them in my photos, unfortunately, but I can assure you that they are fantastic and sparkly in person!)


My swatches here show two coats of Is That Silva? with Cult Nails Wicked Fast top coat.  I held the magnet over the wet polish for about six seconds for each nail to achieve the effect and I had to wait a while for the polish to dry to avoid smudging the design (floating the brush over the nail by using a considerable amount of top coat didn't seem to help).

On my thumbnails, the design didn't show up so well and I'm not sure why, because all my other nails turned out fine.


I know that magnetic polish is so last year, dahling, but I love how easy it is to create such an eye-catching design, and Is That Silva? is a gorgeous polish!

Notes on wear time and removal: I wore this polish for four days and only got one small chip (which was on a weak, buffed out part of my nail) - great wear time!  Removal is more difficult than a regular creme polish, but not as difficult as a glitter.  Leaving an acetone-soaked bit of cotton wool on the nail for a couple of minutes deals with it perfectly.

POST SUMMARY
Base & top coat:Base - Duri Rejuvacote
Top - Cult Nails Wicked Fast
Polish used:OPI Is That Silva? - two coats

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

A England Holy Grail (original)


Hello all!  Today I've got a lovely gold polish to show you - this is A England Holy Grail, the original.  I'm wearing two coats with no top coat for this swatch.

Holy Grail's formula is fantastic, consistent with the other A England polishes I've tried.  Application was smooth and easy.  I did find it to be a little sheer, and some of my nails could have done with a third coat, especially on my right hand since I'm worse at applying polish on that hand.


As for the colour, it's an antique-looking yellow gold and shines a bit darker in some lights.  It's also insanely shimmery.  Definitely a winner!

POST SUMMARY
Base & top coat:Base - Duri Rejuvacote
Top - none
Polish used:A England Holy Grail (original) - two coats

Sunday, September 1, 2013

August Haul

In my mind, August was going to be no-buy-August but that didn't turn out so well.  Oops.
--
Firstly, I bought four Ulta3 polishes (if you are unfamiliar with them, it's an Australian brand and the polish is $2 each!)  I grabbed Infamous, A Lister, Spring Break and Stop The Press. 


Read on for the rest of the haul!