Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Illamasqua Raindrops

Do you see the magic I have on my fingers? This, my fellow nail polish nuts, is something I’ve been wanting a very, very long time. When it first came out I wasn’t impressed. I rarely am with new nail colors, which is why I’ve learned the hard way NEVER to trust my first impressions (people are a different story, however).

So by the time I realized what a beauty it was, it became discontinued. And I wasn’t about to pay eBay prices. So I pined and grieved, and eventually moved on.

Fast forward to the end of last year when Illamasqua announced they were bringing it back, and I was happier than a witch in a broom factory (yeah, I said it). So why did I wait until July to buy it?

I yo-yo-ed about whether or not I really needed it. I ALWAYS do this. It took me well over a year to decide to buy DL’s Boom Boom Pow. I must be making progress though, since it only took five months for me to bite the bullet this time.

Raindrops is the most gorgeous soft grey jelly, with silvery flakes. It is definitely grey, but there are certain lights where just a hint of grey-blue can be seen. The flakes give it an ethereal quality that really does remind me of rain drops flecked against a window. It’s very feminine and sophisticated.

This was three coats with NYC top coat.

Sunday, July 28, 2013

China Glaze Ahoy!

This polish is out of my manicure comfort zone. I’d bought it to use on my toes, but I figured I ought to see if I like it as well on fingers. I don’t.

Ahoy! is a deep raspberry glass fleck with subtle microshimmer. I see gold, electric purple, and even some flashes of green in certain lights.

The formula was great, no problems with bubbling and it dried quickly, like most of my China Glazes.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

O.P.I. Black Cherry Chutney

Holy vampy Batman, I’d forgotten how much I adore this color…how much I adore vampies in general. I feel that my fingers look longer and more elegant when I wear vampy polishes, even if my nails are short.

Do I even need to explain this classic? Blackened base with the most glowing ruby/wine colored shimmer. In certain lights the shimmer turns brownish red, and always there are flashes of purple/blue. Pure perfection. Even indoors you get subtle flashes of color-this beauty never looks just black.

This was two coats with NYC (what else).

Monday, July 15, 2013

butter LONDON Jaffa

Naturally, when I decide I have my nails at a length I like, one of them breaks (I’m looking at you, middle finger). I trimmed my nails down as much as I could bear, but the days of nubs are over for me. Might as well change my polish at the same time, right?

I’m a Halloween purist (and incidentally, a Halloween nut). For me, orange is not a summer color-it’s reserved for my Halloween manicures. Jaffa is a bit different though. It’s a juicy orange with just a hint of pink in it that places it far away enough from true orange for me to want to wear it now. The pictures are a bit deceptive-it’s slightly more coral-looking in real life.

The formula was downright annoying. Just the worst. Generally "crellies" go on streaky and level themselves out after a minute, but this was not the case with Jaffa. Each coat was as streaky as the last. After four coats I gave up and applied top coat, hoping that would even it out. Luckily it did.

It’s truly gorgeous, I love the color, though maybe not enough to struggle though the formula.

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Ciate Apples and Custard

I need a break from all the glittery goodness I’ve been wearing lately so I thought I’d crack out one of my favorite cremes. This polish wouldn’t have been mine without the kindness of another wonderful MakeupAlley member. Honestly, I’ve met the kindest people there. The exchange rate and shipping, and obviously the already high price of Ciate polishes would have cost me about 30 bucks (if I ordered from the Ciate website), but a girl offered to send me a bottle for free, and even included a little extra. Really. Too, too nice.

Despite the silliness and drama Ciate has dealt out in the past with the caviar manicure, they have, hands down, the best formula and brush I’ve come across. The brush is medium-thin, firm, the long handle makes it very easy to control. And as for the formula, it’s smooth and creamy, and dries relatively quickly.

And lets be honest. The bottle is the cutest thing. Even if the formula were horrible, I’d probably want it just for the bottle.

Apples and Custard is a lovely, creamy jade/celadon green, muted but bright. It can look slightly different in different lights, darker or lighter depending. It’s so, so flattering and soft.

Three coats of Apples and Custard, and NYC top coat.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

HARE Polish Own Your Opulence & O.P.I. My Pointe Exactly

At first I thought this particular HARE glitter would have looked better over something like Barre My Soul or You Callin’ Me a Lyre? but damn…this combination just tickles me in all the right places.

It’s been nice and overcast and cool all day, but that also means I had to tweak the coloring in the photos to get all the glitters to come out and play. I’m not an expert at this kind of thing…hardly qualified, really, but the colors are accurate.

HARE’s description of this delightful concoction is as follows:

Own Your Opulence is a complex mixture of satin pastels in several different shades, juxtaposed with gunmetal grey, black, and gold. Lots of goodness going on here! This polish also features gold shimmer. This is in a CLEAR base.”

Hubba hubba. The glitters just pop over the grey jelly base. I chose well, if I do say so myself. This will be an absolute nightmare to take off, but I don’t currrrrrr.

This was three coats of My Pointe Exactly, and one very generous coat of Own Your Opulence. I hardly had to “place” the glitters or fish for them-it went on smoothly. The a couple coats of Gelous and NYC top coat for glossiness.

Monday, July 8, 2013

Essie Rock the Boat

Woke up with a killer migraine today, so this’ll be quick. Rock the Boat is from an Essie 2013 summer collection (I’m honestly losing track, there are so many), and was the only one in the collection that really piqued my interest. The formula left a lot to be desired, but we’ll get to that later.

Rock the Boat is a cornflower/periwinkle blue with what seems to me to be predominantly silver glitter flecks, although there are flashes of multi-colored glitter flecks. I say glitter flecks because I really have no other name for them. I wouldn’t call it shimmer or glass-fleck, but it certainly isn’t your regular glitter-they’re incredibly small, but gritty and irregularly shaped at the same time.

In terms of formula, Rock the Boat fought me every step of the way. It just didn’t want to play nicely. It was goopy, runny, patchy, thick, bubbly, and it took about four coats to even everything out. I have another Essie, To Buy or Not to Buy, with similar glittery bits that is the same; streaky and uncooperative.

Still, it’s gorgeous, so I put up with it. Isn’t that always the way?

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Rescue Beauty Lounge 360 & Essie Beyond Cozy

So not only is the NYC Grand Central Station top coat better than any other I’ve tried, it’s a fraction of the cost and prevents my fastest chipping polishes from flaking off. If you do not have this top coat yet, WHY!!?? WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU! GO OUT AND GET IT NOW! SHOO!

Before you are two beautiful polishes, both guaranteed to chip (RBL) or peel off in sheets (Essie) within twelve hours of application. However, this manicure is two days old. I wasn’t overly careful, I showered, did some dishes, and scratched at many bug bites. Marvelous.

360 is described on the website as a “deep-water aqua blue polish”. There’s some grey in there too, definitely, and the most gorgeous subtle silver and teal shimmer. The shimmer all but disappears on the nail, but it adds dimension to what would otherwise be a flat creme color. It’s incredibly pigmented, one coat and you’ve got pure color with no patchiness. I really appreciate the artistry that goes into making these polishes, and now that NYC has entered my life, I can wear them without worrying about chips.

Essie Beyond Cozy is a perfect antiqued silver glitter. I love everything about it. What more is there to say?

2 coats of each polish, a couple coats of Gelous over the glitter, and NYC top coat. The color combination just drives me wild-it’s so chic.

Thursday, July 4, 2013

HARE Polish Married to the Monarchy & OP.I. Big Apple Red

I don’t normally do 4th of July themed nails, but since I have Married to the Monarchy, I thought I might as well. I prefer to think of this as the “Amy Pond Mani”, because after seeing her rock red and blue together on Doctor Who, it made me realize just how good those colors look together. It’s also nice to get back to my beloved red polish.

Like always, I’ll use the description HARE has for Married to the Monarchy:

Married to the Monarchy is a blend of matte teal hexes & squares + rich red hexes and squares in varied sizes. The silver shimmer is definitely not shy in this one. This is in a CLEAR base.”

I had hoped my base would be a different hue of red so the red glitters would stand out more, but it’s still really lovely. The teal glitters really pop. The formula was great, slightly bumpier than Dauphine of Decadence, but nothing horrible. I finally got a bottle of Gelous, so that made it smoothy smooth.

As for Big Apple Red, it’s one of my favorite reds (and I’ve got a lot). It’s a nice, smooth, candy apple red color that is so sophisticated. Unfortunately my pictures wash it out a bit-it’s much brighter, richer, and jelly-like in real life.

Off to wait for fireworks-they’re the only part of the 4th that I really enjoy. I never seem to have good 4th of July’s.