Monday, March 30, 2015

In Like a Lion, Out Like a Hippie

So, greens wrap up for March.

I've got to say, I've enjoyed this time around. Let me know what you think? I'd love to know.
I know there were no holos, but that's going to be coming up: longer days and more sunshine lend themselves to swatching holos.

Back a couple entries ago, I blogged (<= link) about Pretty Serious doing a Naileontology collection, an homage to very hard to find polishes that are still perennial favorites.

Here is one you might want to take a second look at:

Pretty Serious Khepri's Amulet


This is an apparent dupe of Revlon Street Wear Hippie Trippy. I mean, it could be, but in all my wanderings on the Interwebz, I could not find a photo of this polish. 

Meanwhile, this polish just knocked my ever lovin' wig off!

Three coats, could of been two, no top coat. Shine on princess!


From the emerald depths to the bright sea foam green, this shimmer polish makes zero apologies for being a straight up traditional shimmer. Witness!



I seriously could not take a bad picture of this polish! 

Much love, much, much love. Formula is dense, yet it's easy to manage, it covers and self levels. Excellent coverage, delightful formula. Delightful.

Browsing the Pretty Serious Naileontology collection and aren't sure what to get? This is your winner. Let's be honest, you can dupe the Essie Starry Starry Night with a bottle of Essie Silver Boullions and a good navy. The Creme de Menthe dupe isn't 100% as close as I'd have hoped. This one, though, doesn't seem to have anything to live up to. Well, let's be honest: Revlon Street Wear polish has a pretty slow, sheer formula (in my experience, they don't work me up into a collecting frenzy after wearing them) and this color is so rare I can't even find a photo with which to compare!

I'd love to see a really nice original swatch of yet another one that got away, but whatever it looks like, this one is a stand alone great polish.

I think I need to get more serious about Pretty Serious Nail Polish!

As I said in my previous entry about their version of OPI Creme de Menthe (posted here) they ship from Australia for a super fair price, and a great selection of polishes. I am glad I bought this one, as for some reason I wavered because I couldn't figure out which one it was. 

Thanks for reading my version of March Madness!! Greens are so lovely. I hope you enjoyed!


Saturday, March 28, 2015

Illamasqua's Potpourri

I'm speaking of Illamasqua Melange of course.


Muted mint green creme base with glass fleck red and gold in a dense, beautiful combination that makes this polish feel very complex.

The formula is quite gorgeous, as is every Illa I've used. 

Three coats, no top coat, very easy to use. I wore this for three days after I did the manicure and it was just lovely, wore like iron. 


This feels like a tweed suit of a polish, but with flair, like a springtime Chanel suit.  Extremely lovely and yet almost reserved.

Here's a macro:


Often when red and green are paired, they consume each other, but this red reads almost russet and the gold adds depth to the mix.

A true favorite.

I found mine on eBay for a normal price and it's still available there. I don't know who sells Illa in the US any more, nor do I know if they ship to the US. There have been some tricky things going on with mailing polish internationally and I'm not completely up to date. Recently they had some Illa at a special sale at Hautelook, which was full of some great basics ( I wonder if it was just the end of the line for some retailers, boohoo).

Meanwhile. This is a super fave of mine. 

Thanks for reading my little nail polish journal!

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Dreams of Creme de Menthe

I kind of love the sense of humor of Pretty Serious cosmetics.
They have a little trio of dupes they call "Naileontology" which rhymes with paleontology.
It is an homage to all dusty hunters everywhere who often find - randomly - old polishes in salons on eBay and (in my case) eCrater, etc.
I love that nod to collectors. Add the humorous graphics on their web site and it feels like a win.

When these were released there was a sale to promote them and the best part for me is that she ships to the US from Australia!!

Needless to say, I snapped up the collection, which I certainly hope gets larger. I love the idea of duping these rare polishes. (Or trying to dupe at least)

In the past I've blogged the-closest-thing-I'll-get-to-OPI-Creme-de-Menthe here.

Here is Pretty Serious Dragon's Curse



Three coats, nice formula, easy to work with.

Reads very jade green versus mint.


Now, mosey over to Steph's Closet blog and compare, mainly because I can not whip out a dupe out of my stash. I feel that my photos show more green, also, this doesn't imply much blue the way many CdM swatches online seem to do. 


I don't know if it is 100% dupe, but it sure is beautiful.
I tried to remove the green tint due to my lighting, but I never hit the identical shade of green.

Meanwhile, I'm perfectly happy that I have it, but I still wonder if CdM is the one that got away.


Thanks for reading my little nail polish journal.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Pair of Dark Greens

I have a couple of greens to share that are beautiful in their own right, but I felt like comparing them.


First up is Hits Vertigem.


Three coats, delicious pine green that never leaves the shores of absolutely green nail polish. 

No top coat and very glossy. 

This is quite a lovely polish, no complaints.

This is a small bottle that is only 8 mL. I found it on sale for $2 a bottle during a Llarowe sale. I grabbed 2 bottles, it's worth having a backup. 

It does go dark, though:



This is a little less light an you can see it steps into the realm of vampitude with a bit of enthusiasm.

It's still on Llarowe. I've never been able to find the Hits' website but I think that they are a very cool brand!



Next up, OPI Christmas Gone Plaid


This is a classic forest green, almost into the Amazonian Rainforest realm. I am crazy about it.
Three coats, no topcoat. Juicy!
I found this at TJ Maxx for $3.99 (Take that Sally Hansen Complete Salon Manicure!).
This is from the 2014 Gwen Stephani Holiday collection. 

Still readily available online for a fair price.

It, too, does go dark.


Still, as with Vertigem, these are just lovely on their own despite donning the vamp pose in the dark.


Of course I compared them:


Top to bottom and left to right:
  • Hits Vertigem
  • OPI Christmas Gone Plaid
  • Hits Vertigem
  • OPI Christmas Gone Plaid
I think this photo shows how dark these can go.

The main difference is that the Hits is more of a pine green and OPI is more of a forest green.

Both are lovely, especially if you like green.

Only going to get one? Get the one that has the shade you like best, both are quite nice formulas.


Thanks for reading my little nail polish journal.

Monday, March 23, 2015

When Formulas Collide

It's kind of frustrating when a polish behaves poorly.


Here's L.A. Girl Glitter Addict Nostalgia over white:



Ugly, huh?

Not to get into any kind of manifesto mode, I do want to say that for my own purposes it's important to try to publish the good with the bad, and at times I ignore the bad.


This was an amazing glitter color: pastel emerald green. But lo and behold, when I put it over my old Borghese White (which has been quite a stand-by as a base with no problems) it melted the white and slid off my nails. And I mean slid.

This photo is my third try with one coat of white.

Teeth gnashing at this formula.

Worse, the glitter is very sparse.

I tried then to sponge it onto my nails again.



This is under a very bright lamp, and there are more glitters, but I found it, as you can see, very hard to control. Melting still tried to happen, but I had to put my nails under the fluorescent bulb to try to heat them up to dry, but you can see white meshed with the glitters.

Super UGH. And pretty fug. I mean, hey, if you've followed me for any length of time you know I started out posting some awfully optimistic manis. Part of my delusion was that I just liked to post and enjoyed sharing the manicures.
I am trying to do like Walt Disney did: put the critic in a dark room away from the creative, but this was just gnashing of teeth by the critic and the creative didn't really find much thrill in this.

Eep.

Thanks for reading my little nail polish journal!

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Knock Knock. Who's There? Olive. Olive Who? Olive YOU!!!

Don't know about you, but 6th grade was full of knock knock jokes.

I've had Maybelline Matte Olive for quite a while. At least 2-3 years. When all those Maybelline Mattes hit the Dollar Tree I grabbed early and often. This is one from that period.

I don't know their pedigree, but like textures today and crackles of a couple years ago, mattes were pretty much a "thing" when I first got into polish back in 2009. My brainiac notion was "hey I don't need that, I can just put a matte top coat over that!"

What is interesting about matte shimmers is that they seem to have a bit of extra oomph in their mattes versions. There are some OPI mattes shimmers I missed out on and regret it.


Enter Maybelline Matte Olive


Even though it is matte, it still sparkles. And there are no regrets here.

This is two coats and it is very dense like most gold caps. I had to thin it down, too.
It's a perfectly gorgeous color.

I am surprised that I was trying to blog sale this polish (psst, yes, my blog sale is up and running *points up to link at top of page* - I'll negotiate prices, these need to go), but it really is just a great color.  I think I can also work on trying this out as a stamping polish.

This polish plays a bit of a game with light: sometimes it looks very green, sometimes it's almost a gold. Werk!



Here it is with a top coat.

Shimmer galore.

Mattes can look a bit frosty and flat at times, but top coats help bring out the depth.

Trying to get rid of this polish was a case of the joke is on me.




Thank you for reading my little nail polish journal!

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Shamrocks On The Green

Green of a special variety.

When I think of green, I think of this: intense, pure, and no-no-doubt-about-it-green!

Dance Legend 377



Three coats
Lovely rich luminescent bright green.

My camera made it more dusty, but it's a winner.




No top coat, very glossy.

Purchased at the Llarowe sale, so nice - both the sale and the polish!

From the Dance Legend "Enamel Mix" selection on their web site.

I recommend just browsing their site for the sheer eye candy.

Take a page, polish sellers: you don't need a flash heavy site! Just give a bottle shot and a couple of tasty swatches. 



SinfulColors Shamrockin'


I will admit that the large flower glitter needed some fishing, but this wasn't too painful. 

I like the combination of white and pale celery colored glitter. Best of all these are matte glitters.


Here's another photo with the SC bottle. I just thought I'd throw it in:


I think if I had planned a bit better I'd have turned the bottle upside down for a while and let more glitter slowly move toward the top before doing the mani, would have helped with the fishing of the large glitter.

I do wish there was more density on the smaller glitters. This is two coats

I believe at this point I put a top coat onto the whole thing, as the flowers are flat and my nails curve and well, you can imagine there was some incongruity.

Found this at Walgreens and it was a fluke because their selection in my area is sparse for new stuff.
It's a pretty little thing and may still be out at drug stores. I know there are similar indie polishes, but $2 is hard to beat. This further illustrates the influence that indies have on mainstream polish brands. 


Thanks for reading my little nail polish journal!

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Wear Your Green Today!

When the news started breaking that Ninja Polish was back in business I hustled my buns over to check it out.

I had a 2012 gift certificate from my mom that I figured was just a bit of lost flotsam on the ether. I kept the email in my inbox - thank goodness for the search feature on email - and when I got to the Ninja Polish site I loaded my cart up with the loot I'd waited to all be in stock in the past, but it never seemed to be. It was all there and all waiting for me to buy it. 

It felt like Christmas!

I emailed Rhonni, the founder of Ninja Polish and asked if my certificate code was still useable. it was! IT WAS? Wheeehaw! .

I grabbed Shamrock Floam, one that I've been wanting for what seemed like a very long time. 

Finally.


It's a gorgeous melange of green glitters and white glitters. 

Mint and emerald green in a tight little formula that worked easily, though I will say that my bottle needed a bit of thinner. 



I am completely pleased with this. It's the perfect combination of dense glitter along with gorgeous combination of colors that create a complex glitter. 



Happy Saint Patrick's Day!

Thank you for reading my little nail polish journal!

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Spring Is In The Air

Everywhere I look around.

Yes, it's here, early. Actually we never really had much in the way of winter around here. 

Meanwhile I felt the urge to push forward with a little more stamping. 

A few things first: somehow I found a super squishy stamper, this has made a HUGE difference in applying the stamps. It was one that came with something, I don't know what, I think an Essence. 

First up here is New York Color Palm on the Beach:


Very bright parrot green that seems to have gone a bit diffused thanks to my camera. Quick note about the formula, NYC in these little tapered bottles never lets me down. Love the formula. I purchased this at the Dollar Tree and was from the 2014 summer collection. It's a beautiful, intense green with a faultless formula.

On to the gradient and stamping!

I used this and Sally Hansen Marble Creme to make a little nail gradient for my stamping base. SH Marble Creme looks blue by comparison.

I used a homemade version of Liquid Palisade. The recipe was tweaked by Ravenclaws on MUA, but masking fluids have been around the blogosphere for a bit of a while. From tape, to liquid latex, etc.

I used an empty Sephora by OPI bottle (a crackle gone wrong) and it filled with glue and some 91% alcohol. This was not quite enough. I think the alcohol has the same kinds of functional groups as water - OH - so they don't help with evaporation.

 Thanks to Ravenclaws, I added nail polish to 1) help it dry and 2) help see it on your skin - she added a gel food coloring, but I think that would have been a challenge on my skin, so I picked a pink polish. It's still hard to see, but I think it's a game changing element in stamping, gradients, and especially marbling!

Here is a photo of me taking it off:

No, I didn't use my teeth to take the photo, I propped the stick up and took it with my other hand. Hehehe.

It makes a big difference. I will try it again with marbling, man, if it works, it will be great!

Here is the resulting stamping:



I am always trying to get this blog print look with stamping, I don't know why. I think the pinky (and this is all one hand) kind of makes it work. 

These polishes are a mix of the ones which I got from the nail stamping machine.

Here's a photo of the stamping plates, they are all from Pueen:


It's from the Sumptuous Gallery

Plates 18, 20, 23, and 24. I love these plates and will do more with them.



Thanks for reading my little nail polish journal!

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Mermaid Made Pretty

So, I'm not a big follower of the drug store action.

Was on a long road trip down to the BLM's Oregon Trail Interpretive Center in Baker City (worth the visit (<--link here, you can actually see wagon train ruts in the ground!) and stopped into a Rite Aid in Milton Freewater, OR. It's a small, rural, quiet little farming 'burg, but they seem to have a magical Rite Aid with a gigantic cosmetics department. I browsed around and found a Bonita display.

Normally I see very little Bonita at my own Rite Aid, but I do see - and have purchased - larger 6 packs of Bonita at Ross. Not a bad little brand. I wonder who makes it, I can't tell from the packaging, but it's really good stuff.
OK, let me qualify "good stuff" because I tend to throw out superlatives a lot. It's always easy to work with, it covers well, and dries with a quick dry top coat easily enough. I am not a super fussy polisher. I've got a Verilux lamp that I use for lighting, but the compact fluorescent bulb kicks out enough heat to use it as an assist to drying slow polishes. Meanwhile, when I hit on a one coater, a fast drier, or something that doesn't flood my cuticles I'm happy. Goodness I sound like a cheap date.

Here's Bonita Starry Night:


It is a one coat beauty. I was pleasantly surprised. 
This one is a deep petrol blue or peacock blue. It has a holo that scatters here and there, but there is also shimmer that is quite lovely, but it does cover up some of the holos. No real complaints, it's a gorgeous polish.

This is without a topcoat.

After a couple days I decided to top it off with an oldie, Mermaid in the Shade.

I blogged about it here, and a kind person sussed out what it was (in it's poor unlabeled bottle).

Here it is over Bonita Starry Night:


No top coat, you can see the texture somewhat through, but the color is the right base for Mermaid in the Shade and it makes me love this polish when I was about to purge. Nice!
Love it!

Thanks for reading my little nail polish journal!