Saturday, May 23, 2015

Color Club Wild Cactus: An Improver

I blogged about Color Club Wild Cactus back in 2013 (here). Wasn't sure if it was Wild Cactus or Abyss. After I inadvertently bought a dupe - doh! I knew I had to reblog it after goofing around with it some more.

It's a bold emerald green creme.

Here is a revamped swatch:


Three coats, easy to work with. Lovely color.


Meanwhile, I've had Princessa Emerald Shimmer in limbo land. The worst place to be. Too sheer, won't build, and needed 4 coats to do much of anything in this post from back in 2012. 
On the other hand, you could only layer it over green, medium green at that. I don't need that many color specific layering polishes, they always feel like an albatross and limit a relaxed approach to layering. 

So I bunged some CC Wild Cactus into Princessa Emerald Shimmer:


I mean REALLY!!!

What was I waiting for? 

This is three coats and it's perfect. No brainer perfect. Still have the glass fleck depth, but not the totally frustrating sheerness. Franken-win.


I then pulled out a bottle of a gorgeous Sally Hansen Xtreme Wear called Emerald City. It was in a set of 4 at Ross. The only issue? Sheer. Not enough pigment to make it a go.



Sad. So sad.

I think it could be a stand alone with the right base and I didn't want to franked it out of existence. 

But, it does look great over CC Wild Cactus:


Super improvement. Now it looks like emerald city and not swampy acres.

I know I left greens back in March, but I was in a sorting mode and wanted to share some tweaks.

Thanks for reading my little nail polish journal!


Friday, May 22, 2015

Six Mint Swatches - The Good, The Bad, The Indifferent

Hey Sweet People!

This is a swatchfest with no comparison and as I assess my stash. I have 1/2 a helmer drawer of mints. Now, be aware that this is JUST cooler shades of mints. That doesn't include a dozen more warm mints or about a dozen teal/blue leaning mints. Never mind light blues. That's a lot. I love that shade. I also realize I've done very little swatching in that department, whenever I do "Green for March" I tend to grab more intense greens.

Time to change the trend.

A few things

  • Only one has a top coat, and I will mention that fact.
  • All are not twiddled with to get my skin tone close to correct, but for some reason it was like "holy cats, all my shots are turning out!" Very little tweaking, though some shades pull cooler than they are.
  • All shot indoors under my Ott light. No flash.



Shall we begin? Let's!



Duri Summer in the City


Wow. Duri. Where have you been all my life? Two coats. Perhaps a touch, and just a touch, more green than this photo.

This formula beats everyone, except one, hands down. I mean hit the triple play, the trifecta, the 80 yard touchdown, well, you get my meaning.

I get Nails magazine (they emailed me and I said "You betcha!) and the ONLY place I see this advertised is in that magazine. I can't recall where I got this one, though. Might have been eBay. Hmm.

To describe the formula is to say that it is akin to Misa: self leveling, gorgeous viscosity, handles very well, needed scant clean up, and dried surprisingly fast.
No top coat here, by the way.




Orly Jealous Much?


Soft celadon green. Another win.
Three coats here, no top coat.

I really adore this one, too. Smooth, self leveling, looser and somewhat more thin than the Duri above, but not one complaint.

Another win. Not sure where I got this one either! Ugh!




Avon NailWear Pro Jade


This was purchased by me off of eBay during the whole Chanel Jade frenzy. It's two coats and a fairly nice formula.  More of a jade green and a nice, dense formula that covers in almost one coat.

Not bad at all. I might even try to stamp with this one. No comment on whether it stamps, because I didn't try, but just about one coat does the job and I'm feeling' the win with that.

This is no longer on the Avon site, but it's available on eBay.




Morgan Taylor Mint Chocolate Chip


Wanted very much to like this one, but it's not a very good formula. A bit lumpy and patchy. Unlike a lot of these polishes, it didn't separate. The Duri, for example, took a lot of shaking.

This is four coats to achieve coverage and smooth it out. No top coat.

The worst part was the brush:


This was after I tried several times to smooth it out. Ugh.

The win wasn't here for sure.

I purchased this one on Nail Supply, it's weird because they only have this color and one other. I was pretty much trying this color out, but have had good luck with other MT's, but not sure if it's a win with this brush, though.




American Apparel Office


Oh dear god. This never worked out: thinned a bit, shook a lot (I was sure something settled or a pigment didn't mix after long storage or something!), and reapplied. I could NOT smooth it out. It's like the exception to the legendary American Apparel formula.

Not really sure what went wrong. It was worse before the topcoat, too, which is even more frustrating.

Four coats and a top coat. Eep.





OPI Hey! Get in Lime!


This is three coats, but needed four. I have to admit this one was a little bit of a letdown. I want to blame it on not enough shaking, but I'm feeling a bit indifferent to this one.

I have a backup (or two) of this bad boy and feel a little betrayed. I love the shade, it's subtle, lovely and similar to Orly Jealous Much.

I can see from this photo that there is some residual deeper yellow on the bottom of the bottle, so I don't know if more shaking is in order.

Still, meh. After Duri and Orly's showing, this one probably would need a base color of some sort. That is a bummer in a creme, unless I'm trying to boost the hue.




In Summary:

The good:
Duri Summer in the City
Orly Jealous Much?
Avon NailWear Pro Jade

The bad:
Morgan Taylor Mint Chocolate Chip
American Apparel Office

The indifferent:
OPI Hey! Get in Lime!


Of course formula can be  different on different people, but I am getting to the point where struggling with a formula is getting to be a drag!


Thanks for reading my little nail polish journal!

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Breathing Life Back Into Clarins 220

I posted about this polish over 2 years ago here.

To be honest, I was a bit optimistic about it's real usefulness. Every time I tried to wear it...well, as the song goes "it'll end in tears", so I just put it aside.

Then last fall I started evaporating polishes to see if thinner would help. Thinner is just that: the solvents that are in a polish so that the pigments will work. It's a work in progress. Too much thinner means there is no body, no viscosity. I will sometimes add clear and thinner, but in experiments where I've filled it back to where it was with thinner, it's not a win.

So I've got a few coming up that will show more of this, but I've taken Clarin's 220 and done that.

In the process, polish gets sticky, brush sticks, top opens leaving brush, sometimes the brush dies, this one did, so I've rebottled them.

Here's Clarin's 220 over white


It still has the pink shimmer, but the gold flake seems to have vanished. Weird. (Well, they are just super hard to see)

It's a pretty apricot, a think I have little of, and it's also now a polish that is actually wearable because it dries.

You can see in the bottom photo that there is a secret shimmer that is quite difficult to capture.


I stamped it, too


This shows mostly my still rusty technique more than anything. But you can see that it's a pretty, soft apricot that needed some help or it would be toast.

I don't know what evaporated exactly. I think the Toluene would have, but not sure about the rest of the "baddies" in there.

I suspect that the camphor did a bit, too.  In any case, it's a better polish.

Thanks for reading my little nail polish journal!

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Color Club Taps Into Tesserae - aka Modern Mosaic Collection Part 2

Back at it with Color Club's Modern Mosaic Limited Edition glitter collection.

Trying their hand at a "micro mosaic" effect for your nails.

Or a "pixel" effect, depending on  your visual art predilection, I guess.

Part 1 can be seen here.

In a nutshell: no top coats, two coats when solo, kind of thick, could use thinning, but that might be trial and error, too. One coat over the selected base.

On to the swatches.



Color Club Love You To Pieces


This is mostly white with a smattering of blue and a bit more violet glitter mixed in. I think the effect would have been more successful had it been less white glitter and more blue and purple.



One coat over Puccilicious. Pretty, and would be nice to add to a glitter layering combination, too.




Color Club Green Piece


This one you can really see my stained nails. Ugh!

Alright, this is a green and white glitter combination. One thing about this one that stands out is that it is truly thick. I should have redone it, but I think by now I was just exhausted. I also was watching the Roger Ebert documentary "Life Itself" since I'm such an Ebert fan, and it was sad and I was fairly spent so I was pretty much beyond worrying about this.



Green Piece over Nicole by OPI Mind Your Peas and Qs. I thought I'd blogged this before, but I didn't and so I don't have a "solo" shot. I love this polish a lot, have a backup I found at a blog sale. I think both of mine are from blogsales.

Meanwhile I need to do a mint green comparison, because I have a lot. The glitters in Green Piece seem to have a bit of a pearlescent quality, so unlike the rest, they aren't matte.




Color Club Blue Beaded


White glitter with a bright blue glitter mixed in. Should be more blue here, because it's a beauty.


I have it over Barielle Swizzle Stick, and you can see how it makes a sweet little topper.

Swizzle Stick is one that hasn't been swatched before:


Bright turquoise that isn't too intense, very beautiful and look at how smooth and glossy it is? I need more Barielle! No complaints on this one! I think I got this on a blog sale, but often Barielle runs sales.


That wraps it up on the Color Club Modern Mosaic Collection.

Cute, very thick, nice for layering with other glitters, but not sure if they are super favorites of mine. If you are into frankening, though, they might be a good resource, too.

My favorites: Orange Crush, Green Piece and Subway Station. Much more than just "white matte glitter.

The most affordable place to buy is Head2Toe, but shipping runs about $12-14 from where they are to the western US, so you need to buy a few polishes to make it worth your while. I don't have a Bed Bath and Beyond that carries Color Club so I can't speak on their prices. Most other places now carry them at $8 a pop. And while Color Club is head and shoulders above what Sally Hansen offers in her Complete Salon Manicure line, I've only seen Color Club very randomly in drug stores.


Thanks for reading my little nail polish journal!

Saturday, May 16, 2015

Color Club Taps Into Tesserae - aka Modern Mosaic Collection Part 1

I found these on Head2Toe Beauty while I was looking for something else. The one thing about Head2Toe is that they have a good selection of Color Club at a great price. Oh, and they take Paypal, which to me is vital. As an aside, I've never (knock wood) had an issue with paypal, which is the big win for me working through their site.

Back to swatches.

So, if you google micro mosaics, you will see some cool 18th and 19th century jewelry, and some artwork as well. It's a nod Ancient Rome's mosaics, and it reemerged in the Renaissance when all things "classical" were not only paving the way for modern man, but redefining culture as a whole.
Spend a bit of time looking at the fine work of micro-mosaic jewelry and art, it's astonishing. 


A few notes before starting:
The formula is a bit thick, so thin coats are a must. 
I'd recommend thinning them after you determine how thick they seem to you, mainly because they can be unwieldy, as I found out.
No top coats
Some texture, but nothing a top coat can't take care of fairly easily.
These are very unique, inasmuch as most of the time people just mix these little glitters in as a background, filler, or mix it up for different sizes. Color Club just said "let's go with little"



In a nutshell the effect is charming, cute, and for spring it's delightful.

This is a "limited edition" collection, made in the USA, I believe most of my CC is made in China.

On to the swatches!


Color Club Subway Station


Soft dove gray and white. This is two coats, I tried three coats to try to achieve coverage. It gets thick, though after two. I redid it and ended up with two coats as a better mix
Two shades of gray that I can see in the bottle. 


One coat over H&M Miss Stone Heart. 
Perfect combination, although I LOVE the H&M, I had to get it in a swap and it's not on their US site, bummer. 
If you love gray, you probably will enjoy Subway Station. I have 1/2 a helmer of gray. Love it!




Color-Club Pixi-Lated


Pale orchid pink glitters, with scant purple glitters along with white. Pretty and soft.
Two coats, although it didn't cover as densely as I would have wished.



One coat of Pixi-Lated over L.A. Colors no name light orchid pink. You can see the white and the purple a bit better. I think this would also be very pretty over a soft pastel yellow.




Color Club Orange Crush


This is perhaps my favorite. A mix of white, yellow and apricot glitters. 



Here it is over American Apparel Palm Springs. I don't think I've blogged Palm springs before, but here it is alone:


Three coats and perhaps one of your better formulas. I really wasn't sure about this color when i first got it - it was part of a job lot on eBay, perhaps those "easy to break bottles" - and put it aside for stamping usage only, but I have VERY few apricot shades so this got pulled out of stamping and put to work for swatching and other things. I kind of love this color. Not sure if it's a win on my skin tone, but I like it a lot.



Part 2  soon!

Thanks for reading my little nail polish journal!

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Purple Foilicious

I won't lie. I love foils. Metallic or glass fleck, they turn my head.

Here are three with a comparison and a bonus that arrived in the mail after I'd finished swatching.

No top coats, but layers vary and I'll discuss with each swatch.

Enjoy!



Color Club Alter Ego


Blogged twice here, still a lover, wanted to compare these colors, so out it came. The gold fleck foil finish in a foil is delicious!

This is three coats. I think over a deep purple it might show the gold fleck a bit better. 

Ah the days of Ross deals. I miss them!




L.A. Girl Millenium


Three easy coats. I find this brand to be slow-to-normal dry time. I think now that I've rediscovered my Poshe' quick dry top coat, this would be less of an issue than I normally would fuss about, but it is not a zippy formula.

Still, great little foil. Reminds me of the recent Misa Date Nights to the Twilight, which is truly an amazing purple. I won't comp, this is less intense and less blue toned.

Found this one on Discount Cosmetic Outlet. 




Princessa Purple Storm


Blogged before, too, but worth a better outing. 
Three coats, and perhaps my favorite.

I saw a person on MUA post this polish and emailed and bought it from them. Princessa no longer makes this line, but they do packs at Ross. Their website is bizarre, if it's even still up.



Here's a comparison:


Left to right:
Color Club Alter Ego
L.A. Girl Millenium
Princessa Purple Storm


Bonus!
I had just gotten Nubar Vaso in the mail and wanted to snap some pix and pop it on, but didn't get a chance to compare:


This is three coats over the Color Club Alter Ego. I love this!
So glad I got it. Now I need to compare it to a polish I have that is similar, a WnW Lina Gale no name made by Markwin, aka WetnWild blogged here


Until I get that done, thank you for reading my little nail polish journal!

p.s. I just found another I should have added, but too late! Arge!

Saturday, May 9, 2015

Misa Spark My Interest Collection Part 2

Thanks for coming back to see part two!

You can see part 1 here.

I wanted to compare the two pinks and the magenta and violet purple as well as finding out about stamping.

Let's get busy!

First up is Glitz, Glamour, Smile for the Camera and Wink, Blink, Let's get a Drink:


Truly not trying to imply that they are really even close to anything I'd call similar, but worth a look.
I guess it's just another reason to own both!
:D Hee!




Next is Pink Bling On My Ring and Spark My Heart That's a Start:


This really shows the difference between the two. Spark My Hart That's a Start is really much more of a pink and Pink Bling on My Ring is really more of a fuchsia.
Need both? Well, I do. hehehe.


Finally stamping:


Well, does it get much better? I mean wow! These stamp beautifully.
Left to right:

  • Pink Bling on My Ring
  • Glitz, Glamour, Smile for the Camera
  • Date Nights to the Twilight
  • Red Pumps at Nordstrom's

Super easy to use, good coverage over white and black, and still retain their jewel tone colors. Many shimmers I try to use as stamping polishes end up being really sheer and the colors are vague. It's just an overall bummer trying to use them. These are on par with swatches I've seen of stamping polishes! Win!

Well, enough gushing.

Thanks for reading my little nail polish journal!

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Misa Spark My Interest Collection Part 1

This collection, by Misa, came out back in 2010. One of those odd-but-great collections that Misa can put together.

It's a very cool toned, lovely set of six shimmers that are just beautiful.

Here is a row of the bottles:


Before I start the swatches I need to say a few things.

I purchased the beautiful purple Date Nights to The Twilight and loved it so much, formula-wise, I thought I'd better grab the rest of the collection.
I purchased mine at Transdesign a while ago, so this swatch has been waiting for so long, too long, really.

All are three coats, all are without top coats. Two coats would have been perfectly fine.

Caveat: I love these polishes. I won't pick on them much at all.

Finally, the titles are almost like a funny poem that someone came up with then broke up into a bunch of titles:

Red pumps at Nordstrom's, spark my heart, that's a start,
Wink
Blink
Let's get a drink
Date nights to the twilight
Pink Bling on my ring
Glitz
Glamour
Smile for the camera

Do you see the story with a "happily ever after" ending?

Okay, maybe I'm reaching.

On to the swatches....




Misa Glitz, Glamour Smile For The Camera


Delightful red violet purple that is almost pushing into the fuchsia realm.
The shimmer has a metallic quality, but not so much that it feels like a foil.




Pink Bling On My Ring


Rich, hot pink that dips into the magenta around the edges. Gawgeous!




Date Nights To The Twilight


Gorgeous purple that's really just perfection. A touch blue here, but the right metallic luminous shimmer that makes me love it.





Red Pumps At Nordstrom's


Gorgeous red, pure red, not too cool, but definitely not warm at all. Metallic shimmer perfection!




Wink, Blink, Let's Get A Drink


Cool magenta that dips into the red around the edges. Possibly my favorite.




Spark My Heart That's A Start


A pink that makes a nod at coral, but remains very bright and fresh.



In a nutshell, if you don't already have these shades in your collection, these are pretty stellar. Even if you do, you may want to consider these as top notch formulation in comparison to most. I'm trying to think of shimmers that compare and many fall short.

If I gave a rating system, I'd give these a 5 out of 5. Quite a gorgeous collection, full of so many jeweltone shades and so vibrant.

Part two coming soon: comparisons between the pinks and stamping tests.

Thanks for reading my little nail polish journal!







Part two will include comparisons and stamping tests.
Sneak Preview: these are a treat to stamp with!

Monday, May 4, 2015

Those Blues, You Know....THOSE Blues!

I have so many of those purple-y blues that it's almost embarrassing that I've not blogged them much before!

Here are two I adore.

E.L.F. no name


I got this little dude on a blog sale. It's three coats here. There is a lovely frost quality that adds to it's beauty.
Normally I'd blanch at a frost, and I won't say that this one doesn't show a few brushstrokes, but this is where the story ends. It's gorgeous. Gorgeous I tell you!

I'm so bias, I love this color, so I'm almost worthless at being very critical at all.




Sephora X Formula A Little Sexy


A little more blue than purple, but periwinkle for sure. It's three coats and a soft pearly frost as well. 
Frost, that white sheen that reminds they eye of chilled winter mornings. This is like a clear sky on a winter day. 
Found this one at TJ Maxx, and I don't see it on the Sephora site. Normally these run $12.50.

Wax on I may, but dang, those blues!


Thanks for reading my little nail polish journal!

Saturday, May 2, 2015

Glitter Give and Take

Here are a pair of glitters that need an outing.

I've done something a little different: compared over white then over black. Hope you like!


Sally Hansen Xtreme Wear Glam Fest


This is a bit of a fake out, to be honest. Lots of small silver glitter and enough random multi-color glitter to make it all looks very glittery in the bottle, but on the nail I had to wrestle to get it on enough to make it look decent. This is four coats.
Plus the base in this one seems to possess that "base melting" capability.

Over black it feels more successful:


I still used four coats to achieve some coverage of the colorful glitter, though. Bummer.

I picked this up randomly at a Walgreens and it was on sale, because it's about $4.49 per bottle for this normally. Eep.


Sephora by OPI Spark-Tacular Top Coat


One coat over white!
Oh the win!
Dense enough to just spread things around with ease. Nice!



Here I put two coats over black. The silver is big enough to show some flash, and tie multi-color is a pretty party array of orange, yellow, fuchsia, blue and silver. Feels like a Fiesta.

Sephora by OPI wasn't on my list until they were discontinued and on sale at Sephora and on sale at Big Lots. Love the bottles, the colors and am glad I grabbed some! I may have purchased this when Sephora had bottles for about $4.50 or I got this when I found hundreds at Big Lots for $1.80.
Can't recall, but I think the former versus the latter.


On the whole, the Sephora won the day. 


Thanks for reading my little nail polish journal!