Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Ulta Jaded - Mercurial, Changeable, Moody Green



Greens for March! My kind of madness.

I have to admit I kind of cheated throwing that last red post on the last day at the last minute. Hee.

So I've had this polish for quite a spell. I've kept it with greens, although I do have color shifting polishes separated out and could store it there, I doubt I'll really do much more with it, it's a bear of a formula. Second (third?) Ultra polish that just didn't work out formula-wise. 

Let's get to the photos:

This is a very sheer, gray based frosty shimmer. It has a translucent metallic quality to it, which I really think is quite alluring, but on the other hand, it is enfant terrible as far as dealing with it. As you can see brushstrokes were de rigueur, this requires a sure hand and no hesitation - as you can see I did in the index finger.

Sometimes you think you've got it, then after you think it's dry it dents, does a smudge, or a deep fingerprint. Gah! I redid a couple of fingers before I even got this much accomplished. Hmm.

It shifts form a shadowy green to a soft aqua blue.  Quite an atmospheric polish.

I tried it as a topper over New York Color Palm On The Beach: 

Gone is the color shift but up front and at attention is a pretty jungle green.
Palm On The Beach will be featured in an upcoming post, I'll get a photo then, but it's a bright parrot green and it only required one coat. I love how it looks. 

From sombre to jubilant. 

I am working with several old polishes and trying to fix their formulas, I'll have a post on this, it's a work in progress. I might goof around with this one. We'll see.

Meanwhile...Let's Go Green!

Saturday, February 28, 2015

Quintet of Reds

I love red, I've mentioned before that red seems to be that one color that just doesn't quite register super subtle differences to my eye. Let's just say I have to work harder to see them. Although that whole dress thing? I guess I have taken enough under-exposed photos in tungsten/fluorescent light and saw what it was: a blue dress.  Enough memes, let's get started.

Here are 5 neutral reds, more or less, with a variety of finishes. 

All are three coats, all are without topcoats.

Let's go!

Maybelline Showstopper Scarlet

A cool toned, almost ruby red shimmer.
I've had this for well over 5 years, but I've passed over it many times but it is a very beautiful red. It's a dollar tree purchase.

Currently available on eBay. Easy formula, and surprisingly quick to dry, I didn't expect it. 

The shimmer in this looks like it's got a frosty top note that I wouldn't call a full frost, just a shimmer with some lighter dimension. This may not be to everyone's flavor, but I think it brightens it up quite a bit. Feels like a fresh, late winter and longing for spring kind of red.

Sally Hansen Hollywood Scarlet

I will admit that my very old Sally Hansen Salon reds are pretty ignored. It seems like I gathered up quite a number. I like this one, but you can see from the bottle that a white layer has formed along the bottom. I think this would be more dense, less of a crelly with all of the ingredients properly mixed (sorry, I'm not buying one of those shakers) and more of a standard creme.
I love the translucency that is produced by this and probably will let it just be.

It does look like a scarlet, but not too warmish, though it doesn't play cool on me, that's for sure.

It's on eBay, so not impossible to find. Kind of a juicy little polish. Glad it didn't get purged in a fit of pique.

OPI Thanks So Muchness

From the very tight, epic, and wonderful OPI Alice in Wonderland Collection.

Three coats, a bit loose, but not bad.

I got this on eBay, along with the whole collection before it became completely unaffordable as a collection. You can get the reds very easily, though the color, I believe is a discontinued one. (OPI's site doesn't seem to have a search feature)

This red is quite neutral, to me. Not a berry at all. What is really cool, though is that it is loaded with a pink micro-glitter, that almost looks more like a micro flake. The base is a fine shimmer, which doesn't compete with the pink accent. Very subtle. A shimmer with a hidden micro-flake. 

I think it is a bit more rich and luminous than I captured in this photo. Beautiful, intense red shimmer is masterfully done.

OPI Crimson Carol

I can't recall where I found this, but it's discontinued and apparently hard to find. I know I didn't pay current eBay prices, but somehow I have two bottles. 

It is from OPI 2009, I must have purchased online somewhere, then ran across another somewhere else. Nail Polish Purchase Amnesia. Ack!

I will say that I am so glad I got it, it's a favorite! It reminds me of a much more dense RBL Lotus Elise. There is that pink, amber, and purple glass fleck in a red jelly base. This polish has a silvery kind of glass fleck shimmer that also plays with the beautiful depths. I tried very hard to to show the purple, pink and amber. So nice. 

Expensive and hard to find. Eep.

Elizabeth Arden Camden Pepperberry

One of those polishes I have been wanting for a long, long, long, long, long time. Finally found it on eBay for less than $10 shipped, I snapped it up.

Simple by today's glass-fleck-gold-fleck-jelly-this-complexity-that kind of polishes that are out there.

It's a love, and I love it.

Rich jelly red knocking at the burgundy door loaded with gold glass fleck that looks like smoldering embers.

Don't know when this came out, but I love the square bottle that just fits such an sophisticated vibe that these names evoke. 


Right, that finishes up my reds for now, I have a lot more that need to see the light of the blog.

Thank you for reading my little nail polish journal!

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Dear Mr. Salten

When I was just a little scrubby kid, I saw my first animated movie: Bambi.

I still am entranced. The animation surpasses anything Disney can now jack out on a whizzwang computer with three dimensional tracking shots. This was hand painted on layers of glass by artists who had spent months studying the movement of deer by using fawns for life drawing.

The music was so amazing that I think I wore the record out. I mean OUT. It was a deep sapphire blue album with a faux curtain styling that opened up and there were beautiful drawings, a book, and I was in ecstasy. 

Of course I read the book by Felix Salten, which had a much darker, more mortal motif. Chapters with things like the death of a leaf, the chasing of animals by hounds, impressed upon me that I was no hunter, that's for sure.

In the meantime, I still have the book and have read all of Felix Salten's books (the one on the Lippizzaner's is a "sad and beautiful thing" to quote Roberto Benigni's character in Down by Law).

Back to nail polish....right?

My homage to Bambi and the Great Prince of the Forest

This was taken with my iPhone.

Base layer is a Borghese white that I'm using right now. It's pretty dense, will need a thinning, but if you see one around at a discount house, you might want to grab it, the coverage is very nice.

I then stamped an old BM plate that had pointy leaved flowers. they look like leaves for two reasons: I layered a ton of stamping and I found that my stamp didn't lay down everything. The latter is an ongoing issue, and I am not sure what I'm doing wrong, but it worked out here. It feels like a forest. I guess I could have done a gradient, but this was all very spur of the moment.

Stamping polishes:  Cocoa Bean by Maybelline (blogged here) and Max Factor Momentum Moss (blogged here)

Finally I took a teeny tiny brush that I purchased many years ago and worked with taupe (Cocoa Bean), black, and white, to create deer-like shapes. 

Stepping back I'm glad I came up with something that looked like it did, and I fully am awstruck by bloggers like The Daily Nail and other nail art bloggers. This is on my right hand because I'm a lefty and it really was much harder than I thought. So many kudos to nail art bloggers!

Still, I was in the mood to make the homage because I guess when you create something in any form of media, you honor your influences.

Thanks for reading my little nail polish journal!

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Whimsical Ideas By Pam - Heart and Soul

Hey everyone.

Had many a mani planned to post and now I have a backlog of photos. Some will wait until April, because I'm getting revved up for Greens in March, aka Go Air Yer Bra!

All right: to the task at hand!

Whimsical Idea's by Pam has a couple of translucent glitters that I found by happenstance. Found the christmas one (to be seen at a future date) and this one that is new, called Heart and Soul.

Here she is:

In the bottle it is very dark, because there is nothing backing the glitter to reflect light, either white or metallic.
Over white - 2 coats here - it layers perfectly.
My thrill level with this polish is off the charts.

This can be layered to show a lot of other color theory in action as it changes depending on the base.

I enjoy it, as I do many a glitter, over white. It just pops.

Rather addictive to look at.

Dense glitter at two coats, I had to spread it around. I will keep this one thinned out so it will move the glitters across the nail, but that's not to say it was thick, just generous with the glitter.

See how the layering makes it look like there are more than one shade of purple or red? Fabulous!

I found this via a swatch on one of the blogs I follow (another polish) then saw this one when I went to the Whimsical Idea's by Pam Facebook page. She doesn't have an online store, you go to Facebook, get in touch, see what's available, then order. She invoices you by email.
So retro easy, great communication. Worth the effort.
I will note that I am not on Facebook and I can see the full site and it's easy to reach Pam. Win!

I'm crushing hard on this polish, as is appropriate for the season.

I wanted to make this my Valentine's day mani, but didn't get around to editing the photos fast enough.

Still, as we bask in the wake of that holiday devoted to love (and see a ton of St Pat's stuff already on the shelves of the variety stores) it's a polish that leaves that warm cuddly feeling in your heart.

Thanks for reading my little nail polish journal!

Saturday, February 14, 2015

A Plentitude Of Passionate Purple Swatches

I've been working on the idea that I'd work through my untried sooner rather than later, but later is here and I need to get it going. Let's just say I have a lot to work on. 2015 might be full of "tests" like this, we'll see.

Here are 9 purple polishes that I haven't blogged before.

Couple of things first:
  • All are three coats unless I otherwise mention it
  • All are without top coats unless I otherwise mention it.
Let's go!

Etude House P501 Lunatic Purple

I've had this one for so long I had to shake, shake, shake, shake to get it thoroughly mixed. 
Bit of a satin finish and not quite perfectly self leveling. Very  nice, though.
Like my Etude House polishes, they deliver.
Perfectly gorgeous purple.
Purchased on eBay some time ago.

Jordana Silky Purple

A saturated dusty purple that pushes into the pastel realm. Excellent formula.
Jordana and Milani stand out in the drug store polish category. Take note, Sally Hansen. You've been served.
Hard to fault this puppy. Jordana does a really nice formula although I don't see many of these locally, they are on Beauty Joint and Jordana also has a website, too. I may have to look into that one!
I purchased mine at the rare visit to Kmart.

L.A. Colors Amethyst

This is one that I thought I'd swatched before, but in looking back don't think I did. At least, if I did I buried it in another layering thing. Hmm.
Healthy dose of glass fleck in a dense purple jelly base. It has that purple blue shift in the glass fleck, which I love a lot.
Found in a multi-pack at Ross or perhaps the Dollar Tree, I can't recall which! This also does double duty as a layering polish, but also builds to a good coverage. Nice!

Nfu FS16

This is from Nfu Oh's Fluorescent Series. Nfu Oh is a Korean brand available through Fabulous Street. (oh, forgot to put them in my "where I get it" page)
Intense. Purple. Color.
Very gorgeous. Self leveling, delightful formula. My photo is a touch too blue, but I have it firmly in my purple stash and not the "red purples".
Purchased through Fabulous Street's website. She also has a blog with swatches, it's extensive and worth the browse. I follow it, hasn't updated a lot, but hit a lot of the Nfu Oh's with force.

Nicole by OPI Purple Yourself Together

I've longed for this polish for a while. Gold glass fleck in purple creme and shimmer are really quite a win for me.
This photo was insane. For some reason I could not white balance my camera and my skintone came out so jaundice yellow, I wondered if I had a liver at all. I had to tweak this one a bit, but the color matches the bottle. Mine is very bright, red toned and not as deep as I'd seen online. Certainly not a near dupe of OPI's Dutch You Love OPI.
Wish this one came out better. So frustrating. Need to redo it. Still, lovely polish and nice formula.

OPI Lincoln Park After Midnight

This is an old polish in my collection. Bought it a long time ago but can NOT recall where!
Trifle loosey-goosey. Very dark. As you can see by my index finger, it goes into the realm of black with very little effort.
It's a rich, deep purple that truly reminds me of eggplant, a color that is tossed around with easy, but doesn't always fit.
If you love purple, don't have a dupe, this one is wall to wall purple darkness.

Zoya Lael

Another one that came out far to yellow/orange. This is a bit brighter than the real Lael, but very close on the index finger.
Oy. What a pain!
Not the polish, though. Easy to work with and creamy formula.
Very beautiful dark purple creme polish that, despite my photo, is more plum than straight up purple. It's a very complex polish with a very grown up vibe to it. I will re-blog it down the pike.

China Glaze Anklets of Amethyst

A reddened purple glass fleck that is able to double duty as a stand alone polish - it builds - or a layering polish. Shows a strong blue shimmer.
Here it is alone, three coats.Easy to use, nice tight little formulation.
Double duty polishes are always a win.
I purchased this one through Transdesign/Nail Supplies.
From a collection that came out in 2006 We Adorn You collection.

Dance Legend 827 Surfing At Night

New brand to me based in Russia.They have such a depth of products. They are like an independent label and throw new ideas out there like crazeee.
I buy mine through Llarowe and blog sales. I've not purchased directly, but they do sell it to US customers and their website will instruct you who to buy it from if they don't ship to your country.
Back to the polish: great formula, easy to use and perfectly glossy finish.
I put mine over a pale pink/nude base, so it popped the color up.

There you have it, a ton of purples. I love them and this barely taps into my collection. Long time coming. Some old, some new, but it feels good to get them swatched. Yaaaasss!

Thank you for reading my nail polish journal!

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

SinfulColors Valentines Day 2015 Flirt With Hearts Collection

SinfulColors, from my experience, sends bloggers - at least bloggers like me - an email and asks if we'd like polishes to review. If I don't email back very quickly I miss out, which happened once.

This time I got my reply back and picked four polishes. Voila! They arrived and I swatched them!

Enjoy! (pssst...no top coats)

Pinky Glitter

This is three coats over pale pink.
My base is very pale and somewhat sheer. It mitigates the staining below.

A bright, fresh nearly Barbie pink chock full of iridescent glitter that shifts pink, amber, and purple.
It's a girlie polish that I love. I think I could do this polish over a deep vamp and you'd get the pure iridescence and the base would be less apparent.

Like my good ol' SC Pearl Harbor, it will eventually need some thinning, but it's a lovely polish. Hard to fault a good iridescent glitter, isn't it?

Dream On

Dream on,
Dream on,
Dream on....

Ok, I seriously will admit to listening to that Aerosmith tune on Kasey Kasem's American Top 40 back in "The Day".

Meanwhile back to SinfulColor's Dream On.

A bright orchid purple that finishes in a satin rather than a glossy finish. This is three coats. It's a bit sheer, and you can see my stained nails peering through and warming up the bottom half of the nail. I think next time I'll put the same nude/pink base I used beneath Pinky Glitter.

I blogged Dream on a few years ago here. It was a bit more of a magenta, and when I first brought my old bottle out of the drawer I was convinced it faded.

I habitually mark the bottom of my bottles after I've swatched them. The top mark on the bottom of the lefthand bottle was made when I first swatched the polish back in 2010. The mark below is right after I swatched it again. So it has faded into a magenta pink from a purple pink.

Since I can't go back in time to compare, I still think the new Dream On is a much more purple polish. Hard to say.

Love Sprinkles

I topped Dream On with Love Sprinkles.

White hearts in pale pink hexes and smaller white glitters. I dabbed the glitter on with the flat side of the brush, but I didn't have to dig around to find enough glitters, which was nice.
I enjoy a white glitter, only have a handful, so I'm glad to have this one.


This is a deep magenta red glitter. Hex and small glitter here over white.
Another nice addition. Fairly dense, two coats here. Not a "wall of glitter" but good coverage.
A very traditional glitter. I do like the color quite a bit.

There you have it, a handful of SinfulColors from the Flirt With Hearts Collection.
The whole collection has 8 polishes, with a couple of repromotes that I'm familiar with like Dream On and Rise And Shine (there may be more).

I've seen this set at Walgreens and Rite Aid, I would imagine it's at Fred Meyer and Kmart, too, but I haven't been to those places to confirm.
Also, I was hoping Red Ocean would have been part of the clan, but alas, it was not.

Thank you for reading my little nail polish journal!

Sunday, February 8, 2015

Forest Floor Layering

Normally I do my swatches/manicures in the evening so I don't get sunshine. Somehow planets aligned and I was able to get some of that winter sunshine for my photos!


I layered L.A. Girl Uninhibited over Maybelline Bronze Beam. I also wanted to add a bit of a shimmer feel, so I took Sally Hansen's Baroque Frost to finish it.


The green sheen is from SH Baroque Frost.

Two layers of Maybelline Bronze Beam, two coats of L.A. Girl Uninhibited, one coat of SH Baroque Frost.

No top coat.

SH Baroque Frost reminds me of blooming lichen here in the PNW. It just has that PNW forest-y vibe. Wet from a recent rain, fungi growing everywhere, ferns and moss. Not a snow filled visage that people normally think of forest in the winter. 

A temperate rainforest is full of dark mysteries that are beautiful in their own right, but at most times they are subtle and you have to peer closely to see things like lichen blooming in spring, it's not a field of tulips, but it's gorgeous.

Thanks for reading my little nail polish journal!

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Berry-ations Part 2

Back to some more berry shades and these are a lot more into the red or magenta range of berry.

Part 1 can be read here.

Once again, three coats and no topcoat.

Maybelline Raspberry

A purple berry that walks the line between a red violet and a mauve. It has a red undertone, seen in the comparison photos, which really adds to the complexity. I'd add that this photo is a wee bit over exposed. It will be darker in the comparison below.
In my experience these Express Finish polishes that are from the Gold Cap era are some of the most pigmented polishes I've seen, very dense, too, well, the cremes and mattes for sure.
The brush in this one isn't in a state of decay like many others I have, either.
To me this is a very modern take on a vamp. Reminds me of something a designer brand would put out - and it may be a copy of one I don't know about - because it is deep, sophisticated and not a naive shade, either.

Purchased at l'Arbre de Dollar.

Nars M. Butterfly

I almost called this post "Vamps for Those Who Don't Enjoy Vamps" but since everything seemed to fit under the "berry" category I stayed on course. I love its intensity and drama without delving into "hey another black polish, for all intents and purposes!"
A berry toned red that has been dropped from Nars' roster.
Whenever I see this polish in my drawer I think of Puccini's Cio Cio San and Malcolm Mclaren's single, Madame Butterfly. (Seriously, find it on YouTube. It's the best.)
Gorgeous formula, but I did have to redo a nail due to cuticle flooding, so it is a tad bit thin. When I redid it with a thinner coat, I had less issues.

I purchased this off of eBay for $7 and it has a Nordstrom label on it. Can't find it now, but I'm not sure when it was discontinued.

Diamond Cosmetics Mulberry Mayhem

Missed Nars M. Butterfly? This is a very nice alternative. Missed Diamond Cosmetics? You could try one of their customers: Priti NYC and Ginger + Liz.
Devilishly gorgeous. Glossy and a very much easier polish to work with than the Nars.
Excellent coverage, as well.

Purchased at Diamond Cosmetics for about $2.
Come back, Diamond Cosmetics! I miss you!

Misa That's My Little Secret

Another winner if you missed Nars M. Butterfly.
Misa, man, your formula is the best.
Floats on, no hassles. Gorgeous!
From the I'm Only Human collection of 2009 per my research.

Purchased on Transdesign before they rolled out their snazzy site, NailSupplies dot US.


Same order: Maybelline, Nars, Diamond Cosmetics, Misa
(one coat)

Same order.
Top row has one coat.
Second row is three coats.
The Maybelline feels like the odd man out!


Back left: old L'Oreal strengthener that I fill with other stuff to use as base like old SH or WnW.
On the right, behind DC and Misa is a container I fill with things like nail oil, coconut oil, olive oil, and old lip balms. I melt it and it's been a big help to my cuticles.

Again with the flash, you can see how these are lovely these are.

As with my last post, the only one I could find was Misa's That's My Little Secret on their company site. It's $7.50. I will add that at that price it's a deal except that shipping is not cheap, multiple polish purchase can ease the pain. It is on Nailsupplies dot US, whom I've shopped at with abundant frequency, but shipping means you need to buy a number of polishes to make it worthwhile.

The rest, well, good luck, eh? Might troll eBay's waters for any of these coming up on any occasion.

Thanks so much for reading my little nail polish  journal!

Monday, February 2, 2015

Where I Get It

The "it" being polish and "stuff".

Wanted to post my list/review of places I've purchased  over the years.

It's updated as of today, over time I will periodically toss things on it, update ratings, etc.

Thanks for reading my little nail polish journal!

P.S. Just realized I really didn't explain WHERE I put this list! It's up at the top on the menu bar. It's a big page, I will figure out how to have internal links in the page, but my ol' html days are pretty old, so bear with me!

Saturday, January 31, 2015

Berry-ations Part 1

Wanted to do a random batch of swatches. I've had a lot of these for a long time. Dang, time to get them tried out!

All are three coats, none have top coats.

Pulled out a bunch of berry-ish polishes and had at it!

Sparitual Worldly Wise

Soft mulberry that pushes into the mauve rose category. Lovely little polish. I think my photo here is a touch light, though.

Not sure where I got this one, but I think it was a Spiritual sale, quite some time ago. It's no longer on their website. I looked it up to figure out what collection if was from, but couldn't find it, it barely shows up on the radar. So odd.

L'Oreal Sophisticate

Deeper glossy raspberry rose that I love quite a bit. 
Glossy finish, sans topcoat is always a win.

Found at the ol' Dollar Tree. I never even saw these in the main drug stores, which is weird because I got this only a couple of years ago. Odd.

Misa Push Upon It

This is from their Living In The Fast Lane collection from when I was really just starting out in polish, about 2009. Beautiful self-leveling creme. 

Rich raspberry that sends feelers into the red family.

I believe I purchased this from my usual online etailers, it's been quite a while. 
Need to wear this one more often.
Zero oddness.

Essie Tribeca

Very similar to Spiritual Worldly Wise, but more blue toned. My photo is a bit darker, though.
Glossy finish, but sheer. 

This could be used to make a pretty crelly. Might do that after a few wearings. 

I tried to google to find out what collection this was in, but dang, it's not to be found. More oddness.

Purchased, I think, either at a blog sale or eBay.

Here are some comparisons:

Same order left to right
Sparitual, L'Oreal, Misa, Essie

Here the top row is one coat, middle is two, bottom shows a bit better variation between the L'Oreal and Misa, they aren't really as close as they look in these photos.


This is with my flash, so it really brightens things up.
(I seem to have a ton of water bottles around! I recycle, but dang, odd!)

Weirdly enough, as I tried to let you know where you might find these polishes for purchase, only the Misa showed up. 
The other three were like ephemera, lost on the ether.
Although the L'Oreal was fairly commonplace about 2-3 years ago at the Dollar Trees I browsed through, it's nearly invisible now. Plenty of L'Oreal on eBay, but not much of the "Steel Color" stuff.

In a couple days I'll post part 2,  plus a bonus!

Thanks for reading my little nail polish journal!