Saturday, December 3, 2016

Illyrian's Naughtily Named Mind Blower

Illyrian is an indie that produces some very interesting polishes.

As a rule indies are très expensive so buying them means a bit of perspecuity with regard to seeing swatches and checking out formulas as well as if the finishes hold up to the photography.

I won't lie, I am jealous of those bloggers who kill it with amazing photography. I will add that I also wish I had a headlamp to get the same kind of bright lighting that makes some of these polishes absolutely sparkle. Many are rather like movie stars: under the lights they are superbly magnificent, in the shadows they are a little more pedestrian than you'd imagine.

Here's one that did a bit of that kind of thing: Illyrian F*ck. (yes that's the name, but no asterisk)

I'm not a namby pamby when it comes to swearing, but I do try to avoid it when possible (and often it's not possible, but if I habituate myself to it, I might forget myself when I really shouldn't pop out a blue smoke of swear get my point).

This one is pretty amazing under the lights:

Let's be honest: Mind. Blown.

It's packed with a stunning blue and aqua glitter in a deep grape jelly base. It's a head turner, to be sure.

This is taken with a lamp. 

In shade or interior lighting, the effect is far more subtle, and if your top coat dulls - I recemmend a thin extender that can amp up shine w/o shrinking - it can lose a lot of that innate lustre.

I don't know if this is a limited edition or what, but at this writing the shop is closed for a short break - not uncommon in the indie world - and I look forward to checking out more of these enchanting polishes.

Thanks so much for reading my little nail polish journal!

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Bonita Bonita Bonita!

Bonita is a bit of a mysterious brand to me.

I have seen it in packs at Ross (a deal that I recommend as these are often beautiful shades with a gorgeous formula) and as special displays in Walgreens and Rite Aid.

Well, my Rite Aid has upscaled its nail selection and I still see Bonita there, but the good news is that you can buy Bonita online at their website. Easy to find in a search engine.

I will go back to my original point because I don't see much chat online about this brand and it is often full of surprises. The interesting thing is that they seem to be in line with brands like L.A. Girl.

Here are a couple of them!

Bonita Royal Wishes

A beautiful glass fleck shimmer that in some light pulls purple at the corners, though not enought to truly call it a color shifting polish at all,

This is three coats. First coat was super thing, alarmingly so, but after the second coat I knew it would all be fine. Third coat helped smooth things out.

Formula was good over all, only one section needed clean up.

This one isn't available on the website, and I don't even know if this will be restocked, but if you see it around you might want to pick it up.

Bonita Rembrant's Muse

A gorgeous deep wine burgundy shot through with a load of pink shimmer. This also has an earthy undertone that isn't caught here. It seems like it has some warmer marsala coloring to it. There is something rather nice how this color shifts into the warmer tone as well. At first I didn't like it, but now, wow. Love the complexity.

This is two coats and it's so dense that it definitely could even be used as a stamping polish.

This one is available at their online store. Nice!

I really think that these are both well rendered shades. If you like shimmers, you will enjoy them!

Thanks for reading my little nail polish journal!

Sunday, November 27, 2016

Lacy Pink Delicacies

Of course when I saw the Hello Kitty collection from OPI I was pretty excited.

Back in 1974 I lived in Japan with my family and when the first Hello Kitty store opened near where I lived it was more than magical, it was heart stopping. 

Needless to say my collection (much of which I still have) of Hello Kitty and all the cute friends in the Sanrio stable was epic.

As much as I love the Hello Kitty collection, I find the churlish color selection in the OPI line dedicated to her extremely offputing. I went for the few interesting finishes offered.

I did like Starry-Eyed for Dear Daniel, but as soon as I saw it it reminded me of an old favorite: Elianto Shimmer Violet

Left to right:
OPI Starry-Eyed For Dear Daniel
Elianto Shimmer Violet
OPI Starry-Eyed For Dear Daniel
Elianto Shimmer Violet

This photo is pulling a bit more blue, but you can see that it's got a similarity more than anything else.

Both are silvery tiny glitter (I hesitate to call it micro) in a rich pink base.

Elianto is lighter and more silvery throughout the glitter. SEFDD has a strong pink glitter as well as a strong silver, so it has more depth and richness. It's like a blend of glass fleck and micro glitter and small glitter.

Of the two, the OPI, for me, is the winner.

I then stamped it with some of the mirror nail polish (blogged here) that I bought from Born Pretty Store. I just wanted to see if it had legs because my mirror manis are much fewer than stamping.

This is a closer approximation of the shade, sorry about the blue photo above.

As a side note: stamping with the Born Pretty mirror is a bit of a challenge, but not truly difficult. The polish is thin and sloppy, but does dry a bit faster than you would think, so you need to swipe it about 2-3 times to get it ready for stamping. You can't clear the plate off with your swipes because you won't have enough in the wells of the design to reallly stamp, you have to leave it what looks like unswiped almost.
Like I said, tricky, but not impossible. I'll do more examples.

You also have a water top coat that comes in the set, so if you want a mirror effect you can layer that over your stamping, then put a top coat.

Meanwhile, I declare a win for OPI's Starry-Eyed For Dear Daniel. A beautiful polish and a wonderful homage to a sweet little kitty.


Thanks for reading my little nail polish journal!

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Gimme, Gimme, Gimme

Well, it's an 80's flashback in our current zeitgeist, so I felt the urge to meet it head on with kindness, caring, and genuine understanding of others, empathy I think is the word I want.

In the meantime, my nails can look marvelous. And they can promise to give shelter where needed by lending my voice where needed. And it's needed!

Nars Gimme Shelter

Taken with my iPhone and flash combined with lamp, this baby is a maginifcent berry wine shade wiht a popping shimmer that dips down into darkness, but catches light with easy grace.

Nars never gives me up on formula: smooth, unifom, and doesn't pool into cuticles. Ever.

Thank you ever so, as Lorelei Lee might say!

Thank you so much, too, for reading my little nail polish journal! Thanks and gratitude, in abundance!

Monday, November 21, 2016

Art Nouveau

Wanted something rich and luxurous that seemed like a fin de siecle velvet robe draped with long gold chains.

I sponged Sally Hansen Salon Formula Navy Baby and L.A. Girl Iron Red then stamped it with L'Oreal Bond Bronze.
SH is easily found on eBay, even if you don't get the old square salon bottles, there are ample navy shimmers about: Hard Candy has on you can find on eBay, too.
L.A. Girl has reined in their extensive line and Iron Red is not on their site, but it is on eBay.
Finally, L'Oreal Bond Bronze, can readily be replaced with a gold metallic shimmer. What I love about this polish for stamping is the micro glitter sparkles that show up scattered through the stamping. Very  unique.

Very simple to do for a freshman nail artist like me,but evoking the complexities of Nouveau at its height when it was taking the 20th century into the bright lights of its electrified self.

When I did this I imagined Norma Shearer devolving into vamphood in Strangers May Kiss.
(If you haven't seen many pre-Hays Code Hollywood movies, they are all worth watching, even the more obscure ones give you a peek at early 20th century culture in America more than the glossed over stuff that became the "golden age" of Hollywood)

Meanwhile, loved this a lot.
The foil of the red and the transition from navy through purple coupled with the soft gold chain appearance of the stampognevokes exotic-ness.

Thanks for reading my little nail polish journal!

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Lynnderella Forget You Not

Periwinkle and glitter.

The cold is inching in and I have to admit I have trepidation and excitement: it is supposed to be a snowy winter, but I am excited because I think we need the cold weather.

Duality has it's pros and cons.

Lynderella Forget You Not over American Apparel T-Shirt

Breathtaking and delicate, like crocuses emerging from the snow. 

This is two coats over American Apparel T-Shirt.
Large, small, and micro shimmers wiht pink and blue among the two shades of blue glitter. This is a gorgeous polish.

I will add though, that somewhere there is either glitter bleed or there is something murky about he formula. T-shirt is a pure white, but the base has a gray tinge that doesn't seem intentional. I decanted some of it and added thinner. Well see if it stops the bleed.

Good luck finding this one, long since discontinued in the Lynderella pantheon of glitter polishes, I can't think of a dupe, or anything similar. Well, except for a discontinued Cirque glitter that is a pretty periwinkle blue called Orphelia

Like a mountain flower, it's time might be short, but it's beauty is hard to surpass.

May I give a shout out to American Apparel T-shirt?

Two coats on my ridge-tastic nails and look at this???? Holy WOW! 
I am on the hunt for more of this discontinued polish. 
No streaking, no ridge filling base coat. I think I did slap it over a bare nails, though. 

Moving on...

Lynderella Forget You Not over NYX Purple Dream

Here you can see the difference between the glitter colors: one more lavender and one more periwinkle.

I thought NYX Dreamy Purple had been blogged, but apparently not. 

One thing I will say is that Forget You Not has a touchy formula. Not as bad as that green one I blogged a while back, but working on being very slow to dry, even with a quick dry top coat.

Beautiful, but tricky to dry if not patiently attended to, as it re-wets dry base coats and will cause smudges.

Thanks for reading my little nail polish journal!

Monday, November 14, 2016

Noisy Nubbins

Back in September I had to trim my nails super short. Super short. While I wanted to grow them out, I didn't want to just be quiet little nudes, so I made a little noisy upstairs neighbor of a party out of them:

It's a photo from my phone, but I want to share it because it's a fun mani!

It's a basic black creme, Pure Ice I layer in a couple of coats mixed with the Milani striper nail polish that is not good for stamping.

I topped it with a silver chrome, OPI My Silk tie.

Finally hit it with China Glaze Fairy Dust for light catching sparkle.

The plate is a Bundle Monster set, I've posted before. Bundle Monster Spring Buffet set.

I love the swirlies, like watching a snowstorm through your window on a deep winter evening. I hope we get a few of these. It's been a warm, warm autumn. Scary how warm.

Thanks for reading my little nail polish journal!

Friday, November 11, 2016

The Same...But Different

The interwebz is full of people who enjoy laughing - a bit too hard at times - at others. Little has changed, exept the exponential way in which it all seems to happen.

One meme is the girl holding about 8 bottles of mint polish with a look of hapless frustration: they are different!!! (Even though they look all the same)

When I acquired Nicole by OPI Sing You Like a Bee (part of a country western singer's collection that came out a few years ago) and OPI Ski Slope Sweetie (from 2013's Mariah Carey collection) I just kept them next to each other because they were basically dupes:

While my stained nails don't provide the perfect backdrop, essentially these polishes - at three coats - just produces a translucent golden glass fleck shimmer. Nothing like the white you see in the bottle (unless you put it over white)

Left to right:
OPI Ski Slope Sweetie
Nicole by OPI Sing You Like a Bee
OPI Ski Slope Sweetie
Nicole by OPI Sing You Like a Bee

The only difference is that NOPI SYLaB is a texture, and OPI SLS is not.

I took OPI Time-Less is More and topped Ski Slope Sweetie:

I love this combo a lot. Uniformly sheer, Time-Less is More lets Ski Slope Sweetie glow.
Win! This is a good option if you don't want a big old chalky white base.

Then tried OPI Ski Slope Sweetie over a deeper shade, Sparitual Solitude:

It's quite stunning at one coat, but at two coats, here, it's a bit overwhelming. Very beautiful!

Finally I took NOPI Sing You Like A Bee and put it over Color Club Coastal Creme
then topped it with Sally Hansen Hidden Treasure

I took this with my camera using a flash and it's a fast last minute mani, but man, this one just is as close to opals on my nails as I 've been able to achieve. It's fairly amazing, this combo. 

Here's another shot where you can see the texture:

This is using sunshine, late afternoon.

Hope you enjoyed!!

Thanks for looking!

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Designer Series Perfection and Dazzle

OPI Designer Series has been regarded as the vanguard of holos and cool finishes.

Once while getting my driver's license renewed I complemented a lady on her manicure, it was DS  Magic. She insisted it had real diamonds in it when I made a slight raise of the brows. Who was I to argue with the excellent marketing campaign?
Meanwhile I just saw DS Radience at T.J. Maxx for $3.99, so sometimes the magic isn't enough to keep them from getting joblotted.

OPI has pretty much discarded the "epic holographic" legacy they forged and rely on weak duochromes (seek out an indie for a better one than they've ever offered) and glitters. Ok. I can see that. For me the brand has lost much of its lustre with collection after collection of forgetable colors. Long gone are the days when people knew the colors just by initials alone. The market has expanded and competitive brands are anteing up with head turning colors.

But the old ones still hold their value.

I have a pair that are similar: both are glass fleck, both are in a similar color family.
Differences? One is demure and the other more bold.

Enjoy! (Normal three-coated-ness)

OPI DS Dazzle DS014

Beautiful cool pink loaded up with a flashy glass fleck that just punches out reflective light.

I won't bore you with the usual "omgoshIloveit" (but I do)

These photos are from 2014, so it's the last of the "find"

Unable to find it online at this time, though it may pop up.

Full of pink glass fleck shimmer in a pink base, it does show some color shift, but not a whole lot. It will peek into the amber on the far curve of the bottle, but not into blue on the other side. It could never be called a duochrome.

Worth owning. I don't have anything this shade this good.

OPI DS Perfection DS015

This is the more earthy rose Designer Series polish. It is a bit of a changeling: working a soft neutral rose then pushing into a soft redwood shade. In the bottle it reeks of duochrome tastiness, but does not perform on the nail.

My photos here must have been a struggle because I am fighting lint like crazy!

This one is on eBay and for a pretty penny at this writing.

While I have a number of cremes that are similar to this, I don't have a glass fleck shimmer.

I love this one, too. It's the quiet sister, and sometimes she has more to say if you just listen.

Worth owning if you love this finish. At three coats you can see visible nail line, I think, though, on the ring finger I only did two coats. It's really not bad for coverage as you will see below.

Here is a comparison between them:

These photos, unlike the ones above, were taken in late afternoon sun rather than under lamps, so they are a bit warmer than the ones above.

Left to right:

OPI DS Perfection
OPI DS Dazzle
OPI DS Perfection
OPI DS Dazzle

Very different, but similar finish. Both exceedingly lovely!

Bottle shot (because, why not?)

Same order, and you can see the varying shifts.


Thank you for reading my little nail polish journal!

Sunday, November 6, 2016

Every Month Is Breast Cancer Awareness Month

Awareness means monthly self exam and getting mammograms every year.

I think as we realize that our diets affect our bodies in ways we haven't completely parsed scientifically (though there is a ton of actual evidence, too), it doesn't hurt to address nutrition in a meaningful way in ones life. It's something I'm addressing beyond just thinking about it. Won't say it's easy, but every little bit helps.

Meanwhile here is a pretty combination that surprised me with its blatant cuteness

Color Club Yachty, Yachty, Yadda topped with Sephora Formula X Whimsical

CC YYY is a staple in my pink wardrobe, it's the perfect blend of an Easter pink and a bubble gum pink.

Sephora's X line has been through several iterations of bottle design and seems to also regularly discard lines and colors. I will be frank here, I dislike Sephora's site and search features. It's often like walking into a crowded party only to find the company would have been nice if the music wasn't so loud.

I found Whimsical at Big Lots! and for $1.80 I am pleasantly surprised. It's a combination of a scattered silver metallic glitter of two sizes mixed in with a strong dose of silver glass fleck as a base.

A pretty polish, but super hard to find. I'd suggest if you are after this effect, without trying to hunt down this one, try SinfulColors Out of This World and a silver hex glitter, there is one in every brand and price point. It's pretty easy to recreate since it's fairly generic.

In the meantime, this pretty little polish that combines topper and glitter, which is always nice!

Thanks for reading my little nail polish journal!