Tuesday, November 14, 2017

A Little Purple There, A Little Purple Here...

I have some things that are in dire need of swatching, but I've been wanting to tone up the old Polygel game before I went full bore.

Getting there, and thought, I better start somewhere!

First up is Zoya Mira

Mira is a rich plum purple. Not really a red purple, but has those roots, but still, a purple nonetheless.

Three coats. 

I got this on Zoya's big annual sale (that they seem to be doing much more often), which puts Zoya cheaper than most drugstore polishes these days.

A gorgeous creme, faultless application, though I didn't wear it out to see how it wore, traditionally Zoya is not a strong wearing polish. I use a normal top coat. To clarify, when I say not strong wearing, while it doesn't chip - as it seemed to do a lot when I first started wearing it - it does rub off more easily.

Still I love this shade. Gorgeous.

Zoya Serenity

Dreamy, smokey, and luscious. If you like purple, you will like this one.
It's dowsed, but not crushed into a neutral.

So great.

Typical three coats. I won't lie, this one moved to the head of the class for me.

Color Club Pucci-licious

Blogged a million years ago, here.

A classic, bright, clear, and neon-esque (I think it's hard to get this shade into a real neon)

I've had this bottle forever, but I love it a lot. I think I had a backup that I moved on down the road.

This is topcoated, as it it will dry more matte.

Here's a comparison:

Left to right:
Zoya Mira
Zoya Serenity
Color Club Pucci-licious.

I love all three. They are not alike, although in a pinch you can do Serendipity versus Pucci-licious and be perfectly fine.

All three have been topcoated. I always have mixed feelings about doing it, but most of the time I wear a topcoat, so here I thought it more natural.

Mira and Serenity are still available on Zoya's site as is Pucci-licious.

Quick note about polygel: I am loving the strength of it and learning to be a better "filer" and making the shape the best I can do, but I notice as soon as I put the polish on I notice some sort of oddball shape issue, or curve or edge. It's almost like 3-D filing.
My hope is to do a post with application, but I want some more practice under my belt before I go there. In the meantime, I love the results, the low cost, and the ease of use.

Thanks for reading my little nail polish journal!

p.s. all photos are taken with my iPhone. I think they are pretty accurate, but perhaps they pull a little blue. 

Thursday, November 9, 2017

Maybelline Colorama Plum Sparkle

When I first started collecting, I scored a ton of Coloramas at the Dollar tree.
Most I found a good home(s) for, but I kept a few.

Here is Maybelline Colorama Plum Sparkle:

It's a magenta shimmer with a scattered holo fine glitter running throughout.

Posted here with no top coat, which whould have smoothed out its slight texture.

Three coats, but two would be fine.

Dandy in the flash, even under the lamp it's demure smolder is a delight.

I find that the holo is super subtle, but the color and shimmer are ample payoffs.

Can still be found online, I found it with a fast search.

Thanks for reading my little nail polish journal!

Monday, October 30, 2017

Hare A Positive


It's that time of year!


Here's an oldie I've had forever, but finally got it blogged.

Hare A Positive.

Two coats over Sally Hansen Hollywood Cocktail

Hare is a berry red with silver glitter. It's an early example of indie genius for imaginative elegance. Lots of glitter, great jelly base.

Hollywood Cocktail is a deep red jelly. I wanted to support the whole blood thing!

Have a happy Hallowe'en!

Thanks for reading my little nail polish journal!


Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Red to Green Shifting Comparison: Clarins ILNP Liquid Euphoria

Wanted to toss out a a comparison I posted on the Makeup Alley message board and get it archived here.
Thanks for the indulgence.

Some background. It is warranted, trust me.

Back in the 90's, long before I was into nail polish, (maybe the early 00's) there began what is now known as red to green multichrome. It is a mica pigment that shifts from red into green, with a lot of time spent in a warm amber orange mode. 
When it shifts, it produces a gorgeous Christmas green and if you really push, you can get into blue. On the red side it will go to purple. It's stunning. 
It isn't a holographic, there is no flame, it just reflects a whole shade change of color, not a rainbow. It seems to have a longer range for its "rainbow" than a holo.

So there was Clarins 230, discontinued in 2008 according to my research, prior to that there was a Blue Cross Liquid Euphoria line, not sure when that one was discontinued, but it was gone by the time I got into it.

For several long dry years, there was a yearning for these pigments. They weren't around.

Then the auto paint and pigment industry became a source. I don't know the particulars, but suddenly people were mixing their own and it was kind of crazy. This was mostly started right after the spectraflair pigment burst on the holographic scene. 

Next thing indies were tossing out Clarins 230 dupes like crazy. Even Max Factor came out with one.
I grabbed a ton. Blog sales were my main avenue. It was like buying gold in a down market for me. The price of Clarins 230 stalled out, no longer a 3 figure deal, you could get it around $40 (I should have grabbed more!).

Then it seemed to be in short supply since about 2015. I never even noticed, it was the Rise of the Indies and holos/flakies/duochromes/glitter reigned supreme. Some red-green shift action mixed in with other stuff was barely a thing.

It wasn't the thing, it was just a thing to add to a polish.

Truth be told, it was even treated disinterestedly by many. Understandable. Taste is taste. And holos, flakies and other color shifting pigments were eye-popping. 

Now, apparently it's hard to find again. I browsed some pigment stuff, but if you want the real deal on pigments, you need to hit the amazing blog Polish and Pigments (I've linked a search)

It's daunting now, because once again this pigment is supposed to be rare. Clarin's is back up to three figures and only a handful of auctions are listed on eBay.

What happened? I do not know.

Meanwhile ILNP came back out with a polish called The Magician, a red/green color shifting polish.

I wanted to compare old and new. Mica versus manufactured (though I don't know what that might actually mean).

Left to right:
Clarins 230
ILNP The Magician
Blue Cross Liquid Euphoria Nirvana

These are all over a navy blue.

Difference? Not a lot. I think Nirvana is more dense. Nice!

Here are the bottles:

Same order.

Finally, the shift:

This is the money on this shift: the green. 

Left to right:
Blue Cross Liquid Euphoria Nirvana
ILNP The Magician
Clarins 230

I think, again, the Blue Cross is the stunner: more dense with the shimmer and therefore more green.

I think The Magician holds a strong second with Clarins pulling up in third, though it's nearly a trifecta. 

Where to find
Clarins 230 is now very expensive again and more scarce on eBay.
Magician is still very much available (after a frenzy of buying because it was thought to be limited edition, but more pigment was found).
Nirvana? Well, if you luck out and find it, then lucky you! 

Thanks for reading my little nail polish journal!

Thursday, October 19, 2017

It's Frosty Outside! Seriously!

Our weather has been a real tricky player this year. It has changed with the abruptness of a book snapping shut. Not denouement, nothing, just snip snap, next season!

OPI It's Frosty Outside

I've got it humbly under the lamp.

I've become a savage sponge applicator when it comes to glitters. Take no prisoners, leave no living behind. I use my trusty latex body paint protector and whip that glitter into the density it deserves.

This is from the 2013 Mariah Carey collection. I love the texture, it's got the matte/dry feel.

I recommend this puppy. 

Here it is with flash:

It shows its stage presence for sure!

I am sure it's sauntering about on the longest river in the world or eBay.

Thanks for reading my little nail polish journal!

Monday, October 16, 2017

Early Winters

This season puts me in mind to fireplaces, cocoa, and cozy blankets. Especially when it's rainy, I've got to say this trove of old photos perfectly coincides with this feeling!

I am still getting my head around sponge application, and I know that next time I will definitely use some latex body paint. No kidding around!

OPI Wondrous Star

Pros: interesting contrasting dark shimmer that I think is black. That aged silver look is very nice. I will say that if sponging was done right, I might have a wall of silvery light across my nail. It just didn't work out for me.

Cons: not super dense, even with sponging. I think it needed more on the sides, but without latex body paint, it was a pain.

This is from Mariah Carey's 2013 Holiday collection. I found a lot of these at TJMaxx, a price point that is nice for testing things out!

I know that it seems to be  metallic glass fleck and not a glitter, so its left a ton of residue, even after extensive clean up!

I think, though, it's more of a topper.

Here it is over LDL 207

To me the star is the red, it's an oldie. An early purchase back when Ross was the super score for oddball greatness. I blogged it briefly here.

I won't lie, Wondrous Star doesn't feel like a full on win. More like Salt n Pepa.

Meanwhile, let me roast my toesies in front of a fire and imagine me inside and the rain and snow outside!

Thanks for reading my little nail polish journal!

Friday, October 13, 2017

That Autumnal Feeling

Longer nights now, but not impossibly so, not like the dead of winter, just that long mellowing until dark.

Here's a polish I really have had for a long time, but needed to post, Nicole by OPI Bah Plum-bug.

To me less plum than purple, but naming certainly often falls into a realm that has less to do with color than punnage.

Here it is topped with Sally Hansen Glass Slipper

This is a translucent, well more like transparent, semi-flakie large glass fleck.

It has turned a bit yellow in my bottle, but goes on like a transparent white. More fleck than flake, but the size is nice.

It was a hot little wedding collection SH came out with a few years ago, no longer on the site, but easy to find to buy. I recommend "Aisle Be There" for toppers, it's a great one.

No complaints on this one, either, just not a thrilling combination.

I wonder if I am getting jaded! 


Thanks for reading my little nail polish journal!

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Stamping and Layering

Another trove of procrastinated/found/didn't know I had photos.

To start with, a stamping:

Here is a successful stamping with Pure Ice First Time (blogged here) as it needed a dry down and get some more density of the pigment.

I have it over white or pale blue, but can't recall the name!
I topped it with an old WetnWild sheer blue shimmer topper. 

Definitely a favorite!

Thanks for reading my little nail polish journal!

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

A Month Later....

Here is my first post with polygel on my nails. I wanted to swatch an old favorite, Maybelline Tassled Taupe. It's a great formula and has a lovely shimmer.

If you haven't heard the hoopla, google Gelish Polygel and you will get both industry information and a lot of Youtube videos.

Having had issues with my nails just getting long and then needing to be wacked off because of a crack or a break, I've tried every nail strengthener, but nothing really can protect my nails from the beating they take. I had looked into acrylics, but the application process is far too invasive: too much filing down of my nail. I did want some gel stuff, but soaking off polish felt like a super drag. I haven't done acrylic dip, but since I change my polish a lot and with acetone, the videos didn't seem promising. I tried some non-acetone remover and it was just so awful. Ugh. 

So, I gave up.

When I heard about Polygel by Gelish, I thought, it's cheap enough to get into, they make it look so easy and they really seem to have a system that is workable until cured. Ok.

Went to Nail Tech Supply (awesome) and picked up a trial box ($70 by the time shipping was done). and promptly procrastinated for three weeks.

Then I just jumped in. Closely following instructions. Using my eBay/Amazon procured supporting products and an ELF brush, I applied it.

The slip really smells awful, but I guess if you work in a salon with acrylics it must smell nice, because all the youtubers sniffed it and pronounced it nice.

It's been a solid month and I am on a fill and some days out I think I am only still just getting around the filing side of things. It's still a work in progress, for sure.

The result:

Don't get me wrong, I'm not crowing about the result, but this is the first time I've looked at my nails and they are starting to get there. While far from salon perfect, it's a huge step forward and the first time I wanted to photograph my nails since applying this stuff.

The thing to remember that beneath the Polygel are my nails. Period. There are no extensions, nothing. I look at these as support. Even though I see videos of people doing forms and things, I just don't see that as a thing right now, if ever. I really just like not having to worry about breaks as much.

But of course, there are new worries and learning curves. 

I did have some lifting after the first application. I use a crystal file and a higher grit no-number one I got with a bottle of harmony bonder. So I watched a youtube video and saw how to get rid of the lifted section and reapply. That was at week three, and the only hinky part was just seeing the lift.

Because you use a slip to keep your brush from sticking, you need to use it with tact: it will dissolve the Polygel and it will get all over your skin. Of course using my non-dominant hand has been a flexing of nerves and muscles that just didn't have to think quite so hard, but it's just like painting my nails, but not. It really doesn't move like they say, and you can manipulate it, though I have no acrylic application experience, I did try to make it super thin and that might have been an issue.

So every time I change my polish, I tweak the filing, smooth things out, etc. 

The goal is to have uniform nails that can stand up to some light abuse. They don't need to be long, but I would like to eventually get a length and shape that works for me a little better for swatching.

I will post more about this, but my goal is to continue to swatch and work the side of the street I enjoy. 

Polygel is very strong. Well, I guess that is relative, no? I do know that I jammed my thumb into the roof of the car moving something and that would have been an automatic break, so nice!

I will probably find another brush, I'm using an ELF smudge brush found at Big Lots!, so it's not a total win. Next will be my ELF concealer, a more precise brush. If I need a better brush, I am sure there is a video that will cover it.

Thanks for reading my little nail polish journal!

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

L'Oreal's Holo Affair

In this abundance of holographic riches, mainstream brands like Revlon and L'Oreal are dipping their toes into the waters with things like holo toppers and holo nail polish.

I think it's great. Nothing more fun than that rainbow on your nails when you hit the sunshine!

Here's L'Oreal's Masked Affair 

This is a mauve holo, very pale, loaded with holo that is a scattered flame

Three coats, no top coat.

I it's not super smooth, but not bad. It takes a bit of oomph to pick up the holo. This is under my lamp with some fill flash, so you can see the color. It's almost purple, but in most light it's a pale purple mauve shade.

I think at first I was a little miffed when I saw it in the bottle. I thought it was kind of paltry with the holo.

On the nail, it gives it up in bright light, which is so nice.

Here  it is in lower light:

It definitely is show its gray roots here!

You can see that there are small and larger holo pieces, and I think if this was all a super fine holo that is mixed with some fine silver (I think it is, because some just doesn't pick up anything) it would be a flat out fail, but the bigger pieces help.

While not a holo monster, it certainly delivers.

Right now it's not cheap on eBay, and I am guessing that (since I've stopped following the drug store beat) L'Oreal does keep a stable of core shades (at least at Walgreens), but pop out special stuff on a seasonal basis. It is no longer on their site. It was a special edition, so it may have not been on the site long if at all. 

This came out in 2015, but hung around for a while. Though it's not longer in the L'Oreal stable, nor at an affordable price, it was nice to see holo polish hit mainstream.

I am surprised more brands don't do this: holographic pigment is not in short supply and everyone seems to like it, or at least enjoys dipping their toes every now an again.

I have a backup bottle and I am trying to use some polishes as stamping polishes. This has a density about it that make make it a candidate.

Thanks for reading my little nail polish journal!