Wednesday, June 20, 2018

The Cousin of the One I Haven't Blogged Yet

Essence is a funny brand.

Regionally, they are in only one place that I've been able to find them, but they are also online, too.

Their polishes are small, but also in possession of a very nice formula: dries well, handles, well, covers nicely.

They came out with a Out of Space collection, with a bunch of scifi names and references. Of course I also think it was a sly reference to the tight living spaces popping up in the popular urban centers (90 square foot apartment anyone?) and the tiny house movement.

I sprinted over to the essence website (the US one is dot com) and ordered the set since it had a couple multichromes and a couple holos. I will roll them out over time, mainly because they are no longer on their site and the holos were insipid. Normally I don't do the "where to find" in the beginning, but It is not on the European site, nor on eBay, so it may be a blogsale thing.

There was a really amazing shifter I tried and was agog over, Across the Universe.

Here's a few shots:



Three coats, no top coat.

The silvery aqua is a delight.




It shifts to a soft mauve pink, easily, no contortions needed.

The metallic finish means some brushstrokes, for sure.



What you can't see is the soft teal sparkles that pop out here and there.

So nice!!!

It immediately brought to mind a favorite of mine, Chanel Sweet Star.

I will blog that pretty soon, it's a swoon-inducing polish.

This, though is it's little cousin.


Thanks for reading my little nail polish journal!

Sunday, June 17, 2018

Playing With Wine Shades

Here are some swatches of burgundy, magenta, merlot type of polishes. It's just crazy how many I have!!!

I'll do three coats, no top coats, all shot with a lamp and flash combo on my phone.

Needing to get things swatched is why I am doing an out of season kind of thing.


Here we go!

Maybelline Wet Shine Jewels & Berries


This is a really pretty polish. Loads of glass fleck giving it that shimmery brilliance. My photo of makes the middle finger look like a blob, but it is a brush stroke.

Aside from that, super easy to use, that typical dense Maybelline vintage formula.


I put it over L'Oreal Breaking Curfew, a deep deep reddened burgundy vamp:




While it added some pretty shimmer, it was full of so much "stuff" that it got a little patchy. It's not pure glass fleck shimmer, there is a healthy dose of fine particle shimmer as well and it's in need of a better thinning to really be a topper, but I admit I love this role!


So, this one I found as through a destash. I love the finish, it's kind of a neutral with some pizzazz.

May be online with some poking around.




Estee Lauder Ultra Violet


This is a deep wine shade with a red-violet glass fleck shimmer. It's gorgeous.

Formula was  a nice surprise!!!

A substantial bottle and a beautiful polish!

I found this on a blog sale, I know it's no longer for sale at the Estee Lauder counter, that's for sure. I was checking for this before our local Macy's closed and they just didn't have it. I lucked out.

Browse around, I am sure if it's not out there, it will pop up!




Color Club Winter Affair


Dipping into the merlot range, this beautiful foil by Color Club just steals the show.

I have to say, it is worth the effort go get this one. Perfect light gathering qualities that work under low light. A winner!

At this writing Color Club's web site flailed on the search, so I recommend a salon supply house or other online venue. I know it's still around, it's really nice. Formula was tight!




Zoya Valerie


Another beautiful foil. Such contrasts within this one! Red, purple and blue work out this color, and a warm amber sometimes pops through. There is a quality that raises the bar on this polish into the realm of "indie" because of the complexities. Wow.

Easy to use, really a two coats, but I did three. Formula here was pretty good. I know my application skills aren't the best, so when it doesn't bleed into my cuticles, I am supremely pleased.

When I swatch a Zoya I like to go to their site and see the description and compare it to my impression, but it seems Valerie has been discontinued!!! Why????

I couldn't find it online, so you may want to look into Zoya Jem, which I may or may not have (don't think I do) as a comparable replacement. It's warmer, but similar.



Thanks for reading my little nail polish journal!!




Thursday, June 14, 2018

OPI Happy Anniversary

Here's an older photo of OPI Happy Anniversary


Three coats. No top coat. A soft champagne shade of glass fleck monsterhood.

I feel like one coat could work as a topper, too. If you are even more inclined to make this one a topper, then thin it out.

I also believe it would be a nice frankening polish, adding glass fleck to a mix.


Very nice, I am thinking you can still find it. OPI is a weird brand, of late they've churned out fewer and less exciting collections, but even the blandest old bottle can pull a high price. Rare ones can get very expensive!

Meanwhile, I tried to put some OPI I Can Teal You Like Me from their Sheer Tints collection over the top:


This is two coats. I think failure doesn't begin to describe this polish. It just has no color. It's dark, as you can see from the bottle, but it just does not translate. This is only two coats, but in my experience, these can get patchy if you aren't careful with application, so I didn't want to do more.



The Polygel really looks thick here. I remember I always had issues with shaping. And in this wider angle lens, all it took was a tilt of the nails to make them look tapered bottom to top.


It was a love hate relationship, I'll just say that.


Thanks for reading my little nail polish journal!!!

Monday, June 11, 2018

Red Glitter Times Five

I just wanted to sit down with some bright red glitters and swatch it all out.

No comparisons, no top coats, and three coats.

Just throwing down a few that are all very similar: small glitter size, bright red, and, well, smashing!


Let's roll!


Maybelline Red Comet


A very juicy red glitter in a red jelly base. Stinky, pre-3-free, but a delightful color of red. It did require some thinning and cleanup, which is evident. The jelly base covers well, but there is scant "visible nail line", but not "hey let's guess if you have polish on your nails!"

A little texture, but nothing that won't be taken care of with a top coat.

I love this one, apparently grabbed two while hitting the Dollar Tree over that dulcet period of now-vintage polish purging by retailers.

Rich and intense, this old Express Finish is a "find it online" kind of polish these days.




Milani Ruby Jewels


Silver glitter in a ruby red jelly base. Some texture, but again, doable with a couple top coats.

I had to do some cleanup, but it wasn't much.

Pretty and shiny, but now discontinued, but still poking around online, though not super cheap. Worth the price? Well, maybe not.





Zoya Delilah


A deep, neutral red, though Zoya calls it a cherry base, with a red fine glitter.

Very loose formula and my cleanup wasn't up to the task.

Gorgeous and shiny, it has a pretty smooth formula.

Still available on the Zoya site.




Color Club Art of Seduction


This is a red glitter in a clear base.  I've sponged it on and though I used some liquid latex body paint to cover my fingers, cleanup did provide a little bit of glitter going all over. Hard to say if it's three coats, but it might be more just due to sponging.

This is a pretty red in the same vein of a cherry type of red.

Sponging it meant that it was more textured and looks more like a texture polish.

No longer available on Color Club's site, the polish might be found online, but I've had little luck finding it as I write this.





China Glaze Ruby Pumps


Here's a classic. Red glitter in a deep red jelly. I confess I should have cleaned up, but it wasn't such a big deal to me at the time, for some reason!

Been around for a long time and from an old reboot of the China Glaze Wizard of Ooh Ahs that came out in around 2008.

Looks like it's still around at the China Glaze website. Nice! I think it's a really gorgeous polish: not too much texture, lots of shine, and a good amount of glitter!



I believe that my favorite is Ruby Pumps followed by Red Comet. There is a red on red thing going on that is very nice.


There you go, five red polishes that will smarten up the nautical brights this summer.


Thanks for reading my little nail journal!

Saturday, June 9, 2018

The Weeding of the Garden

I want to apologize in advance for the state of the "Blog-O-Rama".

I just pulled down nearly 45 dead links (though there is one I can't match to a name in blogger tools, so I have left it up, sorry!)

Many are made private, domain name expired, or pulled down. I also do understand why people would do this, so I get it.

There were a few redirects, but I wasn't going through because I don't know how good they were, account could be hacked and the owner of the new link could be a bad cowboy in the wild west of the interwebz.

It's often the case where accounts get hacked, phished, or other things happen and they are taken over, so I just notice them in my own feed and see weird international news, plastic surgery or clothing, or random stuff. This gets my attention and the ball rolling on sifting through the blogs and making sure I keep them useful through pruning.

While I did take a couple blogs down that strayed too far from nail polish, that group was small, I think only two.

I have left up a lot of blogs that have been left to sit, like archives as it were. Lives change and people move on. I thank those people for leaving up old swatches, it's about all that's left these days!!! In a lot of ways they are some of the only swatches around the web.

No finger pointing!! I know how it is, things happen that are real.

I raise a glass to those who are still blogging, though. I need to figure out if I can link to Instagram accounts, or if it's worth it. More on that...eventually.

Tumblr has kind of slacked, and my feed is always inundated with stuff I am not interested in, which is a bummer, and Facebook is too chaotic and seems geared away from the calm epistolary nature of blogging, which was my intention in the first place.


Future tasks:

1) Separate blog groupings for archive blogs and active blogs, which I can piecemeal sift through as people shut things down, stop blogging, or shift gears into other hobbies.

2) Add new stuff to the Blog-O-Rama - I have three from people who have migrated to really nice websites, and are blogging like mad!

3) look into linking Instagram accounts. I think it's a viable platform with good images.

4) Solicit readers (you) for blogs you like.

I will be working on this over the summer along with regular blogging.


Though I firmly accept my lighting, photography, and blogging mediocrity (perhaps this is the key to happiness...I don't know...not saying I'm any happier than the next person, but this process is fun for me), the ability to have goals that feel attainable and are fun to try to attain.

Here's to the goals.

Thanks so much for reading my little nail polish journal!

P.S. I will start soliciting now: have a blog you love but isn't here? Please post a comment. If I deleted your blog, but you moved it and I didn't follow the link also tell me.
I am not making judgement calls on blogs, plus I may have accidentally removed one or two in the heat of editing! (blogger does not make this easy, it's not even alphabetical in the editing feature)


Friday, June 8, 2018

Two Reds Poured Out of One Bottle?

As you may have come to realize that I like to play amateur sleuth when it comes to who's making what.

So far with nothing to confirm except some dupes, and plain ordinary logic, it's really just a game.

Here's a dupe that kind of makes me laugh because if you can tell the difference, good luck!

China Glaze Lubu Heels and Milani Garnet Gems:


Left to right:
China Glaze Lubu Heels
Milani Garnet Gems
China Glaze Lubu Heels
Milani Garnet Gems

Top photo lamp.
Bottom photo flash.

China Glaze was a bit more loose, but I had to do cleanup on both.

Lubu Heels is an oldie, an homage to the red painted stillettos of 90's lore. 




Here's another photo:



For me, the pair are identical. If you can find a difference, yay!


I know, though, the Milani is discontinued, but might be available online if you poke around. 

Lubu Heels might be on some various salon sites as well as normal etail venues, but appears to only be in their gel formula on the China Glaze site.

This is a creme and glitter combo, or crelly and glitter combo so the result is subtle. I like that subtly, but the payoff isn't high in normal indoor lighting. 


Thanks for reading my little nail polish journal!

Sunday, June 3, 2018

Three Mainstream Duochromes

If you have delved into the realm of indies, you well know that the indie brands are very generous with their pigment and they know what it takes to make an impact.

Here are some duochromes that are just in need of a blog, but don't strum my heart so much.

Let's start with the really good.


China Glaze No Plain Jane 


This shifts from a purple to an amber shade. It is very pretty and at three coats I won't say I don't live for the purple. The color that it shifts to looks a little like a muddy bronze, but it's a tad bit more warm and that's ok. 

The metallic purple is a delight, though you can see brushstrokes, it's ok and seems to be offset by good coverage.

Easy to find online and at a price point that means affordable access to some color shifting.


Now the less than enthralling.


OPI Kermit Me to Speak


Also shifting into a kind of warm olive bronze shade, this one is sheer enough to layer.

I've got it over nothing and black, alternating nails.

It's not a favorite of mine, far to chintzy on the pigment, so without the flash, it tends to be a bit muddy.

Easy to find, but I purged mine.



Misa Shields Up


This is from one of the last collections I purchased of Misa, which was their Surreal Escape Collection. 

Won't lie, my utter disappointment at the sheerness of this polish is hard to hide.

Perhaps a good topper, but at the time of the swatching, I was just like "UNCLE!"

Misa has their site down for maintenance, so I couldn't see if it was available. 

Only recommendation would be if you found you needed a topper, otherwise, the heartbreak is real!

Let's just conclude by saying, the shields are collapsing, Captain!



This is all with my old Polygel enhancements on. I realize just how thick these were growing! The hard part was that I had to manually file, so thinning them down was a bit of a challenge.

I might have kept the Misa as a topper, but Kermit Me to Speak is a goner. No More Plain Jane I will try for a stamping polish, but the first coat wasn't that impressive, so we shall see!


Thanks for reading my little nail polish journal!


Thursday, May 31, 2018

Soft Glam

The Australian indie Glam Polish has turned my head since I first discovered them.

I have a lot, I mean a lot. Most are holo. I've had one that at first was a dud, but I've reswatched it and it needs to be reblogged because over black it is much better.

Meanwhile, here is a pretty scattered holo in a hyacinth blue called Glam Batch #2.


Three coats, but two are just fine.

An easy formula.

This scattered holo has also a blue shimmer and a lot of purple pigment.

The batches were polishes that weren't out in an officially named collection capacity, sort of like shopping the back room: it's there, it's a test, and it's gone.

This is a beautiful shade with the side note of holo and holo flakes. Then the blue shimmer. Nice!


If you want this one, check out blog sales and people destashing.

Glam Polish has a tonne of gorgeous stuff, though!

Thanks for reading my little nail polish blog!

Monday, May 28, 2018

Two Blues, Two Simple Blues, Two Inexpensive Blues

Blue creme. I am feeling it this late spring. I have a lot of this shade and I never find fault with the color.

I rarely purge it, you probably will only ever see a handful on the blog sale, and even the most fussy formulation will give me only a patient sigh. Unless it won't dry. I just can't make the impossible possible.

So here is a pair of SinfulColors blues. No comparison, just a random couple of manis that were highly successful

Hip to be Square


Three coats, a secret shimmer and a summery fresh blue. It is soft and neutral, if you can imagine vintage 60's pure color as neutrals.

I thought it would be too sheer, the first coat was a bit of an "oh sigh" moment, but it built fine.

I love this shade a lot. Delightful!




Blue La La


A more intense blue, more hinting at a cobalt sky if compared to the soft blue.

More dense than Hip to be Square, it needed two coats and was fine.

I am very partial to this shade.




I can't find these shades at the SC website, so I don't know if they are relabeled, or just off for the season. I don't follow the brand that closely, but it seems like I see Blue La La a lot.

At the price, approximately $2 a bottle, it's always a nice surprise!



Thanks for reading my little nail polish journal!


Friday, May 25, 2018

Pinking It Over

I wanted to run a random swatch/comparison of some pinks that are a mix of old and new, blogged and unblogged. Enjoy! (all are top coat free)

China Glaze Sass in a Glass



A rich, glass fleck formula. Soupy-ish. Big three rich. This is from the same collection that has "It's 5 O'clock Somewhere" in it. That's all I really know.

It's got a metallic micro glitter/glass fleck in strong pink magenta jelly. The most red of the bunch.

Four coats used and a pretty shade. Hard to argue with this one!

Might be around blog sales or eBay, it's long since discontinued.



Sinful Colors Forget Now



Three coats, easy formula and a strong blue shimmer that really turns my head. Blogged before, but wanted to compare.

I always think I want to purge this one, but I really love it a lot. I never know if SC has a color, has renamed it under a repromote or not. It is pretty and worth looking for.

This should be around, though I can't imagine why they'd discontinue a color like this.
I know it should be around online, too.




Zoya Mae



Three coats, a beautiful shade, but man, it was a hard polish to apply. I think I ended up moving it along. Or it's in the move along box. Hard to recall.

Plus it felt sheer, although it is rather luminous, it's too hard to work with.

Still at Zoya.



L'Oreal Pink Shell


I love this one so much. A reblog and because it can work as a topper I always think it's too sheer, but it's really not, it builds at three coats and just rocks.

A favorite.

I am sure available online (I just looked on eBay and youch!).

It's a strong glass fleck shimmer, which is really a win.


Here is a comparison:


Left to right:
China Glaze Sass in a Glass
Sinful Colors Forget Now
Zoya Mae
L'Oreal Pink Shells

With a lot more clean up.

I love the drug store offerings here. The win is evident.

Hope you enjoyed!