Wednesday, August 8, 2018

Do Old Thrills Last?

I was at TJ Maxx and I found a few bottles of the old OPI France Collection from a decade ago. It was for Autumn 2008 if memory serves.

Seems like I wanted it all, but never seemed to delve into it. It was the time when, thinking back on it, so many of the other salon brands and especially drugstore brands were making knock offs.

Here is Bastille Your Heart:

It's a glossy deep red shimmer with enough pink shimmer tossed in to make it a succulent raspberry shade.

I guess the formula was okay, but not stellar. I think it is a little loose and coupled with my super casual application, it wasn't heart stopping. (Wait a still your heart...never mind.)

I could not find it on the OPI website, so it's hard to say how TJ Maxx got a hold of it.

Not as thrilling as in the day. That doesn't mean it isn't a classic shade, perfect for autumn.

Probably still floating around eBay or blog sales.

Thanks for reading my little nail polish journal!

Wednesday, August 1, 2018

Stamping it Up

Wanted to play with a stamping with a holographic, but haven't had one I wanted to sacrifice to the stamping gods.

I'd gotten a couple of Up Colors polishes in a huge sale from an online etailer quite some time ago and wanted to used them. I quickly discovered that they were very un-three free (dibutyl phthalate) and I figured I needed to just use it up.

Here it is over Zoya Zanna

I think it's a good stamping polish. I used a negative space plaid and though there are some gaps, it did a nice job.

Zoya Zanna, wow, what a gorgeous orchid pink, I love it a lot. I must have purchased it during a sale, but I love it a lot. Went on like a charm.

Up Colors is out of south america, but I am not sure if it's a Brazilian brand. I know that it's not a super unique holo. I have it in blue (here) and green. It does have a strong holo, so the color is subservient to the holographic power.

Thanks so much for reading my little nail polish journal!

Tuesday, July 24, 2018


Illyrian Moonchild is a delightful flakie rich sheer polish that is Tiffany blue.

I put it over SinfulColors Mint2BCool, a blue mint creme with a small blue glass fleck running through it.

They complement each other well.

Here's the combo:

The pink and blue opalescence of the flakies is best under a focused light like flash, halogen or good ol' sunshine.

I am crazy about it!

Here you can see that it is more subtle if the pink iridescence doesn't pick up:

I am a little star struck by this brand, so it's hard to be biased. 

My only real bias is that I love translucent or light flakies and I am not going to blog too many contrasting flakies, but I have a ton I need to layer, so just shut up, right?

Meanwhile, the shop is re-opening the 27th of July, so you may enjoy this fairy tale of a shade.
Not affiliated, just a fan.

Thanks for reading my little nail polish journal.

Sunday, July 15, 2018

Cherry Tequila

Crows Toes Tequila Sunrise was a pretty huge hit when it first came out. It is a bit sheer, at least for me to try to layer it, but as a topper, well it's amazing.

Here it is over Sally Hansen Salon Formula (old square bottle) Cherry Nice:

Quite the stunning green gold shimmer is front and center. The pink base leans coral pink and the contrast is good, but Cherry Nice is a red, and a neutral to cool one at that, but here it pops into the warm realm.


Here it s again:

You can see the base a bit better.

Two coats in total.

It's a very wet formulation, but I have to admit it is a killer.

I did see that Crows Toes still has it, and they also have a second formulation with what they call "spark", sounds nice! I want to try that one, too!

Meanwhile, Crows Toes has been out of the gate an amazing creator of polishes. It's always a favorite place to browse.

Thanks for reading my little nail polish journal!

Wednesday, July 11, 2018


Back in the Early Days of this blog, I found a lot of Sally Hansen Prisms at the Dollar Tree. One stood out. Rainbow Presents.

I don't know what syllable the emphasis is on in the word "presents" but I kind of like it when it's on the last one.

Here are some shots:

Three coats, over the Polygel. It's a blast to see the shift from aqua to blue through to purple. I didn't push it into the red berry shade, but it can go there.

A beautiful pure shimmer that really works out the color shift. 

Formula is typical Sally of that era: a bit slow to dry, and a bit touchy, but not really as bad as I seem to be making it out. I think this shift is not uncommon and available in the indie realm. Though at this writing, I think finding a plane Jane version would be a challenge.

Segue into my next offering, Noodles Nail Polish Warm Bodies.

Some photos: 

This is from a limited edition collection through For The Love of Polish Box from October 2017. It's on the Polished for Days site, and there is a supporting Facebook group.

This one is a beauty. No love lost for the mixed media of shimmer, holo and glass fleck, it's a color bomb.

It shifts with the same precision as Rainbow Presents, so the underlying pigment is the same.

The polish is not on the Noodles Nail Polish site now, but there are some other tasty items. Definitely take a peek. If you really need Warm Bodies, check out some blog sales, destashing might be the only option.

I have wanted to swatch Rainbow Presents for years. Too many years. Sally was doing some magic back in the day!!!

Thanks for reading my little nail polish journal!

Monday, July 2, 2018

Blue Layers

Just a quick blue layering combo

SinfulColors Most Sinful topped with SinfulColors Hottie then a layer of Cover Girl City Lights

The simple beauty of SC Most Sinful gives a great backdrop to SC Hottie.

Two coats of Most Sinful, then a coat of Hottie and Cover Girl City Lights.

A nice trio.

Perfect for bright days!

Thanks for reading my little nail polish journal!

Thursday, June 28, 2018

Muddled Purples

Here is a photo heavy comparison of A England Incense Burner from the Rossetti Goddess collection and China Glaze Side Saddle.

I think these polishes are similar, but not dupes at all.

Let's start with Rossetti's Incense Burner:

There is a strong, deep, purple under all this shifty olive to purple magenta, but it's virtually impossible to see!

Dante Gabriel Rossetti would approve of the complexities of this polish; as the complexities of the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood seemed to ruminate through the group like a Victorian soap opera.

The reference is to the incense burner in the painting called Prosperine, the Roman answer to Persephone, daughter of Zeus and Demeter (stolen by Hades as a maiden and her mom Demeter raised a ruckus on Olympus until she and Hades came up with a visitation agreement, during certain times, therefore this is the reason why the seasons occur. Hey I don't write this stuff, Robert Graves is your boy!).

The painting uses Rossetti's second muse, Jane Morris. Wife of the inestimable designer, William. The sullen looks are hard to fathom in today's manufactured-happy-selfie-life, but when you look at the life of a Victorian woman, it was stymieing to contemplate.

Here is another shot:

It looks like a brown shimmer with a reddish undertone and a gold contrasting shimmer.

Then you shift it around and you can see this:

Patience is a virtue if you want to find this side of the coin. If there is one thing I can say it's that the olive green flash, or some have described it as moss, I kind of liken it to lichen (sorry, couldn't help myself).

I wanted to compare it to China Glaze Side Saddle. Under most lamp light the variations are slight. Small enough so they sit next to each other in the purple drawer!

Here is some Side Saddle, as a reminder; since I blogged it awhile ago.

It has a strong gold shimmer in a plum base and basically is brown.

It has reddish brown tendencies, but I really didn't get a good photo this time.

Let's get to comparisons!

Here is a shot that really shows the undertones:

Left to right:
A England Incense Burner
China Glaze Side Saddle
A England Incense Burner
China Glaze Side Saddle

Side saddle really looks brown, for all intents and purposes.
Incense burner has a grape purple shimmer.

Here under a lamp:

Left to right:
A England Incense Burner
China Glaze Side Saddle
A England Incense Burner
China Glaze Side Saddle

In my estimation, it's like a warm and cool brown after you muddle all the colors together.

It's a shame, to be honest, that Incense Burner is so muddy. Pre-Raphaelites enjoyed the luminous jewel tones of the Medieval era stained glass, the clarion shades of illustrators.

It's a bummer that this polish isn't rising to the occassion.  I get that in the Prosperine painting has darkness through the shadows, but why not celebrate the peacock silk?

Thanks for reading my little nail polish journal!

Monday, June 25, 2018

Bumble Bee Redux

I wanted to post a manicure I loved. I did this back in February before I removed the Polygel.

It makes me miss the Polygel for the simple reason that Polygel didn't stain and I could put sheer stuff on them without that usual yellow/orange tint that I never could remove.

Here is Sephora X Chaotic topped with OPI Color Paints Primarily Yellow:

OPI Color Paints, unlike their tint collection, are impactful sheer jellies that are essentially designed for layering.

Here's another shot.

This is two coats and thought I managed to slop it around, it really was pretty nice as far as a formula.

I love it, unabashedly so. In fact this yellow surprised me with it's ability to really set down some color!

Black and white glitter are favorites of mine, this combo is pretty simple, I have a couple, but I haven't compared. I don't know if glitter is much of a thing these days, so it's hard to say what's coming out.

Here's a shot alone before I added the OPI Primarily Yellow:

There isn't a definite size, I like the range and the bar glitter works for me, too. More heavy on the black glitter, but enough white to pop some contrast.

If you can find the Color Paints around, and you like to layer, grab them. They are good, very good!

Black and white glitter, you may have to poke around because there is so much flux with Sephora nail polish. I don't even see it on their site. I think the private label upscale boutique brand freights a lot of brand loyalty. It's one thing to buy a Chanel or a Dior and it's another to buy a Nails Inc, or Smith and Whatever it's called. Most probably use WnW or Color Club or Essence or Orly or Nubar. Companies with nail polish making infrastructure are not super common, nor is it a high profit/volume endeavor. It's not like they are making straws or plastic bags or glass bottles.

I get it and I don't mind paying premium for something I like, but I think it is hard to sustain something not tied to a bigger juggernaut.

I found my Sephora X at Ross and the OPI Color Paints at TJ Maxx. As a quick note: both won't be there, so it's off to eBay, etc.

I have noticed TJM to carry less polish and Ross seems to just have JBL and lesser known brands, with rare smatterings of the odd OPI or Sephora X.

Excuse the ramble. Hope it helped you find these if you are interested.

Thanks for reading my little nail polish journal!!

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!!