Monday, January 22, 2018

Cinnamon Spice, It's Just So Nice

I haven't done a comp for a few weeks and I have some old polishes and a new one that need an outing.

While these colors seem very traditionally autumnal, I wanted to just toss them out, mainly to inspire me to wear them more often through the winter.

Spice colors are some of my favorites. They are neutral and easy to wear in the winter months when my skin is less tanned. I like golds in the summer and yellows, so for my skin tone, that's how I balance it.

I've got four, so the best thing to do is go down the list!

Diamond Cosmetics Hue Are You

Two very simple coats. A now-discontinued foil, the gold and rich russet red, well, let's say they play well together and we have a gorgeous result.

Very hard to fault this polish: coverage, nice wear, and a classic shade that doesn't feel dated.

With the contrasting shimmer, it could be on the pages of an indie seller's catalogue.

You might find it at a blog sale, but the long story short: Diamond Cosmetics is firmly in the private label camp. So be it. Godspeed.

Zoya Anastasia

Zoya does shimmers quite well. I don't know if that is their intention, for in fact I like their cremes quite a bit, too. It does seem to be their wheelhouse, though. They present them each year - some collections are almost all shimmer - and don't bat an eyelash or mitigate it with 3-4 similar reds or pinks to offset. There was a time when I discarded Zoya, but now, I'm looking again at this feisty salon brand that OPI could borrow from (less puns, people, more content - says a punster).

Anastasia is now gone from the Zoya site (so my surprise as I check into this as I write) and that's a bummer large. The burgundy undertone is strong, but it's so warmed up by the gold shimmer - glass fleck - that it takes on a deep spicy shade that feels like a Victorian brocaded room. Feel the hush of a life with no blue glow, no television/radio, and perhaps just a bit of Brahams playing in a room below.

Still available online with a bit of a hunt. I am sure people blog sale this one periodically.

Zoya Ivy

Ivy is a sheer 3-4 coater (nearly a topper, as you will see) that does pay off.

Apologies for this photo, my skin pulled pink and I had to play in photoshop to get the shade and the skin tone reasonable decent.

I unapologetically love this. My photo makes it look slightly too cognac, but it has more sherry color in it, too. In the bottle at some angles it pulls into a dry sherry shade, so much so that the reddish swatches I saw online seemed unimaginable. And yet, it does have this gorgeous color, undaunted by the warm gold glass fleck that is more subtly meted out.

This feels like nail polish grown up, still with that signature Zoya shimmer.

What is sad, though, like Anastasia, it, too, is gone. Too sad. Reminiscent of the bustle of some fin de siecle 19th century gown. Pull out our Maupassant when you are wearing this. Or browse some Sargent. It will feel just right.

El Corazon Magical Evening Fantasy

From the big buy last year. I've worn it but not blogged it. It is also a three coater, but has this lovely mauve "raw meat" kind of base I can't describe, then it's packed with pink glass fleck shimmer.

I think the name is hilarious and gives me such a giggle, but hey, it's not a ghastly pun.

Not much more to say, except it could be one of my favorites, so lovely.

Still on El Corazon, this "Magical" line is extensive and quite beautiful. I recommend poking around, if you dare, it's hard not to build a cart on that site!

A quick comparison, though they are hardly dupes, but it's fun to see them in relation to each other:

Left to right:
Diamond Cosmetics Hue Are You
Zoya Anastasia
Zoya Ivy
El Corazone Magical Evening Fantasy (snicker)

Here's a darker shot:

Left to right:
Diamond Cosmetics Hue Are You
Zoya Anastasia
Zoya Ivy
El Corazon Magical Evening Fantasy (hee, hee)

Here is a shot of the first coat, so you can see how sheer are Ivy and MEF.

Same order. You can see Hue Are You really is gorgeous, would be nice over a medium or dark red. 
Anastasia is fairly normal.
Ivy and MEF are sheer, but they do build.

I didn't realize when I started that the Zoyas would be gone. I guess they clean out their stable. I am not on a list announcing discontinued polishes, but maybe I should find out more about that. It's a bummer because Ivy is a stunner. 

Thanks so much for reading my little nail polish journal!

Friday, January 19, 2018

Cap Matching

Back in the day "matchy match" beat "goes with" all day, every day.

There was a bespoke quality to it: your shoes and bag, your belt and gloves, your nails and your lipstick. You looked not merely coordinated, but it looked back on to pre-industrial crafted clothing made from materials that were not mass produced and workmanship that was by hand.

I have had these old Dollar Store Sally Hansens around for a long, long, long time. I love the shades, and I really regret dumping many of these after trying out this franken. (Gah!)

Okay, so what was I doing? I wanted to do two things:
1 - Add enough body to the polish without losing its shade intention to give a sheer polish better coverage
1 - Match the Sally Hansen cap.

Simple enough, no?

Well my biggest challenge was that this was a finite quantity of polish and that if messed up, game was up.

See what you think.

Sally Hansen Zippy Frost frankened with Color Club Ready to Royal

Ready to Royal is a deep vamp purple (blogged here, crying for a reblog) that has a red violet undertone. I think colors like this are superb for frankening into pale shades.
To keep on track, though, I added about 1/2 a teaspoon to this bottle. There was a fair amount of evaporation and usage!

I blogged Zippy Frost a long time ago here. I think the purple just adds a richness it lacked in its first iteration.

I love this chocolate mauve shade. The purple comes out a bit, but it doesn't really do it on the nail, which is fine. I may add more Ready to Royal as space allows, but right now, it's so creamy and frosty a the same time. Love it!

Here's a photo of the bottle and cap:

You can see the red violet purple coming out here much better.

Nearly a match!

Now you can see why I have sudden regret over purging a lot of my old Sally Hansen matching cap polishes!!

Sally Hansen No Name frankened with Color Club Secret Rendezvous and  Sally Hansen Lively Lilac

It came out of a Dollar Tree pack and had the bottom half of the back label scraped off and there was no top label on the cap.

A gorgeous soft mauve pink with a great green shimmer, I tried to make it a topper, but it was in that realm of too milky to be a topper, too sheer to run solo. I really never found the right combo.

Here is a really old swatch. The green flash is not well served in any of my photos, but you can see it slightly in the early photo.

Looking at Lively Lilac, (blogged here and here) I knew it would add enough density, but could go too dark, so I grabbed CC Secret Rendezvous (blogged here) to lighten it up. CC SR isn't a one coater, so I knew it wouldn't obscure the shimmer.

This came out so well, I love it.

Such a win for both. Brushstrokes, I celebrated them!

I normally find frosts too sheer, but these are now quite a pair of favorites.

Thanks so much for reading my little nail polish journal!

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Reblog: WetnWild Darkest Green

Have no fear, March will be greens. Greens, greens, and more greens, that is.

In the meantime, I pulled out a polish that I love a lot. It's an oldie and blogged what feels like 100 years ago here.

Here is is again, WetnWild Crystalic Darkest Green

This polish really is just stunning.

It's a green that is so dark and lovely yet always green. After further examination the jelly the shimmer swims around in is a gorgeous dark, dark green, not black. Yay!

 I found this at the Dollar Tree when it was packed to the gills with the good loot, I have backup of this one and just love the shimmer pop of forest green when the light hits it.

It's two to three coats, comfortably giving good coverage.

A loose-ish formula, but not wholesale sloppitude.

It's old and I couldn't even find a photo on line, so I think it's long gone. There's probably a pile in some landfill somewhere. Sigh.

Vamps are perfect for winter, but this one gives a peek of something other than black.

Thanks so much for reading my little nail polish journal!

Saturday, January 13, 2018

Winter Blue

Well, I realize I've had Orly Total Eclipse around for a while. It's a pale blue base chock full of tiny glitters and small glitters that are blue and iridescent.

I put it over Sephora by OPI I Don't Bite (blogged here).

Two coats and you can see the blue around my untidy edges.

It's a lovely royal blue with iridescent glitters, too. I like how the blurple contrasts with it a bit.

Here's another shot in the sunshine:

You can see the blue glitters popping out a little more here. I have to admit I love this combination.

I think with some searching you can still find these polishes.

I know that the Sephora by OPI is pretty hard to find and so is the Orly.

Total Eclipse won't come up on a search of Orly's site. Found at TJ Maxx, I am unsure when it came out. Orly has fallen off my radar, why I don't know. I like the size of their collections, but maybe I have so many dupes and their collections aren't inspiring me right now. Having said that, and poking around their site, I do like their small, edited collections!

Thanks for reading my little nail polish journal!

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Red on Red

I love red a lot. I don't wear it often, but there is a red for everyone. 

Let's get going!

China Glaze Ring in the Red over OPI Thanks So Muchness!

I have to admit the combo just floored me. I wanted to add that the medium and small glitter in RitR just play in the light like mad.

Ring in the Red is a silver glitter (two coats here) of a medium density in a rich scarlet red jelly base. 
Deeply unshy, I think over a foil it would make me insane, just so gorgeous.

Thanks So Muchness (blogged ages ago, here) is a lovely red shimmer that is a luminous cool red shimmer, so while it's not the star of the show, it's definitely a strong support player. 

Alice in Wonderland has been a repeated theme, the original small quartet came out in 2010 and people went spare over the glitters (remember when people went nuts over glitters? I do too, now you can barely find an indie making a glitter any longer), but the two reds were quite beautiful, if not somewhat derivative.

Ring in the Red is an oldie, too from a more vintage China Glaze Christmas collection, 2011 holiday. 

Both can be found with a few clicks of the mouse. 

I have a lot - I mean a lot - of red glitter and this is a standout. 

I wore this for a few days and it held up well, despite a little tip wear revealing some of the silver in the glitter. I was wearing the Milani old gold label top coat, so it might not be a majestic beast of a tough one.

Meanwhile bright red is a great neutral for bright winter days of snow and sunshine.

Thanks for reading my little nail polish journal!

Sunday, January 7, 2018

OPI Designer Series Imperial

You know an era is over when you can't find the line on the OPI website any more.

OPI Designer Series once whetted peoples appetites with holos (Original, Glamour, Sapphire),  glass fleck gorgeosity (Royal, Magic),  and glitters (Temptation, Lapis). Now it's a forgotten line, as OPI moves into gels and dips.

Here is one I never heard of until I saw it at TJ Maxx.

OPI Designer Series Imperial

A plum that sinks into purple in the dark edges.

I was loving the red violet shimmer very much, too.

The dimensionality simply made this shimmer stand out.

I have three coats and wore it for several days. Zero complaints.

To me OPI has not been a groundbreaking company with color, they appear to be chasing products that have to do with wear time and are feeling more like a run-with-the-pack brand than a head turner.

I am finding fewer in their new releases that make me want to buy, and in the masses that show up in huge lots at TJ Maxx, I don't see a lot of colors in which I feel I am missing out.

This one, though. Wow. Imperial is right. Like a velvet cape trimmed in ermine.

Meanwhile...found the flash drive.....yay!!!

Thanks for reading my little nail polish journal!!!!

Friday, January 5, 2018

Slight Delay...

I've mislaid my flash drive and I am kind of bugged.

Fortunately I have everything on Flickr or in my email, but it's bugging me and I need to buy a new one.

Meanwhile, hang tough and give me a couple days.

Happy 2018!!!

Thanks for reading my little nail polish journal!

Saturday, December 30, 2017

2017 Favorites

Kind of a mish mash year with a ton of old photos discovered.

There were, however, a few standouts that strum the heart strings.

Milani Showy Sea Green

This baby really just got me, but good. Love it a lot.

Dance Legend Chimera

Shimmery metallic blurple that just stole my heart. And kept it locked up!

Layla Flash Black

This black holo made the venerable OPI MPJ step aside: the complexity and depth of this one. Wow! It's a beauty!

Zoya Serenity

Pantone says purple for 2018, who am I to argue? I've been saying "purple" since 2010!
You go Purple!

Bees Knees House on Haunted Chill

While toppers are always a good thing, this one takes it to the next level for sheer glass fleck multichromicity.

El Corazon Kaleidoscope Leo

This baby is absolutely a stunner and I have a hard crush on it.

A short list, but all are so nice!

Thanks for reading my little nail journal.

Happy New Year!!!

Wednesday, December 20, 2017


Short terse winter so far. Though the winter has been abrupt, it's not been unfriendly.

Now the days will turn longer and the winter will resonate later in the day, rather than tucking itself away.

I did this mani about a month ago and wanted to post it, it's my rugged nail art attempt at capturing the mountains in late fall.

I used the Emily de Molly 07 round plate, but I did have some proportion issues. Minor by comparison to other things...

I love this one, but I wish the owl was smaller.

The gradient is an old batch (top to bottom):
Princessa Picking on Waikiki (what does that mean?)
Petite Banish
OPI Golden Eye

I used a Color Club royal purple and like the wolf and the deer and the trees.

Here's another:

The deer in this one kind of worked after I sponged a little more gold on the bottom.
I did get some residue due to my lack of skills at pulling off extra bits for isolated things. A work in progess.


I like this one, too. More of a red purple like I used on the owl, but I can't recall the polish!

For me the gradient alone was a real win, I loved it.

Stamping, I need to work on these clustered images that need tape to pull off the extra items to isolate them.

Hope you have a wonderful Solstice!

Thanks for reading my little nail polish journal!

Sunday, December 17, 2017

Seche Buttoned Up and Some PolyGel Chat

Very unseasonal manicure, but a color I really couldn't help but reach for!

Seche Buttoned Up 

Here is a polish that does three things very well:
1) it has contrasting shimmer that doesn't get buried
2) it has a gorgeous formula (no clean up despite my best efforts to slip slop it around!
3) it shines without a top coat

It has a real changeling feel about it. It looks periwinkle in the bottle, but then it looks very lavender. The blue shimmer just works its little buns off.

I adore this polish!

I wore it for several days and didn't give me any real issues save a bit of tip wear, which is normal for me, since I seem to type with the tips of my nails. I also wore a normal top coat, an old Milani double duty. I will just say, as I've said before, top coats aren't a big thing for me because I change my nails a lot, but I've been well served by drugstore brands.

A gander at the Seche site and I see that they have dumped their round bottles and gone with a modified hourglass shape and co-opted the new "system" thing that a number of brands are espousing.

Not tried the system, and it appears they are at Sally Beauty, too. 

Ok, but here's the thing: if you want to try this brand and are planning a bigger order, check out Head2Toe Beauty: they have the old bottles (this one is from the Perfectly Poised collection) and a ton of beautiful colors. 
Old price: $3
New price: $4.95


Well, they are a salon brand and that's a normal evolution in what must be a super competitive market.

Meanwhile, there's always eBay (and there are a lot, including this one, listed)

I did try some stamping:

This is from a forgotten plate and I also need to realize that my nails are bigger and longer, so fitting patterns on is different. I have assiduously collected small patterns. The news flash is that I just need to flex some of my bigger patterns that I still have.

The color, against this Color Club Nail Art blue really goes soft pink/lavender. I had to triple check my notes to make sure that I was getting the right photo. It really changes in comparison to a strong blue.

I highly suggest picking up some Seche polish. I am always pleased with it.

I wanted to show some behind the scenes with my nails.

Here is a shot of the back and sort of a look at the "sandwich".

So you can see that I layer it over my natural nails and while shaping is still an issue, I like that my nails is there, too.

The way it looks from the front, or the longitudinal side shows how my nails have a bit of a wonky shape, but I try to balance the shape I get out of the PolyGel though it sometimes can be thick.

I was watching some videos of application and they have it very thin, compared to mine, so I might experiment with thinning it down. Though I have no issues with the thickness, I can see when I begin to layer it can get rather "chiclet" ish.

I usually spend the first night doing the fill, then a quick manicure. Then the second manicure I do add a lot of shaping and filing because the filing isn't just around the edges its over the top, along the side wall, and creating that arch shape.

I will post some application photos down the pike. 

Right now I use clear - it came in the pack I got - and I will say that I think it is fine for me, especially as my yellow nails grow out and I can really use sheer stuff and enjoy.

Thanks for reading my little nail polish journal!!!