Bah. All my brain power is busily being co-opted for schooling.
Anyhow, this is a quick mani done with one of the L’Oreal Project Runway polishes, The Muse’s Attitude, plus a-england Excalibur, both with serious holo topcoats. If you’re looking for swatches of either of these, I apologize; this is not the post you are looking for. *waves fingers*
On to the photos:
.Without the topcoat, Muse’s Attitude is a ridiculously pretty deep teal-esque green foil that shows a slight purple duochrome or flash at extreme angles. It seems as though it’s pretty close to Illamasqua Viridian, as I’ve observed the same thing about it, but I don’t own Viridian myself, so I can’t do a proper comparison. This was two coats; the first was streaky and the second was opaque. I don’t think it got on well with my basecoat, but I’m a bit used to that from drugstore brands. I apologize for not taking any pictures of it without the topcoat. I’ll definitely be wearing it again before fall is out, though, so check back again later!
Excalibur is The Perfect Silver. Seriously, I will probably never buy another silver metallic polish (ask me about that in six months and we’ll see how well I’ve kept to that promise) as long as I have this. I initially applied one coat and it was opaque, but I inflicted a few dents via kitten and did another to fix them. I need more a-england polishes. I need them until I have all of them. :)
Over Excalibur, I applied one coat of Glitter Gal Silver 3D/Holo. Over Muse’s Attitude, I used my standby Piper Polish Co. Spectraflair Topcoat. You will be seeing a lot of that over the next month, as I don’t have quite enough actual holo polishes to fill a whole month, and I love playing with it.
There’s really nothing like a holo nail for distracting you when you’re walking in the sun.
I bought Muse’s Attitude at a Walgreen’s, but I’ve seen them other places as well. Glitter Gal is available various places (Llarowe, Ninja Polish, Beautometry). a-england polishes are also available at all of those retailers, but I got this one straight from their site during a sale. Piper Polish Co. is on etsy. *whew*
Time for more loot from Cult Nails via Gloss48! I have had a bit of a lemming for Princess for some time, so when it turned up as part of the sale, I jumped on it. I picked up Spontaneous as well, largely on the basis of seeing swatches on various blogs.
Princess is a soft blue with coppery shimmer. Spontaneous is a slightly dusty purple with intense purple glitter, and it is -glitter-, not shimmer. I chose to largely eliminate the subtle sparkle by tossing on a Spectraflair holo topcoat. I bought mine from Piper Polish Co., and have used it before, but various other companies have produced them as well.
I love how these two look together. Baby blue and purple please me as a pairing. This is two coats of each Cult polish topped by one thin coat of Spectraflair. Observe the purple glitter in Spontaneous. That stuff is a pain to remove. :)
The formula on these was lovely, smooth and generally pleasant to work with. Cleanup was easy, and I think they both look nice with the rainbow shimmer. Of course, doesn’t almost everything?
Princess is a delightful faded baby blue, mellow and relaxing. The shimmer is even and visible on the nail, though the topcoat does a pretty good job of rendering it invisible. I was in the mood for rainbows that day.
Tomorrow will feature another a-england and the first of several Twee & Honey polishes.
Welcome to the land of parenthetical statements. Buckle up and enjoy the slightly dubious ride.
Over the last while, there have been quite a number of limited sale sites that have popped up. I think Hautelook was the first I remember seeing, but there are many more now. Recently, Cult Nails debuted some very pretty topcoats at a shiny new site, Gloss48 (on hiatus as of 9/16).
Like the polish (and Cult) fiend that I am, I bought all three of the available topcoats, plus a couple of other colors that either hadn’t made it to their recent sale (PRINCESS. You will see that soon.) or that I had passed on.
A few days later, I happened to be at Ulta, looking for a polish that matched my phone case (don’t ask; I just get wild impulses sometimes.) and found that they had a super-secret stash of China Glaze hidden at the back of the store, including the entire Bohemian collection. I decided that the horribly named Want My Bawdy would suffice as a color match. I put it on the next day, decided it wasn’t quite close enough, so I layered on a thin coat of Glitter Gal Hidden Violets, a purple/blue duochrome. Later, I checked my mail to find my Glossy48 order, and promptly tore it open and slapped Alter Ego on top. The results made me feel mildly ‘meh’, so I adjusted with some dots in a-England Excalibur, followed by Essie Matte About You. The shrinkage was epic.
Long walk for a short reward, eh? I also got massively over-zealous when cleaning up my ring finger. Three coats of Bawdy, one each Hidden Violets, Alter Ego, and EMAY, single-dipped dots.
Here’s a soft-focus image so you can see just how shiny Excalibur is. It is the perfect metallic silver, aces for stamping (did I mention I got a pack of Bundle Monster plates recently? I’ve been toying with them, but I think I need to get a better stamper.) and dotting or anything else for which you might want a one-coat silver.
For whatever reason, I didn’t take any bottle pics with this mani. I can’t honestly remember why, but that’s probably the NyQuil speaking. I finally caught the cold that’s been running around my social/work/convention-going group, and am writing under the influence.
Hidden Violets is a blue, purple, reddish, and occasionally you’ll see a flash of teal multichrome. Like all the polishes in that set, it’s extremely sheer and best used as a layering polish. Alter Ego is a pinkish-based golden shimmer that adds a patina’d look to what it is layered over. The combination of the two was rather underwhelming.
This is a picture of the Resident Kitten, Nona, playing with a toy mouse. It has nothing to do with nails, but she was being super-cute while I was taking pictures, so here you are.
Yep, that certainly was a manicure I completed and wore a few days ago. It was notably thoroughly all right. I enjoyed the dotting, but I don’t know that I’d actually use this combo again. It ended up feeling very muddled, though the colors involved were largely pleasing together.
I buy China Glaze mostly at Ulta, Cult Nails generally at Cult Nails (the topcoats are all available now, including two that were not involved in the Glossy48 promo), and I bought Excalibur direct from a-england.
Tomorrow: Something better.
I have been up to all kinds of no good, for values of ‘no good’ that include: having a new kitten, attempting to manage peaceful relations between said kitten and resident older cat, registering for school and studying up on my maths for placement tests, and attending two gaming conventions. It’s been a busy week and a half.
That said, I’m stabbing away at moving back into regular posting, so here’s a mani I did a few days ago and haven’t gotten around to posting before now.
The orange is Essence ‘Gorgeous Bling Bling’, a terra cotta polish with some awesome gold glimmer and tiny flakies. The contrast nails are Cult Nails Mazo, and the dots on the orange are China Glaze Fast Track.
I’m still smearing my dots when I use my dotting tools because I am relentlessly impatient.
As you can see, Mazo is very sheer, and a lot more cream-colored than I initially expected when I ordered it. The gold shine is really lovely in person, though.
I hated this mani after I painted the main and accents. The colors didn’t please me at all. Hence the dots. Adding some contrast saved it for me, though I will admit that it’s still not my favorite one ever.
Two coats of the Essence polish, three of the Cult Nails, plus Butter London PDQuick topcoat for shine and smoothing.
I bought Gorgeous Bling Bling (ugh, what a name) at a Fred Meyer, but you can probably find it at a local Ulta, and I buy my Cult polishes straight from Cult Nails, generally. I love them; they aren’t quite as 100% flawless as some other companies I might name, but they’re at least 95% perfect, and have an amazing hand with subtle shimmers, which I love.
I’ve gotten quite a mass of nailmail in recently, so I’ve got kind of a backlog of polishes to show you. In the near future, you can look forward to some new indie topcoats (Lilacquer is at it again!), some swag from drugstores, and some more Cults. Whee~!
Would you like to see some pictures of the kitten who has been such a distraction lately? I can do that, too. ;)
Is that all? Myths and stories can be as real as anything else. They can inspire and broaden your worldview and take you over forever, if you let them. I loved certain of the King Arthur tales when I was a child, and a book called Castles brought many of them to life for me, along with Beowulf and Grendel, and others. I’m not entirely sure what happened to that book; it may still be in a box in storage somewhere, or it may have been given away or sold at some point along the way.
a-england creates beautiful, beautiful colors inspired by myth and legend. She had a sale on the Legends collection recently, and I picked up a few things. The first two I have to show you (along with a relevant Zoya) are Galahad, a turquoise creme, and Morgan Le Fay, a gleaming silver-white that I used as a topcoat. The Zoya, Nimue, is the shimmery dusty purple.
I decided to attempt a sponged gradient manicure with Galahad, but my first attempt went rather badly, ending up significantly more textured than I might have liked. I wiped that off and tried again, this time with colors closer in tone and not quite so aggressively different in finish. Creme to metallic = not such a great idea. Creme to shimmer = a-okay! …or at least, more acceptable.
Nimue is a soft, dusty purple from last fall’s Mirrors collection. It’s described as a metallic “thistle” purple, and that’s pretty accurate for the color, but the finish feels more like it’s just got a very strong silvery shimmer. I painted my two accent nails (left pinky, right thumb) with two coats and sponged several times on all the others. It was easy to work with, though compared to the a-england polishes, everything feels difficult. :) As a point of trivia, Nimue is one of the names accorded to the Lady of the Lake. a-england also has a Lady of the Lake polish, and it is also a dusty purple, but with a holographic finish. You’ll see that one later. :)
Galahad is the most perfect turquoise polish I have yet tried. The formula is amazing, as is the case with all the a-england polishes I have; it goes exactly where you tell it to, dries faster than many, and self-levels. I used one coat as a base on all but my accent nails. The accents didn’t come out perfectly opaque, but I am inclined to blame my technique rather than the polish.
Morgan Le Fay is a sheer polish that I am more inclined to use for layering, but I’ve seen people wearing it alone and it still looks lovely. It looks shimmering and white in the bottle, but gleams silver once on the nail. It’s beautiful and illusory and all of this looked so much better in person. I used one coat over all my nails.
I bought the a-england polishes directly from their website — these do ship from the UK, so it might take longer than you might like, but shipping is free. You can also find them at Llarowe, if you don’t want to risk overseas shipping or your country isn’t among those she ships to direct. The Zoya came from Zoya’s site, though I do see the seasonal collections at Ulta, and sometimes stragglers lurk around for a while after.
Under the cut is my first try at a sponged gradient, this time with Galahad and Excalibur, a brilliant silver a-england polish. It didn’t go so well. I’m still working out the kinks on my technique, and may poke a few other tutorials for ideas.