I’ve been posting a lot of brand shiny new things lately (and with more on the way!), so I think today will instead be vintage madness day! Note that this will not be a frequent occasion, and possibly will never be repeated; I don’t have that many vintage polishes, and this is by far the most entertaining one, or at least the oldest. I do have a few other older Urban Decay polishes, but not quite this old.
Urban Decay Mildew. This is circa their very early days, when they were selling at Hot Topic — which is where I got this after reading about the brand in some goth magazine or another. Propaganda, maybe? — and still used brown paperboard for their boxes and brushed aluminum for their tubes. Yeah, I have a couple of vintage lipsticks, too. Scary!
It took probably the equivalent of a full dropper of polish thinner to actually render this usable, and in the couple of days since, it’s gone right back to gooey again. That’s okay, I still have more thinner. :) Mildew is a vaguely metallic, yellow-toned green, more reminiscent of moss or mold than mildew. It’s hard to say whether the high tendency to show brushstrokes is a result of the formula or just the age. This polish is probably around fifteen years old. This is two coats of polish and a quick-dry topcoat. Incidentally, Mildew smells awful. It’s been stinking up my polish boxes for months.
The accent nail is Daring Digits Why So Serious, and I’m sure, if you are familiar with The Joker, you can accurately derive the inspiration. It’s a somewhat thick purple polish with variously sized green glitter and the odd red sparkle. It covered evenly in two coats.
I enjoyed wearing this bizarre blast from the past. The day after I put it on, I went to see Dark Knight Rises, and giggled quietly at myself. It’s interesting; the bottle is about half-empty, so clearly I must have used it somewhat (though I understand evaporation happens and all that), but I don’t actually remember ever wearing this when I was younger. I must have, and yet.
Here you can somewhat see the mini-bottle of Why So Serious. I should consider actually planning superhero/villain-themed manicures, rather than stumbling into them with the grace of a bison. Considering that I’ve worked on and off in comic shops for almost as long as I’ve had this polish (since 1999!), it would seem to be a theme I’d feel comfortable with.
Oh, man. I’ve just had a brilliant idea for Aquaman nails. I’ll keep that one on the burner for later. Heh.
Daring Digits has an etsy shop where you can buy Why So Serious and other variously geekly and non-geekly polishes. As for the ancient Urban Decay — perhaps try ebay? Or elder goths of your acquaintance? A time machine? Good luck! :D
So I was poking about peeping at things a little while ago and stumbled across this post on Pandora’s Nails, and was hit with a severe “lemming”, a.k.a. a desperate need to own something that you’ve seen swatches of and/or missed buying or whatever. It may translate somewhat to “WAAANT NAOOOOOOWWWW”.
Nails Inc. Covent Garden Ballet. This first photo is it entirely on its own, two coats. I did get some bubbling from my basecoat, which I had just thinned and thoughtlessly failed to wait for the bubbles to dissipate. Not the fault of the polish!
You should by now have realized that I am a gray polish fiend. Light grays slightly more than dark grays, but not by much. I just love gray. I also have a deep and abiding love of subtle shimmer. This polish hit all my buttons. The shimmer is gold or pink or both. Rose-gold? Whatever. It floats there under the surface looking magical.
I was curious and thought it would coordinate well, so on the ring fingers as an accent nail, I added a layer of Lilacquer Kitsune. It looked lovely, and I contemplated doing a full hand, but the greenish flash that Kitsune shows did distract sufficiently from the effect I wanted, so I decided to leave it at just the one nail on each hand.
You can see the contrast a little more starkly here — internal shimmer, external shimmer. Both are beautiful. It reminded me a bit of opals, and I might try this with some flakies sometime to emphasize the effect. I loved this manicure. The gray is so soft and light and easy on the eyes. It wore for two and a half days until I got something else I desperately wanted to wear. ;)
I ordered this (along with the other three polishes in the set) from the U.K., as I couldn’t find a U.S. seller that had it at what I considered a reasonable price. I paid a little less than retail at Beautybay (free international shipping!), but there are a couple of other places that I found that had it even cheaper but didn’t list it as shippable to the US. If you’re in the U.K., you might be able to pick the A Listers set up wherever Nails Inc. is usually sold, but I never saw it at a local Sephora.
Looking at a few swatches, it does look like one of the new Essence Colour & Go polishes, Grey-t to be here, is similar in color, but the Essence looks like it has larger, flaky-type glitter instead of fine shimmer. I’ll probably pick it up if I ever see it in person (gray polish fiend!), so I’ll do a quick comparison then. It is, to be fair, much, much cheaper, so I couldn’t blame you if you prefer that one.
I’ve been a bit of an Anglophile since I was young, a result of reading a lot of British children’s (and not so children’s) books and watching possibly too many Britcoms and dramas on Channel 9, the local PBS station, so I have a long-held weakness for things with British themes. When I saw L’Oreal’s new London Fall collection at a local drugstore, I initially resisted, but after seeing it again at another, gave in and bought the peacock-blue creme, Rainy Piccadilly. I’m still tempted by a couple of the others, but am holding out for now.
It’s a beautiful color, very rich and deep, and it does dry a bit darker on the nail than it looks in the bottle. I’ve found that quirk common with this sort of dark blue, though this one is a bit lighter than the others I own. I decided to pair it with Enchanted Polish Vampire’s Dessert, which is a deep brownish-red holo. It tends to look mostly black in full sunlight, but in bright indoor light, shows off the true color, which is a bit like a freshly dried scab over a wound that bled profusely. It’s quite lovely, and I think looks very nice with the rich blue as a contrast. The holo effect was fairly strong, though not crazy rainbows levels of madness, and it does mostly fade in the shade.
Both of these polishes were fairly opaque at one coat; Rainy Piccadilly was slightly streaky on a couple of nails where my base wasn’t fully dry, but perfect all the others. Two coats are ideal, I think, for depth of color and evenness. I’ve really liked the color and texture of both the L’Oreal polishes I’ve tried, and would definitely consider purchasing them as they release more appealing colors.
Both of these are intensely pigmented, and cleanup was a bit of a horror. Not a full-on-screaming-in-terror-AUGH-WOULD-YOU-JUST-LEAVE-MY-CUTICLES horror, to be certain; they’re a holo and a creme, not serious glitter monsters, but still, if you have the interest, cleanup is easier while they’re still slightly damp, or by the terrible habit of peeling after they’re fully dry.
Vampire’s Dessert is one of the many shades that is being discontinued by Enchanted Polish, at least for the time being. As of last I checked (August 4th) it was still available at Llarowe. L’Oreal is a drugstore polish, and you can probably find it at any of your local shops. I’ve seen them at Walgreen’s and Bartell Drugs for certain, and heard rumors that they may be on sale at Rite-Aid, so check your local equivalents. This one is limited, but you can also probably find a decent dupe for it in other places; it’s a lovely color, but not super-unique.
My current obsession, aside from holos and matte topcoats and indie polish companies, is Essence, and especially their Colour & Go line. They’re ridiculously cheap, rarely fully stocked, and strangely awesome. I have yet to find one that I think has an awful formula, and most of them are quite fantastic. I buy them whenever I find them, in twos and threes and fives (when I find a display that actually has that many colors stocked), and as they’re only 5 ml bottles, they’re economical for space as well as cost. This fascinating charmer is 73 – Princess Prunella, paired with a pretty neutral holo called Flash Mob from an indie company called Piper Polish Co.
Princess Prunella is not only fun to say, but also a very peculiar color, both brown and purple in nearly equal measure. I’m pretty sure that the base polish is a frosty milk chocolate brown, but there’s so much purple shimmer that it overwhelms the base much of the time. They managed to recreate the effect in plastic on the cap, too, which amused me. I love the coordinating caps on these; it makes them really stand out in the sea of black and silver in my polish boxes. The brushes aren’t bad, either.
Flash Mob is a very pretty shade, but it’s almost a non-color. Tan? Taupe? Pale gold? Except it’s grayer than those; it’s like a holo topcoat with a tint and good coverage. It is described as a “bronze metallic”, but I think of bronze as darker than this is. I want to describe it as a “my nails but better”-style of color. This is two coats and in person had zero visible nail line. It had a pretty good formula and dried quickly, though it did like to flood a bit.
Yep, back to my old alternating accents tricks again. This picture really shows the base of Princess Prunella. I used Butter London P.D. Quick topcoat with these to heighten the shine, especially on Prunella, which can get a bit brushstrokey due to the frostiness.
Flash Mob has a nice semi-linear holo. It’s not tremendously strong (it actually photographed stronger than it looked in person), but pretty. This morning I stacked on a Spectraflair topcoat (also from Piper Polish Co., though many companies, indie and major, carry them), which intensified and unified the look considerably as well as looking fantastic on Princess Prunella. However, I didn’t manage to get any photos. Can you see my sad little broken thumbnail peeking through in this photo? All my nails are that length now, as I worked at my old comic shop again today and managed to drop boxes and catch my nails on cases with sliding doors and broke two others. :/ So I’ll have stubs for a little while. Bah, humbug.
I bought the Essence at a Fred Meyers, but you may find them at Ulta, or possibly Target, or other similar places. Flash Mob was purchased from Piper Polish Co., who has a shop on Etsy.
Blue and bronze: book-version Ravenclaw colors. One might argue that OPI Warm & Fozzie is more like gold/copper, but isn’t that a pretty decent description of bronze? ;D I didn’t actually plan it to be a themed mani, though. I just thought these two colors would look nice together.
The blue is another Ulta mini from the Paint the Town set — Nauti-cal but Nice. It’s a very deep blue with a very subtle teal shimmer, so subtle that you cannot see it in the bottle, only in very direct light on the nail. This is two coats. There is a topcoat on it, a sweet purple/blue/green glimmering confection that I’m not entirely sure how to talk about, as it was a gift-with-purchase, and as far as I know, doesn’t have a name yet.
Warm & Fozzie is gorgeous, a flecky, dense glittery beast with a mild duochrome effect (copper to gold, with hints of green at extreme angles) in a smoky brown sheer base. This is two coats; the first was translucent and streaky, and the second was pretty much perfect. A third coat might have given me a little more depth, but my experiences with other polishes like this (MAC Bad Fairy, ORLY Space Cadet, etc.) made me a little leery of drying time.
Nauti-cal had a fairly lousy formula and wore terribly. Even with a topcoat, I had minor tipwear after a couple of hours. You can see it on both hands. It’s a nice color, but I’m not sad that I only have a mini, and I probably won’t wear it that often, though I might seek out other colors in a similar family. I don’t have anything else quite like this — it’s darker than most of the other blues (Revlon Royal, ORLY Royal Navy) I have, and more decisively blue than some of the other dark bluish shades in my collection (Zoya Cynthia, Nails Inc. Kensington, both are much more teal and neither has shimmer). On the plus side, however, it did not stain, though I do always use a basecoat, so that may affect my results.
Ayup. It was fun to wear. The blue started chipping, but I’m betting Warm & Fozzie would have worn pretty well for another couple of days. I’m happy to have it in my collection, and will be wearing it again with glee, especially as we shift towards autumn.
The Ulta polish was bought at *gasp* Ulta, and the OPI was purchased via a blogsale. It’s discontinued, from the Muppets collection last year, but you can still find it for sale at various places around the web. The glittery topcoat on the blue is an unreleased promo from Lilacquer, but I imagine you’ll probably see it, or something similar to it, sometime in the next while. :) I know I’m looking forward to seeing what her next theme is! :D
Bonus image of a different mani under the cut — RBL Jane and my first attempt at a newspaper accent nail.