So, hi. I skipped out on nearly two years of blogging in the name of going back to school and learning to sew. I just completed my first official year as a student in the Apparel Design & Development program at Seattle Central College and I must tell you, it really ate my life. It was great! But I have not gotten rid of my polish and perfume collections or reduced my collecting habits, in fact they have grown monstrous, like goldfish with a large habitat and unending food supply. I joined SquareHue for a while, and that was fun; I expanded my horizons regarding jellies and have grown less addicted to matte-ifying everything I touch; I obsessively bought textures for a while, then kind of got over them, then relapsed, then un-relapsed. ….Good times. Anyhow, I’ve got a little time free right now and I just passed my two-year blogiversary, so I’m going to post some swatches and reviews and general mischief. This will continue through the summer and then I’ll probably lapse again once school starts. We’ll see. I have a LOT of polish to talk about, not to mention bath & body goodies and perfumes. Whee!
Let’s start with this cheap shot: What I’m wearing today!
That grey might look familiar, and it should, because Nails Inc. Covent Garden Ballet, which I posted about in August 2012, has finally gotten an official US release in the Ballet Sheers collection that has just turned up at Ulta. (It also showed up in one of the mini sets at Sephora — Winter 13, maybe? — as ‘Kensington Place’. Same polish, different name, oh, Nails Inc. Oh you and your shenanigans.) The pale pink from the same set is Hamilton Mews and is — surprise! — a pale pink matte with green and blue shimmer. It’s not marked as such anywhere on the bottle or display. It looks very nice with a glossy topcoat and is a much nicer accent with Covent Garden Ballet that way. I haven’t taken any pictures of it as such because I’m a lazy butt and my cuticles are laughable. ^_^
The formula on Covent Garden seems a little more sheer than the original release, but not dramatically so. It’s still smooth and shiny and stunning, absolutely one of my favorite grey polishes. This is two coats over Qtica Natural Nail Growth Stimulator (I’ve been using this in hopes of making my nails quit flaking. It seems to be working, but then, I also didn’t really polish them for the last three weeks of classes, so that may have had something to do with it as well). Hamilton Mews was kind of thick and dried almost too quickly to work with, that quick snap was one coat, and two is more optimal. It’s not bad, and application would have been better had I been expecting a matte rather than a sheer shimmer. ^_^;
Overall, I’m happy to have a backup bottle of Covent Garden Ballet, and I am not sad to have a pretty pale pink matte shimmer. As a side note, the white shimmer from the Ballet Sheers collection, Mayfair, also showed up in A-Listers collection from two years ago.
I bought both of these at Ulta, though they aren’t on the website yet, and presumably you’ll eventually be able to order them from the Nails Inc. website — they’re not up on the US site, but Google tells me they’re available on the UK site.
Hey, hey! Long time no post! …I have no excuses. I’ve just been lazy. :) I have, however, been polishing and photographing, so I’ll be spamming you with a post every day for at least a week.
Let’s kick this off with Enchanted Nails Magic Mirror and Tough As Nails Lacquer It’s All Over Now.
Magic Mirror is a pleasant purple holo with a few random flakies that, in my bottle at least, did very little other than to make the finish a bit bumpy. The formula is dense enough that they don’t really shine through. It’s All Over Now is a grey jelly-cream with turquoise, purple, white, and iridescent glitters of varying shapes and sizes. Shown here is two coats of MM and three of IAON.
The above photo really shows the bumpiness of MM. I was not best pleased by that, though I think the color is beautiful and it has a very nice holo gleam. In looking at these again, I am irritated by how many cat hairs are visible. :P So annoying. I’ll have to be more careful of those in the future.
It’s All Over Now was reasonably easy to apply, though as you can see, it did end up a bit lumpy in spots from shoving the glitter around. I think it’s probable that it would be easier to work with in a full size instead of a mini.
This is Nona, helping me take photographs. Just in case you were wondering where the cat hairs were coming from. Yes, we certainly do have a bare concrete floor! :D
I like purple and gray together, so a gray with purple accents seemed pretty great to me. If I did this again, I might toss a Spectraflair topcoat over it.
I have bought my Enchanted Polishes from Llarowe, though I think this color is discontinued. Tough As Nails Lacquers can be bought on Etsy. I want her Breakfast Duo No. 1 sometime, too. It’s just adorable.
Coming up tomorrow: a-england Lancelot, which is amazing.
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.
Because around here, April is usually gray. Hmph. So here’s another matteified jelly sandwich for you, this time using another of the OPI NYC Ballet shades — My Pointe Exactly — and a pretty glitter topcoat called Cherry Blossom from an indie company, Amy’s Nail Boutique.
My Pointe Exactly is a very sheer gray polish. I like it enormously, although it doesn’t actually look that fantastic on me, as it’s a warmer gray and I tend to do better with cooler tones. I don’t generally care that much, but this one does end up making my nails look a little dirty if I leave it shiny. The inspiration for Cherry Blossom is pretty obvious, and you can see the components pretty clearly. I’m quite sure the square on my index finger snuck in accidentally, as there are no others visible in the bottle. Bonus?
Cherry Blossom has a slightly tinted base with some shimmer, which would, I think, make this lovely to wear over a brighter color. Blue would be the obvious choice in this case. The gray I picked is more representative of what it’s like in my part of the country during spring, though. We get the odd nice day, but often it’s overcast.
My Pointe had a fairly runny formula, and flooded my cuticles completely. Cleanup was not a bear, as it’s not heavily pigmented, but it was extensive. By contrast, Cherry Blossom was initially so thick that my first attempts resulted in horribly lumpy nails, so I added some thinner and that made it easier to work with. I liked the results well enough, but sometimes I just can’t be happy with shiny nails. :)
You’ll note that I have no photos of my other hand. This is because I borked one nail completely and didn’t have time to redo it before running out the door. :)
I bought this OPI at a Nordstrom’s Rack, but they are available at a wide variety of places. Amy’s Nail Boutique currently sells on Etsy.
…because sometimes, the name of the polish is the best description.
This chappie is wicked amazing. This is the first of two bottles that I purchased from Lilacquer‘s newest collection, which is themed around The Fifth Element — Zorg Industries. For the accent nail I used one coat of Pretty & Polished Toy With Me, which I love and seems to be frequently unavailable. I would love to get my grimy little mitts on a larger-than-mini-bottle of it, but I’m not sure they exist. It’s almost enough to make me want to start frankening in an attempt to make something like it. But I digress. Let us speak more of Zorg.
I have a kind of thing for gray polishes, and this is an exceptionally lovely polish. It is a slightly dirtied-up gray with a greenish-turquoisey-bluish-aqua duochrome effect. In certain lights it looks sea green, and in others silvery-blue. The listing describes it as a topcoat, and to be certain, you could use it as one, especially layered over a dark color, but all of these images are only two coats and are fully opaque. I actually had intentions to attempt to use it in a sandwich of some sort, as I was expecting something more translucent, but it didn’t happen. I am not displeased.
Rather, very pleased. I cannot understate how much I love colors in this family, though everything I have currently run more to the silver and most of them have pink and green shimmer. This is very different, the base is murkier and ashier. Loook at iiiiit. It is lovely.
So, Toy With Me — it’s a matte, lightly duochrome (lavender/pink-to-green) topcoat with matching glitter. You can make it opaque in around four coats, but given that I’ve only seen it in mini-bottles, it’s far more effective to find something to layer it over. I like it a lot in combination with Zorg. I keep wanting to yell it instead of just reading it. ZOOOOORGGGG.
Indoors! Green! For both Zorg and Toy With Me!
I enjoyed wearing this; it lasted for about three days before the tipwear started getting to me, but probably would have lasted longer with a topcoat.