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.
…The other’s insane~
First a short story.
When I saw twee & honey’s The Same Thing We Do Every Night, Pinky, I basically flipped my lid. It’s a gray jelly with appropriately mousy pink, white, and pale blue glitters, sparked with the odd nose-pink hex. It is amazing. I knew I needed it. I love gray, I love gray jellies, and I loved Animaniacs.
I placed an order near the end of July and waited and got distracted by vacations and a new kitten and realized a couple of weeks ago that I hadn’t seen it, and that the tracking info hadn’t been updated from “arrival at sorting center”. So I peeped, USPS determined that they had lost the package entirely, and the marvelous Cleo, proprietress and creator of the brand, sent me out a new package with a couple of extra bits and an upgrade. A happy ending, and I now get to show you how pretty twee & honey’s (noted hereafter as t&h) polishes and topcoats are.
This is a-england Iseult, a pale, shimmery petal pink, with two layers of t&h Pinky glitter (same glitter mix as The Same Thing We Do…, but with a clear base), one thin layer of Zoya Rose, a translucent pink with a green shimmer, topped with t&h This Is Matteness, which is exactly what it sounds like, a matte topcoat.
It was, unfortunately, a very yellowy morning, so I wouldn’t take most of these images as a perfect idea of what the colors involved are like. The third one is probably the closest, but I really liked the images otherwise, so please forgive me my “artistic” notions.
Iseult is, as all a-england polishes are, pretty much perfect. It’s more sheer than most, and you do get a bit of visible nail line at the tips at two coats. Three would probably take care of it, but I was in a hurry. As you can see in the bottle image below, it is quite shimmery.
Pinky was pretty easy to work with, even in a tiny bottle. I had to do a bit of glitter placement, but managed to get at least a few of each type of glitter without much fishing or glooping. I love the colors and the theme. While not hugely fond of darker pinks in a full manicure, I do apparently really enjoy them as facets of glitters. I can’t explain this with any degree of satisfaction.
Funny thing, when I reached into my box of Zoya polishes and pulled out a pale pink, I was aiming for Audrey, which is a plain sheer pink in a similar color family as Iseult. What I pulled out was Rose (no bottle image, sorry. None of those came out at all.), which is a cooler pink super-sheer polish (I’ve done -five- coats of Rose in the past and still not gotten it fully opaque) with a strong green shimmer. I didn’t realize my mistake until I’d already painted my first nail and thought it strange that it wasn’t quite sandwiching properly. Oops. It went quite well over Iseult and Pinky, though, so I went ahead and finished both hands. It seemed to make the glitter pop a bit more.
This Is Matteness is not the most matte of matte topcoats I have tried, but it does mellow out the shine and unlike some, doesn’t change the color at all, and at $5, it’s also substantially cheaper than most.
a-england polishes are available via a-england, Llarowe, Ninja Polish, Beautometry, and probably a few other places. twee & honey has a website, and occasionally sell on etsy, too. She is currently on a short hiatus, but from recent website updates (Halloween collection whaaat? Show me pics!), should be back soon. I buy my Zoya polishes from Zoya; they have frequent sales and promotions.
Tomorrow: RBL & CG — copper battle!
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.
Because sometimes, really, the name of the polish is the best description. This is a new(ish) topcoat from Lilacquer’s Science collection, and it is AMAZING.
The base on this is the same one I posted yesterday, a-england Lancelot with a light layer of Pretty & Polished Heist. The topcoat is what makes this worthy of its own post. Antimatter of Opinion — it’s a duochrome in two ways! Both the hexes and the shimmer shift delightfully, green to orange to a bit of blue or teal in an otherwise clear base.
LOOK AT THE PRETTY. It’s like zero-work galaxy nails!
The green-to-gold is the strongest shift, but there’s quite a bit of blue, especially in sunlight.
I have two of the Science topcoats, this and Schrödinger’s Catastrophe, which leans more in the purplish/blue/teal/green spectrum. I thought this one would be a little nicer with the warm black-red backdrop of Lancelot.
I stand by my choice.
I cannot get over how pretty these are, and I honestly can’t remember seeing anything quite like them anywhere else. Lots of glitter topcoats, and many companies use variations on the color shifting shimmer and/or add the iridescent hexes to other colors, but nothing where they’re both together and looking so, so beautiful.
I buy my Lilacquer polishes from the Etsy shop.
Tomorrow features: China Glaze, a Cult topcoat, and some dots.