Tag Archives: pretty and polished

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.

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As you can see, I chopped off my nails again. I worked a couple of days at the shop, and my nails suffered for it. :) This is not really a complaint (augh, First World Problems!), as I don’t mind. I like dark colors for short nails, and I have more than a few vamptastic shades waiting to be used. This time, I went for a-england Lancelot.

Oh, Lancelot. Lancelot, Lancelot, Lancelot. I always kind of detested the character/legend/ideology on general principle (I prefer the knights who didn’t fall), but this is one gorgeous polish. It’s not actually black, but the darkest red I’ve yet tried. I topped it off with Pretty & Polished Heist, a very scattered and tiny gold flake topcoat, more for taste than for a strong effect.

Please excuse the rattiness of my cuticles and general goriness of my hands. I experienced a lot of papercuts, cat scratches and bites, and a variety of other finger traumas. This apology will persist for the next few days. Now (a week+ after this mani was done), they’re starting to heal up, so after this round of ZORMG MY HANDS! things should get better.

Lancelot, like every other a-england polish I’ve tried, is pretty much perfect. This is one coat. It’s fantastic.

This was my best attempt at showing the true color. Look at the bottle and at the edges of my ring finger and you will have a decent idea of what it looks like; it’s a deep blackened red, almost like certain stages of dried blood. You will also see what a cat hair looks like. Oh, Nona…

I admit it; I stalk Pretty & Polished on Etsy, and when I see they’re open, I buy a couple of minis. Heist had a couple of envelope buddies you will see later.

And there’s the bottle shot, as well as the best impression of what it looks like when bright lights aren’t giving it a washed-out look. Peep at the heavily shaded pinky. It was fairly thin, required two coats to have much effect, and could probably have used a bit of shaking before application. It looks more spangled in the bottle than on the nail. My initial idea was to use it as an accent nail, but the flakes were so delicate and sparse that I decided to just splash it everywhere.

I purchased Lancelot direct from a-england’s website, but they are also available at Llarowe and Ninja Polish. Heist came from Pretty & Polished on Etsy, though a select number of her polishes (including, as of 9/15, Heist) also make it to Llarowe.

Tomorrow’s post: This manicure at two days with an incredibly beautiful new topcoat from Lilacquer. Ah, it’s so pretty…!


…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!

check out my permanently rumpled hands! I've been told it's a sign that I'm a worrier. :)

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.

I bought Zorg Industries from Lilacquer’s etsy shop, as always, and Toy With Me from Pretty & Polished, who is also being stocked at Llarowe.


Also known as a picspam post of nails that I enjoyed, but which either didn’t get enough satisfactory photos to justify their own post, or I found too boring to talk about at length. It will give you insight into exactly how out-of-order some of my posts are. :)

I started with this, on June 29th:

That’s two coats of OPI My Private Jet (the brownish version) on the dark nails and one coat (!) of MAC Earthly Harmony as an accent. It was a pretty decent manicure; lasted about a day, wore well with my clothes, etc. I was incredibly impressed by the MAC polish — smooth, even, easily controlled. It made a great contrast to my other experiences with the brand.

When I checked the mail that evening, I discovered that I’d received some new toys and could not possibly wait to play with them.

Same mani, but with two layers of Glitter Gal Shade Shifters Soft Hidden Violet on the main fingers and GG SS Soft Daybreak on the accent. This photographed horribly. It was really lovely in person, and the duochrome is beautiful on both colors. Sadly, the light was unkind, or perhaps my photography is really that sad.

That mani lasted about six hours. Late that night, tired of looking at tipwear/shrinkage, I redid my nails entirely as the pale gold/pink look I posted a couple of days ago. After that came the polka dots I posted on the fourth (actually completed on the third), and then I could not deal with the spots after wearing them four about five hours and did this:

This was initially just BB Couture Award Medal and Layla Magnetic Purple Galaxy. My first magnetic experience was underwhelming, though the polish itself was actually pretty nice. I wore this overnight and hated looking at it in the morning, so I thought I’d see if I could add things until I liked it again. The BB got a topcoat of Lilacquer Lycanthrope (green-gold duochrome sparkly topcoat w/a clear base, very lovely) and the Layla first got three coats of Pretty and Polished Wine Night Out, then an additional topcoat of Lilacquer Bakeneko.

One more to show off Lycanthrope’s lovely green and gold shimmer:

But even with beautiful topcoats I still hated the gold and purple combo, so I wiped it out and redid my nails entirely.

This is how my manicures work at the moment; with a suddenly expanded collection and propensity for getting bored with my nails within hours of doing them, I change things up faster than I post. Be proud of me, though — there’s no matte in this post. ;D Also, I acquired a bottle of acetone and a cheap brush and am learning how to do proper cleanup! Go me! Next step: wrapping the tips. Hm.

All of these except the two indies and Glitter Gals were gifted to me by the mesmerizing U. The GG’s were purchased at Llarowe, where they are currently on sale, and Beautometry, where they are not. Lilacquer sells on Etsy, as does Pretty & Polished, though P&P will also be turning up on Llarowe soon.

In two days, I’ll be talking about a pair of superlative duo/multichromes — Hits Mari Moon Cool & Dreamer.


Let’s kick this off with a goofy name for a fairly pretty skittles-style manicure. I had just gotten all but one of these in a package from Beautometry that morning, and absolutely could not resist putting them all on. Please forgive my relatively terrible application; I’m still working on my “technique”.

I have huge weaknesses for gray polishes and bright and sparkly holos, so I did a sort of gray-to-black ombre manicure, plus a little hit of red at the end for punch. From left to right: Glitter Gal 3D Holographic in Silver, a-England Ascalon, Pretty & Polished Black Swan, and Glitter Gal Shade Shifters Soft Daybreak with one coat of GG 3D Holo Silver on top. Invisible on the thumb is one coat of Zoya Dove under a layer of Glitter Gal 3D Holo Light As A Feather, which is a soft gray holo that is gorgeous in person, but looked like a vaguely sparkly gray polish in every photo I took. Bah.

Linear, scattered, scattered, linear. It was a brilliant afternoon when I left the house, so these are in bright sunlight. This and the last one show off Black Swan & Ascalon’s holo sparkle the best, I think.

This one really shows off the Silver holo’s glow. One thing that I was unable to capture is the lovely lavender duochrome that Ascalon displays, most especially in the shade or indoors. In certain lights it looks entirely purple, which was pretty amusing at times, as you might expect.

Look at the gleam on that last finger. And yet I’m a little sad that I went for the full holohands look — Daybreak on its own is a beautiful coppery/brick-red shimmer with a blue-green duochrome plus occasional purple and pink gleams. Chalkboard Nails has some gorgeous swatches of it by itself and over black, which shows the other glory of the Shade Shifters line. Also, I could have called the mani “Daybreak on the Holo Deck”, which would have been especially silly. :)

The black holo, as I mentioned is Black Swan by Pretty & Polished, a wonderful indie company. I’ve got a few of their other polishes, and they’re fantastic. You’ll definitely be seeing more later.

The three Glitter Gal polishes and the a-England are available at Beautometry, as well as Llarowe and Ninja Polish, as well as possibly other independent retailers. I’m not going to say they’re cheap, because they are not, but, hey, if you can, why the hell not? I’m a pretty stodgy believer in spending money on what makes you happy, if you can.

All polishes were purchased by me for my own purposes.

Now for a brief conversation about why I like to paint my nails:

I used to bite my nails to an extreme degree. After I stopped and my nails recovered, I took a considerable delight in painting them, mostly borrowing my friend’s polishes, and often in gothic shades — midnight blue, forest green, royal purple, blood-red, glitter black. After a while I lost interest, got distracted, and my nails were usually bare, though I accumulated a few bottles as a matter of habit. For a long time, my gender identification was such that I avoided participating in many habits that I considered traditionally feminine. Then a couple of years ago, I regained some comfort in the art of being femme and began to pursue an interest in makeup and this included painting my nails.

It is not a stretch to say that nail painting is pretty symbolic for me. I still have three years to go before I reach the point where the biting is no longer over half my life. Mmm, stress-driven self-harm. Some days it’s nice to celebrate the ending of certain habits. It helps to drive home the fact that habits can be changed.

Now, my ducklings, I am going to go finish watching Gosford Park, because it’s delighting me with all the marvelous British household drama. Awkward kissing for the win!