Tag Archives: slap a matte on it

and the seas were white with raging spume  — (no, that’s it, sorry.)

So I had a moment a few weeks ago wherein I decided I needed to own Cuprum (CU) from Rescue Beauty Lounge’s Fan Collection. It’s blue, really, really blue, metallic, and full of tiny coppery flakes of glitter. It was inspired by, well, let me copy the text of the color description from the RBL website:

The metamorphic moment when the presence of ammonia meets copper (II) transforms into a radiant blue. Cuprum is Latin for copper, and the dual nature of this element is what Neeta wanted to capture in a bottle.

Being the sort of person I am, with the poor impulse control that I have, I bought it. There was something else in that order as well. Something mysterious. But that is not a tale for this afternoon. Today, I will be showing you Cuprum and the only color that I found in my stash that seemed to complement it well enough to be an accent nail — China Glaze Harvest Moon.

This is two coats each, with a shiny topcoat that I added more for protection than because either of them needed it. Harvest Moon is from the Hunger Games collection CG released earlier this year. It’s really more red-orange than I would have considered optimal, but I’m not sure I know of a properly pink-toned copper polish that would really represent the shade of a bright new piece of metal. There’s probably one out there, but I haven’t met it yet.

The formulas on both polishes were very nice, with Cuprum being easy and smooth and willing to go where directed, and Harvest Moon being a bit more sheer and thin at the first coat. Both were easier to work with if I let the first layer dry fully before moving on.

The thing with Cuprum is that it has these copper flakes that, when the polish is shiny and you’re attempting to photograph it, don’t show up at all. They’re there in person, most definitely visible — here’s a bottle shot so you can see what I mean:

See? There are lots of irregular copper bits glowing through the blue! I chewed on the difficulty for a bit, tried a few different areas of my house for lighting adjustments, and eventually gave up for a while. But later that day, I remembered how much more flakies stand out when you slap a matte on them, tried it and — bingo.

There they are, and both Cuprum and Harvest Moon looked beautiful matte. Please do understand, those copper bits are truly present in Cuprum when it’s shiny. That blue and copper combination is wonderful. I’ll be looking for a brighter, pinker, copper color to wear with Cuprum, too.

I’ll also be working harder on not chewing on the skin around my nails. I had a really weird couple of weeks, then got sick, and I promise they’re doing a bit better now, but och, my fingers are so bad in these photos.

Rescue Beauty Lounge is available on their website. I bought my China Glaze at Ulta, where the Hunger Games collection seems to be going on clearance, but they are also available cheepcheepcheep from Trans Design.

Tomorrow: GLITTERBOMB. And after that, we are returning to our regular odd-days-only updating, as I’ve cleared my backlog and am starting school.

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…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!


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 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.


Pastels make me happy sometimes. Okay, frequently. Especially when they remind me of ice cream, and not just any old ice cream, but spumoni. I could have made it more like spumoni by adding, perhaps, a light amount of pink glitter to the pink nails and including a milky brown nail for the chocolate, but pshaw. This was quite pretty enough on its own.

The two main polishes here are OPI Where’s My Bikini Top and First Names Only. These are from the current crop of Ulta exclusives, but are actually straight-up renames of, respectively, Stranger Tides and Steady As She Rose from the Pirates of the Caribbean collection last year. Where’s My…/Stranger Tides is a mildly pistachio-esque, pleasantly dusty pale green, and First Names/Steady As is the cool light pink; both are cremes, both had reasonably good coverage. I used two coats of each color over a Revlon basecoat, and, much to my dismay, these OPIs did not play well with it at all. Shrinkage started almost before they were dry, and they started chipping around the edges after less than a day.

The sparkle topcoat is Zoya Glimmer. It’s a silver and gold shimmer in a slightly peachy translucent base. I’ve seen people use this for a full mani, but I think it’s really best used over other colors. It did alter the color of the base slightly, making it slightly more warm. Compare the nails on my left hand (green shimmer, pink matte accents), with my right (pink shimmer, green matte). I think it’s more noticeable on the pink; without Glimmer, it’s cooler and with it trends slightly more peachy.

Pistachio and cherry ice cream. This is entirely what this reminded me of, soft and creamy and suddenly I want spaghetti. Check out the chipping action on the side of my index finger there. I cannot recommend the Revlon quick-dry basecoat with OPI, or at least, -these- OPI polishes. It has worked reasonably well with other brands, especially other drugstore brands, however.

Sparkly! Did I mention that I’ve had a full relapse into my matte-ifying ways? Well, I have. Oh, Matte About You, why are you so amazing? I have no good answer for this, but I certainly do love it.

Funny story — the ring finger on this hand actually had a different base coat because I dinged it badly enough that it needed repainting. Can you see how much less shrinkage there is on that finger? All the others just look slightly lumpy at the edges, but not that one.
The two OPI polishes I bought at Ulta, as you might expect, although I’ve seen the original releases with the Pirates names at the Nordstrom Rack recently. The Zoya was purchased from Zoya.