Tag Archives: subtle sparkle

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.


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…!


I’m on vacation this week, so this is going to be a bit perfunctory.

Here’s Rescue Beauty Lounge Jack, from the GOMM collection. It’s a deep green with a subtle turquoise shimmer. I failed at taking really accurate pictures, but here’s what I managed:

It’s a pretty perfect color for fall.

I cannot explain the scratched look, unless they’re sheet marks from my top coat. Bah. This is in full sun, and it really shows the base color perfectly.

Naturally, it looks substantially darker in the shade. The formula was excellent, and this was two coats.

The bottle really shows the shimmer.

I got this directly from Rescue Beauty Lounge. Of special note was that it was two days from making the purchase until they were in my hands. Turn-around is a little longer during pre-sales, but this was as close as I’ve gotten to instant gratification while shopping online. Also, the boxes were signed by RBL’s creator, which was a lovely treat.