Please forgive me for that.
This is going to be a bit laconic, as I’ve had a bit of vertigo all day and am not 100% on staring at the screen for a long post, but — here we are. My first serious all-glitter-all-the-time-my-god-my-fingers-are-so-disco mani.
This is China Glaze I Herd That, from the recent On Safari collection, with Ulta Walking On Broken Glass, a mini from the recent Glazed & Confused set.
This is three layers of each glitter over Zoya Austine (I Herd That) and Maybelline Avante Green (Walking On Broken Glass). I Herd That would have been fine with two. It was almost fine with one, as Austine was fantastic as a base for it, but three layers of Walking On… was just a bit more opaque and it looked odd without the second coat.
Both of these are extremely textured, and I Herd That dries slightly matte, which I loved. To be certain, it’s more common to toss topcoats on these for shine and even more twinkle, but I like the slight grittiness. I’m weird, I know. I’d love to find more glitters with the same texture as I Herd That — I’ve seen it referred to as a sandy or sugar-like texture, as opposed to more usual glitters.
I really loved wearing I Herd That, and am looking forward to receiving I’m Not Lion, the other glitter from that release. It’s a paler, more neutral-esque gold, whereas Herd has a lot of red and yellow to it. I liked the coppery-gold with blue-green color combo.
This one is in bright sunshine so you can really see the different textures and colors more distinctly. Don’t be fooled by the green undertone to Walking On Broken Glass — that polish is pure teal glitter. The green is all from Avante Green, which has just enough of a teal duochrome that I foolishly assumed it would make a good base. It was okay, but not perfect. Austine, on the other hand, disappeared under I Herd That.
Totally fun, and, thanks to some pure acetone and holding the cotton on my nails for about fifteen seconds each, it wasn’t really that difficult to remove.
I got both of these on the same trip to Ulta, but the CG is available at a variety of places.
Next up: A sort-of guest post — my nails, someone else’s polishes.
…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!
But this is possibly one of my favorite manis I’ve done recently. Along with Bawdy (as seen yesterday), I picked up a bottle of China Glaze Exotic Encounters. It’s a lovely deep teal creme, and I had a plan.
The Very Fine Human U. recently moved into a very lovely house and had a housewarming, and I knew I needed to have something pretty on my nails because, in my opinion, it is important to wear nice things to nice occasions. So — this.
This is one coat of Exotic Encounters, one coat of Piper Polish Co. Zebra Juice, and one coat of Zoya Frida, a dark turquoise jelly. I love the way this looks. The teal is gorgeous, the glitter adds interest, and the jelly brings it together in a lovely sandwich-y whole.
Zebra Juice is another of those fabulous black and white mixed glitter beasts. I’m not sure if it is intentional or not, as it’s not mentioned in the description, but there is also a very small amount of holo glitter mixed that gave it a very subtle but present sparkle when looked at very closely.
I did experience some really horrible bubbling, and I’m not sure whether to blame it on Zebra Juice, Frida, or the Butter London topcoat I used. Fortunately, it did blend fairly well with the glitter and was not noticeable in person.
Bonus cat picture: This is Zilla. She’s ten and cantankerous and, like most cats, loves basking in sunshine. She is also enormous. I refer to my two kitties as Great White (Nona) and Megalodon (Zilla). Nona has a fine white underbelly and lots of teeth, and Zilla is also bitey and over twice her size, plus she sharks around the house.
Here’s Frida’s bottle shot. This was the only polish that I had any trouble with. It was very thin and wanted to flood my cuticles like mad. I persevered, however. I really adore these types of colors, and they’re very popular for fall.
I found Exotic Encounters at an Ulta, and I’ve also seen the Zoya there, though I bought mine from Zoya directly during one of their sales. Zebra Juice is from Piper Polish Co. on Etsy.
Tomorrow will feature Cult Nails Princess and Spontaneous.
Is that all? Myths and stories can be as real as anything else. They can inspire and broaden your worldview and take you over forever, if you let them. I loved certain of the King Arthur tales when I was a child, and a book called Castles brought many of them to life for me, along with Beowulf and Grendel, and others. I’m not entirely sure what happened to that book; it may still be in a box in storage somewhere, or it may have been given away or sold at some point along the way.
a-england creates beautiful, beautiful colors inspired by myth and legend. She had a sale on the Legends collection recently, and I picked up a few things. The first two I have to show you (along with a relevant Zoya) are Galahad, a turquoise creme, and Morgan Le Fay, a gleaming silver-white that I used as a topcoat. The Zoya, Nimue, is the shimmery dusty purple.
I decided to attempt a sponged gradient manicure with Galahad, but my first attempt went rather badly, ending up significantly more textured than I might have liked. I wiped that off and tried again, this time with colors closer in tone and not quite so aggressively different in finish. Creme to metallic = not such a great idea. Creme to shimmer = a-okay! …or at least, more acceptable.
Nimue is a soft, dusty purple from last fall’s Mirrors collection. It’s described as a metallic “thistle” purple, and that’s pretty accurate for the color, but the finish feels more like it’s just got a very strong silvery shimmer. I painted my two accent nails (left pinky, right thumb) with two coats and sponged several times on all the others. It was easy to work with, though compared to the a-england polishes, everything feels difficult. :) As a point of trivia, Nimue is one of the names accorded to the Lady of the Lake. a-england also has a Lady of the Lake polish, and it is also a dusty purple, but with a holographic finish. You’ll see that one later. :)
Galahad is the most perfect turquoise polish I have yet tried. The formula is amazing, as is the case with all the a-england polishes I have; it goes exactly where you tell it to, dries faster than many, and self-levels. I used one coat as a base on all but my accent nails. The accents didn’t come out perfectly opaque, but I am inclined to blame my technique rather than the polish.
Morgan Le Fay is a sheer polish that I am more inclined to use for layering, but I’ve seen people wearing it alone and it still looks lovely. It looks shimmering and white in the bottle, but gleams silver once on the nail. It’s beautiful and illusory and all of this looked so much better in person. I used one coat over all my nails.
I bought the a-england polishes directly from their website — these do ship from the UK, so it might take longer than you might like, but shipping is free. You can also find them at Llarowe, if you don’t want to risk overseas shipping or your country isn’t among those she ships to direct. The Zoya came from Zoya’s site, though I do see the seasonal collections at Ulta, and sometimes stragglers lurk around for a while after.
Under the cut is my first try at a sponged gradient, this time with Galahad and Excalibur, a brilliant silver a-england polish. It didn’t go so well. I’m still working out the kinks on my technique, and may poke a few other tutorials for ideas.
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.