I apologize for a bit of brevity for the next little while. My cat is sick and we’re having to take her to various specialists. I’ve got a few posts in the queue, so there will still be updates, but I’m a bit distracted.
I am trying my hardest to avoid using my matte. Really, I am. But I desperately wanted to for this manicure, as Glitrix’ polishes look so darn pretty matte. I resisted, and here we are. Look! Shiny! (do not look at my raggy cuticles. the force compels youuuu)
Zoya Bevin was the base polish for this. Zoya’s site description is: “dusty, medium sage green with teal tones and a creamy opaque finish”. I generally agree. It’s less aqua than, say, Wednesday, which one of my friends was wearing recently and I crushed hard on until I reminded myself that the spoon swatch that I have of it is practically identical to Julep Miranda.
Sous La Mer is from Glitrix, and it’s a very pretty aqua polish with a bunch of glitter: large holo hexes, gold bars, tiny red hexes, plus some added gold shimmer. It’s neat, though the gold doesn’t show up as well on the nail. I’m betting it would stand out more if it were matteified, though. Just saying. ;) The big hexes are a little tougher to dig out of the bottle, but as you can see, I managed a pretty decent distribution, though some of them got buried by the second coat. It’s actually a pretty opaque polish.
This is the only indoor photo (the rest were taken at a bus stop. :3 Many of my photos are). I should have taken a bottle photo, but if you kind of take the one of Sakura from a few days ago and turn it aqua-green instead of pink, you pretty much get the idea. Seriously adorable little star-shaped bottles. She actually sells empties, too, if you’re interested in getting some for making your own tiny frankens.
One coat of Bevin on everything, another Bevin on the accent nail, and two of Sous La Mer on everything else. I really enjoyed wearing this, though I am considering getting a bottle of Seche or possibly Gelous to accommodate for the slight bumpiness of the glitter. It’s not really distracting, and actually shows up more in photos than it does to the touch, but I’m thinking about it.
I get my Zoyas from Zoya.com. Glitrix sells on Etsy.
So one of my friends is moving and decided she had a dreaded case of Too Much Nail Polish. Being awesome, she decided to share it with her peeps. My polish collection increased by two-thirds. This is awesome, but provides me with the hilarious problem of choosing what to wear next.
OH MY GOD. WHAT TO WEAR?! I could go for some vintage China Glaze, or some ridiculously amazing duochromes from Hits. Maybe a nice OPI or something from an entirely new-to-me company, like Nubar or Barielle! Too many choices! How awesome is that?
Wrelp, I picked none of those. Instead I re-attempted a manicure I’ve been trying since March with varying degrees of success. This time I got both vaguely closer to my goal and much, much further away. It’s pretty much just a hot mess, but I’m sharing anyway. Feeling penitent, perhaps?
In March, Zoya released the Peter Som New York Fashion Week collection — three colors, two sheer, one creme. The two sheers I have attempted several times to layer into a sakura-inspired sort of jelly sandwich gradient manicure with varying (mostly failures) degrees of success. Well, tonight I tried it again. This chappie was about eight layers of polish, I think? Towards the end I was just stacking things on there for the hell of it.
I did use two polishes that I didn’t have the last time I tried this: Tart With A Heart and Give Me The Chills. The latter was from my friend’s stash. Her full ‘keepers’ stash is epic and gorgeous and I am not-so-secretly hoping I can convince her to guest post someday — when she is not moving, of course!
Butter London Nail Foundation Base > Zoya Audrey (sheer petal pink) > Butter London Tart With A Heart (sparrrrkly holo-tastic glitter with a mildly pink base) > Zoya Katharine (sheer mauve-y purple) > T w/a ♥ > Audrey > T w/a ♥ > Maybelline Colorama Top Coat in ‘give me the chills’ (hilarious peachy iridescent thread top coat > nails inc. westminister bridge matte topcoat (which is not particularly matte, as you can probably see. It’s more satiny than anything else.)
Okay, nine, including base and top. It’s excessive. The color payoff is minimal. I have to take pictures of it now because it is never going to dry and I will destroy it in the night. Also, so you can have a good snicker at my attempt. On the plus side, holo sparkles!
Observe the tiny, weird, shiny hairs on my nails. As my friend said when I picked up the bottle and eyed it skeptically, it’s pretty easy to tell why this finish didn’t exactly take off. In person it ends up looking a bit like your polish has tiny, shiny fault lines, or as if sheet marks had developed a glossy sheen.
AH GAAAD. Yeah, I actually wiped this right off after taking pics. I didn’t even let it dry completely because of the glitter nightmare/heaven that is Tart With A Heart. I love it, it’s beautiful, but hurrrgh that many layers of it fully dry would take forever to remove.
The two Zoya polishes were from a limited edition box set from their site. The Butter London I got at a Nordstrom, but you can get them various places, notably at their site. I don’t really recommend the Nails Inc. matte topcoat, but I bought mine at Sephora. The Maybelline hairy topcoat was a gift, and if you want it, um. Check ebay, maybe? I haven’t seen anything like this anywhere else. Bar glitter, sure, but hair glitter? Uhhh.
Please note that I will be attempting to use it again someday. Maybe then I’ll succeed in making it look good; I definitely didn’t this time.
All polishes were either purchased by me or gifts from friends. Nobody ever wants to see me do this one again, not even me.
Zoya Lotus + Lilacquer Bakeneko topcoat = a gorgeous, shimmery manicure that I am very pleased by.
Lotus is a slightly dusty purple not too far (though more red) than a color I think of as Imperial Violet. It has a beautiful shimmer that seems to shift from red to gold, passing through pink in certain lights.
Bakeneko is a multichromatic topcoat that, from photos I’ve seen, does a pretty good job mimicking Clarins 230/Max Factor Fantasy Fire. I have never seen either of those beasts in person, so I cannot verify this for certain, but all three feature red-orange-gold-green shifting pigment and a purple base, and perhaps my photos will tell more. Also, I love the name — shapeshifting monster cats for the win!
This makes me so happy. Each Lotus-painted nail is two coats, except the pinky, which is three only because I initially was crazy and thought I’d put a matte on this manicure. Foolish human. What was I thinking? (Though I have to be square with you; Bakeneko looks pretty awesome matte. I might do that again later.) The Bakeneko nails are one coat of Lotus and two coats of Bakeneko.
I’ve really been playing around with two accent nails. I still can’t decide entirely how I feel about it, or if I prefer just one. For this round, I decided that full hands of sparkly, multichrome, oh my god that’s lovely would be too distracting and I’d probably walk out in traffic or something equally silly, so I went for just enough to make a point.
I like the way these two complement each other. I am a fan of coordinating sparkles. One is just much more subtle.
Here are a couple of extra pics with a bit of blur that really show off the shift and the shimmer in Lotus:
I buy my Zoya polishes from Zoya, and Lilacquer from her shop on Etsy.
I bought both of these with my own money and I wear them because I think they’re pretty. ;)
I thought about copper or red, but it was gray outside the window and I needed a pep-up, so I ended up with turquoise with a color shifting topcoat. Oh you guys. You guys.
Check this out:
Colors used are Julep Miranda (two coats) and one moderately heavy coat of Lilacquer Polishes Kitsune on top. On the ring fingers, I also used a single coat of Essie Matte About You because I was curious if it would look neat. It did, and still showed the duochrome. BONUS.
This one was out in the sunshine, and is the most color-accurate image. Miranda is a lovely deep aqua polish — I would have punched myself in the side of the head about ten years ago, had I heard myself say such things; how tastes change! — with a creme finish. Kitsune is a clear-based, color-shifting, sparkly topcoat that goes from gold and orange/red to green. It’s gorgeous and incredibly versatile, as it doesn’t change the color of your base nail polish at all.
I think Kitsune would layer beautifully over almost anything, but these kinds of topcoats are known for looking especially striking over black or other dark colors. I’ve got a couple of very pretty dark purples I might try later.
I am relatively unrepentant about my obsession with matte-ifying polishes. Pretty much anything except a holo is fair game by me. Holo glitter isn’t exempt, however, as you will see in a couple of days. :3
Now, the day after I did this, I was due to have the sort of dinner that gets capitalized: A Really Nice Dinner, with nice clothes and moderately decent table manners and everything. Aqua nail polish? Not terribly appropriate. Naturally, I ran out of time to redo my nails (and not incidentally, ran out of polish remover), so I had to do a very quick alteration. I layered on one coat of Zoya Jules, a taupey gold, and then more Essie Matte About You and the thing ended up being a bit like old gold and rather cool, if somewhat thick and lumpy in spots. Still, it toned down the mani considerably and matched my hair accessory, so I was pleased.
Julep polishes are available on their website here, though I’ve also seen them recently at Sephora. (I bought mine from a friend, as Miranda is no longer available on the website. ^_^) Lilacquer polishes are available on Etsy.
All polishes were purchased by me with intent to use them in ordinary ways.
(ETA, 9/16: If you’re just looking for swatches of Sloane Ranger, I’ve got some better ones up here, now. :) Otherwise, thanks for visiting!)
I like painting my nails multiple colors, especially when I get new polishes. Isn’t that a common feeling, though? You get a new thing and you immediately want to play with it. I do this all the time, with art supplies and games and perfumes. Delightful.
I took a trip to San Francisco last week, and on the way back discovered that there was a Butter London salon in Sea-Tac airport. Neat! They had a couple of new colors that caught my eye: Lillibet’s Jubilee, a lavender-silver metallic foil, and Sloane Ranger, which is a rather fantastic khaki-green creme with a very slight silver shimmer. I haven’t worn Lillibet’s Jubilee yet. It’s intense, and I haven’t quite been in the mood. Sloane Ranger, however — yes, please!
I can never quite resist wearing as many shades of polish as I can get away with on any given day. I feel a bit bored if I don’t have at least a single contrast (or accent, as you prefer) nail, so here’s Sloane Ranger (two coats) on three nails, plus a nail with one coat of Sloane Ranger and one coat of Zoya Ki, a dark green/purple duochrome, and one with Sloane and two coats of Butter London Knackered, a sweet lavender/green/blue duo/multichrome with bits of holographic glitter.
Sloane Ranger trends towards the grayish in certain lights, but is really more khaki than my camera/light quality was permitting. Everything was gray for most of today. Feh. At certain angles it looked like I was wearing three green polishes. This is the wonder of duochromes.
Ayup, I have managed to dent my nails already. I am truly awful about that, actually. In order to actually photograph my nails perfectly, I’d probably have to have someone else do it right after I’d finished one hand. I’m very tough on my hands, as well as terminally impatient about letting them dry properly. Here Ki is looking a bit more greenish.
Showing off the shift. Check out how green both Ki and Knackered look at the top of the nail, compared with how respectively purple and bluish they are at the tips. You can see a bit of the silver shimmer in the bottle of Sloane Ranger; it’s really very subtle. One might even say nigh on invisible.
And here you get to see the purple side of my duochromes, plus some of that glorious holosparkle.
It is worth noting at this point that I will probably never have anything to say about wear time on this blog, as I almost never wear the same polish for more than a day or two. Likewise, I’ll leave serious swatching with notes on formula and comparisons with other companies to those who are more known for news. I’m in it for the pretty, folks.
I think I’ll do something in copper next, or red. I’ve got a couple of nudes I haven’t used yet, too. Hm.
Butter London polishes are available in a number of places, including Ulta, assorted small boutiques, and on their site, here. Zoya can also be found at Ulta, but I prefer to buy from them directly, especially when they’re having one of their frequent sales.
All polishes were bought by me, for me, with my own purposes in mind.