Thursday, September 29, 2011

Borghese - Stellare Notte

Here's another one from the "how has this been untried so long?" file:  Borghese Stellare Notte.  This is a black base with tons of duochrome shimmer. 
(Hello, awkward bottle shape!)

Basecoat:  Gelous (1 coat)
Color:  Borghese Stellare Notte (3 coats)
Topcoat:  Seche Vite (1 coat)

So far I've noticed both a distinct purple shimmer and a teal shimmer.  So pretty!

I'm going to take a pass on the part of the post where I usually talk about application.  Why?  I really, really hate the Borghese brush.  It's all of the super-wideness of the SH Insta-Dri brush, with an awkward cap shape and a really short stem.  AND - the neck of the bottle is super long, so I had real problems both polishing and judging the amount of polish I had on the brush.  I will say that cleanup was really good, which is great, because I got this all over my fingers.  I hate this bottle and brush so much I actually decanted it right after I took these photos.  It's easily my least favorite bottle and brush (though I haven't tried the Nicole "new" brush, which might give it a run for its money, since I already hate those bottles, too).

Opacity was really good - without the stupid brush I might have gotten away with two coats, but I needed three since I made such a mess of it.  This is a gorgeous color and I'll definitely be wearing it again.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

China Glaze - Laser Lime

Laser Lime is a light green holographic polish.  The holographic effect is more scattered than linear.  Otherwise, it's very similar to L8R G8R - I believe the base colors are very very close if not identical.

Basecoat:  Gelous (1 coat)
Color:  China Glaze Laser Lime (4 coats)
Topcoat:  China Glaze Fast Forward Top Coat (1 coat)

Application was fairly typical for holo polishes - I went slowly and made sure not to go over any parts that already had polish unless they were totally dry.   Cleanup was a snap.

The Tronica collection of polishes has been hit or miss, to me.  Some bottles just don't look as holo as other bottles - Laser Lime is one of the non-holo-looking bottles.  And once it's on the nail it still looks non-holo, even under my desk lamp in my office.   I had to go outside to capture any holo at all, and even then it's fairly weak. Somehow, all the outside photos give me major lobster hands with this polish, which is odd - in real life it doesn't even remotely make my hands look red.

For once, I used four coats because a holo wasn't opaque enough.  I had no dragging or bald spots at all - it just wasn't very opaque.  If you look very closely in the photos you can see a hint of VNL - it's not visible in real life, but it definitely was at three coats.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Sally Hansen - Concrete

Today I have a polish that isn't untried.  I guess you could call it a "palate cleanser", though I'm wearing it because I have to wear something conservative today, and my last polish (China Glaze Ruby Pumps) is soooo not conservative.

Basecoat:  Gelous (1 coat)
Color:  Sally Hansen Concrete (3 coats)
Topcoat:  Seche Vite (1 coat)

Please excuse my freshly applied Solar Oil, especially in the third picture.  Oops.

I might have been able to get away with two coats.  However, I applied this way late last night, under much different lighting than I usually use, so I went with three coats to be safe.  Application was pretty good (the XW brush is light years better than the CSM brush) and cleanup was super easy, too.  I like this better on me than I did the last time I wore this.  I tried a few different nude-type polishes but I guess I only buy these in the winter, because they all looked super-yellow against my summer tan.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

China Glaze - Ruby Pumps

Ruby Pumps is a red jelly packed with red glitter.  It's definitely been worn and loved by me before.  I didn't wear this because I couldn't decide what to wear - I picked it because it's one of the jersey colors worn by my beloved Rangers, whose magic number to clinch the AL West is currently 3.  Since I'm a season ticket holder, I'll be at the ballpark all this weekend, hopefully to watch a dogpile on the field as they celebrate.  Anyway - on with the polish.

Basecoat:  Gelous (1 coat)
Color:  China Glaze Ruby Pumps (3 coats)
Topcoat:  Gelous (1 coat)
Topcoat:  Seche Vite (1 coat)

First of all, I ran out of stockpiled posts, so I'm actually posting this the same day I applied this - and there's no sun in my area today (for once).  The last photo is under a desk lamp.

I don't know how old my bottle is, but I know I've had Dorothy Who? for at least a year, if not longer, and I had Ruby Pumps WAY before that.  My bottle REEKS, y'all.  It actually reminded me of Kleancolors, it smelled so bad.

Anyway, this application was awesome - not too runny, not too thick, no bald spots, nothing.  Cleanup didn't even suck that bad - sure, I had some glitter left on my skin but it wasn't superglued there like some other glitters tend to be.

I actually debated between this and Nubar Fire Sparkle, which is untried, but I just didn't want to mess with that much topcoat today.  I thought about Orly Star Spangled, which is usually my go-to Rangers Red, but decided I've already shown that a couple of times on the blog, so I went with Ruby Pumps.  If I do a playoff manicure I'll probably go with Nubars, but if the Rangers don't pull their heads out soon it won't matter.  :)

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Butter London - Bluey

Bluey is a medium blue-green with tons of shimmer.  When I first saw swatches of Bluey it was love at first sight, and then when I actually got it I was "meh" on it.  When I was applying it I was in love again, but once it was all done I'm still undecided.

Basecoat:  Salon Sciences Fiberglass Network (1 coat)
Color:  Butter London Bluey (3 coats)
Topcoat:  Sally Hansen Insta Dri (1 coat)

Pardon my heinous tipwear and the chip on my index nail - amazingly, we've had two days in a row of overcast, cloudy skies, so these photos are from the third day of wear.

Bluey had the typical Butter London application - that is, it's damn near flawless.  Cleanup wasn't too bad even for as dark a polish as this is.  I saw a recent swatch of this polish last night (I'm way too far behind on my nail blog reading) - and that post said there was a gold shimmer to Bluey, but I could not see it or capture it at all.  I do get tons of teal from it, though.

The thing is, even though Bluey is undeniably pretty I just can't convince myself that this polish is all that unique - I have an untried Nina Ultra Pro (called Un-Teal You or something like that), that I think would look pretty similar to Bluey.  Still, the application is a huge win, so even if it turns out to be a complete dupe, I'm keeping this one.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

China Glaze - 108 Degrees

108 Degrees is not only the average temperature in Dallas this summer, it's also a vibrant berry jelly packed with pink glass flecks.

Basecoat:  Salon Sciences Fiberglass Network
Color:  China Glaze 108 Degrees (3 coats)
Topcoat:  Seche Vite (1 coat)

In real life, the VNL is somewhat evident - for once, it's not as visible in these photos.  I'm not sure exactly why I left this untried for so long, but I'm definitely going to wear this one again - possibly as a pedi.  

This was a little bit runny and wanted to pool in my cuticles (photos were taken the next morning).  Cleanup wasn't too much of a problem though.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Icing - Blackout

Blackout is a polish I wanted for a long time, and when I finally found it, I let it sit in my untrieds for way too long.  Blackout is a black jelly base packed with holographic glitter.

Basecoat:  Salon Sciences Fiberglass Network (1 coat)
Color:  Wet N Wild Black Creme (2 coats)
Color:  Icing Blackout (2 coats)
Topcoat:  Out the Door Northern Lights (silver holo - 2 coats)

I actually applied Blackout on its own.  I got to four coats before I decided it was not going to be as opaque as I wanted without at least a couple more coats, and it was already 9 pm.  So, I took it off, and started over with two coats of Black Creme.  Black Creme is a super pigmented glossy black creme.  I actually told my husband I wish I'd known about Black Creme back in my goth days, it's that smooth and glossy.  But - it stains skin like whoa and was so creamy that anywhere I got it in my cuticles, it was staying there.  I took these photos the morning after I applied and you can still see some Black Creme hanging out there.

I probably could have stopped with just one coat of Blackout.  But the glitter looked so stunning against the deep black that I added another coat, and then I used the Northern Lights silver holo topcoat on top of it.


Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Pop beauty - Violetta

Violetta is a screaming neon purple jelly.

Basecoat:  Salon Sciences Instant Artificials (1 coat)
Color:  Pop Beauty Violetta (3 coats)
Topcoat:  David (1 coat)

This was a difficult polish to capture accurately.  I don't usually like to use flash for my photos but the one I accidentally used flash for actually came out pretty well - if you click to embiggen you'll see the VNL present.

I have a few other Pop polishes - I recently wore Turquoise but I didn't post about it because I wore it on my toes.  I have two others that aren't creme/jellys so I don't know that the application will be identical for all of them.

That said:

Application was AWESOME.  Amazing.  Violetta, like Turquoise, is thick but not goopy - almost gel-like.  Super easy to control, went exactly where I wanted, self-leveled, everything.  The only thing I'm not crazy about is the VNL.  If you like the jelly look you can easily get away with two coats - I did three before the VNL was somewhere I felt like I could live with.    The color is lighter and a little less intense than Sinful "Dream On", but they're close-ish.

Violetta dries to a satin finish like most neons.  It did stain my skin where I wasn't super careful, but it wasn't too bad at all.

I'll definitely be buying more Pop polishes if they all apply like this one.  I have one shimmer I'll post when it gets cooler.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Zoya - Kimmy

Kimmy is a reddish-orange glass fleck that is packed with gold shimmer.

Basecoat:  Zoya Get Even (1 coat)
Color:  Zoya Kimmy (4 coats)
Topcoat:  David (1 coat)

This polish is slightly more yellow toned than I was able to capture with my camera.  Kimmy has the same near flawless application as the other Zoya glass flecks.  I'm not sure I love this color on me - it may be one to file away in the "try it in winter" pile.

Cleanup was about like it is for all these awesome Zoya sparkles - glittah everywhere!    I have a little bit of VNL that for some reason is more visible in real life than it is in the photos - usually that works the other way around.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Nubar - Violet Sparkle

Violet Sparkle is a vivid purple glitter.

Basecoat:  Nubar Foundation (1 coat)
Color:  Nubar Violet Sparkle (3 coats)
Topcoat:  Gelous (2 coats)
Topcoat:  Nubar Diamont (2 coats)

Yes, that's four coats of topcoat.

For a polish this packed with glitter it wasn't that hard to apply.  It was pretty opaque in three coats.  I have some spots where I can see bare nail (if you look closely at the free edges of my ring finger and pinky, there's bare spots there), but I'm probably the only one who notices.  Even though my camera seems to have problems with purples, these photos are not too far off - in real life it is a tiny bit redder.

So, four coats of topcoat.  This is a topcoat-eater at its worst.  I used one coat of Gelous and one of Diamont on my nail wheel swatch and it seemed to do absolutely nothing.  The night I put this on I used two coats of Gelous and one of Diamont and that seemed to do the trick.  However, the next morning I definitely needed another coat of Diamont.  I have no shrink at all, which surprises me.  I do expect that when this chips it's going to chip in a big way.

You can forget cleanup with this one, too - Violet Sparkle laughs at your acetone.  My gap is not as nice as I like it to be, and I ended up picking tons of glitter off my skin.

In the sun, though, this is SOOOO worth it.  This is awesome, and I can't wait to wear the rest of these.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Orly - Flirty

I actually saw this collection for the first time when I was out at Sally's and picked up this color and Fresh.  I'm a little surprised that I didn't see anything on the blogs about it.  Anyway, this is a four piece collection - my Sally only had Flirty, Fresh, and a blue color I didn't care for - so I don't know what the other one was.  Flirty is a medium pink with tons of icy shimmer that reminds me of Essie Sew Psyched.

Basecoat:  Salon Sciences Instant Artificials (1 coat)
Color:  Orly Flirty (3 coats)
Topcoat:  Out the Door (1 coat)

This polish was a tiny bit thick, but it wasn't too bad.  I didn't have any problems with bald spots or uneven application, and it didn't feel goopy at all.  I took these photos after cleanup but before I scrubbed my hands and applied cuticle oil - so if you look closely you can see that the shimmer particles don't really clean up nicely.  I think this is kind of a "mom" color, but the shimmer rescues it from being an outright "mom" polish. 

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

China Glaze - Reggae to Riches

Reggae to Riches has been in my untrieds for quite a while.  Someone on the Nail Board posted a swatch of an old, old L'Oreal - Sea Violette - that I used to have back in the day.  Reggae to Riches isn't a dupe, but the really strong blue flash reminded me of Sea Violette, so I pulled it out of the stash.  Reggae to Riches is a purple jelly with a very strong blue flash and shimmer.

Basecoat:  Gelous (1 coat)
Color:  China Glaze Reggae to Riches (4 coats)
Topcoat:  Sally Hansen Insta-Dri (1 coat)

This polish was thin, runny, and sheer.  It ran *everywhere* - it's been a while since I made that much of a mess painting my nails!  However, cleanup was really easy, so it wasn't that big of a deal.  I did need four coats to cover up streakiness, but again - this is a thin polish, so it wasn't too bad.  It's not totally opaque, either, but you have to look pretty close to see VNL at four coats.  I had a hard time capturing the blue flashes.  I was actually disappointed when I finished applying this polish, because I was just not seeing the blue flashes visible in the bottle.  It wasn't until I was outside at night under very strong lights that the blue really came to life.

I did have some bubbles, but I also applied this very late in the day, when I had to be somewhere right after work, so I'm faulting my application there, and not the polish.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Chanel - Peridot

Here's one we've all seen a bajillion times - Chanel Peridot.  This is a gold/green duochrome metallic.  I was on the fence for a long time regarding Peridot - I couldn't decide if I wanted it or not.  Some photos were fabulous and others were just "meh".  My husband, the enabler, said "just buy it anyway, if you hate it, ebay it".

Basecoat:  Gelous (1 coat)
Color:  Chanel Peridot (2 coats!)
Topcoat:  David (1 coat)

Gorgeous, right?  Still, this polish seems to be - on me, anyway - mostly gold.  The green is not nearly as prominent as it is in the photos, mostly because I don't walk around with my hand in front of my face so I can see it. 

This polish nearly applied itself - it was that nice.  Went exactly where I wanted it, minimal cleanup, opaque and smooth in TWO coats!  It is a tiny bit brush-stroke-y, but I think a lot of polishes this metallic will have that.

Friday, September 2, 2011

OPI - DS Exclusive

Here's another old favorite I pulled out of my stash.  Sometimes when I'm looking through my untrieds, a lyric from Faith No More's "Falling to Pieces" pops up in my head - "Indecision clouds my vision".  Actually, this happens every single time I can't decide immediately, but whatever.  At any rate, you know how it goes - running out of time, so you pick a holo or an opaque neon or a matte.

Basecoat:  Gelous (1 coat)
Color:  OPI DS Exclusive (3 coats)

No topcoat.  The above photo is in indirect sunlight, as are most of my photos.  I had to bring this one into more direct light.  Please to ignore the cat head in the background.

Application was really nice for this.  I had no dragging issues or any of that kaka.  This polish is pretty runny, though, and it pooled in, oh, all my cuticles.  It doesn't clean up as nicely as DS Glamour, so if you click to embiggen the photos and look closely, you can see glitter particles on my skin still.  Fabulous!