August 30, 2014

My First Reverie Nail Lacquer Purchase!

Ever since I hit my first milestone in my weight loss journey about two weeks ago, I've been on a bit of a nail polish spree.  It's gotten to the point that I've banned myself from buying any more nail polish until I hit my next milestone.

One of the many purchases I made was from my second-ever indie brand, Reverie Nail Lacquer.  Another blogger, The Mercurial Magpie, had reviewed RNL's 2014 summer collection, and I fell in love with Andromeda, a blue-purple jelly glitter bomb.  I was good and put it on my wish list, until a few days later when The Mercurial Magpie posted about RNL's flash sale - 20% off an entire purchase for only a couple of hours!  Too good a sale to not take it up, I decided, so I ordered Andromeda.  And then I decided to order a mini bottle of Mermaid Scales, a gorgeous blue holo polish that Mercurial Magpie had also reviewed.

When I unpacked my order, I pretty much fell in love with Reverie.  Not only did they throw in a scratch-off coupon code for 5% off my next order and a small nail file, they also threw in a sample of cuticle balm AND a mini bottle of Nightfall, a purple holo that seems to have been taken off the shop (or maybe isn't in it yet?).  Oh my goodness!  It's like a little care package from a close friend!  Everything was packaged very well - each polish had its own piece of bubble wrap, and the bubble-wrapped polishes were placed in a plastic baggie, which was wrapped in cute wrapping paper, which was surrounded by packing peanuts in the box.  Almost zero chance of bottles leaking or breaking!

I just couldn't resist showing off the contents of my purchase. :)

So, without further ado, let's get to the swatches and reviews of the two colors that I ordered!

Reverie Nail Lacquer: "Andromeda"

Andromeda is a gorgeous purpley-blue jelly polish that got bombed with glitter.  Stars, circles, hexes, tiny glitters, you name it, it's there!  I love, love, LOVE jellies that are loaded with glitter!  They create such depth on the nail.

Application is quite easy for a glitter bomb.  It's generally tricky to get a nice spread of the glitter, but these glitters apply nicely.  Any holes left after one layer can easily be filled by the next one (or even the previous one!).

Four coats for this one, mostly to add one more layer of glitters.  Three coats is plenty opaque, but if you've been paying attention to my blog so far, you'll know that I like a LOT of layering!

Look at all those air bubbles hidden between the glitters.  Oops!

Andromeda photographed a bit more blue than it really is.  It's much, much more purple in person.

Reverie Nail Lacquer: "Mermaid Scales"

Mermaid Scales is my very first holo polish, so I was SUPER excited to get it out in the sun.  It is SUPER dazzling!  It's like there's diamond dust on my nails.

These photos really don't do this polish justice.  It's SO much more brilliant in person - and the color changes so drastically in different lightings!  Sometimes it's so periwinkle that it's almost completely purple.

This is pretty sheer.  I'm not sure if that's common for holos, or if it's because of the light color of this one, or if it's because I got a mini bottle.  (Minis generally mess with application, because science.  (They tend to evaporate and get gloopy more quickly than a full-sized bottle.))  I did four coats.  Three coats was still really sheer.

This would look really great over a dark creme, like The Mercurial Magpie did in her review.  I'll definitely try that out in the future - perhaps on top of Zoya's Ryan? - but I wanted to swatch it on its own for the first time.

The focus is a little off on this one, but I think that helps to show off the rainbow effect of the light dancing off of the holos.

Application was really nice.  It applied as smoothly and flatly as any creme.  Cleanup around the cuticles was a liiiittle bit difficult, as the teenyweeny holo glitters tended to cling to my skin.  But that doesn't make me like this polish any less - I'm super happy with it and I'm probably gonna end up sad that I didn't shell out for a full-size bottle!

I haven't had a chance to try out the cuticle balm yet.  Well, not on my cuticles.  I um. didn't read the label very well, and the tube is the kind of twisty-bottom that I see in chapstick...  so I put it on my lips...  Hey, it seems to work for that, too!  I was sitting there going, "Wow, this chapstick is super tingly!" not even realizing that it's not meant to go on my lips.  But it's pumpkin spice scented - the perfect scent for almost autumn!  It seemed to hydrate my lips pretty well, so I can only assume that it'll be nice on my cuticles.  Heh.

I'll swatch and review Nightfall soon - maybe not next, but definitely in the next couple of posts!  And I will definitely be adding Reverie Nail Lacquer to my list of favorite nail polish brands.

Happy Labor Day weekend to my US readers!  And happy normal weekend to my international readers!

August 27, 2014

Two Colors from Zoya's Fall Collection Plus Random Nail Art!

Recently I hit a small milestone in my weight loss journey - I dropped five pounds in one month!  I figured I deserved a reward for that (and subsequently decided to treat myself for every 10 lbs dropped), so I went on a mini shopping spree at ULTA for some nail polish.  Hey, it's better than rewarding myself with cake or pizza, right?  Hells yes, because nail polish won't make me gain weight!

I wound up finding Zoya's 2014 fall collections at ULTA, so I got the two colors that I'd been planning on buying - Remy and Ryan!  (I also got a couple of clearance polishes because yay sales!)

Zoya Entice: "Ryan"


Ryan is a GORGEOUS creme polish.  Completely flawless coverage in just ONE coat!  Well, almost completely.  I did two coats to even out the lines around my cuticles and because I sort of missed a spot on the side of one nail.  But a more steady hand could definitely make this polish a fabled One-Coat Wonder!

Ryan is so dark that she almost looks black on the camera screen (though once I got it on to the computer, I see that it doesn't look so black), so I took it outside for a few shots.  Luckily the Universe played nice and it was sunny out for me!

Zoya Ignite: "Remy"

Uuuunnnnnnghhhhh Remy is so, so, SO unbelievably beautiful!  In the bottle, she has a lot of gold in her.  In fact, I added her to my list of blue-green-gold-turquoise polishes in my post on Muse.  But once you get Remy on your nails, all that gold vanishes and you're left with a ridiculously deep, dark blue sparkle with just a hint of green.  It looks like the freakin' night sky.

Application is lovely, as always with Zoya!  I really don't think Zoya has a polish that applies badly.  The shimmers are too small to cling to the brush, and the formula spreads evenly, correcting any mistakes immediately!  Two coats, but again, one coat is almost perfect!

Outside, Remy is nothing short of dazzling.  I mean, look closely at my middle and ring fingers.  Look at those sparkles!  Did I paint tiny stars on my nails?  Nope, the polish is just. that. sparkly.

Bonus: Experimental Nail Art!

Partly because I wanted to test out some new designs, and partly because I wanted some interesting nails for Zoya's Twitter event tonight, I decided to throw some nail art on top of those gorgeous blues.  I didn't really stick with a theme here; I just had fun and got creative!

does my skin look weird here? that would be because I tried to tone down the washing out of my skin
 by putting on some makeup that's too dark for me.  it didn't help all that much.  oh well.

Left pointer: a pair of daisies.  I used a dotting tool dipped in China Glaze "Happy Go Lucky" for the centers, and a striping brush dipped in China Glaze "White on White" for the petals.

Left middle: Galaxy!  For this one and the other two galaxy nails, I followed some of the designs in YouTuber SaraBeautyCorner's galaxy nail video.  I used the same white and yellow as before, with a tiny bit of Zoya "Frida" and "Robyn," then topped it with the flakes from Revlon Moon Candy "Galactic," and a final coat of Zoya "Sparkle Gloss."  Also, this was my first try at galaxy nails.  I'm quite happy with how they turned out!

Left ring: a chevron design, with Remy on top of Ryan.

Left pinky: a French tip using Zoya "Harper."  (That's another one from the summer 2014 Bubbly collection.  Zoya recently had a BOGO sale on all of their summer colors, so I got Harper and her creme counterpart, "Wendy."  I'll probably swatch them soon!)

 Left thumb: a stripe of Zoya "Muse" on top of Ryan.  I used two pieces of Scotch tape for this design - super easy and I think it looks surprisingly elegant!

Right pointer: a different style of chevron, again using only Ryan and Remy.

Right middle: another galaxy.  This one has Robyn, Ryan, and Zoya "Malia" on top of Remy, as well as a few dots of the same yellow and white as before.

Right ring: yet another galaxy.  I actually only meant to do one galaxy on this hand, but long story short, I messed up.  This one has Ryan, Robyn, and Harper on top of Remy, with a coat of Sparkle Gloss; then I used Scotch and striping tape to cover up the design with more Ryan.  I'm not quite so crazy about the way I covered it up, but oh well.

Right pinky: another diagonal stripe.  I used Zoya "Wendy" for the stripe.  I kind of wish I'd used Robyn or Ryan instead, but I still like it!

Right thumb: another French tip, this time Ryan on top of Remy.

I had more fun with this than I would have if I'd done the same pattern on every nail.  It's a lot of fun to mix and match patterns and designs; I encourage you to try it out if you haven't before!  What's your favorite design?  What else would you have done using Remy and Ryan?  Let me know in the comments!

P.S.  Please excuse all the color in my cuticles in these photos.  I got a liiiittle bit too excited to take pictures to bother getting them super clean.

August 25, 2014

Back to School Nail Art!

I may not be a student anymore, and I'm not a teacher either, but it being back-to-school season, I wanted to do some school-themed nail art!  I had tons of fun with this, and it didn't even take as much time as I thought it would.  Only about two hours from applying basecoat to applying top coat!

More details ahead:

Left thumb: Converse again!  I used Nina Ultra Pro "Black" and China Glaze "White on White."  Instead of using a striper brush for the laces like I did last time, I used my new Sally Hansen I <3 Nail Art White nail art pen!

Left pointer: A simple piece of paper, complete with stupid smears from applying my top coat.  It had been dry for at LEAST twenty minutes.  Whatever.  I used the same white as before, Essie "Strut Your Stuff" for the blue lines, and Sephora "Pink Bikini" for the pink stripe.

Left middle: Chalkboard!  Same black as before, same white nail art pen, and a thin strip of OPI "How Great Is Your Dane?" for the wooden panel thingy where you put the chalk and the eraser.  This one got a matte top coat to simulate the matte-ness of a chalk board.  (I use OPI's matte top coat.)

Left ring: Dry erase board!  Same white as before, same blue as before, and Sally Hansen Complete Salon Manicure "Hi Ho Silver" for the metal panel thingy where you put the markers and eraser.

Left pinky: A ruler!  China Glaze "Happy Go Lucky" as the background, and my Sally Hansen I <3 Nail Art Black nail art pen.

Right thumb: A locker!  I chose Finger Paints "Magritte's Masterpiece" as the blue, because it's the closest color I have to my high school's blue.  Same silver as before for the locker vents, and the same black and white nail art pens for the lock.

Right pointer: Another Converse!  Zoya "Robyn", along with the same black and white paints as before.

Right middle: The eraser end of a pencil!  Same yellow as before, with stripes of Finger Paints "Master Muse", the same silver as before, and the same pink as before.  The eraser part got a matte top coat as well, to better represent the texture of an eraser.

Right ring: A crayon, inspired by reddit user vanillabean's post.  I used Spoiled by Wet n'Wild "Green To Be Heard" for the green, and somehow managed to do the crayon stripeys by using a combination of my nail art pen and Finger Paints "Ch-Art-Coal Black," which is a striper polish.  What design would be complete without topcoat smears? :(

 a detail of my pinky because the darned finger is too short to play nice in the other photos.

Right pinky: An apple!  My nails are still stained yellow from a previous mani, so I used one coat of China Glaze "Innocence" as the background - otherwise, I wouldn't have used a background color.  The apple is composed of Sally Hansen Complete Salon Manicure "Red My Lips," and the same brown, green, and white as before.  And, of course, some of the red from the apple picked up onto my top coat brush and smeared above the apple.  Sigh.  The apple design was inspired by YouTuber cutepolish.

I love, love, love these nails, and I'm kinda tempted to show up to a random college class at the nearby University of Maryland just to see if anyone notices my nails!  What's your favorite design?  Is there a symbol of back-to-school that I left out?  Let me know what you think!

August 21, 2014

Twisted Colors: Houses and Horcruxes

Any of my readers who know me personally know how much I love Harry Potter.  Readers who don't know me personally shouldn't be surprised; it's hard to find a person in the Millennial Generation who doesn't totally love the books and/or the movies.  The series pretty much shapes and defines our generation.  I could go on and on about the books, buuuut that's not exactly the point of this blog, is it?

No, the point of this blog is nail polish.  So, how does one relate Harry Potter to nail polish?  By creating a series of nail polishes inspired by things relating to the series, of course!  And that's exactly what indie nail polish maker Twisted Colors has done!  Here is a link to the Houses and Horcruxes collection.

Twisted Colors is my very first indie polish, and so far it's my only.  I plan on buying her next Potter-themed collection, which is inspired by the candies of Harry Potter, the moment she releases it.  She's posted two sneak-peaks on her Facebook page, and they look absolutely gorgeous!  They're both glitter bombs, and I expect that the other two will be as well.

One more thing, and then I'll get to the swatches.  I have a hell of a time removing glitter polishes.  It's probably the reason I didn't start my blog out by swatching this collection!  So for this, I decided to try out a DYI peel-off basecoat.  (here's the tutorial I used, but there are tons more out there!)  OPI makes a peel-off basecoat, but I wanted to be thrifty and try making my own.  Luckily I had a topcoat that I absolutely hated due to its inability to dry, so I used that bottle rather than dump out a color I even sort of liked.  Normally, peeling off nail polish is terrible for your nails, but remember smearing glue all over your hand in elementary school, and then peeling it off after it dried?  That's basically the idea behind a glue basecoat!  It peels safely off of your nails, without ripping up layers of your nail!

To save time, application is a teeny bit tricky for this entire collection.  The brushes are just a little too wide, at least for the shape of my nails.  You know how if you've been painting for a long time without washing your paint brush, it ends up super saturated and it globs on too much paint no matter how much you try to wipe off on the edge of your paint can ?  That's sort of the feeling I get from these brushes.  It's not the worst thing in the world, because at least the nail polish formula isn't thick and globby.  So it spreads well, but you just have to be careful with the brush.  The glitters don't cling to the brush too much, nor do they glob up on the nail.  

Anyway, enough rambling.  Let's get to swatching!

Twisted Colors "The Sword"

The Sword, inspired by the sword and the House of Godric Gryffindor, is a red sheer (is it quite a jelly?  I'm not sure) polish with large gold glitters.  It. is. GORGEOUS.

Three coats for this one.  You could get away with two, and you could build up to four, but I wasn't quite satisfied with two and I didn't think four were quite necessary for me.  The red is the most sheer out of any in this collection - I almost wish they were all this sheer!

Twisted Colors "The Diadem"

The Diadem, inspired by Rowena Ravenclaw's House and Diadem, is a blue creme with a few  different bronze glitters.  (Twisted Colors also offers a version of The Diadem with silver glitters, to match the movies.  For some reason, Warner Brothers decided to swap Ravenclaw's bronze for silver.  I really adore Twisted Colors for offering both versions!)

I did three coats on this one.  Two is perfectly opaque, but as usual, I wanted to get more depth with the layering.

Twisted Colors "The Cup"

The cup, inspired by Helga Hufflepuff's House and Cup, is a yellow creme with many different types of black glitter and some sort-of-subtle sparkly glitters.  I was actually kind of unimpressed by The Cup when I saw it online - mostly because those long, thin bar glitters looked weird to me - but I ended up liking it a lot better on my own nails than in the online photos!

The Cup is a bit harder to apply than the other polishes in this collection.  The glitters tended to fall off the brush when I wiped off excess drips of polish into the bottle.  Or, if they didn't, they would stick to the brush.  It was a little difficult to get a nice distribution of the glitters, but not impossible or even all that frustrating - it just required a little bit more concentration while applying.

You can see lots of air bubbles in this color - that's because of how hard I had to shake the bottle almost between each nail.  The glitters settled more quickly than the other polishes, and since I needed so many extra pieces of glitter on every brush stroke, I had to shake it up a lot. 

Three coats to get the best coverage of glitter; two coats is enough to make it opaque.

Twisted Colors "The Locket" 

 The Locket, inspired by Salazar Slytherin's House and Locket, is a green creme with many shiny silver glitters, and a few black ones.

I have no complaints about this one; the application was as easy as you can get with glitters of this size.  It did photograph a liiiiiittle bit yellower than it is in real life, but all in all this whole collection photographed really well!  

Three coats.  Again, two coats is good and opaque, but three is more fun!

DIY Peel-off Basecoat results

After wearing these polishes over my peel-off basecoats for a few days, they began to chip - even on nails that I remembered to wrap the tips.  This is normally tragic, but in this case it's actually a good sign: chipping polish means it's not adhered to the nail, which is a good thing when your goal is to peel the polish off!  I actually had an entire nail break off in one piece while I was helping my boyfriend's brother move.  

I didn't have my good camera with me - sorry for the cell phone quality!

I found that it was easiest to peel the polish off if my hands were recently soaked in warm water - after a shower or while giving myself a nice, relaxing foot soak.  My nails were totally fine and not super damaged after peeling the polish off!  The yellow of The Cup did stain my nails a little bit, though.  I guess two layers of watered-down glue form less of a protective coat than my usual 3-4 layers of base coats.  The staining isn't too bad, though, so I'll definitely be using my glue basecoat for all glitter polishes and manis from here on out!

August 20, 2014

China Glaze: Flying Dragon

Flying Dragon is kinda surprising on two levels.   In the store, I first thought it was a totally flat creme, but upon further inspection I realized that it has some really subtle shimmers in two colors: the color of the polish and just a hint of blue!

When I got it home and first swatched it on a nail display, I was even more surprised to realize that it has a matte finish!  It doesn't say matte anywhere on the bottle, yet it's definitely a matte polish.

Apparently, China Glaze has released two versions of this color, both under the same name.  The older version is darker, I think; the version I bought this summer is more neon.  Kinda.  It's quite summer-neon in the bottle and when it's wet on your nails, but it darkens pretty significantly as it dries.  And as it darkens, the sparkles become less distinguished.

Application is kind of iffy.  If you go over the same spot twice while the polish is still wet, you get slight streak marks.  Fortunately, the streaks evened out pretty nicely when I applied my second coat and even more with my top coat.  I really didn't care for the matte look - I think this polish looks better when it's wet - so I used my usual Out the Door on all but my ring finger.  My ring finger has two coats of OPI's Matte Top Coat.  The matte top coat made the sparkles all but disappear.  It's a bit disappointing.

Another thing that's rather disappointing about this color is the way it photographed.  In person, it's a very deep purple that leans only slightly to the red, but as you can see, it looks much more red on camera.  I tried playing with the white balance a bit, and managed to get one picture that looked a bit closer to accurate.

And then, in iPhoto, I messed with the coloring to try to get the color to look exactly like it does on my nails.  You can see in my skin color and in the reflections how much blue and green I had to add to the photo just to get it to look properly purple instead of red-violet.

It still looks a little bit more neon in this photo than it does in person, but I promise you that Flying Dragon is nowhere near as red as it looks in the first two photos.

I'm really shocked at how dark this got compared to the brightness that I saw in the bottle; it's like it transformed from a neon summer purple to a deep autumn purple.  Which isn't necessarily a bad thing, except that it's still summer neon season and I wanted to have an awesome summer neon color on my nails!

Yet another disappointment: it cracked and chipped really quickly.  That may, however, have been my fault and not the polish's: one nail I nicked with a knife while cooking, and I cleaned the bathroom rather heavily the day after painting this polish on.  I did wear gloves, but cleaning is still rough on my hands and nails.  Still, I suspect the polish's formula is at least a little to blame because I have never had a matte polish not chip easily - and I have had non-matte polishes stay undamaged after cleaning the bathroom.

Cleanup of Flying Dragon is okay.  It stained my cuticles a little bit, but not too badly - I was able to clean up all stains without too much extra effort.  Removal is super easy.  No polish stains or glitters smearing all over my hands!

So, all in all, I do like this polish.  It's just not quite what I expected based on what I saw in the bottle.

August 14, 2014

Baker Street, Connaught Square, and Sneakers

Sometimes I buy nail polish because I think, "Hey, I lack this color and I would like to own it!"  Sometimes I buy nail polish because I'm at the store for something else and I can't help myself so I go and I stare at the various bottles until I'm entranced by a color so much that I can't stand not owning it.  Sometimes I buy nail polish simply because it's from a new collection and, like Ash Ketchum, I want them all.  And sometimes, I buy nail polish because it has a really cool name.

The polishes I'll be reviewing today are kind of a combination of the latter three reasons I buy nail polish.

I recently signed up for Sephora Beauty Club, because hey, more ways to save!  They send me an e-mail once or twice a week, and for the most part, I've stopped opening them because I don't care about makeup or anti-wrinkle serums or expensive moisturizers.  Most of the offers in their e-mails are like "free sample*!

 *free sample with qualifying purchase of $50 or more."

And I'm like, yeah, there's no way I'm spending $50 on makeup I don't want or need to get a free sample that I don't really care about.

But, one of their recent free sample offers gave you the sample with ANY purchase.   So I thought, what the hey, it's been a while since I bought a new nail polish!  I'll pop over to the mall, pick out ONE BOTTLE of nail polish, and get a week's worth of expensive moisturizers and face washes for free!

So, I spent at least a good 30 minutes hovering around their nail polish collection.  I really, REALLY wanted Deborah Lippman's "Video Killed the Radio Star," but at $18 a bottle, I decided against it.  (This is one polish that I mostly want because of the name and collection.  I already have a quite lovely electric blue creme polish.)  So I browsed and browsed and browsed until I found Nails Inc, London's "Connaught Square."  A pretty sweet-looking glitter, and it was the cheapest they had!  Woohoo!  And then.  I looked right next to it.  And what did I see?  A nice shade of blue that I don't already own.  And I checked the name.

Baker Street.

Ahhhhh I had to have it!  I've never read the original Sherlock Holmes, but I absolutely adore BBC's "Sherlock" and I also really like the movies starring Robert Downey, Jr.  So yeah.  To make a short story quite long, I got Baker Street because the name was awesome, and I also got Connaught Square because it was pretty.  And they didn't even have the free samples that I wanted - all I got was a single-use moisturizer and a lip gloss (at least it looks really cute on me!).

So, without further ado, I shall review these two polishes, and also there's some bonus nail art at the end!  As always, these have two coats of INM's Out the Door as topcoat.

Nails Inc, London: "Baker Street"

Baker Street is a gorgeous purpley sort of blue.  It's not quite cobalt.  It's almost like if you mixed cobalt with periwinkle.  Or something.

It's a creme finish, very nice application.  Not too thick or gloopy, not too thin or runny.  And if you go over the same spot twice before it dries, you don't end up with that awful brush stroke or - god forbid - bare spots.  Lovely!

Definitely two coats on this one.

Cleanup is quite easy, the pigment isn't so heavy that it'll stain your cuticles if you make a mistake while painting.  Removal is spectacularly easy, as are most creme polishes.

Nails Inc, London: "Connaught Square"

Connaught Square is a GORGEOUS 3D microglitter.  It pairs very, very fine electric blue glitters with larger but equally fine purple circular glitters.  Best part is it's in a clear base - so it won't change the background color of any polish you paint it on top of!  It looks really, really great over Baker Street.

Application is wonderful.  The glitters don't clump together, don't cling to the brush, and don't cling to the nail.  They go on very evenly and smoothly.  One coat is absolutely gorgeous, but I used two for a seriously deep sparkle.  Unfortunately, due to the angle and color of my light I suppose, it didn't photograph on my nail nearly as well as it did in the bottle, so I'm glad I took a few holding it!

Cleanup is easy - the glitters don't cling to your cuticles if you get any on them.  Removal is pretty standard for glitter polishes.  I'm getting better at removing glitters without getting loose sparkles all over my hands and stuck under my nails.

Converse Nail Art!

I've had more than one relative share this manicure with me on Facebook, so I took the hint and decided to try it out!  Here's the original tutorial image:

And here's my attempt:

Well, nobody's perfect on the first try, but I was pretty happy with this!  I'm seriously baffled at how some nail artists manage to get their lines so perfectly straight, with no brush strokes and no wibbles!

For my white tips, I used Julep "Bunny."  Have I discussed how much I dislike Julep's formula?  No?  Well, let's save that for another time, then, because I know this post is getting long.  For now, let me just say that the formula is, ah, less than helpful for trying to paint a nice, clean line around the tips of my nails.

For the laces, I used Sally Hansen I <3 Nail Art White Striper, and for the black dots and lines, I used FingerPaints "Ch-Art-Coal Black."  (For the dots, I used my medium-sized dotting tool dipped in the black.)

Naturally, while I painted this, I watched BBC's Sherlock ;)

August 10, 2014

Zoya Bubbly: Muse

I have a slight problem with an addiction to anything and everything bright blue.  When it comes to nail polish, I'll settle for medium blue, dark blue, greenish blue, and purplish blue.  My favorite, it seems, is greenish blue, perhaps with a goldish hue.  You can see it immediately in my polish collection.  I have seven different colors that, at first glance, look almost exactly the same:

OPI ""Austin-tatious Turqoiuse" (one of my oldest polishes)

 Zoya "Charla"

Nicole by OPI "Candid Cameron" (from the Modern Family collection - I HAD to get one and I love Cameron!)

Sinful Colors ""Nail Junkie" (a gift - and it's the first in this color family that I got that was a 3D glitter)

Julep "Lizanne" (that one comes out much more green than blue, but in the bottle it looks very close to the rest)

Nicole by OPI "That's What I Mint" (in my defense, that one is from the Gumdrops collection - I NEEDED that different texture!)

Edit 8/21: I now also have Zoya "Remy."  It looks much darker in swatches, but in the bottle, it looks almost exactly the same as "Candid Cameron."  So that makes it eight colors that look almost exactly the same at first glance! 
and, finally,

Zoya "Muse."

For a little while I tried to control myself, and stop buying these green-gold-turquoise blues.  But then I decided, what's the fun in that?  If it's my favorite color to use, there's nothing wrong with that!  So, the last time Zoya had their amazing three-polishes-for-only-the-cost-of-shipping sales, I went ahead and treated myself to Muse, even though there were more than two other types of colors that I lack pretty severely in my collection.

I considered reviewing all of these polishes at once, but then decided that I didn't want to.  I was actually going to do a double review like in my first post, swatch a different color on each hand, but my brain went into autopilot and I painted Muse on both hands.  Probably in time I'll end up reviewing at least most of these seven colors, and maybe I'll put them all into this post, but for now, here is my review of Zoya's "Muse."

Zoya "Muse"

Muse is from Zoya's 2014 summer collection, "Bubbly."  As I've seen on various other blogs, it pairs very well with "Ling," from the summer 2014 collection "Tickled."  Unfortunately I'm too poor to order every color in both collections, so the only one I got is Muse.  I'm quite happy with my decision!

Muse is a 3D glitter polish.  Its base hue changes drastically in different lighting, which is always interesting and sometimes rather mesmerizing.  In yellower lighting (tungsten), it's quite greenish; in bluer lighting (fluorescent), there is hardly any green tint to it.  The sparkle is also somehow less dazzling in tungsten lighting - or that could just be that my overhead bedroom light is much dimmer than my fluorescent lamp.

Anyway, the application is really nice.  The glitters don't clump together, or cling to the nail upon application - it spreads neatly and flatly over the nail just like any non-glitter polish.  It's quite sheer; definitely needs at least two coats.  I did three.  It's actually kind of interesting: the first coat is almost disappointingly sheer, but when you add the second coat - WOW, what a difference.  (I didn't take any pictures after one coat, so you'll just have to see that for yourself.)  I've had some polishes that are still so sheer after the second coat, you can barely tell the difference between one and two coats, but this polish is definitely not that sheer.  Probably thanks to the glitter.

Zoya's brushes are super skinny, which is generally a frustrating shape to deal with - especially with wide and/or long nails.  That's not such a big deal with Muse.  Since the glitters don't clump together, it won't hurt your manicure to have to brush over your nail more than the standard three times per coat.  There are some polishes where if you do that, you end up with really uneven brushstrokes, but I didn't have that problem with Muse.

Cleanup is easy - it's so sheer that it won't stain your skin if you get some on your cuticles.  In fact, to ensure nice, even lines inside my cuticles, I even dabbed a little bit onto my cuticle on purpose, and then wiped if off the skin using an orangewood stick dipped in acetone.  Removal is kind of a pain, unless you're pro at removing glitters (I'm not).  Scrub n' rub is definitely a no-no on this one; you'll need to let your polish remover really soak in to the layers of polish.  I ended up with teeny glitters stuck under my nails until after my next shower - glitter just likes me too much, I guess!

All in all, this is a wonderful polish and I'm very glad that I added it to my collection of blue-green-gold-turqoise-glittter-shimmer!

August 9, 2014

The Very First Post! Galactic and Lava Flame

Why, hello!  Welcome to the inaugural post on Kate's Nailing It!  My name is Kate, and I'm an out-of-work filmmaker.  I've always enjoyed painting my nails, but I got pretty in to nail art in December 2013 when I discovered the Lacquerista community (the C was sold to pay for polish).  It became something of an obsession - if I didn't paint my nails at least once a week, I was highly disappointed.  You can check out the progression of my talent here, though as it's my personal Twitter account, there's a decent amount of other pictures mixed in there.  (Hey, if you see any colors used in those manis that you'd like to see me review, let me know and I'll get to it!)

So, since I haven't had a job in a while, and because I love nail art so much, I decided to do something at least sort of productive with my time and start a nail blog!  I'm toying with the idea of swatching my entire collection, but I'm not sure - since last December, I've accumulated about 80 colors and frankly, I don't think I have the patience to swatch that much.  For now, I'm just going to swatch my more interesting colors and post my more exciting nail art designs.

So, without further ado, let's do some swatching!  For my Very First Blog Post, I've decided to do a Day-And-Night sort of mani: Revlon Sun Candy "Lava Flame" on my left hand, and Revlon Moon Candy "Galactic" on my right.

Revlon Moon Candy "Galactic"

I found myself staring at Galactic every time I passed the makeup aisle for months.  Finally, I caved and bought it.  But as excited as I was to use it, I had this weird mindset that it was a "winter color," and I'd bought it in the spring.  Whatever, right?  Screw seasonal trends, I'll wear a deep navy blue at the end of July if I want to!  

Galactic is a very, very deep navy blue creme-jelly solid, paired with a bright blue flake glitter.

The navy color is a very interesting formula.  At first glance, I assumed it was a standard creme, but its application is much more like a jelly.  It's very thin, without being too watery.  Completely full coverage in one coat, but I did a second coat to help clean up the line around my cuticles.  The polish alone has a beautiful sheen to it.  Despite it being a solid color, it has immense depth to it, especially after two coats - another reason that I think this leans closer to jelly than creme.

I've tested out the flakes before on a lighter blue color (unfortunately, I don't have a very good picture of it), and I wasn't too impressed - it looked almost exactly the same as the other flake glitter I have, Nicole by OPI's "Heavenly Angel."  Placed on top of the dark color of Galactic, however, the flakes look AMAZING.  It really does look like I have deep space painted on my nails, with much less effort than your standard galaxy mani.

The application of the flakes, however, was pretty sketchy.  I don't have much experience with applying flakes neatly.  Ankita of Corallista seems to have done a much better job than I did, though she too says that the application is uneven.  I did two coats - one coat to lay some flakies down, and a second to fill in holes.  My nails ended up quite bumpy, but I still completely adore the effect of this polish.

I definitely recommend wrapping your tips with this.  I wrapped my top coat, as always, but I still ended up with pretty noticeable edge shrinkage after a day.

Cleanup of this color is pretty difficult - as with most dark colors, it will stain your skin no matter how quickly you wipe it off, and even using pure acetone it will leave a blue streak on your skin.  Removal is close to a nightmare.  The old "scrub n' rub" method will take ages if you use the flakes.  I soaked pieces of cotton ball in acetone and pressed them onto my nails - basically the foil method without the foil - and while it removed pretty easily, I got runny blue acetone-polish everywhere and had to clean up my hands with a fresh cotton ball when I was done.

Revlon Sun Candy "Lava Flame"

Of Revlon's Sun Candy collection, I was first tempted by Sun Shower and Northern Lights (the blue ones), but I noticed in the store that the creme colors simply did not want to mix properly - no matter how much I shook the bottles, the separation was still pretty severe.  So, because I enjoy anything and everything neon lately, I decided to go with Lava Flame, and I was not disappointed!

Lava Flame is a neon coral-orange-red creme with a matching glitter.

The creme covers fairly well on the first coat, but the white line of my nail did show through a little, so I decided to do a second coat.  I would also recommend a second coat to wrap the tips - there's also pretty noticeable edge shrinkage after a day on this color, despite wrapping my top coat.  The formula on this creme is pretty standard.  It applies well, it isn't too thick and gloopy or too thin and runny.

The glitter on this one applies much more evenly and easily than the flake paired with Galactic.  The glitters are very small, and they don't cling to the brush the way flakies tend to do.  They also spread across the nail just like a normal polish does, rather than cling to the nail upon application.

One coat of the glitter seems to be quite sufficient for a lovely effect, but I tried out two coats on my ring and pinky fingers.  There's a little bit extra sparkle, but honestly, one coat is perfectly enough.

It's a beautiful color - I wish I could have gotten a picture in direct sunlight to show the full sparkle of the glitter.  (I did use the glitter coat in this manicure, but it was on top of several different polishes with sparkles and colors of their own.)

Cleanup of this color is pretty easy - any mistakes can easily be swiped off with your acetone or nail polish remover, using an orangewood stick or a nail art brush.  Removal is pretty easy as well.  Scrub n' rub will work, but it is a bit more difficult thanks to the glitter.  (The glitter isn't quite large enough to tear up an entire cotton ball, so that's nice.)  I prefer to press a soaked cotton ball to my nail for a few moments, then swipe it away.