November 25, 2015

KB Shimmer: Pigment of My Imagination

This is my first KB Shimmer nail polish purchase, and I couldn't have chosen a better polish to start with!

I've never owned a true multichrome polish like this one.  I seem to recall a weird rose-gold-to-snot-green shift that my Mom had when I was a kid, but the awkward green shift rendered it pretty much unwearable.  I guess multichrome technology has gotten better since then - either that, or the color shift effects just work better when the different colors blend together well!

I almost have to wear gloves when I drive with this polish on.  It is so hard to take my eyes off of!

The main color in Pigment of My Imagination is purple, but boy oh boy does it shift around.

Above you can see it has a reddish shift at this angle, and next up it becomes a bit more goldish-red-purple:

See that streak of very very gold near the edges of the bottle?  Usually a shift like that doesn't show up on my camera.  But this one absolutely does!

WHAT. HOW IS THIS THE SAME POLISH.  I promise I didn't get my photos mixed up!  This incredible red-copper color is indeed still Pigment of My Imagination.  The first three  photos were taken under my yellowish lamps and inside my light box (which softens the light and helps reduce glare.)  The photo above is directly under the same lamp, without the light box.  I found that the more direct the light, the more pronounced the colorshift is.

Direct sunlight makes Pigment of My Imagination lean more blue-purple.  But indirect sunlight...

... makes the color lean more towards that reddish-coppery tone, though it's still very purple at the right angle.

This one was taken in the whitest light I have - my bathroom, haha.  In whiter light, this polish continues to lean towards the blue end of the purple spectrum, still with a flash of the coppery tones.

I swear, this polish is at least half magic potion!  This is another picture taken under my yellowish lamps, without the soft box.  It's a completely new shade of purple that we haven't really seen in the other pictures!  I seriously couldn't stop taking pictures of this polish.  It just shifts so much!  I love it!

Formula-wise, Pigment of My Imagination is quite lovely.  It's thin, but not watery.  The first coat is pretty sheer, but the second coat makes it perfectly opaque.

Although I think my pictures have captured at least most of the different colors in this polish, I think a video does it much better!  Feast your eyes (or click here to watch the video on YouTube):

What do you think of this polish?  Do you own any multichromes?  Did you own any of the unfortunate snot-green multichromes of the late 90s/early 2000s?  Let me know in the comments!

By the way - Happy Thanksgiving weekend to my American followers!  My birthday is on Thanksgiving this year so I'm going to have an amazing weekend :D What are you doing for the holiday weekend?  Let me know in the comments!

November 21, 2015

Do I Need Them All? Zoya, Nails Inc London, and China Glaze nudes

Welcome to November's edition of Do I Need Them All!  This month, we'll be taking a look at four nude nail polishes.

From left to right, we have: Zoya Ana, Zoya Chantal, Nails Inc London Radnor Walk, and China Glaze Sunset Sail.  I have the polishes in the same order on my nails in the photos below.

These polishes are pretty surprisingly different once you get them on the nail!  Ana is a Satin finish - somewhere between glossy and matte - which comes as no surprise since that's right on the bottle.  Radnor Walk actually dries to a matte finish, which is a bit of a surprise since it's not written on the bottle at all.  And Sunset Sail has a bit of a shimmer to it, but its shimmer is much more subtle than that of Radnor Walk.

Angled more towards the light to purposefully get a glare - to demonstrate the different finishes.

Colorwise, these polishes kind of pair up: Sunset Sail is almost the same shade as Chantal, though SS leans perhaps a touch more peachy; and Ana and Radnor Walk are very similar shades, though the pinkish sparkle in RW does make it look a bit pinker overall.


I found that using flash was the best way to show the differences in finish - and to actually show off the shimmers in Radnor Walk and Sunset Sail.  My camera wasn't really picking up the shimmers at all - and the flash on my camera is ridiculously bright at its lowest setting, so I took this picture on my phone.

These colors are altogether much more different on the nail than they are in the bottle!  There are definitely no dupes here.

So, Do I Need Them All?  Sure!  These babies are definitely all different from each other.  The sparkles in two of them, the matte and satin finishes, and the two different main color tones make them very different nail polishes.  Until I really got in to collecting nail polish, I probably would have picked only one of these four, because I wasn't really in to nude polish.  Which one, I'm not sure, but I use to wear nude colors so rarely that I didn't care to own similar shades!  However, for someone who loves doing nail art but works a job where nail polish can't be too colorful, I would say that you definitely need all of these!  Just be sure to grab a Satin and a matte top coat if you want to secure your manicure and retain the different finishes featured in this post.

Was this post helpful to you?  Are there any specific polishes that you'd like to see compared in this series?  Let me know in the comments!

November 18, 2015

Happy Movember!

November has been lovingly known as Movember for a few years now, thanks to the "No-Shave November" trend.  (Is it a trend? a lifestyle? a challenge? I honestly don't know at this point.)  So I decided to do a quick and easy Jamberry manicure to celebrate!

I mixed things up because I have a TON of sample sheets of different wraps - my Jamberry representative loves sending out samples to her customers!  So I had a lot of fun with the accent nails.

Sadly, most of the wraps in this mani have been discontinued - Almond Ombre, which is on my left pinky finger, the mustache French tips, which are adorably called Uno Momo, and the plaid on my right pinky have all been discontinued.  The flowery wrap on my left middle finger is called Flapper and it's still around in Jamberry's shop, woohoo!  The animal print on my left pinky is Hear Me Roar.

A lot of people around the internet dislike Jamberry, for a variety of reasons.  The biggest one is that they're a lot harder to apply than the company makes it look - and that's definitely true.  I still need some practice - you can see the wrinkles on some of my nails.  But my favorite thing about Jamberry is that once I've finished applying them, I'm done.  This manicure may have taken me 45 minutes, but when I was done, I was able to whip up dinner immediately without having to worry about smudging, chipping, or denting my nails.  And honestly, 45 minutes for this many nail art designs is nothing!  (At least the way I paint my nails, ha.)  For a solid color nail, I definitely prefer polish, but I really like using Jamberry for nail art.

Have you ever tried Jamberry, or any other of the different kinds of nail wraps out there?  What did you think of them?  Let me know in the comments!

November 12, 2015

Zoya Flair: Estelle and Aggie

When Zoya first released photos of their Fall 2015 collections Focus and Flair, I was a bit unimpressed.  I felt like I'd already seen most of the colors before, some of them even by Zoya themselves.  Then the first few blog posts on the collections came out, and to be honest, I still felt the same way about most of the colors.  They all look quite pretty, but they just didn't seem as original as most of the Zoya polishes have since I first started buying from them in spring 2014.  Maybe that just happens after you own 273 bottles of nail polish - it takes a heck of a lot more flair in a nail polish to make me say, "I need that!" than it did when I only owned 13 bottles.

But of course, I wanted the blue metallic, Estelle.  Do I ever not want the blue metallic polish in any given collection?  And Aggie, an intriguing colorshift metallic, looked so different and interesting that I had to have it.

Zoya Flair: Estelle

Estelle is an absolutely gorgeous shade of blue.  Let's face it, to me, every shade of blue is gorgeous, and I think I say that about every shade of blue polish I ever review.  Estelle is probably the closest imitator of sapphire that I've seen - many have imitated the color pretty well, but few have gotten the brilliant sparkle of the stone.  The way the polish sparkles on my nail kind of brings out their curvature - but not in a weird, "her nails are really bendy" way.  It's more of a "this polish has tons of depth and really reflects the light" kind of curvature.

The first coat of Estelle is quite sheer, but the second coat yields perfect opacity.  A lot of Zoya's darker metallics are almost one-coaters, but not this one.  I almost always use two coats anyway, just to make sure the line bordering my cuticles looks good, so that's not a big deal for me.

I really love the texture of the metallic.  It's incredible how many different types of metallic nail polish there are!  I've actually been meaning to create a guide to the different types of metallics, but now I kind of feel like there are just too many to document.  But definitely let me know in the comments if you would like to see a guide to the different textures!

Zoya Flair: Aggie

Aggie is definitely the most unique polish in this collection.  Its colorshift looks very striking in the bottle, with hints of blue-green at the edges, but on the nail it isn't quite so shifty.

In different types of light, it looks very different.  It's a warm gold, almost leaning copper, under my yellowish lamps, but as I was washing my hands in my white-lit bathroom, it almost looked like a chocolate brown.  The blue-green shift that I see in the bottle doesn't really show up at all on the nail, nor did it show up in my pictures.

The photos on Zoya's website are actually very accurate.  You can see the greenish hues in the bottle shot, but not on the swatch photo or the pool of polish.

Aggie's formula is very nice.  It's thin, but not watery, and opaque at two coats.  Very nice application, which is no surprise with Zoya.

Even though this polish wasn't exactly what I expected, I still really like this color!  It reminds me of the changing autumn leaves.

Zoya describes the texture of both of these polishes as "liquid metal," and I totally agree with that.  They're both so sparkly and smooth!

Do you have any of the polishes from this collection?  Which is your favorite?  Do any of them feel like dupes to you?  Let me know in the comments!

November 4, 2015

Zoya Penny

Back in the beginning of the year, I placed a rather large order of polish with Zoya.  They'd just announced the end of the Pixie Dust line, so I picked out a bunch of my favorite shades, and then decided to clear out my wish list and spend enough money to get free shipping.  When my order arrived, I was super excited to find that three full-sized bottles of polish had been thrown in as a complete bonus!  They weren't even listed as a gift on my packing slip.  The polishes were Penny, Demi, and Shivon.  I think all three of them have been discontinued by Zoya, as they're quite old - Penny and Demi are from the Fall 2009 collections, and Shivon is from Winter 2008.  I have no idea why I got them all for free, but it makes me super happy!

Zoya Penny (which you can still apparently find on Amazon) is, naturally, a beautiful copper metallic.  It's a classic metallic texture, with no flakies or colorshift or large glitters - just sparkly.  But that doesn't make it any less beautiful!

The formula on Penny is very interesting.  It's quite thin, so cuticle flooding is definitely a concern with it, yet somehow it is almost 100% opaque after one coat.  Honestly, I think that if I just had bare nail under it and not painted white tips using Zoya's Naked system, I could have been happy with one coat!  But because my tips were so bright, there was a little bit of VNL, so I used two coats.  I've never seen such a thin polish be so opaque!  Why isn't every nail polish like this??

I did end up with a lot of air bubbles in this manicure, and they're pretty visible in the above photo.  I'm not really sure if they're from Penny itself or if they came from my top coat (which is, as always, two coats of Out The Door).

For as long as I can remember, I've been collecting pressed pennies on trips.  While I was in Michigan this summer, I was telling my aunt about Penny and my pennies, and she suggested that I model my hands with my penny collection!  I can't believe I didn't think to do that the moment I got Penny! ;)

I could go into detail about almost every penny here, but that would be pretty off topic.  That's how special my pennies are to me, though - aside from 3 or 4 which I've had for almost my entire life (from attractions that I went to several times throughout my childhood), I can narrow each penny down to the trip, even the month and year, that I got it from.

I got my souvenir collecting book from the Detroit Zoo, thus the animals on the cover.  I grew up less than 2 miles away from the zoo and it is one of my favorite places in the whole world.  They don't have a pressed penny machine there (if anybody from the Zoo reads this, please consider getting one!), and even though the book doesn't say "Detroit Zoo" on it anywhere, I'm pretty happy knowing that my collection is in a book that came from my hometown zoo.

Does anybody else collect pressed pennies?  Are there any other perfectly penny-copper nail polishes out there that I should get my hands on (for Do I Need Them All, perhaps?)  Let me know in the comments!