Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Stash: more microglitters and foils

This is where the big gap was between the first set of stash pictures I took and the second (when the sun came out again after a long rainy week), and I messed up in that somewhere in there and at least one of these have been seen previously, and I'll note that. But hey, that's not exactly the end of the world. (I could probably talk about the same polish again and nobody would notice - possibly including me. I didn't this time, but it's certainly possible that I'll do just that before this is over.)
on top:
  • CE61, aka Ipanema Girl (Layla Ceramic Effect) - bright green with gold flecks, fairly sheer
second row:
  • Steel Guitar (Orchid) - metallic steel gray 
  • Rikki (Zoya) - silvery pale green - I like this one a lot but I like it better with something darker underneath it; however, if you don't have my aversion to light colors this is probably unnecessary! I also recall this being pretty sheer, so that's another reason for an undercoat, though.
  • Editorial (Color Club - although actually this is unlabeled; in fact I have two of these minis and neither is labeled) - supposed to be a dupe or near-dupe for Chanel Peridot. See the link for comparisons. Holly says they are close but not quite, but I can't tell much difference from her photos. (Hmm, in fact one of the bottles I have may be that very bottle, because I think I got one of them from her, in a blog sale.)
  • Hipster Chick (this is the repeat)
  • Leaf Him At The Altar (Sephora by OPI) - pretty similar to Rikki, above, right down to the sheerness. I need to compare, if I can remember to! Silvery leaf-green, in any case.
bottom row:
  • India (Zoya) - burgundy with a bit of multicolor shimmer. I loved this in the bottle but was not so captivated when I wore it, to tell you the truth, and I'm still not sure why.
  • Two Cent (Sonia Kashuk) - metallic copper is something I can be relied on to love, and this is no exception
  • Fall Mood (Revlon Colorstay Longwear) - this one is considerably paler than Two Cent, and thus I don't love it so much, because as I mentioned above, pastels and I don't mix. However, it's not quite pastel enough that it looks bad on me - and I bought it on clearance, anyway, so eh.
  • Rage (Orly) - this is one of those polishes that everybody but me seems to adore - but, more or less for the same reasons as above, I don't. This is even paler than it looks in the bottle. I looked at the descriptions and said, "Rose gold? I should be able to wear rose gold!" but somehow, not so much. I did try it over a darker undercoat and that helped.
  • VT100 (Pretty Serious) - this is new(ish) and I don't think I've worn it yet, but it looks pretty awesome in the bottle. Apparently it's also named after an old computer terminal, which warms my little geeky heart. (Wikipedia's picture does not show the display as green, but that's what it reminds me of - those old green-display terminals. Raise your hand if you're old enough to remember those!) This seems to be more of a microglitter than a lot of these. (Later mani here)

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Stash: microglitters vs foils

Because I honestly can't decide what is what, here. Many of these I think it would be fair to call foils, but not all.
top row:
  • Blackout (Revlon) - huh, either this is mislabeled or I'm confused, or maybe it's just that this is an older polish than I'd realized, because I haven't found anything online that matches this at all. It's a very dark blue, not a black as you'd be inclined to think. But y'know, just because it's not online doesn't mean it didn't exist. I have to remind myself of that occasionally. Added: Huh, I'm going to have to go back and see if my bottle says Top Speed - you can't see in this picture one way or the other - but Kaz of Pretty Random (the same Kaz who makes Pretty Serious polish), who is a big vintage polish collector, has a picture of Top Speed Blackout that looks like it might be it. The cap matches and everything.)
  • So Blue Without You (China Glaze) - this one I would call very definitely a foil, in bright blue. (more swatches)
  • (above those) unlabeled blue mini (from a set sold as "Color Theory" - I've long theorized that these are actually L.A. Colors polishes, but I don't know enough about that brand to be really sure)
  • Racy Green (Milani High Speed) - shimmery teal green. This is supposed to be a one-coater
  • Celeb City (Xtreme Wear) - chrome silver, really too shiny for my taste - but it's pretty.
  • The silver Ulta mini that has clearly been around the block a few times is Twisted Tinsel, according to my spreadsheet, although the print is so tiny I'm not sure if I've ever been able to really read it! - Silver foil, almost as bright as Celeb City, above.
middle row:
  • Not So Blueberry (Revlon Scented) - this is, guess what, not really blue. It's lavender foil and it does smell like blueberries, but not overwhelmingly so.
  • Royal Invite (SH Diamond Strength) - pretty similar in color to Not So Blueberry, really - somewhere between blue and purple, but not dark enough to be what people usually mean by "blurple" - more in the lavender-to-periwinkle range.
  • Rendezvous With You (China Glaze) - from the fall 13 collection, a sort of grape foil finish, a darker base with lighter shimmer. This is a bit of a grayed purple.
  • Purple Rush (Milani High Speed) - dark purple with lighter purple or maybe red-violet flecks, I haven't been able to decide. Something in it reads on the red-violet side, anyway! It's pretty, and like Racy Green above, it was from the LE fast-dry one-coat line.
  • Sugar Plum (Milani Color Statement) - this is from the newer Milani line in the round bottles, and it's really pretty. It's right on the purple/pink line, so maybe you'd call it raspberry? but most people would probably tell you it's hot pink. It's a red-violet base with fuchsia shimmer. I wouldn't especially call this one a foil.
bottom row:
  • Once Upon A Time (Chick) - this is really almost a top-coat, because it's pretty sheer. You can build it to opaqueness but I found I liked it best for layering. It's sort of a strawberry-pink, I would say - pink with some hints of orange. (I notice that I called it "rhubarb" back when I first got it last fall.)
  • Elfin' Around (China Glaze) - red-orange foil. Inexplicably part of their Christmas-season set in 2013 rather than being in the fall set where it would be much more at home. (more swatches)
  • Kimber (Zoya) - pink foil-like finish. I've talked about this one lately and how I always wear it with Reva because for some reason it sets off my "too pink" trigger. (I've never understood why I have such a trigger at all because I like pink. But I definitely do.)
  • Santa Red My List (China Glaze) - the same foil finish as Elfin' Around, but this time in fuchsia. Go figure. (mani from 2014)
  • Karina (Zoya) - I see this mentioned as a Ruby Pumps dupe, and while they are not actually dupes - see the link for that discussion - they are certainly in the same ballpark. (I've been using that phrase a lot lately. Maybe it's just because I'm ready for baseball season!) Karina is more of a foil, though. (layered mani from 2012)

Friday, March 27, 2015

NOTD: Boom over Jordana's Skinny Jean

I really love this:
This is Formula X Boom, a matte glitter, over Barielle Jordana's Skinny Jean. Sephora's website described Boom as periwinkle, but I can't really see enough purple in it to call it a true periwinkle. I'd call it a light cyan or turquoise, rather. And Jordana's Skinny Jean is, not surprisingly, a dark denim color. I assume that name is supposed to refer to the 80s designer jeans craze, and the jeans of that era were mostly a really dark indigo color, as I recall. Faded was not really "in" for the early part of the 80s, at least. Anyway, they go really well together, whatever colors you call them. It's very bumpy glitter so I'm wearing no less than three coats of top-coat on top of this - two of Gelous and one of BL Hardwear. And it's still just a bit bumpy after all that, but not enough to be annoying.

I bought another matte glitter from the same line (they call them "Transformational Top-coats" or something like that), since they were on sale, that's a dark cobalt blue and is actually almost the same color as the Barielle polish. I tried them on together and you couldn't see the glitter at all. That one is called TNT. And what's the use of wearing glitter you can't see? If it was regular shiny glitter you'd be able to see it, wouldn't you? but not so much with the matte. All you saw was bumps, which is not very pretty to look at -- so I will obviously have to wear it over a lighter blue base, or some other color entirely. I'm looking forward to playing with these.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Stash: microglitters pt 3: red & red-adjacent

("Red-adjacent" meaning a few oranges on one side of the spectrum and some purple-leaning things on the other!) The picture is a bit out of focus, sorry! but I do think it's sufficient to my purpose here - plus, by the time I realized it was out of focus, the polishes were scattered and I just wasn't quite motivated enough to find them all again.
top row:
  • Reva (Zoya) - like the many other polishes Zoya puts out like this, this has a fairly sheer base and a ton of microglitter, although it doesn't have that grainyness that would make it into what I would call a "packed" glitter. Here I think the base is red and the glitter is maybe pink and coral and gold? It's hard to tell. It definitely leans a bit orange in some lights.
  • Sugar Rush (Julie G Gumdrops) - a red-orange texture (I'm using the same link for both these Julie G polishes because there are texture dupe comparisons galore there, including both of these, and that's a super-useful link that I have referred to over and over in the last couple of years. Thank you Polishaholic!)
  • Hot Cinnamon (Julie G Gumdrops) - Hot Cinnamon is supposed to be the red one, but it actually leans quite noticeably toward the orange side. (And there is also another more yellowy orange one than these two. I don't know if Julie was really feeling her oranges at the time or what!) (Oh well, I have Zoya Chyna for my fire-engine-red texture needs, anyway!) (mani from 2013)
  • (upside down) VIP (Jade) - another link in Portuguese, but you can get at least the sense of it from Google Translate and the pictures. VIP is from the Special Glitz line, they're jellies with holo glitter, and this one is red-orange. I have three of these and I love them all.
  • F*ck and Run (Nostalgic Lacquer - named after a Liz Phair song) - this is sort of in the same ballpark as Reva, above - a reddish-pink with hints of orange. That's not to say they're dupes at all, though - this one is a jelly, so much more sheer and reads more red than Reva, I think. Does well with something under it, or on its own it's buildable to something like opaqueness, at least!
2nd row:
  • Bad Santa (Ulta) - first of all, this is my favorite name of all time for a bright red. And luckily, it's super-pretty, too. No real surprises there, bright Santa-suit red with lots of MG - in the picture here it looks like the shimmer might have some gold in it, although I can't say I remember noticing that in past wearings. (On my all-red nail wheel it's #20, for another view of it. If there's gold I can't see it there.)
  • Stop (old Hard Candy mini) - I notice on the nail wheel above, I refer to Stop as a red creme, which it is not - if I hadn't seen glitter in it I wouldn't have put it here, and that link is to Makeup Alley where their reviewers agree. It's apparently sort of a subtle glitter, at least.
  • Delilah (Zoya) - before I had a million reds, Delilah was my go-to red glitter. I don't wear it as much nowadays, but it's still just as pretty!
  • Ruby Pumps (China Glaze) (that's the same link as the last one, since they're both in there) - I bought Ruby Pumps just mostly because I'd heard so much about it, but... really it didn't blow me away, it's too similar to things I already had. That's not to say it's not gorgeous, though. Maybe a hair darker than Delilah, although I'm not sure it's noticeable on the nail.
  • Chyna (Zoya Pixie Dust) - pretty similar in color to the rest of these - bright red, pretty neutral (not orange- or purple-leaning at all that I can tell) - but in a texture. The Pixie Dust texture is very similar to the Julie G ones above, although it's not in those comparison photos because it didn't come out until later!
3rd row:
  • Alegra (Zoya) - Alegra came from the same collection as some more-famous Zoya polishes like Ivanka and Charla, yet I don't recall it ever getting that level of hype. It's beautiful, though - I have mocked Zoya's description of it as "expensive-looking" because what does that mean? but actually I do know what they were trying to say, I think - it's rich-looking, somehow. Fuchsia with dark pink sparkle should not looks as classy as it does. (It's maybe a bit darker and/or more purple-leaning than your average fuchsia, I think that's part of the difference.)
  • Believe In Believing (Pipe Dream Polish) - actually I don't think this is really a microglitter, but it's in the picture so I'm going to talk about it just the same. Apparently I thought when I was sorting that it was, but appearances can be deceiving! Looks like it has some hex glitter in it, with mixed pinks. There is some microglitter IN there, I think, but it's not only microglitter.
  • Fruit Punch (NYC) - I think I may have purchased this in a duo pack along with Grand Central Station, that seems to ring a bell with me. There's nothing really different about this polish, but for the price, does there have to be? Fuchsia with microglitter, really pretty.
  • Escharpe de Seda (Jade) (this means "silk scarf") - like VIP above (and I'm using the same link) this is holo glitter in a jelly base. This one was the first one I bought and still my favorite. It's maybe a little more red than these fuchsias I've just been talking about - it's right on that dividing line between red and pink. (In fact, Kelly appears to be comparing it to Zoya Blaze, at that link, which I'm going to talk about below.)
  • Pyro Pink (Cover Girl Glosstini mini) - Originally from the Catching Fire collection, although now I believe it's core and available in the normal-size bottle. It's maybe a little paler than the rest of these fuchsias, but otherwise pretty similar. It does have that same lovely glass-fleck-type finish as the rest of this line. (Note that I also now have a full-size of this, and that these are being discontinued as of late 2015.)
bottom row:
  • Put A Bow On It (China Glaze) - purple-leaning fuchsia, very packed with glitter. This is the same formula as This is Tree-mendous, which was in the last entry, and I bemoaned my lack of organization. But in fact they are all in the microglitter section, they're just not in the same entry because I separated them by color. The third one is All Wrapped Up, which was in part 1. So - at least in this case - I'm doing better than I thought. (S&L swatches)
  • (upside down) Blaze (Zoya - holo) - cool-toned red or raspberry holo, depending who you listen to. I never could warm up to this one - so to speak - and I really don't know why. (Later: Somebody admired Blaze in a Pinterest picture, and I found my bottle and gave it to them. I figured somebody else might enjoy it more!)
  • Purple Diamond (Sinful) - sheer orchid MG, needs layering (although, if you look at that link, clearly don't layer it with the semi-sheer L'Oreal that she tried). I'd put it over something like a similarly-colored cream, myself.
  • He Loves Me, I Love Him Not (Orchid) - hmm, I wasn't expecting to find any kind of swatch for this, because it's a store-brand, it's obscure. But the store's website came through with a bottle shot, at least. (Although honestly, I think it reads more pink than purple, myself.) And here's a nail wheel swatch - it's #6 there, and you can see it fits in quite well with all the fuchsias.

Monday, March 23, 2015

Stash: microglitters pt 2 - blue to green + metallic

Honestly, this iteration of the stash project is a pain and it's going to take me forever (assuming I ever finish at all) but I am learning so much about my stash it's just unbelievable. Basically, I was stunningly ignorant about nail polish finishes and now I'm becoming a little less so.

I took this picture a while back, and then I had computer issues and I was afraid I had lost this and a lot of other things, but Carbonite came to the rescue, as it's supposed to, and all is well. (If you're curious, I had a corrupted profile. I had no idea such a thing was possible.)
top row:
  • Zuza (Zoya) - you could call this either a dark aquamarine or a light turquoise, I guess - it's from the summer collection called Beach and Surf, back two or three years ago (Beach was cremes and Surf was shiny, if I'm remembering right, so this would be the Surf one.) It's very pretty but a bit light for me. I've liked it best when I layered something slightly darker underneath - but you can clearly see there that I've used a good bit of it up!
  • Remy (Zoya) - this is the blue polish from Zoya's great Ignite collection from last fall, with its "liquid metal" finish - dark blue with mixed-metal shimmer
  • Evening Emerald (Pixi) - a very dark blue-green - not what I would call emerald at all, it's far too blue, although I suppose the "evening" part of the name is meant to account for the darkness of it. Anyway, it has tonal shimmer, maybe a bit lighter blue-green, and it looks really pretty in the pictures and now I'm trying to remember why I was unimpressed by it when I tried it. Time to try again, I guess!
  • Rid Of Me (Nostalgic) - here's what I wrote when I wore this a couple of months ago. It's a gorgeous bright blue MG, but very sheer and does need an undercoat. The pictures at that first link show it with an equally bright-blue undercoat and it looks great. Nostalgic Lacquer seems to have gone MIA lately (that same note has been there for months), and I hope it's not permanent, because I really liked their polishes a lot!
  • Glacial Springs (Smitten) - this seems similar to Rid Of Me, really, except maybe even flashier since it's packed with holographic glitter. I know I wore it at least once, but I think it was in the middle of a bunch of layers and clearly, again, I need to retry this one!
2nd row:
  • Swatch & Learn (Pretty Serious Blogger Collab line) - one of those "funky greens" which reads a little on the yellow side but not extremely so, and it's really packed with several different colors of duochrome shimmer (I think it may be that it's gold shimmer which makes this read as somewhat yellow, actually)
  • (upside down) Meow Meow (RBL) - really packed dark-green small glitter, very pretty
  • Chita (Zoya Pixie Dust) - this looks a bit lighter in the picture above than I really remember it reading in person. It's basically a matte forest green with some silver sparkle - maybe it's the silver that makes it look lighter here. Like all the Pixie Dusts, if you don't want the texture finish it looks great with top-coat too. (mani w/topcoat from 2014)
  • N-evergreen (Ulta Wicked Wonderland set) - another glittery forest green, very pretty. This one leans a bit more blue.
  • Kissy (Sinful Colors) - most notable as a near-dupe for Zoya Charla, but very pretty in any case. Dark blue-green which reads also as a foil.
3rd row:
  • Rainforest ("old" Colorstay) - very dark green with maybe a hint of yellow - I think maybe the glitter in it is more like a lime green, going from VV's picture in the link. She calls it "murky" green which I have come to think implies yellow tones as well. It's prettier than all this makes it sound - in fact I had already gone through most of a bottle by the time I figured out they were discontinuing the "Longwear" version of Colorstay early last year, and I bought two more bottles as backups from various clearance sales, I like it that much.
  • Stiletto (Jade) - medium green, similar to several medium green cremes I have like Chick Moss - the difference is that this one has scattered glitter in it, despite the fact that it's labeled "cremoso" which sounds like it ought to mean "creme". The text at the link is in Portuguese (which makes sense since Jade is a Brazilian brand) but the little insert picture clearly shows some glimmer in it. Otherwise I might think I was imagining it! (Note that when you google "jade stiletto" you get some polish swatches but you also get stuff like this, which made me laugh.)
  • Hipster Chick (Chick) - you can see the whole line there, with Rocker Chick, Biker Chick, and Punk Chick (I sort of wish I'd bought Rocker Chick too, while these were still available). Hipster Chick to me looks a little less bright than it does in that picture. It's like the closest thing you can get to a "neutral" lime green - which is probably why I like it. And it does have scattered holo sparkle. (mani from 2014)
  • This Is Tree-mendous (China Glaze) is one of several packed microglitters from the 2013 holiday collection. (I have to note here that I think it says a lot about the organization - or lack thereof, more like - of this stash project that three polishes with exactly the same finish ended up in different batches.) Anyway, green packed MG, maybe a bit lighter than a traditional holiday green, and like many polishes with this kind of finish tends to flake after a day or so. It's really beautiful while it lasts, though. (mani from 2014) (more swatches)
  • Slick Black (Triple Shine - missing its cover that says so, which I did find again after I took the picture, of course) - this is a black with a glass-fleck appearance. (I never know exactly what to make of that term "glass-fleck," because while I suppose it's possible that they are putting glass glitter in nail polish, most of the time I doubt it! Anyway, whatever it's made of, it's beautiful.)
bottom row:
  • All About You (Sinful Colors) - I am amused by the commentary at that link - she really hates this polish! This is a mixed-metals sort of thing, in the gold/brass/copper range, with a clear base and thus it's really more suited to being a top-coat. I haven't worn it the way she shows it, built to opaqueness, either.
  • London (Zoya Pixie Dust) - the usual "original" PixieDust formula (and in fact I think this is from the original PD collection) - Michelle of ALU calls it "graphite" but I have always thought of it as "fog gray" which sounds more romantic, at least. Graphite is probably just as accurate, if not more so. It's dark enough that I like it, and since I hate pastels on me, that probably means it's more of a medium gray than a light one.
  • Trailer Trash (old-school Hard Candy mini, and I have a full-size bottle of this somewhere too) - fabulous antiquey silver, one of my favorite polishes of all time. I suspect it reads more as an old-line frost than a true microglitter. My favorite use for it is actually to put a really light coat on top of other stuff. I spent an entire winter a few years ago trying this with everything I owned at the time, and it usually looked great.
  • Midnight Magic (which is upside down for some reason) (Outlast) - huh, this link says it's a very near dupe to FeiFei, which I also own (and also one of the OPI Bond polishes) - I'll try to remember to compare. I'm not sure if Midnight Magic was actually one of the Catching Fire polishes or if it was already core before that, but it's got that same finish, which is, guess, what, glass-fleck-ish. As is FeiFei. I just hadn't realized the colors were that close. Interesting. (See, I learned something new again. That is why I keep going with this even as I gripe about it.) (mani from 2014)

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Reva + Kimber & other NOTD

This is a combination I've used off & on for years, because I like these two polishes together better than I like either one by themselves:
Kimber is a bright pink; Reva is more of a strawberry pink. Kimber seems somehow slightly "too pink" to me and Reva seems slightly too orange. But when you layer them (Kimber then Reva), they magically cancel each others' issues out, or something like that. I really don't know what it is; I just know I really like them together.

You can see in the picture that this is wanting to chip a bit - I'd already had it on for a couple of days by the time I took this picture. Then I didn't get around to taking the old polish off that night (it's been a crazy week) so in the morning I just touched up the chips with the first polish I came across that seemed similar, which was Zoya Lillith (I'm not sure offhand whether they spell it with one L or two!) and then I put another coat of that on top. It's a much brighter pink than this - and I couldn't really see it in action but as I recall it has a blue flash to it.

And today I have on WnW Grape Minds Think Alike, which is one of the new reformulated WnWs that came out after Christmas. (I'm blank right now about what the line is called - not FastDry but the other one. I don't know if the polishes are actually new ones but the bottles changed, at least. Added: it's Wild Shine.) It's a fairly dark grape-ish purple - if I saw it without knowing the name I would probably call it burgundy.

And the other thing I have to say is that I ordered some Formula X polishes from Sephora, because they were on sale. It was two of the matte topcoats that I ordered - I think it was Boom and TNT. One was dark blue and one was periwinkle. I thought those would be fun to play with. These are my first Formula X polishes - I had let my budget build up a little, and I was poking around thinking I might just buy ONE, but then since they were on sale and I really thought those looked cool, I got two sale ones instead.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Playing with polish: Rollin' in the green

(My brain is insisting on putting the word "green" into the Adele song. I don't know if there's actually a "Rollin' in the Green" song out there somewhere - I wouldn't be too surprised to find out there was.)

I am definitely rollin' in it today, though, although I'm home today and nobody will see. I have on a green t-shirt (I'm pretty sure it came from Target a couple of years back and it's one of those fake-vintage ones with what I imagine is a fake-vintage roadsign on it). And I have no less than 6 different green polish combos on my 10 nails.

Backing up to the last manicure I posted, late Sunday night I put on Misa Dirty Sexy Money. And it was really pretty, but I did what I always do with cremes these days, just the same: I put something shinier over it. In this case it was OCC Chimera. I had worn it by itself once before, I think, and wasn't crazy about it because it's pretty pale (paler than it looks in the bottle), but I like it much better with the DSM base, it darkens it a bit without taking away the shiny at all.

I knew I probably wasn't going anywhere today, but the sun was out so I started experimenting and taking pictures. This is the Chimera/Dirty Sexy Money combo, but on the pinky I added ModLacquer Chupacabra.
I love this polish, and if I'd been thinking I would have worn this one as a full mani where somebody would see it because I adore it - a blackened green glitter. I really don't have anything else like it (and this is an extremely tiny mini, so I tend to hoard it).

Then on the thumb on the other hand (I actually did this one first) is Shuffle Green from Dear Rus:
I bought this when Llarowe put them on clearance - after Christmas, I think, so I haven't had it that long - and I really like it. Llarowe doesn't carry them any more but that doesn't mean this brand isn't available out there somewhere. Dear Rus is a Korean brand, I believe, so I can't read the label but I think its official name is #601 and I think I decided that Shuffle was a collection name, or something like that. This is two coats. It's green, obviously, and some gold - mixed greens but seems to lean a bit olive. I have to remember to wear this one out in public sometime!

Now we're back to the left hand and I've added Layla CE61 on my index finger. (601 and 61, this is why numbers are so confusing.) Layla polishes always seem to have a name, too, though, and this one is Ipanema Girl. It's noticeably brighter than everything else here, although I seem to recall that it's actually pretty sheer. This is only one coat.
(You can also see here that the existing mani is chipping a bit, which is partly why I'm so willing to do swatches on top of it - something I normally don't do at all.)

I hadn't worn Hipster Chick in a while, but it went on the (chipped) middle finger. Like Chimera, it's pale and somewhat sheer and looks better on me with something darker under it.
You can see - and I'd kind of forgotten - that it has scattered holo glitter in it. It's a really unusual combination. I just discovered Chick right when they were going out of business, seemingly, and I'm sorry about that, because I really like the polishes that I have. (And that tangerine-ginger cuticle oil, which is the best-smelling thing ever!)

One more, on the remaining thumb - Lippmann Shake Your Money Maker:
This looks green from a distance, but really I'd call it teal, with scattered gold.

(Did you wear green for St.Patrick's Day? If so, what?)

Polish budget update: Painted Polish

Now bear in mind that I put myself on a budget, but I'm not buying budget polishes here. I've got tons of those already. The idea is to focus on quality, not quantity. And apparently I am on a kick of being super-choosy at the moment anyway, because the only thing I saw back at the end of February that called out to me was a blue flakie, Flake Your Booty:
I'm not sure you can really see too much of the blue in this picture, but trust me, it's there. It also came very nicely packaged:
In fact it was almost on the verge of being overpackaged, if there is such a thing: it was in bubble-wrap, I believe, and then in this cute little lace bag, and snuggled inside some packing material in a box. Painted Polish is doing so well that they've sold everything out and there's a note up on the website saying they'll be back toward the end of the month. I'm surprised I managed to get hold of this one in time.

As I've mentioned, I tried it over Color Club Nail-robi and it was beautiful, but I didn't get pictures. I will try to do better the next time!

I'm tempted to use my March budget up on Zoya minis, but I'm trying to resist. (That would be quality and quantity, actually, but I'm not sure those colors are really me.)

Monday, March 16, 2015

Stash: microglitters pt 1 - blue & purple

So finally we get to the microglitters - and let's start calling them MGs right now so I don't have to type "microglitter" a zillion times! (If you haven't been following along, I started this little project back in January - attempting to sort my stash by "type" which has proved to be not-so easy and then talking about every one individually - and I am nowhere near done.)
top row:
  • Wavy Blue (Triple Shine) - really beautiful royal-blue MG
  • Playmaker (Orchid) - I haven't worn this one (although I may have swatched it on a wheel, I'll have to check) and swatches of Orchid-brand are always hard to come by online. It's a fairly similar color to Wavy Blue but its microglitter is less obvious, I think (less "grainy" is how I'm coming to think of that after staring at these a lot lately) and maybe just a bit grayer.
  • Super Star (Sinful Colors) - a blue MG with bigger purple bits (mani with a black base from 2014)
  • Indigo (Zoya) - a very dark blue metallic with some holo shimmer
  • Quick Jeanius (Insta-Dri, an LE color from a couple of years back) - I was holding up the bottle to this in the sunlight and I was amazed by how many different shades of blue were in there. It's lovely, and has some violet leanings, too. (I hate to use that dreaded word "blurple" but it probably does qualify.)
2nd row (which is kind of wonky, as rows go, but hopefully you can follow this):
  • Daul (Zoya) - this is one of those purples that tends to read as slightly brownish, to me, but it actually has a red-violet base according to Zoya, with tons of purple and gold shimmer (mani over a dark base from 2014)
  • the two Dollish minis are turned sideways: They're Hereeee! from a Halloween collection (see below for far more on that one but it was originally bright blue), and One Lifetime With You (lilac-periwinkle glitter - Mishka, who helped design the Ultimate Fandom set, says the base is lilac, so we'll  defer to her expertise there!)
  • then two that are upside down, All Wrapped Up (China Glaze - which is super-packed blue MG with maybe very slight purple leanings) (here's a mani from 2014) and Sugar Plum Fairy (Julie G Holiday Gumdrops - which is more the other way around, a purple with blue leanings, and a full-on texture)
3rd row:
  • Jem (Zoya) - Zoya calls this a metallic, but the line between metallics and microglitters is something I seem to have trouble distinguishing. This is also another one that they call purple, but is more in the wine/brown range to my eye - in fact I would have said it reads as pretty close to "marsala" territory but the pictures vary depending on the light. More of them look purple than look brownish, though, I have to admit. This was the breakout star polish from the Mirrors collection back a few years ago, when I first started getting into nail polish enough to notice things like that!
  • (upside down) Vestido de Gala (Jade) - I notice that Google Translate renders that name "Gala Dress" which concurs pretty well with what I had figured out, since "vestido" is "dress" - what I'm not sure about is whether it has the same connotation in Spanish of "super-special-occasion" that English gives the word "gala" - in other words, does it imply just "party dress" or is it more "ballgown"? Anyway, as usual I'm overthinking this. I have several of the polishes from this collection (Special Glitz) and they're all exactly the same as far as I can tell - holo glitter in a jelly base. This one is the burgundy one. They're all beautiful. (mani from 2014)
  • Chic Peek (Ulta) - another purple that reads brownish - I seem to have a lot of these. I really like most of them, though, including this one. (Note: I changed the link on this one because the other one wasn't working - this new link calls this a neutral taupe/khaki kind of color. Go figure.)
4th row:
  • Sansa (Zoya) - the dark purple one in the Zoya Ignite collection, with their "liquid metal" formula. (I haven't worn this yet and I don't know why!)
  • Private I (SH Diamond Strength) - dark purple with what may be coppery flecks (be sure and scroll down - way down - at that link because there are some really nice pictures of it there) - PGS says it's coppery, and she's probably right. I haven't worn this in ages so I'm not certain.
  • I Love You (Sinful) - sheer or maybe jelly? glitter that builds nicely to a dark blue-violet or blurple. It takes several coats to get there, though.
bottom row (such as it is):
  • Purple Gleam (Milani) - this is from Milani's old One-Coat line, and as I recall it does cover well. It's a red-violet, but the glitter is more of a straight-up purple. (more swatches)
  • Amethyst Accent (Finger Paints) - I'm linking myself here since mine was actually the first picture that came up in the google results, and that's never happened that I recall before. This is a nice red-violet MG with an almost-foil finish.
  • (sideways) Carter (Zoya Pixie Dust) - gorgeous, that's the main point here. I like this with topcoat, although it's still gorgeous without, too. This is maybe just the opposite of Purple Gleam above - it's red-violet glitter in a neutral (dark) purple base. (mani with top-coat from 2014)

I was holding the bottle of "They're Hereeee!" while I was taking these pictures - I remember clearly because I was looking at the number of e's in it - and I was thinking that this used to be brighter blue, but get a load of this:
That was from this entry in January 2014.

And here it is in January 2015 (cropped from the picture above):
That is some serious fading, there. (You can see some pink shimmer in the purple picture, so I guess the blue faded and left the pink? I'm going to have to go look at this again and make sure I'm looking at the right bottle, but...wow.)


Added: I really should have named this "It's not easy being green" but I didn't think of it in time and am not going to change the title now that it's already posted!)

One year ago I posted a list of St-Pat's-green polishes (kelly or emerald green or something similar) and also in the same post, a much longer list of every green I could find that seemed to be readily available, whether it was anything like a kelly green or not. It's one of my most popular posts ever, actually. I was thinking about doing the short-list part again, but limiting it to somewhat lighter greens, more like kelly than emerald - but it turns out there aren't a whole lot of these, in general, and eventually after looking around for a while on nail-polish company websites, I got frustrated and stopped. As far as current colors, there are very few - OPI Jade Is The New Black is close, for example, out of things that are really widely available. Triple Shine Kelp Out ought to be easily findable, too, and I think is probably brighter. Essie and China Glaze and Butter London don't seem to have any such thing right now. There are a few more choices if you go darker, of if you were to find some polishes from last holiday season's collection, but in general, the bright-green pickings are pretty slim. (I stopped before I got around to most of the rest of the drugstore brands. Maybe Maybelline or L'Oreal or Revlon has something.)

Here are the few that I did find that seemed to be in the ballpark I was aiming for, at least:
Dolce & Gabbana Grass (although this is maybe a bit darker than I'd like)
Essence Colour and Go The Green and the Grunge
Formula X Lightning (which is a glitter)
Jordana Rich Green
Jordana Glitters Green Glitz
OPI Jade Is The New Black
Sally Hansen Hard As Nails Tough Luck
Sally Hansen I Heart Nail Art Pen in Green
Sally Hansen Triple Shine Kelp Out

I put on Misa Dirty Sexy Money tonight, and it would be on this list if Misa polishes were any easier to find - it's a hair bluer and a little more toned-down than the ideal, but again, it's in the ballpark. (I pulled the saturation down on this picture a bit, because it was taken in fluorescent light and otherwise the tone of my skin just looked too odd, but otherwise I didn't monkey with the color.)
Aren't military greens supposed to be in this spring? Because that's actually what this looks like, to me. Also this is only one coat, with no topcoat. I'm probably going to add a second coat, because this isn't so thick that it's a no-doubt one-coater, but I'm not at all sure it's necessary.

Friday, March 13, 2015

Your lipstick stain is a work of art

Just a quick link in case you missed it elsewhere: if you're interested in the chemistry of makeup, like I am, you should be sure to read this piece about lipstick formulas on Motherboard. (I'm really fascinated by this stuff.)

Also, while I'm at it, I should mention what I discovered when I went to Sally Beauty to use my $5 coupon that I got for renewing my Sally card, and that's that all Seche topcoat & basecoat was buy one, get one free. (Also all of the red-tag stuff that's usually by the door at my Sally's was an additional 50% off the marked price!) I said I wasn't going to buy any more Seche Vite unless I found it on sale, but it was, so I did. I should be good for a while now.

Thursday, March 12, 2015

NOTD: the wearin' of the green

This is Pretty Serious VT100, mattified:
It's badly cleaned-up but - as I always say - at least you can get the idea. I think it's really lovely, actually. It's an emerald green base with gold microglitter. Here it is on PS's website (and that's not an affiliate link, just so you know). I had on Nail Nutrition and Orly Bonder underneath, and put a coat of NYC matte topcoat on top. (I went to buy a spare bottle the other day, since I've been using it so much, and it was $1.72 at the grocery store. You can't really beat that!)

(Also note that VT100 is marked down, which I think was why I bought it in the first place. If you want it, it's probably wise to grab it while it lasts!)

Before that I had on Nail-robi and Flake Your Booty, which is the blue flakie, and I mattified that also, but I never did get a picture of that manicure. It's been raining all week so I haven't had the light. The picture above is from the iPhone, in the car. It was raining but it had let up enough at the time that the light wasn't too awful.

Nail-robi looks like a navy blue on the nails to me, with maybe just a hint of purple, but on a cotton round when I took it off it was definitely purple. That always interests me when that happens.

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Stash: foil and foil-ish

The idea was that these are the full-on chrome-like foils, although I'm not sure all of these quite make that ideal. As you can see, I don't have too many of these that I could identify.

Across the top:
  • Miss Universe (Essence Colour & Go) - teal microglitter in a blackened teal base. It's pretty sheer so putting something under it might be a good idea.
  • I Don't Bite (Sephora by OPI) - like the one above, this is sheer. Polishaholic calls it frosty but it felt more like a foil to me, I dunno. Anyway, it's a light purple (lilac?) microglitter. The color is pretty but it's hard to get it to behave, as I recall. It does behave like a frost in that way! (mani from 2014)
  • Sweet Peacock (Orly) - bright blue foil, and a near one-coater. Orly does good foils. I remember everybody raving about this when it came out a couple of years ago, and like a peacock, it's really pretty in a flashy way, but I've never worn it a whole lot.
Bottom row:
  • Tilted Halo (Ulta Professional) - gold foil, but not super-glitzy - has almost a champagne tint to it (and this is a fairly obscure polish so I'm a bit surprised I was able to find a swatch picture online!)
  • Thames (Butter London) - this is a sheer blue-green, but you can see it's considerably greener than Miss Universe. I've seen this called emerald green but really it's got a bit too much blue in it for that, as far as I'm concerned. And unlike Miss Universe, this one's not too hard to get opaque.
  • Lillibet's Jubilee (Butter London) - this was a special release for the Queen's Jubilee (because Lillibet was her nickname when she was little) and given her known love of pastels as an adult, the color seems pretty appropriate. This is sort of I Don't Bite's silvery cousin - I think "silver lilac" is the best way to describe it. It looks like full-on silver foil in some lights but it does have definite purple tones.
  • Knees Up (Butter London) - and this is BL's full-on red foil, although you can't tell it from the bottle picture above. I've seen it described as looking like red-foil wrapping paper, and that's a pretty good description. Bright red foil. (mani from 2013)
(I probably do have a couple more things floating around that could be called foil - Orly Rage comes to mind.)

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Stash: holos and a few strays

I have a few odds and ends in this installment, but mostly this is holos:
I never was as into the holo thing as a lot of people, so my stash is fairly modest here. You will see in the descriptions below why I'm not into holos, I suspect - the way I look at it is, people post these gorgeous pictures of them, and the problem is that they only look like that when the light hits them right. That usually annoys me. I'd rather have something less flashy that looks good all the time. On the whole, I have had better luck with scattered holos than the linear ones, I think.

That said, we start out here with a couple of duochromes, sitting sideways across the top:
  • Let Me Go (Sinful Colors) - it isn't really obvious in the bottle, but this goes on with sort of a mother-of-pearl effect. It's an amazing polish, especially for one that costs $1.99.
  • Goblin (ModPolish mini) - this is an olive and brown duochrome with a sprinking of holo glitter. It's very unusual, but pretty. (Have I talked lately about how much I love greens? With St. Patrick's Day around the corner now, I'm sure I'll have a festival of greens coming up soon, even if I haven't.)
under those:
  • Walker Bait - this is the big Dollish on the top left, I think it's actually the only full-size Dollish that I own, although I have a ton of minis. This was LE for the beginning of the Walking Dead season in 2013, if I'm remembering right. It usually looks more like it's silver in the bottle but it's more like an olive green, actually, and it's a holo and a duochrome, like the one above, although much flashier. (Who knew I had two of those? I certainly didn't.)
  • Kale (Chirality mini) - I have relatively few holos in general, but I sure have a bunch of green ones. I don't think any of them are dupes, though - they're all different. This one is one of my favorites, a darker green. I actually intended to go back and get a full-size of this, I like it that much, although I never seem to have gotten around to doing it. (mani from 2013)
  • (upside down) Ho Ho Holodays (Lacquer Lust) - a medium-green holo, lighter than what I would normally think of as a Christmas green. That's a good thing as far as I'm concerned, since "Christmas green" gets massively overdone every year at holiday time. (mani from 2014)
  • The Symbiote (Chirality mini) - gray holo - all three Chirality holos that I have have identical formulas, and they're really excellent.
  • Lizard Belly (Glitter Gal) - a dark-green holo with (I think) some duochrome shift to it. This is another one that didn't live up to the pictures for me, in the end. (mani from 2013)
middle row:
  • Black Illusion (L.A. Girl) - scattered black holo. Look it up if you're interested because I think this was dupe to a couple of other black holos. (mani from 2013)
  • Briarwood (A England) - an almost Marsala-ish color, a blackened red-brown scattered holo. Very pretty.
  • The Angels Have The Phone Box (Dollish mini) - Tardis-blue scattered holo, although here I'd say it's not the holo I care about as much as just the lovely shade of blue. I liked this enough that I ordered a second mini, so I'd have the equivalent of a full bottle. (mani from 2014)
  • Eternal Beauty (although it's unlabeled, as Color Club polishes often seem to be) - medium-to-light purple linear holo. This is one of the few linears that behaves reliably as advertised, I have to say.
  • Convergence (Chirality mini) - more scattered than Eternal Beauty, and a bit darker.
bottom row:
  • Morning Moneypenny (OPI Skyfall collection magnetic) - a raspberry-ish magnetic with scattered holo glitter. It comes with a sort of graphic slightly-tribal-looking patterned magnet (you will see swatches with diagonal stripes, but apparently that's not the magnet that it actually shipped with) - I had trouble getting this magnet to work properly, but that's the normal case with me and magnets.
  • Blood Of The Mountain (Pahlish) - a true blood-red holo - and I mean that in the sense that it's sort of rusty-looking. That bright holo effect in most of the pictures I've seen just never did materialize on this one, for me.
  • Naughty and Nice (from Polished by KPT, a thermal) - it's my one-and-only thermal, and it's pretty, but I am not wearing my nails long enough these days to get the full thermal effect, so it's basically a waste, for me. It's pink-shading-into-red, and pretty enough even without the thermal effect.
  • Redrum (Dollish) - another one in the "blood-red" family, but this one reads more as a rusty pink, and I have to say I like it better that way.
  • Sunset Flare (Serum No 5, which is glow-in-the-dark as is their specialty) - this was the first Serum No 5 I tried, and I really liked it. It's somewhere between pink and orange, and it's beautiful. It doesn't need to be in the dark to glow. (In fact I couldn't get it to actually glow in the dark, but I don't care.)