Sunday, July 31, 2016

NOTD: Yuki-onna over No-Buy

When last heard from on the manicure front, I was wearing No-Buy, the red with gold shimmer. It's really, really pretty, but it did chip a bit after several days (I'm fudging there because it was a week or so ago and I've lost track of what I did what day, quite honestly) and so I did my usual thing, I patched it up and slapped something else on top of it to make it last longer. And I used Yuki-onna, the Pretty Serious top-coat that I bought at the same time I bought No-Buy.

You can see my slapped-together patch job pretty clearly if you look close, but you can also see how pretty Yuki-onna is, without changing the color of the polish much. (Although I have to say the gold shimmer part of No-Buy was pretty much unnoticeable by this point.) Like so many of my manis, this doesn't stand up to photographic scrutiny very well, but in real life it looked fine. And that's what I care about.

I have a bunch of these whitish top-coats (for example Alpha Nail and Travel In Colour), because I seem to adore them. But most of them have some sort of hidden shifty color to them. My two examples have shifty blue-to-violet bits (Alpha Nail) and a wholesale pink shift (Travel In Colour) - but Yuki-onna, as far as I can tell, doesn't go there at all. Yuki-onna is just white (and, you know, transparent and a bit glittery and slightly pearlescent, too). So that's nice, because it's different from what I already had. Note that it is also quite a bit more expensive than your average PS polish - I assume that has to do with the ingredients. I think I will enjoy playing with it a lot, though.

Friday, July 29, 2016

Miss Universe, Evening Emerald

I showed some black and charcoal-gray polishes, and then I showed some bright-blue polishes, so let me remind you where I last was in working around the color wheel - blue-greens. Next up is Essence C&G Miss Universe and Pixi Evening Emerald:
I would call these both teal, generally, but they look more blue than green, to me. And they're very similar-looking on the nail wheel. Evening Emerald is maybe a trifle more green (although still not anything that I would call emerald) and while you can't tell it here, I think I remember Miss Universe being much more sheer than you'd expect.

(I poked around at Essence and Pixi and neither of these colors seem to be current, anyway. -- Aside: has anybody tried Essence's gel polish? I wonder if it's any good. The price is definitely nice. I guess they think it's pretty good or they wouldn't have discontinued their other polishes!)


(Added: I found Miss Holly's review of Miss Universe, and I'm pretty sure I bought this from her in a blog sale, so presumably this is the very same bottle of polish pictured there!)

Thursday, July 28, 2016

Blue Majesty, Blue Whale

This is NYC Blue Majesty and LynB Blue Whale:
The NYC polish, you can see, is from the Crystal Couture collection, which was a holiday collection a couple of years ago. The LynB polish is from a collection based on a pretty obscure show, to most Americans - the British comedy/quiz show QI. ("Blue whale" is a phrase that's an ongoing joke on the show - I've only seen it a few times but I do remember that much. If you've never seen it and you appreciate British comedy at all you should definitely hunt this show down.) Back to the subject at hand... you can see Blue Whale on my nail wheel easily, because it's the one with the big glitter pieces. It's very beautiful, although as I recall I thought the wear was not too good on it (as tends to happen with big glitters). Blue Majesty is very similar in color but is a much smaller-scale glitter. I think the Crystal Couture polishes were really intended to be top-coats, but I think you could get this one fairly close to opaque if you were determined to. This is two coats in the picture.

Here's Accio Lacquer's pictures of the LynB "They Say of the Acropolis" collection - Blue Whale is at the bottom. (Have a look at that link just for the gifs.) I looked on NYC's website and LynB's Etsy page and didn't find either of these, so I'm guessing they're both discontinued.

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Sweet Peacock, So Blue Without You

This is Orly Sweet Peacock and China Glaze So Blue Without You:
You may remember that I said I was missing some pictures of my blue polishes. I never found the pictures, but I had the wheel and I found the polishes, except for one (Apple Berry Smoothie is the one that is still MIA). Anyway, this is the metallic contingent of the lost-then-found polishes. You can see that Sweet Peacock is the darker of the two - and it almost looks like it has a little bit of violet flash to it! (It's possible that I'm imagining that.) I would say that Sweet Peacock is my favorite of the two, if I was forced to choose, but hey, they're both pretty and shiny and pretty much exactly what you want from a metallic, generally.

(Note: There are more Sweet Peacock swatches over here.)

I was all prepared to tell you that So Blue Without You might be harder to find of the two, since it's a holiday polish from several years ago. However, it turns out that both of these polishes are current, according to their respective websites. Good metallic blues are a popular thing, I guess. Links: OrlyChina Glaze

(Disclaimer: I was given the China Glaze polish as a promo.)

Rid Of Me

Here is Nostalgic Lacquer Rid Of Me:
It's the lightest color on this section of the wheel, and compared with Dorothy Who? which is just below it, it's both slightly lighter and also somewhat less glitter-packed. But it's still a gorgeous color. I usually wear it with an undercoat of some other blue. (However, to the best of my knowledge this brand is defunct, so Dorothy Who - which is a China Glaze core color, last I checked - might be a good substitute.)

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

NOTD: No-Buy

This is Pretty Serious No-Buy:
The bottle looks more brown than it really is, but what you see on the nail isn't too far off. I thought at first it was going to read more orange than it actually does - in fact, it reads very true to what it actually is, which is a red with heavy gold shimmer. I am supposed to be on no-buy status for reds, because I have so many, but I bought this one anyway because it was something different, and I can't say I'm sorry.

(From the Serious Business collection.)

Monday, July 25, 2016

Fetish, Via Montenapoleone

This is Cult Nails Fetish and Square Hue Via Montenapoleone:
Let's talk about Via Montenapoleone first because despite the grand name (which is a street in Milan's shopping district, if you're curious) it's just a plain ol' black, except with a satiny finish. It's not different enough to make much difference to me, though. For layering purposes I'd rather use WnW Black Creme since it's a definite one-coater. If I want a black because I'm in a gothy mood and I just want to wear black, I'd be more likely to pick something like Dovima or Fetish instead. You can't really see Fetish's cool finish here, but it's described as a wax finish. It could also be described as satiny, but more-so than ViaM... it's almost rubbery, which I assume is why the name. Here's somebody else's swatches since mine are failing on this point: Let Them Have Polish!

This is actually the only Cult Nails polish I got around to buying before they went out of business. I wish I had more. And that sort of answers the other half of the availability question (since Square Hue polishes are always LE) - it's a no on both of these, unless you just happen to find them around. I think Fetish was originally released as LE but then went on to become core after that, so it might possibly be findable if you poke around, I don't know.

Sunday, July 24, 2016

Dovima, Slick Black

This is Zoya Dovima and Triple Shine Slick Black:
Dovima is from the Matte Velvets (you can see that it says that on the bottle) - as with all the others, this has a lot of shimmer that doesn't necessarily show up much at all if you leave it matte. In this case the shimmer is silver, and you can see from the swatch that it's not quite a full-on black; I'd call it a dark charcoal color. Slick Black is darker but it's a microglitter and also has a lot of silver to it. Neither of these are currently available - Triple Shine is probably gone for good, but the Matte Velvets usually come and go seasonally, so look for Zoya to re-release some of them in the fall. It may not necessarily include Dovima, though - last year they had a bunch of new colors, so who knows what they'll release this year!

Friday, July 22, 2016

Y2K, Starry Night

This is Square Hue Y2K and Sonia Kashuk Starry Night:
Square Hue was doing Decades sets all of last year (i.e., 2015), so of course when they got to the 90s they had to have Y2K. It's a not-quite black with lots of shimmer. Starry Night is a black (not to be confused with Starry Starry Night, which is not) which has a lot of semi-hidden glitter down in the blackness. It's another one of those subtle glitters.

Black Illusion

I've been going through my blue and blue-green polishes, but I decided I was missing some pictures, so I'm going to show you black and gray polishes instead for a few days, and then I'll come back to the others when I get that straightened out.

This is the one and only L.A. Girl polish that I own, 3D Effects Black Illusion:
(The sticker that's on my little notebook was originally on the cap of the polish, but it was peeling off so I stuck it over there instead.) This is exactly what it's supposed to be, a black holo. It's pretty, though, even though I'm not much of a holo fan in general - I think maybe that's because this one shows up more than a lot of them do.

I didn't take pictures of every single black polish, because one plain black creme (WnW Black Creme, for example) looks pretty much like every other black creme. But I took the ones where there were some differences.

As for why I decided I was missing some pictures, it's because I looked at this wheel and realized there was a whole section of blues I hadn't shown:
I've shown a few of these, but there at least four I haven't, so I'm going to have to figure out what's going on there. I'd been planning to work the black and gray polishes in eventually, so this seemed like as good a time as any.

NOTD: Baphomet, plus new PS polishes

I mentioned when I was talking about it the other day that I hadn't actually worn Baphomet's Berserker, and I have now corrected that, and I like it - but it doesn't actually seem to photograph all that well. The best picture I got of it was a thumbnail (literally):
The pictures tended to come out sort of muddy-looking (and my application sure is poor down at the cuticle!), but at least here the glitter is showing up. It reads as a black, and one minute you won't see much of the glitter, and then next you do. I think it's pretty cool.

Here's another of my tries at it (in the same light, under the daylight bulbs that I put in my living room):
There's a tiny bit of tipwear but not too bad. I'd had it on for a couple of days already when this was taken.

I think I mentioned before that I had an order on the way from Pretty Serious - specifically, a good chunk of the Serious Business collection (3 of the 6 polishes in the collection) and then I bought several other things as well - I ended up with six polishes in all. I hadn't bought any polishes in almost three months so I guess I was due for a breakout. Three months is the longest I've gone in years without buying polish, I think.

(The purple ones are the Serious Business polishes - note the names. The three I didn't buy are HTF, Epic Haul, and Free Sample. I believe I almost bought Epic Haul as well, and then decided against it at the last minute.)

(Possibly I said this before as well, but there continues to be a little voice in the back of my brain insisting that the name of this collection should be spelled SRS BSNS - although I suppose there are people in the world that haven't read enough cat memes and wouldn't understand.)

The bottom three are the ones from the new collection.


Let's start with the ones that were something of a surprise when I looked at this picture:
This is Black Diamond and Dupe. They don't look much alike at all on the nail, and I didn't particularly think they looked all that alike in the bottle in real life, either, but boy do the bottles look awfully alike in this picture. I guess on close inspection, the glitter mixes are somewhat different - Black Diamond has cyan blue pieces and Dupe does not - but apparently not as much so as I supposed! Anyway, Dupe is mixed glitter in a black base, where Black Diamond is just a flat-out glitter. You could put this over a black base, but I'm not sure it's necessary - it seems to be awfully opaque on its own. (It's actually from a past Halloween collection, which I wouldn't necessarily have guessed, except that it came in a Halloween box.)

Here is No-Buy ("This No-Buy is definitely worth breaking your No-Buy for") and Destash ("We'd be surprised if our Destash ended up in your destash!"):
Kaz has both of these labeled as "glass fleck" and Destash labeled as a jelly as well. I picked out No-Buy because it was a red with gold bits, which is something I don't have. Destash is a super-bright pink with blue flash, which well, I do have other things somewhat like this, but I don't think they're really the same.

Some of you may know by now that I am absolutely crazy about a good copper-colored polish, and this looks like an awesome one. Fossil Of The Death Worm is from the Museum of Naileontology collection (see the postcard below), and despite the fact that it has the dreaded bar glitter in it, I am prepared to love it. Yuki-Onna has diamond flakes in it, apparently, which ought to set it apart from the half-a-dozen other top-coats similar to this I already have, right? It looks really beautiful. On the wheel it's over Wet n Wild Black Creme.


In case they disappear someday, here's the descriptions from PS' website (not necessarily helpful as far as the colors are concerned, just interesting):
Baphomet's Berserker
[baf-o-may-s ber-zurk-er]
The legend of Midian is an old tale that permeates through many histories that all tell of different fates. Regardless of its current existence, its origin appears to not be in dispute. This leaves many to search for its location with some vastly differing motives, though all tend to be dark in nature. Midian is said to be a city built built by the god, Baphomet, as a safe haven for those considered to be the monsters of this world. Even the beings that we refer to as monsters had monsters of their own which are also contained in Midian - the Berserkers. These hulking brutes are a pile of blackened armour and brute strength backed by a madness feared by their own kind, and the latest rumours of Midian's existence speak of a battle in an old cemetery with the towns local police that was ultimately and definitively ended by the unleashing of these hulking brutes. Our Naileontologists have long been searching for Midian themselves and believe they may have found the long discarded cemetery where the incident took place. While no evidence of Midian has yet been found, a fragment of a Beserkers armour was discovered at the site, becoming the first true evidence that the myth of Midian is real! We have this stunning piece now on display in our Museum of Naileontology! Be sure to grab your piece of monster history at the gift shop as you leave! They make great Halloween presents!
Fossil of the Death Worm
Eroding canyons are always a good place for a budding Naileontologist to get a glimpse of the land and its creatures over many millions of years, and a valley through Nevada near the town of Perfection was as good as any to try and discover a new dinosaur in the name of the museum! What they found though was something well beyond our current knowledge. A fossil of what appears to be a giant carnivorous worm was discovered that pre-dates all current fossil records, possibly making them a couple of billion years old. These giant worms appeared to have spikes that could help push them through the loose soil of the valley's floor, with mouths big enough to swallow a present day man whole. The valley would have no doubt been one giant smorgasbord when these creatures ruled the under-Earth! Check out this fascinating fossil in our Museum of Naileontology today, and be sure to grab your own replica before you leave!
Yuki-Onna
She drifts silently through the night, waiting for her next victim.
Those caught mesmerized by her beauty will be left without their souls.
Yuki-Onna is the Snow Vampire, with skin as pale as moonlight and hair as white as snow.
The new Yuki-Onna top coat from Pretty Serious combines beautiful pearl pigment and opalescent diamond flakes with the glossy shine and superior wear of a protective, long lasting top coat, for hauntingly beautiful nails.

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Henley Regatta, Thames, and the blue/green issue

This is Butter London Henley Regatta and Thames:
Henley Regatta was the first Butter London polish I ever bought. It's a bright blue-green, heavily packed glitter. I really love it, but it has that problem where it sometimes flakes off in big pieces - which I later learned is apparently an issue with many of BL's glitters. I bought Thames later, and it was described as an emerald green - but it looks to me like exactly the same color as Henley Regatta, except instead of being a glitter it's a heavy shimmer. Questions like this happen at every transition on the color wheel, but for some reason it seems to me that the blue-to-green transition is one where people really have big disagreements about which is which. (I'll have some more examples of this coming up.) I don't actually mind that Thames isn't emerald, understand; I think it's a really pretty color. But it's not emerald.

"Teal" is also problematic. I've already shown you a couple of polishes with "teal" in their names (Teal Of Fortune, Teal The Cows Come Home) but both of those read pretty much blue, to my mind. I would actually call both the polishes above teal - and I guess I would the one below, as well (which is unlabeled):
The color as it appears in the bottle and the color you end up with on the nail are pretty much entirely different, here.

(Then there's turquoise, which can be blue-green - the actual turquoise stones sometimes lean very green - but a lot of the time is used to mean plain old bright cyan blue. Talking about color is just a very chancy thing, let's face it.)


Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Nail Junkie, Maisie

This is Sinful Colors Nail Junkie and Zoya Maisie:
Every time I talk about Nail Junkie, I say, "It's supposed to be a dupe of... something" - although I've done this enough times that I do actually remember for sure now what the something was - it's China Glaze Atlantis, which I have seen swatches of but never actually seen in person that I know of. The swatchers usually conclude that they are not actually dupes, anyway, because one is more green than the other and the glitters aren't really that similar up close, either. But they do apparently look pretty similar on the nail. In any case, I don't know from Atlantis other than hearing it talked about, but I know that Nail Junkie is really beautiful. It is also quite sheer, so take that into consideration. If you put it on without undies, you will probably want many coats of it. It is a current SC color, I just checked.

If you were really looking closely at my swatches, you might have noticed a very messy looking swatch underneath the ones that I was talking about previously. That was the original Nail Junkie swatch, which I proceeded to put my finger into while it was still wet, which is why it was such a mess. I took these pictures a while back, and I was very relieved to see that I did re-swatch Nail Junkie - I couldn't quite remember. The one above looks much better.

And then there's Maisie, which is the one above Nail Junkie that you can barely see. It's long discontinued and I don't know offhand of a dupe for it, although I wouldn't be surprised to find out that there's one out there. It's from the Zoya flakie set, Fleck Effects, and it's not meant to be worn on its own, obviously. (There are some pretty awesome combinations in this post.) These came out in 2012 and were a big hit - so I thought, anyway - but then Zoya discontinued them and Sally Hansen discontinued Hidden Treasures and there were a couple of years when flakies were hard to find again before they came roaring back in the last year or so. The new ones are mostly thicker color-shifting formulas and the ingredients must be hard to find and/or relatively expensive (I'm guessing maybe they are both of those things) because they tend to come out in limited editions and come and go. I have seen newer sheer ones but not in this colorway. I honestly have never worn this one a whole lot because I was too busy wearing the other one I had, Chloe, instead. I need to pay more attention to this apparently-unusual polish I have in my collection and appreciate it more!

Sunday, July 17, 2016

Teal The Cows Come Home, Quirky Smile

This is LynB Teal The Cows Come Home and Misa Quirky Smile:
These look pretty similar in the bottle but not at all similar on the nail. That's because TtCCH is sheer, so it comes out much paler. Quirky Smile is really just like it looks in the bottle, so much darker. These are both blues with some green tone (much more noticeable in QS, though), and they're both shimmers. TtCCH also has some holo glitter thrown in for good measure - it was a one-batch polish that was given away as a promo so you're not likely to find this around. Quirky Smile is still current though.

Saturday, July 16, 2016

Baphomet's Berserker, Remy

This is Pretty Serious Baphomet's Berserker and Zoya Remy:
I'm looking for the remaining things in my stash that read pretty definitely blue. There aren't too many left, but Remy seems pretty clearly to be one of them. Baphomet's Berserker does not particularly read as blue but I do think it has blue bits in it - and green, too. (I think that's why I stuck it on the wheel with the blue-greens, see?) I don't think I've worn this at all yet - maybe I need to go pull it out! Anyway, it's various colors of glitter in a black base. It's a fairly subtle glitter. (This is one of the Museum of Naileontology polishes, which I believe are new versions of old, long-discontinued polishes. But I don't know much about vintage polish, so I have no earthly idea what is meant to be like what.) This is still available (and it's marked down at the moment), so go read her descriptions and see if you can make heads or tails of them!

(added: I did wear Baphomet shortly after this - the NOTD post is here.)

Back to Remy, it has green and gold in its blue base, per Zoya, and you can see it in the bottle to some degree, but it's really hard to see on the nail. (I'm pretty sure I have actually worn Remy, at some point, but if I have pictures I can't find them. I was hoping to find something to remind myself what I thought of this. I seem to remember really liking it, that's about all I can say.)

Friday, July 15, 2016

Liberty, Sexy Siren

This is Zoya Liberty, which is a Pixie Dust, and Studio M Sexy Siren, a glitter:
You can see in the Sexy Siren bottle that's it's in a clear base - I believe I shook it for at least a couple of minutes before I took this picture, and it still wasn't evenly distributed at all. Still, it's a pretty color. Karen has swatches here and compares it to some other blue-green glitters. I didn't even try to see if it could be opaque when I was swatching, but she did! Liberty has glitter in it too, but it's a much thicker formula, as are all of the Pixie Dusts, and getting it opaque is not a problem. (I seem to recall having some staining issues with this, though. Not as bad as Cabo Cruise, that I talked about a couple of days ago - but bad enough. I recommend doubling up on base-coat.) Like many other Pixie Dusts, I like this matte, but I like it even better with top coat. They tend to have hidden depths that the top-coat brings out.

Liberty is still showing up on Zoya's website, even though they said that they had stopped production on these some time back. I know that some of the Studio M glitters were still showing up on Meijer's website, but I don't have the fortitude to go look right now to see whether this one is there or not. You'll have to hunt that one down for yourself!

Thursday, July 14, 2016

NOTD: Elliot

I talked a couple of days ago about Pretty Serious Elliot, along with some other blues, and when it came time to change my nails I went with Elliot:
The thing that I had forgotten about Elliot is that it is (or is very very near to, at least) a one-coater. I had to do some touch-ups where I hadn't quite gotten it thick enough, but this is one of those polishes where you can put a partial second coat over the first and later you can't see the difference at all. I wish more polishes were like that!! Elliot reads almost like a bright blue creme but it's actually got quite a lot of shimmer in it - I think you can see it here at least a little bit. It's also a great layering polish. I love it so much I may need to buy a backup the next time I order from PS. (Although I've already got a PS order on the way so who knows when that will be. I'm sure I'll be rattling on about the new order at great length soon, but meanwhile just take a look at the Serious Business collection.* Although it's apparently all sold out so don't fall in love until they've restocked.)

* "Serious Business" feels like it's spelled wrong to me - I obviously spend way too much time on the internet because to me it should be spelled SRS BSNS (preferably just like that, in all caps).

Ice Dream

This is Sinful Colors Ice Dream:
I showed Bells Will Be Blinging yesterday and really this seems to be a sparser glitter along the same lines, blue and silver. It's very pretty over something like a darker blue, where it brings out the light colors.

(I can't think of much else to say about this one at the moment. If I think of something more I'll add it on!!)

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Deeper Dive, Teal Of Fortune

This is polishes from two different lines made by Wet n Wild, Spoiled Deeper Dive and Fast Dry Teal Of Fortune.
I feel like I'm starting to drift out of the blues and into the blue-greens, as far as my stash is concerned, although when you look at these two, either in the bottle or on the wheel, they look pretty blue to me. I tend to assume blog readers can see what I see as I write this, but I know that that's not always true, especially if you're reading on a mobile, so let me say that on the wheel this is the two bright blues that are on either side of the darker (and greener) polish - Teal Of Fortune is above it and Deeper Dive is below. For some reason I have always had it in my head that Deeper Dive, in particular, was a darker polish, and that both of these were greener than they appear to be here.

I don't think Evening Emerald, the polish in between them, is a true green, either - despite the name, and I'm sure I'll get to that issue at some length pretty soon - but just look how blue these two look next to it. What I need to do is reswatch all these bright-blue polishes again and compare. (I'll put that on my list to look at later!)

It's late at night and I don't have the energy to look this up, but I don't think you can get either of these polishes any more. Spoiled was a CVS exclusive and I know that Pop-arazzi went into the racks at CVS where Spoiled used to be, so I think that line is completely gone, unless it's available somewhere else that I don't know about. And I looked at what was available in the Fast Dry line just recently, and it was a pretty short list and I don't remember this being on it.

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Bells Will Be Blinging

This is China Glaze Bells Will Be Blinging, which - for full disclosure - is part of their 2013 holiday set that I received from a blog promotion.
It's a nice polish, although I haven't worn it much. It's a heavy blue-and-silver glitter, and I would say the blue leans just a bit to the blue-green side. It has a bit of holo flash and also a sprinkling of bar glitter in it. This is only two coats, but I'm not entirely sure that two coats on the nail would be 100% opaque. It's not necessarily a holiday-only polish, but it is (as its name implies) very blingy. I don't think it is something you'd want to wear to a more-conservative workplace, for example, except maybe right before Christmas. But heck, it might be a nice summery thing to wear on your toes, for example, right now. (Actually, I don't paint my toes. But I think I'd like it, if I did!)

MIA: Dorothy Who, Elliot, BSOD

These bottles of polish are not actually missing - but somehow the pictures are, or else I just didn't get them in my new set of pictures. Maybe that's because I was thinking I already had the picture below, and it wasn't really necessary. Anyway, this is China Glaze Dorothy Who? and two Pretty Serious polishes, Elliot and BSOD:
I had all three of these in my 20 favorite polishes of 2015, but the comparison pictures were stuck down at the bottom and people may have missed them, so it seems reasonable to repeat them while I'm finishing up my blue collection. Elliot, in the middle, is a heavy shimmer; Dorothy Who and BSOD (as in Blue Screen of Death) are glitters. You can't tell it but BSOD is somewhat darker than Dorothy Who, though.

I figured out from something on Pretty Serious' website lately that BSOD is one of her original set of polishes - along with some other polishes with seriously geeky names. The only other one I think I have from that set is VT-100. (Elliot and BSOD are both still available. I'm pretty sure Dorothy Who is in China Glaze's core collection so it should also be available.)

Here are the two bottles of glitter, although you still can't tell a lot of difference here:

Robyn, Cabo Cruise, Blue Email

This is Zoya Robyn, Fergie Cabo Cruise (made by Wet n Wild), and Absolute New York Blue Email:
These are all blue cremes which look awfully similar on the wheel. I'm sure there are others that are similar -  these kind of colors make great summer polishes, of course. Of these three, Robyn may be the only one you can easily get your hands on - at least in a store, that is, because although Blue Email does show up as a current color I've never seen Absolute polishes in any store. And I believe the Fergie line of polishes is discontinued. (Actually, I would not recommend Cabo Cruise even if you could find it, because it is the single worst-staining polish I've ever used. It's a beautiful color but I've never been able to bring myself to wear it again.)

Added: I made a "least-favorite polishes" tag and this entry is on it because of Cabo Cruise - due to the staining issues, not the color. (I finally not just discarded it but emptied it out into the trash.)

Monday, July 11, 2016

Montana Sky

Posed next to Lucky 13 Wibbly Wobbly Timey Wimey, which I've already discussed, this is Colors by Llarowe Montana Sky:
These two blue jellies have very similar bases and pretty similar ideas on the glitter - the whole "night sky" kind of thing - but the Lucky 13 polish just lays it on really thick and the Colors by Llarowe has a much lighter hand with that. These don't have tick-marks indicating that there's more than one coat on the wheel so apparently these are both only one coat - I assume a second would make the base look somewhat darker, in both cases.

I apparently forgot to check about this last week but WWTW is apparently still available; Montana Sky is apparently not.

Sunday, July 10, 2016

Live Long & Prosper, Ice Hotel In Hell

This is Dollish Polish Live Long & Prosper (another mini) and Liquid Lacquer Ice Hotel, In Hell:
Neither of these are things you can get any more but you can probably find things like these - pale blue jelly bases with glitters of various sorts. Their glitter mixes are very different but in my nail swatches you're mostly seeing the base and little bits of glitter. Ice Hotel In Hell has coppery bits and large disks in a couple of different colors as well as a mix of smaller pieces; LL&P has silvery bits and little blue ones, and stars. You can tell that I didn't go fishing very hard for the big pieces when I was doing these swatches. This is two coats of each, with no dabbing. I found a Pinterest picture of IHIH which has to be many, many coats to look that thick. And then LL&P is another Ultimate Fandom polish so I will link to that same set of swatches I always link to for that collection.

I think pretty much everybody knows the phrase "Live long and prosper" even if you know nothing at all about Star Trek. What I was wondering was if "Ice Hotel, In Hell" refers to anything in particular. (I know that ice hotels do exist, but Google didn't find me anything for that particular phrase other than this polish. My own previous comments on this polish via Google+ show up down at the bottom of the first Google page, I found when I scrolled further down.) I guess it could be a phrase that referred to something that wouldn't last long, right? But I've never actually heard it anywhere else.

The timing on this is entirely coincidental, but I saw a commercial tonight for the new Star Trek movie, which is apparently out in a week or so - not this coming weekend, but the one after. I hope this one is more like the first of the J.J.Abrams Star Trek movies than the second, because I really liked the first one a lot. (The second one was, well, not as good.)

Friday, July 8, 2016

NOTD: Aurora Borealis

I showed this polish (from Lucky 13) in the summer sunlight a couple of days ago, and it was kind of blinding, so I said I would try again with a picture not taken in the bright Texas summer light. (We had a cool spring by our standards, but we're in full-on summer mode now.)
This is a mix of colors - what I saw when I was putting it on was mostly orchid or fuchsia (hard to be sure which) and green, but I think it also has copper and maybe blue and gold. If you don't look at it closely it mostly reads as a sort of bronze color which shimmers around to other colors. As I mentioned, this is four coats, because I didn't put an undercoat under it. Mostly when I've worn it I've done green underneath, or something else that picks up these colors and doesn't require so many coats!

Here's the sunlight one, again - you can see that it's got much more of a shiny-metallic look to it, here, and it's harder to see the other colors in the mix.

Aurora Borealis was a limited edition polish and thus probably not something you can get your hands on easily. But there are so many of these flakies around now that you can probably find something similar.

Lake Louise, Wibbly Wobbly Timey Wimey

This is Square Hue Lake Louise and Lucky 13 Wibbly Wobbly Timey Wimey:
I showed you the Tardis-blue holo in the last entry so I figured I should go on and show you the Tardis-blue glitter while I was at it. Well, first of all, since my labeling is extra-wacky here, let me tell you that on the wheel, these are the two icy-blue nails pointing at the bottles. Lake Louise is the plainer-looking one and WWTW is the one with the bits of stuff in it. Here are Accio Lacquer's always-spectacular-looking closeups of the glitter. It's a blue jelly base with hexes and moons and stars, basically, but since it's a jelly it gives that lovely illusion of depth if you pile up the coats. (I think my swatch is only one coat. I see some little tickmarks on other nails but not on that one.)

I called Lake Louise "plain" above but it's actually quite beautiful, too, don't get me wrong. It's not a creme, it's a heavy shimmer. I normally am not a fan of pastels but even I like this one. (I try to take a picture of the back side of Square Hue polishes because as you can see, the front side covers almost all the polish. But apparently I forgot that when I was taking this picture. Sorry! Here's somebody else's pictures if you need more evidence.)

Aside: If you're not a Doctor Who fan (although I'm not sure who's reading here that isn't, honestly, but if so, hi!) note that both the quote from the last entry and this one are from the same episode. And if you've ever thought of seeing what this Doctor Who business is all about, that episode, Blink, is an excellent place to start. Because it's incredibly creepy but manages at the same time to give you a whole lot of exposition that covers most of the concept of the show. For good measure, it also features a pre-stardom Carey Mulligan.

(Clearly, a thing to try is WWTW over The Angels Have The Phone Box. Actually I can't believe I never thought of it before. Wibbly Wobbly Timey Wimey over Lake Louise also might be a thought.)

Thursday, July 7, 2016

The Angels Have The Phone Box

Here is Dollish Polish The Angels Have The Phone Box (a mini):
So, most people who know anything about Doctor Who at all know about the blue phone box, and this is a pretty good approximation of that color, usually known as Tardis blue. (Maybe really a bit too bright, but close.) This was from Dollish's Ultimate Fandom collection, and you may have seen that link before, because I have a huge set of these minis, the whole collection of 12 or 13. This one is my favorite, I think - or at least it's the only one where I felt it was necessary to buy a backup mini so I'd have a whole bottle's worth. This is a scattered holo but I don't really care about that. I just like the color.

I'm pretty sure this isn't available any more but you should be able to find something similar, what with all the holos that are around these days.

Added: The link above is dead so here's one of the pictures from Accio Lacquer, for reference:

A/B + holy grail lip butter

So, two things about this picture:
The nail polish is four coats of Lucky 13 Aurora Borealis. I had no idea this was going to blaze up all golden like this in the sunlight, and I think it's sort of unfair to just show this picture as a NOTD because this isn't at all what it looks like out of the sunlight. Although actually I had never worn A/B by itself before, so it's also fair to say I didn't know what it was going to look like at all.

(I automatically abbreviate this as A/B because I used to make jewelry and that's a jewelry term, an aurora borealis finish, abbreviated AB or A/B. It's an iridescent finish that apparently was invented by Swarovski especially for Christian Dior in the 50s, which I definitely did not know.)

So I intend to take another picture of this polish out of the sunlight and then do another post, but meanwhile I was putting on my Butter Lipstick more or less on autopilot like I do several times a day, usually, and it occurred to me that this stuff has become my Holy Grail lipstick. I love it because it goes on very sheer - much paler than it looks in the tube - and I can put it on without a mirror and it always looks fine. I am all about low-maintenance. (In case you're not familiar with it, this is Nyx, and it costs maybe $5.99. I'm pretty sure I bought mine at the grocery store. The color is Hunk.)

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Party By The Pool, TNT

This is Pretty Serious Party By The Pool and Formula X TNT:
Party By The Pool is a gorgeous polish, a jelly in a medium blue-green with a ton of coordinating shimmer. TNT is a matte glitter with hexes and smaller pieces in a peacock-ish blue. I bought this one and Boom, which is a lighter cornflower blue, at the same time and I've worn Boom more - they're both pretty, but if you've been reading here lately, you've seen how many dark blues I have and how few lighter ones, relatively speaking. It's easier for me to do light over dark than it is to do dark over light.

Actually I think the best combination I've come up with is this one, from somewhere over on the other side of the blue wheel, where I put it over a messed-up nail that was very dark blue. (Actually I think it was two different ones - it looks like I wrote Blackout and then scratched it out. I think when I went to put the second coat on I put Cynthia or something else on top of it by accident. And then, eventually, TNT on top of that.)
I believe that I like it better when it's the lighter color than the polish that's underneath it.

(Another layering note: I've tried Party By The Pool over several different blues at various times, but the best one I remember was one I tried on impulse - I put it over Zoya Liberty, the bright-blue texture, as a sort of a jelly sandwich. It looked really great that way.)

I'm pretty sure I saw PbtP on Pretty Serious' website fairly recently, but it doesn't seem to be there now. I think there were some re-released older polishes lately, so it may have been in that bunch. (I did find a blog entry about it, though. It was one of the first polishes of theirs I bought - and for that matter I think I bought it from Llarowe, not directly from them - and I didn't realize it was a Christmas polish til I saw that just now!) As for TNT, I bought it marked down, so I'm pretty sure that it's gone from Sephora's roster now.

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Skincare samples I've tried

I thought I would mention some things that I've tried out and liked (or didn't so much, in one case):
The Origins sample set at the top was in the Sephora box a month or two ago (it was May) - the part they're actually pushing here is the Maskimizer, a mask primer. It's in the little perfume-type spritzer. You spritz a bit on and pat it in, and I'm not sure what it actually does but it's supposed to prepare your skin for the mask to follow, somehow. It came with two samples of masks - the brown one is a charcoal mask, meant for pores, and that's the one that I didn't care for. It looks like mud and I found it repellent and I don't have any actual need for help with my pores anyway, so I didn't feel any need to force myself to try it more than once. The green one is called Drink Up and it's just an intensive-moisture kind of mask, which is right up my alley. It smells good and it feels good, so I might be more inclined to try that one again sometimes. Then there was the Drunk Elephant product, Framboos Glycolic Night Serum - I liked that one fine but I looked it up on Sephora's website and it's very expensive, I doubt that I'm going to be buying that one.

Then there's this concealer, in a travel size, which I mentioned in passing back here. Here's the package it came in:
I use Evernote to store most of my pictures (and other reasons besides) - I like that they're always available on any platform. What you see here is Evernote trying to format the top of this box like it's a business card, which I guess is what it's designed to do. It's annoying as hell when it starts trying to do that and you don't want it to, but it's also sometimes useful, like here. This comes in the tiny travel size for $12, which is what I bought to try (only available in a couple of colors) or in a regular size in quite a lot of colors for $29. I wanted to see if I liked it before I plunked out $29 for the full one, but so far I do. I'm not ready to run out and buy the big one yet, but it's not impossible that I will, later.




Blueberry Fizz

This is Julie G Blueberry Fizz, which is a textured polish:
As you can see, it's an icy blue - on my hands I remember thinking it looked almost silver. It's got quite a bit of glitter in it, it's very prettty. It came out in the original Gumdrops collection - which was a spring release, I think - rather than the Holiday Gumdrops set which came out at the holidays, but to me this reads more as a wintry blue, with this icy color.

(Check the Jesse's Girl website for these Julie G polishes; I'm not sure about this one but I remember checking before and a bunch of these were still available.)

Monday, July 4, 2016

Make-your-own moisturizing foundation

I mentioned a while back that I have been doing this, and I did take some pictures of what I was playing with, at least. I don't mean to imply that I'm making anything from scratch - rather, I'm mixing moisturizer and foundation to get something halfway in-between in consistency. This is something that I only thought of because it was suggested in the very first Sephora Play box regarding Ole Henricksen Sheer Transformation moisturizer: that you could mix it with your foundation. And I eventually did that, and I liked it. I don't have a picture of the foundation in question, which was L'Oreal True Match - you can find it in any drugstore. And well, obviously I liked it, or I wouldn't have been experimenting with doing it again. (As for the True Match, here's a post from 2013 where I describe how I mixed two colors of True Match to get a custom color, and I'm still doing that. I think I've been doing that since True Match first came out, pretty much.)

So about the time the Ole Henricksen/True Match combination was running out (because it was a very small quantity in the first place), my moisturizer was also running low and I decided to try Origins GinZing. I talked about that at the time, and I mentioned at the bottom that I had mixed the remaining LaFresh with foundation. The LaFresh is Good Day, in the blue jar, and I think I just started out with what was left of my True Match, but it was getting low, and I didn't like the consistency too much (improper moisturizer-to-foundation ratio, I guess?) and so then I got creative. I had a couple of other things that I hadn't been wearing, and I mixed them in too.
I had CoverGirl/Olay CC cream (in 105 Ivory), which I  bought marked down just because I'd never tried a CC cream, and for some reason I didn't like the consistency of it, and also it was really too pale. And then I had Marcelle BB cream in "Golden Glow" which I liked but was really a little too dark for me. And I had the dregs of the True Match mixed with the remaining Good Day foundation. And miraculously, when I mixed all this together, I ended up with something that I like. I think maybe color-wise it worked because like my two colors of True Match, one was a little too light and one a little too dark and between them it ended up more or less just right (like Goldilocks, I can't help thinking). And somehow the consistency came out fine, as well. I only used about half of the CC creme, because I still had a nearly-full bottle of that.

I think I am hooked on this concept - at least, now I feel like regular foundation is too heavy, and I was already hooked on moisturizing my skin a lot anyway, so it's useful to me in more than one way. I suppose you'll get different results based on what you use, but both of my experiments came out with sort of a whipping-cream texture to them, only skin-colored, of course. And so far it hasn't separated - you mix it up and it stays mixed, it seems, which is nice. (Only time will tell if it's really going to stay that way, though.)

Added: I think I meant to say this in the first place, and I forgot, but I should point out that one of the reasons this works for me is because my skin has changed. My skin used to be blotchy and prone to breakouts, and the reason that it's improved is probably only partly due to my skincare regimen of moisturize, moisturize, moisturize. Another part is presumably that I'm postmenopausal now. My mother's skin never completely stopped breaking out after menopause, I know, and mine didn't at first either. But my breakouts got fewer and fewer and have finally stopped (knock on wood) - it just took a couple of years. Anyway, the point is, I don't seem to need a heavier foundation nowadays. Thus, all of the above. Of course there are already lighter-weight foundations and tinted moisturizers available, but the mix-your own approach does provide you with a lot of flexibility as far as picking your own foundation (especially the color) and also the moisturizer you like.

Feifei, Charge It Up

This is Zoya Feifei and Sinful Colors Charge It Up (a magnetic):
These are both blue-grays and they both seem to me to have a touch of purple to them, although if so it's quite subtle. (It might just be the light.) Feifei is a glass-fleck and Zoya calls it steel blue (although they also call it metallic, which I would not). Charge It Up is a magnetic in a slightly darker blue-gray; I didn't attempt to get pictures of the magnetic effect (for one thing, I'm not sure what I did with the magnets!) but here's somebody else's. I know I did try the magnet on this one once and I was surprised at how much like liked it.

Feifei is a current color; magnetics are way out of style so I'm assuming Charge It Up is long gone.

Sunday, July 3, 2016

Mesmerize

This is Essie Mesmerize:
You can see on the wheel that this is a very similar royal blue to the polishes in the last entry, Blue It and Give Me Space. This one is a creme, though.

Nitpicky question: Is this name properly Mesmerize or Mesmerized? Surely Essie doesn't have two. Essie's website says Mesmerized; several bloggers have Mesmerize. My bottle doesn't have a legible label on it - I long ago wrote "Mes" on it in marker, which is no help here. I'm pretty sure it did not have the "d" on the end, though. (Aha, Daily Varnish says Essie changed it.)