Friday, April 18, 2014

Easter Egg nail art featuring Colors by Llarowe Leather and Lace

Spring is here, Easter is Sunday and pastels have been calling me name!

Here is the cast of polishes used! A beautiful pastel rainbow!

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From left: Colors by Llarowe Leather and Lace, OPI Kiss Me on the Chic, Zoya Stella, Zoya Neely, Essie Bikini So Teeny, OPI You're Such a Budapest and OPI Alpine Snow.

The results:

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Bling-tastic holo Easter egg-esque nails! Love this combination! I've been wanting to test out Llarowe on several different colors, so this was the perfect manicure to do so.

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The holo is less noticeable indoors in indirect light, above. But in the sun, it is amazing!

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Application: OPI Kiss Me on the Chic was a terrible formula, took four coats for this opacity. It's an older polish of mine. I think I bought it to wear at a wedding. The other polishes were all good in two-three coats. Colors by Llarowe Leather and Lace is still a polish with a thicker consistency, which makes getting a thin coat a little difficult, but the holo payoff is amazing. I liked Leather and Lace over all the colors, but probably Zoya Stella the least. Overall, the addition of the dots adds a great egg-like element, topping the whole look off!

What are you sporting on your nails for Easter weekend? I feel like these nails not only scream Easter, the the are the perfect for spring!

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Review a-england Briar Rose with a-england Encore Margot stamping

Have I told you all lately how much I love a-england polishes? Well, it's true, they are among my favorite polishes I have now. And I now own 13!!! And I love them all.

Recently I tried out Briar Rose, a beautiful deep pink with a soft holo finish. The thing I love most about a-englands are how subtly beautiful they are. They still have the happy holo glow I love, but it's more refined and less in your face than other holographic polishes are. I guess I feel more mature wearing an a-england, than I do wearing an in your face linear holo (but don't get me wrong, I love those too)!

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I was out of town on a girls weekend, and wanted to bring a polish I would like but that I didn't need to add to to enjoy. This color was just the ticket. Perfect for our adventures out in San Luis Obispo, where it's subtle holo was shining in the beautifully sunny weather.

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When my girl's weekend concluded, I came home wonderful nail mail from the a-england sale I took advantage of earlier this month (in honor of the a-england owners' cat Tristam). So to liven up my manicure I decided to stamp (using XX plate) a-england Encore Margot on top of Briar Rose.

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The results were stunning. The finishes are similar, but the colors were different enough to tell the difference between the two polishes.

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Application: As usual, the a-englands are all almost one coaters, making them perfect for stamping. The forumlas on these were divine.

Where to buy: You can buy a-england polishes (in the US) from Llarowe and Color4Nails. They retail for $10.

Looking ahead: I wouldn't mind using these polishes for stamping in the future, but I think a pairing an a-england holo stamp over a similar creme shade would be gorgeous. Will be working on that in the future!

Monday, April 14, 2014

My first gradient nail art

One nail art technique I have never tried but always wanted to was the gradient. Today I have to share with you my first attempt, a teal gradient using a slew of Zoya polishes.

To begin I started with a coat of Zoya Neely, a beautiful mint green which is perfect for the spring. The other two shades I used was Zoya Wednesday and Zoya Alexa.

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To complete the gradient, I used a makeup sponge and painted stripes of the colors, from lightest to darkest. I waited until Neely was dry and then sponged on the makeup sponge, moving vertically from the top of the nail to the bottom.

To be honest it was an absolute sticky mess! Part of me thinks it is maybe because I didn't let the basecoat of Neely dry long enough (Zoya's can take a bit longer than most polishes to dry) and the final result was a little more subtle than I had hoped. I guess that's because I used all the same shade of color.

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To bring out the gradient, and make it more obvious, I used a Konad M60 – the dot gradients, with a darker teal polish (Essie Go Overboard) to make it more obvious. Before stamping though, I added a layer of China Glaze Fairy Dusts, so that the dots would float on the top of the manicure.

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I really liked the final results of this manicure, though it was extremely involved and took a lot of time. Next time I think I'll try and make a more obvious gradient (not use different shades of the same color).

What do you all think? I was pretty proud of the final result, it was my biggest nail art achievement to date!

Monday, April 7, 2014

Review of Dance Legend Strutter with Holo Stamping Fun

I have to say that Dance Legend Strutter is amazing. I unfortunately did not get a shot of this polish without my subtle stamp on top, but it is amazing prismatic bright in-your-face green!

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This was a bright green with a subtle holo and it was just this amazing perfect green. I stamped a Color Club Beyond chevron (which is a holo-tastic grey polish), and the results were a rainbow party, but very hard to capture on camera.

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See the little waves of holo rainbows? It was a subtle stamping job, but I thought it made my nails pretty original. Below is with no sunlight, so you can better see the stamping job, without all that holo getting in the way.

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Overall this Dance Legend Wow Prism polish is absolutely amazing, I wish I had gotten a shot of this alone, but that just encourages me to wear it again. And believe me, I will be pulling this polish out again for sure. I'm super tempted to get more Wow Prisms, but I'm holding off on buying polish for the moment.

Application: Strutter went on perfectly with two thin coats. There was nothing to complain about regarding it's formula, not too thick or watery, did not flood the cuticles either. Upon removal there was also no staining (I used a base coat). Color Club Beyond was also super easy to stamp with, and I'm sure I'll be pulling it out again as a stamping polish!

Where to Purchase: Dance Legend polishes can be purchased through their website. I purchased this polish on Llarowe (was part of my packages that were stuck in USPS purgatory). They retail for $13. Purchasing from the Russia site will take a long while to reach the US from what I've heard. Strutter is not currently in stock at Llarowe, but some of their other Wow Prisms, if that tempts you!

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Review and Swatches of NARS Orgasm

Buyers beware, just because the polish is from a luxury brand does not mean the polish is superior in any way, shape or form. This is one of the only luxury brand polishes that I own, and while I love the color, the application was a nightmare.

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Introducing NARS Orgasm. This is a peach polish with gold shimmer when it hits the sunlight. Beautiful as I'm always looking for polishes that remind me of beautiful sunsets, that is what I bought this color for.

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Indoors, above and below, the gold shimmer hides a bit but in the sun, bottom, it glows.

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Overall I really liked the color of this polish, but I'm sad to say it chipped within 24 hours of wear. Which once again might be because of the HK Girl Glisten and Glow top coat, which I have discontinued using now.

Application: First off, you see that cap? It is square and huge and impossible to comfortably hold while applying the polish. Now to the polish formula, it's thick and easily floods the cuticles all while being incredibly streaky. This is three coats and you can still see a bare spot on my pinky nail. For how much I spent on this polish (thank goodness it was with a gift card), I was not pleased.

Where to Purchase: I purchased this polish for $19 on Sephora ($19?!?! I know what was I thinking?)

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Indigo Bananas We Are The Music Makers

Today I have a review of Indigo Bananas We Are The Music Makers from their Willie Wonka collection. This is a gorgeous sparkle with a duochrome shift from teal to violet.

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The shift is apparent indoors and outdoors, but harder to capture on camera than some color shifters I have been wearing lately.

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Outside shots shown below.

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This color is so beautiful and I originally saw used in an aquatic-themed nail art by The Mercurial Magpie. I plan to use it for the same purpose at some point.

Application: Some people wear this polish with a coat of a darker polish underneath, but I used three coats for opacity and accurate measure of color since this was my first time wearing it. It had a bumpier finish, as sparkle polishes do, but was easy to even out with top coat. Unfortunately this one chipped on me within a day of application, but I want to blame that more on the HK Girl Glisten and Glow top coat than the actual polish itself. HK Girl Glisten and Glow just does not want to work with me, I wonder why so many other people absolutely rave about it! But I get it, not every polish works with every person's body chemistry.

Where to Purchase: Indigo Bananas has their shop on Etsy and the great thing about this brand is you can get either the larger bottle or the mini if you are just testing it out. I purchased my mini bottle (8ml) for $7.25. I remember it taking a while to ship to me though, but that might have been a glitch in their system or something. Don't not check out their store on account of that, they have some amazing polishes in there!

What do you think? I know my photos weren't the greatest in this post, but I was always trying to capture that color shift which makes this polish so special! Enjoy!

Monday, March 31, 2014

Review and swatches of Dance Legend Boo

This is one gorgeous polish! Multichrome amazing! Reminds me of fall and sunset, two of my favorite things. I'm always looking for nails that remind me of sunset, it's one of my favorite nail colors!

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This polish went on in three thin coats and applied and wore like a dream! Multichromes look best in cloudy weather.

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Under direct light indoors it looks more like a pink chrome, as it looks like above.

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In softer light, above, the multichome comes out to play.

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And in the cloudy weather, outdoors, the polish looks absolutely amazing!

Application: The photos above are three coats with a top coat of HK Girl Glisten and Glow (which I find does not dry super fast and does not work well with my nails). The polish lasted a fair while, and I found myself not wanting to take it off. In the future I'd like to stamp some tree silhouette of a tree or something, to bring out the sunset color.

Where to purchase: Dance Legend polishes hail from Russia, so they can definitely be tricky to get a hold of. You can order directly off their website, but then you are at the mercy of the Russian mail carriers, and they can take forever from what I've heard. You can take your chance at a Llarowe restock, but those are cut throat my friend, and all about timing. Fortunately, if you love this polish it is in stock now at Color4Nails! Go my friend, grab this polish while you can and you'll get it sooner than you would if you ordered via Russia! And that link shows all the Chameleon collection colors which feature all their multichrome collection, there is something in there for everyone!