Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Review: Dance Legend Strutter

Earlier this month I used Dance Legend Strutter in a nail art post and I forgot to get shots of this beautiful polish solo so without further ado, here it is in all its green glory!

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This is the perfect emerald polish with small holographic flecks. I originally put this polish on because I was trying to decide how many of the Dance Legend Spring Wow Prisms I actually wanted to purchase during Llarowe's restock.

From other swatchers online, and now because of my own experience with others, Strutter has the least holographic shimmer of all of the Wow Prism lines, but that doesn't make it any less beautiful. This is a perfect deep green and the flecks in it give the color a depth that is very unique.

Application: The polish goes on in a two perfect coats and I was pleasantly surprised to find that the color did not stain upon removal (I used a base coat of course).

Where to Purchase: Dance Legend polishes can be purchased through their website. I purchased this polish on Llarowe for $13.

Looking ahead: I did end up purchasing two of the Dance Legend Wow Prism Spring colors: Holy Diver and Beautiful Lie. Stay tuned for reviews of those soon! I also used another Wow Prism in some nail art recently, so that will be posted soon as well!

Monday, April 28, 2014

Made for eachother: neons and nuetrals

Awhile ago, I was browsing one of my favorite nail polish communities, Makeup Alley's Nail Board, and was inspired by their weekly theme: dots.

Dots on manicures are so versatile. They can make a plain manicure look classic or they can bring multiple colors and a unique look to a manicure.

I had recently purchased a few neon nail polishes and knew right away I wanted to use them in an ombre fashion, so when faced with the dot challenge I decided to put my new polishes to good use.

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I've seen many manicures featuring neutrals and neon polishes together, but I had never tried it myself. I am so happy I did, I really like how this ended up looking! I don't look great wearing nude-neutrals, so I used a grey polish as the backdrop.

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Looks great indoors and outdoors!

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Polishes used: I used Zoya Dove as the backdrop, its a great light gray color. I used all China Glaze polishes for the neon colors (I really love their variety of neon colors!). From bottom to top of the nail we have Pool Party, a neon pink leaning coral; Flip Flop Fantasy, a neon light orange leaning oral; and Son of a Peach, a light neon peach.

This definitely has to be one of my favorite dotticures of all time! What do you guys think?

Friday, April 25, 2014

Painter's block and utilizing untried nail polishes

Today I'm sharing with you a manicure that I did when I felt like I had total painter's block. I had so many colors, I couldn't decide on what polish I wanted to use on my finger tips.

I couldn't decide, sparkles, cream, duochrome, skittles or nail art?

Eventually I just decided on working with some untrieds in my collection and trying a look I had not done before.

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I decided to try on this beautiful purple polish from Essie's 2013 Wedding Collection. This Essie is called Using My Maiden Name, and I was lemming this polish for such a long time. Then I bought it and never used it! What is wrong with me. I think my main problem is I am never in the mood to wear purple for some reason. Which is crazy, look how beautiful this polish is!

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Using My Maiden Name is a beautiful light lavender color with a pink shimmer under sunlight. Such a beautiful delicate number which screams spring to me! And since I can never just have a single color or finish on my nails, I added a glitter gradient of Butter London's Fairy Cake on my my tips!

It's still beautiful in indirect sunlight, below!

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Glitter gradients can be tricky because some glitters are harder to build up on for the gradient looks. For this look, I did one coat that went halfway down my nail and then topped it up with another coat right at the tips. Sometimes the gradient isn't as obvious and gradual, but I thought this turned out well and this polish worked well for the build up!

Application: Essie's Using My Maiden Name was a little streaky, even after two coats, but I settled at that because I knew I was topping with sparkles. The trick is to use thin coats to get the best look out of this polish. Butter London Fairy Cake was a beautiful fine sparkles that build up well. This is about two coats on tips, one coat on the mid-nail. Also Fairy Cake did not dry too bumpy.

How often do you wear your untrieds? What is one polish you just HAD to have and then let sit on your wall collecting dust for a year before you tried it?

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Recreating Different Dimension's The Lovers, The Dreamers and Me

So I was recently lusting after some beautiful blue holo polish that was included in Llarowe's A Box, Indied for April. Obtaining an A Box, Indied can be difficult, because they are highly sought after and usually contain polishes you can only get if you get your hands on the box. They are also $50, which is expensive for most people. Myself included.

Anyway I was really wanting Different Dimension's The Lovers, The Dreamers and Me polish, which was only available in the A Box, Indied. So I went into project mode to see if I could recreate the polish. First off, I'll show you some swatches of it from a fellow blogger over at Cosmetic Sanctuary. Lisa was kind enough to share her swatches with me, so go visit her site and take a look around! I'm sure you'll love it!

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The Lovers, The Dreamers and Me is a bluish purple holographic polish. The to photo is under indoor light with the bottle light right under a bright light (close to sunlight).

Here is my recreation!

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I used two coats of a cobalt blue polish I own, Essie Butler Please, and a coat of my favorite linear holo top coat, Colors by Llarowe Leather and Lace. I think I got pretty close, but my blue is a bit brighter, and less purple toned. But I'm happy with my imitation nonetheless.

I really need to practice doing more work with my current polishes. I definitely need to take a break from buying polishes. I need to take up more nail art as well. Just got some new stamping plates from MoYou, so expect some fun nail art coming up soon!

Monday, April 21, 2014

Review of KBShimmer Make My Gray

This is an old manicure that I found lost in my iPhone photos and I realized that I didn't review it! Whoops! Anyway, KBShimmer is one of my favorite indie brands and their price point is so affordable as well! If you haven't tried indie polishes, KBShimmer is a great one to start with!

Let's get started, they recently came out with their spring line, which has many beautiful colors and I picked up two! This is the first I've tried so far.

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Make My Gray consists of coral and gray matte sparkles with aqua holo sparkle pieces suspended in a milky gray-blue base.

I loved the combination of aqua and coral pieces, really made this polish a unique mix!

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In the sun the holo pieces sparkle, but indoors this polish is pretty as well!

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This polish could make an excellent accent nail to a coral manicure or an aqua one! I tried a little nail art on it, using China Glaze Flip Flop Fantasy, but I couldn't quite match the coral pink. Didn't really like the stamping job, it was just too busy, but I had to try something!

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Application: This is a polish that is packed with sparkle pieces, you don't have to fish for any of the sparkle pieces, but you may have to do dab for application so you get the sparkles where you want it. These swatches are about three coats of dabbing, you could probably get away with two, but I require perfection.

Where to Purchase: You can purchase KBShimmer polishes from their website, their polishes range from $7.50-$8.75 per bottle. This polish retails for $8.75.

Good news: I won Chameleon Stampede's Second Blogaversay contest and I am getting a $25 gift certificate to Girly Bits! I am a Girly Bits virgin, but I've had my eye on A Stripper Has Been Sleeping in My Bed and Get Weaponized for some time now, so that will be great!

Recent purchases: I went on a spending spree this weekend, and man do I have so many pretties coming my way- new Dance Legend Spring Wow Prisms, another Color by Llarowe, more Indigo Bananas and my first Smitten Polishes are coming my way. I'll have lots of new pretties to show you coming up!

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!