Friday, May 30, 2014

Sunset gradient nails

Let me start this post off by saying, I really really loved this manicure. These are the type of nails I dream about. Unfortunately, these nails lasted about as long as a sunset. :(

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Now, I'm not the best at gradients, this is really my second successful go at it. But man is it beautiful!

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Application: I began this manicure with three thin coats of China Glaze Son of a Peach. For the gradient I used Son of a Peach, Zoya Heidi and OPI Eurso Euro sponged up and down (with a makeup sponge) to create the sunset effect. To top it all off I did a layer of China Glaze Fairy Dust to create the twilight stars are coming out of the backdrop.

So I determined after this manicure, that my body chemistry does not agree with China Glaze polishes. They just do not want to last on me. The majority of China Glaze polishes I own are neons, so I guess this is a fact I remember every summer. I'll keep the ones I have around, they are pretty good for stamping, but I'm so sad that this manicure chipped in less than 24 hours of application. I'm sure it's the Son of a Peach base because I switched up nothing else in my application process.

I'm still a newbie at gradients, do you have any tips for making the application go smoothly? I still haven't tried the whole get your sponge wet first thing, I wonder if that would help? Using a non Zoya polish as the base definitely helped this time (because Zoya polishes take longer to dry on me), but I can't use China Glaze again. Anyway share your tips in the comments if you have any! Thanks and have a great weekend!!!

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Indigo Bananas Maui Wowee with floral nail stamping

This polish was a stunner from the moment I put it on my nails – Indigo Banana Maui Wowee.

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The polish itself is a periwinkle blue color which boasts a duochrome shift to a beautiful lavender purple. Oh and did I mention this is also a holographic polish?!?!

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And not just a little holographic, this polish shines in the sun!

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Because this was such a gentle blue-purple polish, I thought this polish would be great topped with a floral stamp, increasing the delicate spring-like feel this polish possesses! I used MoYou Pro Plate 06.

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Thankfully, this manicure post falls right in line with The Lacquer Legion's monthly mani theme: garden!

It's May, and this month we're growing a Lacquer Legion garden! We want to see your garden inspired manicures, whether that means flowers, fruits, vegetables, insects, critters or anything in between. Feel free to get creative!

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Application: This polish wore beautifully and went on perfectly with two thin coats. The formula on this was really amazing, I wore it for a day or two without the stamping first and then for another day or two with the stamping. I did not want to take it off! This seriously is one of my favorite manicures I've done in quite awhile! I used HK Girl top coat, no dulling effect to the amazing holo!!!

Where to purchase: You can purchase Indigo Bananas polishes from their website, I bought this mini bottle (8ml) for $7.25. I really like their shop because you can purchase mini polishes or large polishes, which is a great way to sample a new-to-you indie polish maker. So far I have loved all of their polishes!

So did you all participate in The Lacquer Legion this month? It was my first time doing so, and honestly it was because of happenstance. I'll do more to prepare next month!!!

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Ellagee Nai'a review and swatches

Hey everyone, today I have a really fun glitter polish to share with you! I recently learned of a new indie polish maker, Ellagee and her wonderful line dolphin glitter polishes. Yeah you heard that, holographic dolphin glitter!!!!

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Ellagee Nai'a is a clear glitter containing holographic dolphin pieces scattered among various teal, violet and red-orange glitter pieces.

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Note: Since this polish is in a clear base, I used about two coats of the glitter over a black polish. 

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Application:  The glitter goes on great, but I did have to fish a little for the dolphin pieces. For optimal application I would do a coat or two of the glitter polish, and when a dolphin comes out use an orange stick to place it how you would like on the nail. The glitter and dolphin pieces do leave a slight texture to the nail, so adding an extra layer of top coat or two would solve the problem. Overall application was not difficult and the payoff was amazing. We are talking HOLO GLITTER DOLPHINS people!!!

Where to purchase: You can purchase Ellagee polishes at her online store, with regular size polishes retailing for around $9.75. She has many different types of polishes, including many more dolphin polishes to check out. I ordered a mini-sized sampler set for $16, which is a great way to try out a new indie polish brand. Seriously, you should check out her polishes, there is something for everyone!

Friday, May 23, 2014

Colors by Llarowe In Another Dimension with some beach-y nail stamping

One of my favorite nail colors is definitely teal. It's pretty obvious as my blog and Instagram feed show, I wear it A LOT. Anyway here is a beautiful teal holo I recently purchased on a whim, and boy I am super glad I did!

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I eventually added some stamps, so here is a quick preview of that!

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Anyway, some of the clean up isn't quite finished on these polishes, but I had to run out and see it in the sunshine and I just couldn't wait!

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I feel this is a teal that leans blue, in the shade (below), you can see which way it wants to lean better.

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To add a little flair and because I love any ocean themed nails, I added some wave stamps (from MoYou Sailor Plate 04) and some fun beachy stamps include a whale (Winstonia 108 plate) and a crab and palm tree (Winstonia 106 plate).

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Application: Unfortunately the formula on In Another Dimension was not great. It was so thick upon opening I had to add thinner to it before even trying to properly apply. I've truly never had to do that with a polish before. Adding thinner did help a bit, but the polish is still quite a bit on the thick side. The polish did wear well (wore on another weekend out of town) and was topped with HK Girl Top Coat.

Where to Purchase: Colors by Llarowe In Another Dimension was part of their Spring release and they have already retired it. But fear not, Leah Ann has 31 new shades releasing for preorder very soon! I purchased this polish for $12. Colors by Llarowe are available on the Llarowe website, along with many great indie nail polish brands.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Indigo Bananas 2% Butterscotch Ripple

Let me start off this post with an apology. My photos of this polish, do it very little justice. Indigo Bananas consists of multichrome glitter suspended in wine-colored jelly polish.

I layered this polish over a dark OPI (We'll Always Have Paris), which I thought might make it brighter, but only darkened it. For shots of this polish that really show its ultimate beauty, check out the Polish Hound's photos from this post. She really captures the gold to bluish shimmer the sparkles give off and puts all of my photos to shame.

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The best shot I got of this polish is the one above, which shows just how raspberry/wine color the polish truly is.

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The polish shot also shows it's blue leaning glitter. My horrible darker shots are below.

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But if I share with you only my best, how would that be me being real. We all live and learn. I learned that in the future, I will not put this polish over a darker creme. It changes its beauty and I don't want that.

Application: I put one coat of 2% Butterscotch Ripple over two coats of OPI We'll Always Have Paris. Both wore well, but I would not combine the two in the future. Maybe if I were doing skittle nails, but not layered like this polish shows.

Where to Purchase: You can purchase Indigo Bananas polishes from their website, I bought this mini bottle (8ml) for $7.25. I really like their shop because you can purchase mini polishes or large polishes, which is a great way to sample a new-to-you indie polish maker. So far I have loved all of their polishes, especially Maui Wowee (in the bottle shot), but believe me that beauty is a post for another day!

So what do you think? Do you like it when I share nail blunders as well as nail beauties? I know nail blogs are supposed to be all professional, but every nail lady knows you can't hit it out of the park with every manicure. I just feel sad because I know I didn't do this polish justice – I'll make sure to publish a better post when I wear this polish again solo!!!

Monday, May 19, 2014

Smitten Ker-Bloom dotticure

I recently just got my first order from Smitten Polish and purchased this lovely blue holo polish. Not quite cobalt, leaning toward the ultimate blue of the year in my opinion.

Unfortunately this was during a phase where I felt like I needed to "nail art" everything I put on my nails. I ended up adding a dotticure of sorts over the polish, but felt like I should have just let the polish speak for itself.

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The dots were a Wet n' Wild quick dry white (forgot the name sorry) and China Glaze Son of a Peach (a neon peach color). I've used Son of a Peach on a more recent manicure and I'll expand on my experiences with that polish in a later post – spoiler alert: it's terrible.

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This polish looks great inside and out, I really did like Ker-Bloom. Very unique polish in my collection, was very glad to have purchased it!

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Application: Smitten Ker-Bloom went on perfectly in two thin coats. The consistency of the polish was not too thick, not too thin. The wear time was fantastic, I wore this manicure while going on an impromptu road trip of sorts, and I didn't get a single chip on it. I believe I wore it for close to four days (which is a long time for me). I topped it with HK Girl Top Coat, which has been my go-to lately.

Where to Purchase: Smitten Polish is available at their website, I bought this bottle for $11. I also purchased Glacial Springs (a jelly teal glitter polish) and The First Lobster (a red orange holo), so look out for a post about those soon. Ker-Bloom is currently in stock on the Smitten website.

Friday, May 16, 2014

Dance Legend Spring Wow Prism Beautiful Lie

As soon as I saw a swatch of Dance Legend Beautiful Lie I knew it had to be mine. It's that ultimate shade of blue that I have been searching for with that wonderful scattered holo finish that I am absolutely obsessed with.

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Even in the shade below, the color payoff is still beautiful!

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And as an added bonus, I found a perfect blue creme polish that matches perfectly with this polish – Essie Chills and Thrills. This seriously is like the blue of the year for me. It's a lavender leaning blue that is soft but not quite pastel. Very unique. And so I paired Beautiful Lie with Chills and Thrills using some nail vinyls and I was quite pleased with the result!

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Chills and Thrills is a trick color to photograph. It shows up in my photos more cobalt leaning than lavender, but trust me, it works perfectly with Beautiful Lie.

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I apologize for some of the tip wear in some of these shots. I really loved this manicure so I wore it for several days!

So on to nail vinyls, they are this incredible invention and they come in various shapes such as straight lines (which I used for this manicure) or chevrons (which I used for this manicure). They also come in lightening, single chevron, zebra print and more. They retail for about $6.00 a sheet (which have 100 pieces a sheet). Order them here, they are amazing!!! An application tip: use tweezers while applying and removing and make sure to remove the nail vinyls while the nail polish is still wet, you'll get less mess ups that way! Here is a quick tutorial that shows how to do this with a gradient (haven't tried this yet but want to!). Totally not my tutorial, but I just You Tube searched nail vinyls before applying for tips.

Application: As for the application of Beautiful Lie, it went on perfectly in two thin coats. Chills and Thrills was a little patchy (and goopy) and required two quick quotes before removing the nail vinyls. I topped the whole look off with HK Girl Top Coat.

Where to purchase: Essie polish is widely available at drug stores, online etc. I bought this bottle off of Color4Nails for $5. Dance Legend polishes can be purchased through their website. I purchased this polish on Llarowe. They retail for $13. Purchasing from the Russia site will take a long while to reach the US from what I've heard. Beautiful Lie is currently out of stock at Llarowe, but she frequently restocks. 

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Review Girly Bits Lack of Pies

Recently I had the pleasure of trying my first Girly Bits Polish and I was very impressed. My second at bat with the company left me even more wowed!

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This, my friends, is Girly Bits Lack of Pies and it is a chameleon of a polish. While I wore it I could not stop staring at it because it shifts so much. It goes from green to pink, sometimes there is a hint of mossy green and then it has that gorgeous show-stopping holo!

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In indirect light, above and below, you see its many shifts between pink, mossy green and brighter green.

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In direct sunlight, below, it almost appears a khaki green with wonderful holo payoff.

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Overall this polish was a knockout for me. So much hype is given to many of the multichromes on the market, but I think this collection has been overlooked. This is multichrome, but isn't the same animal as the others on the market. It's color shifts are so unique, I seriously could not stop staring at my polish. The color shifts were also very obvious and even in the sunlight, you could see the shifts!

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Application: This went on great with three thin coats, had absolutely no complaints about it's application. I topped with HK Girl Top Coat and it lasted a good while on my nails (I did not want to take it off).

Where to Purchase: I purchased this polish on Llarowe for $13. You can also purchase on the Girly Bits website, which is based in Canada (so shipping might be a bit more), for $12.50.

What do you think of this polish? I was so impressed that I definitely have to get Go and Shake a Tower and Billy Jeans after seeing how amazing this polish is!

Monday, May 12, 2014

Review of Girly Bits Cosemetics A Stripper Has Been Sleeping In My Bed

So today I get to share with you my very first Girly Bits Cosmetics polish A Stripper Has Been Sleeping in My Bed. I was so happy to win Chameleon Stampede's Second Blogaversary, I received a $25 gift certificate to Girly Bits, a brand I had been eying for quite some time.

I knew the first polish I wanted was A Stripper Has Been Sleeping in My Bed. The sparkles in this polish are just so beautiful and in your face. I absolutely loved it!

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This first shot is in the sun because luckily, it was still out when I was doing my nails. This is a micro glitter explosion on the nails. I felt when examining it really close that there were magenta glitter pieces that stood out among the rest of the polish as well. You can see that more at play in the shade shot below.

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I wanted to add an accent to bring out the magenta pull in the glitter polish, so I added an X using nail vinyls, because at the time I literally couldn't think of anything more creative than an X. Pretty sad I know! I used Essie's Bahama Mama for the accent.

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I was a huge fan of this polish. I couldn't stop looking at my nails in the sun, they were totally blingtastic. I uploaded a video of the sparkle to my instagram, which is also a great way to keep up with my manicures!

Application: This went on opaque in two coats, I added a third for ultimate sparkle. The finish was a little bumpy, but I just gave it an extra coat of top coat to smooth the manicure out. It wore well for a sparkle polish, which I find can sometimes be chippy.

Where to purchase: Girly Bits Cosmetics is a Canadian polish maker and you can order her polishes from her website. I got this polish with a gift certificate I won for $11.50. There are so many other polishes of her's that I want, every time I visit her site I see something new that looks amazing!

Friday, May 9, 2014

Nail stamping with a-england Sleeping Palace and Essie Chinchilly

I know it's pretty silly to say but when I first went to photograph this manicure under proper lighting, it took my breath away. It is so beautiful!

I've been meaning to pair a creme and a holo finished polish for stamping for some time, and I had a-england's Sleeping Palace on my list of polishes to finally try. Boy am I happy I did!

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The above photo was literally the first shot I took with my phone and all I could utter was wow. It was so amazing.

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Finding a holo and a creme polish that go well together can be quite a task, I didn't know if I wanted to pull on the plum or brown undertones of Sleeping Palace. I settled on Essie's Chinchilly as a base, because of the violet undertones it has in it. The pairing was absolutely stunning!

The only criticism I have of this manicure is that I think it might be more perfect as a great fall manicure, but I rocked it hard during the spring and still received many compliments on it!

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To stamp, I once again used MoYou London's Sailor 04 plate for the curvy design! I was really proud of how the stamping came out. One of my best stamping jobs to date!

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Application: Essie's Chinchilly was a little on the watery side, but evened out after two thin coats. a-england's Sleeping Palace is a beautiful one-coater that is perfect for stamping. If you haven't stamped with a-england polishes yet, do so right away. Their formula is amazing and totally made perfectly for stunning stamping jobs like this! I can't wait to try out Sleeping Palace by itself, it looks like such a beautiful color, even on its own.

Where to purchase: Most a-england polishes retail for about $10 and you can order them on Llarowe or Color4Nails, I have purchased them from both sites. a-england is a polish maker from the UK, so Llarowe and Color4Nails are two US retailers of their polish.

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Review and stamping with Dance Legend High Hopes

One of my newest favorite polishes are the Dance Legend Wow Prisms. There is something so lovely about their scattered holographic finish, I just love how when it sparkles in the sun, the depth of the sparkle surprises me.

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Dance Legend High Hopes is a light pink scattered holo polish with a lot of rainbow sparkle.

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Please excuse the blurriness of the last shot, I was just trying to show off the wow of the holo finish. Very beautiful yes? And because I must nail art most of my manicures, I stamped a scalloped design using MoYou London Sailor Plate 04.

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It beautiful in artificial light, above, and sunlight, below!

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Application: This polish went on beautifully with two coats and I have absolutely nothing to complain about when it comes to formula for these beauties. There is no bumpy finish, like some sparkles have, this is a beautiful flat finish that looks like it has depth and texture (without actually having texture!).

Where to purchase: The Dance Legend Wow Prisms are a bit more expensive than their multichrome brothers and sisters and it is because they come in a larger bottle. Dance Legend polishes can be purchased through their website (but shipping with take awhile since they are a Russian polish company). I purchased this polish on Llarowe for $13.