Swatch and Review: I Love Nail Polish Mutagen

Were you as excited as I was when I Love Nail Polish first announced their Ultra Chrome collection earlier this year?  I couldn’t wait to get my hands on these!  I just love multi-chrome nail polishes (and yes, I say that about practically every kind of nail polish, but I always mean it!).  My pre-order of the collection arrived not too long ago, and I finally tried one of the polishes.  Mutagen is a primarily emerald green-based multi-chrome polish that flashes with shades of blue, gold, purple, and pink.  This one is a real stunner!  I found it easy to apply, and using three thin coats gave me an opaque and deep color.  The finish on this is a chrome-like metallic finish (as you may have guessed from the name of the collection).  I used base and top coat for the photos.  I took pictures in different lighting and at different angles to capture all the colors that are dancing around on my nails right now.  🙂  I was able to capture the color shift in th green from vibrant emerald (second photo) to a lighter leaf green (third photo), and also the gold flash (fourth photo) and the purple and blue shift of this one (fifth photo).  These are only a few of the colors you’ll see in this polish!  It looks a little different each time I look at it.  (Apologies for my dry cuticles in the photos; I had to soak off my previous mani this morning and it really tore up the skin around my nails.  I’ll have to be vigilant about moisturizing in the next few days.) I Love Nail Polish Mutagen I Love Nail Polish Mutagen I Love Nail Polish Mutagen I Love Nail Polish Mutagen I Love Nail Polish Mutagen I can’t tell you how much I have loved looking at my nails in this polish!  There were no application issues; there are some very mild visible brush strokes in the photos above, but these seem inconsequential to me and are definitely nowhere near as bad as one finds with most chrome finish polishes.  Dry time was quick. I purchased Mutagen from the I Love Nail Polish online store for $12.50.  Most of the Ultra Chrome collection is still available there if you are interested!

Swatch and Review: Too Fancy Lacquer Hold Out the Olive Branch

I just love trying new (to me) indie polish brands!  I am almost always impressed with the quality and beauty of the polishes I purchase from indie makers.  Too Fancy Lacquer is the latest indie brand I tried, and I’m so glad I did!  Hold Out the Olive Branch is a dark army green holographic polish.  This one is a real stunner!  I just love the color; it really isn’t like any other green holo polish that I’ve seen.  Hold Out the Olive Branch does not have the application issues that some holo polishes do, and I was able to apply it over my regular base coat without any problems.  This one is opaque in two coats.  I didn’t use a top coat for the photos.

Too Fancy Lacquers Hold Out the Olive Branch

Too Fancy Lacquers Hold Out the Olive Branch

Isn’t that holo gorgeous?  I really love this color!  The only negative to this polish is that it has a pretty strong smell to it, so if you are particularly sensitive to smells, this is not the polish for you.  I will suffer anything for a great polish, so a little smell isn’t going to get in my way.  😉

I purchased this polish from the Too Fancy Lacquer Etsy store for $9.50.  I hope to try more of their polishes soon!

Nail Art NOTD: LVX Legendaire

I’m a bit of a beauty subscription box addict, and I sign up for new ones too often (and cancel them too rarely).  One of the subscription boxes to which I subscribe is the Blush Mystery Beauty Box.  In September’s box they included a polish from LVX Nail Lacquer in Legendaire, which is a muted, greyed-out lavender shade.  It seems like a great shade for transitioning from summer into autumn, so I just had to try it out as soon as it arrived.  The first picture is two coats of Legendaire over base coat (but no topcoat).

LVX Legendaire

I think this is a great, neutral shade that would work great for workplace nails.  Legendaire applied very easily, and the LVX brush was one of those perfect ones that let me do a three-stroke application with ease.  And it looks great even without top coat, doesn’t it?!

After swatching it I added some accent nails with some small rhinestones. I thought green would be a nice complement to this color, so I added a half-moon mani accented with the rhinestones to two nails. I added this by using a cotton swab dipped in polish remover and removing the polish from the nails. Then I added a layer of top coat, followed with the rhinestones. I then sealed it all with another layer of top coat.

LVX Legendaire

This is such an easy look to create, and it gets a lot of compliments.  It’s an easy way to switch up a mani with minimal effort.  🙂

As I mentioned, I purchased Legendaire as part of the Blush Mystery Beauty Box.  The box is $34.95 when purchased as an individual item, or $24.95 per month when purchased on subscription (both prices include shipping).  I purchased the rhinestones from Born Pretty Store as part of a set of a few different colors for $4.89.

NOTD: Julep Catrina

I started today with a simple mani using Julep’s Catrina from this month’s Cityscape Collection.  Catrina is a bright yellow creme polish that Julep describes as ‘marigold,’ which is an accurate description of this yellow.  I don’t often like yellow nail polishes on me, but I really like this one!  It was a bit streaky when applied, and it took 3 coats before I thought it looked mostly even.  It dried rather quickly, though, so it wasn’t so time-consuming to apply 3 coats of this polish.  I used base coat for the photo, but no top coat.

Julep Catrina

I quite like how this turned out, don’t you?  🙂  Later in the day I added some accent nails to this manicure using a multi-colored shard glitter from Forever 21’s beauty line, Love and Beauty.  I wish I could tell you a name for this polish, but they have this terrible habit of calling many of their polishes the same thing.  I think the label calls it ‘multi-glitter,’ but I know I have at least one other polish from their line with exactly the same ‘name’ on the label.  I don’t really recommend purchasing Love and Beauty polishes unless you see one that is super unique or that you just can’t live without.  I’ve bought a few and they tend to dry out extremely quickly.  Although this one didn’t suffer that fate, it did take a long time to dry (which is also annoying, am I right?).

Julep Catrina

Do you like this type of glitter?  I always call it ‘trashy glitter’ in my head because it looks to me like someone put the glitter factory’s trash in some nail polish and sold it.  🙂

I purchased Catrina as part of the Julep Maven subscription program for $19.99 for a set of 3 nail polishes.  I purchased the glitter polish from Forever 21 for around $2.80.

NOTD: Above the Curve Hyacinth

The weather here was hot and sunny today, which was a nice surprise since I thought it was supposed to rain.   It was nice to be unexpectedly greeted by a beautiful day!  I decided to use one of my ‘untried’ holographic polishes to take advantage of the sunlight.  Hyacinth from Above the Curve Nail Lacquer is a light but buildable lavender polish with a subtle, scattered holographic shimmer.  I used three coats for the picture, with base coat but no top coat.  This applied like a dream, with no streaking or balding, and dried in a flash!  In terms of application, it was everything I dream of in a polish.

Above the Curve Hyacinth

This is a nice, light, and pretty color for a a beautiful day.  This is one of those shades that seems workplace appropriate to me; it’s understated enough indoors, but will give you a flash of rainbow shimmer in the sunlight.

I purchased this mini bottle of Hyacinth from the Above the Curve web shop as part of their spring collection (which consisted of four mini polishes in total) for $15.  This color is no longer available for purchase, but they have a bunch of other great colors available now!  There’s a few I definitely have my eye on.  😉

NOTD: Dance Legend Shining Rainbow Collection No. 49

My nails of the day for today (and yesterday, but I didn’t get a chance to post them then) feature No. 49 from the Dance Legend Shining Rainbow collection.  I haven’t seen a lot of swatches of colors from this collection online just yet, but it is really beautiful so I’m sure they will be turning up soon!  This shade is a duochrome that shifts from a shimmering brown-tinged red to a golden color.  It has loads of holographic glitter that give it some major sparkle in the sunlight.  I used two coats for the pictures, with a base and topcoat.  And sorry again for the index finger nub; I broke it yet again a couple days ago.  😦

Dance Legend Shining Rainbow No. 49

Dance Legend Shining Rainbow No. 49

Check out my @fleafer instagram for a video of that gorgeous sparkle in action!

What do you think of this polish?  I don’t often purchase polishes that have these kinds of large holographic glitter particles in them, so it is a nice change for me.  I’m a big fan of the whole Dance Legend range of polishes, and I definitely encourage you to check them out!

I purchased this polish from Ninja Polish for $13.

Swatch and Review: Mentality Nail Polish Rascal

It’s a lovely day here, the early September kind that has an edge of fall in the air.  I’m jumping right into autumn’s nail palette today with Mentality Nail Polish’s Rascal.  Rascal is a matte black polish that has a hint of shimmer in the sunlight.  This polish is on the slightly thick side because it is so highly pigmented, but that didn’t affect application or drying time.  I found Rascal easy to apply, and one coat could probably suffice for this polish, though I prefer two.  I used striping tape and a third coat to add some texture and dimension for accent nails.  Like most mattes this one dried very quickly.

Mentality Nail Polish Rascal

I took some pictures of my manicure before adding the accents to show what Rascal looks like at two coats.

Mentality Nail Polish Rascal

Mentality Nail Polish Rascal

Don’t you just love the way the sunlight plays with that hint of shimmer? 🙂

Overall, I’m very impressed with this polish!  I like that Rascal is more forgiving than most mattes and does not show obvious brush strokes.  It also isn’t covered in dings a few minutes after applied like some mattes tend to be.  The color payoff on this one is amazing, too!  It really is such a deep, true black.  This is one of those shades that could be used in so many different nail art ideas.  It could be used as a base for the chalkboard mani that is all the rage right now, for example.

Have you tried Mentality Nail Polish before?  I have several of their polishes and must confess that I’m a big fan of their line.  They have so many unique color options and are very reasonably priced.  You’ll definitely be seeing more of their polishes here in the future.

This polish was provided to me by Mentality Nail Polish and can be purchased at the Mentality Nail Polish store for $7, which includes shipping.  They are currently having a sale, too!  If you use the coupon code MENTALITY at checkout you’ll receive 20% off orders over $30.

Nail Art NOTD: Camouflage Nails with the SquareHue Serengeti Collection

The September 2013 SquareHue collection arrived over the weekend, and the selection of three colors in it seem like great ones for the transition from summer into autumn.  I used them to do some camouflage nail art for my Labor Day mani.  For the camouflage nails, I started by painting three coats of the Grassland Safari shade over the whole nail.  This shade is a bright greenish yellow that leans more yellow on the nails than it does in the bottle.  I then painted a freehand camouflage pattern using the other two shades in the collection.  I started with the lighter of the two shades, Savanna Sundowner, which is a green-tinged bronze shimmer.  After applying this and allowing it to dry, I painted on another ‘layer’ of the camouflage pattern using the darkest shade, Swahili Charm, which is a rich, dark brown creme.  I also used base and topcoat for the pictures.


SquareHue Serengeti Collection

SquareHue Serengeti Collection

Bottle shots of the three colors used are below (L to R:  Savanna Sundowner, Swahili Charm, Grassland Safari).


All three of these polishes were easy to apply.  Savanna Sundowner and Swahili Charm had high color payoff and looked very similar in the bottle and on the nail.  Grassland Safari, however, leaned much more yellow on the nail than it appears in the bottle, and it was difficult to achieve opacity with this shade.  In the photos above I used four coats of Grassland Safari on the ‘non-camo’ nails, and there’s still a clear VNL.  When I use it next time I might try applying a white shade as a base before applying to see if that helps with the opacity issue.

I purchased the SquareHue Serengeti Collection from the company’s subscription service.  More information can be found on their website.  The service is $19.99 per month in the U.S., including shipping.