GOT Polish Challenge: Dots with Avon Mirror Shine Pink Ice

The theme for the Golden Oldie Thursday Challenge (details here) is dots!  I’ve had so much fun going through my polish stash since this challenge started.  In my explorations through my hoard I found an ancient Avon polish that I wanted to take for a spin, so I forced it into this week’s theme.

Avon Mirror Shine in Pink Ice is an extremely light pink chrome finish polish.  The color is about as light as pink can get before it becomes white; I remember being disappointed when I got this one all those ages ago because the color on the label is about 20 times darker than the actual color of the polish.  I’ve kept it all this time, though, because I really don’t have another polish that has this extreme of a chrome finish.

The application of Pink Ice has all the problems that one would expect of a mirror chrome:  it’s streaky and magnifies every nail ridge and flaw.  That being said, it’s the kind of thing that we only notice on our own manicure, and everyone else who sees it thinks it looks amazing.  I was afraid to use a base coat with this one in case it got even streakier (is that a word?), but I did use my standard top coat with it, and it did not dull the finish at all.

I wanted to add dots without spoiling my view of the mirror finish, so I added a simple black dotted accent to each nail using an Art Club striper polish.  It was easy to work with and dried in a hurry, which is all I can ask from a nail art polish.

I used 3 coats of Pink Ice for the photos, and then added dots using the Art Club black striper.  I did not use a base coat for this mani, but I did use top coat.

Avon Pink Ice

pinkice2

Avon Pink Ice

pinkice4

Do you love or hate chrome finish polishes like Pink Ice?  I definitely think this polish is noticeable, and I know its flaws are much more visible to me than to anyone who’s checking out my nails.  All in all I think I like it more now than I used to do.  Still trying to decide if I’ll keep it…

I purchased this polish from Avon many years ago; it is no longer available for purchase at this time.

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Swatch and Review: butter London All Hail the Queen

I was in the mood for a neutral shade when I was last selecting a polish hue, and I settled on butter London’s All Hail the Queen.  I was lucky in that the sun came out for a little while around the time that I finished painting, so I was able to enjoy the holographic shimmer in this one as well.

All Hail the Queen has a cool-toned, neutral beige base.  This polish is on the deeper end of beige, which makes it a nice choice for winter when it will contrast well with the stark white outdoors.  Added to this base is a sprinkling of scattered holographic sparkle.  In indoor lighting, the shimmer adds a dimension of silver sparkle to the neutral base.  In the sunlight, flashes of color reflect from the shimmer, giving it a subtle holographic look.

The application for this polish was without issue.  It applied easily and was my perfect consistency.  The dry time was a touch longer than some polishes, but nothing terrible.  It is on the sheer side; I used 3 coats for the photos, and the coverage was completely even and opaque at that point.  The staying power of this polish is also fantastic.  I wore this for 3 days without top coat and did not have a single chip or knick in my nails after all that time.  Color me impressed.  I used a base coat and 3 coats of All Hail the Queen for the photos.

butter London All Hail the Queen

butter London All Hail the Queen

butter London All Hail the Queen

butter London All Hail the Queen

Do you like this more subtle, workplace appropriate holo mani?  I really love this color as a beige that doesn’t wash out my skin tone.

I purchased this polish a while ago from the butter London online shop for $9.00 or $10.00.  I only purchase from them when they are having sales, which happens a few times a year.  They are regularly priced at $15.00.

Swatch and Review: Mentality Nail Polish Humility

It’s been extremely cold and snowy here lately, but there have been a few breaks in the hazy cloud cover over the past few days.  There’s nothing quite like the light of a cloudless, sunny day reflecting off of a completely snow-covered landscape.  I enjoyed feeling energized by the light and getting to use an untried holo polish. 🙂

Mentality Nail Polish in Humility has a duochrome base that shifts from a light, minty green to a light aqua blue.  At most angles, the green is prominent, but the blue does peek out from time to time.  In some indoor lighting the colors are not as visible, and it can take on a light grey look at times.  Added to this pale base is a tightly scattered holographic sparkle.

This polish applied easily and dried quickly.  It is relatively translucent at one coat, but the coverage was buildable.  I used 4 coats for the photos, but the VNL was very slight at 3, so one could stop there.  I used my normal base coat for the photos, and did not use a top coat.  I tried to get photos at a few different angles to show the range of color flash in the duochrome base.

Mentality Nail Polish Humility

Mentality Nail Polish Humility

Mentality Nail Polish Humility

Mentality Nail Polish Humility

Mentality Nail Polish Humility

And one in indoor lighting:

Mentality Nail Polish Humility

What do you think of this very pastel duochrome?  The last picture shows how it can appear almost like a dove grey indoors.  This may be due to the greying effect of holo particles.

I purchased this polish from the Mentality Nail Polish online shop for around $5.00 during a sale.  I’ve ended up with an extra bottle of this shade, so if anyone wants to try it, I can send you this swatched bottle for the cost of shipping.  Mentality really is one of the best bargains in the indie nail polish scene, so I encourage you to check them out!

GOT Polish Challenge: Blue with AquaDaisy You’re a Firework and Lechat Dare to Wear Disco Ball

The theme of the third week of the Golden Oldie Thursday Polish Challenge (see my first post on the challenge for details) is blue!  I didn’t realize it until I started to clean out my stash recently, but I have more blue polishes than any other color, and now I’m noticing how much the blue options in new collections are the ones I often gravitate towards.  Even though I don’t consider it my favorite color, there’s just something breathtaking about a rich, bright blue that I can’t resist.  I used today’s theme as an opportunity to haul out a blue indie that I haven’t used in a while, AquaDaisy’s You’re a Firework.

You’re a Firework has a bright blue base that is reminiscent of Klein blue, although it is a touch darker (though no less vivid).  Added to this is silver holo glitter and a sprinkling of red hex glitter.  The glitter is somewhat obscured by the richness of the base color, but it is definitely visible and does serve to add some interest to the base.

The application for this polish is a dream.  It is completely opaque in one coat, and I imagine a second coat might muddle the visibility of the glitter.  It dries quickly, and there’s something about the texture of this one that makes it apply perfectly.  I barely had to do any cleanup after using this, which is rare with such a dark base color.  I really couldn’t ask for a better experience using a polish.  I used this with base and top coat for the photos.  I also used Lechat Dare to Wear in Disco Ball to create accent nails.  Disco Ball is a dense mix of small, hex, and bar-shaped silver holographic glitters in a clear base.  The glitter in Disco Ball does not require any special effort during application.

AquaDaisy You're a Firework

AquaDaisy You're a Firework

AquaDaisy You're a Firework

AquaDaisy You're a Firework

AquaDaisy You're a Firework

Is there a color more gorgeous than that blue?  I haven’t seen one.  You can see that the glitter ends up adding a subtle accent to the beautiful base, rather than being the star of the show.  I like that the glitter steps back in this polish and lets that blue shine.

I purchased You’re a Firework a couple of years ago from the AquaDaisy online shop for $9.00.  It doesn’t look like this color is available at present, but you can always contact the seller and ask if it is still available.  I purchased Lechat Dare to Wear in Disco Ball from Head2Toe Beauty for $3.00 a few years ago.

 

Swatch and Review: Born Pretty Store Holo No. 4

I took advantage of the sunny morning yesterday to throw on an untried holo:  Born Pretty Store Holo No. 4.  This polish has a sheer, almost cranberry red base.  Holo No. 4 is a vibrant jelly red that has a squishy feel and a linear holographic sparkle.  The holo is visible in indoor lighting, and it becomes quite vibrant in sunlight.  This really is a gorgeous color that I stared at all day.

The application for this polish was good.  The brush was a little on the thick side, which made precise application somewhat difficult.  I did have to do a little more clean up than I would normally do, but otherwise it applied evenly and dried quickly.  I used three coats of Holo No. 4 over an aqua base for the photos.  I did not use top coat.

Born Pretty Store Holo No. 4

Born Pretty Store Holo No. 4

Born Pretty Store Holo No. 4

Born Pretty Store Holo No. 4

Don’t you just love it?  There really isn’t a color I don’t like, but, for some reason, I don’t wear red all that often.  Wearing this polish has made me rethink that.  There really isn’t anything sexier than a bright red nail, is there?

I purchase this polish from Born Pretty Store for $8.99.  They have since lowered the price on these, and you can pick one up for $5.99.  This is a much more reasonable price for what is, in effect, a mini-sized bottle of polish at 6ml.  If you are interested in purchasing from Born Pretty Store, be sure to search online for a coupon code.  There are tons of 10% off coupons floating around online for this store.

GOT Polish Challenge: Stripes with Alta Costura Vernis Fine Print and Zoya Christinna

The theme for Week 2 of the Golden Oldie Thursday Challenge is stripes!  I have no natural artistic talent, so elaborate nail art is just never going to be my thing, but even the likes of me can use striping tape, so this simple nail art theme is right up my alley.  I’ve been having a blast looking through my stash for polishes that I once loved for a brief moment (which is increasingly starting to seem like the only way this magpie has ever loved a polish).  It was hard to settle on one for today’s challenge!

It must have been two or two and a half years ago now when all of us became obsessed with matte glitter at the exact same moment, and it was at that time that I purchased Fine Print from Alta Costura Vernis.  Fine Print is a textured polish that features white, black, and red micro glitter in a clear base.  This was one of the first intentionally textured polishes that I ever purchased, and I remember loving the finish as well as the combination of colors in this polish.  I also loved how the little white bits in it looked under the black light on a night out, because yes I am staring at my nails even when I’m at the bar.

I layered Fine Print over Zoya Christinna, which is one of the only white polishes that works with my skin tone.  Christinna is a soft, shimmery white that has the slightest hint of gray; it almost has the look of marshmallow creme or a fluffy white cloud.  I’ve used this shade several times in the 3 or 4 years that I’ve had it, and I always love the color and hate the application.  Christinna is very streaky, and no number of coats seems to be able to completely even it out.  In my experience it also takes longer to dry than most polishes, which wouldn’t be as bothersome if the polish weren’t so sheer.  In spite of these issues, though, I really do like the color and finish of Christinna, so I put up with her flaws.

I used two coats of Christinna as a base for this mani, then I used one coat of Fine Print over striping tape to make some stripes.  I was going for some gradation in the thickness of the stripes on the middle and ring finger, but my recently broken middle finger nail probably wasn’t long enough to show this effect properly.  I used base coat but no top coat for the photos.

Alta Costura Vernis Fine Print

Alta Costura Vernis Fine Print

Alta Costura Vernis Fine Print

Are you officially over these matte glitter textured polishes?  They seem to have definitely passed their peak in popularity.  I know I don’t wear them all that often anymore, but wearing this one again reminded me of how truly different they were from everything else that was out at the time.  I have noticed that all of my polishes that feature matte glitter tend to thicken up pretty quickly.  I had to add thinner to Fine Print before I could use it.

I purchased Fine Print for $8.00 or $9.00 (somewhere around there) from Alta Costura Vernis.  I’m not sure if this brand still exists, honestly.  I don’t see any evidence that they do.  I purchased Christinna from the Zoya online shop during a promotion (I only purchase from Zoya during their promotions).  It cost me $4.00 when it was on sale.  I don’t see this shade on their site, so it may have been discontinued.

Swatch and Review: Femme Fatale Cosmetics Deepstone

The sun was shining early in the day today, so I was excited for the chance to try one of the new holos that has been languishing in my untried pile since the sun never shows its face during a Jersey winter (and I know I mention that every day, but that will stop as soon as I get over it, which shouldn’t take but a few more years).  I decided to go with Deepstone from Femme Fatale Cosmetics, one that I’ve been particularly anxious to try.  Unfortunately, by the time I was done with my mani, clouds had taken over the sky and remained there the rest of the day.  I did dash out to the balcony when, for a brief moment, I thought I saw a thinner layer of clouds and took some photos.  I hope the resulting pics do even a little justice to this beautiful polish.

Femme Fatale Cosmetics Deepstone has a medium purple base with a prominent golden shimmer that almost gives it a duochrome effect.  Added to that is linear holographic sparkly goodness.  The golden shimmer is quite visible in all types of light, and it can give the polish a deep mauve look from afar.  At some angles the purple takes over, but most of the time the gold and purple are engaged in a happy little dance on my nails.  The holographic sparkle is somewhat visible indoors, but this is one that really comes to life in the sunlight.  What I love about this polish is that the holographic effect doesn’t at all obscure the gold to purple color shift; instead, these deftly share the sun’s spotlight to a beautiful effect.

Deepstone was easy to apply and dried quickly.  The consistency of this polish was perfectly suited to my taste; it was neither too thin nor too thick.  Because of the chrome finish of the base color and shimmer, there are some visible brush strokes when I look very closely at my nails.  With everything else that’s going on in this polish, these really aren’t noticeable, and a very careful application could probably eliminate some of them if they’re one of your bugaboos.  I used two coats of Deepstone over an aqua base for the photos.  I did not use a top coat.

Femme Fatale Cosmetics Deepstone

Femme Fatale Cosmetics Deepstone

Femme Fatale Cosmetics Deepstone

Femme Fatale Cosmetics Deepstone

And here’s one in indoor lighting.

Femme Fatale Cosmetics Deepstone

What do you think of this color combination?  I love how the gold-toned shimmer makes the purple look different depending on the lighting.  The linear holographic effect is clearly visible in the photos despite the light outside being less than optimal.  I’m sure it would be all the more dazzling on a bright, sunny day.  I can’t wait to wear this one again in a couple of months when the sun returns to the area.

I purchased Deepstone from Harlow & Co. for $16.00 CAD (around $15.00 USD).

 

GOT Polish Challenge: Pink with Courrèges Vernis Éclat Rose (and leftover nail wrap accents)

So this is my first blogging challenge!  I’ve never attempted to do one before, mostly because I kind of bristle at the thought of anything that might turn this blog that I love into ‘work’ or a chore.  I’ve always admired other bloggers who are able to keep up with challenges, though, especially daily ones (mad respect to anyone who can do their nails and write a blog post about them every day for a month; you are a better NPA than I).  But my favorite nail blogger, Debbie Crumpet, posted about her GOT Polish Challenge last week, and I just loved the idea so much that I’m going to give it a go.

GOT stands for Golden Oldie Thursday, and in this challenge participants will be doing manicures with their older polishes every Thursday in 2014.  Each week there is a theme around which everyone will be selecting their polishes and nail art designs.  I’m woefully unskilled where nail art is concerned, but I have tons of old polish, and I’ve been trying to ‘shop my stash’ more lately, so I reckon this is the perfect challenge for me!

The rules are pretty simple, and I’m copying them below from the original blog post about the challenge:

* the polish you use should be at least one year old
* if you haven’t been a polishaholic that long, you can use the oldest polishes you have
* the polish should be previously used, but if you’re stuck, you could free a yearling from Mount Untried (seriously, some of mine are reaching puberty out there)
* you can use more than 1 polish as long as it fits the theme and the rules

And here are the themes for the first few months of 2014.

GOT Polish Challenge Themes

When I was looking through my pinks for today’s theme, I found a polish that I purchased ages ago that has somehow survived the many destashes I’ve done over the years.  The polish is from the brand Courrèges, and the shade is Rose (No. 173).

This polish is a medium rosy pink jelly base with a strong greenish-gold duochrome shimmer.  The green shift in this polish is visible in all lights and angles, and it really adds a bit of intrigue to this otherwise ordinary color.  My love of color, texture, and ~*sparkle*~ are what originally drew me to nail polish, and, when I look at this polish, I can see how it fulfills all of those loves.  I remember that the gold to green to pink shift held such intrigue for me when I found this polish all those years ago, and this color play is one of my favorite things about nail polish.

Despite its age, the application for this polish was relatively easy.  It applied smoothly and did not need any thinner.  It did take a while to dry, which is not at all surprising considering its age.

In keeping with the spirit of the challenge, I used some leftover nail wraps for accent nails with this mani as well.  Although they were not more than a year old, I’ve had them sitting around for months but hadn’t yet incorporated them into a mani.  I thought a challenge in which I was using old polish was the perfect time to haul out some old, leftover nail wraps and use those, too!  The accent nail is the Scratch nail wrap design Vintage Rose.  I liked them so much and received so many compliments on these wraps when I first used them.  Sometimes I just discard the leftover wraps after using them for a mani, but I love the Scratch wraps so much that I’ve been holding on to the leftovers to incorporate into other manis.  Since I opened these a while ago, I knew they weren’t going to last much longer at all, so I’m glad for an excuse to use them before they die.

On to the photos!  I used three coats of Courrèges Vernis Éclat Rose for these photos, along with base and top coat.  I used top coat over the nail wraps as well.

Courrèges Vernis Éclat Rose

Courrèges Vernis Éclat Rose

Courrèges Vernis Éclat Rose

And one in indoor lighting:

Courrèges Vernis Éclat Rose

What do you think of this golden oldie polish?  Can you think of a polish from any of the recent collections that looks like this one?

I’m so excited to participate in this challenge this year and am really hoping I am able to keep up with it!  I can’t wait to see what everyone else posts today and as each week progresses.  One of my favorite nail bloggers, Ruth from The Adorned Claw, is also participating in this challenge, so definitely go check out what she’s done with today’s theme as well!

I purchased this polish many years ago in what seems like another lifetime when I was living in Japan.  It may well be the oldest polish I own (I still kind of can’t believe that I’ve never gotten rid of it in one of the massive destashes I’ve done when moving or just clearing out in the past).  According to the label, I paid ¥900 for this polish.  I purchased the Vintage Rose nail wraps from Scratch’s Kickstarter campaign last year for $25.00 for a set of 3 wraps.  They are currently out of stock on the Scratch online shop, but they may be restocked someday.

Swatch and Review: The Devil Wears Polish Gorgeous Garnet

I asked for and received some holo awesomeness from The Devil Wears Polish for Christmas, and I’ve been impatiently waiting for the sun to show its face around here ever since so I could enjoy one in all its bendy rainbow splendor.  Although it was extremely cold here today, the sun was finally out!!!  Almost all day!!!  I had to take advantage.  I chose Gorgeous Garnet.

Gorgeous Garnet has a chrome base that looks like a rosy pinkish-red in some lights and a deeper purple-leaning red in others.  It also has a duochrome orange flash that peaks out and says “Hello!” at certain angles.  As if that’s not enough, added to this uniquely pretty base is linear holographic sparkle.  Gorgeous Garnet gives such a beautifully rich look on the nail, which is perfect for the season.

The application of this polish was great.  The brand recently switched to a thinner base, which I tend to prefer, so I had no issues at all with application.  The polish dried quickly and applied evenly.  Because of the chrome base, I was expecting to see some brush strokes in the final look, but I didn’t notice any, which is an added plus.  I applied 3 coats of Gorgeous Garnet over an aqua base for the photos.  I did not use top coat.

The Devil Wears Polish Gorgeous Garnet

The Devil Wears Polish Gorgeous Garnet

The Devil Wears Polish Gorgeous Garnet

The Devil Wears Polish Gorgeous Garnet

The Devil Wears Polish Gorgeous Garnet

Do you just love it?!  Me, too.  🙂  You can probably tell from the photo overload.  I just couldn’t stop taking pictures; it’s so pretty!  Pretty enough that I’m posting these photos even though my hands look positively ancient in them. 😛

I received this mini polish as a limited edition gift with purchase during the Black Friday sale at The Devil Wears Polish online shop.  I’m not sure whether this one will become available again, but there’s loads of other pretties available there, so go check it out!  I imagine that in about five minutes this brand will become next to impossible to get, so really, grab one (or two or three) while you still can!

Swatch and Review: Sea Lore Polish Arctic Otter

We’ve been blanketed with snow here in New Jersey in the past couple of days, so I wanted to choose a nail color that would be appropriately wintry and that would contrast well with the sea of white outside my door.  I chose Sea Lore Polish’s Arctic Otter from their Wintry Friends collection, both because it fit all of those criteria and because the name seemed exceptionally suited to the weather. 🙂

Arctic Otter is a deep brown chrome base with translucent white square glitter, small brown hex glitter, silver micro glitter, and silver shimmer.  (There may be some other glitters or shimmers in there, but those are the most prominent ones that I can see.)  This isn’t a glitter bomb polish that is chock full of glitter; the glitter in Arctic Otter accentuates the deep brown base rather than dominating or covering it.  The silver and translucent glitter both have the visual effect of snow , and against the deep brown it is reminiscent of snow on the back of an animal in the winter, as the name suggests.

The application for this polish was typical for a glitter polish.  I didn’t have trouble with glitter placement on the nail, which can be a real challenge with some glitter polishes, but the glitter did build up on the top of the bottle as I pulled the brush in and out, so I did have to clean it off a few times during application.  Not a big deal, but I like to mention any extra steps I used in case they seem like dealbreakers to someone else.  I applied 3 coats of Arctic Otter for the photos, and I also used ridge filler, base coat, and top coat.

Sea Lore Polish Arctic Otter

Sea Lore Polish Arctic Otter

Sea Lore Polish Arctic Otter

There has been actual sunlight here today (!), and the base color does look slightly warmer in these sunlit photos than it does in the dreary indoors of the rest of a Jersey winter, FYI.

Do you like the look of glitters in a more opaque base, or do you prefer yours glitters to be in a clear base where they are the star of the show?  I like how the smattering of silver glitter in this reminds me of snow flying around when I look at my nails.  I also don’t really have anything else like this polish, which is always a plus for me when choosing polish colors.

I purchased Arctic Otter from Overall Beauty when Kim was having a BOGO sale, so it worked out that this cost me $5.00.  It doesn’t look like it is available there at the moment, but it can be purchased for $10.00 from the Sea Lore Polish online shop.