Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Franken: Across the Ocean

Since it was released, Deborah Lippmann's Across the Universe has been a favorite for many polish addicts. I briefly succumbed to the hype, but realized pretty quickly it wasn't actually my thing, so it went off to someone who would appreciate it more. I am a big teal lover though, and figured I would like a similar polish in that color scheme, so I decided to make one. Because I am so super creative and original (/sarcasm), I'm calling it Across the Ocean.

That is 5 coats. I kept it really freaking sheer because I didn't want to lose the glitter.

It's got quite a bit of depth. Not sure why I've got a bottle of Essie drying drops in the above picture, but we'll just go with it.

Boom. Glitter. It wore really well on me too- 5 days, no chips, no tip wear. Just the expected growth at the cuticle end. It makes a pretty great base for Pahlish Toxic and Timeless, which I'll be showing you on Friday.

Thanks for looking and commenting, and I hope you're having a great week!

Monday, January 28, 2013

SHCSM Guilty Pleasure

SHCSM Guilty Pleasure is one of the core colors from the Complete Salon Manicure line. It's also one of the colors that started my polish addiction. It's more of a muted gold, and one of those colors I reach for when I'm trying to be a little less obnoxious with my manicures. 2 coats, with top coat.

See that fill line? Right above the word complete. I'm going to need a second bottle of this, very soon...I love it for pedicures too. I know many people have trouble with the CSM brush, but it works very well for me so I had no trouble with application. It isn't frosty either. In the sun:

Love. I don't think there's a particularly well-known gold polish quite like this. Most golds are brighter, flashier, and yellow-er. I think the new version of A-England Holy Grail is similar, but it's a foil, and has some greenish undertones. Guilty Pleasure is core though, so no worries!

Have you tried Guilty Pleasure, or a similar gold? Thoughts?

Thanks for looking and commenting, and have a great week!

Friday, January 25, 2013

Reswatch: William Tell Me About OPI

Well, this isn't really a reswatch per se, but I wore William Tell Me About OPI again recently and wanted to share, since it's been a year and two days since I posted it the first time.

Awesome color, awesome formula. Thanks for looking and commenting, and have a great weekend!

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

China Glaze Little Drummer Boy

China Glaze Little Drummer Boy was released with the Holiday 2010 collection, 'Tis the Season to be Naughty and Nice. It's a very opaque dark blue shimmer. Like VIII, it was almost solid in one coat. I can get away with one thick coat if I'm in a hurry, and it dries quickly too, so I quite like that. 2 coats, plus top coat, in the shade:

It dries pretty dull, so top coat is a must. Good formula, but I should also note that because it is a dark blue, cleanup is a huge PITA. Don't get it on your skin. In the sun:

This is definitely my favorite dark blue, especially because it's so different from the others. This is a faded, almost denim-like blue, whereas most dark blue shimmers have definite purple/navy leanings. CND Blue Blood is close, but long discontinued. Little Drummer Boy has also probably been discontinued, but since it's only been 2-3 years you might still be able to track it down online.

Have you tried Little Drummer Boy, or anything similar? Thoughts?

Thanks for looking and commenting, and I hope you're having a great week!

Monday, January 21, 2013

China Glaze VIII

Today I will show you China Glaze VIII. It's a basic eggplant creme that was released with China Glaze's X collection in Fall 2007, to celebrate their tenth anniversary. The colors were all named with Roman numerals, and frankly they are pretty much as boring as the names. I do like this one though. It's very opaque, almost solid in 1 coat but perfect in 2.

I didn't bother with shade pictures, because it just looks black in the shade. The formula was ok. Thick but manageable, for the most part.

As you can see, I had some difficulty getting a clean line at the cuticle because of the thickness of the polish, so I'll definitely thin it before I use it again. It's a very elegant color though.

I don't feel that this color is particularly unique, but most of the similar colors I can think of are much much warmer, like SHCSM Pat on the Black. OPI Lincoln Park after Dark is darker and warmer. Zoya Monica is lighter and cooler. VIII is core at Sally Beauty Supply though, so if you're after it, nothing to worry about.

Have you tried VIII? Thoughts?

Thanks for looking and commenting, and have a great week!

Friday, January 18, 2013

China Glaze White Cap

China Glaze White Cap was released with the Anchors Away collection for Spring 2011. It consists of yellow-gold flecks in a sheer white base. It works well as a layering polish, especially over Sea Spray (from the same collection), but I wanted to try to replicate the look in the bottle. I started with 3 coats of OPI Ridge Filler, and used 3 coats of White Cap on top. In the shade:

In the sun:

Totally not my usual kind of look, but I dig it.

For some reason, when I started writing this post, I figured, "Oh, White Cap probably has tons of dupes out there." Except now I can't really think of any? CND Jade Sparkle has a very similar look, but is in a clear base, so it's more versatile. Aside from that...I got nothing.

Thoughts? Have you tried White Cap, or anything similar? Did you like it? What kinds of base colors would you pair with it?

Thanks for looking and commenting, and have a great weekend!

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Illamasqua Charisma

Illamasqua Charisma was released with the Generation Q Collection for Fall/Winter 2012. It consists of a berry base with red and gold shimmer. This is 3 coats, with top coat, in the shade.

And in the sun:

The formula was great. It's solid in 2 coats, but I found that a third added depth. I'm one of those people that never ever matches my tips and toes because I find it boring, but I love this color enough that I sported Charisma tips and toes for a week straight. Here's another sunlight pic, because...why not.

OPI Diva of Geneva is similar, but it's much cooler-toned, with pink and purple leanings. Charisma is definitely warm. As it's a berry shimmer, I'm sure there are other similar colors, but Diva of Geneva is the only one I can think of at the moment. Either way, it's awesome.

Have you tried Charisma, or any similar colors? Thoughts?

Thanks for looking and commenting, and I hope you're having a great week!

Monday, January 14, 2013

Sephora Pantone Violet Quartz

Sephora Pantone Violet Quartz was released sometime last summer or fall. It is a warm purple duochrome with a coppery shift. 3 coats for opacity. In the shade:

It's a bit warmer in person, but the above photo is mostly accurate. In the sun, Violet Quartz does this really weird thing and a sort of silvery sheen appears? Not a fan of that, but at least it only shows up in bright, direct light.

But in most lighting situations, it looks AWESOME. Check out the color shift. Advance apologies for my dry, awkward hands.

I didn't even have to layer it over black! I haven't tried that at all, actually. Usually, layering over black helps bring out the color shift, but I don't really think it's necessary here. The formula was pretty good- a bit watery at the first coat, but by the time I got to the third, I was used to it and application was much much easier.

I think this is a fairly unique polish, but similar to Nubar Moon Eclipse (or Moon Shadow, I'm not sure which name is the correct one) and Rimmel Zeitgeist. Moon Eclipse/Shadow is pinker, and Zeitgeist is pinker and frostier, with a stronger color shift. Zeitgeist is, however, discontinued, and I think Violet Quartz was clearanced out recently, so if you're after a color like this, Moon Eclipse/Shadow is your best bet. I believe it is available on

Thoughts? Have you tried Violet Quartz, or any similar colors?

Thanks for looking and commenting, and have a great week!

Friday, January 11, 2013

Essie Lapis of Luxury

Today I've got for you Essie Lapis of Luxury. It was released with the 2010 Resort Collection. It's a super squishy periwinkle blue creme.

So smoooooooth. So pretty. In the sun:

Here's the problem: it took me 5 coats to get this result. There is no reason a creme should require 5 coats. I've posted about this in various places on the intarwebs, and while most people said that their bottle needed just 2-3 coats, there were a few who had the same problems as I did. So I guess, be wary of the batch from which your bottle comes? I used Essie Fill the Gap as a base coat, so I don't think there was a compatibility issue in that regard...

Oh well. It's shiny and periwinkle, so who cares.

As far as dupes and near-dupes go, I have a very hard time distinguishing between colors in this family (indigo, blue-toned purples, periwinkle, etc.), but China Glaze Electric Beat looks quite close. Lapis of Luxury would be easier to get ahold of though, since it is core, whereas Electric Beat is no longer available in most stores.

Have you tried Lapis of Luxury? Was it as much of a pain for you as it was for me? If not, how did you make it work?

Thanks for looking and commenting, and have a great weekend!

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Revlon After Party + L.A. Girls Uninhibited

Today's manicure is one that I'm feeling pretty "meh" about. 3 coats of After Party, 1 coat of Uninhibited, 1 coat of Gelous, which clearly wasn't enough to smooth it out.

I think the glitter is cool, I just chose the wrong base for it. Or maybe it needs to be matte.

Thoughts? Feelings? Any recent manicures that just didn't do it for you?

Thanks for looking and commenting, and have a great weekend!

Monday, January 7, 2013

Grey/Magenta Water Marble

So, I was so stoked about my first water marble that I just had to do another one! This time I chose OPI Miami Beet and SHCSM Dorien Grey. Grey and pink is a fun color combo, and I'm pretty happy with how this turned out. I started with a base of 2 coats of Dorien Grey. My left hand, in the shade:

Unfortunately, the design smeared a bit when I put on top coat. :( I should have waited longer. In the sun:

And here's my right hand! I decided not to top coat this one because I was happier with these designs (especially the pinky) and I didn't want to risk smearing them. Sorry about the wonky nail shapes, and I don't know what those little bumps on my middle fingernail are. Oh well.

I had fewer translucent patches of Miami Beet on this hand. One of these days I'll figure out how to get rid of those altogether.

Thoughts? Feelings?

Thanks for looking and commenting, and I hope you had a great New Year's!

Friday, January 4, 2013

Top 30 of 2012! (part 3)

I don't post a whole lot of layering combinations, but that's mostly because I don't get around to photographing them. Here are the colors that I've reached for the most. First up, the base colors.

Sally Hansen Complete Salon Manicure Dorien Grey

A nice, simple, clean light grey creme. It's so versatile!

Ruby Kisses Regaled Out Blue

Dark blue goes with a lot of things, and I can't resist a nice jelly.

China Glaze VIII

An excellent basic eggplant creme. Smooth formula, dries quickly, completely solid in 2 coats.

Nails Inc. Kensington

Inky teal jelly, almost black. Works really well for water marbling, too!

New York Summer Hot Sky Blue

Another squishy blue jelly! This is great for jelly sandwiches, and also looks awesome under flakies.

And my favorite layering polishes:

Lynnderella Connect the Dots

Yep, it's on two of my lists. It's that good. With black and white glitter, there are so many layering possibilities!

Nails Inc. the Wyndham

This has the distinction of being my first flakie polish, and it remains my favorite. The green is so vivid, and there is a very evident blue shift.

Finger Paints Asylum

It has blue flakies!! I have been lusting after a flakie with just blue, but since I loathe Nfu Oh bottles and find Inglot to be too much of a hassle to get ahold of, this is as close as I will get for a while. It is lovely though.

Essie As Gold as it Gets

Sheer gold flecks. This is really delicate and pretty, especially over dusty, mid-toned colors.

Essie Shine of the Times

A basic orange-green flakie. It's very dense, so you don't need  much at all for a single manicure.

So, there you have it! My 30 favorites from last year. Thoughts? Do you like layering too, or do you find it troublesome?

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Top 30 of 2012! (part 2)

Today I'll show you my favorite indies. To be fair, I don't own many indies, 13 or 14, but for the most part, I really like the ones that I have!

HARE King of Carat Flowers

Unique glitters in a light grey base? Sold. And hello, there's square glitter!!

HARE Cast in Bronze

Application with this one was difficult, but I can forgive that for such a beautiful color. And look, more squares!

HARE Star Tropics

Can you tell I like square glitter? This was my mani for New Year's, and while it is quite thick, the end result is fantaaaaaaastic.

Across the Ocean

This is a franken that I made over the summer! Although I'm not an indie seller (and do not ever plan on becoming one), I threw this one in here because it doesn't really fit in anywhere else. I'm sure you can guess what my reference was when I made this ;)

Contrary Polish Firebrand

I've told you time and again of my love for reds, vampies, and jellies, so it makes perfect sense that I love Firebrand.

Contrary Polish Inky Fingers

Just a note: Inky Fingers is more purple than it looks in my picture. It's like the dark, inky, moody sister of Sephora Pantone Parachute Purple. Excellent formula, and really cool shimmer.

Contrary Polish Anna Maria

Contrary Polish makes some really cool, unexpected shimmers. Murky teal with yellow shimmer? LOVE.


This one was a custom, and I am absolutely in love with the result. Great formula, and the balance of shimmer to base color is just perfect.

Pahlish Toxic and Timeless

I have an older, barless version of this polish, and it is just so freaking cool. The wear is amazing too. I wore this for ten days! When I get to blogging about this properly, you'll see the end result.

Lynnderella Connect the Dots

Even though this was released in 2011, it has a spot on my list because it's that awesome. Yes, there are 75083672308573028 different versions of this out there, but this has the distinction of having the only bar glitter that I don't hate. I actually like it. What.

Thoughts? Do we have any indie favorites in common? I know it took me a very long time to warm up to indies (aside from Lynnderella, whom I ordered from a few months after she opened), so I'm curious, have you jumped on the indie bandwagon?

Thanks for looking and commenting, and I hope you're doing well!

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Top 30 of 2012! (part 1)

So, about a year ago I showed you my all-time favorites. I was going to do it again on the same day, but obviously that didn't happen because I am lame. I was also going to show you how my all-time favorites have changed in the last year, but I don't think they've changed a whole lot, so instead I will show you three lists over the next three days: my ten favorite polishes released this year, my ten favorite indies, and my ten favorites for layering (both base colors and layering polishes).

Several of them, I have not yet blogged about, so you'll be getting a sneak peek of some upcoming posts. And there are a few polishes for which I've not even taken photos, so you'll get a few bottle photos here and there. So, let's get started!

OPI Did You Ear About Van Gogh?

This year, I tried nude cremes! I'm still overwhelmed by all the combinations of hue, undertone, etc. but this one kinda works! It's greyish and cool-toned, but I think it has enough yellow in it that it sort of works. Regardless of my skintone weirdness, this is a great color with a great formula.

Revlon Urban

LOVE. Shiny, squishy dark blue creme with slight purple undertones. Great formula.

Essie Penny Talk

I've told you of my weakness for coppers, and this pretty much epitomizes it. One of the worst formulas I've ever worked with, but I can't resist the color! I'm even willing to forgive some brushstrokes for it.

Illamasqua Charisma

As you probably know, I'm not a pink fan. But this dark berry has some reddish undertones, and that shimmer. I just love it. Great pedicure color, too.

OPI I Have a Herring Problem

This is definitely one of OPI's better names, and one of their better colors too. Despite the sheerness, I love the finish and color, and the application is great.

Essie Ole Caliente

Coral is not really my thing but this is so pretty. It's reddish enough that I don't feel that weird wearing it, and Ole Caliente makes for an awesome summery pedicure.

Deborah Lippmann Cleopatra in New York

I'm not sure how she does it, but Deborah Lippmann really nails the balance of base color to glitter. The black base is opaque, but the gold still shines through, and the end result has so much depth. Plus, you can't go wrong with black and gold. (cue Sam Sparro playing in the background)

Essence Walk on the Wild Side

Really, I could have put all four of the new Colour & Go's on this list, but since I only left space for one, I chose this. Formula could be better, but the finish is great.

Nails Inc. Baker Street

I bet no one was expecting this. /sarcasm
Seriously though, how can you resist such a bold blue?

Revlon Guest List

In addition to nude cremes, I also tried an olive green for the first time this year. The formula is less than stellar, but I really like this.

Thoughts? Do we have any mainstream/mass-produced favorites in common? Tell me about yours!

Thanks for looking and commenting, and I hope you're having a great week!