Thursday, June 30, 2016

Throwback Thursday: Essie Cocktails and Coconuts

Hey look, a Throwback Thursday post! Mostly unintentional but when the stars align...! Essie Cocktails and Coconuts had been kicking around unloved since the summer of 2014 so it's time it got a little love! This was one of the polishes from the Resort 2014 collection and I bought a mini quad of the four polishes that made up this collection. This quad has been sitting in a place where I pass by it every day and I kept thinking "man, I should really use these polishes" and yet there they sat for two (!!) years. I finally pulled put these polishes for an HPB challenge; mostly because I needed a neutral and I knew exactly where this one was! 

Cocktails and Coconuts is a yellow leaning beige neutral that also has a subtle silver shimmer. I was actually impressed with the formula and how easy it was to apply. I did have to use a light touch to avoid dragging the polish but while the formula was a little thin, it went on easily. I have used two coats here and it looks pretty good! Probably if I had not been using this as a base for nail art, I would use three coats, but it looks pretty good with just the two! I'm also not wearing top coat here, so you can see it's fairly shiny even without it! 

You can even see the subtle shimmer here! Woo! While yellow-leaning neutrals aren't my favorite, I think this looks pretty good! I was really happy that the formula was good and I can see myself coming back to this again in the future! 

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Love Angeline 06/16

Today I have another pretty (and pretty unique) polish to share with you: 06/16 is the June monthly LE Polish from Love Angeline. I feel like this is the first monthly from Love, Angeline that I am showing you, though I have others to show you! I am just behind, as per usual. This is a good place to start, though, because I absolutely love this color! 

06/16 is described as an "orangey-copper with hints of red and flashes of pink. Along with gold holo microglitters and gold micro flakies!" To me, this polish read as a coppery rose pink but I think both descriptions fit! The formula on this was good; thick but not too thick and it applied easily. I think I used three coats but probably could have gotten away with two coats. I think I've discovered one thing that is kind of annoying about my Love, Angeline polishes. I find the brush to be a bit floppy, which then makes the polish feel a little thicker. It's not that big of a deal, just something I've noticed. 

So pretty, right? I love the color and this is pretty unique to my polish collection. It was hard to stop staring at my nails while I was wearing it because it's super sparkly. One of my favorites for this year, for sure! 

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Femme Fatale Glass Coffin

Today I have a new-to-me brand on the blog today, Femme Fatale! This is an Australian brand and I would say are pretty highly sought after here in the US; they tend to be beautiful collections with a lot of unique color combinations and finishes. Personally, while I don't own many of these polishes, I do find her collections to be some of the most gorgeous and unique coming out today. But anyway, that's my personal opinion-- quite honestly, the world of indie polishes is full of fantastic, beautiful collections so there's also something to catch your fancy!

Glass Coffin (I took this from the Girly Bits website, which has become a Canadian distributor for Femme Fatale) is described as a "(warm) blue to (cool) purple thermal with an envious green shine." Green shine is a polite way of saying "STRONG ASS AMAZEBALLS GREEN SHIMMER". The shimmer is ridiculously strong; it comes close to overpowering the base color in the warm state. Glass Coffin was definitely a bit on the sheer side and I need three coats to achieve the opacity I wanted. The formula was good, though and it went on easily and smoothly. This dries down to a matte finish so you definitely need a top coat to make it nice and shiny! 

I'm really happy to report that even though I bought this polish over a yesr ago, the thermal pigment hasn't destabilized yet and it still changes color! Hopefully you can tell a difference from the pictures above, but the polish is definitely darker and more purple after dunking my fingers in cold water:

In the end, it's really shameful that I waited so long to wear this because Glass Coffin is so gorgeous. Thermals are so much fun to wear and I love how intense the shimmer is. I think I prefer this in its cold state but the warm state is also pretty. Plus I am really impressed it still changes color even after sitting in a drawer for a year! I was expecting it to have settled into the cold state so I was pretty happy about that. Now I can't wait to try my other Femme Fatales!

Friday, June 24, 2016

Colors by Llarowe Sweet Beginnings POTM April 2016 (reformulated)

To round out my week, I have another Colors by Llarow POTM to share with you today-- this is the April POTM, Sweet Beginnings. This polish is described as a "super linear raspberry red holographic." Personally, to me this reads more cherry red than raspberry red; there is a hint of pink but this polish definitely gets deeper as you apply your coats. 

The formula of Sweet Beginnings was typical for CbL polishes. It went on smoothly and easily, no issues. I used three coats, but that's my standard; I definitely could have just used two coats. I was really afraid this polish would stain, so I used two coats of my base coat and can happily report that I did not have any staining on my nails. I would still recommend being careful when removing this to avoid staining your fingers and cuticles. 

For some reason, I totally lost my hand posing skills when I was trying to photograph this and I swear I could not get a single picture where all the nails I wanted were in focus! ARGH. Hence I tried a slightly different hand/bottle pose in order to capture some better pictures. Not sure if I totally succeeded but at least most of the nails are in focus.

Sweet Beginnings is a gorgeous color and I felt pretty sexy while wearing it on my nails. It's such a gorgeous red; you can never go wrong with a polish like this! It's a very powerful, empowering color! 

Of possible note: the Sweet Beginnings I shared with you today is actually a reformulated version that was sent out to everyone who bought a bottle-- Leah Ann sent an email she had gotten a bad batch of tint and so made new bottles for everyone and shipped them out asap. I have both bottles and honestly can't tell the difference between the two (at the moment) but I decided to go with the reformulated version.

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Native War Paints Cup of Joe

Today I'm backtracking to another polish that's been lingering around, unloved in my pictures folder since March (though it's good I have a few of these, because otherwise I wouldn't have anything to post, hah). This is Native War Paints Cup of Joe, which was originally released as a limited edition in the January monthly sub box but was then made widely available because so many people were clamoring for it after seeing photos and swatches. This is actually oneIt  of my first Native War Paints purchases, along with Coffee With Lots of Cream and Sugar which I've already shown you on the blog. Cup of Joe is a deep rich brown with a strong golden shimmer. 

Again, I wore this back in March, so my memory is a bit fuzzy on the details. I certainly don't recall having any problems with the formula and I remember it being easy enough to apply. Because of the dark color, it's possible I used just two coats, though I may have possibly used a third for good measure. 

You have all heard me say before that I am not a huge fan of brown polish, but I also like to challenge myself and take risks (at least, with wearing polish-- it can be removed!). And Cup of Joe is a pretty awesome brown-- the golden shimmer really gives it a lot of richness and depth and really makes this polish sing! I think this will be a winner this fall when I want deep colors, plush fabrics, and a warm drink by the fireplace. This is simple gorgeous! 

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Sinful Colors Glazy Sunday

Switching gears a little, today I have Glazy Sunday from a recent Sinful Colors collection (an Alice in Wonderland themed collection featuring a "porcelain matte" finishes). Recent being a relative term-- this is a spring collection that was released back in March, and I probably grabbed this about that time and used it as a base in my Hobby Polish Bloggers monthly nail art challenge back in April! (You can see that manicure here!)

Glazy Sunday is described as a "delicate dusty rose" and I think that's a fairly accurate description. As I mentioned earlier, this polish has a porcelain matte finish, which in practice means it dries to a satin-like matte finish; it does have a slight sheen to it and is not completely flat. Glazy Sunday definitely has a thicker formula; not unworkable and it seems pretty standard for polishes like these, but I did have to work a bit carefully to make sure I didn't drag it or make it too thick in places. Honestly, it wasn't all that bad and I love how it looks.

I'm a huge sucker for mattes, so with words like "limited edition" and "matte" on the bottle, there was no way I was going to pass these up. While not it's not a perfect formula, it's still decent and the price point goes a long way in terms of making up for a few formula flaws. Glazy Sunday is such a pretty, soft color and I love the matte (er, really satin) finish, so I'm calling this a winner!

Monday, June 20, 2016

Colors by Llarowe Summer Skies POTM May 2016

Remember how last week I said I had a weakness for blue polishes? Well, we're continuing the trend today! I know these aren't in order now, but I'll go back and fill in the gaps later! Today I have Summer Skies, the May 2016 POTM from CbL. I just got around to wearing this, so really I'm not sooooo far behind, right? Hahaha. Summer Skies is a vibrant sky blue with pink shimmer and a holographic finish.

Formula on this was good. It is nicely pigmented, though had a little bit of a jellyish feel to it compared to some of her other holos. It was still easy to apply, the first coat did want to streak a little if you applied too much pressure. Two coats gave good coverage but I ended up with three because of my large nail beds. It dried down quickly which I always appreciate. 

I really like Summer Skies (both in reality and on my nails). It's a beautiful blue, and although the pink shimmer isn't really visible in my photos here, it's a really nice addition and gives the polish more depth. All in all, another nice addition of the CbL POTM line-up! 

Friday, June 17, 2016

Fairytale Finish Cider By The Fire (Snafu)

Hey look! I said I was going to only post three times this week, but surprise! I lied, haha. I had these swatches kicking around so I figured, why not?! No time like the present because these swatches aren't getting any younger! Today I have Fairytale Finish Cider By The Fire, which is from Amanda's Hello Fall collection (from this past fall). I wore this polish back in... March, I think. This version of Cider By The Fire is actually a mistake batch-- Amanda didn't add enough of the holographic pigment but decided to release it for purchase anyway as a "snafu" polish. I missed the collection the first time around, so I grabbed this immediately. 

Cider By The Fire is a deep, plummy red with a strong holo finish. There's a lot going on here-- this polish has red, brown, and purple tones! As mentioned above, there is actually less holo in this version compared to the original, but I personally thought there was still plenty of holo action to enjoy. The formula, as far as I remember, was good and I didn't have any issues. I can't remember how many coats I used-- because of the dark color I may have just used two, but it's possible I added a third for good measure. 

I feel like this one of those polishes I couldn't for the life of me photograph well! Cider By The Fire is absolutely gorgeous in real life, even if I'm not thrilled with my photos! I hope you can appreciate it! I think is a really unique color and I don't have many like it in my collection. It's so rich and cozy-- it definitely invokes warm drinks, a crackling fire, a cozy blanket and a good book. Now I'm kind of wanting fall to come again (kidding-- I want to enjoy the summe sunshine for a bit)! 

Happy Friday everyone! 

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Love Angeline Cosmo

Blue nail polish is my true love. I'm serious. Blue is my favorite color and my personal philosophy is that blue nail polish goes with everything. It does, I refuse to listen to anyone who says otherwise! The amount of swatches of blue polishes I have waiting to be published is a little obscene. It's obvious where my heart lies. And along those lines, today I have Love Angeline Cosmo to share with you. This was originally released as part of the Fall 2015 Let's Grab a Drink collection.

Cosmo is described as a "darkened royal blue matte polish with an intense flash of blue and purple shimmer." I'm not really sure what the color has to do with the drink (Cosmos are usually red in my experience) but I can roll with it because it's such a gorgeous color. Fair warning, I did wear this awhile ago so my memory is a bit fuzzy on the details. I don't recall having any major issues, though I think the formula was just ok. I can't remember the number of coats I used, probably 2 or 3! 

(Ugh, apologies for the lack of clean-up! Looks terrible but I remember being too tired to deal with it at the time.)

Here's a quick shot with top coat (still a bit messy-- I think I had trimmed my nails and then painted on an additional coat) so you can see how shimmery it is!

Gorgeous! My biggest issue with Cosmo is that oh boy, it wants to stain. Not necessarily your nails, but even with careful removal I felt like there was blue everywhere! This polish is also discontinued, along with the rest of the collection, but maybe it'll make a reappearance someday! I love these shimmery mattes, though-- they are so versatile! 

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Nine Zero Lacquer February 2016

I'm easing back into my posting and quite honestly, have just not been on the ball enough to get posts written up/photos edited ahead of time. I had been trying to do that and it had actually been helping me a lot but now I'm tired and behind. So I'm going to stick to 3 post per week schedule until I'm feeling like I can get back in the groove of more posts in a week! I have also started leaving my laptop at work during the week, making it more difficult to post during the week. Today I have a polish I wore awhile ago (and it was also released awhile ago)-- Nine Zero February 2016, which was the monthly polish from Nine Zero released backed in February. I actually wore it in March, but of course it's been sitting on my SD card since then and I just haven't gotten around to posting it! A bit of a shame because now I probably don't have as much to say about it as I could have back when I first wore it, but ah well! 

February 2016 is described as a "periwinkle blue holographic with holographic silver microglitter added in for extra sparkle." This is an accurate description, so no quibbles there! Being that it's been at least three months since I wore this, I don't recall having any issues when I applied this! I am pretty sure I used three coats here because that's my MO but you could probably get away with two if that's your jam! 

Gorgeous, isn't it? I love these periwinkle ones and really, you can't go amiss with holo and microglitters! The formula is good and I continue to like the polishes that make up the Nine Zero brand. Luckily, if you like this polish, Jessica, the creative mind behind the brand, has decided to make her POTMs available until the end of the year, so you can go have a look if you are interested! I still need to pick up the May and June polishes! 

Monday, June 13, 2016

Zoya Aspen

Ahhh, a new week and a fresh start after my month of Star Wars themed polishes. What better way to start than with the equivalent of a clean slate on my nails-- and to that end I have Zoya Aspen to share with you today. Originally released as part of the 2015 Holiday MatteVelvet collection, Aspen is a shimmery, snowy white. Or, as Zoya describes it, as a "sparkling arctic white with a micronized diamond pearl fleck in the traditional MatteVelvet finish." I personally find white nails to be really chic, but don't love a straight up white creme-- it's too reminiscent of painting white out on my nails in middle school. So I love how Aspen has a nice shimmer to it, which softens the look.

Aspen had an okay formula... not amazing but it certainly could have been worse. It was a bit thick and didn't really want to self level, but if you used a light touch it wasn't terrible to apply. It's pretty opaque, though there was definitely a bit of visible nail line with the first coat. After two coats, it was still a but uneven for my taste, so I used a third coat and felt that was perfect. If you are careful, you could probably get away with two!

I don't think Aspen could be more perfectly named. It's such a perfect snowy white and even though the formula isn't perfect, this is still looks wonderful on the nail. It looks really luminous here and I think it freaked out my camera a bit; I don't think it was quite this right in real life. Unfortunately, the matte finish, while it looks dry, does not dry completely through very quickly-- I ended up smudging a couple nails during an unfortunate late night diaper change and had to do a quick fill-in/repaint and then top coat to make sure it dried. It was pretty in the matte finish or with a top coat! I can't wait to try the others I have from this collection!

Saturday, June 4, 2016

Pahlish Little Rebel Droid

And here we are!! The last day of my Star Wars nail polish marathon AND my birthday! *cough*33*cough* For my last themed polish, today I have Pahlish Little Rebel Droid, which was a Black Friday special and I can only assume is inspired by R2-D2. To me, it can't be anyone else, and given that Artoo is one of the few characters in every movie (C-3PO being the other) it seems fitting that this polish should round out my month of Star Wars polishes. 

Little Rebel Droid is a squishy deep blue jelly packed full of red/blue shimmer and red flakies. With the jelly finish, it is a touch thick but was mostly opaque in one coat. I ended up using three because of my longer nails, but I would bet most people could get away with two. It went on smoothly and the flakies were pretty dense (though not overly so) and it dried smoothly as well. No complaints here!

Photographing this was a bitch! My currently set up is basically point and shoot and my lighting/camera is not very good at catching these deep, moody polishes that have a lot of detail and depth to them. Soooo frustrating! Natural light ended up being the best way to capture all the flakies in focus, but of course was done the morning after I painted my nails, so my top coat is already showing some wear and tear! 

Here's an iPhone shot to hopefully you give you a bit more of the flakie action:

All in all, I really like this polish-- though I wish I had been able to capture it a bit better on camera. In low lights it does look pretty dark, but otherwise you can see the flakies and they really make this polish interesting and give it a lot of depth. I guess this one of first Pahlish polishes I have really worn as a full manicure and I'm happy with it! I have others in my collection, so I look forward to trying them out!

Personally, I had so much fun doing this. I know not everyone out there is a Star Wars fan (there's so much to love, though, give it a try!) but hopefully you have enjoyed all the polishes inspired by the SW fandom. Real talk: I actually have a shit ton more polishes that I haven't even shown you yet!! However, even I need a break from Star Wars occasionally so while I probably won't be doing another month of themed polishes, you might see more in December as we approach the release of Rogue One (if I remember [about the polishes, not the movie]). This was a fun challenge for myself, though, and one I'm glad I did. But shhhh, don't tell-- I'm really looking forward to diving back into my stash and picking out some non-SW themed polishes to wear and post! Look for a round-up post in the future and in the mean time I will be taking a few days off to regroup and decompress before I start posting again!

Friday, June 3, 2016

Darling Diva BB-8

Today I have another polish from Darling Diva, BB-8, which is her tribute polish to the newest droid in the Star Wars universe. BB-8 has definitely made a splash and quickly won fans over. Heck, even I kind of want one of those Sphero BB-8 toys for myself! He's cute and round and has tons of sass and attitude, so really, how can you not love him?

BB-8 is described as a "scattered orange holo." It had a good formula; a touch thick but in a good way-- it was really easy to apply and went on very smoothly. I used three coats to make sure I had he coverage I wanted, though two properly would have been fine! The scattered holo finish gives the polish a beautifully, glowy, lit-from-within quality which I absolutely love. Honestly, this is pretty much my favorite type of finish and I think it makes a polish look incredibly rich and gives it a lot of depth!

All in all, I was very pleased with BB-8, as I have been with all the polishes I have purchased from Darling Diva-- I definitely look forward to checking out other collections from her in the future! (Finger crossed she does another collection for Rogue One or future trilogy movies!)

Thursday, June 2, 2016

Level Up Lacquer Artoo

Today I have Level Up Lacquer Artoo to share with you, which, as the name suggests, is inspired by R2-D2, our quirky, opinionated astromech droid. R2-D2 has always been a favorite of mine since I saw the original trilogy and remember how much everyone cheered when he appeared in The Phantom Menace. I actually find it kind of sweet that Artoo was a gift from Padme to Anakin, while 3PO is a gift from Anakin to Padme and then they end up with Luke (Artoo) and Leia (3PO). A nice kind of symmetry there, I guess.

Artoo is described as being a "creamy white base with blue hexes, squares and silver circles. Polish is finished off with a shimmery silver holo fine glitter." The white base is pretty sheer but builds up nicely. The glitter distribution is good, and while I didn't have any issues getting it out of the bottle the glitters did want to move to my free edge while I was applying it so I did have to do a bit of dabbing/placement when I was painting my nails. That said, it was still very easy to apply and I didn't have any major issues!

And matted, because of course I had to:

This is such a cute polish! I like how it's not a literal interpretation but still captures the spirit of R2-D2. I love how sweet and delicate it looks and the mix of glitters is good. Artoo just seems very cheerful to me, which I always appreciate in a polish. Definitely one of my favorites from Level Up Lacquer so far!

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Great Lakes Lacquer Droid 1 and Droid 2

This set was sold as a duo, so I'm showing it to you as a duo! This was a limited edition duo put out by Great Lakes Lacquer back in December for The Force Awakens. The name isn't clear, but this duo is inspired by C-3PO and R2-D2, everyone's favorite odd couple.

Droid 1 is inspired by C-3PO and it's a mix of different size gold holographic glitter in a clear base. Here I have layered one coat over Red Revenge, a gorgeous red creme from the CoverGirl x Star Wars collab. The glitter was evenly distributed throughout the base so it was incredibly easy to pick up and apply to the nail. No dabbing needed here!

And I had to matte it:

Droid 2 is inspired by R2-D2, and is a mix of blue, white, and black glitter of various shapes and size in a clear base. I layered this over CoverGirl Speed of Light. I wore this earlier in the month, but as far as I remember, the glitter was easy to get out of the bottle and to spread on the nail. Unfortunately, my top coat was running low so I did get some bubbles. And I couldn’t get my matte top coat at the time to cooperate, so I don’t have any pictures of this matted.

These both definitely capture the feel of our two favorite droids and I like both of them! Of the two I probably like Droid 2 just a little bit more because it's got a mix of colors, but they are both very nice and I don't have any complaints. I certainly do love how shiny and sparkly Droid 1 is!