Manicure Monday: Double Pink and Fairy Dust

Happy new year, readers! This is my last manicure for 2014. Yeah, I can’t believe it, either! I’m wearing three coats of Pretty & Polished‘s Pretty Chameleon, one coat of China Glaze’s Fairy Dust, and one coat of Ciate’s Speed Coat Pro top coat.

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Pretty Chameleon is a thermal polish that goes from bright pink to light pink with body temperature. Applying this polish was a dream; the consistency is thick, but this is typically the case with the way thermal polishes are made. Drying times were quick, however, and the polish dried with a matte finish. It’s a very easy polish to put on. There are also some scattered holographic pigments hanging around in it, which aren’t easy to see with the Fairy Dust on top. I really love thermal polishes. The effect occurs almost instantly, depending on how warm or cool my hands are. This is tricky when applying multiple coats; it’s one color on the brush and another color on the nail. It’s so fun, though!

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Everyone loves Fairy Dust, right? This was actually the polish I wanted to feature today, but the thermal kind of stole the show. It’s such a beautiful polish, and I wish I had the chance to use it more often. Maybe it’s good that I show restraint and don’t put it on everything, even though I’ve been tempted.

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Pretty Chameleon, cold

Pretty Chameleon, cold

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It’s a pretty tame NYE mani, but I’m happy with it. I thought wearing a thermal on nubs would be boring, like they would just always be the warm pink and I’d never get to see a change. Additionally, it was 80 degrees here today, and I was counting on cool outdoor temperatures to effect the change. I saw it change in the supermarket earlier, though, so that’s something.

Transition

Transition

See you guys in 2015!

Swatch Saturday: Blue-Eyed Girl Lacquer’s Newborn Solstice Sun

First Swatch Saturday with nubs! For this Saturday, I’m wearing another Blue-Eyed Girl Lacquer holiday limited edition called Newborn Solstice Sun, made to celebrate Yule. I’m wearing three coats of Newborn Solstice Sun with one coat of Ciate’s Speed Coat Pro top coat.

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Newborn Solstice Sun is a garnet jelly polish with silver and red holographic microglitters. The jelly is quite dark, but the glitters shine through easily. In very bright light, you can see all the way through the jelly and see the bottom layer of glitter; in lower light, it’s murky, and though the glitter isn’t as defined, the shine is still there. Application was smooth and easy; the polish dried very quickly, in about five minutes, and with a matte textured finish. As you can see, it’s still bumpy, even with a layer of top coat. I thought about adding another, but didn’t want to risk shrinking or pulling. It could definitely use another.

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While Yule has many traditions rooted in early Germanic paganism, this polish takes its name from Wicca tradition. Yule celebrates the Horned God, who is reborn as the new Sun God on the winter solstice.

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This is the last of the BEGL holiday limited editions. There’s actually a Hanukkah-themed polish that is absolutely gorgeous, and it’s the only one of them I don’t have. Like the others, it’s been discontinued and is no longer available in the BEGL shop. A shame, really.

Manicure Monday: Love in Silver

Here’s this week’s Manicure Monday, and possibly my last mani before Christmas. I’m accidentally festive, too! For this mani, I’m wearing two coats of Julep’s Zelda, one coat of Model City‘s Love Hurts, and one coat of Ciate’s Speed Coat Pro top coat.

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Zelda is a cool champagne metallic polish. It is probably the best Julep polish I’ve ever used. I got opaque and even coverage in one coat, and it was dry to the touch in about five minutes. The consistency was perfect, and it dried with a shiny foil finish. I wish every Julep polish was like this. It’s so easy to apply and wear.

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Love Hurts is a clear glitter topper with black glitters, some fine silver glitters, and holographic red hearts. The glitter distribution with this one is really nice; I got tons of hearts on the brush when I dip in, way more than I wanted, which rarely happens. I had to dip in a few times, just to get the black and silvers. The consistency is pretty nice; it wasn’t too thin or too thick, and it dried pretty quickly. My one issue here is that the heart glitters seem to be losing their color. It’s not bleeding into the lacquer, but it looks like some came off onto my nail. It’s too bad, but it’s kind of cool, like stylishly distressed jeans.

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You can get Zelda from Julep.com, or from anywhere Julep is sold. Unfortunately, Love Hurts has been discontinued by Model City and is no longer available.

Swatch Sunday: Crayola’s Bubble Gum

A scented polish is being featured on the blog for the first time! It’s a Swatch Sunday miracle. This is Crayola Bubble Gum; I’m wearing three coats alone. And yeah, nubs are back.

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Bubble Gum is a bright shimmery pink that smells like bubble gum. The scent is not very strong; I have to put my nails directly under my nostrils to smell it, but it does smell. (Update: the scent disappeared entirely after I washed dishes.) Application was pretty easy; the color is well-pigmented and I had very good coverage on the first coat. The consistency is just right, and dried to the touch a bit quickly. I did forget that without a speed dry top coat, it does take a bit longer, and I smudged the crap out of one of them and had to redo it. Even after a couple of hours, it’s still susceptible to denting and imprinting. Bubble Gum dries with a satiny finish, but it’s still shiny enough that a top coat for shine may be unnecessary. The shimmer is very strong, which may add to that. I’m pleased with it.

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Bubble Gum comes in a set with four other colors and scents: grape, blueberry, green apple, and orange. I have not tried or tested any others in the set, but I expect them to be about the same quality. This set is inspired by the scented Crayola crayons of long ago. Actually, they’re probably still around in some form or another, but I think of them as a memory. Those crayons were so much fun. Everybody wanted to be your friend if you had a box. I don’t know where you can still get those crayons, likely wherever crayons are sold. If you’re looking for this polish set, I got mine at Rite-Aid while I was on vacation in Philadelphia.

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Yeah, so about the nubs. I had a series of catastrophic breaks caused by washing dishes and had to chop everything down. It’s the weirdest feeling. Nothing but my nails have touched my actual fingertips in months; they’re kind of ticklish. Also, I┬áhave a hard time getting used to the way my hands look with short nails. The longer my nails are, the longer and thinner my fingers look, and the more feminine and sophisticated I feel. The shorter my nails are, the more they look like kindergarten baby hands, which I guess is appropriate for swatching crayon-inspired nail polish.

Swatch Saturday: Blue-Eyed Girl Lacquer’s Tacky Winter Sweater

For this Swatch Saturday, we’re looking at a selection from Blue-Eyed Girl Lacquer‘s 2013 Winter collection. I’m wearing Tacky Winter Sweater at three coats with one coat of Ciate’s Speed Coat Pro top coat.

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BEGL describes Tacky Winter Sweater as “light pink based polish with sapphire hexes, holo violet hexes, and holo bright pink hexes, diamonds, and dots, purple iridescent hexes, and light pink snowflakes”. It’s somewhere between a jelly and crelly; it’s creamy, but still very sheer, and all the glitters show nicely through. Application was very easy; the glitters spread well over the nail, and the sheer base gives even and streak-free coverage. Drying times were fantastic; I had no problem with dents or smudges. My one issue is that I couldn’t get any snowflakes. I really tried; I stood the bottle upside-down, I shook the bejeezus out of it, and I got one that ended up on my right hand. They’re all just hanging around the walls of the bottle, mocking me.

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This was definitely my favorite from the BEGL winter collection. None of the polishes in that set were overtly holiday-themed, but this one was definitely the most unconventional of them all. Also, I admit that I went for this one first because it was pink. It’s so unlike a winter polish, but it’s no less festive or shiny than its wintry counterparts.

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Unfortunately, you just missed out on buying one of these for yourself. While this was my favorite from the collection, it was not the favorite of anyone else, and it sat neglected in the BEGL shop for a year before it finally sold out last week. When it came up in the queue, I thought “Yes, I’ll finally be swatching something that’s actually still for sale.” I’m sad I didn’t get to say that, but I am happy it finally sold out.

Manicure Monday: Springtime in December

On this Manicure Monday, my manicure is all the things a December mani should not be. Not that I care. Pastels in December are totally cool. It’s warm somewhere. For this spring-forward mani, I’m wearing three coats of Sally Hansen’s No Hard Feelings, two coats of Formula X for Sephora’s Demolition, one coat of Ciate’s Speed Coat Pro top coat, and one coat of Hard Candy’s Mattely in Love matte top coat.

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No Hard Feelings is a lavender creme polish. It sounds boring, but it’s actually pretty nice. The formula is very nice; it dries in about five minutes, reaches opacity in two coats, and dries with a glossy finish. It’s a lovely color, and I felt a little bad dulling it with the matte top coat.

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Demolition is the first Formula X for Sephora polish on the blog. It was also the first Formula X I ever bought; it caught my eye immediately because I thought it was an indie polish. No foolin! I don’t see many mass market glitter toppers like this, especially with hexes this big. Demolition has large hexes in pink and blue, and smaller ones in pink, green, and blue, and even finer ones in the same colors. It’s such a cool look. Of course, with glitter this large, there’s a bit of texture, even after adding top coat, especially since the bigger glitters stuck together and piled up on itself. It still looks awesome.

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So in all, not bad. I am still not a fan of matte polish, but I think with the satin glitters, it’s okay. At least it’s colorful.

Swatch Sunday: Cover Girl’s Grapevine

Swatch Sunday!! Cover Girl is the brand we’re looking at today, and this oldie but goodie is called Grapevine. I’m wearing three coats of Grapevine with one coat of Ciate Speed Coat Pro top coat.

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The smudge on my index finger is actually a spot where a bit of nail lifted and peeled away. That sounded way less gross before I typed it.

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Grapevine is a frosty purple polish. This is a pretty nice formula; the consistency was just right, application was super easy, and it dried quicky and with a satin finish. It’s also really shimmery; I forgot for a second that I wasn’t wearing Fairy Dust over it. It doesn’t look that shimmery in photos, but it’s definitely all there. It’s really nice to wear.

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I have had this polish for a really long time. I’m thinking 2008 or so. It’s one of my oldest bottles, but has barely been used. This particular brand and formula have been discontinued, and while there is still a Cover Girl color called Grapevine, it does not appear to be the same. I do not have it, but I should probably buy it and do a comparison.

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Final word: Surprisingly sparkly.

Swatch Saturday: Blue-Eyed Girl Lacquer’s MIL-Induced Mimosas

Swatch Saturday is here again! We’re looking at a beauty called MIL-Induced Mimosas. Last autumn, Blue-Eyed Girl Lacquer released a Thanksgiving-themed duo. Here’s half of that duo. I’m wearing three coats of MIL-Induced Mimosas with one coat of Ciate’s Speed Coat Pro.

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MIL-Induced Mimosas is a golden yellow with red shimmer. The polish itself is on the sheer side, and definitely required three coats for full opacity. A fourth might even do it some good. It dries very quickly, and with a semi-glossy finish. It was very easy to apply and clean up. The shimmers stand out very well.

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I really love this polish. I love that it’s inspired by insufferable relatives and holiday stress, by that slender glass full of fizzy relief, by the calm and courage only champagne and orange juice can bring. Even though it has an autumn theme, this polish could be worn any time of year, especially in the summer. It’s a vivid, sunny, cheerful color, which is kind of funny considering mothers-in-law do not have that effect on people.

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One little detail I absolutely adore about this polish: it is exactly the same color as a mimosa! Painting with my nails with this polish made me want a mimosa, so I made one; lo and behold, it is exactly the same color as orange juice. I don’t know how Julie, the mastermind of BEGL, pulled this off. I am blown away that it is just the right shade of orange juice yellow. It is simply incredible.

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As I said, MIL-Induced Mimosas was part of a fall duo; Turkey Coma, a festive fall glitter topper, was also available. Unfortunately, I do not have Turkey Coma. Also, MIL-Induced Mimosas is discontinued, which is sad for you. If you like yellows, though, you may want to check out Intersecting Lines in the Sand from BEGL’s summer collection. It’s not a perfect dupe for a mimosa (I made another mimosa, just to check), but it’s definitely my favorite from that particular collection.

Manicure Monday: Peachy Glitter

It’s Manicure Monday, and this week I have the challenge/responsibility of showing you a mani I don’t really like. It’s like an accidental ode to my grandma. This is three coats of Julep’s Lynn, two brushed coats of LA Colors’s Tinsel, and one coat of Ciate’s Speed Coat Pro top coat.

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Lynn is a peachy pink with a slight shimmer. Application was okay; normally I’d apply two coats as a base for glitter, but I still had some patchy coverage and streaking by coat two, so I went for the third. Drying time took quite a while, more than fifteen minutes per coat. This might have been due to me adding thicker coats to get more coverage, and then not getting it. The consistency is on the thin side, and is pretty standard Julep quality. The texture after drying was pretty and glossy. There were some brushstrokes left by the shimmer, but they’re not very obvious.

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And there’s Tinsel. Tinsel is a peachy pink jelly with iridescent glitters. While there appears to be a lot of glitter in the bottle, most of it doesn’t brush onto the nail so well. See that smattering of glitter? That’s all I got from two coats. It’s pretty and all, but it really looks like it’s missing something. Perhaps that’s why I don’t like either of these polishes, they’re lacking something special, and seem bland and outdated because of it.

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Final word: I’m having a really hard time thinking of this as something other than an old lady manicure.

Swatch Sunday: Color Club’s Wing Fling

For this week’s Swatch Sunday, I’m wearing a brand I’m a little new to: Color Club! I scored a few collection sets in outlet stores, but I’ve worn all of two since then. I see this brand everywhere, so I’m excited to join the club. Pardon the pun. The beauty I’m wearing today is Wing Fling; I’m wearing three coats with one coat of Ciate’s Speed Coat Pro.

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None of the bottles in the set had name labels, so I had to improvise. Behold my terrible handwriting!

None of the bottles in the set had name labels, so I had to improvise. Behold my terrible handwriting!

Wing Fling is a sheer and shimmery magenta. Some of the shimmers even shift from pink to orange, giving it just a hint of duochrome fun. Coverage is buildable; I got okay coverage by coat two and good coverage by three. Four might be necessary if you want full opacity. This polish did dry quickly, though, and though it dries with a nice gloss, a top coat is definitely required to bring out as much of the shimmers as is possible. It even looks a bit metallic/foil-like after top coat application. The lacquer consistency was thin, but left no streaks or holes in the coverage. Application was very easy.

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I adore this color. It’s very deep and bright, but it’s not wildy bright or tawdry. I feel like this could be a polish for everyone; there’s just the right amount of sparkle, shine, and color to appeal to everyone and no more.

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Wing Fling is part of the Take Wing collection from 2012, and is still available on Color Club’s website.