Swatch Sunday: Orly’s Space Cadet

Happy Sunday! It’s been a long day, and I’m excited to finally bring you today’s swatch! I’ve been dying to wear this polish, and I’m thrilled to be showing it to everyone. This is Orly’s Space Cadet; I’m wearing three coats of Space Cadet with one coat of Gelous top coat.





Space Cadet is a purple, copper, gold, and olive multichrome polish. The polish is a deep indigo base; the mutlichrome effect comes from the larger pigment particles in the polish. If you look closely, you can see where they didn’t cover the nail all the way and the blue color of the base is more visible. Application was easy, and product consistency was good; the polish wasn’t too thick or thin, and the polish spreads well over the nail. I needed two coats for full opacity. The shifting effect is strong and occurs in any lighting condition. It dried quickly with a smooth and glossy finish. I added top coat for extra shine and protection.




So I’m really, really impressed with this polish. I know it’s been out a while, I know how late I am to the party, but man this polish is awesome. It’s probably the strongest shifter from a mainstream polish I’ve used yet. You can see the pieces in the polish and how large they are; it’s basically a fine glitter in there, so those it’s not as smooth as a multichrome from I Love Nail Polish might be, this one performs about as well as those do. The color shift requires very little effort to see — all one has to do is move their hands a bit and their nails will look completely different. There’s such a wide variety of colors between the shift, too, that one rarely sees the same color twice. It’s absolutely stunning. I tried so hard to capture the shift, but I did not do it justice. The shift is pretty intense, and I guess the camera couldn’t handle it.





This is my favorite. I got all the colors!

I got some sunlight photos. The colors are warmer in natural light, and you can see the tinted base out here. Again, the shift occurs pretty easily.







Space Cadet and other Orly polishes are available where salon-quality polish is sold; I got mine from Sally Beauty Supply.

I bought this polish myself.

Swatch Saturday: Blue-Eyed Girl Lacquer’s Just Admiring Your Skills, Sweetie!

Welcome back to Swatch Saturday! We’re breezing through the first part of the Blue-Eyed Girl Lacquer‘s huge Doctor Who collection! After this, there’s only one more polish before we move on to the next phase. I can’t believe it! This penultimate purple polish is called Just Admiring Your Skills, Sweetie; I’m wearing three coats with one coat of Gelous as a top coat.





Just Admiring Your Skills, Sweetie is a dusky lilac polish with blue-to-purple shifting shimmers. Application was good; the product consistency was on the thicker side, but was easy to work with. This is more of a creme-style polish than the usual BEGL shimmers, so though it was thick, it was intended to be. This was nearly opaque on the first coat, and I could have stopped at two coats. The shimmer shift occurs in any lighting condition. The polish dries with a satiny finish; it’s not fully glossy, but not very matte. I used top coat for shine and protection.



There are a lot of shifters in this part of the collection, and what sets this one apart from them is the creme base. The creamy purple base shade is a unique one on its own, and though the shift isn’t as strong as the others in this collection, it’s enough to set this one off. The jellier polishes like A Long Time Ago Tomorrow and Doctor Martha Jones have the benefit of being sheer and having the shimmers and/or flakies from previous coats come and overwhelm the look, but Just Admiring Your Skills, Sweetie is creamy color first and shimmer second. I think it’s pretty awesome.



I did my best to capture the shift in the studio. Even though the shimmer isn’t all that strong, the shift really transforms the look. It’s a much cooler purple when the blue is active, and the purple shift makes it warm and exciting.




These photos were taken in direct sunlight outdoors. Natural light didn’t bring a big change, but the purple looks a bit lighter and creamier.





Just Admiring Your Skills, Sweetie has been discontinued by Blue-Eyed Girl Lacquer; other BEGL polishes are available in their online shop.

I bought this polish myself.

Manicure Monday: Confetti Disco

Welcome back to Manicure Monday! Today’s mani is made up entirely of glitter, it’s kind of insane. Also, there’s some Wacie Nail Company restock info coming, so keep reading! For this look, I used Sinful Colors’s Queen of Beauty as the base, Digital Nails‘s Spectraflair top coat over that, and Wacie Nail Company’s Handful of Confetti for the glitter accents. All nails are topped with one coat of Seche Vite top coat. Also, these photos are taken outdoors in partly cloudy conditions.



Queen of Beauty is a veteran in my collection; it must have been around 2008 when I bought it. When I started this manicure, I seriously doubted whether I’d have enough to get me through the whole mani. This polish is great because it’s so versatile; I don’t think it was intended to be worn as a full-coverage microglitter polish, because you can see some teeny-tiny gaps in coverage, but it works pretty well as one. It also looks great as a topper, which is how I’ve worn it in the past. Also, it’s shiny. It’s wicked shiny. Light bounces off this like you wouldn’t believe. You can see the glare in some of these photos. It’s the reason a lot of these photos are washed out and blurry. I love it.




I got the Spectraflair top coat out because I wanted to take it just a step further. The chunky rainbow glitter has a slightly holo base, and I thought it would look weird with some of the nail being holographic and some not, so I thought the holo top coat would even it out. As it turned out, it was cloudy and you can barely see the holo effect in either polish. It’s pretty visible in the accent nails, but I think that’s because the accent glitter has Spectraflair in it as well. On the nails without it, you can barely tell. At least I know it’s there. It’s kind of a fun little secret.




This set of photos were taken indoors in the studio; some with flash, and some without. This mani definitely looked better in the sun, but they always do.



Handful of Confetti is making its debut today, and I’m really excited! I don’t want to say too much about it, because I have an entire post dedicated to it I’ll be posting on Wednesday. I love ridiculous glitter toppers, and I know they’re becoming passé in indie polish these days, but I still love them and I want to cling to them forever. I chose it as the accent for this mani because it couldn’t be more different from the base polish; every bit of glitter stands out from it, it adds tons of color, and it’s interesting to look at. I think it’s a pretty fun look.




One more photo: here’s a shot of the bottle, just so you can see how empty it is. I haven’t come this close to finishing a bottle (of polish) in years.


Queen of Beauty and other Sinful Colors are sold nationwide; mine is from Walgreens. Digital Nails polishes, as well as their Spectraflair top coat, are available from their etsy shop. Handful of Confetti will release Wednesday, February 24, at 2 PM EST; watch this space for more information.

I bought two of these polishes myself; I made one.

Swatch Sunday: OPI’s Y’all Come Back Ya Hear?!

Welcome back! Swatch Sunday is a fun one this week, because I don’t think I’ve worn a jelly polish alone. This is OPI’s Y’all Come Back Ya Hear?; I’m wearing three coats with one coat of Seche Vite top coat.




Y’all Come Back Ya Hear? is a tangerine jelly polish. Application was easy; though I admit I took extra care with this polish to avoid streaks and bald spots. The first coat, obviously, was thin, and though color strength built, it never turned fully opaque. The product consistency is good; it’s thicker than one might expect for a jelly. The polish dried quickly and with a glossy finish. I added top coat for extra shine.


So I remember getting this and a few of the other jellies from the Texas collection and being really disappointed when they were so sheer. Even now that I know what jellies are and what they can be used for, I still feel a bit naked wearing something this sheer on its own. The coverage is actually better than I thought it would be, but it still feels like something is missing. I have that feeling like my nails aren’t polished, but they totally are. I was really afraid of messing up this polish, because jellies aren’t very forgiving if you smudge or dent them; I wouldn’t be able to just add an extra coat and hide it. My favorite thing about this polish is the shine, because it’s wicked smooth and shiny on its own, so shiny it probably doesn’t even need a top coat. I guess maybe trading some opacity for a ton of shine isn’t such a bad deal.



Y’all Come Back Ya Hear? has been discontinued by OPI. Other OPI polishes are sold in stores nationwide; I got this one from Ulta back in the day.

I bought this polish myself.


Swatch Saturday: Blue-Eyed Girl Lacquer’s A Long Time Ago Tomorrow

It’s Saturday once again, and I have a new swatch for you! This polish is a fun new twist on the classic deep blue. This is Blue-Eyed Girl Lacquer‘s A Long Time Ago Tomorrow; I’m wearing it at three coats with one coat of Seche Vite top coat.





A Long Time Ago Tomorrow is a sheer cobalt blue — TARDIS blue, as described by the maker — with flakies that shift from blue to purple to pink. Application was easy; the first coat was thin, but built coverage with additional coats; it took me all three coats to achieve a perfect and even opacity. The product consistency was ideal; it was just the right thickness, and the flakies distributed evenly over the nail. The shift occurs in any lighting condition. It dried quickly and with a matte finish, reminiscent of denim. I added top coat for shine and protection.




A Long Time Ago Tomorrow is the blue sister of I’m Doctor Martha Jones, Who the Hell Are You?; they both have the translucent colored base, the shifting flakies, and the matte finish. Basically everything I said about that polish is true about this one; it’s easy to apply and wear, it’s wicked beautiful, and flakies are just so much fun to look at and play with the light so wonderfully. This polish is packed full of these flakies, and it gives the polish a really cool look. I love it when I can see the definition of all those tiny particles.

I got some sunlight photos! Just like the studio photos, the flakies stand out really well, and the shift occurs when my nails are facing the sun directly.



A Long Time Ago Tomorrow has been discontinued by Blue-Eyed Girl Lacquer; other BEGL polishes are available from their online shop.

I bought this polish myself.

HPB Presents First-Ever Indie Brand!

Hello reader! Today’s post is a special post. This is the Hobby Polish Bloggers link-up for the month of February! Every month this Facebook group does a themed mani, and February’s theme is all about our first indie brands. The first indie brand I ever bought from, as well as my first-ever etsy order, was from Pretty & Polished, so I decided to try some products from them I hadn’t used yet. This is Me, Myself, and Cacti at three coats, with one coat each of Seche Vite top coat and the Pretty & Polished Wax on Wax effect top coat.





Way back in June 2013, after reading about indie polishes on Reddit and talking to other nail enthusiasts about them, I took the plunge and ordered some of my own. I was drawn to Pretty & Polished for their thermals, but I loved their chunky glitters and crellies. I bought two polishes that day, one of which was a thermal, and it kind of changed my life. It took my nail polish addiction to an incredible high. I placed orders with three other makers that same day.



I had other P&Ps I’d bought first and hadn’t tried, but I really just wanted to use this one. I have always loved the look of this polish, because it’s not like anything else I own: the green jelly is rich but still transparent, and the glitters add just enough to break it up and make it interesting. Unfortunately, the glitter was a bit hard to get out; I only got one or two pieces on some nails, but I’m still happy with the look.




In the sunlight, it looks about the same. The nail line is a bit more visible, but that’s about it. These photos were taken in direct sunlight outdoors.





I also decided that this would be the day I tried out the Wax on Wax effect top coat. I bought these two products together and have never used them until today. I like the way it looks over the jelly; there’s still some shine, but it’s subdued. It’s like a satin finish, but more to the glossy side than the matte side. It really does look like I dipped them in molten candle wax. I don’t actually know how often I’ll use this in the future, since I really loved the jelly shine, but it’ll be fun to try out again.



Me, Myself, and Cacti has been discontinued, but the Wax on Wax effect top coat and other Pretty & Polished polishes are available at their etsy shop.

I bought this polish myself.


Manicure Monday: Glitter Secret

Happy Monday! This week I did some time-intensive nail art — by my standards at least — and I love it. For this look, I used Butter London’s West End Wonderland with American Apparel’s Moon. I wish I did nail art like this every week!



The idea for this mani was to have a negative-space mani with a secret glow-in-the-dark effect. I loved the idea of just having a fun polish paired with “naked” nails, and then having the “negative” parts of the design glow. Obviously, if you look closely, you can tell they’re not totally naked, because Moon has this grainy look in it, but that’s only if you look up close. From a perfectly reasonable distance you wouldn’t be able to tell at all.



This is one of the more intricate designs I’ve ever done, because I rarely do anything with more than two steps. First, I put down a coat of Moon. Next, I did a gradient with Moon and West End Wonderland. I left my thumb and pinky with just the initial gradient. When that was dry, I put strips of striping tape over the gradient in a criss-cross pattern, then sponged West End Wonderland over the entire nail. I finished with Seche Vite top coat. On the accent nail, the one with the studs, I used two coats of Moon and skipped right to the all-over sponging of West End Wonderland. I think it turned out pretty well!



The only thing I would do differently — I do plan to do this again — is to use a polish with greater contast. It’s a little hard to see the negative space because it’s so similar to the glitter polish. I may also consider just using striping tape for greater contrast in the dark, because I did fail to take that into account. You can see in the glow photos where the lines are, but I think it would be cooler if the contrast was higher.


Moon has an amazingly strong glow. If you look closely, you can see the titles of the books on my bookshelf.


Moon has been discontinued by American Apparel. West End Wonderland and other Butter London polishes are available at sephora and Ulta. I got mine in a swap, lucky me! I don’t know where the studs came from.

One of these polishes were purchased by myself. The other was received in a trade.

Swatch Sunday: Octopus Party Nail Lacquer’s Universal Loner

Happy Sunday! It’s Valentine’s Day, so it’s a great day to wear red! This beauty is Octopus Party Nail Lacquer‘s Universal Loner. The name is kind of appropriate, too, isn’t it? I can’t tell. I’m wearing three coats of Universal Loner with one coat of Seche Vite top coat.




Universal Loner is a true red creme polish; it’s meant to be equally balanced between warm and cool. Like a lot of red cremes, the tone changes in lighting; my outdoor photos leaned more warm, and my indoor photos were cooler. The product consistency is very nice; the polish is a bit sheer on the first coat, but works up to full opacity on the second. It dries quickly and with a glossy finish; I used top coat for extra shine and protection.



This polish was one of the four indie creme offerings in the inaugural Creme a la Mode box. I love this box because some awesome makers — some of my favorites, even — realized that cremes are an overlooked but necessary part of a great indie manicure. Cremes are common in any polish addict’s kit, but it weirds me out sometimes when I’m still using polishes that might not be five-free or cruelty free or what have you. I know these brands and I know their reputations for quality products, and it puts my mind at ease knowing there’s nothing in this polish that’s going to harm me or be ethically questionable. I have a dozen red cremes, but I trust this one.



Here’s the outdoor shots, where it looks way more tomato than cherry. I still love it. The shine kills me. It’s my favorite thing.





And because it’s Valentine’s Day, I used it as a base for a quick-and-dirty Valentine’s mani. The glitter here is Lynnderella‘s Love the Nail Mail. Nail polish is totally my valentine this year.


Universal Loner is out of stock; other Octopus Party Nail Lacquers are available in their etsy shop.

I bought this polish myself.

Swatch Saturday: Blue-Eyed Girl Lacquer’s You Just Want to Mate?!

Happy Saturday! Here comes this week’s swatch; it’s Blue-Eyed Girl Lacquer‘s You Just Want to Mate?!; I’m wearing three coats with one coat of Seche Vite top coat.





You Just Want to Mate?! is a red polish with red and gold shimmers. Application was easy; it was nearly opaque on the first coat, achieving full opacity in two coats. Product consistency is just right; it’s not too thick or thin, it just goes on. The shimmer is strong, and strongest where the light touches it. It dries quickly and with a semi-glossy finish. I added top coat for extra shine.



I’ve talked at length before about how BEGL shimmer polishes are the best ones they do. This is an aboslutely great example of that. Shimmer is already a beautiful addition to a creme, but BEGL takes a step further and adds it in such a way that it adds complexity and and depth. This is a pretty simple combo; the red shimmers add monochromatic sparkle, but the gold adds warmth and a little something extra. I’ve also talked at length about how much I love red polish, so it’s safe to say this is a winner in my book.



Outdoors, the shimmer is incredible, but the sunlight overwhelmed it while I was trying to photograph it.





Manicure Monday: Neon Satisfaction

Manicure Monday is here again! I kind of can’t believe how fun my manicure is today. It’s adorable and obnoxious, but I think it’s a great combo, if I may say so. For this look, I used American Apparel’s Neon Violet with Blue-Eyed Girl Lacquer‘s Self-Satisfied, along with Seche Vite top coat and Ciaté’s Mattenificent matte top coat.



So I’ve swatched a bunch of American Apparel neon polishes, and I have to say, they’re some of the best I’ve ever used. They have great coverage and they don’t require a white base for their neon-ness. The only downside is that they’re not always 3-free; this one contains formaldehyde. It’s a great polish, though. I love the color, brightness, and product formula. When I picked this for Manicure Monday, I knew I needed something equally as fun and bright to balance it out.



Self-Satisfied is one of my most-used glitter toppers. I’ve used it in three different manicures now and it’s about half-empty. It looks fantastic over everything, though I love it best over bright colors, especially orange. I love to pair complementary colors, so I knew this would be best for the Neon Violet. Not all of the colors in the glitter work well over the base; it’s hard to see the red hearts and dark pink hexes, but I still like the match. I really love the way this turned out.



The only real downer to this manicure is the matte top coat. I’ve used Ciaté’s Mattenificent matte coat a couple times now, and I don’t know if it’s user error or not, but it kind of sucks. I mean, it does a great job being matte; look at how velvety the color is. What’s not cool, though, is how it splits. It makes these lines like crackle polish. Also, for some unknown reason, it created these white marks on my nails. Look at my pinky nail. Where did those come from? There was no white polish used in this manicure, so why there are there white spots? I actually had white brush strokes on my thumb. Here’s the kicker: the super glue I used to secure the studs left a bit of shine, so I put down another coat of Mattenificent; the white spots and lines went away. Seriously? They didn’t all go away, obviously, but the unsightly white brush strokes on my thumb are gone, as well as some other marks on other fingers. I am just so confused. At least the mani looks fine, that’s what counts! Here are some outdoor photos, taken in direct sunlight:




American Apparel doesn’t seem to sell nail polish anymore, at least not on their website, because I couldn’t find it there. Blue-Eyed Girl Lacquer has discontinued Self-Satisfied; other BEGL polishes are available in their shop. Ciaté is available at Sephora. My bow charm is from Claire’s, and I forget where my studs are from. Sorry.

I bought these polishes myself.