Swatch: Enchanted Polish’s Ice Castle

Hey! It’s another swatch this week! Let me preface this one by saying that this is not my best work, and I’m aware that these photos are not up to my personal standards. The day I took these, it was cloudy outside, and I’m not great at getting a good holo shot indoors except for under certain lights, and well, this is what happened. This is Enchanted Polish‘s Ice Castle; I’m wearing three coats alone and two coats over Blue-Eyed Girl Lacquer‘s Lighthouse on the Lake.

Ice Castle is a sheer holo topper with blue-to-purple shifting pigment. Application was good; the polish is super easy to use, has a great consistency, and the holo effect is actually pretty strong in the right lighting. It gets good coverage at three coats, though it is still quite sheer. I used top coat for shine.

This isn’t a swatch as much as it is a reminder that this polish exists. I feel like it’s a pretty ubiquitous polish, a common one to find in any indie polish collection, but I never see anyone using it. If you have it in your own collection, consider this a challenge to get it out and use it. If you don’t, use something you’ve had for a few years. I want to see your oldies!

Ice Castle and other Enchanted Polishes are available in their online shop.

I bought this polish myself.

Manicure Monday: Opal Breeze

Happy Monday, reader! I have another easy/lazy nail look this week. For this look, I used Elevation Polish‘s The Merchant’s Son under Ciaté’s Snow Globe. It’s opalicious!

Snow Globe was the main polish I wanted to use here. I was such a huge fan of these shredded iridescent toppers when they came out; even now, I still can’t get over that Mylar-esque shine and all those colors. Of course, this is as bumpy as it looks; one coat of Seche Vite wasn’t enough to smooth down all those jagged edges. For this reason alone, I’m glad we moved onto flakies.

The Merchant’s Son, as you see it here, is a former thermal polish. I even dug this one out hoping for the thermal effect to add some complexity to this look, but alas, thermals don’t transition forever. There’s a fine green shimmer in here that got a little covered up, and definitely doesn’t come out on this cloudy day. You’ll have to take my word for it.

Elevation Polishes are sold in their online shop. Ciaté is sold at Sephora.

I bought these polishes myself.

Manicure Monday: Orange and Ginger

Happy Monday, reader! Today’s look is simple but colorful. I used Sally Hansen’s Sun Kissed and Digital Nails‘s Ultimate Ginger. Let’s get started!

Sun Kissed is a polish I’ve had for a long time; you can’t tell in this photo, but the fill line is somewhere around the French words on the bottle. It may be one of my oldest. I kept it simple here, just because I wasn’t sure how the consistency of the polish would be after so many years. It was actually still pretty easy to work with, but it was thickening and stretching like mozzarella around the neck of the bottle. This is the first time in a while I’ve had the hope that I can finish a bottle of polish.

I used Ultimate Ginger here for the orange glitters, as well as the complementary colors. I knew the orange and blue together would make a stunning combination, but I didn’t realize how colorful Ultimate Ginger really is. It’s not just orange and blue glitters in there; it’s yellow, white, and green, too. I know this is a polish based on a painting of flowers (or rather, a Doctor Who episode centered around it? Confession: I’ve never seen Doctor Who) so it should come as no surprise, but still. There’s much more to this polish than I expected.

Sally Hansen polishes are sold in stores. The original formula of Ultimate Ginger was discontinued, with a changed-up version called Penultimate Ginger taking its place. Either way, Digital Nails is unfortunately still on hiatus.

I bought these polishes myself.

Manicure Monday: Glitter Crack

Happy Monday, reader! Remember crackle polishes? Today I dug out an old polish, one of my first-ever China Glazes and one that crackles, no less. Sometimes I forget how long I’ve been doing this nail polish thing, and this polish comes as a stark reminder. This is China Glaze’s Gleam Me Up with Blue-Eyed Girl Lacquer‘s Lighthouse on the Lake.

Lighthouse on the Lake, this beautiful deep blue creme, has been a big player in my collection recently. I’ve used it as undies for glitter swatches and nail art, and it always looks great with whatever I pair it with. That’s really true for every BEGL creme, but this is the one I’ve used most often.

I can never get good macros on cloudy days.

Gleam Me Up is blue glitter crackle madness. I don’t even hate this polish. The glitter is dense enough that the crackle effect is crisp, but lets enough of the base color through so that everything is uniform. Honestly, it’s a fun combo. I kind of want to get some other crackles out to see what I’ve been missing.

Blue-Eyed Girl Lacquers are available from their online shop; BEGL is currently on hiatus while the maker is on maternity leave (!!!). China Glaze polishes are sold in stores.

I bought these polishes myself.

Throwback Swatch: Bluebird Lacquer’s Looking Spritely

Hello hello! It’s another swatch! Today’s polish is Bluebird Lacquer‘s Looking Spritely; I’m wearing three coats with one coat of Seche Vite.

Looking Spritely is a cobalt blue polish with some iridescent and shifting flakes and holo accents. Unfortunately, because it was cloudy and gross on the day I took these photos, the holo is hidden. The polish was really easy to apply and work with; the product consistency was just right, and I had full opacity in two coats. It dries to a smooth finish; I used top coat for extra protection and shine.

Because of the lack of sunshine, I was not able to do this polish justice. The holo is the crown of this polish. I mean, it looks great here; in blistering Florida sunshine, we’d probably be seeing all the holo and none of the flakies, so I guess that works out. My point is that there’s a ton happening in this polish in person, and there’s way more sparkle.

Looking Spritely was, I think, an Indie Shop Atlanta exclusive, but I’m not sure. For the moment, Bluebird Lacquer is on a break while they process holiday orders.

I bought this polish myself.

Throwback Swatch: Dainty Digits Polish’s Stream of Enchantment

Welcome back, reader! I still have swatch posts to catch up on, so I’m getting through them. This is Dainty Digits’s Stream of Enchantment; I’m wearing three coats with one coat of Seche Vite.

I love handwritten labels.

Stream of Enchantment is a sky blue polish with shifting flake glitters. Application was easy; the product consistency was just right. As you can see, it’s on the sheer side, so there’s a lot of visible nail lines (when my nails are this long, I don’t mind it), but it works well with layering the glitters. The polish dries to a smooth finish; I used top coat for extra shine and protection.

This is my first Dainty Digits Polish! I got to meet maker NeNe at The Indie Shop Atlanta and bought her event exclusives. I love them! She did two different takes on the same polish, a day version and a night version, just changing the base color. This is the daytime version, and it’s so cheerful. I love it. I was hoping the glitters would be bigger, but there’s a lot of them, and the sheerness of the polish helps you see every single scrap of it. This would definitely be a great base for nail art.

Stream of Enchantment was an event exclusive. Dainty Digits is now Baby Girl Lacquer; other polishes can be purchased from their online store.

I bought this polish myself.
I have an extra bottle I’m saving for a giveaway!

Throwback Swatch: Bluebird Lacquer’s It’s Fall Over Me

Right, so during the month of November, I was insanely busy with starting a new job, starting a volunteer job leading writing groups for National Novel Writing Month, actually writing a novel for National Novel Writing Month, and cooking a Thanksgiving dinner for nine people. Now that novels are finished and Thanksgiving is over, I’ve finally got the time to share the swatches I’ve been collecting.

This first one is It’s Fall Over Me from Bluebird Lacquer; I’m wearing two coats over e.l.f.’s Smoking Hot (red), Butter London’s Tea and Toast (tan), Sally Hansen’s Black Out (black), China Glaze’s White on White (white), and Blue-Eyed Girl Lacquer‘s Lighthouse on the Lake (blue), topped with Seche Vite and Essie’s Matte About You matte top coat.

It’s Fall Over Me is a clear-based glitter topper with iridescent shifting glitters of various sizes. The shift is definitely reminiscent of the flakies in Essie’s famous Shine of the Times. Application was easy; the product consistency is wonderful in that it’s not thick enough to be goopy and difficult to use, but it’s not thin enough that it drips off the brush. The glitter delivers very easily, but I definitely wanted more than I got on my first coat, so I used two. In the future, I might try sponging it on to get that heavy glitter coverage without the thickness of multiple coats of lacquer. I used two coats of top coat as well, just to smooth down any glitter texture that was left.

I bought this at the Indie Shop Atlanta, and it had my heart as soon as I saw the bottle. I am such a sucker for these opalescent kinds of glitters, because there’s always something going on with it; it’s the easiest way to give a look dimension and style without getting knee-deep in nail art. It also looks interesting over any color, even white, which is obviously not the ideal undies for this polish, has a unique effect on it.

When I was talking to maker Lou at her booth, she told me I had to try it with a matte finish, so I did, and here are the photos of that. I definitely prefer the glossy finish, but I have to admit that the glitter looks pretty cool mattefied. I feel like the matte finish makes the shift a little less dramatic, but it still does happen, and still looks pretty cool.

Unlike everything else I’ve shown you from my Indie Shop Atlanta haul, this is a polish you can actually still buy! As of this writing, It’s Fall Over Me is for sale on the Bluebird Lacquer website.

I bought these polishes myself.

Manicure Monday: Cold Blue Hearts

Happy Monday, reader! Today’s mani was my first successful-ish look with vinyls. I had a sheet of tiny heart vinyls, and it’s been so long since I got them that the company who made them has since closed up. The first time I tried to use them, I messed up and just did not get a good look. I messed up this time, too, but not as badly. For this look, I used Ellagee‘s Cyrena and Sweet Heart Polish‘s Summer Breeze.

Cyrena is a sister polish to Liliana, which I wore recently and loved. This is a cooler icy blue version, complete with the same iridescent flakies, strong holo, and jelly-like opacity. Summer Breeze is about the same color, but with more pigmentation and less holo. I wanted a look that was more or less light blue monochrome. I think I got it pretty close.

So, about the vinyls. I don’t know if it’s because the cutouts were so small, or because my nails are small, but I had a really hard time getting good crisp lines, especially at the tips of the nails where they narrow and curl up on themselves. For the most part, you can tell the hearts are hearts, and only a few look blobby. This is because I added the tips to cover all the ones at the tips that were less defined. I freehanded the tips, and they’re a little sloppy, especially on the right hand, but I can deal with it.

Cyrena has been discontinued by Ellagee; other Ellagee polishes are available on their website. Summer Breeze was a box exclusive and is no longer for sale; other Sweet Heart Polishes are sold on etsy.

I bought these polishes myself.

Manicure Monday: Holo Dots

Happy Monday! This week’s look is pretty simple. After being at a loss over what to put on my nails, I finally settled on a dotticure after realizing I’ve never really done one. This is Ellagee‘s Liliana and A Rhyming Dictionary Polish‘s Heathendom.

Liliana is from a 2015 Ellagee collection. Yeah, I had to scroll way back through my Instagram photos to determine how old it is. Before this (and now, too, I suppose), I had a pretty limited experience with Ellagee, only having polishes from collaborations with other indies. This is the first one I’ve ever used that was independent of any other maker. In a word, wow. Seeing Liliana on my nails reminds me why I bought the whole collection. The holo is so strong, and the iridescent flakies floating in the polish are so super pretty. I wish this one was a little more opaque, but it’s gorgeous regardless. I’ve got some others from this collection I’ll be using pretty soon!

The flakies show up beautifully in the shade.

I used Heathendom as my accent here because it’s also a holo, but you can’t see the holo effect in the dots. I wanted an all-over holo effect, but now that I’ve done it, I should have used a blue creme, something that with more contrast. The dots are a bit more visible in the shade than in the sun. It’s a cute look either way.

Liliana was discontinued by Ellagee; other polishes are for sale at Heathendom was a limited polish made for a collaboration with Blue-Eyed Girl Lacquer; other Rhyming Dictionary Polishes are for sale in their etsy shop (though it appears they’re on a break).

I bought these polishes myself.

Swatch Sunday Doubleheader, Part Two: Blush Lacquers’s Blue a Fuse

Welcome back to Swatch Sunday! I have one more swatch for you this weekend. Remember earlier in the year, when The Color Box went blue? I got to buy one at the Indie Shop in Atlanta, and I’m so sad I can’t buy this box on the regular; every polish in the blue box was a masterpiece and I got to try a few new brands. Blush Lacquers is one of those brands. This is Blue a Fuse; I’m wearing three coats with one coat of Seche Vite.

Blue a Fuse is a royal blue jelly with fine silver holo and matte black shard glitters. Actually, I’m unsure if this is technically a jelly; it gets really good coverage, I’m not seeing any visible nail lines or anything, but the glitters show through like it’s a jelly. Application was good; the consistency is on the thicker side, but is still smooth and easy to work with. It’s got that extra funk that some deep blue polishes tend to have. Probably the only downside is the shard glitters; this isn’t a problem a lot of the time, but if you’re not careful, you can get some that will stick up on the nail and are impossible to smooth out with top coat. The polish dries to a satin finish.

So, I like this. This is a pretty unique polish in my collection. The glitter mix is easy but exciting, and the color is a bold but popular choice. I am definitely looking into more Blush Lacquers, because this one is awesome.

Unfortunately, Blue a Fuse is no longer in stock, but other Blush Lacquers are available in their etsy shop.

I bought this polish myself.