Swatch: Formula X for Sephora’s Demolition

Welcome back, reader! I’ve been slacking on my swatches, but I’m still working on them. Today I have a glitter topper someone once told me was “terrifying” because it looked difficult to remove. This is Demolition from Formula X for Sephora; I’m wearing one thick coat (basically two) over Marc Jacobs Beauty’s Shocking (pink), Butter London’s Tea and Toast (taupe), Blue-Eyed Girl Lacquer‘s Lighthouse by the Lake (blue), a nameless vintage Maybelline (brown), and Sally Hansen’s Sun Kissed (orange).

Demolition is a clear-based glitter topper; the glitters are hexes of various sizes and pastel shades, which focuses largely on pastel pink. Application was good; the polish consistency is a little on the thick side, which is necessary to carry these chunky glitters. It dries quickly, though, and with a somewhat textured finish; top coat is definitely required for a smooth-to-the-touch finish.

I know these chunky glitters have fallen out of style, but I am still about them. I was super excited to find a polish like this from a mainstream brand as well; they had several color variations on this formula and I bought several of them. It wears pretty well despite being on the thicker side; a lot of heavy glitter toppers like these are quick to chip, but not this one. My only real complaint is that it takes quite a bit of top coat to smooth it down.

The Formula X brand was discontinued by Sephora.

I bought this polish myself.

Manicure Monday: Smoky Marble

Welcome back to Manicure Monday! Full disclosure, I’m not super happy with these photos, but because I love how this marble turned out, I’m posting it. It’s been raining here for a week straight, and even though I was in the middle of washing dishes, I had to take advantage of a brief moment of sunshine. My nails are wet and flat here, the tips of the nails are all chewed up-looking because I didn’t do a great job trimming, but I’m happy enough with the result to post it. My polishes are Enchanted Polish‘s October 2014 and Blue-Eyed Girl Lacquer‘s Niagara Sunrise.

I paired these two because they both have a strong and warm shimmer that complements the other. October 2014 has this lovely olive shift, where Niagara Sunrise’s is a soft but fiery orange. October 2014 also benefits from being a holo. These two have so much dimension on their own, and some of that gets lost in this marble, but I’m happy with how it turned out.

I did a dry marble for this. I poured a thin stripe of each polish onto a Ziploc bag, marbled them together with a dotting tool, then let it dry overnight. I tweaked the drip marble method a bit; as cool as drip marbles are, I feel like marbling it with a tool gives me more control over the way the colors mix. By the time I’ve gotten what I want with a drip marble, the colors are so blended together I can’t tell them apart.

Enchanted Polishes are sold on their website. Blue-Eyed Girl Lacquers are sold in their online store.

I bought these polishes myself.

Swatch: Bee’s Knees Lacquer’s #ForClementine

Hey, reader! I decided to try something new: blogging from Starbucks before work! I come here to drink coffee and kill time before work, so I might as well do something with the time I waste. Hopefully this means I’ll be able to deliver more actual blog posts, because I’m so behind. I miss you guys. This is my first Bee’s Knees Lacquer, and it’s the one from The Indie Shop Atlanta VIP bag. It’s #ForClementine; I used three coats with one coat of Seche Vite.

#ForClementine is an intensely shimmery cobalt blue polish with shifting shimmers in flakies in pink, purple, green, and gold. Application was great; even though there’s a lot of pigment and sparkles in this polish, the consistency was very good and easy to work with. It was very easy to achieve full opacity with this one for the same reason; it was nearly opaque on the first coat. It dries with a satin finish, again, because of the pigment; I used top coat for extra shine and protection. One thing I also want to note is the smell; it’s quite a bit different from other polish, or perhaps it’s just a bit stronger than usual. It does carry across the brand.

I do want to mention that I failed to do this polish any justice, because it’s much more beautiful in real life than I show it here. The shimmers are much more luminous and intense than in these photos. It’s so shimmery, so colorful, and the natural sunlight really washed it out. I managed to capture the shift, at least; the shift is very strong and it’s absolutely gorgeous.

I do apologize for the photo quality here. The color is what matters!

#ForClementine was a VIP bag exclusive. Other Bee’s Knees Lacquers are sold on their website.

I got this polish in a VIP bag, which I bought myself.

Manicure Monday: The Thing About Mermaids

Happy Monday! Today’s look is all about Lynnderella‘s The Thing About Mermaids. It’s my first time using this limited edition polish, and I feel like I don’t give my Lynns enough love, so I’ve dedicated this week’s nails to this one. I’m wearing one coat of The Thing About Mermaids over two coats of Orly’s Teal Unreal.

The Thing About Mermaids is incredible. It’s a monochromatic teal glitter mix, save for the silver starfish-shaped glitters that are a stark holo silver. It has every great glitter shape: the starfish in both silver and teal, hearts, triangles, lighting bolts (which were new at the time, I remember), flowers, and then some good old squares in hexes in varying sizes. This polish is just so shiny, and looks incredible over Teal Unreal. I’m kind of in love with this mani.

Teal Unreal helps make this look a success. I wanted a creme that was exactly the same shade as the glitter, and I think I got pretty close. Because it’s so close, I got the cohesive and sparkly look I wanted.

All the other photos were taken in cloudy conditions outdoors. The sun came out so I could get this one!

The Thing About Mermaids was a limited edition polish; other Lynnderellas are sold on lynnderella.com, Amazon, and eBay. Orly polish are sold in stores.

I bought these polishes myself.

Swatch: Baroness X’s In a Galaxy Purr, Purr Away

Hello, reader! Today’s swatch is one I’m excited about. As you know, I bought the Cats in Space box from Baroness X, and I was a huge fan of everything in it. This is my third of four swatches from the box, and I hope you love this one as much as I do. This is In a Galaxy Purr, Purr Away; I’m wearing three coats with one coat of Seche Vite top coat.

In a Galaxy Purr, Purr Away is a deep blue polish with a purple to gold shifting shimmer and iridescent flakies. Application was great with this polish; the product consistency was super easy to work with. The shimmer and flakies both distribute very well. The polish dries quickly; I used top coat for extra shine.

I love this polish. I mean, it’s hard not to love every polish in this box, and though they’re all complex and dimensional, this one stands on its own. The base color is very rich and opaque while still letting through the shimmer and flakie goodness. There’s so much going on!

As of this writing, In a Galaxy Purr, Purr Away is still available in the Baroness X shop, as are other polishes, wax scents, and bath and body goodies.

I bought this polish myself.

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.