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: Cognac Sparkle

Happy Monday, reader! It’s been too long since my last post. I knew November would be a busy month for me; all in this month, I’ve gotten a job, written a novel (almost done!) and cooked a huge Thanksgiving dinner. I knew something was going to have to give to get everything done, and unfortunately, it ended up being the blog. I’ve got lots of swatches to catch up on — I’ve been painting, just not posting — so I’ll have lots of content coming up. Some of it’s from when my nails were still long and pretty (rip).

Today’s look was done with Butter London’s Tea and Toast, OPI’s Muppets World Tour, and Orly’s French Tip Guides.

I have this thing about Tea and Toast, like it’s the ugliest color in the bottle, but I absolutely love it on my nails. It’s really stylish, but I always have this apprehension before I put it on, like I’m about to do something terrible, but it always comes out lovely.

I picked Muppets World Tour for this look because I wanted something that would still have a lot of shine without covering the base too much. As it turns out, this polish had more glitter in it than I expected, and it’s hard to see the half-moon and naked nail underneath. On the whole, though, I like the look. It sort of looks like a gradient instead of a half-moon, and glitter is the best. No arguments here.

Unfortunately, I think both these shades are discontinued. Butter London and OPI are both easy to find in stores.

I bought these polishes myself.

Swatch Sunday: Butter London’s Tea & Toast

Sunday, Sunday, Sunday!! Here’s a swatch! This is Butter London’s Tea & Toast; I’m wearing three coats with one coat of Seche Vite top coat.

Tea & Toast is a toffee brown creme. Application was very nice; the product consistency was pretty typical for a creme, and is such that I had an almost-opaque first coat, though I tend to do pretty thick coats. Drying times were good, and the polish dries with a glossy finish. I used top coat for extra shine and protection.

I love this shade! I think it’s a pretty unique color in my collection; despite having so many bottles of polish, I don’t own a whole lot of cremes, and especially not many warm caramel ones. It’s elegant and stylish, and I love the look. I thought it was going to be boring!

I think Tea & Toast is discontinued, unfortunately; other Butter London polishes are sold at Ulta and Nordstrom; I got mine at Nordstrom Rack!

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!

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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.

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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!

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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.

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

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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.

Manicure Monday: Jack the Lad

Happy Monday, reader! Manicure Monday is easy this week. I’m wearing three coats of Butter London’s Jack the Lad with one coat of Seche Vite and the Kitty Bow from Daily Charme. All photos were taken outdoors in direct sunlight.

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Jack the Lad is a deep emerald jelly with fine green, gold, and blue flakies. I actually can’t tell if they’re glitters or flakies, but I suspect they’re flakies; there’s no gritty glitter texture, even before the top coat. Also, some of them color-shift; the gold ones turn purple at certain angles and it’s absolutely beautiful. Application was smooth; the first coat was streaky, but the second one evened it all out. It dried quickly and with a semi-gloss finish. Top coat gives it extra shine and protection.

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This is a great seasonal color. I mean, I love jewel tones year-round, but they really are an autumn staple. This would even be a good holiday color. It’s so seasonal that the tree behind me looks like the leaves are changing, but it’s really just an orange tree. It’s like 88 degrees outside. It might be November, but it’s not autumn in Florida, that’s for sure.

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This is a great polish! This was one of my first Butter Londons, acquired from a sale basket at Nordstrom Rack. Wearing it feels mega fancy. I never get the shade names, though; I like to think I’m pretty good at UK words, but some of them really baffle me.

I bought this polish myself.

Swatch Sunday: Butter London’s West End Wonderland

Swatch Sunday is super late this week. I got distracted with mimosas and quiche and a bunch of long-neglected housework after. I’m wearing my first-ever Butter London for the swatch today! This is West End Wonderland, which I was lucky enough to get in a swap. This is three coats with one coat of Ciate’s Speed Coat Pro.

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West End Wonderland is a full-coverage glitter; it’s a clear base packed full of superfine gold and copper glitters. Because there’s so much glitter, I don’t recommend it as a glitter topper. It spreads so evenly and so thickly (even when you use a light hand!) that it would obscure the base color quite a bit. Like a lot of jam-packed glitter polishes, it dries very quickly. It does have some texture when dry, but since the glitter grade is so fine, it’s not rough or unpleasant to the touch. Make sure you stay in the lines with this one, though; that glitter is tough to clean up with a brush.

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I really like this look. Since I’m already seeing Christmas items in department stores, I’m thinking about what a fantastic holiday polish this is. It’s perfect for this season, really. Gold is a classic color for autumn and winter, after all. Something else I like about this is that it’s glittery, but it’s not overtly so. Personally, this is not really my style, but if you’re one who doesn’t like a lot of glitter, this may be for you. Also, I didn’t get a chance to photograph it in the sunlight, but West End Wonderland is beautiful in the sun. It’s not wildly shiny like a lot of glitters are. This one is pretty modest.

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Final word: I really love these Butter London glitters. They’re like grown-up versions of a nail polish I had when I was younger. My sister gave it to me when I was in like fifth or six grade; it was the first glitter polish I ever owned. If I remember correctly, it was fine purple holo glitter like this, and it dried with a really gritty finish. It was a pain in the ass to take off, but I always put it right back on again. It was also the first time I ever used the last drop of a nail polish. I dearly loved that bottle.

Summer of Untrieds Day 18: Green

Day 18 of the Summer of Untrieds Challenge is green. I chose to wear Butter London’s Swinger, a full coverage green glitter polish. I’m wearing three coats with one coat of Seche Vite.

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It was really hard to focus on all those tiny glitters.

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Swinger is loaded down with fine metallic green glitters. From what I can tell, there’s a fine olive green and larger kelly green hexes, as well as maybe some others. I really love polishes like this because there’s always so much dimension in the glitter. This was easy to put on; the glitter spreads evenly across the nail in one go, but there’s so much of it that it’s not suitable to use as a glitter topper. You’re free to try it, but you’ll have a very dense coat of glitter, which is why I think it works best as a full-coverage polish.

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This looks incredible in sunlight, too. You can see the diversity of the glitters here, and how the look changes from a kelly green to an olive. This is just an amazing polish. I absolutely love it.

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I love that I’m accidentally on a green polish kick, too. Greens are some of my favorites. They never fail to be beautiful.

Summer of Untrieds Day Four: Red, White, and Blue

When I saw the order of the day today, I knew exactly what polish I had to use. 1776 by Different Dimension is a patriotic-as-hell glitter topper with red, white, and blue stars, white bars, red dots, and tiny white glitters throughout. I bought this on sale last year, and it’s my first-ever Different Dimension polish, so I’m excited to be using it today. I feel like I cheated a bit on the challenge today, because I’m seeing a lot of intricate and ornate nail art pieces for this day of the challenge, and I just put glitter over yesterday’s creme polish. This is two coats of 1776 over three coats of Butter London’s Bumster, with one coat of Seche Vite.

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I did a pretty poor job applying this. I put it on in a hurry and didn’t expect the star glitters to be so tough to get out. I managed to get one star on my left hand, but it looks great there, so it’s got that going for it. Next time, I will definitely turn this bottle over and let the glitters redistribute themselves a bit better.

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It looks crazy awesome over Bumster, too. I loved Bumster on its own, and I felt a little bad painting over it, but I think these polishes compliment each other well. I love glitter over nudes, it’s such a simple look.

I thought I did a pretty good job cleaning up my cuticles, and then I went into the sun and took some photos. Nope!

I thought I did a pretty good job cleaning up my cuticles, and then I went into the sun and took some photos. Nope!

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Now that I’ve done this, it’s time to dive into July 4th festivities.

Summer of Untrieds Day 3: Creme

So this month, I’m doing something a little different. I’m doing the Summer Untrieds Challenge, a month-long challenge devised by Julie at Wishes of a Blue-Eyed Girl; the idea is that, every day, you use a polish you’ve never tried before. There’s a handy set of rules, and even though I don’t plan to stop my scheduled Monday, Wednesday, and Saturday manicures, I don’t see the harm in doing the rest of the polishes on the days I don’t have anything set. Technically, all the polishes I plan to use are untried, so I say that still counts. I’m picking up late on Day 3, but Day 1 was OPI and I had an OPI mani on Monday, so I say that counts too. Anyway, I’m kicking off at Day 3. The order of the day is a creme polish, so I went down the polish list and landed on my first untried creme: Butter London’s Bumster. This is three coats with one coat of Seche Vite.

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So I like Bumster. I have actually no idea what color this is: peanut butter? butterscotch? khaki? I have no idea, but I freaking love it. Every time I use a neutral polish in a manicure, I always feel bad that I have to paint over it. My nails always look so long and healthy and awesome in nude polish; I think I’ve said this before, but nude polish is like mascara for nails. I’m so glad I get to wear this for a while and not have to worry about painting right over it and spoiling the color.

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This is the first Butter London I’ve featured on the blog. This is one of the five-dollar jobbies I found at Nordstrom Rack that one time. This is a really nice formula; even the first coat went on evenly and streak-free. There were absolutely no surprises here, and I love it.

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As a result of the challenge, there will be a new post on this blog every single day. I’ve never been one to change my nail color every single day, so that’s new for me. I think it’ll be a good thing, though. I always put off my chores because I’m too attached to my new manicure. Maybe I’ll finally get some dishes done.