Manicure Monday: Hors d’Oeuvres

Hi hi! It’s Manicure Monday! Today’s look is one I kept simple, but it’s still over the top. I used Essie’s Hors d’Oeuvres and a diamond charm from Daily Charme. It’s kind of insane.

Hors d’Oeuvres is a challenge to photograph. There’s so much shiny; the strong gold shimmer and embedded silver hex mix means a lot of light bounces off it and makes it hard for the camera to focus or get a good white balance. (I shoot on auto, sue me.) It’s also very reflective, which is a cool finish. I’m really enjoying it.

I ran out of super glue, so I decided to see if Seche Vive was enough to hold the diamonds on. It did, for a while, until one mysteriously disappeared. I still have yet to find it. I pulled the other one off to risk losing it and put on a second coat of Vive. Speaking of which, have you guys tried Seche Vive? I was skeptical, since I’ve never used any of these gel-effect polishes or top coats before, but I really like how this one feels. I used multiple coats and haven’t noticed any of the bad effects from multiple coats of Seche Vite, so yeah. It’s too early to tell yet, but I might be a convert.

The sunlight is probably where Hors d’Oeuvres looks its best. You can definitely see how reflective it is in these photos; that glare is out of control. This set of photos were taken in direct sunlight outdoors.

This one is actually in the shade.

Hors d’Oeuvres and other Essie polishes are sold in stores. The diamond charm is from Daily Charme.

I bought these products myself.

Manicure Monday: Gold Greed

Welcome to Manicure Monday, which is actually on time for once! It usually gets published early Tuesday because Mondays are dumb and I never have time for everything, but today I do! This week’s was done with MAC’s Neptune and GOSH’s Greed.

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It’s gold and it’s shiny, and both of these polishes are souvenirs from my trip to New York a couple of years ago. I miss New York. Neptune came from the Macy’s flagship store, and Greed came from a Duane Reade in Penn Station. I’m a little ashamed that I can still tell you where I bought everything; I can remember this, but I can’t ever remember to put olive oil on the shopping list.

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The red is a reflection from my red sweater.

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So the polishes are really similar, and that’s why I paired them together. They both have this burnished gold look to them; Greed is a little lighter, and Neptune has a green shift when the light hits it just right, so even though they blend into each other some, there’s enough there to set them apart from each other. At the very least, it’s cohesive and easy.

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In the sunlight, these glitters really sparkle. It’s easy to forget those silver holo ones are in there because the big gold ones steal the show. These photos were taken in direct sunlight.

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Neptune was a MAC limited edition and has since sold out; other MAC polishes are available at MAC and in some department stores. I’m not sure where to tell you to get GOSH polishes in the US, other than Penn Station Duane Reade.

I bought these polishes myself.

Swatch Sunday: The New Black’s Gold Leaf Foil

Welcome back for Swatch Sunday! Today’s swatch is of a mystery polish from The New Black I’ve just been calling Gold Leaf Foil. The New Black doesn’t label any of their shade names, which is kind of frustrating. I’m wearing Gold Leaf Foil over Sally Hansen’s Black Out (black), Octopus Party’s Universal Loner (red), and Indigo Bananas‘s Klein Trink Wasser (blue) with one coat of Gelous.

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Gold Leaf Foil is a clear-based glitter topper with metallic gold shredded glitter. Application was easy enough; the product consistency delivered the glitter well enough and wasn’t too difficult to work with. The glitter itself was the troblesome part. The glitter pieces are unevenly shaped; some pieces are very large and others are barely there. The very coarse pieces don’t always lie flat, which sometimes leads to them getting snagged and/or pulled off. It does dry quickly and with a good shine; I used top coat for extra smoothness.

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Coarse shredded glitter is probably my least favorite glitter shape. I mean, I love how they look, their shine and madness is unmatched. I love how this looks over the cremes. I just don’t like how these large glitters stick up. If you look at the sunlight photos in the next set, you’ll actually see that my pinky nail has more glitter on it than the studio set. That’s because, between the time I took the photos outdoors and indoors, the glitter actually got pulled off somehow. In the studio photos, you can just see where it used to be.

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Here are the sunlight photos. I took these a bit late in the afternoon so it’s not the harsh sunlight I usually shoot in. Like I said, this is a pretty cool looking glitter, even if working with it is kind of annoying.

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So I can’t find a source on where to get The New Black these days. I got this set — this polish came with a black creme and a set of gold studs — from Ulta when it was in the clearance section. Sephora’s website has a two bottle set in their clearance section as of this writing. Other than that, they seem to have been discontinued.

I bought these polish myself.

Manicure Monday: Ombre Hearts

Happy Monday, reader! A lot of polishes found their way into this week’s Manicure Monday post! For this first-time ombre, I used Essie’s Go Ginza and Devil’s Advocate (thumb and pinky, respectively), Ciaté’s Pillow Fight (index), Julep’s Charlotte (middle), Chanel’s Provocation (ring), and Revlon’s Hearts of Gold FX. I also used Seche Vite and Essie’s Matte About You matte top coat.

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So after last week’s break, I actually broke the same nail again and just gave up and cut them all down. I forgot how hard it is to have short nails! I mean, obviously it’s not like having long nails, but there’s a challenge in there. I can’t scratch my back as easily, for example. It’s also harder to paint them, because the edge is so near the fingertip, I can’t wrap the edges as well. They’re already worn on some nails. It’s sad; this mani is going to be chipped to hell by tomorrow.

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At first, I was just going to use Charlotte as the base on all five nails, but I decided that was boring. I’d never done an ombre like this before and dug around in the bins for purple cremes. You would not believe the time I spent looking for four more purple cremes. Turns out, these are like the only five I had! How is it possible that I can have 1,400+ bottles of polish but practically no purple cremes? I actually did have a few more but most of them were similar shades and didn’t make a difference. I don’t like how some of the purples are warm and some are cool, but the glitter looks good over all of them at least.

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Hearts of Gold FX is such a fun topper. I love glitter toppers and I love shaped glitters. I love finding mainstream polishes with shaped glitters. I’ve worn it on the blog before, so this time I used the matte top coat to make it extra different. I love the way it looks mattefied! The glitter looks different over every nail, but I think I might like it best over the lighter shades, where the glitter blends in a bit more. In the sunlight, even though it’s mattefied, it’s still blinding.

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Essie and Revlon are sold in stores nationwide; mine likely came from Walgreens. My Chanel is from Nordstrom. Julep polishes are sold on their website and other stores. Ciaté is sold at Sephora.

I bought these polishes myself.

Manicure Monday: Blackheart Glam

Happy Monday!! For Manicure Monday this week, we’re feeling fancy high-end. For today’s look, I used Urban Decay’s Blackheart and Deborah Lippmann’s Glitter and Be Gay.

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Urban Decay is a huge player in my daily makeup game, but I’ve only worn a few of their polishes. That’s why I’m super-thrilled to be wearing Blackheart this week. It’s a pretty nice polish: deep chocolate as a first impression, and upon closer inspection, a pink-to-gold shift appears. It reminds me of middle school, when I stuck to deep browns, plums, and gunmetals because my parents didn’t allow me to wear black polish. Good times! I’m pretty sure I had a Street Wear polish just like this.

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I picked Glitter and Be Gay to go with Blackeart because both polishes used plenty of rich, warm colors. I mean, of course I had to choose gold to go with chocolate brown. Also, it’s not all gold, there are some cornflower blue glitters in there, and I think maybe some silver, but it turned into one big sparkly cluster. I regret that I was so heavy-handed with the glitter, and I wish I’d done some nails with brushed-on glitter, but the gradient turned out well enough. It looks like a mess in photos because it was so shiny, but I still like it.

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In the sun, Blackheart isn’t as deep as it is indoors;actually, even indoors it doesn’t look all that dark, but I think that’s the glare from the glitter washing it out. You can see the pink and gold shimmers quite well outside, too. You can also see the individual glitters best out here, which is proof that they actually do pair well.

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Blackheart was an Urban Decay limited edition and is sold out on Sephora.com, which is where you can find other UD polishes. Glitter and Be Gay is available wherever Deborah Lippmann is sold; mine is from Sephora as well.

I bought these polishes myself.

Manicure Monday: Fun With Microglitter

Happy Tuesday, reader! It’s still Monday somewhere, so let’s have a look at this week’s mani. For this mani, I used Blue-Eyed Girl Lacquer Prototype Summer 1.1, Wacie Nail Company‘s Opulence, and Digital Nails‘s Tauping Mechanism. All nails are topped with a coat of Seche Vite top coat.

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I ended up pairing red and gold again. I can’t help it, they just go so well together! At first I wasn’t going to pair Summer 1.1 with anything, just because it already has so much going on. The colors are so vibrant and varied that it looks excellent on its own. When I started thinking about what nail art I would do, if any, I started looking at other options. I found Opulence in the polish box and went for it.

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The dotting was something I explored later on. I was pleased to discover microglitters actually do dot. In these photos, because of the macro, it looks weird because you can see the individual pieces of glitter and it makes it look less like a dot. My dots didn’t really line up the way I wanted them; they’re more linear than scattered on one nail, and that kind of bugs me. Overall, though, I’m happy with how uniform and neat they are. I try to avoid dotting because I can never keep my hands steady enough, but this came out really well, all things considered.

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Here are some sunlight photos! You’ll see how the glitter is brighter and shines better than in the studio. Opulence looks best here, too; you can see that’s actually a gold and silver mix and not just gold alone. The glitter really comes to life in this set.

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Tauping Mechanism was the last selection I made for this look. When I decided to do the dots, I knew I needed a nude as the base, something that would fade gently into the background and not detract from the dotting, and Tauping Mechanism does exactly that. It’s amazing for undies! It’s opaque in one coat and levels itself nicely. It’s also the only polish in this mani I hadn’t used before.

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BEGL Prototype Summer 1.1 was a one-off and no others were for sale; other BEGLs are for sale in their shop. Opulence will be available in the Wacie Nail Company shop shortly. Tauping Mechanism is for sale in the Digital Nails shop.

I bought these polishes myself, except for the one I made.

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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: Green Glass Gold

Happy Monday, reader! I have to admit, I’m not all that pleased with the way my mani turned out today. Have you ever paired two polishes together thinking they’ll look great together, but then they don’t? That’s exactly what happened today. For this Manicure Monday, I’m wearing Color Club’s Fly With Me with The New Black’s Textured Gold Leaf Foil. All nails are topped with Seche Vite top coat.

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Fly With Me is gorgeous, right? It’s a translucent green with green-to-gold shifting flecks. I really loved this collection because the shifty flecks give these polishes a finish all their own. I don’t have anything else like them. The end result is part metallic, part shift, all shine and glamour. I love it.

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You can see the green shift best here.

You can see the green shift best here.

It’s the Textured Gold Leaf Foil that I don’t love. I mean, there are things about it I love: I really love that the glitter pieces are inconsistent; some are really chunky, some are fine. I love how reflective it is; I can see myself in that really huge piece on my middle nail. However, when it says it’s textured, it means the chunky pieces, either due to the pieces piling up on themselves or to just plain being chunky, tend to stick up in places, leaving bumps on the surface of the mostly-smooth nail. Even two coats of Seche Vite wasn’t enough to smooth it down. It also doesn’t stand out enough from the gold flecks in Fly With Me, that’s really the problem I have with it here. It blends in too well and just looks odd. I shouldn’t blame the polish for my mistake, I suppose. Not every combination can be a hit, and sometimes we don’t learn that until it’s too late.

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Sunlight photos! You can really see the translucence of Fly With Me here; note the visible nail line on the index finger. Also, the Gold Foil is really shiny here. You can see my striped sweatshirt.

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Fly With Me is discontinued by Color Club; other Color Club polishes are sold on colorclub.com. The Textured Gold Leaf Foil is sold as part of the Shattered Demi Lovato set; that’s available at the-new-black.com.

I bought these polishes myself.

Swatch Saturday: Blue-Eyed Girl Lacquer’s Intersecting Lines in the Sand

Swatch Saturday, woo! This Saturday, I’m wearing Intersecting Lines in the Sand from Blue-Eyed Girl Lacquer; I’m wearing three coats with one coat of Seche Vite. This first set of photos were taken outdoors in partly cloudy lighting.

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This poor label. It looks like it’s been through hell.

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Intersecting Lines in the Sand is cool yellow linear holo polish with icy blue shimmers. Application was smooth; it began sheer but built coverage with additional coats. The holo effect, as always, is most beautiful outdoors in direct full sun, but is still pretty in lower lighting. Indoors, the polish is more metallic and the blue shimmers are most visible. It dried somewhat matte; I added top coat for shine and protection.

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I really love this polish. I’m pretty sure it’s my favorite from the Far From the Sun collection. I love the golden-ness of it; it’s like the beach and the sun and pineapples cooked down into polish. It’s summery, warm and cool simultaneously, depending on whether you’re inside or outside. It’s perfect. The following photos were taken indoors in the studio; you can see how the color changes and the shimmers become the focus.

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Intersecting Lines in the Sand has been discontinued, but other Blue-Eyed Girl Lacquers are available in their shop.

I bought this polish myself.