Swatch Saturday: Blue-Eyed Girl Lacquer’s Siren’s Lucky Shamrock

Happy Saturday, reader! Remember last week‘s Blue-Eyed Girl Lacquer swatch, and how I said it was part of a duo? This is its other half, Siren’s Lucky Shamrock. It is the St. Paddy’s Day-themed glitter topper you need. I’m wearing one brushed coat of Siren’s Lucky Shamrock over Zoya’s Chantal (nude) and Neely (green) and LA Colors’s Hottie (coral) with one coat of Seche Vive top coat.

Siren’s Lucky Shamrock is a clear-based glitter topper featuring a mix of green, orange, gold, and black glitters, iridescent glitters, and orange flakies. The official description also lists shamrock glitters, but I didn’t get any, and I don’t see them in the bottle, either. Application was good; the glitters brushed on easily and the product consistency performed well. The polish dries quickly and with some glitter texture, so top coat is necessary for smoothness.

Of the two polishes, this one is the obvious holiday polish. Personally, I don’t care much for polishes that are only useful one day a year, but if you’re big into holiday looks, this is one you want. It’s basically Ireland in a bottle. It makes for a very easy St. Paddy’s manicure.

The following photos were taken in direct sunlight. The flakies get a little washed out out here, but the glitters come alive.

As of this writing, Siren’s Lucky Shamrock is still available, and even better, on sale in the BEGL shop.

I bought this polish myself.

Manicure Monday: Lavender Glamour

It’s Manicure Monday again! It’s Halloween, but I’m kind of glad to have the Halloween manis behind me. Lavender doesn’t scream (heh) Halloween, and I’m cool with it. For this look, I used LA Colors’s Bliss (lavender) and China Glaze’s Full Spectrum (microglitter).

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When I paired these two polishes together, I was originally just going to use Full Spectrum as accent nails and leave the Bliss nails alone. I love Bliss on its own, and I love cremes, but my recent sort-of resolution to do more nail art inspired me to do the glitter swirls. For these, I just dipped a thin nail art brush in Full Spectrum, did a wiggly thing on the nail with it, and then more wiggly things in the leftover spaces. I put dots to fill up whatever space was left. The design is a bit clearer on the thumb nail than the others, but it’s still cool on the others. This was a mani where I could totally shut out the perfectionist and just be happy with however it turned out.

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I kind of wish I was wearing Full Spectrum on its own. There is so much going on with this microglitter; though it looks silver primarily, there are fine glitters in many colors, as well as an allover purple shimmer. It’s just beautiful. I’ve had this in my collection a long time, and I’m glad I’m finally using it. There are blue and green versions of this polish, and I can’t remember if I have them or not, but I need them if I do. This is super beautiful.

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In the sunlight, the glitter takes off. The colors are brighter and much easier to detect. These photos were taken in direct sunlight.

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thumb, index, ring fingers

LA Colors and China Glaze are sold in stores nationwide. My bow charm is from Claire’s.

I bought these polishes myself.

HPB Presents Glitter Forever

Hello, reader! Welcome to the Hobby Polish Bloggers Link-Up for September! Each month, this Facebook group chooses a theme, and participants can do whatever mani they want, so long as it fits the theme. This month’s theme is glitter toppers! For this look, I used American Apparel’s Galaxy and Nicole by OPI’s Confetti Fun over LA Colors’s Whipped, as well as Seche Vite and a bow from Daily Charme.

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I usually try to use one untried polish in every HPB mani, and the untried in this one is Confetti Fun. It’s the finer of the two glitter mixes; I paired it with Galaxy to fill the empty spaces. Galaxy is nothing but the really chunky glitters, and wearing them both together gives them both what they need for a complete look.

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It’s kind of a cop-out to use nude as a base for glitter, but I like it. It’s coverage without color; it’s the best way to let all the colors show without being obvious. Black and white get too dramatic; nude is just right. I regret not using an untried nude, because I do have so many. It does the job.

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I love metallic glitter in the sun! It’s absolutely blinding. All of the colors are brighter and better. I don’t know why I didn’t just take all the photos in the sun. Look at the flare on the macro!

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Galaxy and other American Apparel polishes have been discontinued. Confetti Fun and Whipped may be discontinued by Nicole by OPI and LA Colors, respectively; other NOPI and LA Colors polishes are sold in stores nationwide. My infinity bow is from Daily Charme.

I bought these products myself.

 

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Manicure Monday: Confetti Dreams

Happy Monday, reader! This week has all the hallmarks of being a holiday mani without actually being one, and might just be the closest I get to one all year. For this look, I used Julep’s Alexandra as the base color, Octopus Party‘s Universal Loner as the tip color, and LA Colors’s Confetti as the glitter topper, all with one coat of Seche Vite. Here we go!

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I think that, until this mani, I forgot drugstore glitter toppers were a thing. I mean, how could I; after all, they were my gateway to glitter addiction. Even now, I have tubs of them. It’s just that every glitter topper I’ve worn for the past year or so (at least) has been an indie polish, and I’ve gotten used to that sort of polish. Indie glitters just have so much going on: big glitters, small glitters, shimmer, flakies, crazy shapes. This one, though it was a pretty cool polish when I bought it, I’m having a hard time finding a word other than quaint to describe it. I’m not trying to say it’s bad, I’m really not, it’s just that glitter polish has come a long way since this one. This is two coats of glitter, by the way.

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I chose Alexandra for the base because it was neutral, and I needed a color that wouldn’t interfere with any of the glitter colors. I ended up adding the red tips as an afterthought, hoping to tie everything together. That, and I already had it out to put on my toes. Both of these polishes performed very well; Alexandria had a bit of streakiness left after two coats, but the glitter hides it well. Universal Loner went on really easily; I didn’t have to deal with any coverage problems. It’s my first OPNL, too, yay.

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I think it all came together really nicely. Like I said, red and glitter usually means a holiday mani. I actually plan my manicure combinations out way in advance, so it’s lucky it landed on a day so as to be seasonal as well as pretty.

LA Colors is sold nationwide, as is Julep. Octopus Party Nail Lacquers are sold from their etsy store.

I bought these polishes myself.

Swatch Sunday: LA Colors’s Animated

Welcome back! I’m excited to be wearing a red polish for this week’s Swatch Sunday. This is Animated from LA Colors, worn at three coats with one coat of Seche Vite top coat. Also, unfortunately, I had a break and now my nails are awkwardly short. Please bear with me for the next few weeks while they grow back out.

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Animated is a red polish with a matching shimmer. Application was good; the product consistency was thin but well-pigmented. After three coats, though, I never really achieved full opacity. I can still see the moon of my thumbnail through the polish. The shimmer effect is very subtle, but does stand out more in certain lighting conditions. The polish dries quickly and with a glossy finish.

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I paid a dollar for this polish, and I’m really impressed with it. I had no issues at all with it. The color is vibrant, and the polish wears well; I’m actually on my third day of this manicure and it looks exactly the same as in the photos. I cannot believe this only cost me a dollar. It’s definitely one of the best dollars I’ve ever spent.

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LA Colors is sold at drugstores and other shops. I got mine from Dollar General.

I bought this polish myself.

Manicure Monday: Brown and Color

Another week, another Manicure Monday! Today’s mani is interesting — to me — because both of the polishes I used are ones I’ve used before. Since I have well over 1,100 bottles of nail polish, it’s rare for me to go a Monday without using something new. LA Colors’s Twisted Affair and Blue-Eyed Girl Lacquer‘s Prototype PFCS 1.0 have been featured on the blog, but not together. I love how well they pair! I’m wearing two coats of Twisted Affair and one generous coat of PCFS 1.0 on my accent nails, all with one coat of Rica‘s Glossy Glam top coat. Also, to explain the exposed tip on my middle nail, an emergency occurred that required me to don a pair of gloves right after finishing the manicure. Thankfully all the other nails escaped unscathed.

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So yes, the manicure. Twisted Affair is a color I like a lot, even though it’s a bit odd. In the bottle it looks like a cool milk chocolate, but in certain lighting conditions t looks bruised and sickly. I don’t mind that it’s occasionally ugly, but when it does, it needs a little help. This is why I chose PCFS 1.0 as the accent; it’s just so complex and colorful. I love looks that are colorful and neutral simultaneously.

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Twisted Affair applies easily and with good color: I expected it to be streaky and thin until the third coat, but I got full opacity in just two. The drying times were nice as well; I definitely bumped a nail on my desk a couple of minutes after I finished painting it and it didn’t dent or smudge. PFCS 1.0 took a little more work; I had to let the bottle sit upside-down for a while to get all the sunken glitters out, and really went at it to get good coverage. This manicure looks exactly as I imagined it would, but I am a little upset by the one that got messed up.

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Twisted Affair and other LA Colors polishes are available all over the place; I got mine from Dollar General. Prototype PCFS 1.0 was a one-off and is not available, but other Blue-Eyed Girl Lacquers can be purchased from their shop.

I bought these polishes myself.

Swatch Sunday: Ellagee’s Chronic Badass

For this Swatch Sunday, I’m wearing my first-ever polish from Ellagee! This is Chronic Badass; I have on one brushed coat over China Glaze’s Pelican Gray, Essie’s Pilates Hottie, and LA Colors’s Daisy, topped with Digital Nails‘s Ain’t Nobody Got Time for That top coat.

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Chronic Badass is a clear glitter topper with black matte and holo glitters, metallic pink dots, black holo stars, and purple and holo silver butterflies. It was really easy to put on; the glitters brushed right on, and I didn’t have to fish for the stars or butterflies. All the glitters lay flat on the nail — even the butterflies — and are perfectly smooth with one coat of top coat. Drying times were good; I had no issues with prolonged tackiness. It has a really great formula.

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Chronic Badass was part of a fibromyalgia-themed duo collaboration with Digital Nails. Both polishes were made with purple, the color for fibromyalgia awareness. Chronic Badass also makes use of the butterfly, a symbol embraced by fibro patients. Both polish makers have fibromyalgia and made this cool little polish box to raise awareness of this and other invisible illnesses. I admit I didn’t know a whole lot about it until this box went for sale last spring. It was an awesome thing for them to do; it makes me so happy to see polish makers use their time and materials (and glitter) to educate people and make the world just a little better.

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I have some sunlight photos! The holo glitters love the sunshine, and shine a lot brighter than they do indoors. I really love this look; it’s so colorful and cheerful.

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Originally, both polish makers had this duo box in their shops; Digital Nails no longer carries it, but it looks like Ellagee still has it in stock.

I bought these polishes myself.

Manicure Monday: January Flowers

It’s the first Manicure Monday of 2015! However, I don’t think I’m totally pleased with this mani. It was cuter in my head. I’m wearing three coats of LA Colors’s Daisy, two dabbed coats of Claire’s Hippie Chick on my accent nails, and one coat of Ciate’s Speed Coat Pro top coat.

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Daisy is a cheerful yellow creme polish. The first coat was streaky and worrisome, but the color evened out after three coats. The consistency was a bit thick, because apparently my bottle doesn’t close tightly; it just spins around and opens again if you turn it too far. I had to thin it out to make it usable. It dries quickly, I’ll give it that, and takes on a nice satin finish. It’s not bad to use, but it’s not great.

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The same is true for Hippie Chick. Hippie Chick is a clear-based glitter topper with lavender and purple flowers and fine iridescent glitters. It looks way cute in the bottle, but there are very few large glitters in it. I spent most of my manicure time fishing them out of the bottle without getting tons of lacquer on the brush. I think it dried pretty quickly, so there’s that.

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Forgive my gross dry hands. Winter SUCKS.

 

I put these two together because I love complementary colors; I thought the purple and yellow would make a much bolder statement than they do. It didn’t occur to me until just now that the polish names work together. That’s fun.

As I said, I don’t feel too jazzed about this manicure. I definitely should have gone with another glitter. It just needs more.

Manicure Monday: Peachy Glitter

It’s Manicure Monday, and this week I have the challenge/responsibility of showing you a mani I don’t really like. It’s like an accidental ode to my grandma. This is three coats of Julep’s Lynn, two brushed coats of LA Colors’s Tinsel, and one coat of Ciate’s Speed Coat Pro top coat.

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Lynn is a peachy pink with a slight shimmer. Application was okay; normally I’d apply two coats as a base for glitter, but I still had some patchy coverage and streaking by coat two, so I went for the third. Drying time took quite a while, more than fifteen minutes per coat. This might have been due to me adding thicker coats to get more coverage, and then not getting it. The consistency is on the thin side, and is pretty standard Julep quality. The texture after drying was pretty and glossy. There were some brushstrokes left by the shimmer, but they’re not very obvious.

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And there’s Tinsel. Tinsel is a peachy pink jelly with iridescent glitters. While there appears to be a lot of glitter in the bottle, most of it doesn’t brush onto the nail so well. See that smattering of glitter? That’s all I got from two coats. It’s pretty and all, but it really looks like it’s missing something. Perhaps that’s why I don’t like either of these polishes, they’re lacking something special, and seem bland and outdated because of it.

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Final word: I’m having a really hard time thinking of this as something other than an old lady manicure.

Manicure Monday: Monochrome with Accents

It’s Manicure Monday! Today I’m wearing Lost Soul from LA Colors, and my accent polish is L’Oreal’s The Sparklicious. I have on three coats of Lost Soul, one sponged coat of The Sparklicious on my accent nails, and one coat of Seche Vite.

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Lost Soul is a cool gray polish with a faint silver shimmer. I’m always a little afraid of these LA Colors polishes; the quality is hit or miss. I’m happy to say this one is pretty good. The consistency is thin, but even; this actually looked pretty nice at one coat. That said, I still went for three coats, because I wanted it to be very opaque to support the glitter.

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The Sparklicious is a clear glitter topper with holo silver bars with black and holo silver hexes. The glitter didn’t brush on well, and left behind a lot of clear lacquer. I don’t like to dab glitter on with a brush, so I brushed it onto a sponge and applied it that way. It’s not very even, but that’s not noticeable at first. The black and silver glitters complement the gray polish well.

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I was hoping the baby shimmer in Lost Soul would be more apparent in the sunshine; it is just barely visible, but still more visible in the sun than in the studio. Those holo glitters just blow up, though.

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The one thing I don’t like: when I apply the glitter this way, no amount of top coat can ever smooth it down. There’s still a lot of texture there. I’m okay with some texture, but having it on only a couple nails is kind of annoying.