Swatch Saturday: Blue-Eyed Girl Lacquer’s Sirène Fatale

Hello, reader! Today’s polish is a stunner, but it was also very hard to photograph. Ever get a pink so hot the camera loses it? This is one of those. Say hello to Blue-Eyed Girl Lacquer‘s Sirène Fatale; I’m wearing three coats with one coat of Seche Vive top coat.

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Sirène Fatale is a neon pink polish with a fine blue shimmer throughout; unfortunately, the shimmer pulls purple in my photos. Application was very easy; the product consistency was excellent and I had no issues with coverage. It dries with a satin finish, as neons tend to do. I used top coat for extra shine and protection.

I love a good neon pink, and I’m really sorry I couldn’t do this one justice in photos. It’s so much brighter than it looks here, and the shimmer is so much more intense. It’s got all the hallmarks of a bright neon, otherwise; look how tan my fingers look. Sunlight photos were even worse, believe it or not. The color came out all washed out and completely unlike real life. It’s kind of fun how much of an enigma this polish is, like you have to see it in person to really see it.

Sirène Fatale was a limited edition polish and is no longer available. Other BEGL polishes are available from their online store.

I bought this polish myself.

Swatch Sunday: Color Club’s Poptastic

Swatch Sunday! I hope you like neons, because I got the neons. It’s just what I needed this weekend. This is Color Club’s Poptastic; I’m wearing three coats with one coat of Dream Polish‘s Gem Glam in the Melon Baller scent. No white undies were used.

Homemade label; the bottles came without them and I had to make my own.

Poptastic is a neon pink creme. Application was good; the product consistency was a little thin, but I got good coverage with multiple coats. I had no issues at all with drying times. The polish dries with a glossy finish.

I’ve been wearing a lot of bright pinks lately, and it’s been so much fun. Neons just feel so good to wear, like I’m always thinking summer thoughts every time I look at my nails. I’ve had a ton of fun wearing this. It even looks good on my tiny pinky nail! Also, thanks to everyone who sent healing vibes, they totally helped. Also, bacitracin. It doesn’t look so bad now, and it stopped hurting.

Poptastic and other Color Club polishes are available on their website.

I bought this polish myself.

Swatch Sunday: Claire’s Mystery Pink (Hot Stuff)

Swatch Sunday is back! Today’s polish is an oldie, one of the first I ever bought as an adult. This polish, whose shade label came off years ago, was purchased in 2007 or ’08 and saw a lot of use in those days. I’m wearing it at three coats with one coat of Dream Polish‘s Gem Glam top coat in the Melon Baller scent.

This mystery pink, as you can see, is a neon pink creme. I can’t speak much for its formula, product consistency, or application, since it is old and I thinned it out prior to this use. It was pretty thick and goopy before that. Coverage was okay; it took three coats to even out the opacity. It dries with a matte finish; I used top coat for shine.

Even though I love this polish, I do admit it’s not the most high-quality polish. You know how some polishes just feel thick, like the pigment never really blends into the polish base, and it’s like you’re just brushing wet pigment onto your nail? That’s what this feels like, like the ingredients just didn’t fully incorporate. I wish I’d taken a photo of it without the top coat, because the top coat disguises the poor quality. It dries matte, but not in the chic way, but the cheap way. Like I said, I really like this polish and I hate to call it poor quality, but I’ve used way better polishes. Also, as I mentioned, this is a nearly ten year old bottle of polish, and I don’t intend to judge all Claire’s polish by this one. If you’re still preteen enough to shop at Claire’s — and I know you are — don’t let this one dissuade you from trying others.

Claire’s polish is sold at Claire’s.

Update: Melanie of Polish is the Key to My Heart recognized this shade as Hot Stuff! Thanks for the tip, Melanie!

I bought this polish myself.

Swatch Sunday: Island Girl’s Mahalo Color

Happy Sunday! I promised an Island Girl polish swatch, so here it is! Mahalo Color was the first one I grabbed off the rack, so it’s the first one I’m going to swatch. Here is three coats of Mahalo Color with one coat of Seche Vite.

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Mahalo Color is a neon pink creme polish. Application was all right; the polish was difficult to control at times. It would leave streaks in the color if you went over a wet place a second time, and it didn’t self-level, leaving some ridges in the color if my application wasn’t 100% smooth. Luckily, my top coat evened a lot of these problems out. The polish dries quickly and with a matte finish.

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I don’t feel like this is very high quality polish. If I didn’t use top coat, I would have absolutely hated the way this polish looks. The matte finish wasn’t a good matte finish, and the unlevelled color made it look like latex paint. It was sad. I mean, I guess I shouldn’t be disappointed, since the polish is more of a souvenir curiosity than anything else. It gives my hands a good tan, which was something I actually didn’t get in Hawaii.

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Something that really bothers me about this polish is that it’s not the same color in my nails as it is in the bottle. On my nails, it looks more red than pink. I mean, it’s still bright and neon and awesome, but it’s not the color I wanted. I decided to try Mahalo Color over a white base to see what happened. I expected it would be a little truer to the bottle color, but it’s not. It’s more or less the same, maybe a touch redder with the white base than without. Again, it’s a souvenir. I’ve got other neon pinks I like better.

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Island Girl is available at ABC Stores in Hawaii and Las Vegas, as well as their website.

I bought this polish myself.

HPB Presents Neon Splatter!

Hello, reader! Today’s post is a special Hobby Polish Bloggers linkup! Every month, the bloggers from the HPB Facebook group get together and do a themed mani; the mani can be as simple or elaborate as we want, so long as it adheres to the theme. The theme for May is neons and neutrals. For this look, I used Zoya’s Chantal and American Apparel’s Moon as the nude base, and American Apparel’s Neon Pink, Neon Coral, Neon Yellow, Neon Green, and Essie’s I’m Addicted as the colors. I actually did this post two weeks ago before I went on vacation, I’m excited to finally show it to you!

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I really love this month’s theme, and I had a lot of ideas on how to work with it. My first thought was a watermarble, but I did that for last month’s theme, so I skipped it. I also considered the dry brush technique, but ultimately chose the splatter, because I saw an excellent one on Casual Contrast that totally made me want to try it, and also because I’d never done it before. I put my base colors down, got the straws out, and commenced to splattering. I had so much fun with this mani. It reminded me of when we were bored in middle school and we’d dismantle pens to blow the ink out all over stuff. I gotta say though, the cleanup was way worse than I expected. Totally not for the faint of heart.

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For these HPB manis, and really every challenge mani, I try to use untried polishes, but this is the first one where all the polishes have been used multiple times. When it comes to neons, the American Apparel neons are my go-tos; they’re vivid without having to use a white base, and the product consistency makes them very easy to work with. However, there’s no blue, so that’s where the Essie comes in; I had it sitting out from a previous swatch, and it was just the right blue to work with my other neon shades. I love that the theme calls for nudes, because as cool as this would be with a white base, it means you can’t use just any neons, you’ve got to use some that are worth a crap.

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Remember I mentioned Moon used as a base? This is why: super secret glow-in-the-dark action! I put a coat over Chantal, just before adding the splatters. I wasn’t totally satisfied with just nudes and neons, I needed one more element to make this look really special. Between the glow and the neons, this mani is like the ’90s threw up on my nails. These photos were taken in compelete darkness.

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And these photos were taken in direct sunlight! Really harsh sunlight tends to wash neons out, so they’re not as bright out here as they could be.

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Chantal and other Zoya polishes are available from Ulta. Essie polishes are sold at Walgreens and other stores nationwide. American Apparel polishes have been discontinued.

I bought these polishes myself.
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Manicure Monday: Neon Satisfaction

Manicure Monday is here again! I kind of can’t believe how fun my manicure is today. It’s adorable and obnoxious, but I think it’s a great combo, if I may say so. For this look, I used American Apparel’s Neon Violet with Blue-Eyed Girl Lacquer‘s Self-Satisfied, along with Seche Vite top coat and Ciaté’s Mattenificent matte top coat.

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So I’ve swatched a bunch of American Apparel neon polishes, and I have to say, they’re some of the best I’ve ever used. They have great coverage and they don’t require a white base for their neon-ness. The only downside is that they’re not always 3-free; this one contains formaldehyde. It’s a great polish, though. I love the color, brightness, and product formula. When I picked this for Manicure Monday, I knew I needed something equally as fun and bright to balance it out.

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Self-Satisfied is one of my most-used glitter toppers. I’ve used it in three different manicures now and it’s about half-empty. It looks fantastic over everything, though I love it best over bright colors, especially orange. I love to pair complementary colors, so I knew this would be best for the Neon Violet. Not all of the colors in the glitter work well over the base; it’s hard to see the red hearts and dark pink hexes, but I still like the match. I really love the way this turned out.

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The only real downer to this manicure is the matte top coat. I’ve used Ciaté’s Mattenificent matte coat a couple times now, and I don’t know if it’s user error or not, but it kind of sucks. I mean, it does a great job being matte; look at how velvety the color is. What’s not cool, though, is how it splits. It makes these lines like crackle polish. Also, for some unknown reason, it created these white marks on my nails. Look at my pinky nail. Where did those come from? There was no white polish used in this manicure, so why there are there white spots? I actually had white brush strokes on my thumb. Here’s the kicker: the super glue I used to secure the studs left a bit of shine, so I put down another coat of Mattenificent; the white spots and lines went away. Seriously? They didn’t all go away, obviously, but the unsightly white brush strokes on my thumb are gone, as well as some other marks on other fingers. I am just so confused. At least the mani looks fine, that’s what counts! Here are some outdoor photos, taken in direct sunlight:

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American Apparel doesn’t seem to sell nail polish anymore, at least not on their website, because I couldn’t find it there. Blue-Eyed Girl Lacquer has discontinued Self-Satisfied; other BEGL polishes are available in their shop. Ciaté is available at Sephora. My bow charm is from Claire’s, and I forget where my studs are from. Sorry.

I bought these polishes myself.

Swatch Sunday: Nina Ultra Pro’s Solar Flare

Hello reader! It’s still Sunday somewhere, so let’s a have a look at this Sunday’s swatch! This is Nina Ultra Pro’s Solar Flare; I’m wearing one coat of Solar Flare over a base of China Glaze’s White on White and with a coat of Seche Vite top coat.

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Solar Flare is a highlighter yellow neon polish. It’s one of those translucent neons; even at three coats, it never achieved full opacity, so a white base is imperative with this polish. Because it’s so translucent, one must take care to avoid streaks when applying; because it never becomes opaque, streaks and imperfections are never covered. Product consistency is thin yet manageable. It dried quickly and with a matte finish. I used top coat for shine and protection.

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Blogger’s note: Let me preface this by saying that since this is an older bottle, I may have an older formula. Newer bottles may have a newer, improved formula. However, since this is what I have, this is what I’ll review. I’ll just go ahead and say it: this is not my favorite neon. It was just really tricky to work with, and I’m not really happy with the result I got, even when being really careful and meticulous. Even over the white base, I still see streaks, though I didn’t notice them until after I was working through the photos. A second coat over a white base might have done some good. Even though the potential is there for a super neon look — this was way brighter in person, believe me — there are just so many better neons out there, neons that do reach opacity and do not require a white base, this polish is rendered obsolete.

For informational purposes, I’ve included photos without the white base. Here’s three coats of Solar Flare alone and without top coat. I’m not really a fan of this look; it really needs the white to pop and to cover the visible nail line. However, I won’t deny the potential for a neon jelly sandwich.

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Solar Flare and other Nina Ultra Pro polishes are sold at Sally Beauty Supply.

I bought these polishes myself.

Manicure Monday: Neon Sunset Gradient

Happy Monday, reader! I adore today’s manicure because it’s so bright and busy. The gradient you see was done with Color Club’s Wham! Pow! and Sally Hansen’s Magenta Moves; the glitter topper is China Glaze’s Whirled Away. All nails are topped with Seche Vite top coat. I had a ton of fun doing this look today, so I hope you love it!

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Wham! Pow! is one of the best neons I’ve used in recent memory. It was opaque in two coats, dried with a satin finish, and — the best part — did not require a white base for the full effect. It’s almost painful to look at, it’s so bright. This is a seriously fantastic neon and I definitely recommend it to everyone. Magenta Moves, though a bright color, isn’t as neon as Wham! Pow!, so it kind of keeps the gradient from being too loud and creates the smoky-but-still-bright sunset effect.

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I fell in love with Whirled Away the first time I saw it. This was back when those black and white glitter toppers were at the height of their popluarity; this was the first one I got, probably also the first one I ever used. My favorite thing — simultaneously the best and worst thing about this polish — is that it sets itself apart from the others by using much larger glitters. I love big glitters, cannot lie, etc., but I feel like it makes the polish go faster. I’ve only used it twice, but the bottle is already half empty. It’s so sad. It’s also kind of a pain to apply, because the slice/bar glitters are so long they sometimes hang off the nail like eyelashes, and sometimes it was hard to get the glitters to spread evenly over the nail, but it still looks cool even when it’s a little lopsided.

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Unrelated: I miss swatching! I noticed today that it’s been two months since my Canon broke; I thought it would only be in the shop a few days and now I have no idea when I’m getting it back. I’m so sad, I really miss wearing all those new polishes! I’m kind of afraid to use things now because I can’t document it as easily. Here’s hoping it’ll come back someday soon.

I bought these polishes myself.

Manicure Monday: Fun With Neons

Welcome to another Manicure Monday! Today’s manicure accurately sums up my weekend; it was full of bright colors and summer fun! To celebrate the first day of summer, or the fact that a mani I planned ages ago is actually relevant, I’m wearing Julep’s Abbie over white polish with Blue-Eyed Girl Lacquer‘s Watch the Walls, as well as Seche Vite top coat.

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Abbie is the perfect summer yellow; it’s bright and gorgeous. It’s so bright my hands got a bit of a tan. It’s a chameleon, though; in some lighting it’s flourescent highlighter yellow, but in others it’s closer to lemon. Either way, it’s cheerful and a ton of fun to wear. My only complaint is that it never seemed to reach full opacity, even at three coats, so I put on one coat over two coats of white polish. This way, I got boost in opacity and in color.

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When I picked Abbie out of the Helmer, I knew Watch the Walls would compliment her perfectly. Watch the Walls is the perfect mix of neon pink glitters, along with some other fun colors and shapes and the perfect amount of blue-to-purple shifting shimmers. It’s a glitter topper with color, depth, and fun. It absolutely breaks my heart that it’s been discontinued and is now out of stock.

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I don’t know if I’ve told you guys, but I probably have, because I’ve only been writing on this blog for two years, but summer is my favorite part of the year. I seem to handle it better than most people, too; I love to sit out on the porch — better yet, the pool — with a drink and a book and just spend the entire day out there. I’ll take sweat and sunburn over shivering and itchy sweaters any day.

Neither Abbie nor watch the Walls are currently in stock on their makers’ websites. Julep is available from Sephora and julep.com; Blue-Eyed Girl Lacquer is sold from their BigCartel shop.

I bought these polishes myself.

Swatch Sunday: Kleancolor’s Neon Orange

For today’s edition of Swatch Sunday, I’m wearing a new-to-me brand, Kleancolor. I grabbed a couple bottles of Kleancolor polishes during my last trip to Atlanta, and I’m finally trying one of them out. This is Neon Orange; I’m wearing three coats with one coat of Seche Vite.

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was on the thicker side, but this didn’t hinder its quality much. It dried quickly and with a satin finish. My one complaint is that it’s still not fully opaque at three coats; it’s not obvious in photos, but my nail lines were still rather visible.

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Under a black light!

This isn’t a bad little polish. It’s pretty well-pigmented and the neon is as bright in person as it is in photos. It makes my hands tan, and it really lights up under a black light! Unfortunately, neon cremes are pretty easy to come by these days, especially within the indie polish community; this Neon Orange isn’t your only option, but it’s a good option if you can find it.

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I bought this polish myself.