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: Summer Preview

Hello, reader! Welcome back to the blog! I’ve got a pretty basic glitter look this week, and it’s one I’m really into. Neons and glitter are pretty much my whole summer, and I’m ready to get it started. For this look, I used Blue-Eyed Girl Lacquer‘s Look at These Assholes and Lynnderella‘s Are You Bouquet?.

Let me preface this by saying that my camera did not want to cooperate with the neonness of Look at These Assholes. At all. I did some color correction and got it pretty accurate, which in turn makes my skin look a little weird, but I’ll take it. This is a deliciously bright neon.

NEON

Are You Bouquet? actually watered it down a little. Even though it’s a glitter topper, it’s in a slightly milky white base. I’m a huge fan of white glitter toppers, and I love this one in particular for the random pops of color. Also, you can’t really tell, but I used a matte top coat over this to highlight the iridescent glitters in there too.

Look at These Assholes has been discontinued by Blue-Eyed Girl Lacquer; other BEGLs are available in their online shop. Are You Bouquet? was a limited edition from Lynnderella; other Lynns are sold on their website, eBay, and Amazon.

I bought these polishes myself.

Swatch: Finger Paints’s Psychedelic Hue

Welcome back, reader! Even though I’m swatching a lot of new stuff from The Indie Shop Atlanta, I still have some swatches in the slush pile waiting to be published, and this is one of them. This is Finger Paints’s Psychedelic Hue; I’m wearing one coat over Sally Hansen’s Grey Area (gray), Deborah Lippmann’s She Bop (pink), and Zoya’s Chantal (nude), as well as a coat of Seche Vite top coat.

Psychedelic Hue is a clear-based flakie topper with green-to-blue shifting flakies. Application was good; the flakies distribute very easily over the nail when brushing it on. The product consistency is on the thin side, but the flakies suspend very well. Drying times were good, and the polish dries smooth to the touch. I used top coat for extra shine.

I adore flakie top coats. This one’s pretty basic as far as flakie toppers go; of course, this one’s been around a while and they’ve come a good way since then. I wanted to show this one over a few different colors, and unfortunately, the bright natural sunshine kind of washed it out over the lighter colors. With the lighter shades, the individual flakies aren’t as defined, but the shine and iridescence are still visible. Over the darker color, it looks fantastic; everything is nicely defined and exciting. The following photos were taken in the shade, attempting to show off the color better over the lighter colors.

I believe Psychedelic Hue was discontinued by Finger Paints; other Finger Paints polishes are available at Sally Beauty Supply.

I bought these polishes myself.

Manicure Monday: Bless This Glitter Mess

Happy Monday, reader! I’ve got another messy glitter mani to share, because I can never say no to glitter. This is Lynnderella‘s Unicornament over a Maybelline vintage mystery polish.

I’ll start with Unicornament, since it’s clearly front and center in this look. This is probably my favorite-ever Lynn, because there’s so much happening in it. All that color, glitter, shapes, and bling in an iridescent base, it’s irresistible.

I felt a little bad covering the base polish up, because it really is a nice polish. It’s a warm pink — or cool red, I can’t tell — with silver flecks. I’ve had this polish for at least ten years, and believe it or not, it still applies really well. It could have done with some thinner, but it wasn’t thick enough that I thought it was necessary. I’ll have to do another look with it soon so that it gets its due.

Maybelline polishes are sold in stores. Lynnderella polishes are available on their website, Amazon, and eBay.

I bought these polishes myself.

Manicure Monday: Desert Gradient

Happy Monday, reader! I’ve been in the mood for nail art, so here’s some nail art! And really I mean that I finally remembered to buy some sponges so I can do some gradients. I’ve missed them! For this look, I used Blue-Eyed Girl Lacquer‘s Thrill Me to the Marrow (pale pink) and Robo-Aggression (gray), Pepper Pot Polish‘s The Big Fuzz (peach), and Elevation Polish‘s Sample JY #26 (glitter).

For the gradient, I put down two coats of Thrill Me to the Marrow, then started a three-color gradient, only my nails are too short for three colors to really show up. You can see there’s a faint bit of coolness at the bottom near the cuticle that immediately fades into warmth from The Big Fuzz. In a way, it actually turned into something cool, but I’m still a little sad it didn’t get more visibility. The Big Fuzz and Robo-Aggression worked pretty well here; the peach was a little on the sheer side and I worried about how well it would show up, but it did the job. Robo-Aggression is a gray creme rockstar.

Sample JY #26 is the main polish I wanted to use, and it’s a pretty typical Elevation topper. I’m a huge fan of the metallic round glitters they use; they remind me of coins. The polish has three different colors of them: gold, silver, and copper, as well as black and white hexes and squares. It’s the perfect topper for this gradient.

The BEGL shop is still on hiatus, but plans to return soon. The Big Fuzz was an Indie Shop Atlanta exclusive; other Pepper Pot Polishes can be found in their etsy shop. Sample JY #26 was a prototype; other Elevation polishes are available in their online shop.

I bought these polishes myself.

Swatch: Baroness X’s Space Cat

It’s swatch day! Here’s another polish from Baroness X‘s Cats in Space box. This is Space Cat, and it’s dreamy. I’m wearing three coats with one coat of Seche Vite.

Space Cat is a magenta polish with sterling silver flakies and a shifting pink-to-green shimmer. Application was good; the first coat applies sheer and coverage builds with additional coats. The consistency is good; I had no issues with it. The polish dries with a glossy finish.

So, there’s a lot happening in this polish, and I love it. The base shade itself is a stunning berry. The silver flakies add a reflective quality to the polish. The shift, which is in green mode most of the time, just makes it glow. It’s so ethereal and I love it.

Space Cat and other Baroness X polishes and products are available on their website.

I bought this polish myself.

Manicure Monday: Reverse Monet

Happy Monday, reader! My look today is an experiment; I’m using a fan brush for nail art for the first time ever! I bought a cheap drugstore nail art kit just for the fan brush in it, and I’ve finally gotten around to using it. For this look, I used a faded bottle of Sinful Colors’s Dream On, Kleancolor’s Neon Orange, and Island Girl’s Aloha Paradise.

I started this look off with a good base of Dream On. Like I said, this polish faded dramatically. It was once a vibrant neon purple that became the coral you (kind of) see here. Even when I got this polish, I wasn’t a huge fan of it; it takes all of three coats to cover all the streaks and leaves behind a cheap-looking flat finish. I love Sinful Colors polishes to death but this one was never my favorite.

I originally didn’t include Aloha Paradise in this look, but ultimately, the look needed something for contrast. Dream On and Neon Orange are both on the sheer side; obviously the coverage builds, but for nail art, something with good coverage is ideal. It didn’t look like anything without the teal to liven it up. After that, I just kind of brushed the polish back and forth over the nail until I started getting dry brush strokes. It looks amazing up close like this when you can see the brushy details, but from far away, it just looks like a brown mess.

Sinful Colors and Kleancolor are sold in stores. I found Island Girl in Hawaii.

I bought these polishes myself.

Swatch: Baroness X’s Meowky Way

Hi! It’s been a while since I got a swatch posted, so I’m posting one today. It’s been a lazy couple of weeks. Remember the Cats in Space box Baroness X was selling for Black Friday? That was such a good box! I was more excited by the extras in it, but the polishes weren’t bad either. I swatched the polishes months ago and am just getting around to posting about it. The first one up is Meowky Way; I’m wearing three coats alone on some nails, and two coats over Marc Jacobs Beauty’s Shocking on others.

I took these photos on a shady day, so they’re not as defined as they could have been.

Meowky Way is a clear-based flakie topper with silver and pink-to-green shifting iridescent flakies, as well as a smattering of holo pigment. The consistency of this polish is perfect; it’s easy to apply and use, and the flakies go on evenly and smoothly. It works excellently as a topper, but looks amazing alone with multiple coats; it’s sheer, but the coverage is still pretty good.

As I mentioned, every polish in this box was amazing. I tend to forget about Baroness X as a brand, which is an absolute shame since they make some truly unforgettable polishes. They’re a brand I really need to shop with more often, especially if they keep making boxes as good as Cats in Space.

As of this writing, Meowky Way is still for sale in the Baroness X shop, as are other polishes, bath goodies, and wax scents.

I bought this polish myself.

Swatch: Blue-Eyed Girl Lacquer’s Cotton Candy Clouds

Welcome back to another swatch! I have to admit, I miss my regular posting schedule, but now that I work weekends almost exclusively, I just get them done when I can. Swatch Tuesday doesn’t have the same ring as Swatch Saturday, I have to admit. Anyway, this is Cotton Candy Clouds from Blue-Eyed Girl Lacquer, an Addicted to Holos box exclusive. I’m wearing three coats with one coat of Seche Vite.

Cotton Candy Clouds is a pale lavender holo with green shimmers. Application was pretty typical for a BEGL holo; the formula is designed to be opaque in as few coats as possible, and this one definitely does; I got an almost-opaque first coat and the second was enough to even it out. The holo isn’t too strong because the base is so well-pigmented, but it’s definitely there, as is the green shimmer. The polish dries to a smooth and somewhat glossy finish; I used top coat for shine.

I miss the Addicted to Holos box. So many amazing polishes came from that box, and since they haven’t posted since 2016, I’m guessing it’s been shelved. There are so many boxes now, as well as the Polish Pickup, that a lot of these smaller ones got squeezed out, which is sad. I’m especially sad because it was one I bought routinely.

Blue-Eyed Girl Lacquer polishes are available from their online shop; the shop is on hiatus while the maker is on maternity leave.

I bought this polish myself.

Swatch: ellagee’s Elva

Hey, reader! I’ve got another swatch for you. This is ellagee‘s Elva; I’m wearing three coats with one coat of Seche Vite.

Elva is a sheer blush pink holo with iridescent flakies. Application was easy; the product consistency is easy to work with, and the flakies spread out well over the nail. The first coat goes on very sheer, and though coverage does build with additional coats, nail lines are still visible even after three coats. You can’t see it so well in these photos because my nails are short, but it’s there. The polish dries to a smooth and glossy finish.

Elva is such a delicate polish. The sheer polish gives way to a powerful holo effect, and in the shade, you can see the flakies come out. It’s versatile, too; you can wear it alone as I have here, one coat alone for a small bit of sparkle, or use it as a topper. So many options!

Elva was discontinued by ellagee. As of this writing, ellagee is on hiatus.

I bought this polish myself.