Creative musings in bright colors

Archive for the ‘Swatches’ Category

Complicated Lace Drape

You guys, I just had a DAY (but Eva, it’s only 3pm! Yes but I woke up at 5:30, so it’s been a whole day and I am over it). Which means that today’s post will be short and sweet because I mostly want to bang my head into a wall. Repeatedly. And this mani? Not helping.

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The base here is three coats of Delaney by Zoya. In the bottle this has a bit of a duochrome/multichrome finish, but that did not translate to the nail (which was pretty much as expected). This is, I think, the last of my haul from winning the Nail Art Canada holiday challenge…and of all the Zoya polishes I received, this is the one I was least excited about. So it went lest. This polish is basically a muted dull metallic purple, and I already have Zoya Gadia, which is amazing. So yah, this is three thin coats, and it looks fine but I have prettier version of this in my stash already.

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For the design, I ended up doing a purple-to-white lace stamping gradient, getting bored, and adding a metric ton of dots! I think I went overboard :-/ I really need to stop trying to do lace gradients over purple, this is probably the third time I have tried something like this, and to date I have liked none of them!

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Colors:
~ Purple metallic: Zoya – Delaney
~ Purple creme: L’Oreal – Royalty Reinvented
~ White: Sinful Colors – Snow me White
~ Gold: Sally Hansen – Go for Gold
~ Stamp: BP – L084

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And that’s all for today! I know it isn’t great, but I’m working off my backlog. This one and the next post are just not my favorites, but then it should get good again (I tend to edit the photos in waves of things-I-love and things-I-dislike, and we are in a dislike wave, Monday’s post was the end of a love wave). Ok. Too much train of thought. Enjoy!

Swatch Test: Purple and Dark Purple Metallics

Dark Purple: What makes a dark purple rather than a purple? I don’t know. These just seemed darker. Except one (which is obvious) and I couldn’t fit anywhere. All of these polishes have problems of their own however!

From pinky to pointer:
~ Pinky: Sinful Colors – Let’s Talk
~ Ring: Zoya – Delaney
~ Middle: OPI – Ink
~ Ring: Revlon – Wild Violets

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So. Delaney took three coats while the rest took two, and obviously does not fit. I don’t like this polish even thought I don’t own any dupes, so it is a goner! For the other three, it is a bit more difficult. I love the color of Talk, but the purple is sooo vibrant that any time I try to do nail art over it, the purple bleeds through (I know it looks blue here, I swear it is a purple). I can put down two coats of top coat and use a metallic silver and the silver will still turn purple! Violets is a very pretty polish which I would love to use more (just look at that hidden shimmer) but it SMELLS. I don’t know why anyone puts scents in their polish, if I wanted to wear perfume I would! Ugh. So awesome color but it smells like terrible fake flowers. Ink I really like, I am just sad that the pink-purple shimmer that is so evident in the bottle is not as clear on the nails. Either way, I am ditching Delaney and keeping the rest, although I want to replace Violets with a similar color that doesn’t have a smell! Pooh to you, Revlon.

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Purple Metallics: I love metallics, and in case the number of polishes shown today didn’t make it clear, I love purple metallics. There is just something about the shimmer in purple (be it red or blue leaning) that is so darn pretty! That said, I know one I am parting with!

From pinky to thumb:
~ Pinky: Zoya – Iris
~ Ring: Zoya – Isadora
~ Middle: Zoya – Giada
~ Pointer: OPI – Feel the Chemis-tree
~ Thumb: Zoya – Valerie

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One of these things is not like the others…and it’s the OPI. There just isn’t as much depth to Chemis-tree as there is to the Zoyas! And wow are all the Zoyas beautiful. I had thought that Iris would be a dupe for Isadora, but even with top coat (Iris is a matte), it is much lighter. Giada and Valerie are still my favorites, but I love them all! All 5 polishes covered easily in 2 thin coats, and this is obviously shown with top coat since Iris is shiny. I think I am going to get rid of Chemis-tree, it is the same shade as Valerie with the same shimmer…but I love the coarser glitter in Valerie while Chemis-tree just looks grey and muted with the fine glitter. Voila!

Sorry about the one-photo-per-swatch today, I ran out of time and honestly the photos in my lightbox didn’t look great for these! I need better lights. Also, I have begun packing to move to St Louis, so if I stop posing regularly it’s because moving has taken over my life! Also…this is my final swatch test post! It is back to nail art on Monday 🙂

Swatch Test: Mauve Nudes and Pastel Pinks

Mauve Nudes: I don’t know why I compared these exact colors. I guess I wanted to get a sense of how purple/grey each was? No dupes here!

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From pinky to thumb:
~ Pinky: Zoya – Chantal
~ Ringe: Essense – I Nude It
~ Middle: CND – Cashmere Wrap
~ Pointer: KBShimmer – Caught on Tape
~ Thumb: Zoya – Rue

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Every single polish took three thin coats, but all applied well. In terms of colors, Chantal is the most yellow-leaning, while Nude is the palest by far but also leans a bit yellow-pink. Cashmere, Tape, and Rue are almost a gradient of pastel mauve to true mauve. I mostly wanted to reassure myself that Tape and Cashmere weren’t dupes for each other or anything else, and they aren’t! I also quite like both of them, even if they are boring colors!

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Pastel Pinks: So, I wanted to compare my pale pinks and my pale pink shimmer/frosts. Mostly the frosts if I’m being honest! No dupes here, but some of the colors are downright ugly! I also re-used Tape (from above) to compare a pale mauve to a pale pink.

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From pinky to thumb:
~ Pinky: ULTA – Baby Doll
~ Ring: KBShimmer – Caught on Tape
~ Middle: OPI – The Color that Keeps on Giving
~ Ring: ULTA – Freshwater Pearl
~ Thumb: Wet n’ Wild – Private Viewing

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All the polishes took 3 coats except Tape, which took two (I guess I used thicker coats). For the cremes, Doll is more of a true pastel pink than Tape, and is also a bit paler. Private is its own thing and I should have known I didn’t own any dupes! I hate how it looks of me, but it is a useful skin tone color for nail art. For the shimmers, Pearl is more of a nude frost and Giving is a true pink frost. They are actually quite different…and unsurprisingly I like Peal a lot better! I can see Giving coming in useful….if and only if (hah I just tried to write iff which means the same thing but in python, whoops) someone tells me I need to wear a baby pink shimmer to a wedding. I don’t think that will happen, so away it goes!

Swatch Test: Pastel Nudes

Why oh why do I have so many nude polishes? I will end up doing three, yes THREE comparison posts with nudes (pastel nudes, which are up today, pinky nudes, and neutral nudes, both of which will be co-posted on Wednesday). Anyway, on to the “pastel” nudes!

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These are the lightest nudes in my collection, which is to say pale creme colored polishes. I have, today, two cremes, one jelly, one shimmer, and one holo. Three of them ended up being identical and I am certainly parting with one! The others I will keep, just because nudes are darn useful (especially given that I start working in the hospital full-time in June).

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From thumb to pinky, we have:
~ NYC – Prospect Park Bloom
~ OPI – Be There in a Prosecco
~ L’oreal – Boho Babe
~ Essence – I Nude It
~ Picture Polish – Cherish

Prospect Park Bloom took three thick coats and was STILL not completely opaque. It also basically didn’t dry. It was 99 cents, which was why I bought it initially, but I think I’m going to let it go! Cherish stands out because it is both darker and filled with holo shards. I Nude It has very very subtle shimmer that puts it in a hair darker than Boho Babe and Prosecco, which are to my eye complete dupes. I like the brush that L’oreal uses much better than the giant OPI brush, but Prosecco has a bit more polish than Boho, and both work fine.

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I decided to go with an art deco pattern, since my nails are STILL pointy-shaped and I really only like geometric things on pointy nails. The stamp is from BP plate L054, the source of most of my geometric patterns! I then colored bits of the design in gold (after stamping, I really should have colored in the design on the stamper head, but this was faster), and added some black and gold dots. I was debating throwing in a fourth color (likely red) but decided to leave it as-is. The dots really helped! For once my “if it doesn’t look completed, add dots” worked 🙂

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Anyway, I hope you enjoyed! And maybe this was useful (basically, you can pay $5 for L’oreal that is the same color and ease of use as a $10 OPI). Also sorry this post is late…but I technically made it up before midnight so Monday!!

Swatch Test: Teal Glitters

Today’s post is going to be a bit short, because I am running low on time! I graduate on Sunday, so my family and my husband’s family are coming into town this weekend. Running rampant. We also had to cannibalize half of my ‘nail art studio’ (aka our third bedroom which has been used solely for nail art for the past 4 years) to store a metric ton of wedding gifts that are still in their boxes. Fine china and crystal glasses are overrated!!!

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Anyway, this leads me to today. This is a short post comparing one of my favorite nail polish families, the teal glitters! Spoilers: I love them all and will be keeping them all. I also hope that the post I have prepared for Monday actually gets edited in time…there is a non-zero chance that with all the hubbub this weekend I just won’t have time to edit the nail photos! But we shall see.

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From pinky to thumb:
~ Pinky: A England – Saint George
~ Ring: Julie G – Mermaid’s Tale
~ Middle: ILNP – Party Favor
~ Pointer: LA Girl – Teal Dimension
~ Thumb: Forumla X – Outburst

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A England polishes are amazing because of how opaque they are: this is ONE coat of St George. Mermaid and Dimension both required two coats, while Outburst and Party Favor both needed three. That said, I think Party has become my go-to color for my toenails. It has been on there for a month and counting and I love it! Comparing these 5 polishes, Outburst is clearly a gitterbomb polish, but is not super opaque on it’s own. Dimension is much darker than the others and has holo shards rather than glitters. Favor and Mermaid are not too dissimilar, but Favor has a shimmer to it and a bit of a dark blue shift that Mermaid lacks, while Mermaid is just SWIMMING with glitter. George is just a beautiful one-coater in dark teal, with a subtle holo finish that mostly looks like shimmer. Ergo, keeping them all! Happy Friday!

Swatch Test: Light Blues and Pastel Teals

Light blues: I should start by saint that hate light blue polish. I kept thinking as I was laying out these polishes “why do I never wear any of these?” I feel like for all of my other swatch tests (and there will be quite a few more) there were a couple polishes I gravitated towards for base colors or nail art, and with this set of blue there was nothing that I found exciting. To be fair, if I need a pastel blue I grab Zoya Blu and if I need a medium blue I grab one of my other three blue Zoya cremes…so it is really only the range between pastel and medium blue where I have this problem.

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From pinky to pointer:
~ Pinky: Sally Hansen – Breezy Blue
~ Ring: Essie – Rock the Boat
~ Middle: Sinful Colors – Cinderella
~ Pointer: KBShimmer – I’d Rather be with Blue

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While swatching, I realized WHY I hate using these shades of blue. None of them are opaque enough! Ugh. Breezy took three THICK coats and even so was barely opaque. Cinderella was legitimately still see-through where my free edge is and this was with three thick coats. Boat only took three regular coats but is a bit thicker than I would like as a polish, and Rather is both a bit thick and dries matte (which is why these swatch photos do not have top coat). In summary, all of these polishes took three coats, and Breezy and Cinderella were still not quite opaque at three thick coats. That said, I do love the pink shimmer in Cinderella (I would believe this polish to be the color of glass slippers), and the slightly grey finish to Boat. I cannot stand the subtle frost in Breezy, and I am probably just getting rid of this polish since I have Blu which I know I love.

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Pastel teals: I own three very very similar pastel teal polishes because unlike the blues, I love pastel teal! It is such a pretty soft color. I basically wanted a pale teal and a pale green…but a pale green looks much like a pale teal! The three of these (minus my pinky of course) ended up being very close in color, but not quite dupes!

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From pinky to pointer:
~ Pinky: Serum No. 5 – Jaded
~ Ring: Zoya – Tiana
~ Middle: Glitter Gal – No Worries
~ Pointer: Maybelline – Green with Envy

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The holo polish, Jaded, took only two thin coats, the rest were three. Worries was slightly more jelly-like than the other two, and so I used thicker coats, but it dried quickly so overall the finishes were the same. In terms of comparisons, Tiana is the palest of the three, while Worries is the closest to green rather than teal. Envy is slightly more blue and slightly brighter than Tiana, but they are very close! It does have a better formula (thinner but just as pigmented). I bought Worries and Tiana when I ran out of my first bottle of Envy (this is my third, I think) and since I use pastels a lot I just kept all three. I don’t honestly think I need them all, but I think I might keep them anyway? Tiana is the one that I could part with most easily, as Worries is more green and Envy does have the best finish! I just threw Jaded in since the base color is the same, but wheeee holo!

Swatch Test: Dark Metallic Blues

Another day for nail art! Kinda. This is another one that I want to repeat over just one color, likely a dark color. In terms of the polishes I chose to swatch, all but my pinky look really darn close in the bottle! That said, in the bottle, the shimmer in this polish is very strong and I always forget that doesn’t translate onto the nail! It looks like it COULD be a medium blue :-p

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From pinky to thumb:
~ Pinky: OPI – Yoga-ta Get This Blue
~ Ring: Zoya – Estelle
~ Middle: Zoya – Tart
~ Pointer: Sally Hansen – Blue My Mind
~ Thumb: Nicole by OPI – A Lit-Teal Bit of Love

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All polishes took three coats to be opaque, other than Yoga which only took two. When swatching these, I found a new favorite! I had forgotten about the Sally Hansen and it is beautiful! Possibly my favorite even if it is the least metallic. Estelle is the most metallic, but actually ends up looking streaky. I think I’ll stick with Tart, now I just need to decide if I want to get rid of Estelle all together or keep both her and Tart! Decisions, decisions.

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All that said, I actually really hate Toga and Lit-Teal just for the names. Puns are cute, but not when you turn them into multi word hyphenated messes! Just for that (and because I seldom wear polishes that are nothing BUT glitter) I am going to part ways with Lit-Teal. I just hate typing it, and I never wear it!

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For my design, I just double stamped with the same pattern…which looks amazing over the darker blues and kinda fades away over the lighter ones. I used plate BP – L003 and stamped with Zoya Yummy and then Color Club Over the Moon. Hope you enjoyed!

a london year

[or more accurately: the london years]

PSHIIIT

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