Creative musings in bright colors

Archive for the ‘Swatches’ Category

Vaguely Floral Swirls

I am the proud owner of yet ANOTHER blue jelly with pink-to-gold-to-green color shifting shimmer (this time with tiny red flakies)! I need to stop buying polishes like this, but I just can’t help myself! They are so darn pretty! On the nail this one shifts REALLY well, dark pink with red flecks in the middle, through orange and into an emerald green, with dark blue around the edges.

As you may have guessed, the base here is a new glitter polish. Oops. This is Everybody Knows Sh*t’s F*cked by Femme Fatale, which marks the first time I have every purchased a full sized Femme Fatale polish (they are always too expensive to ship) and has an excellent (and unfortunately accurate) name. I am wearing two thin coats of this beauty. It went on easy and cleaned up surprisingly quickly for such a dense micro glitter!

I stamped over it with Good as Gold by Essie using Floral BP – X43 on my ring finger and thumb, and Moyra 50 – Ornaments 3 on my other fingers. I was in a swirly and flowery mood I suppose!

Easy to do, easy to wear, and overall quite pretty. I hope you enjoyed!

Flamingo Sunset

While in Greece in April, one of the polishes I found was a particular pastel neon coral, an orange-learning pink. I took one look at it and decided it looked like a flamingo (well, my first thought was “shrimp!” and my second thought was flamingo) and that it needed to come home with me. So, obviously, I used it in a flamingo-themed coral-pink manicure.

This is two thin coats of #152 by Studio Seven7een, a Greek brand. It covered beautifully and cleaned up beautifully, and fits right in with all the pastel corals that I have accidentally bought in the last year (…this is the third. Oops). The bottle is a bit funny shaped, but I like the color and the application, so that is fine. This brand appears to make mostly nudes/pinks/reds and the occasional purple, but they do know what they are doing with their consistency!

~ Pastel coral: SEVEN7EEN – #152
~ Coral: L’oreal – Orange you Jealous?
~ Neon pink: WOW – #371
~ Holo glitter: China Glaze – Fairy Dust
~ Black: Sinful Colors – Black on Black
~ Stamps: Moyra – 106 Picturesque

This gradient involves 2 foreign polishes! WOW is an Israeli brand. I love the overall neon coral sunset look, the fronds, the branches, and of course the flamingo on my pointer! I thought about adding more, but it was already a little…crowded. Overall, despite being a simple gradient and some stamps (ok, a lot of stamps) this came out quite pretty! And fits well with how awfully hot it has gotten. Hope you enjoyed!

Purple and Gold Fail

I don’t want to look at this, and I almost don’t want to post it. I wanted to show off a new gold polish (but not put it on every nail because it is a pain to remove) and I failed. Dramatically. I needed to stop loooong before I did stop with adding random gold lines. Even my color choices were questionable. Yuck.

~ Yellow holo: Formula X – Light me up Edison
~ Purple: Zoya – Margo
~ Dark purple: Zoya – Lael

The only good nail here, my ring finger which I left alone, has two coats of Light me up Edison by Formula X, which is a shockingly glittery yellow holo polish. It is one of those polishes made entirely of tiny glitters (in this case, yellow holographic) which makes it very painful to remove but also stunningly beautiful. I bought it because I own GOLD holo glitters, but no real YELLOW holo glitters. I have no idea when I will want to go through the pain of removing it again, but it is beautiful! I will need to find some art to pair it with that comes together better. Or at all.

Punchy Flowers

I knew I wanted to use this base polish, and I had no plans other than that. So what do you do when you are handed a silvery-pink super sparkly shimmer? Add flowers! It is spring time after all.

The base color here is three thin coats of Binky Bunnies by Leesha’s Lacquer. The maker of Leesha’s Lacquer has three rabbits, and when rabbits are very happy they do this adorable vertical jump called a binky. I can see why a bunny might be happy if they have a silvery-white polish swimming with pink glitter, holo glitter, shimmer, and some amount of this newfangled reflective glitter named after them! Honestly, this polish reminds me of a harder-to-remove Rosewater by ILNP. It is stunning, but I don’t really see the reflective glitter even under direct light? It makes it harder to apply the polish, gives it texture, and makes it much harder to remove…but I don’t know that I feel it adds much to the overall depth of the polish. I could just be bitter about glitter removal, but I don’t understand the current furore over reflective glitters.

~ Silver/pink shimmer: Leesha’s Lacquer – Binky Bunnies
~ Teal jelly: Zoya – Frida
~ Teal creme: Zoya – Wednesday
~ Black: Sinful Colors – Black on Black
~ Stamp: Lina – Urbannailart collab

I also have a confession: this is not my polish! I bought it from Polish Pickup for a friend of mine, who actually owns a bunny! She is also the source of my random bunny facts, and occasionally lets me pet her super soft fluffy rabbit, although he is an absolute jerk and also likes to eat my shoes. I hope you too learned something about rabbits today, and enjoyed the nail art!


I hate olives. They taste awful and salty, and they poison all food that they touch with their saltiness. They are more-or-less the only food that I not only will not eat, but also will not eat around (they spread their nasty flavor). Now, this is a problem since I married a Greek and he LOVES olives. Regardless, on our trip to Greece last month I learned the story about how Athena gave a gift of olive trees to the Greek people to have Athens named after her, beating out Poseidon’s gift of water (because he gave a salt water spring rather than a freshwater spring). In light of that, I figured I could stomach one olive-based manicure because Athena is a badass.

~ Dark grey: Bordeau – #212
~ Black: Sinful Colors – Black on Black
~ Nude: L’oreal – Boho Babe
~ Light grey: Formula X – Delightful
~ Light green: Zoya – Tilda
~ Dark green: Zoya – Shawn
~ Stamp: Nicole Diary – L21

The other fun thing about this manicure is that it features Greek polish! I have made it a goal of mine to find and buy local polish whenever I travel internationally; nail polish is a fairly cheap hobby and I find it fun. Some of my favorite neons are from Israel. I had also read online about this magical store called Hondos Center that has, in addition to regular makeup things, HEAPS of nail polish. Drawers and drawers of nail polish. Many are from Italy and France, but I found a few Greek brands with the help of the women who worked there! Once they saw my nails and figured out what I was looking for, it was off to the nail polish races. I was in heaven. I ended up buying (only) 9 polishes on two trips to the same store (oops), a mix of neons, jewel tones, and this particular find: a very dark buttery grey creme. I have been searching for a nearly-black grey for months without success. This one was PERFECT. This is two thin coats of #212 by Bordeau. I would assume that it was french given the name, but the back states “papadopoulou ariadni” who I’m guessing is a very Greek designer. I have no idea, I can find no records of this brand online, but the polish applies beautiful, dries quickly, and holds up well. Hope you enjoyed! And if you live in some place (besides Australia, since many of my favorite brands are Aussie) let me know some awesome local polish brands!

Mermaid Scales

This polish is so INSANELY reflective that I hate to cover it up (that seems to be the theme of this week). As an alternative, this design worked! Although I do wish I had applied the pink dots with advanced stamping instead of at the end, since they are visibly dots rather than the central part of scales. Even without any further intervention, the end nail art was SO mermaid. I love it.

The base polish is three thin coats of Sea of Lies by Emily de Molly. As far as “lies” go this polish has none: it is stunningly fantastically reflective, also shifts color very visibly, goes on like a dream, and is overall just wonderful. I don’t usual wear foil type polishes because I don’t love how they look on me, but this one is an absolute winner. I held off buying it for YEARS and now I wonder what on earth I was thinking! It will likely end up in my top 10 polishes of this year.

~ Pink/teal reflective multichrome: Emily de Molly – Sea of Lies
~ Teal: A England – Saint George
~ Pink: Zoya – Tobey
~ Stamp: BC-04

This past week has been a hot, sticky, mess. For some reason, St Louis decided to skip spring entirely, and go from highs in the 60s to highs in the 90s in two days. It was 96 a week after it snowed. What even is this weather. All of this is to say, I somewhat wish I was the mermaid that I have painted, so I could go jump in a pool and cool off! Anyway, hope you enjoyed!

Complicated Cubes

Ok, I like this. Partially its because I know how I created it, and partially just cause it honestly looks cool. This entire design was free-handed: I thought about how long it would take to make all of these various intersecting lines with striping tape and just noped out of it. The end result, despite being freehand, looks pretty crisp to me!

Really, I wanted to play with one of my new polishes. This is three thin (I could have gotten away with two thicker) coats of Odette by Cadillacquer. I am currently having a mild love affair with shades of grey (did this mani give it away?), and this one is a stunner. Odette is a light grey with silver shimmer, small silver glitter, and larger silver hexes. I think there might even be some scattered holo in there. Overall, the effect is subtle but absolutely stunning. The glitter is easy to get out and does not need placement.

~ Grey glitter: Cadillacquer – Odette
~ Light grey: Zoya – Dove
~ Grey: WOW – #333
~ Grey textured: Zoya – London
~ Teal: Emily de Molly – Glee Ridden

Of course when I painted these I did the whole thing then top-coated…and realized that I absolutely should not have top coated after adding textured polish if I wanted to retain the texture! So I re-added another layer of textured polish after top coat. Ooops. Luckily you really cannot tell at the end, but multiple layers of textured polish were a pain to remove!

Elaborate Eggs

Time for an easter themed manicure! I bought this stamping plate months ago and have been saving it for use in early spring…and despite that, I almost missed it! But here we have it, a very elaborate easter egg manicure. It took a full hour to hand-paint all the colors on the eggs, but I think it was worth it. The bunny is from a different plate, but it just isn’t easter without a bunny!

I also had the brilliant idea to make my base using a green glow in the dark polish, so that when it was dark out the eggs and rabbit would be outlined. It worked! And it looks pretty darn cool. The polish is Glowin’ of Eden by Serum No 5, and this is three gloopy coats. GITD polishes are always harder to use than regular polish, and honestly this was the easiest of the 4 that I have (mostly because I went with thin coats instead of just trying to do two thicker ones). It does glow, but the glow is not easily identifiable as green. Oh well!

~ Green GITD: Serum No5: Glowin’ of Eden
~ Black: Sinful Colors – Black on Black
~ White: Sinful Colors – Snow me White
~ Pink: Zoya – Sandy
~ Yellow: OPI – Never a Dulles Moment
~ Blue: Zoya – Yummy
~ Purple: Zoya – Malia
~ Stamps: Whats Up Nails – B017, BM – 302

Overall a very cute manicure (if I do say so myself) but a mediocre GITD polish. I have worn it again since, and, when charged directly by the sun, it is glow-y. But otherwise it is not that impressive. Then again, I compare all GITD polishes to Dayglow and nothing matches up to that insane brightness!

Hope you enjoyed anyway 🙂

Square Waves

I love this polish. I love it. Dark blurple base, flecks of pink metallic shimmer, and TINY IRIDESCENT SQUARES. I own 600 polishes and NONE of the others have iridescent squares. I die. So pretty. Why was this a limited edition?! Anyway, I didn’t want to cover up the polish all that much so I added some wave-like stamps and called it a day.

The base color is LE 302 by Emily de Molly. This polish is no longer available but if you have it and haven’t tried it PUT IT ON. It covers beautifully in two thin coats, does not drag, you get great glitter coverage, and its stunning. It is a bit of a pain to remove, but easier than most glitters (harder than cremes of course).

~ Purple with glitter: Emily de Molly – LE 302
~ Gold: Essie – Good as Gold
~ Stamps: L078

This is a simple one but I really loved wearing it! And editing this nail art just bumped this to the top of my wear-again list 😀 Hope you enjoyed!

Tree Shadowed Galaxies

I wanted to make a galaxy manicure, but I also wanted to do trees in front of it, inspired by @piontkowaa but with color. The end result looks more like purple clouds but is still stunning!

My base is two coats of Black Magic by ILNP, which is appropriately named. I have been searching for YEARS for as close to a true-black holographic polish as I can find. I own two black shard/scattered holo polishes, which are nice but look more like they have silver shards in them. In contrast, this is clearly holographic and I love it! I think I will get a lot of wear out of this polish. It isn’t the most holo-y, but for such a dark color and for covering well in two coats, it is worth it for sure.

~ Black holo: ILNP – Black Magic
~ White: Sinful Colors – Snow me White
~ Light purple: Zoya – Abby
~ Purple: Zoya – Malia
~ Dark purple: Formula X – Ignition
~ Black: Sinful Colors – Black on Black
~ Stamps: Moyra – 106 Picturesque

I love the stamps on Moyra Picturesque, but I feel like part of the plate just isn’t etched quite as well! Which makes it a pain to work with. Oh well, still pretty! Also, sorry about only two posts this week, I have been taking nearly nightly naps on the sofa with our dog, instead of getting any actual work done when I get home! I would feel bad about that, but it is so soothing that its hard to. Hope you enjoyed!

Holo Rainbow Bubble Warp

I don’t have ANY IDEA what I did here. Or why. I wanted to go with some of my old swoopy color change nails, but I forgot how I did them (the next one I do will be better, and I will be doing this again!) so I made all the lines mostly vertical. But uneven. The end result was a very messy rainbow. So I added a black warped grid…that was almost invisible. And then added black dots. And white dots. And for once, the dots actually saved the manicure! It still looks crazy, but it looks INTENTIONALLY crazy. Down the rainbow rabbit hole! Or into Willy Wonka’s canal I suppose.

I wanted to test a new-to-me polish, a yellow linear holo called Funshine Smoothie by ILNP. I almost never wear yellow as a base color, but it pops really well in gradients and other designs, so I am actually running out of my core yellow polishes! Anyway, this is three thin coats of Funshine Smoothie. It wasn’t quite opaque in 2 coats, but it went on perfectly (and removed perfectly a few days later) so three coats was just fine! It is a very pretty bright linear holo…for a yellow :-p

~ Purple holo: A England – Crown of Thistles
~ Pink holo: Cupcake Polish – Berry Good Looking
~ Orange holo: Emily de Molly – Scorched Earth
~ Yellow holo: ILNP – Funshine Smoothie
~ Green holo: A England – Dragon
~ Teal holo: Powder Perfect – There be Mermaids!
~ Blue holo: Color Club – Over the Moon
~ Stamp: Nicole Diary – L28

I remember Berry Good Looking being a bright purple with magenta undertones that somehow leaned vibrant blue. The polish I have now is a bright magenta-pink. It is still insanely intense and pretty, but is not the same color as the polish I remember buying? How weird!

Eclipsed Lace

This went so wrong! I wanted to create a lines-over-lace look and for some reason went for black polish over a black-to-red multichrome. You couldn’t see the design at all. So I went and added red glitter? The whole thing is a mess. Oy.

The base here (which you cannot see) is ILNP Eclipse, three thin coats. This polish is just as beautiful as everyone has made it out to be and I am so glad I bought it! It actually came with a really wonky twisted brush, so I reached out to ILNP and they sent me a new one 🙂 I honestly put this back in my untried pile so I will wear it again soon in such a way that the base color is visible.

~ Red-to-black multichrome: ILNP – Eclipse
~ Black: Sinful Colors – Black on Black
~ Loose Red Glitter
~ Stamps: BC – 10

When this manicure caught the light JUST right you could see the whole design and it was pretty. It was also not worth it. Win some, lose some!

Abstract Leaves

Today is just a really simple stamping design with some shimmer, but it is fast and the effect is pretty! This was supposed to go up on Friday, but I was distracted by a new board game that needed to be played. Sorry!

The base today is a new-to-me (but quite old) dark green creme polish by Zoya. As is typical of Zoya cremes, Hunter went on buttery smooth and covered perfectly in two coats. I had been in the market for a dark dusty green to work in a gradient or ombre with Shawn, and I think I found it! I really do love Zoya creme polishes, they just go on so nicely and the pigmentation is perfect.

~ Green: Zoya – Hunter
~ Gold shimmer: Emily de Molly – Goddess of Rays
~ White: Sinful Colors – Snow me White
~ Stamps: Lina – @urbannailart collab

For all that this was a very easy manicure, I like how the gold shimmer looks with the dark green, and how well the white stamp continues to stand out. No complaints from me! Hope you enjoyed 🙂

Roses on Red

This manicure was intended for a baby shower. It ended up being a tad neon and very glittery (honestly I should have known) and stood out more than I expected. I got this polish because I WANTED neon red-pink glitter, but now that I have it, I have no idea what to do with it! When is it appropriate to wear something THIS in your face?

The base is three thin coats of a bright neon red with bright pink shimmer by a brand called Atomic (really quite fitting), the polish is called Silicate. The polish is overall very pretty and wears well, although as it turns out I have a lot of near-dupes in my collection! But for neon red-pinks it is great. I was hoping for a true red, and what I ended up with is honestly more of a pink.

~ Red shimmer: Atomic – Silicate
~ White: Sinful Colors – Snow me White
~ Stamp: Moyra – 32 Nature

This manicure did end up being a bit much, but so be it. I need to figure out more places to wear neon pink-red glitter polishes, because I accidentally own three of them at this point. I don’t even like pink that much! Whoops. Hope you enjoyed!

Chamber of Threads

I just had this idea and ran with it! What if the white matte dots in the polish were enmeshed in threads and there were some escaping? I like the end result quite a bit, even if it is rather odd!

This is three thin coats of 4th Chamber by Emily de Molly, a dark pink jelly polish with lots of different sizes of white glitter. It is part of her white glitter collection and it is excellent. It removes easier than most glitters (although, not easily in the overall sense) and the jelly depth is excellent!

~ Pink jelly glitter: Emily de Molly – 4th Chamber
~ Pink: Zoya – Sandy
~ White: Sinful Colors – Snow me White
~ Stamps: Nicole Diary – L28

This is the last post over the past two weeks where I lost all my editing work prior to posting. The color is correct, but my hands are a little pink to allow for the color of the polish to be accurate. Sorry guys, I swear it was pretty when I wore it!

Minimalist Christmas

This design is a trick! I started with a glow in the dark almost-white base, and stamped over it with a white polish, a single snowflake on each nail that can only be seen in the dark (or at least that was the intent. Hidden snowflake!). I then stamped a geometric pattern in black and highlighted little bits of the black with gold. That was intended to be the finished product, but it looked boring, so I went in with red and green glitter as well and made it more festive.

The base is two coats of the white glow-in-the-dark polish Pure Glow Getter by Serum No 5. The polish, like most GITD polishes, goes on thick and slightly gritty, and is likely not appropriate for beginner nail artists (sadly). That said, it has a reasonable level of glow (especially when charged by the sun, indoor light was less effective as usual), and the design that I put over it, including the secret snowflake, really popped!

These nails kept surprising me when I was falling asleep 🙂 I can’t decide if I would want to do a fully hidden design again, or if that took away a bit from the fun since no one but me (and my husband I suppose) knew that the snowflakes were there.

~ White GITD: Serum No5 – Pure Glow Getter
~ White: Sinful Colors – Snow me White
~ Black: Sinful Colors – Black on Black
~ Gold: Salon Perfect – Gold Leaf
~ Red: Emily de Molly – LE 28
~ Green: Zoya – Ivanka
~ Stamp: Nicole Diary – 120

In retrospect looking at the polishes I used with this manicure, I hope Zoya regrets making a bright sparkly green and naming it Ivanka, but who knows. It is a pretty color regardless! Hope you enjoyed!

Pastel Teal Marble

This is a mix of freehand and water decal, because it has been a very long time since I played with water decals! And they are fast. I started with a teal holographic base, then added my water decal marble pattern, and then the teal line and dots. The end looks somewhat sealed together which is cool, although I wish I hadn’t done the double line and dots on my accent nail! It just looks silly.

This is three thin coats (I could have probably gotten away with two thick coats honestly) of Athena by Formula X. For a polish that I got for $1 this is incredible. I love the metallic-like shimmer and the holo glitter depth, it reminds me of some of my ILNP polishes. It is a pale green-leaning teal.

~ Teal holo: Formula X – Athena
~ Teal: Formula X – Quantum
~ Brown: Zoya – Dea
~ Gold: Sally Hansen – Liquid Gold

I guess I have been quite into mint/teal these past few weeks! Ooops. Last time this year I was posting endless purple. I suppose I go through periods when all of my nail art is one main color based on what mood I’m in? Who knows. Anyway, I hope you enjoyed! Water decals make for fun easy nail art 🙂

Butterscotch Triangles

I made this up as I went and I am pretty happy with the outcome! I knew I wanted to use this bubbles polish by Emily de Molly, and I knew I wanted to use a black stamp to pair it with. I don’t know why this semi-tessalated triangle pattern from the Moyra 54 Matrix plate caught my eye but it did. Once stamped it looked boring, so I went in and carefully traced the inside and filled in some of the triangles. And then more of them. Until I ended up here, and I am quite happy!

This is two coats of The Way I’m Wired by Emily de Molly. It is a somewhat fugly butterscotch yellow/green color (think old grandparents carpets) filled with different sizes of white glitter. It is hideous and I love it. I don’t usually go for fugly colors but this one caught my eye (and to be honest I bought almost the entire collection of these bubble polishes) and I had to have it! I have no idea what else I am going to do with it but I will come up with SOMETHING. Also, surprisingly, like the other polishes in this collection, despite the glitter density these actually remove easily. Not creme-level easy, but far easier than other dense glitter polishes I own!

This ended up odd looking but fun all the same. I have no idea when I am next going to wear this color polish, but I own it so I CAN if the fancy every strikes me! I feel like I own a lot of polishes with that same idea :-p

Anyway, I hope you enjoyed! Stay tuned for more oddly colored and vaguely spooky things 🙂

Itinerant Traveler

I had been staring at this design on the stamping plate for SO LONG and I just had to use it. I had to. The biggest struggle was how to make the dragons stand out. The stamping plate has the dragons as part of the design, but I didn’t want them to be just black. So, I stamped over the black with multichrome (and then went back in and added more multichrome by hand because shifty dragons just make sense)!

I started with a bright green base. What you see here are two coats of OPI’s Did It On ‘Em. I hate the name, but the color is a beautiful pale grass green (a yellow-leaning bright pale green). I had been looking for a replacement for Essie The More The Merrier, and I think I have found it! Its a nice polish.

To make the base more grass-like, I dry-brushed on two more shades of green. When that was dry and top coated, I added my stamping decals, and then finished off with the multichrome dragons. I initially painted the blue sky directly on the nail after the stamp was finished, but I decided that was farrrrr to much effort and just turned it into part of the stamping decal after the first two nails 😀

~ Pale green: OPI – Did It On ‘Em
~ Green: Zoya – Josie
~ Dark green: Zoya – Shawn
~ Blue: KBShimmer – I’d Rather be with Blue
~ Light grey: Zoya – Dove
~ Grey: WOW – #333
~ Dark grey: Zoya – Evvie
~ Pale grey with black flecks: Cirque – Hatch
~ Red: KBShimmer – Chai-huahua
~ Black: Sinful Colors – Black on Black
~ White: Sinful Colors – Snow me White
~ Brown: Zoya – Dea
~ Gold: Salon Perfect – Gold Leaf
~ Blue multichrome: ILNP – Birefringence
~ Stamp: Maniology – M035

Thats all for today, and fits the 31 day challenge of book, mostly because I love fantasy novels! I don’t have a specific one here, but there are so many who cares :-p. Hope you enjoyed!

Orange Blossoms

These came out really cute! I wanted to use the new pastel orange polish I bought (to replace the one I have had for 8 years that is finally far too empty to use), and I came up with this! So it doubles as a swatch AND a design. The orange polish you see here is called Cole by Zoya, and it takes 3 thin coats. I suppose I could’ve gotten by with two thick coats, but since Zoya polishes dry fast I figured this was the better option. Its pretty!

~ Pastel orange: Zoya – Cole
~ White: Sinful Colors – Snow me White
~ Grey: Formula X – Delightful
~ Black: Sinful Colors – Black on Black

I was initially just going to do the floral nails, but the orange ones looked sad! So I added some dots (as always) and am quite happy with it. I am also glad I went back and filled in the leaves with white, the contrast I think helps the overall design. Hope you enjoyed!

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