Creative musings in bright colors

Archive for the ‘Swatches’ Category

Pastel Dyed Eggs

Years ago, before my husband and I were actually married, we would go to his family’s home for Easter and dye eggs (we still go for Easter, there is just less egg dying now). I had always assumed, as a Jew, that eggs were to be intricately and delicately painted with designs. It turns out, you randomly splash on rainbow colors that you create by dissolving a tab that looks like tums in water? And you get 12 colors half of which are nearly-identical shades of pink/red? Anyway. I wanted to create a more dreamy pastel version of those eggs, and decided my nails were the perfect canvas.

~ White: Sinful Colors – Snow me White
~ Pink: Zoya – Sandy
~ Yellow: Revlon – Electric
~ Teal: Emily de Molly – Glee Ridden
~ Purple: Nails Inc – Regents Place
~ White glitter: Emily de Molly – Pale Landscape
~ Black: Sinful Colors – Black on Black
~ Stamp: Whats up Nails – B017

I started with a white base, and did a square gradient (if that is a thing) of 4 colors that somehow blended to make a rainbow. I rotated the gradient on each nail for interest, and then added some beautiful white glitter. I had not tried Pale Landscape before, and I am very glad I bought it! Its so delicate. I then added the egg stamp, and voila! Perfect pastel easter eggs. Without odd dissolving tabs and water.

Daffodil in Orange

I get tired of seeing yellow daffodils everywhere, but my neighbor has some fancy ones with ruffly centers that are orange-on-white. So this is dedicated to my adventurous neighbor and her pretty colored flowers!

~ Orange: Emily de Molly – LE 197
~ Grey/blue glitter: Different Dimension – Come One, Come All
~ White: Sinful Colors – Snow me White
~ Black: Sinful Colors – Black on Black
~ Green: Zoya – Hunter
~ Stamps: Nicole Diary – 145, BP – L067

I forgot while I was painting this that I have not actually used this neon orange polish before. It was an LE from Emily de Molly numbered 197. I just really wanted a neon orange that went on smooth and didn’t lean red (the only neon orange I had before was a mini polish that is almost red and takes 4 coats). This covered well in two, although it dried with the typical semi-rubbery neon finish. I love it! It paired really well with the grey-blue flakie glitter polish that I used on my accent nails. Overall, absolutely a good manicure. Hope you enjoyed as much as I did!

Simply Stunning Leaves

I don’t think I have ever made a bad manicure with this stamp. Its just pretty and well balanced. So I put a pretty and well balanced base under it and called it a day! I had already spent 2+ hours working on the art on my opposite hand so I was not interested in spending a long time thinking about what to do here.

The base color which looks so stunning here is two coats of Theres a Nap for That by Nailed It! from Polish Pickup. I missed this polish the first time around, which is why I love the July throwback that they do yearly where everyone votes to decide which favorites are returning. I cannot get enough of neutrals with crazy shimmer, and this one certainly delivers! It is subdued enough to wear in the hospital, while bright enough to keep me happy. And it goes on easy. Win all around!

~ Grey with pink shimmer: Nailed It! – Theres a Nap for That 2.0
~ White: Sinful Colors – Snow me White
~ Pink: Zoya – Sandy
~ Stamp: Lina – @urbannailart collab

I think this nail art was just an overall win, between the polish, the stamp, and the dots (always dots!). I am also excited that it is starting to get warm (I see daffodils outside!) which means it is time to grab all my floral stamps and get to work. Unfortunately, it means that global warming wins this year, and we had no good snows. I miss sledding! Hope you enjoyed.

Glowing Lace Flowers

Pretty but not quite simple (it is hard to call lace manicures simple, even if it is a stamp) and with bonus purple dots for contrast. I really enjoyed wearing this manicure and got a fair few compliments on it! Turns out this color combination stands out.

This polish base is incredible. It was one of the Polish Pickup polishes that I missed the first time around (mostly because I didn’t want to pay for shipping for just one polish, and the polishes have to be pretty incredible for me to be willing to add to my 600+ polish collection at this point) and I am glad I was able to snag it when it returned for throwback month last year! I have to say it is even prettier in person than it was online. The teal glow is UNREAL. It isn’t available anymore, but if you ever run across this polish, get it.

~ Purple with teal shimmer: BKL – Doomicorn
~ Purple holo: A England – Crown of Thistles
~ White: Sinful Colors – Snow me White
~ Stamp: BC – 10

I also have to admit that editing these photos was painful, because purple does not play nice with cameras to start with, and when you add a glow-y neon-y teal on top of that, you get some fun weird hand colors. It was worth it though! Hope you enjoyed.

Strung On Hearts

This was one of my Valentine’s manicures from last year! I still don’t love pink, so I decided to use a purple with pink glitters and PAIR it with pink instead. It also gave me an excuse to swatch this beautiful purple glitter shimmer :-). Overall I think this came out quite pretty!

The base is two thin coats of Ava by ILNP, a dark purple scattered holographic polish that is swimming with pink/gold/green shifting shimmers. I am currently not into chunky glitters so this polish is perfect! Interesting without being a PITA to remove. It also helps that my name is Eva and I like accumulating polishes that sound like my name (…or in this case, names people have called me that are not my name).

~ Purple shimmer: ILNP – Ava
~ Pink: Born Pretty – Crimson Cheeks
~ White: Sinful Colors – Snow me White
~ Stamps: Nicole Diary – K28, Valentine’s Day BP – L002

And with that, I end my Valentine’s nail art! Also, hilariously, I found out that my husband (who I have been with for 12 years) though that Valentine’s day was the 13th not the 14th. Because “a 13 sort of looks like a heart”. Men. Anyway, enjoy!

Top 10 Polishes of 2022

I am a bit delayed with my top 10 posts of the year, but they are going up this week! Sorry for the delay. Today, I will show my favorite new-to-me polishes that I purchased this year. Some are limited edition (from Polish Pickup) and so are no longer available, others are still easy to find. Enjoy! And let me know if you have a favorite polish at the moment (new or otherwise), I always like finding new things to wear!

#10: Green Light – Emily de Molly

I really enjoyed this whole collection of white glitters buried in jelly, and this one stuck out to me both because of the glitter density, and because how easy it would be to use as a base of any tree or outdoor based manicures! Due to the glitter density this was a little harder to remove, but was not a huge effort.

#9: Everybody Knows Sh*t’s F*cked – Femme Fatale

The name notwithstanding, this polish is excellent. Blue/red (one of my favorite combos) with bonus shimmer and a smattering of flakies. It is this low on the list because it was a bit hard to cover the free edge of my nails; in order to get this depth of shimmer the base is VERY jelly-like, and so the free edge kept wanting to remain lighter than the rest of the nail. This is a pet peeve of mine with otherwise perfect polishes.

#8: Black Magic – ILNP

I have been on the hunt for a true black holographic polish for years. Most either do not have enough glitter or end up grey due to the glitter density. Not this polish! This is a beautiful black linear holo, and deserves a top spot this year. It was also a perfect consistency to work with.

#7: Pure Glow Getter – Serum No 5

I suppose I technically posted this polish and associated nail art last year, but I continue to have a love affair with glow in the dark polish. Yes, it applies gloopy and is difficult to get good coverage. Yes, it is a bit of a pain to remove. But while it lasts, wow, is it just so much fun! I particularly love wearing these types of polish in the winter because of how early it gets dark. If you don’t own any yet, go check out Serum No 5, they make the best ones. And they still glow years later, unlike my solar-active and thermal polishes, which stop their color shift after 1-2 years.

#6: I Am the Danger – Cadillacquer

This polish is neon and crazy and just makes me smile. Is it practical? No. Is it pretty? Not really. Do I love it anyway? Yes

#5: Mantra – Emily de Molly

Another polish from the white glitter crelly collection. This one is so under-the-sea that I cannot see any other use for it. But it is stunning and I enjoyed playing with it! It has slightly fewer glitters than its green counterpart, and was not particularly difficult to remove.

#4: Sea of Lies – Emily de Molly

I resisted buying this polish for a long time, because I could not understand what was so special about it. So many people consider this one of their favorite Emily de Molly polishes, so I finally had to try it. It is stunning. Super reflective, very shift, and a dream to work with. Strongly recommend.

#3: Odette – Cadillacquer

This polish is understated but stunning. I have worn it more than any other new polish this year (not counting black and white, of course) and the bottle is nearly 1/4 empty.

#2: Eclipse – ILNP

ILNP makes the best shifting polishes, and this red-to-black multichrome took the polishing world by storm when it came out. I love it too. It is more subtle than many of the other multichromes, but I don’t care. It’s great.

#1: LE 302 – Emily de Molly

It is painfully typical of me to have a limited edition polish as my favorite polish of the year, but I just can’t help myself. I love the color, the depth, and the fantastic square iridescent glitter in this polish. It suffers a bit from the see-through tip problem, but the polish is pretty enough that I will overlook that. The more recent time I have worn this, I used a dark blue base coat so my free edge didn’t peek through (and to help the polish go further) so I don’t run out. Love it!

Cracks in the Ice

I LOVE this manicure. It is hard to see due to the static nature of photos, but the silver background is actually magnetic, and this manicure was crazy shifty and shiny in real life! I started with a neutral base, then the silver magnetic, and finally the white stamps and some neutral dots. Easy, and stunning!

~ Neutral: KBShimmer – Caught on Tape
~ Silver magnetic: Emily de Molly – Knight in Armour
~ White: Sinful Colors – Snow me White
~ Stamps: MoYou – Fairytale 02

I only used one coat of the magnetic polish to create the depth of this shimmer. I honestly wished I had used a thinner coat, as I think that would have resulted in more concentrated shimmery happiness and a little less free silver/grey speckles. Still awesome! And it was very easy to magnetize.

Neutral Snowflakes

Another simple snowflake stamping manicure. Apparently last winter when I made most of there manis, I wad really into neutral for winter? I cannot recall why, but I have a LOT of neutral toned winter nail art!

~ Nude: Zoya – Rue
~ Red shimmer: ILNP – The Magician
~ White: Sinful Colors – Snow me White
~ Stamps: Nicole Diary – 120

Straightforward, simple, dots and snowflakes. Hope you enjoyed!

A Girly Winter

I absolutely hate this manicure. I took a pretty base and made it look awful. This is something that 9-year-old me would have loved, but not 34-year-old me. I don’t know what inspired me to keep adding pink things, but yuck! I started with a blue-grey flakie base, and added a light pink crackle stamp. So far so good. Then I gradiented on some pink holo to the tips…but I went overboard and ended up making HALF MY NAIL pink. So I had to get rid of that by…adding a weird swirly snowflake? What was past-me thinking? We will never know.

The base here is pretty, rest of the manicure notwithstanding. This is three thin coats of Come One, Come All by Different Dimension. It is a blue-leaning medium grey base filled with small silver holographic glitters, iridescent flakie shards, and tons of pink-to-gold shimmer. It is complex without being in-your-face. I am overusing dashes, sorry! But it is pretty and almost subtle. I am currently wearing it on my toes and enjoying it.

~ Grey shimmer flakie: Different Dimension – Come One, Come All
~ Pink: Born Pretty – Cherry Blossoms
~ Pink holo: Milani – Digital
~ White: Sinful Colors – Snow me White
~ Stamps: BM – 317, Lina – Make Your Mark 02

Sorry for the overworked fail of a manicure, there will be more and better snowflakes next week!

Ornaments in Branches

This came out looking pretty cool! I wanted to use my new glitter polish, and I thought it looked like lights nestled in christmas tree branches, so here we are! I hand-painted the tree branches and then stamped the ornaments in gold, and covered them with little hand-done designs. I should have probably used creme polishes for the ornaments (in retrospect) but oh well. Glitter!

The base here is three thin coats of Green Light by Emily de Molly. There were SO MANY white glitters in this one omg. It was a bit of a pain in the butt to remove as a result, but the polish is so pretty it is hard to argue with wearing it!

~ Green with white glitter: Emily de Molly – Green Light
~ Light green: KBShimmer – Lime All Right
~ Gold: Essie – Good as Gold
~ Pink: Essie – Sunday Funday
~ Red: A England – Rosebower
~ Purple: A England – Crown of Thistles
~ Blue: KBShimmer – Now & Zen
~ Stamp: EdM – 03

It has been a while since I have posted a nail design that I liked as much as this. Somehow, mixing stamping and freehand on the same nail has been working for me. Yay! Hope you enjoyed, happy almost-Christmas, and happy end-of-Hanukkah (well, on Monday).

Leaf Peeping

I had been saving this polish to use in a fall manicure. Unfortunately, it is very sheer and I ended up placing it over too dark a brown! It is very squishy in the bottle and on my swatch stick; I will have to use a lighter base next time around.

This is three thin coats of the flakie-filled carmel brown jelly called Leaf Peeping with Sasquatch (which might be one of the best names for a polish I have ever seen) by Knight Owl. Although the polish would be near impossible to build to opacity on its own, it looks beautiful over a brown base (even if this one is too dark) and with the jelly base the flakies really pop!

~ Brown: Zoya – Louise
~ Brown flakies: Knight Owl – Leaf Peeping with Sasquatch
~ Rose gold: Essie – Penny Talk
~ Stamp: BP – 19

I imagine this would also be lovely with a matte top coat. The density of the flakies is really impressive! I count this as a win. Hope you enjoyed!

Monstera Leaves

I so seldom get to use negative space designs, and this was the perfect setup for it! I used this dark almost olive-green alcohol ink base, and stamped the design over the top. Although I didn’t love the base (see below), the end result was absolutely stunning, and unlike my other green alcohol ink, this one did not bleed through into the white!

To use this ink, I started with a mattified white base, and tried to randomly dab on the green ink. However, the ink smelled awful and went on VERY dark, to the point that it almost looked black. When I tried to apply it more lightly, it appeared streaky. It did not make the nice blobs and blotches that alcohol ink is typically known for, so I did not get any nice ferning patterns. To try and make things more interesting, I grabbed my 100% acetone and started removing areas of green ink. The stain was so dark that even with 100% acetone, the green remained (albeit lighter) and the end result was very pretty! I decided that I had to use leaves, so I found this stamp and went to town.

~ White: Sinful Colors – Snow me White
~ Green alcohol ink: Born Pretty Watercolor – L007
~ Stamp: UC – Lovely Leaves 2

As I said, in the end I liked how things came out. I will want to wear a mask or be sitting near something sweet-smelling before I use this ink polish again (it scared my dog out of the room when I was working with it) and plan to add acetone to tone things down (hah!) for whatever design I pick. That said, the end result was really quite cool! If you want to test this ink out for yourself, it is $5.29 here <> at the born pretty store. Enjoy!

Inky Flourishes

This may be my favorite alcohol ink nail art that I have ever done. Usually I find that alcohol inks are stinky and flood everywhere, but this set did not smell too badly and actually behaved on the nail! It helps that they were also fairly easy to clean with 100% acetone (although I worked very hard to keep the blue from flooding my cuticles as a precaution).

I started with a white base, which I top coated and then matted. I next dabbed on the blue ink in a random pattern around the middle of each nail, followed by the pink/red ink around the blue. I then went back in with the pink and the blue to deepen some sections. Overall they behaved nicely, and the end result was stunning! I thought it was a little dull, but when I added top coat the whole thing really popped (which is what happens with a matte finish, go figure!). I decided that wasn’t quite interesting enough, so I went and added a white stamp and some gold dots to finish the design. The end result is very pretty and deceptively simple!

~ White: Sinful Colors – Snow me White
~ Pink alcohol ink: Born Pretty Watercolor – 005
~ Blue alcohol ink: Born Pretty Watercolor – 008
~ Gold: Essie – Good as Gold
~ Stamp: Born Pretty – Decoration L005

Almost everything in this manicure is from the Born Pretty Store: both the ink polishes (which as I said, were actually excellent) and the stamp (which is very pretty!). The ink polishes are selling for $5.29 while the stamp is $4.99. Hope you enjoyed!

Brocade Clasps

Season 2 of Bridgerton (which, to be fair, came out months ago) was inspiring. All the fantastic gowns, crazy hair, and of course mooning actors and actresses with posh accents. I loved it. And I adored all the purple. I kinda just went nuts and created a series of nails with gold-on-purple brocade patterns with gold lines and copper buckles that reminded me of the outfits the characters would wear. I am very happy with how this came out, and it certainly fits “pattern” day in the 31 day challenge!

The base is three thin coats of one of my new-ish Greek polishes, #68 by Alpha Beauty. All of the rest of the writing on the bottle is in Greek, so that’s all I’ve got, but I cannot find the brand online! In the bottle it is a STUNNING deep neon purple; on the nail it is a bit more of a subdued dark purple. Still very pretty, but without the same punch. I want to try it over white (as befits a neon polish) next time, and see what that gets me. It did go on very smooth!

~ Purple: Alpha Beauty – #68
~ Gold: Essie – Good as Gold
~ Stamps: BM – XL158, JQ – L20

For something with so short a color list, I have to say this manicure makes me smile. Even if the neon aspect does not come out as well in the photos (as always happens with purples). Anyway, I hope you enjoyed!

Glitter Galaxy

There is a LOT going on in this manicure. Stars, planets, reflective glitter, galaxies…and it looks pretty awesome despite how busy it is! I created this manicure because I was sent a reflective silver glitter polish (or topper…which is how I used it) from the Born Pretty Store to review. Now, I have a secret: I do not understand the recent obsession with reflective glitters in nail polish. They are hard to apply, very hard to remove, add an almost textured finish to the nail without 2 coats of top coat (making it even harder to remove) and honestly do not seem to do much. Sure, if you shine a flashlight directly at them or wiggle your hands out in the sun, you get some extra sparkle. But not much over what you see with regular glitter? And with the added difficulty of removal, I have never gotten it.

Even with how cool this nail art looks, I still don’t get it. The silver glitter polish went on well and is very reflective. It was still a bit of a pain to remove. And if I personally had to pick, I would still reach for my scattered holo top coat instead of this to make some stars. However, if you want a nice, inexpensive, silvery reflective glitter, you can buy Broken Glass from the Born Pretty Store here for $5.59.

~ Blue metallic: Zoya – Ibiza
~ Silver glitter: Born Pretty – Reflective Glitter DM-001 Broken Glass
~ Orange/yellow multichrome: POP Polish – Slick Days of Summer
~ White: Sinful Colors – Snow me White
~ Stamps: BM – XL213

Today is also, of course, galaxy day in the 31 day challenge. Even if this isn’t one of my typical galaxies (with many colors) I figure the sheer sparkle makes up for it. Hope you enjoyed!


Welcome to day 5 of the 31 day challenge: blue! I knew as soon as I got this base polish that I needed to create some type of underwater scene with it, but I could not come up with one that I wanted to paint! And then I was watching My Octopus Teacher and saw the scene with the tiny jellyfish…voila. So then I had to hunt down how people jellyfished their nails…and the answer appears to be with acrylic paint. Well I only use polish, so we went on an adventure! This ended up with white polish, me trying to feather white polish, and then using a slightly less opaque grey to blend things.

The base color here is one of the white-glitter-jellies by Emily de Molly. I adore this whole collection. This one is a bit cuticle staining (which is not surprising given the color) but (like all the others), removes fairly easily despite the heavy glitter burden. What you see here are two coats of Mantra, I think I added a third coat on one nail because the glitter distribution ended up wonky (1/5, not bad).

~ Teal glitter: Emily de Molly – Mantra
~ White: Sinful Colors – Snow me White
~ Grey: Zoya – Dove

I refuse to admit how long these nails took me to freehand, but I think the end was worth it. They look really cool and the base really does work as both bubbles and ocean. Hope you enjoyed!

Native Designs

I spent some time searching for a pretty turquoise ring, and was re-inspired to to Native American-themed patterns in black, blue, and gold. So here we are! I am actually pretty happy with this for many reasons, but the primary reason is that the stamping here is not the black, but the BLUE. I do love actual stamping polish, even if I am seldom willing to pay for it! Honestly I feel like I should get a rainbow set so I stop having to only really stamp with black, white, silver, or gold.

~ Black holo: ILNP – Black Magic
~ Blue stamping: Emily de Molly – Light Aqua
~ Gold: Salon Perfect – Gold Leaf
~ Stamp: Whats up Nails – B039

I now own exactly 3 stamping polishes intended for the purpose of stamping, and this is the only one that isn’t from Born Pretty (they do work, they are just tiny bottles). I don’t know if Emily de Molly has any more stamping polishes, but I would not hesitate to buy them given how well Light Aqua worked out! I have started making purple polish by combing my Born Pretty pinks with this blue, and it works very well! Anyway, hope you enjoyed my aside and the nail art!

Sunflowers and Tiny Dots

Sorry for taking a multi-week break, I am still here! Life got the better of me (hopefully only briefly), so I return to posting for now. Anyway, today’s manicure is particularly cute! There are really only two things you can do to display yellow polish (since I really don’t like the color yellow) and that is bees and sunflowers. I have an idea to use bees in the future, so to demonstrate this new polish I went with sunflowers!


~ Yellow: GT – 435
~ Green: Zoya – Shawn
~ Dark green: Sinful Colors – Last Chance
~ Light brown: Zoya – Flynn
~ Brown: Zoya – Dea
~ Dark brown: Zoya – Louise
~ Stamp: Nicole Diary – L21

The yellow color here is three thick coats of #435 by GT. This is another Greek polish from my visit to Athens, and is fantastic yellow near-neon. The problem with this polish it is also a near-jelly which makes it a bit annoying to work with. It took at least 3 coats, sometimes thick ones, and on one nail 4 coats, to really appear opaque. However, it is not actually thin enough to be a jelly polish! So while I enjoy it, it will have somewhat limited uses unfortunately. In order to make the flowers visible on my dark nails, I covered the yellow areas with white polish after I applied the yellow. It works, but it isn’t elegant. The polish is a bit brighter than my go-to yellow, but it will not replace the opacity and ease of use of the Israeli polish (WOW #301). Hope you enjoyed!

Another Tropical Sunset

I am not even sure how many tropical sunset nails I have done at this point. 5? Maybe 6? Here is another one :-). I wanted to show off another yellow polishes, but as I stated, I hate yellow so it needed to be buried with other polishes. A yellow-orange-pink-purple gradient seemed appropriate, so here we are! Unfortunately (hah) most of the yellow got buried in the rest of the gradient, but the nail art looks good so thats fine :-p

This is another polish that I got when I visited Greece. The brand is listed as “Toyoko”, but the label is in Greek and the bottle is a mini….so I have no name for the polish at all and no real way to look it up! Oh well. It is a pretty pale yellow that covered well in two coats, so other than not having enough of it (the bottle is only 9mL) I am quite happy!

~ Yellow: Toyoko
~ Orange: KBShimmer – Papaya Don’t Preach
~ Pink: Revlon – Bubbly
~ Purple: Zoya – Danielle
~ Teal jelly: Zoya – Frida
~ Holo glitter: China Glaze – Fairy Dust
~ Black: Sinful Colors – Black on Black
~ White: Sinful Colors – Snow me White
~ Stamps: Maniology – M035, Moyra – 106 Picturesque

The design that inspired these less-than-perfect tropical nails was by @nailsmyth, who it appears used the same purple for her background palm trees as her gradient, which is what I tried to do. I have to say, Danielle stamped surprisingly well! When I was done with the stamps and the clouds, you still could not tell that the base of the gradient was supposed to be water reflecting sunlight…so I added a bit of teal jelly to the water area. It worked out ok, but overall this manicure just looks a bit too busy. Hope you enjoyed anyway!

Fluorescence Microscopy

I have been wanting to make this manicure ever since I saw this polish up for sale in the same month as this stamping plate. Both are from Polish Pickup and can no longer be purchased (which is a shame for both, but being honest, mostly this stamping plate because it is beyond amazing and might be my favorite plate of all right now, its called For the Love of Science by Hit the Bottle). Anyway. The plate is a super-science-nerd plate that includes things like pi, neurons, brains, test tubes, cells (obviously) and other wonderful things.

The base color is this super fun neon green crelly with small and medium red glitter and red-gold shifting flakies. It looks like mad science in a bottle, and is called I Am the Danger by Cadillacquer. This is three thin coats for extra squishiness (and to cover my nail line). I am happy.

Honestly just looking at this manicure still makes me smile, because the little red dots in a green background with black squiggles all around looks like GFP and RFP tagged cells under a fluorescence microscope. That was the entire point. And I think it worked! Now if only my science would work out as well as these nails….

Anyway, thats all for today, and for the brief triple set of science nails! Hope you enjoyed the interlude.

a london year

[or more accurately: the london years]

Break rules, not nails

It's all about nail polish, colour and art.

Elektra Deluxe

Viennese nail polish chronicles

K's NailArt

Art is everywhere, even on your fingertips!

Le blog

Nail art

More Nail Polish

Creative musings in bright colors

les ongles de Lucie

de la couleur, un petit peu d'idée, et hop!


NPA en herbe, collectionne les couleurs en flacons.