Creative musings in bright colors

Posts tagged ‘nail polish’

Top 10 Polishes of 2018

Time for a top 10 post! Every year I do two of them: my favorite 10 new polishes of that year (some of which will be new to me but have existed for a while, and this year about half of which are from the Polish Pickup Pack because that is where I keep getting new polish), and a second post that is my top 10 favorite nail art from this blog in 2018! I always look forward to other bloggers top 10s as well, so I know which polishes to buy! Here we go:

10. Zoya – Isadora
I think this is the only Zoya polish on the list, but it was close between this and Kelsey (a bright pink that I have used a bunch in nail art but only once by itself) but really I felt that I wanted to reward Zoya for making more beautiful metallics. I own a lot of purple metallics, and Isadora is just so pretty!

9. Polished for Days – From the Land of Oz
I have worn this polish probably 4 times since I got it from the Polish Pickup Pack, which given just how many polishes I own is really impressive! It is purple, blue, teal, and made of flakies, just how I like it! The colors and finish comes together nicely, and Polished for Days appears to make the best flakie suspension polishes. I think off all the new brands I discovered this year, PfD might be my favorite! I keep stalking their website waiting for a sale :-p

8. Ever After – Playing with Fire
This is another find from Polish Pickup, and it is a beauty. I wish I wasn’t stuck in residency so that I could wear this more frequently! I had been searching for a black-with-rainbows and had been disappointed in holo (because it never looks as rainbow as I’d like in a black base), glitter (too darn hard to remove), and settled on flakies…and this is just perfect. Technically the base is a very dark blue but I just cannot get over the combination of flakies. It is a perfect rainbow in a bottle.

7. Painted Polish – Just One Look
Is this prettier than #8 and #9 on my list? No. But is it cool looking AND can I wear it to the hospital? Yes. So this pale periwinkle with medium and small holo glitters takes 7th place. This is yet another Polish Pickup shade (are you guys sensing a theme here?) but I know other brands make similar colors and finishes. I happen to like it because it is a stunning color, work appropriate, and glittery to boot!

6. ILNP – Downpour
This polish. I got 4 new dark blue/teal holographic polishes this year and this one takes the cake. I have been wearing this on my toes since I got it and I regret nothing. Downpour has it all: dark blue, holo shards and glitters, and a metallic finish that makes it glow. That inner glow is really what sets it apart from the other of my new blue holos. I was on the fence when I first received it, but it has quickly grown to be the blue I reach for! The only caveat is that it takes 3 coats rather than 2.

5. ILNP – Fired Up
The next on the list is also an ILNP polish, this time Fired Up. Last year, Rosewater made my top 10, and Fired Up is the orange sister to Rosewaters pink. I love them both! This polish is just so darn glittery and shimmery, but somehow still wearable. It just makes me happy.

4. CbL – Frohe Feiertage!
If we are being honest Frohe Feiertage! and Fired Up are very similar. The difference is Frohe Feiertage! has a gold base and is a tad more subtle (aka more wearable in the hospital). I have worn this polish 3-4 times as well. It was my first (and thus far only) CbL but I can see why everyone loves the finish on these polishes! It was also a Polish Pickup buy.

3. Born Pretty – Astral Realm
I think this is the first time a Born Pretty polish has made my top 10 list? And in the top 3 at that! This is a polish I was sent to review and I fell completely in love. I have ok luck with magnetic polishes, and had been lusting after a magnetic multichrome when I got this. And it just. Works. Its amazing. Even my old many-straight-parallel-lines magnet, which usually looks like a blurry mess, worked like a charm. Yes, this polish requires a black base. Yes it is in a small bottle. No I don’t care, if all magnetics were all this pretty I would never buy anything else!

2. Emily de Molly – Traverse the Skies
I meant to put this polish on the top 10 LAST year but forgot that I hadn’t posted the nail art it went with! Regardless, this polish is absolutely stunning and has become my platonic ideal of what a shimmer with flakie shards should look like. I love it. If you don’t own this polish and like blue, purple, silver, or just pretty looking nails in general, go buy it. You won’t regret it.

1. Polished for Days – Grey Opal
This polish made #1 by dint of being stunning, elegant, work-appropriate, and easy to remove despite its flakie burden. Kudos to Polished for Days! Unfortunately this beauty was another Polish Pickup special, but PfD makes a lot of similarly finished and colored polishes on their website. This polish was opaque in two coats, had perfect control on the brush, and was just overall wonderful to work with and wear.

Thats my top 10 for the year! Moral: Polished for Days is amazing, join the Polish Pickup Pack if you haven’t already, and I am really into nude shimmers and blurples this year! What were your favorite polishes this year that I should invest in?

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


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


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.


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!


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!

Top 10 Polishes of 2017

So, this was another difficult post to put together! I, again, bought ~50 polishes this year. There were some clear winners and losers, and a few that despite not being interesting have bottles that are almost half empty already! I tend to buy polishes that have been out for a while when my craving for them overwhelms my common sense, so most of these are not “new” this year, and a few (well, just one I think) are limited edition and cannot be purchased any longer (sorry!).

1. Eleven – Illyrian Polish
I cannot with this polish. I absolutely adore orange and red glitters in purple, and this is the first polish that I’ve owned that did it in a way which looked both elegant and fun. I don’t even care that it is top coat hungry.

2. Rosewater – ILNP
I only bought one of the silver-based shifty glitters from ILNP when they came out around a year ago, and it was Rosewater. This polish is a beautiful silver holographic glitter base with tons of pink shimmer. It looks, somehow, both delicate and blingy. I love it.

3. Shadow on the Moon – Emily de Molly
I somehow convinced myself that this polish is subtle and thus that I can wear it more frequently than the above two. I am lying to myself, but I love it so much that I cannot bring myself to care! This polish is a darkened purple-grey base with two sizes of holo glitter and pink shimmer. Actually, I am wearing this polish right now. It is really really pretty.

4. Cherish – Picture Polish
This is one of my polish bottles that is 1/2 empty already. Cherish is a slightly greyed nude/pink color with lots of holo shards (rather than just glitter). I like that the shards make the finish a bit more varied, and that this is still subtle enough to wear to work. I probably wore this on my nails for a good third of all my residency interviews! So, not super interesting, but definitely worth buying if you need subtle but want something fun still on your nails.

5. Memory Palace – Cadillacquer Polish
This is another of the sutble-yet-super-pretty family of polishes that is already half empty. Memory Palace is a teal-grey with golden flakes and subtle holo shimmer. I like that the color is both teal and grey but is pale enough to be wearable to work, but has the holo AND the gold to make it interesting! It also matches my hospital scrubs suspiciously well.

6. Million Dollar Dream – F.U.N. Lacquer
I bought two crazy holographic glitterbombs buy F.U.N., Million Dollar Dream (the gold) and 24 Karat Diamond (silver), but I’ve always liked gold polish better than silver polish for some reason, so I selected the gold to put on my top 10! Both of these polishes are crazy glittery nuts, and make me happy…although removal is a pain in the butt! Worth it.

7. Not Your Average Seahorse – Blush Lacquers
This is the polish that I know is no longer available, as it was part of the Polish Pickup Pack options from October! This polish is absolutely beautiful and colorful with a combination of holographic, multichrome, and shimmer. I think the trend this year is that I really like shimmer in my polish!

8. Pending Perfection – Emily de Molly
Another color with pink shimmer! Oh my gosh. Pending Perfection is a bright teal blue with the most amazing pink shimmer. It combines my favorite things: neon polish and shimmer. he polish is a little thick, but still easy to use. Whenever I want to use a super bright polish, this is where I turn!

9. Dove – Zoya
This is the first of the creme polishes on this list, and is also already half empty. Dove is by no means a new polish, but I had been searing for a good medium grey, and found it! It is a great two-coat polish. Nothing super fancy, but if you need a grey (like I did), Dove is a great pick!

10. Playing Koi – Essie
The last of the creme polishes to make my top 10 is this dark burnt orange by essie. This is, unfortunately, not the best photo of this polish but oh well. I have a hard time convincing myself to buy oranges since I wear them so infrequently, but somehow ended up with 3 new ones this year! Of those three, this is by far my favorite. The polish only takes two thin coats, maybe only one if I was more careful, and is such an interesting color that it makes the list.

Honorable Mentions:

11. Crown of Thistles – A England
This polish simply glows. I own a number of purple holographic polishes, and this one really stands out for the care that Adina put into the color. It is basically a one-coater. I haven’t worn it as much as I should because I’ve been stuck wearing such boring polishes the last few months with interviews, but it is one that I am most looking forward to playing with this year!

12. Cheers to the Holidays (H) – F.U.N. Lacquer
Hilariously, this was the polish that convinced me to place an order for F.U.N. Lacquer polish when they went on sale, since I had seen soo many stunning photos of this multichrome with glitter and holo. In real life, the polish is quite pretty but not nearly as fantastic at the pictures would have me believe! Mostly because the multichrome is harder to see with all the glitter. I still love this polish and I am glad I bought it, and of the 7 (I think) multichromes that I bought this year, this was my favorite. That said, all of the above polishes were better! But, if you want something with a bit of wow and a cute name, here you go.

Hope you enjoyed! I can’t wait to search everyone else’s blogs and see what polishes I missed this year that I just need to pick up!

Polish Color Buttons

Since this is about polish but is not nail art (nor are any nails featured) I figured I should post this on a weekend! Last time the Born Pretty Store sent me items to review, they also threw in some polish buttons. Now, I’ve never needed to label the top of my polish bottles with paint since they are all nicely displayed (on spice racks from Ikea) and have swatches hanging on the wall…but multichromes can be difficult. Looking at the bottle will not always tell you which shift you actually will see on the nail, and swatch sticks do not at ALL capture the colors! So…I decided to try painting mutlichromes onto the color buttons to see if it would help.


Low and behold, it actually did! You can actually get a pretty good idea of the primary and secondary shift colors, as well as the holo burden in each polish.


As to the color buttons themselves, you have to paint them before putting them on the cap (obviously) but painting them in the sheet the were sent in leaves the sides bare. SO you either need to do a last swipe around the edge to get rid of white space or deal with it. The design isn’t perfect. That said, the buttons are SUPER sticky and are perfectly sized.


I don’t know that I would go out of my way to buy these, but I have enough from just one sheet to show off all my multichrome polishes with around half the available buttons left. If you like this idea, you can find them for $1.99 for a sheet of 25 buttons at the Born Pretty Store!

Top 10 Polishes of 2016

Hello! I was looking through my stats for this past year trying to figure out what I wanted to post for my top nail art…and it looks like fewer and fewer people are actually reading this. I don’t know if that’s due to people using RSS feeds of various types (I like the bloglovin’ layout better than wordpress) but still. Sad! Doesn’t mean I’m going to stop blogging though. Even if two of my favorite bloggers just left 😦

ANYWAY favorite polishes. I got ~50 new polishes this year, so I don’t actually have that many to choose from…but this was pretty easy. Most of them jumped out at me. One polish that made the top 10 I forgot to actually show you guys (ooooops) so I’ll be on next years top 10 I guess! That being said, if you want to get it now while it is still around, for honorable mention (aka I haven’t edited the photos yet but its a great polish) go look at Shadow on the Moon by Emily de Molly.

Top 10 Polishes of 2016 (many actually released in 2015)

1) Enchanted Polish – Congratulations…I think this is self explanatory


2) Emily de Molly – Crystal Crown…probably one of my most-worn polishes this year. It is great for work, elegant occasions, and just generally awesome. It is also super pretty.

3) Bow Polish – Thermal Top Coat (black)…also for obvious reasons. I can see this featuring a LOT in my nail art in the future!

4) ILNP – Clockwork…this is almost a cop-out since I put Fame on last years top 10, but I really REALLY love these polishes, and Clockwork is stunning!

5) Emily de Molly – Open Season…this is the only glitterbomb (well, with larger glitters) on this years list. I got fewer of this type of polish this year, but of the ones I bought this was hands-down my favorite. It is rich and stunning.

6) A England – Briarwood…I more than doubled my A England stash this year, and of the 5 new polishes I got, this was the coolest. I don’t usually go for browns, but the rich shimmer and the holo finish made this easily one of my favorite new acquisitions this year!

7) Cupcake Polish – Berry Good Looking…this is almost cheating. Last year, almost every top 10 list I saw contained this polish, and I decided that if that many people loved it, then I needed to get it. I am so glad I did. I don’t own anything that is this ridiculously color saturated and holographic. It is awesome.

8) Nails Inc – Regents Place…the only creme on the list this year is NOT a Zoya polish! Most of my Zoyas were bought over the black Friday sale and I haven’t worn most of them…but even so I have not been stunned by their color choices this year. I got this particular polish on the clearance rack at ULTA and the color is just perfect!

9) Emily de Molly – Stockpile…I might have a problem with how many Emily de Molly polishes I buy. Seriously. This is the third one on this list! Although that’s mostly Hayley’s fault for making perfect polishes. This is basically Crystal Crown’s grown up older sister. I love it but it is NOT subtle!

10) Powder Perfect – Microcosm…this polish has been sadly discontinued, but it was great while it lasted! I had trouble describing it when I first saw it, and this hasn’t changed. This polish is mind-blowingly complicated, and not for the faint of heart. I don’t own anything else like it, and it should be overly complicated but somehow works. It makes my top 10 for this year!

And that’s all! What have I missed? Any new polishes this past year that I absolutely need to buy?

Top 10 Polishes of 2014

So, I have put together another top 10 list! These are polishes that I got my hands on this year (which is to say some of them are older) which I absolutely adore. I think all of them can still be found SOMEWHERE at least! Most of them are complicated polishes (glitters, crazy finishes, that kinda thing) because very few simple colors are awesome enough to make this list. There are two honorable mentions though, just because I used them so darn much!

Honorable 1: Essie – Penny Talk. This pink-gold metallic polish has been my go-to gold for a while, and I love it.

Honorable 2: Color Club – Harp on It. While this did not make my top 10, everyone who has ever come over to play with nail polish has wanted to use it, and that makes it special :-p

THE TOP 10 OF 2014 (according to flightofwhimsy): If you click on the name of the polish, it will link you back to the post where I reviewed the polish. All of these are easy to work with and I love them!

#10: Mentality – Detonate


#9: Sally Hansen – Liquid Gold (I know this polish shows all your nails flaws, but I just can’t get over how awesome it is. I have used it for nail art repeatedly as well)


#8: Femme Fatale – Mr. Pinchy (the only holo to make the list)


#7: Mentality – Pozzolana (the only matte on the list)


#6: Cult Nails – In a Trance


#5: piCture pOlish – Aurora



#4: ILNP – Masquerade


#3: Zoya – Chantal (the only creme on the list)


#2: KBShimmer – Green Hex and Glam


#1: Emily de Molly – Turbulence (seriously, just give Llarowe your money and buy this polish)


So yes…dense on the glitterbombs. And I love it!

Holiday Giveaway!

Hello readers! In addition to partaking in the Keeping it Festive Holiday Giveaway, I am having my own little giveaway! Well, I will be having three of them. This is the first!


You have one week to fill out the rafflecopter (below). All that is required is your email and to follow me on Facebook (sorry, no exceptions) with bonus points for wordpress or bloglovin, and for tweeting! US entries only (sorry international followers!!)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

The prizes are Wonderous Star from the OPI Mariah Carey Holiday collection, Black Chrome by Nubar, and a Sally Hansen nail art pen in white.

Enjoy! And don’t forget to enter the other giveaway as well 🙂


Hi readers! I know it’s 1am (at least on the eastern coast of the USA) but I thought this deserved a heads up.

Want a $0.50 bottle of Zoya nail polish? (Retails $8). Go to and Add to bag any random spoon. Then click on nail polish and choose a color you like and add it to the bag. At check out Use the special code: ZOYATREAT and woo free polish, just pay for the spoon. Shipping is also free. Not a bad deal!

SO MANY COLORS! Between this, the 6-for-$22 with the Team Spirit and today’s buy-one-get-one halloween special I think I just got 9 new Zoyas. NO MORE POLISHES in November. But wheee colors!

/nail polish rave


I promised over a month ago, when I hit 100 followers, that I would do a giveaway. I now I not only have over 150 followers (between bloglovin and wordpress), I also celebrated my 1 year blogiversary yesterday, and it is high time I give out some free nail polish!


Unfortunately, this giveaway is only open to US residents, as I am a grad student and don’t have the funds to pay for overseas shipping. I’m sorry!!

This is the first of two giveaways (the second will begin right after this one ends in two weeks). It is a simple rafflecoper-based giveaway. You just need to give me your email address, like me on Facebook, and follow me via bloglovin or wordpress. There are no extra rewards for sharing this, because I want to give polish to people who have been following me, commenting on my posts, and offering me feedback…rather than to the general nail art world. Thank you guys for making all this polish craziness worth it!


The prize is 9 nail polishes! All were purchased by me, and have never been used. From the top row down:

  • Revlon – Allure
  • Julep – Zoe
  • Julie G – Sugar Rush (textured polish)
  • Julie G – Crushed Candy (textured polish)
  • Nabi Holographic – Mocha
  • Maybelline – Coral Crush
  • Sinful Colors – Dream On (neon matte)
  • Julep – Trina
  • Petites Color Fever – Secret

All of these are pinks/reds/purple because the prize for the second giveaway are the blues/green!




I can’t embed the rafflecopter (darn wordpress), so please click the link below, and good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Cacophony of Color: Red

Ladies, and whatever odd gentleman has somehow managed to stubble on this blog (sorry!), today, for the first time in months, you get to see BOTH my hands! A friend of mine is getting married shortly, and I am going to be doing all the bridesmaids nails. The dress is red…so I decided to test out all of my red polishes and see which matched. (This not a nail art post…but I thought it was worthy of posting. If you want nail art, check back every day in September! I’ll be taking part in Chalkboard Nail’s 31-day challenge)



As it turns out, I have exactly 10 red polishes (go figure) and I might as well do a comparison post!


Out of all 10 polishes, I only have one dupe, or near dupe. My left hand has the metallics and lighter reds, while my right hand was given the glitters and darker reds.


Honestly, Isla and Forever Festive are almost identical. Forever Festive is slightly darker (or more blackened), but I certainly don’t need both polishes! Oops. I just love deep red glowing polish!


I don’t yet know what the verdict is on which color I should paint all the nails, but I will say that I love my reds! I think Blaze remains my favorite, but some of these are just beautiful. Any favorite reds out there?


If you like this type of post let me know…I have enough purples, teals, light blues….and I dunno probably golds to do a similar comparison. Happy weekend!

Old Swatch Spam: Part 2

Sorry for oddly timed posts! I am currently at the beach with a bunch of my college friends…and am very very sunburnt (it turns out sunscreen expires). Anyway, only one post this weekend. If all goes according to plan, nail art should resume on Monday!


This is the second (and last) day of swatches-only, to clear out my swatching folder! Please pardon the state of my nails in most of these. I was (and am) still learning!

Zoya Valerie is a beautiful blackened purple with pink and purple glitter. The glitter occasionally flashes copper and gold, but mostly only in the bottle. This is a spectacular color, and one of my favorite Zoyas to date. Shown here is two coats, no top coat. To see the art I did with this polish, please look here.

Figi by Petites Color Fever is a beautiful teal metallic, which is opaque in one coat (yes, one). I love working with this polish! It also marbles wonderfully. My accent nail is two coats of Let’s Talk by Sinful Colors, a really cool blurple that the camera refuses to color correctly. I made a lava lamp mani with these two, which can be found here.

I Need a Refresh Mint by Wet n’ Wild is a dupe of For Audrey by China Glaze, and is under $2! However, they recently changed the color from this beautiful teal to a much more blue version, and are selling it under the same name. I Need A Refresh Mint is opaque in two coats, and has a wide but surprisingly easy to use brush. My accent nail is two coats of Electric by Revlon. Hint: do NOT try to do nail art with a Revlon FastDry polish. They really do dry too fast for taping!

Fresh Teal by Milani is a beautiful deep blue polish which leans a big green. In the bottle it looks very green (a true teal) but it comes out much more blue on the actual nails! For some reason, despite being a creme, this polish accented all of the ridges in my nails. But I still love the color! I used it in some Hanukkah-inspired nail art back in December.

Last but not least, we have Excalibur by A England. This is the old formulation, a beautiful silver metallic that I have used so much in nail art that the bottle is half empty! It is opaque in one thicker or two thin coats and drys remarkably fast. This is my go-to silver for…everything. This was my base for dragon scale nail art.

Old Swatch Spam: Part 1

In preparation for the 31 day OMD Challenge that I’ll be (trying) to participate in during July, I am emptying out my (really really old) swatch bin, and saving my recent nail art for the challenge! Many of these are from months ago…the oldest dates back to December 2012. It is comforting to see how far my cuticle have come in a few short months, if nothing else!

This is a combination of two Milani 3D holographic polishes, Digital (pink) and Hi Res (purple). Both took 3 thin coats to be opaque, and are beautifully sparkly in the sun! See the full mani (with nail art) here.

Next up is a quickly drying peachy-pink, with a pretty silver shimmer to it. I don’t usually like pink polishes on their own, but this one is somehow special. This is two thin coats of Revlon Poppy. For the full mani, see this post!

This is one of the oldest from my unshown…from nail art I did in December! It was my first attempt with striping tape. Regardless, the two colors used here are City Color – Red (probably still my favorite red polish other than Zoya Blaze), and Last Chance by Sinful Colors. Two coats of each, and both went on beautifully…as evidenced by the fact that they somehow look good and I was still learning how to paint nails!

Masquerade by Confetti is a deep brownish red with beautiful red shimmer. I’d almost call in wine-like. In indirect light, it almost looks black, but when it is hit by light, the red glow comes out. Shown here are two coats of Masquerade, with two coats of Maybelline – Bold Gold on my accent nail. To see the nail art, please look here.

Rounding out my reds/pinks/nudes is one of my only nude polishes, Private Viewing by Wet n’ Wild. It matches my skin tone almost exactly, and thus looks very strange! I only wore it in a fully mani once, and it has since been relegated to the nail art-only pile. This is three rather gloopy coats (I was too impatient to wait for them to dry). The polish has a subtle shimmer that you can’t tell in the bottle! But it makes the polish a bit more interesting than a simple nude creme.

I’ll post some nail art tomorrow!

Zoya Sale!

Just a tiny quick update…Zoya has having a sale from now till the 16th, buy one-get-one for their older summer shades.

Basically, pick any 2, 4, 6….you get it…shades from the list here and add it to your cart. At check-out, put in “FLOGO” and a 50% reduction will be taken! Free shipping if you get more than 8 total polishes.

Now I just need to stop myself from buying Pippa and Ivanka… (I already have Wednesday and Alegra, and love both of them)!

(also, if you use my link to buy stuff, I get points. So if you are new to Zoya, please use my link! I LOVE their nail polish!)

Essie – Summer 2013 Collection


**these products were provided as part of a promotional gift. All thoughts are my own**

Essie’s summer 2013 collection is an odd assortment of pale colors and neons. There are six colors in total, 5 of which are shimmers and one of which is a creme (the bright green, The More The Merrier). I have never used an Essie polish before (the $8 price tag was too steep and they never seem to be on sale), but the polish is wonderful. Unless otherwise noted, my swatches each show three thin coats, no top coat. All the polishes were wonderfully self-leveling.


Full Steam Ahead – light purple shimmer

This polish only needed two coats and dried very quickly. There is a subtle blue/silver shimmer in the polish, but it is hard to find unless you are looking for it! Please ignore the color of my fingers, I tried to color correct to the polish.


Full Steam Ahead is a pale purple but blue leaning polish.


The More The Merrier – neon green creme

This polish took three thin coats, but dried very fast. I did not use a white base, this is the color on its own! It dries brighter than it appears in the bottle, and is slightly yellow-leaning.


I’m usually a dark colors type of person, and this was a surprise favorite for me. It might be my favorite in the collection! It didn’t give me lobster hands, and really just looked fun. I thought it would be relegated to the nail-art-only nail polish section, but I think I might be using this as a base for art rather than just leaves!



Sunday Funday – bright coral polish with shimmer

This color went on beautifully, although is still a tad sheer at 3 coats. I think the color would pop more over white. The color gave my camera a lot of problems, so this is the best I can do! Its a really bright coral/pink with a lot of red in it. I don’t really know where to put it color-wise!


It’s not as orange as the pictures look, its more pink. But definitely bright!


You can see a bit of the shimmer on the nails, but its mostly hidden.

The Girls Are Out – magenta shimmer

This polish is a wonderful bright purple that leans red. The shimmer was clearly visible (the only polish in the collection where that is true), and it made this polish look a tad more interesting.


Again, three coats with no top coat. I’m not sure how much this color works with my skin (I tend to like blue-leaning purples rather than red-leaning such as this), but it is a pretty color!


Naughty Nautical – teal shimmer

I love teals. There are more blue/teal polishes in my collection than anything else (they make up close to 1/3 the total collection), so it is no surprise that I love this polish. This is only two coats.


I’m actually wearing this right now, with some art on it. It dries fast.


Naughty Nautical leans a bit more blue than most of my teal polishes.

Rock the Boat – light blue/grey shimmer

This was the problem polish. All of the other polishes in the collection went on like a dream, were the perfect thickness to stay exactly where  put them, and did not pull when I added extra layers (even if the polish wasn’t dry yet). This polish was runny, patchy, and dried slowly. I went in thinking I would love this color (it’s such a pretty periwinkle blue) but I honestly don’t know how much I’ll wear it with the application issues.


The shimmer in this was visible, it looks to me like a bluer version of Illamasqua Raindrops (I don’t own that polish). In the bottle, Rock the Boat looks blue, but on the nails it is a bit more grey.


Comparisons! I told you guys that the L’oreal summer collection is shockingly close to the Essie one. I didn’t swatch the purples (oops) but I have a comparison of the blue and the coral.


L’oreal Orange You Jealous vs Essie Sunday Funday…


Please imagine both of these polishes as more pink than red! The l’oreal is on my pinky and middle finger, and as you can see is both a creme (rather than shimmer) and much paler in color. It is a simple coral/pink creme. However, the brush is much wider than the essie brush, and left brush strokes on my nail. This is three coats of both polishes.

L’oreal Not a Cloud in Sight vs Essie Naughty Nautical


Again, the l’oreal does not have shimmer, and is a lighter color. It is also more of a sky blue than a teal.


Two coats of both. I like both colors!

My recommendations: it depends on what colors you like. I think all of the Essie’s are great except Rock the Boat. My favorite is The More The Merrier, then Naughty Nautical. I think Sunday Funday is great, but would probably look best on someone tan/darker skinned than me, while The Girls Are Out would look great on someone with less red skin (aka someone paler than me. I just can’t win!).

Ok. Too much text and too many photos. Nail art starts up again tomorrow.

Rite Aid Nail Art Kit

Hello! Just in warning, the next few posts are going to come fast and rather randomly. I want to show you (right now) what I got in the Rite Aid Nail Art Kit for finalists in the Rite Aid Nail Art Extravaganza contest (voting for the finalists begins Monday!!). I also want to swatch some of them for you, including the full Essie summer 2013 polish collection (I’ll try to swatch AND post the photos today. It might get a bit hairy, since I’ve never really done swatches of collections). At some point I’ll swatch L’oreal, although after seeing Essie its less interesting (spoiler: they are the SAME COLOR). I then want to show you art that I’ve made using the polishes I was given, including (hopefully on Monday) my finalists entry for the art competition (and then ask you guys to vote for it).

Anyway. Right now, I’d like to share with you the massive box of goodies I received from Rite Aid for being a finalist (top 20 most votes) in the nail art extravaganza!


Here is everything I received, except two “gel nail” kits (Revlon) which were just too big to fit into the picture. They are red and pink, and I have no idea what to do with them! In addition to the essie and l’oreal summer collections, I got three Julie G frosted gumdrops colors, three sinful colors (all three were Dream On…I don’t know what Sinful Colors was thinking!), two Revlons (both a shimmery pink called Allure…again, why?), a Fergie with lots of stars in it, a deep red Covergirl polish, a teal Wet n’ Wild polish, Sally Hansen base + top coat, a file, a black velvet flocking kit, a pink nail gradiation kit, gel perfect polish in nude, and three Maybellines. I was also given two white Sally Hansen nail art pens. Again, I don’t know why they were both white, but they are AWESOME.


As I mentioned, the Essie and L’oreal swatches might be a bit…redundant. I get that these are the “in” colors, but they are almost identical. Even Maybelline, who did NOT send a whole collection, sent the same darn colors! It made it difficult to create nail art. The main difference between Essie and L’oreal is that all of the L’oreal polishes are creme finish, while all of the Essie’s (except the green one) are slight shimmers. The neon green in both collections appears (at least to my eye) to be identical.


I already own the teal Wet n’ Wild I was sent (along with the frosted gumdrops), but oddly, the color was different! My old one (which I am keeping) is on the right. Its more of a creme blue with a bit of green. The newer ones is on the left. It leans much more teal/green! I didn’t swatch it (I want to use it in a giveaway, along with all of the other duplicates I was given), so I don’t know if the colors are actually as noticeably different as they are in a bottle shot.


And here are all the polishes (except the Julie G…I already put those away as I knew I wouldn’t be using them. My initial submission was almost entirely Julie G frosted gumdrop polishes, and I wanted to do something different). So, a nice assortment of brands, but a bit lacking in color!

Have any of you guys used the Revlon gel kits? I’m a bit weary of using something that is supposed to stay on for two weeks, and needs to be removed by soaking my nails in acetone for 20 minutes. That just does not seem like a good idea!



spent a lot of money on nail polish in April (although the last of the set didn’t arrive till May).


My first EVER butterLONDON polishes…one of the winter glitter collections. They were on sale for $15 for all 3! Sadly, I don’t like the purple at all, and the green/blue doesn’t stay on well. I’m going to have to re-try it. The bronze is simply stunning.


My first full set of polishes ever. I loved the two Julie G Frosted Gumdrops that I had so much, that when the whole set went on sale on groupon for $12, I had to snatch them. ❤


After the fiasco of two of the polishes exploding in glassy rage, I finally have the full set I ordered from the Zoya earth day sale! They even sent me replacement for the two blues I was going to give to my friend! I managed to get the glass off the original two, and am keeping them for myself…although I cut my finger on one, and both have a bit of wrong-color polish under the bottle cap (read: one now has green glitter while the other has a bit of gold inside the bottle. Oh well).


Finally, while in Seattle I found a Julep salon. I’ve never tried Julep polish…$14 for that little tiny tube seemed ridiculous (and still does). However, they were selling the “old bottles” (apparently the tall skinny thing is a new design) for $2 apiece, or $3 for 2. This just goes to show how much they are marking up their polish! Also, the little bottles shown here have only 0.02 oz less than the tall skinny ones. So you are basically paying $14 for a ‘mini’ polish bottle. The last bottle on the end is a mini of China Glaze Ruby Pumps, which I have wanted forever! I don’t plan on keeping all of these, at least half will be given away in my first giveaway (whenever I happen to hold it…either at 100 followers or at 1 year, who knows)


And then….my boyfriend bought me roses!! So pretty. So I’m adding a photo here for no good reason


Which of the brands are your favorite? I think I’m currently at Zoya > Julie G > butterLONDON > Julep, but it really depends on the color.

Sad Pandas

I was going to post a haul post this weekend. About my first batch of butterLONDONs and my first complete set of polishes (Julie G Frosted Gumdrops) and show you my beautiful new Zoyas….and then this happened


I could smell the polish before I opened the box, so I knew something was wrong. I thought it was just Holly…



But alas, Ziv is dead too 😦


This is Wednesday, but you can’t even tell because she’s covered in Ziv and glass shards. I’m a bit afraid to get all the glass of…and she was intended as a gift 😦


I managed to get the polishes out, but what was left was heartbreaking. Rest in pieces Ziv and Holly.


Faye somehow escaped unscathed, and maybe I can clean off Dea. But the two that I got for someone else, Yummy and Wednesday are bristling with glass. I am SO SAD!

To be fair, I ordered 8 polishes. The other two were in a separate smaller box in the main box, and they are alive, well, and not covered in polish/glass. So you guys will get to see Isla and Malia soon(ish).


This weekend, my order from A England came in…two holos and a silver! So the next few posts are going to be those beautiful colors and some art with them.

The first post is just Tristam alone, a  beautiful deep blue scattered holo. It looks like jean fabric in the dark, and then lights up in sunlight!


This is one coat (yes, ONE coat) of Tristam, no top coat.


I could not stop staring! I think I’m obsessed with holos.


You really get all the colors of the rainbow, despite the dark base.




And finally, an inside shot.

I don’t like that A Englands are so expensive…even on sale, each of these was around $8. But really, for a one-coat holo with color that I can’t find anywhere else…I’m happy 🙂

Nail art starts again tomorrow!

SC Muse Swatch

I hate posts with swatches and no nail art…but I’m behind on painting my nails! What’s on right now needs touch-ups tonight. So I apologize but here is nothing but a simple swatch.

Sinful Colors – Muse is a deep grey-purple creme that went on smooth and beautiful in two coats. It is shown here with no top coat (so you can see how shiny it is). It looks grey next to purple, but fits in better with my purples! I used it for my winter nail art back in December.




Art next time, I promise!

Holo Fail: Pre-Spring Challenge Day 13

I had a GREAT idea…do a sponging gradient between a linear holo and a scattered holo of the same color!


On went a linear holo (Nfu-Oh #65) and a scattered holo (Milani 3D Cyberspace). The plan was to make my thumb all linear and my pinky all scattered, and sponge on the scattered holo progressively more on progressive fingers (3/4 of the nail on my 4th finger, halfway on my 3rd finger, and 1/4 on my pointer).

Needless to say…it didn’t work. There is a clear difference between my pinky and the other fingers, even after the attempted sponging gradient…but not between each finger. But the colors are SO pretty that I’m showing it anyway. This is also an attempt to stop others from repeating my mistakes!

No gradient (just Nfu-Oh until my 4th finger, with Milani on my pinky):


The Nfu Oh has gotten all clumpy and gross in the 6 months since I bought it…which is very sad since it was $12! That’s over double what I have ever paid for any other polish. And it’s almost unusuable. But it is SO rainbow!



Agh ridges 😦


Gradient applied, in the darkness. You can see some of the silver and scattered effect on the 3rd and 4th fingers…but not much. What you can really see is all the gross cracks in the thumb due to Nfu Oh acting up.



The rest are once the gradient has been applied, but you can hardly tell. Oh well!



Really, I just took all these photos because I love rainbows 🙂


No top coat yet, so the rainbows are really obvious when its fuzzy! Also, here you can kinda see the gradient.


Anyone have a suggestion on how to make my Nfu-Oh useable again? Its a clumpy mess, and if I put on even one layer, it cracks in between the brush strokes. I want to save it because it is so pretty!

Luckily, I used these nails to make the waves nail art from Day 11, and the fact that the gradient didn’t work didn’t matter!

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.