Creative musings in bright colors

Posts tagged ‘review’

Antique Flowers

I’ve been debating for a few days how I wanted to wear the water decals that I got to review from the Born Pretty Store…did I just do one accent nail? Did I do two nails? Top of my nails like a french tip? Triangles? I settled on a double accent because those can be fun, and then was faced with what to do with the other nails!

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I ended up using a deep red with gold glitter polish, but a deep green creme was a close second. The only grey-red that I have would have been too painful to clean so I vetoed it (why are dark blues and reds so darn hard to get out of cuticles?).

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I really like how these came out! Unlike most water decals, these floral ones are both very well printed (which is to say you can’t see the individual dots of color like you can on most, these look smooth) and come with a white or pale colored backing behind each part of the design. Frequently, the entire background is clear (so you have to put the decals over white to get the correct colors) or the background is colored so it can go over any color…these are cool because the leaves and flowers have their own printed background but the base color shows through everywhere else!

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Colors
~ Nude: Essence – I Nude It
~ Red: Zoya – India

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This was a super quick mani, and looks rather classy if I do say so myself! Although, oddly, I like it better on my nails with curved edges than the straight edges! I’ve always been a diehard straight-nail-edge fan (and I still am…I broke one of my nails on an awkward angle so I just rounded that hand), but for some reason this one just works on the oval nails! I’m likely to cut them all straight again very soon, but it makes for a fun contrast right now! If you want to get these decals for yourself, head over to the Born Pretty Store, they are currently on sale for $0.99! Hope you enjoyed!

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Hilariously, I had a day of work today and without the stress of having to go into the hospital I forgot to post this until now! Whoops 😀

Summer Down the Shore – Philly Loves Lacquer

I have the distinct honor today of showing you 4 polishes from Philly Loves Lacquer‘s Summer Down the Shore collection! There are two wonderful things about this collection before I even get to the polish… (1) it’s local! It’s actually made in Philly! (2) It is inspired by the beach, specifically the Jersey Shore. I love the beach. In fact, I was AT the beach (…the Jersey Shore in fact) this past weekend, so I took the opportunity to take some live-action shots of these beauties!

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The Down the Shore collection consists of 8 polishes. I have 4 of them for your viewing pleasure! And in case you were curious, these photos are taken from Vetnor, looking over at Atlantic City. All polish is shown over Philly Loves Lacquer’s base coat, with corresponding top coat where noted (review of those two coming when I have had a chance to wear them longer!)

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Wildwoods by the Sea – “Dark sea foam scattered holo”
This is my favorite from the collection. Of course, I am a sucker for teals…and this is just a stunning polish. The scattered holo looks more like beautiful subtle silver shimmer to me, but it did give rainbow glints in direct sunlight. Two coats shown here without top coat. It dries to a semi-matte finish.

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With top coat, the polish is wonderfully shiny! To my eyes, the teal became a bit brighter. Regardless, this polish dries incredibly fast.

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I should note, this polish is best used quickly. It dries fast, so if you try to work it around your nail slowly, it will clump. I found it went on beautifully with two fast thin coats, but if you like to paint slooooowly, this might be difficult. It was very easy to control, and the polish brush is short and perfectly sized. Seriously, I love the brush that came with this polish! Perfect ratio of flexibility to hardness. When I use up the polish, I am keeping the bottle just to have the brush.

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On The Way To Cape May – “Bright strawberry jelly with red and silver shimmer”
I was surprised by how much I liked this polish. I’m not usually a fan of jellies, and I own too many red polishes already. That being said, this polish managed to be both unique and fun!

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This polish took 4 coats to cover my nail line. Keep in mind that my nails are very long, and that this is a true jelly. However, I was using very thin coats and the dry time was incredibly fast (as soon as I finished the hand I could go back and paint the next coat). Thus, given the fast dry time, I didn’t actually spend any longer putting down polish than I usually do! The fun part about this (to me) is going to be using it for art. Which I did. And you shall see in early June what wonderful things can be done with a red glitter jelly!

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Love Those Wildwood Days – “Sky blue scattered holo”
Beautiful color. Truly a sky blue, with subtle holo shimmer (mostly looks like silver shimmer). Two easy coats, same application as Wildwoods by the Sea.

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Dried quickly, easy to work with. Love. If you don’t already own a sky blue polish with glittery bits, this is a good one to pick!

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Watch The Tram Car Please – “Bright yellow cruelly with mix of matte blue and neon blue glitters”
This polish. What to say. It went on easily, and I did not have to fish for glitters (even the stars came out evenly). I spotted hexes, stars, shards, bar, and just random glittery goodness. I like the combination of neon yellow + teal blue. Unfortunately, I do not like yellow…so this polish just isn’t quite my thing.

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Shown here is three coats (which you need to cover the nail line). With one coat of top coat, the polish was still slightly bumpy. Not enough to be annoying, but if you are a fan of completely smooth nails, you will need two coats of top coat.

This collection goes on sale in June! So head over to Philly Loves Lacquer if you are interested. To see other blogger swatches (and the four remaining polishes in the collection) check out the PLL Facebook page.

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My advice: get Wildwoods by the Sea, it is BEAUTIFUL. Love Those Wildwood Days is a great polish if you don’t own a sky blue with glitter (especially given the fast dry time), and On The Way To Cape May is just a fantastically fun polish although it does take 4 coats.

*Polishes sent for review, all opinions are my own

Sheeeeeep!

Today, we have the second of the new polishes from Paint Shop Polish: Bennett Witch*! Now, before I rush into this, I need to clarify that I LOVE GREEN GLITTER JELLIES. You have been warned. I also love cute things. Like sheep.

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Bennett Witch is a new limited edition polish from the Vampire Diaries collection. It is a mix of various shades and sizes of green glitter, suspended in a blue-green base. I played with this polish on a swatch wheel before realized that it would take 3+ layers to be opaque on its own, and that I actually wanted to use it over a light yellow-green color rather than trying to tone match with a dark green. What you see here is three thin coats of Bennett Witch over one coat of The More The Merrier by essie.

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This polish is awesome. It went on really nicely, and I got great jelly and glitter coverage. I worked with thin coats to avoid dragging, but I didn’t need to worry! That being said, I didn’t try fishing for glitter in this polish, and as a result did not pull out any large green squares that were floating around. They made it onto the brush once or twice, but never out of the bottle. I don’t feel bad, I really like the green hexes in squishy jelly! As with Wolf Boy, Bennett Witch only needed one coat of top coat to lie smooth. The glitters in this polish are light, medium, and dark green hexes of various sizes, a few bar glitters, and a smattering of green squares. Depending on what color you layer this over, I bet you could accent either the lighter or darker glitters!

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I decided (since it is spring) to accent this with some sheep-based nail art! My little barn now consists of 4 white sheep and one grey sheep. They are so cute!

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Colors:

  • Bright green (base): Essie – The More The Merrier
  • Green glitter: Paint Shop Polish – Bennett Witch
  • White: Zoya – Purity
  • Grey: WOW – #333
  • Pink: Sinful Colors – Pink Forever
  • Black: Sinful Colors – Black on Black
  • Top coat: Glisten & Glow – HK Girl

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You can find Bennett Witch for $4 or $8 in the Paint Shop Polish etsy site. Go check it out! Especially if you like green 🙂

*Polish sent for review, All opinions are my own.

Golden Window into Chaos

Today, for your viewing joy, I have a new polish from Paint Shop Polish called Wolf Boy*. It is from her upcoming collection, Vampire Diaries. Candi (the lovely lady behind Paint Shop Polish) asked me to do some nail art with her polishes, so here we go!

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First off, Wolf Boy. This polish is a heady mixture of gold, copper, and brown glitters (bar glitter, large and small hexes, holographic moons, and best of all large golden squares!) in a clear base. I chose to layer it over a medium purple, to bring out all the colors.

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Wolf Boy went on fairly well in two coats. I did have to dig a little to get at the squares, but it was worth it! All the other glitters came out easily. The base is a bit thick, but was surprisingly easy to work with (with the dab and spread method) given the amount of glitter. The polish dried quickly, and only needed one layer of top coat to lie smooth.

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I just freehanded a V-shape into most of my nails with a sparkly border (my accent nail also got some striping tape) and decided to call it a night. The polish is so varied that adding anything else would have been insane! My boyfriend ended up grabbing my hand and staring at it when I was done, assuring me that it looked like a “golden widow into chaos” and opening a discussion on entropy and the expanding universe. I love science (I know, not relevant!) But anyway, that is how this post got its name 🙂

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Colors

  • Purple: Zoya – Malia
  • Chunky gold glitter: Paint Shop Polish – Wolf Boy
  • Copper: Pure Ice – Magic
  • Fine gold glitter: Zoya – Faye

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Wolf Boy can be purchased from Paint Shop Polish for $4 for a mini bottle (what I have shown in the photo) or $8 for a full-size bottle. If you are in the mood for some shiny crazy fun, this is a good polish to go for! Did I mention SQUARE GLITTERS?

*Polish sent for review. All opinions are my own

Top Coat Comparison

A month or so back, I was sent a top coat to review by Glisten & Glow. After a month of use, I am finally ready to report back! The top coat is called HK Girl.

Prior to receiving this top coat, I had primarily used drugstore brand top coats, mostly Revlon and NYC. Although I liked Revlon a tad better, it was $6, versus $1 for NYC, and since I go through top coat at a prodigious rate, I figured the extra $5 was just not worth it. Then entered HK Girl.

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How it stacks up:
Dry Time – HK Girl takes ~2 minutes to be dry, and ~10 to be totally dry. Yes, I mean that. If you bump your hand into something after 2 minutes, nothing shows. You can wash dishes after 10. Holy crap. In comparison, NYC and Revlon both take 10-15 to be “dry” and more like 45 to be really dry.

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Shine – HK Girl goes on a bit thin, so you might need more coats to achieve a smooth shine if you are using glitter. I found that 3 coats of HK Girl is about equal to 2 coats of NYC. Both dry to a very high gloss.

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Wear Time, Tip Wear – On me, HK Girl has lasted up to 5 days with almost no tip wear and no chipping. Average is 3-4 days. Revlon and NYC have lasted 5-6, but they show significantly more tip wear. It’s actually interesting…HK Girl has little-to-no tip wear, but actually shrinks from the base of the nail. I get top coat and the last applied layer of color pulling up from the cuticle edge of my nail! None of my other top coats do that, they tend to pull from the free edge. This means that my nails look a bit funny, but that the polish doesn’t chip as easily and I don’t break off the top of my nail as much!

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Smudging – Like all nail artists, one of my biggest fears is smudging my art when I add top coat. Sure, you always try to float on the top coat and apply it quickly, but the truth is that fails often. Both my Revlon and to a slightly lesser extent my NYC smudged polish, especially very thin lines. HK Girl does not. I don’t know why. If you try (and yes, I did, for the sake of SCIENCE), you can make it smudge lines. But the truth is, for preserving lines without smudging them, this is the best thing I’ve tried!

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Color – HK Girl does not dull holographic polish. Yes, you read that right. It might even enhance the sparkle! Both of my other top coats tend to dull holo polish down to simply silver-ish glitter. It is so bad, that if I know I plan to wear a holo polish I will forgo top coat. HK Girl is amazing here, and I feel comfortable top coating any holographic polish now! I can’t speak to how it works over foils, because I don’t own any foil. But it works great for holo polish!

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Smell – I know, Eva, what is SMELL doing here? Well, I had to add it. The truth is, HK Girl STINKS. I don’t know why. I have a few smelly polishes, but none are quite as bad as this in terms of pure chemical scent. The smell disappears when the polish dries, but while you are using it, it really does smell funny!

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Overall: I love HK Girl, primarily for nail art and holographic polish. My current uses are over any thin polish (if I didn’t put on a bunch of layers so I don’t have to worry about pulling from the cuticle revealing a different color), over delicate nail art or stamping, over anything holo, and to dry a layer fast. What this means is that whenever I need to use striping tape or stamp, I reach for HK Girl. One coat, 5 minutes, and I am ready for the next step! SO AWESOME. However, if I want to cover glitter polish and make it lie flat, or I used many layers of polish at my cuticle edge, I reach for NYC. I am really glad I own it, and I will be buying a second bottle when this one runs out. It is invaluable for speeding up nail art time, and I love that I finally own a top coat that does not dull my holographic polishes. It is worth it for the smell!

If you want to try HK Girl by Glisten & Glow for yourself, you can pick it up from Glisten & Glow for $6.99, or Llarowe for $7.25. Happy polishing!

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