Friday, December 15, 2017

Grace-full Nail Polish Santa Cutie

Like Midnight Clear, Santa Cutie was released in November this year by Australian indie polish maker Grace-full Nail Polish as part of the Vintage Christmas collection. Described as a red jelly packed with teeny super holographic gold microglitters, the base color is a soft, cool-toned medium red along the lines of amaranth with ruby aspects that is warmed by the gold holographic microglitters, adding body to the color and giving it a kind of Indian red quality. The microglitters have an dainty, twinkling prismatic sparkle in ambient light and are downright dazzling in the sun, where they blanket the polish with brilliant sparks in every color of the rainbow.

Application was a pleasure. The consistency of Santa Cutie is fluid and dense with microglitters, with a medium viscosity and a fluent, smooth, self-leveling glide over the nail, an eminently-paintable formula that is easy to manipulate with Grace-full's compact, flattened-style brush. Coverage is provided largely by the microglitters, which do a good enough job to deliver wearable opacity in one medium coat (!), although you'll want two for richest expression of color. I did my cleanup as I went along to avoid sticky microglitters and had no issues. Santa Cutie dries naturally in good time to a flat, sandy-textured finish that is mostly smoothed by a layer of glitter-smoothing or gel-effect topcoat. I added a final layer of Seche Vite for a glossy, glitter-under-glass look.

Photos show two coats of Santa Cutie over treatment and basecoat topped with a layer of Girly Bits Glitter Glaze and a layer of Seche Vite.


Grace-full Nail Polish Santa Cutie


Grace-full Nail Polish Santa Cutie


Grace-full Nail Polish Santa Cutie


Grace-full Nail Polish Santa Cutie


Grace-full Nail Polish Santa Cutie


Grace-full Nail Polish Santa Cutie


Grace-full Nail Polish Santa Cutie


Grace-full Nail Polish Santa Cutie


Grace-full Nail Polish Santa Cutie


Grace-full Nail Polish Santa Cutie


Grace-full Nail Polish Santa Cutie

I'm partial to microglitter bombs like this all year round but the irrepressible sparkle meshes especially joyfully with winter holiday preparations, I think. This polish, which my significant other persists in calling "Santa Cuticle," is just perfect for the season. The glitters are superfine, making for an easy application and a delicate but cheerful, mood-elevating twinkle, which I always appreciate.

xo,
Liz

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

KBShimmer You're Brew-tiful

You're Brew-tiful was just released at the beginning of the month by Indiana-based indie polish maker KBShimmer as part of the Winter 2017 collection. Described as a lightened brown linear holographic polish, the color is a desaturated café au lait shade, a cool, creamy pale brown heavily silvered with holographic pigment, which gives it a taupey aspect. Powerfully holographic, it displays some kind of flare even in very low light, misty arcs of pasteled, pearly prismatic hues that frame a gleaming lick of pale gold and shade to café au lait at the sidewalls of the nail. In the sun, there's a brilliant linear display in full-strength rainbow colors.

Application was great! The consistency of You're Brew-tiful is fluid, light and creamy with a medium viscosity and an effortless, silky, self-leveling slip over the nail. Pigmentation is very good, with a little bit of sheerness on the first coat building easily to evenly opaque coverage with the second. Cleanup is easy. You're Brew-tiful dries naturally in very good time to a smooth, shiny finish. Topcoat does not in any way interfere with the holographic properties of the polish.

Photos show two coats of You're Brew-tiful over KBShimmer Love You Strong Time treatment and KBShimmer Fillin' Groovy basecoat with a topcoat of Seche Vite.


KBShimmer You're Brew-tiful


KBShimmer You're Brew-tiful


KBShimmer You're Brew-tiful


KBShimmer You're Brew-tiful


KBShimmer You're Brew-tiful


KBShimmer You're Brew-tiful


KBShimmer You're Brew-tiful


KBShimmer You're Brew-tiful


KBShimmer You're Brew-tiful


KBShimmer You're Brew-tiful


KBShimmer You're Brew-tiful

This has been a collection favorite with reviewers and I can see why! The pale, creamy brown combines with the silver holographic pigment to give the polish pale gold highlights and a neutral, almost nude quality. Adorned with its pasteled prismatic colors, it has a certain softness that you don't usually think of for linear holos, a sleek, ethereal look with a refined, sophisticated quality on the nail. Extremely flattering, it's a gentler, more organic alternative to pure silver or gold holos with an abundance of holographic magic that allows it to hold its own amid brighter holiday shades. Really lovely!

love,
Liz

Sunday, December 10, 2017

ILNP Party Favor

Party Favor was just released in November this year by Nevada-based indie polish maker ILNP as part of the Holiday 2017 collection.

This is a sparkly shimmer polish with colorshifting and holographic elements in a fantastic blue tourmaline colorway, primarily a bold, vivacious, medium-dark blue-green or indicolite color that slips effortlessly through royal blue to an intense ultramarine or paraiba shade at certain angles to the light, with corner-of-your-eye hints of mallard green and purple along the way. Super showy! It has a transparent blue-green base bearing multitudinous bright metallic blue and holographic flakies, which read in variations of green, blue-green and blue depending upon viewing circumstances and give this polish an almost glittery sparkle. We're under precipitating wintry skies here again today but I expect that direct sun would add a blanket of bright prismatic sparks to the mix.

Application was a pleasure. The consistency of Party Favor is fluid, light and smooth with a medium viscosity and a fluent, self-leveling slip over the nail that was easy to manipulate with ILNP's compact, flattened-style brush. Pigmentation is sheer on the first coat but will build to a wearable opacity in two. However, I think that the addition of a third adds substantially to the depth, density and richness of the color and that's what I recommend for this polish to look its very best. Cleanup was surprisingly easy. Party Favor dries naturally in very good time to a smooth, shiny finish. Topcoat seems to accentuate the duochrome-like color shift.

Photos show three coats of Party Favor over treatment and basecoat with a topcoat of Seche Vite. Between the sparkle and the low light, it was difficult for my camera to focus and some of these are not as clear I'd like.

ILNP Party Favor

ILNP Party Favor

ILNP Party Favor

ILNP Party Favor

ILNP Party Favor

ILNP Party Favor

ILNP Party Favor

ILNP Party Favor

ILNP Party Favor

ILNP Party Favor

ILNP Party Favor

So much wow! Party Favor is an excellent name for this remarkable jewel-tone -- it has a bold, flamboyant, celebratory feel that just screams New Year's Eve to me. Represent! There's a particularly unusual range of flake size in this polish, from tiny microflake-like bits to larger, more irregular, true flakies, and their metallic nature and reflectivity add a glistening foily aspect to the look that contributes to the ornate character. Party on, Wayne!

love,
Liz

Saturday, December 9, 2017

A-England Anne Boleyn

Like Sir Loyal Heart and Katherine of Aragon, Anne Boleyn was released last month by British boutique polish maker A-England as part of the Tudoresque collection. Anne Boleyn (1501-36) was Queen of England from 1533-36 as the second wife of Henry VIII, and mother of the future Queen Elizabeth I. Henry was romancing Jane Seymour in the spring of 1536 when Anne was charged with adultery, incest and treason and found guilty. She was beheaded on 19 May 1536.

Described as a red scattered holo, I first experienced Anne Boleyn swatched next to Cirque Rioja on a swatch palette. Side by side in the sun, they are actually quite different and at the time I saw Anne Boleyn as more of a crimson. Today, heavily overcast with semi-frozen precipitation tapping on my skylight, it looks less like a crimson to me and more like a ruby. It's not quite as purple-leaning as Rioja, though, and Adina's scattered holographic treatment gives it a rich crimson flush in ambient light that creates the velvety, lit-from-within, dimensional glow that her holos are known for.

Application was fraught with swipage through no fault of the polish, which has a gorgeous formula. The consistency is fluid, light and creamy with a medium viscosity and a buttery, even, self-leveling slip over the nail. Pigmentation is excellent and will deliver wearably opaque coverage in a single coat, but I think two produces a richer, slightly deeper look. There is some pigment travel during cleanup, with a skosh of trace staining. Anne Boleyn dries naturally in very good time to a smooth, shiny finish -- not quite as flat as the first two Tudoresques I've swatched. Topcoat adds a becoming gloss and accentuates the plush, holographically-generated dimensionality of the polish beautifully.

Photos show two coats of Anne Boleyn over treatment and basecoat with a topcoat of Seche Vite.


A-England Anne Boleyn


A-England Anne Boleyn


A-England Anne Boleyn


A-England Anne Boleyn


A-England Anne Boleyn


A-England Anne Boleyn


A-England Anne Boleyn


A-England Anne Boleyn

This is a breathtakingly beautiful polish, rich and dimensional on the nail with a candlelit quality that I love. It's just what you'd expect from the brand, and if you are a fan of A-England you're gonna want this one no matter how many other deep red holos you have -- the color is unique amongst Adina's polishes.

love,
Liz

Friday, December 8, 2017

Octopus Party Nail Lacquer Swamped

Swamped was released in August 2016 by Connecticut-based indie polish maker Octopus Party Nail Lacquer (OPNL) as part of the Fall 2016 collection. This linear holographic polish is a blackened dark olive with subtle aspects of field drab. Abundant finely-milled holographic pigment gives the look a delicate graining of pinpoint prismatic motes, creates a stealthy deep bronze underlay and nuances the base color with inky hues of deep indigo and rifle green in ambient light.

Application was fantastic. The consistency of Swamped is fluid, light and very smooth with a medium viscosity and a silky, self-leveling slip over the nail, a gorgeous, eminently-paintable formula that is a pleasure to work with. Pigmentation is very good, with slightly patchiness on the first coat building easily to evenly opaque coverage with the second. There is a certain amount of built-in translucence to the formula, though, and the color will take on a very dense, midnight vibe with the addition of a third coat so depending upon the look you're going for you may want to try that. Personally, I like the greenish-brown/bronzey aspects that comes across in two coats. There's some pigment travel with cleanup, but no trace staining to speak of. Swamped dries naturally in very good time to a gorgeous, glossy finish. Topcoat does not appear to inhibit the holographic properties in any way.

Photos show two coats of Swamped over KBShimmer Love You Strong Time treatment and KBShimmer Fillin' Groovy basecoat with a topcoat of Seche Vite. The polish appears way more black here than it does in person, where olive features more prominently in its coloring.


Octopus Party Nail Lacquer Swamped


Octopus Party Nail Lacquer Swamped


Octopus Party Nail Lacquer Swamped


Octopus Party Nail Lacquer Swamped


Octopus Party Nail Lacquer Swamped


Octopus Party Nail Lacquer Swamped


Octopus Party Nail Lacquer Swamped


Octopus Party Nail Lacquer Swamped

This has a kind of foresty, western vibe that reminds me of the Rockies, although you could probably just as easily call it a military look. It has an exceptionally glossy finish, even before topcoat, which gives it a tidy, purposeful feel on the nail. It's unusual to find a yellow-green this dark, even among fall and winter polishes. Rich and full of character -- and you can't beat the formula with a stick!

love,
Liz

Thursday, December 7, 2017

Cirque One-Night Stand

One-Night Stand was released in June this year by NYC-based indie polish maker Cirque Colors as part of the Vice 2017 collection. This is a creme in a medium-dark to dark intense and saturated blue-purple color that is similar to Majorelle blue or electric indigo. It deepens considerably in low light to more of a web indigo shade with aspects of ultramarine and Mardi Gras purple, and reads as a lush Spanish violet under incandescent light. Changeling polish!

Application was great! The consistency of One-Night Stand is fluid, light and creamy with a medium viscosity and a fluent, even, self-leveling glide over the nail. Nice! Pigmentation is very good, delivering evenly opaque coverage in two coats. Cleanup is straightforward with a tiny bit of pigment travel but little to no trace staining. One-Night Stand dries naturally in good time to a smooth, matte finish that wants a glossy topcoat to look its best.

Photos show two coats of One-Night Stand over treatment and basecoat with a topcoat of Seche Vite.


Cirque One-Night Stand


Cirque One-Night Stand


Cirque One-Night Stand


Cirque One-Night Stand


Cirque One-Night Stand


Cirque One-Night Stand


Cirque One-Night Stand


Cirque One-Night Stand

This is definitely a polish that will mess with your mind. Although it looks excessively blue in the photos (as is common with blue-purples), in person the color is so rich and saturated and intense that it's all but impossible to tease out an exact classification outside of the moment you're looking at it -- and blurple just doesn't work for me. I must say though, for originating from a collection of neons, this polish is really holding its own on this deliciously grey, wet November day, feeling for all the world like a bold winter jewel tone.

One-Night Stand was a limited edition, as were all of the Vice polishes, so this isn't available any longer but Cirque has several medium-to-dark but bright blues that ARE  -- Annie's been particularly successful with this sort of shade, I think. I especially like NYFW as a potential stand-in for this one.

love,
Liz