Wednesday, June 21, 2017

ILNP Birthday Suit

Like After Party, Birthday Suit was released earlier this month by Nevada-based indie polish maker ILNP as part of the Summer 2017 collection. It's described as a cashmere pink holo with holographic flakies. The color is a tender, desaturated nude pink, slightly cool-leaning, with greige undertones that give it a creamy, clay-like sensibility. Superabundant holographic flakes add a fetching prismatic twinkle in ambient light and a blanket of rainbow sparks in the sun, where there's also a vestigial holographic flare, slightly dispersed by the flakes but present enough to travel up and down the nail as you flex your fingers in the light.

Application was fabulous. The consistency of Birthday Suit is fluid, light and smooth with a thin-to-medium viscosity and a fluent, silky, self-leveling slip over the nail. Formulaic perfection! Pigmentation is slightly sheer, but will build to a wearably opaque look in two medium coats. I added a third for the photos and it did seem to give the color a bit more density and intensify its native creaminess, but this polish goes on so evenly you could easily wear it at one coat for an ethereal, sheer look. Cleanup is a bit of a bear because those holographic flakes stick to the nail like tiny prismatic limpets so you'll want to be precise with your lines from the get-go. Birthday Suit dries naturally in good time to a smooth, shiny finish.

Photos show three coats of Birthday Suit over treatment and basecoat with a topcoat of Seche Vite.


ILNP Birthday Suit


ILNP Birthday Suit


ILNP Birthday Suit


ILNP Birthday Suit


ILNP Birthday Suit


ILNP Birthday Suit


ILNP Birthday Suit


ILNP Birthday Suit


ILNP Birthday Suit


ILNP Birthday Suit


ILNP Birthday Suit

I adore the graceful, your-nails-but-better look of pinkish nude holos to the point where I simply cannot get enough of them, ever, so you know I love love LOVE this polish! It may not be groundbreaking, but it is unreservedly gorgeous in every way, from the color to the formula to the holographic effects. The color is clean and delicate but deliciously creamy, angelic but grounded, and the prismatic sparkle is like a wink from Cupid!

If you're wondering, as I was, how this compares to Chleo, ILNP's blush nude holo from the 2016 Fall Neutrals collection, Edina of lakkomlakkom includes a photo of the two swatched side by side (she also includes Sweet Pea and Elle) in her review of the Summer 2017 collection, here. Birthday Suit is lighter in person, she says, and has bigger flakies in it. I suspect that it may be slightly more opaque as well.

love,
Liz

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Enchanted Polish Rainstorm

Rainstorm was released last month by California-based indie polish maker Enchanted Polish as a limited edition custom collaboration shade with Laetitia of the French blog iLaeti. You can read Laetitia's post about her polish and see her gorgeous photos here (English translation by Google). Described as a "stormy grey/blue with holographic flakies," the color is a dark, chromatic grey with aspects of navy and indigo, darker than slate, similar to the color marengo. In natural ambient light it has a charcoal look, but bright direct light, especially sunlight, brings out the blue in it. It's filled with shardy little variously-shaped silver holographic flakies, giving it a finely stippled appearance and veiling it with scattered, twinkling prismatic sparks in direct light.

Application was a little tetchy. The consistency of Rainstorm is fluid and somewhat grainy from the holographic flakies, with a thicker viscosity to which I added polish thinner at the outset. Thinned to a medium viscosity, it had a fairly even, self-leveling flow over the nail with noticeable tumbling and stickups on the part of the flakies, unusual for this kind of component in my experience. Pigmentation is very good, delivering evenly opaque coverage in two coats. Cleanup is straightforward, no pigment travel and little to no residual staining. Rainstorm dries naturally in average time to a shiny, sharply-textured finish that was only smoothed by a double topcoat of gel-effect and quick-dry.

Photos show two coats of Rainstorm over treatment and basecoat with a layer of Pretty Serious Plump Up the Volume gel-effect topcoat and a layer of Seche Vite.

Enchanted Polish Rainstorm

Enchanted Polish Rainstorm

Enchanted Polish Rainstorm

Enchanted Polish Rainstorm

Enchanted Polish Rainstorm

Enchanted Polish Rainstorm

Enchanted Polish Rainstorm

Enchanted Polish Rainstorm

Enchanted Polish Rainstorm

Enchanted Polish Rainstorm

Enchanted Polish Rainstorm

Enchanted Polish Rainstorm

Enchanted Polish Rainstorm

The color is fabulous, a dark, urbane blue-grey with an indigo lean that matches Laetitia's inspiration photo (below) beautifully.


I was surprised and a little perturbed by the texture of the holographic flakies, which are almost like tiny shards of glass and made it difficult to get the kind of smooth application you'd expect from a well-known brand like EP. It was all good in the end, though, and this deep sophisticated scattered holo is a nice break from lighter, brighter summer colors. 

love,
Liz

Monday, June 19, 2017

ILNP Sunkissed

Sunkissed was released earlier this month by Nevada-based indie polish maker ILNP as part of the Summer Jellies 2017 collection. This is my first experience with one of ILNP's Jellies, which are scattered-style holos designed with an especially translucent jelly formula to allow for maximum light penetration. It wasn't until I saw this particular color that I felt inclined to purchase a polish that was intentionally so sheer, but judging from the play they get on Facebook they appear to be very popular with ILNP enthusiasts and collectors.

This color, though - it's marvelous, like sunburn for your nails! Officially described as a watermelon red, it's like a convergence of softened, weathered reds -- Venetian red, Indian red -- with an invigorating dose of raspberry and a soupçon of bittersweet. If I had to pick a somewhat similar shade, it would probably be a translucent variation of Indian red, but it's more conventionally pretty and much livelier than that, especially since it's absolutely packed with holographic components in a variety of configurations, from particles to flakes to tiny, delicate shreds. These holographic elements give the polish a heathered appearance and dimensionalize the look with a mobile, warm, sparkly prismatic flush in almost all viewing circumstances. There is considerable interior illumination as well from the holo bits themselves, minute sparks in every color of the rainbow twinkling ubiquitously from the depths. In the sun, the flush becomes more obviously gradated, the way that a loose linear flare is, although it's almost overpowered by the dense blanket of brilliant, scattered prismatic sparkle.

Application was fantastic. The consistency of Sunkissed is fluid, light and smooth with a medium viscosity and a fluent, even, self-leveling slip over the nail, an eminently-paintable formula that's exactly on par with the excellence we've learned to expect from the brand. Pigmentation is sheer. However, the density of holographic components contributes in no small part to the polish's ability to cover, and I was able to get an even, wearably opaque look in two medium-to-generous coats. I added a third for the photos and to build up the color a bit more, and I think it did make a difference. The only place where there is noticeable sheerness is the tips, even though I wrapped them with each coat. 

Cleanup is easy, but looses copious amounts of components to roam freely about the nail environs, most of which disappear with a good handwashing. Sunkissed dries naturally in fairly good time -- I couldn't really judge this properly because I used thicker coats -- to a smooth, shiny finish.

Photos show three coats of Sunkissed over treatment and basecoat with a topcoat of Seche Vite.


ILNP Sunkissed


ILNP Sunkissed


ILNP Sunkissed


ILNP Sunkissed


ILNP Sunkissed


ILNP Sunkissed


ILNP Sunkissed


ILNP Sunkissed


ILNP Sunkissed


ILNP Sunkissed

Well! I'm smitten! As I said, the color is marvelous: an earthy, weathered, translucent red freshened with raspberry. It's a unusually soft color for summer, but possesses that appealing sunburn-over-a-tan sensibility that is inherently summery, like it just got back from a day of deep sea fishing or sailing or hanging out at the lake or the beach. The warm, low-key red is a perfect showcase for the profligacy of holographic sparkle and dimensional prismatic effects, couching their splendors in a most lucid and satisfying way. LOVE!!

xo,
Liz

Sunday, June 18, 2017

Contrary Polish Green Apple

Green Apple was released a little over a month ago by Missouri-based indie polish maker Contrary Polish as part of the Cotton Candy Mattes collection. I bought this collection with the intention of swatching the polishes matte, as created, but I'm finding that I like them better with a glossy topcoat. So that's how you'll see them here.

This polish is described as a "minty green with fine gold shimmer." The base color is actually a light cyanic shade of blue along the lines of Crayola's sky blue -- it's only due to the shimmers mixing their lemony gold color with the base that the polish appears green. It's a cool green that's kind of like a pale, milky variation of jungle green, a poolside sort of shade that also reminds me of green turquoise. The shimmers create a luminous, lemony, lit-from-within glow along the axis of light and add a dimensional, almost pearly silkiness to the look.

Application was dreamy. The consistency of Green Apple is fluid, light and creamy with a medium viscosity and an even, buttery, self-leveling slip over the nail, a fabulous formula that all but paints itself on and is a true pleasure to finesse with Contrary's flattened-style brush. Pigmentation is sheer and requires three coats for wearable opacity, but you can get away with two on shorties. Cleanup is easy. Green Apple dries naturally in good time to a smooth, matte finish. The presence and effects of the shimmers are much more prominent with topcoat than in the natural matte state. 

Photos show three coats of Green Apple over KBShimmer Love You Strong Time treatment and KBShimmer Fillin' Groovy basecoat with a topcoat of Seche Vite.


Contrary Polish Green Apple


Contrary Polish Green Apple


Contrary Polish Green Apple


Contrary Polish Green Apple


Contrary Polish Green Apple


Contrary Polish Green Apple


Contrary Polish Green Apple


Contrary Polish Green Apple


Contrary Polish Green Apple


Contrary Polish Green Apple

The camera is somewhat unforgiving with visible nail line in this polish but I assure you that in person you really have to be looking for it to notice it. I'm not usually one for sheerish polishes, but the translucent formula here creates a depth and dimension when layered over itself that is just exquisite, like the luminosity of milky sea glass or very delicate porcelain. It's quite striking, and plays beautifully with the milky quality of the color.

If you'd like to see how Green Apple looks with its natural matte finish, here are three blogs with reviews of the entire collection that show them matte and shiny both: Manicured & Marvelous, Addicted to Polish and Cosmetic Sanctuary

love,
Liz

Saturday, June 17, 2017

ILNP After Party

After Party was released earlier this month by Nevada-based indie polish maker ILNP as part of the Summer 2017 collection. Officially described as a blue violet holographic polish with ultrafine pink shimmers, the base color color, to my eye, is a dark, translucent variation of liberty blue with violet overtones. It reminds me of a pansy blue, a chameleonic violet-blue shade that leans more to blue or to violet depending upon viewing circumstances. In natural ambient light, I think it leans more to dark blue. Under incandescent light, it's definitely a violet-leaning indigo. Packed with an assortment of holographic pigment sizes, it has an omnipresent blanket of prismatic sparkle that is downright dazzling in the sun, where the ultrafine shimmers add a glistening mist of pink along the axis of light.

Application was very nice. The consistency of After Party is fluid, light and smooth with a medium viscosity and a fluent, even, self-leveling glide over the nail. Pigmentation is sheerish, but can be built to wearable opacity in two coats with a generous hand. I prefer three for a bit more oomph to the color and the additional holographic material and shimmers provided. Cleanup is straightforward, although it does free up an abundance of holographic particles to ensconce themselves about the nail environs. After Party dries naturally in very good time to a shiny, mostly smooth finish with just a touch of discernible texture, probably from the larger holographic particles. Topcoat accentuates the presence of both the holo and shimmer components. 

Photos show three coats of After Party over treatment and basecoat with a topcoat of Seche Vite.


ILNP After Party


ILNP After Party


ILNP After Party


ILNP After Party


ILNP After Party


ILNP After Party


ILNP After Party


ILNP After Party


ILNP After Party


ILNP After Party


ILNP After Party


ILNP After Party

Although After Party falls under ILNP's Holographic line, it seems like it would be equally viable as an Ultra Holographic. This polish is all about that prismatic sparkle! I love the base color and can't help wishing it were a little less translucent. Imagine a velvety dark pansy blue illuminated by finely-milled holographic pigment a la Il Était Un Vernis... divine!

love,
Liz