Friday, November 3, 2017

Essie Bikini So Teeny, Plussed

Today, in a better late in the day than not at all post, I have a not at all recent NOTD look from a few months ago: Essie Bikini So Teeny topped with Liquid Afterglow Lacquer Unicorn Tears. The Essie, of course, is an old favorite (it made my Top 20 for 2012). The Liquid Afterglow is a Michigan-based indie brand that later changed their name to Holochondriac Polish and then still later stopped making polish; I'm glad to have the colors from them that I do.





I love that Unicorn Tears has square glitter in it, such a nice change from all the hexes out there.



This mani was so long ago that any notes I took on it were in my previous swatch notebook, which right now is literally thousands of miles away, as I left it at home, forgetting I had these photos yet to post. Oh well. I did snap a photo of the lineup of products used, so I can say for sure I layered Nutra Nail Stressed Nail Rehab (got this on clearance; it's odd stuff) and Salon Sciences Starting Over After Artificials under the color and Sally Hansen Diamond Flash Top Coat over the glitter.



Looking at these photos again, I'm thinking I need to pull out Bikini So Teeny again for some winter manicures. Those can happen as soon as I get home ... snow is falling there now. Too soon to ski, though.


Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Smackers Disney Tsum Tsum Polishes


Happy Halloween! Given my love of Disney and interesting polish bottles, I scooped up all of the Smackers Disney Tsum Tsum colors when I saw them at Fred Meyer in the run up to Halloween. Left to right: Mistress of All Evil (Maleficent), Skellington (Jack Skellington), Wickedly Stylish (Cruella de Vil), Rag Doll (Sally), and Sorceress of the Deep (Ursula).



Mistress of All Evil is a teal shimmer that's somewhat old school in finish, what with the brushstrokes one has to be aware of when applying it. They're not so prominent that I'd call this a frost finish, which is good. I used two coats for my swatch.





For fun and because I want to do more nail art, I did some freehand squiggles and dots on top of this teal with Sorceress of the Sea, a purple shimmer we'll take a closer look at shortly. I added clear topcoat, too.



Sorceress of the Sea is a purple shimmer, again with some brushstrokes but less so than Mistress of All Evil. This was also a two coater.



In direct light, the shimmer did show some microfine flecks I thought were pretty (Mistress of All Evil didn't do similar, thus no direct light pic of that one).



To get a little arty, I dotted Sorceress of the Sea with Wickedly Stylish and Rag Doll, then added a matte topcoat.



The remaining three polishes are all straight cremes in Halloween colors: Rag Doll is orange, Skellington is Black, and Wickedly Stylish is white. I combined them all in one look, doing ruffly stripes with all three on my index finger, three coats of Wickedly Stylish on my middle, two of Rag Doll on my ring, and one of Skellington plus clear topcoat on my pinky (I needed the topcoat to smooth the finish; if I'd known it was a one coater I would have been more attentive with the color).







This is a fun group, mostly for the bottles, but the polishes are certainly decent and usable, too. I don't know that I would have gone with teal for Maleficent, but that's a minor quibble.

Monday, October 30, 2017

China Glaze Happily Never After

For a while, I'd lost interest in China Glaze; the collections just didn't seem as interesting or appealing as past ones. But My Little Pony did catch my eye, and I bought some of those shades, and now Happily Never After seduced me to the point where I bought the mini set that had all the shades in it: Queen Please, Sin-derella, Life's Grimm, Do You Boo, Crown for Whatever, and Lookin' Gore-geous.



Queen Please is a sheer white with gold shimmer. I did three coats of it alone on my index finger and on the other digits, did tips with Lookin' Gore-geous then added two of Queen Please for a funky French look.





Lookin' Gore-geous is the least interesting shade in this collection; it's a vampy plum creme, the sort of polish I have multiples of in my stash. The only thing that distinguishes it from so many vampy cremes is that I was able to do one coat of it and be happy with it, so that's a plus. I did that one coat on my index finger. On my other fingers, I did two coats of Sin-derella, a grey with strong pink shimmer that's absolutely gorgeous. It's something I could have easily worn as a conservative office appropriate neutral back when that was a concern for me, yet the shimmer makes it so much more interesting than many office appropriate polishes.





The pink in Sin-derella really pops in direct light:



Crown for Whatever is a dark cool-toned purple that dries to a fairly matte finish. I used two coats for my swatch. There is a fine-grained warm red violet shimmer in this one, but once it was out of the bottle and onto the nail, that pretty much disappeared.





Shiny topcoat didn't coax out the shimmer in the lightbox:



Topcoat plus direct light did make the shimmer show up:



Just for fun, I tried layering over Crown for Whatever. Top to bottom: on its own, plus Queen Please, plus Sin-derella, plus Do You Boo and clear topcoat. Queen Please was the best topper for this, adding greenish gold shimmer that looked good on the deep purple base. Sin-derella is not quite sheer enough to be a layering polish, and the dark glitter in Do You Boo got lost on the purple (Do You, Boo! is the punctuated name, but you know I don't care for punctuation in polish names; I'll use this over a better base in a bit).



Life's Grimm is a deep warm green with gold and yellow green shimmer. I used two coats and that was plenty. Before I tried this one, I thought Sin-derella was going to be my favorite from the collection, but Life's Grimm was stiff competition for sure. The shimmer is so so pretty and it has a lot of depth to it, which I love.





In direct light, the green in the shimmer popped out more:



Of course I had to try some layering over Life's Grimm. Top to bottom: alone, plus one coat of Queen Please, plus two coats of Queen Please, plus one of Queen Please and one of Do You Boo plus topcoat. Queen Please really plays nicely with Life's Grimm, complementing the shimmer that's already there rather than competing with it. Do You Boo looks better over this combination than it did over Crown for Whatever, but the dark glitter still gets lost a bit.





Finally it was time for Do You Boo to shine. This glitter topper has gold and black hex glitter, gold and black micro glitter, chunky black bar glitter, and slim holo bar glitter, all in a clear base. I put on a skintone base color (this has a slight shimmer of its own but nothing that competes with the glitter), topped it with Do You Boo, and smoothed it over with a clear topcoat because bar glitter can be poky-uppy. I'm still no big fan of bar glitter, so this one looked rather messy to me, but maybe that's the sort of glitter toppers zombies like and thus it's appropriate for Halloween.





All in all, this is a dandy seasonal collection. If I see a full size of Sin-derella, I will probably buy it, as I really like that one. Life's Grimm is very nice, too, but I feel like I have things that are similar enough to fill my need for a deep green shimmer (like Zoya Logan).

Friday, October 27, 2017

SinfulColors Halloween 2017

Today I have swatches of the shades I picked up from the SinfulColors Halloween displays this year: Good to Ghost, Undead Red, Nut Cracker, If You've Got It Haunt It, Bite Me, and Witch Hazel Bohn.



I started with Undead Red; the sticker on the cap calls it a Vampy Matte. This one has silver shimmer and shards of black glitter in a red base. I did two coats of and waited for it to dry matte. It did not.



It did look very nice when I added a proper matte top coat. Well, except for the parts where I hadn't cleaned up the cuticle flooding and the spots where I didn't get the matte on the whole nail. That'll teach me to try and rush through swatching.



Next, I tried the two glow in the dark toppers, first putting down a base of SinfulColors Sugar Pumpkin, an orange creme. I added two coats of Witch Hazel Bohn on my index and ring fingers, and two of Good to Ghost on my middle and pinky. I did have to fish for the shaped glitters, charcoal skull and crossbones in Witch Hazel Bohn and silver holo crescent moons in Good to Ghost. I didn't add topcoat; if I were wearing this as a full mani I would have done a thick one to smooth out the glitters, especially in Witch Hazel Bohn, as those glitter pieces are wider and thus more prone to having the edges stick up from the rounded nail surface.



I had some trouble finding a sufficient dark space to show off the glow in the dark aspect of these two toppers but did manage to get one semi-decent shot which shows the almost shimmery effect of the glow in the dark particles in these two.



Nut Cracker (or maybe Nutcracker—it's not clear if there's a space there or just unfortunate kerning on the label) was up next. This is a warm brown shimmer with copper and pink highlights.



Two coats of Nut Cracker gave a really rich look on the nails; what a great fall polish, never mind Halloween.







I didn't want to take off Nut Cracker right away, so I used it as a base for If You've Got It Haunt It, a glitter topper. One coat of the glitter plus clear topcoat, and I was a happy Karen.





If You've Got It Haunt It has light purple hex glitter, larger copper hex glitter, and smaller gold holo glitter in a clear base. It's right up my alley, as they say.



I just had to try If You've Got It Haunt It over a different base, so turned once again to Sugar Pumpkin and did two coats of that plus two of the glitter plus a clear topcoat. Very festive.





Finally, there's Bite Me, a sheer red shimmer with mixed sizes of black glitter. I played with this one by doing a black tip on my index finger and doing a funky French with two coats of Bite Me. On my other digits, I did a red creme base (SinfulColors No Text Red) plus one of Bite Me. All nails got clear top coat, too.





The shimmer in Bite Me really glowed in direct light.



My favorites of these are If You've Got It Haunt It and Nut Cracker. I can see wearing both long after the Halloween season.

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Wheel Y9: Halloween Polishes

Getting this wheel of Halloween polishes in on the last Wednesday before this year's holiday. I had some camera trouble the day I painted and photographed this one, so please forgive the uneven quality in these shots. I fear my trusty point and shoot may finally be coming to the end of its useful life but I'm hanging on to it until it's well and truly dead.




1. Fright Night Claw Polish Creepin' It Real (2 coats)
2. Fright Night Claw Polish I'm Here for the Boos (2)
3. Fright Night Claw Polish Ghostly Glow (2) [coffin bottle shape was definitely more interesting]
4. OPI Ghostess Mostess (3)
5. Sally Hansen New Lengths Ceramic Glow in the Dark (2)
6. Fantasy Makers Glo Money Glo Problems 92)
7. Fantasy Makers Roach Busters (3)
8. Fantasy Makers Queen of Envy (3)
9. Fantasy Makers Witch Black (2)
10. Fantasy Makers Goosebump Suit (2)
11. Fantasy Makers Ghouls Rush In (3)
12. skull polish unlabeled pink (2)
13. skull polish unlabeled other pink (2)
14. skull polish unlabeled orange (2)
15. skull polish unlabeled other orange (2)
16. skull polish unlabeled shimmery pink (2)
17. skull polish unlabeled green (2)
18. skull polish unlabeled blue (2)
19. skull polish unlabeled purple (2)
20. Disco Lights unlabelled microglitter (3)


Bottles 1 through 5:



6 through 11:


12 through 14:



15 through 17; these were part of the great stash smashem up of 2014 (post here, scroll down), but I never got around to cleaning them and decided they looked suitably zombie-like for Halloween as they are:



18 through 20:


















The first six of these were supposed to glow, but only the first five did. I was impressed that the Sally Hansen held its own against the newer polishes, and disappointed that the Fantasy Makers was a dud (maybe I needed to shake shake shake it some more?). The Disco Lights (#20) did show a very very faint glow; not sure it was meant to or just caught light from the others and reflected since it is a very pale polish).



Edited to add that Nail Wheel Wednesday will be going on a planned hiatus until December, as I've now posted all the ones I've painted and am away from my stash until U.S. Thanksgiving.