Archive for the ‘Holographic’ Category

Gasp: A Few A England Holos

Friday, March 22nd, 2013

I was back to blogging for about two seconds before this bomb was dropped on me: Holos – there’s a ton of them out there now and… they come in green. Having reached the peak of my nail polish collecting in 2009, this was practically unheard of for me. My first encounter with this unicorn, the green holo, was the glorious Glitter Gal Lizard Belly. It wasn’t too long before everyone told me about A England and the mantra was ”you need all of these, right now.” I was lemming about three-quarters of their line, particularly their holos. With that said, I’ve had these for months but it took me forever to photograph them because I didn’t want to just swatch them. I loved them so much I really wanted to actually wear them. And, sadly, although I have a lot more nail liberty now than I did before, I still can’t go balls to the wall all the time so getting this post together took a hot minute.

A England Dragon

A England Dragon *deep breath*  a sage green holo. The holo in these polishes is pretty subtle, definitely not blingtastic at all. In my opinion, the holo is neither linear nor scattered – a better description would be “ambient,” like a shimmery interference. Application was good but the formula was a smidge on the thick side, perfect at two coats but I did three. Dragon is my favorite of the three polishes featured in this post because this shade of green was very flattering to my skin-tone.

A England Saint George

A England Saint George is a teal leaning dark green holo. *swoon* Like Dragon, the holo is fine grained. This was my New Year’s Eve NOTD! Application was comparable to Dragon – this is three coats, but it would have been fine at two. It’s a bit of a stainer, so beware of sloppy application. Please excuse my gross flairy ring-finger nail. This photo was taken when I was struggling with peelies a few months back. My nails tend to flair like that when they’re weak. Taking biotin and switching back to my old holy grail base-coat that was unfortunately discontinued before its time, Sally Hansen Nail Quencher, really helped with the terrible peeling. My failed attempts to find a new go-to base-coat will be the topic of many anguished posts to come.

A England Lady of the Lake

Last but not least, A England Lady of the Lake, a dark grape ambient holo. This shade is consistent with Dragon and Saint George in terms of look and application. This is my current NOTD. As you can see I had to nubbinize so I used that as an excuse to holo-it-up - looooooove it. Generally, I have a love\hate relationship with purples. I feel like purple is so over done: the “red” of “wacky” colors, if that makes sense. But, like with red, I’m a hater until I actually wear a purple polish, then I remember why everyone loves the color so much. It’s just gorgeous. Not to keep making excuses for my sub-par nail situation but please also excuse this photo. Since the past few weeks were so rough, I fell off the wagon in terms of keeping up with my moisture regime - these cuticles are the sad, sad result. womp womp.

This was my first foray into A England and I’m hooked. A England is the brain child of Adina, an evil nail polish genius. (You can follow her on twitter @aenglandtweets). I feel like if we knew each other in real life we’d be total besties… a love for nail polish, legends & myths, a gothic aesthetic, and a touch of anglophilia … um, sign me up for that life long friendship. A England is an indie brand and hails from the United Kingdom. [edited - thank you Chia & Aglaya for catching that for me] Although A England used to ship to the U.S. they are no longer able to ship internationally. However, you can get them from U.S. retailers like Ninja Polish and Llarowe for $10. You can get additional information about where to buy A England here.

Have you tried A England? What do you think?

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Disclosure: These were sent to me for review by A England.

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Some More Belated Cult Nails Swatches

Sunday, November 4th, 2012

I meant to post these during all the Cultober festivities, but the last two weeks at work have been hellish. The upside is that I was so distracted by work that I managed to go nearly two full weeks without buying anything (woo hoo for small victories); the down side is that I neglected the blog big time. I also nervously picked at my nails the whole time such that they are now injured, little nubbins. The nubbins were also accompanied by peeling, oh the horrible peeling. My nails are in such bad shape, they have never been like this before. I can’t figure out whether the peeling is a result of my nervous picking (both from using my nails to pick and from the damage to the nail bed caused by peeling off nail polish) or whether it’s the new base coat I’ve been using, Nail Tek Foundation III. To combat these issues, I picked up some Biotin today. The next couple of weeks will be stressful too, but they shouldn’t be as bad as the last two. I’m making a conscious effort to stop picking. Hopefully, we’ll see some improvement too.

In any case, the polishes in this post were my biggest Cult lemmings. And, oh boy, they are every bit as amazing as I hoped they would be. All four polishes were worn as manis. I was very impressed with the quality, good consistency, perfect application and wear. The bottle style is standard and sturdy. I liked the brush style too. These retail for $10.00 on the Cult Nails website. All in all, I’m pretty impressed with this brand.

Cult Nails Awakening… LOVE IT. I first saw this color on twitter, instant lemming. Subsequently, I went into a panic when Maria tweeted that this color was being discontinued and that supplies were running low. I’m so glad I was able to get my hands on this before it was gone. (Hopefully, Maria will bring it back some day). Awakening is a very deep, dark muted teal that leans toward blue as opposed to green.  I would say this is a crelly, definitely more creme than jelly. This is 3 coats, excellent application. I wore this one to work. Not exactly work appropriate but I thought it was subtle enough that it wouldn’t offend anyone. The wear was outstanding: 5 days, no chips.

Cult Nails Vicious, another beauty, is a dark, red-leaning plum creme. The color is very well pigmented, great formula and application. Perfectly opaque at two coats. I used Vicious as the base for an evolving mani that I will post soon.

Cult Nails I Got Distracted is fine holographic glitter and small green hexagonal glitter suspended in a blackened green base. This was another twitter-initiated lemming and it’s pretty amazing. Totally not work appropriate but I wore it to work anyway because I’m a sneaky-sneak. My husband said it was okay because even though it’s blingtastic-like-whoa, the darkness of the base makes it as subtle as something this blingy can be. This mani was 3 coats, but it was good at 2. IGD is a top coat eater for sure, I used 3 coats of Gelous and 1 coat of Seche Vite.

Cult Nails Living Water is blue and green micro glitter suspended in a dark blue jelly base. I love colors like this, dark and sparkly without being ‘in your face.’ It dries a bit matte so I used a coat of Gelous under Wicked Fast. People are constantly raving about Wicked Fast – the jury is still out for me but my initial impressions were good. It was ultra glossy and it dried very quickly to the touch.

Here’s a side shot to exhibit the gorgeous glitter. Finally, like the others, the application and wear was awesome.

I’m really looking forward to picking up some polishes by Cult. Do you have any Cult favorites that I need to own?

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Disclaimer: These were sent for review by Cult Nails.

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Some Swatches from Sephora by OPI Indian Summer 2012

Monday, September 24th, 2012

This is another strange collection like the Essie Yogaga collection. There’s been some coverage online, but most sites (like mine) only have a few colors from the collection. And it seems that at least some of the colors belonging to this collection are possibly re-promotes from another collection, Bohemian Brights. As far as I can tell from the Sephora website, there are six shades in this collection – four are shown here – the other two are What Aura You Gonna Where and It’s Totally Karma. Some sites are treating other shades as belonging to this collection too, but that doesn’t seem to be the case. I’ll try to get some clarification on this.

These photos are all swatches and not NOTDs – I try my best to wear the colors I review but none of these are even mildly work apropos, not even a little. And since I can really only wear one ridic color per week during the weekend, I haven’t had a chance to wear these yet. There were some potential dupes in my stash for two of these colors – I will post comparisons soon but for now I’ve included links to other fab blogs for your viewing pleasure.

Sephora by OPI Paisley Attention to Me! is a bright, vibrant tangerine creamy crelly. It’s way brighter on the nail than in the bottle, shockingly so. This swatch is 3 coats. It applied well but the consistency was a bit strange, almost water-like. I didn’t quite get the name so I googled “paisley,” apparently it’s originally a Persian fabric pattern, made popular along with some Indian fabric patterns during the 1800s by the East Indian Trading Company. *shrugs* Learn something new every day? If I can get my hands of Cirque Neko (sadly sold out), Cirque Debris, or some other awesome black glitter, I might attempt a Halloween jelly sandwich with this one. As far as dupes, it’s tough to tell from bottle shade alone because of PATM’s crelly texture. Bottle-wise China Glaze Style Wars looks very similar but maybe a smidgen deeper. The other similar color in my stash is an older pre-2009 OPI that… HAS NO LABEL – OOOOH HOHOHOTHE HORROR!!!!!

I took it to the nail board, sadly we weren’t able to come to a consensus. I believe it’s OPI Atomic Orange. It’s definitely not Tangerine Scene or Osaka to me Orange – I have those and they both still have labels. : ( In any case, I’ll post comparison swatches soon (which will be totally not helpful to anyone since I have no idea what color this is, haha).

Sephora by OPI I’m So Sari is really complex. The base color is turquoise, the shimmer is very dense glass fleck, and the whole thing is topped off with small hexagonal holographic glitter. The glass fleck shimmer gives it a textured and somewhat foiled finish. It’s not a jelly, but the consistency is sheer-ish during application. Even so, application was issue-free. This polish was fine at 3 coats, but I was going for glitter-bomb-ultra-bling so the swatch is 4 coats. This polish eats top coat – this is two coats of Gelous and one coat of Seche. Overall, this one is pretty unique, the concept seems similar to Deborah Lippmann Mermaid’s Dream. Clearly, not dupes in anyway but maybe a suitable lemming place-holder.

Sephora by OPI Henna-Thing is Possible is a deep fuchsia with purple flash microshimmer that gives it a somewhat frosty finish that Sephora calls “metallic.” The application was excellent. This shade looks so familiar to me but I couldn’t find anything exactly like it in my stash. Even so, I feel like I’ve seen it before. In terms of base shade, the closest polishes in my stash were Zoya Tama, Zoya Anaka, and the coveted China Glaze It’s Five O’Clock Somewhere. Obviously IFOS has that bluish glow and glass fleckies that make it so special – but the base shade is pretty close.

Annnnd my favorite one from this collection, Sephora by OPI Seriously, It’s a Naan-Issue, a deep, gorgeous, dark purple. This is as dark as purple can get and still be purple. This was great at 2 coats, but I did 3 per usu. I’m pretty impressed with this color – I had no dupes for it. It was a shade between Rescue Beauty Lounge Mismas and China Glaze VIII. When I say I’m mostly indifferent to purple, I mean purple shimmers… purple creme, however, gets me every time. Love it.

I do apologize for not having the whole collection to show you. I’ll probably skip buying What Are You Gonna Wear, but the lime-y-ness of It’s Totally Karma is calling my name. What do you think? Pick it up or leave it be?

Sooo… any idea what my mystery old OPI might be?

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Disclosure: This collection was sent to me for review by Sephora’s PR.

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Glory Be: Glitter Gal Lizard Belly

Saturday, August 11th, 2012

The humor isn’t lost on me that I return with grand promises to review work appropriate polishes only to have my second post be a holographic dark green. But it’s the weekend and a color like this has been a major wishlist polish since time began. In my effort to catch up with the nail polish world – I’ve been reading a lot of MUA and a lot of other excellent nail blogs. (Thanks so much everyone for cluing me into so many great sites – I’ll be updating my blogroll really soon!).  I first saw this polish on The PolishAholic. I did a double-take: a DARK GREEN HOLO WHAT? WHAT!? WHAT!?! – then I squealed a little bit and immediately bought a bottle. I’m so glad I did, this polish is amazing.

I feel like the nail polish gods lured me back into blogging just so this color could make its way into my mailbox. Man, it’s beautiful. This NOTD is 3 coats of Lizard Belly, but it would have been perfect at 2 coats. Base coat is Sally Hansen Nail Quencher and top coat is Seche Vite. The color is a deep blackened green that leans slightly bluish-green (teal?), although it is ‘almost black’ it is visibly green. The very fine grain holo creates a refined prismatic effect and adds depth to the color - Lizard Belly is gorgeous but it’s definitely not as blingy as other holos.

 I took this shot with flash to show the holographic effect, but again these photos just don’t do this polish any justice. In person, the holo effect is more defined, it flashes a full rainbow but it’s fairly subdued even in the brightest sunlight. In the shade or indoors, it looks nearly black with sparse tiny glittery sparkles (like a mini-universe on my nail). I didn’t have any major application issues – although the polish was a tad on the thickish side. However, it was not thick enough to cause problems.  I seriously love this color – I think it has won a spot on the top twenty (yes, I’m going to keep doing the list even though it will be a little dated now).

My only beef is that I accidentally bought a teeny-tiny bottle… womp-womp. This photo is Lizard Belly next to OPI Here Today … Aragon Tomorrow to show the difference in size.  In my excitement to buy the color, I didn’t even notice I was buying the mini especially because it was a tad on the expensive side (I think I paid around $15). To my chagrin, Glitter Gal does sell these in the regular 15 mL size on their website *Sigh* now I’m trying to fight the urge to buy 8 more of the minis or at least one full size backup bottle.

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Color Club Spring 2009 Femme Fatale Collection

Monday, April 13th, 2009

The forces of the universe have been conspiring to prevent me from posting this collection. First, a while back, I decided to take a new approach to swatching. Instead of just painting my nails for a quick photo and just writing about my brief opinions, I decided to actually wear all the colors in collections I review. The result was a copious amount of notes on each color, similar to what I usually write for posts on manicures. But then, to my chagrin, the evil google virus did away with all my efforts. As far as nail polish goes, the notes lost, are the equivalent of the Library of Alexandria burning down. Sadly, here are my briefer impressions based on what I remember from wearing this colors.

Color Club had an interesting concept for this spring collection, these colors were intended to be mixed and matched to create various funky frenches. I can totally see where they were going with that idea, these colors (a mixture of shimmery sheers and opaques) do compliment each other well in the french format. However, this collection also lends itself to amazing layering combinations. I would have loved to have shown you guys the sheers from both Catwalk Queen and Femme Fatale over black and white but I’ve been so busy I just haven’t had the time. But, fear not, Scrangie has some great swatches of these shades over black.

color-club-femme-fatale

Color Club Femme Fatale consists of ultra sparkly pink and yellow toned micro-glitter suspended in a gel like whitish polish that applies clear. This is 4 coats, it’s simply gorgeous over black. (Please excuse the perpetual yellowness of my nails.)

color-club-oooooo-la-la

Color Club Oooooo La La is a stunning, wearable white with a pearl finish. I usually don’t like pearl finishes but I absolutely loved this color. This is 3 coats. The application was a bit off – the coats applied unevenly so you have to be careful to be apply as evenly as possible. While I would consider this color a PITA, it’s not impossible to work with and I think the pay off is worth the extra effort. This color is perfect as a base on which to layer the sheer colors in this collection.

color-club-oui-oui-oui1

Color Club Oui! Oui! Oui! consists of a very fine green shimmer in a sheer whitish base. My picture isn’t very accurate as far the shimmer, the green is way more obvious in real life. This one is also stunning over black. I believe this swatch is 4 coats.

color-club-revvvolution

Color Club Revvvolution is just, wow. WOW. I guess I might be biased because I love all holos – but this one is particularly brilliant. It’s a dark charcoal, pretty much black for all purposes, medium grain holo. The holo has a predominately greenish cast to it. Revvvoltion is very well pigmented. For me, it was essentially perfect in one coat but I applied two for good measure. I haven’t done a side by side swatch, but from memory, I can tell you that this is darker and more opaque than OPI My Private Jet. MPJ is one of my favorite polishes of all time, but I actually think that Revvvolution might take it’s place.

color-club-revvvolution-holo

I’ve gotten a lot of complaints about the quality of my images of holographics so I’ve been trying to find alternative forms of lighting that are better suited to showing the holographic effect of these polishes. This picture isn’t as vivid as Revvvolution is in real life but I think you get the idea.

color-club-wheres-the-soiree

Color Club Where’s the Soiree? is a black creme that doesn’t dry glossy. It’s not exactly matte, but closer to a satin finish. It applies well in 2 to 3 coats. I would want to maintain the unique finish so I would probably either use no top coat or a matte top coat. Where’s the Soiree? is also perfect as a base for layering the other colors in this collection.

color-club-worth-the-risque

Color Club Worth the Risque is a medium grain holographic silver with a bluish cast. Like Revvvolution, the holo has a greenish cast to it. It’s a 2 to 3 coater. LOVE it.

color-club-worth-the-risque-holo

Here it is in different lighting… *drool/dies*.

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Disclosure: This collection was sent to me for review by Color Club.

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The Sun Also Rises: OPI – DS Coronation

Tuesday, January 20th, 2009

If you follow my blog, you know how important today is to me. So, in good polish addict form, I had to choose a color that reflected my feelings about this historic day. Darren Garnick recent asked me if I was doing anything special with my nails for the inauguration. My initial reaction was, hell yes. I wanted to do something ridiculously flashy, like yellow, to represent my happiness and my hope for a brighter future. Instead, I decided to go something flashy, yet subtle. I figured OPI Designer Series Coronation (the name is fitting in a silly way) would be the perfect color.

opi-ds-coronation

Coronation was recently released with the new Designer Series colors (all of which you can see on Scrangie’s blog). I was pretty surprised to find that Coronation applies like a glitter top coat. Essentially, this polish is extremely dense multi-sized holographic glitter suspended in clear polish. With just one coat you get an effect similar to other dense glitter top coats. I put it over Zoya Trixie, it looked nothing short of amazing.

coronationThe holographic effect isn’t the uniform oil slick effect found in previous Designer Series colors. Instead, it’s like an amalgamation of multi-sized glitter each flashing brilliantly and individually. The shape of the glitter is irregular, each one like flecks or erratically cut chucks. I see as many as 3 different sized pieces of glitter. When applied with multiple coats (3 is what I did for the picture above) the very small pieces of glitter come together to build opacity. The image to the left was taken with flash and shows Coronation’s holographic glimmer. In the sunlight you get a slightly more uniform holographic reflection but it’s not high intensity, meaning the holo isn’t as colorized or rainbow-y as other holographic polishes.

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