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Wednesday, February 29, 2012

HITS No Olimpo - Apolo

Apolo is the first lacquer from the HITS No Olimpo collection I've had the pleasure to try. It is a stunning ocean blue holographic. It has tons of depth, and is very bright and perfectly opaque at two coats.

It's even better in real life, believe me. Incredibly vibrant and holographic, and it just looks... deep... like I could swim in it. Now theres a strange scene to envision. Anyways, even in low lighting it is obviously holographic, which is something I can't say about the China Glaze OMG holos. 

Formula wise, it's a bit goopy to apply, and tricky to get in the right spots. On the upside, wear time was somewhat better than other holographic polishes I've tried, closer to what a normal polish wears on me. 

Now there's something else I have to mention about this bottle of lacquer...

The incredibly, bizarrely, wonky brush. Look at it! Yikes. I've never had a brush this wonky before. It was like trying to paint my nails with a mop. I so hope that Dionisio doesn't have the same trouble. 

In summary: wonky brush, stunningly beautiful ocean blue holo that I positively want to swim in. Eh, the effort was well worth it. Still... that brush... *shudder*

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Nfu Oh 60 (layered over Quo by Orly Night Sky)

Nfu Oh 60 consists of multicoloured flakes in an black jelly base. It's dark and murky, and unlike the other Nfu Oh flakey polishes, the jelly base almost seems to obscure the flakes. Despite that, it's actually a neat effect, and I think it makes a nice companion to Quo by Orly's "Night Sky"lacquer. Night Sky lends a purplish cast to the Nfu Oh which is interesting.

In the bottle it looks really cool- kind of like a crystallized oil slick. Here is how it looks on the nail:

The flakes flash orange, gold, green, and red in the sun.

I feel like I should put this on around Halloween- wouldn't it make a good spooky polish?

Finally, I want to show you my order from Llarowe, which just arrived. I'm pretty excited to try out my new lacquers, and tomorrow I'll have Apolo, from the HITS No Olimpo collection to show you.

Left to right these are A-England's Ascalon and St. George, Ozotic 505 and 507, HITS No Olimpo Dionisio and Apolo. The last two are not from Llarowe, but are recent purchases. One is Cling On from the China Glaze Magnetix collection, and the other is Liquid Crystal from the new Prismatic collection. Is there any one in particular you'd like to see?

Quo by Orly - Night Sky

Quo by Orly is a line of nail lacquer that is produced by Orly and can be found in Canadian drugstores (Shoppers Drug Mart, specifically). When I was out the other day I couldn't resist picking one up to share with you all; this is Quo by Orly Night Sky.

Night Sky is a beautiful, slightly multichrome, purple shimmer in a smokey base. It's quite dark, but remains visibly a deep purple, although it does have a strong smokey cast to it. It has tons of depth and looks kind of... wet. It has a glittery wetness to it. And makes me think of beetles; dark and shiny. Yeah, that sounds a bit odd, but I'm trying to capture the depth it has. And while the gold multichrome is has in the bottle doesn't show up as much on the nail as in the bottle, you do still see it from time to time. Not always when you're looking for it, either. Sometimes it'll jump out at you in the most random lighting, and then disappear. Here are a few more pictures:

See how shiny it looks here? This is in artificial light. I'm kind of crazy about it. 

I think this colour might be similar to one of the Orly Cosmic FX, but I don't have any of them to compare. Either way, this is an interesting lacquer, and I'm very happy with it. 

Oh, and incidentally, this is the ring I was wearing today, and there is a story behind it that relates to Night Sky...

I bought this in Istanbul's Grand Bazaar from one of the (many, many, many!) jewelry vendors. I love bartering, and it was so amazingly glittery. I knew it was almost certainly some kind of plastic with glitter in it, but I had to ask the vendor what the "name" of the stone in the ring was. The response was that it was a "Night Sky Diamond". Hahahah. After that answer, who could resist? A NIGHT SKY DIAMOND! Doesn't it sound over the top? 

So that's the story of Night Sky the polish, and Night Sky the ring. I'm further impressed that I just happened to wear it today when I was wearing my Night Sky polish. The parallel was lost on me until just a short while ago. 

What do you think of Quo by Orly Night Sky? And what do you think of my Night Sky ring? Before I go, I'll leave you with a couple pictures from my visit to Istanbul: 

 The Grand Bazaar in Istanbul

The Blue Mosque, Istanbul

Monday, February 27, 2012

China Glaze OMG Holos

Today was a sunny day- and because I can't bear the thought of "wasting" a sunny day by not swatching a few holos for you all, I wanted to share the polishes I own from the China Glaze OMG collection. This is a collection of particularly beautiful "linear" holographic lacquers, of which I have six to share with you.

                       Left to right, this is OMG, LOL, DV8, BFF, 2NITE, TTYL

I remember seeing pictures of these when I first started becoming more interested in nail lacquer- after seeing swatches of them I could hardly believe that such an effect was possible in a nail polish! Then I began to track them down (a few through ebay, and a few more at a local nail salon where they were gathering dust on a shelf). 

Here they are on the nail:




Okay, I have to admit, while I love these polishes I kind of hate their names. I find it hard to remember which is which, and I'm not a fan of this kind of shorthand to begin with, so that doesn't help.

What do you think of these polishes? Do you own any of the lacquers from the OMG collection? 

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Illamasqua Load and China Glaze Afterglow (featuring bonus pictures of my first attempt at the half moon manicure!)

Before we get to today's manicure, I want to show you what became of my Mermaid's Tears manicure from the other day:

My first attempt at the half moon manicure! I chose OPI Get in the Expresso Lane, a deep brown, to compliment the turquoise of Mermaid's Tears. I love the combination of dark brown and turquoise, it's one of my favourite combinations. I used paper reinforcements to create this look, which was incredibly easy. Here is what it looked like as a work in progress:

I think next time I will take extra care to make sure they are stuck on really well so I get a crisper line, and I'll also place them just a bit lower to show less of the base colour. What do you think of my first attempt at a half moon manicure?

Now, onto today's manicure! This will be my first time posting an Illamasqua lacquer, but you'll probably see a couple more in the future. I really love this brand.

This is Illamasqua Load. Yes, this is a polish called "Load". I think I'll just leave it at that, shall I?

Anyways, this is a really unique polish, as it's a kind of off-white. We'll call it antique lace, I think. I haven't come across anything like it before. The formula is very good for a white polish, as they tend to be super streaky, but this is two coats and it's pretty perfect. I like how it looks here, but I thought I would this would make a good base for China Glaze Afterglow.

Afterglow was one of my $2 purchases from the other day, and I was quite excited to find it. I recall seeing it featured on Scrangie's Blog and was fascinated. In real life, this lacquer has the most amazing and very strong blue flash- not only in sunlight or bright light, but also in lower lighting, which I love.

Here is Afterglow, layered over Load:

It does take on a somewhat yellowy tone (albeit not as yellow as in the last picture), which I'm not totally thrilled about, but it looks really cool. And I couldn't quite capture how bright the blue flash is, unfortunately. I can't wait to try it over other colours!

These are a couple lacquers I really like; in particular the Illamasqua is really fantastic. I have good memories of London when I wear Illamasqua, because I purchased my Illamasqua lacquers during a trip to London. I had the opportunity to visit the Illamasqua store near Carnaby Street (a shopping district in London that I really love).

I really wish I had taken a couple pictures of the Illamasqua store itself- it was pretty cool! And the ladies working there were really nice, too. If I go back there, I'll definitely take pictures to share with you (along with new purchases, I'm sure!).

As it happened, we were in London during a rather momentous occasion...

This was taken while watching the Royal Wedding on big screens in Hyde Park. It was an exciting (and busy) time to be in London.

Do you own any Illamasqua lacquers? What are your favourites? How about China Glaze Afterglow? What do you think of it?

Thursday, February 23, 2012

OPI Mermaid's Tears (it's never too late for love)

When the OPI Stranger Tides collection first came out, I was kind of indifferent to it. I certainly didn't think there were any must-haves. But then I saw it in person, and picked up two shades: Skull and Glossbones and Steady As She Rose. Unexpectedly, I absolutely loved them. This got me a little more interested in the other lacquers in the collection, but I still didn't spring for any of the other colours.

However, just recently a local salon had a huge sale on older OPI and China Glaze stock (we're talking $5 and $2 per polish, respectively). How can you go wrong? I was pretty ecstatic to see the entire Stranger Tides collection. In fact, I was pretty ecstatic to see a tonne of awesome CG and OPI polishes I was itching to get my nails on. What followed wasn't pretty. I blacked out, and woke up back at home, surrounded by bottles of lacquer...

Well, not exactly. But I did come home with the rest of the Stranger Tides collection. And a small legion of CG lacquers. More about that later.

Without further ado, here is the splendiferous Mermaid's Tears.

It photographed more washed out here than it is in person; in reality it is a turquoise creme that is dusty, but not as faded as it looks here. I'm pretty wild about it; I love how it works with my skin tone (no lobster hands here), and it doesn't hurt that I've accumulated several compliments on it this afternoon alone. The formula is perfection. It's smooth, shiny, and opaque in two coats. Here are a few more pictures of my new love:

Hmm, it seems like someone is trying to get our attention...

Maybe I'm not the only one smitten with this lacquer!

Aww... looks like Domo found love, too!

What about you, dear readers? Do you love Mermaid's Tears? Have you ever had doubts about a polish (or a whole collection), but found you loved it upon closer inspection? 

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Zoya Shawn + Hidden Treasure

To make up for Zoya Harmonie, which was a rare disappointment for me from Zoya, here is an extremely lovely Zoya polish called Shawn.

Zoya Shawn is a medium yellow-toned green creme. It is from the 2010 Fall collection, and it is glossy perfection in two coats. Wonderful formula. I also thought it would make a great base for the much adored Sally Hansen Hidden Treasure. Brace yourself for an onslaught of awesomeness:

Hidden Treasure in direct sun:

See how green it looks here?

Under artificial light:

Ambient light (this is how it looks most of the time):

And I can't resist posting these two amazing close-ups. You can see the colours ranging from green to yellow to orange to flaming red. So cool.

What did you think of Zoya Shawn and Sally Hansen Hidden Treasure? Is Hidden Treasure still a lacquer of interest? I know for awhile it was extremely popular and quite hard to find. Do lacquer enthusiasts still want to get their nails on it? Or are you content with the recent flakey topcoats release by Essie, etc, that look similar? Let me know what you think!

Finally, I wanted to say a special thank you to Maria of Marias Nail Polish Blog (which is a wonderfully informative nail polish blog, teaching us to make our own nail polish remover, and repair broken nails with a tea bag, among other things- do check it out if you haven't). She was kind enough to give me two blog awards.

Now, I'm fairly new to the blogosphere, and I know there are "rules" to follow, but I hope you'll indulge me and allow me to do this my own way. I think what I'd like to do is simply name a couple blogs I've noticed recently and really enjoyed.

I'm positively blown away by the beautiful stamping abilities at Nailstyle.

I'm smitten with Madeline's short and sweet nails at Girl Germs (adorable name!).

I love reading MariJo's upbeat posts at MariJo Nails.

And I randomly stumbled across a Polish Ninja today, and I'm so glad I did.

Thanks for reading!

Monday, February 20, 2012

Zoya Harmonie and Nails Inc Bloomsbury Square

I was convinced I would never meet a Zoya I didn't love, but I'd place Zoya Harmonie firmly in the "meh" category. It's not bad, but I'm a little indifferent to it. I've seen prettier purple polishes (say that ten times fast!). Harmonie is a somewhat frosty medium tone purple -not quite as blue as it looks here- and the formula left something to be desired. It was sheer and streaky, and would have required at least three coats to be opaque. What you see here is two, and bald spots were still evident in person.

Luckily, Nails Inc Bloomsbury Square came to the rescue!

I really love the blingy awesomeness of the 3D Nails Inc glitters. Bloomsbury Square is a bit gritty, but with 2 good coats of Seche Vite, it's quite smooth. It was an overcast day here, so I couldn't capture the glittery deliciousness in the sun, but in person, it's a tremendous and wonderful glitterbomb. The mixture of intensely grape-coloured fine glitter and larger bright magenta glitter is amazing. What you see above is 2 coats of Bloomsbury Square over Harmonie. However, even on its own, two coats of the Nails Inc glitter is enough to achieve opacity. This is a closer picture of Bloomsbury Square on the nail:

I love how the smaller and larger bits of glitter look together. Gorgeous! I'm not sure how it's "3D", exactly, but maybe I'm just not wearing my 3D glasses. Someone tip me off if I'm missing a crucial step here. ;)

That was Nails Inc Bloomsbury Square, and I love it. Unfortunately, these kinds of dense glitter polishes tend to chip easily, and now at the end of the day I've already lost a couple chunks of lacquer. In my opinion, it's worth it.

Have you tried the Nails Inc 3D glitters before? What did you think of them? What kind of wear time did you get? And if viewed with 3D glasses, are they actually 3D? Thanks for reading!

Sunday, February 19, 2012

OPI DS Desire. Also: Bjork

Today was a particularly bright and sunny day... do you ever feel like a sunny day would be wasted if you didn't wear a holographic polish? That was how I felt today. Especially during the winter, when sunshine is at a premium. So today I have OPI Designer Series Desire for you. It's beauty of a holographic polish with a milk chocolate (mmm, chocolate...) base. What you see here is 3 coats of Desire, in direct sunlight. Enjoy!

And a good bottle shot- holographic goodness! 

I also wanted to show you the cover for Bjork's new Biophilia album which I just picked up; isn't it gorgeous? I love the aesthetic. 

Here is the video for the song "Moon". It includes more of what you see above, plus a good look at her nails. What do you think she's wearing? A dark red, but it also seems to have a metallic finish, or maybe gold shimmer? 

Anyways, that's what I've been enjoying today. Bjork, holographic lacquer, and chocolate. I hope that you'll enjoy it, too.