Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Ready for Snow: Farore by Starlight Polish

I had the last of my Starlight Polishes to show off today, and I decided to do something a bit different with it. Farore is from the Companion Fairy set by Starlight Polish, and is named for the Goddess of Courage, associated with the color green. 

But I'll start off by showing you how this polish would typically be shown: over dark colors. This is one coat over Sinful Colors Black on Black and Rimmel Deliciously Dark. Farore is a color shifting glitter topcoat that  flashes teal, green and gold. 

I decided to try Farore over a white, as I had swatched it that was (for some reason) and loved the glittering, snowy look it gave! I'm not a huge fan of snow if I have to be outside in it, but I love winter, and Christmas, and gently falling flakes that I can sit and watch as I'm safe and cozy inside in my pjs. This is one coat of Farore over something like 5 coats of Sally Hansen Complete Salon Manicure (love the end result, takes forever to build up though!). Topped with Out the Door. This photo was taken in overcast, natural light. All others taken indoors, with flash. 

The color shift is far less obvious over white than it is over black, but this combo was an absolute stunner! Gold was the most obvious color seen, but every here and there, was a gorgeous flash of green. I will definitely revisit this combination!

Almost looks iridescent! You can see the gold all over, and there are a few sparks of green near the free edge of my top finger! Doesn't this remind you of fresh, virgin snow on Christmas morning? As with all Starlight polishes, absolutely zero application issues. I can't think of a single bad thing to say about ANY of the polishes I've tried by Starlight. Issa specializes in color shifting topcoats, and she has some truly amazing ones! Obviously, best layered over dark colors, but I think I'll have to go back through all of them now, and see what other out-of-the box combinations I can come up with! 

Starlight Polishes are available on Etsy

*This polish was provided to me for an honest review. 

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

From The Ashes: Phoenix by Pretty & Polished, plus a BONUS

Here is another beauty from Pretty & Polished that has been sitting in my draft folder for a little while (though not nearly as long as Bubble Tea!): Phoenix. I used Phoenix in my This Is Halloween Jack O Lanterns prompt, then used it all over my left hand (with an accent nail), as I'm barely proficient at nail art using my dominant hand! I'm just not ready to try it using my completely uncoordinated left hand!

Chelsea say that Phoenix is "an orange tiny and it is packed with small orange, yellow and red glitters as well as medium red hexes." This is one and a half coats of Phoenix over Wet N Wild Sunny Side Up, topped with Seche Vite. My accent nail is Sinful Colors Black on Black topped with two coats of Horrible Spray Tan by Absolut Lacquer.* Photos taken in natural sunlight. 

Phoenix is pretty much all matte glitters, except for those random accent hexes, and applies like most matte glitters do. You need a little bit of patience. Make sure each coat is completely dry before doing another, or you will get dragging. Comes with the territory. That said, I had no problems with application at all. The glitter is very densely packed, and the polish could become opaque in three coats, max, but I only bought a mini, so I'm conserving :) It does dry a bit rough (again, comes with the territory with matte and micro glitters both), so a thick topcoat or some Gelous is needed. Phoenix truly is a beautiful, fun polish that is well worth a little bit of patience on application. 

Purchase Pretty & Polished only Etsy, and check it out on Facebook. If you haven't caved and bought any yet, it's only a matter of time! And you won't be sorry :)

*Horrible Spray Tan is from the OLD Absolut Lacquer lineup, and was discontinued when Tisha recently revamped her shop. I did receive a nice package from Absolut in the mail yesterday, so expect to see colors from the NEW lineup very soon!

Monday, November 12, 2012

Goddess of Wisdom: Nayru by Starlight Polish

Can I tell you a secret? I've never played a Zelda game. Ever. Is that sad? I grew up with an NES (and later Sega Genesis and PS2), but I was never a big gaming system kind of girl. The reference behind this polish (and it's sisters, Din and Farore) went right over my head! Luckily, Issa from Starlight Polish gives you a little backstory in each listing (which you know I love!).

Nayru is the Goddess of Wisdom, associated with the color blue. The polish is a turquoise-blue-violet color shifting topcoat. of course, the colors pop best over a dark base color.

I layered one coat of Nayru over NYC Battery Park Purple. Topped with Out the Door, photos taken in natural sunlight. 

Aqua and royal blues were the most prevalent, and easiest to capture, colors in this polish!

I really think I'm going to have to redo this color over black, as I couldn't capture any of the violet shift on camera. It was there, and I could see it a bit, but I think my purple base color threw it off some. Black is the absolute perfect base color, for damn near everything, but I hate showing everything over black, so I try to branch out! Sometimes, it fails :( This combination was very stunning in person, but I don't think it truly captures all of Nayru's potential. Expect a revisit!
Like all Starlight Polishes, Nayru applied like a dream. One quick, easy coat to instantly spice up your dark mani! Starlight can be purchased on Etsy. The Companion Fairy set, featuring this and three other polishes, is available in full size for $30 or minis for $12.50. Check out my archives for a gorgeous array of other Starlight polishes as well: Phoenix & Sunlight, Unicorn , Starlight, and Dragon and Din

*This polish was provided to me for an honest review. 

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Thank You Veterans! Featuring Soldier Boy by Hit Polish

The photo below is of my father, taken in the late 70's upon his swearing into the United States Army. He served his country, selflessly and proudly, for 25 years, and to this day he remains a soldier at heart. I could not be prouder of my father, or of any person who chooses to risk everything that they have and hold dear to protect and fight for the citizens of our country. I salute you, veterans of all branches of the United States Armed Forces! 

My photos today aren't the best, but I wanted to show off my Veteran's Day mani: Soldier Boy by Hit Polish. 

This is two coats of Soldier Boy over Fingerpaints Tough Art To Follow, topped with Seche Vite. Photos are taken indoors, under "daylight" bulbs.

Soldier Boy is evergreen, kelly green, brown and copper glitters in a clear base. 

Soldier Boy applied easily. I painted on the first coat, and then dabbed on the second to fill in any bare-ish spots. I think I would like to have seen a bit of black in there as well, but only because it fits better with my view of a soldier: old school Army BDU camouflage! The color scheme really is spot on for most other camo patterns though :)

HIT Polish can be purchased on Etsy. Soldier Boy is not currently listed, as the shop is stocked solely with seasonal fall and winter polishes, but regular colors should be available next week! Be sure to Like Hit Polish (also known as D & R Apothecary) on Facebook, for sales, freebies, swatches & news!

Support your veterans, too!

Friday, November 9, 2012

Tiny Bubbles . . . : Bubble Tea by Pretty & Polished

Pretty & Polished's Bubble Tea was one of the first indie polishes to go on my wishlist when I became seriously aware that indie polish was really a thing. A BIG thing. I loved the unique color, the black glitter, the whole simplicity of it! So when I finally broke down and put in a P&P order, Bubble Tea was a must! Then . . . it sat in my untrieds box. For about a month. Understandable, as I had polishes that were sent to me for review, which are obviously my first priority. And then there were polishes that I swapped Not Too Polished colors for, which I assign a second priority to. Then polishes that I actually buy, with money, go third. Makes sense, right? But then, after wearing Bubble Tea, and loving it, it's been sitting in my draft folder for longer than it sat in my untrieds box. What? Why? So, finally, here it is: one of my earliest polish crushes, shown off for all the world to see! 

This is three coats of Bubble Tea alone, topped with Seche Vite. Photos taken in natural sunlight. 

Chelsea describes Bubble Teas as "a tea based drink that is usually mixed with milk and has "Tapioca Pearls" in it. These Tapioca Pearls usually hand at the bottom of the flass and are actually black in color. Bubble Tea usually comes in soft shades of pastel colors, the most common being a light pastel green. This is what this nail polish represents. "Bubble Tea", the nail polish, is a soft light pastel green with tiny white glitter in it and medium sized black glitter."

I don't really have any experience with bubble tea the beverage. There was a drink I used to get at the dollar store in the mall that had a similar concept, but I don't recall if I actually liked it, or if I bought it because it was a cool novelty :) I also didn't even notice the white glitter in the swatches that made me first fall in love with this polish (understandably, since they didn't want to photograph properly for me either!), so it was a lovely surprise that really gave Bubble Tea an extra "oomph". 

This shot is slightly blurred, and showcases the white glitters best. Bubble Tea is quite sheer, though I promise that bald spot on my middle finger wasn't visible in person! My regular readers will know by now that I absolutely love sheer polishes, but if you're not a fan, then this color would be best layered. Three coats gave me perfect coverage, however, and I love the milky glaze over the black glitters that comes with layering. The glitter dragged a bit, so be sure to let each coat dry before doing another. Excellent application overall, and, of course, I would definitely recommend this one!

Do any of you really not know where to buy Pretty & Polished? If so, then head on over to Chelsea's Etsy shop: she is currently very well stocked (including the gorgeous Holiday Collection!)- minis are $4.75, full size $8.50. Like Pretty & Polished on Facebook for shop updates from the best possible source. 

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Steampunk! by Borough Babe Made

I did a trade a while back with the lovely Shannon from Borough Babe Made. I specifically picked this polish to be a part of my Halloween mani. Come on, it's in the name :) 

Shannon describes this color as "inspired by Steampunk jewelry. I've mixed up this color to have that sort of antiqued brass color you often see in steampunk pieces. It's also got my favorite holographic gold glitter mixed in." 

All Borough Babe polishes are 3 free, and hand mixed in the "boogie down Bronx". Polishes also come in a cute little handstamped, red velvet drawstring bag. I had forgotten this fact when I opened the package, so when I glimpsed the sea of red beneath the bubble wrap, I panicked! I thought there was a serious leakage problem! Nope: just an adorable personal touch :)

Three coats of Steampunk, topped with a coat of Gelous and a coat of Seche Vite. Photos taken in natural sunlight. 

Love the gritty, antique-y look of this color!

This polish was great to work with, if perhaps a little thick. I may add a drop or two of thinner before adding this one on Halloween. Otherwise, things were breezy. The glitter applied smooth and even, and I love how the micro shimmer gives the finished product a textured look! (Note: No texture was actually present. Steampunk was smooth and flat on the nail!)

Have you tried any Borough Babe polishes? They are available on Etsy: full sized bottles are $8, while minis are $3.75. Stop by Facebook and Like Borough Babe as well!

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Out of This World: Celestial by The Polish Bar

I have my 4th- and final- polish from The Polish Bar to show you today. (You can click the links to see Eternal Sunshine, Shirley and Berry Shimmer.) The polish of the day is called Celestial, and let me tell you right off the bat: Janice NAILED the name on this one! 

Layering experiments. L-R: Three coats of Celestial alone, and two coats over Maybelline Color Show Sapphire Siren, Fingerpaints Tough Art to Follow, Sinful Colors Black on Black, and Sinful Colors Black on Black topped with a coat of Maybelline Color Show Sapphire Siren. Celestial's base is definitely black-tinted, but I don't think it would ever be opaque enough to wear alone. 

Celestial is described as "many different kinds of holographic glitter in a black jellyish base. It also has very subtle blue/purple micro shimmer."

Two coats of Celestial over the Black on Black/Sapphire Siren layering combo. Top coats is one coat of Seche Vite. Photos were taken in natural light, but as it was SNOWING this morning, it was pretty overcast :(

Let me tell you a story about this layering combo. I wanted these glitters to really pop, and look like the night sky, but I didn't want to go with black. I decided on blue. I'm not really a fan of blue polishes, so I own exactly three: NYC Water Street Blue (bright sky blue- obviously out), Hot Topic Glow In The Dark Blue (again, obviously out) and Sinful Colors Midnight Blue (closer, but I didn't want the shimmer to compete with the beautiful shimmer already in Celestial). So I decided to grab a navy creme polish on my way home from work. So I look at Walmart. No dice. Tons of navy shimmers, and royal blue shimmers and even a few royal blue cremes, but my heart is set on navy. Loreal had a color that looked close on the shelf, but of course, it was the only Loreal polish that was sold out. Family Dollar, nothing even remotely close to navy. Or even royal! Finally, Walgreen's my last hope. The Loreal polish that I saw at Walmart is actually a greyed purple color. Tons more shimmers, tons more way-too-bright blues. I'm getting bummed. Then, finally, like a beacon of light, I come across the Maybelline Color Show display. Sapphire Siren is EXACTLY what I had in my head. So into my basket it goes, and I waltz to the register singing a happy little tune. Then I get home and sit down to swatch. Sapphire Siren is a . . . jelly. Dun Dun Dun! It's a beautiful jelly, and I love jellies in general, so I can see myself wearing it again, but damnit, I needed a creme! So I got the idea in my head to try it layered over a black, and lo and behold! The PERFECT blue-black shade I was looking for. 

::rant over::

Awkward hand pose: holding my steering wheel to show you that the polish really is blue, not black!

As for the review portion of this post: I just . . . I can't . . . I don't even know what to say. This polish is RIDICULOUS! It is one of the most gorgeous polishes I've seen, and you absolutely NEED it. It seemed a pretty standard black-jelly-holo-glitter, until I put it on. The holo glitters, while definitely holo, seemed biased toward pink-purple-blue-teal, and just added to the breath-taking aura on my nails. I've said a few times that a polish causes me to stare at my nails all day, but this one takes the cake! It looks exactly like a glorious, northern night sky photo. The kind where you're in the Borealis Belt, and there is no pollution from chemicals, light, sound or even other people, and the sky just becomes a huge, all encompassing entity, telling you exactly how small and insignificant you are in the grand scheme of things. Am I going on too much? No. You NEED this polish. 

Oh, you want to know how it applied? Great. Two coats, dabbed a bit on the second coat to make sure my glitter coverage was even. Didn't dry gritty. As amazing as this polish is, I don't think I would even care if it were the hardest polish to apply ever. But it wasn't, so even better!

The Polish Bar Polishes can be purchased on Etsy. Full sized bottles run $8.50, minis $4.25. Make sure you head on over and snap the ones you need, though- the shop will go into vacation mode Thursday at midnight, and will be on vacation for most of the month of November. Be sure to Like The Polish Bar on Facebook, too! 

*This polish was provided to me for an honest review. The overly glowing opinion expressed in this post is my own, and entirely accurate.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Sugar Plum Fairies: Berry Shimmer by The Polish Bar

Bit of a late post today, as I had to batch several bottles of polish to ship out! But here I am, and with a post that is rather more picture heavy than usual. I'm sure you don't mind :)

Today's polish is Berry Shimmer by The Polish Bar, and it is from the brand new Holiday 2012 Collection, just released today! It is a clear based polish with "holographic purple shreds and hexes, purple shreds, small lavender hexes and a splash of berry shreds in a clear base." This polish screamed "Sugar Plums" to me, so I wanted to pair it with something to fit that theme. On nail wheel, L-R: Two coats over Sinful Colors Amethyst, NYC Battery Park Purple, Sinful Colors Pink Forever, Cream Pink and Dream On, then three coats alone. 

I chose to layer it over Sinful Colors Amethyst, but I'm not really sure why. Looking back at that nail wheel now, I really should have gone with Battery Park Purple. Maybe I'll look for a fun plummy-pinky base color just to try this one out again!

Two coats of Berry Shimmer over Sinful Colors Amethyst, topped with Seche Vite. Photos taken in natural sunlight.

This has got to be the first time anyone has ever said: There is just too much glitter in this polish! The sun was giving me such a hard time trying to take photos!

Here we go in the shade.

And another shade shot- the glitter shows up much better without the sun glinting off of it!

And my favorite shot of all! Other than issues with photography, this polish went on perfectly. No dragging or clumping or fishing. The shreds lay completely flat without extra manipulation. Berry Shimmer is such a gorgeous and unique polish, and I don't think I'm really showing it here to its full potential. This on definitely rates a revisit, but I wanted to make sure you got to see this beauty on release day!

The Polish Bar (available on Etsy) returned from vacation mode today, with all of the Holiday 2012 polishes! Yay! BUT: if you see a polish you really must have, make sure to snap it up quick, as Janice goes back on vacation Thursday, 11.8 at midnight. Be sure to like The Polish Bar on Facebook for shop announcements (like a return date! which is expected in late November) and tons of gorgeous swatches. 

(What do you think of the new signature? I love it!)

*This polish was provided to me for an honest review.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Don't Call Me: Shirley by The Polish Bar

My absolute favorite of all possible color combinations is black/white/grey/any combo thereof with pops of hot pink. So this polish and combo is definitely right up my alley!

Shirley by The Polish Bar is a clear based glitter topcoat filled with black and various shades of pink glitters. None of the glitters are very large, which gives this topper a nice, delicate feel.

Two coats of Shirley over Sinful Colors Slate, topped with a coat of Gelous and a coat of Out the Door. Photos taken in natural sunlight. 

The shimmer in Slate made this a little hard to photograph (morning sun was hitting it oddly and creating glare), but it is a beauty! The polish applied great- even glitter coverage and no dragging. Two coats gave me the perfect amount of glitter, and more (or fewer) coats would change up the look easily. I said earlier than the smaller glitters in Shirley give it a girly, delicate feel, and over this shimmery grey, this is a very feminine manicure. But I think it would look amazing over something dark and vampy as well: Next time I pull this puppy out, I think I'll layer it over Inkwell from Sinful Colors' Muse line. It's a deep, almost black plum color. 

The Polish Bar is currently on vacation, but Janice will be back to her Etsy shop TOMORROW (11/5) with her Holiday 2012 Collection, and I'll have one of those polishes to show you tomorrow as well! Like The Polish Bar on Facebook for previews and shop announcements.

Support your indies, ladies!

Meet Me Under the: Merry Mistletoe by Twenty Seven Polish

I am so beyond excited to start showing off Christmas polishes! I love Halloween, and the two holidays are pretty close to tied for my favorites, but I think Christmas may just win. By a VERY tight margin! Twinkling lights, fresh baked cookies, beautiful dustings of snow on the trees in my backyard (as long as I don't have to go out in it!), plus I LOVE shopping for my loved ones. And for me, the holiday season pretty much starts November 1st!

The first Christmas polish that I have to showcase this season is Merry Mistletoe by Twenty Seven Polish. Lisa from Twenty Seven describes this as "a clear base that is mixed with snowy white matte hexes and bars, green matte hexes, and shreds of very merry red." The main Etsy photo for this polish has it shown over a lime green, which I wish I'd thought of, because I love it!

The look I DID go for, however, is two coats of Merry Mistletoe over Sinful Colors Nirvana. Topped with NYC Matte Me Crazy, photos taken in natural sunlight. I wanted this polish to look like sprinkles on a Christmas cookie, and damn if I didn't succeed! To me these nails look just like a gingerbread cookie, coated with jimmies and nonpariels!

See what I mean? Now I want gingerbread . . . I'm the only one in my family who eats it, so I usually don't make any :( 

Merry Mistletoe applied very well. The glitter was well mixed, and came out evenly and without issue. It is a little sparse, which means that you can customize the amount of glitter you want on your nails, which I love. I actually like the bars in this (and I'm not usually a fan of bars), because it made it a bit more dintinctive. They also didn't give me any trouble at all, which helped. This combo looked great shiny, of course, but I had to matte it, so that it looked more like a cookie!

I've reviewed a few Twenty Seven polishes before, of course: Space Cadet and Fake ID. I've been sitting on this one, because I really wanted to wait until I felt Christmas-y to show it off, which is sad, because it's such a fun combo! I want to pick up a slightly shimmery beige-y kind of color to try a sugar cookie look next!

Twenty Seven Polish can be purchased on Etsy, where full sized bottles run $7 and minis are $3. This is the only Christmas polish I see yet, but there are plenty of other fun glitter toppers, plus a few color+glitter polishes listed. Lisa has also just released a color change polish! Go here to like Twenty Seven on Facebook.

Support your indies, ladies!

*This polish was provided to me for an honest review. 

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Visions of Eternal Day: Eternal Sunshine by the Polish Bar

"Eternal sunshine of the spotless mind!
Each prayer accepted, and each wish resigned"

I don't know if either were the inspiration behind this polish, but I love both the film, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, and the Alexander Pope poem, Eloisa to Abelard, from which it draws its name. 

Eternal Sunshine is a part of The Polish Bar's Late Summer Collection, and Janice describes it as "small purple square and hex glitters and sparkly, tiny navy and fuchsia hex glitters in a creamy light yellow base."

I am so glad that I received this polish, because it's not one that I ever would have chosen for myself. I enjoy the color yellow, but most yellow polishes (especially the bright ones that I tend to pick!) end up looking very odd against my skin. I have a very fair, cool toned complexion, so yellows tend to clash. But this is very pale, creamy and soft, and I think it played very well with my skin! And it was such a relief to wear a light, happy color after so many Halloween polishes and manicures! And before the Christmas mani rush starts :) (Tomorrow, by the way!)

This is three coats of Eternal Sunshine layered over itself, topped with a coat of Gelous and a coat of Out the Door. This polish was smooth enough that I would typically use one coat of Seche Vite on top, but I'm out. Trip to Sally on Saturday! Oh yeah: all photos taken in full, natural sunlight. 

White based glitter polishes are all the rage right now, and I like them as much as anyone, but I'm going to take it one step further: I love ANY pale, milky based glitter polish. This was a surprise, runaway hit with me!

I love how the glitter looks in this shot- click to enlarge, you won't be sorry! Eternal Sunshine applied like a dream. Three quick, easy coat and coverage was perfect. The glitter was evenly distributed, didn't clump together, and dried surprisingly smooth. I used a coat of Gelous, both out of habit, and because I'm out of Seche Vite, but I honestly think that a single coat of Out the Door would have been enough to smooth everything over. 

I have three other Polish Bar polishes to show off in the coming week: Celestial, Shirley and Berry Shimmer, the last of which is a holiday collection polish that will be released on Monday! Be sure to check back to see these other lovlies- I'm very excited about them.

The Polish Bar is currently on vacation, but the Holiday 2012 Collection is set to be released Monday, November 5th, so it will reopen by then! Polishes can be purchased on Etsy. Be sure to Like the Polish Bar on Facebook also: tons of gorgeous color swatches, and news on upcoming collections!

Support your indies, ladies!

* This polish was provided to me for an honest review.