Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Had Enough Gray Yet?

I should have called this blog 50 shades of gray . . . I haven't read the books (and I really have no desire to), but I'm pretty sure I could gather 50 gray polishes to rave about :) This is my 30th post, and my 5th gray. 12.5% of my posts. I make no apologies! This time, it's Crotch Rocket from Wonder Beauty products- another one I've been wanting from the first time I laid eyes on it! Stupid budget :(

Crotch Rocket's Etsy listing describes it as "An opaque medium gray cream base with flashes of yellow, blue, green, purple and orange glitter effects." 

Definitely a lovely asphalt gray, with micro yellow matte glitters, small purple and green metallic glitters, and medium blue and orange metallic glitters.

This color went on incredibly smoothly, but it took 4 coats to get the gray completely opaque. Layering over a gray polish would work, but I prefer the multiple layers- the glitter sinks in and is buried by the next coat, creating an amazing depth that would be missing if you only used one coat. 

The micro yellow matte glitters really gave this polish an extra zing, but my camera didn't seem to want to see them. And the orange glitters were so different from the surrounding colors that they kept catching the light, drawing my eye to my nails- in a completely good way! This polish is definitely going on my list of favorites, to be worn again and again until I cry because my bottle is empty.

Wonder Beauty products can be found on Etsy. Full size bottles are $10, and palettes (polish in a nifty little pot, complete with a bottle of topcoat/application brush- I've got a review of one of these coming up) are $12. They also sell color and suspension base, as well as empty bottles for anyone interested in mixing up some polish of their own! I have used their suspension base in the past with no problems. 

You can also like Wonder Beauty Products on Facebook.

Monday, July 30, 2012

"What use is Wizardy if it cannot save a Unicorn?"

The movie version of The Last Unicorn was my absolute favorite film as a child. When it was finally released on DVD several years ago, I think I literally squealed aloud in the store. Of course I bought it, and watched it immediately! Wow. It really is NOT a children's movie. Creepy as hell! Still excellent of course. And no, I have not changed my reviews from polish to film, but that movie is always the first thing I think of when unicorns are mentioned. And today, I have Unicorn, by Starlight Polish. See, it all ties together!

Issa from Starlight and Sparkles says it is a  "colorshifting duochrome topcoat, meant for layering over other polishes." Also: "Unicorn shifts from cool green to blue, and flashes turquoise to vivid indigo at the extremes of it's color range."  This is one coat of Unicorn, alone, on a nail wheel. Obviously, it's a layering polish :) But I wanted to show off the actual "sparkles" of the polish, which tend to get a bit lost over a dark color.

Because I'm boring (and I don't own any navy cremes) I layered this over a basic black. One coat black, one coat Unicorn, one coat Out the Door. Gotta love a mani with only 3 layers! All photos taken outdoors, on a bright and sunny day.

Direct sun. Royal blue was by far the most predominant color in the sunlight.

Mostly shade. Some of the emerald is peeking out at the top of my ring finger!

Mostly green, again in shade.

Here we see a bit more color shift between the blue and green. The green showed off the most indoors (especially under the fluorescent lights at work), with the royal/indigo showing more outdoors. There was a gorgeous teal flash as well, but my camera didn't seem to see it :(

This polish is, in a word, spectacular! I caught myself surreptitiously peeking at my hands every now and then to see the play of light on the colors. A coworker even marched over from 20 feet away to admire this color, because she saw the color shift from that far away! I get compliments on my nails from time to time, and I make sure to file them away to share! 

This went on super easily- I had more trouble with the black. One thin coat of Unicorn was enough to bring out all the colors this polish had to offer. I even wore it for three days with only minimal (for me!) chipping on my right hand. I'm pretty rough on my hands at work, so any polish that I can get more than a days wear out of gets an A+ in my book. 

Starlight and Sparkles can be purchased on Etsy. A full size bottle of Unicorn can be had for $8, or a mini for $3.50. There is also a mini set featuring Unicorn along with Dragon and Phoenix (both of which I have, and will review shortly) for $9.50. 

*These polishes were provided to me for an honest review.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Don't. Even. BLINK. Another Doctor Who Polish

I love polishes that reference geeky things that I get right away. OPI does this to some extent, tying some of their collections to movies and such, but like so many other things, Indies do it better! In my review of Lyn B Designs' Four Things and a Lizard, I say that I would have purchased that polish, sight unseen, based on the name alone. This one is no different: Lyn B Designs' Angels Have the Phone Box. It's Doctor Who themed, and it mentions the Weeping Angels and the Tardis. So it's some combination of blue/grey: of course I want it! I want ALL the grey polishes!

Still love these bottles :)

Hey, I was right! Grey and blue! Lyn calls this color "a medium steely gray with medium white square glitter, small black hexagons and small blue square glitter." The grey is very shimmer, almost a pewter sort of color. <3  

Here is two coats, topped with Out the Door. Indoor lighting, no flash.

This polish went on very well, and was opaque in two coats. My only complaint is that the actual color is a bit heavy. The only glitters I could really see on the nail were the blue squares. The overall idea is still conveyed, and it is a lovely polish. Maybe some thinner would help out?

Lyn B Designs can be purchased on Etsy, and has tons of amazing collections, from Doctor Who, a Carnival theme (pretty sure I'll be grabbing a few of those!), a tea theme, as well as perfumes and lip balms! Like Lyn B on Facebook, and check out my reviews of Chocolate and Chai and Four Things and a Lizard.


Saturday, July 28, 2012

Irate Woodland Mammal!

Today, we experience together the last of my Darling Diva Polishes, and, IMHO, the one with the best name: Angry Beaver! There's no great inspiration behind the name, but there is a fairly amusing story. This polish was created, nameless, and was hence doomed to wander the earth as purpleish-jelly-with-glitter-but-no-name, for all eternity. Then, as chance would have it, a wild commercial appeared, featuring a rather irate woodland mammal with a panchant for wood-gnawing, and a polish name was born! Meet Angry Beaver:

The Etsy listing for this beauty describes it as "multicolored holo and crystal glitters in a bright purple base. It is full of purple, blue, red, pink, holographic and green glitters and just ......... sparkles!" I personally noticed red, gold and green larger hexes, medium aqua hexes, and small gold and purple hexes, plus a lovely shimmer.

I go through TONS of nail wheels when it comes to swatching glitters- I need to makes sure I get the absolute best possible undies! L-R: three coats of Angry Beaver alone, and one coat over Darling Diva Purple Dreams, Sally Hansen No Hard Feelings, creme black and creme white

I've seen swatches of this out on the interwebs where the base is just insanely purple. As you can see from the three-coats swatch, my base really isn't all that purple. But that does give waay more layering options, as purple jelly over green undies doesn't typically yield the best results. There was an amazing purple pearly sheen to the base that only really showed up over dark colors, so I went with black undies for my full mani.

I love how the multi colored glitter really pops over the black as well. But then, I tend to use black as a base for lots of glitters- it's my standby, as it just works with pretty much everything! I go through lots of black polish . . . This is two coats of Angry Beaver over creme black, with Seche Vite to top it all off. 

Forgive the lack of cleanup- no idea what happened there. Must have been late at night. Anyway- check out the lovely purple sheen! Gave this a whole new dimension beyond chunky glitter topper! 

Angry Beaver applied very smoothly, with no glitter fishing at all. I didn't even have to dab it on, which is a bit odd for larger glitters, but I'm all about ease of application! The glitters lay flat all by themselves, and a normal coat of SV kept the whole thing under wraps for the duration of wear. This is not a super glitter bomb, which I like- some indie glitters are so packed that it's hard to achieve the scattered glitter look. But with this one, you can build to get the coverage you want.

I seriously LOVE all of my Darling Diva Polish. And I seriously WANT about 98% of the colors that she offers! And beyond the creativity to come up with all these fantastic colors, this woman is just the sweetest! I convo'd her about some of the polishes, and it turned into an ongoing convo about polish hauls! I love when sellers take time to actually talk to customers about unrealated bits- cause we're all people :) Check out my reviews of Space Beetle/Diabla and Purple Dreams, then go like DDP on Facebook! Then go buy all the colors on Etsy

Which Darling Divas are your faves? I think once my No Buy is over, I'm going to have to pick up Reef Fish, Chandelle, Pendragon and Bazinga!

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

Friday, July 27, 2012

Those Summer . . . Niiights

When I receive polishes from various indie brand to review, I try to let them pick the colors they send. This way, I can be sure that I get the polishes that they feel are truly their best work. If not that, then brand new, fancy colors. In my package from Lacey Lou's Stockpile, I got my first ever polish that I really wouldn't have picked myself. My loss.

Meet Summer Nights.

As before, Lacey does not give a detailed description of this polish in her Etsy listing, but says that it is full of hearts, stars and actual beach sand from California.

I think the sand idea is really neat, though it may have scared me a bit if I read that as a buyer! But don't worry- the sand is super fine, and did not effect the application of this polish at all. It does contain silver hearts and stars, as well as micro aqua and silver glitter, plus a super fine rainbow-y kind of glitter. I'm not a big fan of blue, but then I realized this was a topper, not colored. So what else would I put something called "Summer Nights" over than the ultimate night color: black.

Wow. Holy galaxy nails! I feel kind of bad now for being all "Meh" about it at first. 

Photos taken in indoor light, no flash. Creme black, two coats of Summer Nights, one coat SV.

Close up: behold the majesty of the universe! I think this would look amazing over a pearl black as well.

Application was problem free, very little fishing for any of the shapes. But some of the stars were very thin, and ripped as I was trying to paint them on. You can see a "good" star on my top finger two photos up, and a "bad" star in this photo. The bad stars ended up looking like shatter glitter. Still neat. If I had placed the stars rather than trying to paint them on normally, I doubt I would have had this problem. I used two thick coats of Seche Vite to make sure the shapes stayed in place. 

I was very surprised at how much I ended up liking this polish. I wore it for two days, and I'm an every night kind of polisher. I have an old bottle of Rimmel Deliciously Dark (an amazing almost-black purple creme) that I want to try this over next- I'll be sure to post an update when I do! If you're a blue lover, a dark navy would look amazing as well. In the Etsy listing, it appears to be layered over white, which I really don't think does it justice!
Lacey Lou's Stockpile can be purchased on Etsy, and liked on Facebook

Do you have any Lacey Lou's? Which ones reeled you in?

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

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Peachy Cherries

It's High Summertime, shouldn't I be rocking neons on a daily basis? For some reason this summer I've been strongly leaning toward neutral-y colors: greys, tans and nudes. Of course, I'm always down for glitter :)

Today I have a lovely almost-neutral for you, Sugared Cherries by Lacey Lou's Stockpile.

(Ignore my nails- I promise I'll review that one later, and I promise you actually see the subject of this post on them shortly! I accidentally deleted my bottle shots from the day I was wearing it.)

I love handwritten labels on indie polish. Makes it feel, well, handmade :)

Lacey doesn't describe this color in her Etsy listing, but says that it's cherry season in her area, so she took lots of inspiration from them! I'd call this a lightish coral-y peach/pink packed with gold shimmer, smallish silver hexes, and some hexes that I couldn't quite decide what color to call them. Gold, maybe? Pinkish? The pinkish base color is a jelly, so it may be throwing my color receptors off. I'm also not sure if there is supposed to be red glitter in this or not: I can't see any in my bottle, but I did end up with two or three on my nails. Total, out of all ten. Hmm.

The hexes all look obviously silver here. 

Full sunlight. You can see a lone red glitter on my index finger. Three coats over bare nail, topped with SV.

Full sun again. See the gorgeous gold shimmer?

Shade. Don't let me semi-complaining about glitter colors throw you off- I adore this color, and I'm sure it will get pretty heavy play through the rest of the summer (if I ever make it through my untried pile!) and it'll be one of the first I pull out next spring when I need light, happy colors! It applied well, not thick at all, and the glitters were very forthcoming. It did dry slightly matte, and slightly gritty, but a thick coat-and-a-half of Seche Vite made it nice and glassy smooth.

All Lacey Lou's Stockpile polishes are 3 free, and are priced according to production time and supplies. Full size bottle range from $8 to $12. Find them on Etsy, and like the brand on Facebook

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

Monday, July 23, 2012

Legend of the Pheonix Pt II

Not too long ago, I showed you my first part of the Feenix Polish series, Legend of the Pheonix, Embers.  Today, I've got part two, Ashes. Suzette from Feenix Polish says Ashes was "designed to look like the ashes after the fire. It met my expectations exactly! The base is a shimmery dark gray. Mixed throughout are black and gray glitters in assorted sizes. It looks very much like ashes on your fingertips. Shiny, sparkly ashes. . . but ashes in any event." And it really, really does!

I don't know if I've said it yet, or if I can say it enough, but I love grey polishes! Love love love them, absolutely. Given any two choices, I will probably pick the grey one.

This polish, like Embers, was surprisingly opaque. This shows Ashes on a nail wheel: 3 coats alone, one coat over Wet N Wild Metallica, and one coat of LA Colors BCC. Not a whole lot of difference between the colors, but one coat over a pewter colored base would make your bottle last longer.

Photo taken in direct sun. Full mani is three coats with no undies, topped with two coats of SV. This polish was not exceptionally gritty, but I felt that two coats of topcoat would be helpful, as I'm a pretty bad picker if things aren't completely smooth. 

Again, in direct sun. Application on this was pretty good. It's a bit thick, but not as thick as Embers was. Suzette has said that she's thinning out some of her glitter packed polishes, but my bottle of Ashes wasn't problematic. I don't know if it's one of the "fixed" versions, or if this one just wasn't as thick to begin with, but it really was easy to work with.

I absolutely love this charcoal-y color, and it is the one that drew me to buy from Feenix Polish in the first place! I really hope to complete my Legend of the Phoenix collection- these colors are gorgeous! Ashes, and  other Feenix Polishes, can be purchased on Etsy. Full size bottles are $8. Be sure to like Feenix on Facebook and follow along on Blogspot: support your indies, so they keep 'em coming!

Sunday, July 22, 2012

The Perfect Summer Snack

Andeevie/nAiL'Dit is a new-ish indie polish maker (opened shop in April) that has taken off like a rocket! She's been all over the place in the blogosphere, and she's definitely become a favorite. I'm a little sorry to say I only discovered her a few weeks ago :( Her colors are amazing, and she was so sweet and accommodating when I contacted her: it's no wonder she's become such a big hit!

My first andeevie polish was Sun-Flower Seeds, from the Summer Lovin collection. It is described in it's Etsy listing as "a loaded glitter polish with yellows, oranges and a hint of green with shimmers, and white with black round seeds. It is a great layering polish but also looks good alone." These are all matter glitters, which I haven't quite made up my mind about yet. I like them, and I use them, both on my nails and in my polish line, but I think I'll always be partial to the old school metallic foil glitters.

You can see the lovely party-in-a-bottle look of the glitters here. It is the perfect combination for a sunflower!

I wanted to layer this polish, but finding a base color was a bit of a challenge. I wanted something that fit in with the sunflower theme, but didn't hide any of the glitter colors. (The orange and yellow were obviously out for that reason.) L-R: 3 coats of Sunflower Seeds alone, and one coat over NYC Lexington Yellow, Wet N Wild Sunny Side Up, Sally Hansen Green With Envy, Sally Hansen Blue Me Away, NYC Midtown Mink and creme black. 

I went with Sally Hansen Green with Envy (light enough that the green glitter still popped, and looks like grass) with an accent nail of Sally Hansen Blue Me Away (sky?). I topped it with one thickish coat of Sunflower Seeds, plus a few touch up dabs here and there. Topped with one coat of Seche Vite. Photo in full sun.

Indoor light, no flash.

Closeup in indoor light, no flash. I love how the white micro glitters really showed up on the blue! I really can't decide if the small dark glitters are black or brown, but either fits the theme, and they look really cute. 

The small glitters in this applied super easily. No dragging and great coverage. The large black "seeds" were a bit difficult to come by. I set them aside on the bottle rim when I found them, then went back and placed them. Flipping the bottle upside down for a few minutes before painting would do the trick as well.

Sunflower Seeds, and all other nAiL'Dit polishes can be purchased on Etsy. Like her on Facebook as well, and search for more swatches, because she offers some super fun color combinations!

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

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Dreaming in Purple

I never quite understood the "Gotta Have It"-ness of linear holos. They were kind neat, a nice novelty polish, but I couldn't quite understand why I still needed all of them at typically 50% more than other indies. Until I received my first two- Space Beetle and Purple Dreams from Darling Diva Polish. (And if you click that link over there, you'll see just how much I fell in love with Space Beetle- and I've worn it twice since then!)

Darling Diva Polish- Purple Dreams, in full sun. 

Swatches, in full sun. 3 coats of Purple Dreams alone, one coat over creme black, and one coat over Wet N Wild Buffy the Violet Slayer.

The same wheel, indoors, under a desk lamp. I had been under the impression that holos really only gave it their all under full sunlight, but this puppy (and Space Beetle) really looked fabulous in ANY direct lighting.

Same wheel, blurred to show the holo-y goodness.

Darling Diva describes Purple Dreams as a "Purple holo franken . . . This is different than your other holos because I have used both coarse grade holo powder and fine grade holo powder. For me, I enjoy this color shift much better. Its the best of both worlds." Having no other holos to compare to, I can't say whether the dual sized powder has anything to do with it, but both of the DDP holos I have certainly do the job they were meant to! 

Three coats of Purple Dreams, no topcoat, in full sun. 

And in sort-of shade. Obviously not shady enough, as you can still see a bit of color shift.

As with Space Beetle, this polish went on like a dream. Three easy coats, fast dry time, completely smooth. The shift in Purple Dreams isn't as strong as Space Beetle, but I wore it alone. Over black, I think this would be out of the park. The purple color was a bit too blue toned for my taste- I have very pale hands, and I think this washed them out a bit. On darker skin though, this would be amazing! 

I have had this on my toes for the last week and a half or so, because I really do enjoy the color, just not by itself, on my fingers. And I hereby promise you, on every bottle of polish that I own, that I will -NEVER- show you my feet on this blog. For all you readers who are squeamish about feet- me too. So no toe pics here, ever! 

Darling Diva has quickly become one of my absolutely favorites, in my small-but-steadily-growing indie collection. A good half of her polishes have earned a place on my wishlist- now to just increase the budget! Do you have any Darling Divas? What are your faves?

Darling Diva Polish can be found on Etsy. Holos are $12 for a full size bottle, glitters and jellies and such are $8. Also, like them on Facebook.

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

Sunday, July 15, 2012

All That Glitters- Very Peacock-ish

Let me start out by saying that blues are not my favorites. I only own about 3 blue polishes, and I don't wear them much. But I received this beauty from All That Glitters, and I may have found a blue that I'll actually wear again. Kirsten describes this color: :Very Peacock-ish has a blue/green pearly base with small blue and green glitters in various colors, shapes and sizes as well as gold and black opal (black/navy/dark purple) large hexes scattered throughout."

All That Glitters Very Peacock-ish in the sun


Again, indoors

I started by swatching this color on a nail wheel. Then I lost the wheel, and started another one before I did a full mani. 

From left: 3 coats of Very Peacock-ish alone, and one coat over NYC High Line Green, Sinful Colors Gorgeous, and Love My Nails Orchid

From left: One coat of Very Peacock-ish over Sinful Colors Happy Ending, Sally Hansen Green with Envy, Sinful Colors Gorgeous (again), and Sinful Colors Cinderella

I started my full mani with two coats of Sinful Colors Cinderella. It's a lovely light blue with pink shimmer. 

Two coats of Very Peacock-ish over Cinderella. The blue base of VP shows up very nicely over the pale blue of Cinderella. 

Very Peacock-ish went on smoothly, with no fishing. I didn't dig for any of the large glitters on my nails, they came out and went on as they wanted. Large glitters are usually a pain in the ass, but these played very nicely. Impressive. 

It did dry slightly gritty. Two thickish coats of SV smoothed everything out. I have a tendency to pick at large glitters if they're not absolutely flat, so I did pull a few off of the sides of my nail. Overall, this is a wonderful glitter. 

All That Glitters can be found on Etsy, and on Facebook. Full size bottles run $8, and there are some amazing colors to choose from! I'm crushing on Hole Hearted, Space Rock and Ziggy Stardust in a BIG way! Kirsten is currently in the process of moving, so her shop is closed, but she will reopen as soon as she is set up. 

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