30 March 2013

Paisley and Gradients with Cult Nails 2nd Anniversary Collection

Hi everyone! Happy Good Friday / Easter weekend if you celebrate! Cult Nails is currently having a nail art contest. If you are interested you might want to check out their Facebook page ASAP as I believe there's only one day left to enter. I thought the contest would be the perfect opportunity to challenge myself with something new and break out the Cult Nails 2nd Anniversary collection that I bought awhile back.

(L-R) Cult Nails Tempest, Blaze, and Fetish

For this design I used only the three polishes that were part of the collection - Blaze, Fetish and Tempest. My accent nail is a simple sponged glitter gradient using Fetish and Blaze. On the other fingers I started with a sponged gradient using Fetish and Tempest. Then I did all the black lines and details with a fine liner brush. After that I did the white lines with the same liner brush, and the white dots with a very fine dotting tool. I finished with a few accents using Blaze and the same fine dotting tool.

Paisley and gradients nail art

Paisley and gradients nail art

Let me know if you have any questions about this design or how I did it. It looks rather complicated, but it's not. It was very time consuming, especially with the fine detail lines. For the lines, I tend to do a very light line then go over it once or twice more. I find there's less errors, and if I make a mistake, it's easier to fix. I also use nail polish thinner to make the polish more fluid while working. For now this seems to be working well.

Paisley and gradients nail art

A bit about the 2nd Anniversary collection:

Blaze is a very fine gold and copper glitter in a clear base. You could wear this one on it's own with 2-3 coats, but I prefer it layered over another polish. The formula on this one is great. My only concern is that I ended up with a wonky brush. I'm glad it's not one of the other polishes, and hopefully I can fix it.

Fetish is a jet black with a wax finish. By wax finish I mean it's not completely matte, but has a nice sheen to it. However, adding top coat negates the wax finish, so you need to wear this one without. I found it applied so perfect and smooth with two coats. I was so impressed that the finish was flawless, and I wouldn't have a problem wearing this without top coat.

Tempest is a pure white creme. What sets this apart from other whites is the superior formula. It goes on very creamy and smooth, and it's perfectly self-leveling. This was two coats but it's almost a one-coater. This one is going to compete with my Sally Hansen White On as my go-to white for nail art.

Paisley and gradients nail art

Paisley and gradients nail art

Overall, I'm happy with the design, even if no one votes for me during the contest. It's one of those designs where up close I can see all the imperfections (which are of course magnified by the camera), but when I'm looking at it while typing up this blog post, I'm so completely satisfied with it. The paisley is like little miniature paintings on my nails and I love looking at the variations and details.

What do you think of this? Have you tried paisley designs? Did you get the Cult Nails collection?

29 March 2013

Spring Dot Manicure with Models Own

Hi everyone! I should be bringing you another review for the Born Pretty Store, but I've been very tired lately, so that will have to wait until tomorrow or the weekend. Yesterday I got three new (to me) Models Own polishes with my Harlow & Co. order, and I couldn't resist combining them in some sort of design. And since I've been so tired / overwhelmed / overworked etc., I wanted to keep it simple. I realized I haven't done a dot manicure for awhile, hence today's mani!

Spring dot manicure with Models Own

For this manicure, I used Models Own Jade Stone, Soda Pop Pink and Utopia. They are not new colours, I believe they are part of the core line, but I found them perfect for spring! And I was pleasantly surprised how well they went together, especially Jade Stone and Soda Pop Pink.

Note that the colours are slightly more saturated than they are showing up in my photos. Sorry! :/

But a bit about these polishes...

Models Own Jade Stone, Utopia, and Soda Pop Pink

Jade Stone is a pale mint creme leaning slightly towards a robin egg blue. I really love the colour on this one, it's so fresh and just right for spring. I used two coats here and the formula was perfect - very creamy, smooth, and perfectly self-leveling.

Spring dot manicure with Models Own

Soda Pop Pink is a pale bubblegum pink. It's not very bright, nor is it a pastel, I guess it's just somewhere in the middle. I really love this colour, and it's very flattering and girly without coming across as barbie doll pink. It was a bit more sheer than the others so I used three coats, but otherwise the formula was great - also very smooth and self-leveling.

Utopia is a very, very pale lavender-grey. I think this will be a great polish for nail art and for when I need a "palette cleanser". It was thicker than the others so I needed to add a few drops of thinner, but it was fine after that. I used two coats and I found that there was a bit of bubbling (which disappears when you add a top coat), but otherwise a very good polish and great coverage for a lighter colour.

Spring dot manicure with Models Own

I really love how this turned out, and it's fun to do some simple nail art every now and then. There was some feathering on the dots even though I waited for it to dry, which was a downer. :( Hopefully you can't notice it too much.

What do you think of this? Have you tried Models Own?

27 March 2013

Laquerlicious "I Do" Collection: My Picks

Hi everyone! Laquerlicious is another indie brand that I first learned about through Instagram (note: Instagram is not fun if you are on a no-buy, lol!). I've been following Michelle and her creations for awhile now, and she just recently released a set of six glitter bombs all based on the theme of the spring wedding. I'm not really a wedding person, but I just loved the lighter tone of these polishes, and the nice spring colours, so I fell for them instantly. I decided to buy four out of the six, and of course I had to share them!

Laquerlicious (L-R) I Now Pronounce You, Just Married, The Perfect Gown,
and Something Blue

All four of these are glitter toppers, so they are meant to be layered over another polish. For the most part they are clear-based, except Something Blue has a faint blue tint to the base and I Now Pronounce You has a faint pink tint. The formula on all four was great, I only needed one coat for each, with a bit of dabbing and glitter placement required so that the glitter was spread out evenly. Also I didn't have much trouble getting the larger glitter pieces out, but a good shake is required before applying with each of them.

I Now Pronounce You is packed with lots of shimmer, and purple and rose micro-glitter. There's also periwinkle and lavender hexes, and white, silver, and purple shards. I love the shards in this one! And not noticeable at first are sheer iridescent hexes. They are very subtle but add complexity. I layered this over OPI My Very First Knockwurst.

Laquerlicious I Now Pronounce You

Laquerlicious I Now Pronounce You

Just Married is made up mostly of tiny pink glitter, gold squares and hexes in different sizes, and white squares and hexes in different sizes. To add interest there's a generous helping of blue circles and fuchsia squares that function as an accent. The colour scheme is what really drew me to this one. Also there's some holo glitter - the gold squares and hexes, as well as some of the micro-glitter. This one is absolutely stunning when it hits the light! I layered this over OPI My Vampire is Buff.

Laquerlicious Just Married

Laquerlicious Just Married

Something Blue is more of a delicate glitter topper. It's mainly made up of micro-glitter and shimmer with small hexes and squares, some of which is iridescent. I layered this over Avon Vintage Blue.

Laquerlicious Something Blue

Laquerlicious Something Blue

The Perfect Gown is making a second appearance on this blog. If you missed it the first time you can see that here. This time I layered it over Lacquer Lust Sweet Georgia Peach, and I really love how feminine this combination is. This is made up of white squares and hexes in different sizes, also gold hexes, squares and bars, some of which are holographic. Add to that lots of shimmer and you have a polish that is so difficult to capture. But I love the white/gold combination of this one.

Laquerlicious The Perfect Gown

Laquerlicious The Perfect Gown

I bought these polishes from the Laquerlicious Etsy store and they are still available. The service was fantastic, I think my order was shipped out the very next day. I have only good things to say about my experience ordering from Michelle.

What do you think of these polishes? Have you tried any Laquerlicious polishes?

26 March 2013

Lumina Lacquer Mint Chocolate Chip Swatches and Review

Hi everyone! As promised I have the third polish from Lumina Lacquer. Make sure to check out my review of the other two here. Mint Chocolate Chip instantly stood out to me when I opened my package from Tatiana, the maker of Lumina Lacquer, and I knew that I had to do something special with this one. So in addition to swatches, you get some nail art as well! :)

Lumina Lacquer Mint Chocolate Chip

Mint Chocolate Chip is a clear-based glitter bomb like the other polishes that I reviewed. And this one has the same beauty and complexity that you see in Anything and Spring in Iceland. The colour scheme is predominantly pale mint and dark brown, and there's glitter in so many shapes and sizes - hearts, stars, flowers, squares, hexes, and circles. In addition to the pale mint and brown glitter, there's also some white, copper, blue, iridescent, and tiny holo glitter to boot. I can't even fully describe everything here!

Lumina Lacquer Mint Chocolate Chip

Lumina Lacquer Mint Chocolate Chip (direct lighting)

I layered one coat over OPI My Vampire is Buff and had no problems getting enough glitter. I also found it easy to get the larger shape glitters out. Just give it a good shake before applying - no need to turn the bottle upside down or anything like that. I topped it with a coat of Gelous and a coat of Seche Vite.

Lumina Lacquer Mint Chocolate Chip

Lumina Lacquer Mint Chocolate Chip + funky abstract design

Then I decided to do some freehand painting on the two middle fingers. I started with a base of My Vampire is Buff. On my ring finger I painted the details with OPI You Don't Know Jacques! and Joe Fresh Lagoon. On my middle finger I did a sponged gradient with My Vampire is Buff, Lagoon, and piCture pOlish Marine. Then the squares were painted with You Don't Know Jacques and My Vampire is Buff. Whew!

Lumina Lacquer Mint Chocolate Chip + funky abstract design

Lumina Lacquer Mint Chocolate Chip + funky abstract design

Lumina Lacquer is available through their online Bigcartel store, and soon through Norway Nails. This polish is currently sold out, but follow Lumina Lacquer on Facebook and Instagram (@luminalacquer) to find out about restocks and new releases.

What do you think? Have you tried Lumina Lacquer? Do you think my design goes with the glitter? :)

*Product provided for review, all opinions are my own. See my disclosure policy for more details.*

25 March 2013

Lacquer Lust S-muave-mente and Sweet Georgia Peach

Hi everyone! For the second night in a row I'm featuring a new-to-this-blog indie brand. I first saw Lacquer Lust on Instagram and I have been following Jo and her creations for several months now. Her polishes have been in high demand, and while she creates many different types of polishes, her most popular seem to be her holos and thermal polishes (which change colour with temperature changes). Up until recently I had only been able to admire her polishes from afar since she does not ship outside the US, but I was recently able to snag a few from Shoppe Eclecticco during a launch/restock.

Lacquer Lust S-muave-mente and Sweet Georgia Peach

Harlow & Co. is going to start stocking Lacquer Lust starting tomorrow with a launch scheduled for 12pm EDT (Monday March 25th). S-muave-mente will be available then along with a few others. Check out the Harlow & Co. Facebook page for more details.

S-muave-mente is a muted mauve linear holo. Don't ask me why the polish is spelled muave instead of mauve. :/ The linear holo on this one is not super strong but it's there. I photographed this polish under direct lighting hoping to capture more of the holo but it was not the most successful endeavor. I am still learning how to photograph holos under artificial light, so bear with me.

Lacquer Lust S-muave-mente

Lacquer Lust S-muave-mente (direct lighting)

I love this polish because it is very work appropriate, but the holo adds something special. This is two coats and the formula was perfect. It went on very smooth and was completely self-leveling.

Lacquer Lust S-muave-mente

Lacquer Lust S-muave-mente (direct lighting)

Sweet Georgia Peach is a pale muted pink with a strong gold shimmer. Check out the shimmer in the direct lighting photo! Like *wow*! This polish is very soft and feminine, and like S-muave-mente is also work appropriate but not boring. The formula on this one was also excellent, and it also went on very smooth and was completely self-leveling. I used three coats here, but you could get away with two.

Lacquer Lust Sweet Georgia Peach

Lacquer Lust Sweet Georgia Peach (direct lighting)

Lacquer Lust Sweet Georgia Peach

I'm so happy that I finally own some of Jo's polishes, and my first experience with Lacquer Lust was excellent. Both polishes are available now at Shoppe Eclecticco, and S-muave-mente will be available at Harlow & Co. tomorrow at noon. If you like holos I recommend you check out Pow Chica Wow Wow, a dark blue with a strong linear holo. They are sure to sell out fast so I recommend being at your computer at noon! If you are in the US you can buy directly from Lacquer Lust's online store, but everything is sold out at the moment. Follow Lacquer Lust on Facebook or Instagram (@lacquer_lust)

What do you think of these polishes? Do you have to wear work appropriate polishes during the week?

24 March 2013

Lumina Lacquer Anything and Spring in Iceland

Hi everyone, happy weekend! I have a new to me indie polish on the blog tonight. Tatiana of Lumina Lacquer was kind enough to send me some of her polishes to review. And I'm glad she did, because they are absolutely gorgeous! Many of Tatiana's polishes are glitter bombs, and if that's your thing, you really need to take a look at Lumina Lacquer. I can see why her polishes are quickly becoming very popular.

Lumina Lacquer Anything and Spring in Iceland

I have three polishes to review - two that I will show today, and one that I will be posting soon. In reality, each one deserves its own post. The glitter mixtures in all three polishes are complex, and each polish is very busy in the good sort of way. The kind of busy that makes you stare at your nails going, "Whoa...so...much...glitter!!" :D But I have lots of photos to show, so I'll jump into it.

Both polishes are clear-based glitter polishes. And I'm showing you one coat over a base colour topped with a coat of Gelous, and a coat of Seche Vite.

Lumina Lacquer Anything

Anything is aptly named. About half of this polish consists of matte white glitter in a variety of sizes and shapes - hearts, stars, hexes and squares. And the other half consists of...well, everything and anything. The coloured glitter is mainly hexes and squares in a rainbow of colours - blue, purple, green, gold, yellow, red, pink, and black, just to name what I can see in a glance. There's also pink hearts. I think this polish would be nice layered over many different colours, but I layered it over OPI You're Such a BudaPest. Oh, and did I mention that some of the coloured glitter is iridescent! *sigh*

Lumina Lacquer Anything

Lumina Lacquer Anything

And I thought I would show you some photos taken directly under my lamp, rather than in the lightbox. The lightbox diffuses light, so you lose some of the luminosity of the glitter and topcoat.

Lumina Lacquer Anything (direct lighting)

Spring in Iceland instantly caught my eye when I was first perusing the Lumina Lacquer Bigcartel shop. Can you guess why? ;) This one also has glitter in a variety of sizes and shapes including circles, squares, hexes, stars, and hearts. There's also a blue shimmer, and iridescent micro-glitter. The glitter comes in white and few shades of blue (sky, teal, aqua, cerulean, and midnight from what I can tell). What's interesting is that there are a few accents of other colours. Every once and a while I see a tiny fuchsia glitter. I couldn't decide what polish to layer this over, so I used two. The first swatch is over OPI Can't Find My Czechbook, and the second is over Essie Midnight Cami.

Lumina Lacquer Spring in Iceland (over OPI Can't Find My Czechbook)

Lumina Lacquer Spring in Iceland (over OPI Can't Find My Czechbook)
Lumina Lacquer Spring in Iceland (over Essie Midnight Cami)

The formula on both was the same. The glitter is well suspended, and there was no sinking of glitter to the bottom of the bottle. However, I did shake each one up before applying. I also didn't have a hard time getting the larger pieces of glitter out. Overall, I'm really happy with both polishes, and would recommend them if you are into glitter toppers.

Lumina Lacquer Spring in Iceland (direct lighting)

Lumina Lacquer is available through their online Bigcartel shop. Right now Anything is available, but Spring in Iceland is sold out. Follow Lumina Lacquer on Facebook and Instagram (@luminalacquer) for information on new releases and restocks.

What do you think of these? Do you like glitter bombs like these?

*Products provided for review, all opinions are my own. See my disclosure policy for more details.*

23 March 2013

Rainbow Honey Spirit of Wonder

Hi everyone! Does anyone have any good plans for the weekend? I have a ton of papers to mark (yes, a figurative ton ;)) but tomorrow I will spend the day swatching. I can't wait because I have some really gorgeous polishes to show you. I was going to do a swatch-a-thon today, but last night my cat made a fierce swipe at my hand and nicked my pinky finger really bad with her claw. So I thought staying away from nail polish remover for a day might be a good idea. And yet, I still love my fur baby, even when she draws blood. Lol!

Rainbow Honey Spirit of Wonder

But I digress! Tonight I have another polish from my recent Rainbow Honey haul. Spirit of Wonder is from the holiday collection, but I would wear this anytime of year. I am a sucker for white with blue glitter polishes, and I own several. This one definitely doesn't disappoint. I really enjoy both the glitter and the formula.

Rainbow Honey Spirit of Wonder

Spirit of Wonder is a white creme with a very subtle silver and blue shimmer. It has tiny hex glitter in sky blue, silver, and midnight blue, and small/medium hex glitter in silver. Unfortunately the shimmer is not as visible on the nail, but it's still a pretty polish.

Rainbow Honey Spirit of Wonder

The application was perfect, it went on very smooth and was completely self-levelling. I used three coats here. I find many white-base glitter polishes to be very sheer and require undies or many coats, but I really like how well this one covers. But because it is more opaque the glitter can get lost in the layers. I guess that's the trade off though.

Rainbow Honey Spirit of Wonder
Rainbow Honey Spirit of Wonder

I'm really liking these polishes from Rainbow Honey. And I see they have a new line of metallics coming out, which look like they will be fun for layering and nail art. Yikes! My poor wallet! :D

I got this from the Rainbow Honey site, but you can also find a selection of Rainbow Honey at Shoppe Eclecticco (but not this one unfortunately).

What do you think of this one?

21 March 2013

Born Pretty Store Review: Rhinestone Skittle Manicure

Hi everyone! I received two more goodies from the Born Pretty Store, one of which was a set of round clear rhinestones. Since rhinestones are a new thing for me, I had a hard time figuring out a design that still felt like "me". And after my first failed attempt that I mentioned on Monday, I didn't want to take too many risks. So I came up with this pastel / springtime skittle manicure that feels a bit similar to the pastel skittle manicure I did last week.

Rhinestone skittle manicure

About this design: I started with a base of OPI My Vampire is Buff and Nicole by OPI Purple Yourself Together. I know I use MViB a lot, but it's now officially my go-to polish for nail art - I love it! I also wanted to try my new Lynnderella Crocus Pocus, which I used on my pinky, index and thumb. Crocus Pocus might be my new favourite Lynnderella. It has a beautiful mixture of metallic and neon glitter in a variety of shapes: hexes, squares, flowers, moons, and stars. The colours are predominantly lavender, purple, fuchsia, blue and white. And to top it off, there's a gorgeous iridescent shimmer! On my ring finger I painted a small crocus with Nubar Into the Wild, OPI OPI...Eurso Euro, and Purple Yourself Together. I'm trying out a new detail brush so I didn't want to go crazy with the freehand painting.

Rhinestone skittle manicure

Rhinestone skittle manicure

About the set: This is a set of round, clear, faceted rhinestones made out of acrylic. There's three sizes - 1.5mm, 2mm, and 3mm - with each one filling four slots of the storage wheel (there's 12 sections in a wheel). I don't know how many are in the set, but as you can see from the photo there's a generous helping in each slot, so perhaps a few hundred. I like that it comes with three sizes of rhinestones, which allows for some variations in your designs. I don't have anything bad to say about these, it's a good set and the rhinestones are fun to use.

Born Pretty Store three sizes rhinestone set

Applying rhinestones: Instructions I got off the Internet call for you to apply some nail glue, place your rhinestones, seal with a bit more nail glue, then finish with top coat. I'm trying to avoid nail glue since it's a PITA to remove, so I used base coat instead of nail glue. A top coat would work as well. I'm only sort of happy with this method, they are fixed well, but I can see some imperfections and bubbles around the rhinestones. So I'll continue to experiment and get back to you.

Rhinestone skittle manicure

The set is called "3 sizes round rhinestone nail art glitter decoration" but you can find the link to the product here. It's pretty affordable, and you can use my coupon code MSL91 and get 10% off. Full disclosure: I do not get compensated if you use the coupon code, but if enough people use it, the Born Pretty Store will sponsor a giveaway on my site.

What do you think of this? Have you used rhinestones in nail art before?

*Product provided for review, all opinions are my own. See my disclosure policy for more details.*
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