April 15, 2015

Iridescent Zebra Watermarble Nails [Nail Art]


Hey guys! Happy Hump Day!

I have some watermarble nail art for you today! While these nails didn't turn out exactly like I'd imagined, I still really love them, and am finding myself drawn to watermarbling when I have more time to sit down and do nail art!





Polishes used:

KBShimmer- Eyes White Open, Zoya- Willa, Sally Hansen Complete Salon Manicure- Take the Leap

I started with a base (two coats) of KBShimmer- Eyes White Open on all nails. I wanted to end up with a traditional zebra pattern-looking design, so I knew it was going to be black and white. I first tried Orly- Liquid Vinyl in the water for marbling, and while it spread out just fine, it was not very opaque/ dark in the water.

I tried Zoya- Willa next, and it didn't spread as readily, since it's thicker, but since it is more pigmented, it gave nice dark black stripes. I ended up using that and Sally Hansen CSM- Take the Leap, from last Spring's Pastels on Point collection, to make the bullseye. That's it- just those two polishes! I was going to use a clear coat in between the black stripes, but thought some kind of shimmery topper might be more interesting. I'm so glad I did! (Take the Leap has glassflecky lavender purple-to-blue shifting particles.)




For the bullseye, I stuck to what some people refer to as the "chevron" pattern, shown here in Design #1 by Trendy Polish (video). I dipped two fingers at a time (I bet you can tell which, lol!), and was not successful in getting my stripes lined up properly on the index and middle nails. Eeek! I still love this look though, and wore it for a few days!

Up close:


Index:


Middle nail:


Ring and pinkie (love these two nails the most!):


It's pretty interesting to me that the particles in Take the Leap ended up in the black part of the design, even though the base of that polish was responsible for separating out the black stripes!




What do you think?
Is this a watermarble nail fail?


*Disclosure: Some polishes in this post were provided to me as press samples for honest review, and all opinions are my own.

April 11, 2015

Bottle Spam: The Spring 2015 Edit!


Howdy nail people! Hope everyone's weekend is off to a great start!

I have a bottle spam/ eye candy post for you today featuring polishes I'm really feeling for Spring. It's finally rainy and warmer here in Chicagoland, and stuff is budding and spouting, so I thought it was high time for a look at the shades I'll be taking inspiration from this season! 

Some of these polishes are personal favorites of mine, some are classic but new-to-me, and some are untrieds that I've hoarded for far too long!

A sampling:


Spring= pastels, right? Well, yes. But I think there's always room for a bright here and there, or even something darker! Proportionally, I don't own a ton of pastels. I guess I tend to gravitate toward midtones and darks more, but lately that's changing!

I pulled...a lot of polishes. I got a little carried away, and so to manage the volume of polishes (and make it a little more interesting), I decided to break them down into groups based on their finish instead of their color. Previously, I've always sorted them for photos by color, but I had a lot of fun doing it this way.

I would love some feedback on which format you prefer or find more helpful! Are you ready??!


Cremes

semi-clockwise from top: Misa- Blue Jade Vine, LVX- Cerise, Barry M Gelly Hi-Shine- Papaya, Illamasqua- Harem, Estée Lauder- Rosa Rosa, Essie- Mint Candy Apple, OPI- Mod About You, Zoya- Lo, LVX- Deco, Rescue Beauty Lounge- Plié

I know cremes are the least interesting finish for a lot of people, but I really have a soft spot for them. There's something about a swath of pure, beautiful color! And, of course they are perfect foundations for nail art.

Illamasqua- Harem, in the middle, is one of my favorite creme polishes I own, period. Is it purple? is it pink? No one knows, but it's super pretty and flattering! OPI- Mod About You I have so far only ever worn on my toes but I loved how it looked (other than the fact that it chipped quickly).

LVX- Deco probably looks super similar to Barry M Gelly Hi-Shine- Papaya, and well, it is, but there's definitely a color value difference. I've worn the Barry M recently and it was lovely, but it dries darker than bottle color. Maybe a comparison is in order for those two.

That version of Essie- Mint Candy Apple is apparently the original one released in 2009, and it's much bluer than the newer Mint Candy Apple sold now. This polish is new to me, and I was honestly expecting something greener, so I'm curious to try it out!

A mildly interesting story about Estée Lauder- Rosa Rosa: I came by it in a pile of polishes that a friend offered to me. Most were dried up, decades-old drugstore polishes beyond revival, but this was one of the gems- and it's in excellent shape! It's a promo-sized baby bottle, only .17oz, but the color is a dusty rose with maybe a hint of coral. A little old school, but I love it! It's my only Estée Lauder polish thus far, but definitely makes me want to try more!


Holographics

ILNP- Iconic, Nubar- Gem, L. A. Girl 3D Effects- Dazzling Pink, ILNP- Dreaming in Violet

I'm off and on with holos, but always end up falling for them when I wear them- especially in nice sunny weather! I especially love chunkier, scattered versions as opposed to linear holo!

You can't tell by this photo, but Nubar- Gem has been well-loved! The bottle is almost half-depleted! It's got a really chunky mix of holo microglitter, and is neutral but complex and lovely.

ILNP- Iconic is obviously stunning, and I just haven't had an opportunity to wear it yet! L.A. Girl- Dazzling Pink has that chunkier holo shimmer that reminds me of the Zoya scattered holos (Dream, Aurora, Blaze, ect.)



Glitter Mixes

Emily de Molly- Bo Peep, Illamasqua- Fragile, Essie- Hors D'oeuvres, KBShimmer- Sugar Plum Faerie, ILNP- Strawberry Creme

I also haven't historically gravitated towards glitter mixes because of the hassle sometimes involved in application and removal, but that's definitely changing. I'm also pretty picky about the actual mixes. I don't like them too busy, and I'm not super into square or irregular glitters, ect. However, there are so many I've loved recently. (I also love a good peel base, so honestly there's no real excuse to avoid these babies!)

Emily de Molly- Bo Peep has actually made a previous seasonal Bottle Spam post, but I haven't had a chance to wear it yet! (Too much polish, too little time!) But, look at it! It's cute and so perfect for Spring.

I'm wearing Essie- Hors D'oeuvres right now as part of a skittlette nail art thing, and it's really lovely! You'll see that one soon! I've had ILNP- Strawberry Creme since I first became interested in ILNP, and never worn it- but it's such a cute, girly mix. Can't wait to try that out soon!

Is there anything more eggshell-like than Illamasqua- Fragile? I really don't think so. (See it here.)


Shimmers

Superchic Lacquer- Cause & Effect, Illamasqua- Loella, China Glaze- Strawberry Fields, China Glaze- Strike A Rose, OPI- Just Lanai-ing Around, Misa- Peaches and Cream, Nubar- Earthen, Illamasqua- Radium, Illamasqua- Hemlock


Ah yes, shimmers! One of my favorite finishes. They can really range from super subtle to obvious!

China Glaze- Strawberry Fields is new to me, so I am pretty stoked to see what that one's all about! You may see it in a Nailstalgia post! Nubar- Earthen is a tried-and-true neutral greige for me, and yes, it does have shimmer! It's just uber subtle, and gives a nice glow! (Same with OPI- Just Lanai-ing Around, which you can see here.)

Superchic Lacquer- Cause & Effect will be swatched for you soonish along with three others from the Serendipity collection! Illamasqua- Hemlock is super unflattering on me, but it's so unique and beautiful that I still love it! In fact, I'm also wearing it as part of that same skittlette- are you intrigued?! Why does everything have an exclamation mark?!



Even More Shimmers because reasons!

Zoya- Leslie, Zoya- Zara, Picture Polish- Eerie, Indigo Bananas- Electric Unicorns, Indigo Bananas- Roll in Ze Hay, Orly- High on Hope, Emily de Molly- Lace Man, Sally Hansen Triple Shine- Make Waves, Zoya- Dillon, Butter London- Two Fingered Salute, OPI- I Vant to Be A-Lone Star

This second grouping has all types of shimmers, including more complicated ones like glassfleck and larger flake shimmer mixes, as well as a couple that border on frostiness. Also Indigo Bananas- Roll in Ze Hay which has holo, microglitter, and glow-in-the-dark pigment. Didn't know where to put that one!

Orly- High on Hope might be considered dark for Spring, but I'm going to wear whatever I want anyway. Look how pretty it looks in the bottle! Similarly, Butter London- Two Fingered Salute could be considered more of a Fall shade (swatch/ comparison here), but I think it could work! (To be honest, I'm really jonesing for Illamasqua- Melange, but TFS will have to do for now.)

Sally Hansen Triple Shine- Make Waves was a bit of an impulse drugstore purchase, but look at it! I am hoping that it looks that nice on the nail. I've worn Indigo Bananas- Electric Unicorns on my toes, and it looks so incredible that it definitely deserves some phalanges time. I'm just making shit up now! Too Much textwall!

Zoya- Leslie is, of course, from the new Delight collection, and I may be swatching those for you if I can find time! I really want to- I think it's a great Spring offering! If not, you can find bottle shots here and some nail art here!


Miscellany

Misa- Silver Skyline, Zoya- Stevie, Formula X for Sephora- Starfish, Zoya- Monet, China Glaze- Are You Jelly?, NYX- Turquoise Glitter, Studio M- Gel-ous

Textures, a foil, clear-based glitters, jellies!

It's looking a little purple/ lavender-heavy here at the end, but I love them! China Glaze- Are You Jelly? is from Summer 2013's Sunsational neon jelly collection, and I had application problems with those polishes, so I definitely want to give this one a second shot!

Behold, the only nail polish the boyfriend has ever randomly picked out in person for me: Studio M- Gel-ous! It's a bright, dense chartreuse glitter mix in what I think is a clear base. Nyx- Turquoise Glitter has iridescent green-turquoise glitters in a super sheer jelly base.

Zoya- Stevie is one of my favorite original PixieDust polishes! So pretty and so easy to wear!  Zoya- Monet you've seen before, but I want to re-visit it. It's slightly suspension base-heavy, so I want to try sponging it on, and possibly mattifying it!

Misa- Silver Skyline is newer, from last years's Fall collection called Warm Days, and it's a metallic lavender foil!  

Formula X for Sephora- Starfish is just super lovely (nail art here), and I'm kind of craving it as a full manicure!





That's it! It'll be interesting to see how many of these polishes I can actually use before Summer is in full swing! My strategy is going to be skittles and nail art, of course! Is that cheating? I don't think so!





Thoughts?
I'd love to know what your favorite Spring polish is!


*Disclosure: some polishes in this post were provided to me as press samples for honest review, and all opinions are my own.

April 8, 2015

KBShimmer Spring 2015 Polishes [Swatch] & [Review]


Hey everyone! Today I have a bit of an exciting post! These are my picks from KBShimmer's Spring 2015 collection! Of the collection of 12 new polishes, there are 7 new crellies, 4 holographic shades, and one creme. There are also three new nail vinyl sheets, if you're interested in that sort of thing.




I chose 4 of the crelly mixes as well as the white creme, called Eyes White Open! I won't be swatching that one for you (it's literally just an opaque creme white), but I'll talk about it a little bit (and you can see it on my thumb nail in a couple of photos).



L to R: Eyes White Open, Meow Or Never, I'm So Sweet Pea, To Peach His Own, Funky Cold Patina

Since you've probably already seen all of these gorgeous polishes, I decided to skip the regular hand swatches, and just do macros. Let's get started!


First up, the brightest: KBShimmer- Funky Cold Patina:


Funky Cold Patina is a vivid green-turquoise crelly base with larger copper hexes, bright blue hexes in two sizes, light aqua hexes, purple medium hexes, and a mix of tiny hexagonal glitters in all of the aforementioned colors. The base color is really hard to describe, and I did color correct for it a bit. It's like a super saturated seafoam...but with a muted quality? Very green-leaning though!

Artificial light, two coats:


Formula: The base is the most pigmented of these four crellies, and is opaque in two coats. The texture is pretty nice, although it did want to drag more than any of the others- but, overall, not really a problem at all unless you really play around with it too much. It did slowly self-level. Nice overall!
--


KBShimmer- Meow Or Never:


Meow Or Never is a cool-toned, pastel lavender crelly base with white, purple, and periwinkle hexes in a couple sizes. There is also gorgeous holographic microglitter that runs through it and ties everything together.

The color of the base can look pastel blue in some light, but I do think it is a very pale purple tone. KBShimmer described it as a very pale grey, but I don't know- it's right on the edge between the two colors. What do you see?

Artificial light, three coats:


Formula: I needed three coats for opacity, but the formula was easy and everything played nicely and distributed well.
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KBShimmer- I'm So Sweet Pea:


I'm So Sweet Pea has a slightly more pigmented crelly base than Meow Or Never, and is also more noticeably pastel lavender. It lacks the holo microglitter, and instead is filled with larger teal hexes, as well as warm purple, soft pink, and white hexes. There are also tiny hex glitters in all of the aforementioned colors.

Artificial light, three coats:


You can also see this color worn in my recent Spring Color Palettes series.

Formula: This is very similar to Meow Or Never even though there are some slightly bigger hexes. Went on smoothly and was opaque in three coats.
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Finally, my favorite of these, KBShimmer- To Peach His Own:


To Peach His Own has a warm-toned peach crelly base that also has a tinge of pink sometimes. It's filled with the same holo microglitter as Meow Or Never, and also has larger fuchsia-berry (magenta?) hexes, holographic golden-yellow, purple, and green medium hexes, as well as tiny hex glitters in all of the colors.

Artificial light, three coats:


Formula: Also very similar to the previous two! Nicely opaque in three coats, and no troubles to report!
--


And here is how the skittle looked, which you may or may not have seen on IG already:



Since I was swatching these last weekend, I actually wore this manicure for Easter, and it was very festive, I thought!

Eyes White Open is worn alone on my thumb. It's a fantastic, opaque-in-two-coats white with a very easy formula. The texture is on the thicker side, and it might need thinner in the future, but right now it's perfection. It self-levels, and goes on easily. Seriously the best white I've tried to date! (I've also seen a lot of people stamping with it successfully!)

Up close:


L to R: I'm So Sweet Pea, Meow Or Never, To Peach His Own, Funky Cold Patina


Overall, I like these a lot! I had no troubles with the formulas whatsoever, and the crellies are beautiful blends of Spring-like pastels that really get you in the mood for the change of seasons! The level of opaqueness of the bases on all of them is pretty perfect: not too sheer that you need a million coats, but also not so opaque that you can't enjoy the dimension of all the glitters. My favorites are the two with the stunning holo microglitter: To Peach His Own (which, for the record I found to be very flattering on cool-toned light skin) and Meow Or Never (that name gets me every time!). Funky Cold Patina is just stunning...I like anything with copper glitter, and it's clearly a highlight among the entire collection.

Oh, did I mention how awesome the white, Eyes White Open, is? I mean, really! I know white is not that exciting, but if you do nail art, well, a white with such a nice formula is a bit of a breakthrough! I've already used it in several designs! Just love!




KBShimmer Spring 2015 |  available now | $7.50 - $8.75




What do you think?
Have you tried any polishes from KBShimmer's new Spring line?
Which is your favorite here?

April 6, 2015

Color Palettes: Spring [Nail Art]



Welcome to another edition of my Color Palettes series! This series is basically a seasonally-appropriate excuse for me to rock a simple skittle manicure and test out a few of my untried polishes at once! Plus, they're pretty fun to put together.

It finally seems to be warming up around Chicago. With the weather bouncing up to the 70s and back down to the 30s again, and then the 50s the next day...well, you know it's Spring. So, I thought it was finally the time for the Spring edition of Color Palettes! This time, I stuck with a really traditional mixture of soft pinks and lavenders accented with rose gold, which I think lends a little warmth.




Polishes used:

KBShimmer- I'm So Sweet Pea, Essie- Fiji, Illamasqua- Blizzard, Picture Polish- Grace, Essie- Summit of Style

I started with a base of Essie- Fiji (a classic polish which I really should be saving for a Nailstalgia) on the pinkie and thumb nails, and then topped it with Illamasqua- Blizzard, which gave a really subtle white, pearly glitter effect.

KBShimmer- I'm So Sweet Pea is on the index nail, providing a bit of a cooler lavender contrast (swatches coming this week!).

Picture Polish- Grace is on the middle and ring nails. The glitter on those two nails comes from Essie- Summit of Style, and was just fished out and hand-placed with a dotting tool. In a way, I think this entire skittle look is about those pretty rose gold glitters, even though they're pretty minimal!




I had fun wearing this one!




What do you think?
What's your favorite manicure combo for Spring?