October 5, 2015

Picture Polish Ornate [Swatch] [Nail Art]

Hey everyone! Today I have a swatch and some nail art featuring Picture Polish- Ornate for you!

This is a newly-released blogger collaboration shade created by A Lacquered Affair!

Ornate is a muted, dusty warm purple (soft plum?) base with soft scattered holo in classic PP formulation, as well as bright, magenta pink small hex and a couple sizes of gold/bronze hexagonal glitter.

Here's what the Picture Polish website has to say:

"From Baroque majestic to Indian grandeur to Italian splendour, the centuries-old marriage of purple and intricate gold motif is as resplendent on royalty and the wealthy as it is on your nails."
From Baroque majestic to Indian grandeur to Italian splendour, the centuries-old marriage of purple and intricate gold motif is as resplendent on royalty and the wealthy as it is on your nails - See more at: http://www.picturepolish.com.au/ornate#sthash.Iucoxvpe.dpuf
From Baroque majestic to Indian grandeur to Italian splendour, the centuries-old marriage of purple and intricate gold motif is as resplendent on royalty and the wealthy as it is on your nails - See more at: http://www.picturepolish.com.au/ornate#sthash.Iucoxvpe.dpuf

Artificial light, two coats: 


Of course a polish named "Ornate" demands some adornment, and this was the result!

The stamping is from MoYou London- Fashionista 08, stamped with Essie- Penny Talk. I can't remember where those particular studs comes from since I've had them so long, but they are pretty small- and a beautiful coppery rose gold color!

It's a lovely polish! I have to say, though, that I found the holo to be super subtle, even in sunlight. There's plenty of other gorgeousness going on here, though, so I'm really not bothered by it!

Formula: It's great- exactly what I've grown to expect from this Picture Polish scattered holo finish. It was nearly opaque and smooth in one buttery, leveling coat, and two coats were perfectly opaque.

It is slightly a bit top coat hungry, I found. It was smooth-ish, but not as glossy as it could be, with one coat of Glisten & Glow- HK Girl. So, I added another coat after the stamping and stud work. It's easy to forget that this has glitter since it's not a glitter-bomb, but it is hard to remove unless you use a peel base. Just a note!

What do you think?

October 2, 2015

Kickass Manicures of the Month [Feature] [Nail Art]

Hey everyone! Happy Friday, and welcome to another edition of Kickass Manicures of the Month!

This round-up of fantastic nail art is for last month, September! I decided to go with a bit of a theme this time! I really enjoyed seeing the variety of galaxy nails people were doing on day 19 of the 31DC2015 (The 31 Day Nail Art Challenge). So, prepare for some mind-blowing galaxy manicures!

Like always, these are in no particular order. Don't forget to follow the links back to their original sources and give these talented ladies some well-deserved love for their mad skills (and dedication to the 31DC2015)!

Leave it to Chalkboard Nails to create the most perfect traditional galaxy nails! I love how detailed these are, and that pop of bronze/ gold in there is so pretty!

I have a soft spot for pastel galaxies, and these are lovely! The color palette is amazing, and I love the variation of dots and different stars that Sammy does.

I love how dark and dramatic these galaxy nails are! So good! (And the holo doesn't hurt!)

Okay, I'm really digging Ameerah's take on a more neutral-colored galaxy! This is so pretty and wearble, and actually looks a bit like marble or natural stone, although I do also see the nebulae! I love the simple dots for stars too!

And, here's a more traditional galaxy manicure that is just perfect! I love the cool-toned colors here- especially the teal- and those eight-pronged white stars are so cool!

That's it!

Don't these nails inspire you to try a galaxy design? I've only done one galaxy-style manicure ever, but seeing all of this amazingness has me wanting to make some more!

October 1, 2015

ALIQUID Lacquer See Spot Run (LE) for Adopt A Shelter Dog Month! [Swatch]

Howdy everyone, and welcome to October! Today I'm going to be sharing a very special polish with you: ALIQUID Lacquer- See Spot Run!

See Spot Run celebrates Adopt A Shelter Dog Month (October), and $5 from every purchase will go to benefit the ASPCA! This is the second LE charity Adopt A Shelter Dog Month polish that ALIQUID Lacquer has released; the first, Puppy Love, was fantastic. You can see it here, and read about my personal and professional philosophies regarding shelter/ rescue dogs.

This year, the goal is $500 donated the ASPCA, which is 100 bottles sold, I believe! I'm pretty sure we can achieve that, especially with a gorgeous color like See Spot Run:

This time, the limited edition shade comes complete with this super cute magnet featuring the paw print of ALIQUID's rescue pit mix, Trudy! I mean, how adorable is that?! Mine is already happily adorning the fridge (although apparently it's the perfect size for a Helmer)!

Want to take a look at the polish already!?

Here is ALIQUID Lacquer- See Spot Run:

See Spot Run is a vibrant, almost cobalt, blue jelly base filled with holographic microglitter, and various sizes of holo circle glitters in magenta, fuchsia, blue, & silver. (Also, can we talk about how cute and perfect the name of this polish is?!)

Artificial light, three coats:

Up close!

Here's some more direct lighting to show off the holo microglitter:

So lovely, right? I love that there are mostly circle glitters here ("Spot!"), and no squares. This is my kind of jelly/ glitter!

Formula: It's sheer since the base is a jelly, but that's also necessary to gain depth with the glitter. It spreads over the nail pretty nicely, but the glitters do tend to travel down the nail, so I did some slight dabbing to get things positioned better. It does dry down quickly, and a nice amount of glitter comes out on the brush. I didn't get the biggest sized circles every time I dipped the brush, but you do get them out naturally every so often.

Three coats had the base completely opaque for me, and the blue color you get with three coats is identical to the bottle color! You could wear this with slight visible nail line at two coats, no problem, though. Overall, this was an easily manageable dense glitter mix for me, and I'm not the greatest at them!

ALIQUID Lacquer | $11 ($5 goes to the ASPCA) | Limited Edition- October only

Needless to say, this cause is very close to my heart as I work with dogs professionally. I have also owned a non-rescued dog, and a rescued dog (Ham).

My first shepherd mix, Lucy, came to me at 7 weeks through friends of the family. She was given away for free at a garage sale because she was an "oops" puppy from an accidental litter. (Spay and neuter, people!) She became a great dog, but was never bonded to me in quite the way that Ham is- despite raising her from a puppy. The phenomenon people talk about that rescue dogs understand and appreciate what you've done for them is very real, in my experience- especially for adult dogs. They know their situation has been improved, and they associate you with the positive change. There is no better feeling.

I have plenty more to say about my experience with dogs, thoughts on the topic of rescue, as well as Pit Bulls in last year's ALIQUID Adopt A Shelter Dog post, so head over there if you're curious.

For today, I will just leave you with this rescued [spotted] monster:

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

September 30, 2015

Delush Polish Dames of Thrones Collection [Swatch] & [Review]

Hey nail friends! Today I've got a special evening-edition post for you. I'll be showing you swatches of the beautiful new Fall 2015 collection from Delush Polish called Dames of Thrones!

This collection takes inspiration from pivotal female characters in the Game of Thrones series, of course! If you're anything like me, you love the show AND you love circle glitter, so this is exciting!

Before we get started, I wanted to mention that all swatches, except where noted, show 1 coat of Glisten & Glow- HK Girl plus 1 coat of American Classics- Gelous. None of these glitters were especially top coat- hungry (for glitters), but I really prefer anything with large glitter to be perfectly glassy.

Let's get started!

First, here is Delush Polish- A Knight to Remember:

A Knight to Remember is a charcoal jelly (that builds to black) with large holo circles, silver and holo silver hexes in a couple of sizes, as well as small metallic teal and blue hexes. This one is inspired by Brienne of Tarth!

Artificial light, three coats:

This polish really looks like a galaxy, I think! 


Formula: It's sheerer with a nice medium viscosity. It's not overly thick, and very workable, making it easy spread the glitter around. Dry down is fast, and the second coat is actually pretty opaque, although it continues to deepen at three. As far as the biggest holo circles go, I had to fish most out, although one did come out naturally on the brush.

The one thing you have to watch with formulas like this is sheerness at the nail tips. I used three thin coats for swatches, and wrapped the tips during each coat!

Next, Delush Polish- Girl of Many Faces:

Girl of Many Faces is a deep brown jelly with bronze, orange, and sparser red microglitters. There also seem to be some sparse, translucent or iridescent blue/ green shards which I only noticed in the macro photos. Inspired by Arya Stark!

Artificial light, two coats:

Brown is so in right now, and this is such good one! (But, to be fair, I've always loved brown polish!)


Formula: It's nice! The base is a bit on the sheerer side, but the particles within are pretty dense, so there's actually a nice amount of coverage on the first coat. Dry down is very fast, and you can basically start your second coat as soon as you finish your first coat on the fifth finger. Two coats are perfectly opaque, and I didn't need Gelous to smooth this one. Overall, very nice!

Here is Delush Polish- The Priestess:

The Priestess is a deep maroon jelly with large holographic circles, bronze hex, smaller holo gold circles, and a smattering of fine magenta and gold flakie particles. Inspired by Melisandre!

Artificial light, three coats:

I can't lie: this is easily one of my favorites in the entire collection! Look at it!

Up close:

Formula: The base is not quite as sheer as some of the others, and maybe is more of a crelly than a jelly. It's a nice texture- not too thick, and everything spreads easily on the nail. Dry down is very quick, and the second coat is opaque! Like A Knight to Remember, the largest holo circles are a bit tricky to get out on the brush and I did fish for what you're seeing in photos.

To build depth and deepen the color, I chose to use three coats, but this is totally wearble and opaque at two!

Next, Delush Polish- Belle of Winterfell:

Belle of Winterfell is a burnt orange jelly with red, gold, and yellow hex and circle glitters. (None of the gold circles made it into my brush shot, but they're the same size as those orange hexes, pretty much.) Inspired by Sansa Stark!

Artificial light, three coats:

Okay, this is a great orange, and this one surprised me. I wasn't extremely excited for it at first, but it comes alive on the nail and the shade of burnt orange is so nice for Fall. Very dimensional, too!


Formula: The base is sheer since it's a jelly, but the texture is really, really nice, and allows you to bring the glitter all the way down the nail bed easily. It also dries down very quickly like Girl of Many Faces.

Depending on polishing style and how much glitter accumulates on your brush, the second coat can be nearly opaque or have an unacceptable level of VNL. On some of my nails, I was quite happy with just two coats, but a couple nails were sheerer, so I added a third coat to all. Very workable, easy formula overall!

Here is the blue of the collection, Delush Polish- Dancing with Dragons:

Dancing with Dragons is a mid-toned blue jelly, approaching cobalt territory, with iridescent, translucent shards, and various sizes of metallic hexagonal glitters in aquas and blues. There is also gold and bronze hex in there, but it looks much softer on the nail than in the bottle due to all the blue. This one is inspired by Daenerys Targaryen, of course!

Artificial light, three coats:

I have to say that blue doesn't come to mind when I picture Daenerys, but I do think I remember her being presented in blue attire many times. Either way, this is a pretty blue, no doubt.

Up close:

Formula: The sheer jelly base is thicker and stickier than the others. It's technically workable and carries the glitters well, but it's hard to get nice thin coats. It doesn't pull or drag though, and dry down is still quick, although maybe not as super fast as some of the others.

During the second coat, I had some clumps of glitter that were harder to disperse, and definitely had to dab a bit to get everything in place. Three coats were mostly opaque- not my favorite formula, but not impossible to use either (although my end result was thicker than I'd normally prefer).

Next, Delush Polish- Garden of Thorns:

Garden of Thorns is a jewel-toned, blue-leaning green jelly filled with a couple sizes of green hexagonal glitters, metallic green squares, circle glitters in chartreuse and magenta pink, as well as some larger green metallic circles. Inspired by Margaery Tyrell!

Artificial light, three coats:

This polish really had to be heavily color-corrected. The above photo is very accurate, but everything taken with the macro lens was very blue (and still looks slightly too blue). This type of green (which does have a touch of blue in it) makes the camera's cyan just record as blue. I think you can still get an idea though. It's definitely a green polish, overall! 

Formula: This was one of the final shades in the collection that I swatched, and I decided to leave it upside down for about a day prior to application since I'd had trouble getting the big circle glitters out of A Knight to Remember and The Priestess. I am happy to report that that really did the trick, and several came out on my brush naturally- no fishing!

Texture-wise, the jelly base of this one is a wonderful consistency, not overly thick, but still carrying the glitters well. I used three thin coats. Very nice, overall!

Finally, here is Delush Polish- Queen of No Mercy:

Queen of No Mercy is a "royal plum," slightly-warm toned purple jelly filled with red and magenta metallic hexes, some red hex that looks more matte, some large metallic red circles, and some small holo/ red metallic circles and hex that spark deep bluish purple. Inspired by Cersei Lannister!

Artificial light, three coats:

My very favorite in the collection! The red of the glitters against the purple base is such a nice contrast, and I think this overall color palette represents Cersei well!

Up close:

Formula: Like Garden of Thorns, I also turned this one over for about a day prior to swatching.

Like all but Dancing with Dragons, the base is a great texture: workable and carries glitter well while not being overly thick.  Dry down is very quick, and I was able to get some (but not all) of the largest circle glitters out naturally. Three coats were a nice opacity for me!

Overall, I thought it was really cool to see these GoT characters interpreted as colors! One of my favorite things about these glitter mixes is that the color schemes are very harmonious and coordinating, and there's not a lot of unnecessary competition for your eye. (I think the exception is Garden of Thorns with the contrasting magenta/ pink glitters in a green base, but it works there!) Color-wise, my favorites are easily Queen of No Mercy, which I loved wearing, The Priestess, and surprisingly, Belle of Winterfell!

I mostly had no issues with application other than Dancing with Dragons which just had a base that was a little too gooey, and will likely need thinner in the future. I'm not the best at applying dense glitter jellies, so that alone should speak to you about the workable nature of these formulas! The issue with not being able to get many large circle glitters onto the brush without fishing is not unique to these polishes specifically, and was pretty much solved by turning the bottles upside down for about a day prior to application!

At the end of the day,  I think the collection is very successful, and there will be something here for everyone!

Delush Polish | $4.50 (mini) - $8.95 (full size) Available now!

I'd love to know what you think?
Which are your favorites?

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