Saturday, May 12, 2012

Saturday Swatches

Every Saturday Occasionally, on Saturdays,, I'm posting manis, swatches and other assorted nail-related pictures taken during the week recently, that didn't make it into a post of their own. If there's some polish here you're particularly interested in, drop me a line and I'll write a more detailed review about it.

Color Club - Coral Cascade / 3 coats + TC

Note: I'm not 100% sure this is Coral Cascade, because it was from a mislabelled set and there is no number or name on the bottle itself. Other blogs seem to agree on it being Coral Cascade though.

China Glaze - Cowgirl Up / 2 coats + TC

China Glaze - Cowgirl Up / 2 coats
Essence Dance Topcoat - Waking up in Vegas

Thursday, May 10, 2012

[NOTD] Frosted Champaign with no frost but lots of purple glitter. Also, a mission statement.

I have come to a truly shocking realization a few days ago. First - I own over 100 polishes. Okay, that isn't the shocker, I knew that. I use those silly little nail tip fan thingies, you know the ones you can buy in packs of 50 on ebay for a Euro or so, and I have a swatch of almost every one of my polishes, so I had a general idea of just how many there are. No, the slightly shocking realization was that I have never used over two thirds of them. Swatching doesn't count.

I had, as of this week, 88 polishes I have never worn in a full mani. Or at least not so I can actually remember it.


Therefore, my new mission: I shall not buy new polishes until I have made a sizeable dent in my untried pile. (No, it's not actually a pile.) Say, half of them. I'll not buy any polishes until I have worn at least 44 of those I own but haven't touched yet. I know myself. I might make exceptions for something truly amazing and limited, because if I don't, I'll just give the project up as too hard.

This is what I'm looking at right now. Not too daunting, is it? Doesn't even look like 80+ bottles.

I have started this week, with the pretty P2 polish I posted yesterday and continue with an Essence polish from January's Crystalliced LE. Since it's no longer available, I'm not writing a review....

Essence Crystalliced - 05 Frosted Champaign3 coats

That got really boring after a day - time for a party!

Above & Essence nail art special effect! - 01 it's purplicious

What is the untried-rate of your stash? Or are you generally good about actually using what you have?

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

P2 - Indigo Denim from Denim Delight

This is the 2nd polish I got from P2's Denim Delight collection - Indigo Denim, a nice dark blue packed to the brim with silver micro-glitter/shimmer. It also has a matte finish - there's so much shimmer it looks almost like a silver polish in some angles with the original finish. A very interesting effect, and really pretty, alas I just don't like mattes on my own nails, even though I think they are gorgeous in theory. No idea why.
With a TC the blue colours stands out more and the shimmer acquires lovely depth and complexity. Yum.

For a review & the product details, see my previous post, about Navy Washed Denim from the same collection. I don't really have much to add - they are about the same, quality-wise. Unfortunately Indigo Denim does stain somewhat when you go at it with polish remove. Nothing a bit of soap won't handle though.
This time, the mani lasted two days with some minor chipping on index fingers & thumbs (that I filled in) and almost no tipwear. These pictures were taken just before I removed it.

P2 denim Delight - 030 Indigo Denim
2 coats + 1 coat Essence BTGN

Sunday, May 6, 2012

P2 - Navy Washed Denim (from Denim Delight)

I feel like there's always a jeans/denim collection floating around somewhere, and usually I don't find them particularly exciting, but this recent collection from P2 really was a success as far as polishes go.

The Denim Delight limited edition included four polishes - three shimmers and a creme. The creme was red *yawn* so I passed it over, just as one of the shimmers - a grey with golden shimme, which was too warm for my skin. 
I did get the other two however, a gorgeous light blue with light golden shimmer and a dark blue densely packed with silver shimmer. I only had the chance to wear one so far and I'd like to post it while the collection is still out there.

Ladies and Gents, I give you:

P2 Denim Delight - 020 Navy Washed Denim.
2 Coats + 1 coat Essie Good to Go

As you can see on the second picture and the swatch on the nail tip, Navy Washed Denim has a matte finish - not unlike the OPI suede line, or so I've heard. However, I don't much like the look on myself, so I slapped a glossy TC on anyway.  The glossy finish brings out the pretty shimmer much better.

Ad the gritty details.

Price & availability:  2,45 € for 8 ml in your favourite DM shop or whichever of your local places sells P2. This is from a limited edition that has been out for a while. My shops all still have it though.

Formula & application: it's a bit thickish, due to the tons of shimmer. I also had some problems with bald patches and streaks when I tried a second pass with the brush over the same spot and as a result I needed two coats for most fingers, but if you're quick and precise, you can just slap it on and it'll be fully opaque in one coat.  It most emphaticly did not agree with my BC (Essie Nourish Me) so that might account for my bald patches problems. Since it has a matte finish, it dries pretty fast even without TC.

Wear & tear: On this score, P2 never satisfies me - I suspect their polishes just don't agree with my body chemistry, since many people report good to average wear. This one almost survived one day in the office - towards evening I had some chips and could pull it off those nails entirely. There was no tipwear of the other nails, so I'm not going to exclude the possibility of carelessness on my part.

On the whole P2's Navy Washed Denim is a gorgeous blue with some nice sparkle. It looks well with the original matte finish or a glossy TC - this kind of effect isn't often found in the drugstore price range. For that I'll even forgive the lack of durability and the disagreements with my BC.


Did you get anything from this Limited Edition? And how do you like P2 polishes in general?

KIKO Aureus Pomegranate Addendum

Since my original post was just me squeeing over the colour, I wanted to share the rest of the possible pertinent info, like formula, wear, etc.

So. Aureus Pomegranate a.k.a. #397. Honestly, why don't they just print the names on the label, if they bother making them up? I always have to look them up on the homepage.

Price & availability: Kiko polishes are available in Kiko stores or online on their homepage #397 is from the limited City Summer Collection and retails at 4,90 € for 11 ml.

Formula & application: Formula is okay, tends to pool a little, but not too bad. The colour is mostly opaque after two coats but if you make them very thin, you might need three. The drying time is also unremarkable. My only complaint is the brush, really. I feel like the KIKO brush has too many hairs and as a consequence tends to hold too much polish. But that's a quibble, really.

What did surprise me - in a good way - was the complete and utter lack of staining. I pretty much expect a certain amount of stains with reds, purples and blues - at the very least when going at it with polish remover, but nope. Nothing. I had to do some cuticle clean-up and not even a trace of colour afterwards. That was really satisfying.

Wear & tear: Alas, here's the big weakness of KIKO polishes, at least for me, and this one is no exception. I had really visible tipwear after less than one day, dominant hand being much worse than the other. With an extra coat to cover up the wear it lasted for another day, before developing even more tipwear. There wasn't any significant chipping, which is progress I guess. On the whole it lasted about two and a half days. I've had worse from KIKO, with chips after only a few hours, so this isn't too bad and certainly something I'm willing to overlook because the colour, omg, the colour.

A reminder:

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

KIKO Aureus Pomegranate Swatch & Headsup

This is about KIKO - 397 - Aureus Pomegranate
I just had an absolute Nailgasm when my first hand was done. This polish is stunning! My pictures absolutely do NOT do it justice! There's much more golden shimmer and the colour is less brash and more nuanced. It's super-glossy too. TC isn't really necessary, but I always use a quickdrying one anyway.

This is from the current LE City Summers and costs 4,90€.  Absolutely worth every cent, IMHO!

PSA: If you're interested in KIKO polishes, now is a good time to get them - they currently have a discount on polishes, it's 2,50 € for all colour polishes ( excluding the LE ones, more's the pity).
The regular price is 3,90 €. That is a bit too much for me because I always had a hit and miss record with KIKO, but at 2,50 I just can't say no and will visit my local shop tomorrow ;)

And now back to the gilded pomegranate. Two coats + TC.

If you like fuchsia or berry colours and if you can get KIKO, absolutely have a look at this one - it's truly gorgeous!

EDIT: A review can be found here.

Thursday, April 26, 2012


Oh my, there's a lot of dust here...

Hello everyone, it appears my suspicions about not having much time during my work experience have been entirely justified - a 'proper' 9-5 workday just isn't very conductive to having enough light for polish-picture-frenzies. I can't say I miss uni however. Even though the hours were better, I really like actually *doing* something that serves a purpose beyond getting good grades...
Also, my nails & cuticles decided that they had missed out during winter (when I had no problems with dryness) and had to have a round of fussing and pampering. They have been in an absolutely deplorable state and I avoided using polish for over a month... well, while the nails still suck, the cuticles are almost okay now, so I'm not quite as reluctant to take close-up pictures any more. And it's almost May now, so no more excuses about light in the evenings.

Back to colour it is. Ladies, I'VE MISSED IT SO MUCH, OMG!

So, coming soon to this tiny corner of the blogosphere:

And much more. See you in a bit!

Saturday, March 10, 2012

[NOTD] - Million Styles Topcoats

It's going to be very quiet here for a while. My work placement unfortunately leaves me no time to do lots of nail-related stuff - at least not while there is light to make good pictures ;) Which is probably just as well, because my cuticles and nails are in sore need of some pampering that doesn't involve daily application of polish remover!

I did find a little time for a nice mani last week, using two of the new Catrice effect topcoats from the Million Styles limited collection. I only got these two, Godfather of Pearl and Return of Space Cowboys, the others seemed somewhat boring...
Left: Godfather of Pearl
Right: Return of Space Cowboys.
When I first tried them, I was extremely disappointed: despite the completely different look in the bottle, they seemed to be very similar when applied over a dark base. They both contain the same duochrome teal-purple shimmer in a transparent base: Pearl's is milky and almost clear and Space Cowboys' is a murky dark grey. At a closer look there are some differences. Apart from the duochrome, Godfather of Pearl also contains lots of silver microglitter and it has more of a in-your-face, shiny! sparkly! glitter effect whereas Return of Space Cowboys is more subtle. Also, Pearl can be used over light colours. Space Cowboys' dark base creates an unpleasant dirty effect when used over anything lighter than the base itself. I'd also say that the duochrome effect is more pronounced in Pearl.

A few words about quality: the topcoats are a bit runny, but still manageable and the mani lasted for three days with no chips before I took it off. It takes some effort to remove the stuff, but whichever method you use on glitter will work just fine on these. You don't necessarily need a glossy topcoat, but I dare say most of us use a quick drying one anyway.

I already posted some mishappen swatches in my last Saturday Swatches post and today I want to show a mani with which I tried to showcase the two topcoats' similarities and differences. I used H&M Sweet Blue Dreams, an indigo / purple one coater as a base:

1 Coat of H&M Sweet Blue Dreams

I then applied two coats of the two topcoats on alternating fingers.
Index & ring finger: 1 Coat of H&M Sweet Blue Dreams + 2 coats of Catrice's Godfather of Pearl
Middle & little finger: 1 Coat of H&M Sweet Blue Dreams + 2 Coats of Catrice's Return of Space Cowboys
And here is my right hand, with only one coat of the Catrice polishes. It was very hard to capture, but the difference is that the base colour is shining through much more and the differences between the toppers are somewhat less pronounced.

Aaaand, more after the jump. Beware of gratuitous picspam \0/

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Saturday Swatches

Has it really been a week? Here comes the 2nd instalment of Saturday Swatches.

Catrice Million Styles Limited Edition - Godfather of Pearl. One coat over blue, purple & black.

Catrice Million Styles LE - Return of Space Cowboys. One coat over blue, purple & black.

P2 - Just need style! Two coats with TC. What are those cuticles? OMG.

Every Saturday, I'm posting manis, swatches and other assorted nail-related pictures taken during the week that didn't make it into a post of their own. If there's some polish here you're particularly interested in, drop me a line and I'll write a more detailed blog entry about it.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Essence - Colour3

I hoped to finally get to finish the book reviews I’ve been trying to write, but I need some more energy for those, so instead, I present you more polish reviews.

I recently bought two of the double polish sets from the new Essence colour3 line and I want to show you the first today.
The new line includes 6 sets with two polishes each, one base and one topper, so in effect it’s 12 different polishes. At 4ml, they are really tiny, presumably because they'd be too heavy to handle otherwise. For testing purposes I got nos. 01 Midnight Date and 04 A Walk In The Park and this is the one I’m reviewing. I was waiting for some sunlight to make better pictures, but it looks like it won’t be forthcoming anytime soon – or at least not before I take the polish off again – so I’m just going to post what I have.

The naming is a bit confusing on these. Each of the two polishes of a set has a name. Additionally, each set also has a name - which is the same as that of the base colour. I think that was a bit of an unfortunate choice, because you can use them separately from each other and then it's difficult to tell if you're talking about the individual colour or the double set, but there you are.

The duos: 04 A Walk in the Park/ 01 Midnight Date
The two colours I'm showing today: A Walk in the Park / Stop for an Ice Cream
A Walk in the Park is a darker green with a hint of blue. I'd call it pine green, but it's not quite blue enough for that. It contains very fine green shimmer which is hardly visible on the nail however. Mostly it looks like a creme.
Stop for an Ice Cream is a transparent (might be very, very light blue) base packed with fine blue shimmer, some multi-colour shimmer and slightly larger transparent, silvery flecks.

1 coat of A Walk in the Park
1 coat of A Walk in the Park
1 coat of Stop for an Ice Cream

Price & availability: I got mine for 2,75€ in DM. That's for 8ml = 4ml per colour. Colour3 is part of the new permanent Essence display.

Formula & application:
A Walk in the Park is a bit thicker than ideal but still very usable. One generous coat is enough for full opacity and even coverage. If you do very thin coats like I tend to on my dominant hand, you'll need two coats. Unfortunately, it stains the cuticles somewhat, so plan in some extra time for clean-up - which I didn't do here.
Stop for an Ice Cream is a topper so you'll never achieve any sort of opacity with it. One coat is enough for a good, even effect over a base colour. The shimmer is pretty densely packed, but surprisingly, the formula isn't thick at all. Me likey. Drying time seems to be unremarkable on both. I was worried that the brush would be too heavy (what with another polish attached to the cap), but it's actually quite comfortable since you can hold it like a pen.
Together the two look almost like a dark teal from a distance. I'm not entirely sure about the strange flecks, I think they make the green base look kind of dusty, which didn't translate well to pictures. It seems to me that such a dark colour is not an ideal choice for this topper. I can imagine it working much better with something lighter, where the flecks will blend in more.  On the whole it's quite nice, but I think I'm going to use them both separately - Walk in the Park as a one-coat solo artist and Ice Cream as a pretty topper for lighter greens & blues.

Wear & tear: Two days and no sign of tipwear so far. No chipping either. I'm impressed.

On the whole, I think it's a clever concept. The 04 A Walk in the Park colour combination doesn't convince me entirely, but the individual polishes are great, both in colour and quality-wise. If you like green and can buy Essence, have a look at these!

Now, if I were to look for something to complain about it would be the height of these things. They're just... too tall. If laid down flat they take up too much space and if they stand, rumour has it they don't fit into a Helmer (which I have seen in many a stash post, so it seems worth mentioning). Luckily, there is a solution! Just pull the white cap off and you end up with two pretty little mini bottles of polishes. Since the remaining cap it rather too small to hold onto when polishing, I recommend keeping the white connector thingy and just pop it onto whichever you're using. This wasn't my idea, btw, I saw it on a forum. Credit where credit is due and so forth.

And coming soon:

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Saturday Swatches

I really need to bring some structure into this blog, but I don't really like the random Fridays and Week Reviews posts or whatever is floating out there. I always scroll past those myself. Instead, I want to actually post some useful new material, and what is better suited than some pretty polish eye candy?

And thus, I bring you: Saturday Swatches.
Every Saturday I will post pictures of manis that I took throughout the preceding week that for one reason or another didn't warrant a post of their own, like old polishes, no longer available polishes, too messy polishes, frankenpolishes etc. It might also include swatches of polishes that I do plan to review, but it won't be for some time.
And so, without further ado, this week’s Saturday Swatches:

Models Own - Pinky Brown. Two coats over previous mani.

Franken - Periwinkle At Night. Two coats.
Catrice Mona Lisa is staring back + Manhattan Lotus Effect 65W + Catrice Snow Motion + Color Club Blue-topia

And planned for tomorrow: The Sunday Review

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Essence - Iced Strawberry Cream Ranty Review

As I mentioned yesterday, I removed Misslyn before it's expiration date - aka before I could pull an entire nail-worth of polish off, like I usually do. Yes, it's a bad habit, I know. But there's just something very satisfying about it.

I really needed to shorten my nails (2 mm shorter and suddenly my life quality improves. Yay!) and I also wanted to try one of the new Essence Nuge Glam polishes. I'm not really big on the typical beige nude colours, but I like the ones that have some pink in them and luckily the Nude Glam line includes two shades like that: 02 Iced Strawberry Cream and 04 Iced Latte. This morning I went for the strawberries:

Iced Strawberry Cream is a beige-pink filled with very fine silver shimmer that adds a touch of frost to the finish and also so-fine-it's-barely-there coral/salmon coloured particles. It's a very lovely, elegant colour with the fine shimmer keeping it from being a blunt, boring nude (I really kinda dislike nudes...). It's also very glossy on it's own and has a mirror-like finish with the appropriate topcoat. The pretty colour notwithstanding, this polish drove me to distraction today and I might just take it all off in a bit out of sheer spite.
But before we get to that, first the eye candy:

1 Coat P2 Basecoat
2 Coats Essence - 02 Iced Strawberry Cream
1 Coat Essie - Good to Go TC

Isn't it pretty? I think it's pretty.

Price & availability: I got mine for 1,25€ for 5ml in DM. I don't know if this part of the Essence line will be available in all stores selling Essence or not.

Formula & application: First the good news: this polish is mostly opaque in two coats, unless you make them really, really thin. Formula is fine, kinda runny but not unmanageable and the brush is the same as the Colour&Go brush. First coat is a bit streaky, but it mostly looks fine after two. There are some light brushstrokes however.
And now the bad: this stuff takes aaaages to dry. No, really. I usually wait until the first coat is mostly dry before applying the second, which normally doesn't take longer than 5-7 minutes and here it was still pretty sticky after 20 minutes. The whole mani with Essie's Good to Go (which so far has significantly shortened the drying time of absolutely every polish I tried it with) took over an hour to dry sufficiently for me to do stuff and I still managed to get some smudges in. In fact, I had to redo one of my thumbs entirely and after the first re-paint crinkled badly from the pressure of holding an apple (yes, really) I redid it a third time - almost two and a half hours ago by now - and with a bit of pressure I can still mark it. Also, there were bubbles on some nails. Lots and lots of them.

Wear & tear: No idea. I'm so frustrated, I might just take it all off again. I'll edit this if I decide to keep it on (and if it survives the big cleaning planned for the next hours).
EDIT: The mani survived my cleaning endeavours and lasted for almost two days without visible wear, so durability seems to be fine.

It's a pretty shade and maybe I just happened on a bad bottle, but bubbles and long drying time don't make me want to get more of these.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Misslyn - Atlantis Review

Today I'd like to show you another Misslyn polish - after the great first impression of Blue Planet the reluctance to pay 5 Euro was suddenly that much lower.. whoops... and I got a more subdued winterly colour: no. 620 Antlantis.

Here it is:
Atlantis is an odd mix between purple and blue, but so subdued it's almost grey. It's also packed with very fine shimmer that I'm hard-pressed to describe. Most of it is a bright blue, but there's also something that looks like teeny tiny silver flakies and if you look at the polish under a direct light source, the shimmer seems to be very much multi-coloured. On the nail the predominant effect is of a shimmery purplish grey that flashes blue or a deeper purple. Sounds gorgeous, doesn't it? Well, it does to me.

Unfortunately, I couldn't get a good picture of it for the life of me. My camera insisted on adding more blue, more purple, not enough purple, too much shimmer, the wrong shimmer... I don't even know. I think I took over 100 pictures in four different light conditions and not a single satisfactory one. My camera sucks. *sulks* The reality is somewhere between all of these, minus the annoying blur and plus tiny silver flakies.

Btw, you can click on all my pictures to see a much larger size. I thought this was self-explanatory, but just in case.

Price & availability: 4,95€ for 10ml in Kaufhof and Karstadt, similar in Müller I think. You can look for a shop that sells the brand in Germany and Austria using the shopfinder on their homepage.

Formula & application: I found the formula to be very pleasant to work with, not too thick or thin. I also like the brush (round-bound), even though it's small compared to others I know. I did a quick and dirty comparison:

From left to right: Opi, Essence, Misslyn, Essie new, Catrice old, Catrice new
As you can see, it's not only a bit shorter, but also much slimmer (Not as slim as for example Color Club however). Even so, I found application with it quick and precise.
What surprised me a bit was that, even though the first coat was very sheer, it was also perfectly even - not the kind of streaky, patchy first coat one often gets with sheer polishes. I needed two coats for full opacity, with veeery thin coats you might need three.

What I didn't like was the drying time. It felt like ages until all the coats were dried through, at least an hour. However, this may be because of my topcoat (Better than Gel Nails) which seems to have turned kind of thick... gooey, gummy... I'm not sure what the English term is. In any case, it was very nasty and I had a hell of a time applying it properly, so I'm not quite willing to blame Misslyn for this yet - but I thought I'd mention it.

Wear & tear: I have worn Atlantis for two days now. There's some minor tipwear on a few nails, but for some reason only on the left hand (I'm right handed, I type with right...). No idea what's up here. You can see it on some pictures, but it's really exaggerated - due to reflection I think. It's barely noticeable in reality.  No chips at all either. I'm sure it could last longer, if I were not eager to try out other polishes from my recent purchases - and shorten my nails! It's only 4 mm of white, but they annoy me So Much! I don't think I'm meant to have long claws. Neat and short does it.

So, on the whole - I really like Misslyn's Atlantis. The drying time is not ideal, I'll have to try another topcoat to see if it makes any difference. Colour, formula and application is top and durability is, so far as I can tell acceptable, provided the tipwear doesn't get worse. Is it worth 5 Euro? For this colour a definite YES! - for more common colours, I'd probably add a few Euros and just get Essie.