Wednesday, June 27, 2012

NOTD - Backstage + Celebrate by L.A. Girl

Today's NOTD features two polishes from L.A. Girl, a brand I really like for their color offerings and price. Here's Celebrate from their Glitter Addict collection layered over Backstage from their Rock Star collection.
Festive and pretty, isn't it? Here's Backstage on its own, 2 coats, no top coat:
Backstage is yellow and violet micro glitters in shimmery pale pink base. It's pretty sheer just like any other L.A. Girl's polishes. I picked it up because I thought it'd be a pretty unique pink but in real life you can hardly see the yellow and violet glitters twinkling about. Also, the pink doesn't show up enough and it kinda makes my nails disappear into my skin tone.
You can click on the pictures above to see the beautiful yellow and violet twinkles. I purposely blurred the pics so it shows up better.
The first pic above is with flash. This polish is so bright and glowing under strong lights yet still subtle because it disappears into the skin.The color is very pretty, demure, and appropriate, I'd imagine girls wearing this to their cotillion. There is nothing rock star-y about the color, if anything it's more of a princess-y color.

In the next pic I layered a coat of Celebrate over Backstage.
You may think Backstage is yet another 'Happy Birthday'-inspired polish. Perhaps. Yet I prefer Celebrate to Happy Birthday. I've always felt Happy Birthday lacks direction (as if a polish can ever have one), whilst Celebrate has a sort of theme in it. Red-blue/fuchsia-blue glitters are the most prominent with some teal/aqua, silver, and orange glitters thrown in the mix. It also contains hexagon as well as small glitters.
1st pic above shows how it looks with the flash on. 2nd pic is blurred to better show off how festive it looks. Look at those twinkles, so beautiful!
Here's how it looks with two coats on, you can also see the red-blue color theme in the bottle. Below is how it looks with the flash on:
A couple of blurred pics, see how beautiful those twinkles are!
Application for Backstage was smooth and even, whilst with Celebrate you have to do some maneuvering as with any other polish with chunks of glitters out there. For all the pics I used OPI Nail Envy and Natural Base Coat (I have to do this, my nails are severely brittle and laden with vertical ridges), no top coats.

Here is NOTD making appearance for one last time:

Wish you all a festive day!

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

NOTD - Indian Ocean + Happy Birthday

My second post of the day....of nail polish....yay! This is my NOTD, it started off with plain Indian Ocean by Models Own from their Beetlejuice Spring/Summer 2012 collection.
 A sheer pale blue with violet-pink glitter. The glitter is in the same manner as Essie's Kisses and Bisses, although Essie's version is much more fine and subtle.
 Very pretty and has an ethereal quality to it. It feels more spring than summer to me. It is quite sheer so you have to do a few coats for the color to show through. What you see here is 3 coats. Here it is with a flash:
  This is my 1st and probably the last Models Own polish I will own though. Why, you ask? Well, when I was applying it, I sniffed a familiar fume that I usually smell when I use Seche Vite, and I was right. I did a little googling and found out Models Own is not Big 3 free. Bummer.

So, towards the end of the day I was excited to try out a newly acquired Happy Birthday by Deborah Lippmann. It's a very famous polish for you who doesn't know, quipped as 'Party In A Bottle' for all the glitters. Here's how it looks layered over Indian Ocean:
With flash:

What you see is 2 lazily-applied coats. It was fun but I think it's better layered over something darker or heavily painted on its own. Application for Indian Ocean was smooth and easy. Lippmann's Happy Birthday needed a little maneuvering to evenly spread the glitter across the nail.

NOTD: Models Own's Indian Ocean + Deborah Lippmann's Happy Birthday

Monday, June 25, 2012

Gemstone Inspired Nail Polishes

I've always loved rich gemstone colors. Wearing them is an elegant way of introducing colors to your outfit, especially for someone who loathes wearing (too much) colors like me. One day I was just looking at my nail polishes collection and realized I had few polishes that despite their names and marketing, are gemstones-inspired. I just had to do swatches, so here it goes...

Look at them, will ya? Aren't they just swell! So beautiful and are a couple more pics below:
 I suppose from left to right they kind of mimic emerald, tanzanite, amethyst, and sapphire.

Here goes the swatches, FYI I use OPI Nail Envy Original, OPI Natural Nail Base Coat, and Poshe topcoat in all pictures, no cleanups.
First up is emerald-inspired polish, appropriately marketed so, as well. It is Emerald Fitzgerald by China Glaze from their Vintage Vixen Fall 2010 collection. Here's how it looks in a room with natural sunlight:
It's a dark cool-toned black-green with silver micro glitters. The consistency on this is thick and if you haven't mastered how to get the right amount of polish on the brush, it tends to get goopy. On the bright side, it is almost a one-coater but I did 2 coats just to satisfy myself :D
Here's how it looks with flash:
You can see how dark it can get. Application-wise, I'm not really a fan of the brush. It's the classic brush type, thin, round, and longer than I'd prefer so it makes it harder to control. You can see the uneven lines that I flubbed on the moon area as a result.

Next up is tanzanite-inspired polish. It's a lesser-known type of gemstones in gorgeous blue-violet color. And coincidentally (and also befittingly), I use a lesser-known nail polish brand for this color. It's Groupie by L.A. Girl from their Rock Star collection. Here's how it looks in a room with natural sunlight:
It's a very rich blue-violet with bronze, red, and blue glitters. Very stunning. I mean, will you look at the first pic? it's just gorgeous! L.A. Girl is a US brand, it says made in USA on the bottle but a lot cheaper than most popular brands. Somehow where I live, this brand is easy to get (we have their cosmetics line here, as well). Brush type is about the same as China Glaze above. Their formula is on the thin side so you have to do about 3 coats to get a fully opaque result. You can see how thin the formula is in the pictures with flash below:

I use 2 coats in the picture and I don't think it's supposed to be jelly. That being said, I always love the colors they come up with. I can always find some unique colors in there and they have a few collections dedicated to glitters as well, please do check them out on their website! Besides, they're easy on your pockets and unless you're doing some photography shots, how many times in real life do you take close-ups of your nails?
Last photo is blurred to show you how gorgeous the glitters are.

Next is amethyst-inspired color. It's Cowgirl Up by China Glaze from their famous Rodeo Diva Fall 2008 collection. It's red-based purple, semi foil/semi metallic with blue micro glitter. Here how it looks like in a room with natural sunlight:
It is so rich and gorgeous. Application was a mess, though because just like Emerald Fitzgerald, the formula on this is quite thick and with the long and thin China Glaze brush it was just hard to control. See how I messed up the lines near the cuticles? Definitely not a polish to wear in a hurry.
Look at just how gorgeous it looks with flash! it becomes richer and comes alive. You can see how the blue micro glitter popping up subtly to give it an even more beautiful result. Do note, though, because it's somehow a foil/metallic, it can get a bit streaky.

Last is a sapphire-inspired polish. It's swimsuit...Nailed It! by OPI from their Miss Universe Summer 2011 collection. It's simply a rich blue micro glitter even though in the bottle it can have juuuussst a touch of green. It might be too bright than what a sapphire-inspired gemstone color should look like but it's stunning nonetheless. Here's how it looks in a room with natural sunlight:
And here's it is with flash:
Application on this is simply perfection. Formula is the right thickness and it glides on smoothly and evenly. It was especially a bliss since this has the OPI Pro-Wide brush, it makes application much easier and smoother, even in a hurry. It's almost a one-coater but I used 2 coats in the pics. The brush makes creating neat, rounded line along the cuticles a breeze. The color pops without being too bright and it doesn't lean towards green nor violet, it's simply a blue hue. This is one of my favorite polishes to wear despite its name which I kinda loathe.

So there you have it, a selection of gemstone-inspired nail polishes, hope it gets you inspired as well ;-)