Nicole by OPI Gumdrops My Cherry Amour

I’ve had this polish sitting around untried for a while, and I have no idea why I’d never gotten around to wearing it. It’s amazing! I finally ended up trying it out because I wore a black dress for a friend’s wedding and wanted something bright and contrasting to keep my ensemble from looking too heavy.

I love textured polishes, and this one’s a fantastic one with a semi-sheer berry-colored (pink/purple) jelly base and a relatively fine texture (similar to, though maybe a tad coarser than, Zoya PixieDust) mixed with a fine holo glitter. My photos don’t quite capture it, but the holo effect is fantastic and really gives off a subtle, scattered rainbow sparkle throughout. The base dries a nice, squishy-looking semi-matte in the way of jellies, without dampening the shiny of the glitter.

Here’s two coats of Nicole by OPI My Cherry Amour from the Gumdrops line, no top coat, photographed in outdoor natural light:

Something about the color made it impossible for me to photograph correctly – at least on my phone, which I use for most of my swatch photos. The color looks almost hot pink in the photo, but in life, the color is more like what you see in the bottom of the bottle, toward the bottom right corner of the above image. It’s bluer toned, purpler – kind of an intense raspberry jam color.

Here’s another shot in natural light:

 

 

Again, it wouldn’t come out as anything but neon rose in my photos, but I promise you it was purpler and a bit deeper in life. The formula is flawless, and even with the fat OPI brush that I find a tad clumsy to use on my smallish nails, I had no problems applying it easily. No complaints about anything regarding this polish, seriously. It’s so juicy-looking that it really cheered me up whenever I caught sight of my nails during the day.

Here’s another shot in the shade, again in natural light, though it still came out neon:

I also tried indoor artificial light, as well as my iPad and my real camera, but the color just will not photograph right! I suppose I could color correct in Photoshop, but it’s not the same. Ah, well. You’ll just have to take my word for it – go by the bottle color in my top photo, bottom right corner. :]

I think this color is still readily available in stores, and it’s not particularly new (or in-season) at this point, so it should be easy to find it on clearance or at a significant discount. I bought my bottle for $3.99 at an Ulta. Totally worth it.

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SpaRitual Intuition

Today’s catch-up day, since I’ve been neglecting the blog so much.

Another quickie. Here’s three coats SpaRitual Intuition from the Illuminate collection (last year’s holiday collection), topped with one coat Sally Hansen Miracle Gel Top Coat.

Direct sunlight:

In shade (natural light:

Intuition is a somewhat sheer grape-candy purple with dense glass-fleck shimmer that shifts from magenta to blue, depending on the angle and lighting. Reasonably opaque (though not completely so) in three coats, and I’m sure it’d be awesome over black or another dark base color. Lovely. No complaints about the formula or the brush, which is fairly standard (non-wide). I like the rubbery grips on the SpaRitual caps, which make polishing extra easy. I also noticed that this polish is less smelly than most other polishes, which I appreciate because I have a sensitive sniffer like a dog’s.

SpaRitual’s polishes typically go for $12 a bottle, though I snagged this one on clearance for maybe half that. I only own a couple SpaRitual polishes at the moment, but so far, I’ve found they’re a great value for the quality of polish.

Julep Dana, Ledi, Tia, and black cat nail decals

It’s been a while since I last posted, but I’m still around. I’ve just gotten a bit busy with life stuff to keep up as frequently with this blog, but I’ll still be posting when I have a chance. :]

Anyway, quick post-mortem on my Halloween nails this year, using polishes and nail decals from the Julep October 2014 Black Magic collection:

  • Julep Dana (2 coats) on the index,
  • Julep Ledi (2 coats) & Julep Tia (1 coat) on the middle,
  • Dana (2 coats) with a Julep black cat nail decal on the ring, and
  • Ledi (2 coats) on the pinky,

all topped with Julep Freedom top coat. This is in natural light:

I was rushed when I painted these right before Halloween, so sorry for the sloppy bits here and there! ;P

Dana is basically a cool-leaning neutral white creme polish with a very subtle blue sheen. The white has the barest touch of beige to it, so it’s not as harsh as a stark white, but it still looks somewhat on the cool side to me, possibly because of contribution from the blue sheen. To be honest, though, you can barely see the blue once the polish is on the nail, as you can see in the photo above. It’s extremely subtle. In any case, Dana’s a flattering shade of white, and the hint of blue lends a feeling of cleanness to it.

Application was okay, but it wasn’t my favorite. It tended to go on a little patchy, and for some reason, the polish didn’t dry right on my ring finger, and I ended up having to redo the entire nail because it wouldn’t dry enough for me to apply the nail decal. The other nails with Dana were fine, though, so I’m not sure what the problem was. (I always wash my hands with soap and dry them completely before applying nail polish.)

Ledi is a black superfine shimmer. The shimmer is so fine, in fact, that it’s not all that visible, unless you’re actively looking for it, as you can see in the photo. Generally, Ledi will probably look like a black creme to a casual observer, though a closer look reveals a velvety texture from the very fine shimmer, which gives it a finish that reminds me of car paint. The shimmer gives Ledi a subtly more elegant look to it than plain creme, but it’s definitely not immediately obvious. Depending on how closely you stare at your polish, you may not particularly find this one particularly worth getting over a regular black creme. Formula on this one was great, though, and it went on very smoothly.

Tia is a sheer-ish black jelly with a smattering of gold and copper/orange glitters that flash green from certain angles. I like this one a lot, especially how well it layers over Ledi’s subtle shimmer. I didn’t swatch it on its own on a nail this time, but the swatch I did on the Swatch Me cap sticker suggests an opacity level similar to a smoky black top coat, like Sally Hansen’s Big Smoky Top Coat or L’Oreal’s Smoky Top Coat, except with glitter, of course. Glitter payoff is good, with no special placement needed to get the even distribution I have on my middle finger nail. No complaints about this formula, either.

The black cat nail decals worked just fine, though as with nail decals in general, there’s a little bit of a learning curve and patience needed to get the sticker on right. Even on polish that feels dry to the touch,  from my experience, a misplaced sticker may damage the polish and require a complete do-over. It’s best to work carefully and get it right on the first try. These decals are perfectly smooth with two layers of Julep Freedom top coat on top to seal them in.

These nails lasted at least a full week without noticeable damage, and all of it removed relatively easily, including the cat sticker. My only complaint about them is that the nails with Dana somehow looked more and more discolored over the week, and by the end, they looked practically beige. No amount of scrubbing with soap and water seemed to remove the weird brownness, which really bothered me. I have no idea if that’s because of Dana or the top coat or something else. If you have any insight into this, please let me know in the comments – thanks!