Orly Beautiful Disaster

Quickie swatch post – this is three coats Orly Beautiful Disaster from Orly’s Summer 2013 Mash Up collection, topped with Julep Freedom Top Coat and in natural light (with some tip wear, since I didn’t have a chance to photograph it until day 3):

Beautiful Disaster is a red-toned purple/magenta with shimmer that shifts gold for that lit-from-within look. In certain light, it has a blue flash that cools the color to more of an electric purple, which you can see a bit on the upper part of the nails in this next photograph.

Fabulous color, if not the most unusual one I own. The formula is a tad thin, but it builds up to full opacity in two to three coats, depending on how thickly you apply it. (I prefer thinner coats, so I used three.) No complaints about the application, brush or dry time.

My favorite color from the Mash Up collection is still Mayhem Mentality (a neon orange creme), though. I’ll have to swatch that one for the blog sometime. :]


Orly Smolder & Revlon I’m Electro

I guess I wasn’t surprised that my Independence Day nails chipped quickly, since Milani polishes don’t seem very durable on me. Milani White took a beating almost as soon as I put it on and looked pretty bad by the second day, so I had to redo all of my nails except for the accent nails.

Here’s Orly Smolder (two coats) on the index finger and pinky and Revlon I’m Electro (three coats) on the middle finger. (I wrote about my accent nail in my last post – it’s two coats Julep Savoy with one coat Julep Fireworks and one coat Julep Diamond Theory.) All nails topped with Julep Freedom top coat and photographed in natural light:

Orly Smolder is a beautifully rich, deep cherry-red shimmer. I rarely go for red nail polishes, probably because red usually strikes me as being a boringly ordinary nail polish color, but I really like this one. It’s got a lot of dimension, and the formula is fantastic, almost opaque in one coat. I kind of wish I had a car this color; it reminds me of the Iron Man suit. Smolder is from Orly’s fall 2012 Fired Up collection.

Revlon I’m Electro is from Revlon’s Spider-Man 2 movie tie-in collection earlier this year, which introduced a surprisingly attractive spread of mildly dichroic (duochrome) polishes. I’m Electro is an interesting not-quite-aqua blue shimmer/metallic with a mild purplish-blue shift. It veritably glows in sunlight and applies great, though it takes three coats for full opacity.

Both of these are great colors. Now, I’m kind of tempted to go hunting from some of the other Spider-Man polishes that I wasn’t able to find earlier, especially since they apparently look extra amazing over black.

Happy Sunday!

Sally Hansen Satin Glam Chic Pink & Orly FX Milky Way

I wanted to swatch something bright and spring-colored this week, so I went with Sally Hansen Satin Glam Chic Pink and Orly FX Milky Way.

This is two coats of each, with Chic Pink on all nails except for Milky Way on the ring finger, no top coat on the Chic Pink and Seche Vite over Milky Way, in indirect sunlight:

And in direct sunlight, to better show the glass-fleck sparkle in Chic Pink:

Chic Pink is a pearlescent candy-pink jelly packed with fine glass-fleck shimmer. It dries to a yummy-looking squishy, matte texture that reminds me of gummy candies. At two coats, it’s still a little sheer, but I don’t mind. The formula is good, and the brush is a flattened, slightly wide type that I didn’t have any trouble using.

Sally Hansen’s Satin Glam polishes are in the same 0.33 fl. oz. teardrop-shaped bottles that the Lustre Shine polishes come in, except with a duller gray/silver cap. There are seven other colors in the series with a similar texture, too, but this is the only one I’ve picked up so far. I think this retails for about $6 at my local CVS, but I bought it with a coupon for significantly less.

Milky Way is from Orly’s spring 2014 Galaxy FX collection and looks to me like a milky cool-white base with turquoise micro glitter, small round orange glitter, and larger silver-white holo hex glitter. The formula on this one was weirdly chunky and stringy, at least from my bottle, but I didn’t have any problems applying it in the end. The glitters distributed pretty densely and evenly on their own and didn’t need too much dabbing.

I was really looking forward to the Galaxy FX polishes since late last year, but I had a little difficulty finding them in stores, even though they were supposed to be available since January this year. Thankfully, they were easy to find on the Internet – and for almost half the regular $9 or $10 each they normally retail for, at that.

Both polishes dry relatively fast and have managed to survive a normal day without noticeable chipping or tip wear so far. Not bad.

Face-off: Orly Galaxy Girl vs. Julep Ciara

I’d mentioned in an earlier post on one of my old blogs that I suspected Julep Ciara (from Julep’s October 2013 Rebel collection) could be similar to Orly Galaxy Girl (from Orly’s fall 2010 Cosmic FX collection). This past week, I finally got my mitts on a bottle of Galaxy Girl, so I finally had a chance to compare the two. They’re both deep purple jellies with a blue-to-magenta color-shifting shimmer.


Here’s a shot, in indoor fluorescent lighting, of one coat and two coats of each color. I think it helps to show the base color difference:


As you can see, Ciara is definitely bluer toned than Galaxy Girl overall, though the magenta-to-blue shimmer looks about the same. Galaxy Girl is also significantly sheerer than Ciara. I think Ciara could be ready to go in one coat if applied carefully, but Galaxy Girl definitely needs two coats.

From a different angle, again in indoor fluorescent light, to better show the sparkle:


In natural light on the second day (hence the tip wear and grossness from top coat shrinkage) for truer color reference:


From some angles, they look almost the same (i.e., the index and ring finger in the last photo), but the base color is just slightly different. Galaxy Girl generally looks noticeably browner, more like a raisin color (most accurately represented on the ring finger nail), but only if you look carefully. In conclusion, I wouldn’t call them exact dupes, but they’re pretty darn close.

From what I’ve seen poking around the web, it looks like there are a few other pretty similar polishes, including:

Orly Galaxy Girl is now out of production, but it’d usually be about $8-9 for 0.6 fl. oz., or about $13 per fl. oz.  (I bought it for about $6 online, plus shipping, which ends up coming out to about the same amount), and Julep Ciara is regularly $14 ($11.20 for Mavens) for 0.27 fl. oz., or about $52 per fl. oz. (or about $42 per fl. oz. for Mavens).

I don’t own the Duri or MAC versions, so I can’t compare their formulas, but the Orly and Duri versions seem to be the best bang for your buck, if the slight color differences don’t matter to you. Whether the MAC or Julep are most expensive depends on whether you’re a Julep Maven subscriber. Even if you pull off one coat instead of two per nail, Ciara is more expensive than Galaxy Girl by a bit, and depending on how color-sensitive you are, you may not even consider it the same color.

Essie Toggle to the Top, Sally Hansen Hard As Nails Xtreme Wear Ivy League, Orly Sparkling Garbage, and Sally Hansen Hard As Nails Xtreme Wear Rosey Shooter

Happy Christmas Eve, everyone! Just a quickie post with my festive nails today:

Index & pinky

  • two coats Essie Toggle to the Top, from Essie’s winter collection this year, Shearling Darling.

Toggle to the Top is a very rich, deep wine/raspberry jelly packed with brighter magenta glitter. It’s a bit patchy with one coat but smooth in two, and it builds nice glitter depth with just the two coats. The formula felt a bit watery to me for this kind of polish, but I also might have been shaking from drinking too much coffee, hence the wobbly application. Anyway, delicious color and my favorite from that collection.

Middle & ring:

  • two coats Sally Hansen Hard As Nails Xtreme Wear Ivy League
  • two coats Orly Sparkling Garbage, and
  • one coat Sally Hansen Hard As Nails Xtreme Wear Rosey Shooter.

I picked up Ivy League on clearance for $0.82 at my local CVS! It’s a lovely lime green shimmer on its own, though I tinted it bluer with Sparkling Garbage (from Orly’s Mash Up collection from the summer), which is a sheer teal jelly loaded with fine holographic silver glitter. Rosey Shooter is a clear base scattered with metallic almost-red rose-colored hex and round glitter in various sizes, as well as matte white multi-size round, hex and bar glitters. I liked the concept of Rosey Shooter, but the glitter is very diffuse, so you’ll need more layers if you want to have denser coverage.

Day two on this one with some minor chipping  already, mainly because I didn’t use my usual Orly Bonder underneath. Instead, I used Sally Hansen Nail Nutrition Green Tea + Olive Growth as a base coat, which I often put under a coat of Orly Bonder. All nails topped with Seche Vite.

Anyway, that’s it for today! Happy holidays to all of you!

Orly Nite Owl, Nfu-Oh 58, and Essie As Gold As It Gets

I’m in the process of moving here from Tumblr and my other Tumblr for more flexibility (and also to combine the two blogs), so this is going to be kind of a beefed-up dual post from my the old blog.

It’s finally starting to feel like autumn around here, so I thought I’d do some fall-themed nails. The photo shows day 2 – holding up pretty well!

All fingers have at least 2 coats of Orly Nite Owl (the middle finger has 3 coats and looks slightly grayer and more opaque), and the ring finger has an additional 2 coats of Nfu-Oh 58 and 1 coat of Essie As Gold As It Gets.

Orly Nite Owl official color swatch, via OrlyBeauty.com

Orly describes Nite Owl as a taupe shimmer, which is pretty accurate, but there’s just something amazing about this polish. I usually don’t go for nudes because I find them boring (just for myself, not on others!), but Nite Owl is not boring! The fine silver shimmer adds a lot of dimension and looks subtle and soft, rather than flashy. Reminds me of a cozy sweater. The formula is a bit sheer but builds up to full opacity in 3 thin coats. It’s mostly opaque in 2, but not completely. Really easy to apply, too.


Nfu-Oh 58 is a rust/burnt-orange jelly with matching opalescent flakes. It shifts rainbow colors in the bottle, but on the nail, it’s mostly in the peridot-to-orange spectrum, at least on me. Still very pretty, like fallen leaves in this combo, and the formula was easy to work with. I nabbed this – along with Nfu-Oh 51 (finally!), the polish that launched my nail polish obsession – from FabulouStreet.com slightly on sale for $11.25 (reg. $12.50). I love this line (Nfu-Oh Victorian Series), but it’s sadly discontinued. At least it’s still available readily for now.

Essie Luxe Effects As Gold As It Gets official bottle shot, via Essie.com

As Gold As It Gets added just that subtle gold flaking that I was looking for. It’s sparse, small gold flakes in a variety of sizes, suspended in a clear base, and applies smoothly. Some dabbing might be needed in the way of glitters, but that’s to be expected.

This set, used with Gelous and Orly Bonder below and Seche Vite on top, is proving to be nicely durable and looks about the same on the third day (just some tip wear and barely noticeable tiny chips), despite my usual shenanigans.