China Glaze Sun Worshiper

I’ve had China Glaze Sun Worshiper in my collection for a while – a present from Mr. ‘Fiend because he likes bright orange as much as I do :] –  but never got around to wearing it until today.

Not my best swatching job (sorry!), but here’s 3 coats topped with Julep Freedom Top Coat in indoor indirect natural light:

Sun Worshiper is a neon mac-‘n’-cheese yellow orange – delicious – that dries to a matte finish if not topped with a glossy top coat. It’s pretty darn sheer (this is three coats, and you can still see the nail line!), and the formula is a pain (more on this in a bit), but the color is so freaking awesome. So bright! ❤ Definitely more neon than my photos can capture.

Like I said, the formula is a huge pain. Besides it being sheer, which I don’t necessarily hold against polishes because it’s just a different look, it’s a streaky mess. It dries really quickly, which would normally be a plus, but because it dries so quickly, it also tends to leave very visible brush strokes when it dries because it doesn’t have time to self-level before setting. I tried to apply it carefully, but going over any area twice left bald spots, and this is the smoothest it got with glossy top coat. The brush – a standard non-wide round brush with a flat tip – was fine.

Here’s a a couple photos in outdoor direct natural light:

Yep, not my best paint job, but I hope it helps someone as a color/consistency reference anyway!

If there’s one thing I recommend when it comes to tips on polishing nails, it’s this: don’t polish your nails when you’re hungry! I did this before breakfast, and the hypoglycemic shakes made the ordeal with the trying formula even worse than it would have been already.

Oh, also, I do not recommend Sally Hansen Miracle Gel Top Coat with this polish. I used it on my right hand (not pictured) and had crazy color transfer onto the top coat brush (polish underneath was definitely dry). I think Miracle Gel Top Coat tends to dissolve and leach out the neon yellow pigment in polishes, from my experience. Yuck. A thicker top coat like Freedom or Seche Vite also hides Sun Worshiper’s streakiness much better.

Next time, I might try this with a coat of another, more opaque bright orange underneath, to minimize the patchiness. I know a white undercoat is often recommended for neon colors, but white polish itself is typically a huge pain to apply, so I might try the orange first. I’ll update this post if I get around to that!

UPDATE 4/23/15: Sadly, this manicure didn’t hold up so well. It might just be me, or the base coat I used this time, but Sun Worshiper started separating from the nail shortly after these photos, and it chipped so badly I had to remove it after a couple days. I also had a similar peeling problem with Julep Nina, another bright orange, so I wonder if it’s something to do with the ingredients that go into these bright polishes. I’ll have to try it with another base coat and let you guys know how it goes.

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Julep Marjorie, Cleopatra, and Casper, plus China Glaze Boo-gie Down

Halloween nails!

Thumb and pinky – 2 coats Julep Marjorie
Index – 2 coats Julep Cleopatra with a stripe of  Julep Marjorie and a 2 coats Julep Casper
Middle – 2 coats Julep Marjorie with a stripe of Julep Casper
Ring – 2 coats Julep Cleopatra with a stripe of Julep Marjorie and a coat of China Glaze Boo-gie Down

Marjorie is one of my favorite orange polishes ever. I got it in Julep’s August 2013 It Girl Maven box this year, and this type of bright, juicy orange is one of my favorite colors. Julep describes Marjorie as a citrus orange frost, but I’d describe it as more of a shimmer than a frost. It’s pretty opaque in even one coat and ready to go in 2 coats, though you might still see some nail line (which I don’t personally mind, but some people do). It was a bit slow to dry for me, but it applies super smoothly and is luminous with gold motes in the sun.

Cleopatra is an opaque black with what Julep calls a latex finish, which seems to mean it dries smooth and matte. Nicely opaque in 2 coats and dries really fast. You can’t really see the latex effect in my photo because I ended up covering everything with top coat in the end, but the matte finish is satiny and nice. I’m not sure how the latex finish differs from a black creme with a matte top coat, but if it achieves the same effect and durability, I can see how Cleopatra might save some time. This polish was from this month’s Bombshell Maven box.

Casper is also from this month’s Maven selections and was available as an add-on. It’s a sheer-ish shimmery silver-white, and it glows pretty brightly in the dark (slightly more brightly than China Glaze Ghoulish Glow, and without that greenish haze when it’s over another color)!

Finally, Boo-gie Down is part of China Glaze’s Monsters Ball collection for Halloween this year, and it’s copper, gold, black, and white hexes and round glitters in varying sizes, and. I think, some black bar glitter in a clear base. The copper and gold glitters are metallic, while the black and white glitters are matte. I love the glitter combination and bet it could look great over other colors year round. It’s a bit goopy in the way of glitters and requires some dabbing to apply, but that’s to be expected from this kind of glitter polish.

So now I’m all set for Thursday. Any of you planning any fun Halloween nails?

China Glaze Howl You Doin’

2 coats China Glaze Howl You Doin’ (from China Glaze’s Halloween 2013 collection, Monsters Ball) on all fingers, except 3 coats on the middle finger, just to see how the opacity would build up. Topped with 1 coat of Seche Vite. I left a bald spot on the ring finger so you can see how the base jelly of the polish is a pretty grape purple, though it layers to an almost black when opaque, if you don’t look carefully. This photo was taken on day 2.

I hear around the blogosphere that Howl You Doin’ is kind of similar to Orly Fowl Play and OPI Merry Midnight, though they’re definitely not exact duplicates. I don’t own the other two, so I’ve never tried them, but you can see a pretty good comparison at the links I’ve posted. Howl You Doin’, like I mentioned, is a deep grape purple jelly chock full of what looks to me like purple-blue (blurple) micro glitter and coppery orange flakes. It’s a bit translucent and builds up to full opacity in 2-3 coats, depending on how thickly you paint it on, but the color shows better when it’s still a bit sheer at 2 thin coats. It dries pretty gritty, both to touch and sight, and requires top coat to make the most out of the glitteriness.

It’s now the end of day 3, and I’ve sort of got mixed feelings on this polish. I definitely like the deep purple of the base and the overall concept of the polish, and it applies well enough, but the glitter and flakes don’t seem to pop for me, and I kind of prefer the color of the base when it’s not fully opaque. I think I might have liked it better with an additional coat of top coat, but results I’ve seen across the web seem to be kind of similar, regardless. Just from looking at other bloggers’ comparisons, I might like Merry Midnight the best of the three cousins. Still, Howl You Doin’ is nice in a murkier sort of stealth-glitter way. I’m also having some chipping issues with this polish. Granted, I’m pretty tough on my nails, but this polish started chipping after 2 days and had some pretty major chips by day 3. In comparison, last week’s lacquer (Orly Nite Owl, etc.) lasted a week without any significant chipping with the same activity level. I still like it overall and may try it again with a different base coat and more top coat to see if that improves things.