Julep Amity

Two coats of Julep Amity, plus a coat of Essie Shine of the Times making a cameo appearance on the ring finger, topped with Essie Good to Go top coat, in outdoor natural light. Direct sunlight on top and shade on bottom:

Amity, described by Julep as a white-gold metallic signifying friendship, is a sparkly semi-sheer silver-white metallic shimmer, part of Julep’s limited edition Champagne Trio (along with Clio for celebration and Reiko for gratitude) celebrating their Maven program’s second anniversary in 2014. It’d probably build up to opacity with another coat or so, but I was fine with the semi-sheer look. It’s a bit frosty/pearly/brush-stroke-y, but the streaks aren’t that visible except under direct light, as you can see from the top set. The lighting also determines how sheer the polish looks:

Formula is generally good, though it’s hard to get the brush strokes not to show and is probably meant to be semi-sheer. Otherwise, I had no issues with this polish, and it dried on the fast side of average for me. Durability was good. I put these nails on in a rush for a wedding last weekend, and they’re still going strong with hardly a chip five days later.

As I mentioned, I brushed on Essie’s iridescent flakie topper Shine of the Times on the ring finger in an attempt to match my opal jewelry, but it’s hardly noticeable. You can see it if you look really carefully at these photos, but it’s basically invisible. Ah, well. I’ll put it to better use next time!

LynBDesigns I am Beyond Impropriety

This is another polish from LynBDesigns‘ Meet Me at the Abbey collection, I am Beyond Impropriety.

Here’s two coats, topped with Essie Good to Go top coat, in outdoor indirect natural light (shade):

My bottle of I am Beyond Impropriety is a neutral-ish, slightly blue-leaning, slightly dusty lavender crelly base with a good helping of what looks to me like somewhat iridescent golden flakies. That is, in person, the fine flake glitter seems to flash pink sometimes, though it just looks gold in the photos. My bottle wasn’t exactly what I was expecting, since the official swatch photos are definitely way more pink/mauve, and LynBDesigns even describes the color as “a mauvey purple crelly with intense golden shimmer.” My photos of this color are pretty much color accurate to my bottle, and it’s definitely more of a lavender. The base also looks more opaque to me, such that the flakies don’t layer as visibly. The flake glitter looks a bit coarser and more random-sized in my bottle than in the official swatch, but that’s all right with me. Such is the way of indie polishes, though, so even though I’d have preferred the pinker tone and more translucent base, I’m cool with it.

Here’s a shot in outdoor direct natural light (bright sunlight):

This polish was pretty easy to apply and was opaque in two to three coats. I used two for these photos, but on my other hand (not pictured), I applied it thinner and needed three. Dry time was faster than average. The polish dried fairly smooth, but the finish was something of a semi-matte. I thought it looked better with a coat of glossy top coat.

Again in indirect outdoor natural light (shade), but different color temperature:

Here’s another angle on those flakies:

Durability doesn’t seem to be this color’s strong suit, unfortunately. It started chipping pretty badly on me at the end of the second day, and the typical polish usually lasts four or five days.

Long story short, it’s a pretty color with easy application but only lasts a couple days, even with a generally reliable base and top coat. That’s not necessarily much of an issue if you like to change your nail color often, though, and as always, your mileage may vary, particularly since this is an indie polish that may have some variation from bottle to bottle.

Do you have any thoughts on this color or indie polishes in general? I’d love to hear from you!

Blue opal nails (Revlon Brilliant Strength Beguile and Sinful Colors Green Ocean)

Mr. ‘Fiend and I were at our local Walgreens renting Captain America: The Winter Soldier in preparation to see Avengers: Age of Ultron when I spotted a new Sinful Colors display for their Having A Blast collection for this summer. I ended up picking up Star Blast-Off and Green Ocean. I think Star Blast-Off is new, and Green Ocean is usually released seasonally around St. Patrick’s Day. I want to save Star Blast-Off for Independence Day, but nothing was stopping me from giving Green Ocean a go. 😉

I started off with two coats of Revlon Beguile – from Revlon’s Brilliant Strength line, which is now sadly discontinued – shown here in indoor artificial light (cool white LED) because I painted my nails at night and didn’t have any sunlight to work with:

Beguile is a blackened base with what looks to me like a fine dark-teal-to-purple dichroic/iridescent shimmer. It looks like a dark royal blue in this lighting, but in natural light, the predominant color is definitely more of a deep teal in most lighting, including sunlight. I mentioned before that Revlon’s Brilliant Strength polishes are not all made equal when it comes to formulation, but luckily, Beguile is one of the good ones. It was evenly opaque in two coats for me, and the dry time was average. The brush is of the flattened, slightly wide variety, with a mildly curved edge, and it’s very easy to use. No complaints about this polish at all. It’s wonderful.

Then, I added one layer of Sinful Colors Green Ocean and topped it off with Sally Hansen Miracle Gel , the combination shown here in outdoor indirect natural light on day two (hence the slight tip wear :P):

Green Ocean is a glitter topper consisting of a somewhat goopy bluish green-tinted translucent base, suspended with a varied mix of multi-sized and -shaped glitters and flakies, most of which produce a dichroic indigo-to-green shift.

Here’s the same combination in outdoor direct natural light:

As I mentioned, Green Ocean’s consistency is a bit goopy, so you have to be a bit careful with application to make sure the flakies apply flat to the nail instead of sticking up and to ensure it doesn’t go on too thickly. The Sinful Colors brush is the standard round-stemmed, square-tipped kind, and it’s easy enough to use. The glitters and flakies suspend well enough that no fishing or special application is necessary to get the pictured density of particles in one coat.

Here’s another angle in direct natural light to show you the color shift to indigo:

Green Ocean does dry a bit matte, so a glossy top coat is needed to bring out the shine in this topper. Sally Hansen Miracle Gel Top Coat worked just fine in this case, but a thicker glossy top coat that better smooths out the glitter/flaky texture might look even better.

The end result reminds me of a blue opal – really lovely. I’d love to experiment and see what other colors Green Ocean plays well with. At $1.99 a bottle (or cheaper, if you wait for a deal or coupon), I’m especially pleased with this Sinful Colors topper.

Have any of you tried Green Ocean and have any layering combination suggestions? Does anyone miss the Revlon Brilliant Strength line as I do sometimes?

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.

LF_nfu-oh58

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.