Julep Nicola

This year, I didn’t do particularly festive nails for Halloween – no time! I did put on Julep Nicola, though, for the glow-in-the-dark finish. 🙂

Nicola is a very sheer peachy apricot base loaded with iridescent glass-fleck-y micro particles. It’s way sheer, though – way more sheer than I anticipated from the marketing photos. Even at three coats, like shown in my photos, you can barely see the polish, except that it adds a little bit of a blush tint to the nail, as well as the lovely iridescent sparkle and glossy sheen. It’s a subtle beauty, but definitely not for people who hate sheer polishes.

This is taken in strong direct outdoor natural light:

The consistency is fine, but it has a weird, strong skunky smell (blech) and seems to take longer than average to dry. Be prepared to sit tight – and maybe hold your hands away from your nose – especially if you use more than one coat of this polish!

Another angle in strong direct outdoor natural light:

The iridescent flakes stand out more in slightly less direct outdoor natural light. They mostly flash cyan to pink for me:

The peachy tint is nice, but it does make the whites of the nails look discolored.

I couldn’t snap a photo of the glow-in-the-dark effect because my phone camera couldn’t capture it. It does glow visibly greenish yellow in the dark, though.

Nicola is a pretty polish, but it’s a little more sheer than I typically like in a polish – almost more of a nail perfector, though blingy. The smell and long dry time are also not my favorite. Maybe it’ll be good layered over something else; I might experiment with that later on. Ultimately, I’m not sure it was the best use of my $6.99 (it was an add-on for my October 2015 Julep Maven box). I certainly don’t hate it, though.

Did you pick up Nicola? What did you think?


July 4th: The Lady Varnishes Stay Puft, Pure Ice Deja Vu & Sinful Colors Star Blast-Off

I’ve swatched a few festive colors for July 4th! Here’s The Lady Varnishes Stay Puft, two coats, on all fingers except the ring, which is two coats Pure Ice Deja Vu layered with one layer Sinful Colors Star Blast-Off.

This is day two of this manicure in outdoor natural light, all nails topped with Essie Good To Go top coat:

The Lady Varnishes Stay Puft, from The Lady Varnishes’ I Ain’t Afraid of No Ghost collection, is a fun glow-in-the-dark glitter topper with a sheer white base and multi-sized matte white hexes, translucent blue-raspberry blue and red hexes, and white glass-fleck-y shimmer. The sheer white is subtle but gives the nails a cleaner look. Also, my bottle is marshmallow scented!

The formula is a bit goopy and clumpy, but it’s not too bad to work with, since it’s sheer and hard to mess up. The brush is a bit thicker and wider than the typical standard nail-polish brush and easily fans out to cover the entire nail. I typically prefer the finer standard-size brushes, but I didn’t have trouble with this one, though it did pick up a lot of glitter at once. Dry time was super fast, always a plus.

Did I mention that it glows in the dark? It’s beautiful, too – the glow is primarily a soft blue and looks like a galaxy with all the glitters:

Super sweet!

Pure Ice Deja Vu is one of my favorite Pure Ice polishes. It’s a royal-blue metallic/shimmer with a fuchsia/purple duochrome/dichroic flash, and it’s opaque in two coats. The formula is a tad more watery than optimal, but it’s not too hard to work with, and the brush is pretty standard. Dry time seemed average.

Sinful Colors Star Blast-Off, which I picked up at the same time as Green Ocean from the Having A Blast display at Walgreens, is a glitter topper with matte white stars, small matte white round and hex glitters, and medium matte blue and matte red hexes suspended in a clear base. The base is a bit watery, so some fishing, dabbing, and manual glitter placement is needed to get a good distribution of glitters. The brush is pretty standard and picks up glitter decently. Dry time was a bit longer than average for me.

I think Stay Puft is a new favorite for me. I even like how it looks sheer. 🙂 It goes for $11 at The Lady Varnishes’ Etsy store and is still in stock as of this writing. The other two polishes were $2 polishes at Walmart for Pure Ice and Walgreens for Sinful Colors.

What are your favorite July 4th polishes?

Have a happy and safe Fourth!

Durability update 7/8/2015: Stay Puft started chipping within 2-3 days, but the other two colors lasted about a week without too much damage.

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?