Sunday, January 15, 2012

Sally Hansen Mystic Lilac

Mystic Lilac is a polish I had been searching high and low for.  And then, all of a sudden I ended up with two of them within a couple days! I finally found one for sale on LiveJournal, and snatched it up. (Is anyone else in the LJ polishsale community? That place is the death of my wallet.) Then I happened to win a giveaway over at The Phalanges Files, and she was kind enough to notice I had Mystic Lilac on my wishlist and sent me a bottle. The universe was really looking out for my polish desires that week!

Sally Hansen was really on top of their game when they named this gem Mystic Lilac. The color is definitely a lilac shade of purple, with some green shimmer thrown in. The first photo is more color accurate.

I used two coats of this guy, but probably should have gone with three as there are some bald spots. I definitely got some tip shrinkage right away unfortunately (these photos were taken maybe a half hour after applying the polish and top coat). It's a bummer, but not as noticeable in real life.

Overall, I'd call Mystic Lilac a success. The color is unique, and seems to be holding up well. And even though it needs three coats, the coats apply easily and dry quickly.

Street Wear Sky & Essie Shine of the Times

Today I have for you a manicure which could have been cute but turned out terrible.

I started out with Sky by Street Wear. Sky is obviously a sky blue frost. Very brushstroke-y, so it's probably not most people's cup of tea. I'm into it. It reminds me of the 90s, which makes sense given that it is, after all, from the 90s (perhaps early 2000s? When did Street Wear die?). All of my Street Wears are incredibly thin. I can't recall if Street Wear was always like this, or if it's due to the polish's age. It took me three coats to reach opacity.

Then I got the idea to add Essie's Shine of the Times because I had finally tracked it down and was really excited about it.

These pictures are horrid, I know, but would you believe that these pictures make the polish look better than it did in real life?! Shine of the Times was kinda thick and gloopy, which I guess was to be expected. It is very pretty, as flakies are. Over the blue, it reminded me of Cinderella's dress.

For about five minutes. Then the frustration set in.

The three coats of the thin, old Street Wear, combined with a thick coat of Essie (and base and top coat) did not make for a good combination. This stuff basically refused to dry. I had more dings and smudges than I could count. It didn't even last 24 hours before I was peeling this manicure off. And guess what? The layers underneath were still tacky!

Shine of the Times over Sky was really pretty, but so not worth the effort. I am excited to try it over every other polish I own though!

Sunday, January 8, 2012

A England Tristam

A while back I ordered a couple polishes from A England, and I am just now getting around to trying Tristam out.

A England made a big splash in the polish world when The Mythicals came out, so I know my swatches are nothing new. But when there was a sale on the collection a while back, and international shipping became free, I decided to bite the bullet and join the fanclub.

Tristam is a really gorgeous deep blue, with scattered holo bits thrown in. The holo is subdued in most light, but under bright lighting, it's visible. Even without the holo, Tristam is gorgeous. It's got this whole dark night sky meets deep parts of the ocean thing going on. It's a mysterious kinda polish. It reminds me of OPI DS Fantasy, but I like Tristam better.

The application process was very smooth. It needed two coats, and applied well. It may have been user error, but I found the brush a little difficult to work with, and had to do more clean up than usual. I was applying it in dim light, so take that with a grain of salt.

Overall, I'm really happy with A England so far. I love the idea of supporting a gal with a passion for polish, rather than supporting a huge company. Not that I'm gonna stop buying OPI anytime soon or anything, but you get the point. I also love that she took inspiration from history, and made a nail polish collection. It's a refreshing difference from the more generic collections. And I must admit I sometimes dream of creating a line of polishes based on a particular time in history. Maybe I'll share my ideas someday, but right now I feel it's some sort of secret lovechild I can't share with anyone.

Do you have dreams of starting your own nail polish line?

PS, if you're wondering why the cap looks all janky, my bottle of acetone spilled a bit and this was the result. The shiny bits keep flaking off. Pretty annoying.

Butter London Wallis

I purchased Wallis a while ago, and just now got around to wearing it.

Wallis is the most expensive polish I've ever purchased. As of yet, I don't own any Chanel, and the Lippmann's I have were purchased on clearance for $3. Not that I'll never indulge, but on a retail salary, with tons of student loans, and plans to move to London if I get accepted into grad school, I try to take the cheap route with polish. But when I saw Butter London for the first time at my local Ulta, I decided to treat myself. It was worth it.

Wallis is a gorgeous antique-y looking gold, with olive tones. It applied smoothly, and needed just two coats. On top of the quality of the polish, Butter London puts a lot of effort into the bottle design, which I can appreciate. I love the shape of the bottle, the Lift to Open sticker, and the raven on the inside of the cap. So cute - and if I'm paying $14 for a bottle of nail polish, it better be cute.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

OPI Lincoln Park After Dark Matte

This was a polish I wore a while ago, in between posts for the 31 Day Challenge. I needed something quick before I headed out the door, and what's faster than a matte?

As is Lincoln Park After Dark wasn't chic enough on its own, OPI had to go and up the wow factor by making it matte. I'm in love!

As we all know, Lincoln Park After Dark is a deep eggplant. And by that I mean it's black to everyone except you. Because you know that it's actually a deep eggplant and feel some satisfaction knowing that secret. I can't remember for sure, but I think I used two coats for this. It applied like every other matte: kinda uneven.

These pictures are probably a couple months old, and remind me of how I really need to start taking better care of my cuticles again. It's just so hard during the winter! And I live in MN, so I really do experience winter. Have I told you how much I hate winter? I really, really hate winter. Especially now that the holidays are over. Now winter serves no purpose except to make me miserable.

I wish I had the normal version of LPAD and a matte topcoat so I could compare the difference. Surely that exists? To Google I go.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Revlon Royal Cloak

Happy 2012, everyone! We've got less than a year to live, so I really hope the year is starting off well for you guys. ;)

Today I have Revlon's Royal Cloak to show you. As soon as I started seeing swatches of this, I knew I had to have it.

Royal Cloak is so beautiful, I don't have proper words for it. The shade of purple alone is gorgeous, but then add in the silver flakies, and it's one unique polish. Purple and gold have been done over and over again (and rightly so; it's a great combination), but I can't think of another purple and silver off the top of my head. The flakes add lots of dimension to this polish.

Application was kind of a pain, but worth it. The first coat was thin and watery. With the second, it built up some thickness and was easier to work with. I used three coats, as there were bald spots near the cuticle. Even with three coats, there were still some bald spots, but I just left it. Like I said though, totally worth the application process to get the end result. This was one of those can't stop staring at my nails! manicures.

Oh, also, I recently won a giveaway over at Nailtopia! Lindsay was kind enough to send me the Color Club Beyond the Mistletoe mini collection. Thumbs up!

How was everyone's New Years Eve? I'm not big into parties/clubs/the bar scene, so my BFF came over and we played N64 (yes I clearly have the latest in gaming systems) and watched a bunch of Gilmore Girls. And now I'm obsessed with Gilmore Girls and want to do nothing more than lay in bed all day watching it.

Which I may just go do right now!