Little Sunday-into-Monday nails

Not too long ago, whilst indulging my perpetual curiosity online, I suddenly craved ownership of a certain two Lynderellas like nobody’s business: A Neutral Party and Puppy Cake.

Being that I’ve not ever worn a one of the Lynnderella residents currently leading the life of Riley in a top drawer of the Alex varnish condo, I abstained from immediate purchase of the two aforementioned. Instead, I got to work scouting other floors of the condo, chasing the varnish visions dancing in my head.

I didn’t have to look far: everything my little nails were wishing for (neutral but sparkly, tiny black dots, holo microshimmer, gold, silver, bronze and then some) turned out to be in residence — no spending the winter out at the warehouse for these favourites!

Problem child extraordinaire and confirmed favourite, Big Universo Canel

Sally Hansen CSM Paparazzi, Anna Sui 32C

China Glaze I’m Not Lion, OPI Wonderous Star

A member of the Etude House x Annika Wester Wannabe Syrup Nails trio
Maybelline Color Show The Nudes LE Bronze Beam

In an abundance of caution, because my formerly known as long nails were catching on my tights, splitting and peeling per usual, I thought to start things off right on Sunday with a base coat of this 18k gold hardener.

The subtle flakes add a neat underlayer dimension to one coat of transparent Canel …

The brushes I used to execute my idea on oh-so-tiny canvasses:

Slanted tip Impala – SH CSM Paparazzi, one coat gradient effect

Mint green fan – Anna Sui 32C, one swipe on tips

Essence denser fan – China Glaze I’m Not Lion, one swipe on tips

OPI Wonderous Star – daubed on very edge of nails with bottle brush, which netted a surprising density of little black dots

Impala fan brush – Etude House glitter, one swipe a little farther down the nail than the others, to about 1/4 – 1/2 of Paparazzi

Maybelline Color Show Bronze Beam – laid bottle brush flat on its side at intervals on tips

Finally, 1-2 coats of Rimmel Base + Top Coat.

Before polishing my nails, I had done two rounds of Gena Cuticle Remover (which contains lots of naturally-derived hydroxy and salicylic acids, but no lye or ammonia products that I could spot) in addition to nail oils, cuticle oils and Lush Charity Pot.

To the naked eye, my efforts appeared to be effective. iPhone images, however, are unforgiving, detecting and magnifying every flaw. Even if I wanted to correct the imperfections visible in the photos of my nails above, I couldn’t — they just don’t show up in real life (thank goodness)!

Last image was taken in my car, Monday afternoon sun.

xx blueberry milk tea

Autumnal shimmers, chapter three

SONY DSC

OPI Gwen Stefani Holiday 2014 First Class Desires, OPI DS Mystery, Rescue Beauty Lounge Piu Mosso

SONY DSC

Last three on the right, overcast outdoor light, one coat:  OPI Gwen Stefani Holiday 2014 First Class Desires, OPI DS Mystery, Rescue Beauty Lounge Piu Mosso

SONY DSC

Last three on right, indoors, 2-3 coats:  OPI Gwen Stefani Holiday 2014 First Class Desires, OPI DS Mystery, Rescue Beauty Lounge Piu Mosso

SONY DSC

My burning question was regarding OPI GS and OPI DS:  First Class Desires and Mystery.

Right off, First Class Desires has a better formula, without becoming draggy at one coat and gloppy at successive coats a la Mystery.

Methinks this is due to FCD’s shimmer being finer, albeit more copious.  Mystery’s shimmer is comprised of larger, flakier, heavier particles that get bogged down in the varnish and make it mucky.

At 2-3 coats, there is barely discernible difference between the two, excepting that FCD’s base color is a tad lighter than Mystery’s, and FCD’s golden shimmer is highly visible, even when the color dries, also making it appear a lighter shade than Mystery due to reflection.

If you have Mystery, then you still need First Class Desires, as it is a pleasure to work with and the result is what I imagine we had all hankered for Mystery to be.

If you don’t have Mystery, then you definitely need First Class Desires.  🙂

SONY DSC

Anna Sui 226, China Glaze Choo-Choo Choose You, Etude House PP904

SONY DSC

Middle three, overcast outdoor light, one coat each:  Anna Sui 226, China Glaze Choo-Choo Choose You, Etude House PP904

SONY DSC

Middle three, indoor light, 2-3 coats each:  Anna Sui 226, China Glaze Choo-Choo Choose You, Etude House PP904

SONY DSC

SONY DSC

Catrice Steel My Soul, Colorama Gelo, Sinful Shine Prosecco

SONY DSC

All, overcast outdoor light, one coat, from left:  Catrice Steel My Soul, Colorama Gelo, Sinful Shine Prosecco, Anna Sui 226, China Glaze Choo-Choo Choose You, Etude House PP904, OPI First Class Desires, OPI DS Mystery, Rescue Beauty Lounge Piu Mosso

SONY DSC

Indoors, 2-3 coats, from bottom:  Catrice Steel My Soul, Colorama Gelo, Sinful Shine Prosecco

SONY DSC

SONY DSC

All, indoors, 2-3 coats, from left:  Catrice Steel My Soul, Colorama Gelo, Sinful Shine Prosecco, Anna Sui 226, China Glaze Choo-Choo Choose You, Etude House PP904, OPI First Class Desires, OPI DS Mystery, Rescue Beauty Lounge Piu Mosso

SONY DSC

For reasons unknown (I must not have had enough room on the nail wheel and had to do some quick thinking), I had omitted these two from the above comparison.  Risqué Cinza Incerto! and Sinful Colors Winterberry.

SONY DSC

Two coats, indoor light

SONY DSC

Again, two coats, indoor light, closer up.

SONY DSC

All, indoors, 2-3 coats, from left:  Catrice Steel My Soul, Colorama Gelo, Sinful Shine Prosecco, Anna Sui 226, China Glaze Choo-Choo Choose You, Etude House PP904, OPI First Class Desires, OPI DS Mystery, Rescue Beauty Lounge Piu Mosso

xx blueberry milk tea

Multichrome Comparison Library, Volume VIII: copyright Autumn 2014

SONY DSC

SONY DSC

SONY DSC

No. 10 is G-gal Red *Night* Sky Brilliant.  It’s so difficult for me to correct spacing and text once I botch it in my primitive labeling program…

I’ve performed a similar comparison here, but have since inadvertently permanently deleted the photos in an attempt to free up space.  Quite all right, since the present comparison has more members, with better images!

SONY DSC

L’Apogee Optico Ambar, which I will also feature in a multichrome topper post (dreading this task since I loathe swatching over black, and in fact have never done it).

SONY DSC

Revlon Spiderman LE from Summer 2014, 1000 Volts.  This was an amazing (lol) collection of duo/multichromes.

SONY DSC

L’Oreal The Temptress’ Power.  Think this is LE from Fall 2012 (?).

SONY DSC

Sally Hansen Lustre Shine Firefly.  I purchased this long ago at full price when this series first showed up on shelves.  Although I see them ’round deeply discounted, I still think they’re underrated — the two I’ve featured here I find especially beautiful.

SONY DSC

SONY DSC

Above and below, Color Club Wild & Willing.  I have never gotten round to putting lots of coats of this under a royal purple shatter for Hallowe’en…

SONY DSC

…maybe for All Souls’ Day, or in time for Dia de los Muertos?

SONY DSC

CQ Rustic Dream.  Now this is one gorgeous varnish.  Gotta try her under purple crackle as well…

SONY DSC

F21 L&B Amber, another 1970s-esque stunner.

SONY DSC

Impala Disco Sex Appeal, aka the little lava lamp on display in my bedroom.

SONY DSC

G-gal Red Night Sky Brilliant x 3

SONY DSC

SONY DSC

SONY DSC

F21 L&B Red/Multi x 3.  Fantastic dupe for MAC Bad Fairy, a varnish I had and traded untried.

SONY DSC

SONY DSC

Yes, an even better dupe for MAC Bad Fairy than Claire’s Poison Apple, which I forgot to include here.

SONY DSC

Sally Hansen Lustre Shine Copperhead.  My favorite of the bunch.  See nail wheel swatch below.*

SONY DSC

SONY DSC

CQ Idyllic.  First time I’ve ever been able to capture the multichrome shift…

SONY DSC

SONY DSC

SONY DSC

SONY DSC

SONY DSC

*Above and below, respectively second from right and second from left, SH LS Copperhead.  She’s got purple in her, which flashes only very occasionally in the bottle at home, and never in the shops (their lighting is too direct).

SONY DSC

SONY DSC

SONY DSC

SONY DSC

SONY DSC

SONY DSC

SONY DSC

All varnishes are two coats each on the nail wheel.

xx blueberry milk tea

Autumnal shimmers, chapter one

I’m doing this series all out of order from how I had it organized mentally (since last Fall… yes, that would be Autumn 2013).  The raisons d’etre are below.  Some of these I just obtained yesterday, and they were so compelling I thought they should be bumped ahead in the image queue.  No swatches yet; they’re that new… I was busy instead trying to figure out what I had swatched last year this season, to be shown in ensuing chapters.  Behold!

SONY DSC

This varnish photographed so beautifully.  Rescue Beauty Lounge Piu Mosso, added to my collection last year, courtesy of an exchange with happyberrynaiad.  Hers was one of the first nail blogs I gravitated toward, and continue to do so. 🙂

SONY DSC

Piu Mosso’s gorgeous fiery shimmer doesn’t translate to the nail, or to the nail wheel, as you will see in Chapter 2 of this series.

SONY DSC

I’m still enormously pleased to have Piu Mosso in my collection.  Many thanks, Sherry!

SONY DSC

Then there’s this crazy train from China Glaze, from the All Aboard six-pack I ordered online, since I couldn’t find this in shops locally.

SONY DSC

China Glaze Choo-choo Choose You

SONY DSC

I was expecting a dark plum with gold microshimmer, and I received this gloriously beautiful multichrome instead.

SONY DSC

No complaints.  *This* varnish should be called OMG.  Its multichrome flash is different from the garden variety.  Seems to me the multichrome is all in the shimmer, whilst the base remains untouched.  O-M-G, China Glaze!

SONY DSC

Sinful Colors Winterberry, Anna Sui 226, China Glaze Choo-Choo Choose Me

SONY DSC

I had SC and Anna Sui pulled for last Fall’s shimmer swatching, but they aren’t on the corresponding wheel, for some reason.

SONY DSC

So we’ll put them here instead, and do a comparison shortly.

SONY DSC

OPI Gwen Stefani Holiday 2014 First Class Desires, OPI DS Mystery

SONY DSC

Gwen Stefani can do no wrong by me.  She and OPI hit it out of the park with this varnish, and the entire Holiday 2014 collection, for that matter.

SONY DSC

I likely am not the only one wondering how First Class Desires compares to the disappointing-on-the-nail DS Mystery.  We’ll find out together in Chapter 3 of this series.

SONY DSC

First Class Desires’ base is lighter than DS Mystery’s, and the shimmer is finer and more copious.  Just feast your eyes on that stunner!

SONY DSC

*Groan*

SONY DSC

Last but not least, the coveted Sinful Shine Prosecco.

SONY DSC

I found this by sheer accident at the drugstore last weekend; I had given up on ever finding her long ago.

SONY DSC

Sinful Shine Prosecco instantly brought to mind the taupe-with-shimmer varnishes I had lined up last year for the autumnal shimmer series.

I will show those to you in Chapter 2, and will do a comparison with Prosecco in Chapter 3.

xx blueberry milk tea

Old multichrome spam

I took these photos back in early summer 2012. The majority of the varnishes have been traded; some whose names I cannot remember. What I do remember is the feeling of being overwhelmed by all of the bottles on my desk. Absolutely minimal in comparison to what I’m currently contending with… and I keep adding more!

Please, if you know the names of any of the anonymous varnishes, pray tell!

P1020220

Nina Ultra Pro Molten Lava, Nubar Shock Sonic Sunset, Crystal Mesmerizing (these last two I have hung onto for sentimental reasons, as they were a gift from kimbuyah on MUA)

P1020219

P1020215

This Sinful had some catchy name, reason I bought it from cherryculture… actually I bought two and gave them both away.

Catrice Clay-ton My Hero, wish I had never swapped this away

Finger Paints Warm He-Art-ed

P1020216

These definitely aren’t multchromes; more of a complex shimmer in a muddy base… but here they are anyhow.

P1020221

Orly Fifty-Four, OPI that I have since swapped away.  Name, anyone?

P1020222

P1020225

OPI I’m a Princess, You’re Not!

P1020224

OPI Rent, Thoroughly Modern Millie… or the other way around, Anna Sui 32C, 235

P1020223

P1020218

Scherer Chameleon Corona (I think…), OPI Movin’ Out and ???

P1020217

And yes, that mini Max Factor in the background *is* Fantasy Fire, which I gave to alelvi123 before I could show her off here.

xx blueberry milk tea

PFF Series: Fiery opalescent multichromes

L to R: I’m A Princess, You’re Not!, Demi-Blanc, Molten Copper, 326

I’ve been playing with ombre/gradient manicures these days using multichromes, foils and glitters, via ye olde layering in thirds method.

For the polishes shown here, I used two coats OPI over the entire nail, two-thirds MAC, one-third Nina Ultra Pro, and a smattering of Anna Sui on the tips. Polish friends forever? They look amazing yet do not play well together. They do not cure properly, reason for no nail photos — dents, dings, smudges in just a few hours, even with base and top coats and ample drying time in between layers.

I’ve also found that these ombre/gradient combinations look very different applied on a nail wheel than on a person — what worked on the wheel didn’t on the hand, and vice versa…