A vegan nail polish blog. A celebration of colour and light, as well as of justice for nonhuman animals.

Archive for October, 2011

A few Halloween manicures

A few Halloween NOTDs (nails of the day) from the past couple of weeks! (Although, really, I would wear these anytime!)

Milani Flashy Orange with Wet n Wild Ebony Hates Chris stamped on (I’m not very good at stamping yet…)

Milani Flashy OrangeThe other hand, with scurrying spiders!

Milani Flashy Orange

A candy manicure: China Glaze Liquid Leather with Nubar V for Men matte topcoat, in an attempt to make nails that look like Panda Licorice!

China Glaze Liquid Leather, Nubar V for MenWet n Wild Cougar Attack (I broke down and bought this on ebay… I doubt they even release these limited edition collections here in Canada…)

Wet n Wild Cougar Attack

The next day I added some nail art using the orange and black striping polishes from the Orly Instant Artist “Flights of Fancy” collection. The collection also included a dotting tool which is what I used to create the web-like design.

Wet n Wild Cougar Attack

China Glaze It’s Alive from their recent Halloween release:

China Glaze It's Alive

It’s Alive with OPI’s glow-in-the-dark Zom-body to Love as slimy tips:

China Glaze It's Alive, OPI Zom-body to Love

My attempt at capturing it glowing in the dark:

China Glaze It's Alive, OPI Zom-body to Love

Happy Halloween everyone! ūüôā


New Soulstice Spa polishes

I recently received these three new Soulstice Spa polishes, including their two new greens, for review: Telluride, LA, and Dublin. You can click on any of the photos below to see more detail in the full sized versions.

Soulstice Spa Telluride, LA, and DublinThis bottle shot unfortunately didn’t pick up the golden shimmer in Telluride, but here it is below.


TellurideA mint green with golden shimmer, this one is unique in my collection of minty polishes – I’m sure others must exist, but I don’t have any! This one had a fairly thick formula that did give me some trouble – at one and two coats it was a bit streaky over the ridges on my nails, so I ended up using four coats to even everything out for these pictures. Next time I’ll be adding a little thinner and using an opaque base coat, so I’m sure 2 or 3 coats will do. Either way, the colour is great!

Next up is LA, a multicoloured hex glitter layering polish. Here it is by itself, three coats (please ignore the stained nails!).

Soulstice spa LA

Soulstice spa LA

There are three sizes of hex glitter in this polish, very small, small, and medium, in the colours silver, yellow, green, orange-toned red, blue, and magenta. I love that there is a noticeable amount of yellow glitter, it really makes the polish for me! The formula was good, no trouble with this one. I had to “place” the glitter a little bit to get it evenly distributed, and as with any polish of this type, I held the brush against the inside of the bottle neck for a few seconds to let some of the transparent base drain off to maximize the concentration of glitter on the nail.

Of course, there are a fair number of similar rainbow glitter polishes floating around, including the newly released one by OPI, so I’ll be doing a comparison post with a couple of those later.

Last but not least, Dublin! This is a deep, shimmery velvety green, just gorgeous. The formula was good and this one is nearly a one-coater. I used 2 coats for good measure but you could probably get away with one if you’re careful. I got a few bubbles in it, which you may be able to see in the first picture; I think that was mainly because I used Nubar Nu Nail as a base coat under it since I was planning to keep it on as my manicure after taking the photos, and didn’t let things dry long enough between coats.

Soulstice spa Dublin

I then added two layers of LA on the ring finger as an accent, and finished with Poshe top coat which completely eliminated the bubbles (love that stuff – so smooth and glassy!).

Soulstice spa Dublin

Just for fun, another photo since a piece of glitter caught the light so well!

Soulstice spa Dublin

These polishes dried fairly quickly. I really like all three shades. I asked for greens, and I’m sure not disappointed! I love minty greens, and polishes with golden shimmer, and dark greens too, so these are great. I’m really enjoying my Dublin mani so far, it’s beautiful to look at!

Disclosure: the polishes in this post were provided to me by Soulstice Spa for review. Opinions expressed are my own.

New Glitter Gal holos

Today I have the three¬†recently released¬†Glitter Gal holos for you. Glitter Gal is an Australian brand known for their line of holographic polishes. These came out in August and I first swatched them then, but wasn’t very happy with some of the photos so I recently¬†redid the ones for Light as a Feather and Frapp√©. For these photos I used either Nubar Foundation or Zoya Get Even for base coat, as noted on the individual shades, and no top coat. I found that they dried fairly glossy even without top coat. The photos are all taken in sunlight in my solarium. You can click on any of the photos to see more detail in the larger versions.

Lizard Belly

Glitter Gal Lizard Belly

Glitter Gal Lizard Belly

This one is really awesome! A blackened green with a strong holo effect. I only needed two coats for this one. Love it!!! Formula was a bit little bit thick, but not hard to work with. For these photos I had a base coat of Nubar Foundation. It is quite a¬†blackened green, and in some lighting¬†pretty much¬†looks black. I’m thinking of trying it over a kelly-green creme next time…

Light as a Feather

A very pale grey holo. I had the hardest time photographing this one, so I’m including several pictures to give a better¬†idea of the polish, including a couple of blurry ones that show off the holo in the bottle.

Glitter Gal Light as a Feather

Glitter Gal Light as a Feather

Glitter Gal Light as a Feather

Glitter Gal Light as a Feather

Out of the three, the holo effect is least strong on this one. This one also gave me the most trouble with application. I swatched it here with Zoya Get Even as base coat, since my nails are a bit stained and Get Even has a white tint to help prevent that from showing through. This is three coats (it’s a little sheer, and a bit streaky on the first coat).¬†I found the formula thick and hard to work with. I added several (about 6 or 8?) drops of thinner (Zoya Renew) and that helped. I got some bubbling, but I think that was mainly due to not waiting¬†long enough between coats and the interaction between the¬†basecoat and the polish. I think my Zoya¬†Get Even¬†could use a¬†little more thinner in it too…


Glitter Gal Frappé

Glitter Gal Frappé

Glitter Gal Frappé

Pink-toned lavender with a noticeable linear holo effect. This one was also fairly sheer (and so, I used Zoya Get Even as basecoat here) and needed three coats. The formula was also slightly thick but much better than Light as a Feather. I added 2 drops of thinner when I swatched this for these photos. Very pretty and feminine colour.

Some general notes on the bottles. The bottles are small as anyone who’s seen GG holos in person knows; they hold 9ml. The brush itself isn’t mini though, it’s a normal length brush (actually longer than some brands like Zoya or Color Club) attached to the small brush handle.

Since the lighter coloured ones were pretty sheer, I also swatched the three polishes over cremes. Here are the base colour I used: Zoya Perrie, Milani One of a Kind, and a grey franken I made from Color Club French Tip and SOPI What’s a tire jack? As you can see in the photo my franken is kind of thick and chalky (due to Color Club French Tip which¬†is one of those whites that is kind of chalky)¬†which doesn’t give¬†the greatest¬†effect when combined with the ridges on that nail, but anyway… The base colours were all two coats except Perrie which was one.


"Underwear" for the holos

Glitter Gal holos over bases

One coat over bases

Glitter Gal holos over bases

One coat over bases

These photos show one coat of the Glitter Gal holos over their corresponding base colour(s). I like how they turned out, definitely a good way to extend the life of the small GG bottles.

Bottom line: despite the thick¬†formula, these new holos are pretty awesome (especially Lizard Belly!!). Light as a Feather is quite subtle as a holo, but is pretty in its own right. You’ll definitely want some thinner on hand with that one, though! Needing to add thinner to these isn’t such a bad thing in my opinion, that along with using them over a creme will help extend the life of the small 9ml bottles!

Soulstice Spa Update

It’s funny that I ended my first post on Soulstice Spa polishes by musing about whether they would come out with some greens, because the lovely Kayse and V-Neesa of Soulstice have been in touch with me saying that coincidentally, they’re coming out with five new shades right now and a couple of them are green!¬† I love green (well, along with a million other colours, heheh). They will be giving me an opportunity to review some of the new colours so I should have a new Soulstice post up fairly soon!

They also mentioned that they’ll be having some giveaways soon on their facebook page for their followers, so if that interests you be sure to “like” them on facebook.

By the way, in case you’re wondering where to get these polishes,¬†if you’re in Canada like me you can¬†buy Soulstice Spa polishes from Nail Polish Canada¬†as I did,¬†otherwise you can also email them as detailed on their web site and/or check out their “where to find us” page.

Orly Flagstone Rush and China Glaze Brownstone

These were my nails of the day last Friday. I started out with Orly Flagstone Rush, a metallic reddish brown (just a bit too dark to be¬†a copper). It’s a two-coater with a nice formula; a little bit of attention is needed to get the brush strokes straight but it’s not too hard to work with. It’s one of Orly’s core colours.

Orly Flagstone Rush

I then added some half moons (my first attempt at half moons!) in China Glaze Brownstone from their fall 2011 Metro collection, thinking its brick red-brown creme finish would complement and contrast with the metallic Orly in an interesting way. I liked how it turned out! Brownstone has a wonderful smooth and creamy formula, by the way.

Flagstone Rush and Brownstone

Then I decided to mattify it using Nubar V for Men – not sure which way I prefer, I like them both!
Flagstone Rush and Brownstone, Matte

These photos were all taken indoors in the light of my new Ott light, on account of it being dark outside!

Soulstice Spa swatches

Soulstice Spa is a relatively new brand of all-vegan nail polish that I learned about a few months ago, so I figured what better way to start off my vegan nail polish blog than to review a few of their shades.

Here are the five polishes I picked up on my first Soulstice purchase: Rio, Milan, Kona, Tokyo, and Montreal.

From left: Kona, Montreal, Tokyo, Milan, Rio.

On to the swatches! These swatches are all without base or top coat. Any ridges you see are my nails, not the fault of the polish! Photos are taken in my solarium in direct sun, except where noted.

Tokyo, indirect sunlight.

Tokyo. This is a burgundy-wine with purple undertones and golden-bronze shimmer particles. The formula is excellent, thin, smooth and easy to control. This is three thin coats. After two coats there were a few slightly balder patches (again, these were thin coats though) but three coats was perfect.

The first photo was taken in the evening just as the sun had dipped below the building across the park (argh! was hoping to get the swatch done while the sun was still shining!), so, indirect sunlight. The next day the sun was cooperating so I took the second photo while I still had Tokyo on before moving on to the other swatches.

Milan. Similar to Tokyo except a little lighter and without the purple undertone; this is more of a burgundy with a slight dark rose tone to it. The golden shimmer is also finer than Tokyo’s shimmer. This is also three thin coats.

Rio. A very bright frosty coral red. This one is more sheer than the others. This is three coats, the last coat being fairly thick. My nails aren’t in the greatest shape these days so I wanted to hide the unevenness and places where there were some peeling spots that had absorbed the darker burgundy polishes. This had a similar formula to the other non-cremes and didn’t really give me any trouble with brush strokes. Hanging out in the background of these shots is our kitty Wu being cute; I didn’t have the heart to crop him out!!

Montreal. Ahh, my favourite city. I lived there four years and sometimes I really miss it. This is a gorgeous medium purple shimmer, a slightly red-toned purple. Love this one. Maybe not the most unique shade, but it’s beautiful. This is two coats; the first coat was just slightly streaky but the second evened everything out. As with a lot of purples, the photos make it look more blue than it is. The last photo is taken inside in the light of my light-therapy lamp in an attempt to get a shot truer to colour.

Kona, indirect sunlight.

Kona. The only creme that I picked up, a light sky blue that leans slightly toward turquoise. Again, maybe not the most unique shade, but speaking for myself I can’t seem to get enough shades like this. The formula on this one was thicker than the others, and gave me a little more difficulty to apply. This is two coats, the second quite thick. It did do a good job of leveling itself out with the second thick coat. I got a few tiny bubbles so next time I’ll be sure to roll, not shake this polish like I did this time. Overall I do really like this shade a lot, it’s opaque and it dries very nice and glossy!

As a whole I was quite impressed with the polishes I picked up. As mentioned, the formula on the shimmers was excellent and easy to work with even on my currently peeling and uneven bare nails. I’ve tried Kona again since taking these photos (they were taken during the summer) and didn’t have the same issues with application, so it may just have been the heat and humidity when I swatched these. Drying time on these was pretty good; no complaints there. I’d say my favourites out of these were Montreal and Tokyo.

All in all these were great and I’ve bought a few more Soulstice polishes in the time since I took these photos. …maybe someday they’ll come out with some greens…? ūüėÄ