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

Archive for February, 2012

Nicole by OPI Iceberg Lotus

This is another one of my very favourite polishes! I believe Nicole by OPI Iceberg Lotus was first released last spring. I still see it at some stores that sell Nicole polish, but not others, here in Canada. It’s an amazing teal duochrome with a near-foil glass-fleck shimmer finish that flashes from blue through to purple. I photographed it over black since it really brings out the duochrome that way. The formula is great; no complaints there. Two coats over one coat of Kleancolor Black, shown in natural overcast light.

Nicole by OPI Iceberg Lotus over black

Nicole by OPI Iceberg Lotus over black

Nicole by OPI Iceberg Lotus over black

Nicole by OPI Iceberg Lotus over black

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Cult Nails Let’s Get Nekkid Collection

Today I have swatches of the latest Cult Nails collection to show you! The collection is called Let’s Get Nekkid and consists of four nude shades for a wide variety of skin tones as well as a green glittery flakie polish. The nudes are all named after nude beaches. As usual, you can click on any of the photos to see more detail.

I’ll go from lightest to darkest for the nudes, so first up is Mazo. This one works best as a nude on my pale self. It’s a sheer beige base with lots of golden shimmer. The shimmer is the large flake-type shimmer particle. Shown is three coats, but it was already smooth and even at only one coat (this one has the best formula in the collection in my opinion), so the choice of how many coats to use is strictly based on how sheer you want it to be.

Cult Nails Mazo

Cult Nails Mazo

Next is Baker, a deeper and more opaque tan beige with orange tones in it and with similar golden shimmer. The formula seemed a little thicker than Mazo but was still fairly smooth and even and could probably be used at one coat for a sheer wash of colour. I used three coats for the photos (it’s more opaque than Mazo, still a relatively sheer polish though, so I used three coats since my nails are a bit stained).

Cult Nails Baker

Cult Nails Baker

Tulum is a dusty chocolately medium taupe-brown with golden shimmer that doesn’t show up as much as it does in the first two polishes; I’m not sure if that’s just because the base is more opaque or if the particles themselves are different. This one was a little streaky on the first coat, and the formula was a little thin and threatened to run down the brush stem and flood the nail if I wasn’t careful. Adjusting to that, a second thicker coat on top of the first evened out the polish.

Cult Nails Tulum

Cult Nails Tulum

I did a comparison to Power Thief from Cult Nails’ previous collection (which I reviewed here), and as you can see, Power Thief (on the left) has more of a reddish-pink undertone and has denser shimmer that shows up more on the nail. The shimmer in Power Thief is silvery and flashes little sparkles of blue and pink in the light.

Cult Nails Power Thief and Tulum

Cult Nails Power Thief (left) and Tulum (right)

Cult Nails Power Thief and Tulum

Cult Nails Power Thief (left) and Tulum (right)

The final nude shade is Swanbourne, a very deep neutral brown, again with golden shimmer. Like Tulum, this shade is opaque and the shimmers don’t show up as much as they do in the first two shades. Shown are two coats.

Cult Nails Swanbourne

Cult Nails Swanbourne

Last but not least we have the green flakie, Toxic Seaweed. This is a blue-toned green jelly with lots of small glitter and flakies that shift from red to yellow to green. This one has the same ingredient issue as Clairvoyant does, so unless they can find a new supplier or substitute for that ingredient, it will be limited edition. So, if you like this one, get it while you can; it’s still available on Cult Nails’ website as of the time I’m publishing this post!

Cult Nails Toxic Seaweed

The formula on this one was thinner than I expected, but only because I imagined it would be super-thick and it wasn’t. It applied just fine and this was two coats. I’m still not entirely sure how I feel about this one; I love it at an angle when the flakes are reflecting yellow, but straight on it can have a red-and-green kind of Christmasy look to it that isn’t really my favourite.

Cult Nails Toxic Seaweed

Since I usually show the glitter or flakie polish over the others when I review Cult Nails collections, I did it again here although it’s not really as appropriate in this case – Mazo is too light to change its look, Baker just kind of makes the colour more muted by removing the blue tone, over Tulum it becomes sort of a swampy looking thing (kind of interesting, actually) – layering it over Swanbourne makes the most sense! This photo shows one coat of Toxic Seaweed layered over Mazo, Baker, Tulum and Swanbourne (left to right).

Cult Nails Toxic Seaweed layered over Mazo, Baker, Tulum, Swanbourne

My overall impression of this collection is great; I love nudes and these ones have golden shimmer which makes me love them even more! Those with cool, pink-toned skin may not be quite as thrilled with this collection as I am, but I can see Mazo becoming a go-to nude polish for me since it matches my skin tone quite well and looks good at one coat (or at least it would without the stained nails!!) as well as at two or three! Baker is another favourite; I love the golden orangey-peachy tan tone. All of these shades are pretty unique in my collection. I do recommend waiting a couple minutes between coats when applying the darker among these polishes to prevent dragging and bald spots.

Zoya Haley

Zoya Haley is a bright, orange-toned red jelly. It’s sheer so it leaves a visible nail line. The formula is nice; I didn’t have any trouble with it. Shown are three coats with top coat, after about a day of wear. Bright and cheerful!

Zoya Haley

Zoya Haley

Zoya Haley

Layering with FingerPaints flakies

Back in January Sally Beauty Supply released an awesome collection of flakie polishes under their FingerPaints brand called Special Effects. These have been reviewed tons of times online already and are probably sold out by now at most Sally stores, so I just wanted to share a few layering combos I did with some of these polishes over the last few weeks. Unfortunately there wasn’t any sun for any of these pictures though.

Two coats of Motley, the green-blue-violet flakie, over three coats of Sally Girl Peabody in very overcast natural light:
Fingerpaints Motley over Sally Girl Peabody

Fingerpaints Motley over Sally Girl Peabody

Two coats of Asylum, the red-yellow and blue-violet flakie, over two coats of Nubar Pink Flame, again not very good lighting; this is artificial light:
Nubar Pink Flame with Fingerpaints Asylum

Nubar Pink Flame with Fingerpaints Asylum

Two coats of Twisted, the most colourful of these flakies (it’s pretty much like all the others in the collection mixed together), over two coats of OPI Russian Navy Suede, overcast light:
Fingerpaints Twisted over OPI Russian Navy Suede

Fingerpaints Twisted over OPI Russian Navy Suede

I definitely like the last combo best – I’ve determined that I really prefer flakies over dark colours where they stand out clearly, rather than over pale colours.

Happy Valentine’s Day!

I wasn’t originally planning to do anything special with my nails for Valentine’s Day, but then I put on Zoya’s Cho right before bed last night, didn’t use quick-dry topcoat, and woke up with my own fingerprints on several of the nails, haha!

So, this morning I decided to add some glitter to cover up the fingerprints – LA Girls Glitter Addict polishes in Inspire (light pink) and Animate (red). I topped it off with a layer of Zoya Lucy, a sheer jellyish off-white, for a somewhat subtle-looking jelly sandwich. Pics are in artificial light with flash.

Zoya Cho, LA Girls Glitter Addict Inspire & Animate, and Zoya Lucy

Zoya Cho, LA Girls Glitter Addict Inspire & Animate, and Zoya Lucy

China Glaze Optical Illusion

I was very excited last night when I received this in the mail! (And surprised – that seller shipped fast!!) Optical Illusion, from China Glaze’s brand new Prismatics collection, which I believe is due out in stores in March.

China Glaze Optical Illusion, one coat layered over one coat Kleancolor Black

China Glaze Optical Illusion, one coat layered over one coat Kleancolor Black

I was all prepared to be disappointed with this, first of all since the first press release made it seem like they were going to be holographic polishes, but it eventually became known that they weren’t, and second of all since there are very few swatches online as of now and the ones there are, well, to be honest I wasn’t really impressed with the looks of the polishes.

But now that I have one of them any disappointment has totally evaporated! This is a really cool polish!

China Glaze calls these chroma glitters, and uses the phrase “holographic-like technology” in its description of these. I was very curious about this, since I understood “chroma glitters”, glitter and duochrome, but I was at a loss as to what they meant by “holographic-like” technology. So, it’s not holo but it’s holo-like?? Turns out that description is pretty apt! When I look at the polish on my nails sparkling in the light, I can swear it looks like there are small holo glitters in there, but looking at the bottle none of the glitter appears to be holographic! Feels like one way or the other, my eyes are playing tricks on me! The name of this colour definitely fits!

Anyway, on to the swatches. As usual you can click on them to see larger versions. I took some of the photos last night in artificial light and some this morning in indirect daylight, and they aren’t the greatest photos ever, but I’m hoping to make up for that in sheer numbers, ha! I took a bunch in various different indoor lighting to try to show off different aspects of the polish. These first photos are all indoor, artificial light, two coats of Optical Illusion and one thick coat of Poshe topcoat. Please disregard the bald spot on my ring finger, I didn’t notice it during application!

Still indoor, with flash:

Next, I decided to layer Optical Illusion over black since that tends to show off duochrome really well. The rest of the photos show one coat of Optical Illusion over one coat of Kleancolor Black, with Poshe topcoat. These first ones are indoor, artificial light. You may notice I have stray glitter stuck to my fingers in these. I was too excited about taking more photos to bother fully cleaning up the residue after removing the Optical-Illusion-only version!

Artificial light, with flash:

From this morning, in natural indirect light:

Natural indirect light, with flash:

Well. As you can see from the photos, this is a turquoise microglitter polish with all sorts of different coloured glitters, both small and hex shaped medium, that sparkle like crazy, as well as duochrome that flashes magenta-purple. Pretty amazing!

I had no trouble with application; it’s quite thick like these dense glitters usually are, but it wasn’t problematic. It dries rough as is to be expected. After the single thick layer of Poshe I put on, the one coat of Optical Illusion over black now feels only very slightly textured on my nails, so I’m sure a second layer of topcoat would get it totally smooth. Certainly not the roughest glitter out there!

As you might have guessed by now, my verdict on Optical Illusion is two thumbs up! I definitely want to get a few more from this collection!

Zoya Natalie, SpaRitual Savoir Faire, & what not to do with drying drops…

Today I’ve got a couple of polishes I’d like to share, and a nail art combo using both that got ruined because I was forgetful! More on that later!

First is Zoya Natalie, an orangey brown shade with a bit of a dusty mauve undertone. I really like this! Two coats, great formula.

Natural light:
Zoya Natalie

Zoya Natalie

Artificial light:
Zoya Natalie, artificial light

Next up, SpaRitual Savoir Faire – an old-fashioned looking dusty pink-mauve that I wouldn’t have given a second look not long ago! As it is, I only got it because it was part of a good deal on a set of five SpaRituals, but now that I’ve tried it I kind of like it. I guess I’m branching out into shades I didn’t like before! I like that it’s a relatively light, conservative pink that I actually don’t hate on my skin tone! This is two coats; formula was also great.

Natural light:
Sparitual Savoir Faire

Artificial light:
Sparitual Savoir Faire, artificial light

Now here is the mani I did using both of those polishes plus Zoya Flowie, which is similar to Natalie but much lighter and less orange. I had on Savoir Faire, and then used French tip guide stickers midway up each nail and painted Natalie above the stickers, Flowie below on the tips. I like the combination of all these dusty rosy-undertoned shades.

The unfortunate part happened after I used Zoya’s drying drops to dry the polish before peeling off the stickers. I waited a few minutes, intending to wash off the residue from the drying drops before applying top coat, but I got distracted by something else and by the time I finished waiting I had forgotten all about rinsing first! So I put on the top coat which turned all cloudy around the edges because it was being applied overtop of drying drops! Oooops, haha! Hence the “what not to do” part of the post title. It’s more visible on the large version of the photos so you may want to click on them if you want to see the icky cloudy ring-around-the-polish. So there is my manicure advice for today; don’t do what I did! 😀
Zoya Natalie, Sparitual Savoir Faire, Zoya Flowie

Zoya Natalie, Sparitual Savoir Faire, Zoya Flowie