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

Posts tagged ‘navy’

More Soulstice Swatches

I’ve got some more Soulstice Spa swatches for you today! 😀

Venice: gold foil, two coats. It dries fast, and has an excellent formula.

Soulstice Venice

Soulstice Venice

Soulstice Venice

Nairobi: metallic bronze, two coats. Also dries fast and has a great formula.

Soulstice Nairobi

Soulstice Nairobi

Soulstice Nairobi

Soulstice Nairobi

Soulstice Nairobi

Madrid: candy apple red jelly. It has a smooth formula, and is even okay at one coat for a sheer wash of cherry. Two coats in the photos. I swatched this without base coat, and it stained pink a little bit, so be sure to use a good base coat!

Soulstice Madrid

Soulstice Madrid

Soulstice Madrid

Soulstice Madrid

Lisbon: a metallic navy with a good consistency. I used two coats, and it bubbled a little as it dried because I used a too thick second coat. I think three thin coats would have been better – I used three thin coats on my thumb, and it didn’t have any bubbles.

Soulstice Lisbon

Soulstice Lisbon

Soulstice Lisbon

Soulstice Lisbon

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Holiday Nail Art Challenge Week 3: Decorations!

It’s the third and final week of Nail Polish Canada’s holiday nail art challenge, and the theme for the week is “Trim the Tree – Holiday Decorations”! My partner and I like to celebrate the ancient Roman holiday of Saturnalia at this time of year. Did you know that decorating trees and hanging wreaths and holly, along with a fair number of other modern-day Christmas traditions, originally came from Saturnalia celebrations? 😀

Since yesterday was the first day of Hanukkah, I also “threw caution to the wind” and added a menorah to my holiday nail design. Well, both are festivals of light after all, although the ancient Romans and Jews were at war off and on between 66-136 CE and the Jews didn’t exactly come out on top in those conflicts… :/ Anyway, I hope you can all forgive this atheist’s multi-cultural multi-faith holiday mani. 😉

I’m a bit late in posting this; I did the design and took the photos last night, and meant to post earlier today, so by now there should be another candle lit on my menorah!

Saturnalia and Hanukkah decorations mani

The sun is a major symbol of Saturnalia, which was celebrated around the winter solstice (the dates and length of the celebration varied what with changes of the ancient calendar) when the days are the shortest in the northern hemisphere. Sun symbols were one of the main ornaments used to decorate trees, and so I wanted to have the sun figure prominently in my mani.

Saturnalia and Hanukkah decorations mani

This web page compiles a few modern-day celebrants’ comments about Saturnalia, and I thought I’d post an excerpt that has to do with decorations:

“Many of the decorations involved greenery – swathes, garlands, wreaths, etc – being hung over doorways and windows, and ornamenting stairs. Ornaments in the trees included sun symbols, stars, and faces of the God Janus. Trees were not brought indoors (the Germans started that tradition), but decorated where they grew.

Food was also a primary decoration – gilded cakes in a variety of shapes were quite popular, and children and birds vied for the privilege of denuding the trees of their treats. The commonest shapes were fertility symbols, suns and moons and stars, baby shapes, and herd animal shapes (although, to be honest, it’s hard to tell if some of those ancient cookie cutters are supposed to be goats or deer). I would imagine coins were also a popular decoration/gift.”

Saturnalia and Hanukkah decorations mani


“People were just as likely to be ornamented as the trees. Wearing greenery and jewelry of a sacred nature was apparently common, based on descriptions, drawings, and the like from the era. Although the emphasis was on Saturn, Sol Invictus got a fair share of the revelry as well.”

Saturnalia and Hanukkah decorations mani


“Gold, because the sun is yellow, is always a sure choice for a good Saturnalia decoration. For modern Saturnalia, those golden glass ball ornaments are ideal, as are gold sun faces, gold stars, and gilded anythings. Gilding nuts and pine cones and nestling them among the swags and wreaths of greenery would be a lovely way of acknowledging the ancient roots of this ceremony.”

Saturnalia and Hanukkah decorations mani


“Indoor trees are not ancient Roman, but if you have plants growing indoors, decorating them would certainly be in the spirit of the holidays. If you just have to have the now-traditional indoor tree, try decorating it in gold ornaments with a solar theme. Swathe it in bright red or purple ribbons (2 colors quite in favor with the Romans, and looks great with the gold ornaments). Top the tree with a sun, rather than a star, for after all, this is a solar celebration.”

Items used for Saturnalia and Hanukkah decorations mani

Here are the items I used for this mani. The base polish is Zoya Indigo, a shimmery navy blue with very fine, sparse holo particles. The boughs of holly were made with Zoya Rina and Kleancolor Metallic Red. The menorah was drawn using the orange Orly striping polish, which is called Lovey Dovey. The sun, the candles, and accents on the holly were done using some metallic gel pens. The sun’s face was done using the silver gel pen but then traced over with a regular blue fine felt-tipped pen, since the silver didn’t contrast well enough against the yellow.

I had a lot of fun doing this three-week holiday challenge! Be sure to visit the week 3 nail art challenge page here and vote for your favourite holiday decorations mani! Voting is open through December 12th. And whatever you celebrate at this time of year, I hope you have a wonderful holiday! 😀

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.

Dark teal comparison featuring Nicole by OPI

Someone on a nail board I frequent asked for a comparison of Zoya Cynthia, from last fall’s Smoke collection, and Nicole by OPI Khloe had a Little Lam-Lam from their new Kardashian collection. (Now let me just say that I don’t know anything about the Kardashians except that their names all start with K and they’re on the cover of a lot of magazines in the supermarket checkout line. So, I really don’t know what this polish’s name refers to, but anyway… I’ll just refer to it here as Khloe!)

Cynthia is definitely darker (almost looks black in low light), and has less green in it. I found another polish in my collection that’s much closer to Khloe, Joe Fresh Hunter. I also added LA Colors Jungle to the comparison, but it’s a significantly lighter teal than the others.
dark teal creme comparison: Zoya Cynthia, NOPI Khloe, Joe Fresh Hunter, LA Colors Jungle

Here are the four polishes at one coat, under my Ott light. From left to right, Zoya Cynthia, Nicole by OPI Khloe Had a Little Lam-Lam, Joe Fresh Hunter, and LA Colors Jungle.

dark teal creme comparison: Zoya Cynthia, NOPI Khloe, Joe Fresh Hunter, LA Colors Jungle

Cynthia is the darkest of the bunch and the least green; it’s a blackened teal but it could also pass for navy. At one coat it also has a pretty cloudy texture to it.

Two coats (no top coat), overcast natural light:
dark teal creme comparison: Zoya Cynthia, NOPI Khloe, Joe Fresh Hunter, LA Colors Jungle

Khloe has a really smooth formula, great application. Joe Fresh Hunter is nearly identical in colour, though I prefer Khloe’s formula and brush. Not that Hunter’s formula is bad either. My brush on Hunter was a little screwy though; it has one bristle just slightly longer than the others. I’ll have to trim it… The brushes are fairly similar in shape though, both wide and flat, which I personally prefer in a brush shape.

Two coats, still without topcoat, setting sun:
dark teal creme comparison: Zoya Cynthia, NOPI Khloe, Joe Fresh Hunter, LA Colors Jungle

dark teal creme comparison: Zoya Cynthia, NOPI Khloe, Joe Fresh Hunter, LA Colors Jungle

At first I was going to say that Hunter is maybe a hair darker and less green than Khloe, but I don’t know if that’s even accurate (it almost looks like Hunter is slightly lighter in these photos – apologies that they aren’t the greatest; I did what I could with the light I had!) Either way, it’s really hard to pinpoint any differences in the two colours. Khloe does dry glossier before top coat, though.

So there you have it, a less expensive alternative to Khloe for those of us who have access to Joe Fresh polishes, although Khloe’s formula is slightly better and the bottle contains more polish (a standard 15 ml, versus 6 ml).