Wednesday, October 18, 2017

ILNP Ava

Like West Wing, Ava was released in September this year by Nevada-based indie polish maker ILNP as part of the Fall 2017 collection. This is described on the ILNP website as a violet holographic polish with red and gold shimmers and holographic microflakes, and seems to be a collection favorite amongst nail bloggers and ILNP enthusiasts. Let's take a look at it!

The jelly base is a semi-translucent but vibrant French violet, a purple-leaning shade that deepens dramatically to more of Spanish violet with layering. It's brimming with infinitesimal, highly reflective, color-shifting microflake shimmers that have a unicorn pee-like red/gold/green spectrum. Within the base, their coloring runs from red-violet/magenta to red to flame to greenish gold depending upon viewing circumstances and angle of light, with a wonderful scintillating sparkle. If you've ever tossed up a handful of powdery snow in the sun, that's the kind of sparkle you get from these shimmers. In ambient light, they are visible as a twinkling mist that gives the polish a certain dimensional, lit-from-within quality, a magenta-ish glow along the axis of light dotted with fine prismatic sparks from the shardy little holographic microflakes. Direct sun elicits full-on scattered holographic sparkle over a brilliant, scintillating flame-colored cloud of shimmer.

Application was fantastic. The consistency of Ava is fluid and smooth with a medium viscosity and a fluent, self-leveling slip over the nail that is easy to control, amenable to thin or thicker coats as preference dictates and overall just a pleasure to work with. Pigmentation is sheerish and slightly patchy on the first coat but builds evenly with subsequent coats. I used three and that's what I'd recommend for most uniform opacity, especially in the sun, and richest shimmer effects. Be sure to wrap your tips with each coat to avoid any sheerness there. Cleanup is easy. Ava dries naturally in very good time to a smooth, shiny finish. Topcoat really accentuates the presence of those color-shifting shimmers.

Photos show three coats of Ava over basecoat with a topcoat of Seche Vite.


ILNP Ava


ILNP Ava


ILNP Ava


ILNP Ava


ILNP Ava


ILNP Ava


ILNP Ava


ILNP Ava


ILNP Ava


ILNP Ava


ILNP Ava


ILNP Ava

I wouldn't call Ava a holo in the usual, intrinsic sense. Generally, the look here is of a dark violet with shimmery dimensional aspects of red-violet and wine and a generous sprinkling of holographic sparkle. The shimmers are really the stars of this show and will brighten the mood of the polish or give it a more tempestuous, vampy sensibility depending on the kind of light in which it's viewed. Either way, the look is dramatic and showy, to which the scattered prismatic sparks only add. A gorgeous, beautifully-composed lacquer -- I can see why everyone loves it!

xo,
Liz

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Girly Bits Chrysalis

Chrysalis was created by Pam of Canadian indie polish maker Girly Bits exclusively for the "Fall Foliage and Fun" September 2017 edition of Polish Pickup. It's a shimmery light green polish containing "an array of green, lime, gold and holographic particles, multichrome flakes in blue, purple, green and gold, iridescent colour shifting flakes and a sprinkling of sparkly holographic flakes."

The look of this polish is created solely by the components, with a clear or lightly tinted transparent base. Superabundant shimmers in lime give the polish its prominent color and texture, a pale, shimmering, silvery green shade that's something like a mix of celadon and Crayola's sea foam with a minty aspect and hints of French lime, and a sandy-textured, semi-metallic finish that displays a subtle duochrome-like shift to shadowy azure edged with indigo. Tiny holographic microglitters and fine holographic microflakes mix with iridescent and multichrome flakies to create a look that is all light play, all the time: a lavish, glistening field of twinkling shimmers flecked with gleaming metallic bits and bright prismatic sparks.

Application was wonderful! The consistency of Chrysalis is fluid, light and amazingly smooth for such a component-laden polish, with a medium viscosity and a remarkably fluent, easy, self-leveling glide over the nail, a superb formula that is easy to control and finesse with Girly Bits' somewhat bushy, flattened-style brush. Coverage is provided by the components, which are dense enough to deliver even opacity in two coats. I did my cleanup as I went along and had no issues. Chrysalis dries naturally in very good time to a gently textured finish, easily smoothed with topcoat.

Photos show two coats of Chrysalis over KBShimmer Fillin' Groovy basecoat with a topcoat of Girly Bits Glitter Glaze.


Girly Bits Chrysalis


Girly Bits Chrysalis


Girly Bits Chrysalis


Girly Bits Chrysalis


Girly Bits Chrysalis


Girly Bits Chrysalis


Girly Bits Chrysalis


Girly Bits Chrysalis

All of that light play gives this polish an airy, ethereal, almost otherworldly presence on the nail. It's a tour de force of creativity and composition, inspired by Pam's own photo of the chrysalis of a monarch butterfly.




Very cool! 

love,
Liz

Monday, October 16, 2017

Top Shelf Lacquer Befuddled

I'm actually getting close to the end of my Top Shelf Lacquer Drunken Fall Holos. There's only one left after today's polish, which is called Befuddled and described as "a medium teal creme holo." The color is a perfect creamy teal blue, greener than cerulean, bluer than ming, in what I would call a medium-dark tone. I used to have a microfiber trench that was just about this shade -- I loved that coat, I wonder what happened to it, hmm. The creaminess of the color gives the polish a tranquil, slightly weathered sensibility and holographic pigment stipples the finish with fine silvery motes, adding to that effect. Once again it's overcast here today but I expect direct sunlight would engender a field of delicate prismatic sparkle with a vestigial flare.

Application was fabulous. The consistency of Befuddled is fluid and creamy with a medium viscosity and a fluent, even, self-leveling slip over the nails -- the formula here feels ever-so-slightly more dense than the rest of the collection, which may be a trick of the mind as the distinction is very small. Still a superb formula! Pigmentation is very good to excellent, possibly a one-coater for some but I used two. Cleanup was surprisingly easy, with faint trace staining. Befuddled dries naturally in very good time to a smooth, shiny finish.

Photos show two coats of Befuddled over basecoat with a topcoat of Seche Vite.


Top Shelf Lacquer Befuddled


Top Shelf Lacquer Befuddled


Top Shelf Lacquer Befuddled


Top Shelf Lacquer Befuddled


Top Shelf Lacquer Befuddled


Top Shelf Lacquer Befuddled


Top Shelf Lacquer Befuddled


Top Shelf Lacquer Befuddled


Top Shelf Lacquer Befuddled

There's a smooth sort of serenity to this polish that's unusual for a teal, I think. It has the stylish comportment and nimble quality of a petrol blue, just softened, more easy-going. I love it, it's a beautiful, sleek, eminently-wearable autumnal shade -- makes me want to go find that trench so I can wear it again!

love,
Liz