Thursday, August 25, 2016

Pretty Serious Free Sample

Like Destash, Free Sample was released in July this year by Australian indie polish maker Pretty Serious Cosmetics as part of the Serious Business collection, a series of polishes named for terms commonly used by polish enthusiasts. I suspect that there may be a singularly Kaz-related rationale behind this name, as "free sample" is not particular to or even commonly used for nail polish. Trust Pretty Serious for inside humor, whether we get it or not!

Free Sample is a delicate pastel pink with a cool lean, very like Crayola's piggy pink or a slightly more desaturated variation of my beloved mimi pink. It is swimming with tiny translucent iridescent microflake shimmers that impart a faint faerie-like blue and pink twinkle to the finish in ambient light, strengthening to bright pinpoint sparkles in the sun. Even though they are fairly stealthy most of the time, their presence adds a subtle diaphanous quality and intricacy to the look.

Application was tetchy. The consistency of Free Sample is fluid and full-bodied with a medium-to-thicker viscosity that I thinned as much as I dared. Thin coats are the way to go with this one, using a light hand and as few strokes as possible and allowing some extra dry time between coats. Thinned, it self-leveled fairly well but left streaks over my ridges that finally disappeared with the third coat. Cleanup is pretty straightforward. Free Sample dries naturally in average time to a smooth, shiny finish. It is quite vulnerable to marring while setting up so don't do anything rash like TYPE unless it's closer to dry or you've got your quick-dry topcoat on it -- ask me how I know! Topcoat helps a lot to smooth out any lingering unevenness.

Photos show three coats of Free Sample over treatment and basecoat with a topcoat of Seche Vite.


Pretty Serious Free Sample


Pretty Serious Free Sample


Pretty Serious Free Sample


Pretty Serious Free Sample


Pretty Serious Free Sample


Pretty Serious Free Sample


Pretty Serious Free Sample


Pretty Serious Free Sample


Pretty Serious Free Sample


Pretty Serious Free Sample

John says he gets a 50s vibe from this polish -- you? I wish I'd been able to capture the shimmers a little better, but hey, it makes my fingers look relatively tan, huzzah! I have only a scant handful of pastel pinks like this in my collection, it's a particularly dainty, girly shade that I'm not sure suits me very well -- I am no delicate flower. ;)

xo,
Liz

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Octopus Party Nail Lacquer Crypsis

From blog and Octosquad Facebook posts about it, I'm wanting to say that Crypsis was released sometime in June 2015 by Connecticut-based indie polish maker Octopus Party Nail Lacquer (OPNL). If I'm wrong, help a girl out! This polish became a fan favorite almost immediately and creator Dave responded with several restocks throughout the following year, culminating in a final restock at the beginning of this month. Buoyed as it has been by the happy sighs and gasps of delight from OPNL aficionados everywhere, as well as an ongoing parade of gorgeous photos posted on Facebook, I could not resist it.

Crypsis is a medium-toned, semi-translucent smoky amethyst linear holo, heavily silvered from superabundant holographic pigment that gives it a delicate sparkle in bright ambient light, with added purple/blue/green color-shifting pigment. Powerful holographic effects enhance the subtly shifting "bruise" colors to create a certain cloudy, mysterious quality and a rich, versatile palette. The look reminds me of the shadowy, indistinct purpled hues of a mountain skyline and of the dark lavender greys that my mother used to dimensionalize her early Impressionist-style paintings. Direct sun engenders a magnificent linear prismatic display with a sparkling flare of rainbow colors floating above a glistening underlay of silvery lavender grey and shading to deep smoky amethyst at the edges of the nail. 

Application was fantastic. The consistency of Crypsis is fluid, light and ultrasmooth with a medium viscosity and a silky, self-leveling slip over the nail that is a pleasure to finesse with OPNL's round flexible brush. Pigmentation is slightly sheer on the first coat but builds quickly to evenly opaque coverage with the second. Cleanup is easy. Crypsis dries naturally in very good time to a smooth, shiny finish. Topcoat does not inhibit the holographic effects in any way. 

Photos show two coats of Crypsis over treatment and basecoat with a topcoat of Seche Vite. 


Octopus Party Nail Lacquer Crypsis


Octopus Party Nail Lacquer Crypsis


Octopus Party Nail Lacquer Crypsis


Octopus Party Nail Lacquer Crypsis


Octopus Party Nail Lacquer Crypsis


Octopus Party Nail Lacquer Crypsis


Octopus Party Nail Lacquer Crypsis


Octopus Party Nail Lacquer Crypsis


Octopus Party Nail Lacquer Crypsis


Octopus Party Nail Lacquer Crypsis


Octopus Party Nail Lacquer Crypsis


Octopus Party Nail Lacquer Crypsis


Octopus Party Nail Lacquer Crypsis


Octopus Party Nail Lacquer Crypsis


Octopus Party Nail Lacquer Crypsis

The green shifts are the subtlest of all and my camera did not pick them up, but they are there, adding extra color and richness to the prismatic bloom in indirect light. Crypsis is luxuriously slinky and sleek on the nail, like fine heavy silk. Under incandescent light, the semi-metallic underlay brightens and emits a nice flash along the axis of light. Not only do you have the marvelous holographic effects for day, but a great evening look as well! 

This is a beautifully formulated creation where the components feel exceptionally well-balanced, working well together to produce a complex look that adapts gracefully to varying circumstances without losing its underlying smoky, mysterious quality. Gorgeous! 

ttfn,
Liz

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Femme Fatale Arrival of Venus

Like Heavenly Raiment, Arrival of Venus was released at the end of July/beginning of August this year by Australian indie polish maker Femme Fatale Cosmetics as part of the Birth of Venus collection, inspired by Early Renaissance Italian painter Sandro Botticelli's The Birth of Venus. Described as a burnt orange linear holo, the color is a softened Spanish orange that is heavily silvered with finely-milled holographic pigment, giving the polish a beautiful shimmering silky look. Holographically-generated hues of red-violet and misty apricot shade and dimensionalize the base color in ambient light, and in direct sun there's a sparkling prismatic display with nicely delineated  arcs in all of the rainbow colors framing a central blaze of bright coppery orange and deepening to burnt orange around the edges of the nail.

Application was amazing. The consistency of Arrival of Venus is fluid, full-bodied and incredibly creamy with an eminently-paintable medium viscosity and a near-effortless, buttery, self-leveling slip over the nail. Really lovely! Pigmentation is slightly sheer but very even and builds quickly to wearable opacity in two coats. I added a third for the photos. Cleanup is easy. Arrival of Venus dries naturally in very good time to a smooth, shiny finish. Topcoat does not inhibit the holographic properties of the polish in any way. 

Photos show three coats of Arrival of Venus over treatment and basecoat with a topcoat of Seche Vite.


Femme Fatale Arrival of Venus


Femme Fatale Arrival of Venus


Femme Fatale Arrival of Venus


Femme Fatale Arrival of Venus


Femme Fatale Arrival of Venus


Femme Fatale Arrival of Venus


Femme Fatale Arrival of Venus


Femme Fatale Arrival of Venus


Femme Fatale Arrival of Venus


Femme Fatale Arrival of Venus


Femme Fatale Arrival of Venus


Femme Fatale Arrival of Venus


Femme Fatale Arrival of Venus


Femme Fatale Arrival of Venus

The color is softer and more mellow than I was expecting in ambient light, although it does brighten up considerably in the sun. The holographic effects in this polish are stunning, and I adore the shimmering silky look they create. Complex holos like Chrysoprase, Ink of the Sea and Ruby Hare were what first drew me to Femme Fatale so I'm happy to see holos in this collection even without the intricacies of the earlier ones. Sophie does them so beautifully.

love,
Li