Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Ellagee Heartstone

Heartstone was released this month by Texas-based indie polish maker Ellagee Luxury Artisan Nail Polish as one of three limited edition custom polishes for July 2017 created exclusively for the Hella Holo Customs (HHC) Facebook group. This polish is officially described as "a soft quartz pink scattered holo with aqua blue shimmer and iridescent microglitter." The base color is a delicate, slightly dusky desaturated pink with a silvery aspect and a shimmering, sandy visual texture, both of which make it difficult to pin down the exact shade. It's cooler than champagne pink and warmer than misty rose, with a vibe than leans more to ballerina on the ballerina/princess spectrum. Superabundant finely-milled blue shimmers create a pale silvery blue gleam along the axis of light, and tiny iridescent microglitters twinkle in nacreous hues as light travels over them. In direct sun there's a stunning warm prismatic flush enriched by extra sparkle from the microglitters and a central swath of bright blue spangles from the shimmers, shading to a sleek queen pink at the sidewalls of the nail.

Application was a delicate matter. The consistency of Heartstone is fluid, full-bodied and dense with components with a medium-to-thicker viscosity that I added polish thinner to at the outset. Thinned, it had a fluent, self-leveling glide over the nail with a bit of tumbling on the part of the microglitters, and I found that a light, even touch works best to minimize the tumbling and keep the visual texture of the polish as smooth looking as possible. The shimmers do not show brushstrokes per se -- they are more like a medium with the potential to reflect tiny irregularities, such as a tumbled glitter or other unevenness, in the finish.

Pigmentation is somewhat sheer but bolstered by the components, producing evenly opaque coverage in two coats for shorties and three for longer nails. Cleanup is easy if you do it as you go along. Heartstone dries naturally in good time to a shiny finish with a very delicate discernible texture, easily and completely smoothed by topcoat, which also serves to accentuate the presence of the components.

Photos show three coats of Heartstone over basecoat with a topcoat of Seche Vite. They really don't do justice to the complexity of the polish, which is much more apparent in person. Also, the blue of the shimmers got a little lost in translation -- it, too, is much more apparent in person.


Ellagee Heartstone


Ellagee Heartstone


Ellagee Heartstone


Ellagee Heartstone


Ellagee Heartstone


Ellagee Heartstone


Ellagee Heartstone


Ellagee Heartstone


Ellagee Heartstone


Ellagee Heartstone


Ellagee Heartstone


Ellagee Heartstone

The mix of components gives this polish a layered, complex sort of light play that you don't usually see in a pale, bordering-on-nude pink holo. The look is silvery and ethereal in ambient light, more robust and holographic in the sun. The delicate visual texture of the finish and the transformation of the shimmers from a silvery blue gleam to a mist of brilliant blue sparks are especially remarkable, adding a distinct indie flavor to the feel of the polish.

love,
Liz

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

KBShimmer Playing With The Buoys

Playing With The Buoys was released in June 2016 by Indiana-based indie polish maker KBShimmer as part of the Summer 2016 collection. It's a pale greenish blue white-based hue that reads as something along the lines of light cyan on the nail, a little more green than celeste. You could call it a pastel robin's egg blue or turquoise. The white base gives it a degree of luminosity on the nail, with a soft, sun-bleached vibe. I love the pun in the name, I think it's one of Christy's best!

 Through no fault of its own this polish brought out the worst of my application habits, which is especially unfortunate give how tractable the formula is, very smooth and not at all patchy or streaky. Suffice to say that the formula is great -- my application, not so much. It is a white-based color and I totally psyched myself out over it, shaky hands, uneven pressure on the brush, overstroking the polish, why do I do this? Anyway, the consistency is fluid, light and creamy with a medium viscosity and a fluent glide over the nails. Self-leveling properties are very good, as is pigmentation, delivering evenly opaque coverage in two coats with a deft, even hand. I needed three, and even then had to rely on Seche Vite to smooth it completely. Cleanup, luckily for me, is easy. Playing With The Buoys dries naturally in very good time to a beautiful glossy finish.

Photos show three coats of Playing With The Buoys over basecoat with a topcoat of Seche Vite.


KBShimmer Playing With The Buoys


KBShimmer Playing With The Buoys


KBShimmer Playing With The Buoys


KBShimmer Playing With The Buoys


KBShimmer Playing With The Buoys


KBShimmer Playing With The Buoys


KBShimmer Playing With The Buoys


KBShimmer Playing With The Buoys


KBShimmer Playing With The Buoys

This is a gorgeous color with that fresh, clean-and-tidy look that makes for a very flattering manicure. There's a certain heady, "on holiday" quality to it -- Sheila of Pointless Cafe described it as a "Dior St. Tropez vibe" and while I believe she was taking about the actual polish of that name, the villa in St. Tropez that houses Dior's boutique and café reflects it perfectly, look:


Dior Des Lices, Saint Tropez, France. ©Corinna Hagmayer (source)

See that trim color? I would so love to be sitting under one of those umbrellas right now with a lobster salad or ceviche and a flute of chilled champagne....

xo,
Liz

Monday, July 24, 2017

Cupcake Polish One in a Brazil-ion

One in a Brazil-ion was released in July 2016 by Texas-based indie polish maker Cupcake Polish as part of the Olympics collection. Officially described as a "strawberry red" creme-based linear holographic polish, the color is a soft, weathered medium-toned red, a sort of Indian red/watermelony shade. It has a pinkish cast that leans it toward something like tango pink with aspects of terra cotta and coral, but may appear cooler or warmer depending upon the amount and kind of light in which it's viewed. On the nail, it is enriched and dimensionalized by holographically-generated, analogous hues of red violet, misty brink pink and soft crimson in ambient light. Direct sun generates a shimmering linear prismatic display featuring shifting arcs in all of the rainbow colors that frame a lick of semi-metallic, silvery Indian red and shade to  creamy crimson at the sidewalls of the nail. 

Application was great! The consistency of One in a Brazil-ion is fluid, full-bodied and creamy with a thicker viscosity to which I added a few squirts of polish thinner at the outset. Thinned, it had a plush, velvety, self-leveling glide over the nail with a little bit of pull to it. If you prefer thicker viscosities, you will enjoy working with this polish. Pigmentation is excellent, generating completely opaque coverage in one to two coats. Cleanup is fairly straightforward, with a touch of trace staining to dryer areas. One in a Brazil-ion dries naturally in very good time to a smooth, shiny finish. Topcoat adds a becoming gloss and does not appear to affect the holographic properties in any way.

Photos show two coats of One in a Brazil-ion over KBShimmer Fillin' Groovy basecoat with a topcoat of Seche Vite. 


Cupcake Polish One in a Brazil-ion


Cupcake Polish One in a Brazil-ion


Cupcake Polish One in a Brazil-ion


Cupcake Polish One in a Brazil-ion


Cupcake Polish One in a Brazil-ion


Cupcake Polish One in a Brazil-ion


Cupcake Polish One in a Brazil-ion


Cupcake Polish One in a Brazil-ion


Cupcake Polish One in a Brazil-ion


Cupcake Polish One in a Brazil-ion


Cupcake Polish One in a Brazil-ion


Cupcake Polish One in a Brazil-ion


Cupcake Polish One in a Brazil-ion

I love this kind of soft, watermelony red for summer. There's an easy-going, sunburned quality to the way it looks on the nail that sets it apart from brighter/sharper shades of red and just seems perfect for these long, hot days. Abundantly holographic, it's a little difficult to capture the true nature of the color on camera. Of the Olympics collection reviews that I've seen, my favorite One in a Brazil-ion photos, the photos that I think give the most accurate sense of how it appears in person, are Babi's on Color Sutraa, here.

love,
Liz