Saturday, April 16, 2016

Colors by Llarowe Twinkle Twinkle Little Star

Twinkle Twinkle Little Star was released to much anticipatory excitement by Colorado-based indie polish maker Colors by Llarowe (CbL) in October 2013. It is creator Leah Ann's take on the iconic "night sky" polish Essie Starry Starry Night, originally released many years ago (anywhere from 1985 to 1997, depending on where you get your info), long discontinued and a life-long lemming for many polish enthusiasts, with the price of an original bottle running into the hundreds of US dollars on ebay. Essie purported to re-release Starry Starry Night as part of their recently issued Retro Revival 2016 Collection, but to the disappointment and, in some cases (raises hand), disgust of discerning enthusiasts everywhere, beyond being a sparkly dark blue polish it was not at all comparable to the original. In the meantime, indie polish makers and mainstream brands from budget to high end have for years been creating their own versions of this rare classic, of which CbL's Twinkle Twinkle Little Star has been widely accepted as being, while not an exact duplicate, a happy enough facsimile of SSN to garner a certain cult status of its own.

All proper night sky type polishes begin with a dark blue jelly base to which silver glitter is added. Twinkle Twinkle Little Star's blue is inky enough to be classified as navy, but my eye suspects that it is actually a very deep ultramarine or indigo. Even in shade, I see blue, which is not always the case with a navy. Swimming in its depths are abundant, very finely-milled silver microglitters, which read variously in bright shades of blue or silver depending on how close they are to the surface. The microglitters create a sensuous twinkling effect on the nail as light travels over them, and direct sun elicits a brilliant display of bright sapphire sparks.

My hands were extra shaky in anticipation of applying this lacquer -- I know too well the perils of very dark blue nail polish. Mostly for naught, it turns out, as Twinkle Twinkle Little Star turns out to be much more user friendly than I expected. The consistency is fluid and smooth with a thin-to-medium viscosity and an easy, self-leveling slip over the nail. Pigmentation is excellent for a jelly, with opaque coverage and full bottle color achievable in two carefully applied medium coats. That's what I ended up with, only sans the careful application part. It's easy to overdo it, which is what I did to an extent, so keep an eye on how much polish you have on your brush. In retrospect, I wish I'd been a little more circumspect and used three thinner coats for a more even opacity. Next time! 

Cleanup is -- get this -- easy and straightforward. A little bit of pigment travel and only very light trace staining, even the microglitters present no issue. Hooray! 'Cause you know I had cleanup to do and even flooded a cuticle at one point (insert horrified emoticon here). Twinkle Twinkle Little Star dries naturally in very good time to a sandy-textured finish. From what I understand, it will consume a single layer of quick-dry topcoat in no time flat, so plan accordingly if you like a glassy finish. I applied a layer of glitter-smoothing gel-effect topcoat directly over the polish and let that set up and dry to the touch before finishing with Seche Vite.  

Photos show two coats of Twinkle Twinkle Little Star over Pretty Serious Rock On treatment and Pretty Serious All Your Base basecoat with a layer of Pretty Serious Plump Up the Volume and a final topcoat of Seche Vite. 


Colors by Llarowe Twinkle Twinkle Little Star


Colors by Llarowe Twinkle Twinkle Little Star


Colors by Llarowe Twinkle Twinkle Little Star


Colors by Llarowe Twinkle Twinkle Little Star


Colors by Llarowe Twinkle Twinkle Little Star


Colors by Llarowe Twinkle Twinkle Little Star


Colors by Llarowe Twinkle Twinkle Little Star


Colors by Llarowe Twinkle Twinkle Little Star


Colors by Llarowe Twinkle Twinkle Little Star


Colors by Llarowe Twinkle Twinkle Little Star


Colors by Llarowe Twinkle Twinkle Little Star

The effect is as dreamy and enchanting as it is dramatic and glamorous, no? All the more so in person, where you can see the cosmic scintillations in action. I was never one to hanker after Essie's original Starry Starry Night, having resolved myself from the get go that I'd rather spend the money a bottle of SSN would cost me on any number of other polishes. Twinkle Twinkle Little Star is as close as I'll ever get to that hen's tooth and I'm very happy with it. 

But who would refuse a bottle of the original Starry Starry Night if it were offered to them? No polish enthusiast that I know. I'd take it in a heartbeat, my above declaration notwithstanding. It's arguably THE night sky polish, inspiration for hundreds of re-creations and frankens, many of which may be similarly beautiful, but none with the history or prestige or, uh, lemming-ability. Well, except maybe one, considered by some to be a predecessor to SSN, which they adjudge an emulation. That would be Chanel's Ciel de Nuit, released in 1998 and immediately discontinued, apparently still available on ebay for around four or five c-notes.

If you'd like to read more about classic night sky polishes, I heartily recommend Kaz's (of Pretty Serious Cosmetics) post on the subject from her venerable and totally addicting (you have been warned!) blog, Pretty Random. Another enjoyable and related read is the story of one polish enthusiast's search for a bottle of the original Starry Starry Night from the blog Polishment.

love,
Liz

3 comments:

  1. That is gorgeous on your nails! I have had this polish for almost a year and have yet to try it. Need to get it out! Hahah, I might even do some layering - one coat of this, one of the Retro SSN, one of the Pretty Serious Copernicus... and I might even have another, can't remember! Oh, that's right, KBShimmer has one also. LOL, I might have to experiment. Or maybe just stick with this beauty.

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    1. Hey Lara does your organization by color put all of your night sky polishes in one place right next to each other? That would be SO COOL! I had Eye of Copernicus at one time but I think it went to my cousin's daughter with my other Pretty Serious Polishes. From what I remember, Copernicus is a little bit darker than Twinkle Twinkle Little Star. I think Kaz created it as a send-up to Chanel Ciel de Nuit, which she considers to be the original and greatest night sky polish of them all. I've never purchased a Chanel, but it's on my bucket list. I love Carpe Denim, but I haven't ever thought of it as a night sky polish for some reason. Hmm. Well, I really like Twinkle Twinkle, the effect of those tiny glitters is marvelous and I love that it retains its blueness even in low light.

      Do you ever post photos of your manicures anywhere? 'Cause I'd love to see 'em!

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    2. My organization by color in the darker blues has gotten a little messed up - needs rearranging! I seriously need to do some destashing. Ugh, one of these days! I do need to get my tush in gear and get those polishes together to look and swatch them. I never did get Carpe Denim. I saw on the polish group I hang around in on FB, PolishAholics Anonymous (PAA) that it was getting a lot of positive vibes for being a dupe for SSN. Not that it was really a dupe but that it had the 'flavor' of a night sky. However, my pastel loving heart took over and I couldn't bear to put dark polishes on my nails for quite awhile, especially when it meant scrubbing off glitter also! (I had done acrylic dip on my nails and didn't want to mess them up with the acetone and all.) Right now, I am going through the aEngland polishes I (finally!) bought when she had the sale for Tristam's birthday. (Yep, they are as terrific of a polish as I have heard reported!)
      I used to be more enthusiastic about posting my manis on PAA but now I hardly ever do. I haven't posted anything on my Instagram account since last summer, at least. Despite trying all sorts of things, my nails kept breaking and splitting that I was getting disgusted with them. I even went thru a stage for a couple of months this winter that I wore no polish. I finally resorted to doing acrylic dips and that helped give them some strength and length. They are a bother, though. And I have whacked them on doors, etc., and some show fractures. One popped off a nail a couple of weeks ago when I was wearing CbL Young Turks, something that has never happened before! And some nails still split - a constant fight. And maintenance, sigh. Nowadays, I just keep one or two thin layers of the acrylic dip on the bottom half area of my nails just to give the free edge and corners some strength. Which requires some maintenance every time I use acetone to remove polish. I tried the non-acetone and hated it. So I am doing good to get polish on my nails now, especially with the blurry vision in the one eye! Photo taking is wayyyy down on my priority list!

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