Thursday, May 25, 2017

Painted Polish Holo Haze

Holo Haze was released in 2014 by California-based indie polish maker Painted Polish. Further details of its origin are shrouded in mystery, but it was one of many polishes featuring mass quantities of holographic glitters that Lexi created that year and is classified as a glitter jelly in her shop. It's also on last call, so if you like what you see, get it before it's gone for good! 

Officially described as an indigo, the color is a dark but vibrant and saturated variation of electric indigo. As with many indigo polishes, its appearance is somewhat variable depending upon viewing circumstances, leaning more to violet in low and incandescent light and to ultramarine in bright natural light. Abundant holographic microglitters add a glamorous sparkle to the deep, brilliant color, and blanket the nail in a dazzling field of bright prismatic sparks in direct light. 

Application was a pleasure. The consistency of Holo Haze is fluid and smooth with a medium consistency and a plush, self-leveling glide over the nail that went on best for me in medium to thicker coats from a well-loaded brush. The glitters go on smoothly and distribute evenly over the nail. Pigmentation is excellent for a jelly, with evenly opaque coverage in two medium coats, and cleanup was remarkably issue-free for a glitter-laden polish. Holo Haze dries naturally in very good time to a shiny, ever-so-slightly-textured finish that is easily smoothed with a generous layer of topcoat. 

Photos show two coats of Holo Haze over treatment and basecoat with a topcoat of Seche Vite. The color skews a little to ultramarine in my pics -- there's a tad more violet to it in person.


Painted Polish Holo Haze


Painted Polish Holo Haze


Painted Polish Holo Haze


Painted Polish Holo Haze


Painted Polish Holo Haze


Painted Polish Holo Haze


Painted Polish Holo Haze


Painted Polish Holo Haze


Painted Polish Holo Haze


Painted Polish Holo Haze

I love richly-colored, glittery polishes and with its brilliant ultramarine aspects this one lands right in a sweet spot for me. The brilliant deep indigo color is fabulous, combining the serenity and elegance of dark blue with the charisma of purple, and the abundant sparkle adds excitement as well as a certain lighthearted quality that keeps it from taking itself too seriously. It is graceful and glamorous enough for a special occasion, but all that sparkle also makes it just plain fun to wear anytime, especially if you're a lover of dark blues like me. Great formula, too. Beautifully done!

love,
Liz

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Colors by Llarowe The Deep End (H)

The Deep End (H) was released earlier this month by Colorado-based indie polish maker Colors by Llarowe as part of the Spring/Summer 2017 collection. The H, of course, stands for Holo. This polish is a holographic version of another polish in the collection, The Deep End, described as a turquoise-based multichrome with shifts to blue, green, purple and pink. The color is out of this world, as rich and lush a cerulean as you could ever hope to see, with brilliant turquoise highlights and mobile gradient shifts through all kinds of sea greens and blue-greens and teals to bold medium blue to violet to purple to a misty purplish pink at very oblique angles. In its holographic iteration, the beauty is exponentially compounded: dimensionalizing, holographically-generated nuances to the panoply of colors, a velvety, finely-grained visual texture and an effervescent fan of golden green sparks in ambient light elevate this multichrome to a whole new level of drama, complexity and sheer gorgeousness.

Application was wonderful. The consistency of The Deep End (H) is fluid, full-bodied and smooth with a medium viscosity and a silky, even, self-leveling slip over the nail, a gorgeous formula that is a pleasure to work with. Pigmentation is excellent. With the proper mojo, it could very well be one-coater, but that would be a disservice to the nature of the polish. The addition of a second coat is necessary to make the most of the holographic effects and adds lushness and density to the brilliant colors. Cleanup is fairly straightforward. There's a bit of pigment travel but very little, if any, trace staining. The Deep End (H) dries naturally in very good time to a smooth finish with a satiny sheen. Topcoat adds a becoming gloss and actually serves to accentuate both the holographic effects and the multichromatic properties.

Photos show two coats of The Deep End (H) over treatment and basecoat with a topcoat of Seche Vite.


Colors by Llarowe The Deep End (H)


Colors by Llarowe The Deep End (H)


Colors by Llarowe The Deep End (H)


Colors by Llarowe The Deep End (H)


Colors by Llarowe The Deep End (H)


Colors by Llarowe The Deep End (H)


Colors by Llarowe The Deep End (H)


Colors by Llarowe The Deep End (H)


Colors by Llarowe The Deep End (H)


Colors by Llarowe The Deep End (H)


Colors by Llarowe The Deep End (H)

My photos only approximate the splendor of this polish in person. It is sublime!

While I am not a huge fan of multichromes generally, the colorway of the shifts in this one is truly stunning and the addition of holographic pigment creates a sumptuous visual texture that, to me, is much more aesthetically pleasing than the simple semi-metallic look of a straight multichrome. It illuminates and dimensionalizes the colors and infuses them with that exquisite, pinpoint holographic sparkle that I love.

Gorgeous beyond words and much more overtly shifty that my photos might lead you to expect, this is without a doubt one of the most amazing polishes I've had on my nails so far this year, and I don't say that lightly. Unless you absolutely cannot stand blue polish, it's an otherwise unqualified must-have. You owe it to yourself as a polish enthusiast to experience it in person.

Leah Ann LaRowe, kudos, props, salutes and a standing ovation with showers of tossed red roses to you for this utterly spectacular piece of polish composition!

love,
Liz

Monday, May 22, 2017

KBShimmer How Low Can You Flamingo

How Low Can You Flamingo was originally released in June 2016 by Indiana-based indie polish maker KBShimmer as part of the Summer 2016 collection. Described as a "near neon" hot pink flamingo-inspired polish, it's neon enough to be officially included as part of the brand's recently released all-neon collection, All The Bright Moves, as well. The color definitely leans more to hot pink than it does to other super bright, more magenta-leaning shades like light deep pink or shocking pink, and this full-bodied neon variation has the oomph of fluorescence with a bit of that searing watermelon tinge that puts it sufficiently beyond any of them in terms of brightness. It's fabulous! 

Application was also fabulous. The consistency of How Low Can You Flamingo is fluid, light and creamy with a medium viscosity and a fluent, biddable, self-leveling glide over the nail -- a great formula for any polish and simply outstanding for a neon, which can be streaky. Pigmentation is very good, with a little translucence and a few faint (ridge-related) streaks on the first coat building easily to full, even opacity with the second. I added a third for the photos but it didn't alter the appearance of the color at all. Cleanup is easy. How Low Can You Flamingo dries naturally in good time to a smooth, slightly flat finish that wants a glossy topcoat for maximum impact.

Photos show three coats of How Low Can You Flamingo over treatment and basecoat with a topcoat of Seche Vite.


KBShimmer How Low Can You Flamingo


KBShimmer How Low Can You Flamingo


KBShimmer How Low Can You Flamingo


KBShimmer How Low Can You Flamingo


KBShimmer How Low Can You Flamingo


KBShimmer How Low Can You Flamingo


KBShimmer How Low Can You Flamingo


KBShimmer How Low Can You Flamingo


KBShimmer How Low Can You Flamingo

Neon pink is a classic summertime staple, and IMO this one is perfect. Seriously! I love the saturation of the color and the radiant tinge of warmth that it has, which lets the neon pink glow without being excessively stark or shrill. So good!

xo,
Liz

Sunday, May 21, 2017

Cirque Happy Monday

Happy Monday was released at the end of April this year by NYC-based indie polish maker Cirque Colors as a part of the Kawaii collection. One of several limited edition polishes in the collection, it is officially described as "a violet holographic with a flash of teal." The base color is a medium-toned violet or floral lavender shade bearing superabundant ultrafine teal shimmers, which read as sky blue from within the base and create an almost duochromatic effect, with a gleaming, semi-metallic sky blue sheen along the axis of light. They give the polish a sleek, airbrushed sort of quality that softens the color quite a bit, but the illuminating holographic properties keep it from being too subdued, adding dimensionality and a skosh of that finely-grained texture to the look in bright ambient light. Direct sun transforms the shimmery sheen into a bright, glistening mist surrounded by scattered prismatic sparks in all of the rainbow colors. 

Application was a comedy of errors through no fault of the polish, which has all the native Cirque-ean qualities of careful formulation and consummate paintability that you'd expect. But it was a spectacularly off day for the wielder of the brush, complete with a ridiculous amount of sidewall and cuticle swipage, several disasterous examples of fiber extraction from wet polish, dings, smudges and an uneven, heavy-handed approach in general. Happy Monday will deliver evenly opaque coverage in two coats, but the mess I made of my second coat required a third to rectify. Luckily, cleanup is easy. Happy Monday dries naturally in fairly good time to a smooth, slightly flat finish that wants a glossy topcoat to make the most of the shimmer effects and look its very best. 

Is it just me or do super fine shimmers like this dry more slowly than other polishes? It's just me? That's what I thought. 

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

Cirque Happy Monday

Cirque Happy Monday

Cirque Happy Monday

Cirque Happy Monday

Cirque Happy Monday

Cirque Happy Monday

Cirque Happy Monday

Cirque Happy Monday

Cirque Happy Monday

Cirque Happy Monday

Cirque Happy Monday

Cirque Happy Monday

Cirque Happy Monday

Happy Monday is constructed similarly to its stablemate Vaporwave, with the shimmer effects overtaking the holographic properties in most viewing circumstances, giving the polish a silky, slightly old-school-shimmer sort of look. I'm not typically a fan of ultrafine shimmer polishes, but like Vaporwave, this one grew on me, and the holographic properties add a substantial twist that keeps the composition fresh and modern. It's an interesting, innovative combination of effects that I've not experienced in quite this way before now, and it works beautifully. 

love,
Liz

Saturday, May 20, 2017

Painted Polish Gaga for Greenery

Gaga for Greenery was released at the beginning of March this year by California-based indie polish maker Painted Polish as one-half of the Pantone Greenery Duo, inspired by Pantone's Color of the Year for 2017, Greenery, which I LOVE. Creator Lexi describes this polish as "a bright leaf green ultra holo with added silver holographic glitter." The color is a vigorous and unapologetic medium-toned variation of yellow-green that is similar to apple green. Medium-dark in the bottle, it evolves on the nail to reveal a certain bright, expansive quality, more so than my photos show, with an especially sleek look. Abundant ultrafine holographic pigment nuances it with varying tones of pistachio, olivine and mantis green in ambient light, and scattered holographic microglitters add twinkling pinpoint sparks as light travels over them. The color brightens considerably and takes on aspects of sparkling kelly green in the sun, displaying a brilliant, fully prismatic linear holographic flare that frames a gleaming, semi-metallic blaze of yellow-green and shades to a foresty olive at the sidewalls of the nail.

Application was fantastic. The consistency of Gaga for Greenery is fluid, light and silky smooth with a medium-to-thin viscosity and a fluent, easy, self-leveling glide over the nail that went on best for me in thin to medium coats from a moderately loaded brush. Pigmentation is very good, with two coats netting even, opaque coverage. Cleanup is easy. Gaga for Greenery dries naturally in good time to a smooth, shiny finish. Topcoat does not appear to inhibit the holographic effects in any way.

Photos show two coats of Gaga for Greenery over treatment and basecoat with a topcoat of Seche Vite.


Painted Polish Gaga for Greenery


Painted Polish Gaga for Greenery


Painted Polish Gaga for Greenery


Painted Polish Gaga for Greenery


Painted Polish Gaga for Greenery


Painted Polish Gaga for Greenery


Painted Polish Gaga for Greenery


Painted Polish Gaga for Greenery


Painted Polish Gaga for Greenery


Painted Polish Gaga for Greenery


Painted Polish Gaga for Greenery


Painted Polish Gaga for Greenery


Painted Polish Gaga for Greenery

Love! The holographic properties here are extremely responsive and athletic, and there's a fluid, silky sleekness to the look of the polish on the nail that was somewhat lost to my camera but gives the bold color a certain elegant, glamorous quality. I kind of wish that there were more microglitters as I adore a twinkling pinpoint sparkle, but there's enough panache to the color itself to carry this polish anywhere you want a bright, charismatic apple green to go. An eye-catcher, for sure!

xo,
Liz