Sunday, July 23, 2017

Fair Maiden Polish Sunglasses at Night

Sunglasses at Night was just released this month by Minnesota-based indie polish maker Fair Maiden Polish as part of the Summer 2017 collection, a series of five polishes inspired by summer hits from the 80s. This particular polish is eponymously named for the song "Sunglasses at Night" by Canadian singer Corey Hart, which peaked at number 7 on the Billboard Hot 100 in August 1984.

The base color here is very similar to eminence purple, a dark, cool-toned hue inclining to violet. It is jam-packed with ultrafine blue metallic particulate shimmers that read as royal blue in natural ambient light, overtaking the purple holographic base to give the polish a glowy, dimensional, semi-metallic appearance with a gleaming swath of royal blue along the axis of light that shades to a slightly darker, more indigo-esque shade at the sidewalls. The holographic pigment gives it a subtle, gossamer dusting of sparkle interspersed with larger scattered pinpoint sparks from tiny included holographic microglitters. In the sun, there's a somewhat vestigial but still noticeable arc of mixed rainbow sparkle.

Application involved a bit of a learning curve for me. The consistency of Sunglasses at Night is fluid and full-bodied, with a medium-to-thicker viscosity and a creamy, dense, self-leveling flow over the nail. I found it disposed to apply over-generously, and it took a little while to get the hang of wiping off the right amount of excess polish while still leaving enough to cover the nail smoothly and fluently. From the other reviews I've read, however, my experience appears to be completely idiosyncratic -- grain of salt, ho! Pigmentation is excellent, potentially a one-coater, but I used two for this manicure. Cleanup is straightforward. Sunglasses at Night dries naturally to a smooth, shiny finish. 

Photos show two coats of Sunglasses at Night over treatment and basecoat with a topcoat of Seche Vite.


Fair Maiden Polish Sunglasses at Night

Fair Maiden Polish Sunglasses at Night

Fair Maiden Polish Sunglasses at Night

Fair Maiden Polish Sunglasses at Night

Fair Maiden Polish Sunglasses at Night

Fair Maiden Polish Sunglasses at Night

Fair Maiden Polish Sunglasses at Night

Fair Maiden Polish Sunglasses at Night

Fair Maiden Polish Sunglasses at Night

Fair Maiden Polish Sunglasses at Night

Fair Maiden Polish Sunglasses at Night

Fair Maiden Polish Sunglasses at Night

Fair Maiden Polish Sunglasses at Night

Sleek and gleaming on the nail, this beautiful shimmer polish has a few shifty visual tricks up its sleeve depending upon viewing circumstances. For example, although the blue of the shimmers takes precedence in natural light, under incandescent light the color reads as a gorgeous, deep, violet-leaning indigo with grape overtones and hints of of navy at the sidewalls, the whole strewn with bright prismatic sparks that twinkle glamorously with every movement of your fingers. Yum!

love,
Liz

Saturday, July 22, 2017

Contrary Polish Grape

Like Green Apple and Blue Raspberry, Grape was released in May this year by Missouri-based indie polish maker Contrary Polish as part of the Cotton Candy Mattes collection. Although created to finish matte, I prefer these pretty shimmer polishes with a glossy topcoat and that is how you'll see this one.

Described as a "greyed lavender with fine silver shimmer," the base color of Grape is a pale, soft, translucent variation of lavender along the lines of lavender mist. Superabundant ultrafine silver particulate shimmers give it a slight silvery aspect and a luminous dimensionality on the nail with a finely-grained visual texture that reminds me of sueded silk. They really come alive in the sun, blanketing the look with a veil of delicate sparkle in shades of pale blue and pink as well as silver.

Application was lovely. The consistency of Grape is fluid, light and smooth with a thin-to-medium viscosity and a silky, self-leveling slip over the nail that is a pleasure to work with. It sets up fairly quickly but not so fast that you feel the need to rush your application. Pigmentation is sheer and a little uneven on the first coat, but builds to evenly opaque coverage in three coats. Any brushstrokes that show in the wet polish melt away as it dries. Cleanup is easy. Grape dries naturally in very good time to a smooth, matte finish. A glossy topcoat accentuates the presence and effects of the shimmers.

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


Contrary Polish Grape


Contrary Polish Grape


Contrary Polish Grape


Contrary Polish Grape


Contrary Polish Grape


Contrary Polish Grape


Contrary Polish Grape


Contrary Polish Grape


Contrary Polish Grape


Contrary Polish Grape

As you ponder the beauty of this lacquer, keep in mind that my skin tone is not the best showcase for lavender. And still, it looks wonderful! The way Carrie creates luster and luminosity with shimmer in these Cotton Candy Mattes is a marvel in this world and I am loving it. This polish is so dreamy. For me, it brings to mind nothing so much as silky lingerie, a lustrous negligee or gown or a floaty silk peignoir. It's like the essence of femininity. And the color is not so silvered or "greyed" that it ever appears muddy -- even in very low light it still registers as lavender. Nice!

love,
Liz

Friday, July 21, 2017

Colors by Llarowe One Headlight

One Headlight was released at Polish Con NYC in April this year by Colorado-based indie polish maker Colors by Llarowe as a stand-alone charity polish. All proceeds from its sale go to the One Headlight Charity Fund to benefit swatcher and nail artist Janna Miller aka The Girlie Tomboy, who is undergoing treatment for Inflammatory Breast Cancer (IBC).

Officially described as "a neon pink leaning coral crelly base with intense aqua blue shimmer and aqua blue glass fleck," the base color of One Headlight is particularly sharp and bright, even for a neon. It's almost like an especially intense neon version of brink pink. Take a somewhat cool but vivid medium pink like deep pink light and give it hot raspberry overtones and fluorescent corally glow -- voilà! Blue glass fleck shimmers glisten within the base along the axis of light, cooling the color there just enough to create a distinct contrast with the warm reddish pink that dominates the edges of the nail. The color brightens and sharpens even further in the sun, and the shimmers evolve into a twinkling net of delicate blue sparkle over the nail.

Application was great! The consistency of One Headlight is fluid and full-bodied with a medium viscosity and a plush, self-leveling glide over the nail. Pigmentation is slightly sheerish. I could still see dark hints of nail line after two coats, so applied a third and was happy with the coverage. Cleanup is easy, just be patient with sticky glass flecks. One Headlight dries naturally in very good time to a smooth, matte finish. Topcoat adds a becoming gloss, which makes the most of the neon color and accentuates the presence and effects of the shimmers.

Photos show three coats of One Headlight over treatment and basecoat with a topcoat of Seche Vite.

Colors by Llarowe One Headlight

Colors by Llarowe One Headlight

Colors by Llarowe One Headlight

Colors by Llarowe One Headlight

Colors by Llarowe One Headlight

Colors by Llarowe One Headlight

Colors by Llarowe One Headlight

Colors by Llarowe One Headlight

Colors by Llarowe One Headlight

Colors by Llarowe One Headlight

This brilliant neon has such an intense glow that it almost seems to float over the nails. It is less fluorescent in low light and shade than I expected, but the brilliance of the color more than makes up for that. There's a stealthy rosy aspect to it as well, very pretty and feminine in spite of the intensity and the glass fleck shimmers make it unique. Fabulous! 

love,
Liz

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Contrary Polish Blue Raspberry

Like Green Apple, Blue Raspberry was released in May this year by Missouri-based indie polish maker Contrary Polish as part of the Cotton Candy Mattes collection. This series can be worn with the natural matte finish or a glossy topcoat, and I've found that I like them best glossy so that's what you'll see here.

Officially described as a "turquoise blue with fine green shimmer," the base color of Blue Raspberry is a translucent but bright medium-toned sky blue along the lines of French sky blue, inclining slightly to azure on the azure/cyan spectrum. Ultrafine grassy green particulate shimmers reverse the inclination, giving the color more of a cyanic lean to a beautiful pool blue shade similar to Spanish sky blue. It reminds me of those glacially-fed lakes where glacial rock flour is suspended in the water and gives it a luminous bright blue color. The translucence of the formula allows plenty of light to penetrate and fire up the shimmers, creating a dimensional, ever-so-slightly milky luminosity to the look of the polish on the nail in ambient light and a fine mist of delicate green sparks in the sun.

Application was lovely. The consistency of Blue Raspberry is fluid, light and smooth with a medium viscosity and a biddable, silky, self-leveling slip over the nail that sets up fairly quickly but still gives you plenty of finesse time. Pigmentation is sheer, but builds nicely to evenly opaque coverage and full bottle color in three medium coats. Cleanup is easy. Blue Raspberry dries naturally in very good time to a smooth, matte finish. Topcoat accentuates the presence and effects of the shimmers and gives the color a luminous appearance.

Photos show three coats of Blue Raspberry over KBShimmer Love You Strong Time treatment and KBShimmer Fillin' Groovy basecoat with a topcoat of Seche Vite.


Contrary Polish Blue Raspberry


Contrary Polish Blue Raspberry


Contrary Polish Blue Raspberry


Contrary Polish Blue Raspberry


Contrary Polish Blue Raspberry


Contrary Polish Blue Raspberry


Contrary Polish Blue Raspberry


Contrary Polish Blue Raspberry


Contrary Polish Blue Raspberry

I love the translucence of the color and how delicately balanced the ratio of shimmer to base is in this polish. There's a certain lucidity and depth to the look that all but invites you to dive right in -- the very definition of a pool blue! A tiny bit of milkiness adds luminosity (thereby making it even more delicious, in my opinion), but the impact is clean, fresh and buoyant. So good!

xo,
Liz

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Cupcake Polish Hula Do You Love?

Hula Do You Love was released in August 2016 by Texas-based indie polish maker Cupcake Polish as part of the Luau collection, a series of six polishes inspired by the islands of Hawaii. Described as an orange-leaning red linear holographic polish with heavy gold shimmer, the color is a brilliant, fiery medium-toned variation of vermilion packed with gold microflake shimmers that read as bright orange through the base, giving it a flashy red-orange aspect with a a gleaming, flecked, foily finish. Abundant finely-milled holographic pigment adds dimension and complexity to the look, generating a red-violet heart surrounded by shimmering hues of crimson, scarlet and bittersweet in ambient light. In direct sun there's a dazzling linear prismatic display, slightly dispersed by the microflake shimmers but super sparkly because of them as well.

Application was great! I gathered from other reviews that Hula Do You Love is a bit of a stainer, so I began with a double layer of basecoat. The consistency of the polish is fluid and smooth with a medium viscosity and a light, fluent, self-leveling slip over the nail. Pigmentation is very good, delivering evenly opaque coverage and full bottle color in two coats. Cleanup frees clouds of tiny golden microflake shimmers to roam about the nail environs and ensconce themselves in the sidewalls, along with a bit of pigment travel and residual staining -- suffice to say, you'll want to do as little of it as possible. Hula Do You Love dries naturally in good time to a smooth, gleaming finish. Topcoat accentuates the presence and effects of both the shimmers and holographic pigment, and really brings out the red of the base color. 

Photos show two coats of Hula Do You Love over treatment and double basecoat with a topcoat of Seche Vite. The holographic effects pretty much hijacked the camera in these pics. In person, the finish is more reflective and semi-metallic than holographic.


Cupcake Polish Hula Do You Love?


Cupcake Polish Hula Do You Love?


Cupcake Polish Hula Do You Love?


Cupcake Polish Hula Do You Love?


Cupcake Polish Hula Do You Love?


Cupcake Polish Hula Do You Love?


Cupcake Polish Hula Do You Love?


Cupcake Polish Hula Do You Love?


Cupcake Polish Hula Do You Love?


Cupcake Polish Hula Do You Love?


Cupcake Polish Hula Do You Love?


Cupcake Polish Hula Do You Love?


Cupcake Polish Hula Do You Love?

This is pretty spectacular! The blazing color is magnificent, and the reflective, metallic microflake shimmers combine with the color-generating properties of the holo to create a certain chromatic and textural intricacy to the look of the polish on the nail that is greater than the sum of its parts. Rich, shimmering swaths of color emerge and recede from the gleaming semi-metallic finish. The effect is luxurious and complex, a real showstopper!

love,
Liz 

ps. The dog wanted out before I'd gotten Seche Vite on this manicure, which always freaks me out because hey, wet polish! Sure enough, I mangled the polish on one nail badly enough for a do over. Since I didn't want to wait for a double layer of topcoat to dry, I only applied one. Upon removal this morning, guess which nailbed had staining? That's right! The other nails, which had the double basecoat (KBShimmer Fillin' Groovy), showed no staining at all. There you go.