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

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