Sunday, July 31, 2011

China Glaze Blue Sparrow

Blue Sparrow was originally released in the Summer 2008 Ink collection and is part of the core line at Sally's now (and I'd imagine elsewhere, such as Ulta). Blue Sparrow is a bright blue neon packed full of very fine blue glitter.

Lightbox with direct light

Blue Sparrow has the typical neon formula that dries very fast and with a sort of semi-matte finish. Because of the glitter, this one also dries gritty. What you see here is three coats of Blue Sparrow topped with two coats of Pro FX Quick Dry top coat.

Lightbox with direct light

Funny thing about Blue Sparrow is I actually bought it right after I started to collect polish, and I had no experience with neons at all. I dismissed the formula as horrible and gave it away. It's been kind of haunting me ever since, and I decided to go ahead and re-buy it and give it another shot.


It turns out that a year of practice with every kind of difficult formula under the sun did indeed fix what ailed Blue Sparrow. It was user error all along. 

Lightbox with direct light

As with most neons (and mattes and holos), I found working fast to be a must. The formula is a little on the watery side, so it took some getting used to. But I have to say that for the effect this polish gives, it was totally worth it.




Sunshine Macro!

As always, thanks for stopping by! I'm hoping to break 100 followers this week and start my giveaway, so keep an eye out. =) Pin It

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Too many pictures of Nfu Oh 64 =)

Nfu Oh 65 ended up being my gateway drug into the word of linear holos. I just got in 64 yesterday, and I am now (im)patiently waiting for 61 to come back in stock. I want the green one too... whatever its number is. The same rules applied to this one as to 65 - I let my base coat dry COMPLETELY before attempting to put this on. I worked quickly because it dries lightning fast. Working slowly and/or going over the same spot twice is asking for trouble with these babies. Here's what she looks like in my light box:

This is two coats of holo, then my top coat, then another coat of holo. My top coat tends to diffuse the holo effect, but I also want the polish to not chip, so that's my solution to both problems. The sun peeked out this morning, so here she is in sunlight:

Such a beauty! Yes, far too many pictures, but you know my motto:  It's my blog, I can do what I want! And I'm sure nobody is really complaining about too many pictures of the magic rainbow polish. =)

Hope your weekend is going well, and thanks for stopping by! Pin It

Dupe or No Dupe? Zoya Jem and Valerie

From the time I saw the first promo pictures of Zoya's Fall 2011 Smoke and Mirrors collection, I was very interested to see how Jem would compare to Valerie. They looked very similar, and since I own Valerie, I was afraid to order Jem and find that they were too close. I ended up getting it for a buddy of mine for a swap though, and so I had the opportunity to do swatchsicle comparisons of the two before sending it off to her. Looking at them side by side made me go like this:  o.O

Lightbox - diffused light

Lightbox - direct light

You can click on these to make them bigger (just like all the pics on my blog, in case you didn't know!). There is a very slight difference in the finish. Valerie is that delicious glass fleck finish that Zoya does so well, which Jem is more like a shimmer with fine, fairly sparse glitter. But seriously, guys, the base color is all but identical. Only a laquerhead would notice the differences in the finish, and I truly believe that if I had one hand painted with Valerie and one hand painted with Jem, not even a laquerhead would notice that they were different colors.

I also compared them out in the sun, and added OPI Visions of Sugarplum to the mix. I had actually gotten Visions of Sugarplum, but I swapped it away once I compared it to Valerie. VoS is cooler, yes, but for me it was close enough to Valerie that I didn't need both, and I like Valerie's finish more.


Are Jem and Valerie exact dupes? Because of the difference in finish, no, they are not. But everyone has a different tolerance for dupes in their stash. Some folks will want both, and that's perfectly fine! But for me, yeah, they are definitely too close for me to own both of them.

Hope this comparison helps someone! Thanks for stopping by! =)

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Friday, July 29, 2011

Nicole by OPI Canadian Star

Part of the One Less Lonely Girl (Justin Bieber) Collection from Nicole by OPI, Canadian Star is a Canadian exclusive release. I was lucky enough to procure a bottle via my Canadian polish fairy, Moxie

Was it worth the wait while she tracked it down? You bet it was. It's a glass flecked multichrome that flashes blue, purple and pink. The pink flash is fairly elusive and I had trouble capturing it in these photos, but it's definitely there. Please note: This polish is EXTREMELY sheer, so what you see here is 2 coats over Wet n Wild Black Creme. 

I've heard that it reaches something resembling opacity at about 4 coats, but 3 coats is about the limits of my patience. Hence my layering it over black. My experience with duochromes and multichromes is that layering them over a dark color tends to make the different colors pop more anyway.

Aside from how sheer it is, the application was good. This one comes with the new "perfect stroke" brush (read: mop). I actually don't mind the brush all that much, but I do prefer the narrower old style brush that Nicole used to have.

I do wonder what polish companies are thinking when they make polishes this sheer, though. I really doubt that your average person buys this, sees how sheer it is, and thinks, "Oh, no worries, I'll just layer it over black." It's probably more like, "Uh, this is trash. I'm throwing this away." It's really kind of sad how many great polishes are lost on the nail buying public at large because of things like this. 

Happy Friday, y'all! Hope your week was good. And welcome to the new folks! I'm always excited to discover that more people are here looking at my pictures and reading my posts! =) And I have something special planned when I hit 100 followers... I only need six more now! Yay!
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Wednesday, July 27, 2011

FingerPaints Vintage Velvet

I'm taking a break from Forgotten Loves week to bring you a swatch of one of the shades from the FingerPaints Fall 2011 collection, Fall Fashionista.

This is really sort of an atypical fall collection. I'm used to seeing lots of shimmers and jewel tones for fall collections, and I was fascinated that FingerPaints went this way with theirs. Many of the colors do feel like fall to me though, and I picked up Vintage Velvet and Cordur-Orange last night.

This is the one that's described on the press release as blue/green... and it is, but it's really a strange blue/green. It's murky and dusty and I absolutely love it.

I did some comparisons on swatchsicles because I was too tired to do actual nail comparisons. These are the closest things I have in my collection. Vintage Velvet is greener than Sapphire Silk, but more blue than Green Up Your Act. It reminds me a lot of Catrice I Sea You!/Misa Dirty Sexy Money, but it's much darker.

I thought the formula was pretty typical FingerPaints fare. I find their cremes a little thick (in fact, some of them are ridiculously thick), but it's nothing that a little thinner doesn't fix. This polish is highly pigmented, and I probably could have done one coat if I'd been careful... and if I wasn't a habitual two-coater. =) 

All in all, I like this collection very much. I was tempted to get more of them, but I was afraid they would be too close to colors I already had. I was quite pleased to find that I didn't have a dupe in my collection for this one. I really, really love it. It's one of those shades that feels sophisticated to me, and it definitely feels like fall. Now if only fall would get here!

So there you go! As always, thanks for stopping by!

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Tuesday, July 26, 2011

OPI DS Extravagance

My next mani for Forgotten Loves week is OPI DS Extravagance. This is another where I think the pictures can speak for themselves. It's stunning. I probably took too many pictures, but as I've said before... it's my blog, and I can do what I want! =) Enjoy!

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