Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Tough As Nails Lacquer The Dregs, part 1 - The Redundant Woman and Magdelene's Laundry Service

Today I have two of the four polishes from Tough As Nails Lacquer's Spring Collection, The Dregs. This collection came together as a result of the creator's "recent obsession with drinking tea, the underbelly of Victorian culture, and a desire for a more calming collection." The Tough As Nails line is filled with brights and glitter bombs, so this collection is a bit of a departure from that.

First up is The Redundant Woman. It is a periwinkle purple/blue shade with fine pink shimmer. The shimmer is fairly evident in the bottle, but has to be coaxed out on the nail. The photo below is as sunny as I could manage, so I've also included a shot taken with flash. 

I used three medium coats of The Redundant Woman for this mani. There is a tad bit of nail line in these shots, but it really wasn't visible at all. I purchased shorty bottles, and they have a fairly short, stiff brush. I had to be careful with application because I got a few bald spots. 

3 coats of The Redundant Woman with top coat and flash.

Magdalene's Laundry Service has a milky, pink jelly base with pink dots and hexes and a pearly finish. A very beautiful polish! The above shot is three coats with top coat. No undies - because I'm usually too lazy for that. I normally don't go for polishes that are this sheer, but I really love this one. Application was great. I used two coats of top coat, but it really wasn't necessary. 

I was unaware of what the name referred to, but there is a nice explanation on the Tough As Nails blog. I've included it here:

"During the 18th-20th centuries, if you were a prostitute, unmarried, too flirtatious, or even too pretty, you may have been sent to a Magdalene Asylum. Magdalene Asylums, or Magdalene Laundries, were institutions for the fallen women of society, located throughout Europe, Canada, and the US. The asylums were originally intended to rehabilitate prostitutes and other women back into society, sustaining themselves by offering laundry services, but became prison-like, where women experienced hard labor, forced periods of silence, and abuse."

A sad thing, to be sure. There have been a few news stories recently about Magdalene Laundries after the Irish Prime Minister issued a formal apology for them. The last one wasn't closed in Ireland until 1996. 

Sorry to end on a sour note, but you have the rest of this collection to look forward to in my next post.

Friday, February 22, 2013

LOFT Eggplant and Nightwatch

Here are the last two of my polishes from my awesome Secret Santa. The first is Eggplant, which is a beautiful, deep purple shimmer polish that applied wonderfully and was nice and even at 2 coats. This photo was taken on day two, so pardon the tip wear on my pinky. And the sheet marks on my ring finger.

Lastly, we have Nightwatch. Oh, Nightwatch. You looked so pretty in the bottle. So pretty. And you look nothing like that on the nail.

The bottle color looked like a deep turquoise version of Eggplant, but it came out much flatter and grey-er. This picture is after four thin coats. I think those four coats is what contributed to the horrid wear. I shot this about four hours into the mani, and we already have tip wear. My right index finger chipped shortly after I got to work. Very disappointing.

So, If you're out at a LOFT and see their polishes, give a couple a go. All were absolutely fabulous but for Nightwatch.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

A Study In Polish 221B

Today I've got another great one from indie polish maker A Study In Polish. I reviewed four polishes from her initial launch in this post. There were two additional polishes released recently, and since I'm trying to keep some money in my bank account, I only chose one. Take your pick from the full collection here.

221B is a glitter topper with varying sizes of gold and black hex glitter in a clear base. It is inspired by the black door with gold numbers that leads to Sherlock's flat. Here you see one coat of 221B over 2 coats of OPI My Boyfriend Scales Walls from their Spiderman collection.

221B was simple to apply. The base is thick enough to keep the glitter suspended, but not too thick to be easily workable. There was no need for dabbing or fishing at all, and the glitter dried smooth. I used two coats of Essie Good to Go, but I think that was overkill.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

LOFT Methyl Blue and Fuchsia

Happy Sunday! Today I have two of the five polishes my Secret Santa from work gave me. I lucked out. She picked really well! I had no idea LOFT sold polishes. They're not branded at all, so I don't know if they are made another brand and bottled for them. 

Both applied like butter, had excellent wear time (4+ days!), and were super pretty and vibrant. 

Methyl Blue is a perfect cobalt blue foil/metallic shade. The brush on this one was really nice and I only had minimal clean up.

Fuchsia is the, well... fuchsia sister of Methyl Blue. Bright, pink, foil-y goodness. I put this on quickly before heading to the office one morning (hence unevenness near the cuticle) and it wore beautifully. I believe this photo was taken on day three. Fuchsia got a lot of attention from my female patients. Definitely a winner!

I have three others to show you - Teal, Eggplant, and Nightwatch.

Friday, February 15, 2013

Picks from OPI's Fall 2012 Germany Collection

I tried to resist this collection. I really did. Then my favorite and most guilty polish enabler, Christy, texted and said, "I've found a bunch of the OPI Germany collection. Which ones do you want?" How could I deny her?

Every Month is Oktoberfest is a beautiful, vampy burgundy shimmer in a vivid purple base. This is two perfect coats. Look at it glow!

Gratuitous shot of Every Month is Oktoberfest. Please enbiggen, and promise to buy it if you find this one in the wild.

I've been searching for a good mannequin hands shade, and couldn't turn down Don't Pretzel My Buttons. I asked her to grab this one, but picked up H&M Nerd before Christy dropped these in my lap. The color is great, but it was streaky and had a hard time self-leveling. I like Nerd's formula much better. This one will be a great base for glitters and such.

This is three coats of Germanicure by OPI. Such an odd bird. I seriously think I got an off bottle, but will try reswatching it. It's hard for me to believe the photos above and below are the same polish. Germanicure has a similar finish to Oktoberfest, but has a red-brown base and red and gold fine shimmers.

I was so disappointed in this polish. I want to give it another chance before I write it off for good.

So tell me, which polishes from this collection made it into your stash?

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Valentine's Day Mani - A Quickie

Revlon Colorstay Nail Color in Ripe Raspberry with a Stiletto accent nail. Accent nail stamped with Color Club Halo Hues Eternal Beauty, other nails stamped with Color Club Halo Hues Kismet.

I can't remember the names and numbers of the stamping plates, so I'll add those later. Accent nail from Cheeky CH15 from the Vibrant Collection, and others are from Vivid Lacquer plate VL001

I wish it were better, but it's only the 2nd or 3rd stamping mani I've done.

Happy Valentine's Day!

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

a-england Jane Eyre

I snatched Jane Eyre up during a fabulous promo a-england ran on their website before Christmas. I'm glad I got in when I did as they have temporarily suspended shipping outside of the UK due to Royal Mail being very stringent about shipping polishes.

Jane Eyre is from Adina's Gothic Beauties collection - inspired by classic characters.  It is a blackened polish with fine red shimmer. It is described on the website as "intensely smouldering crimson embers, imprisoned in a veil of sombre black." This description is poetically accurate. 

These photos are two coats without top coat. I am always impressed by the shine of a-england polishes. This one was practically a one-coater. It is a beautiful shade, but I wish the red was a little more pronounced.

Some polishes have what is known as "hidden shimmer" i.e. obvious shimmer in the bottle that disappears on the nail. That isn't the case with this polish. What you see is what you get, and it's lovely.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Cheap, beautiful polishes from H&M - Nerd and Je T'aime

A friend and I went shopping before Christmas, and the mall we visited had an H&M. I'd never been in one before, and I was pretty stoked to see their extensive polish collection. I was even more stoked when I saw most of them were $2-$3. Sadly, the polishes were on several small displays, so I looked like a lunatic running from one to the next. 

The first polish I grabbed was snatched up solely because of the name. Nerd. Seriously. There is no way I couldn't get this polish. It just so happens that has an excellent formula and is the closest I've found to my mannequin hands shade.

Two coats of H&M Nerd with no topcoat. Look at the shine! The cap was only slightly annoying as the large square thing isn't a false cap at all. It's really that big.

Je T'aime is a smaller bottle and was only $1.99. It is a beautiful candy apple red with tons of gold shimmer. There is a smattering of silver in there as well. The formula on this one was also pretty stellar, but the brush was very short & stumpy and the cap felt disproportionate. 

Macro of H&M Je T'aime
Was it worth the money? Yes! This is a perfect shade for a Valentine's Day mani. Photos are two coats, no top coat.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Quickie swatch - My picks from the Color Club 2013 Halo Hues collection

I first saw swatches of the new Halo Hues colors on Sheila's blog. Honestly, I had no clue that Color Club was coming out with a new holo collection. While I was looking for more swatches, I saw that they had inadvertently sent polishes out to some distributors. So, I did what any good polish fiend would do and I hunted those suckers down!

Unlike a polish fiend, I thought, "Pam, you already have a blue and a pink holo from the last collection, so don't get those." I was probably feverish, but I only bought the four you see below.

The formula is smooth and easy like the last set. Beyond was rather thick, but workable. As you can see, a quick dry top coat (Essie Good To Go) didn't dull the holo whatsoever. 

I couldn't pick just one, so I did a skittles mani. L-R: Eternal Beauty, Kismet, Beyond, and Cosmic Fate. 2 coats with top coat.

What do you think? Did you get any of the 2012 Halo Hues? Are you getting any of the new ones?

Sunday, February 3, 2013

A Study In Polish - Polishes Inspired by BBC's Sherlock

Frequenters of this blog and/or my Etsy shop know that I love nail polishes that tie in with my favorite fandoms. I am a huge fan of Harry Potter, Doctor Who, and BBC's Sherlock. The indie polish world now has Harry Potter and Doctor Who collections, but what about Sherlock? 

Enter A Study In Polish, a line hand mixed by a fellow fan and polish fiend. Morgan had posted previews of a line she planned to start selling soon, and I marked the day on my calendar. 

A Study In Polish Consulting Detective, Mind Palace, Let's Have Dinner, and Baker Street Blues.

The first of the four polishes I picked up is Let's Have Dinner. It is a red jelly with Medium and small black hexes, and small blue hexes. This polish is inspired by the intriguing Irene Adler. The above photo is two easy coats.

Baker Street Blues is a shimmery cobalt blue with blue and iridescent square and hex glitter. Perfectly opaque at two coats.

Macro shot of Baker Street Blues

Mind Palace is a beautiful seafoam green with a subtle linear holo finish. Honestly, I bought this one because, 1) It was a holo and I can't resist holos, and 2) It was available in limited quantities due to hard-to-find holo pigment. The polish hoarder in me couldn't resist! I'm glad I didn't resist because this is my favorite of the collection. Mind Palace is a little on the thick side, but nothing unmanageable.

Blurred to show the sparkle

The last of the Sherlock Polishes I picked up is Consulting Detective, a purple shimmery polish with gold and blue hex glitters. Consulting Detective was also a little thick, but it allows the glitter to suspend nicely in the base.

All of Morgan's polishes had excellent wear time. I wore all for 2-3 days with no significant chipping.

There are two polishes I passed on, and Morgan just listed two more polishes yesterday. All polishes are $9.00 each except for 221B, which is a glitter topcoat. A Study In Polish has a shop open here.

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