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a hoarder's blog

going through my stash one swatch at a time
March 12, 2014

Turquoise Stone Nails with Essie Where's My Chauffeur

I did this turquoise stone nail art for last year's #PolishTogether December birthstone theme. I followed this tutorial here. It was my first time trying it out and it was kind of a hit and miss. Sometimes it'd turn out nice and I liked the way it looked. Sometimes the black veins didn't come out looking too good or looked too close together, so I had to redo the whole nail. The overall end result is still not very even looking, but I let it pass cos I could have literally spent hours re-doing them til they looked perfect. My right hand nails were a little bit worse off than my left cos I couldn't be bothered after a while. Haha!

I didn't shoot any step-by-step pics but here are the steps in short (or read the tutorial i linked above for a more visual breakdown):

  • paint nails with base colour preferably a turquoise colour and let dry
  • randomly dab on some gold colour on each nail and let dry
  • have a cup of water ready (I used tap water at room temperature)
  • tape the sides of your nails to make cleanup easier later (I used lip balm all around the edges instead)
  • get your black polish, toothpick and alcohol product ready (Tutorials mostly recommend hairspray, but I didn't have any, so I used my Clinique clarifying lotion [!!!] instead. I had a little bit left, tried it and it worked for me)
  • drop one-two drops of black polish over the water in the cup and let it spread
  • once it's sufficiently spread out, take your spray and spray over the spread-out black polish. This will create breaks on the surface of the black polish
  • quickly dip your finger in
  • get the toothpick and use it to gather the black stuff that's still floating on the water before taking your finger out
  • clean up leftover polish around nail, let dry
  • apply topcoat

Sounds like a lot of work huh? Don't worry, you get the hang of it after a while.

I used Essie Where's My Chauffeur as my base colour, a random gold polish and A-England Camelot for the black. 

This is the look prior to applying the black veins. I lightly dabbed on the gold with a sponge.

And the finished look is below. 

Like I mentioned, it's not very even. The black veins on my last two nails look much darker than the rest. This is because sometimes the black polish would clump together when I'm taking my finger out of the water, creating a much darker pattern.

This is how I wish all my nails would have turned out. Nicely spread out black veins.

The overall look isn't too bad though. It was worth the effort to me. I loved looking at my nails.

November 11, 2013

Essie For The Twill Of It

Essie For The Twill Of It from the Fall 2013 collection is a shade that I really like. I find anything that's duochrome/multichrome very fascinating and interesting because of the different facets of colour that's reflected in different lighting conditions. Two coats are enough for full opacity for this one. The formula has a good consistency and applies very nicely. You might wanna be careful about brush strokes though because of the metallic quality of this polish, but I personally don't find them very obvious.

This is also said to be a dupe for Peace & Love & OPI (from the OPi San Francisco collection) which I get owing to this exact reason.

I leave you now with photos displaying the purple/green/grey shifts. Enjoy!

February 15, 2013

Cirque Fleur Est Belle

Fleur Est Belle is an exclusive limited edition shade created by Cirque for Mei Mei's Signatures. It is described as "a petal pink that evokes images of the warm tropics and pink flowers that emanate whimsical femininity." This polish was launched since January 2013 and will be available at Mei Mei's store until June 2013. 

Fleur Est Belle looked like it would apply sheer but I was surprised to see that it wasn't that sheer after only two coats. The pink jelly applied really well and the glitter didn't require any fishing. 

If you notice that most of the glitter is at the bottom of the bottle, turn the bottle upside down for a few minutes and the glitters will start moving to the mouth of the bottle. That way, it's easy to catch more glitter on the brush. 

Here I have layered it over Essie Lion Around.

And here I have it layered over a black base.

It is a beautiful shade with a complex mix of glitter. If you haven't gotten yours yet, head over to Mei Mei's website to grab it! It has just been restocked

November 17, 2012

Essie Da Bush and Dollish Polish Dino-mite Yoshi

Essie Da Bush is a murky light khaki green shade with a yellowish/grey undertone. It is creamy and pretty smooth to apply. I did two coats here.

Over Essie Da Bush, I applied Dollish Polish Dino-mite Yoshi from the Super Mario Bros collection. It is a complex mix of pink, orange, white, bright green and pale green glitter of various shapes and sizes in a clear base. Really really interesting and very very pretty.

I really loved this pairing. It's almost like they were made for each other.

August 21, 2012

Essie Cascade Cool and Nails Inc Topping Lane

What better way to use two untried polishes than to use them together?

Here is essie Cascade Cool from the Summer 2012 collection and Nails Inc Topping Lane from the Sprinkles collection, part of the Special Effects range. 

Both polishes had great application, and I did two coats for full opacity.

The glitter in Topping Lane is really really dense. It's a combination of fuchsia, silver and blue glitter in a pink polish base. They don't sparkle the way normal glitters do when applied as they are mattified.

With this combination on my nails today, I had an overdose of pink.

August 15, 2012

Essie Bikini So Teeny and Essie Stroke Of Brilliance

Another blue mani this week where I paired Essie Bikini So Teeny from the Summer 2012 collection with Essie Stroke of Brilliance, a new addition to the Luxeffects line. 

Bikini So Teeny is a pale sky blue, leaning slightly purple in certain lighting conditions. In the bottle, you can see lots of silver shimmer but they barely show up on the nails. It does make this polish look extremely bright though. The formula is great to work with, smooth and not runny. Two coats for full opacity. This colour definitely stands out.

Stroke Of Brilliance is kinda like Set In Stones and A Cut Above's sibling, except that it's blue-greyish. It is made up of small glitter and larger hex pieces in a clear base. An easy to use top coat to liven up any manicure.

August 03, 2012

Essie Blue Rhapsody and Cirque Ophelia

I did this combination in blue using essie Blue Rhapsody from the Mirror Metallics collection and Cirque Ophelia from the Dark Horse collection (Cirque is an indie brand exclusively stocked by Meimeisignatures in Singapore). I have worn a few Cirque colours already and I only have good things to say about them. The formula has been great so far, and the smell is a plus point. They all smell so good as there's clary sage and lavender essential oils added to them. The scent lingers on even after I apply top coat and I find myself smelling my fingers sometimes. I know that sounded weird.

Ophelia is a glitter polish made of multi-sized periwinkle glitter. It is pretty dense and one coat is sufficient if you are just using it as a top coat kinda polish. 

I found Blue Rhapsody a bit hard to work with at first. It dries very fast and if you go over a layer that hasn't completely dried, it gets patchy. So I learnt to get my strokes right the first time round and not go over again until it's fully dry. The end result is a beautiful silver blue colour.

I applied Ophelia over black polish on my ring finger. You can see the different sizes of glitter more clearly.

December 24, 2011

Essie Luxeffects Shine Of The Times comparison with Nubar 2010 and Inglot 202

This is a follow-up post on my Essie Luxeffects haul here. Doing a little comparison with two other similar flakies polishes that I have in my stash currently: nubar 2010 and inglot 202.

This is just one coat of Essie Luxeffects Shine Of The Times. It is just so dense and beautiful, won't you agree?

Comparison with Nubar 2010

One coat of Nubar 2010 doesn't produce as much flakies as one coat of essie Shine Of The Times.

At two coats, it is looking slightly better but I say no prize for guessing which one is a winner here.

Comparison with Inglot 202

Almost similar there. The density is on par with Shine Of The Times.

If I were to rank them, Shine Of The Times would win hands down, followed by Inglot 202 and lastly Nubar 2010

December 24, 2011

Essie Holiday 2011 Luxeffects Collection Swatches

I finally have the Essie Luxeffects collection in my hands and after swatching them, I am really happy to have them all.

All swatches below are on a black polish base. All swatches are also just one coat.

Left to right: Set In Stones, A Cut Above, Pure Pearlfection, As Gold As It Get, Shine Of The Times

Set In Stones and A Cut Above are similar, except that one is silver and the other is pink. They both consist of small and medium glitters as well chunky hex glitters in a clear base. One coat was enough to produce an even and rather dense layer of glitter. There was no need to do a second coat (unless your intention is to completely fill the surface of your nail with glitter) or put in effort to "place" the glitter evenly.

Set In Stones

A Cut Above

Pure Pearlfection and As Gold As It Gets are silver and gold respectively with a similar kind of effect on the nails. I think these look really chic.

Pure Pearlfection is made up of fine shimmer with hints of turquoise, pink and silver. These colours sparkle in certain lighting conditions but generally, it looks like a layer of white/silver shimmer.

As Gold As It Gets, which I thought was also made up of fine shimmer, actually contains small pieces of gold flakes. There is however no colour change when seen from different angles like in the case of regular flakies polish.

Pure Pearlfection

As Gold As It Gets

Shine Of The Times

One word: Flakies!!!

Does this remind you of another polish?...Click here for a comparison post on similar flakies polish.

As said previously, all of the swatches are just one coat. Can I just say amazing formula? I am simply wow-ed.

December 02, 2011

NOTD (essie Body Language + nubar polka dot)

I bought the nubar polka dot top coat in both black and white from the sidewalks some time back and I finally got down to using them today. I had swatched them yesterday and i liked this combo so much, I thought I'd do it on all fingers. So yesterday, I decided to remove whatever gelish I had on so that I could paint my nails. I still do have one more gelished nail left. Don't ask me why I haven't removed it, just plain lazy I guess.

The base colour is essie Body Language, topped with nubar black polka dot. The latter is made up of fine black glitter with bigger hex glitter suspended in a clear base.

Here's how it looks like in the bottle.

And this is the white polka dot which i painted over a black base. I had thought that this would be just white glitter, but it actually is holographic glitter (so you can see blue, green, yellow fine glitter) on top of the bigger silver hex glitter.


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This blog is a personal blog written and edited by me. I don't get paid to feature any particular product and if that ever happens, I will be sure to let you know. Everything posted here are products that I have purchased with my own money on my (online) shopping trips. Views and opinions expressed on this blog are my own and fellow bloggers'.

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