Nell’s Spring Color Forecast: Ultra Pastells/Off-Whites

Basically since last summer I’ve been going back and forth between the blacks, the non-colors and the whites. Not much middle ground there. And it is spring again and out come the pastells and (not only) in my case the ultra pastells or essentially white polishes with just a hint of pigment in them.

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left to right: OPI My Boyfriend scales Walls, OPI Skull and Glossbones, Catrice Pure Blue, essie find me an oasis, essie fiji 2014, essie fiji 2012, essie absolutely shore (candle in the background is dm’s own brand in the rose scent, love the scent and the plain simple jar)

In my experience essie does the ultra pastells best. fiji started the obsession for me in 2012 which is the more nude of the two light pinks in the picture above. It already has the wide brush but it still needs at least 3 coats. fiji 2014 is considerably pinker but the formula is better and requires only two coats.

Another obsession of mine is essie absolutely shore which is the pale green in the picture. It is lighter and slightly more yellow in tone than mint candy apple. absolutely shore was originally never launched in Germany when it came out in 2011 (I bought mine via beautybay.com, great place to find essies that were either never out in Germany or they have been sold out everywhere). It also came out before the relaunch, hence the slightly difficult texture of the polish, the narrow brush and the fact that it requires at least 3 coats. But once it’s on and even it is one of the most beautiful shades in the world to me.

The last of the essie- bunch is also the most recent addition to my collection: With the essie Birthday packs I finally got my hands on the elusive, legendary find me an oasis. What a beaut! Opaque in two coats, lasts 7 days on me easily (despite work and tapping away on a keyboard for school) and the wide brush is perfect for my nail size and shape, obviously something very personal but yeah, the obsession with essie is real at the moment.

One of the polishes that was considered a dupe for find me an oasis was Catrice’s Pure Blue, which came out with the Nude Purism collection. Up close next to each other you can see that Pure Blue is slightly paler and warmer than find me an oasis. Pure Blue has also kind of clear sparkle in the formula which is basically invisible on the nail. It applies well and is opaque and streakfree in two coats.

Last but not least two OPI options. For one My Boyfriend scales Walls which is a true off-white and Skull and Glossbones which is a pale nude/bone color.  Both apply evenly and are good to go on two coats and as opposed to other OPIs recently I have no tipwear issues with these two.

What are your must-have colors for spring?

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[Nell] New Year, Fresh Start, Changed Preference in Polishes

Years change, seasons change, people change and after writing my thesis it took me a while to get my life back on track and get back to find pleasure in sitting down and writing again. But here we are. The ‘NailFile’ is back in business for my part.

Since we last read each other I completed my thesis, changed jobs and universities, survived christmas (don’t ask me how) and had my life uprooted again by a sudden death in the family. A lot of things changed fundamentally amongst them my perception of myself, I have moments when I actually feel like a grown up (shocker!) but let’s return to the central topic of this blog: Nailpolish!

I used to love my bright flashy polishes, the more brain scrambling and eye melting the better and don’t get me wrong I still love my duochromes and holo polishes but on a day to day basis I find myself reaching for the ‘un-colors’: nudes, blackened and greyed muted creme finishes.

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One of my current favorites is Catrice Time for Lovender a beautiful greyed mauve purple. I’m not sure how it compares to Chanel Tenderly but it seems to be in the same vein. It was basically opaque in one coat with a little care but I never feel right doing just one coat so I did two just to be sure. The brush was great on this one but it doesn’t seem to have been the new one yet. I finished it off with a thick coat of the Lacura Gloss Topper and that was that. I really like how it turned out.

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What hasn’t changed though, is my preference for wide brushes, gel top coats and polishes that are opaque in two coats. From the picture you can see that I reach for my higher end polishes more. Quite possibly because I have more colors that appeal to me right now from them but there is also the factor of feeling rather put together and even a little bit luxurious wearing the more expensive polishes, even though I know how silly that is. Most people won’t even register the fact that I am wearing nail polish at all, I guess.

This doesn’t mean that I am only going to wear and purchase upscale polishes from here on out but I definitely have developed a weakness for essie especially (if you follow me on instagram you will have seen my essie challenge month in December, where I wore only essie up till christmas, I might do a review post for the blog on that).

As things stand right now, I’m trying to get my life back on track and that includes blogging regularly, as you can tell from this post I am a bit rusty but it’ll get better.

Nell’s NotD: Cupcake Addicted

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No fancy titles for this one, mainly because I really like the name. I hauled Cupcake Addicted in my last haul from about 3 days ago and couldn’t wait to paint it right away.
Cupcake Addicted is a semi sheer white base with golden shimmer and light pink hexagonal glitter in different sizes. The semi sheer base allows the glitter to peek through but is fairly opaque after three coats. On my ringfinger I used a white cream polish as a base to see if it made a difference at all. In the picture you can see that it made the base a little more solid but that is about it. I am wearing 3 coats over p2 base and care except for the ringfinger where I am wearing two coats over base and care and one coat of a RdL young gel like white cream. Top coat was the Lacura gloss coat.

So far the polish wears really well. No peeling or chipping despite of the glitter pieces. And despite it being basically a white polish, I really like it. The golden shimmer is a little muted on the nail but it is visible subtly in the sun. Below I added some pictures that show you the polish in the bottle and in indirect daylight.

As far as I can tell this has been a favorite and it has been sold quickly and rightly so, I think it’s gorgeous and fab quality for a drugstore polish.

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[Nell’s New In] Manhattan Birthday Colors

Remember how I wanted to buy more selectively? Well, I did!  And Manhattan made it easy by releasing a huge collection of absolute gems in nailpolish form in honor of their 50th birthday. I only chose three but I could easily have selected more. The main part of the collection consists of beautiful glitter polishes, that is to say glitter dispersed in solidly colored bases. My favorites! This is a haul so I will just show you the colors, no swatches yet, but expect these to pop up soon.

Dance Fever

Dance Fever

**Sidenote: just click on the pictures to enlarge them, it will help you see the colors better**

The first polish I picked is Dance Fever, a deep purple base jampacked with fine red-pink, blue and purple glitter. It reminds me a lot of a shredded down finer version of OPI Polka.com.

Amazing Anniversary

Amazing Anniversary

Next is Amazing Anniversary, a deep blue green with fine multi-colored flakeys and tiny black hexes. It seems to be rather liquid in the bottle, we’ll see what that means for the pigmentation.

Cupcake Addicted

Cupcake Addicted

And last but not least my special treasure Cupcake Addicted. It is a white base with iridescen shimmer flakeys and light pink hexes in different sizes . This one made me positively go weak in the knees. What a beaut! I can’t wait to wear this next.

Did you buy any of the Birthday Colors? Did you like them?

Nell’s NotD: Nails of Steel

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I am in love with this polish. Surprisingly so. Initially when I saw the Catrice Metallure display this was the last one I even looked at and then I decided to just leave it there and stick with the pretty red-gold Metalight. Until I saw swatches. This has to be one of the most perfect metallic nail polishes that have been produced ever. Super smooth, opaque in two coats and no brushstrokes, I repeat NO brushstrokes. I think, it looks like you have a gun metal coating on your nails and the grungy-metal chick in me is obsessing over this. Unfortunately it took me forever to paint this color so I am not sure whether you can still get it. If you can go for it, it’s amazing. I am wearing this over the p2 base+care coat  and under the Lacura Gloss Coat. I do have minimal tipwear 3 days in but it’s not too bad, as I am still in the ‘Let’s repaint every three days’-phase.

Nell’s NotD: Accidental Gradient and Probation Polishes [Kaufstop]

Last week I sorted through my nailpolish collection again with the resolve to reduce my collection at least a little bit and I succeeded to a degree. I got rid of 30-odd, maybe 40 polishes. Some of them dupes of other colors, some of them bad quality some of them colors that I don’t think I will wear in the next year or so.

With this run-through of my collection I tried to make myself aware of what I have because I was starting to lose sight of all the colors and different finishes I have, some of them are real treasures, too.
I made a commitment though to only very carefully select the polishes I buy in the future. They have to be treasures like essie’s Sable Collar or ILNP Abundance. Polishes that are unique and stand out.

Either way when I culled all these polishes from my collection there where a few that I put on probation so to say, because I wanted to test them out before I dump them. Two of them where on probation because I remembered them being gloopy, but I bought them such a long time ago that I wanted to see if that was actually true or if it was my inability to apply polishes back then. And two were on there because I thought they were too close in color to keep them both.

When I had them lined up on my desk though I realized that i had inadvertendly pulled up another gradient, from dark grey to blackened blue this time. Here are the pictures:

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From index to pinky you can see

Astor-VIP grey (dark grey with multicolored micro shimmer, two coats, micro shimmer disappears on the nail)
Catrice- Le Grand Bleu C04 Entering Atlantis (deep blue, satin/metallic finish, pink glitter that disappears on the nail)
Catrice- Hip Trio C01 Blue Highway (deep navy, mostly dusty with a hint of glow from within shimmer)
Catrice- Out of Space C04 Moonlight Express (blackened blue green with silver/pink shimmer)

Unsurprisingly I decided to keep all of them. The grey is such a nice basic color and it actually applies really nicely and the blues are so different in shade and finish but such good quality that they get their stay extended. I can’t wait to wear them more as I gravitate more than usual to my darks. Especially Blue Highway is killing me.

The odd one out: The pale yellow I am wearing on my thumbs.
Photo 05-10-2014 12 52 39I am still not sure if I like it. It is essence crystalliced in 05 frosted champaign. It was slightly streaky and needed three coats to be opaque but it was still okay. With its pale yellow shimmer particles it might work as an untraditional nude for me as I don’t normally get on with the traditional nudes.

I wore those over p2 base+care base coat (which I randomly found during the reorganization, but I remember now why I forgot all about it: crumbs! -.-). The topper was ORLY Glosser again and it made me NOT happy. Even though I went to sleep two or three hours after I painted my nails I still had pillow on my nails in the morning. One of my biggest pet peeves, ugh! I need to try the yellow under one of my squishy toppers again. If I still don’t like it, it goes.

Nell’s NotD: Oldie but Goodie and ORLY Glosser

I know Snowhoney reviewed ApHolo 7 from Catrice’s Luxury Lacquer collection (not to confuse with the current Luxury Lacquer line, which was entered into the regular line) before, but it’s been a while, so I thought I’d give you my opinion quickly. Maybe, if you have this bad boy in your stash it reminds you to use it again because it is a good one.

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ApHolo7 is a light blue, soft holo. It is not one of the most fiery holos like all the other ones in the line, but it is a true holo non the less. It applies well. One coat is fine, two make it more intense. It dried nice and quickly. I wore this one over OPI Nail Envy and under Orly Glosser top coat. The Orly top coat is a gloss coat that does not have any fast drying properties. It is also not as glassy as my essence BTGN top sealer which gives quite a thick, squishy layer to my nails, we’ll see how I get along with it. It did not distort the effect of the holo and added some shine to the polish.

Nell’s September 2014 Favorites

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This month is a tough one to pick a favorite because there are a couple of outstanding ones like Sittin’ Pretty or Abundance and I have to say I’m very proud to report that I managed to upload a new post every three days this month. School starts again in October so I’m not sure I can keep it up but we’ll see. I digress.

When push comes to shove, my favorite this month was probably that last combo on the bottom right: essence effect polish in 21 icy fairy over color and go 144 back in black. It is one of the prettiest topcoats I have seen in a while, with its blue to purple to pink sheen and silver and holo hexes. It looks like a glittery nightsky on my nails and next to my mermaid polishes this has to be my favorite thing.

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What was your favorite polish this month? Do you have preferations like I with my night sky and mermaid polishes?

Nell’s NotD: To Foreign Galaxies and Beyond

Photo 25-09-2014 17 09 43A while ago essence posted a picture of their effect nail polish in 21 icy fairy over black is back from their color&go line on their instagram (@essence_cosmetics), dubbed it ‘galaxy nails’ and I was sold. Next to mermaid polishes anything that resembles a starry night is high high high up my list.

This mani takes all its oomph from the topper. Icy fairy consists of a clear base with extremely fine blue to pink duochrome shimmer, silver hexes in various sizes and holo hexes. All the beauty comes out to play over a dark color like black, the shimmer actually turns the black into a deep blue with flashes of purple and pink. All the different glitter sizes, along with the duochrome shimmer creates that galaxy-like effect. Granted it ain’t got nothing on those artfully painted galaxy nails that you can find on some nail blogs (and which tend to take my breath away. Man, I wish I had the patience to at least attempt it.) but it is an alternative for me, the nail artistery-challenged.

The topper in itself behaved quite well. I didn’t have to go fishing for the bigger hexes and it applied evenly and dried smoothly. I would still dap the polish on a little bit to place the bigger hexes where I want them, but that was no hassle at all.

I am wearing the base color back in black (2 coats) over the essence hardening nail base (d/c), one coat of icy fairy over the black and the Lacura Super Gloss Coat to protect and give extra shine. As opposed to other glitter toppers the hexes lie flat against the nails so I am not worried about premature peeling. Removal is going to be horrid as per usual, but I can’t stop staring at my nails, so it’s going to be worth it.

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Nell’s NotD: Neon Lavender

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Remember how a couple of weeks ago I was all like: ‘I wanna get into purple polishes like essie Sittin’ Pretty’? Yeah, so Sittin’ Pretty was re-released in Germany with the Oktoberfest-collection (don’t get me started on that Oktoberfest BS. I am Hessian and Germany is so much bigger and better than that stuck up, capricious ratsnest part in the south east). Either way the GOOD part about that Oktoberfest limited edition was that it contained Sittin’ Pretty and I even found one that didn’t have that silly ‘Schatzi’-pin attached to it.

Can we take a moment to just appreciat the color?! UGH, it’s so pretty!

Initially it was quite sheer and artificial light washes out the color a bit, so I painted three coats but two would have probably been enough. In natural daylight (see above) it is a stunner. Very vibrant and bright but for some reason not too in your face.

Below you can see it with flash and that’s when it really glows:

Photo 22-09-2014 16 06 54Despite being one of essie’s neons it dries quite glossy and rather quickly. I wore my usual OPI Nail Envy/ essence BTGN top sealer combo for extra protection. I’ve only had it on for a day but so far no chipping or bubbling, despite chores and typing and such.

What do you think? Is this pretty or what?