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?

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 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 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?

[Nell] essence, We Need To Talk!

So, we all know how much I love essence polishes, especially the color&go line. Beautiful colors, beautiful formulas, great brushes, great price, you know, lovely!

Here is the problem though: As aesthetically pleasing as the design of the bottle is, as awful it is to get polish out once the bottle is half empty. You know bottle-height-wise half empty not content-wise. As the bottle widens towards the bottom, that is where the majority of the polish sits and as the stem of the brush is rather short there is no way to get anywhere near the bottom and therefore there is no way to dig out the remaining polish once the bottle is half-empty.

I had this issue last night when I tried to get an even black coat under my new essence effect polish. My bottle of Black is Back is half empty as black is one of my most used colors. I just love black and the essence color&go version is just fantastic quality.

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see the line? that’s how ’empty’ the bottle is

The fun began when I realized that not only was the bottle half empty but it was also a hassle to get more than the tip of the brush covered in polish. By the time I had pulled the brush out the thin layer of polish that covered the rest of the brush had started drying which resulted in streaky, patchy, bubbly polish on my nails. I painstakingly scooped out a second coat of black but the result was bad. Bubbles, unevenness and stained cuticles from a half-dry dragging brush. Long story short: The design of the bottle with the narrow neck (which makes scooping rather difficult), the rather short stem of the brush and the wide bottom is just not ideal and results in the loss of almost 50% of product for the costumer.  Wouldn’t it be possible to make the stem a few milimeters longer so that it is easier to reach the bottom?

I love love love the product and despite everything I am thinking about repurchasing Black is Back because of it’s great quality. If it were a more expensive polish I would be flat out upset and not mildly annoyed (yep, that rant above is me mildly annoyed).

What are you guys’ experiences? Is there a trick that I don’t know about? Have you ever been in the position having to scoop out essence polishes?

Nell’s NotD: Beauti-FALL Red? Beautiful Red!

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essence came out with a new fall limited edition and they basically nailed it. I picked up a (color adapting!!!) blush, the matte lip cream and two polishes, one of which I hate and I am not sure if I’m gonna feature it here, and one that I absolutely love. Which is the one you see above. *__*

I should probably mention that all of the polishes in the collection are thermals. The collection featured a brown, nude, pale green and red.
The red is one of the prettiest and most unique reds I have seen in a while. Very much befitting the fall theme, it is a nice warm deep tomato-red with quite a bit of brown and orange. The texture is a bit jelly- like and needs three coats to be fully opaque. The color lasted really well for several days with only minor tip wear. At the moment it is still too warm to see much of the thermal effect so I manipulated it for you guys with cold water.

Photo 21-09-2014 22 56 47As you can see, the color gets mostly darker when it’s cold (my thumb is still warm). I love love love this red. I think it is subtle or at least clean enough that you could wear it in a conservative environment  but  you have a bit of a twist with the thermal effect.

I wore this over OPI Nail Envy and under the Lacura Gloss Topcoat. I’m starting to really like the Lacura topper. If it were only a little more fast drying it would even kick the essence BTGN top sealer out of the water, it is so glossy. And the gloss really lasts while the top sealer dulls a little over time. But for now reduced drying time beats glossiness for me. The top coat did not take anything away from the thermal effect.

They are still rolling out the limited edition in my area so you probably still have the chance to grab the polish. If you like the color and the thermal effect I think you can safely go for this, I really liked the quality of this one.

Nell’s NotD: Palm Leaf in the Sun

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A while ago Manhattan came out with the Club Nights collection and part of said collection was the lovely green you can see above.  It is a deep christmas tree-green with a fine golden shimmer. It was opaque in 2 coats and flowed evenly on the nail. The brush is not my favorite as it is relatively slim but I had worse. I painted it on saturday and today (tuesday evening) it still looks decent. Unfortunately the shimmer doesn’t want to come out to play, only in specific lights, like the flash of my phone or the sun. We didn’t have much sun so I had to put up a fight with my flash and there you go:

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I really wish it were more visible because it is so pretty. Just like sun glistening over palm leaves. Or the sun trickling through the forest, or you know, anything sun and tree related. Lesigh.

The polish dried quickly and glossy but I put on the Lacura topper anyway to protect the polish and because it makes the whole affair a little more plush and even. Base coat was my trusted OPI Nail Envy.

Palm Leaf is one of those polishes where I wished they would eventually make it into the standard range because they are so lovely.