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, 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: 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.

Nell’s NotD: My Own Peacock

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This polish was another TK Maxx find. This gorgeous rich and deep shimmer is by ModelsOwn and goes by the name ‘Peacock Green’. It is a deep bottle green with a hint of blue haze. The formula was great: The polish was opaque and even in 2 coats, no brush strokes whatsoever. I have to admit the color is a little more impressive in the bottle then on the nail but it is still really pretty and very appropriate for fall and winter.

Again this comes with a slim brush hence the stained cuticles, but it seems like I’m just incapable of working those thin brushes. I used OPI Nail Envy underneath and the Lacura top coat over top.

Nell’s NotD: Fall in a Bottle

Photo 07-09-2014 17 11 34You guys, I can’t tell you how ready I am for fall! Fall is my favorite time of the year, closely followed by winter and whenever it  is not fall, I am waiting for fall. So around the mid of August I stumbled upon the announcement of the fall collection by I ❤ Nailpolish or ILNP is a fantastic and thank goodness very successful indie brand. They do the most incredible holo polishes and multichromes. I already own two ultra holos, which I will show you soon but when I saw this multichrome by the name ‘Abundance’ I was done for. It is advertised as ‘fall in a bottle’ and be goodness that line is true. The polish shifts from gold to orange, red, a hint of pink and mossy green.

It is opaque in two coats. I used essence BTGN top sealer and it didn’t take anything from the effect. I had a few application issues mainly because it is a thin brush (which I don’t like, I like my brushes wide and rounded, think OPI), so that was user error, the formula of the polish is pretty perfect. It flows easily on the nail, and is not too thick or gloopy. Despite being a shimmer there are no visible brush strokes. I’m going to repaint this soon with a ridgfiller underneath to create a smoother surface just to bring out the multichrome even more. I am completely smitten with this color, what do you think?

Nell’s NotD: Free Hugs

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Right now I am going through a phase where I could change my polish every single day. I refrain from that because it would really dry out my already dry cuticles, but I am down to repainting my nails every other day and for some reason at them moment I am really good at keeping track and typing  out NotDs so there you go.

My polish of choice this time was essence’s Free Hugs. This one was evicted from the range in the recent winter update of the standard range. It is a cooler pink with an almost purple tinge to it. It goes nicely with my skin tone and it is a nice transition shade as I am trying to get more into the lighter lavenders and purples (think essie Sittin’ Pretty and Splash of Grenadine). This one still had the nice and glossy essence creme formula even though it was a bit on the sheerer, slightly streaky side. However, it was perfectly even in three coats. I wore this over OPI Nail Envy and under essence BTGN top sealer.


Nell’s NotD: Orly High on Hope

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We could all use a little hope every now and again, couldn’t we? I sure could right now. This was one of the thoughts that guided my hand when I picked up this polish from TK Maxx. I am new to Orly but I really like their instagram feed (well done PR people, well done), so I pounced when I saw two lonely Orly shades left at my local TK Maxx. One of those was High on Hope. It is a slightly green, deep blue jelly with fine multichrome flakeys in it. The flakeys range from pink to gold and green in color. Sadly this is not that strongly visible. The polish applied well but needed three coats on me (jelly!). The flakey are nice and visible on the nail. It dried really glossy but I topped it off with the essence btgn top sealer anyway to protect it. I understand this is a color from last spring and it is not on the website any more but should you somehow stumble upon it and like the color I can recommend it, it is a pretty unique shade.