Friday, July 31, 2015

Smitten ~ 131 Angstrom

Smitten ~ 131 Angstrom
Dark teal jelly with holo glitter

Summer or winter, I like teal! I know it doesn’t rhyme, but it’s still poetry J Smitten’s 131 Angstrom is a beautiful teal jelly packed with glitter. Oh, did I mention that I love glitter too? Well my fine-feathered friends, I do! :D

The formula is good and the polish covers really well. It’s actually really close to being a one coater, but I wasn’t quite careful enough with the application so I needed a second coat after all. The drying time is really good. The polish dries up a bit dull, but a layer of topcoat makes all the little glitters come to life again.

The sun wasn’t cooperative, so here’s a picture taken with flash. It’s two coats and a layer of topcoat:

Here’s a low light picture. This is so my kind of polish!

I stamped on it. I wanted to try my yellow stamping polish from El Corazon (it’s number 05 btw) and my new stamping plate Illusion Collection-02 from Moyou London.

And wow, I sure made a psychedelic mani today!

Here’s the flash picture:

And here’s the low light picture:

Isn’t it funny how the yellow stamping makes the 131 Angstrom underneath it look green?!

I love everything about this: The colours, the pattern, the final mani!

Number of coats: 2
Drying time: Really good
Finish: Jelly with glitter and holo glitter
Overall impression: I love glitters like this one. It’s nice with a jelly that doesn’t need 4-5 coats to be opaque
Buy again: Yes

I bought my 131 Angstrom from Edgy Polish
You can find more info on Edgy Polish’s Facebook page, link here.

Darling Diva ~ Soubrette

Darling Diva ~ Soubrette
Blue to purple duochrome holo

I wanted to wear purple for a special event, and if I had remembered that Soubrette is actually a duochrome and therefore not “just” purple I probably would have chosen another polish. But never mind, it’s beautiful no matter what.

The formula is good and the polish covers perfectly in two easy coats. The drying time is good too.

Here is a picture taken in ordinary daylight; the sun was behind clouds.

The holo effect is great and the colour shift is really cool.

I snapped a flash photo as well, to show off the amazing rainbows.

And here’s a low light picture.

This shows both the purple and the blue side of Soubrette.

I made some silver/holo glitter dots across each nail with a no name polish from Cosmetics Art. I kind of regretted that afterwards, but wasn’t in the mood to change it. Here’s my final mani I low lights:

Like I said – I wish I had kept Soubrette on its own or had done something else with it. I’m not quite sure why, perhaps this just wasn’t what I had in mind.

Soubrette was limited edition and is unfortunately no longer available.

Number of coats: 2
Drying time: Fast
Finish: Duochromatic linear holo
Overall impression: Ooh la la, I like this polish, it’s almost a kind of magic!
Buy again: Yes

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Gabriella Salvete ~ Blueberry Milk, Blu Imperiale and Acrobat

Gabriella Salvete ~ Blueberry Milk, Blu Imperiale and Acrobat
A textured glittery gradient

First time I bought Gabriella Salvete polishes was in Slovakia. These three beauties are from a vacation in Hungary! I’m bringing home polishes from all over the world! :D

I used two polishes from the Stars collection, which is a sparkly textured collection. I used Blueberry Milk, which is pink, and Blu Imperiale, which is blue. I sponged my gradient on, and the polish dried up really quickly.

After a few times of sponging I was done. I added some glitter to make it all come together. I used Acrobat which is from the Circus collection for that purpose. It’s a bottle full of holo sparkles, I love it.

Here’s my final mani:

Check out how sparkly it is!

I love how this looks.

Here’s the bottles full of sparkles!

I wonder if I should have stamped on this.

Indie makers and their businesses

How do you see the indie makers? As friends that happen to make nail polish, or as business women (and men)?

There’s something I have been wanting to get off my chest for a while, and today is that day.

The nail polish world has been growing really fast over the past few years, and I mean really fast. The demand for more interesting and/or alternative finishes, colours and combinations got so high, that some girls decided to take things into their own hands and make their own polish.

The indie market grew (and is still growing) ridiculously fast. And why shouldn’t it? Every girl with an eye for colours and a good imagination and the cash to buy the necessary supplies can mix their own pretty polishes – and why not sell them to other enthusiasts? I’m right there with you so far.

To me though, this whole indie scene is business. Yes, I do know the first names of the makers of some indies, and yes, I do chat with a couple of them occasionally. But - when it comes to throwing money over the counter, then it changes from being online friends to also being a business relationship for me.

I expect professionalism, I expect good customer service and I expect communication from any business I deal with. Those are the buzz words for me.

I won’t mention any names or brands today, but let me give you a few examples of very recent not so good experiences:

1.   Bad communication
So, I ordered six polishes from a shop on Etsy. I got the message: ”Thanks for your purchase! Your item(s) will ship in 2-5 business days.” (It’s an automatic response, no actual persons were involved sending it).

After 6 business days I contacted the shop again (yes, I am like that!). I asked them when they expected to ship my polishes. This message was left completely unanswered, but my polishes were marked as shipped the following day. So, were they actually waiting for me to write again before sending my goods, or what? To me it is highly unprofessional to not bother answering your emails. It only takes a minute to write that the polishes are now shipped and sorry for the delay. That’s just sloppy and arrogant.

2.   Bad Customer Service
There is a brand that makes some polishes I really like. I live in Europe, and that means that postage usually is pretty expensive. It’s nobody’s fault but the postal service’s, but there are ways to get around that. 

I wrote a message to this particular shop owner and asked if I could combine the shipping on two smaller orders. The answer was NO. I asked the shop owner a couple of other questions about restocks, and ordering with another Danish friend to keep postage down, but every question was answered with a resounding NO. 

I think that some of the smaller shops really need to be flexible and work with their customers, instead of seeing them as a pain that asks stupid and annoying questions. All the NOs I got from this shop owner has made me stop buying her polishes at all, and I even consider selling off all the ones I’ve got. Yes, I am like that. There it is again - arrogant, no business sense, and no respect for customers or their money, obviously. Well, no more of my money is going her way, so it’s a resounding NO right back from me.

3.   Unprofessional behaviour
Delays are unprofessional, period. 
Yes, I know that things that we can't control occasionally happen. But when it happens again, and again, and again, then there’s something going on that should not be going on. 

When that order is paid for, the shop owner must do everything in their power to get things out ASAP. Guess what, it’s the law.
I don’t want to hear tedious excuses and long explanations. I’ve passed my money over your counter, and I want value for that money. Now please. Yes, I am like that! You’re a businesswoman/man – get a grip, run your business properly. Or I stop buying your stuff and move on, plenty more out there like you wanting my money and willing to step up for it.

I know this sound a bit harsh, but seriously, we wouldn’t accept the same behaviour from a non-indie maker. We accept it in the polish world because it’s more personal, because we know the girls, and possibly because we feel that a little bit of their current popularity rubs off on us. That is not how it should be. They want us to buy their stuff, don’t forget that. They make polish, and anyone can actually do that if they have a mind to. If you want to make it AND sell it, do it properly, don’t take your customers too much for granted. Fashion moves on extremely quickly don’t forget, and customer loyalty is a very easy thing to fuck up. Tomorrow you’re history if you’re not careful.

How do y’all feel about this? Please let me know in the comments below. Is it okay for these businesses to leave messages unanswered? Do you continue shopping in shops that are sending out your goods way too late and make excuses every time? How about the ones who make no effort to help you in your efforts to spend money with them, doing quite the opposite in fact?

Or - do you support the good indie makers out there who value your business, want you to wear their product and who are willing to go a few extra yards for their customers? Do you offer them your customer loyalty? I know I do, because I am like that!

Thank you for your attention.

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

B Squared Lacquer ~ True Love

B Squared Lacquer ~ True Love
Pink linear holo

Let me show you a mani I did that I was really pleased with. This is my first B Squared lacquer; I bought two, check out the other one here.

The formula is good and easy to work with and I used two coats for my mani. The drying time is really good. I made a water marble design on two of my nails, and I used a silver glitter from Essence called Glitterastic.

More about that in a second, let me show you the final mani in the sun first:

The glitter on the two middle fingers is purely silver even though it looks as if there are black bits in it. It’s the sun that reflects on them so they look black.

Here’s a light box picture. That shows the pattern better, and it also shows that those rainbows refuse to shine! Oh yeah baby, shine for me!!!

I love this!

Here are the polishes I used:

I didn’t marble with the silver glitter. I used that as underwear and then I marbled with True Love and the clear “nail base” from Essence. I saw somewhere that clear water marbling polish is being sold at a rather high price, so I though I would try a cheaper alternative. I paid less than US$2 for the Nail Base and it works like a dream. It spreads out perfectly on the water, so I’m definitely not going to pay US$10 or more for the same thing! No way Jose!

Number of coats: 2
Drying time: Really good
Finish: Linear holo
Overall impression: Oh baby, I love everything about this polish. It’s True Love for sure!
Buy again: Definitely!

El Corazón ~ #423/468 Gemstones: Emerald

El Corazón ~ #423/468 Gemstones: Emerald
Dark army green jelly with holo dust

Let me show you another one of my El Corazóns: Emerald.

The formula is good, but I expect that from them now. I used two coats for this mani and the drying time is good.

I added a star I bought from evilBay recently. Nail bling can be extreme cheap there and it’s fun to add a little extra once in a while.

Here’s Emerald. Two coats  and no topcoat:

These first two pictures are sunshine pictures by the way.

Here’s a picture taken in my light box. It shows the polish’s true nature.

This colour isn’t 100% me, but I love the polish nonetheless.

Number of coats: 2
Drying time: Good
Finish: Jelly with holo dust
Overall impression: Another winner from El Corazón!
Buy again: Yes

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Zoya ~ Miranda

Zoya ~ Miranda
Rose pink sparkly texture

Miranda is from the Summer 2013 PixieDust Collection. And no, I haven’t had it for that long. I think I bought it late last year, but I’m not quite sure. It’s so easy to lose track of them, isn’t it.

Anyway, the formula is good and really easy to work with. I used two coats to get rid of any visible nail line, and the drying time between the coats is good.

I had no sun, but here’s how sparkly the polish is in ordinary daylight:

Isn’t it just pretty?

I tried to holofy it. I added a layer of Spell Polish’s Holo Shield Topcoat. I tried to make the layer as thin as I possible could, but it greyed the underneath colour a lot. Check it out for yourself; here’s a daylight picture – same light as on the picture just above.

Here’s a intentionally blurred flash picture.

One last shot taken with flash.

I must admit that I’m kind of puzzled over the holo topcoat. I know it’s tricky to make a holo topcoat that doesn’t grey the colour underneath. I know that the stronger effect you want, the bigger the risk of grey. But why isn’t the holo effect stronger in this topper, when it greys the base colour so much? I don’t get it!

Zoya Miranda:
Number of coats: 2
Drying time: Fast
Finish: Shimmery texture
Overall impression: It’s a very pleasant colour and the shimmer is really nice
Buy again: Yes

Anny ~ Sexy Nails, Get your Kicks and Manhattan 67V

Anny ~ Sexy Nails, Get your Kicks and Manhattan 67V
A stripycure

I did my nails while watching something on Youtube, so I completely forgot to take step by step pictures, so today you’ll have to do without. I hope you’ll survive that.

I might as well show you the final mani right now:

The base colour is the polish I’m holding in my hand: It’s Manhattan’s #67V, a deep purplish red with shimmer that covers perfectly in two coats.
The stripes are first an ordinary white crème – in this case Savina’s Fantasy Files.
On top of that I made another stripe with a pink textured glitter: Anny’s Get Your Kicks.
I finished the whole thing off with a layer of a lovely pink/iridescent shimmer from Anny: Sexy Nails. I love that name, haha!

Here is a low light picture so you can see the iridescence in the topper. Uh, I love that!

Here are the polishes I used for my mani.

The shimmer topper somehow made the purplish red look a bit brown, which disappointed me a bit. Next time I use that lovely topper, I’m going to test it on a nail wheel first, just to be sure that I get the wanted effect.

Number of coats: 2
Drying time: Good
Finish: Shimmer (etc.)
Overall impression: Manhattan makes good and cheap polishes. The Anny topper is a gem. My boyfriend gave it to me last time we were in Germany, Yay!
Buy again: Yes to all of them

Monday, July 27, 2015

Girly Bits ~ Belly Jeans

Girly Bits ~ Belly Jeans
Holographic multichrome which shifts from deep royal purple to violet, red, gold, and green

I have read that Belly Jeans works on its own in three coats, but I honestly wasn’t in the mood to test that statement. Instead I layered it over purple – except for my ring finger where I layered it over black. I wanted to see how big a difference the underwear made.

To be honest it didn’t make any difference whether I used purple or black. I can’t tell the difference.

But check it out for yourself. Black under the ring finger and purple under the rest. There’s one coat of Belly Jeans on all the fingers, and this picture is taken in daylight on a cloudy day:

Here’s a flash picture. Can you tell a difference?

It’s a pretty polish.

Here’s a light box picture.

And here are the polishes I used.

Girly Bits: Belly Jeans, Golden Rose: #37, Herôme: Montenegro

Number of coats: 1 over underwear
Drying time: Good
Finish: Holographic multichrome
Overall impression: I had a bigger colour shift in the bottle than I had on my nails. I like it though
Buy again: No

Isadora ~ Marzipan

Isadora ~ Marzipan
Mint green crème used in a water marble mani

“Mint green?”, I hear you say out loud. “Mint green isn’t her colour at all!”
And you’re right, it isn’t my colour. I hardly ever wear pastels, but this particular polish has been catching my eye for a while. Every time I saw it in the nail polish rack in the stores I found myself looking at it. I put it back every time though, because it’s a pastel dagnabbit!

Check out for yourself:

In the end I had to give in and just buy the damn polish, and today’s the day I’m going to actually wear it. I am aware that I’m not going to like it on me on its own, so I went for a water marble. Yes, I’m still practicing that technique :D

I started with one coat of Marzipan on all the nails, and it covers well, so one more coat would have done the trick. Instead I made a gradient on my pointer and my pinkie with another Isadora: Crown Jewel, which is a lovely shimmer purple. That’s the same polish I used for the water marble on the other two nails.

Take a look at my final mani:

There’s a layer of iridescent glitter over the whole thing, it’s Jordana’s “Lunar Lights”.

Here’s a picture taken in different lightning so you can see the iridescent glitters better.

And here are the pretty polishes:

What I learned about water marbling today:

  • Do test if the polishes spread in the water before you decide which polish you’re going to use as your base colour
  • If you’re dunking more than one finger into the water at a time, make sure you dunk them at the exact same time!
  • Practice, practice, practice!