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Saturday, March 31, 2012

Floam by Nail-Venturous

Today I have a polish that I'm very excited to share with you: Nail-Venturous "Floam"! This lacquer has become quite sought after as of late, and I feel lucky to have gotten my hands on it. I suspect I just had good timing because I happened to be up late the night Ninja Polish went online, and managed to snag it (along with a few precious others you'll be seeing shortly). Floam is a peculiar mixture of teeny tiny neon blue and green particles. I'm hesitant to call it glitter, because I've never seen anything like it, but that's probably the closest descriptor I can think of. They're strangely matte, and very round. I don't think I'm going to accomplish anything more by trying to describe it, so onto the pictures!

It's just so cool looking! I've never seen anything like it- I highly recommend checking it out in person. The formula was a little challenging to work with, pretty thick, but covered completely in three coats. Oh, and for the record, this wore like iron; it didn't chip off in big pieces like a lot of super dense glitters do. What do you think of Floam? If you had the opportunity, would you order it?

Friday, March 30, 2012

China Glaze Hunger Games Comparison - Harvest Moon

As soon as I saw the first pictures of the China Glaze Hunger Games collection I knew I had to have Harvest Moon. I have a weakness for all coppery metallics, and despite having several lacquers that fall into that category, Harvest Moon found its way home with me. This is a comparison featuring a few of the closest colours I have to China Glaze Harvest Moon. These are the likely suspects:

Left to Right: China Glaze Cracked Medallion, China Glaze Harvest Moon, MAC Originality, China Glaze Foxy, OPI DS Glow, OPI Pros and Bronze. 

Obviously, Cracked Medallion can't really be too similar to Harvest Moon because it is a crackle polish, but in the bottle they are similar, so I added it in. China Glaze Foxy is also far more red on the nail, but in the bottle a lot of the bronzy shimmer was visible, so that came along as well. Here they are on the nail:

Left to Right (index finger through pinky): MAC Originality, China Glaze Harvest Moon, OPI DS Glow, OPI Pros and Bronze. The thumb is China Glaze Foxy. 

I thought MAC Originality would be closer to Harvest Moon, by the latter is darker and warmer, with a slightly orange caste to it. The other shades are all leaning towards a lighter bronze. OPI Glow has a mixture of larger particles in different shades of gold and bronze. It's probably the sparkliest of these. OPI Pros and Bronze is unique in this bunch for being quite pink, along with the light gold/bronze particles it contains. It is also the sheerest polish in this bunch.

And here is my Cracked Medallion fail; I applied it over still-wet polish which caused it to not really crackle much at all. It's a sparkly medium bronze, anyways.

Out of these shades, I'm a big fan of both MAC Originality (one of MAC's home-runs when it comes to lacquers- they are notorious for being hit and miss in the polish department), and OPI DS Glow. Glow is lovely, but also takes several coats to build up to it's best potential. China Glaze Harvest Moon is significantly different from both of those polishes, and certainly unique enough to warrant picking up. It also has an outstanding formula; it's easy to apply and opaque in two coats. It's also gorgeous: pigmented and eye-catching, an incredibly sparkly deep copper metallic. Beautiful!

Copper Domo approves of this copper comparison. Do you?

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Nerd Lacquer - Warrior Ethos

This lacquer is awesome. Pure, undiluted awesome. Pictures first, then we'll talk:

This is a vibrant red jelly polish, with tonnes of glittery complexity going on: small copper and black glitter flecks, larger copper hex glitter, bigger round black glitter, and a mysterious reflective purple glitter than comes out to play at certain angles (visible in the last photo, most notably on the index finger). This covers perfectly in two coats, which is a bit unexpected for a jelly; it's even and opaque, yet still a bit squishy looking. The formula was great, and application easy.

It's official, I'm in love with Nerd Lacquer.

What do you think of Warrior Ethos? Are you in love with Nerd Lacquer, too?

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Nerd Lacquer - Holy Grail

I was so excited to receive my first Nerd Lacquer order the other day; for the uninitiated, Nerd Lacquer is another one of the indie nail polish brands that has become very popular as of late. The first Nerd Lacquer polish I have to show you is called Holy Grail. I'm going to use Nerd Lacquer's own description of this polish, because I think it's rather good, and quite accurate:

Holy Grail is a super-fine-grained satiny linear holo in a dusty blue-green base with silver microglitter, medium blue-green iridescent glitter, and a liberal sprinkling of big square and hexagonal silver holo glitter. Oh, also? Glows in the damn dark.

Glow-in-the-dark linear holo glitter polish. That's about all that needs to be said.

What's extra fun about this one is that indoors or in shade, the linear holo is invisible but the blue/green iridescent glitter is AMAZING. In full sun, the blue/green glitter disappears, and it's WHOA, HOLO CITY. And then of course in the dark, oooooooo! Magic!

Yep! As noted, this lacquer is glittery, holographic, and it glows in the dark. The base, as mentioned above, is a dusty blue-green, and it is a rather subtle linear holographic. Admittedly I did not have the opportunity to try it on a blazingly sunny day, but in the somewhat overcast sunlight I had, it was quite subtle. Something I certainly don't mind in a polish that as a lot of other things going on! And as for the glow-in-the-dark aspect of this polish, you'll have to take my word that is it VERY, VERY, glow in the dark. I'd forgotten about that and freaked myself out last night when I was going to bed ("OMG, why are my fingers glowing?!"). For the below pictures I used three coats of Holy Grail, and I really regret not shaking it thoroughly between coats, as you'll see most of the lovely glitter I got out on my first coat got buried by the subsequent coats of polish after the glitter settled in the bottle a bit. 

See all that glorious glitter in the bottle which didn't quite end up on my nails? Definitely shake this beauty between coats.

I also received this cute fuzzy-sparkly-ball ring in my order; it fits nicely over the cap of the polish, but on a brave day, I might wear it out. ;)

And for good measure, here's Nerd Lacquer's business card: 

I'm pretty thrilled with my first order from Nerd Lacquer! Everything came thoughtfully packaged, and I can't wait to try the other colours I purchased (you'll see Warrior Ethos tomorrow). I bought my Nerd Lacquer polishes through her Etsy shop, but you can also find her polishes at Ninja Polish and the Canadian based seller Harlow and Co. They sell out quickly, though, so you might have to be vigilant!

What do you think of Holy Grail? Have you tried any Nerd Lacquer polishes?

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Jelly Sandwich with Claire's Candy Shop and Essie Marshmallow

Today I decided to finally attempt the "jelly sandwich" manicure, which I've been admiring on other blogs (check out A Plethora of Nails for an awesome jelly sandwich manicure). I thought Claire's Candy Shop might make a nice base, with its abundance of multicoloured glitter in a pink jelly base. To top it off, I layered Essie Marshmallow, a milky sheer white, overtop. This is the result!

What do you think of my first "jelly sandwich" manicure? I'm rather fond of it; I like how Essie Marshmallow somehow makes the glitter pop more, despite obscuring it at the same time. It's kind of like how a matte topcoat added to a glitter lacquer will make the glitter particles stand out more distinctly.

Just a reminder- if you haven't heard about my Claire's Candy Shop giveaway, please see my previous post for details on how to enter.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Claire's Candy Shop - Photos and Giveaway!

I was thrilled to track down Claire's Candy Shop last week. I've been lusting after Deborah Lippmann's Candy Shop lacquer for months, but didn't want to shell out the approximately $20 to buy it. I was extremely excited to discover that Claire's recently came out with a near-dupe of the Lippmann polish, with the same name, no less (not very subtle, but I won't complain). The Claire's polish is about $7, and they have an ongoing "Buy One Get One Half Off" sale, making it a much better deal than the Lippmann version.

Candy Shop (both versions) consists of an explosion of multi-coloured glitter in various sizes in a sheer, but buildable, pink base. The differences are fairly minor from comparisons I've seen online, but the Lippmann appears to have a slightly lighter and milkier pink base. For an excellent comparison, I suggest you check out Colour Is Magic's blog post, which features a fantastic analysis of both lacquers.

This is four coats of Claire's Candy Shop; most people could probably get away with three, but I have badly stained nails, so I decided to do an extra one. Next time I'll likely layer this over a pastel pink.

What do you think of Candy Shop? I'm pretty over the moon about it- it's exactly what I've been imagining. In my opinion it's a perfect candy pink packed with even more multicoloured glittery eye candy. Very sweet indeed.

I also have something exciting to announce- when I mentioned my plans to hold a giveaway last week, I was referring to Candy Shop. I was so thrilled to have tracked it down, I picked up an extra bottle for my readers!

This particular giveaway will only be for current GFC followers, at the time of my posting this; in the future I'll be doing more giveaways, so I still encourage you to follow me if you enjoy reading my blog and haven't yet become an "official" follower. If you're a current follower via GFC, and would like to enter this giveaway, please e-mail me at thelacquertracker@gmail.com and tell me you would like to enter, and be sure to include your GFC name. This giveaway will be open to international followers, and just to clarify, this giveaway is for one bottle of un-opened Claire's Candy Shop lacquer (I used my own bottle for the above nail pictures, of course). You may enter up until next Monday (April 2) at 11:59 pm.

Thank you, and good luck!

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Layla Magneffect Glamour Lilac / China Glaze Cling On

I'm a huge fan of the magnetic polish trend (they're far more appealing than the crackle polishes, in my opinion), and I'm a huge fan of the Layla magnetic lacquers in particular. Today I have Layla Magneffect in Glamour Lilac to share with you. Layla is an Italian brand, and they first introduced about 12 different magnetic lacquers (mostly in shades of purple, blue and gold/silver) last year. Recently I spotted another 12 or so colours that have been added to their line of Magneffect lacquers, and this time there is a greater variation in colour. I picked up two (a sparkly lilac which you'll see today, and a vibrant red to show later on), and I also saw a deep green, an orange, and several others shades.

The magnet on the Layla Magneffect polishes is on the top of the cap; while I wish it had the little ridge that Nails Inc and China Glaze have to assist with magnet placement, I still find this to work fairly smoothly (although steady hands will definitely help). I also appreciate that the Layla magnet is quite strong; I don't find I have to hold the magnet to the wet polish for more than 5-10 seconds to be sure that a good pattern will form. I struggled a bit with the China Glaze magnets for this reason, and you'll see my less than stellar attempts at working with those towards the end of this post.

For these pictures I applied two coats of Glamour Lilac, and on the second coat, after immediately applying the polish, I held the magnet on the cap close to the wet polish for several seconds. I waited a slightly longer time than usual to allow the pattern to dry before applying topcoat. The good thing is, if you don't like the pattern you've created, you can just paint over it and try again.

I really love the large shimmer particles in Glamour Lilac; the overall effect is very striking, and the shimmer actually shifts in colour from purple to gold (only visible at some angles/in some lights, but you can see it in the above photo).

The magnet in the Layla polishes creates a straight line pattern; even though there is a line drawn on the cap to show you which way the pattern will form, I do find it challenging to get all the nails exactly the same (you can see my index finger and pinky are straight, and my other two nails are more angled).

I love the process of using magnetic polish; it's like NAIL LACQUER combined with SCIENCE. And who didn't love playing with magnets in elementary school science class? It's like that, but for your nails. Awesome.

That said, when I tried the China Glaze "Magnetix" line, I was less than thrilled. I had an unexpectedly tough time using the magnet effectively. My patterns didn't show up evenly, and they weren't very crisp. Here are some pictures of my attempts at using China Glaze "Cling On":

This is what the magnet looks like close up- you can see the ridge on which you are supposed to rest at the base of your nail; unfortunately, I felt like it was too short, and often my nail would make contact with the magnet, smudging the design.

My nails were also too curved, or perhaps the magnet too weak, to create an even pattern over my whole nail. Here you can see where the star pattern doesn't reach to the end of my nails, particularly on the ring finger.

This is what the China Glaze  magnet looks like. The bonus is that it comes with three patterns, although I've found them to be a bit tricky to use compared to other magnets. I did manage to get a clear star pattern on my thumb nail, which was easier to achieve as my thumb nail is not as curved as my other fingernails.

If you're trying magnetic polishes for the first time, I'd recommend reading Scrangie's helpful post on how to successfully apply magnetic polish. It's very helpful and very thorough.

What do you think of magnetic polish? Are you as much as fan of this trend as I am? Do you have a favourite brand of magnetic lacquer?

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Sally Hansen Smooth and Perfect - Fog

Today I have another Sally Hansen Smooth and Perfect lacquer to share with you; awhile ago I showed you Sorbet (a light peachy-orange), and Sea (a very pale sea-foam green), and today I have Fog. Fog is a pale white, with a subtle touch of pearly shimmer. It's only visible in certain lighting, but it gives it a lovely soft look. The overall effect is very pillowy. I'm extremely impressed that this covered so well, without being at all streaky! Normally pale white polishes are a streak-fest, but this is really nice.

This is three coats of Sally Hansen Smooth and Perfect Fog:

While the formula was a bit runny and kind of tricky to apply, I was extremely happy to see that it was opaque in three coats, and covered the fairly bad staining on my nails. It also dried in good time, despite doing several thick coats, and feels very smooth to the touch. Overall, I continue to be unexpectedly impressed by the Smooth and Perfect line! They really do merit a try, if you're looking for a really well-done soft shade that isn't really streaky and super sheer. Definitely worth checking out!

What do you think of Fog? Have I talked you into trying something from the Sally Hansen Smooth and Perfect line?

Friday, March 23, 2012

China Glaze Riveting

A very fitting polish for the release day of the Hunger Games movie, I have Riveting from the China Glaze Hunger Games collection. And it is a stunner! This is a gorgeous and very bright orange with tonnes of golden shimmer. It's extremely sparkly and eye-catching, and has a fantastic formula: very opaque and easy to apply. This is two coats:

How awesome is this? So bright and juicy looking. I can't quite convey how intense and sparkly this is in person. 

Have you seen/do you plan to see the Hunger Games movie this weekend? I just saw it, and really enjoyed it. I think they did a good job of adapting the book to the big screen (not a particularly easy task, I think, as the book was written from the first person perspective). I was loving Stanley Tucci and Woody Harrelson in their roles, and all the actors and actresses did well. Oh, and just for the heck of it, I'm throwing another Donald Sutherland (he played the role of President Snow) tag into this post, just to have a reason to use that tag for a second time. ;) 

Let me know what you think of Riveting, and the Hunger Games movie if you've had a chance to see it yet!

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Essence Walk of Fame + Dollish Polish Walk Like An Egyptian

Today I wanted to show you another Dollish Polish Valley of the King lacquer: Walk Like An Egyptian. I've layered it over Essence Walk of Fame. This is Walk of Fame by itself (two coats):

This is a pretty standard mushroom-y taupe colour. There are a lot of other lacquers like this, but at $1.49 you can't really go wrong. The application was easy, and I actually really like the brush in the Essence polishes. 

After a day I decided to add Dollish Polish Walk Like An Egyptian to my manicure to freshen it up. I find  adding a top coat of some kind to a day-old manicure is a great way to extend the life of my lacquer, particularly when I don't have a lot of time to completely re-do it. 

This is two coats of Walk Like An Egyptian over Walk of Fame. Hey, these both have "Walk" in the title. I honestly just noticed that now as I was typing it out. Hah. 

Walk Like An Egyptian is chock full of different sizes of bronze glitter in what I believe is a tinted base. You can see how it changes the base colour to a slightly darker, more brown colour. It's also worth mentioning that this wore like iron. Normally polishes chip like crazy on me, but all of the Dollish Polish glitters have been pretty exceptional in terms of wear time. 

What do you think of these two lacquers? Do you think they make good partners?