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Indigo Bananas The Butterfly Lovers Collection

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By A Lacquered Affair · April 6, 2014 · 0 Comments ·

| buht-er-flahy luhv-ers |
"The Butterfly Lovers is a Chinese legend of a tragic love story of a pair of lovers, Liang Shanbo and Zhu Yingtai, whose names form the title of the story. The title is often abbreviated to Liang Zhu (梁祝) and often regarded as the Chinese equivalent of Romeo and Juliet." - Wikipedia

Greetings lovelies!

Today's post casts a spotlight on a new Indigo Bananas collection in collaboration with Mei Mei's Signatures, a Singapore-based online stockists for over 60 nail polish brands. This indie label was launched in February 2013 by Andrea, a trained biologist, after months of mixing and testing. The idea behind the label's name came from the fact that ripe bananas glow indigo under UV light. It is also a play of words "indie go bananas", reflecting the craze for indie nail polishes in recent years.

This collection is exclusive to Mei Mei's Signatures.

Indigo Bananas The Butterfly Lovers Collectionfrom left: Liang Shanbo Is In Doubt, Love Like Butterflies and Zhu Yingtai Is A Lady

When I received them for review, I was curious about this age-old story of star-crossed lovers that inspired this collection. So here's the gist of it, if you're curious too:
♥ Set in the Eastern Jin Dynasty, beautiful and intelligent girl (Zhu Yingtai) from a wealthy family desires to get an education, defying traditions.
♥ Girl disguises as a man
♥ Girl meets guy (Liang Shanbo) along the way, develops strong bond, and girl falls in love over the years.
♥ Girl tries to hint to guy before being separated, guy is clueless.
♥ Guy finds girl again and realises her true identity. They fall in love.
♥ Girl's parents betroth her to another. Guy is heartbroken, becomes ill and dies.
♥ On girl's wedding day, forces of nature disrupt the procession. Girl detours to guy's grave, begs to be with her true love. Grave opens up, girl joins guy and their spirits turn into a pair of beautiful butterflies.

The Butterfly Lovers sculpture, Ningbo, ChinaPhoto from cultural-china.com

Now that I've familiarised myself with the story, the names of the polishes became clearer.

First Impressions
The oblong-shaped bottles contain 15ml of 3-free product, with a clear wrap-around sticker that displays the logo, website link and ingredients list, and a round sticker at the base displaying the polishes' names.

Liang Shanbo Is In Doubt!
Indigo Bananas Liang Shanbo Is In Doubt!"A warm pale brown linear holo with green shimmer." - Mei Mei Signatures

The shade of brown possesses a subtle masculinity that suits the character inspiration. I'm no colour expert, but it feels like it would flatter most skin tones, while displaying a luxe holo when basked in the light. I wasn't observant about the pale green shimmer, until I read the description. The holo effect was a distraction (in a good way)! But if one tilts the bottle around, the shimmer bits are noticeable.

Here's Liang Shanbo Is In Doubt! in 2 coats, topped with Cult Nails Wicked Fast topcoat:
Indigo Bananas Liang Shanbo Is In Doubt!It took 2 coats to opacity. The formula was a breeze to apply on the first coat. However, it gets a little thick on the second coat, which I believe could be due to the addition of shimmer to the formula. The shimmer is also not as visible on the nails as it is in the bottle. Again, the holo effect was just distracting!

Close-up:
Indigo Bananas Liang Shanbo Is In Doubt! macroThe holo-ness overshadows the green shimmer a fair bit on the nails.

I wonder if the name refers to Liang Shanbo's doubt about Zhu Yingtai's identity or what to do after finding out she is engaged.

Zhu Yingtai Is A Lady
Indigo Bananas Zhu Yingtai Is A Lady"Delicate lavender/periwinkle linear holo with gold flakies and subtle pink shimmer." - Mei Mei's Signatures

This is, without a doubt, a feminine shade that gels with its name and character. It is such a royal-looking beauty. This shade of purple paired with gold flakes is one of my favourites. Top it off with linear holo? Why, yes please!

Here's 2 coats of Zhu Yingtai Is A Lady, finished with topcoat:
Indigo Bananas Zhu Yingtai Is A LadyThe consistency of the formula is similar to Liang Shanbo Is In Doubt! Maybe a tad thicker on the second coat, again possibly due to the flakes. Because of the size and the colour contract, the flakes are more visible on the nail than the former, though still competing with the linear holo effect.

Close-up:
Indigo Bananas Zhu Yingtai Is A LadyThere was a lot going on in this polish, but they gel beautifully.

Love Like Butterflies
Indigo Bananas Love Like Butterflies"A clear base with butterflies, heart, dots, hexes and iridescent glitters." - Mei Mei's Signatures

This one has such a pretty, airy-fairy feel to it, perfect for spring. There are loads in this glitter mix:
♥ Baby pink butterfly glitter
♥ Baby blue butterfly glitter
♥ Small baby pink circle glitter
♥ Small baby blue circle glitter
♥ Small pale yellow hex glitter
♥ Tiny iridescent hex glitter
♥ Baby pink heart glitter
♥ Baby blue heart glitter
♥ Pink flower glitter
♥ Yellow flower glitter
♥ Holographic shimmer

Here's 1 coat without base or topcoat:
Indigo Bananas Love Like ButterfliesThe fish-and-dab method was used to apply this polish because of the dense glitter content. The smaller glitters came up with the brush with ease and abundance, but the larger shaped glitters had to be fished out of the bottle, sometimes with an orange woodstick. But they were totally worth it!

Here's a closer look:
Indigo Bananas Love Like Butterflies macroGlitter toppers offer lots of room for layering ideas. I've paired it over OPI Ink and My Boyfriend Scales Walls to give an idea how it pairs with a dark and a light shade.

Shown here in 1 coat over 2 coats of the respective base polishes, topped with Wicked Fast:
Indigo Bananas Love Like Butterflies over OPI Ink and My Boyfriend Scales WallsClose-ups:

Indigo Bananas Love Like Butterflies over OPI Ink1 coat Indigo Bananas Love Like Butterflies over 2 coats OPI Ink

Indigo Bananas Love Like Butterflies over My Boyfriend Scales Walls1 coat Indigo Bananas Love Like Butterflies over 2 coats OPI My Boyfriend Scales Walls

Love Like Butterflies looks soft and fresh over white, yet vibrant over a dark base. My favourite is the pairing with white.

Love Like Butterflies coupled with Zhu Yingtai Is A Lady:
Indigo Bananas Love Like Butterflies over Zhu Yingtai Is A Lady

To incorporate all three shades in this collection and recreate the story on the nails, I did a gradient topped with the glitter beauty:

Indigo Bananas Liang Shanbo Is In Doubt! with Zhu Yingtai Is A Lady gradientGradient with Liang Shanbo Is In Doubt! and Zhu Yingtai Is A Lady, with topcoat

Instead of the usual sponge method, I used a Q-tip to dab Zhu Yingtai Is A Lady over 2 coats of  Liang Shanbo Is In Doubt! I felt that it gave more control with less mess and polish wastage.

Topped with 1 coat Love Like Butterflies with topcoat:
Indigo Bananas Love Like Butterflies over Zhu Yingtai Is A Lady and Liang Shanbo Is In Doubt!I love the demure look of this combination. I'd like to think of it as a happy ending to a fairytale.

The larger glitter pieces were a challenge because they don't lay flat on curved nails. They had to be placed as close to the center of the nail bed as possible, but with an array of glitter pieces to place on the nails, it was tough!

Close-up:
Indigo Bananas Love Like Butterflies over Zhu Yingtai Is A Lady and Liang Shanbo Is In Doubt! macroBecause I was so inspired by the collection, here's another variation:

Indigo Bananas Liang Shanbo Is In Doubt! with Zhu Yingtai Is A Lady gradientInverted gradients on middle and ring fingers.
Indigo Bananas The Butterfly Lovers Collection nail artFrom left: 2 coats Liang Shanbo Is In Doubt!, gradient with freehanded silhouettes and Love Like Butterflies glitter placement, butterfly wing design with Love Like Butterflies glitter placement, 2 coats Zhu Yingtai Is A Lady, all with topcoat.

Final Thoughts
My 2 favourites from this collection are Zhu Ying Tai Is A Lady and Love Live Butterflies. The collection as a whole offers a sweet start to spring (even though we don't experience it here in Singapore), with a classic story that transcends time and language.

This collection is available exclusively on Mei Mei's Signatures online store as trio set or individually.
You can also follow her on the follow social media platforms for updates:
Facebook: www,facebook.com/meimeisignatures
Twitter; @meimeisi
Instagram: @meimeisignatures

To check out other polishes by Indigo Bananas, visit her Etsy store, or follow via her social media platforms below:
Blog: www.indigobananas.com
Facebook: www.facebook.com/indigobananas
Twitter: @indigo_bananas
Instagram: @indigobananas
Pinterest: www.pinterest.com/indigobananas

Till the next post, stay polished!

♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

To Leave a Comment: I've noted that OnSugar's Comment feature has caused a few readers frustration by not accepting their input. While OnSugar works on rectifying it, I did a trial and error and found that comments don't get red-taped if you enter your information in the "Name" field without any space, ie. "ALacqueredAffair" instead of "A Lacquered Affair". I hope this works. As much as I want to, OnSugar doesn't allow the disabling of Captcha.

Disclaimer: The polishes were sent for review. However, all opinions expressed are my own, and will always be.

St. Patrick's Day 2014

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By A Lacquered Affair · March 17, 2014 · 0 Comments ·

aka St. Paddy's Day
"Saint Patrick's Day or the Feast of Saint Patrick is a cultural and religious holiday celebrated on 17 March. It is named after Saint Patrick (c. AD 385–461), the most commonly recognised of the patron saints of Ireland." - Wikipedia

Hello lovelies!

This is the third consecutive  year I've done a St. Patrick's Day manicure. What can I say? I love the luscious green, love it paired with gold and love the tradition and folklores.

This year, I've gone a little simpler. My previous manis in 2012 are here, and 2013 here.

The polishes involved in this year's mani are:
Polishes for St. Patrick's Day 2014 Mani(from left)
♥ Essence Sure Azure
♥ Essence Bashful (Snow White collection)
♥ Girly Bits Magically Delicious
♥ a-england Dragon (top)
♥ a-england Holy Gail (revamped, bottom)
♥ Essence 04 One Kiwi A Day (Fruity collection)
Base for St. Patrick's Day ManiThe base layers:
♥ Index and pinky: 3 coats Girly Bits Magically Delicious
♥ Middle: 3 coats sponged gradient with Essence 04 One Kiwi A Day and Sure Azure
♥ Ring: 2 coats Essence Bashful

Girly Bits Magically delicious has a light green jelly base, and if not for the concentration of glitter, the nail line would have been more visible. I'm not too concerned about it, and love this polish on its own. The large square gold glitter did require some skillful fishing to get it out of the bottle. It had to be positioned on the flatest part of the nail, or the edges stick out, like it did on my index fingernail.

Essence Bashful applied seamlessly in 2 coats. Love the gold shimmer peeking through the forest green.

Over the middle and ring fingers, I stamped images from Bundle Monster BM-H05, from the holiday 2013 collection - clover leaves with a-england Dragon and a Celtic knot in a-england Holy Grail.

The finished look, topped with 1 coat of Cult Nails Wick Fast topcoat (I've re-discovered my love for this topcoat):
St. Patrick's Day Inspired Mani 2014The clover leaves did not transfer onto the stamper and nail fully. I'm still in need of a lot of practice (or magical skills from the stamping divinities that be).

So, how is everyone celebrating St. Patrick's Day, and what's on your nails?

Till the next post, sláinte!

♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

To Leave a Comment: I've noted that OnSugar's Comment feature has caused a few readers frustration by not accepting their input. While OnSugar works on rectifying it, I did a trial and error and found that comments don't get red-taped if you enter your information in the "Name" field without any space, ie. "ALacqueredAffair" instead of "A Lacquered Affair". I hope this works. As much as I want to, OnSugar doesn't allow the disabling of Captcha.

Disclaimer: I am not sponsored/ endorsed by any of the above-mentioned companies. All opinions expressed are my own, and will always be. All products were purchased by me.

The Nail Junkie Orange

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By A Lacquered Affair · March 5, 2014 · 0 Comments ·

| är-inj |
" - a citrus fruit that is round and that has an orange skin
- a color between red and yellow that is like the color of fire and carrots" - Merriam-Webster

Hi, lovelies!

How is it already March?

I'm pretty stoked to share this indie nail polish Mei Mei's Signatures has provided for review. Ironically, I would usually shy away from oranges (the colour) and neons. It's jarring against my skin tone, I find. My opinion was changed in a snap the moment I put this one on.

The brand - The Nail Junkie. As the name suggests, Aleta, the maker, is a nail polish enthusiast herself, initially blogging about nail polishes. She sells her artisan hand-blended, 3-free nail polishes through Etsy and international e-tailers like Mei Mei's Signatures.

First Impressions
With a plethora of indie nail polish brands on the market now, I look for unique traits that etch a distinct impression on my mind. This could be their packaging, names, finishes, style, inspirations etc. For The Nail Junkie, it's the literal names, or the portrayal of, on the labels.
The Nail Junkie OrangeI looked all over the bottle for the name before realising she uses a pictogram.

Orange is described by The Nail Junkie as "a citrus colored neon jelly polish. It's loaded with holographic shimmer and can be worn as a build-able squishy jelly or you can layer it over glitters for a colorful "jelly sandwich"".

Here's one coat of Orange over Nail Tek Foundation III as basecoat:
The Nail Junkie Orange, 1 coatIt is quite pigmented for a jelly, but the best part is the squishy (or should I say juicy?) formula that glides on effortlessly and evenly.
I couldn't quite determine if the orange was neon, but it was sure bright; as bright and intense as a Sunquick Orange Squash! The shimmer, though looked silvery than holographic, added a thirst-quenching feel to the polish, like fizz in an ice-cold orange squash gleaming under the rays of a tropical sun.

Being a jelly, it took 3 coats to get somewhere close to opacity, more if one is really OCD about those visible nail lines.
The Nail Junkie OrangeIt dries to a waxy finish without topcoat.

And with a topcoat (I used Glisten and Glow HK Girl Top Coat):
The Nail Junkie OrangeThe juiciness got close to real, and I was tempted to slurp up my nails!

A closer shot:
The Nail Junkie OrangeI'm so pleased that the shimmer is as noticeable on the nails as it is in the bottle.

To jazz up this mani, I took The Nail Junkie's suggestion to do a jelly sandwich. Here's a dab of Estessimo TiNS 033 The Spicy Pinwheel and China Glaze Solar Flare over 3 coats of Orange:
The Nail Junkie Orange with Estessimo TiNS 033 The Spicy Pinwheel and China Glaze Solar FlareAnd after sandwiching them over 1 coat of Orange...
The Nail Junkie Orange with Gold Glitter Jelly SandwichI was going for the pulpy look, could you tell? To think of it, I should have worn this during Chinese New Year - Mandarin oranges, gold fortune coins.

Final Thoughts
Never write off a polish just because the shade is not up your alley. It may not have been my cup of tea initially, but I'm in love with the formula and finish.

The Nail Junkie retails on Etsy, and with pretty good flat shipping rates. Mei Mei's Signatures also retails The Nail Junkie and ships internationally. The polishes come in a 15ml bottle size. Follow them for more good stuff:

Mei Mei's Signatures online store: www.meimeisignatures.com
Facebook: www,facebook.com/meimeisignatures
Twitter; @meimeisi
Instagram: @meimeisignatures

The Nail Junkie: www.etsy.com/shop/thenailjunkie
Facebook: www.facebook.com/TheNailJunkie
Blog: http://the-nail-junkie.blogspot.com/
Twitter: @AletaColucci

On a separate note, don't mind the odd photo placements. I'm trying to save time and data space by loading Instagram-ready images on the blog. Still undetermined if I like it enough to continue with future posts.

Till the next post, stay juiced and polished!

♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

To Leave a Comment: I've noted that OnSugar's Comment feature has caused a few readers frustration by not accepting their input. While OnSugar works on rectifying it, I did a trial and error and found that comments don't get red-taped if you enter your information in the "Name" field without any space, ie. "ALacqueredAffair" instead of "A Lacquered Affair". I hope this works. As much as I want to, OnSugar doesn't allow the disabling of Captcha.

Disclaimer: The Nail Junkie Orange was sent for review. However, all opinions expressed are my own, and will always be.

Filed in: nail art, Swatches, reviews
Tagged with: The Nail Junkie, orange

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