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piCture pOlish Blog/ Insta Fest 2014

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By A Lacquered Affair · August 25, 2014 · 0 Comments ·

piCture pOlish Blog/ Insta Fest 2014 featuring 'Nail Vinyls'
Greetings lovelies!

I'm thrilled to finally be able to present my contribution for piCture pOlish's Blog/ Insta Fest 2014!

Like last year, I heeded the call to participate in this annual event. If you're curious, my mani for last year can be found here. This year, it includes Instagramers as well, so I'm predicting a massive buzz.

For the uninitiated, piCture pOlish is a Australian boutique nail polish brand founded and helmed by 2 Australian girls that produces fast forward colours, unique finishes and durable-wear polishes. Their polishes are 3-Free, and moving on to 5-Free, and are formulated and made in Australia.

This year's 'project' comes in 2 parts; a swatch and review of one of their newest shades launched yesterday, and a nail art project using (for the first time) Nail Vinyls, something they've newly stocked.

But first, allow me to fawn over the bag that everything came in:
Love the hot-stamped baroque print!

Part One: Swatch & Review
EYRE is a metallic blue scatter chrome holo and dries smooth on the nail (contains no glitter). Inspired by a favourite novelist. 5-Free. It is a re-make of the now-discontinued OZOTIC 914, in an 11ml/ 0.37fl.oz size.

is a metallic blue scatter chrome holo and dries smooth on the nail (contains no glitter) - See more at: http://picturepolish.com.au/eyre#sthash.fOWYFaL0.dpuf
is a metallic blue scatter chrome holo and dries smooth on the nail (contains no glitter) - See more at: http://picturepolish.com.au/eyre#sthash.fOWYFaL0.dpuf
is a metallic blue scatter chrome holo and dries smooth on the nail (contains no glitter) - See more at: http://picturepolish.com.au/eyre#sthash.fOWYFaL0.dpuf

piCture pOlish EyreThe blue has soft hints of purple.
Here's 2 coats of Eyre without topcoat:
piCture pOlish EyreAnd with 1 coat of Glisten & Glow HK Girl topcoat:
piCture pOlish Eyre
piCture pOlish Eyre
And in a rare ocassion, a shot in the sun:
piCture pOlish Eyre (sunlight)
A Close-up shot:
piCture pOlish EyreThe formula was good, even though it required 2 coats to get an even finish. The generous amount of holographic particles and flecks give a noticeable scattered holo effect, even without being under sunlight. The description given did say "chrome", so no duochrome effect here but a blackened blurple at the sides of the nails under shadowed lighting.

So how does it compare with the original OZOTIC 914?
Here's a bottle shot comparison:
piCture pOlish Eyre vs OZOTIC 914...and swatch comparison, 2 coats of each shade each, with topcoat:
piCture pOlish Eyre vs OZOTIC 914They are really very, very close, so unless one nitpicks, the differences aren't noticeable.

In the bottles, Eyre seem to have slightly more holo particles than OZOTIC 914. On the nails, OZOTIC seem to be richer in colour, with more blackened blue sides. Formula-wise, they both applied really well, but OZOTIC's consistency was thinner. It was not sheer, streaky or difficult to work with, just thinner.

Now on to the next part...

Part Two: piCture pOlish + Nail Vinyl Nail Art
Nail Vinyls is a one-woman home-based operation from North Carolina, USA. All vinyl stickers are homemade and packed by hand. piCture pOlish is now a proud stockist of Nail Vinyls, a perfect complement to their nail polishes.

Here's what I received in my pack to work with for this project:
Nail Vinyls X piCture pOlish
The Nail Vinyls: Right Angles
Nail Vinyls - Right Angles
Nail Vinyls - Right AnglesThe nail vinyls I received are Right Angles in a 224 count pack. They comes in 4 thickness, which is great to experiment various design ideas.
The basic FAQs are addressed on Nail Vinyls' online store, along with some useful tips on getting successful results with your manicure.

The Polishes
piCture pOlish Swagger and Mad MagentaSwagger: A beautiful blue shade, Swagger is a 5-Free milky creme and dries smooth on the nail. It is part of the Bright/ Urban shades.
Mad Magenta: A totally mad and crazy magenta, it is a 5-Free classic creme and dries smooth on the nail. It is part of the Bright shades.
Both in 11ml/ 0.37 fl.oz bottles

The Creation
Using all 4 sizes of vinyls, here's my mani:
piCture pOlish + Nail Vinyls Nail ArtI was playing around with multiple vinyls, and one of the trial arrangements reminded me of spider's legs. And the idea morphed into this mani, which has the feel of an 80's arcade game baddie. So, I'm calling this one a gamer mani!

Briefly, here's how I created it:
Nail Vinyls - Right AnglesFor easier reference, the sizes are labeled as above.

Tools required:

♥ Sharp tip tweezers
♥ Tiny pair of scissors

1 Cut off the length of one side of each size x 4pcs of vinyl close to the angled corner. Do the same to another 4, but in mirror image.

2 Paint nails with base colour. In this case, it was 1 coat of piCture pOlish Mad Magenta (hooray for one-coater!). Wait till completely dry, or use a fast drying topcoat to speed up the process. I used HK Girl topcoat, and waited for 20 - 25mins (just in case).

3 Place the vinyls as below:

4 Paint the inside of the small triangle (only) on the middle and ring fingers. Using a tweezer, remove size 3 vinyl immediately after painting each nail. Do not remove the top vinyl (size 4).

5 Paint the top half of the vinyl and remove immediately.

6 Paint the entire nail of the index finger and remove the vinyls one at a time, carefully and immediately, without waiting for the polish to dry.

7 Apply top coat and voilà!
piCture pOlish + Nail Vinyls Nail ArtThe nail vinyls were pretty fuss-free, unlike some stripping and sticky tapes I've used. The adhesive was not too sticky to the touch, yet stayed secure on the base polish, even after removing a couple of times to get the position right. They cannot be reused after they've been polished over, though, but it's quite alright. There are lots of pieces on the sheets for 6 - 9 manis, depending on the design of your mani.

Nail Vinyls ship internationally and can be found on the following platforms for more information:
♥ Store - http://www.nailvinyls.com
♥ Facebook - http://www.facebook.com/nailvinyls
♥ Instagram - http://www.instagram.com/teismom

piCture pOlish will be retailing a special exclusive 4-pack 'Nail Vinyls' containing all the vinyls (Chverons, Mini Chevrons, Straight and Right Angles) used by all the participants of Blog/ Insta Fest this year.

To purchase, get more information or updates from piCture pOlish, please follow these links:
♥ Store - http://www.picturepolish.com.au
♥ Every Day Deal - http://www.picturepolish.com.au/everyday-deal
♥ International Stockists - http://www.picturepolish.com.au/network
♥ Facebook - http://www.facebook.com/picturepolish
♥ Instagram - http://www.instagram.com/picturepolish

Have a great start to the week, folks!

♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

<em>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.

</em>Disclaimer: The products (except OZOTIC 914) were sent for the purpose of this blog post. However, all opinions expressed are my own, and will always be.

An InLinkz Link-up
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Born Pretty Store Nail Accessories (Part I)

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By A Lacquered Affair · June 30, 2014 · 0 Comments ·

Born Pretty Store Review Part IWarm summer greetings, lovelies!

Well, technically, Singapore doesn't have the four seasons, but the it sure feels like it with scorching temperatures and sun. Weather aside, today's post is part 1 of 2 reviews of Born Pretty Store nail art accessories that were sent for review. The introduction photo above gives an overview of the goodies I picked out from their online store. I've been a satisfied customer before, so I was excited to be approached.

A little about Born Pretty Store...
Based in Hong Kong since 2010, the online retailer has grown from stocking nail art accessories to in-house polishes, accessories, cosmetics, beauty tools and even cell phone accessories. They also have a ship-out facility in Singapore (shipping would be speedy, yay!) and worldwide shipping is free! More about them here.
Born Pretty Store Card
Strange thing though; the package took about a month to arrive even though it supposed shipped from Singapore (my home country). When I received the packaged, there were stickers suggesting it had gone through Malaysia customs *raises an eyebrow*. But everything was intact. Previously, it took about 7 - 10 days for my order to arrive. Everything came with a retail packaging.

On to the items for this review...
3mm Mini Round Patterned Metallic Studs
Born Pretty Store Mini Round Patterned Metallic Studs
These are round studs with argyle-esque holographic pattern on top. The holo effect drew me. There are 3 design options in this listing in their store. The other holo pattern had a strobe-like effect. A pack of around 100pcs now retails for USD1.99 (including free worldwide shipping).

A close-up of the studs:
Born Pretty Store Mini Round Patterned Metallic StudsUpclose, the edges do not have a clean cut, but it's barely visible from a normal distance. The underside is slightly concave, hence it needs a generous amount of adhesive to hold it down effectively.

On the nails:
Born Pretty Store Holo Studs over Estessimo TiNS 025 The SaturnThe studs were stuck down on 1 thick coat of Cult Nails Wicked Fast top coat, and 2 coats of Estessimo TiNS 025 The Saturn. I did not topcoat the studs as I dread the wrinkly look around the studs when the topcoat dries. I would recommend using nail art glue (I don't have one *gasp*) to stick these studs on the nails as the concavity doesn't give much surface contact with the nails.

I went with a black base to give a stark contrast to the studs, and with holographic glitter to complement the holoness of the studs. Plus, I was also hoping to create a celestial look.

The last item in this part of the review is...
Gold Blooming Flowers 3D Nail Art Sticker
Born Pretty Store Gold 3D Blooming Flowers Nail Art StickersThese floral nail aeal or stickers (not water decals) come in a single sheet per pack, and retails for USD2.22. You get around 25 small pieces of sticker per sheet (for this design at least). There are 3 design options you can choose from this listing.

On the nails:
Born Pretty Store Gold 3D Blooming Flowers Nail Art StickersThe gold outlines and opaque white petals are lined over a thin clear film and are self-adhesive. The material is reasonably soft that you could press them onto the curves of your nails. I used tweezers to peel the stickers off the back and position them on the nails. Here, the stickers are layered over a holo gradient of Pretty Jelly Psithurisma (yellow-green) and Lilypad Lacquer Oh So Fly (cornflower blue, a BeautySoFly store exclusive), and finished Wicked Fast topcoat over them.

Close-up:
Born Pretty Store Gold 3D Blooming Flowers Nail Art Stickers over holo gradient

The holo metal studs added give a soft ethereal touch. And I find that they complement the cornflower blue of Oh So Fly quite nicely.

Close-up of the holo metal studs over Lilypad Lacquer Oh So Fly:
Born Pretty Store Holo Studs over Lilypad Lacquer Oh So FlyFinal Thoughts
The quality and presentation of these 2 nail art accessories are really good. Their customer service has been responsive and friendly too. We even started a small conversation about Hong Kong (my favourite city to visit annually). Price-wise, I would think it's decent considering free worldwide shipping is thrown in, especially for those not residing in Asia. The stickers are a tad pricey, but only because we're geographically closer and have access to them at similar or slightly lower price here in Singapore.

My favourite is the holo metal studs. I see them being versatile for numerous nail designs.

There are a ton of nail art accessories and tools available on Born Pretty, and to get the best out of it, blog readers could use the code below at checkout to get 10% off!
Born Pretty Store 10% off Code QFX31
That concludes the first part of the Born Pretty review. Stay tune for the next one!

♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

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 products were sent for review. However, all opinions expressed are my own, and will always be.

Filed in: nail art, reviews
Tagged with: born pretty store

Covet London Captain, Cassiopeia and NCLA Shimmer Me Pretty

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By A Lacquered Affair · May 16, 2014 · 0 Comments ·

Luxola (mini) Haul| hôl |
"a shopping spree" - Urban Dictionary

TGIF, lovelies!

I'd like to share a few indulgent goodies I had purchased from Luxola during a 48-hour flash sale leading up to May Day (Labour Day). Luxola is a Singapore-based online beauty destination that curates "cult makeup and skincare products from around the world" and delivers "to your doorstep with excellent customer service". Luxola caters to "the savvy, showcasing thousands of handpicked products from more than one hundred brands".

I used buy a some Deborah Lippmanns and butter LONDONs when they go on sale, because otherwise, they are on the steep side here in Singapore. I received heads up on this Flipit.com Singapore, which also currently has a free 15% off promo code for Luxola Singapore.

First Impressions
I've noticed COVET London polishes whenever I visit Luxola, but was hesitant to try because
1) I'm not familiar with the brand
2) I've not heard or read much about the polishes
3) they are pricey at SGD 38.00 a pop (about the price of a bottle of Chanel or Dior in Singapore)

There isn't much official information on the brand, but here's what's known so far:
"Created with a mission to remove harmful toxins from our beauty regime, Covet London nail polishes are 85% derived from natural origins to provide you with healthy nail colour and care. The exclusive vibrant, fashion forward shades are easy to apply, quick drying and high gloss. '5 free', highly pigmented, safe for children, pregnancy friendly, organic, vegan and hypoallergenic" - Luxola

The polishes are also halal (for Muslim nail enthusiasts) and have won the award for Most Lasting Nail Lacquer at the Harper's Bazaar Beauty Awards 2013.

Further information from the packaging explains that they are "formulated with fine grade botanical elements, minerals and crushed gems. Self-leveling, non-yellowing and dry to the touch in 30 seconds" and made in France. The branding, pricing and packaging stamps their high-end status.

COVET London bottles are individually packaged in a luxe box with gold imprints and printed with all the important information, sans the name of the polish.
COVET London PackagingI'm a huge sucker for packaging design, and I'm completely in love with COVET's. I thought the fold closure (bottom left) is unique and the logo/ insignia adds a regal touch.

The bottle is square and cube-like, very similar to Deborah Lippmann's, with the polish's name labeled on the bottom. The whole design concept exudes luxury.

COVET London Captain
I went with Captain as it was marked as Women's Weekly Best Beauty Buys 2014.
Alright, I confess. It's also because I'm majorly obsessed with Captain Jake Ballard, a character on the TV series Scandal. I blame The Nail Squad, entirely. The name and shade reminds me of the character and uniform. *fangirling ends here*

COVET London Captain
Captain is described as an "Opaque navy blue with aqua and silver shimmers, inspired by our Earth's mysterious seven seas".

Here's 2 coats of Captain over butter LONDON Nail Foundation Flawless Basecoat, topped with Glisten & Glow HK Girl topcoat:
COVET London Captain
Close-up:
COVET London Captain macroThe first coat was a little streaky, but a second coat evened it out and gave an opaque finish. The formula felt dry in comparison to most nail polishes I've worn. Not thick or goopy. I can't exactly describe it, and I'm wondering if the fact that it contains more natural ingredients than most polishes was a factor. It's not entirely a bad thing; it just felt different during application.

Although this shade of blackened midnight blue shimmer is not unique, it wins praise for the prominent shimmers on the nails. The finish, on its own, was not as glossy as claimed without a topcoat, but it doesn't bother me too much since applying topcoat has become a manicure routine.

COVET London - Cassiopeia
The second COVET London shade that joined my stash is Cassiopeia.
COVET London Cassiopeia| kae-see-oh-pEE-uh |
"a constellation in the northern sky, named after the vain queen Cassiopeia in Greek mythology, who boasted about her unrivalled beauty." - Wikipedia

Described as "an ethereal blend of blue and purple with delicate silver dust, topped with flakes of Australian rainbow opal - a gemstone of hope and clarity", Cassiopeia was released as part of the holiday 2013 collection, inspired by gems. It is one of the more unique member of the COVET family with its colour-shifting flakies (that's how it shows up in the bottle).

Here's 3 coats of Cassiopeia, with the same base and topcoat combo:
COVET London Cassiopeia
Close-up:
COVET London Cassiopeia macro
The formua is sheer, so 2 coats wasn't going to cut it. Although the formula and application is slightly better than Captain, the brushstrokes on this frosted finish left me a little less excited. It really boils down to personal taste, if one likes frosted finish. I happen to be a bit of a fusspot about it.

What I do love is the glimmer of fine silver dust peeking through, and the large pieces of flakies. From certain angles (ie. the close-up shot), the colour-shift on the flakies is visible.

With both COVET polishes, I did notice that the smell of chemicals is slightly less foul and overwhelming than most 3, or even 5-free, nail polishes. But that's not to say one should go round sniffing it from the bottle or freshly polished nails.

And last but not least...

NCLA Shimmer Me Pretty
NCLA Shimmer Me Pretty"This shade-morphing top coat will give every manicure a unique, holographic finish. Transform any nail look and come to expect nothing but ultimate pleasure." - NCLA
"For a fun finish to nails, apply NCLA's Holographic top coat to give a multitude of reflections." - Luxola

Although not the first NCLA polish I own, Shimmer Me Pretty is first I've tried and reviewed. What piqued my interest in the brand (back in 2013) was their on-trend inspirations and translating them into nail polish and nail wrap collections.

Here are some quick facts of the brand (as described on Luxola):
♥ The name is an abbreviation for nail couture LA (Los Angeles)
♥ Upper mid-end label
♥ All colours are '5 Free' (no toxins such as DBP, Toluene, Formaldehyde, Camphor and not tested on animals)
♥ The luxurious NCLA formula is high shine, quick dry and chip resistant
♥ The Dupont flat brush allows for an easy, perfectly smooth application
♥ The color range is a constant evolution, expansion, revolution. NCLA sets the trend!
♥ Dreamed up and concocted in sunny L.A, USA

I love the look of their chic, flat square bottles, with long, angular caps.
The bottles come in a box packaging, often printed with graphics that correspond to the respective collections.
NCLA I Like It On Top PackagingShimmer Me Pretty is part of NCLA's latest 2-piece (cheekily named) I Like It On Top collection, released in late April 2014. Above is a collage of their chic packaging for this collection.

Shimmer Me Pretty is a holographic topcoat that transforms the base polish shade into a holo beauty. But first, I wanted to experiment how it would fair on its own.

So here's 1 coat of Shimmer Me Pretty without base or topcoat:
NCLA Shimmer Me PrettyThe formula glided on like butter! No streaks or brushstrokes, which I was expecting, having experienced another holographic topcoat from an indie brand. Even without a topcoat, Shimmer Me Pretty dried with a brilliant gloss.

To compare the opacity between 1 to 4 coats:

NCLA Shimmer Me PrettyFrom left 1, 2, 3 and 4 coats of NCLA Shimmer Me Pretty, without base or topcoat

And here's all 4 coats, again, without base of topcoat:
NCLA Shimmer Me PrettyNCLA Shimmer Me PrettyThe shade builds up to a delicate, washed-out dove grey, with a soft linear holo finish. Despite building on the opacity with 4 coats, the application is near perfection. If one is not too finicky about VNL (visible nail line), 4 coats should give a satisfactory opaque finish.
NCLA Shimmer Me PrettyWhat I said earlier about a routine of sealing manicures with topcoat - out the window! This one could definitely go without it. But, then, I guess it's meant to be a topcoat itself, with an added holographic oomph.

Here's how it pairs over some base polishes:

NCLA Shimmer Me Pretty holo topcoatNCLA Shimmer Me Pretty over OPI My Boyfriend Scales Walls and Shorts Story

I'm always chasing the dream of have a strong white holo polish on my nails, hence the pairing with OPI My Boyfriend Scales Walls. The holo is visible, but not as strong as I had hoped.

Over OPI Shorts Story (bubblegum pink), they look like a fun summer combo, which I bet would play well in the sun.

NCLA Shimmer Me Pretty over COVET London CaptainNCLA Shimmer Me Pretty over COVET London Captain

Above is another layering combination - 1 coat of Shimmer Me Pretty over 3 coats of COVET London Captain in a striping tape design, sealed with topcoat.

Close-up:
NCLA Shimmer Me Pretty over COVET London CaptainThe holo effect is especially brilliant over a darker base shade.

NCLA Shimmer Me Pretty dotted with COVET London CaptainCOVET London Captain dotted over NCLA Shimmer Me Pretty

Lastly, a reverse layering combination where COVET London Captain is dotted in a size gradient over 4 coats of NCLA Shimmer Me Pretty, finished with 1 layer of topcoat.

And here's something I haven't been doing for a while - brush comparison:
NCLA, OPI, COVET London brush comparisonAs mentioned earlier, NCLA comes with Dupont flat brush, slightly fanned out at the tip. It is a little stiffer than some brands' (including OPI), which I'm very comfortable with. The length and width is comparable to OPI's ProWide brush, but wider at the tip.

COVET London's is significantly shorter and narrower than OPI's. It also fans out at the tip, and of same softness as OPI's.

Final Thoughts
On paper and packaging-wise, COVET London looks very appealing and adds a dose of luxury to a stash. With formula and application that are fairly good, it is hard to swallow the steep price tag. I do wonder if the cremes fair better.

NCLA Shimmer Me Pretty, on the other hand, was a joy. I'm impressed that it has nailed the formula and linear holo topcoat finish which, up to now, I thought only indie nail polish labels excel in (save for the rare few coomercially companies). The SGD 23.00 price tag might still be above one's budget for a special effect topcoat, so I'm thankful for the promo code featured on Flipit.com Singapore.

A snippet on Flipit.com
Flipit.com (conceived in Netherands) curates promo codes, coupons and discounts from a variety of international online stores with the aim of saving you time and money. The site contains up-to-date offers and promotions, courtesy of editors who scour the internet daily. Store categories range from fashion, beauty, gifts, electronics to home, babies and food etc.

Flipit has dedicated sites for different countries, so you can be sure that the listed online stores and codes are relevant to respective territories.

Here are some screenshots:
Flipit.com/sg - Luxola codesFlipit.com/sg - Luxola codeBelow is a list of the mentioned companies' online presence:
COVET London.com (under development)
Facebook
Instagram

ncLA.com
Facebook
Twitter
Instagram
YouTube
Pinterest

Flipit.com
Facebook
Twitter
Google+

Luxola.com
Facebook
Twitter
Instagram
YouTube

Thank you for enduring this lengthy post. 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 purchase was sponsored for review. However, all opinions expressed are my own, and will always be.

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