| 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
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.
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.
Now that I've familiarised myself with the story, the names of the polishes became clearer.
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!
"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:
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!
The 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
"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:
The 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.
There was a lot going on in this polish, but they gel beautifully.
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:
The 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:
Glitter 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:
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:
To incorporate all three shades in this collection and recreate the story on the nails, I did a gradient topped with the glitter beauty:
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:
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!
Because I was so inspired by the collection, here's another variation:
From 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.
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:
To check out other polishes by Indigo Bananas, visit her Etsy store, or follow via her social media platforms below:
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.