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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.

Pretty Jelly Floweret and Psithurisma

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By A Lacquered Affair · May 4, 2014 · 0 Comments ·

Greetings lovelies,

And gosh, is the heat on here in Singapore. If we're not indoors, we're perspiring. If we're not indoors with some form of cooling mechanism, we're perspiring. Welcome to hot and humid tropics during a time of the year the temperates call Spring/ Summer.

Up for review today are 2 shades from Pretty Jelly's Spring/ Summer 2014 Holographic collection - Floweret and Psithurisma. Pretty Jelly is a 3-free (sometimes 5 on some polishes) and cruelty-free indie polish label by Liz Park. Her specialty is mostly holographics, with occasional glitter polishes. The round bottles house 15ml of product, with regular-sized brushes.

The current Spring/ Summer collection is inspired by the season. The strong linear holographics are named after nature terms. Like this one below - Floweret.

Pretty Jelly Floweret| flou′ər-ĭt |
"one of the tightly clustered divisions of a head of broccoli or cauliflower" - The Free Dictionary.

Described by Pretty Jelly as a "magenta linear holo that can lean purple. This vivacious pink is just blooming with prismatic sparkle".

And indeed, it is! Here's 2 coats over butter LONDON Nail Foundation Flawless Basecoat, finished with Glisten & Glow HK Girl Topcoat:
Pretty Jelly Floweret

Pretty Jelly FloweretThe polish applied smoothly and sparkled brilliantly without the need for an aqua basecoat, nor did it dull under a topcoat. Like the brand name suggests, it has a jelly-like formula. Despite that, it was opaque in 2 coats.

Close-up:
Pretty Jelly Floweret macro
The effect and formula is quite comparable to Jade, a Brazilian brand that also produces brilliant holographic polishes which do not require a special basecoat (sans the strong smell).

Moving on to Psithurisma (the name being quite a mouthful):
Pretty Jelly Psithurisma| SITH-ur-iz-ma |
Ancient Greek for "The sound of rustling leaves." - Wiktionary

Described by the maker as "a yellow-green strong linear holographic polish. For me, some of the best summer days were spent lounging in the shade of tree. This is the color of a cool breeze sifting through your hair, the glow of leaves lit with pins of sunlight."

I am absolutely besotted with this shade!

Here's 3 coats with the same basecoat and topcoat;
Pretty Jelly PsithurismaWith the same quality of formula as Floweret, 2 coats was sufficient for an opaque finish, but a third coat gave a more intense colour and brilliance to this holographic finish. It reminds me of a meadow green field under the strong summer sun.

Pretty Jelly PsithurismaA close-up shot:
Pretty Jelly Psithurisma macroLove the formula, and love the shade even more!

Combining Floweret and Psithurisma in a mani using striping tape and metal decals, with the same base and topcoat combo:
Pretty Jelly Psithurisma with FloweretBecause I like these holos with the decals and could not decide which shot to use, here's more spam ahead...
Pretty Jelly Psithurisma with FloweretPretty Jelly Psithurisma with FloweretFinal Thoughts
Summer (and sometimes, spring, depending which part of the world one lives in) is the perfect time to flaunt those holographic polishes. What better distraction than one's nails, especially under the sun. These strong linear holos are exactly that. Although the shades may not be new or incredibly unique, the fact that the formula and holographic intensity are top-notch makes these polish worthy of a spot on one's nails and in the stash.

Pretty Jelly retails on Etsy, which only ships within USA. But international customers could get also get their hands on Pretty Jelly through Mei Mei's Signatures and Edgy Polish. The pair in this review were sent by Mei Mei's Signatures and are currently available on the e-store at SGD17.00 each.

To keep up with Pretty Jelly, head on to:
Pretty Jelly store - https://www.etsy.com/shop/PrettyJelly
Website - http://www.prettyjelly.com
Facebook - http://facebook.com/PrettyJellyNailPolish
Twitter: @PrettyJellyNail
Instagram: @PrettyJellyNail

To check out Mei Mei's Signatures store for Pretty Jelly, or other goodies available, hit the following links:
Facebook: www,facebook.com/meimeisignatures
Twitter; @meimeisi
Instagram: @meimeisignatures

Till then, as cheesy as it sounds, May the 4th be with you!

♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

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.

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.

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 Lady
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.

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 Butterflies
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:
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</p> <p>
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! macro
Because 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.

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 Orange
I 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 Orange
It 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 Flare
And 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

Shimmer Polish Astrid and Jacki

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By A Lacquered Affair · February 2, 2014 · 0 Comments ·

| shi-mər |
"to shine with a light that seems to move slightly" - Merriam-Webster

How's the weekend coming along, lovelies? To those celebrating the long Chinese New Year weekend, feast on!

Before I get started on the post proper, I'd like to express a huge apology to Cindy of Shimmer Polish for the mega overdued review of the polishes. She had kindly sent a bunch of polishes for review a few month back, but I couldn't get down to finishing a review post. I did not anticipate the un-copable onslaught of work and personal commitments towards the last quarter of 2013. But even after all this while, I'm fanning myself in excitement at the sight of the beauties. In no particular order, here are the first 2 - Astrid and Jacki.

First Impressions
Cindy has been in the indie nail polish business with Shimmer Polish since early 2012, delivering fantastical concoctions of glitter-packed polishes to nail enthusiasts all over the world from her home in Orange County, California, USA. Long before Shimmer Polish made their way to my home, I had 2 distinct impressions of the brand; the polishes are inspired by and named after significant family and friends of the maker, and it has a repertoire of amazing glitter polishes.Shimmer PolishThe polishes are contained in a round bottle with a slim black cap, with a single round semi-reflective label where the brand and polish names are printed on. What I love is the tiny touch of glitter in the shape of a heart, in a colour that complements the polish, on the label.

Astrid
| ahs-tree |
"A female given name: from Scandinavian, meaning "divine strength"." - Dictionary.com
Shimmer Polish AstridIt is simply but aptly described as an "Amethyst Opal Holographic Glitter Polish". It is a pretty lilac, shades of purple holo and opalescent hex glitter topper in a clear base. Very ethereal-looking.

In a single coat:
Shimmer Polish Astrid, 1 coatThe formula glided on smoothly, and the glitter spread evenly over the nail effortlessly. Here's a close-up:
Shimmer Polish Astrid, 1 coatIn various number of coats:
Shimmer Polish AstridFrom left: 1 coat, 2 coats, 3 coats and 4 coats of Astrid over bare nails.

Although it is densely packed with glitter by the fourth coat, it doesn't give full coverage, but being a topper polish, it's all good. Even with 4 coats, it wasn't crazy bumpy for a glitter polish.
Shimmer Polish Astrid
Instead of instinctively layering Astrid over an opaque base colour, I went ahead and conceal the visible nail line in a glitter gradient with the second Shimmer Polish in this review - Jacki.
Shimmer Polish Jacki over Astrid, gradientAbove: 2 coats of Jacki in a gradient over Astrid, topped with Glisten & Glow HK Girl topcoat.

I'm loving the dirty-pretty spin Jacki adds to the glitter gradient mix. *suppresses 'frostbitten' thoughts*

Jacki
| j(ac)-ki |
"as a girl's name is a variant of Jackie and Jacqueline (French, Hebrew), and the meaning of Jacki is "he who supplants". - Think Baby Names

Shimmer Polish JackiDescribed as a "Violet, Navy & Maroon Sparkle Glitter Polish", I didn't know what to expect as I applied the first coat, whether it's a topper or glitter crelly. In the bottle, it looks edgy with glints of pretty glitter.
Shimmer Polish Jacki, 1 coat
The tiny glitter mix glided on smoothly and spread itself out pretty evenly without having to fuss around in a dabbing motion. The base of this polish is a near-black brown-plum jelly.

Close-up:
Shimmer Polish Jacki, 1 coatIn 3 coats, topped with Glisten & Glow HK Girl topcoat:
Shimmer Polish JackiIt took 3 coats to reach opacity, and very densed with glitter. Visually, it felt like a galaxy packed with stars, asteroids and all that space junk!

Here's a close-up:
Shimmer Polish Jacki, macroDespite the amount of glitter, the grit was minimum and one coat of topcoat sufficed in giving an even finish.

So, I couldn't resist another glitter gradient, so here's Astrid over Jacki:
Shimmer Polish Astrid over Jacki gradientThis was 2 coats of Astrid in a gradient over Jacki.

Final Thoughts
These first 2 Shimmer Polish has me hooked! The formulas were very cooperative despite being loaded with glitter. The suspension stood well and did not thicken the consistency too much.

Shimmer Polish can be purchased via email/ visiting her blogsite, where she has also compiled posts of swatches for each of her polishes. You can also purchase through her Etsy store (she ships internationally), or through international stockists such as Harlow & Co. (based in Canada) or Dazzled (based in Hong Kong).

If you have tried Shimmer Polish, which are your favourites? And can there ever be too many glitter (indie) nail polishes?

Stay tuned for swatches of more Shimmer Polish and have a superb Sunday!

♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

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

Filed in: nail art, Swatches, reviews
Tagged with: Jacki, shimmer polish, astrid

2013 In Retrospect

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By A Lacquered Affair · December 31, 2013 · 0 Comments ·

Hi there lovelies!

I made it to the end of 2013! Lacking in posts, but I remain optimistic for 2014. I'd like to look back at 2013, at the few posts I've managed to squeeze out of my crazy schedule, filled with hope to improve and share more nail polish posts with you.

My year in nails (clicking on the photos links to the blog post):
Cirque Fleur est Belle

Polish Days: Nature

Fanchromatic NailsOPI Get Your NumberPolish Days: Vintage
St. Patrick's Day
World Water Day
Earth Hour
Maya Cosmetics
Easter 2013
Lacquer Lust Eternal Bliss
Polish Days: 7 Deadly Sins
Swatchfest: Prevention of Cruelty To Animals 2013
Swatchfest: Earth Day
Swatchfest: Iron Man II
Isadora
Bondi Teal Magnolia
Polish Days: The Number 5
Emily de Molly Cosmic Forces, Falling Skies
Pretty Serious Daphne's Birthday Party
Swatchfest: Emerald
Liquid Sky Lacquer Fuschia Illusion
piCture pOlish Blog Fest 2013
Singapore's National Day
Yves Saint Laurent Bleu Cosmique
PolishTogether: Peridot
Darling Diva Polish Bitchcraft
PolishTogether: Sapphire
PolishTogether: Opal
China Glaze Monsters Ball
Delush Polish
PolishTogether: TopazThank you for being with me on this journey. More nail polish exploration awaits in 2014. Cheers to everyone for a better 2014!

♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

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.

Delush Polish Ocean Sapphire and Cirque Fantastique

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By A Lacquered Affair · November 10, 2013 · 0 Comments ·

| dee-lush(cious) |
Delushious comes from the two words delicious and luscious, meaning sweet and highly pleasing; a dangerous pleasure - Urban Dictionary

Greetings dearies,

So glad you've landed here to check out the polishes in store for review today. The brand's Delush Polish and creating fine quality artisanal nail polish is her game.

Delush Polish has been in the game since December 2012, releasing the first collection in March 2013, after months of experimentation. Helmed by Adriana Gonzalez, "a graphic designer by day and delush polish maker by night", her creations are "inspired by a multitude of themes and experiences, that serve as the driving force behind these diverse and unique creations". Delush Polish has also been featured in the press such as Nail It! Magazine and The Boston Herald Newspaper. Delush Polish is hand-poured and big 3-free. And she's a cat person, I'm already sold.

First Impressions
The samples I received from Mei Mei's Signatures are mini-sized. However, the design and label mimics its regular-sized 15ml/ 0.5 fl.oz counterpart - clear label with black print on a round bottle with the label of the polish's name on the bottom. They came nicely packaged with an organza gift bag with the creator's info card.
Delush Polish

Ocean Sapphire
Delush Polish Ocean Sapphire, bottle shotOcean Sapphire is described as a "stunning blue jelly blend with tons of holo and irisdescent glitters". It's incredibly sparkly. It is part of the Mystique Collection that was launched in April 2013.

Here's 1 coat over basecoat:
Delush Polish Ocean Sapphire, 1 coatIt's a little sheer with an icy blue glow to it. There's a frosted look to it that I usually shun away from. Application on the first nail was fine, but as I continued on, the formula got a little streaky and thicker, hence the bald spots.

I was able to achieve full coverage with the third coat. The swatch below is with HK Girl Topcoat:
Delush Polish Ocean SapphireThe second coat definitely evened out the streaks, but the formula was still thick. Instead of resorting to adding thinner (okay, partly, I seemed to have misplaced my bottle), I gave it a good roll between my palms to reclaim the original consistency. The third coat was applied to get a more opaque finish.

I have experienced the same with Sea Lore Polish Aquata, and suspect the formula could not handle the overload of glitter, shimmer and all the good stuff that are mesmerising and sparkly.

Close-up:
Delush Polish Ocean SapphireThe thick and glossy coat of topcoat couldn't achieve a smooth finish. Some areas remained slightly bumpy. There's really is a lot of glitter, micro glitter and shimmer in the mix and I can't deny that the effect lives up to its name.

Cirque Fantastique
Delush Polish Cirque Fantastique, bottle shotThis one's described as a "milky creamy white base surrounded by super fine, fun glitters and a fantastique medley of playfully vibrant square glitters, in an array of teal, neon pink and yellow colours". Cirque Fantastique is from the Bombastic Summer Love Collection that was released in May 2013. I think this baby propelled the label, gaining exposure and press for the brand when Kelly Rowland (of Destiny's Child and The X Factor fame) posted her mani of this polish on Instagram.

I included a macro bottle shot under UV light to see how the neon glitter glow, having seen some of the fantastic shots shared by Instagram users. On a personal level, I'm not big on neon, but seeing it glow, I was awed!

How the first coat turned out:
Delush Polish Cirque Fantastique, 1 coatThis was a total opposite from Ocean Sapphire. The formula, divine! I've grown to be wary of white creme/ crelly based polishes with glitter because some have disappointed with streaky application, but this one was a breeze to apply. No glitter fishing was needed and they distributed pretty evenly in normal swipes.

With a second coat, with topcoat:
Delush Polish Cirque Fantastique
Full opacity in 2 coats, and the glitter still showed through. I'm in love with the formula.

Under UV light:
Delush Polish Cirque FantastiqueThe ones that glowed were the neon pink and tiny blue glitter. It looked pretty fun!

A close-up:
Delush Polish Cirque FantastiqueIt was such a bliss to work with, if I haven't emphasised it enough.

Final Thoughts
I'm crazy about the colour and complexity of Ocean Sapphire though the formula could have been easier to work with. The sweet and cheerful Cirque Fantastique is something that could definitely grow on me, especially with such a delush formula.

Delush Polish is available at Mei Mei's Signatures and DelushPolish.com, both with international shipping. Additionally, Delush Polish retails polishes in minis and a few nail polish jewellery.

Here's a last look at both polishes together in a feeble attempt at gradient:
Delush Polish Ocean Sapphire over Cirque Fantastique
PS: Birthday month! Woot!

Till the next post, have a sweet Sunday!

♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

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.

China Glaze Halloween 2013 Monsters Ball Collection

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By A Lacquered Affair · October 24, 2013 · 0 Comments ·

| mon-ster |
"any animal or human grotesquely deviating from the normal shape, behaviour, or character" - Dictionary.com
| ball |
"a party for social dancing"
"Halloween is the one night out of the year when it's socially acceptable to be a monster and dance 'til the wolves howl" - Artworkstrenton

 Warning! Picture-heavy post ahead
China Glaze Halloween 2013 Monsters Ball Collection
'Howl You Doin', lovelies?

Finally, with some breather from work, here's a bumper post - a review of China Glaze's 2013 Halloween collection. This has been lying dormant in my stash for more than a month. Halloween collections always excite me and it's probably the only time of the year I do a 'bumper' post, like last year's.

First Impressions
Because of all the exciting nail polishes created by indie makers and smaller companies, this year's Halloween collection by China Glaze may seem nothing out of the ordinary. However, I'm liking this one more than last year's! Except for the 'Texture', they all contain glitter, some with interesting mixes we've usually see in indie nail polishes. I've got to give China Glaze a thumb's up for trying to keep up with the trend.

This Halloween collection features 5 new shades. Tagging along is a re-release number, Ghoulish Glow, a glow-in-the-dark polish that was released in 2011 (which I did not get). Without further ado, here are the 'monsters':

Boo-gie Down
China Glaze Boo-gie Down, bottle shotBoo-gie Down is a clear-based glitter topper with large bronze and black hex glitter, mid-sized bronze, gold, white and black hex glitter, tiny black and gold glitter and peppered with black bar glitter. My first expression was, "EEK!".

Here's 1 coat of Boo-gie Down over a base coat:
China Glaze Boo-gie Down(Pardon the yellowish stains on the nails, a result of horibble staining by a previous nail polish).
A decent amount of glitter clung onto the brush and transferred onto the nails in 1 thick coat. Like with most chunky glitter polish mix, I applied the dab-and-spread method.

Here's a close-up:
China Glaze Boo-gie Down, macroThis mix of shades screams Halloween with its classic orange-ish and black combo and enough sparkles for the midnight out.

Here's Boo-gie Down in varying number of coats:

China Glaze Boo-gie DownFrom left: 1 to 4 coats

Even at 4 coats, this glitter topper does not provide complete coverage. This one's clearly meant to be layered over a base colour.

For the adventurous and patient, here's 4 coats of Boo-gie Down, topped with HK Girl Top Coat:
China Glaze Boo-gie Down
And here's a close-up:
China Glaze Boo-gie Down, macroI really do not suggest trying to go full-on glitter with this topper unless you're ready for some major pain in the you-know-where during removal. Because of the amount of glitter, it gets bumpy.

And here's an experiment with various base colours, all topped with HK Girl Top Coat:
China Glaze Boo-gie DownFrom left, over 2 coats of:
♥ OPI German-icure by OPI
♥ Illamasqua Unnatural
♥ Skin Food Jungle Fruits #7
♥ OPI Just Spotted The Lizard

While I really like the glitter combination of bronze, gold and black, I don't think the (long) black bar glitter will grow on me.

Moving on...

Howl You Doin'
China Glaze Howl You Doing
At first glance, my immediate thought was, "Orly Fowl Play/ OPI Merry Midnight dupe!" But, alas, it's not. The macro shot picked up small blue and purple hex glitter, along with some irregular purple glitter shards in a jelly deep aurbergine base.

In 1 coat over a basecoat, sans topcoat:
China Glaze Howl You Doin', 1 coatIn 1 coat, it is pretty sheer, even when I attempted a thick coat on the index finger (far right). The formula is on the streaky side, but a second coat, should balance it out. The glitter distribution is even and no 'dabbing' was necessary.

After a second coat, with 1 coat of HK Girl Top Coat:
China Glaze Howl You Doin'I love that it looks like how it is in the bottle. The densely packed glitter jellied between 2 coats distributes evenly with each swipe of the brush. The finish is dull without a topcoat, so a glossy one works well to bring out the glitter.

I have to admit, I'm biased towards such deep purple shades, especially when it is complemented with glitter. Here's a close-up:
China Glaze Howl You Doin', macroGoing back to that statement about Howl You Doin' and Orly Fowl Play/ OPI Merry Midnight, here's a bottle comparison:
OPI Merry Midnight vs China Glaze Howl You Doin' vs Orly Fowl PlayAnd on the nails (all topped with 1 layer of topcoat)...
China Glaze Howl You Doin' vs OPI Merry Midnight vs Orly Fowl PlayExcept for OPI Merry Midnight, all swatches shown are in 2 coats. Merry Midnight required 3 for opacity.

Aside from the obvious flakies in the other 2 versus glitter in Howl You Doin', Merry Midnight and Fowl Play have loads of shimmer and less small blue hex glitter. The jelly base shade in these two are also a slight lighter shade of purple. Also, the formula of these 2 are easier to work with.

Next up...

Fang-tastic
China Glaze Fang-tasticLet me get this out of the way; I love the name because it reminds me of True Blood's Fangtasia. However, the colour combination in this glitter mix just doesn't connect with its name, I feel.

Fang-tastic is another clear-based glitter topper of medium to small blue, green and fuschia glitter.

Here's Fang-tastic in 1 coat:
China Glaze Fang-tastic, 1 coatGetting a decent amount of glitter onto the nail was pretty easy, though it still needed to be dabbed and spread to get a reasonably even distribution.

Here's a close-up:
China Glaze Fang-tastic, 1 coat
And in varying number of coats:

China Glaze Fang-tasticFrom right: 1 to 4 coats

Like Boogie-Down, it's not possible to achieve full coverage in 4 coats, though it does look stunning on its own. It dries very bumpy just because of the content of small and large hex glitter.

Here's a full mani with 4 coats, topped with HK Girl Topcoat:
China Glaze Fang-tasticBecause of the concentration of chunky glitter, 2 coats of topcoat were used. It looks so party-ready!

A close up:
China Glaze Fang-tasticTo see some layering options within this collection, keep scrolling down...

Bat My Eyes
China Glaze Bat My EyesBat My Eyes is a dense mix of mid-sized gold hex glitter and smaller gold and bronze hex glitter, peppered with some bronze bar glitter in a black jelly base. The bar glitter is so sparsed, one could hardly notice. This one, I approve :)

In 1 coat over a clear base coat:
China Glaze Bat My Eyes, 1 coatI love the shade and glitter mix in the polish, but the formula leaves little to be desired. Streakiness on the first coat, for a glitter polish with coloured base, I can deal with, if the second coat conceals any bald spots. But clumpiness, that's a challenge to work with. It could be due to the high desity of glitter and suspension base. It takes some patience and a lot of bottle rolling between a painting few nails to get a workable formula.

With a second coat:
China Glaze Bat My EyesI managed to get an opaque and even coverage. And with a thick and glossy topcoat, it's ready to go from Monsters Ball to a New Year's Eve ball. (Spot the bar glitter.)

Here's a closer look:
China Glaze Bat My EyesWith Howl You Doin', OPI Merry Midnight and Orly Fowl Play as the base shades, here's Bat My Eyes and Fang-tastic in a glitter gradient over them, topped with 1 coat of HK Girl Topcoat:
China Glaze Bat My Eyes and Fang-tastic over Howl You Doin'Are you still with me (just checking)?

Last but not least...

Bump In The Night
China Glaze Bump In The Night, Bottle ShotContinuing with the 'textured' trend from their Summer 2013 collection, China Glaze adds a jet black member to the Texture family with Bump In The Night. Personally, I'm not a fan of their textured line because they resemble coloured sandblasted walls. I prefer those with glitter or colour mixes in them.

I admit I did not expect much from Bump In The Night, except to provide a base shade for some of the other polishes in this collection. And I wasn't even sure if they'll turn out well over a textured base polish.

Here's 1 coat of Bump In The Night sans topcoat:
China Glaze Bump In The NightOne-coater! (a pleasant consolation) The formula is very pigmented and reasonably well-behaved for a textured polish. The grit factor is definitely high with this one. 'Bump' is aptly used, alright.

There's an uneven blend of matte grit and wax-shine creme finish. Here's a closer look:
China Glaze Bump In The Night macroPlaying around, here are some layering options with the other polishes in this collection over Bump In The Night, without topcoat:
China Glaze Halloween 2013 Monsters Ball Combo♥ Index: Bat My Eyes
♥ Middle: Boo-gie Down
♥ Ring: Fang-tastic
♥ Pinky: Bat My Eyes

And with topcoat:
China Glaze Halloween 2013 Monsters Ball combos
Final Thoughts
Overall my favourite is Howl You Doin'. It would have been Bat My Eyes if not for formula issues. I would have liked to see a shimmer or an interesting creme shade complete the collection, and as a base shade option for the 2 glitter toppers.

What are your thoughts of China Glaze's Halloween line-up for 2013? Have you gotten, or planning to get any?

Parting shots:
China Glaze Halloween 2013 Monsters Ball Combo♥ Index: Bat My Eyes glitter gradient over 1 coat Bump In The Night, without topcoat
♥ Middle: Bat My Eyes glitter gradient over 2 coats Howl You Doin', with topcoat
♥ Ring: 1 coat Bat My Eyes over 2 coats Howl You Doin', with topcoat
♥ Pinky: Bat My Eyes glitter gradient over 1 coat Bump In The Night, with topcoat

A close-up of my favourite combo, just because it has this magical, necromatic, spellbinding, sorcerous, gypsy feel:

China Glaze Bat My Eyes over Howl You Doin'1 coat Bat My Eyes over 2 coats Howl You Doin', with 1 coat HK Girl Topcoat.

Cheers, lovelies!

♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

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 on my own.

Darling Diva Polish Bitchcraft

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By A Lacquered Affair · September 2, 2013 · 0 Comments ·

| bich-kraft |
"The act of being a total bitch; often practicing the acts of upsetting people for the sake of it" - Urban Dictionary

Howdy loverly lot!

Today's post features another polish from one of my favourite indie polish brands - Bitchcraft by Darling Diva Polish. I've told this story before, but I will tell it again:
I've been following/ collecting Darling Diva Polish since early 2012, when I was introduced to Ringer; a dupe for the infamous colour-shifting MaxFactor Fantasy Fire. Not only does she constantly come up with new polishes and collections, some of the themes and names are pop culture favourites and are a hoot!

Carrie, the creator, retails her creations on Etsy and also via Mei Mei's Signatures. It's always a joy interacting with her as she has such a sense of humour and has great customer service despite running the 2-man operation with her husband. You'll find regular updates and interactions through her Facebook page.

So moving along, Bitchcraft is described as having colour shifting glitter, a la Elytra range by OZOTIC, swimming in dark charcoal linear holographic jelly. That's too much goodness in a bottle!
Darling Diva Polish Bitchcraft
First Impression
The holo and shift in the bottle was captivating, even without the sun! Darling Diva's logo and label has been improved to a clear label for a while now, from the white paper label I last blogged about. As the label on the bottom indicates, each full-sized bottle contains 15ml of goodness. A standard round bottle with decent-sized brush never could go wrong.

Okay, the name - wicked! I actually had to Google the name to see if it was in reference to any game, show or character because Carries gets her inspiration from everywhere. Turns out, as the prelude to this post says, it's the art of being a bitch. A a lesser known fact - it is also the title of an adult film, but let's not go there.

The Formula
Here's the first coat of Bitchcraft over 1 coat of Nail Tek Foundation III:
Darling Diva Polish Bitchcraft, 1 coat
1 coat was definitely sheer, but look at the holo particles! The colour-shifting glitter bits look black here but they do have blueness to them. In fact, it's hard to tell as the holoness was dominating the attention.

Close-up:
Darling Diva Polish Bitchcraft, 1 coat

With 3 coats, topped with Glisten & Glow HK Girl topcoat:
Darling Diva Polish Bitchcraft3 coats to full opacity and stunning-ness. There was some blue shift, but I couldn't exactly tell if it's the holo or colour shift working its magic.

But upon a close-up:
Darling Diva Polish Bitchcraft, macroThe blue glitter is more noticeable here, and the red shift can be seen on the bottom left corner. It settles smoothly on the nail, minimal grit.

Having glitter in a holo-filled base made the consistency of the formular a tad heavy and tended to drag if you're in the habit of doing more than 3 - 4 strokes on a nail. It's the same another brand which had the same mix; holo base with some micro glitter, so I guess that's the downside of having too much 'goodness'.

Here's Bitchcraft working its magic in the sun (yes, one of the rare occasions where I managed to catch the sun):
Darling Diva Polish BitchcraftThe play of holographic colours was much stronger in real life, the camera just could not capture it while it's in focus. Flashes of blue are a little more prominent under the sun.

To compare looks, I've layered Bitchcraft over some base colours, topped with Glisten & Glow HK Girl Topcoat:
Darling Diva Polish Bitchcraft, layeredExcept for the index finger (top), 1 coat of Bitchcraft was layered over 2 coats of each of the base polish colours. Personally, I'm liking it over the dark shimmery blue of OPI Yoga-ta Get This Blue (a random shout-out to one of my homegirls, mindpolish because she recently received her certification as a yoga instructor and this polish's name is just apt). It brings out the blue glitter that's swimming in the charcoal holo base.

Final Thoughts
I love holos, but include glitter, and I get even more excited! I just want to stare at my nails obsessively. I do wish the colour shift of the glitter was stronger, but with all the colours moving around, it's still a lovely sight.

It retails slightly more at USD14.00, as compared to Darling Diva Polish's holo range (USD12.00) and regular polishes (USD9.00) due to the ingredients. It is still available on her Etsy store and she ships worldwide.

For those in Singapore and the surrounding region, Darling Diva Polish is also sold on Mei Mei's Signatures, which also ships worldwide. Regular polishes retail for SGD15, while those with holo pigments retail for SGD16.00.

That's all for today folks, as I scramble to hit the sack to catch some precious sleep before facing another challenging week and long work hours ahead!

Have a good start to the new week and new month (it's September already?!), and for those in the US, enjoy the long Labour Day weekend!

♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

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: Darling Diva POlish Bitchcraft was sent for review, while all other polishes were purchased by me. However, all opinions expressed are my own, and will always be.

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Yves Saint Laurent 103 Bleu Cosmique

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By A Lacquered Affair · August 11, 2013 · 0 Comments ·

| käzmik |
French for cosmic - "of or relating to the cosmos, the extraterrestial vastness, or the universe in contract to the earth alone." - Merriam-Webster

Happy weekend, lovelies!

It's Day 3 of the long weekend for us here in Singapore, all thanks to 2 consecutive public holidays. It's been the best opportunity to catch up on a pile of swatch and blogging backlogs. In case you missed it, I did a red and white patriotic nail art in celebration of Singapore's 48th National Day yesterday.

Today's post features a nail polish shade from Yves Saint Laurent Beauté (YSL); La Laque Couture 103 Bleu Cosmique. The retail assistant at YSL Beauté store at ION explained that this is an Asia-exclusive, limited edition (a dangerous word for collectors) release that complements their Saharienne Heat summer 2013 collection.

First Impressions
YSL Bleu CosmiqueBleu Cosmique is a mesmerising shimmery deep ocean blue in a metallic finish. The angled edges of the bottle have purple peeking through, suggesting a some duochrome effect, but don't hold your breath. 

The right-angled, column-shaped bottle has a detachable that pops up to reveal an inner cap that holds the brush. I prefer this setting so I can tightly screw the cap back on without the OCD in me worrying if the 4 corners of the cap will align with the bottle's.

We've been seeing teal, turquoise, blue metallic shades by high-end cosmetic companies this summer, and I've managed to resist. That is, until this one popped up on Makeup Stash!'s Instagram feed. It wasn't the shade or finish that drew me but the name. Well, okay, the 'Limited Edition'/ 'Exclusive' tag too.

The Brush
Here's how YSL's brush measures up to OPI's:
YSL vs OPI BrushYSL's flat, wide, paddle-shaped brush is wider than OPI's, though significantly shorter in length. The stem is also longer.

From previous experience with other brands with very wide brushes, they tend to create a mess around the entrance of the bottle because the entrances are regular-sized. With YSL (bottle on the left), the entrance is wider than compared to OPI, so I could comfortably take the brush in and out.

Brushes wider than OPI's took a little getting used to during polish application, especially when maneuvering around the cuticles. But, surprisingly, YSL's fans out over the nails, nicely following the contours of the cuticles. Depending on individuals' nails, this may or may not be the case for everyone, but I'm loving the brush!

The Formula
Here's Bleu Cosmique in 1 thick coat:
YSL Bleu CosmiqueThis is 1 coat over Nail Tek Foundation III Ridge-filling Nail Strengthener. The formula applied like butter and is self-leveling. The downside is the brushstrokes that comes with the metallic finish. Fortunately, with the wide brush, fewer strokes are needed, minimising the brushstroke trail.

The brilliant white-light blue flash displayed under the light makes perfect sense of its name - it's cosmic! The shine makes it good to go without a topcoat.

To 'neaten' the brushstrokes, a second coat is applied:
YSL Bleu CosmiqueThis is 2 coats, topped with Essence Gel Effect topcoat.

I'm loving the look of the darkened edges, coupled with the brilliant flash, especially with the angle on the pinky (far right).

Here's a close-up:
YSL Bleu Cosmique, Close-up
Coming back to that slight purple shift seen at the edges of the bottle, this only shows on the nails when positioned at a sharp angle, almost lateral.
YSL Bleu Cosmique
Blue to purple shift with darkened edges - how I wish the polish looks like this at all angles, all the time!

There was no staining upon removal. but this could be due to the thick base coat coverage or short wear time.

Final Thoughts
The shade and finish doesn't justify the hefty price tag that comes with this polish. But if one really loves the shade, appreciates the quality, thought and design that goes into creating the nail polish and bottle (of course, not forgetting the 'Limited Edition' and 'Exclusive' tag), then this might be an investment (or a chic display piece on the dresser) to consider.

YSL La Laque Couture Nail Lacquer retails in Singapore at SDG35.00. Reservations are not available for limited edition pieces.

Till the next post, enjoy the weekend! Toodles!

♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

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 on my own.

Filed in: Swatches, reviews
Tagged with: bleu cosmique, YSL

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