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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.

Topaz-Inspired Manicure

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By A Lacquered Affair · November 18, 2013 · 0 Comments ·

| tō'pāz' |
"For those who were born in the month of November the Topaz is the traditional birthstone. The November birthstone poem reflects some of the properties with which the Topaz is associated - constancy, loyalty, faithfulness and friendship. The Traditional Metaphysical Properties for the November Birthstone Topaz are strength, releasing tension and balancing emotions. The healing properties of the November birthstone are reputed to be effective for health problems relating to  sanity, asthma, gout, blood disorders, tuberculosis and insomnia. The Topaz is also used to enhance spiritual rejuvenation and feelings of happiness." - BirthdayGems.org

Hiya lovelies!

It's another installment of #PolishTogether. If you haven't already heard about it, check it out on Instagram.
Today, we celebrate Topaz, November's birthstone, which is also my birthstone! *hint hint*

Here's the event poster that @perpetualfunk has once again nailed:
Topaz - November's Birthstone for #PolishTogether
Even though Topaz is my birthstone, I'm not crazy about the colour. My interest is piqued by rainbow topaz though, but that's another story.

These are my choice of polishes for this manicure:

Estessimo TiNS 403 Rich Topaz and Zoya BeatrixEstessimo TiNS 403 Rich Topaz and Zoya Beatrix

Estessimo TiNS 403 Rich Topaz is slightly deep champagne gold polish with scattered holo bits and the subtlest hint of orange shimmer bits. I had to include this polish for this theme because of its name, and also because I'm biased towards Estessimo TiNS and will attempt to include one in any manicure possible. *ah hem*

This is 2 coats of Estessimo TiNS 403 Rich Topaz in 3 coats:
Estessimo TiNS 403 Rich TopazZoya Beatrix is a juicy, vibrant orange glittery textured polish from their Summer 2013 Pixie Dust collection. I absolutely love most of the Pixie Dusts!

I applied it over Rich Topaz in a diagonal gradient...
Zoya Beatrix over Estessimo TiNS 403 Rich TopazHere's the Instagram version:
Topaz-inspired Manicure for #PolishTogether November
Check out the other Topaz-inspired manicures through the #PolishTogether hashtag search!

Till the next post, 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.

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.

Opal-inspired Manicure

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By A Lacquered Affair · October 20, 2013 · 0 Comments ·

| oh - puh l |
"For those who were born in the month of October the Opal is the traditional birthstone. The Traditional Metaphysical Properties for the October Birthstone Opal are happiness, faithfulness, loyalty and confidence. The name opal actually means "to see a change in color." The opal occurs in several types of color. The White opal has a white body color with pastel glints of rainbow color. Black opal has a blue, gray or black body color. Fire opal is a transparent or a translucent opal with a yellow, orange or red body color that may also have a flash of color." - BirthdayGems.org

*jumps out of hiding*
A big HEY y'all!
How's everyone been? Me, I'm trying to stay afloat in an ocean with no horizon (also known as day job, which is ironic because it drags on into the nights). Which leads me to lament, yet again, about how all my nail painting and blogging have taken a backseat.

Here's me trying to catch up with #PolishTogether's (over on Instagram) monthly birthstone series in this post. This month's features Opal, and here's the poster and call for participation created and hosted by @perpetualfunk:
Opal - October's Birthstone for #PolishTogetherMuch thanks to Pearlynn for keeping this rolling month after month!

And here's my opal-inspired manicure:
Opal-inspire Mani (Flakies)On the nails:
(basecoat: Nail Tek Foundation III, topcoat: Glisten & Glow HK Girl Topcoat)
♥ a-england Camelot (black base) - 1 coat
♥ OPI My Boyfriend Scales Walls (off-white base) - 2 coats
♥ Essence Blue Addicted (over black bases) - 1 coat over index and pinky
♥ China Glaze Snow Globe - 2 coats over index finger
♥ Glitter Gal Lightning Ridge - 2 coats over index and pinky, and 3 coats over ring finger

A flakie polish was an immediate choice, as the effect mimics opals almost perfectly. The curves on the middle and ring fingers were meant to imitate the curved oval edge of an opal. Sadly, it does not work the same magic over white as I had hoped.

Essence Blue Addicted was added because I needed some blue glitter over black base to give the nails a fuller 'opal' look. I could only fish out copper and green flakies from Lightning Ridge.

Here's a close-up:
Opal-inspire Mani (Flakies)Because the flakies content in Lightning Ridge is not as dense as, say, Essie Shine of the Times, I had to go for 2 coats. The formula was gret though.

And here's the Instagram version (@lacqueredaffair):
Opal-inspire Mani (Flakies)If you're on Instagram, do search for the #polishtogether hashtag to check out the other monthly birthstones manicures.

Wish me luck for some time away from work so I can get this blog's gears running again. Till then, enjoy what's left of 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: 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.

Sapphire-Inspired Manicure

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By A Lacquered Affair · September 17, 2013 · 0 Comments ·

| saf-ahyuh-r |
"The traditional color associated with the Sapphire is the deep blue color and was strongly favored as a popular gem in jewelry. The meaning of colors through the ages represented many aspects of life. Social, religious, biblical and Christian symbolism were all reflected in the color blue. The symbolic meaning of the color blue has a Biblical meaning symbolizing heavenly grace. Sapphires can be found in a variety of colors, not just different shades of blue, these include yellow, pink and white. Sapphires with colors other than blue are generally referred to as fancy sapphires. The distinctive blue of the sapphire is due to minute amounts of oxide of iron and titanium in the stone." - BirthdayGems.org

Hi there lovelies!

EEK! I missed the #PolishTogether (over on Instagram) September's birthstone theme yesterday! Life just whizzes by faster than the Flash and my virtual (polish) life is fast losing ground.

I did, however, manage to sneak in a teeny breather later this week and hope to get some productive swatching and blogging done. And perhaps get some 'inventory' management done as well. (Disclaimer: I do not sell nail polishes)

For this September, @perpetualfunk has yet again got things going by hosting the monthly birthstone theme; this month's being Sapphire. I do love blues on my nails, especially the kind that lure your stare to its deep ,dark perilous depths. However, for this theme, I went with the following polishes:
Polishes for Sapphire-inspired Mani(clockwise from top)
♥ Darling Diva Polish Invoke The Spirit
♥ OPI Designer Series Sapphire
♥ Deborah Lippmann Lady Sings The Blues

Yes, I did choose OPI DS Sapphire for its name that had literal reference to the theme. (Hey, I desperately needed to get this done!) I got this gem from a neighbourhood beauty store when I got carried away dusty-hunting. It's so old that the cap was impossible to open, that is, until I followed the advise of a few fellow polish enthusiasts to dip the cap to its neck in hot water. Worked like a charm!

I chose Deborah Lippmann Lady Sings The Blues (a surprise gift from Kate of @LacquerCareFactor last year. She was fulfilling one of my lemmings) for its blue crelly base and glitter but it ended up looking quite flat on the names.

So Darling Diva Polish (psst! She has a new site for her online store) Invoke The Spirit came into the picture to remedy that. Contrary to how it looks in the bottle, the base is actually quite sheer. But it is crammed with blue shimmer, blue flakies, large iridescent hex glitter in green, orange, silver and blue, with sprinkles of star and crescent moon holographic glitter. I deliberately fished out only the blue hex glitter for this mani. I only recently discovered that it glows in the dark, but I didn't try it out this time. It was part of her Halloween collection for 2012.

Now that I've boring you with longwinded details, I shall just spam you with photos from here on. On the nails are 3 coats of OPI DS Sapphire, and as an accent on the ring finger, 2 coats of Deborah Lippmann Lady Sings The Blues with2 coats of Darling Diva Polish Invoke The Spirit. All finished with 1 coat of Glisten & Glow HK Girl Topcoat and accessorised with blue rhinestones.
Sapphire-inspired Mani for #PolishTogetherSapphire-inspired Mani for #PolishTogetherSapphire-inspired Mani for #PolishTogetherHere's the Instagram version:
Sapphire-inspired Mani for #PolishTogetherTill the next post (hopefully sooner than later), have a lovely week ahead!


♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

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. With the exception of Deborah Lippman Lady Sings The Blues, all products featured 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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Peridot-Inspired Manicure

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By A Lacquered Affair · August 18, 2013 · 0 Comments ·

| periˌdät |
"The word Peridot is derived from the Greek word "faridat" which means "gem". The peridot (pronounced pear-a-doe) is a pale green variety of chrysolite and used as a gemstone. The crystal structure of the Peridot (magnesium iron silicate), the August birthstone, is orthorhombic. The Peridot is one of the few gemstones tha come in only one colour. The depth of green depends on how much iron is contained in the crystal structure. It is also often referred to to as "poor man's emerald". - BirthstoneGems.org

Hello lovelies,
Hello weekend!

It's been a long time since I've written a blog post in relation to a themed event promoted on Instagram. #SGSwatchFest has progressed to #PolishTogether (@PolishTogether) and this installment's is based on the August's birthstone - Peridot. This installment is hosted by @perpetualfunk, who also created a very inspirational mood board/ announcement.

Here are the polishes used for my peridot-inspired manicure:
Polishes for Peridot-inspired ManicureClockwise from top:
♥ Bondi NYC The Limelight
♥ Estessimo TiNS The Sleek Lounge
♥ Estessimo TiNS The Spicy Pinwheel

It seems as though Bondi fits right in with Estessimo given its name!

The base - 2 coats of The Limelight and The Sleek Lounge over 1 coat of Nail Tek Foundation III basecoat, topcoatless:
2 coats Estessimo TiNS The Sleek Lounge & 2 coats Bondi The LimelightBondi The Limelight is brighter in person, my camera just couldn't capture it.

On its own, Estessimo TiNS The Sleek Lounge fits the Peridot theme to a T. Packed with lime green glitter, some with holographic properties, in an light olive jelly base.

Here's a close-up on its own:
Estessimo TiNS The Sleek Lounge - 2 coatsInspired by My Nail Polish Online, one of my closest polish pals, I decided to attempt swirls a la spiral vines, because of all the greens going on on my nails.
Peridot and Spiral Vines Inspired maniSome champagne gold glitter of Estessimo TiNS The Spicy Pinwheel was added in the form of dots and ends of some of the vines to counter the greens, to give an overall peridot feel.

My favourite tool for nail art details these days is the pointed tip of an orange woodstick. Odd, right?! But I feel like I have more control with a rigid tip.

Here's the Instagram version:
Peridot and Spiral Vines Inspired mani (Instagram)
That's all for today folks!
It's an early work day for me tomorrow (7:00am. It should be a crime to wake up at such ungodly hour on a Monday), but I've got some posts lined up for next week and hope to keep the momentum going.

And remember to check out the other Peridot-themed nails via the #PolishTogether hashtag on Instagram.

Toodles, 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.

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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