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Liquid Sky Lacquer Fuschia Illusion

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By A Lacquered Affair · June 30, 2013 · 0 Comments ·

| ih-lu-zhuh-n |
"something that deceives by producing a false or misleading impression of reality" - Dictionary.com

Hello there lovelies!

I know, I know, it has been a terribly long while since the last post. My work schedule the past month has been ridiculously crazy to a point where I question my continued employment with the company. But that's whole other unrelated content altogether.

One of my swatching finger suffered a flesh wound while prepping an event at work.

I was in Germany for an abrupt work trip last weekend, which threw my schedule off, a lot! I took a whopping 3-plus gigabyte worth of photos, but a few dozen were lost during file transfer. I'm (still) frantic about it.

Everytime I get a chance to scroll through Instagram, I longed to paint my nails and experiment with more nail art.
Yeah, that pretty much sums up my excruciatingly long month.

Moving on, today's post documents one of my first experiences with a thermal nail polish - a nail polish colour that transitions into another during a temperature change. And this featured polish is Fuschia Illusion by Liquid Sky Lacquer. After having it swatched, I wore it again during my trip last week to Germany, just to have fun with it since the temperature variance was wider over there.

Liquid Sky Lacquer is an indie label based in San Francisco Bay Area, California, USA that handcrafts a wide variety of big 3-free nail polishes since September 2012. It is available on liquidskylacquer.bigcartel.com.

First Impressions
I've openly admitted how easy it is for me to be suckered into a product with an attractive packaging. This Liquid Sky Lacquer that was sent for review comes in a pretty little purple organza drawstring bag and, already, I'm in love.
Liquid Sky Lacquer Fuschia IllusionThe bottle, with anglar corners, houses about 15ml or so of product (judging by the looks of it).

In the bottle, Fuschia Illusion is a dark purple polish infused with scattered holo particles. It transitions into a pink fuschia shade when warm or hot.

As the name may already suggest, it creates an illusion that the shade is fuschia while on the nails at body temperature, but gradually changes to purple when the temperature falls (at least 8-10°c).

The Formula
Here's a shot of 1 coat of Fuschia Illusion:
Liquid Sky Lacquer Fuschia Illusion - 1 coatThe coverage is impressively even, smooth and streak-free in one coat, though not completely opaque. It dries to a slightly waxy finish.

The first 2 nails I worked on were quite tricky for me since it changes colour with temperature. When the polish was painted onto the nails, and warmed by the body temperature and humid tropical environment, it immediately transitioned into fuschia. It threw me off a little as I went from stroke to stroke, questioning if the coat was sufficiently thick or even enough, or if streaks will form and there's need to go over and even it out. Thankfully, it dried to an even fuschia shade.

Here's 2 coats, topped with Essence Gel-Look topcoat, cooled:
Liquid Sky Lacquer Fuschia Illusion - cool In a climate that's mostly 30-35°c this time of the year, it was tough maintaining the polish at this colour, unless I was at work, where the air-conditioning control master (we nicknamed) insists on keeping the temperature below 22°c.

With a second coat, the scattered holo-ness became more visible, even under artificial light.

Here's a shot of Fuschia Illusion in the midst of a gradual colour transition:
Liquid Sky Lacquer Fuschia Illusion - transitioning
And here's a shot of the stark colour contrast when in direct contact with a glass of ice cold water:
Liquid Sky Lacquer Fuschia Illusion - transitioningI was lucky enough to have the sun come out that weekend, so I grabbed the opportunity to capture some of the holo in the sun.

Here's 2 coats in a warm state:
Liquid Sky Lacquer Fuschia Illusion - warmIn transition from cool to warm:
Liquid Sky Lacquer Fuschia Illusion - transitioningI absolutely love the look of it on the pinky (left)! It feels like a fairy working her magical sparkling dust.

And here's a close-up:
Liquid Sky Lacquer Fuschia Illusion - warm
Final Thoughts
I didn't have an attraction to thermal polishes (likewise for glow-in-the-darks) because they seem like a novelty/ bandwagon that a few are jumping on. But watching the transition before my eyes is like...magic! It'a alive, everytime the temperature changes! And I'm delighted that it befuddles nail polish 'muggles'.

While I enjoyed wearing it and being amazed by the transition, it was quite a challenge photographing the swatches, especially when I wanted to catch it in a certain colour transition ratio. It reacts very quickly to sharp temperature changes; fun to watch, but difficult to capture a good shot in an instant.

Liquid Sky Lacquer is available through their website for USD12.00, or through Mei Mei's Signatures for SGD18.00, excluding cost of shipping. Both ship internationally.

So, what's your experience with or opinion of thermal nail polishes?

Another work week beckons tomorrow, and I'm already feeling the inertia of waking up. Keeping my fingers crossed for another blogpost to come up pretty soon. Till then, have a Fun-day!

♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

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".
Also, if you don't see your comment showing immediately, OnSugar just intercepted it as spam, but it's there. I just have to manually 'Publish' it.
I hope this works. As much as I want to, OnSugar doesn't allow the disabling of Captcha.

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

piCture pOlish Kryptonite (and then some)

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

| em-ruh ld |
"Emerald is a gemstone, and a variety of the mineral beryl (Be3Al2(SiO3)6) colored green by trace amounts of chromium and sometimes vanadium. Beryl has a hardness of 7.5 – 8 on the 10-point Mohs scale of mineral hardness. Most emeralds are highly included, so their toughness (resistance to breakage) is classified as generally poor.
The word "Emerald" is derived (via Old French: Esmeraude and Middle English: Emeraude), from Vulgar Latin: Esmaralda/Esmaraldus, a variant of Latin Smaragdus, which originated in Greek: σμάραγδος (smaragdos; "green gem")." - Wikipedia

Welcome to another late weekend post, loverly lot!

This week calls for another #SGSwatchFest participation over on Instagram, hosted by the friendly fellow Singapore nail blogger, Pearlyn aka @perpetualfunk. The theme is emerald, being the birthstone for the month of May and, coincidentally, also Pantone's colour of 2013.

A little note: Due to the interest from many international nail enthusiasts who wish to participate in the themed events (though we've always welcomed them to do so), a new Instagram account has been created to include openly and officially EVERYONE from EVERYWHERE - @PolishTogether!
We invite everyone to follow the account, and if you like, join in the themed events, and hashtag #PolishTogether or tag @PolishTogether to share your work!
The #SGSwatchfest tag will still remain for Singapore-centric themes.

Now that that's all explained, here's my polish of choice for this week's theme - piCture pOlish Kryptonite.
piCture pOlish Kryptonite"Kryptonite was created with Cathy of More Nail Polish Inspiration: 'first thoughts something gold but how about a true green holo' so that is what was fashioned.  As soon as Cathy said the name we new Kryptonite would be a celebration of all things 'super' and that fabulous tune too!" - piCture pOlish

piCture pOlish is an Australian-owned and made nail polish brand, which also has the exclusive licensing rights for the OZOTIC brand worldwide.

Kryptonite is a green jelly base filled with large, irregular shaped micro thin holographic bits. It was released in 2012, as part of piCture pOlish's first series of blogger collaboration shades.

Kryptonite came to mind because, aside from it being the shade of green I wanted for the theme, I imagine kryptonite, the fictional radioactive ore from Superman's home planet of Krypton, to be emerald's fictional alter ego.

Here's 2 coats of Kryptonite topped with 1 coat of Poshé Super-fast Drying Top coat:
piCture pOlish Kryptonite2 coats was all it took to reach opacity. The depth of the finish is beautiful! Only the holographic bits that sit on top of the jelly base dazzle with holoness.

Close-up:
piCture pOlish KryptoniteNote to self: get rid of Poshé topcoat. The shrinkage is very frustrating.

The formula is divine, and the finish is smooth and glossy, even without a topcoat.

Earlier, I rummaged my stash to search for other emerald shades for the SGSwatchFest/ PolishTogether theme. And since I already had them out, I might as well do an ombré mani.
Emerald ombré for #SGSwatchFestFrom the top (index finger): Pretty Serious VT100, piCture pOlish Krytonite, China Glaze Glittering Garland, a-england Tess D'Urbervilles, all in 2 coats, topped with Poshé.

At a glance, there are some visual similarities between Kryptonite and Glittering Garland. However, Glittering Garland's jelly base is a shade (or half) darker, and slightly yellow in tone. It doesn't contain any holographic particles. The sparkles are either irregular small glitter shards, or flecks, or both.

piCture pOlish is available for purchase on their website, or your could find a list of network member (distributors) here. For those in Singapore, feel free to approach The Subtle Shimmer for your piCture pOlish or OZOTIC needs.

Because I couldn't decide between the 2 manis, I decided to show both for the event. Here are the Instagram versions:
piCture pOlish Kryptonite for #SGSwatchFest/ #PolishTogetherEmerald ombré for #SGSwatchFest/ #PolishTogether
That concludes this post and week. Do check out the other manicures here!

And if you're on Instagram, you're warmly welcome to follow @PolishTogether and participate in future themed events.

Have a great start to the new week, 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.

Pretty Serious Daphne's Birthday Party

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By A Lacquered Affair · May 14, 2013 · 0 Comments ·

| dafnē |
"The name Daphne is a Hebrew baby name. In Hebrew the meaning of the name Daphne is: Bay tree, or laurel tree. The Greek mythological nymph Daphne was rescued from the unwanted attentions of the god Apollo by being turned into a laurel bush." - SheKnows.com

This is Pretty Serious.
It's Daphne's Birthday Party, people!

Pretty Serious - Happy Birthday Daphne!Photo Source</p> <p>

Pretty Serious is an independent Australian cosmetics company that creates big 3-free and vegan-friendly nail polishes which are professionally manufactured in Australia.
Daphne is Pretty Serious' pin-up girl (okay, mascot) created by Leigh Young to sass up the brand's marketing materials and very pretty outer box packaging.

And today, cohesively, we (the fans/ customers) celebrate their 1st birthday by posting photos of a polish created for this celebration - Daphne's Birthday Party! This vivacious label has kept on going (strong), and kept me coming back for more.
Pretty Serious Daphne's Birthday Party
"Daphne's Birthday Party is a combination of 5 different coloured glitters of the same size, designed to look like sparkly confetti on your nails!" - Pretty Serious

Daphne's Birthday Party is a full-on glitter bomb. The 5 colours of glitter thrown in are red, fucshia, yellow gold, green and ocean blue, and are well-suspended in a clear base.

Here's 1 coat, without basecoat:
Pretty Serious Daphne's Birthday Party, 1 coatAbsolutely no problems getting a good amount of glitter onto the brush and onto the nails. The first coat took a teeny bit of dabbing to spread the glitter as evenly as possible.

Close-up:
Pretty Serious Daphne's Birthday Party, 1 coatWhen I went back to apply a second coat, the formula got thicker. It was mentioned on their product page that the formula is thicker than what one might be comfortable to work with. BUT, I got a pretty decently coverage (for a glitter polish with clear base) on the (thick) second coat, with some effort dabbing around to spread the glitter on the nails.

In 2 coats (the second being very thick), with 1 coat Seche Vite:
Pretty Serious Daphne's Birthday PartyThe sparkles are just amazing and really does evoke the mood they are trying to convey. The polish may not be groundbreaking or terribly unique, but I couldn't pass up the cheerful vibe, the celebration of Daphne's/ Pretty Serious' birthday, and to stand a chance to win their polishes!

Close-up:
Pretty Serious Daphne's Birthday PartyDespite being a glitter bomb of a polish, the finish wasn't as gritty as expected. Some bumps here and there, but just not terribly gritty.

In the spirit of fun and party, I layered 1 coat of Daphne's Birthday Party randomly (fun fact: this polish is listed under the "Seriously Random" category in their store) over some of Pretty Serious' previous releases, finished with 1 coat Seche Vite:
Pretty Serious Daphne's Birthday Party over Creature Crush, Emma Louise, Party By The Pool and Forbidden FruitFrom left: Daphne's Birthday Party over Creature Crush, Emma Louise, Party By The Pool and Forbidden Fruit - all from Pretty Serious

Except for Forbidden Fruit, I am very impressed with the formula and finished look of these polishes, especially Emma Louise (a limited edition) and Party By The Pool.

Pretty Serious is available online, with international shipping. You may also locate distributors and resellers in a region near you. For me, it's Mei Mei's Signatures. Each 11ml bottle retails for USD9.95, or SGD 16.00 on Mei Mei's Signatures.

Congratulations to the dedicated and creative Pretty Serious team! May you grow from strength to strength with each year. *grabs a blowout and popper to join in the party*

This concludes this post for this work week. Cheerio!

♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

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.

Bondi Teal Magnolia (and company)

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By A Lacquered Affair · May 5, 2013 · 0 Comments ·

| BAWN-dye |
"The name Bondi, also spelt Bundi, Bundye and Boondye, comes from the Aboriginal 'Boondi'. According to some authorities, this means 'water tumbling over rocks', while the Australian Museum records its meaning as 'a place where a fight with nullas took place'." - Dictionary of Sydney

Happy Sunday, loverly lot!

I'm really excited to review a new kid on the block - Bondi New York! As the part of name suggests, this made-in-USA retail nail polish brand has its roots firmly embedded in New York. Quirky enough, the founder, Richard Annington, is a Brit, and the label Bondi was randomly named after a famous beach in Australia, because his former assistant is Australian (got to love the nonchalance). Boasting high quality, five-free formula (formaldehyde, formaldehyde resin, camphor, toluene and DBP) in fashion forward shades, their mission to accessorise women's outfits through their nails begins with the initial invasion of 20 colours for Spring/ Summer.

Random Fact #1:
Richard already runs an e-tailer for natural cosmetic brands, but could not find the right nail polish brand to suit their profile.

First Impressions
Bondi is your middle ground between Essie and Estée Lauder; not your conservative shades, but with the formula and allure of attainable luxury. But what made the biggest impression on me, so far, is the excellent customer service they take pride in providing. Firstly, there is a healthy interaction through social media and email correspondence from the staff/ Richard. Then, this came through the mail within less than a week (New York to Singapore) after selecting my preferred complimentary shade for review:
Bondi New York nail mailThe whole vibe was very professional and chic.

Random Fact #2:

Bondi is currently run by a team of six, out of Richard's New York apartment.

My choice for this review is Teal Magnolia (SKU: 10194).
Bondi Teal Magnolia"You'll never have the blues again when you make teal your signature color. It's a beautifully bold move for a delicate flower such as yourself. Now's the time to blossom into a bad-ass." - Bondi New York

Hah! Why, that describes my current state of (nail polish) transition! The cremes in my stash are either pastels, nudes or darks. Perhaps 1 or 2 brights. But this year, I've been venturing into brighter shades, teals and blues in particular. So I decided to take a leap and go for Teal Magnolia. (Cheeying of Inky Polisholicious would approve.)

The photo listed on the website had a more bluish tone to it, but in real life, the green tone is stronger.

The rectangular bottle with square base is very slightly curved on all the 4 surfaces. The matte black cap, of even length as the bottle's height, has a slight rubberised feel to it. The cap twists off with the brush attached.

Susan of The Subtle Shimmer shared in her review that the cap could be pulled off, to reveal another smaller cap inside, attached to the brush (a la Chanel nail polish bottles). As hard as I tried, I couldn't pull mine off! Depending on the design of the bottle, if the caps on angular bottles are the same size as the bottle, I prefer them to come off. Sometimes, after replacing the cap back on tightly, the edges do not align with the bottle's, and it drives me nuts! (borderline OCD) Luckily, this one goes back in line (most of the time).

With that rant out of the way, here's the important bit - the formula. Without a base coat, here's Teal Magnolia in 1 coat:
Bondi Teal Magnolia, 1 coatThe formula is very pigmented, but the viscosity is on the thick side in comparison to formulas like butter LONDON's and a-england's. It's not necessarily a bad thing - it is still easy to work with. On the index finger (top) is 1 thick coat, showing that it can be a 1-coater. A thin first coat could be a tad streaky, but a second coat makes it right (below).

Bondi Teal MagnoliaThe above shows 2 coats, except on the index finger, all without topcoat. Dry time was pretty fast, and it dries very smooth with a slight wax shine, not ultra glossy.

With 1 coat Essence Gel-Look Topcoat:
Bondi Teal MagnoliaA much glossier finish and enhances the colour's intensity (as if not already beyond my usual 'brightness' comfort zone).
Note to self - get rid of Essence Gel-Look Topcoat. Takes too long to dry, and drags a wee bit.

It's just a creme finish. Do we really need a close-up? Why not...
Bondi Teal Magnolia, close-upThe slight difference in the shade on the nail is very possibly due to the lighting.

(Not-so) Random Fact #3:
The deciding factor to create this nail polish line was to provide a lasting nail polish, especially for Richard's friend who manages a bar and forever chippingi her nails.

I've heard that Bondi polishes are pretty resilient on the nails, but I haven't been able to put that to the test (yet). But I do know that this one doesn't stain upon removal. That's the reason I left out my usual routine of applying a base coat before applying nail colour.

Now, you know I can't resist leaving a plain manicure, well, plain. I roped in some more Bondi polishes I purchased from their online store for this striping tape manicure, and hence, the title of this post.
Bondi Polishes - Striped ManiThe other 2 shades used in this manicure are Lady Liberty (pale light blue) and Tavern on The (dark green). It's pretty apt that some of their polishes are in reference to some of New York's icons. And very clever named too, I might add.

When layered over Teal Magnolia, Lady Liberty seem to have reacted with Teal Magnolia and took on a more light green appearance. A copper nail art striping tape was used, and finished with a thick coat of top coat.

Random Fact #4:
The founder is a dog lover and has 3 of his own.

The Brush
Brushes sometimes play an important role in application. Here's how Bondi's measure up to OPI's:

OPI vs Bondi BrushFrom left: OPI and Bondi brushes

The lengths of both brushes are very similar, but Bondi's is about half the width of OPI's. However, having used various brush sizes and shapes, I've learned to appreciate thinner brush sizes, which prove to be easier to work with maneuvering around the cuticles. Nonetheless, stick thin ones (you know which brand I'm referring to) are still a peeve.

More important bits - pricing and shipping.
Bondi nail polishes retail for USD 15.00 per 15ml/ 0.5 fl.oz. bottle via their online store or through Harlow & Co. Shipping costs on BondiNewYork.com ranges from USD 2.99 for domestic shipping with purchase of USD 15.00 or less, and free for purchase above the said amount. International folks will be glad to know that they also ship internationally for a flat fee of USD 3.99.
Harlow & Co. ships for free internationally with a minimum spend of USD 50.00.
Bondi is also spreading its reach through brick and mortar establishments, and it seems they're set for their own stand-alone presence in New Jersey this May. More information on their stockists here.

The price is little on the high side, especially when stacked against well-established brands such as butter LONDON and Julep. I would consider Bondi to be on the same page as NCLA, RGB and La Couleur Couture (lacc). What sets Bondi apart from the first 2 is their accessibility to the international market and consumer interaction, and from La Couleur Couture (lacc), is Bondi's wider and more exciting colour range.

Random Fact #5:
Bondi donates 100% of its net profit to their non-profit foundation, which supports various charities in the USA.

I am already excited to find out what they are working on for their next collection. I'm hoping for more finishes like glitter, shimmers, flakies and, dare I say, holograms?

What do you think about Bondi, and what would you love to see from them in the future?

Hope you have/ are making good use of your Sunday, for tomorrow is the start of another work/ school day. Back to more nail polish swatching I go! 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: Bondi Teal Magnolia was sent for review, while all other polishes were purchased by me. However, all opinions expressed are my own, and will always be.

IsaDora Black Galaxy & Bella Vita

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By A Lacquered Affair · May 1, 2013 · 0 Comments ·

| iz-a-DOR-ah |
A girl's name "of Latin and Greek origin, and the meaning of Isadora is "gift of Isis". Isis was the principal goddess of ancient Egypt. Also feminine form of Isidore, a popular name in ancient Greece." - Think Baby Names

Happy Labour Day, lovelies!

It's a much needed mid-week break for us here in Singapore (and several other countries). Aside from catching up on TV series, it's also the perfect time to catch up on swatches and blogging.

This is my first IsaDora nail polish review. And I've been blessed with several of their pretties with the kindness of Ina of My Nail Polish Online, who hails from Sweden. We did a swap back in late 2012 (and have been great friends ever since), when I expressed desire to try IsaDora polishes. I stalk IsaDora through their Twitter, Facebook and Instagram posts but never found a viable access to them, so I was so thrilled when Ina offered to do a swap! It didn't stop there as she sent a few more for my birthday and Easter! I'm truly overwhelmed!

In the Easter nail mail, she surprised me with Black Galaxy, a shade on my wish list which was sold out earlier. And she got one for herself too! Which eventually led us to plan a twinsie post on Black Galaxy, and also of Bella Vita, a pretty new Spring shade. We are posting these polishes on our blogs the same day, and you can find Ina's here.

The Brand
IsaDora is a Swedish cosmetics brand founded in 1983 and based in Malmö. IsaDora thrives at being the forefront of colour trends, yet keeping prices attractive and product design elegant. The high-quality, natural products are kept fragrance-free, free from harmful chemicals and animal testing. While IsaDora has been launched in over 40 countries, it is yet to make its presence in Singapore (keeping fingers crossed).

Isadora Black GalaxyFirst Impressions
Love the distinctive look of the bottle! I'm usually more fond of round, column-shaped bottles & caps, or square/ rectangular ones, but these stand out and seem a little more high end. The brand's label is printed on the cap in silver mirror finish, with the polish name and number on top, and barcode behind, in black. The product description in front and ingredient and content information at the back are printed on the bottle in white. Each bottle holds 6ml/ 0.2 fl.oz.

The cap is angular, but it clicks shut at the right position, so none of that twisting to make sure the corners align to the bottle's.

Black Galaxy is a black jelly base with tons of silver holographic hex glitter of micro, small to mid sizes. It is part of their Wonder Nail core line and is labeled as new, though I'm pretty sure I've seen it more than a year ago.

Here's how it fairs on the first coat:
Isadora Black Galaxy, 1 coatApologies for the bright flare at the top of the photo. The silver label printed on the cap reflected a lot of light.
This was 1 thin coat over Poshe 4-in-1 Nail Strengthening Treatment basecoat, and 1 thick coat on the pinky. The black jelly base is sheer and, though generously loaded with glitter, isn't gritty. The formula is just the right consistency for a neat application.

I've read about their famed 'Wide Brush' and was excited about it. But it was thicker than OPI'e ProWide, and was a challenge, initially, to maneuver it around the cuticles. More on the brush later in this post.

In 2 coats, finished with 1 coat Seche Vite:
Isadora Black Galaxy
Totally opaque in 2 coats! And due to the jelly nature of the base, there is depth to the finished look, especially with a thick topcoat like Seche Vite. The holographic glitters show up in abundance and really pop! I didn't even have to try hard to get good angles to capture the holographic glitters.

Close-up:
Isadora Black GalaxyIt really lives up to its name!

I chanced upon a possible dupe in my stash - Estessimo TiNS 025 The Saturn. Estessimo TiNS was one of the brands I swapped with Ina with, and is one of my favourites (even though I don't show it much).

Isn't it a little predictable that both polishes of similar look have astrological names?

Here's how they compare in 1 coat:
Isadora Black Galaxy vs Estessimo TiNS The SaturnThe black base in Estessimo TiNS The Saturn is a thick creme, and manages to provide full opacity in 1 coat. The downside - most of the flashy holographic glitters are blanketed by the dark opacity. They just don't show through at all.

The Saturn has a few larger hex glitter pieces as compared to Black Galaxy, and it grittier.

In 2 coats, topped with Poshe Super-fast Drying Topcoat:
IsaDora Black Galaxy vs Estessimo TiNS The SaturnA second coat and a thick topcoat didn't help the holographic glitter in The Saturn to dazzle at all, and it's a real shame since it looked prettier in the bottle. The Saturn appears to be more stark black than Black Galaxy though.

Another IsaDora polish that Ina included in the Easter nail mail was Bella Vita, a new release for Spring 2013.
IsaDora Bella Vita When I first saw this, I thought it was a regular cool-toned lilac creme, but upon closer inspection, there's very subtle blue-purple-silver shimmer to it.

Here's Bella Vita in 1 coat:
IsaDora Bella Vita, 1 coatIt appears streaky on the first coat, but the consistency is great to work with; not too runny, not too thick and lumpy. And this works for me, as I always have the toughest times with cremes.

In 2 coats, topped with 1 coat Seche Vite:
IsaDora Bella VitaCompletely even and opaque in 2 coats! The shade above appears more periwinkle than purple, because, like most cameras, mine has trouble capturing royalty. But in real life, it is more purple. Some of the shimmer is still visible, but only upon close-up.

Close-up:
IsaDora Bella VitaAgain, the purple hue failed to be captured. It is, however, a very pretty shade for Spring.

For fun, I tried combining these 2 polishes in a couple of manis.
IsaDora Bella Vita Gradient Over Black GalaxySo, I tried sponging Bella Vita over Black Galaxy, but not liking the messy effect. This was finished with a coat of Seche Vite. Next...

IsaDora Black Galaxy with Bella Vita Scalloped ManiI had just (properly) learned the scalloped technique (also known as cloud mani) via Young Wild and Polished YouTube video, and thought I'd give it a try, even though IsaDora's brush type isn't highly recommended for this technique. The pinky still had The Saturn on. the mani was finished with a coat of Poshe Super-fast Drying Topcoat.

The Brush
I've always expressed a preference for wide nail polish brushes. But IsaDora's proved to be a little more than what I was prepared to handle. In comparison to other brush sizes:
IsaDora Wide Brush vs OPI ProWide
IsaDora's come in a short, thick and wide form, and slightly curved at the sides (paddle shape, I believe they are called), reminding me of Dior Vernis' brushes. It is much wider than OPI's, so the size and shape combined was very unfamiliar to me to get used to at first. One also has to be careful when removing and replacing the brush back into the bottle, because the wide brush tends to get polish around the bottle neck (which remains the same size as any other nail polish bottles).

With a little more practice, I might be able to get the hang of this wide brush, through it's a challenge maneuvering around the cuticles to get a neat paint job.

What are your thoughts on IsaDora, if you've tried any? I'm probably going to keep bugging IsaDora to expand their brand in our region *grins*.

Remember to check out My Nail Polish Online for her swatches of these 2 beauties.

I dread going back to work tomorrow, but it'll only be 3 more sleeps till the weekend! Hope your Labour Day has been well-spent. 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: I am not sponsored/ endorsed by any of the above-mentioned companies. All opinions expressed are my own, and will always be. All IsaDora products were gifted.

Prevention of Cruelty to Animals 2013

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By A Lacquered Affair · April 14, 2013 · 0 Comments ·

Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Month
"April is Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Month, and each year, the ASPCA urges supporters across the country to support our efforts and Go Orange for Animals in honor of the signing of the ASPCA's charter in 1866. Throughout the month, we’ll be encouraging our members to show their support by donning our signature color and going orange for animals." - ASPCA

Prevention of Cruelty to Animals RibbonPhoto Source

Go Orange, lovelies!

This week's #SGSwatchFest has us showing our love for and support against cruelty to our furry (and some not so furry) friends. Being an owner of cats and animal lover in general, I'm thrilled to show support, despite the lack of orange nail polish to choose from.

Here's quick mani with what I managed to find in my stash:
Prevention of Cruelty to Animals NailsPolishes used:
♥ Rainbow Honey Hoof Wrassle (what an apt name)
♥ Barry M Peach Melba (paw prints)
♥ OPI My Boyfriend Scales Walls (ring finger)
♥ OPI My Private Jet (stamped)

Hoof Wrassle is a burnt orange/ tangerine crelly with gold hex glitter and shimmer peeking through. The pinky shows the colour more accurately. The kitty image was stamped using image plate OB40, from Shoppe Eclecticco. In case you didn't already know, I'm a cat person. *grin*

Close up of the stamped kitty:
OB40 Kitty Image, stampedWith its holographic sparkles, this is one glamour puss!

Being an orange, animal themed event, it's only natural that I rope my ginger cat in for a guest appearance on this post.
Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Nails & Orange catIt was the most challenging shoot, ever! Give me hard to capture holographics anytime!

Besides donning orange, you check for other ways to show your support for animals and the through non-profit animal welfare organisations in Singapore such as the Society for the Prevention of Animals.

Till the next post (very soon), enjoy a relaxing 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.

Lacquer Lust Eternal Bliss

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By A Lacquered Affair · April 7, 2013 · 0 Comments ·

Eternal Bliss
"grayish/white liner holo. This is not a TRUE white holo. Opaque in 2 coats" - Lacquer Lust

Happy Sunday, lovelies!

This is somewhat an impromptu post, or what some would call a queue jumper. I recently purchased Lacquer Lust Eternal Bliss from Shoppe Eclecticco, and posted a mini haul photo on Instagram. It seems a few are intriqued with a white holo polish. Me, I'm obsessed with finding a linear white holo polish since last December, though I've been told by many that it's impossible.

A quick background on the brand: Lacquer Lust is a US-based, big 3-free indie polish label hand-mixed by Jo. I discovered the label on Instagram and have been following, but resisted some of her cult favourite holo creations. Lacquer Lust doesn't ship internationally, but you can get them through e-tailers such as Shoppe Eclecticco and Harlow & Co.

At the request of @inkyinkying and @lovenars, (and out of my own curiosity), I did some quick swatches and comparison of Eternal Bliss. The sun seems to be on vacation this weekend, so I wasn't able to get a shot in the sun *gestures fist at the sky*. @lovernars commented that it could be a perfect polish for weddings. Dove white with hints of the rainbow and a name like Eternal Bliss, understandably so!

First Impressions
The 15ml/ 0.5 fl.oz., slightly curved rectangular bottle houses the polish and 2 mixing balls. A single label on the front contains the main information.
Lacquer Lust Eternal Bliss
As Lacquer Lust explains in the product description, it is not a true white holo. It appears dove white. The soft linear holo is apparent in the bottle.

Here's what I love about Lacquer Lust already:

Lacquer Lust brush comparisonFrom left: a-england, Lacquer Lust, OPI

The brush is flat and wider than most brands, though slightly shorter than and does not fan out towards the tip like OPI's. It makes application easier, covering the nail in fewer strokes. This will be needed, as explained later on.

Here's 2 coats of Eternal Bliss, over 1 coat Poshe 4-in-1 Nail Strengthening Treatment basecoat, without topcoat:
Lacquer Lust Eternal BlissTaken directly under the ligth source, it looks more shimmery, with a faint hint of holo.

With topcoat:
Lacquer Lust Eternal BlissTaken away from the light source, the holo particles are a little less shy, though still very subtle. There's a slight hint of pearlescence with some barely visible brushstrokes (not captured by the camera). Nothing to be overly-concerned with, really. The finish exudes a soft, silk chiffon-y feel. Because it isn't stark white, it flatters most skin tones (or mine, at least).

The formula is thick and pigmented, but not goopy. This gives an opaque coverage in 2 coats. on it's own, it is smooth and glossy enough give the topcoat a skip. But here's the deal - the formula dries pretty fast, hence I had to apply in 3 quick, neat strokes over each nail. The wide brush covers a good deal of area per swipe so application is quicker. No room to go over and correct any spots or mistakes. That has to be done on the second coat. This is pretty much like most of the white nail polish formulas I've encountered.

Here's a comparison with the stark white OPI Alpine Snow to see the difference in the shades:
Lacquer Lust Eternal Bliss vs OPI Alpine SnowAlpine Snow is in 2 coats without topcoat, the second one being slightly thicker. I'll say it again, I dislike the streaky mess that is Alpine snow. In comparison, Eternal Bliss leans towards soft grey.

Annette of Shoppe Eclecticco also explained that the shade isn't a true white due to the metallic nature of the holo pigments, but I was willing to try as the only other experience I had with a white holo was to apply a coat of Spectraflair topcoat over white polish.

I thought I'd do a comparison of that effect with Eternal Bliss:
Lacquer Lust Eternal Bliss vs Spectraflair over Alpine SnowIndex and ring fingers: 2 coats Lacquer Lust with 1 coat Seche Vite topcoat
Middle finger and pinky: 2 coats OPI Alpine Snow, 1 coat Gloss 'n Sparkle Spectra Flair topcoat, 1 coat Seche Vite topcoat

While the Spectraflair topcoat over a white base gives a slightly stronger holo effect, Eternal Bliss' finish is more refined. The Spectraflair particles gives a slightly more metallic finish over the white base, with some fine brushstrokes.

Close-up:

Lacquer Lust Eternal Bliss vs Spectraflair over Alpine SnowFrom left: Lacquer Lust Eternal Bliss, Gloss 'n Sparkle Spectra Flair Topcoat over OPI Alpine Snow

Unfortunately, I do not have Glitter Gal Light As A Feather to compare with.

Eternal Bliss is available on Lacquer Lust's online store for US buyers at USD12.50, while international buyers can await for more restocks on Shoppe Eclecticco, retailing at SGD18.00. (Release date for Harlow & Co. not known yet).
PS: Gloss 'n Sparkle is also available on Shoppe Eclecticco.

2 more sleeps to Polish Days! Über excited!

Have a wonderful Sunday, everyone!

♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

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.

Eye Spy: Orly Summer Mash Up Summer 2013

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By A Lacquered Affair · April 4, 2013 · 0 Comments ·

Mash Up
"The summer season is going to be hot and it demands an equally hot manicure. Enter the new Orly Mash Up Summer 2013 collection. A fab fusion of intense hues with varying finishes, Orly’s summer offering will be hot in demand for certain." - ORLY

Hi lovelies!

Hope everyone survived April's Fool and are having a good midweek. Just 3 more sleeps to the weekend and I'm really looking forward to this one. I get both days off and I intend to do some swatching. It's been a long time since some 'sunkissed' photos have been posted here.

So 2 days ago, I popped by my regular hair salon to get a long overdued trim (yeah, I'm boring like that). I passed by a beauty store that had some ORLY polishes in the storefront, so I decided to check if any were worth getting. I spotted a lemming - After Dark. Bagged!

Round the other side, I saw a holographic glitter of a light green shade I don't remember knowing ORLY had. Looked up the name - Sparkling Garbage. Not heard of. Check the swatch palette and saw that it's from the Summer 2013 collection! WHAT?! *goes all crazy-eyed*

I searched the racks for the other shades, but the rest were not in sight. Checked with the retail assistant and was told they were sold out! (Okay, which Singapore nail polish junkie/ blogger/ Instagrammer swiped them? Own up! LOL!)

So I clinged on to Sparkling Garbage and went trigger happy at the nail palette swatches (taken with my trusty old iPhone 4S):
ORLY Mash Up Summer 2013Here's ORLY's description for each colour:

Harmonious Mess is a powdery lilac
Choreographed Chaos is a candy pink neon
Sparkling Garbage is an aquamarine green
Mayhem Mentality is a neon orange
Pretty-Ugly is a pastel blue
Beautiful Disaster is a deep plum

Closer look:

ORLY Mash Up Summer 2013From left: Mayhem Mentality, Pretty-Ugly and Beautiful Disaster

That blue-green shimmer in Pretty-Ugly is a little intriguing.

ORLY Mash Up Summer 2013Could NOT help but be drawn to the light aquamarine green holographic glitter.

Just to see how they look against the skin:
ORLY Mash Up Summer 2013Personally, I shy away from most summer brights. But I love feasting my eyes on the visual impact and seeing them on others. As a collection, the shades doesn't give that attention-grabbing 'pow' I'd expect from a summer collection, especially with a funky style shot they've done for the collection. And the names...the shades are a tad too safe-looking for their names. It looks like a transition from spring to summer.

I caved to Sparkling Garbage because I always give in to glitter, especially holographic ones. Nothing too unique, but the shade is versatile for most seasonal moods (not that it really matters here in seasonless Singapore).

The store had them for a little over SGD15.00, which is too steep in my opinion. I'd rather recommend that the locals get them from online retailers.

Here's a bottle shot as a sneak to a swatch and review I'll get working on next week:
ORLY Sparkling GarbageThe holographic sparkles refused to be focused!

I don't see myself getting the rest; maybe Harmonious Mess if I get weak. What are your thoughts on this collection? Hit or miss?

Till the next post, polish on!

♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

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. ORLY Sparkling Garbage was purchased on my own.

Easter 2013 feat. Nails Inc. Sprinkles

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By A Lacquered Affair · April 1, 2013 · 0 Comments ·

Sprinkles
"An innovative nail formula that imparts a cupcake-topping effect. With just one product, this polish delivers a unique sprinkle effect. The glitter particles are mattified to give you the perfect amount of sparkle. Available in multiple pastel shades, each is named after the most delicious streets in London." - Nails Inc.

Happy Easter, lovelies!

Whether you're welcoming Spring or observing a religious tradition, I hope the long weekend has been fruitful.
I have a sweet treat today. I'm sharing a bunch of pretties I purchased almost a year ago but had not worn - Nails Inc. Sprinkles. "What? Why do you get polishes for, then? What do you do with them" iHoard.

Anyway, the worse part is that I wouldn't have thought about digging them out if Amanda from Nail Polish Enthusiast hadn't tweeted that she too hasn't tried the ones she has. Long story short, we decided to do a twinsie post; a synchronised post about the same polish(es). Head on here to check out her take on the Nails Inc. Sprinkles. Best part is, the look of the Sprinkles fit pretty well with the Easter theme that #SGSwatchFest is holding this week (on Instagram). Sweet!

Matte glitter was (or probably still is) popular last year, especially in a creme or jelly polish base. While there is some level of shine to them when the light hits, they mostly give effortless pops of colours in a manicure.

Nails Inc. came out with a collection of 4 polishes that specifically gave this effect, drawing inspiration from sprinkles on cupcakes (how could this go wrong with girls?), naming them after famous destinations in London (a Nails Inc. signature) that sound like sweet desserts. I resisted purchasing Sugar House Lane, a grey mix.
Nails Inc. SprinklesFirst Impressions
SWEET! They look pretty sweet and girly by themselves, but the cupcake sticker on the plastic chrome-plated cap reinforced the idea of a bead sprinkles to add cheer to one's cupcake, ice-cream, yoghurt, cake...I could go on. This must sound redundant, but I love the round, column-shaped bottles Nails Inc. polishes come in.

Sweets Way
"White with pastel blue, pink and silver sprinkles" - Nails Inc.
Nails Inc. Sweets WayThe small hex glitter mix is generously packed into a off-white, a tinge of grey crelly base. I think of frozen yoghurt with sprinkles.

Note: All swatches are with 1 coat of Poshe 4-in-1 Nail Strengthening Treatment basecoat.

First coat:
Nails Inc. Sweets Way, 1 coatThe crelly base is pretty sheer at one coat, but there wasn't any problems getting a good amount of glitter to spread over the nail (the index finger, far right, is an odd exception).

Close-up:
Nails Inc. Sweets Way, 1 coatThe formula is slightly on the thick side, but fine to work with.

Nails Inc. Sweets WayPinky and ring finger - 3 coats, middle finger - 2 coats, index finger - 1 coat

A hint of VNL is still visible with 2 coats, so on went another coat. I'm normally not too picky about a fully opaque coverage, but in case one is, it's better to use an opaque coloured base polish under 1 coat of Sweets Way. The problem with 3 coats is that the glitter content is high, making the finish look too thick (especially for what I intend to do later).

3 coats on all nails, topped with 1 coat Seche Vite:
Nails Inc. Sweets WaySweets Way is the demure, subtle sibling in the Sprinkles family.

Being packed with glitter, the finish appears a little uneven, but does not feel gritty. A good dose of topcoat gives the finish a nice even, jelly sandwich look.

Close-up:
Nails Inc. Sweets WayI could imagine wearing this to a baby shower, tea, brunch (imagines on).

In a combo:
Nails Inc. Sprinkles gradientNaturally, I had to attempt a gradient look. The tips are alternately dabbed with Pudding Lane and Topping Lane over Sweets Way. I'm thinking of mult-flavoured ice-cream soda, with sprinkles. Your thoughts?

Topping Lane
"Pink with cerise, silver and purple sprinkles" - Nails Inc.
Nails Inc. Topping Lane (Sprinkles)
Topping Lane is a bubblegum pink crelly base packed with small hex blue-purple, fuchsia and silver glitters. The macro shot couldn't capture the blue-purple correctly and comes out looking very blue.

In 1 coat:
Nails Inc. Topping Lane, 1 coatThe formula is less viscous than Sweets Way, and not as sheer. Like with Sweets Way, the high concentration of glitter in a well-suspended base allow for easy distribution of glitter across the nails.

Close-up:
Nails Inc. Topping Lane, 1 coatOops! Spot the irregular/ broken bits of glitter.

In 2 coats, with 1 coat Seche Vite:
Nails Inc. Topping Lane (Sprinkles)Love that it's opaque in 2 coats!

Close-up:
Nails Inc. Topping Lane (Sprinkles)Why does this makes me think of My Little Pony?

In a combo:
Nails Inc. Sprinkles nail artA horizontal gradient is attempted on the index finger and pinky. The French tips on the middle and ring fingers are bordered with double gold striping tapes. The manicures in this post was supposed to be in line with Easter, but I can't help but think of a sari of an Indian princess with this... (tiime check: 2:34am. No wonder I'm thinking funny)

Pudding Lane
"Teal with navy and gold sprinkles" - Nails Inc.
Nails Inc. Pudding Lane (Sprinkles)Again, the camera neglected the deeper purple tones in the macro shot. There are also small purple hex glitter in Pudding Lane.
*Update 4th April 2013: After much discussion and checking, the purple glitter you see is due to discolouration of the blue glitter or bleeding. Here's a look at Susan's (The Subtle Shimmer) then and now photo of Pudding Lane.

First coat:
Nails Inc. Pudding Lane, 1 coatThe formula on this is similar to Topping Lane; not too sheer, but not opaque in 1 coat. Smooth consistency with no problems with glitter distribution.

In 2 coats, topped with 1 coat Seche Vite:
Nails Inc. Pudding Lane (Sprinkles)
What's on my mind looking at this polish? A confetti-strewn pool during a birthday party. This cool shade of blue is so uplifting!

Close-up:
Nails Inc. Pudding Lane (Sprinkles)*Swoons at the crelly sandwich*

And here's a last Easter combo attempt:
Nails Inc. Sprinkles nail artThe dots on the accent nail were added using OPI My Boyfriend Scales Walls in attempt to tone it down to an Easter feel because this combination is looking like one trippy Easter manicure!

Since this post is a first for Nails Inc. polish, here's a brief look at the brush in comparison to OPI:
OPI vs Nails Inc. brush comparisonNails Inc.'s is a standard round brush that is slightly shorter than OPI's. I still found it comfortable to work with.

I've got to scoot off to bed pronto! I'm excited to check out more Easter posts and manicures tomorrow morning. Don't forget to check out Amanda's (Nail Polish Enthusiast) post on the Nails Inc. Sprinkles.

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 by me.

Maya Cosmetics Graceless Lady, No Big Deal & Grayscale

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

Maya Cosmetics
"Maya Cosmetics is brought to you by the husband and wife team of John and Katherine. After years of naked nails during and for many years after her time in the Army, Katherine became obsessed with wearing fun polishes--then found a passion for creating her own custom colors. John is the vital support backbone (IT, art department, inventory manager) and necessary voice of reason and encouragement!"
 
Maya Cosmetics offer "hand-blended nail lacquers made with cosmetic-grade pigments and glitters, products that are free of dibutyl pthalate, formaldehyde, and toluene" and free from animal testing. Because they "believe that application should be enjoyable, not a hassle", they "strive to offer formulas that are as user-friendly as they are eye-catching!" - Maya Cosmetics

Hi folks!

I'm thrilled to be able to churn out more blog posts this month. Hope everyone is enjoying the long Easter weekend. I'd like to share a relatively new indie label (to me) that was introduced to me by Annette of Shoppe EClecticCo - Maya Cosmetics.

Launched in October 2012, Maya Cosmetics has been creating a good mix of fun and functional, good quality nail polishes. These are the 3 polishes received for review:
Maya Cosmetics Graceless Lady, No Big Deal, GrayscaleFirst Impressions
The polishes I received are mini-sized, approximately 5ml, with 2 stainless steel balls included (I tend to take note of the balls a little more now. They are so important to even out any formula). The labels and design resemble the full-sized ones, sans some wordings and size indication below the brand's logo. The shades I received are dark and/or subdued with subtle glints - just my kinda thang! (ahem, it's The Voice season again, and I'm hooked, especially on Blake Shelton)

So it doesn't get redundant, all the swatches below are with 1 coat of Poshe 4-in-1 Nail Strengthening Treatment basecoat.

Let's start off with...

Graceless Lady
"The name comes from Wild Horses, a Rolling Stones song. It's neutral enough to wear to the office, but it's also super sparkly and interesting!" - Maya Cosmetics
Maya Cosmetics Graceless LadyThis dusty blue-grey creme shade is packed with silver micro glitter and blue and purple shimmers. But that's not all! It is also peppered with scattered holo. I think it's a little fun having an icon related to the polish's name on the back label (shown above in white).

Here's how Graceless Lady fairs in 1 thin coat:
Maya Cosmetics Graceless Lady, 1 coatIt is pretty uneven with sheer spots with the first coat. But the sparkles and tiny bits of scattered holo are already noticeable.
After a slightly thicker second coat:
Maya Cosmetics Graceless LadyComplete opaqueness in 2 coats and the application is a breeze despite a (very) slightly thick formula. The shot taken above is without topcoat. When I stared at my nails, the tiny not-so-in-your-face sparkles seem to give an illusion of gentle texture, but in reality, the finish is smooth and semi-glossy.

Here's a closer look:
Maya Cosmetics Graceless Lady
And with 1 coat of Seche Vite topcoat:
Maya Cosmetics Graceless LadyA layer of topcoat accentuates the sparkles, though quite subtle still. I positioned my hand away from the direct light source to try and capture a better view of the subtle scattered holo. It really takes some playing around with angles to see the hint of scattered holo. It's a pretty touch to the polish. It's there, just don't have too high an expectation on the intensity of the scattered holo effect.

The shade and shimmer in this polish reminded me of China Glaze Immortal. I kept wondering if these 2 are anything alike while I was swatching, so I decided a comparison is necessary.Maya Cosmetics Graceless Lady vs China Glaze Immortal

Comparison: Maya Cosmetics Graceless Lady vs China Glaze Immortal

Turns out, they are nothing alike. Graceless Lady has a strong blue hue in a cool tone of slate grey, while Immortal is a more of a wet concrete shade. The blue and purple/fuchsia shimmer in Immortal seem larger or more concentrated, and hence slightly stronger than Graceless Lady. It could also be that the more contrasting base shade makes the shimmers stand out more in Immortal, though it does not have any holo effect.

Moving on to...

No Big Deal
"It's a mix that I came up with a while ago just playing around in the lab, and the name is one of my office BFF's favorite phrases." - Maya Cosmetics
Maya Cosmetics No Big DealWithin a dark jelly base beholds a generous amount of blue, olive green and gold foil flecks. I'll be biased and admit this is my favourite among the 3.

Here's how it fairs with the first coat:
Maya Cosmetics No Big Deal, 1 coatThe first thin coat shows small amounts of streaks, but nonetheless, the formula is easy to work with. The sheer jelly base shade reminds me of grease - nearly (dirty) black, but not quite. Don't get me wrong; I love dark, 'greasy', edgy shades, despite how misleading the colour scheme of this blog may seem. Notice that the sparkles show up pretty strong.

After a slightly thicker second coat:
Maya Cosmetics No Big DealShown here with 1 coat of Seche Vite topcoat on the index and ring fingers, and without on the middle finger and pinky to compare the level of shine
.
Opacity is achieved in 2 coats. The concentrated amount of flakes mean that it doesn't require a good eye focus to oggle at the sparkles in this polish.

Close-up:

Maya Cosmetics No Big Deal2 coats No Big Deal, with 1 coat Seche Vite topcoat.

No Big Deal brought to mind a similar polish - butter LONDON Jack The Lad. The curiosity led to the following comparison.

In 1 coat:
Maya Cosmetics No Big Deal vs butter LONDON Jack The LadIn a single coat, the difference is apparent - the dark black grease jelly base of No Big Deal versus the green jelly base of Jack The Lad.

Without topcoat:
Maya Cosmetics No Big Deal vs butter LONDON Jack The LadThe dominant green hue in Jack The Lad sets itself apart from No Big Deal.

Here's a closer comparison (with topcoat):

Maya Cosmetics No Big Deal vs butter LONDON Jack The LadComparison: Maya Cosmetics No Big Deal vs butter LONDON Jack The Lad

There are also fewer gold particles in Jack The Lad but higher concentration of foil flecks - forest green in Jack The Lad as compared to olive green in No Big Deal.

Formula-wise, butter LONDON's is less viscous, hence it took 3 coats for full opacity, compared to 2 coats with No Big Deal.

Last, but not least...

Grayscale
"I love the versatility of this polish! It's not matte glitter, but not super sparkly either." - Maya Cosmetics
Maya Cosmetics Grayscale
This one is a little out of the ordinary. Grayscale is packed with small to tiny hex black and white matte glitter, and silver micro glitter in a clear base. I'm very curious about the icon tagged to Grayscale. Is it floral or random dabs of grey? I honestly can't make it out!

Here's the effect in 1 coat:
Maya Cosmetics Grayscale, 1 coatIt covers a tad too much of the nail to work effectively as a topper.

Close-up:
Maya Cosmetics Grayscale, 1 coatThe glitter gets spread quite well over the nail in 3 strokes; there wasn't any fuss with fishing or dabbing. The formula allowed for easy application, though it gets a little thick to work with after a few applications due to exposure to the air. Sealed the cap and gave the bottle a good roll, and I was ready to polish on.

In 2 coats, without topcoat:
Maya Cosmetics GrayscaleClose-up:
Maya Cosmetics GrayscaleOn its own, Grayscale covered a decent amount of nail in 2 coats, though not entirely. If you're very particular about VNL, a third coat should seal the deal.

Without topcoat, the finish is matte, with some texture to it. The sparkles from the silver micro glitter draws a longer gaze at the nails. should have taken a shot without topcoat, but it slipped my mind.

In 2 coats, with 1 thick coat of Seche Vite:
Maya Cosmetics Grayscale

Being slightly textured, it takes a thicker layer of topcoat to get a smooth and glossy finish (or 2, if you're using a less viscous topcoat formula).

Close-up:
Maya Cosmetics GrayscaleThe glitter mix makes me think of shredded newspaper.

Here are some layered combinations:

Maya Cosmetics Grayscale over Graceless Lady1 coat Grayscale over Graceless lady, without topcoat
Maya Cosmetics Grayscale over OPI Pink-ing Of You1 coat Grayscale over 2 coats OPI Pink-ing Of You
Maya Cosmetics Grayscale in OPI Pink-ing Of You sandwichGrayscale in a jelly sandwich with OPI Pink-ing Of You, with 1 coat Seche Vite

I'm not fond of this one. I expected Grayscale to show up better from underneath, as Pink-ing Of You is pretty sheer.

Final Thoughts
To me, the polishes lived up to Maya Cosmetic's aim of hassle-free, user-friendly formulas. It is a pleasant cleanser from the usual glitter bombs most indie polish brands offer. I appreciate the refined and understated look of Graceless Lady and No Big Deal. While not everyone can pull off Grayscale, it makes for a good option for nail designs (which I didn't have the time to pursue in this post).

Last Look
Okay, I just had to attempt to combine these 3 polishes in a manicure, despite them looking out of place and uninteresting together, and me running out of ideas.
Maya Cosmetics Graceless Lady, No Big Deal, GrayscaleNo Big Deal as the base polish, with Graceless Lady in a French Tip, and accent nail with Grayscale as a glitter gradient, topped with 1 coat Seche Vite. How un-Easter-like. Oh well.

Maya Cosmetics retails for USD 9.50 each on their website, and ships to US and very selected international countries. International customers can rejoice in knowing that Shoppe EClecticCo stocks Maya Cosmetics at SGD15.50 each and ships internationally. Follow Maya Cosmetics and Shoppe EClecticCo's Facebook pages to get up-to-date re-stock information and promotions.

Till the next post (hopefully very soon), have a happy Easter 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: Maya Cosmetics polishes were 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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