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I did love trying those speckled polishes, and I have even more to try this month, but instead of trying so many glitters in a row, I thought I’d give my nails a break, removal-wise, by throwing some cremes in between. Essie Maximillian Strasse Her (Spring 2013) is a cool, faded sage green creme:
Picture taken in natural light. (My photo makes it look a little mintier than it should; it’s a slightly warmer green in real life.) Because this is a light color, I expected to need three coats for full coverage, but since the formula is nicely thick and pigmented, I only needed two, with some touchups. I like this polish a lot more than I expected to! Apart from the good formula, I love the color as well. It’s a dusty color, but it’s not too greyed. Despite being faded, it still actually looks like a very fresh, springy green. There’s something really calming about this shade, too; I can see it as a color someone would paint their walls with. I also really love the concept behind this collection, that the polish names are inspired by major global shopping destinations. This one is named after Maximilianstraße in Munich. I paired this with OPI Did You ‘Ear About Van Gogh? on my toes.
Since I finally got a day with good sunlight, I took the opportunity to wear a sparkly polish that was released in the winter but that looks pretty springlike to me. China Glaze Running in Circles (Cirque du Soleil: Worlds Away) is a bright grass green microglitter:
Picture taken in sunlight. The base was a bit sheer to let all that microglitter shine through, but it builds to opacity in three coats. I did some extra tip-wrapping to prevent tip pull. This is gorgeous!! The microglitter is of the tiny, irregular flake variety, so you can see it defined on the nail even in the shade. Of course, it sparkles wonderfully in the sun too. I also love this shade of green! It’s incredibly bright and vibrant, and surprisingly strong in color, for having a relatively sheer base. It may not be as deep as a true emerald, but it still makes me think of Oz and The Emerald City. Oh, and also absinthe. There’s definitely something hypnotizing about it. I paired this with OPI Pedal Faster Suzi! on my toes.
Since I didn’t haul this until after the holidays, I knew I’d end up wearing this as my St. Patrick’s Day green this year. China Glaze Winter Holly (Holiday Joy, Holiday 2012) is a fine forest green, gold and holographic glitter in a clear base:
Picture taken in sunlight. The glitter is fine so the formula was not as thick and clumpy as standard-sized glitters can get. The first coat looked patchy, but it’s nearly opaque by the second coat, and fully opaque by the third. It’s pretty smooth after just one coat of topcoat, not glassy-smooth but definitely not gritty or bumpy. This is gorgeous! I love the deep forest green color, and how it’s nicely broken up with some gold glitter. That would have been lovely enough on its own, but the holographic glitter really takes it over the top! It’s a scattered holo effect and not a linear one, but there’s still so much holo glitter in there. I see it sparkle and flash whenever I move my nails around in the light; it’s really stunning. St. Patrick’s Day is a couple of days away from when I put this on on Friday, but this is such a hard-wearing finish that I’m confident it’ll still look like new on Sunday. I doubled up on green and paired this with China Glaze Glittering Garland on my toes.
To change up my color palette for a new month, I have a few more dark colors to try before winter’s end. Illamasqua Rampage is a deep hunter green jelly:
Picture taken in sunlight. (This was actually taken on the second day of wear, but at least I got the clarity from a sunlight photo.) This applied very well, needing three coats for full, even coverage. True to jelly form, you see the true base color on the first coat, then the shade deepens significantly on the second and third. Although the jelly formula always requires at least three coats, the über-glossy finish is absolutely lovely. The sunlight has really lit this up and reflects more of the base color, but in natural light it looks proper vampy. It’s like a slightly less blackened version of NARS Zulu; it’s still very dark but its green-ness is easier to see. I normally like to photograph my manis right after doing them, to capture it in its most pristine moment, but photographing this after wearing it for a day shows me how well it wears; I don’t even have any tipwear! I always thought I’d wear this with short nails, like I saw in a promo image, but I’m really enjoying growing my nails out at the moment (plus I’m really lazy about filing them anyway. ) I paired this with Rescue Beauty Lounge Film Noir on my toes.
I thought I’d wear a polish that seemed appropriate for tonight’s Golden Globes, but the color didn’t turn out quite as I’d expected. China Glaze Ray-diant (Prismatic Chroma Glitters, Spring 2012) is a golden-green glitter with multicolored glitter and hex pieces:
Picture taken in natural light. This applied well; I used three coats for total coverage. This was one of the ones that turned out relatively smoother on just one coat of topcoat. I couldn’t decide whether this was mostly gold or green, but now that I have it on I see that it’s both at the same time. I couldn’t manage to capture the gold aspect in photos, but there are times when it looks more obviously gold, and others when it looks more obviously green. This greenish-gold blend is the straight on color, then shifts to a more aqua green. Mixed with the multicolored glitters, the overall finish gives off sort of a Mardi Gras feel! I paired this with Sally Hansen Laser (HD) over Sally Hansen Blue It (Xtreme Wear) on my toes.
Now I’m wearing my other favorite color from this collection. China Glaze Optical Illusion (Prismatic Chroma Glitters, Spring 2012) is an aqua green glitter with multicolored glitter and hex pieces:
Picture taken in natural light. This applied well, needing three coats for full coverage. Surprisingly, just one coat of topcoat leaves the surface feeling relatively smoother than the previous two polishes I tried. Straight-on, the main color is this gorgeous aqua green, then as I angle my nails upward it shifts into a bluish tint, then finally purple. There’s many different colors of small glitter mixed in with the aqua green, but there’s some bright greenish-teal glitter that really stands out. This is absolutely stunning, and is the ultimate mermaid-looking polish! This is what I’d imagine a mermaid’s tail would look and feel like. I paired this with Sally Hansen Byte (HD) over Sally Hansen Torrid Bloom (Salon) on my toes.
So far I’ve been mostly switching back and forth between this year’s OPI And Essie holiday collections. After a couple of manis in a row of the latter, I’m returning to the former with OPI Live and Let Die (Skyfall Collection, Holiday 2012) is a blackened forest green with gold and green irregular microglitter:
Picture taken in sunlight. This applied well; the formula was nicely thick and pigmented and I got full coverage in two coats. This is a gorgeous, deep shade of green. Since it’s a forest green, it leans slightly more on the yellow side. It is very dark, so in low-lighting situations it practically looks black. I don’t say this often about greens, but the shade’s so deep that it looks vampy. Naturally, the finish looks best in the sun, where you can see all the microglitter light up. It’s the type of microglitter I love, too, the kind that looks like tiny, crushed-up flaky glitter. I’ve jumped the gun a bit; the official start of winter is still a week away, but this is totally perfect for the season. I paired this with China Glaze Emerald Sparkle on my toes.
This is the probably the only polish I’ll be trying this month that isn’t from a holiday collection, but it is a green and I wanted to get this out of the way before year’s end. OPI Number One Nemesis (The Amazing Spider-Man) is a smoky charcoal-green microglitter:
Picture taken in artificial light. (In the absence of sunlight, I had to resort to artificial lighting to capture the sparkle at all.) This applied well but was a little sheer so I ultimately needed three coats for full coverage. The main color may be this awesome, murky reptilian green, but there are other colors of microglitter scattered in there, like gold, silver, green and blue. It always has that smoky appearance, but at times I look at it and it seems more green, and other times more gunmetal. I heard that this was a dupe to Chanel Graphite (which I own but haven’t tried yet), but I bought it anyway because these two polishes don’t seem like exact dupes. Graphite doesn’t look green to me, at least in the bottle, while I’ll always classify Number One Nemesis as a green over a gunmetal. Comparisons to other polishes aside, this is a gorgeous polish in both color and finish. I think it’s a perfect representation of The Lizard in the film. I paired this with Sephora by OPI 212-Sephora on my toes.
Since I haven’t worn a creme in a few manis, and to wrap up my trying of this collection, I’m wearing China Glaze Westside Warrior (Metro, Fall 2011), an olive-army green creme:
Picture taken in weak sunlight. This applied well and was nicely pigmented; I got full coverage in two coats, with some touching up. I have a few olive polishes, but this one stands apart for being more green-toned, as opposed to yellow or brown. It’s a dark shade, but not blackened. The overall green tone also makes me look at this as an army green, though it doesn’t have the same dusty khaki appearance as the other army greens I’ve tried. The smooth, pigmented formula makes the finish look so rich and creamy. Suddenly I’m wanting a martini… I paired this with Color Club Uptown Girl on my toes.
I know this Hunger Games collection came out to coincide with the film’s release, but I always thought the colors seemed more fall-like, so I’m trying them now. China Glaze Agro (The Hunger Games Capitol Colors) is a yellow-toned olive-leaf green shimmer:
Picture taken in sunlight. This applied well and was highly pigmented; I needed two coats for total coverage. There are brushstrokes, but they’re the kind that look like delicate ribbons of shimmer rather than frosty streaks. The bright sun really brings out the leaf green aspect of the color, but out of such direct light it looks more olive. I spot different colors of shimmer in there, but the dominant color is gold, which lends an overall yellow tone to the green. I love this polish; the combination of the shade and finish give it an incredibly lush and rich look. I paired this with OPI Overexposed in South Beach on my toes.