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It’s weird to think I haven’t posted in two weeks…and that it’s been two weeks since I’ve done my nails! I’m actually still wearing the polish I had on when I left New York, OPI Alcatraz…Rocks (San Francisco, Fall 2013), a textured slate blue with royal purple and chartreuse glitter:

Alcatraz...Rocks

Picture taken in sunlight. This applied well; I got full coverage in two coats. This is definitely my favorite Liquid Sand polish so far! The finish has that night sky look to it, with the multicolored glitter standing out from the deep blue base. It’s really glittery, and sparkles beautifully in the light,  When I first put this on, I felt like I was seeing a different color every time I looked at my nails. Sometimes it seemed blue, other times a deep amethyst, other times a gunmetal/black. But in every way, shape, and form, it’s absolutely gorgeous. I love it so much that I didn’t mind also wearing it on my toes. :)

Since I’ve had this polish on for more than just a couple of days, I can really comment on the wear. I had heard that Liquid Sands wear tough, and now I really believe it. I’ve been really rough on my hands these past two weeks, with packing and unpacking and repacking my suitcase. Of course I had some tipwear, but not once did this polish chip along the tips of my nails. Oddly, when I did get chips, they were along the cuticle. Anyway, what I love about the Liquid Sand finish is that since it doesn’t require topcoat, doing touchups is so easy and practically seamless. Every few days I would fill in any chips and cover up tipwear, and my mani would look good again. The only thing that would give away the fact that it wasn’t a fresh mani was my nail growth. Also, over time, the grittiness of the Liquid Sand finish wears away, like how the elements eventually smooth the surface of a stone. My toes fared much better; even after two weeks I don’t even have any tipwear, let alone chips! The only polishes I brought with me to Paris were Liquid Sands (all have been swatched here already). I get really annoyed by chips, so i figured they would be great to have since I can’t do my nails as often anymore. I’m glad to see at least one of them stood up to expectations; hopefully I’ll be able to say the same for the rest!

<3sarah

It’s been a hectic few days; I’ve just relocated to Paris! I meant to post this NOTD before I left but never got around to doing it. Nails Inc. Tate is a deep blood red jellyish creme:

Tate

Picture taken in natural light. This applied well; this could probably qualify as a “crelly” because it’s slightly translucent (more so than a creme that’s just not highly pigmented), but has a degree of opacity that keeps it from being a true jelly. I still used three coats for full opacity. The color definitely deepens from the second to third coat, so if you wanted to keep the color brighter, it still looks okay at two coats. This is definitely one of those classic reds that could be that one staple in someone’s collection (not me, though, since I can’t keep track of how many red cremes I have. :)) This one seems to look different under various lighting conditions; sometimes it looks like it has a brown tone to it, and other times it looks like a very deep cherry red. This was the last Nails Inc. polish I have that was still untried, so I’m glad to have worn it. I paired this with China Glaze Calypso Blue on my toes.

<3sarah

After wearing and loving Cameo so much, I was really looking forward to trying the polish I bought along with it. Illamasqua Noble is a vibrant robin’s egg blue creme:

Noble\

Picture taken in sunlight. The formula was smooth and applied well in two coats, plus some touchups. Just like Cameo, this color was very bold; it has a great, strong presence on the nail. But while Cameo was a soothing, calming type of color, this shade is incredibly bright and vibrant. I’m used to seeing robin’s egg blue in lighter or pastel forms, so it’s nice to see something a bit different. This was so bold that I was almost inclined to call it a teal! Whichever way this shade is defined, it’s absolutely stunning. Though it can probably work year-round, I’m glad I tried it at this point in the summer. It makes me think of both water and the sky. I paired this with Chanel Riviera on my toes.

<3sarah

The last of these polishes I have to try is Nails Inc. Chelsea Physic Garden (Spring/Summer Trend, 2013), a pastel sky blue creme:

Chelsea Physic Garden

Picture taken in weak sunlight. (A rare photo on the second day of wear.) This applied much like Royal Botanical Gardens; the formula looked streaky on the first coat, but was quite thick and pigmented, so with a few touchups I got full coverage in two coats. Just like turquoise, I’m always drawn to this sweet type of pastel sky blue whenever I see it in a collection. It may be light, but it’s definitely not pale. It’s stark and pigmented enough to have a strong presence on the nail, yet looks pretty and delicate at the same time (a quality I always love to see in a pastel). It’s also a very calming shade; it makes me want to lie in the grass and look up at the sky. :) I paired this with OPI Dutch Tulips on my toes.

<3sarah

I tried half of this collection a couple of weeks ago, and I’ll try the other half over this weekend (at least I think this collection has four polishes in it; they were the only ones I saw that had ice cream stickers on the cap.) Nails Inc. Royal Botanical Gardens (Spring/Summer Trend, 2013) is a pastel greenish turquoise creme:

Royal Botanical Gardens

Picture taken in sunlight. I expected this to be streaky, as light pastel colors tend to be, but the formula was also nicely thick and pigmented, so I got full coverage in two coats with some touchups. I love turquoise polishes the most in creme form, so I was defintely drawn to this. This pretty shade is unmistakably turquoise, but it leans ever so slightly more green than blue. It has that light, sweet pastel look, but the color is pigmented enough to look bold and stark instead of pale. When I wear them in the summer, turquoises like this also make me think of the beach. :) I paired this with NARS Anardana on my toes.

<3sarah

For my first layered mani in months, I’m wearing another long standing untried. Lippmann Happy Birthday (my bottle is the “old” version, from Holiday 2009) is a multicolored hex and small square glitter in a clear base. I layered it over Chanel Black Velvet:

Happy Birthday (over black)

Picture taken in sunlight. I used two coats of Black Velvet, and “two” of Happy Birthday, The glitter is actually not that dense so painting in normal brushstrokes will deposit just a very sparse amount on the nail. Instead, I applied drops of glitter and spread it around to make sure I had even distribution, repeating the process twice to get plenty on there. I feel like this is the OG “party glitter;” I think it’s the first one I ever bought. “Party in a bottle” is an accurate descriptor; I see so many colors of glitter, in both the hexagonal and square shapes: silver, yellow, green, orange, blue, fuchsia. I like putting this type of glitter over black to make those colors really pop. This isn’t my favorite of the few party glitters I’ve tried so far; I prefer Nails Inc. Soho Street because it’s more dense at two coats, but I still like this classic. I paired it with Illamasqua Aorta on my toes.

<3sarah

Although this polish isn’t so summery, I wanted to continue wearing more long-standing untrieds. Chanel Graphite (llusions d’Ombres de Chanel, Fall 2011) is a silvery gunmetal foil with flecks of gold microglitter:

Graphite

Picture taken in sunlight. This applied well, though I needed three coats for full coverage. The base is not that pigmented, but is loaded with microglitter, which shines through nicely. Any brushstrokes are totally covered up by the microglitter. This has shot straight to the top of my list of favorite metallics. I already love it for being incredibly sparkly, but it’s also a unique chameleon of a polish. Sometimes I look at it and it seems like a cool, dark gunmetal, other times it looks lighter and more silvery, other times it looks warm-toned, with a greenish-gold cast to it. The microglitter also gives this great, foily texture to the finish that you can see even out of bright light. Overall, it’s simply gorgeous, with such interesting depth and dimension. I paired this with MAC Seriously Hip on my toes.

<3sarah

It always feels nice to finally wear a long-standing untried. This bottle was sitting unopened in my Helmer for four years! Illamasqua Poke is a bright violet with fine, multicolored shimmer:

Poke

Picture taken in sunlight. The formula was buttery smooth, but not that pigmented, so I used three thin coats for full opacity. It needs to be a little sheer, anyway, to let all that shimmer shine through. This can look brushstroke-y, but the shimmer and painting straight strokes help cover it up. It’s great that the color still looks as bold as it does, even without a high pigmentation. This is an absolutely gorgeous shade of purple! It looks rich and velvety, yet bright at the same time. The shimmer is fine but adds a very intense sparkle. It’s multicolored, but the color that stands out to me the most is turquoise, which provides a lovely contrast against the violet base color. They are not even close to being dupes of each other, but since they are both purples with greenish shimmer, I’m thinking this is like a cousin to Rescue Beauty Lounge Scrangie. I paired this with OPI Jade is the New Black on my toes.

<3sarah

Red cremes are one type of polish I’d wear year-round. I can’t believe I haven’t worn one since winter, so I’m remedying that with Essie Russian Roulette, a cherry red jelly:

Russian Roulette

Picture taken in sunlight. This applied well, and since it’s a jelly, the formula is slightly sheer. This builds nicely, and it looked pretty good at two coats, but I used three to get a higher degree of opacity. Though I applied this to make it look as opaque as a creme, it’s still obvious that the finish is a jelly. It’s very glossy, even without topcoat, and it has that recognizable squishy look. I feel like it’s very summer-appropriate, due to the translucency of the finish, and because it’s a fairly bright shade of red. This is another that could fall into the category of “pin-up reds;” I never tire of wearing those. :) I paired this with China Glaze Sea Spray on my toes.

<3sarah

I was wearing mostly blues and greens in June, but I had a couple of extras that I didn’t get the chance to try; this is one of them. Illamasqua Cameo is a bold cornflower blue creme:

Cameo

Picture taken in sunlight. This applied well, going on smoothly in two coats, with touchups in between. This is a gorgeous shade of blue! It looks soft and slightly dusty, since cornflower blue just has that quality to it, but it looks bold at the same time, since it’s so highly pigmented. I can’t even remember when I bought this, but I’m pretty sure it was cold outside. I’m not sure if this even belongs to a seasonal collection (this was a Sephora exclusive but now it’s also sold through Illamasqua’s website), but it seems perfect to wear now. The color is so calming; it makes me think of warm, breezy summer days (Summer isn’t even over yet and I’m already feeling nostalgic about it!) I paired this with Chanel Mistral on my toes.

<3sarah

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