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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

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

The gentlemen’s singles of the 2013 Wimbledon Championships ended on a very bitter note for me, so much so that I just want to forget about the result. Thankfully I’m ending my trying of this collection with a gorgeous polish. OPI Tiffany Case (Bond Girls) is a textured medium icy blue shimmer loaded with silver and aqua glitter and silver hex glitter:

Tiffany Case

Picture taken in sunlight. The formula was a bit thicker than the others, because it seems to contain the most glitter, but it still applied well in two coats. Out of all the polishes in this collection, this one looks the most similar between its wet and dry states. It’s already really sparkly when wet, and even more so when it’s dry. The color lightens a bit, as the silver glitter rises to the surface, but it’s not a dramatic color shift. The finish also seems to have a metallic quality to it, but I think that’s just from the sheer amount of silver glitter, the blue base itself doesn’t seem metallic, though it’s not sheer and jelly-like, either. The gritty texture doesn’t come across as much as it does in the other polishes (I think I’m being blinded by the glitter), but it certainly feels rougher than all the others. The glitter definitely takes over this polish, but it’s beautiful! It’s predominantly silver, but there are these lovely glints of aqua that really stand out. The hex glitter is noticeable, but it’s small, so it doesn’t throw off the overall look. I know  this is named for a Bond Girl, but I can’t help but think of Cinderella when I look at this. I paired it with Chanel Flamingo on my toes.

<3sarah

This isn’t part of the Bond Girls collection, but I always choose a red for my 4th of July mani. Since I’m on a Liquid Sand tear, I thought it would be the perfect time to wear OPI Magazine Cover Mouse (Couture de Minnie), a textured red, gold, and pink glitter in a bright strawberry red base:

Magazine Cover Mouse

Picture taken in natural light. (Click to see in greater detail. I wish I had had sunlight to take this picture in, but what I like about Liquid Sands is that they still look great in natural light photos.) This applied well; I already got full coverage at one coat, but I did two for a greater color payoff. This has such a similar look to Jinx, but I like this even more because it’s a red! While it’s still wet, it looks like those beautiful red microglitters that seem come around every holiday season (especially for OPI), but when this is fully dry the glitter rises to the surface and the finish totally changes. Again, I’m amazed that even without topcoat, this finish is really sparkly and doesn’t look flat at all. This may be my favorite red glitter; of course I love the look and feel of it, but I also appreciate the low-maintenance factor (since it dries quickly and topcoat isn’t needed.) The combination of glitter works really well; the red and pink don’t clash at all, and they both look nice with the gold. I really love this shade of red, it has me craving strawberries and cream. :) I paired this with Essie Smooth Sailing on my toes.

<3sarah

At the midway point of this year’s Championships at Wimbledon, I’m at the halfway point in trying this collection with OPI Jinx (The Bond Girls), a textured orange and gold glitter in a fiery orange base:

Jinx

Picture taken in sunlight. This applied well, needing two coats for full coverage. Before it dried down, the formula looked and acted like a microglitter in a jellylike base, similar to China Glaze Riveting, with even more microglitter (and it would probably look similar to that if you were to add topcoat). But after this fully dries down, the gold glitter rises to the surface and the finish takes on that amazing glittery, textured look. It’s amazing that it’s so sparkly and not flat without topcoat, but I guess that’s just the magic of this Liquid Sand finish. Not only do I love the look of it, but I really love the gritty feel as well. This is mesmerizing to look at, particularly in direct light; it’s like being entranced by a flame! I paired this with Essie Braziliant on my toes.

<3sarah

The odd bird in this collection seemed most appropriate to try now, after the carnage of Day 3 at Wimbledon, dubbed “Black Wednesday.” OPI Vesper (The Bond Girls) is a textured polish consisting of black glitter in a vampy purple base:

Vesper

Picture taken in weak sunlight. The base was a bit sheer (which I guess is a good thing, to let the glitter come through for a more textured feel), so I needed three coats for full coverage. The color is so strange; on the first coat the purple looks cool-toned, but by the third coat it looks like a wine/raisin purple (but when I hold my fingers right up against the light, I can still see the cool purple tone.) I do like the color, though, it’s deliciously vampy. I also love feeling the texture in this, but I wish the black glitter was more obvious. I think it got obscured because I had to do three coats. It still has a bit of a glisten, though, because of the sand-like particles. Though I wish this was as glitzy as the others in this collection (while still being vampy), I still love it because it suits its namesake perfectly. Vesper Lynd is my favorite Bond girl (and my favorite Bond girl name, too); Eva Green looked so gorgeous and mysteriosuly sexy in Casino Royale. I also tend to associate purple with Vesper because one of her most memorable outfits was a beautiful jewel-toned purple dress. :) I paired this with Illamasqua Scorn on my toes.

<3sarah

When I bought this entire collection, I was eager to try them, because I really love the Liquid Sand finish, but I thought they’d be perfect to try during Wimbledon, since the James Bond franchise and The Championships are both quintessentially British. Over the tournament I’ll be wearing them all, starting with OPI Honey Ryder (The Bond Girls) is a textured light blonde gold metallic glitter:

Honey Ryder

Picture taken in weak sunlight. (The lack of strong sunlight doesn’t properly show off its sparkliness, but I was happy to get a photo that shows off the texture and doesn’t have glare, which I always have to deal with when photographing metallics). This applied well; as long as you work fast it won’t get cuticle draggy. If I was in a hurry I probably could’ve gotten away with one coat, but here I did two. It dries fast, but not instantly, so I’d wait about ten minutes to really let this set. I’m not often drawn to gold polishes, but this neutral shade is just the kind of gold I like the most. That, combined with this Liquid Sand finish that I absolutely love, makes this my favorite plain gold polish. The texture and glitter totally mask the brushstrokes that come along with a metallic finish. While painting I accidentally got a drop of polish on my knee, and when I wiped it away some of the grit was left behind, and it actually looked like real sand, which is particularly fitting, considering the inspiration for the name. The scene of white bikini-clad Ursula Andress coming out of the ocean and onto shore in Dr. No is one of the most iconic in Bond movie history! I paired this with OPI Vampsterdam on my toes.

<3sarah

This is a departure from the blues and greens I’ve been trying, but I think this is the last untried polish I have from this collection so I just wanted to get it done. China Glaze Glitter All The Way (Holiday Joy, Holiday 2012) is a mix of gold, green, purple and red glitter in a clear base:

Glitter All The Way

Picture taken in weak sunlight. The formula was like any glitter in a clear base. I applied a first, patchy coat to give the additional coats something to grip, then applied a thick second coat to really build opacity, then a thin third coat to ensure complete, even coverage. I only used one coat of topcoat but two or more would be needed to get a glassy smooth finish. I labeled this a gold for categorization’s sake, but to me, this doesn’t really have a predominant color. All the colors contrast nicely and really stand apart from each other, but there’s an even amount of all four so there’s no main color. The glitter is hexagonal; the gold, purple and red glitter are tiny, while the green glitter is slightly larger, but still very small. As many have noted, this looks perfect for Mardi Gras! I paired this with OPI Dutch ‘Ya Just Love OPI? on my toes.

<3sarah

Most of the blues and greens I have slated for this month are cremes, but I have just one glitter that combines all those shades. China Glaze Water You Waiting For (Cirque Du Soleil: Worlds Away) is a deep blue, turquoise green, and blue-purple glitter in a blue-tinted base:

Water You Waiting For

Picture taken in sunlight. The glitter is very dense, so I only needed two coats, with touchups in between, for complete coverage. As I continued to work with it, the formula became thicker and a little clumpy. It looks flat without topcoat, so I used one coat to bring out the sparkle. At least two would be needed for a glass-smooth finish. This looks absolutely gorgeous, especially when you look at it up close and really appreciate the detail. The blue glitter is dominant, and the turquoise green and very blue-toned purple glitter provide nice contrast and dimension. All the glitter is very fine, but there seems to be two sizes: tiny regular glitter and slightly larger round glitter. Punny as the name is, it’s really appropriate; it’s like looking into fantastical seawater (though I think it has that galactic vibe as well). I paired this with Sephora by OPI Caribbean Cocktail on my toes.

<3sarah

After weeks of mostly cremes, I wanted to throw in one glitter before getting into another row of cremes. China Glaze Pizzazz (Holiday Joy, Holiday 2012) is a mainly silver multicolored blend of small and large hex glitter in a clear base:

Pizzazz

Picture taken in sunlight. This is really a polish that’s meant to be layered, as it’s not that dense of a glitter, but with some work it can be opaque on its own. I didn’t really paint this on like a normal polish; I put a lot of glitter on the nail then spread it around, then let that initial “coat” dry a little, then filled in any empty spots with more glitter. I also moved the glitter around with a cuticle stick to get nice, even lines. When you look at this close up, you can see all the different colors of glitter: silver, fuchsia, sky blue, green, orange, yellow. But from a distance, the silver really dominates. Next time I use this I’ll probably put it over black to make all those colors pop, but I just wanted to see what this sort of “party in a bottle” glitter would look like on its own. I paired this with OPI Metallic 4 Life on my toes.

<3sarah

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