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I’ve been trying lots of blues and turquoises, but now I have on something that’s solely green. Essie First Timer (Resort Collection, 2013) is a bright spring green creme:
Picture taken in sunlight. The formula was thick yet runny. It didn’t apply very smoothly but was quite pigmented, so I only needed two coats for full coverage, with some touchups in between to make sure there would be no uneven spots. The formula wasn’t perfect, but I love this color. In terms of blue vs. yellow toned, I think this sits right in the middle; it doesn’t seem to lean either way (which I appreciate, because I feel like I don’t see that so often.) This green is light and springy, but it also has a great, almost neon-like vibrancy. It has a bold, stark quality on the nail, which I love to see in any season, but especially around summertime (I imagine this would look amazing against a tan.) I paired this with Sephora by OPI Alley Cat on my toes.
The pastels I’ve tried recently have been of the speckled variety, but I do have some plain cremes as well. Ciaté Strawberry Milkshake is a warm, light pastel pink creme:
Picture taken in natural light. This was pretty well pigmented, but still streaky. It went on smoothly though, so I got full coverage in three easy coats. I thought this would be like your standard pastel pink, but I love it so much more than I expected to! Perhaps it’s because I just tried it, but this color reminds me of I’m Not Edible without the black glitter. It’s a warmer shade than baby pink, which sets it apart from other pink pastels. My favorite thing about it is how very stark it is! It’s stark without being too pale, so it actually looks really bright and vibrant. It totally gives me an ice cream craving, and this sort of pink also reminds me of adorable piglets. I paired this with OPI Thanks a Windmillion on my toes.
I couldn’t stay away from these speckled, sprinkly polishes for long, so today I have on Lippmann I’m Not Edible (Staccato Collection, Spring 2013), a sweet pastel pink creme with small black hex glitter:
Picture taken in sunlight. The sun sort of washes out the color, making it look really light, stark and very pastel, but it can look a a couple of shades darker (but still light pink) out of direct lighting. I’m so pleasantly surprised by all these smoothly-applying pastels I’ve been trying lately! Because this one was so pigmented, with some touchups I only ended up doing two coats instead of three full ones. Even though this look involves black hex glitter in a pastel creme base, the polishes from this collection are different than the Speckled Nail Varnishes from Illamasqua’s I’mperfection collection. While the Illamasquas had both large hex pieces and small regular glitter, these only have smaller hex pieces (which was justification enough for me to get them all :p) The black glitter works equally well here. There’s quite a lot of it, and it stands out nicely against the pastel base. The pink color looks incredibly sweet and delicious, too. It really makes me want a strawberry ice cream! I paired this with OPI Hey! Get in Lime! on my toes.
For Easter tomorrow I’m wearing the last of these speckled polishes I have (I didn’t buy the tan, Freckle.) Illamasqua Fragile (I’mperfection, Spring 2013) is a pale pastel sky blue creme with black hex glitter and fine black glitter:
Picture taken in sunlight. This applied very well like the rest; I used three coats for really solid, opaque coverage. I really like how the finish gets smooth with just one coat of topcoat, even though the creme base is full of glitter. It’s hard to pick a favorite from this collection, but if I absolutely had to, I’d pick this one, just because I adore pastel blues. This shade looks so light and airy. It’s pale, but also perfectly stark, and not too whited-out. It’s such a sweet and dreamy blue! I own a couple of similarly-colored creme polishes, so I appreciate the unique addition of the black glitter. I really love this speckled look; Illamasqua did a great job with making these polishes truly look like speckled candy eggs. They make for delicious-looking nails, too. I paired this with Illamasqua Caress on my toes.
Up next in this line of speckled polishes is Illamasqua Mottle (I’mperfection, Spring 2013), a pastel sage-mint creme with black hex glitter and fine black glitter:
Picture taken in sunlight. The formula seemed thick but still applied well in three coats. I tried doing thinner coats this time and I didn’t experience any wrinkling at the tips after topcoat. The color reminds me of a more pastel version of Milf, so I described this shade of green similarly. It’s not a typical shade of mint, which has a more aquamarine tone, but I do still think of it as one. The more I look at it, the more I love it! It has this really retro vibe. The pastel shade also really works well with the black glitter. In addition to looking like candy eggs, it also reminds me of mint chip ice cream. Once again I’m left wanting to eat my nails. I paired this with Illamasqua Wink on my toes.
Easter comes early this year, so to close out the month I’m getting started on some of this spring’s new pastels. Pastels for spring is nothing new, but I’m excited to see some in an interesting new speckled finish. I’ll start with Illamasqua Speckle (I’mperfection, Spring 2013), a pastel lilac creme with black hex glitter and fine black glitter:
Picture taken in sunlight. This applied smoothly, particularly for a pastel, and a pastel with glitter at that. I needed three coats for full, even coverage. The glitter does not feel rough; one coat of topcoat should suffice to get a smooth feel. My only gripe was that soon after I applied topcoat, I experienced some wrinkling at the tips, but I feel that can be avoided by doing thinner coats next time, or just waiting longer before applying topcoat (I’d say total hardening time is relatively long). This pastel lavender is so pretty! It’s nice and stark without looking too whited-out. I’ve not tried many polishes with this speckled/sprinkle finish, but I love the look already! In this polish, the black glitter works so well against the stark, pastel base. Some of the hex glitter looks grey as it lies deeper underneath the surface. The hex glitter looks great, but what I feel makes this polish truly look like those candy eggs is that small glitter. I just want to eat my nails looking at them! I’m looking forward to trying the rest of these in the coming days. I paired this with Illamasqua Blow on my toes.
I’m finishing up February by personally finishing up a collection. China Glaze Sweet Hook (Electropop, Spring 2012) is a pastel lilac creme:
Picture taken in natural light. The formula was thick but runny. It did apply smoothly and was nicely pigmented but it was still streaky so I needed three coats for full, even coverage. I love when a pastel is really pigmented like this! The finish looks so solid and creamy, and it has that lovely stark appearance. The starkness can take a pale color and make it look vibrant. I’m more inclined to call this a lilac than a lavender; it has just a drop of pink in it that makes it look more warm-toned. This color really does look sweet! It’s fresh and pretty and makes me think of Jordan almonds (and long for spring.) I paired this with Sinful Mint Apple on my toes.
While I’ve just worn a turquoise polish, the color comes in such a wide spectrum of shades that I don’t feel like I’m wearing the same color today. Color Club Blue-Ming (Blossoming, Spring 2012) is a bright pastel turquoise creme:
Picture taken in sunlight. This applied well and was pretty pigmented. The formula can be prone to cuticle drag, and I couldn’t quite get full, solid coverage in two coats, so I used three. This is now one of my favorite turquoises I own. It’s a very stark pastel so it has a lovely strong presence on the nail. I can say that about any good pastel creme, but this one is so bright that it almost crosses over into neon territory! I’m not inclined to call it a neon because the formula doesn’t behave like one, but there’s something about the color that’s really glowy. I don’t really like punny polish names, especially when it’s an inaccurate indicator of the color. This one is more of a green-leaning turquoise, and I already have another color in mind when I think of Ming dynasty ceramics. Whatever name is attached to this polish, I absolutely love it. Pastel turquoises are not unique, but this one definitely stands out among them. I paired this with Orly Hot Shot on my toes.
For the next of the blue/green shades from this collection, I have on China Glaze Kinetic Candy (Electropop, Spring 2012), a pale pastel turquoise creme:
Picture taken in sunlight. Although the formula was a little streaky, it applied well, and because of its thickness and high pigmentation, I got full coverage in only two coats. I absolutely love this; it’s so pretty and sweet-looking! It’s a blue-leaning turquoise; I think it has just a drop a green in it that makes it look turquoise and not baby blue. It has a sort of dusty appearance, but at the same time its stark pastel quality makes it look bright. “Stark” and “dusty” seem incongruous but somehow this polish has both qualities. As with other pastels, it really does make me think of candy. I paired this with Essie Lovie Dovie on my toes.
For the first time in four slams, I’m not celebrating Novak Djokovic winning one. He didn’t complete the “Nole Slam” (partly due to Rafa Nadal’s unbelievable play on his way to a record seventh Roland Garros title) and the career slam still eludes him, but now I look forward to Wimbledon, and I continue with June’s blues and greens. China Glaze Aquadelic (Electropop, Spring 2012) is a bright turquoise creme:
Picture taken in weak sunlight. The formula was nicely thick and pigmented (similar to a pastel, although I don’t think it’s truly one); I got full coverage in just two coats. Out of all the polishes in this collection, I knew I wanted to try this first. Like my love of teal, I can’t resist any shade of turquoise. This one leans on the greenish side. It’s so sweet and pretty! Like I mentioned, it does seem like a pastel because it’s light (but turquoise is a light color anyway), and does have that stark-like presence and definition on the nail. However, it’s actually a bold shade, especially compared to the paler pastel turquoises. It takes the best qualities from bright and pastel polishes, saturated color and stark crispness. It’s beautiful to look at, a definite must for turquoise lovers. I paired this with Essie Funny Face on my toes.