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Most of the time I wear polishes I consider gorgeous or pretty, but once in a while I come across an “ugly-pretty” color that’s too intriguing to pass up. I didn’t own this yet at this point last year, so I’m trying it this fall as my first new mani of the season. China Glaze Trendsetter (Metro, Fall 2011) is a dirty dijon-avocado with gold shimmer:
Picture taken in sunlight. This was nicely pigmented and applied well in two coats. Based on how this looked in the bottle I was ready to call this a yellow, but now that I have it on my nails I’m more inclined to call it a green; it’s both colors at the same time. I think the gold shimmer really makes this polish. It’s the flat, irregular kind that’s packed into a cream base. It may be because it pushes the polish closer to the “pretty” side, but the shimmer gives the finish some much-needed dimension. I don’t think I would have gone for this if it was just a creme, but at the same time I love the color. I think it’s edgy but so retro at the same time; it reminds me of ’70s kitchen decor! I paired this with Essie Smokin’ Hot on my toes.
The weather has begun to cool down a bit, but I’m determined to finish trying this collection, and I’m one step closer with Illamasqua Optimist (Rubber Brights, Summer 2012) is a bright, sunny yellow-orange creme (originally with a satin finish):
Picture taken in sunlight. The formula was not as stellar as the others in this collection, but it still applied pretty well for a yellow-toned polish; I used three coats. With the other rubber brights I’ve tried so far, I’ve said that they look great in their original satin form, too, but I can’t say the same for this one. For me, I really needed topcoat to make everything appear smooth. As I’ve been wearing these polishes with topcoat I don’t see it as a drawback. I think the color really fits the name; it just seems like a happy-feeling shade. I can’t even decide if it’s yellow or orange, so I’m calling it both, but it tends to look more orange in low light and more yellow in bright, direct light. I wish it was more of a radioactive neon, but I still like its brightness. I can tell I’m hungry as I’m typing this, because the color just reminds me of egg yolks (of good eggs that come from free-range hens) and boxed mac and cheese. I paired this with Misa Push Upon It on my toes.
I feel like I’ve really breezed through this collection! I’m wrapping it up with NARS Amchoor (Thakoon for NARS, Summer 2012) is a bright lemon yellow creme:
Picture taken in sunlight. As expected from a yellow, the formula was streaky and I needed three coats for full coverage, even with its high pigmentation. Although it was thick it applied pretty smoothly. Normally I wouldn’t feel the need to buy more yellow polish, since no matter what the brand or how smooth the formulation is, they will need three coats. But I couldn’t resist this one, not just because I like seeing the complete set, but also because it’s super-pigmented. It just looks amazingly yellow, and I like this summery shade much better than the Dijon-colored sour mango powder this is named after. It doesn’t really remind me of fresh mangoes either, more like dried green mangoes (which are delicious ). I paired this with Color Club Gimme a Grape Big Kiss on my toes.
I really loved trying this collection! Every single one of the polishes had a good formula and high pigmentation. They’re “just” cremes but the colors are simply beautiful. Although this was inspired by Indian spice markets, when I look at all the bottles lined up it makes me think of the colored powder thrown at Holi festivals!
I realized that I haven’t worn this color at all this year (I didn’t try a new yellow pastel last month like usual), and I remembered I still had this on my untrieds list. American Apparel Manila is a goldenrod yellow creme:
Picture taken in sunlight. This was actually solidly pigmented and the formula flowed pretty smoothly, but as expected with a yellow, I ultimately needed three coats to cover up streaks. I think manila envelopes are just a tinge more orange, but this is really close. This is a different shade from most of the other yellow cremes I have in my collection. It’s not quite as bright, and it’s warmer-toned. While it’s not my favorite kind of yellow, I couldn’t help but get this for the name (I’m Filipino ). I paired this with OPI Dim Sum Plum on my toes.
For this year’s US Open my manis will reflect the colors on the kits of the #1 and #2 players in the world (and two of my favorites), Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal. I was able to find previews for what their kits would look like, even before they play their first matches. I’ll start with an accent color from Rafa’s bright Nike ensemble. Nails Inc. Carnaby Street is a taxicab yellow creme:
Picture taken in sunlight. As expected from a yellow, it was streaky, but actually applied pretty well. I used three coats. I found the formula a little prone to bubbles, though, so it’s best not to rush your application. Pictured here is actually my second attempt at this mani (through no fault of the polish.) I removed my first attempt after using Nails Inc.’s own Kensington Caviar topcoat rendered it a horrible, bubbly mess. Sometimes I don’t bother to redo a nail when there’s some bubbling, but I had rough bubbles all over every single one of my nails; I couldn’t stand to look at them. For my second attempt I stuck with Poshe. (I’ll write a full review of the Kensington Caviar topcoat after I get the chance to try it out with different polishes.) Anyway, back to the NOTD. At first I was hesitant about buying another bright, happy yellow, especially because the color doesn’t lend itself to the best application. But looking at my finished mani, I see that there’s something a little different about this one. The shade is still bright, but just a touch darker than other similar shades I own. This makes it look closer to true taxicab yellow in my eyes. I paired this with OPI Suzi Says Feng Shui on my toes.
I thought it was fitting to end my streak of neons with a real retina-searer. American Apparel Neon Yellow (Neon, Summer 2011) is a neon highlighter yellow creme:
Picture taken in sunlight. This applied fine; I could manage the formula well but I ended up needing four coats for full, even coverage. Next time I try this (and a couple of others from this collection), I’ll use it over white, but seeing as it can build to opacity I wanted to see what it looked like on its own first. This feels a little strange to say but this is more yellow than I thought it would be; I expect neon highlighter yellows to have a little more green in them. It’s probably just as well that this looks different than the others I have in my collection. While it is very glowy (I don’t see how this color can’t be), it doesn’t stand up to my favorite neon, Illamasqua Rare. I paired this with Essie Perky Purple on my toes.
I thought a color that matches tennis balls would be perfect to wear during the final weekend of Wimbledon. I’m so excited to watch two of my favorite players (and the two best players in the world right now), Novak and Rafa, square off in the final tomorrow. Color Club Get Your Lem-on (Wicked Sweet, Summer 2011) is a highlighter yellow neon shimmer with green flash:
Picture taken in sunlight. Oddly, the formula was not thin, but it was rather sheer. It was actually pretty easy to control, but it was streaky. I needed four coats, plus touchups, to reach a sufficient level of opacity. It’s a thick-looking mani, but it’s worth it. I absolutely love neon highlighter yellow, and this is the first I’ve tried that’s a shimmer. The green flash adds an alienlike glow to an already retina-searing type of color. Admittedly, because of the number of coats I had to do, I probably wouldn’t have wanted this if it wasn’t a scented polish. It smells awesome! It’s a sweet, lemony scent. I love lemon-scented toiletries so it’s no surprise that I keep smelling my own nails. Like the Revlon scented polishes, the scent is strong enough to permeate through topcoat, but not strong enough that it would clash with perfume. I can only really smell it when I have my hands close to my face. I paired this with Color Club Pucci-licious on my toes.
This is the first of my Wimbledon manis. For the other slams I would usually just wear the same colors my favorite players do, but with the tradition of wearing all-white, there isn’t much I can do in the way of kit-matching. So I’m doing Wimbledon/England-themed manis instead. Wimbledon is a grass tournament, and I’m starting with a green. But since my nails are so long right now, I thought it would be the perfect time to try this particular green. Claire’s Happy/Earthy (Mood Nail Polish) is a creme that is neon yellow-green when cool and neon highlighter yellow when warm:
Picture taken in sunlight. The formula was streaky, not totally unmanageable but not very easy to apply. I used three coats, plus touchups for this mani. I can still see very slight bald spots but I’m okay with that. I had never tried a mood-changing polish before, so I could not stop staring at my nails after I put this on. The color change is definitely noticeable. The nature of the polish creates a beautiful ombre effect; from yellow on my nail beds to green on the free edge. The fact that it’s a neon makes me like it even more! It looks like…electric lemon-lime. I paired this with Sally Hansen Deep Purple (Xtreme Wear) on my toes.
I know I just wore a similar color a couple of manis ago but I wanted to show how much one pastel yellow can differ from another. Orly Lemonade (Sweet, Spring 2010) is a pastel lemon yellow creme:
Picture taken in natural light. This actually applied well for a pastel, and a pastel yellow at that. The formula was nicely thick and pigmented; I needed three coats for full opacity and evenness. It’s fitting that this is called Lemonade; I think this is the most lemony of my yellow pastels. I think what makes it look this way is a slight tinge of green, where a buttercup yellow like American Apparel Butter is more whited-out. Whatever shade of yellow it’s called, I think it looks so fresh and pretty. And of course I love its starkness. It reminds me of lemon meringue! I paired this with Milani Dude Blue on my toes.
Now that it’s April, I’m switching over to fresh, soft, springy colors. Pastels were so popular last year and I still have a bunch to try this month! American Apparel Butter (Summer 2010) is a pale pastel buttercup yellow creme:
Picture taken in sunlight. This was quite pigmented and applied pretty well for a pastel. I needed three coats for a very opaque, even finish. Pale pastel yellows are nothing new, but this one has a noticeably different shade of yellow that sets it apart. No wonder its name is Butter; I think it’s the most buttercup-y of the ones I own, while the others have a more lemony look. It’s such a soft, creamy color, but the finish is so stark at the same time, which I just love. Together, the name and color are totally making me hungry. I paired this with Essie Lilacism on my toes.