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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:


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.


In previous years I’ve reserved January for trying dark colors that seem apt for the cold season. That didn’t happen so much this year, but I thought I’d harken back to that theme with this polish. It’s not new but I finally picked this up in my most recent haul, so it’s relatively new to my own collection. China Glaze Stone Cold (The Hunger Games Capitol Colors) is a matte charcoal with silver microshimmer:

Stone Cold

Picture taken in weak sunlight. I had forgotten how awesome mattes are, particularly this “suede” variety. True to a matte formula, you have to work fast when you paint or risk major cuticle drag.  This one flowed very smoothly. It could have been a one-coater due to its high pigmentation, but I ended up doing two coats, just to ensure coverage of bald spots. I’m sure this looks gorgeous with topcoat as well, but I embraced the suede finish and let it be. It dries and sets really fast, and is pretty hard-wearing, especially for a mani that’s without the protection of a topcoat. I also love the texture of the finish; often times I would find myself running my fingerpads over my nails. Another plus of the finish is that the shimmer is clearly visible even in low light. The charcoal color is great; it’s at a level of darkness that really makes the silver microshimmer stand out. I wish more new suede polishes would come out, because I’m falling in love with this finish all over again! I paired it with RGB Cosmetics Steel on my toes.


I’m posting this a little late but this is my NOTD from a couple of days ago. I had originally planned to wear this last weekend, before I got sidetracked by this. China Glaze CG in the City (Metro, Fall 2011) is a mix of smoky purple, gunmetal and silver glitter in a clear base:

Picture taken in natural light. (There was absolutely no good sunlight that day, but this looks amazing in the sun.)  The first coat goes on pretty sheer, but it definitely builds to opacity.  The formula gets thicker as you continue to work with it. I used three coats with some minor touchups.  Since the glitter is fine, one coat of topcoat leaves the surface very smooth. I love this interesting mix! It doesn’t look the same all the time; in low light it seems like more of a straight-up gunmetal grey, but in bright light the purple tones are very apparent. The silver adds a nice contrast to the darkness of the gunmetal-purple. I can definitely call this unique in my collection! I paired this with Milani Dot Com on my toes.


This polish seems out of place with all the brights I’ve been trying lately, but this is actually one of the few Nails Inc. polishes I have left untried! I thought I would end up using this during the London Olympics, but I have many other metallics to try in that time, so I just moved this up to wear during Wimbledon, through the semifinals. Nails Inc. Trafalgar Square (Magnetic Polish) is a gunmetal metallic shimmer:

Picture taken in sunlight. This applied well, although it was not as pigmented as I remember the other two I’ve tried being. After applying the first coat, there were some bald spots left behind so I did some touch-ups to cover those up to ensure I would get opacity by the second coat (the one I would be holding the magnet over.) The finish is a little brushstroke-y but overall not too bad. The original color is a lighter gunmetal, then the magnet brings out a dark gunmetal, providing a great contrast. I bought this, Houses of Parliament and Whitehall in the same set (the box that comes with only one magnet) but strangely, my usual technique of holding the magnet in one place over the nail only managed to magnetize a portion of each nail. (I don’t like rocking the magnet from side to side because it doesn’t create as crisp of a pattern and sometimes I just end up touching the nail with the magnet.) I had to completely redo some nails and do some experimentation. The technique that seemed to work best was painting only one half of the nail, magnetizing it, then repeating on the other half, so I could get the magnetic effect over the whole nail. I stress again to let this dry a little before applying topcoat, because the pattern can be smeared. There’s no doubt that the magnetic effect looks very cool, when you can get it just right, but after only having done this three times, I find the process hassling. I didn’t like doing the cleanup work on a nail, only having to do it over just because the magnetic pattern didn’t turn out nicely. I do love the way it looks, but not enough that I’m jumping to buy more magnetic polishes (and there have been a lot that have come out just this year, from China Glaze Color Club to Orly, and even more Nails Inc. ones.) There are more colors and pretty patterns on offer but I’d sooner take a solid creme or a sparkly microglitter. I paired this with Essie Great Expectations on my toes.


For my last mani of the month I felt like trying another one of these 3D glitters, to take advantage of the sun we’ve been having lately. China Glaze Some Like it Haute (Eye Candy, Winter 2011) is a gunmetal, silver and holographic hexagonal glitter packed in a clear base:

Picture taken in sunlight. Although the formula became thicker as I continued to work with it, this applied pretty well. Depending on how thick your coats are, you may need three coats (as I used) or you may get away with two. There’s fine gunmetal and hexagonal glitter, which make up the majority of the polish. I love the color! The dark gunmetal tone is a nice departure from lighter silver glitters. The overall color comes across as gunmetal, but there is some fine silver glitter in there for contrast. There’s also a good amount of holo glitter mixed in, adding another dimension of sparkle. With the gunmetal tone and the rainbow effect of the holo glitter, I get a bit of a glittery oil slick vibe. The glitteriness really comes alive after adding topcoat. I quite like the clever name as well! I paired this with Sephora by OPI Shiny Dancer on my toes.


In anticipation of the Golden Globes tomorrow, I’ve picked a polish that, in name, is perfect for an occasion that celebrates both film and television on the same night.  China Glaze Tinsel Town (Let it Snow, Holiday 2011) is a dense silver glitter in a gunmetal base:

Picture taken in artificial light.  (This is one case where, in the absence of good sunlight, my artificial light photos turned out better than my natural light ones.)  Edit: I’ve replaced my original photo with a much better one taken in sunlight.  This is actually a completely new mani; the original popped clean off my nails after hours of cooking and washing up.  This applied well; for full coverage I first put down one thick coat, followed by a thinner second coat.  It’s hard to tell at a quick glance but there is small hexagonal glitter mixed in with the regular glitter.  Since the glitter is so dense, though, it all just blends together when looked at from a distance.  It’s great that this is able to reach opacity on its own, and with the dark base it almost looks like a layered mani.  Despite it being loaded with silver glitter, the gunmetal still comes through.  Best of all, it’s amazingly sparkly!  It’s perfect for getting me in the mood for awards season.  I paired this with Essie Over the Top on my toes.


To follow up my previous mani, I figured I’d try another polish from this brand.  RGB Cosmetics Slate is a dark gunmetal with multicolored shimmer:

Picture taken in artificial light.  (Regrettably, there was no sunlight to photograph this NOTD, but at least the artificial light was able to pick up some of the multicolored shimmer.)  This applied well, but was a little less pigmented that I thought it would be.  I used two coats, with touchups in between.  At first I thought this was supposed to be black, but now that I see it on the nail it clearly looks gunmetal grey, albeit a very dark shade of it.  This polish has the same concept as Rescue Beauty Lounge Iconoclast, multicolored shimmer in a dark base.  I prefer the RBL, since the color is deeper and richer, but the RGB is still great in its own right.  This is one of those colors that looks cool to the touch, and of course I love the multicolored shimmer (which seems to be predominantly green).  I paired this with CHI Hot Ring Illusion Around Saturn on my toes. 


For a little variety, I decided to put on a grey instead of a blue in anticipation of tonight’s deciding game.  Sephora by OPI Shiny Dancer (Urban Ballerina, Spring 2011) is a silvery gunmetal foily metallic microglitter:

Picture taken in sunlight.  This applied fine; the formula was a little sheer and cuticle-draggy.  I needed three coats for full coverage.  It’s not obvious when you look at it, but as you can see from the photo, this isn’t just a silver/gunmetal; there’s also some blue microglitter in there.  It gives the shade an overall cool blue tone.  It’s a lovely color that lies right between a true dark grey gunmetal and a brilliant silver.  This is so sparkly and pretty!  I could tell by the sheerness of the formula that it could be loaded with microglitter, and thankfully it leans more on the foily side than the brushstroke-y metallic side.  I love how it’s named (or should I say punned) after an Elton John song.  I paired this with Barielle Blackened Bleu on my toes.


Between watching the Golden Globes and the start of the Australian Open (I’m so ready for two weeks of sleep deprivation, with Melbourne being sixteen hours ahead of my time zone.  It’s totally worth it. :D), I almost forgot to post my NOTD!  Ilamasqua Snap is a gunmetal metallic shimmer:

Picture taken in sunlight.  This applied very, very well in two coats; it just glided on!  Even though it’s a metallic, the shimmer hides the brushstrokes very well.  I also love the color, it looks totally cool.  Whenever I have to think about what polishes to pair with what, I like to match the colors of the kits my favorite tennis players are sporting.  This usually happens around the slams, when they bring out their new kits.  Novak Djokovic’s night kit has grey and orange accents, so I paired my NOTD with OPI Brights Power on my toes. 


I’ve talked about a name partly influencing a polish buy before; this is another one of those times.  OPI Lucerne-tainly Look Marvelous (Swiss Collection, Fall 2010) is a silvery gunmetal foily metallic microglitter:

Picture taken in natural light.  This applied well; the formula is a little sheer so I used three coats to really get it opaque.  (It’s not that sheer, so it does look decent at two, but best at three.)  I love the color; it’s definitely more unique than a regular silver.  The finish falls between a foil and a microglitter.  The sparkle is more defined than in a shimmer, so I’m more inclined to call it a microglitter, but it’s not so sparkly that I would consider it a straight-up foil.  I paired this with OPI Crimson Carol on my toes.  I can forgive the name because I have very fond memeories of Lucerne:

The Lion Monument, a view from Lake Lucerne, and a view of the cross-shaped Lake Lucerne from Mount Pilatus (partially obscured by clouds!)  I’m glad this polish was named for this city. 🙂




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