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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

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To change up my color palette for a new month, I have a few more dark colors to try before winter’s end. Illamasqua Rampage is a deep hunter green jelly:

Rampage

Picture taken in sunlight. (This was actually taken on the second day of wear, but at least I got the clarity from a sunlight photo.) This applied very well, needing three coats for full, even coverage. True to jelly form, you see the true base color on the first coat, then the shade deepens significantly on the second and third. Although the jelly formula always requires at least three coats, the über-glossy finish is absolutely lovely. The sunlight has really lit this up and reflects more of the base color, but in natural light it looks proper vampy. It’s like a slightly less blackened version of NARS Zulu; it’s still very dark but its green-ness is easier to see. I normally like to photograph my manis right after doing them, to capture it in its most pristine moment, but photographing this after wearing it for a day shows me how well it wears; I don’t even have any tipwear! I always thought I’d wear this with short nails, like I saw in a promo image, but I’m really enjoying growing my nails out at the moment (plus I’m really lazy about filing them anyway. :P) I paired this with Rescue Beauty Lounge Film Noir on my toes.

<3sarah

Since American Horror Story premieres tonight, I wanted to wear something wickedly dark. I’ve also been meaning to try this polish for a long time but just kept getting sidetracked, so I’m happy to have crossed it off my list. Rescue Beauty Lounge Film Noir is a black orchid jelly:

Picture taken in sunlight. The formula was a little sticky but otherwise applied fine. I think my bottle has thickened up some over the years. I didn’t quite get complete coverage in two coats, so I had to add a third. Because of the consistency of the formula and the number of coats, this takes a while to set, even with fast-drying topcoat. As a precaution I dipped my fingers in ice water to speed up the hardening process and to make sure it’s undentable. On the plus side, the jelly formula has a really glossy finish. At three coats, this looks almost-black. The purple base is still visible in bright light, though. This is definitely a case where a name makes me love the polish even more; I think it’s a perfect fit for the color! It’s a seductively dark and sexy shade, and the epitome of vampy. I paired this with Essie Size Matters on my toes.

<3sarah

Continuing with the vampy thread, I have on Sephora by OPI Forever Wild (Betsey Johnson Collection), a deep grape-wine jelly:

Picture taken in natural light (I hate rainy weather lighting!) As vampy jellies can be, the formula was not solidly pigmented. I ultimately needed three coats for opacity, but it applied well. This pretty much looks like your standard vampy wine color. Although the photo makes it look reddish, with the first coat you can see that it’s really purple-based.  For how dark it is at three coats, it doesn’t have that almost-black appearance; it still looks deep wine-purple. It may not be unique, but that doesn’t take away from its classic, sultry look. I paired this with Sally Hansen Night Lily (Salon) on my toes.

<3sarah

In honor of Australia Day, and since the Australian Open takes place in Melbourne, I’m wearing Nails Inc. Victoria, a deep wine jelly:

Picture taken in natural light. The formula was a tad sticky but otherwise applied well in three coats. I adore all of these wine polishes, and this color looks particularly amazing in a proper jelly finish. The red wine base you can see with the first coat builds to the sexy dark shade you see by the third. It’s truly worthy of the description “vampy.” I was doing this mani while watching Nadal beat Federer in the semis 😀 (I can’t wait to watch Djokovic/Murray tomorrow morning!), and even then I had to stop and admire the incredibly glossy look of this polish. I paired this with LA Splash Glitz & Berry on my toes.

<3sarah

As this is a green, I’ve attempted to try this in December for two years running, only to run out of days for NOTDs. I really should have tried this by now, but better late than never. NARS Zulu (my bottle is from the Vintage Nail Polish Collection, Fall 2010) is a blackened hunter green jelly:

Picture taken in sunlight. This applied very well; I used three coats for full coverage and opacity. Like a true jelly, you can see the base color (a lovely shade of yellow-toned hunter green) with the first coat, but the shade gets deeper with each coat. You can only really see that it’s green in bright lighting conditions; most of the time it does look black. But I’m okay with that ’cause it’s Zulu! Its deeply blackened look is just part of what it is. I love how smooth, clean and reflective it looks! I didn’t mind doing three coats at all since the polish went on quite effortlessly and I acheived this stunning vampy look. Having missed out on the original release and the original re-release, I’m glad I was able to get it this time around. I paired this with Sephora by OPI I’m With Brad on my toes.

<3sarah

I have a slew of vampy polishes to try this month, and I’m just getting started.  Illamasqua Unnatural is a burgundy jelly-creme:

Picture taken in natural light.  This takes three coats to build up in color and opacity, and I did extra tip-wrapping as a preemptive measure against tip pull, but it’s worth it.  The formula is buttery smooth and the end result looks great.  The color looks more red on the first coat, then gets progressively browner and deeper with each successive coat.  This isn’t one of those polishes you can get away with doing one sheer coat with, though.  Even with its good formula, until it’s opaque it looks a little streaky.  Still, the finish of the completed mani looks so glassy smooth.  I almost wish I had my long pointy oval nails back, ’cause this would make for a great vintage, burlesque-type mani.  It’s so deliciously vampy.  I paired this with Orly Enchanted Forest on my toes.

<3sarah

For my first holiday-themed mani of the month (and because I wore Rescue Beauty Lounge Moulin Rouge for my last mani), I’ve put on China Glaze Moulin Rouge (Specialty Polishes), a candy apple red jelly with multicolored square glitter:

Picture taken in natural light.  Considering the formula (it has that thick and sticky consistency), I didn’ think it was too hard to work with.  It is a jelly formula but it reached full opacity on its own at three coats (it also looked okay at two but I really wanted the opacity with the extra coat.)  An added layer of Poshe made an already-thick mani even thicker, but I felt like it really needed it.  The topcoat not only helped smooth things out, but created depth and gave the overall finish a juicy appearance.  And that juicy look gives it a maraschino cherry vibe.  If RBL Moulin Rouge reflects the sexy side of the Moulin Rouge, this definitely captures the fun, flashy side.  I paired this with Sally Hansen Mint Sprint (Insta-Dri) on my toes.

<3sarah

The ALCS started last night, and after the Yankees pulled off an incredible come-from-behind win, I’m happy to start this round of Posteason Blues™ with NARS Midnight Express (Vintage Nail Polish Collection, Fall 2010), a deep navy blue jelly:

Picture taken in sunlight.  This applied very well and went on smoothly and cleanly.  Since it is a jelly I needed three coats to get an even, opaque appearance.  The blue base color is apparent in the first coat, but by the third coat it looks very, very dark; practically black out of direct light.  This fact may be disappointing for some, but I just love the defined look it gives my nails, and the finish looks so smooth and glassy.  I paired this with Sally Hansen Stormy Blue (Salon) on my toes.

<3sarah

I’m used to just layering glitters over black, but I bought these colors and I liked them together much better than either one apart.  Sinful I Love You is a deep purple microglitter jelly.  I topped it with Sinful I Miss You, a silver, fuchsia, and holographic glitter in a pinkish purple tinted base:

Picture taken in sunlight.  (Bottle is I Love You.)  I used two coats of each; everything was easy to apply.  It’s relatively smooth with one coat of Poshe.  I think the combination works really well!  The glitter helps the jelly look more opaque, and the jelly gives the glitter depth of color.  And I especially love the holographic bits :).  I paired this with Orly Happily Ever After on my toes.

<3sarah

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