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So far I’ve been mostly switching back and forth between this year’s OPI And Essie holiday collections.  After a couple of manis in a row of the latter, I’m returning to the former with OPI Live and Let Die (Skyfall Collection, Holiday 2012) is a blackened forest green with gold and green irregular microglitter:

Live and Let Die

Picture taken in sunlight. This applied well; the formula was nicely thick and pigmented and I got full coverage in two coats.  This is a gorgeous, deep shade of green. Since it’s a forest green, it leans slightly more on the yellow side. It is very dark, so in low-lighting situations it practically looks black. I don’t say this often about greens, but the shade’s so deep that it looks vampy. Naturally, the finish looks best in the sun, where you can see all the microglitter light up. It’s the type of microglitter I love, too, the kind that looks like tiny, crushed-up flaky glitter. I’ve jumped the gun a bit; the official start of winter is still a week away, but this is totally perfect for the season.  I paired this with China Glaze Emerald Sparkle on my toes.



I’ve tried plenty of vampy polishes already this month, but this one falls under that category in a totally unique way. Orly Galaxy Girl (Cosmic FX, Fall 2010) is a deep wine-purple with turquoise and red microglitter:

Picture taken in artificial light. (Regrettably, there was no good sunlight to photograph this in all its glory, but artificial light was the next best option in this case.) This applied well, but was a bit sheer so I needed three coats for full coverage. This has turned into an unexpected favorite of mine! It’s so multi-faceted; I see it turn into three colors in different angles/lighting situations. Looking at it straight-on in direct light, as in my photo, it looks like a glittery almost-black. If I tilt my nails upward in the light, the base color reveals itself and it looks like a rich reddish purple. Out of direct light, the turquoise microglitter takes over and it looks like a blackened teal! As I don’t own the dupe MAC Formidable!, this is unique in my collection. I wouldn’t call it traditionally “pretty,” but there’s something gorgeous about it. I love that the deep base makes it vampy, but the microglitter gives it a galactic vibe. I paired this with Illamasqua Strike on my toes.


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.


Although Christmas was over, I wanted to do one last red mani for the holiday season (and Christmas music was still being played at the malls anyway.)  Diamond Cosmetics Cherry Tobacco (Winter 2009) is a blackened red shimmer:

Picture taken in sunlight.  This applied well in two coats.  This looks amazing in the sun; the gorgeous burnt, velvety red color combined with that lit-from-within quality.  Unfortunately, the effect is mostly lost when viewed in the shade.  I paired this with Brucci Black Emerald on my toes.


Whenever I accidentally file my nails a bit too short, I tend to go for darker colors.  And, continuing the theme of romantically-named polishes, today I’m wearing Sinful See You Soon, a blackened, bluish teal shimmer:

Picture taken in natural light.  I wish I had more sunlight for this picture, but it’s cloudy and snowing right now (ugh).  This applied well in two coats.  This color looks like a cross between Barielle Blackened Bleu and Wet n Wild Morbid.  And I absolutely love this type of color!  I paired this with Barielle Hidden Hideaway on my toes.


Sometimes I pick polishes because they remind me of other things I like.  Barielle Blackened Bleu (All Lacquered Up Collection, Fall 2009) is a turquoise microglitter packed in a black base:

Picture taken in natural light.  This applied well; the first coat was rather sheer, but I got full coverage in two coats.  I love this color!  It is a blackened blue shimmer, but it’s definitely different from other navy blue shimmers.  This looks amazing in the sun!  The only negative is that I got quite a bit of shrinkage from my topcoat.  I paired this with Sally Hansen Blazing Blue (Insta-Dri) on my toes.

So I’m wearing a blue polish today because Southland premieres tonight on TNT!  I love a man in uniform:

That’s Ben McKenzie as Ben Sherman.  This show was originally on NBC but it totally got shafted.  So I was happy to find out it was getting another chance on a different network.  And I hope it’s here to stay, ’cause it’s a really great show!


I hate winter!  This weather is not kind to my cuticles.  I am enjoying wearing vampy polishes, though.  Barielle Lava Rock (All Lacquered Up Collection, Fall 2009) is a blackened plummish maroon shimmer:

Picture taken in sunlight.  Application was good; I needed two coats for full opacity.  This is another color that looks almost black in low lighting.  The finish is a bit pearlized.  That, combined with the shimmer, gives the color a glowy quality.  It also looks lit-from-within, which I like.  I paired this with Sally Hansen Uptempo Plum (Insta-Dri) on my toes. 


I really love blackened shades, and I’m wearing another one today.  MAC Baby Goth Girl (Style Black, Fall 2009) is a blackened plum shimmer with tiny pinkish copper flaky glitter:

Picture taken in sunlight.  Application was good; the color was completely opaque in two coats.  This color is very dark, but I don’t think it could be mistaken for black; it always looks purple in the center (I guess that makes this a lit-from within shade?).  I’m really loving the addition of flaky glitter; it’s what makes this polish really unique.  I paired this with Sally Hansen Plum It (Salon) on my toes.


I wore a lot of greens this past December, but I never wore olive!  MAC Seriously Hip (Style Black, Fall 2009) is a blackened olive green shimmer with tiny gold flaky glitter:

Picture taken in sunlight.  Application was really good; I got full coverage in two coats, though I almost got away with just one.  I think this polish is aptly named; it is SO cool!  I love blackened shades like this, and the flaky glitter looks so interesting.  It’s another one of those colors that looks simply amazing when it catches the light.  This is definitely one of my favorite MAC polishes.  I paired this with Sephora by OPI Charge It! on my toes. 


Continuing my love of green, I chose OPI Here Today…Aragon Tomorrow (Colección de España, Fall 2009), a blackened forest green creme:

Picture taken in natural light.  Application was good; the first coat wasn’t as opaque as I thought it would be, especially because it’s such a dark color.  But it was sufficiently opaque for me in two coats.  This color has a secret shimmer, but I can only see it when you look at my nails closely.  Otherwise it pretty much looks like a creme.  One thing I like about winter is wearing vampy shades like this (it snowed here for the first time yesterday…it’s so cold and I hate it!). I love this polish; it combines my love of green with my love of Spain:

That’s a picture I took overlooking Toledo.  I paired this with OPI An Affair in Red Square on my toes.




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