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It’s weird to think I haven’t posted in two weeks…and that it’s been two weeks since I’ve done my nails! I’m actually still wearing the polish I had on when I left New York, OPI Alcatraz…Rocks (San Francisco, Fall 2013), a textured slate blue with royal purple and chartreuse glitter:
Picture taken in sunlight. This applied well; I got full coverage in two coats. This is definitely my favorite Liquid Sand polish so far! The finish has that night sky look to it, with the multicolored glitter standing out from the deep blue base. It’s really glittery, and sparkles beautifully in the light, When I first put this on, I felt like I was seeing a different color every time I looked at my nails. Sometimes it seemed blue, other times a deep amethyst, other times a gunmetal/black. But in every way, shape, and form, it’s absolutely gorgeous. I love it so much that I didn’t mind also wearing it on my toes. 🙂
Since I’ve had this polish on for more than just a couple of days, I can really comment on the wear. I had heard that Liquid Sands wear tough, and now I really believe it. I’ve been really rough on my hands these past two weeks, with packing and unpacking and repacking my suitcase. Of course I had some tipwear, but not once did this polish chip along the tips of my nails. Oddly, when I did get chips, they were along the cuticle. Anyway, what I love about the Liquid Sand finish is that since it doesn’t require topcoat, doing touchups is so easy and practically seamless. Every few days I would fill in any chips and cover up tipwear, and my mani would look good again. The only thing that would give away the fact that it wasn’t a fresh mani was my nail growth. Also, over time, the grittiness of the Liquid Sand finish wears away, like how the elements eventually smooth the surface of a stone. My toes fared much better; even after two weeks I don’t even have any tipwear, let alone chips! The only polishes I brought with me to Paris were Liquid Sands (all have been swatched here already). I get really annoyed by chips, so i figured they would be great to have since I can’t do my nails as often anymore. I’m glad to see at least one of them stood up to expectations; hopefully I’ll be able to say the same for the rest!
The last of these polishes I have to try is Nails Inc. Chelsea Physic Garden (Spring/Summer Trend, 2013), a pastel sky blue creme:
Picture taken in weak sunlight. (A rare photo on the second day of wear.) This applied much like Royal Botanical Gardens; the formula looked streaky on the first coat, but was quite thick and pigmented, so with a few touchups I got full coverage in two coats. Just like turquoise, I’m always drawn to this sweet type of pastel sky blue whenever I see it in a collection. It may be light, but it’s definitely not pale. It’s stark and pigmented enough to have a strong presence on the nail, yet looks pretty and delicate at the same time (a quality I always love to see in a pastel). It’s also a very calming shade; it makes me want to lie in the grass and look up at the sky. 🙂 I paired this with OPI Dutch Tulips on my toes.
I was wearing mostly blues and greens in June, but I had a couple of extras that I didn’t get the chance to try; this is one of them. Illamasqua Cameo is a bold cornflower blue creme:
Picture taken in sunlight. This applied well, going on smoothly in two coats, with touchups in between. This is a gorgeous shade of blue! It looks soft and slightly dusty, since cornflower blue just has that quality to it, but it looks bold at the same time, since it’s so highly pigmented. I can’t even remember when I bought this, but I’m pretty sure it was cold outside. I’m not sure if this even belongs to a seasonal collection (this was a Sephora exclusive but now it’s also sold through Illamasqua’s website), but it seems perfect to wear now. The color is so calming; it makes me think of warm, breezy summer days (Summer isn’t even over yet and I’m already feeling nostalgic about it!) I paired this with Chanel Mistral on my toes.
I’m not sure if blue (especially a medium to deep shade) is a color that’s capable of being a true neon, but there is definitely space for a very bright one in a neon collection. China Glaze Splish Splash (Summer Neons, Summer 2012) is a bright, vibrant blue with fine blue and purple shimmer:
Picture taken in sunlight. This applied well, though it wasn’t as pigmented I was expecting it to be, given that it’s not such a light shade; I needed three coats for full coverage. This doesn’t have a fluorescence like a neon yellow or green, but it is still quite bright. The shimmer does give it a certain glow, making the color look very vibrant (much more so than if this had been a creme, for example.) I think this is so aptly named; it does make me think of playing in the water in the summer (something I could probably use right now, as it’s been incredibly hot and humid lately.) I paired this with NARS Lal Mirchi on my toes.
The gentlemen’s singles of the 2013 Wimbledon Championships ended on a very bitter note for me, so much so that I just want to forget about the result. Thankfully I’m ending my trying of this collection with a gorgeous polish. OPI Tiffany Case (Bond Girls) is a textured medium icy blue shimmer loaded with silver and aqua glitter and silver hex glitter:
Picture taken in sunlight. The formula was a bit thicker than the others, because it seems to contain the most glitter, but it still applied well in two coats. Out of all the polishes in this collection, this one looks the most similar between its wet and dry states. It’s already really sparkly when wet, and even more so when it’s dry. The color lightens a bit, as the silver glitter rises to the surface, but it’s not a dramatic color shift. The finish also seems to have a metallic quality to it, but I think that’s just from the sheer amount of silver glitter, the blue base itself doesn’t seem metallic, though it’s not sheer and jelly-like, either. The gritty texture doesn’t come across as much as it does in the other polishes (I think I’m being blinded by the glitter), but it certainly feels rougher than all the others. The glitter definitely takes over this polish, but it’s beautiful! It’s predominantly silver, but there are these lovely glints of aqua that really stand out. The hex glitter is noticeable, but it’s small, so it doesn’t throw off the overall look. I know this is named for a Bond Girl, but I can’t help but think of Cinderella when I look at this. I paired it with Chanel Flamingo on my toes.
This month has turned into quite an Essie-fest for me; but I just love all the blues, greens, turquoises and teals they’ve released in the past few collections. My latest is Essie Rock the Boat (Summer 2013), a light powder blue creme with subtle, tiny silver flake shimmer:
Picture taken in sunlight. This applied sheer and a little streaky; for full coverage I needed three coats, plus touchups. It self-levels though, so the formula wasn’t so problematic anyway. The shimmer is subtle, so in very low light this would look like a plain creme, but it’s not so subtle that you can’t notice it at all. I really like this kind of flaky, irregular shimmer. It’s quite visible even in only some light. This shade of blue is so pretty; it has such a light, airy quality to it. Something about it seems so relaxing, calming, soothing. I love the name as well; it has me feeling nostalgic. When I hear “Rock the Boat,” I automatically think of Aaliyah; I love her music and still listen to it today! I paired this with China Glaze Pelican Gray on my toes.
Most of the blues and greens I have slated for this month are cremes, but I have just one glitter that combines all those shades. China Glaze Water You Waiting For (Cirque Du Soleil: Worlds Away) is a deep blue, turquoise green, and blue-purple glitter in a blue-tinted base:
Picture taken in sunlight. The glitter is very dense, so I only needed two coats, with touchups in between, for complete coverage. As I continued to work with it, the formula became thicker and a little clumpy. It looks flat without topcoat, so I used one coat to bring out the sparkle. At least two would be needed for a glass-smooth finish. This looks absolutely gorgeous, especially when you look at it up close and really appreciate the detail. The blue glitter is dominant, and the turquoise green and very blue-toned purple glitter provide nice contrast and dimension. All the glitter is very fine, but there seems to be two sizes: tiny regular glitter and slightly larger round glitter. Punny as the name is, it’s really appropriate; it’s like looking into fantastical seawater (though I think it has that galactic vibe as well). I paired this with Sephora by OPI Caribbean Cocktail on my toes.
I thought it’d be perfect to wear a polish named after Avenue Montaigne during Roland Garros. Essie Avenue Maintain (Spring 2013) is a French blue creme:
Picture taken in weak sunlight. This was well pigmented and applied smoothly; I got solid, opaque coverage in two coats. I am probably more inclined to call this polish a French blue because of its name, but this really does seem to match the shade you see when you look up “Bleu de France.” When I first looked at this indoors, I thought it was dusty, but seeing this outdoors, I see that it’s actually pretty bright. It’s not that sort of vibrant-bright, but it is very fresh and springy. A crisp, clean, clear blue. I paired this with OPI Gouda Gouda Two Shoes on my toes.
Following my own little personal tradition, I have a slew of shades in the blue/green family to try this month, starting with Essie Butler Please (Winter 2012), a bright cobalt blue creme:
Picture taken in sunlight. The formula was not as smooth as I hoped it’d be; it was nicely pigmented, but it was on the thick side and a little cuticle draggy. I got full coverage in two coats plus touchups, and topcoat helped level everything out. I think this must have neon pigment in it, because it dries satiny and its consistency kind of reminded me of a neon polish. Formula issues aside, I do love the color! It’s really bold and vibrant, and it does have that electric feel (hehe) to it, though not quite as much as Nails Inc. Baker Street, which is my favorite of this type of blue. I almost forgot that this is actually part of a winter collection, but it’s great for summer, too. I paired this with Sephora by OPI Pushing Your Luck on my toes.
This is definitely the polish that piqued my interest in this confection-like finish. I bought it last year but I’m finally trying it now. Nails Inc. Sweets Way (Sprinkles) is a milky white creme with bright sky blue, light pink, and white small hex glitter:
Picture taken in sunlight. On the first coat, the white base seemed like it would be really sheer, but it builds to opacity in three. It also applied smoothly, despite being loaded with glitter. I know all that glitter means it will be a pain to remove, but this is so pretty that it’s totally worth it! I love the combination of pink, blue and white; it looks really sweet and makes me think of cotton candy. I catch myself looking at my nails a lot. 🙂 I’ve actually had this on since Sunday! Normally I would have changed my NOTD by today, but this is so hard wearing (I know I have a difficult removal ahead of me) and I like the look so much that I kept it on. I paired this with Essie Sweet Talker on my toes.