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I don’t have many polishes from this brand, and this was the only bottle I  hadn’t tried yet, so I’m glad to have finally ticked it off my list, while I’m on this “getting things tried” kick. Borghese Stellare Notte (Fashionista, Spring 2010) is a shimmer that shifts between blackened teal and smoky purple:

Stellare Notte

Picture taken in artificial light. (Regrettably, there was no sun for this photo.) The formula was not very buttery smooth, but still applied pretty well. It has a slightly metallic finish so there are slight brushstrokes that you can’t really see anyway because they’re covered by shimmer. I used two coats plus touchups for full, even coverage. Even more regrettably, I couldn’t get this to photograph as it appears in real life at all, so I’d say this is just one to see in person. It looks like a deep, blackened teal straight-on, then as you angle your nails upward it turns into a charcoaly gunmetal, then finally a smoky purple. The duochrome effect is definitely strong; it constantly color-changes as you move your fingers. Sometimes you can see two colors at once; teal in the center and purple around the edges. It’s gorgeous and kind of makes me think of peacocks! I paired this with Sally Hansen Deep Purple (Xtreme Wear) on my toes.

<3sarah

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While I’ve neglected to do Roland Garros manis over the past two weeks, I’ve been watching the tournament intently. In support of Novak Djokovic (who came through two consecutive five-setters, saved four match points in his quarterfinal, and beat Federer in straights in his semifinal) in tomorrow’s dream final versus Rafa Nadal, I’m wearing Illamasqua Force (Body Electrics, Spring 2010), a bold, saturated blue creme:

Picture taken in natural light. This applied very well and was highly pigmented; I barely needed two coats for full coverage. In the bottle it looks like a rich, faded denim, and it stays that color…until topcoat is applied. As I applied my usual Poshe, I noticed it was completely changing the color! The finished mani is a totally different shade of blue, one that’s bolder, more vibrant, and a little darker. A beautiful brushstroke effect was also created, leaving barely-noticleable streaks of the “original” botttle color. I normally dislike brushstrokes and associate them with frosty metallics, but the brushstrokes on this creme make the finish look so pretty (I wish the effect translated to film!) Looking at my nails makes me think of an oil painting of a night sky. Not only is the shade of blue different before and after topcoat, it can look different depending on the lighting. In bright light it looks bright and saturated, like an International Klein Blue; in lower lighting situations it looks darker, almost navy-like. But in all lights it always looks bold and blue. I paired this with Essie Lacquered Up on my toes.

<3sarah

I’ve been wearing so many pinkish shades lately that I wanted to go a different route.  Illamasqua Jo’Mina (Body Electrics, Spring 2010) is a bright, vibrant lavender creme:

Picture taken in sunlight. (This is a must-see in person. The photo doesn’t convey just how electric it looks.) It was nicely pigmented applied very well in only two coats. It’s a creme but it does have that fine particle finish that’s unnoticeable after topcoat. I’m inclined to call this a lavender just because it’s a light shade of purple, but it’s unlike any other lavender I have in my collection (or any other purple, for that matter.) Despite having that particle finish, it’s not dusty at all. It’s more than just a bright, but it’s not headed in the neon direction. It just has this brilliant vibrancy to it, which makes sense when you think of the theme of the collection. It’s gorgeous and amazing, and I’m kicking myself for being way late to the party with this one. I paired this with Sephora by OPI Diva-in-Training on my toes.

<3sarah

I’ve been neglecting baseball lately, but in honor of the 2011 MLB Postseason starting tomorrow, I’m wearing the first of my Posteason Blues™.  As a Yankee fan, even though we lost the last game of the regular season to Tampa Bay, I’m quite alright with how the AL Wild Card race turned out. 😉  Despite its name, Borghese Plumaggio Purple (Fashionista, Spring 2010) is an inky blurple shimmer:

Picture taken in artificial light.  (I often complain that some polishes photograph too blue, but not this time!  Actually, I think this looks a little bluer than the photo reflects.)  This applied well in two coats, but I think I would’ve had an easier time with a better brush.  The name is misleading; I wouldn’t look at this and think “purple” at all.  It’s blurple at the very least, and it’s a blurple that leans very much on the side of blue.  It’s not a true blue, but it’s so strongly blue-toned that consider it blue enough for my Postseason Blues™.  Something I always like seeing in inky polishes like this are the different colors of shimmer.  The red and blue shimmers create a beautiful, interesting contrast.  Whatever color it is, it’s deep and gorgeous; it’s nice to close out September with another great jewel tone.  I’m hoping to wear many more blues next month, though!  I paired this with Barielle Lava Rock on my toes.

<3sarah

If I was already unbelievably happy after Saturday, I’m even more so after yesterday!  I’m not just happy that Nole won his first US Open, taking three out of the four slams this year (he now has four career slams),  and adding another trophy to make ten titles won just this year so far (his match record now stands at 64-2).  I was just amazed at the high quality of the final, with amazing shotmaking and many intense rallies that had me going crazy.  I don’t even know how many times I must’ve said “Idemo,” “Ajde” or “Ajmo” (that’s about half of my Serbian vocabulary) over the course of that match.  Even though that was the last slam, the season’s not nearly over.  I’m really looking forward to the last couple of months to see what Nole will do to add to his amazingly unreal season. 😀

For the rest of September, I have more gorgeous jewel-toned polishes lined up.  Estée Lauder Ultra Violet (Bronze Goddess, Spring 2010) is a deep reddish violet with pinkish-purple microglitter:

Picture taken in sunlight.  This applied well and was more opaque than I expected.  I managed to get away with doing two coats with minor touchups in between instead of three full coats.  Even then, those touch-ups might not have been necessary; I did them preemptively to assure I wouldn’t have any bald spots after two regular coats.  The formula is opaque enough to get complete coverage in two-ish coats, yet still sheer enough to show off the way the glitter is suspended in there (even in the shade).  Of course, it looks amazing in the sun; the light really brings out that beautiful microglitter.  The overall finish is quite jewel-like and is lovely to look at.  Plus, this ice cube-like bottle is interesting, too.  I paired this with Essie Damsel in a Dress on my toes.

<3sarah

I’ve been wearing a lot of neons lately, and I think they work so well under crackle polishes, so I wanted to try more.  I layered OPI Turquoise Shatter, a vibrant blue-green shimmer, over Color Club MODern Pink (Poptastic, Spring 2010), a neon highlighter pink creme:

Left hand:

Right hand:

Pictures taken in sunlight.  (The crackle polish looks a little more green than the photos reflect.)  MODern Pink applied well, needing three coats for full, even coverage.  I’m guessing it’s because it’s a shimmer, but I had an easier time working with Turquoise Shatter than the cremes, Black Shatter and Red Shatter.  I’m disappointed that it didn’t crackle that much, but I think that’s because I laid it on too thick.  Still, I love these colors together.  The “Turquoise Shatter” is more of a bright blue-green teal than a true turquoise.  I’ve done tons of mani/pedi combos with these kinds of shades so I thought this highlighter pink would be perfect against the vibrant teal.  The look makes me think of Jem for some reason; it just seems like a truly outrageous ’80s color combo to me. 😉  I also love the contrast of finishes, with the bright, glowy neon creme peeking out from under the sparkly shimmer.  It’s very striking!  I paired this with Sephora by OPI Shopping Frenzy on my toes.

<3sarah

This time I wanted to do a mani-pedi that better reflects the multicolored-ness of Novak Djokovic’s kit, and I also wanted to have another go at using a crackle polish.  Ironically, Nole won’t be playing at all in the days I’ll be wearing this mani; he’s already through to the semifinals via walkover.  I layered OPI Red Shatter over Color Club Chelsea Girl (Poptastic, Spring 2010), a bright royal blue creme:

Left hand:

Right hand:

Pictures taken in sunlight.  Chelsea Girl applied well; on its own I’d need three coats but for layering purposes (and quicker dry time), two was enough.  It doesn’t cross into true neon territory ’cause it’s just not glowy enough, but it is very bright and dries with that satiny finish as neons do.  Over a blue background, Red Shatter doesn’t look as bright as it appears in the bottle, but I still love this combo.  It really makes me think of Spider-Man!  It looks so much better after applying topcoat; somehow it makes the colors look more defined.  Since this is the second crackle polish I’ve used, I definitely had an easier time managing the formula.  I love the way the crackle patterns turned out, too.  I paired this with Illamasqua Wayward and an accent nail in Rescue Beauty Lounge Underwear on my toes.

<3sarah

Now that it’s May, I’m hoping for warmer weather and switching from soft colors to brighter ones. OPI Dim Sum Plum (Hong Kong Collection, Spring 2010) is a bright purplish pink creme:

Picture taken in natural light.  I thought this would be a two-coater, but I added a third to get that full, true opacity.  I didn’t mind doing three coats since the formula went on so smoothly.  The color is very similar to Ate Berries in the Canaries, but this one is slightly brighter and a touch pinker.  It’s such a lovely shade of purplish pink that I don’t mind having them both.  It’s a bright and rich at the same time.  I also couldn’t resist the name; I love dim sum!  I paired this with Sinful Mint Apple on my toes.

<3sarah

I’m not super obsessed with the royal wedding, but I am definitely going to watch it tomorrow.  I wanted to put on a “something blue” that was also fresh and springy (and I wanted to finish trying all the polishes from this collection).  Orly Snowcone (Sweet, Spring 2010) is a soft, cornflower blue creme:

Picture taken in natural light.  This applied well; the formula was so pigmented that I barely needed two coats.  The color is simply gorgeous.  It’s more soft than it is bright, but it still looks so fresh and crisp.  There’s just something about cornflower blue that’s so dreamy. 🙂  I paired this with OPI Dating a Royal (of course) on my toes.

<3sarah

For my next soft-colored mani, I chose Orly Cotton Candy (Sweet, Spring 2010), a warm, light pink creme:

Picture taken in natural light.  (I don’t know what happened here.  This is a light pink, but not that light.  Defnitely not even close to being pastel.  This looks bolder in real life.)  This applied fine; the formula was a bit prone to cuticle drag, though.  I needed three coats for full coverage.  I tend to associate the name “Cotton Candy” with shimmery polishes, so cotton candy’s not exactly what I think of when I look at this creme.  But I still think the color looks sweet and girly.  And it’s another warm pink I’m glad to have in my collection.  I paired this with Urban Outfitters Green 11 on my toes.

<3sarah

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