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It’s been a while since I’ve done a layered mani, and even longer since I’ve done one involving a glitter, instead of a crackle polish. Plus, this polish was the last I had from this collection left to try. China Glaze White Cap (Anchors Away, Spring 2011) is a golden tiny flake microglitter in a milky white base. I typically like to layer over black, but this time I thought I’d go for a winter white look, and I chose to put it over Illamasqua Load:

White Cap + Load

Picture taken in weak sunlight. Load applied as I’d remembered, needing three coats for an even finish. I added two coats of White Cap for a really dense, glittery look over the whole nail. The whole mani does involve a lot of coats but the end result looks so pretty! I like that it doesn’t look bright and stark, since Load is more of a creamy off-white. The golden microglitter looks so sweet and angelic; the tiny, crushed flakes sparkle delicately. I think this would’ve made for a nice holiday look too. Although it’s not snowing now, it seems perfect to wear during these wintry days that have been deathly cold.  I paired this with China Glaze Bermuda Breakaway on my toes.



This is the last of the four polishes I got from this collection, and I definitely like it the most! Color Club Total Mystery (Alter Ego, Keep it Under Cover, Spring 2011) is an electric cobalt with blue, pink and purple microglitter:

Total Mystery

Picture taken in sunlight. This applied well, though the formula was rather sheer. It looked really streaky after the first coat, so before painting the second coat I filled in the bald spots. I needed three coats in all, plus those touchups, to reach full opacity. The multiple coats also results in this rich, gorgeous color. It’s an very bold shade, plus it has this electric quality I’m absolutely mesmerized by! The color is stunning on its own, so I would have been fine with just blue microglitter, but it does have the pink and purple microglitter too, which provides a lovely contrast. This is definitely one of the polishes that keeps me staring at my hands. I paired this with Sephora by OPI Screen Test on my toes. I’m glad I was able to do this mani-pedi in the first place. I was painting while watching Novak Djokovic’s epic five-set win over Stanislas Wawrinka, and I just remember being so nervous that my hands started to shake! This was only to reach the quarterfinals, so based on years past I can imagine how much more amped-up I can get over the next few days.


After weeks of metallic and dark shades, it’s nice to be wearing a bold pop of color. Color Club Ulterior Motive (Alter Ego: Keep it Under Cover, Spring 2011) is a bright fuchsia with blue and pink microglitter:

Ulterior Motive

Picture taken in sunlight. This applied well, but was on the sheer side. To get an even, opaque finish I did three coats with considerable touchups. But all those coats serve well to make the color deeper. The sheerness also allows all the microglitter to shine through. Pink  polishes with blue flashes are not uncommon, but here the blue microglitter is very visible and I love it! It’s so visible that I think it affects the appearance of the color. Indoors it looks practically purple! Either way, it’s a gorgeous, bold color with a lovely sparkling finish. I paired this with FingerPaints It’s an Original! on my toes.


Normally this is the time where I’d be doing Australian Open manis, but I’m forgoing that for now to get more of these untried collections tried. Color Club Alias (Alter Ego: Keep it Under Cover, Spring 2011) is a color-shifting dark purple with purple microglitter:


Picture taken in artificial light. The formula had the same consistency as Alter Ego, a little cuticle-draggy and on the sheer side but building to opacity in three coats plus touchups. It also takes a while to fully set and harden. The color seen straight-on is lovely, a deep purple with lots of brighter purple microglitter. In different lights it can look more cool or warm-toned. This has quite an interesting color shift. At a certain angle it looks brown with rose microglitter, but it mainly shifts to this murky ivy green. It’s unexpected but I’m glad to see the big difference in duochrome colors. I paired this with Color Club Rule Breaker on my toes.


I started off the year by wearing a whole collection I should have tried long before that, and I’m continuing in the same vein with my next few manis. I don’t have this whole collection but I’ll start off with its namesake, Color Club Alter Ego (Alter Ego: Keep it Under Cover, Spring 2011), a smoky purple with golden shimmer:

Alter Ego

Picture taken in natural light. The formula was on the sheer side, but otherwise applied well. To reach opacity I needed three coats with some touchups. Even with a quick-drying topcoat, this could still be dentable for a while. I don’t mind the sheerness so much because it lets all that shimmer come through. It gives the finish a sort of metallic look without having the brushstrokes of an actual metallic finish. It isn’t just champagne gold shimmer in there either; I see blue and purple too. The smoky purple shade would lean more cool, but the golden shimmer warms it up a bit. I almost forgot this is part of a spring collection, but it seems like more of a cold weather color anyway. I paired this with Revlon No Shrinking Violet on my toes.


I felt like wearing a red creme again, and I thought this one would look perfect on my newly-shortened nails.  China Glaze Hey Sailor (Anchors Away, Spring 2011) is a very bright retro red creme:

Picture taken in sunlight. (I think this photographed a little warmer than it looks in real life, but I feel that it’s one of those reds that can look more orange-toned or closer to neutral depending on the light.) This applied well in two coats. I love this red!! I can’t get enough of these retro-looking ones. Because of the nautical theme of the collection, I keep picturing sailor pin-ups when I look at it; the name is truly fitting. This one is particularly loud and bright, and definitely made to be noticed. I paired this with Orly Snowcone on my toes.


I feel like I’ve been wearing so much OPI lately that I wanted to break it up with a different brand. China Glaze Ahoy! (Anchors Away, Spring 2011) is a bright raspberry red- pink with pink and gold microglitter:

Picture taken in natural light. (I was sure I would get a window of sunlight but I had no such luck. I want to replace the photo but I see no sun in the forecast 😦 This lighting doesn’t even begin to convey just how gorgeous this polish is.) The base is a little jelly/glass fleck-ish so I used three coats to get a greater degree of opacity. I should have worn this on a sunny week, because it’s really sparkly! The microglitter has that look of just floating beneath the surface; the finish is absolutely gorgeous. I also love this shade of pink; it’s warm and borderline red (even redder than the photo depicts), and bright but also very rich. I’m trying it a year late and I’m glad I finally did, but I definitely should have checked this off my untrieds much sooner! This polish is just amazingly beautiful, and I can say that it’s one of my favorite pinks. I paired this with Sephora by OPI Gleek Out on my toes.


Of course I couldn’t get through April without wearing at least one pastel.  Illamasqua Purity (Toxic Nature, Spring 2011)  is a pastel peach creme:

Picture taken in sunlight. This applied well; the formula was nicely thick and pigmented. It looked okay at two coats, but I was bothered by some streakiness so I added a third for total evenness. Not that I’ve tried many of them, but I find this to be the perfect pastel peach! Great formula aside, the color is lovely. It’s just the right shade that peach should be, falling in between orange and pink without obviously leaning either way. It’s also stark without looking chalky-white. (Stark pastels look great against a tan!) It’s another one of those soft-yet-bright type of colors. It’s so delicate and pretty but the starkness really gives it an impact. I paired this with OPI What’s With the Cattitude? on my toes.


For my last green of the month, I chose a more “traditional” shade.  China Glaze Starboard (Anchors Away, Spring 2011) is a grass green creme:

Picture taken in natural light. (Unfortunately this is the best lighting I could get on a rainy day.) This applied well; it’s not exactly super-pigmented but I still got complete coverage in two coats. This is a perfect green-green! It’s doesn’t lean too blue or too yellow; it’s a lovely, right-down-the-middle shade. It looks very fresh and springy. I can’t help but think of neat, manicured lawns or golf courses when I look at my nails. I paired this with OPI Miami Beet on my toes.


For my first mani of official spring, I wanted to wear something green but was in no mood for soft colors, so I picked Illamasqua Radium (Toxic Nature, Spring 2011), a radioactive acid chartreuse with subtle green shimmer:

Picture taken in sunlight.  (I actually did this mani yesterday but it was too cloudy to photograph properly so I waited until today ’cause this polish deserves a sunlight picture.)  This was nicely pigmented and applied very well in two coats.  This polish is awesome!!  I love the color, it’s not quite neon but with a bright chartreuse green like this I can’t help but describe it as “radioactive” and “acid.”  It’s a perfect fit within the theme of this collection.  The pearly shimmer is subtle but adds a really interesting dimension to the finish, making it look a little glowy and adding to its radioactive look.  I paired this with Sephora by OPI Hell to the No on my toes.




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