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I started my Olympic manis with a gold, and I’m also ending with a gold. After all the polishes with brushed metallic finishes, I wanted my last to be something more festive. 🙂 China Glaze Blonde Bombshell (Eye Candy, Winter 2011) is a mix of yellow gold glitter in a clear base:

Picture taken in sunlight. Like the rest from this collection, this is a glitterbomb that can build to opacity on its own. I used three coats, with the first going on pretty sheer, then becoming totally opaque by the third. It’s a thick-looking mani, but that’s to be expected. The formula gets thicker as you continue to work with it (at least if you’re using your bottle for the first time), so if you’re the type to complete a mani one hand a time, the first coat on your first hand will be considerably more sheer than the first coat on your second hand. After one coat of Poshe the finish feels a little rough, but its not a topcoat-eater. Suspended in the clear base is a mix of fine glitter and tiny hexagonal glitter. The hexagonal pieces are nowhere near the size of hexagonal sequins but they’re big enough to provide a noticeable contrast to the fine glitter, creating a more dimensional finish. While this isn’t my preferred shade of gold (it’s very, very yellow-toned), I love the sparkle factor and the jewel-encrusted look. I paired this with Sally Hansen Purple Pizzazz (Xtreme Wear) on my toes.

One thing I loved during these Olympics (aside from all the sports, of course) was seeing the female athletes show the love for their country on their nails! Whether it was simply using the colors of their flag or more elaborate designs, it was great to see nail polish used to display national pride. 😀

<3sarah

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While the celebrations for Queen Elizabeth’s Diamond Jubilee are going on, I thought it would be absolutely fitting to wear China Glaze Lorelei’s Tiara (Eye Candy, Winter 2011), a silver glitter with sky blue hexagonal glitter in a clear base:

Picture taken in sunlight. It’s been a couple of months since I’ve even worn a glitter like this, so I had to get reacquainted with this type of formula. I put down a relatively sheer first coat for the additional coats to hold on to, then I added two more coats. The formula can get thicker as you work with the polish, but it’s not difficult to work with. I don’t mind having it not completely glassy smooth, so I only used one coat of Poshe (this alone already makes for a very thick mani so I can’t imagine adding more layers of topcoat.) It’s probably because I haven’t worn a glitterbomb in a while, but I can’t stop looking at my nails! This polish is gorgeous and sparkly like diamonds. 🙂 I really can’t help making the association; it does look ornate and glamorous. I love the pops of blue glitter, it breaks up the plain silver, giving the finish a unique and more dimensional look. I paired this with China Glaze Dorothy Who? on my toes.

<3sarah

I thought I was done with dusty polishes and was getting ready to jump into spring greens, but then I just remembered I owned this polish and wanted to try it now. Since spring doesn’t officially start until tomorrow anyway, I’m saying farewell to winter with Essie School of Hard Rocks (Winter 2011), a soft light teal creme:

Picture taken in sunlight. This applied well in two coats. I’m more used to (and love) seeing the dark, vampy teals, but this is a welcome difference. In addition to being a lighter, dustier shade, it’s also more green-leaning. It’s soft but still quite richly colored; it looks very pretty. It doesn’t make me think of jewelry (with the theme of this collection, I was expecting the polishes to look more jewel-toned), but this shade looks just like the color of the newer kind of chalkboard, so the name is perfect in that sense. I paired this with OPI Skull & Glossbones on my toes.

<3sarah

For my last mani of the month I felt like trying another one of these 3D glitters, to take advantage of the sun we’ve been having lately. China Glaze Some Like it Haute (Eye Candy, Winter 2011) is a gunmetal, silver and holographic hexagonal glitter packed in a clear base:

Picture taken in sunlight. Although the formula became thicker as I continued to work with it, this applied pretty well. Depending on how thick your coats are, you may need three coats (as I used) or you may get away with two. There’s fine gunmetal and hexagonal glitter, which make up the majority of the polish. I love the color! The dark gunmetal tone is a nice departure from lighter silver glitters. The overall color comes across as gunmetal, but there is some fine silver glitter in there for contrast. There’s also a good amount of holo glitter mixed in, adding another dimension of sparkle. With the gunmetal tone and the rainbow effect of the holo glitter, I get a bit of a glittery oil slick vibe. The glitteriness really comes alive after adding topcoat. I quite like the clever name as well! I paired this with Sephora by OPI Shiny Dancer on my toes.

<3sarah

I just wore a red polish but since that was a glitter I think this is different enough.  Plus I still have another one of these to try this month so I have to spread it out.  Essie Size Matters (Winter 2011) is a very deep bluish red creme:

Picture taken in natural light.  This applied very well; it flowed on the nail so smoothly and was quite pigmented.  This would look perfectly fine with two coats but I’ve gotten so used to adding that third coat for that extra degree of opacity.  This is another one of those sexy, darker vampy reds.  It has that in-between creme and jelly kind of formula that I’ve described before (which is probably why I added that third coat.)  This would be great to do a half-moon mani with, Dita Von Teese-style, not just because it’s a lovely shade, but because it’s pigmented, smooth and easy to work with.  I paired this with MAC On the Prowl on my toes.

<3sarah

I knew I wanted to wear a red for Valentine’s Day tomorrow, and as soon as I saw this I knew it would be perfect. China Glaze Love Marilyn (Eye Candy, Winter 2011) is a red and silver hexagonal glitter packed in a clear base:

Picture taken in sunlight. This applied well; I reached opacity in two coats with touchups in between. I’m starting to get a hang of using these 3D glitters. It’s great how they truly build to opacity on their own. You don’t really do “normal” coats with this kind of polish. The first coat will look sparse, but it’s a foundation for the additional coats to hold on to, and it only makes sense to fill in obvious empty spots in between coats. Since these kinds of glitters make thick manis, I only use one coat of topcoat, which doesn’t make the finish feel very smooth, but keeps it from looking flat. I absolutely love this; it’s so gorgeous and sparkly!! There’s something so glamorous about the red, and the pops of silver hex glitter give the look an interesting dimension. I’m stopping to look at my nails now because this polish is just amazing. I paired this with OPI Comet Loves Cupid on my toes.

<3sarah

I’m trying out a different basecoat and since my last two glitter manis popped off my nails I wanted to test this new basecoat with that same finish. China Glaze Material Girl (Eye Candy, Winter 2011) is a rose and holographic glitter packed in a clear base:

Picture taken in sunlight. This applied pretty well, though it got thicker by the time I started doing my left hand (I paint my nails one hand at a time.) The glitter is very dense so I got opaque coverage in three coats. There’s a variety of rose glitter here, from fine to different-sized hexagonal glitter. The hexagonal holographic glitter is of the largest size, and although there’s only a few bits here and there, it makes the finish look a little more interesting. I like this because it’s a full coverage, sparkly glitterbomb, but this particular shade of pink can look pretty bland. I wish it was the color of Marilyn Monroe’s iconic pink dress when she sang “Diamonds are a Girl’s Best Friend” in Gentlemen Prefer Blondes! I paired this with OPI Glove You So Much! on my toes.

<3sarah

I really wanted to wear one of those glitterbomb-type polishes today, but I didn’t feel like taking the time to layer over black, so I decided to put these so-called 3D glitters to the test. China Glaze Marry a Millionaire (Eye Candy, Winter 2011) is a mix of purple glitter and green bar glitter in a clear base:

Picture taken in sunlight. (Click to see this more clearly.) I didn’t think so after applying the first coat, but it really does build to opacity. I used three coats. As expected, the formula is thick because the clear base is loaded with glitter (as it needs to be to acheive opacity on its own), but it’s not that hard to work with. One coat of topcoat certainly won’t make it glassy smooth but that’s okay, since the mani already looks very thick. I’m afraid the polish might just pop off my nails eventually but that could actually come in handy when I’m ready to remove it. It’s hard to tell when you’re looking at the polish directly (the glitteriness is so intense!), but looking at my photos, there’s more going on than I originally thought. There’s two shades of purple glitter; a royal purple and a lighter, silvery purple, as well as turquoise green and chartreuse bar glitter. The green lights up against the purple when looked at at the right angle. I didn’t think I could like a polish with bar glitter, but it looks great in this mix! It totally works when it’s part of an opaque blend. I paired this with China Glaze C-C-Courage on my toes.

I’m still in sort of a daze after watching the Australian Open men’s final yesterday. I thought I was stressed after Nole’s semifinal match; this was on a different level! It was Nole and Rafa’s 30th meeting, and the first to go to 5 sets. At 5 hours and 53 minutes, it was the longest major final in the Open Era, and the longest match in Australian Open history. I found it amusing that on the program guide, ESPN2 allotted a paltry 3 1/2 hours for this match, just 3 excluding the 30 mins. of pre-match coverage (come on, these guys once played a 3-setter that went four hours!) It went on for so long that it cut well into the time allotted for the re-air! With the win, Nole has his fifth major, his third Australian Open title, and his third consecutive major title. 😀 I can’t even begin to analyze this epic well enough to do it justice. I can only applaud the effort Nole and Rafa put up. I can’t imagine how exhausted they both must have been immediately afterwards, watching them struggling to stand during the trophy ceremony. I kind of want to see the match again so I can watch the points without feeling like I’m gonna have a heart attack! And this is just the start of the season, oh boy…

<3sarah

The 2012 Australian Open is underway and I’m trying to get used to the odd hours I have to stay up in order to watch it live. I don’t think I’ll be doing kit color-matching manis the entire fortnight like I did last year; I just have lots of dark vampies I want to try this month (it’s summer in Australia so there are lots of bright kits). But I watched Novak Djokovic play last night and he had some red and blue accents on his white kit, so that’s what I have on today (albeit in more wintry tones.) Essie Bobbing for Baubles (Winter 2011) is a dusty dark blue creme:

Picture taken in natural light. This was quite pigmented and applied well in two coats. I’m used to seeing dark blues that are of the navy variety, so this is a nice change of pace. The color isn’t jewel-toned like I would expect from the name and the theme of the collection; this is a more greyed, smoky, industrial shade. I paired this with Orly Poison Apple on my toes.

<3sarah

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