I had the best intentions of posting here at least once over the long Thanksgiving holiday weekend, expecting I'd have some down time while we were away in Illinois, but I ended up not even turning on the computer I'd brought. Instead I ate a lot of good food, spent a lot of quality time with my mom and other relatives, and even saw three bands in one night at a bar in Chicago. It was fun but tiring, and Mr. Karen and I seem to have picked up some germs in our travels which have him home sick today and me drinking as much homeopathic tea as I can.
I need to start this post with an apology to my friend Lucy in Brazil, because it's been months and months since she sent me the lovely lacquers I'm going to write about. We've done a big swap with each other for the past few years, and I always love the things she sends but then tend to not use them because they're so pretty and not things I can easily replace. Last year, I got over that silliness and enjoyed some of the pretties she sent on my nails almost right away, but this year I lapsed. I kept the polishes she sent close at hand, looking at them every time I dipped into my swatching queue, yet failed to push past my "too pretty to use" feeling until just recently, when I took the plunge and tried a bunch on them. We'll get to that, but first I want to show you all the bounty.
Lucy always does something fun and special with the packaging, and this year she surprised me by putting everything into an adorable little woven chest.
I opened the lid to find a note on top, with some sweets peeking out from behind.
In my excitement, I didn't manage to photograph all the candies, but here's one that especially caught my eye with the purple and yellow colors and cute bees buzzing around the wrapper.
Before I get to the polish, let me share the pretty tube of hand creme and the elegant Lancôme bag that accompanied them.
Lucy had wrapped the polishes not just in bubble wrap to protect them, but also pretty mylar bags, so I had the fun of unwrapping lots of little presents.
And the polishes, oh the polishes. There were these Jade holos from the New Collection: Eclipse, Sunset, Mirage, Over the Rainbow, Oasis, Aurora, and Falling Star.
More Jade, from the Special Glitz line: Vestido de Gala, VIP, Realeza, Esplendor, Echarpe de Seda, and Black Tie.
A quintet from Hits: Super Cute Multichrome, Sweet Dreams Multichrome, Morfeu Holographic, Art Lover Multichrome, and So Unique Multichrome.
This next group has the very intriguing Basilisco from Esmalteria KK, Up Colors Verde 360°, and La Femme flakies in Diferenza and Destak.
Three holos and a glitter from La Femme (I've angled the square bottles the better to show the pretty designs on the caps): Valiosa, Moonlight, Glamurosa, and Única.
And last but definitely not least, five glitters from Penélope Luz: Tulip Field, Tendresse, Lotus, Sakura, and Luxury.
The sun was not cooperating with my wish to try some of the many holos, but I couldn't get too bothered since I had the Penélope Luz glitters to play with. I used the new shades of Sally Hansen Complete Salon Manicure that are just hitting stores for base colors.
I reached first for Penélope Luz Lotus, which has small black, white, and medium pink matte glitter in a clear base.
Lotus seemed like it would coordinate nicely with Penélope Luz Sakura, which has black and white matte glitter in long bars and various sizes of hexes and squares along with medium pink matte hexes and large light pink satin squares, all in a clear base.
I did a base of Sally Hansen Orchid Me Not then added one coat of Lotus on my index finger (top below), a coat each of Lotus and then Sakura on my middle and ring fingers, and two coats of Sakura on my pinky, putting clear topcoat over all. I loved the combination of Lotus and Sakura, with Lotus providing a great consistency behind the more chaotic Sakura.
Penélope Luz Tulip Field has yellow, red, green, and purple hex glitter in a range of sizes plus purple shimmer plus a few green stars and red hearts in clear base.
I used Sally Hansen Mardi Grape as the base for Tulip Field, doing two coats of the glitter plus clear topcoat. I had to fish for the larger glitters and never succeeded in coaxing any of the stars or hearts out of the bottle (I could have taken my usual approach with uncooperative glitter and poured some out on a piece of scrap paper but I didn't want to waste any of this special bottle). Regardless of the lack of shaped glitter, I liked this very much, and thought the purple shimmer was very pretty.
Penélope Luz Tendresse has a mix of hex and square metallic glitter in magenta, pink, green, and turquoise in a shimmery sheer milky blue base.
I did two Sally Hansen base colors for Tendresse: Blue Chip on my index and middle fingers and Greenlight on my ring and pinky. I topped that with two coats of Tendresse, which self leveled so nicely that I skipped clear topcoat.
Penélope Luz Luxury has gold, gold holo, and red square metallic glitter plus various sizes of black and gold hex glitter in a clear base.
Sally Hansen Brown Nose and All Bark (accent nail only) were the base I chose for Luxury. As with Tendresse, I used two coats of Luxury and no topcoat. I am going to have to remember this look, as it would be a great fall mani (the weather is now decidedly wintery here now).
Despite the lack of sunshine, I couldn't resist trying four of the Jade Special Glitz in Skittles swatches. Top to bottom (3 coats each, though two probably would have been enough; I also added clear topcoat for extra shine): VIP, Realeza, Esplendor, and Black Tie.
In direct low light, I could see some of the rainbow colors popping, so I can only imagine how brilliant these will be in sunlight.
I owe so many thanks to Lucy for choosing these special polishes for me. Now that I've "broken the seal" I hope to wear some for full manis soon.