One of the new things out this summer from Sally Hansen is the Pearl Crush Special Effects line. These are eight colors of shimmery bases with large iridescent glitter pieces. They're very pretty in the bottle, for sure.
Eight colors; you know what that means—Skittles swatches. The first set started with Oy-ster It Up, a white shimmer, on my index finger. The lilac Shell & Tell went on my middle. Silver Scallop (silver) adorned my ring finger and Clam Digger (black) my pinky. I used three coats plus topcoat. The glitter in these is quite eye catching; small changes in angle mean big changes in how the light reflects off of it. The shimmer bases are pretty interesting, too; some really look like the inside of seasheels and some have subtle duochrome shifts.
With glitter pieces as big as these are, I wasn't surprised that it wasn't super easy to get them onto the nail. The instructions on the bottle pretty much acknowledge the issue by saying that the coats need to be dabbed on, rather than just applied as per usual. Dabbing does work better to get the glitter on the nail, true. The problem is it also tends to create small piles of shimmer rather than distributing it evenly, and I don't especially like that effect. It's most noticeable above on my ring finger.
The second set, top to bottom: She Sells (peach), Mer-mint (green), Lady Crab (pink), Rainbow Fish (blue). Again, three coats plus topcoat. Mer-mint wasn't as green on the nail as I'd expected.
The shimmery bases looked like they might take well to being layered over black, so I tried that next. Here's the first quartet, one coat plus topcaoat over Wet 'n' Wild Black Creme: Oy-ster It Up, Shell & Tell, Silver Scallop, and Clam Digger. this was interesting; the white turned blue, the lilac turned pink, the silver turned blue AND pink, and the black pretty much stayed black with very dark plum tendencies. Also, the glitter popped out more visually.
Here's the second set; top to bottom—She Sells, Mer-mint, Lady Crab, and Rainbow Fish. The peach sort of faded into grey, the green made a green/pink duochrome, the pink turned blue, and the blue turned green. The "shimmer dabbing" issue was more of a problem over black; you may be able to see the mottled effect on my index finger from over enthusiatic dabbing.
I thought these were pretty. I also thought they were a bit fiddly to work with. On balance, I was more attracted by the pretty than put off by the fiddly, so I decided to do one more look with them, amping up the fiddly even. I did a base coat of Sally Hansen Xtreme Wear Green Thumb, a yellow green creme that's one of the new shades released recently. The formula on this was a little runny. I topped the green with Silver Scallop, wiping off the glitter from the brush so I'd just get the shimmer. Over the green, the shimmer looked more pink/silver than pink/blue like it had over the black. Then, on two nails, I placed glitter pieces close to each other to cover the nail as best I could (picking the pieces up with a dotting tool one by one), then added topcoat. Depending on the angle of the light, the individual glitter pieces changed colors and winked in and out of visibility, which was fun to look at. Because the glitter is transluscent as well as iridescent, it was somewhat hard to see when picking it out of the pool of polish, so in some cases I got two pieces stuck together. I'm choosing to look at that as a feature, giving added depth to the look. This glitter is very thin, so even where there were two stacked on each other, the surface didn't feel bumpy once the topcoat was on.
These Pearl Crush are a bit challenging to work with, but in my opinion they're worth the effort. I'm not going to pull one of them out to do a mani unless I have more time than usual, but I am keeping them around. I sort of wish the shimmer bases and gliltter were sold separately, as I'd wear most of the shimmers on their own, too, and love them for layering. So, think of these as the friend that sometimes annoys the heck out of you but that you keep in your life because they have so many other good qualities.