Friday, January 19, 2018

Matte Topcoat Comparisons, Part 14

It's been quite a while since I tried a new (at least to me) matte topcoat, so when I saw the L.A. Colors gift set that included one, and it was on sale, I grabbed it. As far as I recall, I've never seen a matte topcoat from them. This one came with three creme polishes, which of course I don't need but hey, at least they were cheap (and as it turns out, the black is pretty decent; I haven't tried the other two yet).



For comparison, I put the L.A. Colors up against the first three other matte topcoats I could put my hands on, which are not coincidentally the three I tend to use most often, so they were in my staples boxes on my mani table (which may sound fancier than it is, being the sort of folding table usually seen in church basements for coffee hour). Left to right: OPI, L.A. Colors, Wet 'n' Wild, Butter London.



I used the black creme from the kit for my base, and I liked it a lot. It applied nicely and covered evenly in one coat. Then I mattified; top to bottom it's OPI, L.A. Colors, Wet 'n' Wild, and Butter London.



OPI is the clear winner of this group, followed by Wet 'n' Wild, then Butter London, then sadly L.A. Colors in last place. It went on thick, was slow to dry, and never got as matte as any of the other three. Ah well, as I said before, it was cheap. And I did get a nice black base and a blog post out of the deal, so not a total loss.



One note: the uneven surface on my ring finger is not the fault of the Wet 'n' Wild topper; it's the ridges on that nail, which I really need to remember to use a ridge filler base on more often. My other nails don't need it so I forget.

Links to all the prior installments in this series:

Part 1: OPI, Barielle, China Glaze, SinfulColors, Butter London, Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics
Part 2: Revlon, NYC, Essie, Claire's
Part 3: OPI, Essie, GOSH, Cult Nails, Icing, Ulta, Fing'rs
Part 4: Orly, Salon Perfect, OPI, Sally Girl
Part 5: OPI, elf, L'Oreal
Part 6: Nicole by OPI, OPI, Sally Hansen, Formula X for Sephora, Deborah Lippmann, Dolce & Gabbana, Nails Inc., Nina Ultra Pro, Illamasqua
Part 7: Fresh Paint, OPI, CK One, Wet 'n' Wild
Part 8: Glitter Guilty, Rescue Beauty Lounge, H & M, Kleancolor, Wet 'n' Wild, OPI.
Part 9: Paul & Joe, OPI, Wet 'n' Wild
Part 10: Dr.'s Remedy, Zoya, Hollish, OPI.
Part 11: Julie G, Pop-arazzi, Pure Ice, OPI.
Part 12: Jin Soon, Morgan Taylor, Girly Bits, Colour Prevails, Wet 'n' Wild.
Part 13: OPI, Pacifica, Bliss, Essence

Friday, January 12, 2018

Holding on to Last Year

Happy 2018! Mr. Karen and I celebrated the New Year by getting in the car and driving across the entire width of Washington State (well, after we'd driven south an hour plus to get to the freeway) to his eldest sister's house, where we hung out for a week or so with his mom and his other sister and various other family. We spent three long days of our trip looking at retirement places for his mom (one of them I think I'd like to move into when the time comes for me). Because there's a mountain pass between her house and ours, we weren't sure when we'd be back (the pass sometimes closes when there's too much snow), but here we are on our mountain in Idaho. We've had a lot of snow so far this season; here's me and some snow and trees I was skiing in yesterday:



As far as this blog is concerned, I'm going to extend 2017 for a bit longer. I want to catch up with the swatches and nails of the day in my backlog, then do my Top 20 list (which might be a Top 10 this time), then proceed with new stuff. (Somewhere in there I'm also planning to make New Year's resolutions, one of which will be to be a better blogger.) Nail Wheel Wednesday might be on hiatus until I'm caught up with other things; I haven't decided for sure.

Today I have swatches of some polishes I picked up on my travels in 2017, starting with Fresh Paint Blue Jean Baby. I really really shouldn't be buying cremes, what with having so very many already. I did pass on this one the first several times I saw it, spanning more than one trip, but finally the pretty blue got me and it came home with me. It reminds me of the base color of Essie Bikini So Teeny, one of my favorite polishes. I used two coats for my swatch; the formula was good.



I embellished Blue Jean Baby with a glitter topper I also got at Five Below. This is called Shooting Star and has gold stars, silver holo crescent moons, and turquoise hex glitter in a clear base.



Shooting Star was very well behaved; I didn't have to fish for the shaped glitters, and I didn't have to use topcoat to make it smooth.



Meijer was the source of the next two polishes I have to share, starting with Studio M Good as Granite, a charcoal shimmer. This was almost a one coater, but I did two. I'm not a fan of these new round bottles. They do seem more sturdy than the old rectangle ones, but that they reduced the volume from 15ml in the old ones to 10ml in these new ones and kept the price the same is super annoying. Sure, they're still inexpensive, and I probably will never use up even 10ml, but them being sneaky about a 33% price increase per ounce is sucky. Yet I am weak and still buy the polishes, so they won.





Good as Granite got topped with another Studio M shade, Under the Moon. It too gave up the shaped glitter without me having to fish, though I did add topcoat to smooth out the moons a bit; not sure if that was strictly necessary or just seemed like a good idea due to where the moons fell on my nails with this one.





At first glance, I thought Under the Moon was a dupe for Shooting Star, but there weren't any stars in it, just silver holo moons and turquoise hexes. They sure do look similar, though.



I do like living out here on my mountain, but I do also miss Michigan sometimes, with its Five Below and Meijer stores.