Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Milani and China Glaze Texture

Texture Week shifts gears today into textured cremes. For a while, Milani was the only brand I'd seen who had these, but recently the China Glaze ones showed up. Since they're similar, I'm going to cover both collections together.

Let's start with the Milani. There are six of these, all with names that don't make you guess about what color they are if you see them listed without any photos (but of course I have photos): Yellow Mark, Tainted in Red, Spoiled in Fuchsia, Purple Streak, Aqua Splash, Shady Gray.

I wore Tainted in Red with an accent of Yellow Mark. I kept thinking these were not dry because the base stays shiny even when it's no longer wet, unlike the textured glitters I've been swatching like crazy. The little glints of light you see in these photos is not glitter; it's the light reflecting off the shiny base color between the texture mounds.

Shady Gray got an accent of Spoiled in Fuchsia.

I paired Purple Streak with Aqua Splash.

I used two coats of all of the Milanis, even the yellow. With some of them, mostly the darker shades, there were some tiny whiteish spots where it appeared that the base color wasn't completely covering the rocks or sand or whatever they put in these to make them bumpy. It wasn't super obvious, just something I noticed when I looked very carefully and that you might be able to see in the closeups here.

There are six colors in the China Glaze Texture collection as well. The names of these don't give a clue to the colors, but they do tie into the texture theme: Unrefined, Bump & Grind, Itty Bitty & Gritty, Toe-tally Textured, In the Rough, Of Coarse.

I wore Unrefined, which is a medium pink, with an accent of Bump & Grind, a warm rose pink. I used only one coat of Bump & Grind so you can see the difference in bumpy-ness between that and the two coats I used for Unrefined.

Itty Bitty & Gritty is a coral; I accented it with Toe-tally Textured, a yellow orange (also known as Mr. Karen's favorite color).

The last two are Of Coarse, a turquoise blue, and In the Rough, a lime green.

I used two coats of all the China Glaze colors, except for Bump & Grind as noted earlier. I saw the same white glints showing through on some of the colors as I did with some of the Milanis; it was perhaps a bit less prevalant with the China Glaze, but it wasn't a big deal in any case. As far as finish goes, I couldn't really tell any difference between the two brands. Here's Milani Spoiled in Fuchsia on the left and China Glaze Bump & Grind on the Right:

And here's China Glaze Of Coarse on the left and Milani Aqua Splash on the right:

I didn't notice any particular differences in application or dry time between the Milani and the China Glaze, either. With both brands, you need to keep an eye out for little rocks hanging over the end of the nail and push them back before they dry that way (which I didn't always do). Because they don't have the "mattes dry faster" factor working for them, both brands did take longer to fully dry than the textured matte glitters I've shared earlier this week. They were dentable for what I felt was an unreasonably long time—please keep in mind I am not the most patient person and feel quick dry topcoat is one of the best things ever. I'm wondering if sandwiching some Insta Dri clear or similar in between coats of these would make them dry fast enough to sastify me but haven't had a chance to try that yet.

I'd say these are definitely a novelty item. If you like the color but not the texture, you might as well get a straight up creme and wear that instead.

Monday, April 29, 2013

OPI Bond Girls

Texture Week continues today with the OPI Bond Girls collection, which I was fortunate to get sent to me for review. This is six Liquid Sand polishes named for some of the females who've tangled with James Bond over the years: Solitaire, Pussy Galore, Tiffany Case, Honey Ryder, Jinx, and Vesper.

I took the hangtags off for the group bottle photo but they do have the same ones as on the earlier Liquid Sands. Here's a look at the text on the inside of the hangtag—note that it says to use basecoat, which is different than Zoya's recommendation to not use base with the PixieDust ones. (Though I have tried base under the PixieDusts and noticed no impact other than having to wait for it to dry.)

Solitaire is a white pearl with scattered silver glitter. The glitter pieces are similar in size to those in Stay the Night, one of the first Liquid Sand polishes from the Mariah Carey collection this past spring. It's a bit more of a chunky look than the Zoya PixieDusts.

Pussy Galore is a pearly pink. The glitter in this is micro sized and very scattered; some of the texture bits are a slightly darker pink than the base, which adds interest.

It wasn't until I added topcoat (3 layers of it!) that I got the glitter to sparkle:

Tiffany Case is a silvery turquoise. Rather than the pearly base that Solitaire and Pussy Galore had, this is a metallic/foil base. It has larger glitter scattered in it, similar to Solitaire. Overall the effect is more blingy than the first two colors I shared above. Another difference is that Tiffany Case left some slight staining behind when I removed it. Boo to that.

Honey Ryder is gold and also has a metallic/foil base with scattered larger glitters. It's not as blingy as Tiffany Case, though, I think because the larger glitters blend in so well with the base rather than being slightly lighter as they are in the blue.

Just for fun, I tried dotting Tiffany Case on top of Honey Ryder.

Jinx is red orange with orange and gold micro glitter.

Jinx sparkled in low light even without top coat, similar to a Zoya PixieDust.

Vesper is a very dark purple jelly packed with black glitter. It might have been my imagination, or possibly impatience at the end of a swatching session, but this seemed slower to dry than the others in the group. It was definitely the flattest looking as far as visual texture goes, with barely a sparkle to be seen.

I put two layers of topcoat on Vesper and it got nice and shiny but sparkled not at all.

I used two coats each of all of the colors, even the pastels.

Jinx is my favorite of these. Tiffany Case is my runner up despite the staining issue (I think the right base coat would mitigate that). Vesper I'm still deciding about; purple jelly is right up my alley but the overall effect is not as interesting as I'd hope—perhaps it would be good in a jelly sandwich with something sparkly layered in between.

The polishes shown in this entry were provided free for review purposes. The content of the entry was not dictated by the provider, and I get to keep the polishes for my own use.

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Zoya PixieDust Summer Edition

Welcome to Texture Week! I've got so many bumpy polishes to share that I had to kick off this special blog event with a rare Sunday night post. Texture Week #1 features the Zoya PixieDust Summer Edition collection, which was sent to me for review. The six shades in this group are called Solange, Beatrix, Destiny, Miranda, Stevie, and Liberty.

Solange is a golden yellow.

Beatrix is a yellow orange.

Destiny is an orange red.

Miranda is a raspberry pink.

Stevie is a lilac—yay, finally a purple for me in the 18 Zoya summer colors.

Liberty is a warm-leaning blue.

These all have the same fine-grained matte glitter finish as the first collection of PixieDust for Spring 2013. I used two coats of all of them, except for Destiny, which needed a third to become similarly opaque. Even without topcoat, these do sparkle. Here's Liberty in low light, blurred to show the light sparking off it:

I wouldn't have thought to do a gradient with these, but Fia Kilbourn did and posted one using Beatrix, Destiny, and Miranda on Nail Polish Lovers community on Google+. I had to try my own version with Solange, Beatrix, and Destiny—I think it looks a little bit like candy corn, actually:

I added topcoat to the gradient so you can see how these polishes look smooth and shiny (one word: great)—

Of course my favorite is Stevie, since my eyes just go to purple first. I'm still not 100% sold on texture. These Zoyas are fairly smooth as bumpy things go—they don't catch on clothes or anything like that—but the texture is a bit distracting nonetheless. I found myself wanting to rub the pad of my thumb on the other fingers, which wasn't so great when I'd find they weren't quite dry. They do require more dry time than my normal manicures with quick dry topcoat, for sure. On the plus side, minor dings while they're drying are less visible than with a non-textured polish.

The polishes shown in this entry were provided free for review purposes. The content of the entry was not dictated by the provider.