Thursday, August 29, 2013

Lovely Swaps with Lovely Ladies

In my recent textured polish comparisons post, I included a Kiko Sugar Mat color and mentioned that I'd gotten it and other Kikos and polishes in swaps I'd done with two international bloggers. Since both the swaps happened around the same time and both centered on Kiko polishes, I'm going to share goodies from both of them in this post.

My swap partners were Akuma Kanji (not her real name) from Under the Gravity's Nails and Julie Vernie (not her real name, either) from Les récits de voyage de Julie Vernie. Akuma and I have swapped before a couple times before. This was my first swap with Julie. I certainly hope these will not be my last swaps with either of these kind and generous ladies.

The starting point for both of these swaps was my desire for Kiko Sugar Mat colors. I split up my wish list and both Akuma and Julie were kind enough to go shopping for me. They also shopped for a friend of mine who was looking for some Sugar Mats as well, and I greatly appreciate that, because I'm sure it was a bit confusing when I was asking if they could get one of some of the colors but two of others.

Here are shimmery Kiko Sugar Mats posed with some of the exotic candies Akuma sent in her package. Left to right, 644 Sea Blue, 639 Golden Mandarin, 646 Starry Black, 643 Spring Green, 645 Burgundy.

This quartet of Sugar Mats from Julie has two shimmers and two cremes: 640 Poppy Red, 642 Hot Pink, 637 Turquoise, and 636 Mint.

To round out the Sugar Mat category, I have 635 Wisteria and 638 Taupe (which is the one that made it into the texture comp post to wrap up Fall Texture Week) joined by 372 Nude from the regular line.

The container the trio of Kikos above are posing on protected some treats from Akuma, wonderful little fruits that were almost too pretty to eat, like this apple. (I did eat them, and they were tasty.)

I just didn't have enough time to do full hand swatches of all the Sugar Mats, but Skittles were possible, at least for a couple hands' worth. I started with 642, 640, 645, and 646, as I was very curious about how these would compare to textures I already had in my stash. All of these were two coats.

Flipping through my nail wheels, I couldn't find anything quite like 642 Hot Pink. The shimmery textured pinks I already have are all lighter or darker or more berry toned than this Kiko. Even when I looked at creme textures in my stash, I still didn't come up with a color like it. For the other three, I had more success. I love finding dupes and "close enough you don't need both" pairs, especially when the brands span continents, so I had a lot of fun with these Kikos.

640 Poppy Red is really more orange—perhaps there was a translation problem. It's similar to Julie G Sugar Rush, just a tad darker. (Sorry about the focus problem here; I find it hard to get my nail and the nail wheel tip lined up just right.)

645 Burgundy is a pretty darn good match for Nicole by OPI Cinna-man of My Dreams.

646 Starry Black and Zoya Dahlia are twins as well.

The next quartet of Kiko Sugar Mats I grabbed for skittling consisted of 637, 644, 643, and 639. These were also two-coaters.

The only one of these that I found a close relative of was 639 Golden Mandarin, which is quite similar to Zoya Beatrix.

There were more fun things in these swap packages but as I'm running out of my blog post writing time slot here, those will have to wait for future posts, except this surprise from Julie which I just can't resist sharing right now—sample packs of Kiko nail polish strips. I didn't even know Kiko made nail polish strips. I am very curious to see how they compare to stateside brands but that, too will have to wait.

I feel so fortunate to have connected with these two ladies via the magic of cyberspace. Thanks you two!


  1. I have a few of the Kiko Sugar Mats and I quite like them!

  2. I'm really glad you liked what I sent! I hope we will swap more times (waiting for Halloween :P)!
    I like the comparisons, some of those are real dupes!

  3. You know, it's funny, I never thought in a million years that I would like textures (it's possibly that I have said that here before, even), and yet I'm looking at these and coveting colors that I don't already have. Last week when I found Cinna-man of My Dreams at the grocery store I tried so hard to talk myself out of it, and then I thought, "Well, what if I never see it again?" (which has happened before, let's face it) and I decided that that would make me much sadder than spending the money would, and I bought it. I may have to go buy some more Zoya colors, too, as a substitute for trying to get some of these from overseas!

  4. Loving all the textures....and thx for comparisons...great to see that there are dupes for some of the Kikos so don't have to worry about getting them....please thank your swap partners too for me....I can't wait for them to arrive!

  5. Wow, awesome post! Great polishes you've got your hands on.

  6. that's what i call great swap :D
    love your comparison and swatches :D

  7. Wish I could get my hands on 643... so pretty ^_^

  8. I'm dreaming about #644

  9. Great haul Karen!! #640 was the first "sold out" from this collection (it should be a dupe of OPI Jinx) and no, there's not a translation problem, its Italian name is Rosso Papavero (Poppy Red) :/ Kiko names are often not-so-precise (personally I don't agree with "Burgundy" either).
    Anyway have fun with your new textured :)

    1. Aly, thanks for the clarification on the translation--funny to see that not quite right nail polish names is a worldwide thing. :)

  10. Karen, thank you for this lovely post! I am glad you enjoyed the polishes! And thanks for introducing Akuma, I will follow her blog from now on.
    Now it's my turn to swatch the Julie G's. I found Sugar Rush a tad darker than Poppy Red - this is funny!
    I look forward to swapping more times!

    1. Julie, I wonder if there are batch differences in the Kikos or the Julie Gs; it's good to hear those two are close in any case regardless of which is darker. :)

  11. Oooh nice items! That little apple treat looks so cute!


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