Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Ruby Wing The Wicked West Collection

Sample provided for review

The weather today is grey and cloudy in my corner of Michigan, completely unsuitable for swatching Ruby Wing sun-activated color changing polishes, but perfectly fine for sorting through and cropping photos of swatches I did back when the weather was more cooperative. The Ruby Wing Wicked West collection had six shades: Rodeo, Tumbleweeds, Wanted Dead or Alive, Saloon Sweetheart, Back on the Saddle, and Ride 'Em Cowgirl.

These have labels on top of the caps showing the inside and outside colors:

Rodeo is a pastel green creme, a bit too yellow-leaning to be called mint. The formula in the bottle I got was on the thick side; that was good in that I only had to use two coats for full coverage, but less good in that it seemed a bit reluctant to self level.

In the sun, Rodeo changed to a pastel yellow with a sort of dirty tinge; I also saw some hints of peach on my tips, almost like this was a thermal polish. (The bottle in the shot below is mid-change from green to yellow, as I held it in the shade longer than my nails.)

Back on the Saddle ("on", not "in" like the song) has iridescent golden yellow hex glitter and micro glitter in a matching sheer base.

I decided this was a layering polish and put two coats of it over Rodeo. It was pretty smooth without topcoat, so I didn't add any. I liked this combination; it looked very spring-like to me.

Outside, Back on the Saddle turned burnt orange and the look was much more autumn than spring—quite a change. The color change also made some spots where I'd failed to do perfect clean up more obvious, but that's good because you can see the spots of darker orange that this would be if I didn't have the pastel yellow base underneath.

When I came back inside, it was interesting to see the colors change back; I caught the shot below after Back on the Saddle had mostly returned to its pale side but before Rodeo went green again.

Indoors, Tumbleweeds is an acid green creme. The formula on this was thinner than Rodeo but still only needed two coats.

Outdoors, Tumbleweeds was olive green. I'd been expecting more of a brown based on the cap, but I liked the olive well enough.

I appear to have failed to take a close up of the Ride 'Em Cowgirl bottle; it's got gold hex glitter and silver holo glitter shards in a clear base. I layered one coat of it over Tumbleweeds, with one coat of Back on the Saddle on my ring finger as an accent.

In the sun, the clear base of Ride 'Em Cowgirl turns on a reddish orange color; over the green of Tumbleweeds, the combination is a brownish reddish green, very close to the browish orangish green that Back on the Saddle and Tumbleweeds make in the sun.

Saloon Sweetheart is a coral creme indoors. I used two coats for my swatch.

Outdoors, Saloon Sweetheart deepens into a reddish plum hue.

Of course I had to try the glitters over Saloon Sweetheart, too. I did one coat of Back on the Saddle on most of my nails, with one caot of Ride 'Em Cowgirl as an accent.

When I stepped outside, the darker these got, the more the difference between the orangey base of Back on the Saddle and the reddish base of Ride 'Em Cowgirl made itself known.

Above is in full sun; below is in shade but still outside:

The last color in the collection, Wanted Dead or Alive, is the only shimmer in the group. Indoors, it's a turquoise leaning blue. without topcoat, it dries to a semi-satin finish. I used two coats.

In the sun, it's a darker blue.

My favorites are Back on the Saddle and Wanted Dead or Alive. Which are yours?

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

Friday, September 26, 2014

Selections from SpaRitual Wander Collection

Standing at Ulta looking at the display for the SpaRitual Wander collection for fall, my first instinct was of course to grab one of each color and go check out. My next instinct was to get none of them because they weren't on sale and I didn't have a coupon (or not a good coupon; I don't recall exactly since I'm at Ulta so much the trips tend to blend together). Then I managed to find that underutilized part of my brain that practices moderation and picked my three favorites and bought those. Left to right: Starry Night, Arroyo, Nomad.

I started with Starry Night, a brown shimmer. I think this an overused name for nail polish, though I must admit none of the others I own are brown, so that's different. My swatch is two coats, no topcoat. The labels on all the colors in this collection call the finish "sandy matte shimmer", which leads one to believe there will be texture, but this must be the finest-grained sand in all the land, as it's hardly bumpy at all. I'd call the finish closer to satin than matte, too.

Never mind the satin versus matte issue, though, because Starry Night looks much better with a shiny topcoat, which brings out the golden/olive shimmer.

In direct low light, the shimmer pops even more:

Arroyo is a dusty rose with gold shimmer, and has the same finish as Starry Night. Again, I swatched at two coats.

The change in Arroyo with topcoat wasn't as dramatic, though it did look nice.

In direct low light, the gold sparkled quite nicely:

Nomad is an olive green with gold and pink shimmer, and is also a two-coater.

Here's Nomad with topcoat:

And here's Nomad in direct low light:

I'm happy with my choices; I can see wearing any of these as a full mani. I actually did wear Arroyo to work for a week after I did these swatches. On my skintone, it's got that almost-but-not-quite-mannequin hands subtlety, but the gold shimmer adds enough interest that it didn't bore me after a day.

You can see swatches of the whole collection at The PolishAholic.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Color Club Catch Up

Sample provided for review

This time of year I should be pumping out posts on the fall collections, but first I need to catch up with some bottles Color Club sent Lucy for review (via my US mule services, which I'm sure I've talked about before).

I have two of the six colors in the Cookies & Cream Limited Series collection, all of which are pastel cremes with matte black glitter. First up is Soft Baked, which has an ivory base and black glitter and really does look like cookies & cream ice cream. I used three coats plus topcoat for my swatch; I could have stopped at two coats of color, but I was enjoying the depth created by the layers. The base is sheer enough that the glitter from prior coats is visible through later coats, but no so sheer that it's hard to build up.

The other color from Cookies & Cream I got to try was In the Mix, which has a mint green base. I did an accent nail of La Petite Mint-sieur, a mint creme from the next group of Color Club polishes I'm going to share. I used three coats of these and added topcoat on the glittery nails. Again, I could have stopped at two coats.

The other colors in Cookies & Cream are Double Scoop (pink), Mad Batter (white), So Crumby (blue), and The Sweet Life (lilac). I never saw this collection in stores but it is still available on the Color Club website for $8.50 a bottle.

That mint green creme comes from the Paris in Love collection, which consists of six cremes: Je T'aime (pink), Macaroon Swoon (light yellow), La Petite Mint-sieur (mint), Holy Chic (periwinkle), Je Ne Sais Quoi (mustard), and Fondue for Two (brown).

To me, Paris in Love broke into two groups—four spring-like pastels and an autumn-esque duo—so that's how I swatched them. I Skittled the pastels, using only two coats of each, which was refreshing for light cremes like these. They were nice and shiny even without topcoat. Top to bottom: Je T'aime, Macaroon Swoon, La Petite Mint-sieur, Holy Chic. Together, these reminded me of Jordan almonds candies.

In addition to candy, the spring-like pastels made me think of flowers, so I did some quick dotted nail art on them, using Je Ne Sais Quoi for the centers.

Moving on to the fall-like colors, I did Fondue for Two (two coats) with accent of Je Ne Sais Quoi (3 coats). Again these were quite shiny without topcoat.

To better tie the brown and mustard together, and to have some fun, I did funky French dotted tips on them.

I puzzled about how to use the whole collection together and hit on the idea of ice cream cones. I applied a base of Macaroon Swoon, then made cones with Fondue for Two and Je Ne Sais Quoi, experimenting with different techniques: putting down the mustard then the brown before making lines with a thin dotting tool, mixing the mustard and brown together before painting the cone shape, putting mustard and brown down and making little swirls with a dotting tool, painting a cone with mustard and striping crosshatches with brown. Once the cones were done, I added ice cream, only doing green and pink ice because I couldn't figure out what flavor the periwinkle would be (the pink is strawberry and the green is mint, of course; I added chocolate chips on one nail).

I feel like I could have made better ice cream cones if I had more practice at freehand nail art, but I think they sort of match my vision, so that's a good thing, and it was fun doing them, so that's good, too.

As with Cookies & Cream, I never saw Paris in Love in stores around here, but colors are still available online. In addition to single bottles for $8.50, the Color Club website has a set with mini bottles of the four pastels for $12.95, as well as three kits with paris of polishes and a wheel with little macaroon "jewels" for $18.

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

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Wheel M7: Glitters from Wet 'n' Wild and China Glaze

I went with glitters for this episode of Nail Wheel Wednesday. Most of these are on the dense end of the glitter spectrum, though some could be layered.

(all 3 coats plus topcoat)

1. Wet 'n' Wild ColorIcon Jewels for Your Highness
2. Wet 'n' Wild ColorIcon The Crown is Mine
3. Wet 'n' Wild ColorIcon Speak When Spoken To
4. Wet 'n' Wild ColorIcon Bow in My Presence
5. Wet 'n' Wild ColorIcon Born Into Privilege
6. China Glaze Ray-diant [looks a lot like 5, doesn't it?]
7. China Glaze Optical Illusion
8. China Glaze Liquid Crystal
9. China Glaze Prism
10. China Glaze Full Spectrum
11. China Glaze Polarized
12. China Glaze Lorelai's Tiara
13. China Glaze Blonde Bombshell
14. China Glaze Marry a Millionaire [I had forgotten about this one and how much I like it; this is my favorite way to see bar glitter used, as an accent in a dense glitter mix]
15. China Glaze Material Girl
16. China Glaze Love Marilyn
17. China Glaze Some Like It Haute
18. China Glaze Mistletoe Kisses
19. China Glaze Party Hearty [such a great Christmas glitter]
20. China Glaze Mrs. Claus

I have comparisons featuring some of the first 11 of these in my post about the Wet 'n' Wild Toppings Glitters that came out in 2013 and looked a lot like these earlier ones.

Bottles 1 through 5—Be Jeweled collection from 2012:

6 through 11—Prismatic collection from 2012:

12 through 17—Eye Candy collection from 2011:

18 through 20—glitters from 'Tis the Season to Be Naughty and Nice collection from 2010: