Thursday, April 30, 2015

My First Polishes from Ellagee

Polishes provided at a discount for review.

I don't remember where I first heard about Ellagee, mostly because it was nearly a year ago. However, I do remember the polish that drew my attention: We Wants the Redhead. Not only was it a pretty glitter, the name took me back to happy trips to Disney theme parks, as the name is a phrase from a scene in the Pirates of the Carribean attraction. After continually getting distracted and being too busy for months on end, I finally put in an order for We Wants the Redhead and three other fun glitters using a discount generously provided by Ellagee.

I'll start with the polish that sparked my interest: We Wants the Redhead. (Between the time I wrote that first paragraph and now, I stumbled across where I heard about it: a post on Rainbowify Me.) This has a red jelly base packed with red, gold, and copper glitter in various sizes and both hex and square shapes.

I did two coats plus topcoat for my swatch; I was tempted to do three, not because it needed it but because I liked the depth created with two and thought three would look even richer. I'll try it next time I wear this.

The other three polishes I got are all glitter toppers (though I bet We Wants the Redhead would look good with one coat layered over a base color; I'll have to try that the next time, too). I swatched them each over a skintone neutral and a Skittled handful of base colors.

First of the toppers I tried was Faith Trust and Pixie Dust, a mix of mostly green glitter in different sizes and shapes with some iridescent shimmer and holo to make things even more interesting.

Here's two coats plus topcoat over OPI Samoan Sand:

To see how Faith Trust and Pixie Dust would look over different colors, I laid down Skittles in light but not pastel yellow, bright yellow orange, medium spring green, and very dark green. Left to right below, all with two coats of glitter plus topcoat: Revlon Top Speed Crystal Glow, Formula X Seismic, SinfulColors Hey You, and Catrice Hugo Moss. I was pretty sure before I started that I'd like it over the medium green base, and I do. What surprised me was how much I loved it over the yellow orange, which I grabbed on a whim since Mr. K always thinks I should wear more of his favorite color.

The next topper is The Birds Sing Words. (A name which kicks off the Tiki Room song in my brain ... the birds sing words, and the flowers croon, in the Tiki Tiki Tiki Tiki Tiki Room.) The glitters here are a different shapes, sizes, and finishes in turquoise, orange, red, green, and white.

I used Essie Perennial Chic as my skintone base for this one. I added three coats of The Birds Sing Words then topcoat. The glitter was definitely not a topcoat eater; this was so shiny my camera was bit confused by it. I was delighted by it, especially how some of the small green glitters really popped; I hadn't expected that to be so strong based on looking at the bottle.

I started with a red orange on my index finger for the Skittles under The Birds Sing Words, then went dark: red wine, navy, deep green. Left to right below, with two to three coats of glitter plus topcoat: Sally Hansen Xtreme Wear Red Rebel, Sally Hansen Complete Salon Manicure Red Zin, Kiko Quick Dry 839 Blu Ottanio, and Nuance Prickly Pear. The darker bases show the glitter best, but I think the combinations orange is more festive, more in keeping with the party going on in the Enchanted Tiki Room. Yes, some of the glitter does get lost against that particular orange; it shouldn't be a problem for me to find a slightly different one that works better.

I'll wrap things up with the party in a bottle that is Magical Day. This glitter mix has black Mickey heads, lime stars, various sizes of hexes in yellow, lime, red, and blue, plus red squares. For added interest, some of the glitter is matte and some metallic.

Sally Hansen Insta Dri Express Way served as the skintone base for Magical Day, which I used two coats of plus topcoat. I had to do a bit of fishing for the Mickey heads and stars, but it wasn't too hard; I didn't have to resort to pouring some polish out and going at it with a dotting tool like sometimes happens with large glitters. I was happy to find that the Mickeys and stars were of a size that laid pretty darn flat on my fairly curved nails (my C-curve is pretty much a half circle).

Magical Day got Skittles of white, green, blue, and red. Left to right below, with Magical Day plus topcoat: unknown white (it's a decant I did for some reason I no longer remember), Essie Avenue Maintain, SinfulColors Hey You, Orly Rogue Encounter.

Now that I've tried these four, I'm a little annoyed with myself that I waited so long. They apply nicely and the glitter mixes have a lot going on without looking random or messy. They're available at from the Ellagee website, with the exception of We Wants the Redhead, which appears to have been discontinued. Glad I didn't wait any longer than I did.

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

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Wheel A8: Brown and Taupe Shimmers

Including Chanel Paradoxal and several of the copycats that followed; I was obsessed with finding as many variations as I could. Some of these are showing darker in the photos than in real life; I wish I'd noticed that back when I took the shots. You can see what I mean if you look at this comparison post showing a few of these on my nails. Maybe someday I'll reshoot this. (Okay, probably not, but it makes me feel better to think that could happen.)

1. Borghese Rapido Mochaccino (2 coats) [subtle shimmer, but not nearly as subtle as Paradoxal and copycats]
2. Revlon Perplex (2)
3. Barry M Dusky Mauve (2)
4. China Glaze Jungle Queen (2)
5. Andreia 110 (2)
6. Chanel Paradoxal (2)
7. Rimmel Play Fast Cat Fight (3) [mmm, sparkly]
8. Jordana Ice (3) [not digging the brushstrokes]
9. China Glaze Visible Shivers (3) [I can only imagine I got this because it was older and therefore exciting to find, because it's not that compelling a color/finish]
10. Mattesse Graffiti (2)
11. Sinful Winterberry (2) [now this is nice, especially compared to the previous three]
12. CQ Shimmering Bark (3)
13. Incocos Alfarroba (1) [such great coverage]
14. OPI Wooden Shoe Like to Know (2)
15. OPI Route Beer Float (2)
16. Revlon Color Illusion Mocha Mirage (2) [the color shift makes the brushstrokes easier to live with]
17. China Glaze Hey Doll (3)
18. Maybelline Ultimate Wear Velvet Crush (1) [quite nice for one from the frost era]
19. China Glaze Goin' My Way (2)
20. Sally Hansen Nailgrowth Miracle Forbidden Fudge (2) [there were some nice colors in this line but it sure wasn't around very long]

Bottles 1 through 6:

7 through 11:

12 through 16:

17 through 20:

Destash notes: I definitely do not need all the Paradoxal variants. I can let go of #4, the China Glaze, without a problem. The Chanel itself, #6, should be easy enough to unload in that blog sale I'm going to have one day. #8 through #10 can go, though I'm not sure I'd feel good about foisting those brushstrokes onto anyone else.

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Funky Fingers Mysterious Possibly Peter Pan Collection

In my display post last week, I shared the three newest Funky Fingers polishes to show up at my Five Below: Wishes, Off to Neverland, and Fantasy Land.

As I mentioned, these had no signage with them, so I don't know what they're called (they aren't on the Five Below website, either, not that that would help necessarily, since the You're the One That I Want collection is on there as the "neon glitter collection"). Seeing the names, my mind leapt immediately to Disney, specifically to the Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World. Wishes is the name of the fireworks show at that park; on our last trip to Florida, Mr. Karen and I watched that show from Fantasyland, which is the part of the park that has the Peter Pan attraction in which you fly off to Neverland.

Off to Neverland is a turquoise shimmer.

I used three coats of Off to Neverland for my swatch. In some photos, there's a hint of visible nail line; in real life, that wasn't noticeable. This has a nice glow to it and brushstrokes weren't an issue as I'd feared they might be based on looking at it in the bottle (I am always suspicious of non-flecked shimmers).

Fantasy Land has two sizes of pinkish red (reddish pink?) metallic glitter in a clear base.

Turquoise would not be my first choice of a base color for Fantasy Land, but this collection doesn't have a lot of options, so I put two coats of Fantasy Land on Off to Neverland. I didn't add topcoat; you can see that the glitter lays very flat.

Wishes is my favorite of the three, because a) purple and b) glitter. This has a mix of lilac and blue violet glitter in various sizes in a purple jelly base.

I did three coats of Wishes plus topcoat (this was bumpier on its own than Fantasy Land). I probably could have done two coats, but seeing the purple and glitter build up was too much fun to stop at two.

You know that I delight in layering, so I had to do a bit more experimenting before I finished up with these for the day. On my index finger, I did two coats of Wishes topped with two of Fantasy Land. My middle and ring fingers started with three coats of Off to Neverland and then got one coat of Wishes. I further topped my middle with two coats of Fantasy Land. My pinky has a black creme base plus one single coat of Off to Neverland.

I was quite happy with how many pleasing combinations I could make with this small collection. Even though it's quite early, I'm thinking Wishes might find a spot in my Top 20 for 2015.

Monday, April 27, 2015

5th Blogiversary Giveaway

Unlike last year, when it took me two months to get a giveaway organized for my blogiversary, this time I'm on time. Five years ago today, I posted my first nail-related photos here, including a display and a comparison (and nubs). To mark this milestone, I've selected twelve prizes, one for each month of blogging this past year. There will be twelve winners; I'll explain how to put your name in the virtual hat at the end of this post. But first, the pretties:

Prize #1: Funky Fingers Glitter Toppers

This group has the still fairly new Broken Sea Glass and Scattered Sea Shells, which I've used (not these bottles, though) with Fresh Paint pastels and Essie Spring 2015. It also has the Frostbitten trio of Anna, Olaf, and Elsa.

Prize #2: Salon Perfect Neon Collision Collection

Looking back to summer of 2013, this is the full set of neon glitters from Salon Perfect: Exploded, Bang, Jolt, Zapped, Kaboom, and Shocked. I haven't gotten around to using these yet, but The Fancy Side swatched them all, both alone and used as a topper, so you can see them in action there.

Prize #3: SpaRitual Trio

A creme, a matte flakie, and a shimmer: Solitude, Opaline Luminary, and North Star. I've worn Solitude on its own and stamped.

Prize #4: Formula X Sextet

This has three pairs of polishes I thought looked good together: Racy & Boom, Rocket Fuel & Maniacal, and Torque & Blast Off.

Prize #5: Orly Trio

Fowl Play, which was all the rage when it came out. La Playa, from the Viva collection, which I think was the first full collection I swatched, way back in May of 2010; La Playa is still my favorite blue creme. Purple Velvet, one of the first matte polishes I added to my stash.

Prize #6: OPI Anniversary Duo

Pop the Cork and 50 is the New Fabulous: polishes released to celebrate the brand's anniversary seemed especially appropriate for a blogiversary. Even if gold is not your thing, Pop the Cork makes a nice filling for jelly sandwiches.

Prize #7: Sephora by OPI Quintet

A sampler of Karen colors from this now-discontinued brand: Mauvie Star in the Making, Just a Little Dangerous, Sugar Plum Fairies Gone Wild, I Don't Bite, Indi-go With the Flow.

Prize #8: Selections from Essence Aquatix

Mermaid nail stickers and three polishes: Finding Dori, Under the Sea, and Aquatix Bay.

Prize #9: Essie Trio Featuring Flakies

Sew Psyched, which has been on my nails a fair bit since it was released in 2010, including in more than one comparison post. Shine of the Times, which also has gotten into the comparison game. Wicked, because everyone needs a vampy red.

Prize #10: Butter London Fash Pack Set

This set has mini (aka fashion) sizes of five shades: Hen Party, Yummy Mummy, Champers, Lady Muck, and Dodgy Barnett. It also has a plastic box, but I took that off for photos since you don't need to see reflections of my hands and camera when you want to see the polish. Back in 2011, I compared Lady Muck to China Glaze Sea Spray.

Prize #11: Rescue Beauty Lounge Duo

Scrangie 2.0 paired with Burn the Evidence. (These will come with their boxes.)

Prize #12: OPI Mad as a Hatter and Absolutely Alice

Two of the first polishes I actively stalked and bought multiples of for hoarding and swapping purposes. I am finally ready to let this pair go.

How to enter: Fill out the form below. You'll indicate your first, second, and third prize choices. If there are only one or two prizes you want, you can choose the same prize in two or three of the slots. When I put the entries into the virtual hat, first choice will be 5 chances, second will be 3 chances, and third will be 2 chances, for a total of 10 chances per entrant. Because I'm keeping it simple this year, that's it. If you feel like sharing on your own blog or social media accounts, of course that would be lovely (and feel free to copy and use any of these photos). I've set up the form so you should be able to come back and edit it later, so if you change your mind about your favorite prizes, that should work. International entries are welcome. Contest closes at midnight in the Eastern U.S. time zone on Sunday, May 10, 2015. Good luck!