Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Smokey Mountain Lacquers Duochromes

As you may have noticed, I love championing independent small business owners, and often use my blog as a vehicle to promote emerging or little-known indie makers. Today I am fortunate enough to not only show my support for an indie maker I hold utmost respect for as an entrepreneur, but who is also from my very own home state of Tennessee! Kim of Smokey Mountain Lacquers captured my interest immediately by evoking what I believe to be one of the most beautiful parts of our country in her brand, and these duochrome polishes are just as complex and unique as the region they come from.

Polishes provided for review.

I had the great pleasure of swatching and reviewing these two beauties, Sparks Will Fly and Over the Moon. I love the detail of this pretty packaging, so I just had to share!

Over the Moon is a green/blue to silver duochrome. Photos show two coats with top coat. Formula was great, and built to full coverage very nicely. You will notice that brushstrokes are slightly visible, as is common with many metallic polishes. 

This photo shows the silver angle of this polish, and the subtle cool blue/green shimmer throughout. 

My apologies for the orangey-skin on this one -- it was the best light in which to show the green shift. The gradual fade from silver to green is really lovely to view in different light.

I couldn't capture the blue/purple undertones so well using my normal hand poses, but I think this photo really speaks for itself. If I hadn't taken it myself, you'd have a hard time convincing me that it's of the same polish! 

Sparks Will Fly is an incredibly complex duochrome that mainly shifts from a purple-toned red to a silvery blue, with gold/orange undertones. This one was slightly more sheer than Over the Moon, and looked best with three thin coats with top coat. This polish is simply stunning! Almost every photo shows some shiftiness!

Though slightly out of focus on the left, I absolutely adore how this photo shows to shift from a warm color palette to more cool shades. 

Again, the shift is quite strong and apparent in this polish. 

Can you tell this one was my favorite of the two?! So incredibly dynamic, and perfect for fall. Reminds me of home!

These are available for preorder at a discounted price through 9pm today, and will be available at normal price afterwards. Kim is also running several other promotions this weekend, so be sure to follow her on Instagram for updates and details! You can shop her collections in her online shops here or here.
Friday, November 22, 2013

A Very Laquerlicious Christmas - Indie Maker Spotlight

It's time for another indie maker spotlight!

I have talked about my aversion to premature Christmas spirit before, (here) but when Michelle of Laquerlicious offered to share some polishes from her holiday collection with me, you can bet your grandma's secret cookie recipe I said yes! I hope you'll enjoy these festive swatches, and learning more about this glitter guru.

Polishes provided for review.

A Letter from Santa is my favorite polish in this collection! It's a glitter bomb of red, white, green, and pink glitters in a variety of sizes and shapes. It reminds me of peppermint ice cream, and I really love the light pink snow flakes. This photo shows one coat plus some minimal placement of larger glitters over a green base, topped with two layers of top coat. Application of this glitter was even and smooth after giving it a good shake.

How did you decide to start making polishes? How did you come up with the name for your line? What is your favorite color you've made?
Being a manicurist for the last 20 years, I have always custom blended colors for my clients. When chunky, multi colored glitter became popular to put in acrylic I knew I wanted it in polish as well. Then, when I found out there was such a name for this (Indie Polish), I was thrilled! Thus, Laquerlicious was born :) I purposely left the "C" out of Laquerlicious because it was already such a long name and I didn't think anyone would miss it. But a lot of people still spell it Lacquerlcious. I stopped correcting a while ago, and figured if they want to find me, they'll find me.

Twinkling Lights is SO appropriately named! It's a super dense silvery glitter base with multicolored glitters and some holo dots. Photo shows two thin coats on its own with two layers of top coat. It was really easy to achieve full coverage with this polish, but the finished product was slightly textured. The top coat evened that right out! I wore this one all day and got tons of compliments on it.

What is your favorite color you've made?
Princess Jemma Bleue and Barbie Girl are my 2 favorite polishes to date.

What polish brands are your favorites?
China Glaze and Zoya are my forever faves.

Lead the Way Rudolph is a super pigmented red jelly packed with red, green, and iridescent glitters. Photo shows two thin coats topped with top coat. The sheerness of the base created a really complex look, and the glitters applied evenly.

What color/polish type/brand do you have wayyyy too much of in your stash?
You can never have too much polish! Haha but really, probably China Glaze.

Naughty List is a shimmery white crelly with iridescent and purple glitters throughout. Photo shows two thin coats over a base of white topped with top coat. If this is what the naughty list looks like, Santa can go ahead and move me on over! This polish is really elegant, and reminds me of a snowy, moonlit night.

What's your favorite thing about making polishes?
I love creating glitter combos. Glitter bombs are my favorite to make.

What is the hardest thing?
Throwing out a glitter mixture I "thought" looked good in my head but didn't actually work together.

Mistletoe Kisses is a minty green crelly packed with red and green glitters. Photo shows two coats with top coat. Application was smooth and even, and it was really easy to get even distribution of the glitters. This one reminds of Christmas cookies with sugary sprinkles!

Is there a Mr. Laquerlicious? ;)
There is! His name is Jim. We've been together 13 years and just celebrated our 10 year anniversary on Halloween.

What is one of your most cherished holiday traditions?
A Christmas Story!! Yes, I watch the 24 hour marathon EVERY year on TNT!

Crazy Christmas is a fabulously festive glitter bomb with a variety of shapes of red, green, gold, and silver metallic glitters. This photo shows one coat over a navy base with some placement of the larger glitters. It was easy to grab lots of glitters with each stroke.

What’s your holiday shopping style—are you in line at 5am on Black Friday, or running around on December 24th trying to find something for everyone on your list?
Definitely both! I start out with good intentions by trying to have everything done in a timely manner but end up scrambling at the end!

White or multi-colored lights on your tree? Angel or star on the top?
Multi colored light and a star!

All of these and others are currently available on the Laquerlicious website, and you can follow Michelle on Instagram to learn about future promotions and releases!
Saturday, November 16, 2013

Delush Polish - Slice of Life Collection

Today I have a compilation of all of the swatches I've done over past few weeks using the Slice of Life collection by Delush Polish! I was a Dexter fangirl from the very beginning through the brutal, bitter end, and I am physically unable to resist any collections referencing or inspired by pop culture references relevant to my life. I ordered this full collection in minis so I could try them all, and truly fell in love with each one! 

WARNING: This post is going to be littered with Dexter references. Non-watchers proceed with caution!

Born in Blood
This was my Halloween mani! What's more terrifying than Dexter's origins? It's a bright red jelly polish with red dot and hex glitters in varying sizes, and scattered holo micro glitters. Photo shows three thin coats topped with Seche Vite. As I did with all of these polishes, I stored this one upside down for about 10 minutes before use, and had no trouble getting even coverage and easy distribution of glitters.

A Very Neat Monster
Black jelly glitter polishes have my heart forever! This one has small square glitters in varying shades of green, bright green microglitters, and big green holo dots. Photo shows two coats topped with Seche Vite. I paired this polish with Black in Mirrors from the Maybelline Color Show Brocades collection, and a cool shaped stud accent from the Born Pretty Store.

Here's a close up. Swatching these reminded me how desperately I need a macro lense! Will you look at those big dots?! Be still my heart. Again, no fishing for glitters, and easy full coverage in two coats. This is might be my favorite from the collection!

Dark Passenger
This polish is a dark blue-green jelly with hex and microglitters in a variety of colors. Photo shows three coats topped with Seche Vite. This one is super buildable and squishy! The color of the base jelly is very unique, and definitely appropriate for embodying Dexter's twisted and mysterious compulsion to kill.

Here's a close up that captures the complexity of the glitters in this one better. Again, I NEED A MACRO LENSE!!

Time to Kill
This polish is a really nice complement to Dark Passenger. It features rosy-hued dot, hex, micro, and square glitters in a plum jelly base. My middle and index finger show three layered coats topped with Seche Vite, and the index and pink show one coat over a subtle metallic gradient.

Angel of Death
This dark and mysterious polish really impressed me. It contains white and red microglitters, and larger white and grey hex glitters suspended in a black jelly. I love how the lighter glitters stand out even with multiple layers of the black polish (photo shows three thin coats). I paired it with China Glaze - Ruby Pumps to highlight the red microglittters. 
Also, please forgive me for that terrible piece of fuzz on my pinky. I didn't see it until I had already removed the polish and was editing photos!

Tonight's the Night
Another front runner for my favorite polish in the collection! Again, three cheers for black jellies! This polish calls to mind the many scenes showing Dexter prowling the Miami area for targets, neon lights ever present in the background. And those big holo dots! I die. 

Master of Disguise
Last but certainly not least is this fabulous mix of gold, orange, and copper glitters in a chocolate jelly base. This polish is so incredibly unique! Like the others, application was easy and even, and I loved the look achieved by layering this polish. This is my third pick for favorite in the collection. :)

Close up shot to really show the complexity of this glitter. So beautiful!

These and other masterful indie collections are currently available on the Delush website. You can also follow Delush on instagram.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Mrs. P's Nail Potions

I'm very excited to share some of Mrs. P's Nail Potions today! When I reached out to Bree about doing some swatching for her extensive line of indie polishes, I told her to surprise me with colors that she either really wanted to see swatched, or that hadn't been chosen by other bloggers. I figured I was in good hands based on the amazing range of colors and polishes on her site...and I was right!

Polishes bought at a promotional price in exchange for review.

First up is I Guaranteal it, which was one of my favorites when I first browsed the site!
This polish is an electric, slightly duochromey, metallic teal. Photo shows two coats without top coat.

I have a bit of a love-hate relationship with metallic polishes; I always love them in the bottle, but hate when it's impossible to avoid visible brush strokes. I found it very easy to achieve even, opaque coverage without lots of strokes, making this one a win-win. 

Next is Falling Deeply, a rich coppery metallic with cool toned shimmer (blue/green mostly) throughout. Photo shows two coats without top coat.

What a fabulous and unique combination of colors! It really does bring to mind the shades of the season, and I love the hidden cool duochrome in this warm color. This is one I definitely see being used a lot for simple manis and nail art alike.

Last one is Blurred Limes, a vibrant green metallic. Again, I found it easy to apply without visible brush strokes. Photo shows two coats without top coat.

Usually I'm not a huge fan of green polishes that don't have blue undertones, but I really love how this one looks, and oddly thought it complimented my skin tone really well. (Greens usually make me look so red!)

Mrs. P makes a spectraflair top coat, and lot of the polishes on her site are shown with some holo goodness on top. So, I was tempted to try it out!

I LOVE this combination. I used the spectraflair top coat by Polished by Kpt.

All of these polishes exceeded expectations when it comes to formula, pigmentation, and originality. Also, I found the dry time to be notably shorter than I've experienced with other indie/3-free polishes. Usually I just slap some Seche Vite on top to speed the process, but I wanted to photograph these without since they have such a glossy finish on their own!

These three polishes are currently available along with many others on Bree's Etsy shop, and you can follow her on Instagram for information about promotions and upcoming releases!
Sunday, November 10, 2013

Nail Honey Fall/Winter 2013

Good morning, everyone! Today I have swatches of some truly beautiful Nail Honey polishes to share with you! As I've said before, Nail Honey was one of the first indie brands I tried, and I've come to really appreciate the solid formula, unique pigmentation, and the friendship of their creator, Bee.

Polishes in this blog post were purchased at a promotional rate for review.

First up is Gray Sky Mourning, a stunning gray with scattered shimmer throughout. Photos show three thin coats topped with Seche Vite.

The polish base is on the creme side of crelly, so unfortunately, hex glitters from the first layer of polish end up being pretty hidden. But I do love the holo shards that peek through, they add a really nice depth to the overall look.

Here is Indigo Go Girl, a fabulously rich deep blue polish with silver shimmer. Photos show two coats without topcoat.

The amount of shimmer in this one is perfect, and adds a nice dimension to the brightness of the blue. I also love the super glossy finish!

Next one is Smooth Operator, THE perfect fall teal. Also has a subtle silver shimmer, not quite as pronounced as in Indigo Go Girl, giving it a more flat creme look. I love this one for a simple office mani that is still unique with a pop of color! Photo shows two thin coats topped with Seche Vite, but with careful application you could definitely get away with just one coat.

Last one is Double Cup Love, a bright magenta with silvery/holo shimmer. The shimmer is much more evident in this one, and paired with the metallic-y base, it almost looks like a scattered holo. This is a super sexy color, perfect for a hot date or a night out with the girls. Photo is two coats, no top coat.

Also, if you've been paying attention throughout this post, you've seen my amazing shrinking nails! These swatches were done over the course of about two weeks where my nails have been suffering an identity crisis. I haven't really had major breaks, but I honestly have no idea what to do about my nail shape, and I keep just taking off more and more. Looking at these photos, though, I really miss the longer length seen in Gray Sky Mourning and Indigo Go Girl! What's a nail girl to do?!

Follow @nailhoney on Instagram for availability, promotions, and other fun stuff!