Rescue Beauty Lounge Aqua Lily

Wayyyyy back on March 24 I pre-ordered my choice from the Rescue Beauty Lounge Fan Collection: Aqua Lily. I finally received it this week, so I wanted to share some pictures.

Aqua Lily is an opaque turquoise with a pink/lavender shimmer.
Rescue Beauty Lounge Aqua Lily
It's difficult to see the shimmer in the picture above, but it really looks beautiful when you throw a little light on the subject.
This type of shimmer is, in my opinion, very typical for an RBL polish. It's more like a vein of color through the polish than straight-up shimmer. It's subtle, like a Chanel shimmer. This isn't always something that makes people happy...including me, in the case of Piu Mosso. If you click that link, you'll see that the picture of that gorgeous copper shimmer looks incredibly similar to the picture above.

My experience with Aqua Lily was much better than my experience with Piu Mosso, however. For one thing, the formula is much better. It's very pigmented, and I didn't experience any of the dragging that I did with Piu Mosso.

Plus, the shimmer shows up a lot better.
In some lights, it looks practically duochrome, though I was hard-pressed to capture that on camera.
I did very, very little clean-up with this manicure. In that respect, it's worlds apart from Piu Mosso.
A couple things: I'm still getting the dull-ish finish that I got with PM. And it's not Seche Vite's fault, either, because for a while now I've been exclusively using Cult Nails' Wicked Fast quick dry top coat (which is amazing and warrants an entire post of its own, but I'll get to that another day). I also got a huge chip about six hours after putting this on, but I fixed it and since then I've just had minor tip wear/miniscule chips. Definitely more chippy than most polishes on me, though.

Overall, this is a beautiful color with gorgeous pink/purple shimmer that I find delightful. The subtlety of it doesn't bother me, though it wouldn't hurt, of course, if it was more prominent.

Did you buy any of the fan collection colors? What's your take?


Quick NOTD: OPI Don't Touch My Tutu!

Here's a quick phone cam shot of OPI Don't Touch My Tutu from the New York City Ballet collection. I reviewed some of the other polishes in this collection here. To reiterate, this collection is fantastic and I consider most of these colors must-haves. They're classic, and almost more important, the formula is beautiful.
This is three coats. There was some very, very faint streaking after two coats but it was so negligible I almost hate to mention it. I'm wearing it over one coat of nail strengthener with Cult Nails Wicked Fast top coat.

I may eventually end up with this entire collection. I just ordered Care to Danse, the soft lavender shade. OPI really hit a home run with this!


NOTD & OPI New York City Ballet Collection

I've been excited about the OPI NYCB collection for months. When I had the opportunity, I purchased four shades: Pirouette My Whistle, My Pointe Exactly, Don't Touch My Tutu and Barre My Soul.
Pirouette My Whistle
My Pointe Exactly, Don't Touch My Tutu, Barre My Soul
I did a manicure with Barre My Soul almost immediately. What strikes me about these polishes is that they are not streaky, a rare quality in these kinds of sheers.

For today's manicure, I chose to pair My Pointe Exactly with the glitter, Pirouette My Whistle.
Here's some closeups of Pirouette, which is gorgeous just in the bottle.
I did a base coat and then began with Pirouette, followed by My Pointe, another layer of Pirouette and another layer of My Pointe.

I love love love this. I think Pirouette would look fantastic with any of the shades from this collection, as well as any number of other sheers/jellies.

Have you purchased any of these? What are some layering combos you have done/want to do?


Cult Nails Divas & Drama collection - photos & swatches

Back in March I preordered the Cult Nails Divas & Drama collection, which consists of four lacquers: Scandalous, a coral/salmon jelly; Enticing, a delicate shell-pink shimmer; Manipulative, a buttery turquoise creme with a silvery micro-glitter/shimmer; and Seduction, a sheer reddish purple jelly with red and blue multichromatic flakes. Seduction is available as a limited edition shade; the rest are listed with the core colors on Cult's website.
Scandalous, Enticing, Seduction, Manipulative
Before I show you these quick swatches - all were swatched over a a quick coat of ridge filler, with no top coat - please understand that my hands/cuticles are dry and, it must be said, kinda gross in these pictures. I Photoshopped away the worst of it (not the polish though, just my own skin) but honestly they are just so dry. Blame the acetone or blame not wearing gloves for the last couple weeks (I refuse!) but anyway, blech and I am SO SORRY. Someone's been very bad about her Lanisoh of late.

I'm wearing Scandalous as a full manicure right now and it's super pretty.

This swatch actually does have topcoat - Cult's Wicked Fast, which I am just now trying for the first time. This is two coats of Scandalous. You can still see some visible nail line, but it's honestly so faint and right now I'm really having a moment for sheers and jellies. This is a fruity, fun, summer candy color although in real life it is slightly pinker (and less orange) than it appears here. Gorgeous formula, which was true for all of these and an improvement over the Cult colors I have tried before.

Enticing was the surprise hit of this collection for me.

AIEEEE CUTICLES. Ahem, sorry. Typically these delicate ballerina pinks make my hands look dirty or weird but this is a real beauty. It reminds me of the inside of a seashell, plus there's a subtle shimmer that softens the overall effect (you can see it in the nail on your left). This is three coats. It's sheer-ish, but very buildable. Any streaks that I noticed while I applied it leveled themselves out. It's an impressive formula.

Manipulative is a dusty turquoise opaque cream that has a lot in common with Chanel Nouvelle Vague. NV's shimmer is more of a silvery pearlescent one and Manipulative's is beautiful little micro-glitter or micro-shimmer.
This is two perfect coats. Gorgeous formula, better than NV's hands-down. If you wanted Nouvelle Vague and never got it, save yourself the money and the headache and pick up this instead. NV is maybe the tiniest, tiniest bit more green, but it's worth it for the beautiful formula.

Some of you won't be mad for Seduction because it's a flake and you're over flakes, or they're not your cup of tea or whatever. But these are really, really good flakes. They lie nice and flat and just look at the rainbow in that bottle!
I layered Seduction over OPI Louvre Me, Louvre Me Not (a polish I happen to love that never gets any love on MUA or anywhere else that I've ever seen).
This is two layers of LMLMN and one layer of Seduction. For a full manicure I would probably do at least one more layer of Seduction, but here you can see that the colors really do flash and flare nicely. The base of Seduction is a reddish purple, but it's quite sheer so you probably wouldn't want to wear it alone, though of course you could!

Overall, I'm extremely happy I preordered and got this collection for $30. It's currently priced at $40, or you can buy the individual lacquers for $10 each. It's certainly worth $40 but I feel like I got a great deal by preordering. Honestly it's difficult for me to say which of these are my favorite - I'm fascinated by Enticing just because I've tried and rejected so many colors like it. I'm in love with jellies right now, so loving Scandalous is a given, and the formula on Manipulative is to die for. The only negative thing I can say about Seduction is that it does bear a lot of similarities to Nfu-Oh 51, but they're not twins.

Will you be ordering any of these?


NOTD: Lynnderella Mercurial

I've been after Mercurial for a while now. I didn't order it way back when Lynnderellas first went up for sale, and since that time it's been more difficult to obtain them. Luckily I was able to go in on an order with a friend, so Mercurial is finally mine mine mine all mine.

Black, silver and lavender square and hex glitter in a sheer gray base with lavender/teal shimmer. Yes I said teal. It's hard to see in the bottle but that's what I'm seeing over the base color I used, so I'm sayin' it.

Now originally this is not what I was going for. I wanted a gradient-type look, with the glitter clustered at the bottom of my nails, but it didn't work out. Maybe 2 out of 10 nails looked the way I wanted them to. So, I went back and did a second coat of Mercurial to spread things out a bit.
Oftentimes with glitter polishes like this I have a hard time picking a good base. I try things I think will look good but something gets lost in translation. I'm better with dense glitters, where the base just sort of fills in the blanks, but with these more random glitters I have a deficiency. I feel like I chose well with Rescue Beauty Lounge Stormy, though.

I used one coat of Palladio Fuse bonding base coat, two coats of Stormy, two coats of Mercurial, two coats of Gelous and one coat of Seche Vite. And what do you know, it actually dried. The danger for me with manicures this thick is that in a day or two I will get an overwhelming desire to start picking at it, because they tend to peel off in sheets. I got in a bad habit of doing this with a couple manicures in a row and it did Very Bad Things to my nails. So once the urge to pick pick pick starts that's when I'll know to haul out the acetone.

 I'm pretty pleased with the smoothness I was able to get with the two coats of Gelous/one coat of SV. I hate, hate, HATE gritty glitters, I have no patience with them whatsoever and this has stopped me from buying dozens of nail polishes, particularly lately. The China Glaze Prismatics, WnW Be Jeweled, the WnW holiday glitters, OPI Burlesque...hate. I cannot stand gritty feeling nails and in the event that Gelous/SV doesn't work, well, then I've just wasted a lot of time and effort putting on a disgusting-feeling manicure.

Sorry to be so strident but we all have our pet peeves...sandpaper nails is mine, I guess!

Anyway, I have run into this with Lynnderellas and I find that doing as few coats as possible (one, if at all feasible) and doubling up on the Gelous under SV works fairly well. I've never tried her Glitter Tamer so I can't speak to the effectiveness of that. I do think that the results you get with Lynnderellas tend to be worth the effort.

Do you have any tricks for smoothing out gross, gritty glitters?


Essie No More Film

It took me a long time to warm up to Essie, a brand I always associated with pale pinks, bridal whites and classic reds. Essie is good at those things, it's true, but they've responded to the uptick in demand for "different" and more unusual colors. Some of the best greens are from Essie...Pretty Edgy, School of Hard Rocks, Going Incognito, Absolutely Shore and of course Greenport are some of the best polishes in my collection.

You might even say that I have a problem.



I purchased No More Film from the 2012 Resort collection.

It's an incredibly vibrant violet or blurple, if you prefer. It's very, very pigmented and yes, it is definitely a one-coater.

I used two coats.

This is one of those "hard to photograph" colors but I think you can see (or at least, I can on my monitor) that the purple comes through pretty strongly. It's more purple than Road House Blues by OPI, which is a comparison everyone seems to be interested in. Whether you "need" both would probably be determined by a formula preference or perhaps your skin tone.

This applied very well...cleanup was a bit of a bear just because of the high level of pigmentation. Every time I swiped at some stray polish with my brush, it spread all over my skin. Easily remedied, though.

This is a super gorgeous polish and I'm glad I picked it up...will you buy it?


Zoya Gemma

Look! A real post!

Today I wanted to show you my NOTD, Zoya Gemma. I purchased this during a promo a while back and still hadn't worn it.

Gemma was released with the Intimate collection for Spring 2011. Zoya describes Gemma as a light muted olive green with an overlay of blue and violet duochrome shimmer. One thing that I really like about Zoya's product descriptions is the opacity scale, on which Gemma gets a 4 (1 being sheer, 5 being opaque). It took me three coats to get to the opacity I wanted, so that seems accurate.

It's easiest to see the blue/violet flash in the bottle.

On the nail, the blue flash is most visible.

Gemma is quite beautiful. I love green lacquer so this is a slam dunk for me, but if olive tones suit you this is definitely an unusual shade worth checking out.

I've been in love with Zoya's formula lately, particularly the Feel collection and the four shades I bought from the Smoke and Mirrors fall 2011 collection. Gemma predates these efforts, plus it is a duochrome so it's inherently more sheer, but the formula is very workable. Very sheer on the first coat but not watery or difficult to control.

Thanks for looking!