Saturday, 28 July 2012

CG Flying Dragon + Claire's Candy Shop

Base: China Glaze - Flying Dragon (my review and swatch of it alone here)
Glitter: Claire's - Candy Shop (Deborah Lippmann dupe)
Top Coat: Deborah Lippmann - Flat Top (over Seche Vite)

Glossy version with just Seche Vite

I just can't get enough of matte glitter! I keep making my glitters matte in the end because it's just so pretty! 

I love the way this mani turned out. I wanted to wear Candy Shop but was worried about my nails looking immature especially since I'm one of the youngest people at my workplace. There's a ton of colors of glitter going on in this polish and I think they all stand out quite well over Flying Dragon. There's light pink microglitter, and larger glitter pieces in many colors: light pink, fuchsia, green, light blue, orange, and gold. I really love how colorful this is. It reminds me of Indian fabric. Flying Dragon ended up looking more plum than a red-based purple after the matte top coat and the light pink tinted base of Candy Shop. 

It was difficult to get the right amount of glitter on the nail when using Candy Shop. I kept getting too little and then going over it again and getting way too much glitter. I painted my left hand first and it ended up kind of blotchy as you can see below. My right hand was much better since I got the hang of the application by then and got it right on the first try :) 

I'm sad to say the wear time with this glitter was quite poor. My thumbs already have chips on the sides of them after 2 days. The rest of my nails are okay with just minor tip wear. The other Claire's glitters I've used last much longer so I was disappointed although the product is fairly cheap.

Saturday, 14 July 2012

Victoriana + Teal Me I'm Awesome

Butter - Victoriana
Icing - Teal Me I'm Awesome
Deborah Lippmann - Flat Top (Matte Top Coat)
The above picture isn't color accurate but I posted it anyway because I got a better shot of the glitter and finish.

This picture is much more color accurate. A muted, dusty light teal.

Here's the mani before I made it matte. Butter - Victoriana and Icing - Teal Me I'm Awesome with one coat of Seche Vite 

Bottle shot of Icing - Teal Me I'm Awesome

Butter - Victoriana on it's own

I wasn't really a fan of Victoriana on it's own. The color and finish were both interesting and unique, but just not enough for me. The application on this was very good, completely smooth in 2 coats with no brush strokes. I was disappointed that I had tipwear so fast though, at less than a day. I don't think I'll buy Butter polish again because it is really expensive ($17 in Canada at Holt Renfrew) and doesn't wear that well for the price.

Icing is an offshoot of Claire's accessories stores. Icing polishes come in bottles very similar to China Glaze's bottles while the Claire's ones come in bottles very similar to Seche Vite bottles. The glitter in Teal Me I'm Awesome was annoying to get on the nail. It didn't want to come off the brush and I had to poke and prod at it with the brush to get a decent amount of glitter on the nail. What you see is one thick coat with much annoyance and dabbing. It also looks like the larger hex pieces are curling up at the sides the way the light is hitting them, although the surface still feels smooth. I think maybe the hex glitter isn't flat to begin with because they look a bit curved even in the bottle. These are fairly cheap though ($5 but buy 1 get the 2nd half price so $3.75 if you buy 2) so I guess I can't complain too much. 

I really liked the way the teal glitter bits looked over Victoriana but I didn't like the silver hex pieces as much. I like this mani way more with Teal Me I'm Awesome mattified (yes that is now a word) since it gives a softer look and just makes everything more unified.

Wednesday, 11 July 2012

Mystical Flying Dragon

Claire's - Mystical (1 coat)
China Glaze - Flying Dragon (3 coats)
Seche Vite, Essie - Grow Stronger

I decided to start using a rating scale for better comparison when I'm trying to review polishes. I think most of it is pretty self explanatory except maybe color quality. Color quality I admit is somewhat subjective and is basically how stunning I think the color is, combined with how unique the color is.

Claire's - Mystical: 8/10

Color quality: 8/10 Blue and purple microglitter in a clear base. Very pretty but not entirely unique. Reminded me of Sinful Colors - Frenzy which I haven't been able to find although Mystical is more purple (I would say 70:30 purple:blue ratio) whereas Frenzy looks more blue.  
Application: 9/10 
The clear, gel type base is a little thick, but is very easy to work with and spreads out well. Brush is medium width and rounded and fans out nicely for good coverage. It wasn't very gritty and was smooth with one coat of Seche Vite.
Pigmentation: 8/10
Covers your entire nail in microglitter in one coat. Definitely not a sparse glitter. Delivers a lot of impact with one coat.
Wear Time: 7/10 
I wasn't sure how to rate the wear time on this polish. I had a major chip on my right thumb after 2 days, much faster than when I just wore the base of China Glaze - Flying Dragon on its own. However after 6 days (I was lazy) my other 9 nails were still fine, with very minimal tip wear (by that time half the polish on my thumb had come off). I did change my base coat though from OPI Nail Envy to Essie Grow Stronger so not sure if that had an effect with my thumb chipping.
Value: 9/10
Price is $5 CAD but they're usually buy 1 get the second half price so it's really $3.75 as long as you buy 2 ($5.00 + $2.50 = $7.50 / 2 = $3.75). These Claire's polishes are probably the cheapest polishes I have and I was really impressed by this. Maybe I was just wasn't expecting much. The only flaw I found with it was the wear time but for $3.75 I'll still consider it a good deal.

China Glaze - Flying Dragon (neon) 7/10

Application: 7/10
I really like China Glaze's slim brush which allows for good control. The formula on this polish was really strange. The polish would look smooth when it went on, but then it would shrink as it dried and become lumpy. The way it behaved was very similar to crackle/shatter polishes although to a lesser extent. On the plus side it dried ridiculously fast. It dries matte so you can tell really easily when it's dried. It would be completely dry by the time I was 2 nails down so that's probably around 20 seconds. I would have only given it a 3 for application if it didn't dry so fast.
Pigmentation: 9/10
Very pigmented. Probably could get away with only one coat if it didn't shrink as it dried.
Longevity: 8/10
4 days before any chips, only minor tip wear
Color Quality: 6/10
Looking at the bottle, I was expecting a more vivid, interesting color. A grape purple with magenta and blue micro glitter. The micro glitter wasn't very visible on the nail which was disappointing. Not a very unique color either.
Value: 7/10
Retails for $8 but I've heard you can get it for $4 online (if you know where, please let me know!). I bought mine at Sally's for $8 but it was buy 2 get 1 free so $5.33 (8x2=16/3=5.33). I wasn't really that impressed with this polish with the shrinking issue, and the glitter that is not very visible yet makes the polish difficult to remove (as all glitter does). The main selling point of this polish is the incredible drying time which allows for a quickie mani. Although the color isn't very interesting or unique, I'll probably use it regularly as a base color because of its incredible drying time. You can safely layer it under other polishes without worrying about getting dents because the middle layers aren't dry. 

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