Archive for microglitter

Knackered by butterLONDON

Posted in Original Posts Archive with tags , , , , , , , on March 24, 2012 by clairesayswhat

This was one of those rare nail polishes that seemed to unite the nail polish blogging world in a fervor. Knackered appears innocuous enough from the photos on the butterLONDON website, but once you see it in person you instantly go into the have-to-have-it trance. I would say this was probably the most popular shade of butterLONDON’s spring/summer 2012 collection. Just how do those little glitter particles stay so perfectly suspended in the polish?? Well, I certainly had to find out!

Image by clairesayswhat

Knackered is a hard polish to capture in a photo due to the shifting blues and purples of the color, but the name is truly perfect. It really does remind you of the feeling of being tired/drunk/hungover and seeing stars when you close your eyes. The light blue base color with the purple and green accents is truly beautiful. It’s almost a duochrome, but not quite. More on that shortly. The glitter is slightly holographic and very evenly distributed in the polish. Somehow it just magically stays suspended in the polish! On the nail, it disperses nicely and doesn’t add any grittiness to the overall feel because it’s so small. I would still recommend using a thicker topcoat, though. Either Seche or butterLONDON’s.

This is also because this polish is quite sheer. Now, I don’t know about you, but just looking at the bottle I assumed this polish was going to be much more opaque. And I can’t for the life of me figure out why this couldn’t be the case. I think the glitter would still have shown up nicely if the base was more opaque, but perhaps then the glitter wouldn’t stay as suspended as well. I don’t know…. Either way, I needed 3 coats of Knackered for it to be opaque enough on my nail. And I did experience considerably more tip wear and overall chipping than I normally do with butterLONDON polishes. But overall, I still wore Knackered for more than a few days longer than a lot of other brands can manage, so it still gets a thumbs up in my book!

I would recommend layering this polish over another blue based color. Or maybe even over purple or green! Some of the other colors that are present in this shade might show themselves better when layered over another shade, too. Also, after trying this polish and Disco Biscuit, I really appreciate that butterLONDON is making polishes that feature glitter rather than being all-glitter-all-the-time. Stay tuned for my next post where I shall elaborate on that point….


Grape Soda Mani

Posted in Original Posts Archive with tags , , , , , , , on March 11, 2012 by clairesayswhat

So we’re all probably familiar with scented nail polishes by now. Everyone from Revlon to Color Club has jumped on the scented polish bandwagon. And why not? It’s something fun and nostalgic for those of us who grew up in the 80s and 90s. But have you ever thought that you could make your own scented nail polish? Well, I didn’t either, but I created my very own Grape Soda scented mani quite by accident!

Image by clairesayswhat

What you see here is Chunky Holo Purple by Kleanolor layered over Nubar’s Treasure. I could tell right away that the Chunky Holo Purple would need a base color, although you probably could use it by itself for a more sheer holographic effect. Or I bet it would also look amazing over some of the new neon shades that are coming out this spring! But I had Treasure, too, so I decided to use it as the base coat. I’ll review the application of each of these polishes before I get to the grape soda part.

Nubar’s Treasure is a sheer purple that’s kind of in-between a holo and a microglitter polish. This is to say that the purple itself is not like a cream polish. It is super fine purple particles in a purple jelly-ish base. It’s a bit hard to explain but, suffice it to say that you’ll need up to 3 coats to achieve complete opacity. I was expecting it to be less sheer than it is, but it’s still a great polish that dries with a wonderful glossy sheen all on its own. I’d heard a lot about their bottle cap as well, and it really is one of the better ones on the market. The top is wide and flat so that it can rest under the base of your index finger enabling you to get a comfortable grip with the tip of your index finger and thumb at the base of the cap which is kind of pinched. You can see plenty of examples on Nubar’s website to get an idea of what I mean. I also like that all of Nubar’s polishes are cruelty free and vegan. Not many companies can make that claim!

Now on to the Kleancolor. Their holo shades are pretty well known among the nail polish blogs for offering quite a big bang for very little money. The Chunky Holo Purple doesn’t offer the amount of holo particles that you’ll get in more expensive versions, but it is very pretty. And again, the Purple is very sheer, but the particles are so iridescent (flashing between gold, green, and purple) that it’s magnificent nonetheless. The base is tinted a light purple and slightly on the thick side. So if you want to get the most holo particles, I suggest several thin coats. As it was in this mani, the base of the Chunky Holo Purple did make the edges of the Treasure basecoat shrink just a bit, but that was probably only noticeable to me and no one else. I’m just glad to have this polish in my collection.–it’s beautiful just to look at in the bottle.

Now, I noticed right away that while the Nubar polish has a pleasing and not very strong smell, Kleancolor is quite the opposite. It smells very strong and not like any other polish I’ve used before. I’m not really sure why that is, though. But  after it dried over the Treasure, I noticed that it smelled exactly like grape soda! In fact, I even went back on the Nubar site thinking maybe Treasure was part of a scented collection or something, but nope! It just so happened that Treasure combined with Chunky Holo Purple smells like grape soda! Even better that it’s purple, too! And unlike polishes that are actually marketed as scented, the grape soda scent of this mani actually stuck around for more than a few days.

So the secret formula is Nubar Treasure + Kleancolor Chunk Holo Purple = Grape Soda mani!

Give it a try if you happen to have these two polishes, and let me know if you get the same result! Or if you have discovered any similar effects with other polishes let me know, too.

Revlon Whimsical (aka Anemic Cupcakes)

Posted in Original Posts Archive with tags , , , , , , , , , , on January 16, 2012 by clairesayswhat

Revlon has done it again with another great Deborah Lippmann dupe! Previously, they released Facets of Fuchsia as a dupe for Lippmann’s Bad Romance. If you missed it the first time around, check the new Revlon Brilliant Color display at your local drugstore, and you’ll find it’s been re-released once again as Scandalous. It was quite the popular polish!

Now, in this same display, Revlon has also bestowed upon us a shade called Whimsical, which is a dupe for another Deborah Lippmann polish called Glitter In the Air. I normally avoid Revlon’s nail polish as their formula can be so hit or miss, but since Facets of Fuchsia was so great and the price is certainly right, I couldn’t pass up Whimsical.

Although, I must admit, I ended up being quite taken with this polish. It’s such a different shade and not one that I expected to end up liking as much as I did.

Image by clairesayswhat

It’s one of those polishes that has a semi-sheer, almost snotty (gross, I know, but that’s truly what it reminds me of!) base that can be notoriously difficult to apply. The base here is light blue, and there is blue and pink hexagonal glitter as well as smaller silver glitter and iridescent blue microglitter suspended all throughout.

Surprisingly, I didn’t experience any issues with the formula. I used 3 coats, and each dried nicely. The glitter effect builds up as you increase coats: some of the glitter from the previous coat becomes opaque while the newer glitter is brighter. This makes for a kind of 3-D, reflecting pool effect. It’s really quite beautiful. The base color is less blue on the nail than in the bottle, and it’s for this reason that I thought of  “Anemic Cupcakes.” It’s like if you took a cupcake and made it a halftone lighter, then you’d have this shade. That’s the best way I can think of describe why I thought of calling it that! Maybe it makes sense only to me…haha Another way I can think of describe it is like a crystal ball. It’s as though you’re looking through glass and can see through the layers of liquid beneath.

Anyway, let me give you a heads up on the glitter in this polish. It tends to sink to the bottom, so you’ll want to kind of plunge the brush down into the bottle and wipe the excess off carefully in order to get the best amount of glitter on the brush. I found that I got the best distribution of glitter on my larger nails, such as my thumb. Most of my other nails required me to strategically place a few extra bits of glitter so they wouldn’t so bare. If you have shorter nails, you may find this polish more difficult to work with. I’d suggest using a thin nail brush or even an orange wood stick to catch and apply the pieces of glitter to your nails if you find that you have trouble getting enough with the brush.

Also, you will never get this polish to be opaque, so don’t even try! You have to accept the fact that the sheerness is part of what makes Whimsical so special. If you take your time and let each coat dry before applying the next, I promise that you’ll be pleasantly surprised at the effect you achieve!

I expected this polish to chip very easily, but it didn’t! In fact, I ended up wearing Whimsical for a full week. The blue in the base did seem to get paler as the week went on due to hand washing and light exposure, but overall the effect held up.

Whimsical is a really great polish, and certainly worth the incredibly cheap price when compared to its Deborah Lippmann original. I can’t personally compare it to Glitter In the Air, but swatches on other blogs confirm that it is a pretty spot-on dupe.

So with two great Deborah Lippmann dupes from Revlon now on the market, I can’t wait to see what they’ll come up with next!

Gold and Glitz

Posted in Original Posts Archive with tags , , , , , , , on December 6, 2011 by clairesayswhat

As promised in my previous review of Color Club’s Kiss Me Mistletoe, today I’ll be reviewing the Gingerbread Man shade. But of course, at the same time that I purchased that shade, I just had to get Blonde Bombshell from the new China Glaze Eye Candy holiday 2011 collection. This was a Gotta-Have-It!! color as soon as I saw swatches of it. So I decided to combine the two for a fabulous Gold and Glitz mani!

I’m still sort of mystified as to why I didn’t buy Gingerbread Man right away because I can recall a time not too long ago when bright golds were pretty hard to find. When I first grew out my nails I went on the hunt for a brighter gold shade and could find only one that fit what I was looking for, Revlon’s Gold Get ‘Em. But maybe I was just looking at the wrong time because now it seems like they’re everywhere. Lucky me!

Gingerbread Man was quite different from Kiss Me Mistletoe. It wasn’t quite as thick and, as a result, didn’t apply with quite the same opacity. It did cover well, though, and without too many visible brushstrokes. The scent was also not as strong. I would describe it more as just straight up sugar cookie than gingerbread. But it’s a gorgeous gold and one I’m really happy to have in my collection. I just love how it’s so bright and not burnished at all, since that seems more like all I used to see in terms of gold. Gingerbread Man really gives an almost gilded look to nails. Maybe I’ll use this polish and my Konad stamper for some kind of Rococo inspired mani in the future….

Next, I layered Blonde Bombshell on two nails of each hand. I’m glad I decided to put it on top of a base polish, too, because it seemed on the thin side. The base for this glitter just felt a tad watery and thin to me. Nevertheless, it built up well and looked truly spectacular! The microglitter combined with the slightly larger round glitter pieces really works to increase the drama of this polish. And once again, the tone if this shade is so bright. I definitely think of classic beauties like Marilyn Monroe when I look at this polish. It’s funny that they chose to name it Blonde Bombshell, too, because I have often described these types of bright golds as being “blonde.” Now nobody will think I’m crazy when I say that!

I would love to see photos of any holiday inspired manis so send em my way, and I’ll feature them in a future post!

Meep, Meep! It’s the Muppets!

Posted in Original Posts Archive with tags , , , , , , on November 2, 2011 by clairesayswhat

I am so excited to have three of the shades from the new Muppets collection to review for you today! A fellow nail polish fanatic clued me in that Ulta had the first half of the collection for sale earlier in the week, so naturally I hopped right over after work to check them out. I decided to get the Meep,-Meep-Meep shade:

Image by clairesayswhat

Meep-Meep-Meep is a dark cranberry, glass fleck polish that applied very evenly and with good coverage. To be honest, after seeing the collection in person, I thought Meep-Meep-Meep was the most unique of the non-glitter colors, at least in terms of my own collection of colors. Initially, I was excited about Warm & Fozzie, but it’s way too brown for me. Designer…de Better! is also quite different being that it’s kind of a metallic marshmallow shade with flecks of red thrown in. I liked it but decided it just wasn’t me. Hey, a girl’s gotta make a choice somehow! Meep-Meep-Meep does dry a bit on the strange side, though. It’s almost like the glass fleck pieces sink into the polish and don’t stand out as much for some reason. This part of the collection is being shown in a Miss Piggy display which is quite cute, so be on the lookout!

Now, on to the true stars of this collection! My friend and co-worker surprised me with an early birthday present and got me this:

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I was so surprised because I hadn’t read about the Muppets colors being included in gift sets on any of the other blogs, although it is the 2011 holiday collection, so I’m sure there will be other gift sets with other colors. But my friend had listened to me go on and on about these two colors and knew just the present to get me! She even commented that she went to check Ulta to see if they had them out so she could beat me to buying them. How sweet! Anywho, on the left is Rainbow Connection and on the right we have Excuse Moi!. And here they are on my nails:

Image by clairesayswhat

At first, I was most excited about Rainbow Connection when word of the Muppets collection first broke. But once I saw swatches of Excuse moi! on blogs like Scrangie, I quickly realized that it was the true star waiting in the wings! You guys, it’s literally like a cupcake on your nails! It has a pink tinted base and includes micro silver glitter along with slightly larger multi-colored glitter pieces. Sort of like sprinkles! And it has a sparkle like you wouldn’t believe in the light! Truly beautiful! I chose to apply a base coat of I’m Indi-a Mood for Love mostly to aid with removal later on. It didn’t really impact the color of Excuse Moi! because its base is pretty dark, so what you see on my nail is true to the shade.

I also chose to only add a coat of Rainbow Connection on the ring finger of my left hand (above) and the index of my right hand. If you’ve ever tried to remove these larger glitter polishes like this one then I’m sure you understand that decision! Rainbow Connection is, of course, a party on your finger nails. It contains multi-colored round and hexagonal glitter in a variety of sizes suspended in a clear base. I didn’t find it all that hard to work with, as other bloggers have pointed out, although it was more difficult than Excuse Moi!, which performs much more like a regular glitter polish. I’d like to try Rainbow Connection in a Candy Mani just to see what happens.

Before I go, I’d also like to point out that I realized that Excuse Moi! is a pretty close cousin to another one of my all-time fave shades, Teenage Dream, from the Katy Perry collection. Take a look:

Image by clairesayswhat

That’s Teenage Dream on the right. And don’t worry–no Muppets were harmed in the taking of this photograph. That’s just a dishtowel! haha But do you see what I mean? Teenage dream is obviously lighter with a light pink base and holographic glitter instead of multi-colored, but it was an obvious inspiration for Excuse Moi! if you ask me. I regret not buying like, five backup bottles of Teenage Dream because it’s such a gorgeous color on me, so I’ll have to be sure and pick up at least one back up of Excuse Moi!.

How about you? What shades of the Muppets collection have you tried or plan on getting?

Also, guess what? You can Like Glossy Expectations on facebook now! I plan on using this page to consolidate all of my swatches as well as post articles, polls, and other fun stuff, so come on over!

Lady Marmalade

Posted in Original Posts Archive with tags , , , , , , on July 25, 2011 by clairesayswhat

Photo by clairesayswhat

At first I thought of calling this post/manicure Basketball Diaries because this color combination reminded me of a sports jersey but, on second glance, I realized how very Marseilles it looked. Like a Toulouse-Lautrec poster! Plus, if I’m comparing something to sports it probably means I don’t like it, and this couldn’t be farther from the truth for this manicure! In light of that, let me also first make two points:

  • In general, I have a pretty strong aversion to the color orange. As in, it pretty much doesn’t exist in my wardrobe. I think I own one dress that has some orange in it, and it’s part of a pink-based floral pattern. But I’ve been seeing so much orange polish around this summer that I wanted to give it a try, too. Not to mention that, of course, orange is kind of a prominent color on this blog. This manicure sort of matches my background, too, now that I think about it….I guess my opinion on orange seems to be budging just a bit…
  • I’ve also pretty much sworn off darker blue nail polishes. I don’t really think the shade suits me, and I tend to get it just all over my cuticles no matter how hard I try. Yet something about this color made me want to give it a try.

Overall, I was so pleasantly surprised by both of these colors! They are part of Wet N Wild’s FastDry line, and I ended up getting the orange shade (which is called Brill, right?!)  as a 2-for-1 deal with a topcoat (more on that later). The blue is called Teal of Fortune. Both shades are kind of somewhere in between a foil and a microglitter finish. Honestly, the orange is gorgeous in person and in the sunlight! I got lots of compliments on this particular manicure. Maybe it’s the summer heat and orange reminds me people of fruity cocktails (Bring me another Mai Tai!) or something, but really is pretty wowsers. Even I couldn’t stop looking at it, and I’m not a fan of orange! But this particular orange is bright and cheery and packs enough of a glittery punch that I’ll definitely be coming back to it. This manicure also stuck around longer than most because I liked it that much!

I used Teal of Fortune as an accent nail on each hand: on the ring finger of my left hand (in the photo) and the index finger of my right hand. You know,  just to change things up! Despite my reservations about blue polish, this shade was actually quite nice, although I think it would be better on my toesies in the future. I must note, though, that it did stain a bit upon removal, so use an opaque base coat if you have one.

You may also notice that there is quite a bit of visible nail line (VNL as it is sometimes known in the nail polish blog world) with this polish, and I’m not sure it could be completely eliminated with more coats than I used (two). VNL doesn’t bother me, though. In fact, I kind of like it general. Maybe it’s because I bit my nails for so long and seeing the VNL reminds me that, hey, my nails are actually long now! Or maybe it just reminds me of the Broadway fake nails I used to use…Lastly, if you look closely at my pinky nail, you’ll notice a “bald” spot area area near the cuticle. This is due to the stiff brush of the FastDry topcoat which sucks and caused a huge amount of dragging. I noticed this same issue on at least 3 other nails after everything dried. So if you get one of the FastDry 2-packs, be wary of the topcoat and use a light touch. I will probably review this topcoat in the future, so stay tuned!