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Friends often ask me how my manicure lasts so long, and do I actually cook/clean/wash dishes? (For the record, yes, yes, yes! I actually love cooking.)

So how DO you make your manicure last longer?

Well… there are those all-important first steps: have clean, dry nails before starting your mani (even wiping quickly with a cotton pad soaked in alcohol can help polish adhere longer by removing nail oils), use a good quality base coat under your polish, allow a few minutes to dry between coats and apply 2 coats of polish… finish off with a top coat – I love a quick-dry top coat such as FNUG’s IGEL or China Glaze’s Fast Forward top coats. Wrap the free tip of your nail as you apply top coat (swipe it over the free edge).

So you have done all of the above. Now what?

Even the most careful among us will experience some tip wear after a few days. If you are not ready to let go of your mani, which was the case for me when I was wearing the beautiful Colors by Llarowe Cherry Bomb (see it here), you can extend your mani for a few more days!

How? Simply apply a gradient of your favourite glitter, preferably with a tinted base, over your tips!

How to apply a gradient?

“Dry-brush” the first coat of glitter: wipe the brush of the glitter polish inside the bottle, so you are left with more glitter, less base, and apply this over the tips. Let dry a few minutes.
Apply another coat of glitter polish over your tips, this time applying the glitter polish normally.
Let dry, apply top coat, and voila!

Here is the beautiful Shimmer Polish Karina, a perfect glitter to complement Cherry Bomb, applied as a gradient over my tips:

Colors_CherryBomb_ShimmerKarina2 Colors_CherryBomb_ShimmerKarina1

The best part? This barely takes a quarter of the time of a full manicure!

 

What do you think? Would you try this over a few-days-old mani?

~xo

Today I bring you three more Colors by Llarowe polishes by the store of the same name (see some other Colors by Llarowe reviewed here)!

Focusing on blue hues, the first colour is Paradise Found, a shade from the Beauty of Nature collection. Paradise Found is an ocean-blue jelly polish with a hidden blue sparkle and a lilac sheen. If you like jellies, this is a gorgeous medium-blue shade with excellent application and super-high shine. I had no staining on the nail, but like some bright blues, it can leave a little murkiness around the cuticles if you smudge it during removal. I would recommend using small fresh cotton balls on each nail to avoid that. Here are two coats in artificial light:

Colors_ParadiseFound

And a macro in direct sunlight:

Colors_ParadiseFoundMacro

Montana Sky, from the same Beauty of Nature collection, is a polish with a similar blue jelly base to Paradise Found, but filed with blue shimmer and iridescent glitters. Application was similar to Paradise Found, and I had no trouble with the chunky glitters. Glitter payoff was great. I applied two coats over 1 coat of Paradise Found, which gave me very good coverage:

Colors_MontanaSky

Look at the gorgeous, delicate shimmer and the depth of the polish in this macro shot:

Colors_MontanaSkyMacro

The third and final blue hue for today is Bluebonnets, a Limited Edition charity polish with all proceeds going to victims of the Granbury, Texas tornadoes. Bluebonnets is another royal blue jelly base, this time with pink shimmer and instead of blue, with iridescent glitter pieces. Bluebonnets has very subtle, small square glitter pieces, and application was amazing, with even and generous glitter distribution. Here are two coats over a coat of Paradise Found:

Colors_Bluebonnets

I love that the pink shimmer gives Bluebonnets a slight blue-purple sheen! The pink shimmer is really visible in a macro shot:

Colors_BluebonnetsMacro

Final verdict: As mentioned, none of these blues stained, which is always a huge bonus with blue lacquers. All the polishes are swatched here without topcoat, and were extremely shiny on their own.

 

All of these polishes are 3-free and cruelty free, and come in a 15 ml square bottles.

Head over to Llarowe to see what’s available! Don’t forget to follow Llarowe on Facebook, Pinterest and on Instagram!

Do you have any Colors by Llarowe polishes yet?

~xo

 

 

(Products were provided for consideration and review. All opinions are my own.)

Happy Thursday!! I am so thrilled this is a shortened week and I get to have a long weekend… just what I need. I hope some of you get to enjoy a day off as well…or at least a beautiful weekend!

Today I have for you one of my favourite boutique brands, piCture pOlish, made in Australia! I have worn quite a few piCture pOlishes, some that I should probably still share on this blog, but I do have another first for you: my first piCture pOlish glitter polish. And a polish with such a cute name: Ariel’s Tale! I keep hearing “Under the Sea” in my head when I see the bottle. 🙂 Ariel’s Tale is a gorgeous turquoise glitter top coat in a clear base, composed of monochromatic tiny square and medium hex glitters. Simple and gorgeous!

I wanted to wear it over a dark base, so I headed for my A-England Lancelot, my go-to “black” (it’s actually a blackened red but I often use it in place of black due to its beauty and shine). This combo did not disappoint! I wore it as a slight glitter gradient. Here are two coats of Lancelot topped with Ariel on the tips:

PicturePolish_ArielsTale_Lancelot

I received so many compliments on this manicure!! The aqua of Ariel’s Tale is soft enough for an elegant, work-appropriate manicure, even on such a stark background. And it sparkled like diamonds on my tips!

 

For a completely different look, I paired Ariel’s Tale with Nubar’s Into the Wild, a beautiful muted emerald green (with its own post coming soon!).

PicturePolish_ArielsTale_Nubarbtl

And Ariel’s Tale looked spectacular!! Judge for yourself:

PicturePolish_ArielsTale_NubarSunLook at the gorgeous turquoise slightly contrasting against the emerald green backdrop in the sun…

And here it is in the shade:

PicturePolish_ArielsTale_Nubar

I just adore the way it sparkles like the ocean… twinkling under the sun…

I already have some more ideas for Ariel’s Tale, maybe wearing it over a light base…  but which of today’s looks is your favourite?

To get your very own Ariel’s Tale,  visit piCture pOlish on-line and or visit any piCture pOlish Network member, including Harlow & Co, Llarowe and Nail Polish Canada.

And don’t forget to follow the Girls on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram for all the latest news, giveaways, and more!!

~xo

 

 

(Product provided for consideration and review. All opinions are my own.)

As much as I adore nail polish in a myriad of crazy colours – in all my makeup, actually – I love to go back to nudes and soft colours once in a while. So when nail mail arrived in the form of Whimsical Ideas by Pam, which I had been patiently awaiting for weeks, I could not decide which to try first!

You see, Pam no longer ships internationally so I had to get creative to order these beauties. And re-routing through the States takes a lot longer than I thought… 🙂  I was so excited, I briefly contemplated wearing all of them at the same time!

Here are three of the beauties I ordered. (The 4th will be on its way soon!)

Because I had been itching for all of these beauties since the day I discovered Pam (why didn’t I just order them then, right??? I know…), it really was a tough call, but I chose Ooh La La!

Ooh La La! is a stunning, very sheer, bubble gum pink. Not bubblegum pink in a Katy Perry kind of way, but in a French manicure, elegant kind of way. Dispersed in the pink goodness there are tiny light blue micro glitters, along with lavender, small hex glitters.

Something worth noting: when I received the bottle, I expected a lot of sparkle via the lavender glitters, but this polish is not like that. At first I thought the bottle had settled and that’s why I could not get visible hex glitters on my nails, but it seems that Ooh La La! is meant to be more demure. 🙂

Ok enough reading… here are some pics!

Ooh La La! in the shade

Ooh La La! direct sunlight (with lots of residual cuticle oil, apparently) : )

alternate shade

And finally, so you can see the glitter, here is a macro shot:

As you can see, Ooh La La! is very sheer.  For these swatches, I wore Ooh La La! on its own (I always like to see what polishes look like without undies). I used a base coat of A England’s The Knight, followed by three coats of Ooh La La! and a top coat of China Glaze Fast Forward quick-dry top coat. I could probably have added a fourth coat but I don’t know how much of an impact that would have had on the opacity.

I love this look. If I had painted my tips white, this would have been a gorgeous glitter French mani!

What do you think? Is Ooh La La! on your wishlist? 🙂

~xo

Today I have for you another stunning jelly from Aphrodite Lacquers!

This one is a bit different. I have never seen a polish quite like this… It’s a near-opaque black jelly polish with black glitter dancing within. Completely black-on-black! Meet… Blackhole:

If you have read my previous posts about Aphrodite Lacquers, you will know how much I adore Rebecca’s polishes. This time, she sent me two from the Outta This World collection to review: Nebula, which I previously reviewed here, and Blackhole.

Outta This World is a collection of vampy black glitters (I love vampy polishes!), and Blackhole is described as a “black jelly polish with three different size black hex glitter.” The glitter is tough to see on two or more coats, but becomes very visible in direct light.  Here is a shot of Blackhole in direct sunlight so you can see the glitter:

Direct sunlight

And a super-close-up macro to give you an idea of the jelly with its black glitter:

Blackhole indoor macro shot

For these swatches, I wore a coat of A England’s The Knight basecoat, followed by 2 coats of Blackhole, topped with China Glaze’s Fast Forward quick-dry topcoat. The polish, as with all Aphrodites I have worn, dries fairly quickly (especially with my quick-dry topcoat), and to a crazy high shine!

I wanted to see what it looked like on its own before layering it, but I would love to see it swatched over a grey. I’ll have to try it!

Aphrodite Lacquers are available on her Etsy store and you can follow her on Facebook!

Have you tried this one yet? And would you layer it?

~xo

Hello!  This is my first of hopefully many guest posts here on The Obsessed.  I’m a relative newbie to the nail polish world, but my recent obsession has become just that, an OBSESSION.  I’ve scoured websites and blogs, carefully plotting my next purchase based on many reviews and swatches like this one, and I’m excited to finally be doing my own.

I saw my first Lynnderella swatch on Pinterest, and when I followed the link and did a little further digging I was blown away with what the cult polish genius has created.  These weren’t the typical opaque cream polishes I was used to from the drug store, each polish is seemingly more creative and unique than the last.  Hooked, I finally (after a bit of website stalking) was able to nab my first Lynnderella through her stockist Llarowe, and I haven’t looked back since.

Gotta Love Brains is my kind of polish.  A light, dove grey sheer base with a delightful mix of blue, pink and silver square, small and large silver hex, and tiny blue and green glitters.  My favourite of the bunch is the elusive silver bar glitter, which in the sun has a nice holo to it!
I initially layered Gotta Love Brains over Essie Cocktail Bling, but I found the base colour too blue. Then I tried China Glaze Pelican Grey which was a softer, warmer grey but I had a bad bottle and the lumpy formula ruined my layering of Brains over it.  I eventually settled on a layer of OPI basecoat, 3 layers of Gotta Love Brains and finished with an OPI topcoat.  Finally, I had the mix I was lusting after. It wasn’t too thick with the extra two coats of a base polish, and I could really see the unexpected purple shimmer.

Final thoughts: I much preferred this polish as a three-coater than layered over a base polish.  It felt much lighter on my nails, as I have quite thick fingernails that I like to keep short otherwise they start to feel like dragon claws.  The purple shimmer is more noticeable in the bottle or in direct sunlight, and the one large hex glitter that I managed to get out of the bottle was quite curled and required a bit of wrangling.  As you can see, the actual glitter-polish ratio isn’t very high but I think this is due to my inexperience with applying polish with any sort of glitter.  I’m sure I can remedy this the next time.

I LOVE this polish, and can’t wait for my other Lynn’s to arrive from Llarowe so I can swatch them too.

What do you think?  Do you have any of the coveted Lynnderella’s?

~xo~ Mai

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