Subtle & Flashy

HAPPY 2013 YOU GUYS!!1

Wow, January has been a great month for me so far, kicking off 2013 in a slammin’ fashion. Oh yeah! And in case you haven’t noticed I’ve totally gone .com! Bought the domain because this blog is like my child and my love for polish is all documented here, so I thought why not? New year new domain!

I’ve been busy with work (when real life hits you and you’re not this bubbly college student living in a bubble anymore) and well the worst part of working in an office is (no, not office politics) … that you get office hands.

What are office hands? Well according to Urban Dictionary, office hands are “soft hands from doing office work & little or no hard labor”. But from a nail polish girl’s point of view, my definition is this – “dried up hands from being exposed to the a/c for 9 hours a day”. It’s hard to explain but the skin on your hands get dry and it shrivels up a little, and it’s most obvious on your cuticles.

You’ll get what I mean in the subsequent pictures. I’ve been moisturising my hands as often as I can remember after I noticed my cuticles drying up and my nails cracking. Also, I got a little creative and made my own aloe vera moisturiser for this purpose:

homemade aloe vera moisturizerI added 2 different aloe vera gels, grapeseed oil, lavender, tea tree, and german chamomile essential oils to it. Mix it all together vigorously until you see the oil dispersed evenly into the gels, and keep it in an amber pump bottle in the fridge. I also keep a small bottle of it in my bag so I can use it at the office. Handy! And I like this picture because you can see the squishiness of the gels.

Okay enough catching up!

The awesome Michael from Jacqueline Burchell sent me 6 bottles of nail polish, as well as nail polish treatments for me to review. I don’t have a disclosure policy yet (haven’t had time to update my blog and links in a while) but I just want my readers to know that whatever I say is my own opinion of the product – after all this is my blog! So with that I shall cover 2 of the polishes that I received, as well as the nail treatments – the calcium base coat, cuticle oil, and top coat.

First up is In My Own Skin (IMOS), a soft pink with slight salmon tones and subtle pink/orange glitter that is so fine, it’s almost shimmer-like:

in my own skin 1

This was 3 coats with the JB top coat. IMOS applied nice and thick and needed 3 coats for opacity. How do I feel about this polish? Well let’s just say that this is a step up from the tricky SH Petal Pusher – the shades are similar but IMOS is a bit darker and more orange-y. I know it’s hard for soft colours to be opaque in a couple of coats and it’s even harder to get an even application, so if you want to practice applying nail polish, colours like IMOS would do the trick! And look how pretty!!!

in my own skin 2And this is with flash, indoors. I applied the calcium base coat, the top coat, and the cuticle oil for this manicure and the next. More on that further down.

in my own skin 3I think the glitter in it distracted me a little haha, the glitter in this polish isn’t regular China Glaze-type glitter, but super fine, speckled glitter that comes across as a shimmer. Does that make sense? I’ll call it a glitter/shimmer hybrid. It’s too coarse to be a shimmer, but too fine to be a glitter.

in my own skin 4Sweet soft colours like these also complement fair & cool-toned skins. I felt like a fairy princess when I wore this manicure!

Next up, I shall talk about the nail treatments:

jacqueline burchell treatments

L-R: Calcium Base Coat, Cuticle Oil, Top Coat

Calcium Base Coat – It leaves a slight pink tint when applied on naked nails, and I think it’s also suitable for girls who like to have a bit of colour on their nails without going overboard – like how I like using Burt’s Bee’s Pomegranate Lip Balm! It’s ultra-moisturizing and it leaves a pink tint on the lips. Just a hint of it. Same goes for this base coat, it serves two purposes – strengthens your nail bed and gives a kiss of pink!

Cuticle Oil – It says on the bottle that it contains vitamin E & olive oil, both of which are good for moisturising skin. Vitamin E is especially good for protecting & repairing skin, and I know this because I have experimented with vitamin E oil (5,000 IU) before and the viscosity of the oil was high (meaning, slow moving) so I did appreciate that JB incorporated vitamin E into their cuticle oil that wasn’t thick, gunky, or sticky. In terms of scent, this oil had a very light floral scent. If I could pick out a flower, the closest it would get is Jasmine with a bit of musk. That said, I’ve also been experimenting with essential oils so I do have a bunch of floral oils to compare this with🙂

Top Coat – I was honestly, pleasantly surprised with this. You guys know I’ve been spoiled with Seche Vite & Poshe top coats, and with my bad experience with other nail polish brands’ top coats like Essie & OPI, this JB one really impressed me. The top coat glided on so smoothly I thought it was the cuticle oil I was applying. It was that smooth. Even with SV or Poshe you’d feel a little bit of friction because their top coats are thick. JB’s however, is thin and still leaves a shiny & hard finish. The drying time is not as quick as SV or Poshe – it took me about 10 minutes till the polish dried and was effectually “dent-proof”. Also, another thing I’d like to mention is that this top coat did not give me bubbling. Even with 3 thick coats of IMOS and immediately applying the JB top coat, I was kinda expecting slight bubbles here and there as I/you usually always see with SV/Poshe, but I was really pleased that I didn’t with JB’s top coat. Huh! I’m just sitting here with my mouth slightly agape.

Moving on to the next polish! Super shiny flecky foily Jacqueline Burchell’s Won’t Show You Twice (WSYT):

won't show you twice 1

Evidence of office hands – look at my dry cuticles & the wrinkly skin around it! OMG NO. I’m fixing it! Dry cuticles aside, this is 2 coats of WSYT with sunlight. Just look at that. No, really.

won't show you twice 2And above shows WSYT with flash indoors. If you’re new to the polish world, let me just tell you that I’ve never seen a polish like this. Not ever, or maybe there already is but I’ve never come across it – whatever & anyway, this polish is a 100% foil polish in a slightly yellow tinted base. Let me repeat: it’s a 100% FOIL POLISH. Won’t show you twice!! (Ok maybe I will)

won't show you twice 3GAH! check it out! What I mean by foil is, imagine the aluminium foil you have in your kitchen – it’s reflective and soft and super shiny – cut up into little micro pieces and suspended in a yellow tinted base. You get WSYT. But no, do not try that at home lol

won't show you twice 4The foil is light gold in colour but at some angles it appears silver (due to reflections from the light). Do you know why I like this? Because, with glitter polishes, especially the super gritty ones, they dry rough and it’s hard to make them shine even with thick coats of SV/Poshe. They end up looking dull and are a pain to take off.

With foil, and WSYT, the polish layers are thin, and the material itself is reflective, so it’s super easy to get a shiny and blindingly reflective manicure with this polish and a layer of top coat. This polish didn’t dry gritty at all and was super easy to work with.

won't show you twice 5I got very, very tempted to do a gradient manicure with this. What a gorgeous polish.

You can shop Jacqueline Burchell here🙂 Have fun!

Disclaimer: The polishes featured in this post were sponsored by Jacqueline Burchell Singapore for review. 

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Skirting The Issue

And so here marks the end of the Lana Del Rey Nails Project! This was the longest and pointiest I could get my nails and I could’ve grown them a bit longer, but my tricky ring nail which got bent a couple weeks ago, broke!

It broke before I could do a manicure with the length so I used tape to tape the broken nail to the nail bed (lol) and here you have Essie Skirting the Issue:

fishnet stockings 1

I’m pretty disappointed with how the polish turned out, this was 4-5 thin coats with 1 thick coat of Poshe and then another coat of Seche Vite. Above is with daylight.

fishnet stockings 2The polish was runny and it resulted in an uneven application. The polish is from Essie’s Fall 2012 Collection so it couldn’t have been an old bottle, so either I got a wonky bottle or the polish has a bad formula.

skirting the issue 3Usually with Essie cremes I only need 2-3 coats, but this polish was too thin to be opaque in 2. Good thing was, there was no bubbling despite the many layers of polish!

skirting the issue 4And this is with indoor lighting and flash – this color is more true to life, and with flash you can see how uneven the polish dries. Of course you can’t see it with the naked eye or an arm’s length away, but it still matters.

I’ve trimmed my nails to their usual squarish shape now, will take me a couple days to grow them out. In the mean time, have a GREAT celebration with your friends and family in preparation for the new year’s, I’ll see you guys in January!!❤

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Poetry in a Polish

I did some holiday shopping earlier this week and found Essence’s new Colour & Go collection! I was a bit too excited seeing all the new colors in their new packaging and I ended up getting 5 polishes, which wasn’t a big dent in my pocket to be honest, because the damage was only S$2.90 a bottle. (I KNOW.)

So the polish I’m featuring today is a very pretty and feminine lilac, called Ballerina’s Charm and it’s oh-so-charming.

ballerina's charm 1

Opaque in 2 coats, Essence improved their brush, instead of a flat tip brush, now it’s a curved brush similar to Sally Hansen’s Insta-Dri series’ brushes. The brush curved to my cuticles very nicely and the manicure needed very little cleanup! The polish wasn’t too thick, wasn’t too viscous, and was just right. For S$2.90 a bottle, I am certainly very impressed. Above shows 2 coats under my table lamp!

ballerina's charm 2

And this is with daylight! This was taken on Day 2 so there’s a bit of tip wear – for this manicure, I used Poshe’s top coat! My Seche Vite got a bit gunky.

ballerina's charm 3With flash and just-applied cuticle oil from OPI’s Avoplex, you can see the silver shimmer in the polish, it is very subtle and adds another dimension of Pretty to the polish. I am just in love with this one!❤

ballerina's charm 5And you know what I found really cute? Even the bottle cap has the same color and finishing as the polish itself!! I checked the other polishes I got and yup – it’s true! What a nice touch to the packaging – I love the little attention to detail!

ballerina's charm 4Speaking of which, I haven’t let down the Lana Del Rey Nails Project, although I ALMOST broke my ring nail the other day at the train station. I filed the tips a bit rounder and pointier, I think I’m almost there!

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Tickle My France-y: Revisited

Okay, so my previous swatches of said polish sucked (Here and here). Nobody had to say it, I knew they didn’t look as good as how I saw it IRL, and I don’t think it was very convincing when I claimed that TMF is like, one of the top nudes out there. So here’s a 3rd take on the polish:

tickle my francey 2 1

SO. MUCH. BETTER.

And I know I know, the past 3 posts have been all beige/taupe colors – I’m in that phase right now because long nails look nice with light/flesh tone colors, while short nails look chic-er with darker colors IMHO. (read: in my honest/humble opinion)

tickle my francey 2 2

Oh yeah! The polish from OPI’s La Collection De France (2008), and finally some pictures to do it justice. My good ol’ TMF was still working good even though it’s a couple years old🙂 Just a good shake and the metal balls in the bottle would smooth the polish right out!

The above pictures show 3 thin coats of TMF with 1 thick coat of Seche Vite with daylight.

tickle my francey 2 3

And this is with flash indoors, where the greige (grey + beige) tones come out. TMF is what you get when you mix cream with taupe in the ratio of 3:1.

tickle my francey 2 4If I haven’t said it yet or enough (I can’t remember, but probably the latter, yes.) I love polishes that dry smooth, even, and shiny. If I buy a creme colour from OPI or Essie, I know for sure that I don’t have to do much to get a manicure like this.

tickle my francey 2 5And so here ends my long-drawn-out internal battle between knowing and proving that TMF is awesome. You’re welcome, Internet! The Lana Del Rey Nails Project is still on!

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Zalora I Adore Ya

If you’re a Singaporean (Hi!), you must’ve heard of Zalora.sg by now! Their advertisements are all over the internet and on TV as well – did anybody see the Blair Witch Project-y advertisement?

That was really funny and I thought it highlighted the convenience of shopping at Zalora.sg – it’s like this mega online store that sells practically everything we girls need, from clothes to accessories to beauty products! And since I’m going to become an aunt in March, I might as well add that they have a kids section too! And menswear. (See, I really wasn’t kidding when I said they have literally everything.)

However since this is a nail polish blog, I really just want to talk about their selection of nail products. They have the familiar nail polish brands we all know and love – OPI, China Glaze, and Essie! I figured to dig out some old swatches to show you what you can find at Zalora’s Nail section:

strawberry margherita 2

OPI Strawberry Margherita

opi gargantuan green grape 2

OPI Gargantuan Green Grape

Click the pictures for a link to the product pages!

Now, what excited me most about their Nails section is that they have other brands that I’ve never heard of – namely Blaze, Nail Rock, and Vivi Nail. The two latter brands sell nail wraps/stickers!! The design I am definitely going to try is the Chevron printed ones from Nail Rock, because one really can’t go wrong with Chevron stripes – they look good on pants, dresses, shoes, and nails! (But don’t wear them all together)

Screen Shot 2012-12-18 at 12.21.24 AM

The good thing about nail wraps/stickers is that it’s super convenient and you don’t have to do the designs manually, it’s just paste and go! We all get lazy sometimes so this is a nice switch up from a regular polish manicure. Also, Zalora must be in the spirit of gift giving come this festive season, because they’re offering a 15% discount code exclusive to me and you!😀

Just enter zaloraluvin in the Coupon Code box, hit ‘Use’, and voila – 15% off your order! Do note that the code is valid till 31st December 2012 and it can’t be used with any Sale or Promo items.

Christmas is coming very, very soon so you may want to get something for yourself and your friends🙂 You know what I’m getting!! *Points above* Head down to Zalora Singapore and make full use of the coupon on us! (i.e. Zalora and I <3)

Disclaimer: This post was written in collaboration with Zalora.sg

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80648 – Otherwise Known As Champagne Kisses

Here’s the cousin of ChG Glistening Snow! A gold glitter polish with strong rose gold hues that make it a similar to a nude glitter.

champagne kisses 1

It’s equally dense as GS but sadly it’s not a holographic polish, just as I’d expected. Above shows 2 nice and smooth coats of ChG Champagne Kisses, with a very fresh coat of Seche Vite – ergo the sheen on my index finger!❤ Taken with bright daylight.

champagne kisses 2

In hindsight, this manicure would’ve looked better with a french tip, maybe in black or white. And no broken tips or chipped nails yet! Day by day I’m making some headway in the Lana Del Ray Nails Project, but there are certain things that I can’t do for risk of bending or breaking my nails – like opening soda cans! Lol

champagne kisses 3

And this is with flash! You can see that the polish is made up of gold and rose gold micro glitter – it’s more obvious on my pinky.

I don’t really know how I feel about this polish. I mean, I was more excited about GS because it was holographic and it was so pretty but CK I guess is more understated so it may be good for outfits where you don’t want the nails to outshine your clothes, and yes, that can happen.

champagne kisses 4With really strong flash, I’m not as impressed with this polish as GS. CK would definitely look better on darker skin tones. This would also be a good polish for frankening and/or making water color manicures!

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Caught Between A Beige And A Taupe Place

I was convinced I already had a polish similar to this, but when I saw it in person, I put it in my shopping basket immediately and never regretted it. Because look how pretty!!!

berlin there done that 1

OPI’s Berlin There Done That from OPI’s Germany Collection is a color that’s darker than Tickle My France-y and lighter than You Don’t Know Jacques! If you mixed the two polishes, you’d probably get a franken very close to BTDT. Colors like these (beige/taupe) are really flattering and fit almost all skin tones – it’s chic, understated, and versatile!

Above picture shows 2 coats of BTDT with 1 coat of Seche Vite. The polish went on very smoothly (as one would expect of an OPI creme polish) and I kept staring at my nails❤

berlin there done that 2

BTDT is a color that’s pretty hard to describe – let’s just say it’s a cross between greige (grey + beige) and taupe, with purple tones. If you don’t see the purple in this, don’t you worry, the flash will bring it out!

berlin there done that 3With flash, it looks like a dustier version of Parlez-vous OPI? The purple tones are obvious in this picture, but not so much IRL. The pictures without flash are more true to life in terms of polish color.

berlin there done that 4So how am I doing on the Lana Del Rey Nails Project? I haven’t had a chip or a broken nail yet, I’ve been using OPI Envy to keep them strong and protected, and I need to file the tips a bit rounder. With this nail shape it’s pretty fun to choose nail colors because it almost always turns out to be vampy. Red would be too obvious, maybe I’ll do a deep dark green.

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