In need of a cool down – Essie’s ‘Find me an Oasis’

Ah, summer. You bring with you such gorgeous pastel colors for nails. And so much frustration when it comes to a smooth application of the aforementioned beauties. Last summer’s nemesis was the perfect shade of creamy buttercup yellow, and this year’s successor to that title is the ice cool blue I’ve seen looking so cute in flip-flops around the city. It’s such a perfect hot weather shade – more interesting than plain white and with a bit more edge than the usual pastels.

The shade I really liked and ended up buying in the end was Essie’s Find me an Oasis. Blue is my favorite color anyway, and this icy tone seemed perfect. But man, it’s such a headache to apply. This particular polish still has Essie’s old thin brush, which has me confused – the color is part of the current Resort 2014 collection and I was under the impression that all of Essie’s brushes are now wider and fan-shaped? Oh well.

I found the formula to be quite runny, so first impressions weren’t great. The first coat is a streaky mess and halfway through it had me wondering whether I had wasted my money. Oh, and this is a sneaky formula…even though it is runny, it still manages to dry quickly, so you better have a steady hand applying this one as you can forget about running the brush over the same area twice.

Now to the second coat to cover up the results of the first one. Honestly, I have found it so difficult to even get close to something that resembles an even finish. I had to load the brush with product and sort of  hover just above the nail to distribute it. Imagine a drop of oil or something. The minute I pushed the brush down to properly ‘drag’ the polish across the nail, it just looked awful. So it definitely takes a certain technique to get it just right.

Needless to say, the results were not fantastic. Not as bad as expected, but not great if you want to be picky like me. I finished off with a coat of the superb Butter London Hardwear P.D. Quick top coat. If you have never come across this top coat before, it’s definitely worth checking out (Sephora stock it). I used to love the Seche Vite Dry Fast top coat, but have now converted to this one, as I don’t get the ‘shrinkage’ I used to get with Seche Vite. Hardwear applies like a dream, has a glossy finish and lasts for days. I have worn it for up to seven days chip-free.

Essie find me an Oasis

The color in itself is very pretty and two coats will provide a fairly opaque finish. However, I noticed on closer inspection that the polish on most of my nails was peppered with tiny holes, which are visible on the first picture (second nail from left). I have never had that happen before, and as I have been using the Butter London top coat for over a year I doubt that it’s the culprit. I know, I know…I’m now kicking the Essie one whilst it’s down. I’m such a meanie.

Essie Find me an Oasis

So to sum up, I really like the color (it’s spot on for summer) and I could live with the bubbly finish if I absolutely had to, but I’m just not convinced the application is worth the effort. Yes, you could probably take the polish to a nail salon and see what results the experts get, but I like doing my own nails and if the finish is still uneven, you will have paid good money for results that are not immaculate. I know the perfect pastel formula is out there. I just need to find it 🙂

love, lou x

 

 

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Dorothy’s Slippers – Butter’s ‘Chancer’

After yesterday’s hiatus to my winning streak with Butter polishes, I wanted to write about the gorgeous ‘Chancer” – the polish that planted a ruby red kiss on my nails and made it all better.

Ever since watching ‘The Wizard of Oz’ as a little girl I have been fascinated by Dorothy’s magical ruby encrusted slippers. Of course, had the film makers stayed true to the book, the slippers would have been silver. Red, however, had more of an impact on screen. Besides, who wouldn’t choose rubies over silver?

I often imagined wearing the sparkly slippers, clicking the heels together three times and being transported to far away places. Ironically, it was never to Kansas.

The reason for my amble down Technicolor memory lane is that I have now discovered the nail polish equivalent of said slippers. This is a colour I have been lusting after for years, but had never found – until now.

The closest I have come had been at the end of last year, when I had a manicure using OPI’s ‘Gettin’ Miss Piggy with It.’ It was sparkly alright, but I wasn’t too keen on the size of the silver glitter particles and removing it was a nightmare. So I am utterly delighted that ‘Chancer’ is exactly what I’ve been after. It’s the ruby slippers in a bottle 🙂

The colour is a rich ruby red infused with crushed glitter. As the colour is applied on the nail, you get a consistent and dense sweep of sparkle. Unlike ‘Gettin’ Miss Piggy with It’, this doesn’t require an opaque colour underneath. Two coats deliver fantastic coverage and even without a top coat there’s plenty of shine to keep me happy. This sassy polish is a real eye catcher – I can’t stop looking at my nails! Fast drying time, to boot.

We’re off to see the Wizard

Application is super easy. Even with the lacquer’s slightly grainy consistency, the flow is just perfect and even coverage is child’s play. When I’m talking about ‘slightly grainy consistency’ I have to clarify that whilst the lacquer is not entirely smooth, the texture is nowhere near as rough as ‘No more waity, Katie.’ My nails don’t feel like they are carrying tons of chunky glitter. And besides, you can’t have it both ways – sparkle and an entirely smooth surface. You can’t make an omelet without breaking eggs, as they say. Or go on a diet without inhaling a tub of Ben & Jerry’s on day two.

This is an absolutely gorgeous colour, sumptuous and rich. It has such a pretty sparkle when the light catches it and makes my nails look like the Good Witch of the North herself did the manicure 🙂

And since I love it so much, here’s a picture of my nails pairing up very stylishly with my morning coffee.

I don’t generally buy nail polish to match my crockery, but if it works, it works.

Now tell me this doesn’t make you want to skip down the yellow brick road 😉

love, lou x

A royal rough Patch – Butter’s ‘No more waity, Katie’

Will and Kate make a cute royal couple, but Butter’s ‘No more waity, Katie’ and I are just not meant to be. Sigh.

I’m a big fan of Butter – their non-toxic nail lacquers come in breathtakingly trendy colours you instantly want to get your hands on and I love how easy they are to apply. The names are oh so British – this one being a nod to Katie finally getting her prince to put a ring on her finger. This particular colour however, is the rough patch in my relationship with Butter. I’m sure even Will and Kate argue at times. He might want to order the Chow Mein and she’s insisting on the lemon chicken. It happens.

I wasn’t going to wear this lacquer again after the first time I tried it, but gave it a second chance, just in case. My experience stayed the same, and before severing my ties with “No more waity, Katie’ for good, I wanted to write a post.

I thought the colour was pretty cool when I bought it  – a muted gray with slight hint of taupe and lilac glitter. Alas, the glitter turned out to be the deal breaker.

I expected the consistency of this to be along the lines of Lady Muck, which is one of my favourite colours. However, contrary to Lady Muck’s ‘pearl pigment’ this one contains full on glitter.

I found that the colour, compared with other Butter lacquers, set a lot faster during application. It was difficult to get the glitter evenly distributed and if I had to go over the same area twice to even things out, I just got a streaky and tacky patch. Some glitter particles ended up on the tip of my nails, giving them a rough edge.

Getting away with one coat if you are in a hurry is a ‘no can do.’ The colour is very sheer, so one coat leaves you looking like you’ve dipped your dirty nails into some glittery glue. Two coats tidy things up, although I suspect this requires three coats to get a nice even finish. I wasn’t prepared to do that, though. I still remembered how hard it was to remove this product the first time I had applied it.

Yes, you can have too much glitter

The finish is not particularly smooth and on closer inspection there were a few ‘bald patches.’ I also wasn’t taken with the feel of this on my nails. The surface was quite rough (granted, this was without a top coat) and it just didn’t feel right. Even though the colour looked great in the bottle, once applied my nails looked like I had just skipped out of a children’s birthday party. I haven’t tried it as a top coat over an opaque colour, but have seen pictures of people who have and it looked a lot better. For me, this one just didn’t work.

Frustrations continued when it came to removing the varnish (which was only the day after application). It took a lot of remover and a small mountain of cotton pads to rid myself of the glitter, which clung to my nails with steely determination.

I have since applied Butter’s gorgeous ‘Chancer,’ and the balance of the universe has been restored. The spark is back and I will be writing a post soon.

I’m sure there are people out there who absolutely adore this varnish. For me, it just didn’t work. Rough waters indeed. I hope Will and Kate’s marriage will be a lot smoother 😉

love, lou x

Hunter green Nails with extra Sparkle

Candy coloured nails are this season’s biggest trend and I have been buying my fair share of pastel greens and blues. Throughout rainy June I have persevered with those feel good shades, determined not to let the British weather dampen my spirits. We are now in July, though and the rain keeps coming. So today my mood is anything but summery and I picked up Butter’s British Racing Green, which I had been saving for autumn.

I have talked about Butter before, and how utterly amazing I think they are. The colours are so easy to apply – their consistency is nothing short of perfection.  The lacquer dries quickly and gives a speedy streak-free manicure.

Described on their website as a dark ‘hunter green’, this is a rich colour with real depth to it.  Think of a saturated rainforest green with a glossy sheen and the slightest hint of shimmer.

After applying two coats of colour I realised that I wasn’t ready to surrender myself to dark autumn shades yet (it is only July…sigh) so I brightened things up with Pure Pearlfection from Essie’s luxeffects range. An iridescent coat of crushed diamonds, it adds a new dimension and glams things up insantly. Plus, it catches the light beautifully.

This is the result:

Essie’s Pure Pearlfection really reminded me of edible glitter 🙂

I really hope it stops raining soon.

love, lou x

Butter London Lady Muck

I first discovered Butter London a few years back at the airport in Florida (of all places). This great British brand has lots going for it: great on-trend colours, neat design, superb quality and free of the usual nasties you associate with polishes (such as paragons). So plenty there to love!

The lacquers are incredibly easy to apply, as they have just the right flow and the superb brushes pick up the right amount of product. Even in a rush, I can rely on them to give a mess free and even finish.

Below is a colour I’m in love with at the moment, called Lady Muck. I wore it again today and had two people comment on it, so I thought this was definitely worth a post!

Lady Muck is a pretty powdery blue with hints of gray and a gorgeous sheen. Whilst I love a bit of sparkle on my nails, I find that sometimes glitter particles can be too “chunky”, which means they end up scratching the surface of the nail when you are trying to take off the colour. With this, you get a beautiful fairy dust sheen without the scratches. The lacquer is super smooth.

I didn’t use a top coat as I was in a rush, and when I did this before the colour (and sheen) lasted about five days.

Image

I love all things blue, and this hue ticks all the right boxes. So pretty 🙂

love, lou x