October 28, 2013

A Pair of Purple Polishes

Hello everyone! I've been busy swatching away for some picture heavy future posts but I did have the chance to pull a couple of untrieds out my collection and finally test them out.  Dark purple is a great fall colour and here are a couple of polishes that fit that theme perfectly.

Pahlish Pink Roses And Red Valentine Lace

Who doesn't love a flecked polish?  This is one of my favorite polishes finishes so this polish immediately appealed to me.  It features a rich plum crelly base packed with tiny purple flecks, tiny purple and blue hexes and a sprinkling of small pink and silver squares.  It took me two coats for it to become opaque.  Because of all the glitter it did dry a bit rough so I just used a thicker top coat to smooth everything out.

Photos show two coats of Pink Roses And Red Valentine Lace with one coat of Seche Vite in natural lighting. This is a really rich colour and looks very pretty. I found the formula a little bit thick BUT this could possibly be due to my polish storage spot being a little bit cool and me not having the patience to wait for the bottle to warm up a little before applying it. As pretty as this polish is, sometimes you just crave a little more sparkle so I added another glittery polish over top to make it really shine.

Lyn B Designs Shrieking Violet

Shrieking violet features a purple jelly base packed with tiny hexes and small squares in a variety of silver, purple and blue.  The squares really catch the light nicely.  I added one coat over the mani pictured above.  I did find that it dried a little bit gritty so again I just added a thick top coat to smooth things out.

I love the end result. It's dark but bright at the same time and it has that jewel tone purple that I just love. Which of these too looks do you prefer? Darker with a more subdued flecked shimmer or a little brighter with more sparkle and shine?

October 24, 2013

Sugar Spun Nail Art Tutorial

Hello readers!  Today I decided to take my fan brush's virginity and use it in my first attempt at sugar spun nails.  The end look is delicate stripes crisscrossing your nails.  I love this idea because a) each nail isn't expected to be 100% identical so if you mess up, no big deal! and b) the actual technique is pretty simple so you can achieve a good look on both hands.  I used Laquerlicious Unity Supreme Queen as my base colour and Zoya Carly and China Glaze Gossip Over Gimlets for the striping. Here's what my nails looked like after my first try and here's how I did it!

What You'll Need:

  • A fan brush
  • A base colour polish
  • Two accent colour polishes - these are for the stripes.
  • Top coat

  • How To Do It!
     1.  Apply base colour and wait until it's dry to the touch.

    2.  Take your fan brush and lightly dip the brush tips into the first accent.

    3.  Lightly drag the fan brush tips across your nail.  If the stripes do not cover your entire nail re-dip your fan brush in the polish and drag starting from the opposite side.

    4.  Repeat steps 3 and 4 using your second accent polish.

    5.  Wait a few minutes for stripes to start drying and add a topcoat. (The time in between helps avoid smudging the stripes.)

    I think you could do cute crisscrossing stripes with this technique too and end up with a kind of woven look.  I'll have to give that a try at some point.  I hope you found this tutorial helpful and I'll be back with more polish later this week!

    October 21, 2013

    Lush Lacquer Mermaid Tears - A Polish With Many Faces

    Hello readers.  I was recently lucky enough to win one of Lush Lacquer's new thermal polishes from the collection launch contest.  I chose Mermaid Tears as my prize because I just couldn't resist the teal-y goodness.  It arrived in the mail last week and I was very excited to try it out.

    Mermaid Tears is a dark teal jelly polished filled with fine and small teal hexes as well as a sprinkling of large teal circle glitters.  It turns a bright limey green when warmed up.  The formula was easy to apply.  I used three coats to reach a good level of coverage and the polish dried smoothly.  The only finicky thing about this polish is getting the circle glitters out of the bottle.  I ended up with one on each hand without actively trying to get them.  If you want more of them you'll have to go fishing for them.

    The photos above show three coats of Mermaid Tears with one coat of Seche Vite in natural light on a cloudy day.  You can clearly see the colour distinction between my warm nail beds and my cold nail tips.  One thing I noted was that this polish seemed to react to the brightness of sunlight.  In direct sunlight the polish seemed even brighter and more opaque than it appeared in cloudy lighting.  However when I came inside after taking these pictures I discovered that this polish had even more faces to show.

    The photos above show the exact same mani under a mix of fluorescent and incandescent lighting.  Under these different lighting conditions the polish now looks like a sheer blue-teal jelly and the thermo colour shift isn't very evident at all.  It looks like a completely different polish.  However, the biggest surprise was still to come.

    I have a saltwater fish and coral tank.  Part of the lighting that corals need is in the UV spectrum so I use a special light fixture over the tank that produces light partially in this spectrum.  As I was walking by the tank I noticed that all of a sudden my finger tips were glowing like mad!

    They were even a brighter green in person!  This explains why in bright sunight the colours look brighter and more opaque than in cloudy lighting.  Sunlight must contain light in the spectrum that makes this polish fluoresce... so the brighter the sunlight, the brighter the polish.  I don't think I've ever used a polish before that goes through this many transformations.  From a colour changing neon polish to a sheer jelly to a fluorescent glowing polish.  What do you think of the multiple personality lacquer?

    October 16, 2013

    Pretty & Polished Tomboyish Swatches & Review

    Hello readers! I hope you all had wonderful long weekends and, if you're a Canadian like me, enjoyed a tasty Thanksgiving meal. Today I have my first ever thermal polish to show you.

    Tomboyish by Pretty & Polished is a soft shimmery muted green that shifts to a dusty blue when warmed up. The result? Depending on how warm your finger tips are you either end up with funky french tips or a gradient.

    The above photos show four coats of Tomboyish with one coat of CND Super Shiney top coat in natural sunlight.  This seems to be the typical colour shift for my nails.  There's definitely a difference between my nail beds and tips but I like that it's a soft transition rather than a hard line.


    In Transition
    I also took a few photos of the extremes courtesy of running my hands under warm and cold water.  These photos were taken under halogen lighting. Initially, I wasn't sure how I would feel about thermal polishes. However, after trying this one I am in love. I really love that the two colours really complement each other and that it's a soft transition. The only thing that left me wishing for more was the opacity of the polish. The above photos show four coats and when it's the warm dusty blue my nail lines are still clearly visible. Under normal conditions though, i.e. I don't have my hands under hot water, the polish is pretty much opaque. If you're feeling some love for thermal polishes go check out the Pretty & Polished shop. They have a ton of colour shifting polishes to choose from. How do you feel about thermals. Are they a trend that's here to stay or just a gimmick that will go out of style?

    October 12, 2013

    Copper Shimmer Gradient

    Hello readers!  A quick post today.  I have found the perfect neutral polishes for my skin tone!  Finger Paints Whatta Dish and Bare No Secrets.  They are very similar  but Whatta Dish has a very soft shimmer while Bare No Secrets has shimmer plus some more pronounced sparkles.  I used both of them along with Orly Ingenue to make a soft shimmery copper gradient.

    It's not perfect but honestly, I don't have time for dabbing sponges or blending polishes into  perfect gradient and then transferring it to my nail.  I did this quickly just using the polish bottle brushes.  I think it's still rather pretty though and the shimmer is amazing.  I love the purple undertones from Orly Ingenue too! 

    What do you think of this look?  Are you willing to put up with a not quite perfect gradient to save some time?

    October 10, 2013

    My First Attempt At Cloud Nail Art

    Hello readers! Do you know what time it is? Time for some nail art! (I know it's been a while).  I decided to try something new, cloud nails.  I used Picard from Gothic Gala Lacquers Holo Deck collection which I was already wearing and added China Glaze Gossip Over Gimlets and Zoya Carly.

    They actually ended up being a lot easier and quicker than I expected.  My left hand even looks quite good (I'm left handed) which isn't the case for all nail art.  I love that you can do this design using only the brushes that come with the polishes.  No tiny nail art brushes needed here!  I also think it's a great way to save a mani if your tips are chipped but you don't want to start from scratch.

    So shimmery!  I love it!  This will definitely be a go to design when I want something more than a solid colour but don't have tons of time.  What colours would you combine for a great cloud mani?

    October 08, 2013

    Gothic Gala Lacquers The Holo Deck Swatches & Review

    Disclaimer:  This product was offered at a reduced price or at no charge to manicuremanifesto.com in exchange for published reviews.  All reviews are fair, honest and reflect my personal opinion.

    Hello readers! I hope you all had a wonderful weekend.  The sun finally showed its face after a week of clouds and rain which meant I could finally finish swatching the Holo Deck collection polishes I received from Gothic Gala Lacquers.  These polishes are inspired by Star Trek TNG and will be released on October 20th.  Here's a sneak peek at three of the polishes from this collection.

    It's Green, Sir

    It's Green, Sir is a pea green creme with a subtle holo shimmer.  I was impressed with the opacity of this polish.  I used two coats to make sure I didn't have any streaks that manage to show up in photos but really, you could get away with one.  It dried smoothly and evenly and I just added a thin top coat to make it nice and shiny.

    Photos show two coats of It's Green, Sir with one coat of CND Super Shiney top coat in natural sunlight.  I was a little disappointed that the shimmer that was visible in the bottle didn't really transfer to the nail once you put this polish on.  It's still there, but it's very subtle.  While still a pretty polish with a great formula I don't think I would classify it as a holo.


    Crusher is an indigo blue jelly filled with scatter holo sparkle.  After the first coat I was worried that this polish was going to be streaky but I was proven wrong when it layered up nicely and became opaque after three coats.  The formula was easy to apply and dried completely smoothly.

    Photos show three coats of Crusher with one coat of CND Super Shiney top coat in natural sunlight.  I really love this polish .  It looks so squishy and the holo sparkle is quite delicate.  My favorite kind of holo is a scatter holo so this polish is right up my alley.

    Bonus swatches: I added a black splotch gradient on top using China Glaze Liquid Leather.  Today was even sunnier than when I took the original swatch pictures and you can really see that scatter holo shine.


    Picard is a shimmery polish that's somewhere on the border between pink and red.  It has a soft shimmer as well as a delicate holo sparkle.  I found that in indoor lighting in leans more towards red where as in outdoor lighting it leans more towards pink.  The formula was great and takes two to three coats to become opaque.

    Photos show three coats of Picard with one coat of CND Super Shiney top coat in natural sunlight.  This polish is another winner in my eyes.  The perfect amount of holo to make it look sparkly and shimmery but still delicate.


    My personal favorite from the these three is Crusher.  A squishy blue polish with scatter holo is hard to beat in my eyes.  Picard also has an excellent formula and a gorgeous finish so if pink and reds are your favorites this polish is a must have.  My only wish would be for It's Green, Sir to have more holo-ey shimmer on the nail.  It ended up being more of a creme polish than a holo polish.  Still quite pretty, just not quite what I was expecting.

    Overall I am really loving this brand.  The formulas are so easy so put on, have great finishes and good wear time.  If any of these polishes caught your eye and need to make their way into your collection then check out the Gothic Gala Lacquers Etsy shop on October 20th to get some of your very own.  In the mean time go like the Gothic Gala Lacquers facebook page.  Samantha has been posting some sneak peeks of future polishes lately and I'm pretty sure I need them all.