Tuesday, May 31, 2016

I Have a Good Excuse This Time

So yeah, I haven't been around again. My last post proves I can blog while on the road, yet I did not for the rest of that trip. The main reason is I got in a car accident that rendered me bruised and sore and my car a total loss. All of this 2000 miles from home, too.

I was very fortunate to not be seriously injured, and to have friends to help me until Mr. Karen could get there, but still it's been unsettling and distracting and took my focus away from things like blogging. I'm home in Idaho now, healing up more every day, and will be back to posting about nail polish soon.

Thursday, May 12, 2016

Studio M Spring Swatches

I debated about sharing these polishes today, as I have not seen any of them left at the Meijer stores I've visited since I've been in Michigan, but as I did do the swatches and they may still be available out there somewhere, either in this brand or in its sister brands like Color Club, I'm forging ahead.

There were five new to the brand shades in the big spring display: Cantelope (yes, that's how they spelled it), Fresh Grass, Spring Breeze, First Bud, and Cherry Blossom. At least I think these were new; I didn't have them in my stash.

Cantelope is a pale yellow creme. Maybe that's why they didn't call it Cantaloupe; it's not orange like the melon. I used two coats on my index finger and three on my others and didn't notice too big of a difference between them in coverage. That's pretty darn good for a pale yellow like this.

Spring Breeze is a glitter topper with a clear base filled with matte white glitter ranging from tiny specks to medium hexes plus light blue satin large hex glitter. This reminds me more of snow and winter than spring, though I suppose white flower petals against a blue sky is spring.

I added one coat of Spring Breeze to my Cantelope base. I found I did need to fish for the bigger blue hexes and did need to add topcoat to smooth it out. Also, the smallest white glitter got lost against the pale base.

Fresh Grassh is a pale green creme that I would have called Honeydew. I used two coats for my swatch, which I thought was good considering how light this is.

I tried Spring Breeze over this green base, too, and thought it looked a bit better than over the yellow.

First Bud is a pale pink creme; the formula on this one was more toward the crelly end of the creme spectrum than the first two cremes. Still, I only needed two coats for my swatch.

Cherry Blossom is a shimmery layering polish, with pink and gold shimmer in a pink translucent base.

I put one coat of Cherry Blossom on First Bud and ended up with a pretty pink shimmer.

I wanted to see what these layering polishes would look like over a darker base, so put on two coats of Studio M By Design, a vampy berry creme, then added one coat of Spring Breeze plus clear topcoat. You can really see all the glitter this way, though I'd probably pair it with a cool color base for a full mani, something like a dark blue.

I loved Cherry Blossom over the dark base. Here's one coat of it on By Design:

And here's two coats:

Two coats in direct low light; this would be a great autumn mani:

I definitely miss Meijer and Studio M when I'm out west. Sure, there are other compensations, but still. I'll just have to try and time my visits to the change of seasons so I can grab new collections. Speaking of which, I wonder when the summer brights will show up. Or if they're doing that this year. I will have to keep an eye out as I make my rounds of the mitten state.

Monday, May 9, 2016

LIT NYC Sampler

My latest short absence from blogging was caused by yet another cross country road trip from Idaho to Michigan. For my return, I have polishes I picked up on a similar trip earlier this year, some of the LIT NYC colors stocked in select CVS stores. These are the ones that have LED bulbs built into the caps, with a push button switch at the very top. I have other brands that use this same gimmick, and I don't find the illumination helpful, so that's not why I bought them; I thought the polishes inside the bottles could be from higher end brands, which makes sense since these were priced around $8. I focused on the glitters and shimmers, selecting these colors (left to right): Lovergirl, Power, Pop, Laser Beam, Sassy, Risqué, High Voltage, L.A. Nights.

Laser Beam is a white with white and pale gold microflakie shimmer. I used three coats for my swatch, though two might have worked if I'd made them a tad thicker. I think it's pretty, and you all know I'm not much for gold usually.

Pop is also a microflakie shimmer; it's a pale orchid with silver flecks (which you can probably spot on my skin as well as on my nails; clean up was a bit harder with this one). I used two coats for full coverage.

I can only go so long without reaching for glitter, so Lovergirl was up next. This has a clear base with a various sizes of hex glitter in predominantly purple, pink, and blue, some of those holo, plus some gold with a few silver squares mixed in, too. It sounds busy but the combination works.

I popped a single coat of Lovergirl on the Pop base and quite liked how it looked. Very festive for the spring season.

Power is a duochrome shimmer with a blue/purple shift that also has hints of red violet and turquoise. On my index finger, I used one coat of Power over a black base and on the others, three coats of Power alone.

I then added a coat of Lovergirl on three of my digits and wow, I really liked that combination, even more than over the lighter Pop.

I swatched Sassy, a mocha with gold and pink microflakie shimmer, and High Voltage, a deep greyed teal traditional shimmer, as a pair. Top to bottom: three coats of Sassy alone, one coat of Sassy layered on top of two coats of High Voltage, two coats of High Voltage alone, and one coat of Lovergirl over High Voltage. I didn't care for Sassy alone with my skintone, though did like it layered over High Voltage, which also served to disguise the very slight brushstrokes in the darker base (I've definitely seen way worse, but feel like now that flecked/microflakie is an option, all shimmers should be that way). Of course I loved Lovergirl layered on top of the green.

Risqué is another duochrome like Power; this one is warm tones of gold, berry, and rust. I did my index finger with a black base topped with one coat of the shimmer and three coats of Risqué on its own on the other fingers. It seemed a little sheer still at three coats, so I would definitely use an opaque base for this one if I wear it again. I did like the shift in it, though.

Gold end of the shift:

Rust/rose gold end of the shift:

I wrapped up my swatching session with L.A. Nights, a black with silver holo microglitter. Under indirect light, the glitter mostly showed its silver face, but with the least bit of direct light, the rainbows popped, so I kept it in direct light. I did add topcoat to this one, as it was slightly bumpy without it due to how much glitter there is (has to be, I think, as the black base is fairly opaque). I did try a black base on my index finger, but it didn't make much difference, just the glitter was ever so slightly more dense on the nails where I had two coats of L.A. Nights alone.

I stopped by the CVS where I bought these after I got back to Michigan and it looked like they hadn't been restocked, so I'm guessing these aren't going to roll out to more stores. Which is a shame because they are nice polishes. They remind me a lot of Orly, actually.