China Glaze Zombie Zest

Three coats, sunlight

So… it appears I’m about two years late with this nail polish. Never mind! Halloween is just round the corner again and here we visit an old polish from China Glaze’s 2010 Halloween collection. Zombie Zest (don’t you just love the name.. Rawr Rawr) is a green/olive jelly filled with mainly yellow shimmer. I love this shade of green. It’s quite a murky Swamp Thing colour. What’s the Swamp Thing I hear? Behold:

I’m not sure if anyone remembers the Swamp Thing but I remember watching this on television about this plant/human character. I’m not even what his superpowers are anymore but surely he has some since he’s part of the DC Comics universe.

2 coats, sunlight

But back to the polish. As you can see, three coats are needed because you can still see my nail after two coats. I guess all jellies seem to require more than two coats for opacity.

With NARS Zulu, sunlight

Here I paired Zombie Zest with another jelly, the cult favourite NARS Zulu. Like Zombie Zest, Zulu is a jelly and I painted three coats for this look. I really liked this pairing and wore it for one whole week. This also received compliments from people who thought the combination was interesting.

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China Glaze Papaya Punch

2 coats, sunlight

China Glaze Papaya Punch is a bright yellow-based orange creme from the Island Escape 2011 collection. This was a present from my bestie Anna, who bought this pretty polish for me just before she zoomed off to Germany. It’s always good to have other people buy polish for you because for some reason, I have very few orange ones in my collection. However, the application was slightly thick and could use with some thinner.

With China Glaze Peachy Keen

In fact, a search through my collection revealed that I have almost no orange polishes. So here I have a comparison against another creme, albeit a peachy one. This was the most orange polish I could find.

With white nail striper pen

I saw this design in a magazine and decided to try to replicate it with a white nail striper pen. I quite like this look. It looks bold and simple at the same time. The orange looks incredible paired with white.

China Glaze Love Marilyn

Three coats, sunlight

Love Marilyn, like Lorelai’s Tiara, is from China Glaze’s 2011 Eye Candy collection. I don’t know if I’m doing something wrong because three coats were still sheer for me, whereas other swatches online showed a denser coverage. It could be that I received a crappy bottle because Lorelai’s Tiara was thick and beautiful for me. Coverage apart, this is a very pretty red and silver glitter suspended in a clear base.

With OPI Comet Loves Cupid

Because of its lack of density, I decided that this polish was best layered over a creme. Here I use two coats over OPI Comet Loves Cupid, which happens to be my favourite red polish ever. The red glitter bits seem to sink into the red creme, which is quite glowing and lovely.

Overall, I’m rather disappointed that my bottle of Love Marilyn is so sheer. The whole point of the collection is that the polishes are supposed to be dense enough to be worn on their own but clearly mine cannot, despite using three coats.

China Glaze Lorelai’s Tiara

Alicia’s nails, 2 coats, sunlight

My first impression of Lorelai’s Tiara was Gilmore Girls? It was quickly followed by Aww… what a pretty colour! This is a clear base filled with gazillions of small silver glitter and slightly larger blue ones. The polish is from the 2011 Eye Candy collection and is part of a pack of six. It’s very pretty and glacial and was so opaque it can be worn on its own. I love dense glitters like that. They are perfect for shiny French tips.

With Maybelline Cloudy Grey

Here are Alicia nails with a blue-grey Maybelline base and Lorelai’s Tiara as the glitter tips. I stuck on some other larger blue pieces from another polish and added several crystals on the ring finger and the thumb. We were trying to achieve a mermaid effect with the aqua and the moody grey. On hindsight, there could have been a greater contrast between the tips and the base polish. A darker base, for example, may have being better at bringing out the glittery effect.

I am so happy to be featuring someone else’s nails apart from my ugly ones on this page!

Random nail art

I have been too busy to do any swatching recently so here are some random nail art pictures. The lighting tends to be quite poor because we usually meet in the evenings to prettify our nails. Daylight pictures are hard to come by nowadays!

My favourite is the first picture. The pink and gold nails are very pretty but so tedious!

Alicia’s nails, China Glaze Something Sweet and China Glaze Sugar High

Emily’s nails, Zoya Moxie

China Glaze Refresh Mint and OPI Jade is the New Black

Alicia’s nails, no idea what these polishes are because she did them with a professional manicurist

China Glaze Raspberry Festival

2 coats, sunlight

I was looking through some old photographs and chanced upon this really old swatch of China Glaze Raspberry Festival. This is a raspberry red with silver glass fleck shimmer. I’m salivating looking at all this juiciness.

With China Glaze Ruby Pumps, night

For the life of me, I cannot remember why this photograph is so bad. But here’s a comparison with Ruby Pumps, which is a much deeper red and contains bright red glitter. You cannot tell from this crappy ass photo but Ruby Pumps is 10 times more gorgeous. Seriously, it’s like Raspberry Festival’s sophisticated sister.

With Essie Matte About You

Raspberries mattified! I asked Tom if this looked like raspberries to him because they are his favourite fruit. He said the nails looked more like dragon fruit…!

Nubar Yellow Primrose

Lydia’s nails, 2 thick coats, sunlight

Trixy’s nails, 2 coats, indoor lighting, iPhone picture

Yellow Primrose, from Nubar’s 2011 Spring Garden collection, is a pale buttery yellow creme with the faintest of all shimmers (I couldn’t see it, but Alicia, who detests shimmer, spotted it with her eagle eyes). The colour is super gorgeous but application leaves much to be desired. This is actually a three-coater because two thin coats leave behind some bald spots. But because I hate applying three coats of anything, I chose two careful thick coats instead. As you can see from the photo, it’s still not perfectly even though. Nonetheless, the colour is absolutely stunning and reminds me of vintage lace.

I bought this off eBay. I don’t think Nubar is available in Singapore and its online store only ships within the US.

Lydia’s nails, with China Glaze Wagon Trail, Nubar 2010

Lydia wanted to hid the roundness of her nail tips, so we decided to go with a blackish-colour triangle design. I used Nubar 2010 (which contains pretty duochrome flakes suspended in clear polish) over Wagon Trail to create more depth. You can see the green, yellow and red glowing prettiness most clearly in the third picture.

With OPI Black Shatter

Like black paint splashed over a yellowing canvas?

Alicia’s nails, with black acrylic paint, iPhone picture

This is my favourite nail art design with Yellow Primrose.

Urban Decay Magic Bus

2 coats, sunlight

Urban Decay Magic Bus is a bright orange creme. Unlike Psychedelic Sister, this was very easy and smooth to apply and was nearly opaque in one coat. It’s a very festive colour that reminds me of mandarin oranges and will be very appropriate for Chinese New Year.

With black acrylic paint + China Glaze White Cap

I’m not sure if these look like oranges. Do you feel like sinking your teeth into them?

I forgot which gold polish I use but here’s an attempt at a Chinese New Year look.

Valentine’s Day manicure

I have never celebrated Valentine’s Day. It’s a non-event for me, especially when it falls on a work day. When I was in secondary school, the teachers did not let us call it “Valentine’s Day.” Instead, it was “Friendship Day.” That encouraged a lot of little notes and gifts between members of the opposite sex under the innocent guise of “friendship.”

But Valentine’s Day, like all other festivals, is a great reason to paint nails! And what screams V-Day more than pink, white and red?

Weifen’s nails, Essie Hi Maintenance, Orly Pointe Blanche (white), China Glaze Sugar High (pink), iPhone picture

Weifen received pink polka dots for Valentine’s Day. Unfortunately, the dots were a little tiny so she said they looked like measles. Seriously, if anyone wants to do polka dots, make sure you get your hands on acrylic paint because it will make your life so much easier. It’s more liquid and you can mix in water if you need a thinner formula for intricate designs. Acrylic paint is sold in art-supplies stores. Art Friend is a good place to start.

Orly Cupcake (light pink), Claire’s 18 (bright pink), white nail striper pen, Essie Hi Maintenance (sheer pink), sunlight

Candy nails! Okay I know I called the Claire’s polish “18” but I seriously doubt that’s the right name. It’s just a number at the bottom of the bottle but since I can’t find the name anywhere, “18” it is. Essie Hi Maintenance, which is a sheer pink, is used as an overall wash to tone down the stark white lines. It’s extremely useful and I’ll talk more about it in another post.

Zoya Luna

I’m in love with all my Zoya polishes. I like the size of the brush (unlike OPI’s Pro wide brush that is too large for nail art) and the creaminess of the formula (applies like buttah, baby). Today, I’m going to introduce Zoya Luna to you, which is one of the most versatile colours for nail art.

3 coats, sunlight

2 coats, sunlight

Zoya Luna is a pale grey polish with dense silver glitter from the Ultra Glitter 2009 winter collection. I didn’t put top coat on the swatches so you can see every bump on my nails. If you want to wear this on its own, three coats are needed as two coats will still expose your pinky nail bed.

However, the main use for Zoya Luna is not as a base colour, although you most certainly can do that if you have a New Year countdown party to attend. Instead, this is excellent for glitter tips. Behold:

Melissa’s nails, OPI Coney Island Cotton Candy, Zoya Luna, China Glaze Nova, red and silver jewels, sunlight

Emily’s nails, OPI Coney Island Cotton Candy, Zoya Luna, random small glitter, pink and white pearls, silver jewels, iPhone

Once again, sorry for the poor quality iPhone pictures. Anyway, the concept is the same for both manicures. First you apply a sheer French manicure base (as I only have one, that means OPI Coney Island), followed by Zoya Luna, which you pat on with the brush. To create texture and a slight gradient effect, use a smaller glitter over Luna and extend it beyond so that the you can see the glitter become less sparse towards the cuticle. Follow up with jewels and pearls. Ideally, you should put plenty of them, as in Emily’s nails, to create the denseness at the tips, but it may not be very practical if the person is not very careful with her nails. The more jewels, the more chances of you hitting them against something.

With Zoya Raven (black), China Glaze White Cap (gold shimmer)

Here’s a suggested look if you really, really need to use Zoya Luna as the base colour.

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