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.

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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!

OPI An Affair In Red Square

2 coats, sunlight

An Affair in Red Square is a red shimmer polish from OPI’s Russian collection in 2007. It’s an oldie but goodie. It’s a true Hollywood-glam kind of red and it was really easy to apply. While doing research about this polish, I noticed many people comparing it to an OPI classic – I’m Not Really a Waitress.  I don’t have that but after looking at pictures online, I think I prefer An Affair in Red Square, which is a brighter red and does not have that berry/wine undertone. But I must say, I really like the name of that polish. It’s almost like, hi I am Sookie Stackhouse and I’m not really a waitress. I’m a mind-reading kick ass fairy (True Blood geekiness). In contrast, I don’t know what to make of An Affair in Red Square. I have nothing clever to say about it!

I’m not a shimmer person but I really love this polish. There’s something incredible sophisticated and womanly about it. I feel like I should be in a gown every moment I’m wearing this. The only other red shimmer I own is China Glaze Branding Iron. And while the colour is nothing alike, I have it swatched on my index finger so show you my one and only red shimmer polish. I have China Glaze Ruby Pumps on my pinkie.

With Orly Pointe Blanche

Here I wanted to see if An Affair in Red Square would look nice as the red in the Singapore flag. It’s not too bad I think. It keeps the manicure from looking flat and just adds the teeny kind of sparkle.

Orly Cupcake

2 coats, sunlight

Orly Cupcake is a pretty old nail polish from the Sugar Coated collection. I got it a while back but hadn’t had a chance to swatch it until now. This is a dusty pink creme with a tinge of blue undertone. It has the prettiest name. How can you resist a polish called Cupcake? In terms of application, this was pretty difficult to apply. I had to use two thick coats for opacity; this would be more like three thin coats if I had applied it properly.

On a side note, I recently discovered how to create rounded edges in my pictures!

A comparison with China Glaze Something Sweet will show that Cupcake is not as sweet a pink and has a more medium tone. It also lacks the orange tone that Pop Beauty O’Boy has.

With OPI Crown Me Already and Nubar 2010

Yay! Rounded corners again. Oops, I digress. This is the final look I will wear for the week. It’s a very simple pink base with silver glitter tips. OPI Crown Me Already is a great polish for glitter tips because it’s very dense and the bits are varied. I topped up with Nubar 2010 but you can’t really see it in the picture unless you zoom in. It’s for a more subtle look and I just wanted to blend everything together so that the glitter will not be so harsh.

I’ve been thinking of featuring other products apart from nail polish on this blog. Yes, I know it’s called PoppyNAILS. And no, it’s because I am getting sick of polish. It’s because I don’t really like to swatch colours on myself but I haven’t had time to meet up with friends for painting sessions like we used to. Even if we meet up to paint nails, it’s usually in the evenings and I need the morning/afternoon light to take proper pictures.

If I were to do product reviews, it wouldn’t be for makeup because I have the same brown eyeshadow palette I’ve kept for the past three years. I thought it would be interesting to features things that bloggers don’t normally feature. Oftentimes I’ve searched for reviews of things like L’Occitane body moisturisers but nobody can be half-arsed to write about body lotions. Understandably of course! Polish pictures we can all look and admire but it would be hard to write about scents and texture!

Nicole Glitz and Glisten

3 coats, sunlight

Nicole by OPI’s Glitz and Glisten is a clear base filled with purple micro glitter. It’s very sparkly and pretty but (to me) almost useless on its own. This was three coats and you still can see my nail. So what’s a girl to do in this situation? Layer of course!

I didn’t really put much thought into what polishes would match with this glitter. The only one that I knew would match was Nicole’s The Grape Debate as it came with Glitz and Glisten in a set when I purchased it from the US. True enough, it was the best combination. The purple glitter on the dark purple creme base looks really dazzling, almost like purple stars in the sky! My second favourite has to be the combination with China Glaze Sugar High.

In the end, I decided to go for a more subtle look using glitter just at the nail tips. Here is OPI Coney Island Cotton Candy as the sheer milky base; China Glaze Snow Globe as the first layer of glitter at the tips; Nicole Glitz and Glisten as the second layer of glitter; and finally, China Glaze White Cap as the overall wash covering the nail.

Illamasqua Milf

Cheryl’s nails, 2 coats, sunlight

This is my last Illamasqua nail polish and boy, do I want more! Milf is a pale minty creme that looks like the perfect vintage green to me. I think this shade is extremely wearable, even for people who are scared of green. It’s not too bright, not too pale and not too cotton candy like. It’s kind of faded. The only grouse I have with this polish is that its thickness. The polish started bunching up by the second coat on Cheryl’s nails.

Liwen’s nails, with OPI Jade Is The New Black

This is a simple green manicure for Liwen, who wore this over Christmas, although I should have made it more festive by putting gold sparkles.

Illamasqua Throb

2 coats, sunlight

Oh Illamasqua, how I love thee. I only own three polishes from this brand and already I feel like its formulas are the best I’ve seen. Throb is a cool red creme and honestly, the colour is nothing to write home about. It’s a very nice red but as I mentioned before, there are only so many reds you c!n have in your stash. What’s incredible about this is the formula. Throb is thicker than the typical OPI creme polishes but still applied very well and has a very shiny red car paint finish. It was sturdy and stayed on my nails better than OPI reds.

Constant readers will know that I own a limited amount of reds. So here is Throb compared to OPI Comet Loves Cupid and OPI Red My Fortune Cookie. You can see that Throb is a darker and more womanly shade as compared to the two OPI shades. I’m glad that it looks quite different from them because I would be peeved if they were too similar.

Alicia’s nails, with China Glaze Love Marilyn

This photo came out quite poorly because it was taken in low lighting but this was Alicia’s Hello Kitty nail manicure. Illamasqua Throb was used as a base for all nails and the glittery Love Marilyn was layered over a few nails. On her pointer finger we painted Hello Kitty stickers.

Illamasqua Load

3 coats, sunlight

I’m back from Sydney with some Illamasqua goodies! Here’s Load, a jelly-like off-white polish with a yellow tinge. This is part of a trio from the 2011 Valentine’s Day collection. When I was doing my research for this polish, I noticed a lot of bloggers getting offended by the name. I know what the name means but perhaps because I don’t really hear anyone using it here, I don’t really get what’s so offensive about it.

With Nubar Yellow Primrose, 2 coats

Here’s a comparison with Yellow Primrose. The colour is virtually identical but the finish is very different. While Load has a jelly texture, which required three coats to make even, Yellow Primrose is more creamy and stark. I prefer Load. It has a translucence about it that makes for easy wear.

I found a random picture of me wearing Load and having breakfast.

With Illamasqua Throb and Essie Matte About You

Throb is the other Illamasqua polish in the Valentine’s Day collection. Here I attempted a heart-shaped manicure.  I don’t think it worked out very well though!

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

Essie Matte About You

MAC Blue India

With Essie Matte About You

Essie Matte About You is a top coat that mattifies nail polishes. It was really quick drying and you can see your polish transform to a matte finish right in front of your eyes. Really cool. I think this is great if you’re in a rush for time and want your polishes to dry very quickly. Here you can see the effect over a blue creme. It seems to “rubber-ify” the polish.

(L-R) Zoya Charla, China Glaze Ruby Pumps, OPI Crown Her Already and China Glaze Ick-A-Body (all two coats)

With Essie Matte About You top coat

Here is where this matte top coat really shines – over glitter polishes. The glitter bits are frozen and suspended in a pool of colour. Out of the four polishes I swatched, I think that Zoya Charla looks the best mattified, probably because of its complexity. The other three are more straightforward glitters.

(L-R) OPI Argenteeny Pinkini, Maybelline Copperglaze Platinum, China Glaze Wagon Trail and China Glaze Branding Iron (all two coats)

With Essie Matte About You

Okay, I’m not such a big shimmer fan so I have very limited shimmer polishes. The first two are more traditional “mother-era” shimmers where you can see brush strokes if you don’t paint properly. The other two, from China Glaze rather recent Rodeo Diva collection, represent the more modern shimmers. To me, Wagon Trail is the clear winner for this round. You can see the little specks of olive shimmer peaking out from the dark base, which is quite cool.

Overall, I must say that I had fun with this top coat. I can’t wait to try it out on more glitter polishes because that’s where I think it really excels. Frozen Charla is a beauty!

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