OPI Suzi Skis in the Pyrenees

Alicia’s nails, 2 coats, sunlight

Where are the Pyrenees? They are a chain of mountains in southwest Europe that borders France and Spain. This is very apt, considering that the polish is part of OPI’s Fall 2009 Spain collection. As you can see, two coats are inadequate. There are bald spots and the colour is less dense than ideal.

With three coats, you can see this polish is its full jelly grey glory. I decided to compare it with NARS Midnight Express because I thought they had similar consistencies. Both had a jelly texture, albeit Midnight Express more so than Suzi, while Suzi had a very subtle shimmer. I really like this polish. It somehow manages to be soft and dark at the same time.

With China Glaze Millenium and silver striper pen

I wore this look for a week, which is a long time for Poppynails-land.

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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 Shine On

Melissa’s nails, 2 coats, sunlight, iPhone picture

Urban Decay Shine On is a shimmery metallic bronze polish that’s not too gold and not too orange. It looks great on Melissa’s skin and was a breeze to apply.

These are all two coats. As you can see, the colour itensity of the polish is great and on par with MAC Originality. Compare this to the weak Revlon Copperglaze Platinum, which couldn’t cover anything with two coats. We can also see that Shine On’s gold/bronze is much more neutral than Originality.

Melissa’s nails, with OPI Black Shatter, sunlight, iPhone photo

And viola! A leopard theme manicure when Shine On is paired with OPI Black Shatter. After playing with Black Shatter for a few days, I think that it goes the best with glittery polishes. Somehow its matteness dulls the bottom colour so if you are using a creme, your entire manicure looks blah.

Urban Decay Woodstock

Urban Decay’s Summer of Love, released in 2010, features seven mini nail polishes that reflect the colours of the hippie era. While these colours are generally hippie-ish, I feel that they should be more washed out. I would have loved for the colour of faded jeans or sun-dried carnations. These colours are just really loud and obvious. Today, I will feature Woodstock, which is a hot neon pink that dries semi matte.

2 coats, sunlight

The formula was good. It applied smoothly and dried quickly. The brush is too tiny to achieve perfect application but I guess that’s the problem with all mini polishes. I haven’t tried any OPI minis so I can’t compare though.

With OPI Black Shatter, no top coat, sunlight

With OPI Black Shatter, top coat, sunlight

I think OPI Black Shatter needs no introduction but for the uninitiated, this is a black polish that randomly separates and cracks when you apply it on your nail. You can literally see this happen the moment you apply it. It’s incredible and sexy but I’m wondering how I am going to hide my crazy nails at work this Monday. A top coat is needed because the black shatter polish dries matte.

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.

China Glaze Wagon Trail

Wagon Trail, from China Glaze Fall 2008 Rodeo Diva collection, is a glossy brown-black base with olive and gold shimmer. Under certain lighting, there is even multi-coloured micro glitter. It was one of the polishes I was most excited to have after seeing swatches online; a glowing blackened olive sounded perfect and EVERYONE seemed to be raving about it. But I don’t like it on me because there is just too much black and too little olive. Sure, the olive glows from certain angles, but 80% of the time, my nails just look dull. Look! Even the bottle shows more green than my nails.

Application, however, is perfect. I am not thrilled about the colour, but the smooth, buttery application dries to a very glossy, polished car finish.

Let’s try it on Amanda’s toes. Nope, still way more black than green. But you can see how glossy it is here, even without topcoat.

Maybe some gold glitter a la China Glaze Treasure Chest will help to bring out the olive tones? Nope, still as black as ever.

But thanks be to the wonderful world of Makeupalley, I found a new home for this polish and will be receiving China Glaze Flying Dragon (purple with glitter) in return. Cross my fingers for that!

Zoya Raven

Zoya Raven is a black jelly with an almost imperceptible sliver shimmer. I see some slight silver flecks in my bottle, but I don’t see them on my nails at all. Scrangie says that it is an exact dupe to Chanel’s Black Satin. While I like the jelly finish, I found application a pain because the formula was so thick. The first layer was okay but the polish started pooling on the second application. Perhaps I should have waited longer in between coats.

And because I enjoy having many colours on my nails, I could not resist adding Zoya’s Ivanka on the tips. Zoya describes it as a “mermaid green sparkling metallic. An expensive-looking metallic shade for summer”. One day, I’m going to apply these super sparkly colours on their own. The picture above was taken with flash to show you the green sparkles.