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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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 Dating a Royal

2 coats, sunlight

OPI Dating a Royal is a deep bright blue creme from the Mod About Brights collection. It has a semi-jelly texture which makes it incredibly shiny. You can spot the reflection of flats behind me in the second picture. The jelly texture also means that you have to be careful to cover all bald spots. Too light a brush stroke will easily leave you with patches of lighter blue. I recommend three coats to be perfect.

One reason why I am so enamoured with this polish is that it’s the colour of one of my favourite rocks the lapis lazuli, which is found mainly in the mines of Afghanistan. My lapis lazuli ring (pictured above) was bought from Montpellier, France, which sold lots of other nice gemstones as well. If you’re a Vampire Diaries fan, you would also know that Lapis Lazuli was worn by several vampires as protection against the sun.

With OPI Crown Me Already (silver glitter) and Nicole Glitz and Glisten (purple glitter), sunlight

Nubar 2010

1 coat of Nubar 2010 with NARS Midnight Express, sunlight

Nubar 2010 is a clear polish filled with multicoloured duochrome flakies. On a blue base, I see mainly green, orange and yellow, with the colours changing depending on the light. The different flake sizes also make it interesting. Some are big, others are smaller.

1 coat with OPI Nicole The Grape Debate, sunlight

On a dark purple base, I see a lot more orange than the other two colours. Overall, it’s an incredible polish for layering and an interesting twist to just plain glitter. I’m beginning to like Nubar a lot, seeing as how the two polishes I have from this line are incredible.

Nubar can be purchased off eBay to Singapore at a reasonable price.

Claire’s Flirty/Shy

2 coats, sunlight

Weifen’s nails, 2 coats, iPhone photo

This is one of Claire’s mood changing nail polishes and it changes colour based on temperature. At warm temperatures (which is basically the colour you see when you go outdoors in Singapore), the colour of the polish is “Shy” – a bright medium blue.

Anna’s nails, 2 coats, indoor

Flirty, on the other hand, turns up when the temperature is cooler, deepening into a lapis lazuli blue. Anna’s nails are a different colour because she was sipping hot coffee in the freezing cold of New York so most of her nails turned “shy.” If your nails are long enough, the tips and the nail bed should turn different colours.

This was a fun polish, although I’m sure that if I could try it on someone with longer nails to see the gradient effect, it would be more incredible. Any volunteers? 🙂

OPI Pirates of the Carribean

So. Alicia got her hands on three polishes from the 2011 OPI Pirates of the Carribean collection. The colours all look great in the bottles and they were definitely not boring pastels. I totally get the ocean theme.

First up is Mermaid’s Tears, a dusty blue-green creme:

Alicia’s nails, 2 coats, sunlight

Emily’s nails, 2 coats, artificial light, iPhone picture

Liyen’s nails, 2 coats, indoor light

Next up is Skull and Glossbones, a pale grey creme:

Alicia’s nails, 2 coats, sunlight

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

The last is Steady as She Rose, which is a lilac-pink creme:

Alicia’s nails, 2 coats, sunlight

Emily’s nails, with China Glaze Sea Spray as French tips, iPhone photo

Alicia’s nails, with OPI Do You Think I’m Tex-y?, indoor lighting

My favourite out of these three is Skull and Glossbones, as pale neutral greys seem to be quite hard to come by. The formula on these three polishes were generally good and were very easy to apply. Apologies for the poor photo quality though. My regular camera wasn’t available and I used one that didn’t even have a macro mode. In the end, I used the “Flower” mode but it still couldn’t make up for the lack of macro.

Urban Decay Aquarius

Three coats, sunlight

Aquarius is a green-blue shimmer polish from Urban Decay’s Summer of Love collection. I applied two coats at first but then went over the bald spots with another so I think most of the nails ended up with three coats. It’s not really a colour that I would wear on its own so this stayed on me for only two days. However, it does look good when paired with other polishes.

With MAC Blue India and silver nail striper, sunlight

And here’s Aquarius with one of my all-time favourite polishes, MAC Blue India. I kept this manicure on for more than a week because of Blue India.

With Urban Decay Love Light, sunlight

This manicure was done some time back when I was obsessed with the whole nude nail and coloured french tips look. Love Light isn’t really a typical nude. It’s a very shimmery light pink that I think is an interesting alternative to the usual sheer milky nudes.

So here we are, halfway through the Urban Decay Summer of Love collection. Stay tuned for more!

Orly Royal Navy

2 coats, sunlight

Let’s take a break from the Urban Decay Summer of Love collection and swatch one of my favourite polishes – Orly Royal Navy. I first heard about it from Scrangie. Her passion for this royal blue colour was so contagious I had to purchase it off eBay. When I first applied it, I was struck by how quickly it dried. There is some neon pigment in this, similar to the cremes in the Urban Decay collection, so it dried semi-matte. It was only after two coats did I see the micro turquoise glitter. But creme lovers, do not worry, the micro glitter is so subtle that you have to stare at your polish to realise that it’s there.

With OPI Alpine Snow (matte) and Zoya Charla

Here’s my blue pudding manicure. Okay the lines aren’t particularly straight but hopefully you will be too entranced by the pretty blue colours to notice!

NARS Midnight Express

2 coats, sunlight

NARS Midnight Express is an inky blue in a jelly formula that is akin to NARS Zulu. This was re-released as part of NARS Vintage collection last year. I prefer this to Zulu. While Zulu looks black most of the time, Midnight Express is undeniably blue even when the lighting is poorer. Like Zulu, the application is somewhat uneven with only coats. Parts of the nail where I used a heavier hand showed up darker, while other parts were lighter. A third coat would have evened things out but I was afraid that the colour would end up looking black.

1 coat, sunlight

Here’s one coat just to show you how blue it was initially before I started layering it on.

Serena’s nails, with OPI Alpine Snow (matte), glittery silver nail striper pen, sunlight

With Orly Snowcone, Orly Pointe Blanche, sunlight

…. And with white nail striper pen, China Glaze Millenium, artificial light

Here are some of the designs we tried with Midnight Express. The last attempt was a bit out of hand as there were way too many things going on!

Vintage half-moon manicure

Reinforcement rings are pretty much all you need for the vintage half-moon manicure. That, and a lot of patience. By a lot, I mean if you have at least two hours to spare.

It all started with an article in Urban newspaper talking about two-toned nails. Nail aficionados will know that the real name is called the vintage half-moon manicure, which consists of painting a small portion of your cuticle a different colour from the rest of your nail. It is also sometimes called the reverse French. How hard can it be? I thought.

Barbara’s nails, China Glaze Millenium (silver) + Orly Royal Navy (blue), low light

Well, the first attempt was pretty much a disaster. I didn’t know that you had to wait for the silver to dry completely before pasting on the reinforcement stickers. When I removed them, much of the silver paint came off as well. That aside, I must say that Orly Royal Navy is absolutely stunning.

Maggie’s nails, Essie Body Language (pale purple) + OPI Black Cherry Chutney (dark purple), sunlight

Maggie’s nails turned out a lot better because we had time on our side. I think this colour combination is fabulous; Black Cherry Chutney is a luxurious shimmery burgundy from the OPI India collection. But the lines separating the colours could be cleaner. Perhaps the reinforcement rings were too sticky?

This is what I mean by clean lines. Cheryl handed me this magazine photograph and asked if I could recreate the look. So here’s Attempt #3.

Cheryl’s nails, NARS Midnight Express (blue) + China Glaze Something Sweet (pink), flash

Major fail. Jagged lines galore. Her mom said that she looked diseased. We spent close to two hours painstakingly doing this and still we couldn’t achieve perfection. Can someone help? If you know the solution, it would be much appreciated.

NARS Zulu, 2 coats, sunlight

Determined to achieve the elusive clean lines and cut down on the drying time, I decided to free hand the damned moon. Here I started off with two coats of NARS Zulu. I love the way the jelly glows. It’s so shiny you can see my reflection in the nails.

NARS Zulu (green) + Orly Pointe Blanche (white)

Using Orly Pointe Blanche, which is a white polish meant specifically for French manicures, I drew a curve line near the cuticle first, then filled in the rest of the half moon. The index finger shows the curved line.

NARS Zulu (green) + Orly Pointe Blanche (white) + Elianto Platinum Pearl (white shimmer)

Et voila! The vintage half-moon manicure without use of stickers. It’s far from perfect but at least I didn’t have to spend hours on this.

Here is a closer look. My least favourite finger is the index because the white blob looks like a lump of coal.

Just noticed that Fann Wong has a half moon in one of her advertisements. It looks kind of weird actually. White half moon over a bare unpainted nail.

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