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.

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.

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

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 Love Light

2 coats, sunlight

Love Light, the last polish from the Urban Decay Summer of Love collection, is sheer with suspended silver glitter bits. I wouldn’t wear this on its own because it’s basically colourless.

Here I layer Love Light over other polishes, such as Zoya Raven, the black polish on my index finger, as well as the three other Urban Decay cremes.

With China Glaze Re-fresh Mint

But my favourite use for such polishes is in French manicures, particularly with coloured tips like my mint green ones here.

So here ends my review of the collection and thanks for looking!

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!

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.

Chine Glaze Peachy Keen

2 coats, sunlight

Wow finally! The last item from my China Glaze Up and Away collection – Peachy Keen! This is a pastel peachy orange that make a great summery colour (in Singapore’s case, when you go to the beach then, since everyday is sunny). I think I added thinner to the polish because it was thick when I received it. Now there’s a strange yellowish line in the bottle but it doesn’t seem to be affecting the quality so I’m just going to ignore it.

Alicia’s nails, (from pinkie to index): Orly Snowcone, China Glaze For Audrey, Peachy Keen, Lemon Fizz

Here we have a pastel rainbow on Alicia’s nails. The dots on her tips were applied using white acrylic paint and a toothpick.

With Urban Decay Psychedelic Sister (red) and Urban Decay Woodstock (pink), black nail striper pen

Okay… so I went a bit mad with the colours here and ended up looking like a clown exploded on my nails. I wanted to test out these new Urban Decay polishes I received (more on that later).

China Glaze Refresh Mint

2 coats, sunlight

China Glaze Refresh Mint is the latest addition to my pastels family. This is part of the Spring 2010 Up and Away collection. It is a pale mint green that turns opaque in two coats. Application was a bit iffy and I thought it was slightly more difficult to apply than the other pastel polishes in the range. It was thick and watery at the same time, which means that the paint bled more easily at the cuticles. Nonetheless, I love this incredible vintage green colour.

Maggie’s nails, 2 coats, with MAC Originality, iPhone picture under artificial light

I haven’t been carrying my camera around recently so this explains the deluge of iPhone-taken photographs. The colour in this picture is not accurate. The very first photograph at the top of the post is. Maggie’s nails were a lot prettier in real life and resembled (in another colleague’s words) a China teacup with the green and gold.

Emily’s nails, (all China Glaze) Refresh Mint, Millenium, Something Sweet, iPhone photo

Yup, another inaccurate iPhone photograph. Here I paired Refresh Mint with Something Sweet for Emily’s Christmas-themed nails.

2 coats, with China Glaze Matte Magic Flat Finish Top Coat, sunlight

I have Refresh Mint on my big toes, along with other China Glaze pastels on the rest, topped with China Glaze’s matte top coat.

Zoya Shawn

2 coats, sunlight

Zoya Shawn is an incredible creme green with yellow undertones. It’s from the Zoya’s recent Fall 2010 Wonderful collection that contains five other shades. Shawn was the only one I had to get my hands on. I already have OPI’s Jade is the New Black, so any other green that came along had to be incredibly unique and Shawn certainly fits the bill.

2 coats, flash

I’m wearing Shawn for Halloween this Saturday to match my army outfit. It’s the perfect shade of camouflage green! The camera’s flash really brought out the yellow undertones of the polish.

Alicia’s toes, 2 coats, shade

Shawn is a bit darker – and not as pretty – when you view it in the shade. Here Alicia painted white flowers on her big toes. Rather cute, don’t you think?

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