Bourjois 15

Two coats, sunlight

Oh Bourjois, why have I only discovered you now? This is my very first polish from Bourjois and it was bought on a whim. I’m very glad I did because I love this hot pink! It’s quite a Barbie doll fuschia-pink colour, don’t you think? At first glance, it looks like a simple creme but there is subtle shimmer going on, which you can’t really see in the photo, but trust me it’s there.

A “Pink Diamond” Barbie Doll

The application was lovely and this polish came with a special slanted brush. At first, it was a bit confusing, especially when it came to painting the left hand, as I was used to the wide OPI brushes, but it was easy to get used to. The polish claims to be chip-free for 10 days. I’m not sure how true that is as I haven’t worn it for 10 days yet. But I have worn it for a couple of days now and it seems quite sturdy. A strange thing about this polish is that it doesn’t have a name. So I think it’s called “15” because there is a number at the back of the bottle.

With China Glaze Sugar High, two coats, sunlight

China Glaze Sugar High is the closest to a hot pink that I own, which as you can tell, isn’t very similar at all. Sugar High is paler and has a softness to it that the bold Bourjois polish doesn’t have.

iPhone photo, sunlight

Here is the manicure I’m spotting right now. It is a combination of three pinks. The one that is more purple looking is Zoya Moxie, another of my favourite polishes. This is not very striking apparently. Nobody has commented on this look!

On a side note, I’m clutching a homemade green smoothie that I bring to work every morning. I bought a blender recently because reading raw food blogs inspired me to eat more raw greens.

MAC Delicate

3 coats, sunlight

MAC Delicate is from the Summer 2012 collection. It is a sheer milky pink that is too translucent to be opaque even with three coats. I believe this is limited edition. I’m not sure why I bought it as I have something very similar. Behold:

2 coats each of MAC Delicate and Essie Hi Maintenance

As you can see, it’s very similar to this Essie colour. Delicate has a more milky tinge that is lacking from Hi Maintenance but it’s hard to tell them apart with a casual glance. Also, Hi Maintenance applies a lot better and you can see from the photo that it is streak free whereas Delicate is uneven in some places.

With Zoya Luna and OPI Rainbow Connection

I usually reserve sheers for French or glitter tips. In this case, I have MAC Delicate with two glitters, a silver one and a multicoloured one. I just received Rainbow Connection in the mail from eBay (gulp) and I just had to try it.

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!

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

Singapore national day nail art 2011

Alicia’s nails

Liwen’s nails

Serena’s nails

Orly Cotton Candy

2 coats, sunlight

Orly Cotton Candy is an apricot-based pastel pink creme from the Spring 2010 collection. Because of the peachy undertones, this colour is amazing for warmer skin tones like mine. Application, however, wasn’t good. I still see some bald spots with two coats so three coats would be more ideal.

When swatched beside other pastel cremes like China Glaze Something Sweet and Orly Cupcake, you can see the peachy tones in Cotton Candy more clearly.

Trixy’s nails, 2 coats, sunlight

Here’s Trixy’s nails with some simple nail art – metallic polka dots at her nail tips.

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 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.

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.

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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