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.

Singapore national day nail art 2011

Alicia’s nails

Liwen’s nails

Serena’s nails

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!

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.

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.

OPI Alpine Snow (matte)

Alicia’s nails, 3 coats, sunlight

Alicia’s nails, 3 coats, artificial light, iPhone picture

Alpine Snow (matte) is a stark white polish and was a bitch to pain. Three coats were needed here not because the pigmentation was thin but because it streaked so badly. I couldn’t paint this at all, so Alicia did this on her own. She just applied the lacquer very quickly in quick globs because it dried almost instantly. I bought this thinking I could use it for French tips but it’s rather impossible.

With China Glaze Snow Globe, one coat

With China Glaze Treasure Chest, 1 coat

The white polish was great for layering. I prefer the look with Snow Globe, a clear polish with irridescent rainbow-coloured glitter pieces.

Amanda’s nails, with Zoya Raven, artificial light, iPhone picture

You can also alternate Alpine Snow with a black polish. Amanda wore this to Halloween.

China Glaze For Audrey


For Audrey is another one of China Glaze’s famous polishes because the colour is supposed to a Tiffany blue. It is not exact; adding a smidgen of green would make the colour more accurate. Nonetheless, it is a very lovely teal creme that is slightly easier to apply than the pastel lacquers of the Up and Away collection. I really like the third photograph. Amanda shows us her nails against an overcast sky.

Cheryl has on For Audrey as well. This gradient effect can be achieved by layering China Glaze Dorothy Who (a blue jelly with silver glitter) and Zoya Charla with a makeup sponge. There are water droplets on her nails because it started drizzling as Alicia was painting. This is so awesome if you love watery mermaid looks.

Weifen’s nails, 2 coats, indoor light

Sherinz’s nails, 2 coats, indoor lighting, iPhone picture

Cammy’s nails, with Orly Pointe Blanche

White polka dots make Cammy’s nails look like a blue dalmation.