Lit from Within: May 2013

Friday, May 31, 2013

Hobby Polish Bloggers - Recreate Your Favorite

Here we are, the last day of May, and the last entry for my Hobby Polish Bloggers May Challenge!  Whew, I made it!

I've reviewed the entries, and have chosen my favorite to recreate. And the winner was The Polish Playground, inspired by nature.  *golf clap*

I suppose it's a dubious honor, since the only prize is to have me try and copy your work... 

Illamasqua Serenity.  I new I was a nail polish fanatic when I spent the time to figure out how to both spell and pronounce "Illamasqua".  Totally worth it.  I love this color, and I didn't know it was a rubber finish when I chose it for this challenge, but I likey!

Illamasqua Serenity

Then, I added the cutest fluffiest clouds ('They're so fluffy, I could DIE!") with a dotting tool and Sally Hansen White Tip.

Illamasqua Serenity sky with Sally Hansen White Tip clouds

OPI Black Onyx.  Not the greatest black for nail art, it gets kinda goopy.  Some of my seagulls got a little stringy.  And nobody likes a stringy seagull.

Illamasqua Serenity sky with Sally Hansen White Tip clouds and OPI Seagulls

So dreamy...

Illamasqua Serenity sky with Sally Hansen White Tip clouds and OPI Seagulls

Bottle shot:  Illamasqua Serenity, Sally Hansen White Tip, and OPI Black Onyx.

Hope I did Lisa of The Polish Playground proud with my rendition of her art.  If I were fishing for compliments in the comments, what would you write to me?

Can't wait to see what the other challenge participants create! 

Check out these other Hobby Polish Bloggers challenge manis!

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Is it a Dupe? Guest post from Julie of Wishes of a Blue-Eyed Girl!

Hello hello, Lit from Within readers!!  The lovely Nidia and I have decided to swap blogs for the night.  My name is Julie, but I'm also known as the Blue-Eyed Girl, from Wishes of a Blue-Eyed Girl!  When Nidia and I were discussing the swap, I just knew what I wanted to do - I wanted to post my normal Comparison Thursday series on her blog for the week!  She, in turn, injected some much needed nail art on my blog.  Go check out her delicate and pretty design here.

Ok, so on to the subject at hand!  Comparisons!  I abhor purchasing duplicates.  It drives me crazy!  Typically, if I find a duplicate or a near duplicate, I have to purge the one with the worst attributes, i.e. takes too long to dry, not pigmented enough, formula is a pain in the tukus to work with, etc.  I'm also trying to cut down on my hoardish tendencies, so I've also been purging near duplicates.  Lastly, I like doing these comparisons to help people find near duplicates of hard to find polishes to help sate their lemmings.  Often times, though, something I think may work well in my head for a comparison doesn't really pan out after all.  Tonight, I'm going to show you what I thought may be close dupes where one is hard to find and the other is not, Rescue Beauty Lounge Scrangie and Elevation Polish Pic de Subenuix.  Unfortunately, these two aren't even really near duplicates.  The color scheme is in the same family, but, as you will soon see, one is much darker than the other.

The basic color scheme for these polishes is a purple base with teal shimmer.

Elevation Pic de Subenuix

Pic de Subenuix is more of a blurple than a true purple.  The teal flash is uber present here giving the polish a vivid teal glow.  

Application was fantastic, like with most Elevations.  I didn't have to add any thinner, and it didn't pool or drag.  It's not a one coater like Pic de Sotllo, but took around 3 coats for full opacity.  The first coat is a little streaky, but it builds nicely with a few coats.  The dry time was great and didn't require too much time to be dry enough that I could go to sleep.


Scrangie's purple base leans red versus Pic de Subenuix's blurple base.  The teal shimmer is much more pronounced in the bottle than it is on the nail, which was disappointing.  

Also disappointing was the formula.  I mean, seriously?  You pay that much for a polish with a barely workable formula?  

Scrangie is one of those polishes that is so thick that it wants to stick to itself and not spread out on the nail.  Then, it was clumpy when you went to add another layer.  I was just really disappointed all around.  In my opinion, it's just not worth the astronomical prices people are asking in blog sales or other sales forums.  If RBL re-releases it, sure, grab one.  However, don't pay a bunch of money for it.  It's not really worth it.

Pantone Parachute Purple

In the true spirit of teamwork, Nidia has take photos of an alleged Scrangie dupe, Pantone Parachute Purple.  Keep in mind that our lighting set ups are different and we don't have the polishes side by side, but it appears that Parachute Purple is closer to being a dupe of Scrangie than Pic de Subenuix.

It does, however, lean more blue than red, so they don't appear to be exact duplicates.  If I get my hands on one after my no-buy, I'll definitely update this comparison post.

And here are the obligatory refrigerator photos.  I find that I can coax even the most shy duochromes by photographing in the refrigerator.

So, there you have it!  Of the two I own, I vastly prefer Pic de Subenuix.  However, if you're a collector, I could see the allure of Scrangie.

You can purchase Rescue Beauty Lounge polishes at their online store.  Follow Ji's blog and Facebook for updates and news.  Elevation Polishes may be purchased at Lulu's Bigcartel store and Llarowe.  You can follow Lulu at her blog, I Dig Brown Nail Polish, for news and updates.  Lastly, you can purchase Pantone polishes at Sephora.

Thanks so much for reading!  Come check out Nidia's post on my blog today, too!  It's gorgeous, so well worth the extra click.

Which of the three is your favorite?

Thanks so much, Julie!  I loved the comparisons.  One of these days I'll get up the courage to start getting rid of my dupes!

*I was not financially compensated for this
post.  All items in this review were
purchased by me for my own use.  The
opinions are completely my own based on my experience.  For more information, please see my
Disclosure Policy in the tab above.*

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

I got the blues, the shiny, dotty blues..

I've got the blues... but they're definitely the good kind!

First up, a simple design I did to hang out with the Beauty Bloggers of Central Florida.  I was running late so I needed something that was only one or two steps, and that I could do on both hands.

OPI What's With The Cattitude.  A coveted shade of baby blue, this was part of the Shrek collex.  I needed to be a little more careful in my application, but I told ya, I was late.  I'm often late.  When you are running late, do not choose a pastel polish, for it will screw with your mani. Pastels are finicky buggers.

OPI What's With the Cattitude dotticure with Essence Let's Get Lost

Look, ma, both hands! And one of my fave rings, too.  The dots were made with Essence Let's Get Lost.

OPI What's With the Cattitude dotticure with Essence Let's Get Lost

If you follow Sinful Colors, you may know that they came out with a line of polishes with a gel-like finish, but a polish-like application.  Shine with no curing?  I'll bite.

Sinful Shine Bottoms Up with SuperChic Lacquer Rive Gauche

I do believe it's shiny.  I wish it dried faster, though, as you can see the little dent on my pinkie.  If you're wondering about the holo...

SuperChic Lacquer (aka Wonder Beauty) Rive Gauche.  Very linear light blue holo, with a bit of iridescence.  I may have bought this because a) it's a holo b) it has a cool bottle.

Sinful Shine Bottoms Up with SuperChic Lacquer Rive Gauche

I thought it would look nice as a gradient, but I think that's a fail, folks.  I like it much better by itself.  Not a team player.

gradient fail

If you'd like more information about Wonder Beauty Products/SuperChic Lacquer, you can find them on Facebook, or her Etsy shop.

So, what blues are for you?  Dots? Holo?  Gradient?

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Care to Dance in the Priti Flowers?

I love to dance.  Hubby and I took ballroom classes many moons ago, and we still like to kick up our heels now and again.  We are no dance legends, though.

This is:  Dance Legend Creme Brulee.  Awesome nude base with gold and green glitter.

Dance Legend Creme Brulee glitter

I was inspired by this mani from Set In Lacquer, so I wanted to do a version of it.

Floral mani with Dance Legend Creme Brulee glitter and Priti NYC

The flowers are done with Priti NYC colors:  Bells of Ireland, and...

Priti NYC Bells of Ireland

 ...Priti NYC Canterbury Bells.

Priti NYC Canterbury Bell

Per usual, the Priti polishes were amazing.  The Dance Legend was pretty sheer; if I was to wear it alone, I'd pick a nice light nude undie.  I love how they come together in this floral mani, though.

Floral mani with Dance Legend Creme Brulee glitter and Priti NYC

Bottle shot:  Dance Legend Creme Brulee, and Priti NYC Bells of Ireland (green) and Canterbury Bells (blue)

Do you like a glitter as a base for nail art, or would you prefer a plain nude, like the original mani?

Monday, May 27, 2013

Hobby Polish Bloggers - Inspired by the Beach

I live about 20 minutes away from many of the beaches in the Daytona Beach area, and, while I don't go very often, I like that it's nearby.  There's something magical about driving over the bridge over the Intercoastal, and seeing the Atlantic in the distance.

For me, the beach will be about blue skies and blue water.  So, I did a blue mani.

I used Models Own Beth's Blue, a creamy light blue, for all my fingers save my ring finger.  Love this color.

Mani with Models Own and LynBDesigns

For my ring finger, and thumb striped accent, I used LynBDesigns Don't Torture Me!, a perwinkle with tiny flakies. Then, I dotted with Beth's Blue.  It's like the blue sky, frothy ocean, and fluffy clouds - a perfect day at the beach.

Mani with Models Own and LynBDesigns

Bottle shots:  LynBDesigns Don't Torture Me! and Models Own Beth's Blue.

Bottle shots:  LynBDesigns Don't Torture Me! and Models Own Beth's Blue

So, are you transported to the beach yet?  Can't you almost imagine the palm trees swaying in the breeze?

Check out these other Hobby Polish Bloggers challenge manis!

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Sunday Stamping - Inspired by my new swimsuit

This weeks Adventures In Stamping challenge was to do something inspired by a new summer dress, shoes, or swimsuit.  I really liked the pattern on my suit, so I thought I'd try doing something similar.  Not the same, people, similar.  Just so you don't get all excited when they don't match exactly. 

I started off with a base coat of Cult Nails Tempest, and then added a dotticure with Zoya Indigo, Josie, Rocky, and Finger Paints Black Expressionism.  Zoya Indigo is a little too dark for what I was going for, though. 

Cult Nails Tempest with dotticure of Zoya Indigo, Josie, Rocky, and Finger Paints Black Expressionism

I then gave the illusion of squares with the stamp, and more Black Expressionism. 

Cult Nails Tempest with dotticure of Zoya Indigo, Josie, Rocky, and Finger Paints Black Expressionism, stamped

I need a square dotting tool. Is that even possible?

stamped dotticure with swimsuit background

Bottle shot:  Zoya Indigo, Josie, and Rocky, Finger Paints Black Expressionism, and Cult Nails Tempest.

Bottle shot:  Zoya Indigo, Josie, and Rocky, Finger Paints Black Expressionism, and Cult Nails Tempest.

If you'd like more information on Cult Nails, you can find them on Facebook, or their webpage.
If you'd like more information on Zoya, you can find them on Facebook, or their webpage.

So, what do you think?  I kinda like it, even though it's not exactly like the swimsuit pattern. 

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Who needs a galaxy mani, when you can have a Nebula?

Sure, you may know that Ninja Polish sells lots of international and Indie Polishes, but did you know that they also make their own brand?  And it's pretty amazing?

I started with a great black, so shiny it's hard to photograph:  Cult Nails Nevermore. 

Cult Nails Nevermore

Ninja Polish Nebula.  And, bring on the bling!  If Nevermore was too glossy to photograph clearly, this one is too glittery.  Can something not photograph well because it is just too pretty?

Ninja Polish Nebula over Cult Nails Nevermore

I'd like to say that I blurred this on purpose, but let's take advantage of it to see how sparkly this is.  Truly, it's even better in person.

Ninja Polish Nebula over Cult Nails Nevermore

Do you like it with a matte topcoat?  I think it's pretty interesting!

Ninja Polish Nebula over Cult Nails Nevermore with matte topcoat

If you'd like more information about Ninja Polish, you can find them on Facebook and their webpage.

Have you ever done a Galaxy mani?  Would you do it with this polish?  What do you think of Nebula?

Friday, May 24, 2013

Can you Dance All Night with Cult Nails?

I'm a Cultie.  I stand proud and say it. 

What I don't want to say is that this is not my favorite Cult Nails collection. 

Not that it's all bad.  The creams are, as always, amazing.  They are the stars of this show.  The glitters... not so much.

Faded.  This is totally on trend for right now - these barely-there colors are so pretty and are the new neutral. 

Cult Nails Faded

Dance All Night.  The namesake of the collection, it was my least favorite.  Which is so hard to say, because I love green and blue!  The formula was thick, clumpy, and hard to apply.  It just doesn't look like anything I can't pick up in the drugstore now.

Cult Nails Faded with Cult Nails Dance All Night

I grabbed my new favorite glitter, Orly Sparkling Garbage, and gave it a little oomph.  I liked it better, but it still wasn't enough, ya know?

Cult Nails Faded with Cult Nails Dance All Night and Orly Sparkling Garbage

Love at First Sight.  Lovely Lilac creme.  Flawless.

Cult Nails Love at First Sight

Center of Attention.  The formula on this pink and copper glitter was better than Dance All Night.  I like pink and copper together.. so much, in fact, that I must have 2 or 3 other glitters exactly like it.  

Cult Nails Love at First Sight with Center of Attention

Nakizzle's Shizzle.  An homage to the nickname of one of the founder's daughters, Snoop would be proud that someone has continued the 'shizzle' trend.. And, it's a gorgeous polish.  Bright, almost electric, sky blue.  I can't decide if I like this or Faded better.

Nakizzle's Shizzle.

Walk of Shame.  This was my fave of the glitters.  It actually applied pretty well, and I like the tiny holo glitters.  The gold glitters have some reflective curling, though they do lie flat on the nail. I would probably try this over a black for maximum impact.

Nakizzle's Shizzle with Walk of Shame.

If you'd like more information on Cult Nails, you can find them on Facebook, or their webpage.

What do you think?  Are you like me, loving the cremes but underwhelmed by the glitters?  Do you love it all? Or, are you going to pass on all of them? 

I think this should be a wakeup call to the Indies that even the big brands can stumble occasionally.  The drugstore and salon brands are doing more innovative collections, and there are a lot of Indies making polish now.  So, you need to do something better or differently from the rest!
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