Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Estée Lauder Explosif

Today I've got another polish from the Estée Lauder Fall 2012 collection to show you.  This time I used my new macro lens to get really up close and personal with the polish.  Explosif is like a golden cousin to Chaos.  Explosif is a golden metallic polish packed with pink, blue and even a bit of green flakes.  Just like Chaos, the formula on Explosif is awesome.  I ended up using 3 coats so that the light wouldn't shine through the polish, but I could have gotten away with 2.  It's not like normal people spend a lot of time holding their hands up and looking at their nails with back-lighting to check if any light shines through.
3 coats Explosif with 1 coat Seche Vite, Artificial Light

I'm really glad I could get close enough to capture the different colors in the polish.

3 coats Explosif with 1 coat Seche Vite, Artificial Light

I am still loving the new camera, especially with this macro lens.  Now I just have to figure out how to get this close without leaving a reflection of myself in my nails!
3 coats Explosif with 1 coat Seche Vite, Artificial Light
I hope everyone is enjoying Mardi Gras and the State of the Union!  Very odd combination. . .


Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Estée Lauder Chaos

I've been lucky enough to get an awesome new camera thanks to the world's best boyfriend.  My old camera rarely worked and had this terrible habit of shutting off every 10 photos or so.  We are now the proud owners of a brand new Sony NEX-5R.  The camera is smart enough to adjust to the types of pictures I want to take on the fly, but with interchangeable lenses and DSLR-like capabilities, I will be able to really learn about photography.  It's also given me an extra reason to get back to posting.  As I learn, hopefully I will be able to get some really great pictures of nail polish and life in general.  

Speaking of nail polish, today I have Estée Lauder Chaos.  Chaos is from the Fall 2012 collection.  I know I'm a bit behind, but what else is new.  Chaos is a metallic blue/grey, packed with bright blue and gold flakes.  The flakes add a whole extra dimension to this polish and I really love it.  Application was flawless, which I've really come to expect from Estée Lauder.  After two coats, it dries to a slightly matte finish.  While beautiful on its own, I added top coat so that the flakes could really be shown off.  I'll let the pictures speak for themselves!  

2 coats Chaos with 1 coat Seche Vite, artificial light

2 coats Chaos with 1 coat Seche Vite, artificial light

2 coats Chaos with 1 coat Seche Vite, artificial light

I must say that all of the polishes in this collection are awesome.  I will have another one to show you soon!  


Wednesday, January 23, 2013

The gobstopper is back/Purple eggs

Hey there, blogosphere!  I know it's been forever since I managed to write a post.  I still paint my nails....a lot.  The rate at which I acquire new polishes, however, has seriously slowed.  I have missed this whole thing a lot, but it just started to take time that I haven't had.  Law school has this obnoxious habit of taking up all of my time and mental power.  Lately I've been thinking about getting back into blogging and today I finally got the push I needed.  Anyone who knows me knows that I obsessively read an insane number of blogs in Google Reader when I have a free moment.  Today I was reading a post by Maegan from the awesome blog, . . . love Maegan, when I noticed her tutorial today was for a mani that reminds me of my Confused Gobstopper mani from way back when.

So, I did what any procrastinating 3L/nail polish fiend would do, and I painted my nails.  I went a little brighter this time, and instead of 4 layers, I stuck with 3.  These polishes all required 2 coats for full opacity, so I wanted to make sure it would dry during this century.  I like how the colors look together, but I do wish I had layered them in a different order.  My nails remind me of fried eggs with a ring of purple around the yolk.  It's alright - I love fried eggs.
Gobstopper + Seche Vite, Artificial Light
I used Pure Ice (no idea where it came from) in Superstar! for the white base.  It was opaque in 2, easy-to-apply coats.  It's actually a pretty awesome white.  The light purple and yellow are surprisingly GAP nail polishes that I got on sale on a trip back to Pennsylvania last year.  The purple is called "Lilac," and the yolk-y yellow (since yolk-y is a word now) is "Dandelion."  Both had really nice formulas.  It is so hard to find a nice yellow polish, so I was shocked to find such an awesome one from GAP of all places.  I'll have to take shots of Lilac and Dandelion solo at some point, but a yellow that smoothly covers purple in 2 easy coats is great in my book!  I did get a shot of Superstar! solo (below).  Without topcoat or flash it looks like white out, but anyone who tried painting their nails with white out as a kid, like me, discovered it didn't come out nearly this evenly.
2 coats Pure Ice Superstar!, no topcoat, artificial light
Enough rambling.  I'll try to pop in on a regular basis with nail polish updates and posts.  Maybe even a tutorial?  Thanks to everyone out there who still follows Legally Lacquered!


Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Exam Week Cheer: NailVenturous Sunny Floam!

Hey guys!  I'm sorry for the lack of posts lately, but it's that time of the semester again where every second you procrastinated catches up to you - yup, exam time.  I sort of went MIA before then, because my nails started snapping.  I wouldn't even say breaking.  They have been generally strong and all of a sudden I am getting cracks that go at least half way across the middle of a random nail.  They are all currently at least normal length (knock on wood).  Anyway, I was one of the lucky folks who managed to snag a bottle of NailVenturous Sunny Floam during the split second the shop was open.  I missed the big NinjaPolish sale because I was too distracted, or focused I guess, on school.

Sunny Floam over RBL IKB, Gelous topcoat, natural light

Sunny Floam is equally as awesome looking in the same way that it's predecessor was.  I LOVE non-sparkly glitter polishes.   I think they need a new name for this genre of polishes.  Glitter definitely sparkles and this does not.  Hoe about dense speckled polishes?  This contains almost neon yellow and bright blue, densely packed, tiny speckles.  I didn't realize how densely suspended the speckles were, so I treated it more like Hungry Asian's Sneeze Breeze (see more about that here).  I was also eager to try RBL IKB:2012, which came during my hiatus.  IKB is not quite what I expected and I will swatch that after exams end this Friday with more explanation.  I probably could have skipped it, or I should have used a closer matched color.  It was a little too hard for me to get Sunny Floam neatly out to the edges of IKB.  I guess I know for next time.  To get a relatively even application, I had to tap the second coat over the first where it was most sparse.  If you want to get total coverage you will need 3 coats I suspect.  The good news is the polish is so fantastic looking that in real life you don't really notice the areas that aren't perfectly covered.  I used a coat of Gelous to protect the mani, but Sunny Floam sucked it all up.  I keep running my finger over my nails when I'm bored.  I do need to make a disclaimer.  My skin is not that orange! I wanted to make the nail most color accurate and I am not talented enough with photo editing to only fix the "off" areas.

In closing I have a quick question for you.  I took pictures out on my deck, where I get indirect sun.  The pictures are so much better, but I don't have any white-washed area to take pictures in front of.  Instead, I used the safari themed pillow I have out there.  Does that bother you?  I know a lot of bloggers are very insistent that backgrounds be white.  Let me know your thoughts!

Sunny Floam is available for purchase through the NailVenturous Etsy shop.  She's "on vacation" for a while, but you can sign up for notifications.  RBL IKB:2012 is unfortunately sold out at the moment, but I have seen it on evil-bay.  I'd recommend checking back on the site if you are interested, because the polishes are expensive to begin with ($20).  


The Hungry Asian: Strawberry, Watermelon, Kiwi and Sneeze Breeze

One of my favorite nail bloggers, The Hungry Asian, recently held a sale of some of her awesome frankens.  I had been coveting Sneeze Breeze since I began following her blog and I sat at my computer hitting refresh as her sale began.  I didn't know how many people were similarly after her polishes so I wanted to make sure I was the first one on there!  I ended up getting 4 polishes for myself, and picking up another for SonyT.  SonyT will be posting her review of the polish she grabbed soon.  Kae (The Hungry Asian) managed to get the order shipped out by the next morning and I had them within two days.  She included a cute little note and my lovely polishes packed nice and securely.

I won't waste time reviewing the bottle or brush.  She is getting them from a distributor and they are average in quality.  I had no qualms with them.  Since these are frankens, I was expecting the worst in terms of application.  However, for the most part, these polishes were super smooth and easy to apply!  Anyways, here are some swatches!

3 coats Kiwi + 1 coat Seche Vite, artificial light

It really looks like the inside of a kiwi!  I probably said that 20 times the day I wore this as a full mani.  Kiwi is a "kiwi" green jelly-creme hybrid with fine black speckles.  According to the sale descriptions this is made from 3-Free bases.  This was a little goofy in application, as it was hard to keep enough polish on the brush to get smooth strokes.  Honestly, it's not even annoying, because this polish is adorable. 

2 coats Watermelon + 1 coat Seche Vite, artificial light

close up of the glitter

Watermelon, true to its name, is a "watermelon"-toned pink jelly-creme hybrid with fine green glitter (see last image for proof that it's really green).  This polish applied easily and was opaque in 2 coats.  I failed to capture the green coloring of the glitter, but it is obviously green IRL.  This polish is also made up of 3-free polishes! This is definitely a great summer mani or pedi color, and I expect to go reaching for it pretty frequently.

3 coats Strawberry + 1 coat Seche Vite, artificial light

Strawberry Close Up
Strawberry is a "strawberry" pinkish-red jelly with black speckles.  I was expecting this to be one that I liked, but I love this way more than I expected.  It was the easiest of the 4 to apply and as a bonus is also 3-free.  This is a little dark for me to wear as a summer mani, but is perfect for a night out or a day-at-the-pool pedi. 

Sneeze Breeze
2 coats Sneeze Breeze over 2 coats ChG Liquid Leather, artificial light

Black AND Blue speckles
Last, but certainly not least, is Sneeze Breeze.   It's a clear jelly with densely packed, fine black and bright blue speckles.  The base is thick, but not unmanageably so, and I believe this is also 3-free.  I wore this as a mani without top-coat, as it dries smooth without one.  This polish looks great over white or black bases, and probably over other colors that I haven't had a chance to try yet.  Here I layered it over China Glaze Liquid Leather.  It's almost a brown but looks totally black in 2 coats.  This has the effect of hiding the blue speckles, but I am obsessed with the result.  This polish was totally worth the wait.

As a final note, I know that at least a large portion of Kae's proceeds go to Red Cross efforts in the aftermath of the devastating earthquake and tsunami in Japan.  So if anyone is having trouble justifying the purchase of any more polish, you can justify it as a donation to a great charitable cause!

Thanks Kae!  I love your blog and my new polishes!


Sunday, April 1, 2012

Now this is what I call sorbet! Sally Hansen Smooth & Perfect Sorbet and Sea

Hey guys!  Long time, no blog?  I have been painting my nails and I have been taking pictures . . . sometimes, but for some reason the time slot I set to actually edit pictures and write a post just turns into  me looking for inspiration for my next manicure and the occasional bout of binge shopping.  I need this posting sesh right about now, because I have a final take-home exam due on Tuesday AND the final draft of my journal draft due Thursday night.  Usually I'd at least pretend to budget my time and work on one in advance, but I really only had a week between receiving my exam and the due date, and didn't receive comments on my note to get going on my draft until the night before that.  I'll get it done, cuz that's how I roll, but I'd rather be watching some fun tv, enjoying the weather, shopping, painting my nails and - wait - did I mention shopping?

Sally Hansen Sorbet and Sea (3 coats), topcoat, artificial light

Anyway, if you can remember a few weeks ago, I was obsessing over the coral and mint trend.  It has quickly gone from hard to find, to EVERYWHERE I look.  Even Sally Hansen got in on things with her new Smooth & Perfect collection which contains 8 lovely pastel shades.  One of our lovely readers recommended these and I was actually already wearing the exact shade she mentioned!  Great minds think alike.  I'm pretty sure they are 4 Free but that list of ingredients is mighty long.  I didn't read anything about these when I bought them, or even realize that they were new, but I did notice that they have a very unique texture.  They are definitely some sort of jelly/creme hybrid.  I've used that in the past to describe Zoya and Essie polishes, but this description seems even more true with these.  I think it's pretty funny that the coral shade is called "sorbet."  Does anyone remember the OPI Texas collection releasing the sorbet finish, which was actually just a straight up juicy jelly finish?  I think the name sorbet should refer to this squooshy pastel-ness.  According to the Sally Hansen site this is some new technology that allows more oxygen to your nail that it might "breathe" better.  Whatever it is, I like it a lot.

For this mani I used Sorbet, a light coral, for the majority of the mani and then did an accent nail with the pastel mint green color, Sea.  The formula on each was great and I really like the flat rounded brush that they include.  It takes 3 coats for opacity and they dry to a satin finish (even though I've seen some say it dried shiny?).  I used a coat of So Wet topcoat over these and liked the semi-gloss finish I ended up with.

Hope you all had a nice weekend!  Good luck with Monday!


Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Layla Ultra Violet Holographic

Hey everyone!  I hope you enjoyed hearing from SonyT again!  We were on Spring Break last week and I was back home in Philadelphia helping to help my mom out with my much younger sister who has been struggling with her health lately.  We did remarkably little painting of nails compared to my typical visits, and I have barely any internet connection in my bedroom, so I just didn't bother trying to put together any posts.  I am not too upset that I am back in classes again because the weather is INSANELY nice.  It was nearly 80 today here in DC and I spent my break out on the law school deck "working" (and staring at the crazy holo nails I am about to show you).  The weather even cheered me up enough to start working out again.  I started P90x yesterday and holy cow am I sore.  I hope you all have gotten a taste of spring/summer as well.  Back to nail polish now I swear. 

3 coats Layla Ultra Violet, no topcoat, natural light

I have been seeing a lot of the Layla Holographics swatches floating around lately and I was so impressed that I had to have one.  All the posts said they were available on Aveyou.com, but I could not for the life of me figure out how to get them that way.  They seem to be waiting for a release date still, which is odd.  I finally found these on evil-bay and this gem was waiting for me when I got back from Philly.  I have always wanted a brand to make a holo line that was formulated more like GOSH holographic than the glitter gal polishes.  Don't get me wrong, I love the glitter gal polishes, but they aren't the same level of intense linear holo as GOSH.  Layla has finally filled the void!  Ultra Violet is a pinkish violet linear holo.  If you grab these make sure you grab the buffer that they direct you to use first in place of a base coat.  Though I am not convinced that it did anything, you should at least know before you buy that they direct you to use it.  This actually applied very smoothly.  I didn't have the dragging issues that GOSH and NFU Oh are plagued by.  You definitely need 3 coats for opacity. It dries super fast, and doesn't want a topcoat ruining the holo effect.   If you can believe it, this baby is actually even more holo in person.  My deck still doesn't have direct sun so this is just a shade shot.  Not bad though!  Sadly these chalky holos still come off super fast.  I applied this last night and had to touch up my mani this morning before snapping a pic.  The good news is that this is gorgeous and it is self evening.  If you need to touch up the tips you can simply blot some on the tips of your nails only and it will blend in perfectly.  Win!  I seriously love this holo and have already put in an order for a few more. 

I hope you like it!