I love American Apparel polishes. They come in all kinds of beautiful colours – plenty of work-appropriate neutrals, but also lots of quirky brights. I’ve tried around seven of them, and all of them have stellar formulas that go on nearly opaque in just one coat. Best of all, the main line consists of all creme finish polishes (my favourite finish)!
American Apparel’s The Valley is a flat light-medium robin egg blue creme, and is no different from the other AA polishes. Gorgeous formula, easy application, exceptional finish and colour. The photo makes it look like it leans slightly turquoise, but I would say it’s a true blue. It’s bright, but not in-your-face obnoxious.
Some people complain that the AA formula is a touch on the thick side, but as long as you’re careful with the brush by removing all of the excess polish, including the polish collecting on the stem of the brush (there is a lot on there), you’ll be fine. A few drops of nail polish thinner should also help.
Sorry for the hiatus! Finals season hit and I barely found time to put on a fresh coat of polish, let alone photograph and blog about it. I’m back now to share a polish I bought in celebration of finishing all my undergrad exams!
Illasmaqua’s Jo’mina. This is a colour you have to see in real life to appreciate – I haven’t seen anything like this by another brand. It’s a very bright warm purple creme. It’s nearly neon and has the quality of purple highlighter. In fact, I held up my fingers to a purple highlighter I have and it is the exact same colour. Jo’mina is very opaque (i.e. not at all a jelly, unlike American Apparel’s Neon Violet – review here - full disclosure though, Neon Violet is a completely different colour) and goes on near-flawlessly in one coat. I used two coats, mostly out of habit, and to go over some tiny patchy bits.
I salivate over this. I can’t stop looking at my fingers. I’m constantly surprised by how gosh darn BRIGHT this is. I mean, as bright as it can get for a light-medium purple creme. You need this. Worth the $18CAD, I would say, as this is a colour I see myself going back to time and time again, especially for the warmer months.
On a somewhat unrelated note, who else is peeved that we Vancouverites only get Illamasqua nail varnishes here? I’m waiting with bated breath for the full makeup range to arrive at some point. Fingers crossed!
I’m a huge fan of coral. If I had to choose one colour to wear for the rest of my life, I think this would be it. It’s the perfect mix of orange, pink, and red to make such a happy and summer-y hue. I probably own too many coral polishes for one girl (actually, you could cross out the word “coral” and this sentence would still be valid).
Essie’s California Coral. One of the first corals I’ve owned, and one of my favourites. A lot of other ones tend to be too orange or pink. This one has a nice mix of everything, and it’s not so saturated or dark that it veers into one colour or another. It has kind of a strange formula – a creme-jelly hybrid? If you apply sloppily, the colour can appear patchy and darker in some areas. Best to use one thin coat followed with a thicker one to avoid that.
Of course the name of this polish would be appropriate for me to wear on my grad dinner night – I am a Commerce student after all! I gotta make the big bucks :p
Sally Hansen’s Gem Crush Nail Color in Big Money. I’m not a huge fan of glitters – they’re terrifying to remove and a little too much for everyday wear. I do love this one though! The tiny base glitters are a neutral gold, almost metallic taupe, interspersed with larger round particles of lavender glitter. It’s one of the more unique and wearable ones I’ve seen, and it’s pretty dense for a glitter polish. Tips: To make removal easier though, I started with a coat of OPI’s Tickle My France-y (review & swatch here), and used two coats of Big Money. Also, glitters tend to “eat up” top coat , so you might want to use two layers of top coat if you want that ultra-glossy smooth finish.
Close-up of the neutral gold + lavender glitters
Bonus – it went with my dress beautifully! (Say hello to my friend Justina on the right – she was integral in persuading me to start this blog, by the way! Justina, don’t hate me for using this photo please :p).
Has the weather been treating you well, wherever you are? It’s slowly getting warmer here in Vancouver, and now that spring’s officially arrived, I think it’s time to break out the appropriate colours :)
Chanel’s Le Vernis in June. I’ve been incredibly drawn to these kinds of pale peachy colours ever since using Essie’s A Crewed Interest (review here). This one is more of a pale orange, with the slightest drop of pink in there. Reminds me of a creamsicle! I’ve gotten a tan over my Reading Break, and this colour just serves to make my hands look even more sunkissed. Love.
Application was easy. Not the best, as it is a tiny bit sheer – I needed three coats to even everything out and achieve my desired opacity.
Hope everyone has something fun planned for St Patrick’s Day! If you don’t already have a manicure planned for the occasion (as normal people typically do…bahaha), here’s one to consider!
Revlon’s Posh! A fabulous creamy and bright medium grass green. It doesn’t lean particularly to the yellow or blue side. As a comparison, it’s around the same deepness as OPI’s Jade is the New Black (review here), but considerably less blue-tinged. Not much to say about this, except that the formula was absolutely divine – opaque in one coat (two shown here just to smooth everything out), and the brush was easy to work with. A perfect St Patty’s Day colour if I do say so myself!
You know you have
too much a lot of nail polish when you can do a near-perfect ombre manicure without having to mix any colours at all. Thankfully, I did have to mix two colours for this mani – definitive proof that I, in fact, do not have a problem…maybe.
- Thumb – OPI’s You Don’t Know Jacques (possibly my favourite taupe)
- Index – Leighton Denny’s Supermodel (not available in North America as far as I know. Got it for free in an issue of Cosmo UK, I think, sometime in the summer. I’ve always wanted to try the brand so I was very excited about this freebie. Why don’t US magazines give freebies like the UK ones do?!)
- Middle – OPI’s Tickle My France-y (possibly my favourite neutral)
- Ring – 1 part OPI’s Tickle My France-y, and 1 part each of two Sally Hansen Complete Salon Manicure colours in Wet Clay and Lavender Cloud
- Pinky – 1 part Wet Clay and 1 part Lavender Cloud
Mixing the colours wasn’t actually that difficult. I used a piece of plastic packaging as my palette to mix colours on. I put a generous drop of each polish colour onto the plastic, and used the brush from one of the actual bottles to mix and apply. Make sure to mix enough for two fingers, and apply it to the same finger on both hands before proceeding to the next one – you don’t know want your unique polish colour to sit on the plastic for too long and dry up!
As for those worried about using a brush from an existing bottle, I wouldn’t be too concerned about it. The colours you’ll mix are likely to be similar, so any “tainting” of the original colour will be marginal.
An easy and fun way to expand your mani “repertoire” :)