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I decided to combine my nail polish blog with my monthly/mystery box reviews blog! If you enjoy my posts, please come visit me at my new home:

http://lacquerfiend.wordpress.com OR

http://www.lacquerfiend.com, which currently redirects to the WordPress.com site.

I may post here again, but for now, WordPress is where I’m going to be posting new stuff. Thanks!

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It’s finally starting to feel like autumn around here, so I thought I’d do some fall-themed nails. The photo shows day 2 - holding up pretty well!

All fingers have at least 2 coats of Orly Nite Owl (the middle finger has 3 coats and looks slightly grayer and more opaque), and the ring finger has an additional 2 coats of Nfu-Oh 58 and 1 coat of Essie As Gold As It Gets.

Orly describes Nite Owl as a taupe shimmer, which is pretty accurate, but there’s just something amazing about this polish. I usually don’t go for nudes because I find them boring (just for myself, not on others!), but Nite Owl is not boring! The fine silver shimmer adds a lot of dimension and looks subtle and soft, rather than flashy. Reminds me of a cozy sweater. The formula is a bit sheer but builds up to full opacity in 3 thin coats. It’s mostly opaque in 2, but not completely. Really easy to apply, too.

Nfu-Oh 58 is a rust/burnt-orange jelly with matching opalescent flakes. It shifts rainbow colors in the bottle, but on the nail, it’s mostly in the peridot-to-orange spectrum, at least on me. Still very pretty, like fallen leaves in this combo, and the formula was easy to work with. I nabbed this - along with Nfu-Oh 51 (finally!), the polish that launched my nail polish obsession - from FabulouStreet.com slightly on sale for $11.25 (reg. $12.50). I love this line (Nfu-Oh Victorian Series), but it’s sadly discontinued. At least it’s still available readily for now.

As Gold As It Gets added just that subtle gold flaking that I was looking for. It’s sparse, small gold flakes in a variety of sizes, suspended in a clear base, and applies smoothly. Some dabbing might be needed in the way of glitters, but that’s to be expected.

This set, used with Gelous and Orly Bonder below and Seche Vite on top, is proving to be nicely durable and looks about the same on the third day (just some tip wear and barely noticeable tiny chips), despite my usual shenanigans.

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Trying out some Julep October 2013 colors! This month’s rebel theme apparently inspired colors that really suit my personal style. Day 2 of Ciara (index & pinky, 2 coats), Valerie (middle, 2 coats), and Missy (1 coat) topped with Beatrix dabbed on in a rough gradient (ring).

Ciara is beautiful, as I expected, and I’m suspecting it might look similar to Orly Galaxy Girl or Duri Kingdom of Shadows, though it might be slightly cooler-toned. Unfortunately, I don’t have either yet, so I can’t do a direct comparison. In any case, it’s a beautiful brown-leaning wine-purple jelly with teal/purple shimmer, and it’s opaque in two thin coats. Applies beautifully, as well.

Valerie can actually be a one-coater, as it’s pretty smoothly opaque in just single coat, but I went ahead and did two, anyway, just to see if it’d build up further. Turns out there was no need - it really is good to go in one coat! The polish is described by Julep as having an iridescent shimmer, which looks to be true up close, but it comes off as primarily gold to me. A lovely, bold teal polish with an excellent formula.

Missy is also a one-coater and is super shiny and chrome-y. Its formula is similar to Valerie’s: slightly thick but with excellent, opaque application. For reference, it’s visibly darker and cooler toned than Amity, less yellow than Sienna, and less pink than Zelda.

Beatrix definitely fits the Halloween theme and comprises black and holo microglitter, small black hex glitter, and larger gold hex glitter in a clear base. It’s a bit goopy, as can be expected for a glitter, but isn’t difficult to apply. I can imagine using this during times other than Halloween, too. I bet it’d look awesome over white.

I really love Julep’s October colors this year - they’re so vivid and apply really well so far.

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Maybelline Color Show Polka Dots Blue Marks the Spot, 3 thinnish coats, Gelous on the bottom, and 1 coat Seche Vite, 1 coat Gelous, and another coat Seche Vite on top for smoothness. :)

I really like this style of milky jelly plus bold matte multi-size glitters that I’ve mostly seen in indie polishes (another addiction in of itself :P), and I was frankly surprised to see this in a drugstore polish. From browsing various online sources, it looks like these were out since the summer, but yesterday was the first time I’d seen them at my local store.

I picked this up at CVS for a pretty good deal - $3.99 and buy one, get one 50% off, plus other coupons. The Color Show polishes are a little less than half-sized (0.23 fl. oz.), so it works out to about $6 per 0.5 fl. oz. at the sale price, which isn’t too bad. I would’ve liked the green one (Drops of Jade) as well, but I got the orange (Dotty) instead because Jade was sadly out of stock. Should be good for Halloween!

The formula is nice and smooth, the glitters are effortless to apply (a little bit of glitter-style dabbing required, but a lot goes on even with regular swiping), and it dries to a smooth, glassy finish. It’s very sheer, though. I’ve seen online swatches where people have gotten the polish to look more pigmented somehow, but either my particular bottle or my technique result in less opacity at three layers. Luckily, I don’t mind a sheer polish, and the glitter makes me think of Oreos. I bet this polish would be great sandwiched with a shimmer or regular jelly!

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I’ve grown to really love textured polishes, especially the mega sparkly ones.

This is OPI Jinx (from this year’s Bond Girls collection, Liquid Sand) on thumb, index, and pinky and Zoya Tomoko (Pixie Dust) on the middle and ring. Two coats of each, with Orly Nail Defense and Orly Bonder underneath, and Seche Vite on top. The photo was taken in natural light, in the shade; it’s much brighter in full sun.

Jinx is officially one of my favorites in my stash. It’s a hot, fiery red-pink-orange with some gold glitter mixed in and sparkles like the dickens in the sun. It looks primarily bright red-orange, but from some angles, you can really see the pink undertone. Love.

Tomoko is a demure champagne gold and is also glittery like metallic sugar. I would comment on its wearability in a professional setting, but who am I kidding? I wear all colors and textures to work, even with my suits/professional getup, and people can think what they want, so I’m not the best person to be making that judgment. ;P The color is classy, though.

Both polishes dry to a very sparkly, fine sandy texture, and both formulas were excellent and applied smoothly with little effort. I only put Seche Vite on because I’m too impatient to wait for nail polish to dry on its own.

Update 9/29/13: I love Jinx, but it stained my nails something fierce when it was removed, despite base coat. I don’t love Jinx any less for it - just thought I’d warn you all. :)

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Index & ring: 1 coat Orly Nail Defense, 2 coats Orly Gumdrop, 1 coat China Glaze Ghoulish Glow, no additional top coat.

Middle & pinky: 1 coat Orly Nail Defense, 1 coat Orly Gumdrop, 2 coats Orly Pretty-Ugly, 1 coat Seche Vite.

I wanted minty nails this week but wanted to try out a glow-in-the-dark top coat (China Glaze Ghoulish Glow) to see how much it affects the underlying color. I didn’t leave a control nail with only Gumdrop to compare, but Ghoulish Glow did add a yellowish tint to the color and dried matte. Gives the color a kind of zombie-ish, faded cast, but I guess that’d be fine for Halloween. :] It does glow green in the dark!

I really love Pretty-Ugly (bottle pictured) and its soft cyan/blue/purple shimmer. It’s one of my favorites from Orly’s Mash-Up collection from this summer, and the photo doesn’t properly capture the sparkle that I love about it. It’s really sheer, though, even at 2-3 coats, so I used Gumdrop as a base, since it’s already reasonably opaque at 1 coat. In life, Pretty-Ugly is kind of a chameleon. It shifts from baby blue to mint to super bright aquamarine in this combination. (It’s just slightly bluer in person than in this picture; I may have over color corrected to make up for my hands looking overly pink in the original image. D:)

I like Gumdrop, too. It’s an opaque minty turquoise creme that’s just a tad greener than Pretty-Ugly - Pretty-Ugly’s bluer tone looks better with my skin, though, so I might be using Gumdrop as a base for it more often. The formula’s a little sticky, but smooths out pretty well on the second coat, especially with top coat.

I’m really excited about using my Halloween polishes soon - so excited that I might not be able to wait until October!

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Chocolate-inspired nails this week - a bit more subdued than my usual, maybe. :] This is Day 2.

Julep Fiore (from the September box and which I’d oddly not tried until now) on the index and pinky fingers; Nuance Dark Earth on the middle and ring fingers, as well as the tip of the index finger; and Pure Ice Bare It All on the pinky and tip of middle finger.

I still think Fiore's too purple for an espresso brown, but it's a beautiful color. Dark Earth is a lovely warm brown frost with reddish flecks - the brush strokes don’t show up too much, if you’re careful. Both applied smoothly - no complaints on formula.

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I think I’m in love with Tatiana (the sparkly pumpkin orange polish up there).

My September 2013 Julep Maven box just came in, and I was dying to try out the colors I chose - Tatiana (all fingers but ring) and Reece (ring finger), since I went with the Modern Beauty box this month and just got add-ons. Bright oranges are some of my favorite colors, so Tatiana was a must for me. In this picture, my middle finger also has a touch of Wet ‘n’ Wild Fergie Glamorous for texture.

In person, Tatiana is fiercely sparkly, not to mention bright and juicy. Julep describes it as a “[g]olden burnt orange microglitter," but it’s not quite brownish enough that I’d call it a burnt orange, personally, and the finish is metallic enough that it makes me think of an extra sparkly foil. The base, interestingly, is kind of rose-tinted, which gives the overall polish a slightly pinkish tinge from some angles, which I’m a fan of.

Reece's holographic micro glitters in a dusky purple-looking base also caught my eye, but I was surprised to see in person that Reece is actually more of a deep gray. The purple seems to be part of a subtly dichroic sheen (it seems to flash green at the corners in the bottle but is otherwise purple), rather than the actual base color. It’s kind of similar to Blakely that way, though Reece is much more consistently purple, and Blakely more often appears as green. As a result, my nails look a little precociously Halloween in certain light, instead of an almost-complementary combination of orange and purple. Oh, well. I guess I’ll be festive early!

Surprisingly to me, Reece by itself dries matte and looks gritty and dull without topcoat. I think it’s much better with a glossy topcoat, and the holographic glitters, to my delight, are still visible as a twinkle of rainbow colors every time I move. I thought Reece would be my favored color of the two, since it really does remind me of a starry night sky, but Tatiana has so much more sparkle that I’m going to have to name her the winner.

Both applied smoothly and required about two coats for opacity.

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Orly Purple Poodle, plus Orly Digital Glitter on the ring finger, both from Orly’s fall 2013 Surreal collection. Some people balk at the idea of a fall collection that isn’t mostly earthy neutrals, but I’m one of those people who will wear any color any time of year, and I find Orly’s fall set refreshingly different.

This picture was taken on day 2, so there’s a tiny bit of tip wear, but so far, so good.

Purple Poodle is almost shockingly different on the nail, even with 4 coats for opacity. In the bottle (pictured in the first photo above), it looks like a deep plum with blue flecks/flakes, but the bottle color is completely misleading. On the nail, it’s an intense raspberry jelly with dense blue/purple flecks/shimmer and a smattering of opaque blue/purple micro glitter mixed in. It’s still a tiny bit translucent after 4 coats, but I don’t mind that in a polish. Very vibrant and fun, but not what I expected at all.

Digital Glitter is an interesting multidimensional glitter mix in a clear base (bottle in second photo). Its predominant color is a smoky purple that seems to come from a dichroic purple/gold micro glitter, but the extra complexity comes from the larger silver square glitter, small round black or gunmetal glitter, and a sprinkle of tiny rose or red glitter. The rose/red glitter, especially, pops from certain angles.

Overall, I’m a fan of both polishes. They both applied well and dried relatively fast. Magenta/fuchsia isn’t usually one of my favorite nail colors, but I really like this one. I’ll have to try the glitter over another, less overpowering color sometime, to get a better feel for it, maybe over black.

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Well, I couldn’t find online swatches of Orly’s new Surreal collection for fall 2013, so I just had to try them out for myself. I know this isn’t a dedicated swatch post, but I hope this helps someone!

Index finger: 3 coats Orly Angel Rain on its own. It’s a lovely, sheer baby blue metallic with what looks like a dichroic lilac/green sheen that doesn’t show much in the photo and is more subtle on the nail than in the bottle. Interesting and hard to describe. I’m going to have to try this on another color to see how it works out!

Ring finger: 2 coats Pixie Powder on its own. This one’s a very sparkly lavender and pink micro glitter, with what looks to be a sprinkling of holographic micro glitter, in a clear base.

Middle finger & pinky: 3 coats Angel Rain and 1 coat Orly Pixie Powder - not bad together!

Both formulas glided on smoothly, but both are very sheer. I think they’d both probably work best layered over other colors.

Update 8/27/13: After wearing it for about a week (I had chips after 3-4 days, but I was also doing some nail-unfriendly work with electronics, so your mileage may vary), I’ve decided Angel Rain was meant to be worn on its own as a translucent color, and it’s grown on me. :] Both it and Pixie Powder were very easy to remove; I didn’t have trouble with Pixie Powder, despite the glitter.