Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Le Lacquer Hook Up Turns 3!

Le Lacquer Hook Up turns 3 today!

I am both surprised and happy that my blog has lasted so long. Even though it didn't grow much this year, I treasure the fact that I'm able to make LLHU into something that I enjoy. I love that I'm not met with the unrealistic demands and pressures that big blogs face.

I have a few things for LLHU next year in mind. However, nothing is promised yet. I will most likely be taking the next huge step in my life (provided that I don't suddenly decide to minor in something). It's going to be an enormous change, one that I'm not sure I'm ready for yet. (Then again, how many people are for this kind of change?) I'm not sure what route I'll be taking on this journey, but I'm thinking going with the flow may be my best option right now. (Along with beefing up my resume... Ahem.) Anyway, I definitely plan on swatching more of my collection next year, which has steadied over the past month or so. I'm really glad because I'd really like to play with the polishes I already have.

Goals I have in mind for LLHU for the new year (Can you believe it's already 2015?!) :
  1. Do my best to swatch more of my collection.
  2. Only buy polishes I really like and will wear more than twice.
  3. Don't pressure myself to swatch and review. Remember to take my time and enjoy life.
  4. Settle on a nail shape. I'm always changing between rounds and squovals. It's annoying.
  5. Turn to painting my nails (and playing with my precious cat baby) when I need to destress or distract myself from what life throws my way. Because we all need something to do as therapy.
That's really all, honestly.

I hope to continue this journey with you all! Happy New Year!

See you on the other side of the day!


Thursday, December 25, 2014

Sinful Colors Ruby Ruby (Revisited) + KBShimmer Kringle All the Way


Sinful Colors Ruby Ruby (index and pinky fingers) is a lively cherry red jelly. Even though it was a one-coater on my short nails, I used 2 coats to deepen the color. The formula was just as amazing as I remembered. It was extremely pigmented and a breeze to apply. No cleanup necessary! It dried shiny, but I still used top coat.  Ruby Ruby is a solid red polish that I definitely recommend. You can do jelly sandiwches with it too!

KBShimmer Kringle All the Way (middle and ring fingers) is a jolly mix of silver holo shimmer, red and green metallic dots, and silver holo dots in a clear base. I dabbed 1 coat onto my bare nails so I could properly show this wonderful Christmas glitter mix. (I overdabbed on my fingers on my left hand though... But is there such a thing as too much glitter?) This polish has me in the holiday spirit! :D I placed the bottle upside-down for a while before I painted my nails. Just as I thought, there was too much clear base so I had to dab on and maneuver the glitters to evenly distribute them. The large green dots were harder to get out than the red and silver ones. Despite the tricky application, I still love this polish! In the future, I'll use a makeup sponge to soak up the excess clear base and then dab the glitter onto my nails. It dried a bit bumpy because of the large dot glitters so I used top coat to smooth it out.

Kringle All the Way was KBShimmer's 2013 Toys for Tots polish and is now back again for a limited run! Definitely get it while you still can! ;)

Thanks for looking! See you on the other side of the day!


Saturday, December 20, 2014

Les Nail Smiths: December 2014 - Kaleidoscope/Leadlighting

Apologies for the late Les Nail Smiths post! While Millie has already graduated (with a B.S. in Chemistry no less!), I am still in college (currently a senior - the final stretch!) so I had to focus on finals before my winter break. Now, I am back and blogging! I realized how much I missed painting my nails as it's extremely therapeutic to me.

I have always wanted to do leadlighting ever since I found out about this interesting technique. Leadlighting is when you stamp an image using black (usually) onto a white base, filling in the image with jelly polishes. You can also make your own tinted polishes using clear polish and a few drops of colored polishes! :D

First, I applied a white base and then used black to stamp an image from Moyou Kaleidoscope Plate 05 (which is actually better for those with long/big nails). I'm still a stamping novice so please be kind to me about the terrible image placement. :P I'm doing my best and slowly improving! :) Coincidentally, Millie also used a plate from the same Moyou Kaleidoscope collection! I guess great minds think alike, huh? ;) Anyway, after the stamping was dry, I randomly splotched on the OPI Sheer Tints, making sure that the colors overlapped each other so I could create gradients. The sheer tints were thick and stringy and the brushes were TINY. I had a difficult time using them, but I got the effect I wanted so I guess it's fine. Feeling unsure of the mani because it didn't turn out as I imagined it, I topped it off with China Glaze Fairy Dust. It seriously makes everything magical!

Thanks for looking! See you on the other side of the day!


Saturday, November 29, 2014

Polka Dots & Pearls

Today, I have a mani I wore back in the summer! I had forgotten about this cute mani until now. :( It was my first time using the pearls I bought from Born Pretty Store. As you can see, the base color peeked through the pearls so I recommend only wearing light colors when using them. Even though they're bumpy, they didn't catch on anything! :) They lasted the whole length of my mani and only came off when I removed my mani. (I think I used Seche Vite or Essie Good to Go Top Coat. I'm not sure though.)

For my base, I used Claire's Happy Go Lucky. I used my second smallest dotting tool (my preferred size for polka dots) and Zoya Purity for the polka dots. Using an orange stick with wax on one of its ends, I mounted on the pearls and shaped them into a bow. I adhered the pearls with top coat.

Thanks for looking! See you on the other side of the day!


Thursday, November 27, 2014

Essie Luxedo + Starrily Ultima


Essie Luxedo (index and middle fingers) is a vampy, red-toned purple crelly. In certain lighting, it can look black because it's such a dark shade. I absolutely love vampy colors so this is very much my style! I used 2 coats. The formula was terrific! It was so easy to apply and control the polish, which is great for vampy polishes because they can stain. It's very pigmented so I recommend using two coats of base coat to prevent possible staining. It dried extremely shiny, but I still used top coat. Luxedo is a stunner, and I definitely recommend it if you're an aficionado of vampy shades!

Starrily Ultima (ring and pinky fingers) is a stunning combination of silver shimmer and linear and scattered holographic silver glitter. It can be used as a layering or full-coverage glitter. For this swatch, I decided to use it as a full-coverage glitter. It's the silver version of the equally-beautiful Starrily King Midas. (I love both just as much as the other.) You definitely need both polishes in your collection! I used 3 somewhat thin coats. The formula was great since the polish was easy to apply and control. It dried slightly gritty so I used top coat to smooth it out.

I purchased Starrily Ultima from Starrily's shop.

Thanks for looking! Happy Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Elle Vintage Charm + Zoya Tomoko


Elle Vintage Charm (index and middle fingers) is a pinky-brown nude creme. Dare I say that it's the PERFECT nude creme for me!  In certain lightings, it looks like I have mannequin hands. :D I've been searching so long for such a color! I used 3 coats. The formula was passable and easy to control. With each coat, it got thicker. I expected a lot more from a brand like Elle. However, it was very hot when I painted my nails so I'm not ruling out that the heat affected the application. It dried shiny, but I still used top coat.

Zoya Tomoko (ring and pinky fingers) is a gorgeous champagne textured shimmer. It's very neutral and would look great with any polish color and skintone. I used 3 coats, but I think I could have gotten away with just two. The formula was good, though a bit thin and runny. It dried and texturized quickly. I didn't use top coat in order to preserve the textured finish. I highly recommend you get Tomoko! It's a wonderful addition to any collection.

Thanks for looking! See you on the other side of the day!


Thursday, November 20, 2014

Maybelline Walk in the Park


Maybelline Walk in the Park is a very dark green creme. It looks like it has a blue undertone, but I didn't see it in real life. In certain lights, it looks black. I used 2 coats. The formula was wonderful! It was very pigmented and easy to apply. Now, after having tried Clearly Spotted and Walk in the Park, I've really grown to love Maybelline polishes. The mini-size is just right too! (Because who what kind of nail polish addict finishes full-sized polishes anyway?)

Thanks for looking! See you on the other side of the day!


Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Urban Outfitters Pink Holo


Urban Outfitters Pink Holo is a wonderful, light pink with very strong linear holo. I used 3 coats. The formula was fantastic because it was super easy to control and apply! It dried quickly. I didn't use base or top coat since it was a holographic polish. Pink Holo is amazing and one you definitely need in your collection!

Thanks for looking! See you on the other side of the day!


Thursday, November 13, 2014

Starrily Galaxy


Starrily Galaxy is a stunning mix of red, orange, yellow, blue, pink, and fuchsia metallic and holographic star, dot, and hex glitter. It's seriously out of this world! (Sorry not sorry.) I used 1 coat over Wet 'n Wild Black Creme. The formula was alright. It was a bit thick and a lot of the bigger glitters sunk to the bottom. I was able to apply the smaller glitters normally, but had to fish out and dab on the bigger glitters. It dried a bit bumpy so I used top coat to smooth it out.

I purchased Galaxy from Starrily's shop.

Thanks for looking! See you on the other side of the day!


Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Jade Uau!


Jade Uau! is a coppery orange with strong linear holo. It's more coppery/brown-toned than many swatches showed so I was pretty surprised when I first wore it. Nevertheless, I still think it's beautiful. I used 3 coats, though I could have gotten away with just 2. The formula was good and easy to apply, but thickened a bit with successive coats. It dried fairly quickly. I actually applied Uau! over OPI Nail Envy (because I was too lazy to remove my base coat... heh), but didn't have any problems doing so. No top coat.

I bought Uau! from Llarowe.

Thanks for looking! See you on the other side of the day!


Thursday, November 6, 2014

Julep Clara


Julep Clara is a darling, neutral-toned peach creme. It's neither too orange nor too pink so it will work for many skintones. (It pulls more orange in the swatch though.) I really adore it and think it's such a great "nude" polish! I used 2 coats. The formula was good, especially for such a pale shade. It was pigmented, very thick, and buttery, but easy to apply. Since it's so thick, it didn't level well, but a good top coat should be able to fix that. It dried shiny, but I still used top coat.

Thanks for looking! See you on the other side of the day!


Tuesday, November 4, 2014

China Glaze Wish on a Starfish


China Glaze Wish on a Starfish is a beautiful warm light pink texture, glistening with gold shimmer. It reminds me of a peach for some reason... I used 3 coats, but it was still a little patchy. The formula was sheer and thin, but easy to control and not runny. The texture didn't materialize until a couple minutes after I had finish painting. It also took a bit to dry completely and smoothly. I didn't use top coat in order to preserve the textured finish. I left my adorable cats on my middle and ring fingers because I couldn't bare to take them off just yet. <3 They make for such a cute mani! :3

Thanks for looking! See you on the other side of the day!


Saturday, November 1, 2014

Les Nail Smiths: November 2014 - Cute Animals

It's finally November! Now we're nearing to big, scrumptious dinners and holiday breaks! (And hopefully actual fall weather...) This time for LNS, Millie from the Nail Smith had the honor of choosing the prompt. She wanted to use some nail art decals she recently got so she chose "Cute Animals". I was finally able to do the mani pictured below thanks to this prompt! :D I couldn't before because I was too busy burning out from midterms.

This mani is actually an ode to my pet baby, Alice. <3 She's a British Shorthair and has a right eye that's blue and a left one that's gold. She's so adorable and friendly and loving. <3 :3 (That's enough gushing for now~)

I used Zoya Purity as my base. I freehanded the cat heads and ears with Purity's brush. Using my second smallest dotting tool, I dotted on the eyes with Sally Hansen Barracuda and Julep Catrina. I painted the inside of the ears and whiskers with a brush from Born Pretty Store (whoops, forgot to write down which one!) using Love & Beauty Pink and NYC Sidewalkers, respectively.

Check out Millie's mani for this prompt here! :)

Thanks for looking! See you on the other side of the day!


Friday, October 31, 2014

Nailed It Tag

Today, I have something different for you guys! Little Beauty Bag, one of the great blogs I follow, posted this tag a bit ago. I really liked the tag so I decided to do it myself as well.

1. Which color family of nail polish do you own the most of?

Without a doubt, it's blue! I'm a sucker for them! ;)

2. Name your most favorite memory you associate with a specific polish.

Chanel Taboo. Ever since I saw swatches of it, I scavenged the web for dupes. The best dupe I found was from Kiko, but it's a European brand not sold where I live. :( But while hanging out with my high school friends this past summer, I found it in a department store. They knew how much I loved Taboo and bought it for me. <3

3. What's your best-kept secret for chip-free polish?

I don't have one actually. Polish, from any brand, usually wear really well on me. Above are the base and top coats I usually use.

4. Which brand do you own the most colors of and why is that formula your favorite?  

Unsurprisingly, it's OPI! I love the consistency of the polishes - they're usually wonderful, opaque, and easy to apply. However, there are a few polishes that are runny or require at least 3 coats to become opaque. (And let's not mention the wide brush.)

5. Name the polish you like the least in your collection and why you still hold onto it.

Hmm... I would say Sally Hansen Yellow Kitty because it takes at least 4 coats to become opaque. It's a really sheer yellow! I keep it because I like the color and was the first polish (I think) in my collection.

6. Name your holy grail of nail polish remover! 

I haven't tried that many nail polish removers, but, out of all the ones I've tried, I like Zoya Remove Plus the best. However, I don't like the slightly sticky residue that's left behind after using it.

7. If you use glitter or nail effects, which is your favorite brand, and why?

This is a super tough question! I really love my indies, and most of them are glitterbomb toppers or in a jelly base. I would say Candy Lacquer for glitter polishes and Zoya Pixies for nail effects. (Ahhh, this question makes me remember about Glitter Lamb polishes. I really want to try out her glitters!)

8. Do you match your toes to your nails when you re-polish?

Nope, never! Actually, I don't even paint my toenails a lot of the time. But if I do, then I usually wear nude polishes.

9. Name the specific polishes you've repurchased more than twice to show us your holy grail colors!

I haven't repurchased any of my polishes twice. I've only repurchased one once (Essie Turquoise & Caicos) because thinner couldn't save my old one and my mom loves to wear the polish. Also, I own two dupes of Chanel Ciel de Nuit/Essie Starry Starry Night. They are Maya Cosmetics Stargazing and Colors by Llarowe Twinkle Twinkle Little Star. I think both are worth having! Heh. (Would having two of the same color, but from different brands count as repurchasing? :P )

10. Do you paint accents nails or only use one color?

Usually, I only use one color because I'm mostly a swatcher. (As you readers may know...) Recently, however, I've been doing two accent nails to speed up swatching my collection... And so I can wear more polishes at a time. :D Above is my favorite combo, which I swatched here.

11. Can you name the oldest nail polish in your collection?

I'm pretty sure they're either China Glaze White Ice, Purple Rain, and Visible Shivers (my dad bought me these three at the same time <3) or Sally Hansen Yellow Kitty.

I tag my nail buddy, Millie of The Nail Smith, and anyone else who would like to do this tag! :)

Thanks for looking! Happy Halloween!