Category Archives: jelly

Black and blue (and silver, too)

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Disclosure:  These polishes were provided by SinfulColors for review.

More SinfulColors polishes from their back-to-school collection called Class Act!

SC Class Act

Today let’s look at three very different ones that go together better than I ever could have imagined.

Casablanca Ice Blue Blackboard bottles

Left to right:  Casablanca (#966, repromote), Blackboard (no number on my bottle, new), and Ice Blue (#1405, repromote)  Three polishes, three different colors, three very different finishes.

Casablanca is a bright silver chrome that was a one-coater for me.  Blackboard is a demi-matte or satin, almost a jelly.  Ice Blue is a sheer topper, periwinkle blue and silver shimmer in a sheer blue base.

Here are the polishes solo — one coat of Casablanca, two coats of Blackboard, and one coat of Ice Blue, first under indirect outdoor light and then with a fill flash:

Casablanca Ice Blue Blackboard outd

Casablanca Ice Blue Blackboard flash

You can see that brushstrokes are visible with Casablanca (typical for a chrome) and that Ice Blue is very sheer.

Let’s up the game and look at:  one coat of Ice Blue over one coat of Casablanca, one coat of Ice Blue over two coats of Blackboard, and three coats of Ice Blue alone, same lighting conditions:

Casablanca Ice Blue Blackboard outd2

Casablanca Ice Blue Blackboard flash2

Wow!   I still think Ice Blue is a bit too sheer on its own, but I LOVE it over the silver and the black, especially the black.  Ice Blue would probably also be great over dark blue, dark purple, etc.

Disclosure:  These polishes were provided by SinfulColors for review.

On the World Wide Webz:

OPI Color Paints Mini Set — complete review

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Disclosure:  These OPI polishes were supplied by LALacquer for review.

Before I get started, a shout out — big thanks to LALacquer,, for supplying me with this awesome OPI mini set.  I didn’t even ask for them; no, LALacquer (who is in Iowa, not L.A.) saw my post mentioning the polishes and offered them to me.  Thanks, Lyn, for the great set and for reading The Silver Nail and realizing that we women of a certain age LOVE our polish and buy lots!

I first talked about the OPI Color Paints here.  As swatches started appearing in the past few weeks, I saw that these polishes are sheer jellies that are more opaque that last year’s Sheer Tints from OPI.  The Sheer Tints had four colors:  violet, yellow, pink, and blue.   I kept meaning to buy them but never did.  Polish pennies were frittered away elsewhere.

But when I saw the Color Paints I thought, “Want.”  More colors and less translucence sounded good to me:  yellow, pink, magenta/red, orange, green, blue, turquoise, and purple, plus a silver base coat.

Some bloggers have shown what happens when you use several coats of the Color Paints alone and try for opacity.  As you might guess, the darker colors are more successfully used this way.  For some great swatches, see The PolishAholic.

But I’m not interested in trying for opacity.  Personally I’d rather wear the Color Paints is as a top coat over various colors.  This way you can get more mileage out of your other polishes.  The Color Paints are being marketed as great for nail art too — swirling combos over white, used with striping tape or a dotting tool, layered, you name it.

OPI color paints mini set

The Color Paints set contains ultra-mini size bottles (usual for OPI minis) of 1/8 oz. or 3.75 mL.  Polishes included are:

  • Silver Canvas base color
  • Primarily Yellow
  • Chromatic Orange
  • Pen & Pink (love that punny name)
  • Purple Perspective
  • Turquoise Aesthetic

OPI CP bottles

Other colors in the line, but not included in the mini set are:

  • Magenta Muse
  • Indigo Motif
  • Landscape Artist (grass green)

Silver Canvas is a shiny silver chrome that shows brushstrokes a bit more than I prefer.  Still, it’s fun to try the sheers over it and I have plenty of other silvers I can use when this little bottle runs out.  Two coats under indirect bright sunshine:

OPI CP silver

It really is bright all by itself, practically luminous.  With the flash:

OPI CP silver flash

The sheer colors are streaky on the first coat but look good with two coats.  Over Silver Canvas, left to right, the purple, pink, orange, and yellow.

OPI CP sheers over silver

By itself since my thumbnail is out of commission and I have no extra fingers on this hand, the turquoise over Silver Canvas, sorry the lighting is not right:

OPI CP turq over silver

Let’s try something else.  Say you’ve been wearing another polish for a few days and want to freshen your manicure.  Add some Color Paints!  Here’s a subtle, light-medium warm pink creme, Flora from Zoya.  It looks a bit streaky here and if I was going to wear it alone I would’ve added a third coat:

OPI CP flora base

And now one coat of the purple, pink, orange, and yellow Color Paints as a top coat:


Cool !  I prefer the Color Paints over this creme as opposed to over the chrome.  Looks shinier and less streaky, and only needed one coat.  Let’s compare.

OPI CP sheers comparison

You can really see a difference in how the yellow looks over the silver vs. the pink.

OPI CP turq comparison

As would be the case any time you put one color over a completely different one, be careful not to have any edges of the first color showing.  Also, darker colors are more likely to obscure whatever is underneath them.

Disclosure:  These OPI polishes were supplied by LALacquer for review.


Update on another OPI collection I mentioned here, the Coca-Cola 100th Anniversary of its contoured signature bottle.  It’s out, and LALacquer has it!  I’m going to buy the mini set, along with a few other polishes I’ve been coveting.

Reader request — Layering with pink Zoyas

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Intrepid reader L. had a request to show some Zoya glitters layered over some Zoya cremes.  All polishes are from two Zoya collections last summer called Tickled and Bubbly.  See those linked posts for many pictures of the colors swatched on their own.

Kitridge, Rooney, and Wendy are cremes; Harper and Binx are jelly-like glitters.  All are various shades of pink.

5forcomp 5 polishes

A nice thing about layering or using a glitter top coat is that (a) the “undies,” or underlying base color, doesn’t have to be as neat or as opaque as when you wear it on its own, and (b) the glitter top coat doesn’t need as many coats as when you wear it solo.  All photos are under indirect outdoor light with no additional top coat.

Binx over Kitridge:

5forcomp Binx over Kitridge

Harper over Rooney:

5forcomp Harper over Rooney

Harper over Wendy:

5forcomp Harper over Wendy

All are very pretty; I think it just depends on whether you want a cooler pink or a warmer one.  Both glitters, Binx and Harper, are cool-toned.

And just for yucks, because I’m curious that way, I switched the polishes around.

Harper over Kitridge:

5forcomp Harper over Kitridge

Binx over Rooney:

5forcomp Binx over Rooney

Binx over Wendy:

5forcomp Binx over Wendy

All six looks together for easier comparison, click on this photo for a much larger picture:

5forcomp 6 looks

Sometimes subtle differences can be the most fun!

What can you do with sheer top coats?

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Yesterday I posted about a new set of four sheer top coats from OPI called Sheer Tints.  They come in violet, yellow, pink, and blue.

Some may think, “So what?,” and I was reminded that I already have some tinted top coats which I rarely use.  So I thought I’d trot them out today and show you what they look like.  You can put these over bare nails or any kind of polish.

Remember one of the new Magical PixieDusts from Zoya called Cosmo?  I reviewed the MPDs last month and really liked Cosmo.  Here’s what it looks like with no top coat.

Now let’s bring out three jellies from Zoya that were released as the Gloss Collection in 2012.


Here’s how they look over Cosmo.  Left to right on my nails:  Paloma, Frida, Katherine.

Cosmo w 3 sheer top coats

My middle finger nail (left-most) is not in very good shape, and I needed two coats of Katherine and just one of Paloma and Frida, but you get the idea.  I especially like Frida, the teal.  Katherine is muddier looking than I would prefer for a purple, which is why I want the new violet from OPI, and I’d also like a bright blue.  Don’t need another pink and don’t think I’d use a yellow.

Maybe you’d wear a manicure of one polish plain for a few days and then want a new look without doing a full mani.  Brush a tinted top coat on and voilà!

Strung Out

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Strung Out is both the great polish I’ll be showing you and also how I’m feeling the last few days.  It’s holiday crunch time, company is arriving tomorrow, and my house isn’t clean yet and the gifts aren’t wrapped.  I’ll be taking about a week or so off from blogging to spend time hanging, remora-like, on my son whom I haven’t seen in months and months.

But first, Strung Out!  It’s the third polish I got from KBShimmer.  I’ve shown you Candy Cane Crush and Snow Flaking Way.

Strung Out is a sheer black jelly base with lots of large and medium circle glitter in silver, gold, red, blue, and green.  As I’ve mentioned before, KBShimmer’s bottles are full-sized or 0.5 oz/15 ml, and have a nice sturdy feel.  Handle and brush are average-good.  I used two coats of Strung Out over a black opaque polish on my little finger and over a red opaque polish on my ring finger.  Both are topped with a clear shiny top coat.  This photo is under indirect dull outdoor light.

Strung Out

All circle glitter, no hex glitter — love it!  It really does look like little lights on your fingertips.  My photo is not that good, though, and I’d recommend looking more closely at the pictures of Strung Out on KBShimmer’s site that I linked to above.

I think it looks much better over black polish.  Since the base of Strung Out is sheer black it tends to muddy any other colors underneath it.  I think I’d get more use out of a polish that had the same mix of glitter but in a clear base .  KBShimmer has a polish called Kringle All the Way that seems to have red, green, and silver circle glitter in a clear base.

Merry Christmas to you all and may you have fun and find nail goodies in your stockings!

Snow Flaking Way!

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I played with one of my holiday polishes from indie maker KBShimmer a few weeks ago and loved Candy Cane Crush.  Now I want to show you Snow Flaking Way.

Snow Flaking Way is a sheer blue-toned purple jelly with lots of different glitter.  There’s large circle, medium hex, small hex, micro, and small bar glitter, plus even tiny snowflakes, all mostly silver with some blue.

The KBShimmer bottles are full-sized, sturdy, and stable.  Handle and brush are average-good.  Let me show you Snow Flaking Way first and then discuss it.  This photo is under indirect bright outdoor light.  I have one coat of it on my little finger to show you how sheer it is, three coats of it on my ring finger, and two coats of it over a purple-blue opaque creme on my middle (left-most) finger.  I put a clear shiny top coat on my ring and middle fingers.

Snow Flaking Way

It’s a fun, different polish for sure.  I found I had to fish for the snowflakes (KBShimmer is very up-front about this on their web site) and somewhat had to fish for the large circle glitter.  Three coats of Snow Flaking Way seemed a bit lumpy and I prefer the look of it over the opaque creme.

If and when I wear this as a full manicure, I’d apply it more carefully and wouldn’t place any snowflakes until my last coat before the clear top coat.  The snowflake on my ring fingernail was in the first coat, and its look is slightly obscured by subsequent coats.

Snow Flaking Way isn’t only a holiday polish — you could wear it for a winter look later, or even year-round if you wanted to leave off any of the snowflakes.  Would be pretty as one coat over blue or black, too.  If you’d like something snowy-looking yet lighter in color, take a gander at Snow Much Fun.  work/play/polish has gorgeous swatches here.  Now I’m kinda sorry I didn’t buy Snow Much Fun too!

Each polish is $8.75 for a full-sized 0.5 oz/15 ml bottle, and shipping is free on orders $50 and over.  KBShimmer only ships within the U.S. but refers international buyers to Harlow & Co.


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Something new on my nails today!  It’s Dotty from Maybelline’s Color Show Polka Dots line.

Dotty is a sheer-to-milky orange jelly-like base with small and medium black and white hex glitter.  Unlike some polishes where the glitter is so sparse you have to fish it out with the brush, Dotty had plenty of glitter, so much so that in spots it bunched up and I had to tease it into place.  I used three coats, and with any chunky glitter I think a clear top coat is a must to smooth things out.

It cost $2.97 at Walmart but you only get 0.23 oz/7 ml, or about half as much as a regular bottle of polish.  For a glitter that I won’t wear all that much though, that’s plenty.

Under indirect bright sunshine and then with the flash:

Dotty outd

Dotty flash

I rarely wear orange polish but think this is a fun one for summer or fall.  The glitter’s so thick, however, that I think I might have liked it better as a top coat over, say, an orange or white creme polish.

There are four other polishes in the line — pink, clear, jade green, and blue — all with black & white glitter, so I might try one of them as a top coat and see how that looks.

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