Monday, March 10, 2014

Contrary Polish Dioptase

Dioptase is one of the polishes from the Contrary Polish On The Rocks Winter 2013 collection. Dioptase is also a deep green copper silicate mineral. It tends to be transparent or translucent, and Carrie has given its namesake polish a slightly sheer formula. It is a "bluish green with antique gold and green shimmer" and is a great color for Saint Patrick's Day for those of use who don't do well with the more yellow-y greens that are out there.

In these first pictures I am wearing 3 coats with no topcoat because the shine was so impressive without it. The first coat was rather patchy but the second coat evened things out and the third deepened the color and was almost but not quite enough to completely dispel a visible nail line. I had a teeny bit of trouble applying the polish because the brushes on the mini bottles sometimes are less than ideal but it just meant I had to take a little extra care during application to avoid the janky bristles.

sunshine, no topcoat

Sparkles!! sunshine, no topcoat

I then applied a layer of HK Girl topcoat just to help the manicure last longer on my nails. These next photos are with the topcoat and taken on the second day of wear. All of my photos are taken in sunlight mostly because I was so thrilled to see the sun and have a little bit of warm weather. That is going to change in a day or two and we will see more snow, but for now I am soaking up that solar radiation!

I really like this polish. While I tend not to wear a lot of green, this is a flattering color on me and there is a lot of understated sparkle.

sunlight, with topcoat

sunlight, with topcoat

And here is a photo of the mineral dioptase. Isn't it pretty?

Wikipedia image

You can learn more about Contrary Polish on her Facebook page. She has a number of stockists but also has mini size bottles available directly via her blog, which is where I purchased the bottle for this review.

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Emerald & Ash Deconstructed Daisy

In the process of become a nail polish nut, I have had the pleasure of meeting (virtually) some wonderful ladies who are polish makers. Among those ladies is Ashley, one of the geniuses behind Emerald & Ash Polish (the other is her physicist husband).  The polish I am featuring today was made in honor of her mom's memory and is called Deconstructed Daisy. The name is quite apt as it is features various glitters in white, green and yellow and does indeed look like a Shasta daisy broken down into its component parts.

The base polish I chose to use for this manicure is essie's Pink Diamond. I love the color but like many essie polishes it was a bit on the runny side and this one seems to take forever to dry. I managed to get a nick on my index finger several hours after applying the polish. It is a lovely soft, girly pink I think is particularly flattering on my skin tone however, and it has a soft glow that screams spring to me. I am wearing 3 coats here.


Now on to Emerald & Ash. This is the part where I usually give a disclaimer about how I don't really like glitter and am not particularly skilled at applying it and yet a quick review of my blog shows a remarkable number of posts featuring glitters. I think that is just because they seem to photograph more easily than plain polish. My favorite polish from E&A is a periwinkle holo named Trick, which is actually one of my favorite polishes of all time. It is an amazing holographic with a purple flash and blue/violet flakes. It has tremendous depth and color play on the nail but whenever I try to capture it on camera I end up with an unassuming purple polish. Sigh.

Trick. Soooo pretty in person!!

Deconstructed Daisy applied very well for me. I laid the brush on my nail and dabbed a bit rather than pulling the brush along the nail but didn't really have to place the glitters, they just came off the brush where you see them. This is one coat, topped with my usual HK Girl topcoat.


I love how bright and cheerful this polish is. I am definitely ready for lighter, brighter colors after a long, cold winter!

March 11th is the date celebrating the shop's Primary Circumgyration of its solar orbit (aka its first anniversary). It looks like there will be some celebrations happening on the Emerald & Ash Facebook page next week in honor of that, so you might want to give them a Like! You can find Deconstructed Daisy, Trick, and many more wonderful polishes at

Monday, March 3, 2014

Multiblogger Giveaway - now with pictures!

Multi Blogger Giveaway!

Prize Pack 1 from Glamour Granny (US only):


Carnival Glass, Poe and Vynails from Royal Lacquer.


Geirangerfjord and Trollveggan from Big Spoon Lacquers

Prize Pack 2 from BoomShakaLacquer (US only):


Nimue and Hecate from Daphine Polish

Hellebore and Fireweed from Alchemy Lacquers


Floor 500, Rose and the Dalek, Moon Over Paradise and Moisturize Me 
from Gothic Gala

 mystery prize from Ellagee

Prize Pack 3 from Les Essais Beauté de Schette (Worldwide):


$25 Dazzled gift certificate

Prize Pack 4 from The Crumpet (worldwide):

Llarowe gift certificate

Prize Pack 5 from Amanda Loves Polish (US only): 


Don't Panic and Calypso from Carpe Noctem Cosmetics


 Carnivale and unscented cuticle oil from Northern Star Polish

Prize Pack 6 from Decently Fashionable (US only):


 3 surprise polishes from Pretty Bitch


 mystery nail art package from Decently Fashionable

Prize Pack 7 from Short Nails Need Love Too (US only):

A Star to Sail By and Maui from Indigo Bananas
Sweet Tart and a mini glass file from Model City Polish

Prize Pack 8 from From Lips 2 Tips Mommy Style (US only):

$10 gift certificate to Ruby White Tips

2 surprise polishes from ZR's Polish

2 minis of choice from Marbles for Polish

Multiblogger Giveaway!

I recently joined a Facebook group for folks who swatch and blog about Indie polishes in the hope that it might help me improve my technical skills and frequency of posting. We decided to put together a multiblogger giveaway and I am participating along with SchetteEssaiBeautethe Glamour GrannyThe CrumpetBoom Shaka LacquerDecently Fashionable, and Amanda Loves Polish. This giveaway will run for 3 weeks and is open to both US and International entrants. I will update with pictures of the prize packs later today.

Click the link below to be taken to the Rafflecopter page and enter. Good luck!

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Indigo Bananas A Star To Sail By

A Star to Sail By is a polish from Indigo Banana's "Paradise" collection based on a Willy Wonka theme. The name comes from Wonka's quotation of a line from the beautiful and evocative John Masefield poem "Sea Fever". The polish is equal to the task of bearing that name as it captures the lambent glory of starshine on one's fingertips! I had several people compliment me on my nails while I was wearing this which is something of a rarity for me. It is stunning and as usual, my feeble attempts at photography do it no justice. 

Andrea describes A Star To Sail By as "a smooth, flat silver flake (not glitter) based polish that looks like white gold that leans slightly rosy (paler than true rose gold, but pinker than white gold). This polish is a complex mix of multiple gold flakes, pink flakes, pink to gold flakes, microshimmers and holo microshimmer, with the bulk of it being a real silver metal flake". Whew! It certainly has a lot going on! And yet it all mellows out into a soft glow on the fingertips. This is another polish where I keep being distracted by the flashes of light at the ends of my fingers. Beautiful! 

I started out with two coats of OPI My Very First Knockwurst because I wanted a neutral base. I then added three very thin layers of A Star to Sail By. You can see in the following photo that I didn't quite get complete coverage with those 3 coats but it honestly is only apparent in photos. In real life, the polish looks more metallic than glitter-y. 

Application of this polish was quite straightforward - the silver flakes lay flat and spread normally. I used one coat of HK Girl topcoat and a base of CND Stickey. Cleanup was a little more involved than for a "normal" polish. I ended up with flakes clinging to my fingers along the sides of my cuticles after using my polish remover but just used a bit of sugar scrub on my hands and that cleaned them up quite easily. 

I am admittedly a big fan of all of Indigo Bananas polishes but this one is a standout to me. The metallic flakes are incredibly reflective and the delicate rose gold color is very flattering. As I mentioned earlier, several people remarked on how eye-catching my nails looked while I was wearing it and I don't get those sorts of comments very often, let alone from multiple sources. Finally, I received this bottle as a gift from a friend so that does make it a little more special. (please note that its gift status did not affect my impartial reviewing of the polish, just my warm fuzzies while wearing it!)

Indigo Bananas polishes can be purchased on her Etsy page. You can follow her on Facebook and Instagram for updates.