Ethereal Lacquer – Black Rose Swatch

Today I have a stunning polish to share with you! It’s the coveted Ethereal Lacquer Black Rose, a Mei Mei’s Signatures exclusive. I’ve had my bottle for a long time but since it wasn’t in stock Mei Mei asked me to hold off my review. It’s finally coming back (today!) so I can share my thoughts with you!

Ethereal Lacquer – Black Rose (natural daylight)

Ethereal Lacquer – Black Rose (natural daylight)

Ethereal Lacquer – Black Rose: Black Rose is a beautiful deep burgundy/purple holo. It’s rich and bold and super vampy. I fell in love with it when it first arrived and I’m still smitten. The formula is amazing and it covers perfectly in two coats. I also added top coat for some extra shine.

Ethereal Lacquer – Black Rose (direct light)

Ethereal Lacquer – Black Rose (direct light)

Ethereal Lacquer – Black Rose: And this is what it looks like in direct light! It’s such a rich colour, and the holo is beautiful. It’s definitely stronger in person though! I kept thinking this reminded me of a shade I’d tried recently and when I compared it to ILNP Black Orchid, I found a very close match. They are not exact dupes but definitely very similar! Black Orchid has a different holo finish, it’s a little more shimmery and sparkly than Black Rose. Both are stunning!

You can purchase Ethereal Lacquer Black Rose exclusively at Mei Mei’s Signatures. It is relaunching TODAY (like now!) to make sure to keep an eye on Mei Mei’s social media pages so you are the first to know of the restock. It will sell fast so make sure to grab it quickly! Mei Mei asked me to include that the new batch may be slightly darker than the one I’ve shown here.

Connect with Mei Mei’s Signatures: Official site – Twitter – Facebook – Instagram
Connect with Ethereal Lacquer: Official Site – Instagram

// Provided for Honest Review

16th September, 2014 - Posted by Emily - 2 Comments

Asa no Ha Nails + Tutorial

I’m back with some nail art today, but that’s not all, I also have a tutorial for you! I haven’t done a tutorial in a long time and I simply had to do one for this design. I love it so much! Let’s take a look.

These are Asa no Ha nails! Asa no Ha is an ancient decorative embroidery pattern known as Sashiko (little stabs). There are many different Sashiko patterns but this is the Asa no Ha print aka Hemp leaf. :D It’s one of the prettiest geometric prints ever. But… It’s a little tricky to paint. I would say this is an advanced design but I hope with my step-by-step photos you’ll be able to tackle it. My nails were inspired by the talented LadyCrappo who also did a tutorial for this design. My method is a little different so I decided to share it with you today, with LadyCrappo’s permission.

  1. Start with a base colour, I used Polish My Life Muscat Martini and paint a triangle in the middle of your nail using a striper brush, I’m using ORLY Instant Artist in Grape.
  2. Next paint a triangle below it and two more beside that (which forms a Triforce for you nerds!). Make sure to follow the two sides of the first triangle to form the ones below it. All you’re doing is elongating those lines and drawing a horizontal one below it!
  3. Then fill up the whole row with triangles. You can paint one at a time or paint the horizontal lines first then form the others.
  4. Cover your entire nail in this pattern! Take your time, but don’t worry if it doesn’t look perfect, mine don’t either! You won’t see it too much at the end so no stress.
  5. Then comes the fun tricky part, connect each corner of the triangle in the center. You can paint dots in the center like LadyCrappo’s tutorial if it helps you.
  6. Repeat this step for all the triangles. It takes some time but the end result is so worth it! Clean up any paint you may have gotten on your cuticle and finish with top coat.

I found it helps to paint this design triangle per triangle. You could alternatively start with evenly spaced horizontal lines across the nail, and diagonal lines going both directions. I noticed this doesn’t always give perfect triangles for me. Though you could definitely try it that way too!

This is my finished look! I painted the Asa no Ha print on my middle finger and ring finger and my thumb (not shown). I even painted my dominant hand, it just takes a bit of practice. If you are feeling like, “damn you Emily, I have no patience for this!”, I spotted the Asa no Ha print on one of the MoYou Suki plates (they have the best designs!), so there’s always that option if you don’t feel like freehanding it.

As I mentioned above I used Polish My Life Muscat Martini as a base and painted the print with ORLY Instant Artist striper in Grape. I finished all nails with Glisten & Glow HK Girl top coat and used a matte top coat on my middle and ring finger so you could see the print more clearly. I absolutely love these nails and I hope you do too! If you recreate it make sure to send me pics. I’d love to see. :)

15th September, 2014 - Posted by Emily - 10 Comments

Glisten & Glow – HK Girl Top Coat Review

Today I have a review for you on a product I’ve been lusting over for months! I’m talking about Glisten & Glow HK Girl top coat. It’s become a big favourite amongst many nail polish lovers alike and I am so excited to finally try it after reading many rave reviews. Sneaky Mei Mei sent me two bottles for personal use but I couldn’t help but review this and share my thoughts with you!

Glisten & Glow HK Girl comes in a round bottle with a black cap. The pretty label in front says “Fast Drying & Super Shiny Clear Top Coat” which is a very accurate description. This top coat is glossy! And it dries fast. Really fast. I’ve been a Seche Vite user for many years but it can be a bit of a problem child. Shrinkage and thickening are familiar words if you use Seche Vite. I haven’t experienced either of those with this top coat, but I’m not over halfway point yet. I’ve been told it does get a little thicker if you are nearing the end but nothing near Seche Vite. We’ll see! So far so good.

It comes with a great brush that is easy to use, not too thin and not too wide. I found the formula really easy to work with, it’s very smooth and just the right consistency. What I love most about it is that it doesn’t smear nail art. For this reason alone I absolutely love it! I do quite a bit of nail art (and more recently stamping!) and there is nothing more frustrating than smearing your design. This is one of the few top coats I’ve tried that just absolutely does not smear nail art.

Here I layered one coat of Glisten & Glow HK Girl over Glam Polish Mai Tai’s At The Pink Palace (swatch and info here!), as it matched the pink label so beautifully! As you can see it’s very glossy. I love the shine and it does a great job at smoothing out glitters though you may need an extra coat for stubborn glitter. The shine doesn’t dull whatsoever. Wear was amazing too, my current manicure is going strong after 5 days with barely any tip wear, thanks to Glisten & Glow HK Girl!

I have to say, this is one of the best top coats I ever tried. I love the fast dry time, the shine, the glossiness, the easy formula and that it doesn’t smear my designs. The only negative I could find was that it’s not 3-free, it contains DBP which I’m not super happy about. You really need to avoid this ingredient if you are pregnant or trying to get pregnant as it can cause harm to your unborn child. It shouldn’t be too big of a concern otherwise though. If it was 3-free this would certainly get a “holy grail” stamp from me. Though I did read on the official website that there is a 3-free version available but only in Europe (DBP is banned in cosmetics here by law). I am interested to see how they compare. I can’t find a full list of all stockists so I only know of Rainbow Connection in the UK and Hypnotic Polish in NL selling the 3-free version.

You can purchase Glisten & Glow HK Girl top coat from the official website based in USA, or from one of the stockists. I got my bottle from Mei Mei’s Signatures who ships worldwide! Have you tried Glisten & Glow HK Girl before? What are your thoughts? Let me know in the comments!

Connect with Glisten & Glow: Official WebsiteFacebookInstagram

// Gifted

14th September, 2014 - Posted by Emily - 9 Comments

Renaissance Cosmetics – Wunderkammer Swatches

I have three more amazing polishes by Renaissance Cosmetics to share with you today. I was in love with the two shades Meghan sent me from her latest release, and I am equally smitten with these colours from the Wunderkammer collection. Let’s take a look!

Renaissance Cosmetics – Emerald Envy (natural daylight)

Renaissance Cosmetics – Emerald Envy (natural daylight)

Renaissance Cosmetics – Emerald Envy (direct light)

Renaissance Cosmetics – Emerald Envy (direct light)

Renaissance Cosmetics – Emerald Envy: First up is this amazing deep grassy green with green holographic microglitter and a holo finish. I also spied some blue and gold shimmer in here. It is so vibrant and stunning. It did stain my nails so make sure to use a good quality base coat (I didn’t, oops!). The formula is truly one of the best I’ve tried, so smooth and buttery, this was almost a one coater. I used two thin coats and top coat.

Renaissance Cosmetics – Curio/Curiosity

Renaissance Cosmetics – Curio/Curiosity: Next is this awesome black and white topper. It’s not just a boring black and white glitter mix, it has lots of stunning shimmer, iridescent glitter and holographic glitter. I love this one so much! I’m a huge sucker for black and white glitter and this one is by far the most unique one I own. I layered one coat over Serum No. 5 Silver Lining and added top coat.

Renaissance Cosmetics – Porcelain Dream

Renaissance Cosmetics – Porcelain Dream: Finally we have Porcelain Dream which is a beautiful white/gold glitter. I thought long and hard on what to layer this over but since it has such stunning iridescent glitter and multichrome flakes I simply had to layer it over black. I want to try it over white too, as it reminds me of a bridal colour scheme. Formula again was really easy to work with, no fishing or dabbing and one coat gives a great amount of glitter. I used one coat over Cirque Memento Mori and top coat.

You can purchase Renaissance Cosmetics polishes from the official website. They are based in Canada and offer worldwide shipping. I’m also happy to tell you I have a 15% off coupon code! It’s “veryemily15″ and valid until September 28th. All products in the store apply but it can’t be used with other coupons.

Connect with Renaissance Cosmetics: Official Site – Facebook – Instagram – Pinterest

// Provided for Honest Review

13th September, 2014 - Posted by Emily - 10 Comments

Serum No. 5 – Cut It Out Nail Vinyls – Anchors Away

I have my final Serum No. 5 Cut It Out Nail Vinyls post for you! The lovely Victoria sent me five of her vinyls and today I’m sharing the last ones. Since my penultimate post she’s released two new styles. They’re called Back To School and Fallen, make sure to check them out! First let’s take a look at these.

The final design I have to show you are the Anchors Away nail vinyls. I definitely saved my favourite til last! As always you can use these both as a stencil or as a decal. They come with horizontal stripes, super cute whales, anchors and crabs. I just love these! I have them in the shade white but they are available in a while rainbow of colours, make sure to check out the website.

This is the design I came up with! I absolutely love nautical themed nails so these are right up my alley. I used mainly the horizontal stripe vinyls and I also used a white anchor as a sticker. I’m in love!

On my pointer and pinkie I used Serum No. 5 Pure Glow Getter as a base, then I added top coat. This is a pretty crucial step! I recommend to always apply top coat before sticking any nail vinyls onto your nail or you might pull up your base colour. I left a smaller strip inbetween the horizontal stripes for a thin horizontal stripe. The blue shade I used is China Glaze First mate.

On my middle finger I did a few different widths of stripes, you can achieve this by doing only a few stripes at a time, waiting for them to dry before placing the horizontal vinyls over the ones you’ve previously made. I used Serum No. 5 Pure Glow Getter as a base then I used China Glaze Hey Sailor, China Glaze First Mate and China Glaze Knotty for the stripes. Then on my ring finger I used China Glaze Hey Sailor and applied the anchor vinyl sticker on top. You need a few coats of top coat to even it out, but you might still feel some 3D effect from the vinyls. I didn’t mind though!

You can purchase the Serum No. 5 Cut It Out Nail Vinyls from the official website. They are $6 a piece and you get some different styles and options with each sheet which is great. I definitely recommend you to check them out! You can see all my previous manicures with them here.

Connect with Serum No. 5: Official Site – Facebook – Twitter – Instagram – Tumblr

// Provided for Honest Review

12th September, 2014 - Posted by Emily - 6 Comments

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