Thursday, February 28, 2013

Jasper - the other something different from butterLondon

The other less classic pastel in this collection, and the last I have to show you, is Jasper. It's a really pretty pale yellow pastel. And a sweetened version of the actual stone I would guess it's named after.

Here is the stone: International Colored Gem Institute Jasper
Or at least one example of it, but you can see the pretty yellows in there.

Here is the polish:

This is one coat, streaky but not unmanageable.

You can see at two coats it levels out and looks really creamy and pretty. Yellow is not my color and it not even a color I personally care for but for some reason I like it as a nail polish. Despite the fact that any color nail polish is acceptable these days, and there is a huge variety of them to be found, yellow still seems unexpected. This looks like the hard candy coating on maybe an M&M. But it still manages to look like a yellow marshmallow. This collection is so interesting that way.

It doesn't make me all red, either. Surprising. It's not exactly the best thing on my skin tone, but I have told you that already! I think this swatch just really helps demonstrate that really well...

Last one. This shows a little of the chalkiness characteristic of pastels and these are no exception, but there is a quality to these that makes them look so soft. While looking like a hard candy coating or an Easter Egg. It's really intriguing.

I like this one, too.

That's the end of this collection, what did you think? Planning to pick up any of these?

Happy Talons!

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

butterLondon - Kerfuffle It's a peach!

Kerfuffle is a pastel peach shade. It's really pretty but it's not going to change the world of nail polish or anything. You may have something similar in your stash.

Very powdery pinky peach. This is one coat. If you were careful and did one thick coat you might be able to manage it. However, just for the sake of color intensity I recommend at least two. I know some bloggers won't stop until three just on principal. I say go with what looks best to you.

You can see the chalky feel to this here. That's not bad, it's just a pastel quality that should disseminate with another coat and a top coat.

Here's two. It's...I don't know if you guys ever danced ballet or were interested, but this is about the color of "European Pink" pointe shoes. Peachy but pink. It's pretty...I'm just not as in love with it for some reason. How do we ever know why?

It also reminds me of Barbie,'s really not Barbie pink. I guess this color confuses me!

Maybe  third coat wouldn't hurt this. You can see the two middle fingers have some levelling issues, while the index and pinky are full and thick. There has a nearly jelly quality to it, in that it looks almost squishy but it's really not even remotely a jelly. Maybe it's more a marshmallow finish! :)

Erp, I misses up the index finger there...easy to do when swatching because you're fiddling with a camera and the bottles and arranging the photo spot and whatnot.

Because of the general thickness of this collection it's pretty easy to control. As I look at these I'm liking this better, it's growing on me. Still not Fiver...but it's pretty. I'll probably actually wear this.


Happy Talons!

Sunday, February 24, 2013

The Royal Mail hates us

You may be aware that Great Britain has changed it's postal policy and is now considering nail polish to be a hazardous material. Not sure what the argument was, but I had orders with ModelsOwn, a brand I really love, for a LOT of polish and it's all sitting in their warehouse because they can't ship Royal Mail. The emails I had told me that my original orders had in fact been destroyed by the Royal Mail for not conforming to their regulations. Ouch. This is impacting A-England, who has found a temporary work around, presumably until the stock runs out at places like Llarowe. After that they're in trouble. ModelsOwn is still searching for a solution. I can't believe the British Parliament will allow their businesses to suffer the loss of these sales and hopefully they will come up with a viable solution soon. Illamasqua has distribution out of Belgium, apparently, which is how I got my latest order from them.I don't know how long that will last, either. I am hoping they will come to their senses and allow the commerce to flow freely. This is a global economy now, thanks to the interwebs, and we want our sparklies!

Unfortunately I'm flat not informed enough to give you more information, but just know if you're outside Great Britain some of those brands we've grown to love are not so easy to get just now. I don't know if they will switch to more expensive UPS or Fed Ex or even if they're permitted to do that, either. I would think that would be the first place you'd go as an alternative. I also don't know what else is impacted, if it's all cosmetics or just polish...any British readers out there who can offer more info? Would be really interested to know.

As a result, I am already looking into some native to this country manufacturers of some unique stuff, like Cirque, to try to replace some of the brands I might not be able to get any longer. As much as I'd love to jet off to London for each new collection release I live in the real world with a job that I have trouble getting my comp time for and that pays crap. So...I hope a solution is at hand. In the meantime I might be showing you some brands new to me, and exploring other US options I haven't tried for now. As much as I love the independents and think they're doing some really great stuff, I find I am not quick enough on the draw to get those colors everyone wants to see from them. I end up with that odd applegreenyellow thing that no one bought that was marked down. So I don't bother because honestly, I don't usually want those colors, either. I'm also looking more into Chanel because like I said, they are rumored to be cruelty free though they rarely deign to answer that question. They have the hot colors. Until I know for sure they're not cruelty free I'm giving them the benefit of the doubt because I have been told they are. I hope it's true.

I hope this doesn't have long term repercussions for my beloved Illamasqua. Most of my color is Illamasqua from my lips to my eyes and that would really piss me off. To be blunt. ModelsOwn upsets me as well because they do some gorgeous stuff. A-England...oh please don't let this mean I can't get those any longer. I have every single one at this time. I want to continue to have! Come on, Britain! These three are the brands I'm upset about. There are many others, I'm sure.

Unhappy Talons right now!!

butterLondon - Fiver. And now for something completely different!

Between the Deborah Lippmann Girls collection and these other pinks and purples, you have to be about pink and purpled out. I know I am. So now on to something completely different. And one of my favorites from this collection, which is odd, honestly, because greens aren't my favorites. I love them in nature and I'm definitely craving some green after the drought last Summer and then a grey Winter. I need me some green. Outside.

However Fiver is such a fun mint color. It instantly cheers you up!

This is one streaky chalky coat. Not a one coater. You can see it has a bit of a powdery feel to it and I was a little messy applying it. It straightens right up on coat number 2.

OK, now we're talking. Isn't this pretty? I don't know how a pastel can look so lit from within, but somehow this pulls it off. It glows. I love it. There is a lot of white here, which might have something to do with it, and you can tell in the first swatch that they didn't skimp on the pigments.

Here's another shot of the label. This gives me a little lobster-ness, but I don't mind if I like the color. It's just so cheerful!

See, not terrible lobster-ness. If you check the index finger in particular you can see that this is really a rather thick polish. That's not bad, I find at the right thickness a polish can be so easily to manipulated.  Still, you can see where I had a little issue at the cuticle level. Nothing bad and probably had I been a tad more careful they'd look better.

Last one. I just love this. I love the kind of ethereal glow of this. I wonder what a blue from this collection would have been like. This has a lot of blue in it and you could probably argue it was a very bright but muted robin's egg...but I think it's more green. And I love it.

Happy Talons!

Thursday, February 21, 2013

butterLondon - Molly-Coddled

The next sweetie on the table is Molly-Coddled. I really love this color. This is a sweet but sassy bluish lavender. I swear I don't love it because I have a sweet puppy named Molly. Nope. That's not it.

I can see where you might be thinking "But Tricks...that's really...well, it's kinda pink!" Yessss, it kinda is. But it's also very purple.

It's so sweet but...not. Something about it is hard as nails and I love that. I hope you can discern my meaning because I'm pretty sure I can't explain myself.

This is without flash, which brings the blue out more.

Gorge. It's not as blue as the Deborah Lippmann from Girls. It's more pink, the two are really very distinct, I can't lie. I tried it and I think I have some snaps to prove it. If you like them, I recommend picking them both up because these two colors have very unique voices. I do have it, I just saw it. Coming up. Wait for it!

While this did go on rather chalky and thick, there is a lot of pigment there, it dries to this really nice sheen. Of course you want a top coat, but it does give you this nice shine. Odd in a pastel. MDAMO says "It really reminds me of those Easter candies". It does.

The hard candy shell. :)

So...ummm...just in case you were wondering...yeah, NOTHING alike. NOTHING. See how the Lippmann is softer? I don't know. Maybe it's me. These were with flash, incidentally, in case you didn't figure that out by the washed out appearance. **facepalm**

I really like this one. It's not going to work with every skin tone, I can't see an olive tone really rocking this...I don't know. Maybe. But I don't think so. Do the bottle test on the back of your hand to be sure you're going to like it. I love it. And all it's hard candy coating feel.

Happy Talons!

Sunday, February 17, 2013

butterLONDON - Fruit Machine

Next up in the Sweeties collection is Fruit Machine. I don't know what that means. I speak some Brit, I used to work for one, but this term I'm not that familiar with. And I'm feeling too lazy and too over on internet usage to go look it up. Pathetic isn't it? Eh, cut me some slack, it's Sunday at the time of writing. I kinda just want to crash and watch movies or read. I have a book on DaVinci I've been wanting to get into. Anyone else hit the sale on They had a huge book sale a couple weeks ago.

Anyway. I digress. Again. I do that a lot. I'm told it's part of my charm.

I'd add a "What I'm currently reading" section but Ji Baek does that already on her blog and as much as I read and usually not what she's reading, I'd not want to steal her idea. Currently reading a really good one about the Muslim's attack of Constantinople in 1453, it was a Friday Freebie for my nook. I can't remember the name, something something Armageddon.

To come back to the point, Fruit Machine is a part of the pastels collection butter has put out for Spring and it's really kind of fun. MDAMO has declared it "Not their best effort" but then rescinded that partially when he saw a swatch that showed the really nice shine they were able to get out of this, though he did also remark on the chalkiness. I told him that is a characteristic of pastels and he said yeah well, it's still chalky. So. There you go.

And you can see, it is. And like I noted on that Lippmann last week, this also picks up every flaw in my nails. Base coat, base coat, base coat. This again, is one coat, though. Like Cuppa, it's very opaque.

And very pink.

Now we have some evening out on the second coat. Two is all you really need. This is a lovely pink with a touch of lavender in it. It's also a candy pink, the collection was well named. This has a lot of blue in it, which is hardly a downside.

It's a pretty Easter Egg kind of color. I like it. It's also very bright, it reminds me of the frosting on a birthday cake or something of that ilk.
This is the swatch, incidentally, that made MDAMO remark on the finish, but that it was still chalky. While I'd love to refute can I really? It is.

However, it's partly the high pigmentation of this that gives it some of that quality so who's to complain? If you put a nice strong top coat on this, you'll never know the difference. It will still have the chalky feel because that's how pastels go, but it'll give it a shine and make it less noticeable than the shine you get on it's own. Which is very nice. Still a top coat helps it wear so I recommend it.

What do you think?

Are you wondering if it's close to Lippmann's Groove is in the Heart? So was I. So I was kind enough to compare it for you!

Oh yeah, no! LOL Not even close. Remember how I said Fruit Machine had a lot of blue in it? Yeah...believe me now? LOL it looks lavender in comparison to the uber pink Groove. So yeah, if you like them both, you're gonna have to splurge on both.

Happy Talons!

Friday, February 15, 2013

butterLONDON - Cuppa

For Spring butter, and a lot of other companies, actually, put out a line of pastels. Pastels aren't my favorites. They tend to be chalky and if they don't have something a little edgy I find them trite. Pastels? Meh.
However, I'm a fan and butter does edgy well so I took a leap of faith. The results were uneven, but worth it overall, I'd say.

Cuppa was one I found really interesting in the pictures and was looking forward to seeing up close and personal. It was one of the Meh ones for me.

Streaky and with drag, you can see that easily. However. This is one coat. One. Um. Wow. If you were careful, you could do this in one coat, the whole collection was very pigmented and opaque, which is definitely a plus.

Cuppa, if you understand Brit, is a cup of tea. Get it? Cup-a? Cup-a-tea? Yeah, you get it.

This is a tea with milk colored polish. It's really neutral. And blah. If you work in an uber conservative office, this might be the gem for you because it's about as neutral as it gets. It has the chalky feel of a pastel, which I believe is just the way those pigments work, and it has nothing else happening. It's a straight up beige cream. But it's not the every day beige, it has a mocha kind of flare which gives it the edge it's looking for, but not much of one. Butter knife edge, pun honestly not intended.

 OK, now we're at two coats. Much better and the color is nicer here. These are true to color swatches, I had a good day with sunlight and I got some really good pics. I was pleased with that whole day of swatches. It's pretty enough. It's wearable. I feel like it needs some glitter or something. Maybe a little scattered micro shimmer would have helped, but then...I don't know, the blandness is kind of it's thing.

Maybe the whole point is that like it or hate it, love it or dump it, it's not a color you don't ponder. It's kind of silly putty colored. Maybe putty is the descriptor we're looking for here. I's neutral but I don't think you can be neutral about it.

I'm very emotionally driven about color and this one confuses me, to be perfectly frank. It also gives me slight lobster paws and ages my hands. I think this isn't for me complexion, really.

I don't know.
If I were to sum up this post it would be "I don't know".

How about you guys? Any thoughts?

Ambivalent Talons?

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Deborah Lippmann - Groove is in the Heart

OK. Here's my problem with this. Deborah Lippmann always names her polishes after songs. I happen to detest this particular song. I have always hated it, I hated it when it came out and everyone just thought it was the cat's ass. I was in my metal phase then and unless it had lots of electric guitar and a heavy drum line I probably wasn't going to listen to it. I was also listening to a lot of Chili Peppers and ignoring all this pop crap. Which I still ignore. If you love it, have at it, just don't expect to find too much of it on my ipod.
My problem is, every time I see the color or think about writing this post I get that stupid song caught in my head like an ear worm that plans to eat my brain. UGH!
Plus this mental image: 

(image blatantly stolen from

Which, honestly, if I could have tolerated the song without wanting to claw my ears off, something I sincerely doubt, the video would have ended that. I'm sorry. The vocal delivery....**HORK** And I sing. It's not like I don't know what I'm talking about. 

I reiterate. if this is your kinda thing, then go with the Raptor, be happy...just please don't play it around me because I can not be responsible for what happens to your music player if you do.


Groove is in the Heeaa AhhhhaaahhHHHHHHAHAARRRRRRT! **manages not to jam pencil into ear drum at great personal cost**

The color, on the other hand, is a lot of fun.
And not nearly as obnoxious as that song. **turns itunes to Rammstein**

 So, obviously, this is a candy pink. It's a candy pink that is IN YO FACE. It's bright. This is a really good shot of this, actually. It's REALLY BRIGHT. It's fun. I can see this as a great Summer pedicure color. 

 I couldn't get the magic in this to really relate, it has a scattered sparse silver shimmer that doesn't translate all that well to the nail. You can see it in the bottle, but it is really pretty sparse. I think it adds some je ne sais quoi, it's almost subliminal. I wish I could have got it to translate in the swatches, but it wouldn't. 

This is 2 coats, nice opacity.  It handles well, of course. It's a Lippmann. I even like the bright candy pink of it. I'm not as thrilled about it as I was the other two from this collection, but it's pretty and I will wear it. You can get away with this in an office, I think, if you keep your other accessories toned down and classic.

The thing I don't like about it, and this is generally true of pastels is that they tend to be chalky, it's just the nature of the beast, and as a result they show every last flaw in your nails. My nails are pretty good, I baby them as much as I can because I abuse them a lot as well, and so when this is showing ridges you know it's picking up on every flaw. Again, it's a swatch. Normally I'd have several coats of base and strengthener under this so it would never show it. Just a word to those of you who might short cut. Pastels really need the under pinnings. 

And for all the Pantone talk of emeralds being the hot color this year, I'm seeing a lot of pastels out there. While this is on the bright side for a pastel, you could maybe still slip it into that category. 

What do you think? 

This is the last Deb Lipp for a little while. I'm going to shower you with butters coming up. I don't know if you'll be happy or sad about that, but that's the reality anyways! And this will post just in time for that most dreaded of all holidays - the Heart One. I hadn't thought of that...What I'm wearing now is suitably appropriate...Hm. Maybe I will just leave it this year. Hadn't even planned. Well...Maybe I need to go order some BPALs... :)

Happy Talons!

Monday, February 11, 2013

Deborah Lippmann - Careless Whisper

I wasn't that excited about Careless Whisper. I bought it because it's a Lippmann, it's the new collection...I'm a collector. An OCD one. Another neutral. **yawn**

I'm not so arrogant I am incapable of admitting when I was wrong.

When these arrived, I beelined for Moon Rendezvous because that was what I really wanted out of the three. Unlike most of the Christmas collections that underwhelmed me, these three were each unique and beautiful. The pink I have some issues with but I will share when I get to that one next. It's not the polish. (Wait for it!)

Careless Whisper is a perfect (for my skin tone, anyway) pinky beige neutral that surprisingly had a silvery shimmer to it. I expected blah and instead received a lovely versatile polish with depth and character.

Let's take a look!

If you read this blog at all, you know that I don't like sheers. However, if you're going for sheer, this is a good one. It adds a little shimmer, a hint of color and then it's done. It's simple and elegant and lovely.
But I don't want that. So I put on another coat.

Ehhhh...brings out the shimmer and the color but the VNL looks non-committal...I want more opacity. So this is a three coater if you're not going for a sheer look.

There we are. This is still a little thin, you can see some VNL, but I think all told, with a good covering nail strengthener or base coat such as Seche Rebuild or Orly Nail Armour...butterLondon Nail Foundation...something in that line, three will do ya. I don't typically wear these dustier colors well, but this one is pink enough to work on me. The shimmer adds depth and interest without overwhelming or being distracting. This is a perfect conservative office kind of color. This can easily do an interview. I've kind of faked this color with layering, I think I've talked about it before.

Finally a label shot. This is pretty washed out and I didn't attempt to correct it. The other pictures are more color accurate. If you're caught in a police interrogation under one of those bright lights it would look like this...

You know that when I paint my nails it can look like drunken monkeys have been partying on my fingertips, but this, as thin as it was, was so easy to control. I don't expect less, but it's always nice when I can prove it.

Isn't this lovely? **sigh**

A nice successful close-up swatch. I think I'm improving! This really shows the shimmer off. I love how it's so understated. Chunky glitters are fun and they have their place, but I really prefer this subtle stuff. And you don't look like a Vegas stripper when you take it off.

The last one. I think this will work on many different complections, it is neutral enough, but there will be some it won't. If you can see it in person if you doubt it, just do the bottle test. You know, hold the bottle on the back of your hand. If it makes you go ICK then it's not for you, but I think those will be few and far between.

So to sum up!
*Makes a beautiful sheer in one coat
*Fully Opaque in three (With a good base coat, which you do every time anyways. Right?)
*Understated shimmer in a beautiful pink neutral base
*Perfect office or interview color

What's not to love. Just order this one at the same time you order Moon Rendezvous if you haven't already. If you haven't then why are you waiting??

Happy Talons! And how can they be anything else in a color like this?

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Deborah Lippmann - Moon Rendezvous

Miss Lipp put out three polishes in her Spring collection and I had to have all of them, of course. I promise, I have some butters coming up and we'll get off Miss Lipp for awhile. She's just had so much out the last few months and of course, being a junkie, I have to have ALLLLL of it.

Moon Rendezvous appears to be the star of this collection and it is very easy to see why. If you visit it's the one that's set apart, off to the side, in it's own flower. Because it is awesome.

Without further ado:

OK. What can I tell you about this? It's a gorgeous shimmery silver blue bit of wonderful. I fell in love with this. It's like my beloved Knackered (butterLondon) without the bits of holo sparkle. That is described as "oyster" and it's accurate. This is more blue, but it has that same feel.

The label shot which shows how this quite simply glows. This is backup worthy and you know how rarely I say that. I don't even have words to describe how amazing this is. You can see the blue tint better here. It's so soft and lit up. I just want to stare at it.

It's so much more than a silver. It's iridescent, it's almost like the shimmer lays on top. This is nothing special as far as swatching goes, either. This is two coats, no base coat, no top coat. This is what it looks like right out of the gate. It's like a soft silver with a blue iridescent shimmer lying over the top, but it's all one polish.

I sound like an idiot, don't I?

Fortunately, I had a lovely day when I swatched this and these are all sunlight pictures through the window. You can see on the pinky that it might want to be a little brush strokey, and some may not like the frost feel of it, but I love this.

And it does look like moonlight on a clear blue lake. It's nicely named!

You can see here there is a touch of lavender, the blue, the silver...this is flat out a big winner and the charm of the three new polishes. The others are pretty as well, but they cannot compete with this. This is wearable, elegant, a dream to apply and hypnotic.

Stop staring and go order it!

Happy Talons!

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Deborah Lippmann Gel Labs and Through the Fire

I have a confession to make about the Gel Labs. Not the set or anything I did to it...My house is old. It has a lot of doors and two drive ways. They leave stuff all over the place. My Gel Labs set was left on the front stoop where no one goes except stray cats. And apparently the FedEx guy. I need to put a sign up. Regardless, it's winter in my world and these...well, they were rained on and then the box froze to the stoop. The polishes do not appear to have frozen, but they were wet through and the box was ruined so I can't show you that. So anything I have to say about them, I'm afraid I have to ask you to remember that these might not perform up to the snuff of others. Just because they may have been a little frozen...which sucks epic amounts.

I tried these first with a Lippmann polish because that's the correct way. I have tried it also with a couple of Illamasqua's, one I can show you later, maybe next week and it did perform differently, but I think I know why.

First up, these are supposed to perform like a gel but act like a polish. Love that idea. I hate gels, you all know I hate gels. I just don't find they do what everyone else thinks they do. But I'm willing to try one that acts like a polish and isn't exposing me to more UV rays. I'm practically translucent. I don't need more sun exposure.

These are the bottles...the base on the left and the top coat on the right. The base is called Coat of Arms and the top coat is Shining Armor, which makes me think of A-England. Even though Coat is milky in appearance in the bottle, it goes on clear:

There is a little staining there from Rouge Noir, I apologize. It's called a stain cause you can't get it off! I was putting on another red, I wasn't worrying about it. You can see this is clear. It's not as fast drying as a gel but then again, you're not curing it, either. It's supposed to have good life-giving things in it, which I like. This plant, that root, I'm all for that. Your body absorbs those things we put on it so I prefer if they are natural if possible at all. I don't obsess over it, but I prefer it.
So just one base coat. To follow the system I did exactly as it recommends: I coat of Coat of Arms, two lacquer and then one Shining Armor top coat.

It was Sunday night, I needed to paint my nails and I was dreading my job as I spend most of my waking hours doing when I'm not actually at it wishing I could get home to dread it some more. It's not a love/hate thing. I just hate it. So I try to inspire myself and choose colors or color names that make me smile or feel strong or whatever. Through the just reeks of survival, doesn't it? It was one of the holiday release colors and I was intrigued by it. It's a shimmery deep red.

The can see the shimmer here. I'm not sure why I did such a bad job. There is paint everywhere. And let me tell ya, with the Gel Labs system, you can't just peel that off your hide later. It's on there. Don't be messy when applying this stuff is my advice.

These shots are from when I first applied.

Very good picture! This is true to color, no kidding. It's this red, this shimmery and this gorgeous. I really love this one. I love how it blackens around the curve and how it looks like it goes on forever. It is really deep and beautiful. And so wearable, too. This could do the office, a makes itself at home with any outfit. It's lie. But I tend to overdress nails and jewelry and be cas every other way. It's just me. This swatch and the next have Shining Armor over the top.

Shining Armor does definitely bring on the shine. It's a great top coat. It doesn't dry that fast, though. However, once it did? My nails felt acrylic hard. They still had some flex, which is actually important. but they weren't going to tear or break without a trauma. It leant that hardness that a gel does. Excellent.

About 4 or 5 days later. I apologize, I got behind on my swatches and while I'm doing better about writing myself notes I'm still not great. I need a dedicated notebook....maybe next time I'm skulking through the B&N bargain tables. But this is about an average length of manicure time. I'm thinking 5 days. Not terrible here, right?

Just a little tip wear. On this hand.

The right hand, though....a little worse for wear. And that torn cuticle there? That's what happens when you dread your job and it makes you a nervous wreck and you don't moisturize. Be sure to put lotion on frequently. Don't let this happen to you! That was really sore for days.

This is pretty normal chipping for me. I didn't try to repair this so I'm not sure how this set will fair with that, but this is normal wear. The next swatch will show you some of the thumb... Bottom line. I like the Gel Labs set. I've tried it a couple more times, one of which I can show you, and I love how strong it makes my nails feel. I think it did wear better than a standard base and top coat, but maybe not better than Seche, honestly. Is this because mine was frozen to a stoop? Quite possibly. It wasn't frozen when I found it, though, so it's possible it never froze. It had been warm enough to rain rather than snow or sleet.
I recommend it and would be interested to know your results.

Through the Fire is a gorgeous deep shimmery red. Definitely recommend that, too.

Happy Talons!