Watermelon

Since watermelon nails in the summer are pretty much obligatory, I thought I’d give them a shot.  I’ve really been enjoying my other fruit nails (here and here), so I thought these would be really nice.  I don’t usually do colored tips, but with these colors, I ended up really liking it.

watermelon

I used Essie Ruffles and Feathers and OPI Girls Love Ponies, with black and white polishes from Sinful Colors.

And have you noticed my new watermark?  I finally splurged for Photoshop.  Adobe Cloud is having a deal right now where, if you’re a student or teacher, you get the entire Adobe Suite for $20 a month, so I hopped right on that, made a logo for The Polish Squirrel, and added it as a watermark to all my new photos.  My photos aren’t always the greatest, but it’s definitely something I pay close attention to, so hopefully this will help me make them even better.

watermelon

I know it’s been a while between posts, but grad school is kind of kicking my butt right now.  So I may go two or three weeks between posting anything, but I don’t plan on abandoning this blog anytime soon.

Hope you liked my version of watermelon nails!  And let me know what you think of my new watermark/logo in the comments!

Peach Perfect

I was looking on Design Seeds for color inspiration and came across this gorgeous springy palette.  I started with the diamond nails, and didn’t know what to pair them with – I had originally thought to do something floral, but that seemed like too much work.  Then I realized the colors would be perfect for this design by (who else?) Mr. Candiipants.  I did a simple gradient on the remaining two nails, and ended up with this super awesome manicure.  Love it!

peach perfect

The base color is OPI My Vampire is Buff.  The green is Sinful Colors Innocent, the gray is OPI Suzi Takes the Wheel, and the pink and peach are Nails Inc. Mayfair Lane and Wellington Square.

peach perfect

Don’t be surprised if you see more fruit nails from me in the near future – they were much easier than I thought they’d be, and they’re just so adorable!

Neon Tribal

Most of the time, the polishes I use in my nail art are the ones on my desk – which pretty much means they’re my go-to black and white (Sinful Colors) and my most recent purchases.  I got both of these polishes last week at the Sally’s buy two get one sale, and thought they would look great together as a summery tribal design.

neon tribal

I used China Glaze Metro Pollen-Tin and Rose Among Thorns (which is a cool dark pink neon).  The white is Sally Hansen White On.

IMG_7126

I feel like florals and triangles are becoming my default nail designs.  But that’s totally ok, because I love them!

I Tried a Skittle…

This is my attempt at a skittle mani.  I may have used too many colors, but I think it turned out ok.  I’m not completely sold on the color combo, but it is definitely something a little different for me.  Also – believe it or not – this is my first leopard print!  I can’t believe I’ve never done one before.

skittle

I used Sinful Colors Snow Me White, OPI Black Onyx, OPI Jade is the New Black, China Glaze Fade into Hue, and Sephora by OPI Hippo to be Square.

skittle

I think I need a little more practice with skittles – and maybe to try one with two or three colors instead of five – but this isn’t bad for my first shot.  I do think the leopard print turned out surprisingly well – I wasn’t expecting my first try to actually resemble leopard spots.  What do you think?

A French Affair

I don’t usually go for anything pink or overly girly, but for some reason, I felt like doing something pink and girly the other day.  I was kind of going for a French-inspired look (but was too lazy to attempt an Eiffel Tower outline), so this is what I ended up with.  It’s kind of reminiscent of a French boutique or something, right?  Not that I would know, having never been to France.  Oh well.

a french affair

I did use Essie French Affair as the base (hence the name), because when you do something like this, there really isn’t another pink you can use.  Right?  Am I the only one with a weird obsession/OCD about polish names?  The white is Sally Hansen X-treme Wear White On, and there is a coat of INM Northern Lights on my index finger.  If you haven’t heard already, Northern Lights goes with everything and you all need it (I got mine at Sally’s).

a french affair

What do you think of this?  It’s not my best work, or my favorite mani ever, but I still like it.  It definitely satisfied my craving for a girly mani.

Amortentia

“Amortentia doesn’t create actual love, of course. That’s impossible. But it does cause a powerful infatuation or obsession. For that reason, it is probably the most dangerous potion in this room”
– Horace Slughorn (Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince)

For some reason, I’ve really been craving pink polishes lately.  So I decided to finally break out the pink from Lac Attack’s Magical Musings collection (it’s Harry Potter-themed), and go all out.  It is a layering polish (you could probably get it opaque in like 6 coats if you really wanted to), so I layered it over China Glaze Escaping Reality, which is a neon bubblegum pink (think Barbie).  I wasn’t really creative with the layering combo, but I think next time I want to try Amortentia over a dark purple.

amortentia

Amortentia is a bright pink shimmer with small and medium lavender holographic glitter.  It is really pretty, and perfectly suited to it’s namesake, the strongest “love” potion in the world.  Also, it kind of reminds me of the love potion display in Fred and George Weasley’s shop in the movie.

This was one of the few Magical Musings polishes I didn’t plan on buying, just because I rarely wear pink, especially bright pinks like this.  But I am a huge Harry Potter geek, and I ended up just grabbing the whole collection because Harry Potter nail polish is my kryptonite.  But I’m really glad I got it, because it is very pretty, and recently I’ve actually been buying and wearing more pink polish.

amortentia

Here is a macro shot of the bottle so you can see the color a bit better.  It is a bit cooler-toned than Escaping Reality, and adds that color shimmer to any polish you layer it over.  I really love that!  I am a huge fan of layering shimmer.

amortentia

While I can’t say this is my favorite of the collection, I was surprised to find that I do really like Amortentia.  It’s very versatile, and definitely different than anything else I own.

Lac Attack polishes are available here.  The Magical Musings collection is currently all sold out, but I’m sure it will be restocked eventually, so keep an eye out for that.

Windestine Spring Collection

Today I have Windestine’s brand new Spring collection!  It consists of three glitter filled jelly polishes that are perfectly spring-appropriate.  All swatches are three coats with topcoat.  Make sure to check out the micro shots at the end of the post!

First up, Crushed Rose in Spring:

IMG_4322

Crushed Rose in Spring is an alteration of one of the polishes from Windestine’s previous collection, Crushed Rose.  It’s the exact same glitter, but in a gorgeous green base.  One of the reasons I love Windestine so much is that she is so good at mixing the base color.  The green is really a great shade.  The glitter consists of yellow, white, and pink hexes as well as some white shards.  It definitely resembles a spring garden!

Next is Rainy Day Blues:

IMG_4309

I’ll be honest, I’m not a huge fan of bar glitter.  In the bottle, I thought this would be my least favorite of the three.  And then I put it on.  I was completely shocked by how much I absolutely love this!  It is just so beautiful.  It gives the impression of glistening, slightly murky water.  I love, love, love, love Rainy Day Blues!  If you like blue polishes, this is a must-have.

And last, but not least, Leilani:

IMG_4327

Leilani is definitely my favorite of the three, if only because I love the base color so much.  I’ve been looking for a polish this exact shade of coral, but I hadn’t found one I liked until Leilani.  It is filled with small glitter in various pastel shades.  LOVE.  This is definitely one of my favorite indies ever.  It really needs to be seen in person to fully appreciate just how gorgeous this shade is.

Here are some micro shots so you can see the glitters in each polish:

The Spring collection will be available on February 20 in Windestine’s Etsy shop.

*These polishes were provided to me for an unbiased review*

Pretty & Polished Save the Dauphine Collection

This month, Pretty & Polished is releasing a new Marie Antoinette-themed collection called “Save the Daphine.”  I always love when indie brands release historically inspired collections!  Even if you don’t really care about the inspiration behind the polish, I think you will still be able to appreciate how gorgeous these shades are!

First up, Louis Louis:

louis louis

Louis Louis is a warm gold base with small navy blue glitter and medium red glitter.  I’m not normally a fan of glitter in shimmery bases, but this one is gorgeous!  It definitely reminds me of royalty.  I really love that the gold color is slightly dirty and antique-looking.  It is surprisingly flattering on my skin tone, and warm golds usually look terrible on me.  I almost didn’t get this one, but I am sooo glad I did!  I was completely surprised by how much I ended up loving it!

Application was great!  This was two coats with no topcoat.

louis louis

Next is my favorite of the collection, Hameau:

hameau

Hameau is named after Marie Antoinette’s cottage, and it is a shimmery ivory base with small green and purple glitters.  Everything about this polish is perfect: the color of the base, the amount of shimmer, the colors of the glitter.  I’m actually considering getting a back up of this one.  It’s that amazing.

Application on this was really nice.  I used two coats here.

P.S. I have no idea what is wrong with my fingers in these pictures!  I didn’t notice until I was editing them, and I didn’t want to try to remove the red at the risk of changing the color of the polish.

hameau

Next is Let Them Have Cake (the famous words Marie Antoinette never actually said):

let them eat cake

Let Them Eat Cake is a creamy pale pink base with tiny lavender glitter (you have to look closely to see it, but it definitely adds something special), small yellow squares, and small/medium glitter in yellow, white, and two different shades of pink.  I actually really like this one, though I found myself wishing for more of the darker pink glitter.  It kind of gets buried under the base and just looks light pink.  But still, this is a very pretty polish.

No problems with application, other than the issue with the dark pink glitter getting buried.  This was three coats.  I would recommend waiting between coats because this had a bit of a tendency to move toward my tips.

let them eat cake

And finally, we have The Diamond Necklace Affair:

the diamond necklace affair

The Diamond Necklace Affair is a glitter topcoat made up of small iridescent blue glitters, medium/small sheer white glitter, and iridescent medium white glitter.  Very pretty!  I chose to layer it over China Glaze First Mate, because I thought a dark color would show it really well.  If you’ve been following The Polish Squirrel for a while, you might remember that I actually did a mani based on the Diamond Necklace Affair (which you can see here).  I realized when I was doing these that I used the same base color – total coincidence!

Shown is one coat of The Diamond Necklace Affair over First Mate.

And here’s a bottle shot so you can see how it looks on its own.  Keep in mind that this is definitely a layering polish.

the diamond necklace affair

Overall, this is a great collection!  My picks are Hameau and Louis Louis, but that’s just because I not really big on sparkly or pink.  I think they are all great, though.  Definitely a collection to check out this year!

The Save the Dauphine Collection will be available in Pretty & Polished’s shop starting January 16th!

New Windestine Collection

I’m not usually one to do full-collection posts.  I like giving a lot of attention to polishes I love, one at a time.  But Freda was nice enough to send me her new collection for review, and I wanted to show these before they were released, so I thought I’d give it a go.  I’m still going to give each polish the attention it deserves, so get ready for the longest post in Polish Squirrel history 🙂

If you’ve been reading this blog for any significant period of time, you know that I love the indie brand Windestine.  I could list the reasons, but that might get a little long, so I will just show you her six amazing new polishes.

First up, Home Sweet Home.

tba

Home Sweet Home is a gorgeous chocolate brown polish with holographic shimmer and some really pretty dark pink shimmer.  It’s really the pink shimmer that makes this one extra special.  As soon as I saw this in the bottle, I knew it would be a favorite!  And I’m not big on brown polish, so you know it’s good.  I want this in every color.  Really.

Formula was pretty good.  It was a bit thick, but unmanageably so, and a little sheerer than I expected.  Here, I used three coats with no topcoat.

tba

Next is what Freda described as the “glitter bomb” of the collection.  It’s called Pond Patrol.

pond patrol

Pond Patrol is a medium green jelly packed with different glitters.  There are some medium-ish sheer white and pale pink glitters along with some smaller sheer white glitter (I really love sheer white glitter) and tiny sheer pink glitter.  But what makes this really unique is the addition of the tiny red glitters.  Love this one!

Formula was thick and a little difficult due to the amount of glitter in the bottle, but that’s to be expected.  I used two coats with topcoat to smooth it out a bit.

As soon as I saw this one, I was reminded of another Windestine polish: Spring Into Fall, so I did a comparison in case anyone wanted to see.  SIF is more of an olive green, and while it has similar pink and white glitter in it, it lacks the red glitter and instead has a golden shimmer.  I can’t decide which I like better, but I’m glad I have both!

pond patrol vs spring into fall

Next up is a polish called Inner Glow.

inner glow

Inner Glow is a yellow-toned nude with a lot of holographic shimmer.  I knew this was going to be a favorite, but I was a little worried about how it would look on my skin tone, since I am very pale and very pink (especially on my fingers).  But, even though it doesn’t match my skin (which is totally a good thing), this polish actually looks pretty good on me!

This swatch was two coats with no topcoat.  The formula was a teeny bit thick, but overall, really great!

inner glow

This one is called Twirling Upwards and it is gorgeous.

twirling upwards

Twirling Upwards is a pumpkin orange color with two different sizes of tiny gold glitter.  I didn’t notice until it was on my nails, but if you look closely, you can also see that it has some pretty pink shimmer to it.  I really love this combination!  It somehow manages to be a polish that definitely looks like fall in a bottle, but is appropriate year-round.  I think the addition of the pink shimmer makes this really unique and special.  This is one of those polishes that is just stupid pretty.  I want to stare at it all day.

Again, this was a bit thick, but, that means the glitter goes on evenly and you don’t have to shake it.  This was two coats with topcoat.  It was still a teeny bit sheer at this point, so you may need to add a third coat depending on how long your nails are.  This dried a little bit matte on parts of my nails (not the whole thing), which was kind of weird, but not really a big deal.

twirling upwards

Next, I have Jacquimo, which totally reminds me of this:

jacquimo

If you don’t know what that is, go watch Thumbelina (the 1994 one).  Right now.  Jacquimo was always my favorite character, so I really love the name of this polish!

Ok, on to the actual polish:

jacquimo

Jacquimo is a coral/pink with silver holographic microglitter.  You might already know that I’m not a pink person, so I wasn’t expecting to love this one, but I really, really like it.  It’s so pretty and flattering, and I really like how the glitter isn’t overpowering.  It’s just right.  

This was two coats with no topcoat.  The glitter in this one does tend to sink to the bottom of the bottle, but it’s easily mixed with a good shake.

I tried to get a picture of the holo, but it just wasn’t working for me, so you’ll have to imagine all the tiny silver specks sparkling like twenty times more.

jacquimo

And, last but not least, is Crushed Rose.

crushed rose

Crushed Rose is a glitter topcoat.  It’s has different sizes of both pink and yellow glitter along with some white shards.  Ok, again, because this was pink, I totally underestimated it’s awesomeness.  I honestly thought this was going to be my least favorite of the bunch.  But how freaking gorgeous is this?  Seriously?  It’s so pretty and delicate.  The glitters in this are a bit sheer, so I feel like it will kind of blend with whatever you put under it.

I used one coat over Zoya Malia, because I thought the purple would compliment the yellow and pink glitter.  The combo reminds me of spring.  The formula was surprisingly excellent for a glitter.

And here’s a bottle shot so you can see all the glitters:

crushed rose

And…. we’re done!

I just want to say that even though I raved about each of these polishes, these opinions are 100% my own, and not influenced in any way.  I will honestly say that if I didn’t like any of these, for whatever reason, I would have said so.

That said, I really did love them all.  I will definitely be purchasing full sized bottles of all of these!  I can seem myself wearing them a lot, especially as we get into spring.  They’re so pretty, and I really think there is something for everyone in this collection!  I was going to do a “my picks” thing, but I don’t think I can since they’re all so different.

UPDATE: This collection will be available on Etsy starting tomorrow!

Feliz Navidad

I discovered Happy Hands nail polish a couple of months ago and it is quickly becoming one of my favorite indie brands.  She has a great eye for color combinations.  And I really just love the packaging.  The bottles are nice and thick, which great brushes, and the labels are really cute.

Feliz Navidad is a peachy nude base (pretty much my perfect mannequin hands shade) with soft pink and gold glitter.  It’s a very subtle effect, and this could definitely qualify as work-appropriate glitter.

feliz navidad

This is three thin coats with Essie Good to Go.  Kristi, the creator of Happy Hands, warned that this had a pretty strong smell because of some of the ingredients.  I was expecting strong, Seche Vite-like, nail polish smell.  Instead, this has a strange, hair-salon type of smell.  Which is, honestly, a lot easier to handle than overwhelming nail polish smell.

Here you can see that some (not all) of the larger pink glitter pieces are holographic.  Very pretty.

feliz navidad

Happy Hands nail polish is available on Etsy, and they’re relatively easy to get your hands on because Kristi is awesome and restocks every Saturday at 5pm EST!  You can also check out her nail polish blog here.