Viridian Illamasqua

The polish I have on today is Viridian by Illamasqua. Viridian is a good descriptive name – it’s a very dark green with a blue tinge which is this polish is showing perfectly. It’s a gorgeous polish, super glossy and strongly pigmented. It’s also a nice colour for my short nails.

There are some near dupes out there for this one, but I love that it doesn’t stain or give me smurf cuticles which is huge for a polish of this kind.


Snap – By Illamasqua

Here we have Snap by Illamasqua – a cool grey graphite-esque nail polish. It sits slightly more silvery than Orly’s Seagurl which leans a little browner side-by-side. The bottle suggests some very fine holographic glitter although it’s not obvious as holographic glitter on the nail, more just adds depth to the nail.

Snap by illamasqua swatch

Snap by illamasqua swatch

My nails are sadly short at the moment, I snapped two in quick succession and decided to cut my losses so to speak and trim them all. Dammit :/ oh well, they’ll grow back… sooner or later.

Black and Gold, Black and Gold (Nubar tape manicure)

This is a simple tape manicure using Black Chrome and Unpredictable Taupe both by Nubar.Image

Unpredictable Taupe is a fun colour, kind of a gold duochrome that looks white gold, rose gold or yellow gold depending on the light.

I like to mix up the direction on a tape mani – while the standard diagonals/chevrons are cute they can look a little star trek uniform sometimes. Mixing up the lines breaks that up and makes it a little more funky.

Hey – so only 3.5 day until my giveaway finishes. Enter here by commenting on that post. Then come back and listen to Sam Sparro. Black and Gold, Black and Gold, Black and Gold 🙂

Essence Hard to Resist

Essence hard to resist is in the same family as some of my favourite polishes like Chanel Blue Satin and Illamasqua Phallic. It is a navy blue with a teal shimmer and a very shy purple shimmer that seems nearly impossible to photograph. The heavy shimmer makes it deep and lively, and the pigmentation is insane – easily a one coater.


Also hard to resist is the price tag – $2.55 a bottle at my local target. It looks to be discontinued now so I might be splashing out a pricier alternative when I run out. My only problem with this colour is the need to heavily, heavily base coat your nails. This is seriously smurf nail territory. 


Still, who can resist this colour blue!

Accent nail fail


Not my best effort on either nail painting, or on colour selection for an accent nail. It actually works a bit better in person as the accent colour Illamasqua Glitterati has holographic sparkles in the deep raspberry jelly that sparkle in a colour quite close to the main nails. The trick with accent nails is usually to either go close to the same shade, or a contrasting colour but I think this combo struggled by being close but not quite close enough in shade.

Now the main nail colour, funny story, is from the Justin Bieber collection for Nicole by OPI. It’s called OMB “Oh My Bieber”. It gets so many compliments, it has a really lively bright pink shimmer and has a lot of depth. It’s so embarassing to tell me what the colour is when they ask though! At least I have resident teenagers to claim ownership of the colour though, rather than fessing up to buying it myself.

I love the colour, but the downside NOPI brush sucks – its stubby and hard to use. And this is in the older style bottle which is hard to store. But the colour and formula are great so that this is one of the colours we have actually nearly used up.

Game of Thrones – Tyrell Manicure

Another one of the great families in game of thrones are the Tyrells. I particularly like the women in the family, and without spoiling the surprise for anyone who hasn’t read the books ahead of watching the series… they have the Joffrey situation locked down.

The Tyrells sigil is a golden rose in full bloom against a green field, and their motto is “Growing Stronger”. The women all distinctly have thorns behind the pretty exterior.


Margaery seems like she would so be into nail art. I have freehanded three simple flowers against my background of Illamasqua Scorch in different shades of gold, using Nubar Unpredicatable Taupe, then Essence Destination Sunshine and Ulta3 Honululu in the centre.


In real life the metallic makes it ‘pop’ a little and increased the impact 🙂

Glitter Gradient – Snow in the sky

This is a silver glitter gradient using Crown me Already from OPI on my I don’t give a Rotterdam undercoat.


It’s super pretty – this was actually my manicure for Christmas as well. It’s got a light icy feel about and looks Christmas-y in a southern hemisphere appropriate way 🙂 as the normal fall colours can seem a bit heavy in the middle of summer here.

Crown me already is a great colour for gradients, it has a range of silver glitter and is very blingtastic. The only problem is wear, it’s a ‘crunchy’ due to the dense glitter action and I find it’s quite prone to chipping without a heavy coat of top coat.

At most 5 shades of gray

For this manicure I did gradient from whiteish to blackish. Now, originally I tried to do some nail art on the thumb as I was playing around with what the Stark manicure would be in Game of Thrones.


But it was an awful mess :(( so I decided to cut my losses and do a glittery accent thumb of Metallic 4 Lyf. This is what I ended up with. I used the BYS matte top coat on the main nails… and its not great at all. I bought one time I was feeling a bit poor but wanted to try matte nails. It, at best, gets you to a rubber finish but has the BYS ability to goo-ify any nail polishes underneath it, smells like a petroleum refinery waste product and take forever to buy. This is my problem… I always get suckered into what BYS offers colours/finish-wise and forget the smell and setting issues.

ombre mani

Anyway, the colours left to right are Nubar Black Chrome, Orly Sea Gurl, Essence Got a Secret, and OPI My Boyfriend Scales Walls (and OPI Metallic 4 Lyf on the Thumb, with a Seche Top Coat). Black Chrome has a subtle shimmer that takes it back a notch from black and MBSW is a also a touch grimier than a true white so they all play on the grey spectrum.

So, in summary, don’t buy BYS matte top coat.