The Underdogs

Underdogs Collage

Here’s a couple of polishes I forgot I even owned (renos, man – you’ll misplace every single thing you ever owned, and then spend the next three months trying to hunt it all down again) Dance Legend’s Sun Still Sleeps from their Candy Flakes collection, and Layla’s unfortunately-named CE52.  Both of these polishes are OLD – at least four years – but relatively unused (because I keep forgetting I own them) so they’re still in excellent condition.  I can’t even remember where I bought these (think I got the Layla one from Nail Polish Canada, and I know the Dance Legend one was an import, because DL is a Russian brand.)  I’m sorry, I’m becoming a really crap nail blogger in my advancing years – too many polishes that all vaguely look the same!

Like these two!  The only thing that separates these two polishes, aside from the companies that produce them, is one is blue and one is purple.  Otherwise, they’re both jelly bases (that’s what gives them that squishy sort of look, even when topped with a matte topcoat) loaded with red-to-green iridescent flakes.

Underdogs 7

That red/green combination is a popular one in the world of nail polish, because when it’s paired with darker shades, like this blue and this purple, it creates these incredible linear rainbows that run alongside the bottle, and the edges of your nails.  It’s such a pretty look.

Underdogs 6

But a MESSY look.  After taking this polish off, I remembered why I don’t use these flakie-type polishes very often – because when you do take them off, the acetone will strip off the colour immediately, leaving you with nothing but flakes, all of which will be resolutely stuck to your nails.  So get ready to put some elbow grease into it, because these polishes do not remove easily.

If you’re in love with either of these long-in-the-tooth, probably discontinued polishes, you can recreate this exact look with a blue and purple polish of your choice, topped with an iridescent flakie topper.  Just about every manufacturer has at least one of these fun, colour-changing “effects” polishes, even the drugstore brands, so there’s lots of choice out there.  Enjoy!

Underdogs 1

Sunset Flakies

The Road to Awe Collage

Here’s a simple and striking manicure that’s evocative of the colours in a warm summer sunset, kind of like the ones I am fortunate enough to frequently enjoy from one of my two balconies. Tonight’s sun has very nearly set, but here’s a pretty picture from a couple of weeks ago.  My city enjoys some of North America’s best sunsets; it’s an added bonus that I can just glance out my kitchen window and see this:


For these nails, I layered ILNP’s The Road to Awe, a green-to-gold-to-fuchsia-to-purple chromatic flakie topper, over KB Shimmer’s Soul Deep, a deep, blue-black creme.

The Road to Awe Fingers

The Road to Awe Bottle

Blue Flame Grass Clippings

Blue Flame Collage

That’s like some horrible slam poetry/word association misfire there.  But if my last post was a purple flame, that makes today’s, featuring a polish that is its nearly identical twin, a blue flame, right?  Except the kind of red-to-gold flakies used in both polishes – purple CE52 from Layla Cosmetics and this pretty blue gem, Sun Still Sleeps from Dance Legend – look completely different against a dusky blue background, taking on less of a burning embers look and more of an iridescent grass clippings kind of vibe. But very pretty grass clippings!

Blue Flame Fingers 2

I purchased this polish – an import, if you will, from Russian company Dance Legend – a couple of years ago through a now-defunct online stocklist (defunct for a pretty good reason as far as my experience is concerned; I received some abysmal customer service from them the one and only time I ordered.)  That’s a shame, as I now have no clue where to procure Dance Legend’s fun, pretty and vast assortment of lacquered goodies.  So I’ll have to make do with my one and only bottle of Sun Still Sleeps, one of those polishes I made a mad dash to the checkout line to purchase.

Blue Flame Fingers 1

Although now that I’m comparing it to the purple Layla polish (virtually identical in formulation, despite being from an altogether different manufacturer), I prefer the effect of the flakes as against the rich purple, as opposed to Sun Still Sleeps’ deep ocean blue. Sun Still Sleeps also required about four more coats for full opacity than the Layla polish, remaining stubbornly sheer at the tips well into its sixth coat.  Having to paint on umpteen layers of polish is no deal breaker for me when it comes to lightweight jelly polishes, although I will note that this now means there will be that many more flakies to wipe off come removal time, and the type of iridescent flakes in Sun Still Sleeps are a ferocious pain in the arse to remove (said removal actually not being the issue; it’s more that colour-shifting ghost flakies cling stubbornly to your nails and the surrounding skin long, long after you’ve acetoned and re-polished, acetoned and re-polished.  Them flakes be in it for the long haul.  But so am I, because this polish, minor quibbles aside, is just lovely.)

Blue Flame Bottle

Purple Flame

Layla Collage

I have no idea what the title of this post means, but I ask you this – did the Bangles know what an Eternal Flame was?  I think not.

But what I do know is that this polish, Layla Cosmetics’ Ceramic Effect in the unimaginatively named CE52, looks like tiny, hot embers embedded in the rich, dusky purple jelly base.  Flame on!

The flakes in CE52 are of the colour-changing, iridescent variety, which means they’re a pain to remove cleanly, but I’m willing to put up with a bit of acetone aggravation for the cool rainbow effect these flakies take on in the shade, where polishes like CE52 always do their best work.


Best of all?  This older polish is still available at Nail Polish Canada!  NPC has CE52 listed as The Butterfly Effect on their website, too, which I think we can all agree is so much better than a numerical rank and file, yes?


I Love ILNP!

Paradox Collage

Clearly, as my last two posts have featured a new-to-me ILNP (I Love Nail Polish) beauty. So here’s another one!

This is Paradox, another pick from ILNP’s Ultra Chrome Flakies Collection, this time with an added dash of holographic pixie dust.  I love the way the colour-shifting flakies – here in an assortment of fuchsia, purple, turquoise, blue and even a bit of gold – catch the light and morph across the whole rainbow spectrum, while the holographic shimmer twinkles prettily in the background.  I will note, however, that the two types of polishes ILNP has combined here – holos and chromatic flakies – are not totally compatible.  Holos always do their best work in the sun, while chromatic polishes like to stick to the shade – betwixt the two, there’s just a whole lot of eye-searing brightness and glare.  But!  The holographic shimmer in this polish is so fine – a true powdery shimmer as opposed to individual bits of micro glitter – it shows through loud and clear, even in indirect lighting, and the flakies are not so CHROME! that they’ll take your head off in the sun.  Now that is a pretty great polish.

Paradox Fingers

The other day a reader asked if these flakies stick up off the nail after the polish has dried down.  No, not a bit. I realize in some of my photos it does indeed look like there’s an edge or two poking up, but as any good blogging lacquerista is probably aware, there’s an odd trick of the light at play here – in photography, glitter polishes, no matter the type, always sort of look like they’re trying to escape from your nails.  But no, completely smooth.  And best of all, unlike foil or iridescent-type flakies, these chromatic flakes remove with all the ease of a creme polish – simply swipe them off with regular polish remover and they’re gone.  Beauty.

Sunny Fingers

Ferris Wheel

Ferris Wheel Collage

Here’s another fabulous polish from ILNP (I Love Nail Polish) to add to my collection of favourite’d flakies, chromatic rainbow flakie polish in overdrive, Ferris Wheel! ILNP’s flakies are pure polish perfection, so I had no doubt that Ferris Wheel would be as great as the handful I already own.  But Ferris Wheel proved to be an unexpectedly wonderful surprise in that its colour-shifting chromatic flakies are scattered as opposed to linear. That means when you tilt the bottle about, the colour-changing rainbow effect comes at you from every individual piece of glitter as opposed to one linear, colour-shifting piece of the whole.

Fabulousness aside, I have no idea why this polish, released during last year’s winter holiday season, is called Ferris Wheel.  All I know is I’m delighted every time I look at it to be reminded of the television show The Goldbergs, which I watch on a semi-regular basis because Barry “Big Tasty” Goldberg, a 17-year-old aspiring rapper/kung fu master/basketball superstar, is my everything, particularly the self-funded music video he made for his breakout R&B sex jam, Ferris Wheel (“Gurl, whatchu doin’ in that sexy hangin’ basket?”)  Heh.

Ferris Wheel Bottle

Fabulously Flaky

Macro Mani

Getting way up close and personal with this flaked-out manicure that was little more than an excuse for me to muck about with a fun, colour-shifting polish and my neglected macro lenses.  And this flakie, Polish Me Silly’s multi-chromatic Party Hearty, is an excellent candidate for the job – it just looks so cool mega magnified, particularly the larger, slightly raggedy rainbow bits.  Love this fun, experimental look. 🙂

Fabulously Flaky Fingers 1

Waking the Dead

Flakie Bottle

Like most everything in life, the nail polish world sees its fair share of trends. Textured polishes were all the rage four or so years ago, followed by magnetic polishes and then thermals.  A novelty by their very niche nature, most of these polishes enjoyed an initial honeymoon period in which they could do no wrong, followed by a downfall owing to total market saturation, plus the fact that all of them have rather limited functionality.  But some of these polishes managed to extend their 15 minutes of fame, including last year’s trendy pick, the mighty, mighty flakie.  I adore my handful of flakie polishes, particularly the chromatic type. I love the way the slightly raggedy bits of colour-shifting flakes nestle smoothly into the base polish, while still looking a little bit “undone.”  And unlike their iridescent counterparts, which I’m not so fond of, chromatic flakies remove with the ease of a creme polish, a very nice touch indeed.

2016 has yet to reveal its big trend, so until then, I’m jumping back a year to a polish that I’m so glad was more than just a flash in the pan, Polish Me Silly’s Stop Flaking on Me, here over Girly Bits’ zombie green creme, Dead Man’s Toe.  One of the things I really love about chromatic flakies, and Stop Flaking on Me in particular, is the softness of the finish. These polishes always highlight and compliment the base they’ve been layered over, perking up even somber ones like this camo green one, without obscuring the original look of either polish.  Very cool.

Flakie Fingers

Jagged Little Pur-Pill

Jagged Bottle

Here’s a simple swatch of an unexpectedly cool polish, Whimsical Ideas by Pam’s purple shard-stuffed Fantasia.  I say “unexpectedly” because this is one of those polishes that pictures simply do not do proper justice.  Photography rarely treats purples very well, come to think of it.  So when I purchased Fantasia, I didn’t really know that the flakes were two different shades of metallic purple, lending this glitter topper a kind of colour-shifting, duochrome type of look.  Very pretty!  Here I’ve layered Fantasia over Nfu Oh’s lavender-hued jelly, JS12.  The thought originally was that I’d combine the two polishes in a kind of jelly sandwich, but I liked Fantasia perfectly well enough on its own, flashing delicately between metallic indigo and plum with every shift of my hands.

The one negative to this polish is that unlike, say, last year’s chromatic flakie craze, the metallic shards in Fantasia have some body to them, and the rougher-than-usual edges want to poke up through your topcoat.  I used two coats for this manicure, and I probably could have gone for three, just to hedge my rough-edged bets.

Jagged Fingers

I’m in Awe

Awe Collage

Of how beautiful this polish is, I Love Nail Polish’s ridiculously pretty chromatic flakie, The Road to Awe. I own two other ILNP Ultra Chrome Flakies, hot pink-to-green Electric Carnival and purple-to-teal Supernova, and both of them are among my favourite polishes of 2015. The Road to Awe shares a similar formula with EC and Supernova – that is to say, a fabulous one. Chromatic flakies like these don’t stick to your nails the way iridescent shards will, and remove with the ease of a creme polish. You can get these flakie polishes opaque in three coats, too, but I find they take on an almost furry look that I don’t much care for. So I always layer them over a deep and dark creme, preferably black, just like I did here with The Road to Awe, for a sleek look that really highlights the bonkers colour-shift in these gorgeous polishes.

Awe Fingers 1

And what of The Road to Awe’s colour-shift? Bonkers. 😉 And so gorgeous, swinging from violet to vibrant fuchsia, then on to marigold and the barest hints of teal. It reminds me of both the sunrise and the sunset, all at the same time. An especially lovely addition to the Ultra Chrome family of flakie polishes.

Awe Fingers 2