Ah, Nars Zulu. My first giant lemming. Started by perusing innocently through a bunch of blogs before finding my blackened-green jelly love that also happened to be ridiculously expensive and impossible to find without forking an untold amount of money on eBay.
I blame my addiction to true, deep greens entirely on Nars Zulu. I even blame my need for jellies as dark and moody in color on Nars Zulu. I used to want to attempt frankens, I considered buying Anna Sui's 915 (just as hard to find and elusive). I didn't believe all the hushed and frantic rumors that Zulu would be re-released. Why would such a thing come so easily? Who, besides np collectors like myself, would desire such a thing? It was a hopeless cause.
Except that Nars did re-release Zulu. And imagine my surprise when a little box filled with deep green jelly goodness showed up on my doorstep!
Zulu is two coats, with perfect application--like all jellies of its kind, it initially applies streakily and eases and levels with the second coat. It is lovely--deep near black in indoors light and shade, a true emerald in sunlight.
I don't get it. Last year, when I swatched this for the first time (don't look, people; the swatch is horrendous), the color looked... well, plum. Now it looks brown. So brown, in fact, that I'm beginning to wonder if I should do a comparison between this polish and RBL Au Chocolat--they've both got that red-brown chocolate-syrup color thing going on.
I think it might be safe to say that I thought Orly's Cosmic FX collection was awesome to begin with, but I own three of the colors and I love every single one of them to pieces. Look at this one.
On a lot of people, I know that It's Not Rocket Science read as a really, really glittery puke/slime/snot green. On me, it's very grassy. It reminds me of leaves, due to its texture and depth (see how it seems darker beyond the shimmer plates? See how when the light hits it, only the center turns a bright lime green? A deep, olive green color in shade?
Frankly I'm curious to see how this polish will hold up against Orly's blue-tinged green version, Meet Me Under the Mistletoe (I haven't swatched it yet), but I imagine that the colors would have a lot in common.
This is two coats (thickish: I've discovered that thick is the best way to get all the shimmer particles where you want 'em) and I had no problems with this. FYI (although most of you know this already), ChG's Zombie Zest is a dupe of this color. So is SpaRitual's Optical Illusion.
I created this franken in the attempt to create something soft, squishy, sheer pink, and glittery--probably after all of the lemming I did for ChG Carnival Lights. (I own Carnival Lights now. Is it dupey? No. Is it even similar? Not to my eye. Are they related? Yes.)
I don't even remember what goes into this--a little bit of Essie Jelly Apple, a lot of Wet n Wild's Kaleidoscope, and the remnant of that dodo pink japanese color that was my first Lemming Monster post.
Ignore the stainage.
This is three coats and relatively easy to make, and cute: I wore it to work for a couple of days and nobody even batted an eye (not that they ever do. More on that later). The pink masks the horrible yellow color that my nails have become and allows for a simple, clean look with a kick--for me, this means that this franken is a perfect palate-cleanser when I'm feeling oversaturated with polish.
So, the thing about work-appropriate polish: I work full-time now and I wear whatever dang nail polish I like. Nobody has said a thing. I got tons of compliments on Space Cadet. Take heart, ladies! Work-appropriate does not mean the same thing in every office.
Silk and Velvet is a franken of circumstance, and is the last franken I've ever made without measuring out and thinking about how much of each color in proportion to the bottle. The last. From this point on my frankens became more intuitive--and oddly enough, a lot prettier. Except now that they're prettier I can't give you recipes other than what I know went into it. Sigh.
Anyway. I made Silk and Velvet with, oh, my mom's old colors that reeked of the early 2000s. Frosty metallic red. Warm pink with gold frost.
Not interested. So I frankened with them! Here's the recipe:
SILK AND VELVET:
-1/4 Sinful Colors Fire Red
-1/16 Nfu-Oh 119
-1/4 Sinful Colors Sharon's Heart
-3 drops Sally Hansen Invisible
I'm not entirely sure if it's the creme blue or the clear polish that I threw into this, but it's not frosty at all--this is a deep, wine shimmer with a slight silver sheen--gold particles are interspersed throughout. Not enough to tell on the nail, obviously, but it's prominent in the bottle and you can occasionally catch snatches of the gold in light.
I like its texture, of which I actually do not own much of: its sheen is satiny, its look is somewhat luxurious. I might wear this again during holiday season, although it looks autumnal as well.
Oh--the application was somewhat goopy and it smells like franken (it stinks) but it settles well and wore well. I think that application issues might arise more from the bottle than the polish, actually--I've used it for frankening about 3 times and I think all that acetone has made it somewhat difficult to work with.
Y'know, since autumn started I've worn this polish three times. Three. As a blogger and a nail polish collector I'm sure you can imagine that this sort of thing doesn't happen very often, wearing the same polish multiple times in a season and all (except that one time during Lent when I had to choose four polishes and wear just those for the entire duration. Blargh.), but yes. I wore Rustic three times.
There are a couple reasons for this: firstly, Rustic is gorgeous. It's a beautiful glowy metallic dark brown/bronze/copper color. See the way the light hits it at the bottom? It darkens the edges, and I can totally understand now why people love these "glow from within" polishes.
Secondly, the application is excellent. The brush is short and is somewhat difficult to work with, but it's not the fault of the polish as much as it is the bottle. Two coats. It dries quickly and you're ready to go.
Lastly (and on a more nostalgic basis), I wear bronze a lot in general because it was the first nail polish color I ever owned that was out of the pink/red/black range. I remember being very nervous about it (despite friends rolling their eyes and telling me that it was gorgeous) and kept thinking it was too close to my skin tone, it looked unnatural, etc.
Then I discovered that very shiny bronzey colors look great with navy. It all goes down from there.
I pull on this polish whenever I feel the need to remember where all of this madness came from. (Also, to match it with navy.) Does anybody else have a color that they blame their nail polish collection on?
Okay, so... this isn't the best picture ever. Every nightmare I can think of for horrific nail pictures are in here. Stark lighting. Bubbles. Crazy lumpy topcoat. Shrinkage.
But this is because I made a mistake, and the mistake occurred because I have no patience. Here's the story:
I received a packet of pink-to-lavender crushed seashells from Viva La Nails in the mail and was trying to figure out how to utilize them in every day nail art when I thought, "hey, I can just use them like abstract rhinestones. Also, wouldn't it be cool if I could use them like, oh, I don't know, broken up mosaic pieces?"
This is the result. The problem is that if you have four coats of a pale pink streaky nightmare polish and nail art, you don't actually want to put quick-dry topcoat on it. Ever. Or that nightmare you see above occurs.
I've actually tried this on the opposite hand (I didn't take a picture because I am also horrible with non quick-dry polish and dinged my nails), and I can verify the above paragraph is truth.
On the whole, though, the image from far off isn't so bad:
(See, this is the opposite, dingy hand. Other than the dings, the manicure was a success here!)
I like how it looks like broken glass pieces. This is basically four coats of Nubar seashell, and then I pressed on the seashells at random with my opposite hand. Because the shells are rough in texture they just sort of stick to your skin; I just press it onto the nail from there. Use a light touch and do not use quick-dry topcoat. The end result is very cool.
See? The picture below is my favorite:
(ignore the bubbles. I really should've tried the look on black.)
It's odd, like a 3-d gradient/mosaic/flower petals. :) I like it.
(the polish is mine, but the shells were sent to me for review.)