Friday, 7 December 2012

Pattern Recognition: Winter Nails

Embarrassing as it was, my last experiment with this kind of collage post was really helpful in motivating me to pare down my collection -- I kept 20 out of the 53 items shown.

So here's a nail polish edition, featuring the three groups I've been gravitating to lately: textured greens, smooth blues and purple-tinged neutrals.

All pictures taken in natural sun/light. Swatches are 2 coats with topcoat unless otherwise noted.
DC = discontinued
LE = limited edition

Textured greens
left to right:
Butter London Trustafarian: pale lemon-sage holo (3 coats)
China Glaze He's Going In Circles: seafoam-mint holo (DC)
Butter London Swinger: multi-tonal glittery chartreuse
Essence Bashful: hunter green cream base with fine gold shimmer (LE)
Smitten Polish I Want It Now: green jelly base with teal, green and black sparkle (3 coats)
China Glaze Emerald Sparkle: deepened green base with...emerald sparkle
A-England St George: subtle rich holo, more pine green than teal
Butter London Jack the Lad: dark bottle green base with gold, turquoise and emerald glitter
Suqqu EX-08 Kujakudama: blackened sage with lighter, warmer green shimmer (DC)

Trustafarian, He's Going in Circles, Swinger, Bashful, I Want it Now, (Emerald Sparkle)
Bashful, I Want It Now, Emerald Sparkle, St George, Jack the Lad, Kujakudama
Jack the Lad

Smooth Blues
left to right:
Kiko 336 Electric Blue: bright, clear electric blue, on the light side of IKB
YSL 18 Bleu Majorelle: a little deeper/more muted than Kiko
OPI Dating a Royal: sheer cobalt jelly (4 coats)
China Glaze Man Hunt: slightly richer and deeper than OPI, cobalt crelly
Kiko 335 Ink Blue: sheer parker-ink blue, looks more blue and less teal with layering (4 coats)
Illamasqua Propaganda: inky blackened blue (3 coats)

Electric Blue, Bleu Majorelle, Dating a Royal, Man Hunt, Ink Blue, Propaganda 
Electric Blue, Bleu Majorelle, Dating a Royal, Man Hunt, Ink Blue, Propaganda 

Purple as a neutral
left to right:
Butter London Muggins: pale grey with lavender tint
OPI Done Out In Deco: lilac cream
Butter London No More Waity, Katie: lavender taupe base with brighter, warmer glitter (3 coats)
[no bottle pic] A-England Guinevere: neutral greyed lavender
Rescue Beauty Lounge Insouciant: dusty lilac-taupe base with subtle cool blue reflect 
Sephora by OPI Metro Chic: looks ridiculously warm here but it's not, a dirty plummed taupe
Barry M Dusky Mauve: Chanel Paradoxal in a far superior formula :P
Rescue Beauty Lounge Recherché: warm grey-smoked plum

Muggins, Done Out In Deco, NMWK, Guinevere, Insouciant, Metro Chic, Dusky Mauve, Recherché
Muggins, Done Out In Deco, NMWK, Guinevere, Insouciant, Metro Chic, Dusky Mauve, Recherché 

So which would you ditch? :) Any shared favourites? Not sure why my brain would regard this kind of thing as a makeup rut MAYDAY MAYDAY but in nail terms, it's just a pleasant aesthetic wave to ride.

Apologies for not keeping up with posting/replying to comments/bloghopping lately: holidays = mad chaotic rush, always. I aim to post at least once a week for now, but will hopefully be back on a more regular schedule next year.


  1. Dusty Mauve!! How did I miss that! I agree with you, Barry M's formula is top notch compared to Chanel.
    I'm wearing Trustafarian today, after seeing it in one of your posts. I love a subtle holo! I must add Jack the Lad to my wishlist too! I realise I have hardly any emerald greens in my collection, and it's very much the colour of the moment, isn't it?

    1. You would love it! <3 Sadly Trustafarian was a bit fat fail on my skintone; I should've sent it to you :(

  2. Yay! Pretty pictures! Your winter nail wardrobe is so enjoyable.
    I'm hitting that end of year stress too, (Eek! what do you mean I have to write /essays/ again??) so bite-sized doses of sparkly are required for keeping up my spirits.

    I try to be ruthless with my polish collection, but making wise eliminations is tricksy. so I'm usually lead by impulse.
    In your greens Bashful and I Want it Now don't call to me as much as some of the other shades … and surprisingly Kujakudama also doesn't seem to pop as much, but I know how Suqqu can be for impressively indefinable subtle majesty.

    Smooth blues are sexy, especially because they always remind me of high school shenanigans and boy!crushes. Electric Blue is a hint light for my taste, though I might love it in summer. I'd probably try to make myself purge one from among Dating a Royal, Man Hunt, and Ink Blue. Propaganda is headed for my wishlist, 3 coats sounds like a pain, but oh the color!

    Purple neutrals are favorites for me too, so I'll be the opposite of helpful and suggest 3 purpley Zoya polishes I love which I think you'd enjoy: Harley, Jana, and Neeka.

    1. <3 I think I turn to nails at times of stress because for me those always involve copious amounts of writing/typing, and it's easier to catch a glimpse of the pretty without surreptitious fishing out of mirrors....

      This is actually my second Kujakudama D: I gave away the first on impulse and then regretted it...but now it's back on the maybe's, for sure.

      Propaganda is one of those super-rare Illa polishes whose formula sucks, but the name! ITISSOPERFECT.

      ....dammit I love all of those Zoyas. D:

    2. I like your thinking re: nails and stress - I think I'll sit down and make myself paint mine tonight, I've been wanting play with Neeka for a few days, and not been getting around to it.

      Let me know if you want to haul Zoya and don't require instant gratification. I'll be in the states soon where their prices are reasonable ($8 v. £10.50) so I could enable :P

  3. I have added so many to my wish list now. Definitely going to purchase the Butter London nail polishes!

    1. ooops! lol :D A lot of people hate their formula but it can really work on me.

  4. I try not to let my makeup get too out of hand - especially with non-powder products that may go bad - but since properly cared for nail polish keeps virtually forever, I don't worry so much about an out-of-control collection (though space is starting to be an issue, unfortunately).

    You have lovely taste, and I wouldn't get rid of any of them!

    1. My nail polish collection has tripled in the past year (ah, MU low buy, gotta love it) so it feels very excessive to me! I know you're speaking the truth though :D

  5. I purge ruthlessly, so here are my thoughts :)

    Butter London Swinger - Is this shade flattering on your skin tone? I cannot wear greens like this. Does it require a lot of topcoat to smooth out, or does the bumpy surface not bother you?

    Essence Bashful - Based on your other selections, it doesn't seem like you gravitate to mid-tone greens. Do you usually reach for the deeper, darker ones? If so, purge this one

    Suqqu EX-08 Kujakudama - Looks a bit like a watered down version of the BL one.

    OPI Dating a Royal - I don't know about you, but this one bubbled like mad on my nails so I purged it ages ago.

    Kiko 335 Ink Blue - Unless you love it, I would dump this 4 coater as well.

    OPI Done Out In Deco/a-e Guinevere -- I would only keep one of these two

    BL NMWK - How do you find the formula on this one? I never lemmed it

    1. You know I only want to purge to make room for all the indies you made me buy, right? :P

      I am weird and quite like bumpy glitters :D But yeah the yellow is tricky. Maybe I need to post a NOTD for votes!

      You're totally right about Bashful -- it was a deliberate "why don't I wear this kind of green?" thing and then "...oh that's why".

      NGL, NMWK formula is shite. But pretty! What's something similar but better?

  6. These are all honestly gorgeous, but when I saw Muggins in the last picture, I knew you HAD to keep it because it is just so pretty!

  7. Green Keepers:
    China Glaze He's Going In Circles
    Essence Bashful: hunter green cream base with fine gold shimmer (LE)
    Smitten Polish I Want It Now (totally worth the 3 coats - it's so fun!)
    Only keep one of the following: St. George, Jack the Lad or Kujakudama. They're close enough for the same effect and I'd go with the best formula.

    Blue Keepers:
    Either Electric or Bleu Majorelle - whichever formula is best.
    China Glaze Man Hunt
    Illamasqua Propaganda

    Lavender Keepers:
    Muggins if it really works on your skintone as not too many people could pull that off.
    Only keep one of the next four. They're all in the same shade family. Pick the best formula or your most worn (I'd go with Guinevere or Insouciant.)
    Metro Chic
    Dusky Mauve
    Recherche - all different enough to warrant keeping.

    Apparently, I'm ruthless when it comes to other people's stashes! I'm going to try this exercise at home. If it fails, I'll send you pics & you can post them a few months from now when I've forgotten they're mine, LOL!

    1. This is so helpful, Neena!
      I love being bossed around :D and my "nooooo" clingy reactions really clarified which of these I really love and which I just like.

      Looking forward to those pics! I should start a HALL OF SHAME tag :D

  8. Oh!!!! Many beautiful nail polishes!! I felt in love with both of Rescue Beauty Lounge!!! I am from Spain and its no easy buy them!!
    My favourites are all Lippmann´s polishes <3 I have recently bought some of A England.
    Nice pictures!!!
    Sorry about my english, it not so good. :-)

    1. Thanks for visiting :D Your English is great. I need to trouble American friends for Lippmann and RBL as well, so it's hard to let them go :(

  9. So many beauties. I love the colored themes, as well.

    1. They make pretty pictures without any effort from me = I like!

  10. Sorry, can't help you ditch anything :-( But those cobalt blues are amazing! It reminds me of a Butter London I used to have and now sadly swapped away, boo. Where can I find Kiko (which I'm hoping is less $$ than YSL)?


    1. Kiko is an excellent Italian DS brand which has counters/shops in Europe :/ I'm not sure where a US lady could get ahold of them, I'm afraid :(

    2. **head hangs** well, so it happened I came across a cobalt blue Essie. Although I'm not too thrilled w/ Essie's formula, this will work for now, at least.

  11. *brain swirls in my head* I can't compute such a thing! But Dusky Mauve stays for sure:P

    1. This was my Max Factor Fantasy Fire before FF came out -- the polish I sent to all my US friends :)

  12. I'm too prim for wild nail colors, I think. I'm very "Glitter! It is so pretty!" for the first day, and then "ARGH. GET IT OFF ME" after that. But those purply taupes? Oh, yes.

    I also just ordered RBR mattes, thanks to you and my current fascination with pink eyeshadow. I couldn't very well let Bashful Flamingo come alone. (I do hope it isn't exactly the same color as my face; we'll see.)

    1. My taste in nail polish is very similar to my taste in eyeshadow -- smooth mattes/creams/jellies and at the other end of the scale, obnoxious complex glitter. I skip over the metallic/frosts in between.

  13. I am swooning right now over these GORGEOUS shades!! You are definitely a woman after my own heart :) Especially loving (and needing) A-England St George (literally EVERYTHING I've seen from this brand is *stunning*), Butter London Jack the Lad and No More Waity, Katie, and Suqqu EX-08 Kujakudama

  14. The greens are so lovely! (I have Don't Mess With OPI now on my nails:)
    Greens are tricky too (think witch) and not sure if they are good for everyday wear...but I love them for now :)

  15. Kate! Keep allllll the greens. Love all the tonal and textural differences. (I think I've been suckered by the Pantone color of the year!) For the blues, apart from Propoganda, the others are awfully similar to each other. And I hate No More Watie Katie. How many layers did you have to do to get it to show up? Is it just my bottle? Color is so pretty, but so hard to work with.