Monday, April 1, 2013

What The Matte?

also known as Matte Top Coat breakdown.....

Matte polish is one of my loves.  I may not get the textured thing, but matte - yes please!  Mishka with Accio Lacquer is far better at showing the matte love.

Now, you can buy straight up matte polishes.  I have some of those, and I do love them.  But you can also buy matte top coats.  Of which there are now several on the market.  So I'm here to break them down.

My only order is by cost per 1 mL, highest to lowest.  Simply because I need SOME way to start.  I'll provide links if I have any.  I'm also figuring out the total for 15 mL, since that's a fairly general standard size. I've got 9 options, so they'll be ranked 1-9.

Julep Matte - $14.00 for 8 mL - $1.75 per mL, $26.25 for 15 mL

Total waste of money in my book. 

It's insanely expensive, and I'm not going to become a Julep Maven because I'm too picky about the colors I like, and all the boxes I've seen have at least one color that is awful. 

It actually DOESN'T do matte finish well, or my bottle doesn't.  It goes to a rubbery satin finish more than matte. 

It burnishes like mad, you rub the finish at all and it goes to gloss.

It's very streaky.

I can't think of ANYTHING I like about this polish.  It's dead last in the running, flat out.  It's over priced and doesn't perform.  It's 9th and would be lower if I had more places. 

ManGlaze MatteAstrophe - $13.13 for 11 mL - $1.19 per mL, $17.85 for 15 mL.

It's ok, but it does work far better over other ManGlaze polishes than over other brands. 

It does tend to work fairly nicely over wet/damp indies, apply similar to how you apply Seche Vite, if you want full matte.  If you want matte with glossy crackles, apply it to dry glossy polish.

It does go very matte, it's harder to see over other ManGlaze polishes which have some shimmer, but over a basic black creme, it does matte nicely.

This does burnish some, not too bad. 

I do like it, but if you don't have other ManGlaze polishes, it's probably not worth the bother.  Other matte topper work better and are cheaper.  I can't say I'll buy it again since I don't like the crackle look and I have others I like better for matte.  But it's 7th in line. 

Butter London Matte - $19.00 for 17.5 mL - $1.09 per mL, $16.35 for 15 mL

I've only used this a few times from a friend.  Mishka at Accio Lacquer uses it a good deal.

It mattes nicely, doesn't look streaky, works well.

It did burnish slightly at the tips when I tried it. 

It does dry slightly hard, so it can crack sometimes.  I've found this to be less likely if it's applied over a fully dry fast dry glossy top coat.

Overall, I like this, it works nicely, it's got the nice Butter London formula - but it is on the higher end of the price, so it's only coming in at 4th place.  It's honestly one of the best, if not the best matte top coat - but it's just painfully expensive. 

Out The Door with Wonder Beauty Product ZAP powder - $10.00 for 15 mL - $0.67 per mL

Yup, one of my favored quick dry toppers.  I put in some ZAP powder, and with some fiddling, I got it to a nice, flat finish.

It is fussy to get to, I will admit that. 

But I have a quick dry matte top coat, I like it.  It acts like OTD normally does.

This is very high on my list, just because it's so easy to use in my world.  I put it at $10, OTD being $5 and ZAP being $5 for 2 tablespoons - but I used 1/4 teaspoon to get OTD matte as I like it, so it's really a good deal less, about $0.21 of product.  But if you don't already have ZAP, you do have to buy it.  So I'll be fair and use the $10.  Since it's not premade and you do have to fiddle with it, I don't rank this first, but it's close.  It's my second runner up.

Essie Matte - $10.00 for 15 mL, $0.67 per mL.

Absolute junk on my nails.  Essie never seems to flow well for me, so I don't know why I bothered buying this.

But it does matte pretty well, it doesn't go the the really flat matte that I like.

It burnishes pretty heavily, and is prone to streaking.

It also is really crackly for me, more so than the ManGlaze which advertises as being a potential for crackle.

It's not dead last on my list because it's not worse than Julep, but it's not one I recommend or will ever buy again.  8th place.

Nail Pattern Boldness Glitter Food - $8.00 for 15 mL, $0.53 per mL

Yes, I'm including my beloved Glitter Food.

No, it's not a true matte.  It's more a satin/eggshell finish. If you like the rubber texture that some lines put out, this works very well at that.  This is actually more matte than Julep's really awful attempt.

If you put ZAP in, I suspect it'll go to a full matte.  I haven't bothered because I have other matte toppers I like, and I love this as the rubbery texture.

It doesn't burnish at all, yay!

It's not streaky!

It is slightly thick, as it should be for the starving glitters.

For fun of a satin or rubbery finish, I love this.  I adore this.  It's coming in 3rd, even if it's not a true matte.

Hard Candy Mattely In Love - $4.00 for 10.3 mL - $0.39 per mL, $5.85 for 15 mL.

Meh.  This is ok, it's not great, it's not awful.

It mattes nicely and it's not streaky.

It does burnish some. 

It dries very hard and is very prone to cracking after 24 hours of wear. 

This is ok, nothing more, nothing less.  Before other lines put out their mattes, this was a better one. This is getting harder to find in stores, at least as far as I've found. I'm not sure if Hard Candy is pulling this product or not.  It's a solid 5th place.

Revlon Matte - $4.99 for 14.7 mL - $0.34 per mL, $5.10 for 15 mL.


This stuff is weirdly runny and just don't work nicely.

It does go to full matte.

But it's streaky, it cracks and it burnishes.  It's ok over other Revlon products, but not over other lines. 

This sucker comes in 6th.  It's just not that great, nor is it worth the money.  Same issue with ManGlaze, if you own a lot of the line, it's fine. 

And our FINAL matte top coat.........  Who is also my personal favorite recommendation........

N.Y.C Matte Me Crazy - $1.99 for 9.3 mL - $0.21 per mL, $3.15 for 15 mL.

Yup, this one is my recommendation!

Very simple.  It works.  It mattes down perfectly.  It doesn't show streaks.  It applies nicely.  It doesn't crack.

It's only flaw is burnishing, but every matte I tried has burnished.  This does burnish a bit more than Butter London - but I can get 18.6 mL of NYC for $3.94.  I can put up with the burnishing for the cost savings. 

So there's my vote on the better matte top coats out there.  NYC Matte Me Crazy wins, if you want to make your own, go the OTD route because that is a bit nicer.  If you want a true matte to buy, NYC Matte Me Crazy or Butter London are the way to go.   

There are more matte top coats out there, but this is what I have or have tried.  Others may be better or worse.

* disclaimer - all polishes reviewed have been purchased by me for my use or borrowed from friends who purchased the product.  This is my opinion and experiences only. *

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

It's Purple Day

To make this easier since I've got a grumpy internet connection, I'm going to link you to Nail Narcotics! which is who I learned about Purple Day from.

Today's version of purple for me is LynB Designs polish, featuring Eloquent Dust at 2 coats on accent nail, Melody Malone AKA River Song as my purple nails also 2 coats, and The Silence as a topper at 1 coat that was mostly brushed with minor dabbing to fill in odd spots. 

Base coat and first top coat is NPB Glitter Food, glossy top coat is very thinned Seche Vite.  The SV is agreeing again, so I'm giving it another trial.

Just the one picture today, sorry!  Eloquent Dust is looking very green and poor River Song is looking pale, but they are very gray and purple IRL.  The Silence adds a fun dose of sparkly to both. 

I've got a TON of LynB Designs polish, and have had very little problems with them, short of the fact it's been nasty cold here at times and they act wonky if too cold, but every polish I have does that.  Jenna is a dream to work with, and her polishes apply smooth as butter for me, with no flooding or major problems.

Yes, my nails are VERY short right now.  They just weren't happy post gel attempt, and I whacked them off.  As you can see from my YEARS of nail biting, the nail beds are really low, and I do have some free edge on all nails. 

*disclaimer - I bought this polish.  Review is my opinion and based on my experience.*

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Quiet few days

After the gel epic failure, I decided to just pick colors I loved and see how long Glitter Food lasts for me as a base coat.

Since I'm using GF as a base, I figured it was easiest to try other NPB polish for the color.  So I just went with my two favorites, Oodiful and Bigger On The Inside.  Oodiful with BOTI as accent on left, BOTI with Oodiful as accent on right. 

So my thumbs are still getting their acetone break, I'm happy with my polish and hey, I'm seeing how GF works as a base.

See everyone Monday :)

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Gel Fail

Now I do like gel polish sometimes.  Usually I don't bother because I like changing my color way too often.  However, sometimes I get a crabby nail - usually my thumbs - and I gel them to give them a break for the daily polish removal.

Well, my thumbs went crabby again, so I figured I'd break out my favorite base/top - the CND gel - and a new to me color, IBD's Plum Raven.

First and most importantly - it's WAY too prone to massive cuticle flooding.  Which is a PITA to start with, but in a gel - it's a recipe for disaster.  Major, major disaster.  If gel polish is cured on your cuticles, it pops off.  This will come in shortly.

Second - the color.  It's not what I'd call a plum or a darkened plum.  It's full on magenta with purple leanings on me.

Third - It's a jelly.  I like jellies.  I don't like them so much in gels, but this one is a particularly bad jelly, which leads to the next issue.

Fourth - 5 freaking coats of gel color and I still have major VNL, streaking and uneven color.  *ARGH*  I've NEVER had any polish behave this badly, gel or otherwise.  VNL I'll put up with, because my nails are prone to it, but the streaking and the uneven color?  No freaking way.

So there it is.  It's not a bad color, but it's not what I like.  But having cranky thumbnails, I'll give them a rest, I've got multiple toppers I can swatch with this.  Applied this at 6:30 am.

Now, since the majority of my dislike is just me being my picky, picky self - I wasn't going to bother blogging this.  Until the fun tonight.

As of 7:30 pm - that first issue of cuticle flooding has come back to bite, hard.

Yup, the color coat is popping off 13 hours later.  Hard to tell here, but the CND base coat is still on my nail, but the color is just peeling straight off.  I'm not sure if the CND didn't bond well with the color, but the top coat (also CND) is well stuck to the color.  My best guess is the flooding is the problem, I cleaned up insanely well with each application, but with that much flooding, I am willing to bet that I didn't get it perfect.  I've NEVER had any other gel colors flood at all, so meh.  I'll take blame there, but ugh, it's a crappy gel polish.

So off to go remove this craptastical, evil gel polish and do something else.  But I'm not sure what yet.  I do have another IBD gel I might test, but it'd be a while.  Long while.

*disclaimer - I bought this polish.  Review is my opinion and based on my experience.*

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Purple Polish Time!

See, I really do worship other indie polishes!

Today's fun is Digital Nails in two of her Adventure Time polishes. 

First up is Sorry I'm Not Made Of Sugar, a polish for Marceline.  This is a lovely grape jelly with tiny black hex glitters, black holo hex glitters and the most lovely of all sparkly Spectraflair!  It's mostly cloudy here, so I can't get good holo pictures, but this polish is full of holo wonderful goodness.  3 coats, slight VNL. 

How can you NOT love this purple goodness?

 Next up is Oh My Glob, a LSP polish.  Yes, this is so wonderful!  This is glitter, glitter and more glitter. Lots of purple glitters, some charcoal glitters, and a whole bunch more.  This is *eep* 5 coats of glitter, so I'm willing to bet it'll be a great time to remove.  But, I LIKE the glitter and I didn't like any undies under this, so pain in the neck removal it is.  Yes, I know the PVA base coat idea, but my nails are peel prone anyway so it's not for me.  At 5 coats, this stuff gobbles top coat like mad and needed 2 coats of Glitter Food to mostly behave, it's still a little well, LUMPY.  Yeah, I had to do that.  Sorry.

This is just great on it's own.  I love it this way. 

See how pretty they are together?  Lilac glitterfest with grape jelly holo yummyness.

Yup, it kind of matches grape soda.  Sort of.  It looks cool anyway. 

But more important, it matches my favorite sweater!

NPB Glitter Food as base coat and top coat, Sally Hansen's Insta Dry for glossy top coat, as is my new normal.

*disclaimer - I bought these polishes.  Review is my opinion and based on my experience.*

Monday, March 18, 2013

Rainbow Of Who

A friend online was wondering about what nail skittles were.  Skittles being the candy are the Rainbow of Happy.  In my world, skittles being the nails are a Rainbow of Evil - which makes ME happy.  So, without further blathering, onto a pretty dang geeky skittle!

Nail Pattern Boldness not only makes my beloved Glitter Food, but she makes REALLY pretty colors and glitter bombs!  Adding to that joy, she's got a Doctor Who set of 6 beautiful Who themed polishes.  I'm showing the five jelly/crellys today.  Poor Allons-Y will have to wait for another post, but he is beautiful also.

Base coat is my new usual of NPB's Glitter Food, 2-3 coats of color, Glitter Food topper, Sally Hansen's Insta-Dry for glossy top coat. 

Here's the 5 who are being my pretty, pretty Skittles today!

Here's my "grape" skittle - Bigger On The Inside
It's a TARDIS blue jelly with silver and blue microglitters.  Very pretty, very sparkly wonderful.  2 coats.

Here's my "lime" skittle - Slow Invasion
It's a teal jelly with about every color of square glitter jammed in the bottle.  It's great, I love it.  3 coats, some slight VNL but it's a jelly and it likes being jelly.  Similar coverage to Hello, Sweetie and A Good Man Goes To War.

Here's my "lemon" skittle - Oodiful
Oodiful is oodiful.  What's not to love about an Ood or an Oodiful polish? 
It's a gray jelly that leans crelly for me with some white and pink matte glitters.  A lot lighter on the glitters than the rest of this collection, but it just fits with the Ood.  3 coats, mostly as my VNL loves to show up when it shouldn't.  2 coats would probably be fine for most.

Here's my "orange" skittle - Hello, Sweetie
I love me some River Song, I'll just put that out there. 
This is a purple/magenta jelly with red, black and copper glitters.  Similar coverage to Slow Invasion and A Good Man Goes To War, 3 coats here, slight VNL.

And here's the final skittle, the "strawberry" skittle - A Good Man Goes To War
This is a VERY red jelly with tiny black glitters, some square black glitters, and some metallic red and copper glitters.  Similar coverage to Slow Invasion and Hello, Sweetie, 3 coats again, slight VNL.

This is the only polish in the group that stained my nails, and it did so very well when I first wore it.  It doesn't bother me given as my nails are perma-stained from my love of dark nail polish.  But if it bothers you, you may not love this polish as much as I do.

Here's the skittled Rainbow of Who that isn't quite my usual Rainbow of Evil.

There isn't a polish in this collection that I don't love.  But if I have to pick favorites, Oodiful is way up there at number 1.  Or maybe Bigger On The Inside.  Those two are 1 and 2, they just are still fighting over who is 1 and who is 2. 

*disclaimer - I bought these polishes.  Review is my opinion and based on my experience.*

Saturday, March 16, 2013

More Ruby White Tips

Yes, I have other brands of polish.  I'm just being lazy.  It's my bloggity blog, so I can be lazy.

Ruby White Tips has a really awesome Kill Bill collection.  You got a peek of Exploding Hearts yesterday, so I have a single (craptastical) picture of two more of the collection.  Mr Camera, you best get to agreeing with Mr Computer or we will have a war....

RWT P Wagon is a really freaking awesome duo!  It's pink to gray, eeeepy squeaky of awesome!  It shows kind of purple sometimes to me, sometimes olive, and sometimes gold/coppery.  It's VERY different over some undies, which is how most of swatches are shown of this.  A friend wanted to see this on it's own, so 3 coats of pretty duo and it's nearly perfection.  Slight VNL in real life, but my nails are prone to it. 

RWT The Sword is a duo with scattered holo.  Yummy yummy!  With no undies, it's never going to be opaque, but it's pretty anyway!  Blue to lilac with some green to me, plus the scattered oh so pretty holos. 3 coats because there is no such thing as too much holo.  RWT's scattered holos are a bit hungry, not as bad as some, but they enjoy GF top or two coats of a thick top coat. 

NPB Glitter Food is filling the role of base coat still.  I might get a little more lift on my edges if I'm not careful about clean up vs China Glaze Strong Adhesion, but seeing as I change polish more often than not, it's not a huge concern.  Add in, my nails love to spit polish off anyway.  GF under duos, holos and glitters makes everything just go on smooooooooooooth.  No streaking, no bald spots.  I love it.  I adore it.  It's perfection in a bottle. 

Just the one picture today, sorry!

So GF base, P Wagon, The Sword as accent, GF top coat, Sally Hansen Insta-Dry top coat.  I like it, little sedate for my usual polish, but I can pretend to be an adult some days.

*disclaimer - I bought these polishes.  Review is my opinion and based on my experience.*

And I may get around to wearing another indie one of these days....