The beginning of a new month means a new post from the Diary of a Nail Polish Addict! January was a busy month at school, but I was surprisingly able to experiment with my nail polish collection, also thanks to some polishes I bought during a trip to London (I will hopefully able to write about it soon). Are you ready to go through my manicures? Let’s start!
I took this picture just after applying a top coat on three coats of Butter London The Black Knight. This shade sat on my wish list for a long time, so before going to London I contacted the brand’s customer service to see if it was sold somewhere in UK. I found it at Selfridges, whose nail bar and make-up department is heaven on earth! I bought this nail polish only, but I can assure you I would have spent much more on lots of beautiful things! As for this shade, it’s a spectacular mix of black, pink, blue and silver glitters on a black base. The nail surface is a bit gritty even after applying the top coat, but it’s a minor detail for me.
While in London, I visited the Brick Lane/Whitechapel area, going around in vintage shops and pop-up stores and enjoying the unique atmosphere of that neighbourhood. I also had the chance to get my first professional manicure. I know it sounds incredible but that was the first time I went to a nail salon. In London you can find them anywhere and they can be quite cheap, but in Italy they’re expensive, so I don’t feel like putting professional manicures into my beauty routine. I always do my own nails, but it was nice to get them done by a professional. I went to Nails 4 You, a cozy salon with two adorable resident dogs. I had many Essie and OPI polishes to choose from, so I opted for Leading Lady, an amazing red glitter shade from Essie Winter 2012 collection. I took this picture just after leaving the salon.
This one was taken in the underground. I really couldn’t stop staring at my nails. I tried to get a bottle of it in London but I couldn’t find it anywhere! I have a thing for red glitter nail polishes, so I am hopelessly in love with it! While in the UK I also bought Barry M Gelly Hi-Shine in Blood Orange: I haven’t used it for a proper manicure yet, but only swatched it. I will show it to you next month.
Back from London I started playing around with polishes from my collection. This tutorial from Soft Revolution for a “sapphire and emerald” manicure was a great source of inspiration. I used one coat of Chanel Black Satin, topped with one thin coat of Color Club Gingerbread, one of Deborah Lippmann Across the Universe and one of Essence Night in Vegas. The final effect is spectacular, but it didn’t last long: just after a couple of days large chunks of nail polishes broke, so I had to remove everything.
In December 2012 I used Essence Love’s Recipe for a glitter manicure but I was quite disappointed of how it came out. For this reason, I wanted to try it again and use it alone this time. It’s a peculiar shade, very refined, a unique mix of beige and grey with silver flakies. I’m not into neutrals and I always have the feeling I should boost it with some colourful glitters, but I think being subdued it’s part of its charm.
The latest addition to my collection of Essence nail polishes is Free Hugs, a vibrant Barbie pink shade. I love its creamy texture and shiny appearance. I applied two coats of it and a coat of Party Princess, a pink glitter bomb by Essence. The result is girly and funny, isn’t it?
My passion for anything glittering is not a secret, so I’m always ready for a glitter tip manicure. I wanted to pair a beautiful green shade like OPI Green-wich Village (I LOVE the jelly texture of it) with a glitter bomb like Sparkle-icious, from the Burlesque collection. I really like the result because the green colour seems the ideal canvas for making such a sparkly varnish shine.
Another glitter bomb that is now part of my collection is Essence Confetti Circus. I first heard of it when the OPI Muppets collection first came out. I was mesmerized by Rainbow Connection and I wanted to find a dupe of it. I learnt Happy Birthday by Deborah Lippmann was pretty similar, but the Essence one seemed the best replacement. Then I managed to buy the OPI polish so I forgot about Confetti Circus. I recently found it at a department store near my dentist’s office, so I said to myself that maybe I could give it a try. I have used it only once so far, so I still need to “study” it in detail. It contains hexagonal glitters in different colours and sizes, and it’s a proper glitter bomb (love this term ♥). I used it for a ring finger manicure with another impressive colour, Purple Sensation by Mavala, which is the best purple shade I own. It has a beautiful velvety and glossy finish: it applies evenly in 2 coats.
Last but not least, here is another layering experiment with Essence Night in Vegas, an iridescent flakey top coat I’ve used a lot. I’ve already paired it to a pastel nail polish, so I wanted to try it again. This time I applied two coats of China Glaze Re-Fresh Mint (my favourite mint green polish) and two coats of Night in Vegas. The result is quite hard to get on camera: I would define it as “baroque”, it reminds me of the iridescent quality of silk brocades. The flakies can be seen especially in half-light, mirroring and enhancing the pastel shade.
At the moment I’m busy with a special nail project I’ve set up for February on Instagram , but I’m waiting for some new polishes, too. I’ve recently made two online purchases – Essie Leading Lady (yay!) and Color Club Wild at Heart, a stunning purple holo polish. I tried to find Color Club Cherubic, too, but it seems it’s quite a rare nail polish. I don’t have other shades in my must-have list at the moment, but I’m sure spring 2013 will bring lots of news with it.
 This project is Red Nail Challenge, which means red manicures only all through February. You can follow it on Instagram – the tag is #sqrednailchallenge – or you’ll see the result here next month.