måndag 25 juli 2011

piCture pOlish blog fest: Nude

Recently I was invited to review a polish from the Australian brand piCture pOlish. The premises was that I would be sent a random shade of polish and have the review ready to post today, July 25. Of course this is a cunning promotion scheme for piCture pOlish, but I kind of liked the idea. Today the nail blogosphere will be filled with notd or swatches of this rather obscure brand. I think this is clever marketing and I approve!

Now, let's move on to the actual review.

I was sent the shade called Nude. The text on the bottle reads: Dare to bare, flash some flesh!
At first I was a little disappointed with the color in the bottle but when I took some time considering, I started to feel like a lucky girl. I wear neutrals, nudes and sheers all the time at work. That was why I felt a bit let down but really? 
Who else should review this shade but the self appointed Queen of Beige :-)

I used this for a notw a couple of weeks ago. The picture is taken on day 5. I wished for sun but I finally had to take the pictures anyway, here is natural daylight in the shade. This is three coats over Lumos base coat and topped with Lumos top coat. 

With first and second coats, I wasn't  fan of this color. It was streaky and uneven. The brush did not do the application any favors. It is narrow and bendable and yet it picked up enough polish to flood my cuticles a couple of times. 
By the third coat, everything leveled and my nails took on a fresh and serene state. No more streaks, just shiny nude quality polish. It was shiny without a top coat but I always use one anyway.
The first days I still wasn't sure of the color but it grew on me. By day five, when I actually took the photos in this post, I adored the polish.

For me, this polish has great mileage. I wore it for seven days without a single touch up. Since after a week of piCture pOlish Nude on my tips I was still enjoying it, I spruced it up with a layering polish, and wore it another full week. As polish endurance go, you can't get much better than this. 

måndag 11 juli 2011

Lumos Bottom Coat and Lumos Top Coat

Some family issues have drained my energy the last month, and I put my blog on the back burner. As this is a blog I write for my own pleasure I won't apologize for my absence. I will however reach out to my followers with a big smile and a Thank You for still hanging in there!

Actually, there is another reason for the lack of posts. It's called the Lumos Base and Top Coat! 

As you know, I never swatch. Instead I show my manicures as I wear them, one slow notw at a time. I barely redo my manicure more than once a week. Sometimes, I will do a minor touch up. If I have to redo the full manicure, I will probably think the polish is a fail. I have managed to keep this habit for more than a year, mostly using Nubar Foundation as my base coat and alternating top coats among Seche Vite, China Glaze FF and BB Couture Top Rock.

Well, earlier this spring, I was contacted by the Lumos Company and asked if I wanted to try out their new base and top coat. Since the company tends mostly to the professional market, I must say I was a little flattered to get the question. Probably, that makes me biased, but there you have it.

Now, I have used this products exclusively for a couple of months. My manicures don't last one week anymore, but two. I will give you the short advise on this first: Why shell out on Shellac when you could use the Lumos!

Now, to a more in depth review.
Let's start with the base coat. It is thin and not visible except for a discreet shine. It dries very fast. I does not feel "sticky" but in my opinion, it keeps the polish from peeling or chipping very well.  
If you want a ridge filler, obviously, this is not for you. I tried it over Nubar Nail Weaver (a base coat with glass fibers to mend small tears) with excellent results, so if your polish chips when used over a ridge filler it might be worth trying out.

The brush is a little novel, at least to me. It is flat and almost as wide as the newer OPI brushes. It is not at all as full as the OPI brushes, so if you think the OPI's pick up to much polish, you might love this one. For me, the brush works great with the base coat where you need an even, thin coat.

The best part of the base coat, I do think it prevents staining! I usually wear light colors so this is not a major problem, but all polishes (in my experience) can make your nails turn yellow. This base coat has prevented this, and now my nails are whiter than ever since I started to paint them.

The Lumos Top Coat was a little more of a mixed bag for me. The flat brush was even thinner, and being used to a big and goopey top coat dollop a la SV, this was a change indeed. The formula is thin. That might be a good thing, since you could use multiple layers of different polishes without taking your manicure off and starting from scratch. It is not a good thing if you want to cover heavy glitter. My biggest worry is that the Lumos Top Coat let the colored polish "bleed" unto the brush. Since I almost always use very fair polish, sometimes even sheer, this was no big problem for me. I cannot however fully recommend the top cot to someone using bolder colors.
The top coat dries as fast as the best of them. It stays shiny. I never experienced any dragging or shrinking whatsoever. If you want to refresh your manicure, it is very easy to do with a new layer of Lumos Top coat.

All in all, I think they're definitely worth a try. Maybe even two!