Wednesday, April 30, 2014

The Neverending Pile Challenge: Least expensive

How are you today? I got to see some old college friends yesterday--it was really great to catch up!

Today's Neverending Pile Challenge theme is least expensive. I didn't do price checks or anything, but some of my cheapest polish is by Love & Beauty (Forever 21's brand), which retails for $2.80 for 14 ml. I got two textured polishes from this brand in a secret santa swap, and they are every bit as gorgeous as the more expensive textured polishes I own!

I used Love & Beauty Blue Jewel, a teal polish with green and gold flecks, and Black Glam, a blackened purple with magenta and gold flecks (this is the one that's a dupe of Julep Glam Roc). I added some dots using clear topcoat for a little extra excitement!

Both of these polishes had very nice application and were opaque in two coats, but they were a little slow to dry, which isn't ideal for a textured polish.

Total untrieds tried: 22

Monday, April 28, 2014

The Neverending Pile Challenge: Deborah Lippmann Cleopatra in New York

The product in this post was given to me as a gift. All opinions are my own.

Hi! I hope you all enjoyed your weekend! We went to a department potluck for my husband's work and I made my famous mac and cheese, which was completely devoured! (Too bad--we were hoping for leftovers.)

Today's prompt for the Neverending Pile Challenge is most expensive. I'm not 100% sure (and too lazy to check), but I think my most expensive polishes are my Deborah Lippmanns. I only have a few untried DLs, and in fact they're some of my oldest untrieds; my mom gave me a bunch for my birthday in 2012, right after I started collecting polish. I decided to do a swatch of Cleopatra in New York, and man, I really should have worn this polish earlier! It's gorgeous!

Deborah Lippmann Cleopatra in New York. Two coats with Gelous and Out the Door topcoats.

As you can see, Cleopatra in New York is a black jelly with two sizes of gold glitter. Black glitter jellies are a real balancing act because you want them to be dark enough without hiding the glitter too much, and I think Deborah Lippmann totally nailed it. This polish just oozes glam! (I always know a polish is really amazing when it makes my husband go "ooooh".)

The formula was equally awesome--not thick or goopy, and the glitter cooperated very well. The brush picked up a ton of glitter every time, so it was easy to get good coverage in two coats. I went with two layers of topcoat to get my nails nice and smooth.

Cleopatra in New York retails for $20 (15 ml) at Deborah Lippmann's site!

Total untrieds tried: 20

The product in this post was given to me as a gift. All opinions are my own.

Friday, April 25, 2014

Neverending Pile Challenge: Had to have it, still haven't worn it

Happy Friday! Today's Neverending Pile Challenge prompt made me laugh: had to have it, still haven't worn it. I think most polish collectors can relate to that feeling!

Here's the story of the polishes I picked. A year or so ago, I found a bunch of mini polish sets by The New Black online and instantly lusted after them; I think I was sucked in by the nice packaging. I remember agonizing over which set to buy for days. Finally I made up my mind and ordered the one called Noble Spirits. They arrived, got swatched, and went into my stash never to be worn.

So today I picked two polishes from the collection for my mani. I started with my favorite one, a dark indigo creme called Deep Amethyst (nice formula but chips very quickly), and made some half-moon designs using Golden Age.

Yes, in case you were wondering, I did have to shorten my nails! I was a little rough on my hands yesterday and lost a corner of my middle fingernail (of course on my swatching hand!!). So I'll have these rounded nails for a while.

Total untrieds tried: 19

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

FingerFood's Theme Buffet / Neverending Pile Challenge: Boutique gothic

Hi folks! It's time once again for a challenge double-up! FingerFood's theme this week is gothic, and the Neverending Pile Challenge for today is boutique. I had to check what counts as boutique polish--apparently it's an indie company that produces its polish in a lab rather than by hand-mixing (so like A England, Rescue Beauty, etc.). I actually own four A Englands and I've never worn any of them, even though they're gorgeous, so I grabbed two of them for today's mani!

I started with a base of A England Beauty Never Fails and did some freehand gothic-style vines using Sleeping Palace. The pattern turned out more subtle than I would have liked, but it kinda reminds me of a man's waistcoat fabric from a period movie. Anyone else see it?

Total untrieds tried: 17

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

The Neverending Pile Challenge: Maybelline Wine & Dined

The product in this post was purchased by me. All opinions are my own.

Hi everyone! It's positively summery outside today, and I finally opened a window for the first time since last fall! (Then the dog next door barked at Trudy so I had to close it again.)

Today's Neverending Pile Challenge theme is drugstore. I only had time to do a swatch, so I'm wearing Maybelline Wine & Dined, a decidedly NOT summery polish.

Wine & Dined has a sheer brown base with burgundy shimmer and gold and purple sparks. Super vampy!

Maybelline Wine & Dined. Three coats with Out the Door topcoat.

I needed three coats for full opacity. I was happy with the formula--somewhat on the runny side, but it applied smoothly and easily. This polish was slow-drying. Wine & Dined actually reminds me of a couple polishes from my Silmarillion collection!

Total untrieds tried: 15

The product in this post was purchased by me. All opinions are my own.

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Today's mani: deconstructed Easter egg

Happy Easter! I hope everyone celebrating has a great time and some great food! Sadly I haven't had a real Easter dinner in seven years, and since it's still Passover there's a lot of stuff my husband can't eat. So I celebrated today by doing my nails (of course)!

I decided to do a mani that was reminiscent of Easter eggs but not full-on pastel. I'm calling it the deconstructed Easter egg. :-D

On my index and pinky fingers, I used a base of Julep Kimberly from their most recent mystery box. I still can't get over those speckled polishes! This one reminds me of those Easter candies that are egg-shaped and taste like malted milk balls. Anyone know what I'm talking about?

On my index finger I painted a chick using a small brush and the corner of a makeup sponge (because what comes out of a deconstructed egg? A chick!). I used Julep Bea, China Glaze Peachy Keen, and Revlon Stiletto. Mr. ALIQUID loved the chick and named him Frankie!

On my other two nails I used a base of Revlon Trade Winds and added some Easter-egg-style patterns. (Middle finger: Essie Neo Whimsical, Julep Bea, Zoya Blu; ring finger: China Glaze Peachy Keen, Maybelline Green With Envy, Essie Play Date.)

I finished everything with Revlon matte topcoat since eggs are matte!

What's your favorite thing to eat on Easter? Mine is lamb and mint jelly, followed by Jelly Bellys!

Friday, April 18, 2014

FingerFood's Theme Buffet / Neverending Pile Challenge: Indie holo fishtail

TGIF everyone! I'm knocking out two challenges at once again with today's mani. This week's FingerFood's Theme Buffet prompt is fishtail, and the Neverending Pile Challenge theme is indie. Sooo I did an indie fishtail!

I chose three scattered holographic polishes: Different Dimension Ditz (pink) and Homeboy (blue) and Ellagee Like a Sleepy Blue Ocean (teal). I wish I hadn't had to use two similar shades of blue, but I don't actually have many untried indies that would work here! (Someone buy me some more indies!)

This is my first attempt at a fishtail mani, and let me tell you, I have a newfound admiration for people who can do fishtails with perfectly straight and consistent's not easy!

I think for my first try, this turned out decent. From a distance it looks nice at least! The polish at my tips is so thick I don't think it's ever going to dry...

Total # untrieds tried: 14 

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Swatch: Alchemy Lacquers Spring Ahead Collection

The products in this post were sent to me for review. All opinions are my own.

Good evening everyone! Today I'm excited to show you the new Spring Ahead collection of polishes from indie brand Alchemy Lacquers! This collection consists of six shimmery glitter crellies inspired by flowers--perfect for spring! Let's get started...

The formula on all these polishes was the same, so I'll talk about it first. They were all on the thinner side for glitter polishes and very easy to spread--not too thick but not too runny. I barely had to dab at all to get the glitters to distribute evenly! 

I used three coats of each polish and they were all still a little sheer; this may be partly due to the fact that I was using mini bottles with smaller brushes. Occasionally the polish didn't want to self-level, which is more apparent with sheer polishes. Dry time was on the slower side. I used a coat of Out the Door over each.

Now let's take a look at each polish!


Alchemy Lacquers Lavendula is a lavender crelly with silver and purple shimmer and purple, blue and white glitter.


Alchemy Lacquers Borage is a pastel blue crelly with blue and silver shimmer and blue, purple and white glitter.


Alchemy Lacquers Nasturtium is a pastel orange crelly with silver and yellow shimmer and red, orange and yellow glitter.


Alchemy Lacquers Hyacinthus is a light purple crelly with silver and purple shimmer and purple, blue and grey glitter. This one was a little more sheer than the others.


Alchemy Lacquers Daffodil is a pastel yellow crelly with silver and yellow shimmer and yellow and white glitter.


Alchemy Lacquers Crocus is a light purple-pink crelly with silver and purple shimmer and purple, white and yellow glitter.

I think this is a cute collection! The polishes really capture the beauty of spring flowers! I would have liked them to be slightly more opaque, but obviously that's a personal preference. If you like pastels and/or glitter crellies, this collection would be perfect for you!

The Alchemy Lacquers Spring Ahead polishes are available at the Etsy shop ($8.50 for 12 ml), or you can buy the entire collection at once for a $4.50 discount! Alchemy Lacquers are 5-free! You can also like the brand on Facebook.

The products in this post were sent to me for review. All opinions are my own.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

The Neverending Pile Challenge: Jelly

Hi all! It's time for another Neverending Pile Challenge! Today's theme is jelly. I only have a few untried jellies and they're mostly nude or pink. I decided to do some nail art with two of my not-pink jellies, L'Oreal Miss Pixie and China Glaze Creative Fantasy. I knocked out a third untried by adding some glitter with Sephora + Pantone Universe Silver Jewel Dust.

I started with two coats of Miss Pixie, added a coat of Silver Jewel Dust, then sandwiched it in with two more coats of Miss Pixie. I finished by sponging on Creative Fantasy on the tips for a gradient effect.

Now, thanks to my dumb camera, Creative Fantasy is barely visible in my photos. In real life my tips look indigo/purple. You'll have to take my word for it! One day I'll have a camera that can photograph more than one shade of blue...

You can see the gradient slightly better in this crappy pic:

One day I'll have to swatch Creative Fantasy by itself, because it is very pretty!

Total tried untrieds: 11


Monday, April 14, 2014

The Neverending Pile Challenge: Zoya Adina

The product in this post was purchased by me. All opinions are my own.

Hello and Happy Passover to all who celebrate! Right now I'm probably enjoying a lovely breakfast of matzoh and cream cheese. (I wrote this post on Friday, shhhh!)

Today's Neverending Challenge prompt is everyone's least favorite finish, the frost. I don't have too many frosty polishes, since they were already out of style when I started collecting. The polish I decided to try does have some frosty shimmer, but I think it pulls it off.

Zoya Adina is a sheer purple polish with strong green shimmer that shifts to red!

Zoya Adina. Two coats with Out the Door topcoat.

I think Zoya made a great discovery here: if you make your polish so funky it looks like a Star Trek alien should be wearing it, people will probably ignore that brush-stroke-y shimmer! I actually love this color combination. The sheerness of the base makes the polish look eerie. I didn't have any issues with the formula (other than the aforementioned brushstrokes).

Adina is available at ($9 for 15 ml)!

Total number of untrieds tried: 8

The product in this post was purchased by me. All opinions are my own. 

Friday, April 11, 2014

The Neverending Pile Challenge: ILNP Washing Ashore

The product in this post was purchased by me. All opinions are my own.

Happy Friday! Today's Neverending Pile Challenge theme is a random untried. I took this prompt literally and told Excel to pick a random number in my stash list, then I wore the polish it picked. Luckily it picked a really gorgeous one for me!

I Love Nail Polish Washing Ashore is a multichrome metallic that shifts from steel blue to a sort of mermaid teal to blue/indigo and even a little to purple at extreme angles. It also has some tiny blue and gold sparks! Mr. ALIQUID proclaimed, "It looks like a fly's eye." Wall of pictures incoming!

ILNP Washing Ashore. Two coats with Out the Door topcoat.

Here are some sunlight pictures:

The formula was easy to use, as usual for this brand. I haven't tried a single ILNP yet that I haven't loved! Since this is a metallic, I did get some brushstrokes, but not enough to make me grumpy. (I was too busy staring at the color shift!) I would also make sure to use a ridge-filling basecoat if you have deep ridges like I do.

Washing Ashore is available at I Love Nail Polish's shop ($12.50 for 12 ml). I have to agree with some of the reviews there that the bottle shots and swatch on that page are misleading--the polish is darker in real life than it appears there.

The product in this post was purchased by me. All opinions are my own. 

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

FingerFood's Theme Buffet #14 / Neverending Pile Challenge: Jelly beans

Ahoy! Today the planets have aligned to let me complete two challenges with one manicure! The FingerFood's Theme Buffet prompt for this week is delicious, and the Neverending Pile Challenge prompt is pastel. What's pastel and delicious? JELLY BEANS!

I'm a huge Jelly Belly fan. When I was a kid I belonged to the Jelly Belly fan club and got to try experimental and limited edition flavors. They're still my favorite Easter candy (well, I buy them after Easter when they're on sale!). My favorite flavors are probably root beer and juicy pear!

This was a very simple mani. I started with a base of Sally Hansen Petal Pusher (I needed three coats and it bubbled on me, boooo). Then I painted the jelly beans with a small dotting tool using Julep Minnie, Parker, Bea, Courteney and Alice, plus Zoya Blu. I finished with Revlon matte topcoat!

I managed to knock five untried polishes off the list with this mani (all but Parker and Blu)! This brings my total no-longer-untried count to six for the Neverending Pile Challenge! I'm gonna be keeping count for the whole challenge! (Remember, I started with close to 200 untrieds, so I still have a long way to go...)

What's your favorite Jelly Belly flavor?

Monday, April 7, 2014

The Neverending Pile Challenge: Hard Candy Gummy Green

The product in this post was purchased by me. All opinions are my own.

Good evening everyone! I thought it would be nice to kick off my second year of blogging by starting a new challenge! The Neverending Pile Challenge was created by Missy of Gnarly Gnails and is designed to help those of us with enormous stashes get through some of our untrieds. I went through my stash list and discovered that nearly half (almost 200!) of my polishes have never been worn. This is clearly unacceptable!

If you'd like to join in, simply join the Facebook group! You can do as many challenges as you like (nail art and just swatches are fine), so long as you try the untrieds!

For today's prompt, glitter, I only had time to do a swatch (I was actually off making money tutoring, so that's a good thing!). I tried on Hard Candy Gummy Green, which I've owned for at least six months.

Hard Candy Gummy Green. Three coats with Out the Door topcoat.

Gummy Green has a minty green crelly base with small black and silver glitters. It's similar to the speckled style of glitter polish, but definitely not the same! I needed three coats for opacity. The polish dried quickly and was easy to smooth with one coat of topcoat.

Hard Candy is a Walmart exclusive brand, and I can't find this polish on the Walmart site but it might be available in stores! ($4 for 7.8 ml)

Don't forget to follow along with the other challenge participants!

It's ALIQUID's One-Year Bloggiversary!! [Giveaway]

Readers, do you know what day it is? It's April 7, which means my little blog has been running for an entire year! The time has passed so quickly! It seems like only yesterday that I was posting my very first (not great) swatches...and now, exactly 200 posts later, I have over 600 followers on Bloglovin' and over 700 on Facebook! Wow!!

Writing this blog has been a great creative outlet for me, especially as my life has been a little crazy for the past year. Sometimes I feel a little down, but seeing all your comments and likes always cheers me up. Thank you to everyone who reads ALIQUID...I really appreciate you guys. <3

OK, no more sappy stuff--on to the giveaway!! I rounded up eight awesome ladies to join in the celebration with me!

As an homage to my blog, I decided to make an ALIQUID Lacquer polish based on the blog's color scheme! I call it Semper Aliquid Novi, which is Latin for "always something new". The phrase comes from Roman naturalist Pliny the Elder, who said, "Africa is always bringing us something new". (To the Greeks and Romans, Africa was a mysterious land full of strange creatures like dog-headed men.) I think it's a nice reminder not to let my blogging get too stale and repetitive, but to always try and broaden my skillset!

ALIQUID Lacquer Semper Aliquid Novi. Two coats with Out the Door topcoat.

Semper Aliquid Novi is a khaki-colored crelly with matte glitters in shades of teal, green, yellow and grey. It's available for sale in my shop, but I'm also giving a bottle away!

Read on to see all the giveaway prizes and enter the giveaway!

One bottle of ALIQUID Lacquer Semper Aliquid Novi plus one bottle of winner's choice
Ships to: International

Two ALIQUID Lacquer minis and one lip balm of winner's choice
Ships to: US only

Bottle of Ruby White Tips Chloe
Ships to: US only

Three bottles of Northern Star Polish
Ships to: US only

One bottle of Deborah Lippmann Let's Go Crazy and a mystery SlothNails creation
Ships to: US and Canada

$10 gift certificate to Color4Nails or Llarowe
Ships to: International

One bottle of Anne Kathleen Cosette and one bottle of Velvet
Ships to: US only

Two bottles of Loki's Lacquer of winner's choice
Ships to: Australia only

Set of Nails Inc. minis and set of Sally Girl minis
Ships to: US only

Giveaway rules: Giveaway is open to anyone age 18 or older. Entrants must leave their email address and country of residence; all further entries are optional, but increase your chance of winning. Prizes will be assigned according to location. Winning entries will be verified, so no cheating! Winners will have 48 hours once contacted to provide a shipping address, otherwise a new winner will be chosen. Giveaway ends April 21.

Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway