Thursday, November 20, 2014

ALIQUID Lacquer's First Fantastiversary + Giveaway!!

Hi kids!!

Can you believe year ago today I opened my Etsy shop and started selling ALIQUID Lacquer! That means today is my, my FANTASTIVERSARY!! There is going to be so much fun stuff happening in the next week and a half, so keep reading!

First off, I want to say thanks to everyone who has bought my polish. It's been amazing to see people get excited about something I made! That really hasn't happened much before in my life, since I've always been a "thinker" rather than a "doer". And a giant thank-you to the awesome bloggers I've gotten to work with over the past year!

I've learned a lot owning a business, but one unexpected thing that I realized is how each person has their own way of using nail polish. I was genuinely surprised at first that a polish that is opaque in two coats for me might need three coats for someone else, or that someone added thinner to a polish that I thought was the perfect consistency. I've really had to look at my polishes with an objective eye, which can be difficult when dealing with something that is so personal. But I think that has made me a better indie!

Anyway, on to the fun stuff! Anniversaries are the perfect time to reflect on the past year and make resolutions for the coming year. I thought about my struggles as a new indie brand and created three polishes to remind me of the qualities I'd like to foster in myself!

Artsy: A coral crelly with various shades of turquoise, yellow, purple and grey matte hexes.

It can be tough sometimes to stay creative when inventing new polish shades. In the next year, I want to broaden my horizons and approach polish making from a fresh perspective!

Dogged: A brown scattered holographic polish with coppery red flecks and a blue sheen.

Being a new indie can be discouraging, especially if you compare yourself to older, more successful brands. In the next year, I will keep believing in my own talents!

Gregarious: A lime green jelly filled with holographic and iridescent green, yellow and gold glitter in multiple shapes and sizes, plus magenta flecks.

Running any business requires one skill I'm not great at: talking to people! I have had to leave my comfort zone many times this year. In the next year, I promise to stay open and approachable to customers and the nail community at large!

I also have a delicious new lip balm scent: champagne frosting! I seriously love this one, you guys.

Fantastiversary Events!

So there will be tons of stuff happening now through Cyber Monday (Dec. 1)! Most importantly, lots of sales!!
  • the Fantastiversary trio is 30% off through Dec. 1
  • every day there will be a different sale at the shop--check back each day!
  • there will be an even BIGGER Black Friday/Cyber Monday sale!
  • occasional flash giveaways on our Facebook page!
  • you can enter my nail art contest on Instagram to win a $50 gift certificate!

And oh yes, here's a giveaway for you right now!!

Giveaway Rules

This giveaway is for one set of the Fantastiversary trio, and it's open internationally!
  • You must provide your email address to enter. All other entries are optional.
  • One of the entries asks you to fill out a customer survey. You can do this even if you haven't bought anything from ALIQUID Lacquer. At the end of the survey, you'll get a password to enter into the Rafflecopter for verification.
  • Giveaway ends Dec. 1 at 11:59 PM EST.
  • Winner will be notified by email and must respond within 48 hours, or a new winner will be chosen.

Good luck!!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Swatch: Scofflaw Wraith Pinned to the Mist

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

Happy weekend!! Is it cold where you are? This week it finally started feeling wintery here in Boston, and I had to break out my big puffy coat for the first time. It always makes me a little sad, because I really hate cold weather.

Anyway! I decided to swatch one of the polishes I used in my stamping decal mani from this week. It's my only Scofflaw polish, and I got it in a Secret Santa swap. Wraith Pinned to the Mist is a pale mint/seafoam with gold, copper and blue flecks. It is so beautiful and delicate!

And yes, my nails are short again...I ripped one while rummaging through my laundry basket. Go figure.

Scofflaw Wraith Pinned to the Mist. Two coats with Out the Door topcoat.

It's fairly sheer, so I probably could have used one more coat. The formula was great, on the thicker side but very easy to use. I loooove polishes with subtle flecks like this, and I think this particular shade is perfect for the upcoming season!

Scofflaw only restocks rarely, but you might be able to get this one through one of their stockists.

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

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Nail fail(?): monochrome stamping decals

Good morning! Today I have what I consider to be a nail fail. I wanted to have another go at making stamping decals. Previously I had tried the method where you let the decal dry on the stamper, the disadvantage of course being that you can only make one at a time (unless you have multiple stampers, I guess). This time I made them on a plastic baggie, starting by putting down some splotches of topcoat and letting them dry, then stamping on top of that.

Here you can see the decals in progress (and one where I screwed up the stamping):

I used a stamp from Winstonia W111, which is a cool sort of art-deco pattern. I stamped with my go-to silver, Julep Harley. Then I decided to fill in the little arches with various shades of sparkly teal: Sally Hansen Jet Set Jade, Julep Valerie, Zoya Zuza and Scofflaw Wraith Pinned to the Mist (I really must swatch this one alone sometime).

So far, so good. The problem came when I went to put the decals on my nails. I just cannot figure out how to prevent them from getting all bubbly and lumpy! The result:

I put on a matte topcoat to try to obscure some of the imperfections, but they are still glaringly obvious to me. I can't help being a perfectionist, I guess.

If someone out there has mastered the art of stamping decals, please share your secrets!!

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Swatch: Marbles for Polish Legend of Zelda collection

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

Happy Thursday! Today I'm bringing you a lovely upcoming collection from indie brand Marbles for Polish! It's inspired by Legend of Zelda, which is a game series I somehow never got into as a kid (I was too busy with Mario, I think). But I probably would have liked it.

All four polishes are linear holos with a metallic sheen. Since the formula was the same for each, I'll talk about that first. I found the application to be exactly to my taste, even with the mini brush. Not runny, thick or draggy! You could get away with either two or three coats, depending on how heavy-handed you are (I used two for the swatches here). The holographic particles are very fine, so the holo isn't the most prominent, especially in low lighting. But in the sun you see a strong rainbow arc!

OK, on to the photos! The weather here has been almost uniformly gross for the past week, so I couldn't get outdoor shots. But I think you can get an idea of how strong the holo is, especially by looking at the bottles.

Marbles for Polish Courage. Two coats with Out the Door topcoat.

Courage is a light green holo with a gold metallic sheen. I probably could have used one more coat here, but if you have short nails, two would be fine. I really really love this particular shade of green.

Marbles for Polish Power. Two coats with Out the Door topcoat.

Power is a black (or very very dark grey) holo with a gold metallic sheen. It's not the most original color, true, but the formula is great. So if you're lacking a black holo, I think this would be a good choice.

Marbles for Polish Trinity. Two coats with Out the Door topcoat.

Trinity is a gold holo with strong yellow tones. (It even seems a bit green to me, but that might be the holo.) Not the most flattering shade on me, but definitely a showstopper!

Marbles for Polish Wisdom. Two coats with Out the Door topcoat.

Wisdom is a warm lavender (dare I say orchid??) holo with a purple metallic sheen. This is probably my favorite color of the bunch, because hey, purple! Girly but in-your-face at the same time.

A beautiful set of polishes, no? I'd say these would all make great foundation shades in your holo collection! Some of the colors are new for me actually!

The Marbles for Polish Legend of Zelda collection will be coming out on November 14th on Etsy. They will retail for $10 each for a 15 ml bottle!

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

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

October's Museum-Worthy Manis!

Good morning! As promised, I have my favorite nail art from October for you today! Naturally my blog feed was full of Halloween manis last month. I'm not always a fan of holiday-themed art, especially if it's cutesy, but I did find a few gems! Don't forget to check out the original blog posts and give props!

1. Hell God With a Six-Pack by PiggieLuv

Narmai did a lot of amazing Halloween art, so it was hard to choose, but I think this one is just over-the-top awesome. Plus the six-pack is great. And her painting skills are ace as usual.

2. Freehand Butterfly Art by Will Paint Nails For Food

It's not Halloween, but it IS beautiful. This is a more refined version of the butterfly mani you see everywhere (and which I've done before). When I first saw this mani, I was shocked how realistic it looks. I love that Meghan took inspiration from actual photos of butterfly wings.

3. Witch Mona Lisa by Break Rules, Not Nails

This mani is so outside-the-box, I just love it. Who would think to put the Mona Lisa in a Halloween mani? She made a water decal for Mona Lisa herself and painted the rest by hand--I love how creepy the landscape looks.

4. Holo Reciprocal X Round Gradient by Simply Nailogical

I love it when people take gradients to the next level (it's something I'd like to work on). This one almost feels like an optical illusion. And the holo just makes everything cooler!

5. Halloween Circles By Work Play Polish

This is a great understated Halloween mani in my opinion. Not overly cute or gory. I always love dotticures, and I also like the variety of shades of orange she used here. I might have to borrow this idea next year!

Honorable mention: Abstract Floral by Wondrously Polished

That's all for today! I hope my fellow Americans voted yesterday!

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

October's Gimme That Polish!

Hi all! Sorry for the radio silence the past few days--my in-laws were visiting for the weekend, then yesterday was Mr. ALIQUID's birthday! Being the boring people we are, we celebrated by getting Chinese food and visiting a new grocery store that just opened here. Thrilling!

Anyway, here finally are my top five lemmings from my Pinterest wishlist for October! Lots of beautiful fall and winter shades here. As usual, go visit the original reviews for more photos!

1. Lilypad Lacquer - Envy Me

As I think I've mentioned before, holos with contrasting shimmer are my new favorite thing, and I absolutely love the jewel tone green and purple together here. Lilypad is one of those brands I keep seeing everywhere and want to try every single one of! This polish is exclusive to Hypnotic Polish, a Netherlands-based stockist. (swatch by Very Emily)

2. KBShimmer - Mauve On Over

OK, glitter crellies are my other favorite thing, especially when the color combo is unexpected. This is from KBShimmer's new winter collection, but it doesn't really read winter to me. What do you think? (KBShimmer shop | swatch by The Nail Polish Challenge)

3. Delush Polish - Misty Day

Ahhh, look how much depth this one has! I love the pops of color among all the green. This one reminds me of an enchanted forest. (Delush Polish shop | swatch by The Nail Polish Challenge)

4. Indigo Bananas - Gods & Monsters

In my opinion, Andrea of Indigo Bananas is the queen of multichrome polishes (and one of my polish muses in general). This one is a prime example. She uses the old-school flakies with a super intense color shift, and it just looks like the epitome of fall to me. Droooool. (Indigo Bananas shop | swatch by Polish Hound)

5. A England - Virgin Queen

It feels like a while since we've seen a new A England collection, and this newest one is stunning as always. They do the best scattered holos! The blend of silver and gold here is just uber-classy. (A England shop | swatch by Marine Loves Polish)

Honorable mention: Powder Perfect - The Stars Are Shining Brightly

I'll be back tomorrow with my favorite manis from October!