Saturday, April 28, 2012

ettusais #8 (and a few vacation pics)

Hi guys, I'm back!

Before I went on vacation, I slapped on three coats of one of my favourites (OPI Let Them Eat Rice Cake) and packed a nail polish remover wipe (the Deborah Lippman one).

By the time I had been through Sydney and New Zealand, my nails were horribly chipped, but it was not bothering me *that* much. However, by the time we got to Tokyo for our last four days of vacation, I knew it was time to remove my chipped mani and seek out a nail polish in Japan! Most of the nail polishes I found were 700-1400 yen a bottle (which, at the current exchange rate is around $9-17 USD) for non-import polishes. OPI, Essie, and even Color Club were very, very expensive! I didn't want to purchase any of the shades at those prices, since they were not unique, so I thought I was going to have to spend my last few days with naked (and stained) nails. Luckily, as I was browsing through the beauty section of LOFT, I came upon a display that read:

How appropriate! These mini-nail polishes in bright, summery colours were 252 yen (~$3 USD) each, which was an easier price for me to swallow. I chose the bright coral colour and went on my merry way. I was not expecting much from this little 2mL bottle (yes, 2mL!), but the brush was great and easy to control, and the formula was not streaky and opaque in two coats! I was very impressed.

ettusais #8 - 2 coats, no clean up required <3

On the nail, I felt it was a dupe to one of my favourites, Essie Vermillionaire, but seeing the side-by-side comparison below makes me glad it's not! They are very close in some lights, though.

Comparisons with Essie Vermillionaire and Illamasqua Collide

As a side bar, the colour definitely seemed too bright for the tips in Tokyo. Most girls were wearing nude polishes or glitter gradients of some kind. Very few bright colours! Oh well, maybe it helped signal that I was not a local, and to please not attempt to speak to me in Japanese! ;)

Sorry it took me so long to post! I got back last weekend, but this whole week I basically came home from work and fell asleep right away. I'm finally back on Eastern time, though! I have some indie nail polish swatches to show you pretty soon, which is exciting! For now, let me leave you with a couple pics from my trip:

Petting an adorable and soft wallaby at the Featherdale Wildlife Park in Sydney:

Beautiful view in New Zealand, close to Queenstown:

Our hotel view in Tokyo, with Duffy and Shellie May (Disney bears from Tokyo Disney Sea):

See you soon! :)

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Layla Holo swatches!

I ordered all of the Layla holos. I hardly remember doing it; I think I was caught up in holo frenzy... which is strange, because really, I don't go nuts over holos and rarely reach for them! *sigh* It's always like this, though, isn't it?

I got mine from an ebay seller, but they're available now from and should be available at Ulta and Zappos really soon. They retail for $15.50, but try and find a coupon code if you're going to get more than a couple of these. They really add up O_O.

For these swatches, I buffed my nails with the shiner/buffer that is sold with these polishes. I wouldn't recommend this at all, because it really reduces the wear time. If you have an aqua base instead (Nfu Oh, Jessica, GOSH, and MUS all have one), I'd recommend using that instead. Also, if you don't have the spare cash for one of those, SV over clear polish works great too (this is what I used to do before getting the Jessica base coat)! FYI, the Jessica base coat was only sold with the Disco Diva set, so you may not be able to get your hands on it anymore.

The formula on all of these are pretty easy to work with (compared with Nfu Oh), but they do need a good shake before you begin (otherwise you may find some "chunks" of holo pigment on your brush). Anyways, enough talk, ON WITH THE PICS!

Layla Mercury Twilight (4 coats)

Comparison: Layla Mercury Twilight (4 coats), Jessica Disco Diva (2 coats) and Nfu Oh 61 (3 coats) - Too many silver holos! I think I might just keep the Layla.

Layla Jade Groove (3 coats) - This is not very green at all :(

Comparison: Layla Jade Groove and Nfu Oh 66 (2 coats) - I like the colour of the Nfu Oh better; it's actually more green, but I think I can probably live without both?? I can already tell my purging with these holos is going to be a challenging task

Comparison: Layla Jade Groove, Nfu Oh 66 and 61 - The Layla is seriously closer to silver than green, yo

Layla Mermaid Spell (3 coats) - these names are hard to remember...

Comparison: Layla Mermaid Spell and Nfu Oh 65 (2 coats) - I think I'm going to purge the Nfu Oh. I forgot to grab Speciallita Hits Poseidon for this comp!

Layla Retro Pink (2 coats) - a pink a like? wuuuut?

Comparison: Layla Retro Pink and Nfu Oh 63 (2 coats) - I actually think the Nfu Oh is a little holo-er here, but maybe a third coat of the Layla was needed. The Layla looks better in the shade though; not weird and washed out like Nfu Oh holos look

Layla Ocean Rush (3 coats) - This is maybe my favourite!

Comparison: Layla Ocean Rush and ChG DV8 (2 coats) - not really comparable. Again, I forgot to grab my Speciallita Hits Hera for this comp!

For the rest, I don't have anything comparable in my stash (anymore)!

Layla Ultra Violet (3 coats) - Really pretty light purple! I don't have CC Fashion Addict anymore, but all I remember is that this is way more holo.

Layla Coral Glam (3 coats) - really strong holo, but the colour doesn't suit me. *plops into the swap drawer* Reminds me of CC LELE, which I also did not love.

Layla Flash Black (3 coats) - definitely the best blackish holo I've tried, although I'm not a huge fan of dark shades, I will actually give this one a decent chance to have a perm spot in my stash (unlike Hits Zeus which didn't even make it into the main stash drawer, LOL)

Hope you enjoyed that! It's finally slowed down at work lately, but I have been busy planning our upcoming trip (few days in Sydney, then NZ, then Tokyo!) and trying to finish up some exercises for my professional designation. We're flying out this Saturday and will be gone for two weeks, so you won't see me for a while! :) Hopefully this post is a good one to leave you guys with! :D