Thursday, July 25, 2013

Indie Thursdays: Sonnetarium Fresh: Spring 2013 Collection

Hello everybody! I'm trying to get back on track with the blog so here I am! :) Today is Thursday and it's time for Indie Thursdays once again!

Today I have for you an indie brand I have only known about due to Jessica's (@bluevelvetlacquer on Instagram) recent swatches: Sonnetarium. I've only seen this brand on her but I was intrigued by her swatches, so naturally I had to search for it! Jessica didn't include a link with her swatches though, but luckily the bottle showed the website.

So, who is Sonnetarium? (copied from Sonnetarium)

Michelle's love of nail polish began in the summer of 2011, at which point her collection quickly escalated beyond her wildest dreams. She did, however, discover that she had a desire for something more, beyond what the traditional companies would offer. With an affinity for pattern and design, a quest began to create polishes that she loved but could not find.

Sonnetarium was born with humble origins. Each label was painstakingly hole-punched with a scrapbook puncher, each polish mixed to-order. But with expansion and growth coming fast, it became no longer feasible. Michelle enlisted the help of her family to expand Sonnetarium to the four-membered business that it is today.

With the expansion and upgrades, one thing remains certain: our attention and catering to customers comes first and foremost. The lacquers have undergone reformulation to provide the best wear and application possible; the labels and bottles are sleek and reflect our extreme attention to detail. But most of all - we will always include a handwritten note with your order. You keep us alive and kicking, and it is your passion that drives ours to make us what we are today. Every one of our customers is important, and we hope that our demeanor emphasizes that very fact.

Our nail lacquers are now 3-free: free of Formaldehyde, Toluene, Dibutyl Phthalate, and never contain ingredients tested on animals.

Two collections caught my eye: the Fresh: Spring 2013 and So Punny: S/F 2013 collections. For this post I will showcase Fresh. Let's get right to the swatches, shall we?

(Due to time constraints, I didn't have time to watermark my pics... but who would want to steal them anyway?!)

First, the shade that piqued my interest: Raspberry Sorbet.

Raspberry Sorbet looks brick red to me... It's a crelly (more towards the creme side) with deep red glitters and gold and copper fleck shimmer. Very interesting shade, indeed! I had the most trouble with taking a pic on this one. Tsk! This was three coats with top coat.

Next, we have another shade that I saw on Jessica: Strawberry Smoothie.

Strawberry Smoothie is a light pink crelly (more towards creme) with red square glitters, plus red, white and holo glitters of multiple sizes. This polish makes me crave for a strawberry smoothie! Aptly named, indeed. This is three coats with top coat.

And here is Banana Pudding.

Banana Pudding is a creamy light yellow crelly (more towards jelly this time) with matte yellow glitters of different sizes. Now this one was the problem child for me! I couldn't quite get the hang of applying this polish just right, so I ended up using four coats and the glitters drowned... I love the base though but I don't know if it was the formula or the brush that caused it to apply very streaky. I did wait a couple minutes for each coat to dry but it was just dragging and leaving bald spots. Anyway, it also makes me think more of creamed corn and less of banana pudding, lol. This is four coats with top coat.

Next up: Cucumber Salad.

Cucumber Salad is a green shimmery base wich feels like a jelly to me, but just a tiny bit creamier than normal jellies. It has white and darker green hex glitters. This is three coats with top coat but would've probably been more opaque in four, or use undies. Not sure if it was just me or the formula itself...

And rounding out the collection, here is Blueberry Yogurt.

Blueberry Yogurt has the same feel as Cucumber Salad, a little on the thin and runny side, but boy is it gorgeous. It's a blue-toned purple with a beautiful violet shimmer, plus darker purple hex glitters of various sizes. It reminds me of a Jamba Juice Bananaberry smoothie, which is my ulitimate favorite smoothie, although the actual smoothie is more red than this one. The glitters look like the blueberries blended into the drink. :) This is three coats with top coat, but could probably use another coat, or an undie.

Thoughts? I love the concept of this collection. I also love how Michelle named the collection after food instead of flowers/plants like what other brands do with their spring collection.

I bought the mini bottles, which was a steal at $6 for a 9 ml square bottle, considering most indies offer minis for $4.50-$5 for a 4-5ml bottle. The price was also what convinced me to buy the collection. The packaging is also simple but beautiful, very professional-looking. The brush is tiny though, so I had to load it with polish, and it felt a bit stiff to me. Well, it is a mini bottle so the brush size is understandable, but there are minis with bigger brushes, so I'm wishing these had a bigger brush. I'm not sure if it contributed to the streaky application of Banana Pudding, but I can live with it. The colors are gorgeous enough to make up for it, in my opinion. It's a shame though, because I love yellows and Banana Pudding was so beautiful. I tried so many times to put it on but I was afraid to finish the bottle so I stopped at my third attempt. Anyway, the formulas are a bit inconsistent, as while the first two polishes were just right, the third polish was thick, and the last two polishes were runny. I'm not sure if Michelle intended it to be that way but I would've liked it to be more consistent. Dry time was a little slow, but thin coats and a fast-drying top coat will solve that.

Would I recommend these polishes? Yes, for the most part. The colors are very pretty, and the price is pretty decent. Don't let my issues deter you from these polishes! It might just be user error and you might have a better experience with them than I did. The size of the mini bottles is impressive at 9 ml (some major brands have less than that, and they're full-size!) Some might find the full size bottles to be a better deal ($8.50 for 15 ml) so it's up to you which one you're comfortable with.

And that's it for this week's Indie Thursdays! Thanks for visiting. :)

*I bought these polishes with my own money from Sonnetarium's website. The collection is $30 for five 9 ml  bottles, plus shipping.*

*Disclaimer: Due to variations in screen displays and resolutions, polishes may appear different to each reader. I try my best to capture colors as accurately as I can, and if I can't, then I try to describe the color/s to the best of my ability.*

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Textured Polish Week Day 7: Julie G Frosted Gumdrops Collection (and this time, it's complete!)

(This post was supposed to be up last Sunday, but as I've said before, I got busy this weekend and didn't have time to do it. And then I got cancelled at work for two days so I cleaned my room instead, which was no easy feat because my room is FILTHY!)

Hiiiiiiii errbodyyy! Today is Day 7, the last day, of Textured Polish Week! And for the finale, I have a complete collection to show you: the Julie G Frosted Gumdrops Collection.

The first half of the collection is similar to the Zoya Pixie Dust polishes while the second half is similar to the O.P.I Liquid Sand.

Now, I don't usually buy all of the polishes in a collection because usually I don't like one or two shades in it, but there was a good deal on the Jesse's Girl website (the company behind the Julie G polishes) and I couldn't pass it up! And reswatching these (I have bought these polishes a while back, and swatched them on my IG) I now have no regrets over buying the whole collection because I was reminded of how beautiful the shades are. I hope I did these polishes justice in my swatches!

Headlining the first half, we have Hot Cinnamon.

Slightly unfocused macro to show the fleck shimmer and sparkle
Hot Cinnamon is a red textured polish with tons of gold fleck shimmer and pink sparkles. It pains me to no end that I cannot capture the gold shimmer and the pink sparkle because it truly is gorgeous on the nail! What you see on the bottle is what you get on your nail, and more. The only way I can capture the shimmer and sparkle is to take an unfocused shot. It's actually okay with one (one!) coat but looks infinitely better with two coats. The finish is similar to the Zoya Pixie Dust polishes.

Next, we have Sugar Rush

Sugar Rush is an orange, like a light vermilion, textured polish with the same gold fleck shimmer and pink sparkles as Hot Cinnamon. Again, very difficult to capture! Also opaque in one coat but much better with two. Same finish as Hot Cinnamon.

And here we have Tangerine Dream.

Tangerine Dream is a yellow-orange textured polish with tons of gold fleck shimmer. To my eyes it doesn't have the pink sparkle, but in my opinion it looks better without it. This one needs at least two coats for opacity, but would probably look best with three. Same finish as Hot Cinnamon and Sugar Rush.

And now for the second half, let's start with Rock Candy.

Rock Candy is a metallic light green textured polish that has slightly bigger silver glitters. It's less bluish in person, definitely green. It's completely different from the first half of this collection, but I think it works because the silver works better with the cool tones. Perfectly opaque in two coats. The finish is similar to the O.P.I Liquid Sand polishes with regards to the bigger glitter pieces.

Next, we have Blueberry Fizz.

Blueberry Fizz is a metallic light blue, sort of like a light-wash denim, textured polish with the same glitters as Rock Candy. I'm in love with this color! Also perfectly opaque in two coats. Same finish as Rock Candy.

And rounding out the collection, here is Crushed Candy.

Crushed Candy is a metallic red-leaning purple textured polish with the same silver glitters as Rock Candy and Blueberry Fizz. Again, perfectly opaque in two coats. Same finish as the two from this half of the collection.

And of course I have to try them with top coat!

Hot Cinnamon with TC
Sugar Rush with TC
Tangerine Dream with TC
Rock Candy with TC
Blueberry Fizz with TC
Crushed Candy with TC

Thoughts? I freaking LOVE this collection! I think Jesse's Girl (parent company of Julie G, if I'm not mistaken) has done a great job with these polishes. I love the gold fleck shimmer and the pink sparkle in the warm colors, and the metallic finish and silver glitters in the cool colors. I'm not much of a fan of Sugar Rush and Tangerine Dream but they are pretty nonetheless. I also love how they were easy to apply and that it only took two coats to achieve opacity. They also look beautiful by themselves or with top coat. The top coat makes the base a touch darker, but it's not really a big issue. Dry time is fairly fast. The first nail you paint is practically dry by the time you finish painting the last nail. The brush also fans out pretty nicely, and I'm always a fan of short and squat brushes. :)

Would I recommend these polishes? Yes, definitely! The colors are gorgeous, the formula is great, and the dry time is pretty fast. The price is pretty okay, at $3.99 for a 10 ml bottle. It may be a bit expensive for some, but the colors make up for it. I personally think it's a good deal. Availability might also be an issue for some, so check your local Rite-Aid, Tiffany's Family Drugstores and Fagen Pharmacy. You can always also order online at Jesse's Girl website (they have free shipping for orders over $20!) Groupon actually had the set for about $13 plus shipping back in April, but I've heard some girls had problems with bottles breaking due to improper packaging. Anyway, if you can get your hands on these polishes, you definitely should! 

And that concludes Textured Polish Week! Thank you for sticking with me and tune in for my next blog posts! :)

*I bought these polishes with my own money from Jesse's Girl for $3.99 each bottle, including shipping. You can also check your local Rite-Aid, Tiffany's Family Drugstore or Fagen Pharmacy for availability.*

*Disclaimer: Due to variations in screen displays and resolutions, polishes may appear different to each reader. I try my best to capture colors as accurately as I can, and if I can't, then I try to describe the color/s to the best of my ability.*

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Textured Polish Week Day 6: China Glaze Texture (Bump & Grind, In the Rough, Of Coarse!)

(This post was supposed to go up on Saturday but my weekend just got really busy and honestly, I was also feeling lazy and unmotivated... So here I am posting this about three days late.)

Hello everyone! It's Day 6 of Textured Polish Week! I have three polishes from the China Glaze Texture Collection.

These polishes are pretty similar to the Milani Texture and Sally Hansen Sugar Coat polishes I have posted, texture-wise. It's a bit more refined than the Milani polishes, closer to the texture of the SH Sugar Coat polishes. So let's get to the swatches, shall we? :)

Leading the way is Bump & Grind.

Bump & Grind is a dark reddish pink creme that dries to a textured finish. It's not quite matte, but not as shiny as regular polish. This is three coats with no top coat.

Next, we have In The Rough.

In the Rough is a light chartreuse (fancy way of saying yellow-green lol) creme that dries to a textured finish. Not quite matte when it dries, but not as shiny as regular polish either. This is three coats with no top coat.

Last but not the least, we have Of Coarse!

Of Coarse! is a bright medium blue creme that dries to a textured finish. Again, it did not dry very matte, but it wasn't as shiny either. This is three coats with no top coat.

Thoughts? The colors on these are bright and perfect for summer (although these polishes came out a while ago, but then all collections come out a whole season early.) If I had to pick a favorite out of the three, I'd pick In the Rough, just because the color is interesting. Usually I would default to the blues, but this time I'm picking the chartreuse!

The CG brush was a bit tricky to use, as the brush stem is longer than most and the brush is long and skinny (which spreads out well, so I guess that's okay.) Some people might prefer this but personally I prefer a shorter and wider brush. As I was applying Bump & Grind I felt like the brush was gonna snap in half everytime I swiped it against the mouth of the bottle to wipe the excess off. And I'm not sure if it's the brush or the polishes themselves but in my experience with CG polishes almost all of them tend to overload on the brush, so you do have to be careful with them and be sure to swipe the excess off. The formula on these aren't so bad; they did get thick along the way but a few shakes thinned them out. Dry time was also fast. The first fingernail is practically dry as soon as you finish the last fingernail, so you can paint your whole hand without waiting for the first coat to dry.

Would I recommend these polishes? For the most part, yes. The colors are perfect for summer, and the texture isn't as gritty as one would expect, so if you're new to the textured polish trend these polishes are a good place to start. Depending on where you buy them, it'll end up cheaper than those you can find at drugstores. The formula was quite easy to work with, much better than the Sally Hansen ones, in my opinion.

And that is it for Day 6! Stay tuned for the last installment of TPW. :)

*I bought these polishes with my own money from eBay for $15 for the three polishes, including shipping. You can also find these at your local salon supply store for much cheaper; just check for price and availability. I'm not sure if they are still available at ULTA and Sally Beauty so check your local stores for availability.*

*Disclaimer: Due to variations in screen displays and resolutions, polishes may appear different to each reader. I try my best to capture colors as accurately as I can, and if I can't, then I try to describe the color/s to the best of my ability.*

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Textured Polish Week Day 5: Sally Hansen Sugar Coat (Treat-Heart, Royal Icing, Laughie Taffy)

(This post was supposed to go up on Friday, but I did not have time to do them, so I am posting these today instead. I had a busy weekend and blogging fell by the wayside... Oops.)

Hiiiiii errbody! It's Day 5 of Textured Polish Week! For this post I have for you three polishes from the second Sally Hansen Sugar Coat collection.

While the first collection had all creme polishes, this collection has some glittery polishes that are reminiscent of the Zoya Pixie Dust polishes. I bought two of the glittery ones and one of the cremes. (Please search online for pics of the other shades, as I have only bought a total of three from this collection.) Let's get right to the swatch pics, shall we? :)

First in line is Treat-Heart.

Treat-Heart is a medium pink, glittery polish that dries to a matte, yet sparkly finish. I received my macro lens in the mail so I went and did an unfocused macro shot of this polish because that was the only way I could capture the subtle hot pink glitters that's scattered throughout. This is three coats with no top coat.

Next up, Royal Icing.

Royal Icing is a sheer, baby blue glittery polish that has this gorgeous pink sparkle that doesn't really translate in pics. I did a slightly unfocused macro shot to show the pink sparkle. If you own Sinful Colors Cinderella, Royal Icing is like the textured version of it. This is three coats, no undies, no top coat.

And last but not the least, here is Laughie Taffy.

Laughie Taffy is a navy blue creme polish that dries to a textured finish. It's still fairly shiny when it dried. I did three coats for this one, with no top coat. Please excuse the bald spot on my middle finger... it was user error, not the polish's fault.

I also tried putting top coat on Treat-Heart and Royal Icing, and this is how they look:

Treat-Heart with top coat
Royal Icing with top coat
They pretty much look the same, just that they went a bit darker and shinier.

Thoughts? I love the colors of these polishes. I also love that they came out with sparkly polishes. Royal Icing was such an interesting color, although I wish the base color was a bit more opaque. I tried layering it over SC Cinderella but the texture wasn't the same. Treat-Heart was also a pretty color. It looked very sparkly in person! Laughie Taffy was also pretty, even though it's pretty dark for summer. Perfect for fall or winter! The texture was a bit like sandpaper, but top coat can solve that. The formula was pretty ok. Treat-Heart and Royal Icing were more like thin jelly polishes. Dry time was also good. Removal can also get messy if you do it the traditional way. Maybe foil method can help, but I've heard it can be drying on the nails.

Would I recommend these polishes? For the color alone, yes. The colors are very pretty, and if you don't like the texture, you can always put on some top coat to smooth it out. Textured polish can be out of others' comfort zone, but it's fun to try something different once in a while. :) The price might be a bit expensive for a drugstore brand, but there are some deals/discounts from time to time so be sure to check out your local drugstore for them.

And that's it for this post! Stay tuned for the next one. :)

*I bought these polishes with my own money from Walgreens at $7.99 each. Check your local drugstore for availability and for discounts. These polishes are available at most drugstores.*

*Disclaimer: Due to variations in screen displays and resolutions, polishes may appear different to each reader. I try my best to capture colors as accurately as I can, and if I can't, then I try to describe the color/s to the best of my ability.*