Tag Archives: flakies

Nails Of The Day: Essie Dive Bar & Essie Shine Of The Times manicure

essie shine of the times

Over the festive period, I was lucky enough to be invited to quite a few Christmas parties – so I felt it only right to put slightly more effort into my look than my usual pyjamas accessorised with cookie crumbs down the front… so hello new mani!

For Christmas party number one, I went with Essie Dive Bar, an inky blackened teal – very cool, very rock n’ roll, but darkly sophisticated with it. It’s one of those intriguing polish colours that looks black from far away, but reveals glittering depths on closer inspection. It’s super easy to use; like most Essie polishes, it flows onto the nail beautifully and is pretty much opaque in one coat (although I always seem to do two out of habit). I did find it dried a little dull for my tastes though, so I added a slick of top coat to give it a glossier finish. Amazingly enough for a polish this dark, it doesn’t stain either so well done Essie.

essie dive bar

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Illamasqua Raindrops nail polish review

I never bothered to do a list of my favourite beauty products for 2011… but if I did, this lovely would have been right up there!

Illamasqua’s Raindrops is a truly beautiful polish, which is absolutely true to its name – a bit of a rarity in the cute but crazy world of nail polish naming! A dusty pale blue jelly base with tiny iridescent flakies suspended within, Raindrops came into being thanks to an Illamasqua competition winner who was inspired by a photograph of raindrops on a windowpane.

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Sasatinnie Intergalactic Wow nail polish review

Having given you time to mull over my first flakie nail polish, it’s time for another review from my Sasa haul. So following hot on the glittery-pretty heels of FCGL001, it’s… Sasatinnie FCGL002! Imaginative, right?

FCGL002 is waaaay too beautiful to be known by a string of letters and numbers that make it sound more like a hazardous chemical than a thing of wonder, so I’ve renamed it Intergalactic Wow. It’s a deep deadly nightshade purple swirled with silver micro-glitter and an abundance of glowing coppery-pinky-purply opalescent shreds, with such a mesmerising magic about it that you do feel like you’re being sucked into another galaxy. In case you’re in any doubt, it is 100% totally gorgeous.

Out of all three Sasatinnie flakies I bought, Intergalactic Wow had by far the biggest and the most ‘amazing shreds of rainbow awesomeness’ (I’m thinking of patenting the term). Again, there was a thin watery first coat and a somewhat toxic stink, but once you’ve layered on two to three coats of this lovely, you get a colour with such depth and richness to its shimmers and glimmers that you can barely remember your own name let alone whatever minor hardships it took to achieve. It reminded me of the photos you see from outer space – those vivid and multi-textured hues of a planet’s surface, topped off with starry sprinkles and flaming comets – hence the name I gave it. By now, the ‘Wow’ part should be pretty self-explanatory!

Hunting around the web, it looks like Intergalactic Wow may even be a dupe (nail polish jargon for identical twin) for OPI’s Merry Midnight, a colour from its 2009 Holiday Wishes Collection and long since discontinued. It certainly has the same red-based plum base colour, although from some photos, it looks like Sasatinnie’s polish may have even more flakie goodness going on! And for a fraction of the price to boot!

Intergalactic Wow was, unsurprisingly, my favourite of all the Sasatinnie lacquers I purchased. That it only cost $24 is nothing short of incredible; it easily outshines many of the other premium polishes I own, in terms of drying time, staying power and the most importantly, that magnificent colour pay-off. After all, why else would I have put ‘Wow’ in the name?!

Looks good with: black, star-gazing, cosmic wonder
Drying time: <2 mins
Coats required: 2-3
Chips: +5 days

Sasatinnie FCGL002 “Intergalactic Wow” nail polish, Super Dolly Fantasy Quick Dry Collection, $24, Sasa

Sasatinnie Blue Steel nail polish review

I promised you reviews of my newly-purchased flakie nail polishes so let’s get the ball rolling with Sasatinnie’s FCGL001.

Oh dear, that’s hardly the most exciting of names, is it? In order to combat this undeserved dullardry, I decided to give it my own name – Blue Steel. Guess who re-watched Zoolander recently!

This means that FCGL001 Blue Steel has no option other than to be really really ridiculously good-looking. And I rather think it is. It’s a steely metallic blue-grey with a river of sparkling silver micro-glitter running through it, plus a scattering of those all-important flakes of rainbow awesomeness. These flakes are actually quite subtle, relatively small and a glowing pink colour but they’re still just as awesome as their showier counterparts.

As I said earlier, I was actually pretty impressed with the formula of this polish. Despite an extremely thin murky first coat, Blue Steel became opaque in just two coats, although I applied a third to intensify the gleaming depth of those awesome flakies even further. It’s also quick-drying and long-lasting, although as a cheapo drugstore polish, it’s unlikely to be part of the ‘3 Free’ brigade (reminder: free from the three biggest nail varnish nasties) and consequently, smelt just as toxic as the ones I remember from my youth. Similarly, the brush shape is nothing to write home about – medium-sized, quite flat, fans out nicely – although since these bottles are slung into a huge vat and no doubt sneakily opened and jammed back once a security guard’s caught them doing it multiple times by excitable schoolgirls, it’s worth checking to make sure you don’t get a brush with splayed bristles. The length of the brush feels rather short, like you’re having to get a bit too close to comfort to the nail to get the job done, but none of these criticisms are serious enough to make you regret the purchase. I mean, these are glittering flakes of rainbow awesomeness, remember?!

For a polish boasting so many elements from the gaudier side of lacquers – glitter, flakies, metallic and all done in blue – Blue Steel is surprisingly low-key but in a confidently gorgeous way. The dusty pewter blue is a really wearable shade that goes with most things but gets balanced out by the fine dusting of silver glitter, which gives it a sexy shimmer without turning it into a circus.

As for the flakies? Well, they’re everything I hoped they would be. They turn Blue Steel into a much more beautiful, unique polish, giving it that extra push of oomph yet staying true to its more subtle take on things. These opalescent shreds, plus the silver fairy dust, give it a depth that makes it all the more mesmerising to anyone that looks close enough. And trust me – that’s something you’ll be doing a lot of once you’ve started wearing it!

Looks good with: cool tones, metallics, doing the Blue Steel
Drying time: <2 mins
Coats required: 2-3
Chips: 3 days

Sasatinnie FCGL001 “Blue Steel” nail polish, Super Dolly Fantasy Quick Dry Collection, $24, Sasa

Flakies FTW – a trip to the vats of Sasa

Back when I first started writing nail varnish reviews, I promised myself that I would never start using the polish jargon so beloved by many beauty blogs. Holographic this, duochrome that… and what’s the difference between a crème and a jelly anyway? After all, it’s nail polish, not quantum physics! I describe it as I see it, and if that means I’m calling something a glitter when it’s a foil or a shimmer when it’s a glass fleck then so be it!

However, one mystery elixir continued to tantalise me – the flakie. Flakies, or as I know them ‘amazing shreds of rainbow awesomeness’, are probably one of the most lusted-after types of polishes in the blogosphere. Unfortunately, I couldn’t locate many of polishes that blogs frequently mentioned (Gosh Rainbow, Sally Hansen Hidden Treasure, Andrea Fulerton Gemstone, Nubar 2010) in Hong Kong, whilst although the brand most famous for them (Nfu-Oh) boasts Ebay sellers seemingly exclusively from HK, I’ve so far had more luck finding The Holy Grail than their lacquers in a real-life shop here. I began to doubt that I knew what flakies really looked like – basically, they’re confetti-esque shreds of iridescence, with rainbow reflections similar to the flashes in an opal gemstone; had I been passing by flakies all the while, mistakenly thinking they were mere glitters or shimmers?

But thankfully, my quest for flakies – and as you know, my make-up quests can get a bit obsessive – has a vaguely happy ending! All thanks to Sasatinnie, the own-brand sold by cosmetics behemoth Sasa.

My first post about nail polish already told you the state of Sasa – namely, huge tubs of bottles, piled high and haphazardly with little rhyme or reason (the picture below is from Bonjour but the effect is the same!). Consequently, I took refuge in the calm of Cher2, with its well-ordered selection of premium brands, and have been a bit snobby about the drugstore stuff ever since. Yet my quest for flakies meant I (and my reluctant boyfriend, who received a crash course on what to look for prior to the search) finally dove fist-first into a Sasa vat… and came up trumps!

For just $24 a bottle (or $40 for two), these three flakie polishes come from Sasatinnie’s Super Dolly Fantasy Quick Dry Collection. They weren’t quite what I was looking for, as they all have coloured bases rather than clear ones so I can’t layer them over just any colour to get the full flakie effect, but they’ll definitely do for now. Unlike many of the big brands, they’re probably not ‘3 Free’ (see here for details of what chemical nasties are probably lurking under that awesome flakie finish, especially if the more pungent-than-usual smell is anything to go by) but I was actually surprised with how well these applied – despite seeming pretty thin and watery, they all became opaque in a standard two to three coats and stayed chip-free for a positive aeon.

I’ll be treating each polish to their own review fairly soon but suffice to say, I can’t get enough of these amazing shreds of rainbow awesomeness. So if anyone has any tips for getting my mitts on more flakie fabulousness in Hong Kong, do let me know in the comments below. In the meantime, my lesson has been learnt – no more Sasa snobbiness! And I’ll be the one jumping headlong into the tub of nail varnish on your next visit.

[Incidentally, if you do want to swot up on nail varnish jargon, check out Lacquerized’s fantastic post here].