Tag Archives: holo

Zoya Aurora nail polish review

zoya aurora

Hail to the Princess Aurora! All of her subjects adore her! Hail to the King, hail to the Queen, hail to the Princess Aurora!

Given that Sleeping Beauty was always my favourite Disney princess, it was always likely I’d feel the urge to buy Zoya’s Aurora nail polish – and yes, I totally buy cosmetics based on the product names. Thankfully, the colour turned out to be pretty stellar.

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Estessimo Tins Alluring Aquamarine nail polish review

The holo hunt continues – and next on the list is Estessimo Tins Alluring Aquamarine!

This stunner has to be one of my favourite holographic polishes yet, if not one of my favourite polishes full stop! Alluring Aquamarine is a bright tropical blue with oodles of rainbow-reflecting glitter that shimmers its way to the surface.

The vibrancy of this polish is what makes it so special; many holos have a slightly pale or muted quality to them but this one bursts out the bottle with all guns blazing and rainbows set to beam. In that respect, it’s similar to another of my favourite vivid holos, China Glaze DV8 – but that one’s more of a teal (plus with the non-sparkly holographic effect) whereas Alluring Aquamarine is a pure and simple bright blue, the colour you thought the sky or sea should be when you were five!

The formula, as with Estessimo Tins Seductive Amethyst, is great (although the rainbow effect isn’t quite as strong) – a quick and easy two coats, neither too thick nor too thin, and with no strange streaking or bald patches either. It dries to a super-smooth shiny finish, crystal-clear in its clarity and cleanness. Unfortunately, it did chip quite quickly (the same thin easy peeling I noted before with holos) but it’s nothing a quick touch-up can’t fix – and trust me, you’ll want to keep Alluring Aquamarine on for as long as possible!

Under artificial light, to show the rainbow holo effect more!

Alluring Aquamarine is one of those polishes that just makes you happy. It’s a bubbly brilliant blue scattered with sunbursts and rainbows – and how can that not be anything but utterly delightful?!

Alluring? Definitely! But awesome, adorable, amazing and astounding would also do just as nicely.

Looks good with: summer brights, sunshine, smiles
Drying time: 5 mins
Coats required: 2
Chips: 2 days

Estessimo Tins Alluring Aquamarine, Winter 2006 More Jewellist Collection

Estessimo Tins Seductive Amethyst nail polish review

Regular readers may be aware of my quest to find every single holographic nail polish in Hong Kong. I just can’t enough of my rainbows in a bottle – it’s such a magical concept that taps into my inner holographic-sticker loving child. The latest on my hit list to show you: Estessimo Tins Seductive Amethyst.

I’ve already told you a bit about Estessimo Tins (known to my boyfriend as Snils and who knows, he may be correct!), a Japanese brand that specialise in creating glitter bombs for the nails. Most of their polishes are the old-fashioned type with pieces of actual glitter sparkling away inside them – like The Neptune and The Splash Blue which I have previously showed you – but they do have a few holos hiding in the wings too.

Seductive Amethyst is one such specimen and it is GORGEOUS. It’s a medium purple colour, slightly pink-leaning, that on its own is the exact colour I picture amethysts being in the first place. Tip in those holo rainbows and it becomes an even more magical prospect.

Unlike the famous China Glaze OMG holographic polishes, which produce a strong rainbow effect that sort of radiates round the nail in ripples (nail geeks call these ‘linear holos’), Seductive Amethyst produces a ‘scattered’ holo effect – little bursts of rainbow scattered all over the shop.

Holographic polishes are different from the old glitter polishes because, through some nail polish magic, they don’t actually feature glitter pieces submerged in the lacquer – even though the scattered ones, like these, really look like they should! Instead, the rainbow glitter seems to just exist as part of the polish itself, meaning you get a smooth (and easy to remove) finish but with a just as beautiful bling to your buck. It really is totally reminiscent of those kaleidoscopic rainbows I saw in stickers in my childhood; substitute Pokedex cards or Pogs or whatever was your childhood magpie equivalent!

I find Estessimo Tins’ longer handle easy to control and its brush is nicely-sized – somewhat equivalent to China Glaze’s but a little bit thiner – and spreads nicely. Seductive Amethyst was super-easy to apply in two quick-drying coats and delivered a flawless holographic finish. It’s a rainbow-dusted amethyst purple that looks like it belongs in fairytales.

But where this beauty really comes alive, when all the rainbows come out to play, is in super-bright sunlight… and thankfully, that’s one thing Hong Kong does well! It’s like rainbows are dancing off your nails! It’s searingly, blindingly, mind-blowingly brilliant. I could not stop staring in awe at my claws.

Beautiful, bountiful, bouncing rainbows at my very fingertips and in my fave shade, purple – seriously, what more could I ask for? Seductive Amethyst didn’t even need to bother with a chat-up line, it had me at hello… or should that be holo!

Looks good with: bright sunlight, not minding if you bump into stuff because you’re staring at your nails
Drying time: 5 mins
Coats required: 2
Chips: 2 days

Estessimo Tins Seductive Amethyst, Winter 2006 More Jewellist Collection

China Glaze TMI nail polish review

As you know, I’m really digging coral this season – so what could possibly be better than the eye-popping coral crème that was CND’s Poppyfield? Well, a holographic coral, of course! Skip forward, China Glaze’s TMI.

Yes, it’s another one of those oh-so-awesome colours from the OMG Collection. TMI is from the warmer end of the spectrum, a lovely pinky coral that glows in natural sunlight. Those enchanting entrancing rainbow-reflecting properties are still very much present (albeit slightly weaker than the other OMG colours I’ve tried to date), but this time it’s very much the summer end of the rainbow that gleams back at you – all golds, pinks, oranges and red.

For me, TMI is very much an instant winner in the daylight. It’s a really gorgeous colour, very flattering and there’s something about that rosy pink-toned coral that gives you the warm fuzzies inside. However, where it comes unstuck is in the shade or in yellow artificial light, where it turns into a weird dusty salmon, leaning towards rusty orange, which I found really rather nasty. Oh well, you gotta take the rough with the smooth and trust me, that first flush of rosy coral loveliness is definitely worth it.

More rainbows reveal themselves under white artificial light

Application-wise, I found TMI to be a little trickier than the rest of its OMG cousins. The consistency was a tad gloopier and coverage was initially difficult to get even. However, it’s worth remembering that these polishes are now a few years old and when I found TMI, it was sitting unloved, unclean and with a formula that had separated many moons ago, so all this could well be a factor. Add some TLC to TMI and after a careful two coats, it looked fine.

Although TMI is definitely not my favourite from the OMG Collection as it’s definitely a little tamer than its brothers and sisters, that might actually work in its favour for those of you who’d prefer an easily wearable, flattering colour that still boasts that holographic awesomeness. And let’s face it, rainbows are just irresistible, aren’t they?!

Looks good with: summer, natural sunlight
Drying time: <2 mins
Coats required: 2
Chips: 2-3 days

China Glaze TMI nail polish, Spring 2008 OMG Collection, $80, Nail Concept Company

China Glaze BFF nail polish review

And so the holo madness continues, with China Glaze’s BFF.

Short recap if you haven’t been keeping close track over my nail polish obsession: Rach discovers lacquers that have rainbow holographic effect reminiscent of her favourite stickers from childhood, Rach decides she must have as many of these holographic lacquers as possible, regardless of colour, price or availability. Polish connoisseurs regard China Glaze’s Kaleidoscope and OMG Collections as the zenith of shimmery rainbowy goodness, so Rach dedicates huge numbers of man hours, resources and dollars to tracking down said collections. Rach is so zombified by doing this and blogging about 85 dresses as 2011’s Met Gala that she starts referring to herself in the third person.

Back to BFF. BFF is the colour of rhododendrons or mallows in full pinky-purply bloom. Except with added rainbows, of course. It looks a lot pinker in my photos than it did in real life, as it’s very much an in-betweeny mix of cool mid-toned pink and a pale dusty magenta. Unlike DV8, which gave a more marine-flavoured spectrum, BFF has the more traditional full rainbow glow when it hits the sun.

An easy fast-drying two-coater, BFF reverted to type when it came to chips too. DV8 unexpectedly lasted a whole week without any obvious wear but BFF started flaking away after a few days. Generally, shampoo day is the death knell for any holos I wear, and DV8 looks like it was the exception that proved the rule!

Normal light vs artificial light

Although BFF probably isn’t the most stand-out colour from the OMG Collection, it’s actually one of the most wearable whilst still providing that revelatory wink of rainbows. It’s not a too-girlie pink, but nor is it a not-safe-for-work blast of purple. Fully deserving of being every girl’s BFF, it’s pretty much the perfect Trojan horse for holographic goodness.

Looks good with: most things
Drying time: <2 mins
Coats required:
2
Chips:
3-4 days

China Glaze BFF nail polish, Spring 2008 OMG Collection, $115, Nail Concept Company

China Glaze DV8 nail polish review

As you’ll know by now, I try and avoid nail polish jargon – largely because I don’t understand it myself! I made a recent exception for flakies, although I prefer my  more descriptive term ‘amazing shreds of rainbow awesomeness’, and now I’m going to make another exception for ‘holos’ – basically because I’ve become obsessed with the things! So here goes with my first holo, China Glaze’s DV8.

…Actually, it’s my second. I stumbled upon China Glaze’s IDK on a dusty shelf in a little shop in Tsim Sha Tsui and bought it on a whim, only to be instantly spellbound by the hidden rainbow hues which came out to play in the sunlight. Little did I know, I had happened upon a much-sought-after holo from China Glaze’s discontinued OMG Collection, which nail bloggers still discuss misty-eyed although it was launched (and withdrawn) two years ago!

Holo is basically shorthand for holographic – and that clicking noise you hear is the sound of me “getting it”! It basically refers to an elusive type of glitter that reflects the whole rainbow right back at you when you hit a magic angle in strong light. It’s the kind of effect you may remember from stickers you used to collect when you were little, the rare shiny sparkly ones that would often have a special page in your sticker book and as such, were worth big stakes when trading amongst your friends. Well, you might have grown up, but nothing changes! Bloggers practically devour holographic nail polish, are constantly on the hunt for new and stronger holos and dream of rare swaps… and now I’ve become an addict too!

After hitting up the afore-mentioned shop in TST to claim whatever stock of the OMG Collection they had left (not much), I was still hungry for more. I thought I could wait until China Glaze released its much-anticipated Tronica Collection this spring, which was allegedly chock-full of rainbow goodness, but reviews started filtering in reckoning these weren’t proper holos at all… so I decided I had to source the OMG Collection whatever the cost! Hence how I got ripped off ridiculous amounts of money at a shop in Causeway Bay instead.

But it was so soooo worth it. A good holo is a thing of rare enchanting beauty and a danger to my personal safety as I find myself staring at my nails when I should be concentrating on things like crossing roads. And DV8 has to be one of the best of the lot.

A strongly-pigmented teal colour, it’s a pretty amazing aquamarine even without the rainbow shimmer, which is highly visible under strong sunlight or artificial light. Such an intense bright colour is actually pretty rare in the strange magical world of holos – it seems easier to make them in pale silvery shades, which are consequently much easier to find. Factor in the spectrum of multi-coloured hues that flit your way when the mood takes them and this oceanic stunner becomes one of the seven wonders of the nail polish world.

Under artificial light

The rainbow rays in here seem to reflect a much more mermaid-themed palette of glittering greens, blues and golds as opposed to the usual full ‘shine a crystal in sunlight’ kaleidoscope of colours, but that just suits the magnificent marine theme even more. DV8 feels like a treasure unearthed from the deep, guarded by sirens but rescued for your wearing pleasure: glowing, glittering, gorgeous.

I had no problems in applying this over a base and the formula was easy to work with – two thin coats and you’re done! Holos are also renowned for chipping fairly quickly (IDK flaked off into papery pieces without notice) but incredibly, DV8 lasted well over a week in picture-perfect condition. Maybe it’s to do with that stronger colour pigment but seriously, is there anything about this nail polish not to love?!

So forget about the pot of gold at the end, it’s all about the rainbow. And DV8 deserves to be celebrated with all the delight of a double one!

Looks good with: summer, bright colours, high contrast
Drying time: 2 mins
Coats required: 2
Chips: +5 days

China Glaze DV8 nail polish, Spring 2009 OMG Collection, ridiculous sum of money, Senda Salon


China Glaze IDK nail polish review

One of the more unexpected nail trends to emerge for Spring 2011 is the unstoppable rise of glitters. It seems nail varnish companies have (finally!) locked onto the fact that their most bling-tastic of polishes go down a treat all year round, as opposed to just with lashings of festive spirit. In China Glaze’s case, this has meant producing a twelve-strong collection of glittering gleaming finishes for their 2011 Tronica Collection… a task that probably didn’t require too much work as it basically entailed reproducing one of their much-loved and lusted-after sets, the OMG Collection.

Alas, as with most awesome things, the OMG Collection is now preceded by the word ‘discontinued’. Like your favourite ever lipstick shade, your favourite ever childhood chocolate bar or your favourite ever Disney movie, brands seem to just love stashing away the good stuff to cause much stamping of feet and gnashing of teeth all-round. I don’t think I’ve visited a nail varnish blog where the OMG Collection isn’t talked about with a reverence more befitting of the Holy Grail. And bizarrely, I lucked out on finding two such mystical polishes kicking around in the bargain bin at a little toiletries shop down a side-street in Tsim Sha Tsui.

Having now checked out OMG in its entirety online, I have come to the conclusion that I found the obvious best shades (!) – IDK and 2Nite (the worst thing about the set was that they were all named in txtspeak).

Strong sunlight vs shadows (click to enlarge)

IDK is a lovely dusty lavender, a colour I’d love even if it wasn’t for OMG’s special ingredient – a holographic finish. This basically means it shimmers and glimmers in a whole rainbow of colours, like those shiny silvery stickers you used to collect when you were a kid. You know, they had a whole special page in your sticker book and they were the most prized possessions for trading with friends. [So, given the barter value of holographic nail polishes, not much has changed!]

IDK was a joy to apply, even in its two year-old, mouldering on a lonely shelf state (note: not actually mouldering, merely separated pigments and an air of being unloved). Despite having read you shouldn’t apply it with a base coat, my Nail Tek II and I are never parted and I had no problems. Initially, it looked like it was going to streak and pool in strange formations, yet it dried rapidly to a beautiful smooth and even finish with just the one coat. I applied another coat for luck and we were good to go!

Before I wax lyrical about IDK’s many other magical properties, I’ll mention the only downsides. Like many other holographic nail polishes, it chips easily and without warning. Secondly, the formula feels very thin, meaning when it does chip, it flakes away with abandon, peeling off like thin parchment. But even with these negatives, IDK is SO worth it.

It’s an absolute dreamboat of a colour, reminiscent of how you imagined butterflies to be when you were little – actually glittering, a light pretty lilac, flashed through with rainbow sparkles in the sunlight. In short, it’s a total ‘wow’. And whilst some might say it’s flat and dull without the holographic effect (which really does only show up angled against natural light), I even love in its plain old alter-ego as a pale dusty purple. An unusual subtle shade that I’ve not managed to find sans glitter, it’s right up my street.

Think of me as Rio Pacheco, torn between love for both flashy glamorous Jem and more grown-up Jerrica on favourite-ever cartoon Jem & The Holograms – alas, also now discontinued. Sob.

Looks good with: florals, childhood wonder, definitely not just Christmas
Drying time: 1 min
Coats required: 1-2
Chips: 2 days

China Glaze IDK nail polish, Spring 2008 OMG Collection, $80