Sunday, April 29, 2012

on 18 comments

Stamping with Layla Mirror Effects

As promised, here are some quick designs I did to test out how well the Layla Mirror Effects stamp with.

This is Purple Diva, stamped over Ulta3 Orchid.

This is Black as Ebony on all fingers, then double stamped with Metal Chrome on the ring finger, over Joe Fresh Gunmetal.

Finally, this is Titanium Sky stamped over Cult Nails Time Traveler.

So... They look good right.  But let me say they are not easy to work with for stamping.  You have to work fast, really fast. Much faster than I have ever had to work with other stamping polishes before.  You have to swipe and pick it up immediately.  In the beginning I didn't think they were going to work for stamping at all, cause I just couldn't pick up the design (and I've never had that problem before). So try to hold the stamper in your other hand, so that as soon as you swipe, you can pick it up.

But, once you have picked up the design on the stamper, don't stamp it down straight away otherwise it stamps down wet and doesn't dry to a shiny chrome finish.  I found that if I waited about 10 seconds for it to dry a bit, then stamp it down, I got the best effect.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

on 13 comments

Layla Mirror Effects - Part 2

Here is the second part of the Layla Mirror Effect polishes.

Purple Diva - pink toned purple

Red Hot - dusty dark pink, definitely not red as the name would suggest.

Metal Plum - dusty rose pink.

Black as Ebony - gunmetal grey.

My only disappointment with this collection is that a number of the shades are very similar in colour.  A lot of dusty pink and mauve shades.  I love Metal Chrome, Titanium Sky and Black as Ebony, but I would happily settle with just one of the other shades, as they are all so similar.  Instead I wish there was a gold, and a green and a blue toned purple (not a pink toned one).

I've been wearing Metal Chrome for more than 24 hours, and it doesn't wear well.  It's not terrible, but I have bits off at the tips and they look scuffed. I am wearing it without base and without topcoat, so I didn't expect it to be great, but I think it's better than a holo worn without base and top coat. Update 1 hour later: I just showered and washed my hair and the polish now looks terrible. All the tips are chipped off and I have to take it off.  This is not a polish to wash your hair in :)

I think a Mirror Sandwich would work well with these polishes.  Eg Shiny base coat (or top coat as a base), mirror effect, top coat, mirror effect.

Finally, I did a quick comparison photo of Layla Metal Chrome against some of the other chrome polishes I have.  Sally Hansen Canary Chrome is on the index, Layla on the middle, Revlon Budding Chrome (sorry incorrectly labelled in the photo) on the ring finger, and China Glaze 2030 on the pinky.

As you can see, the Layla polish is pretty damn special in the way it is brush mark free and ultra smooth.  It makes the other chrome polishes look like foils.  Unfortunately I don't own other silver chromes such as Stargazer metallic or Maybelline Mirror Image so I can't comment on how similar the Layla Mirror Effects might be.

I bought these Layla Mirror Effects direct from Layla Cosmetics in Milan, Italy.  The bottles are 10ml and they cost €12.20 each.  Yes, expensive for US ladies with access to many brands of cheaper polish, but an acceptable price from my perspective as an Australia where OPI retails for $20 and Revlon for $15.

Friday, April 27, 2012

on 69 comments

Layla Mirror Effects - Part 1

I was really excited when I saw the promo video for the new Layla Mirror Effect polishes.  I knew I had to get them all because I'm a real sucker for anything shiny.  And boy, are these polishes shiny. 

Today I'm showing the first four polishes in the collection.  Formula and application on all of these was the same so I will put all that info together at the bottom.

I feel my photos don't do these justice.  It didn't seem to matter if I photographed in the shade or the sun, I just couldn't make them look as reflective as they do in person.  I think it might be because the photos are so up close.  I did take one of Metal Chrome a bit further away and I think it shows the shine the best to how they look in real life.

Metal Chrome - Silver, uber shiny metallic chrome.

Cosmo Lilac - light mauve pink, reflective metallic chrome.

Iron Pink - Light pink metallic chrome

Titanium Sky - Blue metallic chrome.

All these swatches show two coats, with no base coat or top.  You could get away with one careful thicker coat, but two thin coats worked better for me.  I also buffed my nails using the Layla buffing file.

I did try one nail without buffing and these polishes REALLY show every single bump, dot, indent, ridge or  imperfection on your nail.  I also tried these using both Aqua base and Seche Vite as a base coat because they both have a very smooth finish.  Both worked well and I 100% recommend wearing either Aqua base coat, or a very shiny top coat as your base if you are not going to buff your nails.  But because I was swatching, I didn't want to waste time doing base coats for each one, so I just buffed to a shine and painted naked nails.

Application of these polishes reminded me of the Layla holographics, in that when you first apply the polish it looks dull and rather matte finish.  In fact after my first few nails I was like "what is this crap chrome". But then as they dry you can actually see the chrome effect shine coming in.  

For me these are very different to other chromes I own such as China Glaze 2030 and some Revlon and Sally Hanson ones.  Those polishes appear chrome from the moment you apply them and you can still see slight brush marks, but these ones dried to a shiny, smooth, brush free finish.

I also applied Seche Vite top coat when I was doing my initial test.  I applied just a half nail of top coat to compare and see if it dulled the effect.  I did find it made the mirror effect less mirror like and a little fuzzy, so I swatched without top coat.

I have yet to wear any of these as a mani, but I'm about to put one on now to wear this weekend.  So I will report back as to what the wear is like.

I've also tried them for stamping, but I will save that for another post.

First impression. EPIC WIN.  Outstanding job from Layla to release another awesome collection back to back with the recent awesome holographics.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

on 35 comments

Fun is ... Clairns 230, Fantasy Fire and a gold/green morphing franken

For nearly two years now I have been stalking ebay looking at bottles of Clarins 230 thinking these various thoughts:
"Yes, I should get it now before all the bottles are gone"
"No *slaps face* don't be stupid and pay that for a bottle of polish:
"Oh look, this one is only $60, quick I should get it now"
"No, I can totally franken this using red/green colour morphing powder"
"Hang on, how will I know if I have my franken recipe is just right if I don't have the real thing to compare it too"
"Just get Fantasy Fire and be satisfied with that"
"But the collector in me really needs to own a bottle of 230"
"Imagine if I found a box full of 230's in some garage sale, I could make a squillion dollars"
And so on and so forth.

So a few weeks ago,  I did the deed.  I paid a horrid amount of money for a single bottle of nail polish.  And do I regret it? Nope, not one little bit.  I feel a small amount of relief as I gently stroke my bottle *my precious*.

What do you do when you get your bottle of Clarins 230, you slap it on and compare it to the other polishes you bought (yes you Fantasy Fire) and made (yes you purple franken with red/green pigment) and see what they all look like.

First I tried just Clarins 230 on it's own.  This was three coats, which all looked very smooth and even in real life, although in these photos the index finger looks like it got a thicker coat.  So pretty and squishy and the red/green sparkle really is to die for.

Next, I compared Clarins 230 with my franken and with Fantasy Fire.  
Verdict: franken is much more opaque, Fantasy Fire is a much brighter purple and neither of them quite had the same strength to the green sparkle that Clarins 230 had.

Next, I tried them all over a purple polish, and my favourite go to purple polish is Ulta3 Orchid.  This one really showed that the sparkle in the Franken and Fantasy Fire wasn't as strong.

This set of comparison photos is just of Clarins 230 and Fantasy Fire over Ulta3 Orchid.  Are you sick of this yet??

Finally, because I was disappointed that my franken didn't have as much green sparkle as Clarins 230, I added a good few heaped straw measure fulls into the bottle.  BAM, lots more green sparkle, and lots more red sparkle!  DOH I added too much, now I have to split it into two bottle and dilute it.  Actually, if I just left it as one coat of my franken instead of two, it's pretty damn close.

Well, that was fun.  I totally enjoyed my play with the magical unicorn pee and it's friends.

About Me

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I live in Canberra, Australia with my husband, Mr Ten and Miss Eight. My blog is all about nail polish, and a few other bits in between. You can contact me at