Fireworks Photography

I have been feeling a bit under the weather this week and have not had a chance to do any nail blogging so I decided to switch gears a little bit and show off some more of my photography.

Since it was the Fourth of July recently I used the holiday as an opportunity to practice a type of photography I have the least amount of experience with which is photos taken in very low lighting of fast moving objects. I think fireworks are some of the hardest objects to photograph but I like how even failed attempts end up with some cool, unintended, effects.

I took these photos with an f/1.8 50mm prime lens. my theory was I would be able to pop the aperture wide open in order to allow as much light in as possible and get a bokeh effect with the light. I had to take the photos at a very fast shutter speed with continuous burst. But even so I needed a faster shutter speed. I ended up with some interesting long exposure effects. I will certainly need to continue to practice and research how to make these kind of images more successfully.

Bokeh Boom

I really like the golden sparks and the red smoke in this photo. The red “bokeh” globes look kind of like stars.

More red globes and smoke. It’s like a red nebula.

This photo reminded me of a purple flower.

The colors came out amazing in his one.

Another shot I especially liked. It really does look like that concept art NASA releases.

Of course, I am by no means an expert and this was just a fun experiment. I look forward to continuing to practice and research different types of photography and expanding in that hobby. In he meantime I hope to have another nail related post here very soon once I am feeling a bit better.

The Color Box Teal All the Things Polish Reveal

After all the planning and waiting it’s finally time for me to reveal my polish collaboration with Blue Eyed Girl Lacquer for the “Teal All the Things” edition of The Color Box. The Color Box is the brain child of Manna of Manna’s Manis and blossomed into a quarterly collaboration between five indie polish makers who are teamed up with five bloggers to create five nail polishes that fit into a color theme. Last quarter we had the inaugural edition of The Color Box that released five gorgeous purple polishes. I have to say, you are in for a treat with the teal edition as well.

The Color Box Teal All the Things Polish Reveal

If you aren’t familiar with Blue Eyed Girl lacquer I did an interview with Julie, the maker and owner. You can check out that interview here.

The inspiration behind our polish was Derek Zoolander’s merman commercial from the first film. There’s been a bunch of mermaid polishes in various teal shades but we wanted to do something different and that had a sense of humor to it. After all, polish is supposed to be fun. Because if it’s not fun then why bother, right? Anyways, if you’re not familiar wih the scene I am referencing from Zoolander you can view it below.

The name of our polish is “Merman, Pops, MerMAN” Even though Zoolander actually coughs in that quote we decided to alter the quote a bit in homage to the scene.

Merman, Pops, MerMAN is a bright, almost neon, teal polish packed with all sorts of color shifting goodness. There is a strong copper to gold shifting shimmer as well as color shifting metallic flakies to pay tribute to all of Derek Zoolander’s “looks.” Yes, we could not have a Zoolander inspired polish without a nod to Blue Steel. The flakies shift from blue, violet purple, to aqua. I really love the speckled look of the polish. We had originally planned to add some holographic pigment but decided against it to allow the base color to be as bright as possible and to allow the shimmer and flakies to stand out.

Despite being so packed with shimmer and flakies Merman, Pops, MerMAN applies smoothly to the nail. The only application note I want to give is to be careful not to overwork the polish because it will pull up the flakies, especially after you apply the first coat. The flakies spread out evenly on the nail without much manipulation and you get a lot of flakies on the brush to provide a nice amount of that color shifting effect. I found the color shift of the shimmer and flakies to be most visible in bright light or sunlight but I also noticed it at various points through the time I wore it. Because the polish contains flakies instead of glitter it remove easily but you will want to be careful of transfer of the flakies onto the skin around your nails.

I truly love this polish and I think Julie did a fantastic job that was both representative of our theme but also was accurate to a teal polish that represented me as well. I’m a big fan of bright colors, shimmer, and color shifting elements whether its thermals, solars, or multichromes. I could not be more thrilled with the final result and I hope everyone will enjoy it as much as I have.

Once the other bloggers have had a chance to reveal their polishes I will be sharing the rest of them with you in a full review of all the polishes that will be in the teal edition of The Color Box. Spoiler alert, all of them did a fantastic job.

The teal edition of The Color Box will be available for preorder starting June 27. If you are eager to learn more you can join The Color Box’s Facebook group.  I will have more details in my full review of the all the teal polishes once the other bloggers have unveiled their polishes.

Blue-Eyed Girl Lacquer June 2016 Releases

Here are the June 2016 releases from Blue-Eyed Girl Lacquer. Julie, the maker of Blue-Eyed Girl Lacquer had to push the release of these polishes back to July. However, I doubt any of us mind because these polishes are well worth the wait.

This release will consist of a mix of preorder and “first come, first serve” polishes. Today I have the new Siren and the BEGL in the Destination Duo with 6Harts. These will release on Thursday, July 7th at 3:30pm EDT. Excited to see them? Here we go!

Blue Eyed Girl Lacquer

 

Siren’s Poolside Daiquiri

This lovely addition to the BEGL’s Sirens is a bright strawberry pink with rose gold flakies, neon pink to blue shifting flakies, and silver ultra holographic glitters. This polish was opaque for me in two coats and application was a breeze despite how much stuff is in the polish. The polish does dry a bit textured so you will want to topcoat it. I didn’t notice any bumpiness or anything out of the ordinary, just typical micro glitter texture. Topcoat will also help the glitters and flakies stand out better and really sparkle. This is a warmer pink with just a drop of coral to it. I really love the name because the polish reminds me of drinking fruity frozen adult beverages in the shade.

This polish will be available on the BEGL website for preorder on Thursday, July 7th at 3:30pm EDT and will sell for $12.00 USD. If there any overpours they will be available for sale at the end of the month.

 

Pining for the Pass

This polish is part of this month’s Destination Duo with 6Harts. I really love these Destination polishes because they are inspired by a photo and place. For this month’s the inspiration photo for the duo was taken by Courtney at Lolo Pass in Montana I really dig it. It’s not a picture you would typically pick for a polish inspiration and I really love how creatively it was interpreted.

I received the BEGL in my press release package. For those of you who love those olive type greens this will absolutely be up your alley. Pining for the Pass is a pine green polish with red to gold shifting flakies, bright gold flakies, and clear ultra holographic flakies. I really liked this one and it’s a color combination we don’t always see. It makes me think of sunlight sparkling through the spaces in between leaves on a tree. The red to gold shifting flakies create a strong shimmer effect in the polish with flecks of gold and holographic. It’s nice to have something different and this really does make me think of a hike through the woods.

The formula on this was a bit sheerer and like a true jelly. This will be a 2-3 coat polish depending on application. Honestly, even if you have a slight bit of visible nail line you will really have to strain to see it because there’s so many flakies in this polish. Like the Siren, this dried slightly textured and needed a topcoat.

Pining for the Pass will release with a polish from 6Harts called Rock of Ages. I didn’t receive that polish but Rock of Ages is described as a medium gray polish with green, color shifting, and dark gray micro flakies along with a small amount of micro glitter. You’ll want to check out the BEGL Website as well as the 6Harts website for photos. The duo will also come with bonus glitter packet full of coordinating glitters in various colors and shapes. They are meant to be worn with the polish for nail art purposes but not meant to be mixed in with them.

You will be able to purchase this month’s destination duo from both BEGL and 6Harts websites. However, be aware that 6Harts does not ship internationally. The duo will cost $20 shipped domestically and $20 shipped with a prorated fee for international customers.

 

Overall Impression

Both of these polishes are really lovely and have excellent formulas. It’s important to note that bEGL’s polishes do run a bit on the thicker side and you may need to add a couple drops of thinner if you prefer your polishes to be thinner. I have never had a bad polish from BEGL and they are well worth having. Which of the two polishes draw your eye the most?

Baroness X Southland Sunsets Collection

This is a big post today not only due to the amount of polishes but I also have some big news. Ever since I started blogging, and especially ever since I got my DSLR, I have pinned after a true macro lens. I was finally able to make that goal happen and started practicing with it the moment it arrived. I’m really impressed with how much sharper it’s making my images.

Baroness X La Luz 2.0

My other big news is I decided to take the plunge with creating a YouTube channel for this blog. It was on the bucket list of things I wanted to add to my blogging journey. I don’t foresee me abandoning this place as the central place for my blogging but rather I want to use YouTube as an enhancement to what I already do here. There are times where I discuss a topic that would be better illustrated in a video than in written words so now I will have the ability to add videos to my blog posts.

I made a simple slideshow to show off the polishes I will be reviewing in this blog post. I figured I should start simple and work my way up to more elaborate videos as I learn.

Today I have the crème polishes from the Southland Sunsets collection by Baroness X. This isn’t a new collection from Baroness X but they were recently rereleased which I was pretty excited about. There are also two glitter toppers that are a part of this collection and I will be showing them to you in another post. There are eight crème shades in this collection so I will hop to it.

All polishes in this post are shown without topcoat. All eight of crème polishes dry to a satin finish which I rather like for these shades. They look amazing with glossy topcoat as well.

Laguna Lime

Baroness X La

First up is this bleached neon lemon shade. If you remember my review of China Glaze’s Lite brites collection you may recall the bleached neon yellow, Whip It Good. Laguna Lime is similar to Whip It Good but is a bit more bleached and leans ever so slightly more green than Whip It Good does. I feel the formula on Laguna Lime is ever so slightly better as well which isn’t saying a whole lot because both polishes had pretty good formulas. Laguna Lime leveled out amazingly and didn’t really need a topcoat. The polish was fully opaque in two coats. It’s almost completely opaque in one coat but a second intensifies the color and evens everything out.

 

Santa Monica Mint

SantaMonicaMint

As you can see in my macro photo Santa Monica Mint dried a bit brighter and more yellow toned than the color that is in the bottle. This is really that bleached neon grassy, lime, green. If you want a warmer toned bright green this will be the one to get. This is another flawless formula that was opaque in two coats and leveled out perfectly.

 

Malibu Melon

Malibu Melon

Who doesn’t love these pink leaning coral shades during the summer? For those curious, Malibu Melon is more bleached than Virago Varnish’s Malibu. They’re similar but different for sure. I can’t decide if this shade is a coral leaning pink or a pink leaning coral. Sometimes you can really peg a color as leaning more on one side than the other but Malibu melon is really pretty much right in the middle of coral and pink.

 

Pallasades Pink

palisadespink

Now this is the pink I have been waiting for all summer. Pallasades Pink is one of the brightest colors in the collection and I would almost call this more of true neon than bleached neon. This isn’t eye searing but it is pretty bright, especially when you step out into the sun. I wanted that perfect cool toned pink for summer and this just may be it. We are starting to get into some of the darker shades in the collection. However, calling them darker feels wrong because none of these colors are actually dark by definition. This is the first of polishes that some people may be able to get away with one coat depending on their personal application. I used two because I liked the look of two coats.

 

Venice Beach Violet

Baroness X Venice Beach Violet

Venice Beach Violet is halfway between pink and purple. I call Venice Beach Violet my neon raspberry sherbet shade because that’s what it reminds me of. This is a beautiful warm toned orchid purple. Next to the blue shades Venice Beach Violet looks pink. But next to Pallasades Pink and Malibu Melon Venice Beach Violet looks purple. This is another one of the polishes that could almost be a one coat polish but two coats made it perfect.

 

Point Dume Periwinkle

Point Dume Periwinkle

Periwinkle is one of my favorite colors but it’s very difficult to find in a bright summer version. That’s why I was so excited to see Point Dune Periwinkle as part of the Southland Sunsets collection. This is certainly more of a purple leaning periwinkle than a blue one but I don’t mind one bit because I love this shade. Yes, this one also has that incredible formula that is almost a one coater but I did two to make it flawless. You don’t see colors like this too often in bleached neon collections and it’s a must have for purple polish fans.

 

Topanga Teal

Topanga Teal

This is more of an aqua blue than a true teal shade. However, it’s still gorgeous. In my opinion, Topanga Teal is one of the least neon of the crèmes but it is still pretty bright and very summery. I would almost call this a darker pool blue but aqua is pretty spot on. I was able to get Topanga Teal fully opaque in two coats. I didn’t have any issues at all with the formula and it leveled out great just like all the others.

 

Latigo Indigo

Baroness X Latigo Indigo

I would call this the blue leaning periwinkle in the collection but settled on a super saturated medium sky blue. Even though latigo Indigo is the darkest color in the collection it is, by no means, dark, and is one of the brightest shades in the collection. Latigo Indigo practically glowed on my nails, especially in sunlight. This one was the closest to being a one coater of all the polishes, but again, I used two for full color payoff. In the bottle Latigo Indigo doesn’t seem like it’s going to be so bright but once I got it on my nails it was incredible.

Overall Impression

I have yet to be disappointed by Baroness X’s polishes and this collection made me even more excited about the indie brand. I really like the flat brush with the rounded tip that baroness X uses in their polishes. It makes it very easy to apply the polish and I didn’t have to do much cleanup at all to get that perfect curved edge down by my cuticles. The brushes are reminiscent of the ones in Sally Hansen’s Miracle Gel. I have wider nail beds so I really like that style of brush but those with narrower nail beds may not be as big of a fan. You do have to be careful when pulling the brush out of the bottle because the neck is a bit narrow for such a wide brush and you can easily get polish on the threads of the neck. But that’s really the only semi negative thing I can say about the polish or packaging.

As I said in each polish’s description the formulas were pretty consistent across the board and were very easy to use. This is one of he reasons I love indie crèmes. The crèmes in the Southland Sunsets collection are excellent by crèmes standards but the fact they are bleached neons and brights makes me admire them even more.

I own a lot of neon polishes so I did have a few similar polishes and a couple that are close enough to qualify as dupes. But the fault for that lies completely on me for being a neon polish hoarder. I’m okay having similar colors, especially ones with such great formulas.

The Southland Sunsets collection is still available on the Baroness X website. Some of the shades are sold out and I don’t know if they will be restocked this year or not. So if there are shades you like you better grab them if they are in stock.

If I had to pick a few favorites from the Southland Sunsets I would pick the cooler half of the collection (Pallasades Pink, Venice Beach Violet, Point Dume Periwinkle, and Latigo Indigo) because I don’t have anything like them in my collection and I, generally, gravitate towards cooler toned colors. I’m pretty sure this collection will make it onto my all time favorite collections list. Which shades did you like the best?