Thursday, March 13, 2014

A Mylar Flake Gel Polish Battle!

Hello! This post might be kind of dense, since I've got quite a few polishes to cover here... Hopefully you won't mind!

I've noticed that a few gel polish brands have recently released some gel polish glitter coats with mylar flakes in them--otherwise known as "flaky" or "flakie" polishes, or even simply "flakies".  I thought that day might never come, and then all of a sudden Red Carpet Manicure, Gelish, and FingerPaints started releasing them within a few months of each other!  For now,  I tried out two such glitters--the well-known Gelish "Rough Around the Edges", and a Red Carpet Manicure one I stumbled upon by accident, "Stealing the Spotlight".

First of all, let me give you a quick rundown on the base colors I used:

The white color on my accent nails is Red Carpet Manicure "White Hot"--which, up until now, I had only used for nail art accents.  To paint my whole nail, I needed 4 coats for it to look mostly opaque.  I definitely wasn't impressed with that!  The color itself seemed a pretty true white creme shade to me, but it did tend to take on a slightly yellowed-paper type of tone in indoor lighting.

The main color on the rest of my nails is OPI Gelcolor "A Grape Fit".  (As an aside, this color is the EXACT same as Sephora by OPI Gelshine in "Iris I Was Thinner", which costs $17.50 for a bottle 2/3 the size of a Gelcolor can figure out which you shouldn't spend your money on.)  The color itself is a neat blue-toned purple creme  halfway between pastel and bright.  The "Pantone color of the year" is "Radiant Orchid", and this shade isn't too far off from that--just a tad more blue-toned.  It can look a little more pastel or bright and bold depending on the lighting, making this a great color for those wishing for warm spring/summer months.  I only needed two coats for opacity with this gel, and I noticed no fading at all, even though light purples can be kind of tricky in gel polish form!

Ok, now for the glitters:

First off is Gelish "Rough Around the Edges".  I used one coat for this on all my nails, just so you could get a good idea of the amount of glitter present in these gels.   The clear iridescent mylar flakes are nice and uniformly warm-toned--shining mostly red and orange and yellow, with maybe a hint of spring green here or there.  The second photo, with flash, is a little deceiving for this glitter--since it's clear, it mostly takes on a cool purple-ish tone like the gel polish underneath it, but it is a good reference for the amount of glitter and the size of the flakes in this polish.  Speaking of which: the flakes themselves are rather small and sparse within the gel polish--as you can see, some of my nails seem to have more sparkle than others because of this.  Worst part of all was the fact that these flakes seem to have been shredded or torn, rather than precisely cut, leading to what sometimes looks like flat light grey plastic looking pieces stuck in my gel, rather than nicely cut, iridescent glitter.  You can see that here:

I thought maybe I had gotten a bad batch, so I looked over at Gelish Geekery's swatches and then Chickettes, and noticed what looked like the same thing in all their swatches. 

Of course, due to the irregular glitters in this gel, there were a few spots that didn't level out very well on the nail.  You could take your time to push down the annoying bits with a brush before curing or apply two coats of top coat, but personally, I found the flakes were so small in this polish that it wasn't too much of a problem.

Now for the next one!

These last three photos are Red Carpet Manicure "Stealing the Spotlight", which I stumbled upon by accident; I didn't really know what I was getting when I picked up the box from the "Dazzling Gems" collection that had a pearly white nail on the outside.  Go figure!  In actuality this gel polish is amazing--once again I'm going to remind you that I only used 1 coat for these.  And look how jam-packed the glitter is!  This gel has rather large, irregular clear mylar flakes with a mix of cool and warm toned iridescence--although it's mostly cool toned (think spring green, light blue, and purple), it has just enough glints of red and orange in the mix to give it some added interest.  And! And! And!  It also has tiny clear iridescent shimmers that sparkle light blue and purple, with maybe a hint of green depending on the lighting, to further ensure that your nails will never look flat or boring.  It was so sparkly, I had a really hard job trying to capture a macro photo on this one--the best I could do was the last photo, that kind of shows off the iridescent shimmers a bit.

The only downside here is that since the flakes in this gel polish are larger, it is a little more prone to unevenness on the nail--once again you could fix that by carefully pushing pieces down with your brush before curing, or applying extra top coat.  But the glitter is so mesmerizing, I think I'm willing to put up with that.

Whew... after all of that... I still have one more thing.  Since iridescent flaky polishes like this can be hard to capture in photos, I recorded a video to show them off a bit, too.  Keep in mind, though,  I didn't have direct sunlight here, so they will look even more sparkly under direct light!  I rehash a lot of the same information in the video, so you can put it on mute and watch for a few seconds, or just watch if this post was a little TL;DR again for you.

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