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SHCSM Fairy Teal + Maybelline Clearly Spotted.

I like this combination. And Clearly Spotted. I think it’s easier to use, and nicer-looking than Lynnderella Connect the Dots, honestly. I like the lack of bar glitter, the lack of shimmer in the base, and the variety of hex glitter sizes. This combination got me a few compliments, actually! That’s always fun.

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SHCSM Fairy Teal, 2 coats.

I like this teal. It has a bit of a tendency to stain the surrounding skin if you’re not careful, but it applies so easily and smoothly that I don’t really find that to be an issue. It’s almost solid in 1 coat, too. Great for those days when you want your nails to be painted but don’t want to fuss with streaky crap that needs 4 coats for opacity.

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China Glaze Stone Cold, 2-3 coats plus top coat.

I have to admit, I think I liked it better matte. Top coat didn’t help the wear, either. Oh well.

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China Glaze Stone Cold, 2-3 coats.

Stone Cold was quite the disappointment. I like the color a lot, but the wear is terrible. I know mattes are supposed to wear poorly, but this manicure started to chip within a few hours. I’d definitely keep thinner on hand for this one- because it dries so quickly, it also thickens quickly. I added a couple drops after each coat, and was able to keep it pretty smooth.

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Illamasqua Hemlock, 4 coats.

Not the most flattering neutral in the world…but it’s such a weird and interesting color, I can’t help but like it. As you can see, a bit of my nail line is still visible, even after four coats, so next time I plan to keep my nails short and use a ridge filler.

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NARS Purple Rain, 2 coats.

My favorite purple shimmer. I know it doesn’t seem all that unique, but to me, most of the others are missing something. The shimmer in Purple Rain has depth, and it freaking glows in direct sunlight. The price is the main drawback, of course. I believe it has increased by at least $2 or $3 since I bought this a few years ago…

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SHCSM Shoot the Moon, 3 thin coats.

If you’re still drooling over Chanel Graphite, this is a much cheaper alternative. I really like all the little flecks of gold in there, and the formula is nice. 

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OPI My Vampire is Buff, 3 coats.

The formula is not the best. 3 coats, and it was a little streaky. I would suggest letting the second coat dry for a bit, and then using a thin third coat to even it out. It is a nice color, though. I wasn’t expecting to like this on me, but I kinda do.

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Orly Wild Wisteria, 2 coats.

This is another one of my go-to colors when I want my nails painted, but without any kind of fuss. It’s not a unique color at all, but it’s pretty good for what it is. Nice formula.

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Happy Hands Am I Not Yours, 2 coats over 2 coats of American Apparel Passport Blue.

Ignore the dry skin, focus on the sparkly things. This is a super cool sparkly teal glitter. Keep thinner on hand, as the formula is quite thick, but the end result is totally worth any trouble. Sadly, Happy Hands is closing up shop, so if you want this, you’d better act fast. She has a shop on Big Cartel which is currently in maintenance mode, but her stock will soon be marked down to $7.50.