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I'm not a super huge fan of Essie, though I do own several of their polishes. They have a checkered history of animal testing/not animal testing/starting to animal test again. I hate when companies do that. Seriously. It's only so they can market their products in certain countries (like China, for example) that by law, require that cosmetics be tested on animals. It's ridiculous for a company that has a very long history of NOT testing on animals and superior human safety to suddenly have to force-feed animals nail polish. Are you joking?! It's just gross and not necessary for something like beauty products. So yeah, I have a total love/hate relationship with companies that sit on the fence about it. I will do a full blog post on this issue soon with copies of my recent communication with Revlon and Bath & Body Works on their animal testing policies. Point is, I'm starting to become aware (or rather, re-aware since I used to be huge into animal rights back in the late 80's/early 90's). I'm starting to choose more animal-friendly products (cruelty-free and vegan -- 2 different things!).
As for this manicure, I used 2 coats of Essie's "Belugaria" (though I think maybe one careful coat would be better). It's kind of tricky to apply since it's so lumpy, you kind of have to dab it on as you brush. The middle finger I used: 2 coats of Cirque's "Sani", stamped with Konad's black stamping polish and Bundle Monster's BM-H08 stamping plate. I used Cheeky Beauty's rhinestones to accent the cauldron's eyes & bubbles. I topped the middle finger ONLY with topcoat. I didn't apply topcoat to the black nails.
Under LED desk lamp.
Macro under LED desk lamp. Kinda looks like tar with glitter in it! :p
Indoors, bright daylight, near windows.
Outside, bright daylight (no direct sun).
Kinda fading sun...
Under halogen kitchen track lighting.
Bundle Monster stamping plate BM-H08.
Overall, I didn't mind this polish! It was kinda fun, even for a person who is as texturally-averse as me. Surprise, surprise! Once it was on it wasn't a big deal. I'm not sure how long I would be able to keep it on but seriously, it wasn't bad. And the holographic glitter is way more reflective than these pictures show. The middle nail base colour (Cirque's "Sani") is a silver holographic chrome kinda polish but it applies sooo smoothly, it's really pretty! The rhinestones worked out ok. I was limited in my choices and these pink ones are a bit big for the cauldron eyes. And for some reason the black ones for the bubbles just look like black blobs. Weird.
Where to buy this stuff?? Essie polish is super easy to find in a million places. Cirque's "Sani" can be purchased directly from their website or from a number of their distributors (I bought mine from Nail Polish Canada). Konad stamping polish can also be purchased from a number of online shops. Bundle Monster stamping plates are available directly from their website (that's where I bought mine) or from some online distributors. The Cheeky rhinestones can be purchased from their website or other websites (I bought mine on Amazon).
NB: I won the Essie polish from the Nail Polish Canada Giveaway 2014 but it was not done in exchange for a review. The other items I purchased myself (including the Cirque polish, though I received another bottle in the giveaway as well). I have NO affiliation whatsoever with the polish/product makers or websites discussed in this post.