Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Review: Literary Lacquers Gift of the Magi collection

Happy Wednesday, dear readers!  I hope everyone enjoyed their Thanksgiving holiday!  I went out of town with the hubby for a couple days, and we did little more than chill by the pool; it was fantastic!  I haven't seen him so relaxed in quite some time, and it was certainly needed.

I have a new indie collection by Literary Lacquers to share with you today, and I am so excited to share them all with you!  The lovely Amy is the mastermind behind the brand, and it has truly been a delight to work with her!  For those of you that may not familiar with the brand, Amy uses literature as her inspiration for her collections, and her holiday collection is no exception.  This collection is based on the touching short story "The Gift of the Magi" by O. Henry, and I don't think I could have thought of  better inspiration piece.  I don't want to go on with many details about the story- I know you want to see the swatches- but I want you to get a better understanding of the names of the polishes.  In brief, the story is about a married couple that are very poor with little money to their name the day before Christmas, and they sell their own great treasures in order to buy a gift for the other.  The irony of the story is the gifts they have chosen for the other are rendered useless because they are to be used with their now-sold treasures.  It's a beautiful story, and I encourage you to read it.  I hadn't read it for quite some time, and Amy kindly included a print out for me to read and refresh my memory.  Now to the polishes!        

Greatest Treasures (sun and shade)
This is a gorgeous coral-leaning red holographic polish, and it is stunning!  It is semi-sheer, but I had full nail coverage with three thin coats.  I think I may spy a hint of a nail line in one of these photos upon close inspection, but I couldn't see any nail line in person.  If you want to help conserve a little polish or have a bolder look, this would look spectacular over a red creme!  I always have mixed feelings about holographic polishes.  In my opinion, many holos look so dreary if you're not viewing them out in the sunlight (and why I like to include shade photos for these types of polishes), but this one is just the perfect shade of red that it even looks gorgeous when you are indoors and away from the sun.  I actually had swatched this one when I had to run a quick errand, and I had so many people compliment my nails while I was inside the grocery store.  To me, that is the biggest compliment you can give a holo polish; afterall, they always look dazzling in the sun!  This is definitely one of my favorites in this collection, and the application was flawless.  I definitely need to buy myself a full-sized bottle of this beauty once I finish writing up this post!

Bright Spirit (sun and shade)
Oh my goodness, you guys!  This polish is just awesome!  Bright Spirit is a gorgeous aqua blue jelly polish that is just packed with with iridescent and white glitters and so much shimmer!  You are viewing this polish in two different combinations: my ring finger (second from the left) is with Bright Spirit alone, and it is layered over two coats of OPI Thanks a Windmillion on the remaining three fingers.  On my ring finger, I used two plus coats of polish- I did a bit of dabbing and swishing over a single coat, so it is a little more than two coats, but probably not quite three.  For the other fingers, I only used about one coat of Bright Spirit (using the dab and swish method) over two coats of the OPI.  To be honest, I was half expecting the application to be a bit of a nightmare because of the square glitters, and I was pleasantly surprised to see the application was pretty easy.  Glitter came out of the bottle with no effort, and they dispersed very nicely over the nail for the most part.  I occasionally had square glitters want to stick to the brush, as is usual for me with this shape, but it wasn't difficult to work with nor was the application particularly time consuming.  Bright Spirit covered more on its own than I expected it to, and I can barely make out the nail line for the nail without any, ahem, undergarments.  I only really saw the nail line when  I had bright light coming in from behind when I went outdoors.  The main colour is beautiful, but the iridescent glitters are what sends this polish over the top for me.  This is a great icy blue for the winter, but I also see it being perfect for summer days as well with my toes stuck in the sand at the beach.  This one is just remarkable!

Grey Cat/Grey Fence
Finally a grey that seems to maybe work with my skin tone!  Grey Cat/Grey Fence is a sheer grey polish that is super packed with white, black, and those amazing iridescent glitters that I love.  I'm not a fan of visible nail line, and I was afraid that three coats of this polish would be a little too busy with glitter, so I decided to help eliminate the nail line by layering two coats of Grey Cat/Grey Fence over Zoya Loredana.  I found this to be immensely packed with glitters, and there was absolutely no digging for any glitters for this baby!  I'm not exactly sure why, but I felt like I was fighting a little more with this one to get the glitters to break up and not cluster too much on the nail.  It's definitely workable, but you may want to be prepared to work a little more with this one.  Because of all the glitter in this one, my nails felt a little textured, but one coat of top coat smoothed it out perfectly.  Grey Cat/Grey Fence is beautiful to look at, and I am so glad that Amy opted to add those amazing iridescent glitters to her creation!  They add fun little pops of colour to my nails, and Grey Cat/Grey Fence is indubitably my favorite grey polish now.  I'm still not 100% sure grey works on me, but this is too pretty for me to care.  LOL!    

Sudden Serious Sweetness
No need to adjust your monitors, dear readers, yes, I AM wearing pink, and I LOVE IT!!  I'm usually so against light pinks on me, but I have been drooling over this colour since putting it on my nails.  Ok, I'll tell the truth- I was drooling over this polish when I first saw it in the bottle, but I didn't anticipate loving it on me!  I don't know if I got a fluke bottle or if the lid wasn't as tightly sealed as it needed to be, but my bottle was really thick when I opened it.  Because my nails bubble every single time I use a thicker polish, I preemptively added a couple drops of thinner to it before use.  I don't know if it's the heat (and it's still mid 80's here), but neither you nor I want to see disgusting nail warts.  I just wanted to make that disclosure up front since you may not need as many coats as I needed since I thinned it down.  Back to the polish!  I have exactly zero light pink polishes to use underneath this, so I just used Sudden Serious Sweetness by itself.  I used three coats for these photos, and of course now that I'm scrutinizing them, I see a hint of nail line and could have used a fourth.  Without adding the thinner, three coats easily would have sufficed if not just two.  This is a very delicate bubble gum pink polish with fine iridescent sparkles and bluple (bluish purple) highlights mixed in.  The hubby commented on it and said it is the perfect princess pink, and I couldn't agree more.  This colour is truly exceptional, and it just makes me so happy!  I have to say, it's a good feeling to wear a polish that just makes you feel all warm and tingly inside!

Gift of the Magi
Hello, Gorgeous!  Gift of the Magi is a luscious green glitter bomb that just refuses to stop sparkling!  It is made of beautiful emerald green glitters with sparse larger silver and holographic glitters mixed in a green base.  This polish is reminiscent of OPI Fresh Frog of Bel Air, only the glitters of Gift of the Magi are finer and more densely packed.  In my opinion, Gift of the Magi is much better balanced than the one by OPI and the one I would wear again.  I used two plus coats for these photos- I used two coats and then touched up a couple spots that weren't quite as opaque.  I then added two coats of top coat.  I still had just the slightest bit of texture with only one coat of the top coat, although a slightly thicker first coat would have sufficed.  While I'm normally not a fan of glitter bombs, I was just enchanted with the polish, and this one is also on my "Buy after I write" list.  Even my hubby told me repeatedly just how much he loves this polish, so I won't be getting in trouble when I buy a full sized bottle.  Hehe!  For those of you that prefer more "traditional" holiday colours, this one is perfect for you!  I love this shade of green, but the sparkles make it radiant.  I'm also happy to report that removal was a dream using the foil method, so that's one thing you don't need to worry about!  Just watch the road when you're driving, not your nails.  ;)

One Dollar and Eighty Seven Cents
I couldn't think of a better name for this polish or any other polish that fits the name One Dollar and Eighty Seven Cents quite as well as this one does!  This beautiful top coat is composed of silver and copper hexes to represent coins, and pink hexes are mixed in to round out the coins.  I dabbed one coat over two coats Essie School of Hard Rocks to help the colours of the glitter pop.  The application was typical of most glitter topcoat polishes- a little swish here and a little dab there.  No digging for glitters was necessary, and glitters were very easy to manage and place over the nail.  I love glitter polishes like this!  The glitters are thin enough that you can see whatever colour you wish underneath, and it's not too busy.  I find some glitter top coats have too many combinations of colours and shapes, and I'm so glad that Amy knows that "less it more" when it comes to this sort of thing!  This will be lovely over so many colours, and I think I'm going to have to put it over my new favorite pink!

Generosity and Love
Check out this amazing duochrome!  Generosity & Love is an opulent medium dark blue (I'd say it's  darker than royal blue, but a couple shades lighter than navy blue) that shifts purple!  There are also ultrafine gold flakes mixed in, and it reminds me of Zoya Crystal.  Of course Crystal doesn't have the purple shift, so I'm partial to Generosity & Love.  The purple shift is apparent on the nails, however my camera just wasn't able to pick up the different colours no matter how much I tried.  You can see the colour changes a little more in the first picture here if you compare the blue shade on my pinky to the purple shift on my index finger.  The colour seemed super sheer, so I decided to layer it for these photos.  I didn't want it over a black creme for some illogical reason, so I opted to layer two coats of Generosity & Love over two coats of Zoya Loredana.  I actually played with this colour quite a bit, and I found that I needed a minimum of three coats for opacity on my nails.  I managed to ding several nails within seconds of applying a second coat so I never added the third coat and took pictures of Generosity & Love by itself.  This applied like a dream, and the final effect is sublime.

They Are Wisest
Yay!  An orange polish!  They are Wisest is an exquisite light coppery orange colour polish that just glows.  I really cannot think of a better way to describe it, and it reminds me of orange burning embers, and it just makes me all warm and toasty inside.  I used three thin coats for these swatch photos.  It applied smoothly for me, and I was rather happy with the formula.  It's an orange polish, so it goes without saying that I like this one!  It's not as orange as many of my other orange polishes, and I think this one will appeal to those that are a little orange shy.

Final Thoughts
This collection is simply amazing and has something for everyone!  I don't think I have ever seen a single collection have so many choices of finishes, and I am awestruck just by that fact alone.  You will find glitter bombs, a glitter top coat, shimmers, and a holographic polish, and they are all impressive to look at!  Amy undeniably took no short cuts in designing this collection, and I think O. Henry would be rather pleased with her take on his story. 

Links and Other Additional Information
Literary Lacquers is currently having a 777 sale!  All polishes from this and previous collections are listed for $7 for 7 days, ending on Monday, December 3rd.  If you buy 7 polishes, you get free shipping using discount code IBOUGHT7 at checkout.    

Keep an eye on the Literary Lacquers Facebook page for stock updates and previews of upcoming collections!

Phew, that was intense!  Now to do some shopping myself!  Enjoy the rest of your day, dear readers, and read "The Gift of the Magi" if you can!  It'll make you tear up a little, and the story is just as beautiful as these polishes.



  1. Crud!! They are all so beautiful! I'll be adding them all to my wish list.

    1. Literary Lacquers has blown my mind with this collection! Everything is really pretty. <3


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