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Konad m85

I love nail art, and stamping is fantastic for those nail designs with super thin lines and shapes that I could never create by hand. If you haven’t tried stamping yet, I highly recommend Konad for some great designs. It took me a few tries to get used to the process of stamping, but it’s a breeze to do once you’ve got it down. Thanks to NailPolishCanada.com (which–clearly–will ship to the US) for sending along one of Konad’s new plates, m85!


These are the tools I use for stamping. I also have a plate holder from Konad, but I honestly don’t like using it. I just rest the plate on my leg.



These are all the designs on plate m85. I used Orly Iron Butterfly as a base and stamped with China Glaze Harmony.

Then, I did a full manicure with one of the designs. I’m not sure if this design is supposed to waves of some sort, flames, or groovy 70s lines, but I went with the latter interpretation and used Love & Beauty Light Green and MAC Blue India. (Love & Beauty by Forever 21 are really bad about reusing names for colors, I actually think I have 2 bottles labeled “Light Green.” Kind of annoying…)

Per FTC regulations I must disclose that product(s) in this post were sent to me by a brand or PR firm for consideration for review on my website. I guarantee honesty above all. For more information, please see my full disclosure policy.

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Just thought I’d mention that I tried water marbling for the first time today. It was sort of a failure :P, but I’ll post pictures soon!

Ever since product pictures were revealed for MAC’s Venomous Villians/Maleficent nail polishes, the beauty community has suspected that two of the polishes from Orly’s CosmicFX collection, Galaxy Girl and Space Cadet, were dupes for MAC’s Formidable! and Mean & Green. I wanted to post some comparison swatches of the four polishes along with my thoughts.

To get it out of the way, you definitely don’t need all 4 polishes. Space Cadet and Mean & Green, and Galaxy Girl and Formidable! are so similar to one another that unless you’re an avid collector of some sort, it’s be redundant to add them all to your collection.

Pictures are below. I’ve posted several because getting the same light on each finger while photographing proved to be impossible. Please forgive the messiness!

USED: (no base or top coat)
Orly Galaxy Girl (index finger): 2 coats
MAC Formidable! (middle finger): 3 coats
Orly Space Cadet (ring finger): 3 coats
MAC Mean & Green: 4 coats

Reviews

MAC Formidable! is beautiful, but is exactly the same as Orly Galaxy Girl. (Full review here.) I have seen people say that Formidable! has more of the blue sparkle than Galaxy Girl, but this was not my experience at all. Formidable! was perhaps slightly more sheer, but when coated to opacity (I used 2 coats Galaxy Girl and 3 coats Formidable!), they look exactly the same.

Mean & Green was EXTREMELY sheer in one coat. And although Mean & Green and Space Cadet contain the same colors and the same multichrome, Space Cadet appeared to be much more “sparkly” than Mean & Green. Space Cadet (full review here) is, for lack of a better description, all bling-bling all the time. Even in low light, the pink sparkle is beautiful and stands out against the olive/emerald green base. Mean & Green, disappointingly, did not exhibit as much of this pink sparkle as I would have liked. That being said, these are pretty much the same polishes. If you have one or the other, you shouldn’t be disappointed.

So what’s the bottom line? Here we go: Orly raised their prices with the CosmicFX collection for the first time, so Galaxy Girl and Space Cadet go for around $10 online. Formidable! and Mean & Green, on the other hand, cost $13 at MAC. What’s more, all of the MAC polishes are sold out online and likely at every counter and store you’ll find. Case in point, MAC is amazing at marketing limited edition collections. You may still have a chance to find the Orly polishes at Sally’s and on online retailers. In addition to being cheaper, the Orly polishes have a more consistent formula which means quick drying time, beautiful sparkle finish, and long-wearing quality polish. Also, I’ve seen at least a dozen complaints online about some of the MAC polish brushes being wonky. (If you received a polish with a wonky brush, you should be able to contact customer service to get a replacement cap.)

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Wow, so before I start, another disclaimer about my nail shape: I was experimenting and went for this sort-of-rounded-but-really-just-effed-up-looking shape. Also? For the past two or so weeks, I’ve been trying to live life with cuticles for the first time in, oh, 12 years? I’ve been addicted to snipping, but looking back at these pictures makes me realize how much happier I am with well-kept, moisturized cuticles! It looks ten times better. More on that soon. ;)

As I predicted during my review of Orly Space Cadet from the CosmicFX Collection, I had to go out and get Galaxy Girl.

Galaxy Girl is another gorgeous color-shifting polishes from Orly. This time we’ve got a deep red-purple base with shimmer throughout that changes from fuchsia to blue. It’s beautiful, looks different in every light, but is always sparkling.

Color

Like most nail enthusiasts it seems, I looove duo- and multichrome polishes–polishes that shift colors, especially in sunlight. I love it when I’m wearing a polish so unique it catches my own eye during the day at the times when I least expect it. Galaxy Girl was certainly no exception. Initially it reminded me of MAC’s Blue Brown pigment, one of the first MAC products I owned and a long-time favorite. And it’s similar, but definitely not Blue-Brown-in-a-bottle. The base leans much more deep red/purple, and the blue shimmer shifts in the light to a striking fuchsia with an eggplant base. Until MAC’s Formidable! launched with Venomous Villians, Galaxy Girl was truly unique. And even now, it’s gorgeous (and cheaper!).

Formula

The formula for Galaxy Girl was good, just like for Space Cadet. Not too thin, not too thick, really just perfect. Drying time was average, even on the quick side. I was so excited to put this on I forgot a base coat, and it didn’t bubble or stain my nails at all. One coat is sort of sheer, so upwards of 2 coats is necessary for opacity.

Final Recommendations

Go scour your Sally’s for the remaining Cosmic FX colors, and definitely pick this one up if you haven’t already. I will mention that Orly decided to charge a bit more for this collection, raising their middle-of-the-road prices to $8.50 (at Sally’s) and $10 (online at OrlyBeauty.com). I think the general consensus online was that this was lame of the company, but since the colors are so awesome there haven’t been any boycotts so far as I know. :P

Base: Sally Hansen Double Duty Base & Topcoat
Layer 1: Orly Galaxy Girl
Top: Sally Hansen Mega-Shine Topcoat

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This is probably the first successful Konadicure I’ve ever done. While I really enjoy hand-painting nail art, I’ve never been able to get good results from the Konad stamping system–there’s definitely a learning curve I’ve been slow to grasp. Anyway, I thought this was a really awesome looking manicure. I love the contrasting textures along with the contrasting finishes and colors. I really suggest getting China Glaze Millennium if only to stamp with, because it’s a fantastically smooth, opaque silver in just one coat. I found this along with other China Glaze Khromes on clearance at Sally’s for $3.99!

Base: Gelous
First layer: Orly Iron Butterfly (matte)
Second layer: China Glaze Millennium with plate M62
Topcoat: Sally Hansen Mega-shine Topcoat (only over the tips)

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I’m only absolutely obsessed.


(click to see SUPER HUGE!)

Orly Space Cadet is a gorgeous pine green-based polish with gold/green/fuchsia/purple duo-chromed Cosmic shimmer. I could only afford one at the moment, because these babies are slightly more expensive (I paid $8.50 at Sally’s), and it had to be Space Cadet because this was my favorite from the beginning. Under the sun it looks like a shimmery olive green, but it changes in slight shade to the purple/fuchsia shimmer, and many times one nail can be different shades of all of the colors. I love the whole collection, and wish I could afford them all. I will probably go back for Galaxy Girl, which reminds me of MAC Blue Brown pigment. Gorgeous.

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Roadie is one of my beagles. We rescued him a few years ago. Last night as he cuddled in my bed, I gave him an awesome pedicure to match mine with Orly Solid Gold.

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