SquareHue March 2015 Swatches, Comparisons, and Nail Art

Hi everyone! Although it isn’t March anymore, I still have my SquareHue March 2015 post on the blog! This post, unfortunately, ended up getting postponed to April because I was sick for quite a while and didn’t have much energy for nail art. But now that I’m better, I can show you all these fabulous polishes!

SquareHue March 2015 Nail Art Water Marble Half Moons 6

This month, SquareHue’s collection was inspired by the 1920s, and I can definitely see how the opulence of the Jazz Age inspired these shimmery, blingy bunch of polishes. As usual, I swatched all the polishes, did a few comparisons, and used all the polishes in the collection to create some fab nail art.

SquareHue March 2015 Swatches Composite

Here’s an unboxing photo! All three of the polishes were extremely shiny and shimmery; I kind of expected this, since – after all – this is supposed to represent the Roaring ‘20’s. The box took a little while to arrive, but was reasonably timely.

SquareHue March 2015 Unboxing

Art & Deco is a sheerish iridescent copper with a very strong shimmer finish. As far as copper polish goes, this one leans more towards yellow than pink. It doesn’t have a rose gold look to it in my mind, but it does seem to be more of a light-colored copper than a really intense true copper. The shimmer finish is quite strong and lends an interesting iridescent quality to the polish overall. While the color was nice, the formula was kind of tricky to work with. Since this polish is so sheer, it requires three thick coats to get mostly opaque, and the strong shimmer finish means that some finagling is necessary to prevent awkward brushstrokes from appearing (pardon my ring finger – it got kinda messed up). The end result is pretty, but it’s annoying to get there. I don’t really have any comparisons to show for this polish, since it’s unique to my stash.

SquareHue March 2015 Art & Deco Swatch 3

SquareHue March 2015 Art & Deco Swatch

Cocktails & Cigarettes is an unusual polish that looks in the bottle like it’s supposed to be a pale pink with a strong green shimmer, but is actually best used as a transformative topper for other colors. By itself, it has the effect of looking like your natural nails have a green shimmery flash to them; I took a few pictures of what two coats of this polish looks like on natural nails.

SquareHue March 2015 Cocktails & Cigarettes Swatch 2

SquareHue March 2015 Cocktails & Cigarettes Swatch

Very obviously, though, this polish was meant to be used as a transformative topper for other polishes, much in the manner of Julep’s metamorphic topcoats. Here’s two coats of Cocktails & Cigarettes by itself compared with one coat over a black crème polish (Julep Jet):

SquareHue March 2015 Cocktails & Cigarettes Swatch on black

SquareHue March 2015 Cocktails & Cigarettes Swatch on black 4

WHOAH. Now THIS is fabulous! Just one coat of this polish was able to turn plain black into a gorgeous dark shimmery emerald green. It truly gives the effect of a transformation because the shimmer is so strong that the polish looks like it was made that way.

Of course, I had to compare SquareHue Cocktails & Cigarettes to a couple of polishes that have the same “metamorphic” effect on top of black; all of these polishes are shown with just one coat over black. The most obvious polish to compare to Cocktails & Cigarettes is Julep Tilda, since they are both sheer polishes that are supposed to add a green shimmer effect to other colors. It’s pretty clear that, while they do similar things, the shimmer of Cocktails & Cigarettes is much, much stronger and intense than that of Julep Tilda, which seems very diffuse and understated by comparison. With both polishes, you can’t see much of the base color when layered. I threw in Nicole By OPI Enchantress as another comparison because it bears a very strong resemblance to SquareHue Cocktails & Cigarettes in the bottle, but has a blue shimmer in a pink base. On the nail, the blue shimmer makes it look quite different than the green shimmer of the other two polishes; you can also see more of the base color with the NOPI polish.

SquareHue March 2015 Cocktails and Cigarettes Comparison

Speed & Style is a densely-packed silver microglitter polish that’s got a pretty high level of bling to it. This polish is straight-up silver metallic particles – no other colors – packed in to a clear base to the point where you can get full coverage in two coats. As far as silver polish goes, this one is a relatively light silver with no obvious cool or warm tones. The finish is VERY shiny. Like I said, coverage is in two coats, and this polish is pretty easy to apply. The only drawback is that, after you remove it, the microglitter is kind of difficult to get off of your nails. It’s not as bad as a real glitter, but it’s still a pain.

SquareHue March 2015 Speed & Style Swatch 2

SquareHue March 2015 Speed & Style Swatch 3

I compared SquareHue Speed & Style to Revlon Colorstay Sequin, which is a silver metallic foil polish. I thought these two would be more different based on how they looked in the bottle, but they look strikingly similar when they’re on nails. The Revlon polish is a bit of a darker silver, and the metallic foil particles are larger than the microglitter. I think that if you were looking at them from a distance you would still be able to tell a difference, so it’s at least somewhat obvious that they’re not dupes.

SquareHue March 2015 Speed & Style Comparison

It took me a looooooong time to think of what nail art to do with this collection because it’s so heavy on the shimmery finishes that I was worried about doing something too overwhelming. Eventually I settled on a water marble because watermarbling can look kind of like Art Deco patterns. I also wanted to do a half moon manicure since those were popular in the ’20s, and finally came up with this design.

SquareHue March 2015 Nail Art Water Marble Half Moons 4


SquareHue March 2015 Nail Art Water Marble Half Moons 5

It was actually really easy to execute. I have a little tutorial at the bottom, complete with a gif! First, I painted my nails with base coat only. Then, using a piece of a hole reinforcement sticker (those stickers that you put around holes in binder paper to prevent the paper from ripping), I covered part of my nail near the cuticle and pressed down to prevent polish from seeping under the sticker. I also taped around my entire nail using Scotch tape to prepare for the water marble. Once I was satisfied that all the tape was in place, I painted the uncovered part of my nail with one coat of black creme polish (Julep Jet) and let it dry fully. The tricky part for me was getting the water marble to work out. Using SquareHue Cocktails & Cigarettes and Art & Deco, I did a pretty basic water marble flower design (I don’t have pictures of the process, unfortunately), but I am fairly unpracticed at water marbling so I found it to be really difficult to get the watermarble to be arranged the way that I wanted it to be on my nails. Well, I tried… Anyways, I then removed all the tape and the hole reinforcement sticker, and added a few dots to the curve of the half moon using SquareHue Speed & Style.

SquareHue March Water Marble Half Moons Tutorial

SquareHue March 2015 Gif

SquareHue March 2015 Nail Art Water Marble Half Moons 2

I really like how this turned out, although the water marbling may not have been exactly perfect (since when is it ever?). Both of the shimmer polishes looked great as a water marble on top of black, and the little silver dots add just the right amount of bling to be present, but not overwhelming. Kinda fancy 🙂

I hope you’ve liked my post! Again, sorry for the delay, but I was unable to post for a while due to sickness. Now that I’m better, I’ll be back! Thanks for reading!

– Emi


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