Hi everyone! Today I’ve got the SquareHue May 2015 box to show off on the blog! This next installment in the Decades Collection is supposed to represent the 1940s, and I think this box does a really good job of it – the color scheme is strongly reminiscent of a World War II propaganda poster (like Rosie the Riveter). Overall, I got a bold, strong, and somewhat patriotic vibe from this bunch of colors, and so I did this punchy double-layered star design. It’s bold and splashy and I love it! Read on to see all the stuff!
Here’s an unboxing photo! The three colors make quite an unusual combination, but it works and I like it – the saturated, dark blue adds a really interesting contrast to the more muted yellow and orange colors. While I like the colors, I certainly wouldn’t peg this box for spring, since the whole thing could work really well as a fall collection. Nevertheless, I like that it’s unconventional.
Mambo is a muted, red-leaning orange creme that is essentially the same color as rust (or burnt umber). I can imagine that, since this color straddles the line between red and orange, it might look more red on some people and more orange on others; for me it’s more orange (just like SquareHue Boardgame last month). This is definitely a color that most people would peg as a “fall” color, but somehow made an unexpected appearance in May. I’m not known for being “seasonally-appropriate”, so this doesn’t bother me much. Anyways, I really like this color: it’s red-toned enough to be wearable against my skintone, and it’s extremely easy to apply with just two creamy coats needed to reach opacity (you could probably get away with one thick coat if you want).
Julep Brielle is extremely close to SquareHue Mambo: it’s practically the same color and also a creme, but is discernably slightly lighter. It’s not a dupe, but soooooooo close.
Sorcerer’s Hat is the oddball of the box compared to the other two warm-toned, muted creme polishes. It’s a stunning, true blue shimmer that’s very saturated and not at all “dusty”. This is SUCH an enchanting polish color – it’s right up my alley! Since the shade of blue leans neither towards green nor purple, I feel pretty confident in calling it a true blue. The shimmer here is quite prominent (which makes this polish MORE awesome!), but stays away from frosty territory. As for the formula, it takes two to three coats to get opaque, and is reasonably easy to apply although it’s on the thin side. I’d watch out for staining with this polish, though, because the base looks pretty pigmented. Definitely double up on base coat if you plan on wearing it for an extended period of time.
Anyways, I don’t have an exact dupe for SquareHue Sorcerer’s Hat, but I compared it to two other blue shimmers anyways. Sally Hansen CSM – Blue My Mind is fairly similar to SquareHue Sorcerer’s Hat in color, but it’s lighter and the shimmer is frostier. OPI Yoga-Ta Get This Blue is darker and more green-toned.
War Hero is a dusty, warm-toned yellow creme that could be described as ochre yellow, or a very muted marigold. Unlike Mambo, while this shade would be perfect for fall, it isn’t completely out-of-place for spring. This cheerful, yet toned-down, yellow is a really quite endearing ,and I found myself growing more fond of it the longer I wore it. Against my skintone, this particular shade doesn’t look atrocious, but I can imagine a color that’s this warm-toned being hard to wear. As for the formula, it’s quite pleasant to work with, especially considering that it’s yellow: three creamy coats with an easy-to-apply consistency, and you’re done!
I don’t have a good comparison for SquareHue War Hero, but I thought I’d show it against Covergirl Goldilocks just to show how different they are. Covergirl Goldilocks is far more saturated and orange-toned (and a true marigold), while SquareHue War Hero is yellower and more muted.
As I said before, I thought of these colors as being very bold and patriotic, so I wanted to do some nail art that was appropriately strong and American-ish. I immediately thought of this double layered star design, and I just went with it. The stars also go along with the “Sorcerer’s Apprentice” theme, so that’s a bit of an extra win there.
The process for making this nail art was pretty easy because I used DIY stencils, but there are some things to keep in mind for a design like this one (with stencils). First, if you’re using stencils in nail art, make sure the layer of polish underneath the stencil is 100% dry before applying the stencil because the sticky stencil can strip off wet polish. Also, after you apply the new polish on top of the stencil, apply the minimum amount of polish to get to full opacity, and remove the stencil within 10 seconds of putting on the polish. Otherwise, the polish could bleed out of the stencil, or the stencil could pull off some of the new polish that has already dried around it. Essentially, it’s a bit tricky to work with stencils in nail art until you get used to it – then it’s easy and quick.
For this particular design, I made both a gif and a graphic to make the process easier to understand. The only thing you can’t see in the graphic/gif is me making the stencils using sticker paper and a hole punch; I described the process in an earlier post if you want more information. Anyways, I started off with a base of three coats of Sorcerer’s Hat, which I wore around by itself for a day so that it would be completely dry before starting my nail art. I then made big and small stencils for the stars using the hole punch and sticker paper (see the earlier post), and adhered the large stencils to my nails where I wanted the stars to be (2). I cut some of the stencils up into smaller pieces to get partial stars. Since I wanted the stars to be yellow on the outside, I put down a blob of SquareHue War Hero inside the stencil (3), and then quickly peeled the stencil off (4). Once that layer dried COMPLETELY (within 1 to 2 hours), I did the same thing with the small star stencils (5) and SquareHue Mambo (6). After I finished all the stars (7), I very carefully blobbed – not painted – a thin layer of topcoat over the stars to set them in place and prevent smearing. Finally I painted on a layer of topcoat, and I was done!
I really like how this double star design turned out – it’s bold, punchy, and patriotic, and super fun to wear. The colors here work great together, with the lightness of the yellow making an awesome border for the stars, and the shimmer of the blue setting off the two cremes. My only regret is that, the next day, I thought of another really awesome design that I could have done using these colors and – too late – I’d already painted my nails. Ah well, I can always do it at some other point in the future. In the meantime, I’m going to be enjoying my nail art!
I hope you’ve liked my post! Just FYI, next Thursday my blog will be 1 year old, and I’m going to have a fun surprise for my readers! Most likely, I won’t post until then because I’m going to be busy next week until Thursday. But don’t worry, I’ll be back 🙂 Thanks for reading!