SquareHue July 2015 Swatches, Comparisons, and Nail Art

Hi everyone! Today I have the SquareHue July 2015 box (the 1960s) to show off on the blog! Finally, I’ve gotten around to the subscription box posts! About time, too – it’s almost the end of the month…oops…  Anyways, this is the box that I was most looking forward to for the entire year because I figured that there would be some pretty “out there” polish inside. I was totally psyched for the crazy stuff! Indeed, SquareHue did not disappoint: this is the grooviest bunch of colors I’ve gotten so far from them; it’s highly appropriate for the ’60s and the summer. Since the psychedelic influence of the colors and names was very obvious, I combined all three polishes into an electric daisy design for some flower power on my nails.

SquareHue July 2015 Nail Art Flower Power Floral 6

Also, as I mentioned in my last post, I’m trying to explore my new neighborhood more now that I’ve moved into a new apartment. Given how much I was digging the ’60s inspiration behind this SquareHue box, I took the opportunity to conduct some firsthand “research” on the decade by traveling to one of the hotspots of the hippie movement on my way home from work one day. I’ve got a bit about that trip, with a few pictures, at the end of the post!

SquareHue July 2015 Swatches Composite

Here’s an unboxing photo! Included in this SquareHue box were two neons, which dry to a matte finish, and a duochrome. I was expecting something adventurous for this decade’s box, and I’d say the polishes were pretty appropriate for what I anticipated. Okay, maybe I was hoping that there would be a holographic polish in here, but the duochrome and neons were quite satisfying anyways. Maybe we’ll see a holographic polish in the ’70s box (disco ball, anyone?). By the way, I think that whoever named the polishes deserves an A+ here; these are the best-named polishes of the Decades Collection so far. While I usually swatch/talk about each polish in alphabetical order, I’m going to switch it up and stick to the correct ordering of the names that form the phrase.

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Turn On is a straight-up neon chartreuse/highlighter yellow polish that is so bright, it practically sears your eyes when you look at it (in the best possible way). Color-wise, this polish is a very strong, searing neon yellow-green, which doesn’t look all that bad against my olive skintone. Given that it is neon, it glows brightly in the daytime as well as under blacklight; you can see this in my nail art photos, but I didn’t take any solo pictures with just this polish. Since I am unaccustomed to neon polish, I was absolutely fascinated with how awesome this level of intensity is, and I had a ton of fun wearing this polish on top of a white base. Like most neon polishes, Turn On dries to a waxy matte finish; I took photos of this polish with the matte finish and with shiny topcoat on for comparison.

SquareHue July 2015 Swatch Turn On Matte

SquareHue July 2015 Swatch Turn On 4

Unfortunately, while I love the result, the formula of Turn On is awfully finicky and I had a miserable time trying to apply it well. I strongly recommend putting three coats of this polish over a white base in order to make your nails look like the color in the bottle, which is what all my photos show, because applying it on its own doesn’t look great. It’s best to apply coats fairly quickly and using few strokes to prevent streaking, and to minimize the thickness of coats to avoid bubbles. Also, it’s a good idea to wait for each coat to dry thoroughly before putting on the next one since bald spots can appear. All the same, despite how difficult it was to apply this polish, I still think it was worth the fantastic glow.

I know there are probably several dupes for SquareHue Turn On since the color isn’t that unique, but I don’t happen to have any. Instead, here it is next to OPI Life Gave Me Lemons (much less neon, and more opaque in three coats) and Floss Gloss Con Limon (much greener, much more opaque in two coats).

SquareHue July 2015 Turn On Comparison

Tune In is an electric magenta creme, and the other matte finish neon in the box. While it’s not as bright as Turn On because it’s not yellow, it is still extremely bright and does glow strongly under blacklight. In terms of color, it’s a very reddish-toned neon purple that looks more purple in the bottle, and more magenta on nails. This is probably because I thought I could get away with not applying over a white base (my photos show two coats of this polish on its own), but in retrospect, it might have been a better idea to apply over white just to get the color on my nails to look like the bottle. Thank goodness the formula of Tune In was better than that of Turn On! I had virtually no issues with applying this polish, other than that I should have applied it over a white base.

SquareHue July 2015 Swatch Tune In Matte SquareHue July 2015 Swatch Tune In 2

When I first saw SquareHue Tune In, I thought I would have a dead-on dupe for it in Zoya Charisma. However, as it turns out, I was wrong. Zoya Charisma is opaque in two coats by itself, and looks exactly like it does in the bottle. SquareHue Tune In, on the other hand, probably needs to be put over a white base in order to render the correct color.

SquareHue July 2015 Tune In Comparison

Drop Out is a lovely duochrome that sets off the two neons quite nicely. This polish has a dusty, bluish purple base with a number of duochromic particulates  suspended in it that shift from turquoise (direct lighting) to magenta (side lighting). The color shifting may be less strong than some duochromes, but it’s still noticeable. I really like the way the shimmer particles catch the light, it’s so pretty! The formula was pretty easy to work with: three sheer-ish coats to full opacity, with no application difficulties.

Drop Out 3

SquareHue July 2015 Swatch Drop Out 7

I didn’t really have anything worth comparing to SquareHue Drop Out (the closest thing was Different Dimension Tulips Are Better Than One, which is significantly bluer and darker), so I don’t have a comparison shot. Instead, I have some pictures that show the color shift, as well as some with head-on lighting.

SquareHue July 2015 Swatch Drop Out 9

In keeping with the ‘60’s psychedelic inspiration behind the SquareHue box, I decided to do some “flower power” nail art with electric daisies. I chose to make the daisies look like stereotypical pop art depictions of hippie flowers in shape and color so that they would be recognizably “flower power” daisies, instead of making them look like real daisies in strange colors.

SquareHue July 2015 Nail Art Flower Power Floral 9

I opted to start with three coats of SquareHue Drop Out as the base color so that the neon daisies would pop out against the less bright background. To make the flower petals using either SquareHue Turn On or Tune In, I put down several small dots of polish in a circle and dragged some polish away from each dot towards the center of the circle, coming to a point at the end. Finally, I placed a large blob of the opposite polish in the center of each flower to finish them off. And done!

SquareHue July 2015 Nail Art Flower Power Floral 8

SquareHue July 2015 Nail Art Flower Power Floral 2

This is soooo cute! I love how fun the flowers and the color combo are. It’s so summery, and very charming to look at. The punchiness of the neon against the dusty duochrome is pretty fabulous. I’d prefer the purple flowers to stand out more against the background, but they’re visible enough, I suppose. Here are a few bonus photos under blacklight!

SquareHue July 2015 Nail Art Flower Power Floral Glow 6

SquareHue July 2015 Nail Art Flower Power Floral Glow 8

My new apartment is quite far away from my workplace, unfortunately, and I now have to commute for an hour each way on public transit to get to and from work every day. The plus side of this journey is that my commute takes me past so many interesting places including, as it happens, Haight-Ashbury (you can probably figure out where I live now…). I stopped by there on my way back from work one afternoon to explore and see what was there, since I had never been there before.

Haight-Ashbury is a fun district to walk around in for a few hours because there’s a lot of surrounding culture, and fascinating things to see in some of the shops. I was actually somewhat surprised to see remnants of hippie culture still in the district because I assumed that, like most of San Francisco, tech culture would have a heavy presence there. But Haight-Ashbury has still retained a sense of alternative culture, albeit nowhere near what it must have been like in its heyday. While most of the people I saw weren’t hippies, I did meet a few (old and young), which I didn’t expect. There’s plenty of interesting window shopping along Haight Street, with a mix of Tibetan crystal shops, vintage clothing, and niche boutiques. And, of course, there’s the colorful street art; my pictures aren’t the greatest, but here are some:

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I tried to get both sides of the street in this picture, but kind of failed. At the boutique on the right, I bought a couple of things including the pin in my Instagram photo.

I took a photo of my nails during my visit when I stopped for a milkshake at the burger place in the first photo.

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This milkshake was essential to my “research”. Yes.

If you’re ever in San Francisco and are thinking about visiting Haight-Ashbury, I do recommend going for a few hours to see the hippie stuff, and go window shopping. It’s definitely worth the trip, in my opinion.

I hope you’ve liked my post! I’m sorry about not getting more posts written in July (this might be a record low for me), but circumstances were kind of restricting this month. Since I don’t anticipate moving or going on vacation next month, I should have more material to post! Anyways, thanks for reading! ❤

– Emi

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