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ALU’s 365 of Untrieds – Color-Block Nails with Orly Ancient Jade

orly-ancient-jade-nail-polish-365-untrieds 365 of Untrieds is my personal challenge to weed through the polishes in the ALU stash that I’ve been wanting to try but just haven’t gotten around to.

Color-blocking was all over the Spring 2011 runways but being that my own personal style doesn’t really mesh with color-blocking, I translated the trend to nails. As much as I love how bright colors look on others, I tend to stick to neutrals when it comes to my own wardrobe. My nails are my color statement.

Inspired by a dress I saw while online window shopping on, I incorporated Orly Ancient Jade from the Precious Spring 2011 Collection to create a color-block manicure.

Formula & Application: Orly nail polish is 4-Free (including formaldehyde resin) and does not contain camphor, which can be an irritant. Orly polishes come with the fan fave rubberized cap. That signature easy-to-grip topper makes it easy to control the polish. The brush is long and thin with flexible bristles. I personally would like it if there were more bristles to get more coverage in each stroke.

I clearly have not been wearing enough Orly polish lately because their formula continues to amaze me, as if it’s the first time I’ve ever used it. I raved over Royal Navy’s application and Ancient Jade was just as fantastic. Thin, easy to manipulate, well pigmented. For a color so light, two coats were more than sufficient. In fact to avoid my color-block manicure from getting too thick (which it did) I should have used one coat. I totally could have gotten away with it if I wasn’t photographing the color on its own for this post.

Orly Ancient Jade is a mint green creme but as the name indicates, it’s not a pastel. It’s rich, like the jade stone it was named after, and along the lines of Chanel Jade. In fact, if it had the same Chanel subtle shimmer, they could be close relatives.

In the past couple years Orly has released polishes in this color group but in comparison Gumdrop is lighter and more blue based, while Mint Mojito is much darker, almost a spring green. The closest I could come to finding a similar color is Models Own Jade Stone which is Ancient Jade’s slightly paler sister. I had hoped, based on the bottle color, that this was a MAC Peppermint Patti dupe but no such luck.


nordstrom-colorblock-color-block-dress Using this dress from Jay Godfrey as my inspiration, I added CND Blackjack and Sinful Rise and Shine to Ancient Jade to create my color-block nails.

Normally I would not attempt such a manicure. Nail art is not in my skill set and a lot of the nail art I see is too much for my personal taste. But thanks to readers who pointed me in the direction of Chloe’s Nails and her amazing scotch tape manicures, my first attempt at color-blocking came out pretty decent.

Check out this tutorial for Chloe’s tips on working with scotch tape to create clean lines. I chose to not apply top coat between each layer to keep my manicure from getting too thick so I waited for at least 20 minutes before applying the next color.

Application Tip: If you apply the tape too early, as long as it doesn’t pull of any color during removal, any surface marks from the tape will be erased with top coat.  I found that out when applying Rise and Shine. I totally marked up Blackjack and you can’t even tell.



Bottom Line: The jade/mint trend may not be the thing anymore but a great green can always suck me in. Ancient Jade’s formula is top notch and the pigmentation is strong with this one. If you’re into this type of color, you will not be let down.

365 of Untrieds Stash/Share Verdict: STASH!! In fact, I may be dumping other polishes from my collection in favor of this one. It’s that good!

Orly Ancient Jade is available now at Sally Beauty Supply and ULTA stores though availability will vary by store. Online shoppers can head to and Orly nail polishes retail for $7.50/ea for a .6oz bottle.

Thoughts on Ancient Jade? How did my color-block nails turn out? Is this something you would attempt? Have you done a scotch tape manicure before?

Disclosure: A product sample was provided by Orly. For more info view my Disclosure Policy.

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  1. Nail of the Day « Evolution | May 20, 2011
  1. wow they look great!
    I use scotch tape (which we call sticky tape in Australia) to do those Burlesque style mani’s where you leave your moons bare, but I am going to try some more exciting ones now :)

  2. ria says:

    That scotch tape mani is amazing, going to try it next when i get these wraps off. i’m not usually a green fan but i love rise and shine! i think ancient jade is a bit much for me but looks great on your skin

  3. Molly says:

    Really cool looking. I like that you showed us the dress that you used as your inspiration too.
    I may try to do a mani with a light green, black and a blue.

    Thanks for the idea! Nice post and manicure. :)

  4. Shaina says:

    I love that manicure! I also have Ancient Jade and agree 100%. For me, it was a definite one-coater. The formula is too good!

  5. Katarina says:

    Great mani. It’s amaizing.
    I can’t get enough of Jade polishes. Retro Vespa Jade and Tiffany blue. :-) Any suggestions? :-)

  6. love4lacquer says:

    very very cute, love the colours

  7. Chris says:

    I love this nail look. I own Sinful Rise and Shine, black polish, and Essie T&C (not a dupe for AJ, but similar). When I get a chance I’m going to try this one out.

  8. Shimmer says:

    This came out really cool! I have seen Chole’s Nails and I always want to try this sorta look, but haven’t yet. I love the color combo you chose!

  9. Amanda says:

    Great job! love the color combo :) A trick I learned when using tape is to stick it to your palm a few times first to remove some of the sticky-ness. It still works effectively and it won’t pull up your base color!

  10. Looks fabulous !!!

  11. Mel says:

    The more I use Orly polish, the more I love it! I LOVE this manicure. :)

  12. Kimberlee says:

    Very cool! I did some blocking too! I forgot to take a pic :x

  13. I wonder if I got an “off” bottle of Ancient Jade. I love the color, but when I used it, it left drag marks from the brush. It just never seemed to even itself out.

  14. Mary says:

    Love the colour-blocking nail art you did!
    - Mary

  15. sara says:

    Oh… that’s cute. And I don’t go in for nail art, like, ever. But I might try this in red, black, and white for the Reds game I’m going to tomorrow. :)

  16. Tammie says:

    Glad to hear you like Ancient Jade so much, I got it yesterday for clearance at Sally’s and am planning on using it when I do my nails next :).

  17. meme says:

    Also being a non nail art fan on my own nails, I still find your work really great here on this mani. Personally I prefer the Sinful Rise & Shine to the Orly Ancient Jade. It’s just more NOW than Ancient Jade which looks old to me right now. But I know how you love your greens! Have you see the demo on for doing a ombre mani? It’s amazing and a nail art I like and would wear. Go to the link for manicure on site or link off here if this works. There is a short directions on how to get the ombre look. It’s amazing! Not sure I have the skill to do it! But I want it!,default,sc.html?psortb1=category-pos_Nail

  18. Amazing idea! I tend to stick with neutrals for my own clothes as well, and go wild with my nails. I love these colors for color-blocking.

    And I’m sure you’ve heard it a million times before but your polish application is flawless.

  19. Stephanie says:

    I just tried a scotch tape mani last night and sticking the tape on your palm was the tip I was missing. It’s like you read my mind. Thanks fo this!

  20. Cat says:

    I love the color blocking, even though I have never tried it myself and am probably not quite ready to try. After a few reviews of Orly I think I will have to pick up a few bottles– I don’t own any (yet)!

    I am definitely jealous of your polish application skills. It always looks gorgeous, no matter how tricky the polish!

  21. maya says:

    I love it too ! It’s perfect, PERFECT

  22. Pamela says:

    I love Ancient Jade. I love it with the black, which I will have to try. I usually wear it underneath 1 coat of Borghese Menta, which I find makes it look more like the Chanel Jade. I even had a Chanel SA ask me if I was wearing Jade! :)

  23. Nicole says:

    I wonder just how many people have taken the jump to doing more interesting things with their nails because of Chloe’s Nails; I know that I’m one of the many. I tried this tutorial of hers:
    Here’s mine:

    Love the colour blocking you’ve done here, reminds me of the lollies called Liquorice Allsorts : )

    • All Lacquered Up says:

      Love it! You both did an excellent job. Now if only we would get some frickin sun here in the CLE so I could break out my OMG holos

      • Nicole says:

        Thank You : ) I agree that a good holo is not much without sun.
        P.S. the more I look at your colour blocking, the more I realise I need these greens!

  24. Deb says:

    Love your color blocking mani! I usually don’t want to spend the time to color block, but it does make a really cool look.

    I just picked up a bottle of Ancient Jade at Sally Beauty on clearance for $1.99! I was happy about the good deal, but I wonder if it’s being discontinued?

  25. Erika says:

    That looks awesome!

  26. ReaderRita says:

    V. cool! I own all of these colors- I need to get on the stick!

  27. There’s no way I have the talent (or the patience) to do this myself but I do love colorblocked nails! Very cool

  28. Phyllis says:

    I love this! The greens and blacks are very Art Deco

  29. Mei says:

    Hope you don’t mind but I loved the nails so much I featured them in my post about colour blocking – check it out! ^^

  30. Koshka says:

    I have this one as well, you’re right about the formula being lovely! It’s not often I see Orly here, other than French manicure colours, wish more stores carried it.

  31. Pink Pamalamma says:

    I’m suddenly craving pistachio pudding!