The first nail-focused beauty blog


Makeup Wars – Blogger-Enabled Beauty Buys

By on March 3, 2014
in COVERGIRL, Makeup Wars, NYX, Stila with 29 Comments

Blogger Enabled Beauty Buys

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I’ve been involved in the world of beauty blogging for longer than the 7+ years I’ve been writing All Lacquered Up. I started reading beauty blogs when I was an active member of Makeup Alley and 9 times out of 10, I still opt for reading blogs over books or magazines.

So, narrowing down the products to feature in this week’s Makeup Wars topic, Blogger Recommendations, was a challenge, to say the least. Um, what don’t I use that I haven’t read about on a blog? To keep this from becoming a book, I chose the products that I use on the regular that were enabled by some of my fave beauty/nail bloggers.

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The ALU Archives – NYX Thunder

By on July 2, 2009
in Blue, NYX, The ALU Archives with 5 Comments
The ALU Archives focuses on older, beloved shades from the All Lacquered Up stash.

For this week’s Archives I wanted to dig out a polish I’ve never used before. Because I’m an impulsive shopper, I have way too many untried colors in my collection. It’s sad, I know. All those bottles sitting there, wanting to be loved. Well this week NYX Thunder is getting some attention.

I picked up Thunder at the Tulalip outlets north of Seattle when I was visiting friends over TWO years ago. I was so excited to see a NYX polish display in person, I could hardly contain myself. Check out this treasure after the jump! (Oh and make sure you vote in my Archives poll)

Thunder is a slightly muted sky blue shimmer. It’s not bright, not soft but somewhere in the middle. It applied smooth and even and I love the wide flat brush. Their brush is thinner than OPI’s so it makes applicaton easier for those with small nail beds. The only downside is the sheerness as it required three coats.
I purchased NYX Thunder at one of the fragrance stores at the Tulalip outlets but it’s available online for $3.50 to $4 at and

OK so here’s the deal. I try to only post available older shades for the Archives so that you can actually go out and purchase them. However, I have so so many discontinued and HTF colors that I’d love to share with you but it almost seems like a tease if they’re not readily available. So my question to you is… do you want to see them anyway or just stick with what I’ve been doing?

I would continue to post available polishes but mix in some DC’d ones as well. I know there are a lot of “dusty hunters” and ebayers out there so if including some HTFs would be of interest to you, speak out!


NYX 10th Anniversary Sale

By on May 1, 2009
in Deals and Discounts, NYX with 11 Comments

It’s time to get your shop on kids! NYX Cosmetics is celebrating its 10th Anniversary with a big ole 50% Off Sale. You have from now through May 15th to stock up on polish, eyeshadow trios and the like.

I know I’ll be placing an order for some new polishes and makeup goodies. What will you get? If you need some enabling, check out my past posts about NYX Polish.

The ALU Archives – NYX Jungle

By on March 6, 2009
in Green, NYX, The ALU Archives with 11 Comments

all lacquered up, archives, alu archivesThe ALU Archives focuses on older, beloved shades from the All Lacquered Up stash.

The only reason I love March is because it contains the “greenest” holiday of year, St. Patrick’s Day. Now I’m not even 1% Irish but I still embrace the day because it gives me a reason to green out. So for the rest of the month, all the ALU Archives posts will be green!

To kick things off, I turn to one of the most unique greens I own, NYX Jungle. Jungle isn’t full on emerald, it falls somewhere between jade and teal. It’s got this deep, murky, sea water look that transforms depending on the light and angle. What you see below is two coats but with three the shade leans even more towards green.

nyx, jungle, green, nail polish, nail color, nail lacquer, nail trends, nails
If you haven’t used NYX polishes before, you really are missing out on a great discount brand. The flat NYX brush is thinner and easier to use than some other brands that have converted to flat (cough, OPI, cough) and the price is fantastic ($4.00/ea).

I order NYX direct from The shipping is fast and reasonable. 12 bottles via USPS is around $8. I’ve seen NYX polishes at outlet mall fragrance shops but other than that, finding them in stores is kind of hit or miss. You can also order online from and

What do you think kids? Any other NYX fans? What are your fave shades? Who else is loving Jungle?

Customization: Frankenpolish & The Art Of Layering

Ask any beauty junkie and we’ll admit, no matter how many shades, fragrances or formulations are thrown our way we are still restless for more. Even if we find that perfect product, after a while we’ll wish it was a bit more “something”. Deeper in color, smoother in feel, slightly more floral, etc. Let’s face, it we’re just never satisfied.

As we’ve learned from magazines, makeup artists and our fellow product junkies, beauty is like Burger King; we can have it our way. All it takes is a little customizing. Whether it’s layering your favorite perfumes to create a signature scent, mixing your moisturizer in with your foundation to make it sheer and dewy or blending eight different shadows to achieve that perfect smokey eye we love to alter and combine our favorite products.

In the world of lacquer it’s no different. When we can’t find the color we want we become kids again, mixing lacquer like we used to mix our finger paints. It’s all about experimenting, letting your imagination go and relying on our childhood art lessons about the color wheel. Say it with me folks, yellow and blue make green. Now I’m having Ziploc commercial flashbacks.

There are two methods of customizing polish:

  • Layering – Using multiple layers of different colors to create the desired shade
  • Mixing – Combining two or more lacquers in a bottle (aka Frankenpolish)

First let’s discuss the easiest way to customize your color, layering. It’s very no muss, no fuss. The only real trick is making sure the edges of each layer line up. If you have a shade that is too light or dark, layer it over white or black. Is your polish to sheer? Layer it over a similar hued opaque formula or black. Everything looks more intense over black. Love the shade of your chrome or metallic finish polish but hate the brush strokes? Add a sheer on top to achieve a smoother finish. Here are some examples from my own experiments.

I was so excited when I got China Glaze Kaleidoscope Him Out and He’s Going In Circles because not only are they holographic but they’re blue and green holos. Unfortunately, I didn’t feel that the green and blue made enough of an impact.

So I layered them over opaque creme lacquers and pow! Instant intensity.
Here’s an example of how I combated brush strokes in a metallic finish. I love the color of China Glaze Open Sky but the finish left something to be desired. So I turned to a holo for help. Adding a layer of OPI Blue Moon Lagoon didn’t alter the beauty of Open Sky, it just added a little bling and a smoother look.

These two were just for fun. I love my greens but a girl can never have enough options.

Now on to the science project that is the Frankenpolish.

My first try at making my own polish was to mix MAC pigment with clear lacquer. Mixing pigments can be a lot of work but if you have a gorgeous shade that would look great on your nails, it’s worth it. I buy Milani clear polish but others like using Sally Hansen Insta Dri. I add 1/4 tsp. of pigment at a time and mix, mix, mix before I test it on the nail. Just keep adding pigment until you’ve reached the desired opacity. If you can, add a couple mixing balls because the pigment will settle out when not in use.

Here are the results of my first ever pigment mix. This is MAC Entremauve in Milani Crystal Clear lacquer. The pink sparkles in Entremauve really pop as a polish.

The other method for mixing your own polish is to combine different lacquers to create a new shade. The true Frankenpolish.

Disclaimer: Due to the volatile nature of nail lacquer ingredients I do not condone or promote mixing formulas from different manufacturers. There is no way to know if they will safely combine. So franken at your own risk.

For great tips on the supplies, process and recipes, check out the Frankenpolish Notepad on Makeup Alley. Bravo to Christine from 15 Minute Beauty Fanatic for creating it and to all the lovely MUA members that contribute to it.

These lovely frankens are the creation of MUA member jennyferr.

45% OPI Designer Series Exclusive,
45% OPI Lincoln Park After Dark, 10% Black

1/3 Sinful San Francisco, 1/3 Rimmel Underground
Camouflage, 1/3 Zoya Tangy

Now it’s your turn. Share your favorite layering combos and recipes.

photos: All Lacquered Up and jennyferr on MUA

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