photo 8.png  photo 3.png  photo 6.png  photo 5.png  photo 4.png  photo 1.png

Thursday, 13 September 2018

STELLA CHROMA Fall Mattes Collection - Swatches & Review

Hi everyone! Today I have the upcoming fall collection from STELLA CHROMA to show you! I was super excited to see this collection in real life after hearing that it was a collection of mattes with shimmer and seeing the first quick photo. I wasn't disappointed. 

So without further ado... on to the swatches! Pam's colour descriptions are in italics with my comments after! Be sure to check out all the info you need and a discount code at the end of the post! I photographed each shade matte (without topcoat) and then added topcoat to show you how they look both ways. 

Cinnamon & Spice - 'Warm brown tones are complimented by copious amounts of pink shimmer in this matte beauty that reminds us of all of the delicious cinnamon treats that pop up in the fall! Apple dumpling, anyone?'

This is one of my favourites of the collection. The colour is so perfect for fall and exactly the kind of shade I gravitate towards for the season. I love a nice strong shimmer. I used 2 coats. The formula was fab, as I expect from Pam.

Perseids - 'The Perseids meteor shower occurs every fall, peaking in August. This matte navy harkens to the night sky and the holo flakies sparkle like stars on your nails'

My absolute favourite of this collection. The holo flakies in the matte base are just stunning and with topcoat they absolutely sparkle. Win win! This is the perfect night sky polish and so classy. I know I'll be wearing it a lot! I used 2 coats. Great formula.

Flannel & Boots - 'Our favorite flannel shirt is this gorgeous shade of teal. What says fall like flannel shirts, leggings, and boots? This lovely matte polish is highlighted with white and blue flakies

This is a beautiful shade and unique in my collection. Just bright enough but not too bright. I will enjoy wearing this for the autumn for sure. Again, stunning flakes in the matte base. I used 2 coats. Nothing to report formula-wise. 

Pumpkin Everything - 'What fall collection would be complete without a perfect pumpkin orange? This is a matte medium orange with a strong green shimmer as a nod to gorgeous pumpkin vines'

The most excellent fall colour. I am not an orange fan but Pam always does them well (The Leaky Cauldron from her Knight Bus collection is a favourite of mine). This one is super unique with the strong green shimmer. I love a good contrasting shimmer and this one is fun. I used 2 coats. Formula was perfect once again.

Gala - 'Apple picking is a traditional fall activity, and this matte red stunner is bright like the skin of the sweet Gala apple!'

This colour completely wowed me once I put it on my nails. You might know that I'm a big fan of red polish. But what really got me in this one is the pink flakes which pop against the red. In some lights they look like they're almost glowing! I felt like my hands and nails looked so pretty while wearing this and after swatching, I put it on immediately as a full manicure. Formula was lovely. I used 2 coats.

You Blockhead! - 'This shimmery yellow matte was named by Mr STELLA CHROMA himself. he looked at it and said, "That's the yellow of Charlie Brown's shirt. It should be called You Blockhead!" He's totally right, isn't he?'

This polish has the perfect name. I love the shimmer in this and it makes me like yellow. I'm not generally a fan of yellow but I do make exceptions for just the right shade or something unique like this. I was really happy this one didn't give me lobster hands which is quite a feat. I imagine this will be a yellow that will look good on so many skin tones. I used 3 coats to be sure to cover my slight ridges on my ring fingernail. Yellow can be iffy like that but you could almost definitely use just two coats. I especially loved this one with topcoat. What do you prefer?

Overall, I think this is a beautiful collection. The matte finish combined with the shimmers and flakes is beautiful, especially with some of the contrasting colours. Pam has outdone herself with this collection. I'm always the girl voting shiny when friends ask whether to wear a mani matte or with topcoat, but this collection is making me rethink that a little (especially Perseids, Cinnamon & Spice and Gala!)

The collection will release Saturday, Sept 22nd at noon EST. They will be $12 per 15 mL bottle. For the first two weeks after release (until Oct 5th), the full set of 6 will be available for $64.
A portion of sales through 9/30 will be donated to this quarter's STEM organization, Girls Who Code. 

You can use the code THEMANICAFE to get 15% off your order!

I also wanted to remind you again about the STELLA CHROMA fan group on Facebook called stella chromatics. We’d love to have you join if you haven’t already!

Where to Buy:

STELLA CHROMA on Social Media:

The products in this post were provided for my honest review

Sunday, 9 September 2018

Galaxy Nails

Hi everyone! I recently found myself wanting to do some galaxy nails. Remember how cool they were a few years ago? Well I don't think this design gets old and I always enjoy seeing different interpretations. 

I recently broke a couple of nails and filed down to shorties and thought a galaxy design would be fun and look nice on my nubs! I started out with 2 coats of Picture Polish Cosmos and then sponged on small amounts of the following polishes : Girly Bits Hit and Mist, A England Merlin, Darling Diva Polish Oh Yeah, I'm Touching Myself Tonight, OPI Suzi With A Paddle, Essie No Place Like Chrome, A England Camelot, Orly Halo & Yves Saint Laurent Première Neige. I then used a dotting tool, a fine detail brush and white acrylic paint to paint some dots and stars and topped with topcoat. This mani made me dig out a few polishes I sort of forgot I had. I'll have to wear them as full manis soon as well! 

What do you think of galaxy nails? Please share your versions with me so I can see! Tag me on Facebook (The Mani Café) or Instagram (@themanicafe #themanicafe)!

Friday, 7 September 2018

Alter Ego - Saturdays are for Sven Soap (Indie Pickup September 2018)

Press Sample/Review

Hi everyone! As I mentioned last month, non-polish handmade items previously sold alongside polishes in Polish Pickup are now separate. These items will now be sold during Indie Pickup (IPU). 

Like Polish Pickup, the September theme for IPU is Horror Movies. Cynthia from Alter Ego has created a joke chicken shaped/scented soap for September inspired by Svengoolie, a horror movie host from Chicago. One of his longstanding jokes, Cynthia tells me, is a rubber chicken. So that gave her the idea for this product. 

Before you freak out, this is meant to be a fun gag gift. The Saturdays are for Sven soap is a soap shaped like a rubber chicken and it is chicken scented. It smells like chicken ramen noodle soup. The fragrance includes notes of garlic, basil, cumin and sage. The garlic scent is quite prominent. The fragrance overall is quite strong and you definitely smell it easily when you open the packaging (smell proof heat seal bags). 

To try it out, I washed my hands with the soap. I find the scent isn't as strong on your skin after use as it is when you just smell the soap. It lingers after use but fades after a while. I think it's a fun joke gift but not necessarily a scent you're going to want to use often lol! I'm sorry I didn't get any more photos of the soap but I figured a picture of soap being used wasn't exactly pretty or too useful.

There will be a cap on these of 75 soaps. She also wanted me to note that due to using one mould, it is normal for soaps to vary in colour slightly as they are made individually. 

The Saturdays are for Sven Soapwill be available for purchase from September 21st until September 24th along with a wide variety of products from other brands with the 'Horror Movies' theme! 

Indie Pickup:

Alter Ego:

The products in this post were provided for my honest review

Saturday, 25 August 2018

Alter Ego - Saturdays are for Sven (Polish Pickup September 2018 - Horror Movies)

Press Sample/Review

Hi everyone! I have the September Polish Pick Up Exclusive from Alter Ego for you today

The Polish Pick Up theme for September is 'Horror Movies'. Cynthia from Alter Ego has made a polish inspired by Svengooliem a horror movie host from Chicago. He runs all the classic horror movies like Dracula etc and his show airs on MeTV. He has long time gags and gives trivia info about each movie and facts about the major actors in evening movie. 

I'm not at all familiar with Cynthia's inspiration this month but she explained that Svengoolie is often shown wearing a black suit with a red shirt and he opens and closes the show standing in a purple lined coffin. Cynthia took this colour inspiration to create her polish 'Saturday's are for Sven' which has a black base with red microglitter and metallic yellow and purple microflakies.

I used 3 thin coats of Saturdays are for Sven. The shimmer and sparkle in this one is lovely as usual with Cynthia's polishes. I'll apologise for my super nub, I broke a nail gardening and had to file them down and as usual, it happens when I've got swatching to do! Anyway, the polish is still beautiful and the formula was great. The first coat was a bit uneven but it levels out nicely with good opacity on the second coat. I only did 3 to be sure. I topped with topcoat as always. 

Saturdays are for Sven will be available from September 7th at 11am EST until September 10th at 11:59pm EST along with polishes from other brands with the 'Horror Movies' theme! 

The non-polish products from Polish Pickup, like last month, are now separate and sold during Indie Pickup. I'll be posting soon with Cynthia's product for that. Until then, here is the Polish Pickup info as usual! Enjoy! 

Polish Pickup:

Alter Ego:

The products in this post were provided for my honest review

Friday, 24 August 2018


Hi everyone! I'm back from holidays and ready to be sharing some nail art with you! I'll have some fun new releases coming soon but for now, I thought I'd finally write up the post for this mani that you may have seen a peek of on Instagram

I wasn't quite sure what I wanted to do on my nails and decided to start out with a white base and some of my Indigo mermaid pigment as it's been a long time since I used it. I figured I'd find some inspiration after for some nail art. 

I applied 2 coats of OPI Alpine Snow, my favourite white creme. I then buffed in the mermaid pigment with my fingertip and fixed with topcoat. I did take some pictures of this on it's own quickly before adding nail art so you can really see how it looks. I love this finish so much. So pretty and dreamy!  

I then used Colors By Llarowe Courage, Brains, Heart and the raspberry imager from my Lina Summer 02 plate for the stamping and finished with topcoat as always. I love how this turned out, especially with the shimmery mermaid pigment base. It gave it some extra oomph! I hope you like it as much as I did. 

Where to Buy:
OPI - various retailers
Indigo Nails (see country specific sites, I ordered from Indigo Nails France)
Colors by Llarowe

Lina Nail Art Supplies

OPI on Social Media: Facebook - Instagram - Twitter
Indigo on Social Media: Facebook - Instagram - Twitter  
Colors by Llarowe on Social Media: Facebook - Instagram - Twitter 
Lina Nail Art Supplies on Social Media: Facebook - Instagram - Twitter