ABC Challenge: "F" is for Fair Game (solo & gradient!)

Woot, Woot!  It’s Day 6  in Kimber’s ABC Challenge – which means my co-challengers and I have been conjuring up manicures that in some way (polish name/brand, technique, color, etc.), connect to the letter “F”.

With that in mind, I give you…..(drumroll, please….)

Fair Game

Fair Game is a gunmetal silvery-blue, from Essie’s safari-inspired 2011 resort collection of the same name.  It’s also a lacquer I inherited when Liz recently cleared a bunch of bottles from her stash. 

There are at least three schools of thought on the subject of Fair Game

  1. Streakiness (a common issue with shimmery/metallic-type formulas) is a polish-killer, and in the minds of many, it’s time to stick a fork in this one.
  2. That frosty finish?  B-O-R-I-N-G and dated (FYI: I’m seeing more of a shimmer/metallic than a frost). 
  3. Shimmery/metallics are inherently streaky, BUT balance that against the associated self-leveling effect….the smoothing out of  one’s imperfect nail bed.  Self-leveling means fewer brush strokes.  Fewer brush strokes means less “streakiness.” Yeah, big surprise:  I’m an acolyte for this third school of thought. 
Just not seeing the streakiness.

But listen, I understand that whole “B-O-R-I-N-G” thing people talk about when reviewing Fair Game.   So, I consulted my polish collection, and retrieved some quick excitement…

L to R:  Essie Fair Game, Essie Beyond Cozy, and Revlon Stunning

WARNING, WILL ROBINSON!:  You’re not imagining things.  I HAVE committed a blogging sin.  It WAS only last week that I posted a mani featuring Beyond Cozy, on its own, and with striping tape. You caught me, and I don’t know what else to say.  Other than, how’s about we just consider this my continued love letter to that fabulously smooth silver-gold Essie microglitter?  Hmmm? That, or just give me the requisite number of Hail Mary’s and Glory Be’s, and let’s be done with it. OK? OK.

Now, where were we?

Oh, yes…this week, I decided to conduct an experiment in the LOZLOSA National Laboratory (that would be Liz’s old bedroom) to determine how Essie Beyond Cozy and Revlon Stunning (a widely available circular holo glitter topper), performed as complementary gradients over Fair Game.

The test results conclude that Fair Game is Not So B-O-R-I-N-G Anymore….

Confession:  I’m a big fan of this waterfall-style gradient, and the way it splashes over the top of the nail. It’s hard to screw up the design.

The DIY on this is easy:  Simply dab the glitter polishes onto those areas you want attention paid.  Use each bottle’s brush.  No need for sponges or other tools.

Do it until you smile. 

Well, that’s it for this week’s contribution to Kimber’s ABC Challenge.

Please join me in checking out what my creative and lovely co-challengers had in mind for “F”-inspired (this has all the potential of being out-of-control racy, if you ask me…) manis…

  37 comments for “ABC Challenge: "F" is for Fair Game (solo & gradient!)

  1. February 13, 2013 at 5:10 am

    Another Essie! I picked some up finally, and taking the plunge with it next week. I like the plain gunmetal grey/blue, but maybe I am the minority? But you are definitely right – everything is better with glitter! Really like the finished product!

    • February 14, 2013 at 2:01 pm

      Thank you, darlin’!!!! 🙂 Can’t wait to see your next week’s Essie post. Had it not been for this ABC Challenge, I’d probably not have used mine…but I sure do love gunmetal grey-blue, and happy I did.


  2. February 13, 2013 at 5:12 am

    I love the way you livened things up! Can’t go wrong with a bit of sparkle!

    • February 14, 2013 at 2:01 pm

      Thank you, Natalie! HVD, sweets!!!!


  3. February 13, 2013 at 6:17 am

    I love this look and the color is gorgeous.

    • February 14, 2013 at 2:01 pm

      Thanks, Patty!!!! 🙂

  4. February 13, 2013 at 6:44 am

    Oh man I love that gradient. It’s stunning! And I definitely used Essie’s Beyond Cozy two challenge days in a row too so I’m right there in the handbasket to polish hell with you. ^_^

    • February 14, 2013 at 2:02 pm

      Thanks, Ketlyn. I’ve decided to use Essie Beyond Cozy for every mani, from here to Z. LOL. Just kidding, but I sure do love this stuff. Should be illegal. 😉


  5. February 13, 2013 at 6:51 am

    Wooow!!! That combination of all three polishes looks so great Lisa! You definitely got rid of the boredom of that Fair Game 😉

    • February 14, 2013 at 2:03 pm

      Thanks, Mari. Happy Valentine’s Day, honey!


  6. February 13, 2013 at 7:14 am

    Oh wowowowowow!! I love your glitter gradient, my fave way to use glitter!! I don’t think you committed a blogger faux pas!! Especially because you used it in such a different way!! Now I’m going to challenge you to use the same color for one weeks worth of posting!!! Bet you could do it and I bet you could do it so well that we wouldn’t even notice it’s the same color!!!! Talent lady, you gots it!!!

    • February 14, 2013 at 2:04 pm

      Nic, you are the sweetest. Thank you, darlin’! I might well take you up on the challenge, babycakes! LOLOL Sounds like it would be right up my blinging alley!

      Happy V Day, Nicole!


  7. February 13, 2013 at 8:30 am

    Your gradient manicure is absolutely stunning! Perfect color combo too. Love it, love it, love it!

    • February 14, 2013 at 2:04 pm

      Thanks, Cristina!!!! 🙂



  8. February 13, 2013 at 8:51 am

    oooooooh Lisa that gradient looks fab on you! too bad that the polish is such a streaky mess because I don’t think the color is boring at all, but I would never buy it because of the formula. Do you have an aqua base basecoat? I noticed that the basecoat not only fixes the streakyness from my FNUG and Layla holo polishes but also with other streaky polishes.

    • February 14, 2013 at 2:05 pm

      Your Fnug turned out AMAZING. No, I don’t have an aqua basecoat! I’m going to look into it, though, cause I so love metallics, but so not love streakiness.

      Thanks, honey!



  9. February 13, 2013 at 11:41 am

    This turned out great!! I usually don’t go for metallic polishes because of the streaky-ness. But, I love what you did with it here. Gorgeous!!

    • February 14, 2013 at 2:06 pm

      Thank you Sarah!!!!! 🙂



  10. February 13, 2013 at 11:48 am

    Ooh wow that looks amazing! I love a great glitter gradient and this certainly is! 🙂

    • February 14, 2013 at 2:06 pm

      Thank you, honey!!! 🙂

      Glitter really rocks something fierce. If only it would solve the grey hairs coming in, and the saddle bags on my hips. 😉



  11. February 13, 2013 at 12:44 pm

    It didn0t look boring to me on the first place, but now it’s way more interesting 🙂 You did a great job!

    • February 14, 2013 at 2:08 pm

      Thank you!!! 🙂

      Happy Valentine’s Day!!


  12. February 13, 2013 at 3:06 pm

    I love this look and color!

    • February 14, 2013 at 2:08 pm

      Thank you, darlin’!

      I hope you have a lovely Valentine’s Day.


  13. February 13, 2013 at 5:51 pm

    I LOVE your glitter gradient!! I’ve never heard of a waterfall gradient, but I love it!! I think I’ve found my “W” mani!! Fabulous job!!

    • February 14, 2013 at 2:09 pm

      Thanks, Dionne. Well, you’ve probably not heard of it before because it’s just my definition of what that type of gradient looks like.

      It’s easy and fun.

      Happy Valentine’s Day, sweetie!


  14. February 13, 2013 at 6:18 pm

    Adding glitter was a great idea to fix this “boring” mani! Good job. (I didn’t think it was boring). 🙂

    • February 14, 2013 at 2:10 pm

      Jenni, you’re a sweetie, and I thank you immensely.

      Happy Valentine’s Day.


  15. February 13, 2013 at 7:31 pm

    That looks so great!! Love it! I think I might have to get Beyond Cozy myself 😛

    • February 14, 2013 at 2:10 pm

      You really do, Ria. I KNOW you’ll do a bang up job with it.

      Happy Valentine’s Day, darlin’!


  16. February 13, 2013 at 9:30 pm

    That is sure not boring!!! I love it! I love glitter gradients of all kinds and this one just rocks. And I love that Essie which I don’t find old anyway. I actually have a close dupe to it from another brand. It’s a perfect base for nail arts, be it gradients or stamping or whatever!

    • February 14, 2013 at 2:11 pm

      Glitter is Mother Nature’s prozac, is how I look at.

      Thank you so much for your sweet comment, Simona!

      Happy Valentines Day!


  17. February 14, 2013 at 12:17 am

    This is so cute! Adding glitter was a great last touch!! x

    • February 14, 2013 at 2:12 pm

      Aly, I thank you bunches! I sure do love me some glitter! 🙂

      Happy Valentines Day!


  18. February 14, 2013 at 10:52 pm

    You livened the hell out of Fair Game! Gorgeous!!!

    Ya know, I was close to taking the “F” challenge over the top. I was in a mood still from Sunday’s fiasco, and almost posted a “F’ed up nails” manicure. Just to irritate those that nitpick at clean up. But I decided that may be a bit too much and went with my 15 year old boy polish instead!

  19. February 15, 2013 at 5:55 am

    I love what you did with this! Leave it to glitter to go from meh to whoohoo!! LOL And I can’t blame you for using Beyond Cozy again! I love that polish!

  20. February 15, 2013 at 11:37 am

    I am LOVING this! You really kicked up this mani! Great job!

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