Let's start with the mani. How gorgeous is this color? Lotus Leaves is a soft tauped dove grey with the softest hint of holo. The holo flash shows more in the bottle than on the nail, but it creates a very subtle, almost ethereal, glow of Black Dahlia's characteristic shimmer. This is a great SFW neutral grey. It goes on a little sheer, but builds to opaque in two coats with no visible nail line at three. I used two coats of Black Dahlia's No More Ridges Basecoat underneath (such a steal, buy the big bottle), which gave a smooth, slightly whitened matte base. I also wanted to test the quick dry drops over several layers, so we had that added benefit as well as a perfect canvas for this soft polish. It's topped with Sinful Shine topcoat.
I'm not typically a fan of quick dry drops in general. I've tried a few different types, and I'm never particularly impressed. These, unfortunately, didn't shake out to be a huge improvement over others I've tried. However, I did not say these were a fail-there were a few points of note that may make these worth a try if you generally like quick dry drops.
I tried the drops after topcoating on my left hand and allowed the right hand to dry on its own as I usually do. As far as dry time, the left hand actually dried a little slower, which is what I've also consistently encountered with other brands of drops. Both hands were mostly dry within 15 minutes, though I did end up with some wrinkling on the quick dry hand the next morning (I polished about an hour before bed). I did notice, though, that my cuticles were better moisturized on the hand I used the drops on. I cleaned up with acetone before applying the drops, and my left hand didn't require any cuticle oil before the photos here were taken. They felt really nice. The drops are unscented, which is a little different, and I don't know what gives them the blue color, but I didn't see any signs of them staining anything. All in all, I think if you generally use quick dry drops and want something that doesn't have a heavy "essential oils" smell without sacrificing moisturizing qualities, try these.
Edit: A week or so after originally posting this, I was doing some nail art that required a dry base (didn't work, don't ask). These drops did an awesome job of drying my base polish enough that I could attempt nail art minutes after laying it down. Even though my nail art fell flat, my base layer held up. So while these don't dry hard fast like quick dry topcoats, they're a pretty awesome tool for impatient nail art lovers like me, who just can't wait to start sponging and taping.
Cuticle remover was one of those things I had no clue I even wanted until I started using it. I never cut my cuticles, and balms didn't really do anything interesting. I've been using Julep's Vanish cuticle softener about every two weeks, though, and have been having good results with that, so I was thrilled to have a chance to try this one. One of the things I don't love about Vanish is that it's a liquid and gets everywhere. Black Dahlia's Cuticle Eliminator is a clear, scentless gel. I really liked this! I still like Vanish, but I think I like this better. The gel wasn't super thick, but it stuck well, making it very neat. I was able to easily and gently sweep away all the cuticle yuck. My nail plate was clean, without any drying aftereffects. Out of all of the cuticle softening products I've used so far, I like this one the best.
Black Dahlia's Quick Dry Drops and Cuticle Eliminator are now available for sale along with the basecoat and other nail treatments on their website, give them a try-and be sure you don't forget to try one of their ahmazing polishes. Have you won any good giveaways lately?