Literary Lacquers Magic and Mysteries Collection: Swatches & Review

press sample, purchased by me


I am excited to share several polishes from Literary Lacquers Magic and Mysteries Collection with you today. As you know Amy, the lady behind the label, draws inspiration for her polishes from books and poems and I think you’re going to love what she’s “brewed” up for us today! WARNING: Serious photo spam after the jump!
Literary Lacquers "Magic and Mysteries Collection" swatches review

This new collection of 8 polishes was released in Literary Lacquers shop on March 16th. I have 7 of them to show you today. Amy was gracious enough to send me the first 5 to review and I decided it would be a fun bonus to include the 2 colors I purchased myself at the end. {READ: They are crazy gorgeous and I wanted to show them off too!}

Amy never ceases to impress me with her creativity and I was ecstatic about her liberal use of fleck, flakes and glitter in these polishes. As always, the formulas are perfect, just the right consistency, and so easy to apply. I tend to have a heavy hand and all of these polishes were opaque in 2 coats for me, except for Mirror of Galadriel. Depending on your application style, you may prefer 3 thinner coats with some of the colors. I also allowed some drying time in between coats with the polishes containing the awesome flecks, flakes and glitter to deter any dragging. I chose Glisten & Glow’s HK Girl Topcoat for this review and I will tell when I’ve used it and also note what the finish of each polish is like without topcoat.

Literary Lacquers "Magic and Mysteries Collection" swatches and review

With Amy’s blessing, I describe the polishes in my own words. I wouldn’t want you to be confused or surprised if you see them described differently elsewhere. If the name is the same I promise we are talking about the same polish! I use the “Southwestern Sun” symbol in the top left corner of my photos to indicate they were taken outdoors. The whole sun is for direct sunlight and the half sun is for indirect light. Photos without symbols were taken indoors using a daylight bulb Alright, let’s get started already!

Mirror of Galadriel (aka MOG) is a disco ball in a bottle! There was a bling fest of glorious colors bouncing everywhere! And it looks even better in person, making it a perfect example of a “use caution when driving on sunny days polish”. You WILL be distracted doing just about anything while wearing MOG!

Inspired by Lord of the Rings by J. R. R. Tolkien, this is a medium silver linear holo with a copious amount of little glitters. While it does appear lighter in sunlight, I’ll clarify my description as more of a brushed nickel, since medium silver sounds too vague. The first coat goes on sheer in terms of coverage, yet leaves behind an abundance of glitter, if that makes sense. I may have been good at 2 coats, but added a 3rd just to be certain it was fully opaque. The glitter in this polish is so fine that it dried to a nearly smooth finish and looked so good on its own that I decided to skip the topcoat, which I rarely do. The incredible sparkle and non-stop rainbows makes this one of my favorites in the collection!

NailsOfAquarius swatch of Literary Lacquers Mirror of Galadriel
NailsOfAquarius swatch of Literary Lacquers Mirror of Galadriel
NailsOfAquarius swatch of Literary Lacquers Mirror of Galadriel
NailsOfAquarius macro swatch of Literary Lacquers Mirror of Galadriel


Virgin Huntress is Kate Middleton blue! Go ahead…Google it…View the first image. It’s a stunning, head turning color that she wears often. All Kate is missing is the incredible sparkle we have here! I don’t think I have ever seen this color done in a polish and I’m excited to wear it again soon. Go BOLD or go home, right?
Inspired by Mists of Avalon by Marion Zimmer Bradley, this cobalt blue polish is loaded, and I mean LOADED, with blue flakes and glass fleck. I applied this one in 2 coats, but made a note to try 3 thinner coats next time. As expected, it dried with more of a textured feel from of all the wonderful flakes/flecks and had a metallic sheen. So I applied topcoat to give the sheen more shine. The sparkle in this polish is just amazing in person!
NailsOfAquarius swatch of Literary Lacquers Virgin Huntress
NailsOfAquarius swatch of Literary Lacquers Virgin Huntress
NailsOfAquarius macro swatch of Literary Lacquers Virgin Huntress


Felix Felicis is another stunner! When I read Amy’s description of “liquid gold flakies and glass fleck” I thought she was talking about a topper. NOPE. It’s a full coverage golden bling delight!
Inspired by the Harry Potter books by J.K. Rowling, this gold polish is loaded with glass flecks and gold flakes similar to Virgin Huntress. I would describe this shade as a cool toned, beige leaning light gold. I wore a yellow gold ring as a point of reference. The first coat seemed to apply sheer, but left an abundance of flakes and fleck behind. It was fully opaque with the 2nd coat and it dried as expected with texture and metallic sheen. I applied topcoat but some of the texture remained visible, possibly because the polish is a light color. Personally I loved the edgy look of this sparkly gold jewelry for my finger nails. I photographed this one entirely outdoors where the color appeared most accurate.
NailsOfAquarius swatch of Literary Lacquers Felix Felicis
NailsOfAquarius swatch of Literary Lacquers Felix Felicis
NailsOfAquarius swatch of Literary Lacquers Felix Felicis


Cast from Stormhold had my purple loving heart skipping beats! The inclusion of the gold flakes and silver glass fleck in a purple polish is like nothing I’ve seen before and it’s definitely another favorite!
Inspired by Stardust by Neil Gaiman, this red leaning plum purple has an abundance of gold flakes and silver glass fleck. I applied it in 2 easy coats. The polish dried slightly textured with a somewhat matte finish so I added topcoat. It seemed like all of the gold flakes in this gorgeous purple settled closer to my nail and the silver glass fleck rose to the top, if that is even possible and not just an illusion. I saw an amazing depth in this polish and it was tricky to catch the gold flake with the camera, but I did! Rest assured that you’ll have no trouble seeing it in person!


NailsOfAquarius swatch of Literary Lacquers Cast from Stormhold
NailsOfAquarius swatch of Literary Lacquers Cast from Stormhold
NailsOfAquarius macro swatch of Literary Lacquers Cast from Stormhold


Menolly Rosabelle D’Artigo is a lovely shade of blue in the bottle and it had a strong scattered holo when I photographed it indoors. And then we went outside. Suddenly it was flashing green, pink and bright blue like crazy which caught me completely, but happily, off guard.


Inspired by Yasmine Galenorn’s Otherworld series, this silvery light blue polish has a strong scattered holo. Don’t misunderstand me, I really enjoy linear holos, but I LOVE encountering a scattered holo in a gorgeous color like this one. They seem to be harder to come by these days. I applied 2 easy coats and added topcoat for no other reason than habit. Upon further inspection of my indoor photos I could see little peeks of those color flashes. Of course it’s easier to see it close up in a macro shot and apologize that I couldn’t refrain from including indoor and outdoor versions. This is just the perfect shade of blue for Spring and I know I’ll be wearing it again real soon!


NailsOfAquarius swatch of Literary Lacquers Menolly Rosabelle D'Artigo
NailsOfAquarius swatch of Literary Lacquers Menolly Rosabelle D'Artigo
NailsOfAquarius macro swatch of Literary Lacquers Menolly Rosabelle D'Artigo
NailsOfAquarius macro swatch of Literary Lacquers Menolly Rosabelle D'Artigo
Octarine is one of the two I purchased myself. Why did I chose this one? It’s purple silly! That will be the day I pass on a purple polish that sounds gorgeous.


Inspired by Terry Pratchett’s Discworld, this dusty pink lilac purple polish has a strong linear holo. You may notice that it has tiny, shimmery flecks in bright pink and purple when your are applying the polish, but they become harder to see once it has dried. I didn’t have time to do any testing, but I bet they less apparent due to the intense holo.
The first coat applied fairly sheer and I was somewhat surprised when it reached full opacity with the 2nd coat. Again I added topcoat based on habit. I love that the holo is so amazingly strong in this polish that it’s visible regardless of the lighting! Another gorgeous shade that will be just perfect for Spring!


NailsOfAquarius swatch of Literary Lacquers Octarine
NailsOfAquarius swatch of Literary Lacquers Octarine
NailsOfAquarius swatch of Literary Lacquers Octarine
NailsOfAquarius macro swatch of Literary Lacquers Octarine


Avada Kedavra is my second purchase and a MUST HAVE for the black polish lover! I’ve probably overused the phrase “I’ve never seen anything like it before” by this point in the review but, in all seriousness, YOU NEED THIS!

Inspired by Harry Potter, this black polish is loaded with gold and green glitter in hex and square shapes in a multitude of sizes and dries naturally to the perfect rubbery matte finish. The description in the shop says it’s “eeevil”, but this polish takes on a completely different persona when you add topcoat in my opinion.

I applied 2 easy coats. The largest of the gold hex glitters was a bit elusive and I would have gone on a fishing trip if I was using this polish in nail art but, for the purpose of these swatches, I didn’t fuss with the glitter at all. I’ve included photos of the polish without and with topcoat below in “pose pairs” so you don’t have to keep scrolling up and down to compare them. Here’s my take on the 2 versions:

  • Matte has a darker edgy presence, the glitter “pops”, you can see every little glitter bit separately but they are not overly sparkly or holographic in appearance
  • Topcoat removes the dark edgy feel, the glitter appears more blended and only the larger pieces really catch your eye, but the glitter found it’s holographic property, not only is it sparkling but the colors of the rainbow are abundant
Two awesome polishes for the price of one…how can you go wrong??
NailsOfAquarius swatch of Literary Lacquers Avada Kedavra
NailsOfAquarius swatch of Literary Lacquers Avada Kedavra
NailsOfAquarius swatch of Literary Lacquers Avada Kedavra
NailsOfAquarius swatch of Literary Lacquers Avada Kedavra
NailsOfAquarius macro swatch of Literary Lacquers Avada Kedavra
NailsOfAquarius macro swatch of Literary Lacquers Avada Kedavra

I am so impressed with this collection! These are colors I would have purchased on my own had Amy not sent them for review. The only color I didn’t get is Flickum Bicus, a red-orange shimmer with blue flakes, because I hardly ever wear red. The bloggers that reviewed it ended up loving it, so I encourage you to check it out in the shop.

I’d love to hear your thoughts on these polishes! Have you purchased any of them? Do you have any favorites? I know it’s not fair to ask that without revealing my favorites and it’s so hard to chose! But if I could only have three they would be Mirror of Galadriel, Cast from Stormhold and Avada Kedavra. There will be nail art based on this collection coming soon, so stay tuned!

Thanks for reading! I’ll see you at the next post.

  • Thanks so much Amy! Better late than never and I couln't be happier that you enjoyed it!! <3

  • Karolyn, Thank you for such a beautiful post; I can't believe I didn't see it until now. <3

  • Karolyn! No worries at all! I've been really bad about keeping up with everyone as well (Well over 900 posts in my Bloglovin' cue…Eep!) Your blog is the first I look up whenever I'm going through posts! I hope things turn up for you soon 🙂

    I'm glad I'm not the only one…since I'm not so much into gaming consoles I guess I sometimes feel awkward being all "Computer games…yeah!!!" Heh…

  • How sweet of you to comment when I've been such a bad, disconnected blogger lately Monica! YES absolutely get those 2 colors! THEY ROCK!! And you are just too funny about your gaming! Do you know how many nail bloggers are into gaming??? LOTS! Anyhow. I'm not up on my Harry Potter, so I looked up Avada and learned all about potions! Thank you so much for complimenting my swatches! <3

  • EEEK! I so badly need Mirror of Galadriel and Avada Kedavra! I like the idea of Felix Felicies but I'm not the biggest fan of cooler golds. Speaking of which, I'm totally going to be a nerdy 5-year-old for second but I used to (read: still) play the HP computer games…and in the sixth one you make that potion…it's actually really really fun to make!

    Lovely swatches as always!!

  • This brand is awesome L! She's been 45 minutes away from me in Santa Fe & I didn't discover her until last year. So I've been doing some catch up and the polishes are just wonderful! Check them out at <3

  • Thanks so much Cat! This collection really blew me away too! You couldn't go wrong picking up any polish in this collection! They are all made with love! <3

  • Thanks Kim! And I couldn't agree more about Amy's abilities! So pleased to see MOG at the top of your list. It's the bomb!! Such nice compliments! Thank you my friend…I needed them today. <3

  • Lorien__

    oooh totally hunting down this brand! … they look lush!

  • Cat

    Hi Karolyn, these are all shockingly amazing! They took my breath away and I truly appreciate Literary Lacquers' meaningful book references. These polishes have such depth and complexity, and I enjoyed reading your detailed descriptions of each of them. =)

  • Wow! Beautiful polishes with loads of pictures & info to boot! I am always impressed with Amy's ability to capture her inspirations and bottle them. 😉 My faves are MOG, FF & mostly MRD'A. And, I probably would get FB too, you know if the polish fairies left behind coin every night they visit…speaking of magic & mystery…LOL. Seriously though, awesome review-you are a fantastic & educating enabler. 😉

  • Thanks so much Jacqui! <3

  • craftynail

    beautiful swatches !

  • Thanks so much Sumeet! I saw your nail art with Avada Kedavra. Isn't that an amazing polish?? In case you need a little enabling…they are all SO awesome! One way or another all these beauties were coming home for me! <3

    I'm glad you liked my Southwest Sun idea. I wanted the lighting conditions to be known even when a photo got pinned, and I thought this was a cooler way to do it than using the words.

    Avada Kedavra

  • Gorgeous swatches! I already have four from this collection and am so tempted to get the remaining 😀 I love the idea of using a Southwestern Sun symbol in varying sizes to indicate the lighting <3