Friday, August 28, 2020

Vega and Altair: My Collaboration with Noodles Nail Polish!

*press sample*

Hi folks! Yes, the day is finally upon us: my polish collaboration with Natalie from Noodles Nail Polish! I have a lot more to say about Vega and Altair, but first things first. This one will be available for $9.50 on Monday, August 31st at 5 PM EST on the Noodles site. Yup, only a few days away! 

I've mentioned this in passing without going into too much detail, but about 4 years ago I changed jobs from my Research Specialist position to a nib grinder at a local fountain pen company. I am currently one of only 4 women in the US working on nibs (nibs are the metal parts you actually write with on a fountain pen). I've been a pen fanatic my whole life, but more with gel pens and rollerballs than fountain pens. It wasn't until I met my husband that I really started getting into fountain pens. Fast forward a few years, and now I travel the country going to pen shows (well, at least in the pre-covid days) and work on nibs for Franklin-Christoph. I've always wanted a fountain pen-inspired nail polish made, and I was so lucky that Natalie from Noodles Nail Polish kindly agreed to work with me. My next step was to find out exactly what I wanted. It wasn't until I was gifted a very special Christmas gift from a fellow fountain pen lover that I knew what I wanted. 

This is Vega and Altair from the Japanese fountain pen company Sailor. It was released in conjunction with another Japanese stationery company Bungubox as a duo back in 2017 as Milky Way/Vega and Altair shown below. This limited edition set had just 50 pieces sold worldwide. 

Source (and other very beautiful pen photos)

What makes Vega and Altair super special is its raden ends. Raden is an ancient decorative technique that uses thin abalone shells or mother-of-pearl pieces placed on pens, bowls, etc. and are truly pieces of art. This application is done by hand and takes a lot of time and practice through apprenticeships, and, as such, raden work is often very expensive. 

So what the heck is Vega and Altair and why did they make a pen based on it? You can learn more about it here, but I'll give a quick overview here. The Star Festival in Japan has been celebrated on various days in July or August since 755. During the festival, wishes are written on small strips of paper called tanzaku and placed under bamboo trees until the end of the festival where hopefully wishes come true by either burning the tree, or setting it afloat. In this ancient myth, Vega and Altair are Star Crossed lovers. Vega was a goddess of the sky, but was destined to be alone. One day, she met the mortal Altair, who happened to be a cow herder in the Milky Way. They quickly fell in love, but Vega's father did not approve because they started neglecting their work which angered him. He was also upset that Vega promised to bring Altair to the heavens. As punishment for this, Vega's father placed both Vega and Altair in the sky as stars and separated the lovers by the Milky Way. They are allowed to see each other once a year on July 7th, and Altair has to cross the Milky Way to see his love, but only if the skies are clear. If it's raining, the lovers cannot see each other, so people pray for good weather on this special day. This festival is basically a really interesting version of an eastern Valentine's Day. 

Noodles Nail Polish Vega and Altair (3 coats)

Vega and Altair is inspired by the raden ends on the Sailor fountain pen. It's a black jelly base with tons of color-shifting flakes and turquoise, pink, blue, violet, and gunmetal glitters. I also see a strong blue shimmer in the background which ties seamlessly with the shimmer in the white part of the pen. It does dry with texture from the flakes and glitter, so double up on that thicker topcoat to smooth it all out. I used 3 thin coats for my photos to really add more depth and dimension with all those flakes. Natalie only saw photos of my pen, and I was extremely impressed how much she got the essence of Vega and Altair. 

 I am honored that Natalie was so happy with the custom that she would offer it to you all. I can't express how much I love the pen and this polish. Don't forget, this will be available this coming Monday at 5 PM EST in the Noodles store. Please be safe and wear a mask. ­čĺĽYou can find out more about Noodles Nail Polish on their websiteInstagram pageFacebook page, and Facebook Fan Group.

*These polishes were provided by the company or PR representative. All reviews are based solely on my opinion. For more information, please see my full disclosure at the bottom of the site*

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