Archive for February, 2009

The Polish Addict’s Top 20 Polishes of All Time: #7 Essie – Starry Starry Nights

Friday, February 27th, 2009

essie-starry-starry-nights-2

Starry Starry Nights is another hard-to-find polish that has found its way into my heart and onto this list. I really can’t say much more about it other than it’s unspeakably stunning. I really wish Essie would kick back to the old days and create some new colors as gorgeous as the coveted SSN.

Here’s an excerpt from my original post about Essie Starry Starry Nights.

“Now that I can finally wear ‘out of the ordinary’ colors again, I went hunting in my ‘untried’ box and rediscovered Starry Starry Nights. “Wow” is all I can say. Dark blue jelly with small silver glitter makes for an amazing polish. I can definitely see what all the hype was about.

The jelly-ness gives the glitter at different coats varying degrees of visibility, which really makes this polish look the way the sky does in places where there are no lights to drown out the shining light of the stars. One of the girls on MUA said that my nails looked like they came straight out of the Van Gogh paining. Love the reference, and so very true.”

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The Polish Addict’s Top 20 Polishes of All Time: #8 Chelsea – Psycho Green 666

Wednesday, February 25th, 2009

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Chelsea Psycho Green is a dark Zulu-esque green with very subtle nearly invisible bluish green shimmer. I love this color, but honestly, it’s here as a place holder for Zulu since I didn’t own it when I finalized this list back in November. However, that doesn’t belittle the significance of Psycho Green to my personal collection. I received Psycho Green is my very first swap on MUA. My swapping partner knew about my unrequited love for Zulu and decided to send this amazing polish as an extra. Essentially, Psycho Green was my first brush with the amazing kindness of the nail board. For that reason, this is a much loved polish in my collection. Not to mention that Psycho Green definitely helped curb my hunger for Zulu because it’s a good base color dupe even though it differs as far as texture and finish. (See this post for a comparison of Psycho Green versus other green polishes.)

Sadly, Chelsea polishes can’t be purchased online (at least not to my knowledge). You have to hunt these babies down in dusties and beauty supplies. Lack of easy accessibility is it what makes Psycho Green hard-t0-find. I don’t believe it’s been discontinued but then again, I know very little about this mysterious little brand.

As far as application, Chelsea measures up. This is 2 coats very easily applied. The wear, however, leaves something to be desired. I usually get an abnormal amount of tip wear when I sport this polish.

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Hard-to-Find Week Launch: Lancome Le Magnetique Bleu Enigma

Monday, February 23rd, 2009

It that time again! If you’re like me, HTF week is bittersweet. I love seeing coveted polishes from yesteryear but usually HTF week sprouts many uncontrollable lemmings.

The polish I’m writing about today, Lancome Le Magnetique Bleu Enigma was actually released this past holiday season so it’s not temporally HTF, rather it’s spatially HTF. For some reason, which is a complete and total mystery to me, Lancome decided to release this color only in the UK. Last year Lancome released a brown Le Magnetique in the U.S. called Bordeaux Esmee that sold pretty well and ended up on the HTF black market for upwards of 40 dollars. L’Oreal, of which Lancome is a subsidiary, also released a collection of magnetic polishes in Europe, but not here. It’s becoming more and more frustratingly apparent that nail polish companies are more willing to “take a chance” on a unique color in foreign markets.

(Scary rant starting in 5…4…3…2…)

I’ve been on a veritable RAMPAGE since I found out that OPI released different versions of some Designer Series colors in Japan. Not to mention that last year they released 6 gorgeous glitters in place of the 6 reds we got in the Holiday in Hollywood collection. My rage (and I’m serious when I say – rage - I was ready to go burn Suzi effigies in protest in front of OPI headquarters)  caused by this realization only subsided when Jen over at Never too Much Glitter clued me in to the tyranny of Japanese nail polish prices. One OPI color from the Designer Series is going to set you back 32 dollars as opposed to the 7 to 12 dollars it would cost you in the States.

I really hope that nail polish companies wise up. I always defend companies that release reds and pinks season after season, because, at least theoretically, the demand controls the supply but at some point we have to wonder whether that’s actually true. Do people buy reds because they actually like reds, or do they buy reds because it’s the color that is most readily available. I think it’s the latter. I’m the perfect example. In the long long ago when I didn’t have access to purchase worthy nail polish, I had a small stash which was 70% red. Why? Because I used to buy my nail polish mostly at drug stores. And what’s available at drug stores most of the time? Red. If companies release more unique colors the effect will be that people will wear more unique colors. This fallacious belief that Americans will only wear red and pink is rampant. Most big companies are guilty of cool color discrimination, even our  prim and proper Essie released Japanese exclusive glitters, as did my beloved Color Club. And Sally Hansen, shame on them, has released 2 AWESOME Canadian exclusive dark greens and a dark blue that will likely never see the inside of American stores.

If the big nail polish companies don’t get it together and let go of this ridiculous notion that the only colors that will sell in the U.S. are reds and pinks, they will have a very rude awakening when they find that a lot of their business has been diverted to companies like Barielle, Nubar, BB Couture for Nails, Misa, Zoya and China Glaze, that are not underestimating the American buyer and are actually releasing unique colors in the United States.

Whew. *catches breath* Ooooookay and now for the review, haha.

lancome-02-blue-engima

Bleu Enigma is a magnetic polish. For those who may not be familiar with this type of nail polish, basically the formula reacts to a maganet and creates a star burst formation on the nail. It’s pretty much the coolest thing I’ve ever seen, ever. The image taken from this angle doesn’t show the crispness of the stars because the top coat refracts the light in a weird way.

lancome-02-blue-engima-side

This images shows the stars at their best. Unfortunately, this image doesn’t reflect the amazing depth of color that this polish exhibits. The base color is a grayed out blue. The magnet pulls out all the darkness so that the embedded star is completely devoid of dark blue. All the dark blue pulls to the areas between the arms of the star. The effect creates a 3-d-like quality. It makes your nail look like a gem, it’s absolutely stunning.

For those of you who own magnetic polishes and have had trouble with the application I found that getting the star to appear crisply requires a strict state of motionlessness. You have to stay perfectly still. I held my nail very close to the magnet for upwards of 30 seconds. I didn’t use a base coat but Tobywoo (star of ALU’s post on this subject) said she wears Barielle Camo under this polish with no ill effect to the formation of the star. The one down side, and it’s a very small downside is that your fingers end up smelling a little like metal.

The Lancome rep said that it’s still possible that this polish will be released in the US but it’s unlikely. If you love this, which I suspect many of you will, email Lancome and let them know.

A very special thanks to my lovely friend from the UK that hunted this color down for me. <3

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Reader Request: Bright Summer-y Zoyas

Sunday, February 22nd, 2009

A reader, Celine, requested swatches of these colors a million years ago and I’m finally getting around to posting them now. (Sorry Celine!) These swatches were taken with top coat and 3 coats of color. They all applied fairly well. She initially asked for 5 colors, these 4 and Zoya Kylie. However, Zoya actually has two polishes named Kylie. I only have one of the Kylies and it wasn’t the polish that Celine wanted to see so I left it out of this post. I’ll post a swatch of the bright Kylie as soon as I get my hands on it.

Celine is looking for a Zoya that her friend used to wear, it’s a neon orange-y pink creme. In my opinion, Maya is the closest thing to that description.

zoya-eva

Eva is a bright rose pink creme. This is the type of ‘bright’ polish that is excellent for people who feel like they can’t wear bright colors because it’s not as showy as other brights tend to be.

zoya-fergie

Fergie (some bottles might say ‘Feigie’) is a funky pink-toned purple creme. It’s a little brighter in person.

zoya-kali

Kali is a bright crimson-toned pink creme. It’s not as bright as the others in the set but still summer-y.

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And finally, Maya, which is a unique semi-jelly bright pinkish coral creme. This one is my favorite from this set.

Zoya is running a promotional nail polish exchange. Send them your old unwanted polishes and they’ll send you any Zoyas of your choice. They charge 3 dollars per bottle for shipping and processing. I heard on the nail board that the last day that Zoya will accept packages containing polishes for the promotion is this Saturday, February 28th, so it’s not too late to participate if you hurry.

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Disclosure: These colors were sent to me for review by Zoya.

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Swatches of the Essie Spring 2009 Collection

Monday, February 16th, 2009

Essie’s Spring 2009 Collection is… very Essie-esque. That is, the majority of the collection is composed of neutrals, pinks, and reds. For that reason, the collection didn’t receive the greatest reception from most nail polish enthusiasts. However, a consumer who maybe does not own a lot of nail polish and randomly ventures into a Trade Secret during a trip to the mall might pick up some of these colors on a whim. I can’t help but feel like nail polish companies are targeting that crowd when they release what we consider to be ‘safe’ collections.

We have to face it, I don’t think we (I mean ‘we’ as in the people who have a psychotic appreciation for nail color) are the target demographic for most companies. I don’t think anyone would disagree, these are pretty colors but most people who collect nail polish probably feel like they’ve seen it, done it, and done it some more. I’m an exception only because I’m stock-piling work appropriate colors for my legal debut in May and I’ve long accepted that the repetition of red and pink nail polish is just a fact of life (like mosquito bites and chicken pox). But, I can definitely sympathize with everyone’s desire to see Essie step outside of it’s company image.

With all that said, look at the magic that happens when Essie does decide to take a stroll on the wild side and throw collection caution to the wind:

essie-mesmerize1

Holy &%$#! Essie Mesmerize, in all her glory, is a  medium blue cream. (I think it’s Super Man blue but my roommates told me I have no idea what I’m talking about.) The color accuracy of the image is a bit off, Mesmerize is a slightly darker blue in real life. Oh man, this is one gorgeous, unique color. Seriously, can we get a slow clap going for this color? Mesmerize is so out of the ordinary for Essie that it almost looks kind of weird in the Essie bottle, like it doesn’t belong. The application was good but a little thicker than the other colors in this collection. It could have worked with 2 coats, but I preferred 3. I got a mega ton of compliments while wearing this polish, a testament to its awesomeness. This is definitely my favorite color of the season so far. I consider it a ‘must own’. But, beware, I suggest wearing a good base coat with this color or you will end up with smurf fingers.

essie-eternal-optimist

Eternal Optimist is a pink toned nude. This is a great ‘work appropriate’ color. It’s a lighter, less pink version of Rescue Beauty Lounge Om. Eternal Optimist is definitely not a dead on dupe but certainly the closest I’ve seen so far and a good enough substitute. This swatch is 3 coats of color.

essie-flawless

Flawless is a muted Barbie pink. Pretty and delicate, but probably not appropriate for ultra conservative work places – A-Okay for every where else. This is 3 coats.

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Status Symbol is a mid-toned pink with a semi-jelly consistency. I wore this with Maybelline Clearly in Love layered over it as my pre-Valentine’s Day manicure (I haven’t gotten a chance to post about this manicure yet but I promise I will, even though, I guess it’s a little late now. haha.) This swatch is 3 coats but I feel like it would have looked better with 4th.

essie-one-of-a-kind

One of a Kind is a red/orange/coral cream, similar to my beloved Color Club Sexsea. One of a Kind is slightly less extravagant, more toned down. It applied well in 2 coats, but I used 3 for this photo.

essie-lacquered-up1

Lacquered Up is a bright, bright, bright true red creme. It exudes sexiness. I wore Lacquered Up to a party and it quickly became a topic of conversation. The application was exceptional, perfect in two coats.

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Disclosure: This collection was sent to me for review by Essie.

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There Must Be Something Seriously Wrong with Me: Essie – Love, Beverly Hills xx

Sunday, February 15th, 2009

bottle-pic-essie-lbhxxI don’t like shimmery reds. In fact, it’s pretty safe to say that I abhor shimmery reds. The strength of my anti-shimmery red leanings are such that I don’t even own OPI I’m Not Really Waitress which is arguably the best sold nail polish of all time. I do own several shimmery reds but they are unloved outcasts in comparison to the rest of my collection. I usually only venture into the shimmery reds during Holidays. This year for Valentine’s Day I wore Essie Love, Beverly Hills xx. It’s limited edition and infused with 24K pure gold. I didn’t expect to actually like this color, but I’m a sucker for gimmicky nail polish.

To my utter and complete shock and amazement… I freaking love this color. It’s gorgeous. Essie describes this deep red as opulent, I could not have put it better myself. The gold shimmer is very obvious in the bottle but not on the nail. Once applied, the gold is very subtle. It just adds depth to the base color and makes it glow. The overall effect isn’t sparkly, it’s more like a semi-metallic finish. The application was excellent. It’s perfect in two coats, but I used 3 for my manicure.

essie-love-beverly-hills-xx

My usual gripe with shimmery reds is that they seem so common; Love, Beverly Hills xx is anything but common. As silly as this may sound, I felt a little chic wearing it, like old school Hollywood glamour chic. I’m trying to pin point what makes this color different from other reds that are similar to it. At least for me, I think the gold glow really complements my skin-tone. Of course, it’s also possible that I’m just blinded by my love for marketing gimmicks. (Just ask me how hard I fell for MAC’s Hello Kitty collection.)

Unfortunately, the downside is the price tag. Love, Beverly Hills retails for $18 at Nordstrom and $19 from Essie. However, it is possible to find it for a lot cheaper if you poke around on the Internet.

Honestly, this realization has turned my nail polish world upside down. Is this color just an exception to the rule? Or has my disdain for shimmery reds dissipated. Are there other shimmery reds out there that I might not hate? Dare I say it… I’m sort of lemming I’m Not Really a Waitress now. *feels forehead*

(Essie also launched a sweepstakes giveaway in connection with the release of this color. For details about the giveaway and information on how to enter visit Essie’s Win a Trip to Beverly Hills Sweepstakes. The last day to enter is February 28th, so hurry if you haven’t entered already.)

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Disclosure: Love, Beverly Hills xx was sent to me for review by Essie.

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