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.
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.
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