Archive for the ‘Black & Charcoal’ Category

Color Club Spring 2009 Femme Fatale Collection

Monday, April 13th, 2009

The forces of the universe have been conspiring to prevent me from posting this collection. First, a while back, I decided to take a new approach to swatching. Instead of just painting my nails for a quick photo and just writing about my brief opinions, I decided to actually wear all the colors in collections I review. The result was a copious amount of notes on each color, similar to what I usually write for posts on manicures. But then, to my chagrin, the evil google virus did away with all my efforts. As far as nail polish goes, the notes lost, are the equivalent of the Library of Alexandria burning down. Sadly, here are my briefer impressions based on what I remember from wearing this colors.

Color Club had an interesting concept for this spring collection, these colors were intended to be mixed and matched to create various funky frenches. I can totally see where they were going with that idea, these colors (a mixture of shimmery sheers and opaques) do compliment each other well in the french format. However, this collection also lends itself to amazing layering combinations. I would have loved to have shown you guys the sheers from both Catwalk Queen and Femme Fatale over black and white but I’ve been so busy I just haven’t had the time. But, fear not, Scrangie has some great swatches of these shades over black.

color-club-femme-fatale

Color Club Femme Fatale consists of ultra sparkly pink and yellow toned micro-glitter suspended in a gel like whitish polish that applies clear. This is 4 coats, it’s simply gorgeous over black. (Please excuse the perpetual yellowness of my nails.)

color-club-oooooo-la-la

Color Club Oooooo La La is a stunning, wearable white with a pearl finish. I usually don’t like pearl finishes but I absolutely loved this color. This is 3 coats. The application was a bit off – the coats applied unevenly so you have to be careful to be apply as evenly as possible. While I would consider this color a PITA, it’s not impossible to work with and I think the pay off is worth the extra effort. This color is perfect as a base on which to layer the sheer colors in this collection.

color-club-oui-oui-oui1

Color Club Oui! Oui! Oui! consists of a very fine green shimmer in a sheer whitish base. My picture isn’t very accurate as far the shimmer, the green is way more obvious in real life. This one is also stunning over black. I believe this swatch is 4 coats.

color-club-revvvolution

Color Club Revvvolution is just, wow. WOW. I guess I might be biased because I love all holos – but this one is particularly brilliant. It’s a dark charcoal, pretty much black for all purposes, medium grain holo. The holo has a predominately greenish cast to it. Revvvoltion is very well pigmented. For me, it was essentially perfect in one coat but I applied two for good measure. I haven’t done a side by side swatch, but from memory, I can tell you that this is darker and more opaque than OPI My Private Jet. MPJ is one of my favorite polishes of all time, but I actually think that Revvvolution might take it’s place.

color-club-revvvolution-holo

I’ve gotten a lot of complaints about the quality of my images of holographics so I’ve been trying to find alternative forms of lighting that are better suited to showing the holographic effect of these polishes. This picture isn’t as vivid as Revvvolution is in real life but I think you get the idea.

color-club-wheres-the-soiree

Color Club Where’s the Soiree? is a black creme that doesn’t dry glossy. It’s not exactly matte, but closer to a satin finish. It applies well in 2 to 3 coats. I would want to maintain the unique finish so I would probably either use no top coat or a matte top coat. Where’s the Soiree? is also perfect as a base for layering the other colors in this collection.

color-club-worth-the-risque

Color Club Worth the Risque is a medium grain holographic silver with a bluish cast. Like Revvvolution, the holo has a greenish cast to it. It’s a 2 to 3 coater. LOVE it.

color-club-worth-the-risque-holo

Here it is in different lighting… *drool/dies*.

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

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Lancome Pink Irreverence Collection Spring 2009

Tuesday, March 24th, 2009

I know I’ve been apologizing a lot lately but I have one more. My computer caught a horrendous virus last week and I haven’t been able to do anything on it since then. My images are okay, but sadly all the notes I’ve taken on all the colors I’ve been swatching were lost. That means I have to go by memory and some of these colors were swatched so long ago I’ll only have a vague recollection of my impressions. Also, if you’ve sent me an email or left a comment, I swear I’m going to get to it soon, I’m just totally disorganized and I’m trying to get everything together.

In any case, to get back into the regular flow of nail polish blogging I’m starting off with the Lancome Pink Irreverence Collection which is in stores now. I have the Lancome Le Magnetiques but this is my first rodeo with their Le Vernis line. These are some pricey polishes but I have to say I’m pretty impressed overall. The formula for both these colors is excellent – smooth, perfect application. The brush size and wand length is absolute perfection. The wand is just long enough to keep the polish flowing consistently without cuticle pooling. The brush is like a toned-down version of OPI’s Pro-wide, making Lancome’s brush shape and size just perfect for the shape of my nails. My one major critizism is that Lancome opted to go with the non-removable square cap. Other companies like Chanel and Butter London make the square cap removable, which is preferrable because square caps can be awkward to hold. With that said, I love the over all style of the bottle – mirrorred cap and a sleek bottle body with a mirrored silver rose stamped in the corner.

lancome-piha-black

(Ahhh, I’m kicking myself right now because I had such elaborate meticulous notes concerning this color.) Piha Black is black (I’m captain obvious) with glass fleck glitter. My picture doesn’t properly exhibit the sparkliness of the glitter – it’s visible but not in an ‘in your face’ kind of way. There are a few blacks with glass fleck glitter that have varying prices and are different degrees of rarity on the market. Just to name a few, there’s Dior Black Sequins, Sally Hansen Salon Raven’s Wing, OPI Baby It’s Coal Outside, Sally Hansen Diamond Strength Black Diamond and Pure Ice Electric. You can see comparisons of a few those on Steph’s Closet and if I can ever get it together, I’ll have comparisons of the latter 3. Without having side-by-side swatches for true comparitive value and by only eye balling the bottles, my initial impression is that none of these look exactly alike. There are slight variations in the depth of the black as well as the luster and density of the glitter for each polish, however, if you’re on a recession budget the lower end polishes (that Pure Ice will only set you back $1.50, tops) might be worth your consideration. What makes Piha Black stand out from the others, at least for me, is that it’s completely opaque in one coat. Making it not only perfect for nail art as pictured below, but also saving application and giving you double bang for your buck.

lancome-sassiness1

Sassiness is a soft translucent pink, perfect for french manicures. The subtle genius of the Pink Irrevence Collection is the dichotomy between the edgy black and the feminine pink… which together… kick butt. Instead of doing a traditional funky french, I decided to do a chevron and a half moon just for illustration purposes, I absolutely love the way these colors compliment each other. My index and middle fingers are 4 coats of Sassiness. It applies perfectly so one coat looked excellent but I wanted to test buildability. Sadly, it doesn’t build. Sassiness looks pretty much the same at 4 coats as it does at 2 coats, which is pretty much the hallmark of a good french manicure base color. I can only hope that the colection’s designer, Aaron De Mey, is secretly attempting to usher Lancome into the realm of nail art. I hope Lancome takes the plunge.

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

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Spring 2009: China Glaze Romantique Collection Part I – The Cool Set

Thursday, January 22nd, 2009

For a few seasons now, China Glaze has released thematic, well balanced collections. Their main seasonal collections have consistently included something for every taste. So, golf clap to China Glaze – their design department knows what’s up.

Like seasonal collections in the past, Romantique consists of two sets, one cool, the other warm. Most of these colors apply perfectly in one coat. One Coat. People have been saying that for a while but I dismissed it thinking that one coat meant one massive-absurdly-thick coat but no, really, opaque bottle color coverage in one normal coat. The theme in this collection is a frosty metallic finish. When I first saw the promotional images I thought these were going to be chrome, they aren’t. Instead the finish is shimmery, nearly foil like. These colors, with their amazing pigmentation and viscosity, are going to be perfect for use with the Konad. All these swatches are 1 coat of color over 1 coat of base coat.

A note on the color accuracy of these images: These colors, due to the finish, are really difficult to capture accurately with my lighting set up. Most of the colors are deeper in real life. Additionally, the finish is not uniformly reflective like it appears to be in some of these photos. These colors have  a lot of frosty sparkle. I really recommend looking at Scrangie’s swatches which were taken in sunlight, in my opinion her images are a better depiction of these colors.

china-glaze-awaken

China Glaze Awaken is described as a platinum silver, I think it’s more like a silvery charcoal. This color is grunge-y. To me it has a steampunk feel to it. This swatch is one coat of color, no top coat.

china-glaze-cherish

China Glaze Cherish is a metallic-y moss green. I couldn’t capture the color correctly, it’s much more green toned in real life. This swatch is one coat, no top coat.

china-glaze-adore

Adore is a metallic-y turquoise. This one is a standout for me. I’m going to go nuts using this color with Konad over black. 1 coat color, 1 coat base.

china-glaze-devotion

Devotion is a metallic-y lavender. This is my second favorite from this set. It may just be me but I feel like this shade of lavender was made to be worn with this finish. 1 coat of color, 1 coat of base.

china-glaze-harmony

Harmony is metallic-y purple. My third favorite, I feel like this color flattered my skin tone the most – I consider myself a warm tone even though I’ve never really understood all that jazz about cool tones and warm tones. 1 coat of color, 1 coat of base.

china-glaze-joy

Joy is a metallic-y purple toned mauve. This is 1 coat of color, 1 coat of base.

I’ll report back with my Konading experiments at a future date.

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


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Charcoal Gray Comparisons

Tuesday, October 28th, 2008

CND Black Platinum and Zoya Freja are pretty close but not the same. Black Platinum is slightly more frosty and metallic. Freja has a slightly more bluish tinge. CND Hyde in the Dark has the best coverage of the bunch, it two coats where all the others (except for Dying Love) looked best with three. It’s my favorite from this bunch. Color Club After Hours gave me some cuticle drag issues. That didn’t happen to me before when I swatched this color so I’m going to blame my haste in painting. Finally, Misa Dying Love is the darkest from this set, close too black. It also had great coverage at two coats.

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Disclosure: After Hours and Dying Love were sent to me for review by their respective companies.

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The OPI My Private Jet Controversy

Tuesday, October 21st, 2008

OPI My Private Jet is definitely in the top half of my top 20 favorite polishes of all time. Released with the OPI Night Brights in 2007, My Private Jet has recently gone the way of the Dodo. Rather, OPI has made the baffling decision to discontinue this most beloved color. When we caught wind that this color was discontinued, most girls decided to pick up an extra bottle for posterity. It was around that time that the color discrepancy between the original batches of My Private Jet and the more recent batches became apparent.

The original MPJ is large bright dense prismatic holographic glitter suspended is semi-jelly-ish charcoal polish. The color is not exactly black, but pretty close. I’ve always preferred wearing it with 4 coats to build the opacity of the base color. Other girls circumvent the multiple coats but layering the original over black or charcoal. The new MPJ is more opaque, lighter colored, with finer less prismatic holographic glitter.

It’s hard to tell the difference in this photo but I assure you, they’re not very similar at all. This swatch is 4 coats of the original MPJ and 3 coats of the new MPJ. I could have easily gotten away with 2 coats on New MPJ but I’ve evolved into a habitual 3 coater, I can’t stop myself. I do like the new version, but the old version is always going to have a special place in my stash.

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OPI Holiday in Toyland Swatches Part I

Tuesday, September 30th, 2008

The fall blitzkrieg is mostly over and now we’re barreling towards the winter collections. The OPI Holiday in Toyland collection is composed of 6 very unique colors and 6 reds. I’m splitting this collection up into two posts accordingly. The Nailphile has swatches of the whole collection up right now in case you’d like to see the reds as well. (As a side note, I apologize for the lack of posting lately, this is my last year of law school and I’ve been swamped with the job search, etc.)

OPI You’re A Doll is a sheer muted pink with silverish frost-shimmer finish. The unique aspect of this color is the multi-sized reddish copper flecks that run throughout. This color is fairly sheer, I used 3 coats to get full coverage and bottle color. This is what I would like to refer to as a ‘sneaky professional color’, like Rescue Beauty Lounge Grunge. It’s definitely professional and work appropriate but you can have the personal satisfaction of knowing you’re operating outside the status quo with your little coppery flecks. That might be something that only amuses me though, I know, I’m weird.

OPI Baby, It’s “Coal” Outside is probably my favorite from this collection. It’s slightly more gray than a pure black and it’s infused with silvery glitter. The glitter is potentially multi-sized. It’s hard to tell because the glitter is so small. This is 2 coats. The image above is without flash, below is with flash.

OPI Brand New Skates is silvery charcoal with irridescent glitter that flashes green and copper tones. This shade applies sheer but is buildable. This is 3 coats.

OPI Glamour Game, my second favorite from this set, is a gorgeous, chic… um… that’s where my powers of description end. It’s a very light champagne gold sheer with a finish that is both shimmery and frosty. Glamour Game has green to copper toned flecks of glitter similar to the ones found in Brand New Skates. This swatch is 3 coats. The image above was taken in indoor lighting, the image below was taken in direct sunlight.

OPI Play ‘Til Midnight is a deep blurple (more purple than blue, my picture is inaccurate as always) with blue and purple shimmer throughout. I used 3 coats because I tend apply very thin coats of polish – I think most people can get away with 2 coats. The ‘me’ of yesteryear would have loved the daylights out of this color but I think my collection has reached critical mass when it comes to purples. I can’t believe my fingers just typed those words.

OPI “Sheer” Your Toys! is another sheer, simultaneously frosty and shimmery subtly pinkish gray with multi-sized reddish copper flecks. This is 3 coats as well. I like the creative thematic design scheme present in this collection, the repeated use of green to copper toned glitter, combine frost and shimmer finish, and reddish-coppery flecks gives this collection that extra… oomph of uniqueness. I really love this set of colors.

This collection is up for sale now on transdesign.com.

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

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