Archive for the ‘Comparison Swatches’ Category

A Sad Day at the Polish Addict: Shorties in Vampies

Sunday, June 29th, 2008

Some of you may have already heard of the tragedy that befell my nails last week. My left hand pinkie nail broke while I was doing research for my internship. This happened, of course, after I made this post tooting my own horn about the fabulousness of my natural nail strength. Hubris: it’ll do it to you ever time.

At first I was all woe-is-me-wah but now I’ve accepted my new short nails and have decided to embrace them. I’m in the nail polish school of thought that reserves darker colors for shorter nails, not per se, but just as general rule it’s my personal preference. However, I loved my long nails so much I didn’t want to cut them in order to break out my vampies. My unexpected break gave me an excuse to not only break out my vampies but also to put aside my anti-strengthener rhetoric and give some of my dusty strengtheners a try. Nailtek is 25% off right now at my local CVS and I have a brand new untried Color Club Vitabase. Might as well give it a shot, not like my nails can get any shorter than they are now so I have nothing to lose.

Without any further delay I present you the first image of my new shorties in vampies.

Although Color Club Killer Curves and Essie Wicked look dissimilar in the image, they look almost exactly the same in person. They also share deep red as a base color. They both have good albeit similar application so I don’t prefer one over the other. Essie Clutch Me if You Can looks dupish to the others in the bottle but it’s visibly a dark berry red on the nail where as the others border on being almost-blacks. I had to use 4 coats to get Essie Clutch Me if You Can’s depth of color to even out. Which is strange because I wouldn’t classify the polish as streaky. It applied well but for whatever reason it took 4 coats to get the color to even out to be the same shade throughout the nail. The big disappointment here is Essie Material Girl. I had HORRIBLE cuticle drag with it even though I waited ages between coats. To get it to look normal I had to battle the application to an unheard of 6 coats. That’s right, 6 coats.

Now, my Essie Material Girl isn’t a full size bottle, it’s a mini. I’ve heard a lot of people complain about mini bottles (particularly OPI minis) being of a lower quality than their full size counterparts. I’ve personally never had that problem with any mini I’ve tried. I’m hestitant to blame my application troubles on the fact that this was a mini Essie. Especially since Essie is notorious for its streakiness and difficulty of application anyway. The simple fact is that I think minis are the best thing that ever happened to nail polish (with the exception of Seche Vite.)

To be honest, I just don’t know what the issue was with Essie Material Girl. I plan to eventually give it a shot using a good base coat like Barielle Camo. Do any of you guys own Material Girl? Have you had similar results? Do you feel like minis are defunct in comparison to full size bottles? Anyone had bad luck with a particular brand’s minis?

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Light Orange Comparison Swatches

Tuesday, June 3rd, 2008

Orly Crush on You (2 coats) is my favorite here only because the application was so much easier in Comparison with OPI Osaka-to-me Orange (4 coats) and OPI Tangerine Scene (3 coats). Both OPIs gave me horrendous cuticle drag but with Osaka-to-me Orange, the amount of drag was almost irreparable. Color-wise Tangerine Scene is the standout. I consider L.A. Girl Flare Glowing to be a very light orange, but I decided to exclude it from this comparison in favor of comparing it to yellows sometime in the future.

Now that you guys have seen my orange stash, what are your favorite oranges? Do some of you still feel like orange is a no-go color despite the recent orange trend?

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Bright Orange Comparison Swatches

Sunday, June 1st, 2008

It’s so difficult to take good images of neon and bright shades. Color Club Orange Revenge is much brighter and much more neon in person. China Glaze Japanese Koi leans towards red. The only true orange here is Orly Orange Punch but there was something seriously wrong with my bottle. There were a ton of weird white flecks inside the bottle. I’ve never seen anything like it. I had to redo the nail over and over because the flecks kept showing up on the nail. I imagine doing a full mani would prove impossible. All these polishes had great application, minus the flecks, of course.

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Comparison Swatches: Neon Purples

Monday, May 19th, 2008

In my infinite nail polish nerdiness, I somehow ended up three neon purple polishes. Well, four actually, I didn’t include China Glaze Flying Dragon in the comparison because it’s unique enough that everyone should own it, regardless of whether one owns other neon purples. The image above is misleading, Color Club Power Play and New York Summer Super Violet aren’t as magentish in person as they are in the picture and both look very similar to Zoya Juicy in the bottle. My favorite of the three is definitely Power Play. It only took 2 coats to get bottle color, while the other colors took 3+ coats. Super Violet is a close second. Both

Super Violet and Power Play are high quality and incredibly affordable. My personal opinion is that they are similar enough that owning both is probably not justifiable. Juicy is meh… but of course, I’m biased because I’m predisposed to disliking Zoya. It is no surprise that I was not impressed by Juicy.

These swatches are in direct sunlight. New York Summer Super Violet took 3 coats, Color Club Power Play took 2 coats, Zoya Juicy took 4 coats (note the cuticle drag). All these colors dry somewhat matte so I also added a layer of Color Club Vivid top coat.

Which color do you guys like best? Do you have a favorite neon purple not mentioned here?

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Blue Comparison Swatches (OPI – Dating a Royal Mod Brights Collection)

Tuesday, April 29th, 2008

It’s no surprise that OPI is late to the party yet again. Blues were the thing last season, but for those of us who don’t care about strictly following seasonal trends, OPI Dating a Royal from the new Mod Brights Collection is pretty amazing.

Originally, I was going to compare all of these colors but once I got the bottles together it was pretty clear that the only real contenders for comparison were Lippmann Collection – Rehab and Rescue Beauty Lounge – Dead Calm. China Glaze – Shower Together (twin of China Glaze – Aqua Baby), L.A. Girl Flare – Twinkling, and OPI Just Groovy don’t look anything like Dating a Royal, or each other for that matter. There was some concern arising on the nail board that all these colors might be too similar to justify owning all of them, but as you can see from the bottle picture, that’s not the case.

2 Coats Rescue Beauty Lounge – Dead Clam, 3 Coats OPI – Dating a Royal, and a whopping 4 coats for Lippmann Collection – Rehab

I apologize for the quality of this image. For some reason I just could not get these colors to photograph well. This was the clearest image of the bunch, but even with the lack of focus, this image is an accurate depiction of what these colors look like in person. The online teaser images of Dating a Royal made it seem like it would be more dupish to the aqua blues. As it turns out, it’s a much darker blue, but not as dark as the blues that were popular last season. Its comparative lightness makes it more relevant to the trends of this spring and summer but since it’s not technically a light blue it will be wearable in the fall. I’ll give everyone the skinny on the application and wear when I do the full swatches.

If there are any colors you guys want compared drop me an email or comment with your request. : )

In other news, I am now a member of Alltop.com. Yeay! Alltop condenses the best blogs on the net by category so you can read about your favorite topics all in one place. Their beauty section is pretty comprehensive, you guys should check them out if you haven’t already.

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Purple and Lilac Comparison Swatches

Friday, April 25th, 2008

Purple and lilac have been pretty popular this spring. I made these swatches originally to help the girls at MUA find a cheaper alternative to the ever prohibitively expensive but wildly popular Rescue Beauty Lounge – Purple Haze. We were all pretty sad to find that there really isn’t a cheaper alternative to that particular color. No other brand has a shade of purple that even comes close. That is not to say these other colors aren’t worth it, all these purples and lilacs are beautiful in their own right. The only one missing that I really feel should have been included for comparison is Essie – Looking for Love. In the bottle, it’s a really beautiful vivid lilac – but – I had to decide against purchasing it because of its notorious and irreparable streakiness.

3 Coats China Glaze – Spontaneous (The Flirt Collection), 2 coats Rescue Beauty Lounge – Purple Haze (The Spring ’08 Collection), 3 Coats OPI – Do You Lilac It? (The Original Brights Collection)

4 coats each for these: Zoya Miley (4 coats required for bottle color with a Zoya? No…… you don’t say? – This one is from the Blissful Collection), Orly Bon Bon (Sugar Coated Collection), Essie St. Lucia Lilac (Permanent Collection).

Purple Haze is the fan favorite. I can’t say I was really impressed with the color on myself. The application and wear-time were flawless as always but I just didn’t LOVE it. I’m going to give it one more go, and perhaps let it go if I still don’t love it.

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