Archive for the ‘Duo/Multichrome’ Category

Experiments in Layering: Hits Phenomena Moonbow + Essie Grape Crush

Tuesday, May 14th, 2013

I started writing this post during that week that my site went on the fritz. I gave up after I banged my head against my computer and had to go outside to burn a WordPress effigy. Last week, I finally figured out what caused the issue in the first place. As it turns out my website does not like the WordPress Jetpack Plug-in. I deactivated it, along with everything else, when I was trying to fix the problem originally. It didn’t help instantly, but after being deactivated for a couple of days, I logged back in to find that everything was working perfectly. Fast forward to a few days ago, I tried to check my stats and I realized that that function is dependent on Jetpack so I reactivated the plug-in. Instantly, the site stopped working again and it took about 24 hours after deactivation for the site to function normally. At the very least, I finally know what happened but I’m flying completely blind in terms of site stats. Haha.

In any case, back to the post, I got an email recently from a newly minted nail polish collector who was interested in layering techniques. I don’t layer often because my nail polish OCD compels me to wear a color in its unaltered form the first time I wear it. But when I do layer, I love it. And some colors scream “layer me!” despite my obsessive tendencies.

Hits Moonbow

Hits Moonbow, from the Phenomena collection, is precisely that type of color. This polish is ridiculous. Just ridiculous. It’s a color-shifting multichrone glitter suspended in a cloudy base.  The glitter shifts from green and fuchsia to purple and occasionally it flashes gold. When I first saw photos of this color I was instantly obsessed, I had to have it, stat! However, from the swatches I saw, it didn’t look like a glitter polish, it looked like… well… magic. So I was a little disappointed when I received it and discovered that while it was still quite magical, it didn’t really look the way it looked online. (This is the second time this has happened recently *makes Mikayla is not impressed face*). My next hope was that it would be a buildable glitter, meaning the whole surface of the nail would be completely covered within a few coats. It is buildable, sort of. The glitter will cover the surface of your nail but it takes about 4 coats. That would be fine, except that, for whatever reason, the glitter does not coat the tip of the nail very well. The end result looks a bit like tip pull. You can definitely see what I’m talking about in the photo above – needless to say, it’s not very flattering.

Hits Moonbow Top View

Because of that issue, I don’t recommend wearing this color on its own. It is gorgeous for sure and it definitely has a crash-inducing-stare-at-my-nails-while-driving quality to it but it looks infinitely better layered over another color.

Hits Moonbow over Essie Grape Crush

Case in point, Hits Moonbow over oldschool Essie Grape Crush. Looks much better, right? Grape Crush, a sheer purple glaze, is from an older Essie collection that consisted of all sheer glazes (as opposed to more modern jellies). For reference and comparison Essie Cherry Pop, which is still widely available, is from the same collection and has the same look and consistency. The beloved Essie Night Cap is also from that collection. I somehow neglected to photograph Grape Crush on its own – bad nail blogger, bad. I’ll make that up to you, I do plan to post the whole collection soon. I’m only missing one more polish, Essie Apricot Fizz, to complete the set of 6 from the original collection! In any case, this NOTD is 3 coats of GC and 3 coats of Moonbow. I know, I know that’s too many coats. But I liked the end result and I didn’t have any drying issues after a coat of Seche.

Hits is a new brand to me. I’m a little biased because it hails from the mother country, Brazil. The Phenomena collection is my first experience with this brand and I was pretty wowed by it even though it wasn’t what I expected. There are a few more Hits polishes on my lemming list, including pretty much ALL OF THE HOLOS. My one gripe is that the bottle is pretty small so you end up with that noticeable, and uber distressing, dip in the bottle after just one mani. It gave me some serious angst, another aspect of my nail polish OCD, so I do plan to get a back up bottle.  These bad boys retail for approximately $6.50 to $7.00.

When I was on the hunt for Moonbow and company, all the e-tailers had it listed as out of stock. That day, I placed orders with both Llarowe and Ninja Polish for several other colors. I included a note in the comments section of my order for both e-tailers that I really needed this color and asked that if they happened to have a bottle laying around in the stock room to please add it to my order and charge me for it. Ninja Polish did just that (excellent customer service on their part), meanwhile Llarowe very kindly included a bottle of it in my order without charging me. Even though I do want a back up bottle of this color and I was very grateful, I felt badly because I like to support small nail polish related businesses whenever I can. I figured that the best way to repay that kindness was to gift the bottle that I bought to another blogger and keep the gifted bottle. I did that in hopes of spreading the awesome around because more swatches = a better world, right? In any case, I don’t say this often but I highly recommend both e-tailers. They are both great so you can’t go wrong with either one. 

 Thoughts on Hits or Moonbow? What about nail polish OCD? Do you have it? If yes, how does it manifest for you?

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A Few Shades From The China Glaze New Bohemian Luster Chrome Collection Fall 2012

Wednesday, November 21st, 2012

I’m late to the party on this one… I should just stop saying this as it seems I am perpetually late to the party. The truth is, I swatched these a long time ago but I’ve been so backed up I haven’t had a chance to post them yet. I’m having some much-needed down time this week and it’s giving me an opportunity to catch up on posting.

I missed the little metallic-duochrome revolution sparked by Chanel Peridot. The unanimous consensus from speaking to other bloggers and collectors was that Peridot was a game changer. A few people, having no inkling of the phenomenon that would soon follow, rushed to buy back-ups of the then unique color. Now, nearly every major brand has a Peridot-like shade. There are SO many dupes, in fact, that they’ve been affectionately dubbed “peri-dupes.” In the long-long ago, I often voiced my frustration that nail polish companies failed to remarket or recreate highly sought-after discontinued shades. Although greens are common now, four years ago, getting a dark green often meant shelling out the big bucks for an older shade like NARS Zulu or OPI Jasper Jade. The frenzy caused by those colors went seemingly unnoticed (or ignored) as companies released an endless cycle of the same shimmery reds every season. The prevalence of peri-dupes seems to suggest that there may have been a shift in market strategy. The question then becomes whether the peri-duping phenomenon will be isolated only to Peridot or whether color copycating will be a new industry standard. I’m conflicted. On the one hand, I like to see inexpensive dupes of more expensive colors. I sink money on Chanel all the time, especially lately, but I rather spend less when possible. I begrudgingly passed on Peridot because I had already purchased OPI Just Spotted the Lizard. (Granted, I had to be talked down off the ledge by Scrangie because I really wanted Peridot, just for the sake of having it, even after seeing her comparison.) On the other hand, I’m troubled by the fact that since nearly every brand released a peri-dupe based shade or collection recently that also necessarily means that they did not release something new and exciting instead.

Of course, I have to wonder whether Peridot would have been so widely copied if it had been released by a less prestigious brand. Would there be so many peri-dupes if the original was Wet n Wild Peridot instead of Chanel Peridot? I think the color is unique enough that the nail polish community would have gone ga-ga over it regardless of the brand, but my guess is that there would have been no industry attention to the shade without the Chanel name attached to it.

In any case, Peridot has definitely left its mark and here are four shades from the New Bohemian Luster Chrome Collection, China Glaze’s interpretation of the metallic-duochrome trend. I only have 4 to show you. I skipped Want My Bawdy, sorry, shimmery, metallic-y medium blues don’t usually appeal to me and the name offends my Victorian sensibilities, haha. I also skipped Rare and Radiant, the China Glaze peri-dupe, for the same reason I skipped the original. You can see swatches of the whole collection on Scrangie’s blog - her post is also worth checking out because it discusses other known dupes for the colors in this collection. According to Scrangie’s post, a few shades correspond with colors by Deborah Lippmann - I can’t give much insight on that because my collection is still catching up with recent releases.

China Glaze Unpredictable, oh, love this metallic-y goodness. Unpredictable shifts from yellow-green to green to green-blue. The finish, like the other colors in this collection, is very mirrored. If you look closely you can see my camera’s reflection on my nail.  As hard as I tried with my limited photography skills, I just could not capture the blue shift which is only visible at certain angles. This is 4 coats.

China Glaze Swanky Silk is a rose-toned gold duochrome. The gold is very light, as is the pink tone, which gives it an antique-like foil effect – that quality, I thought, made it office safe.

 This one is more subtle than the others and not as reflective. Because the reflections are less obvious, it only slightly darkens the color on the nail, making it appear tarnished. The application was good but Swanky Silk is a bit sheer, so this mani is 4 coats.

Here’s a side shot to show the delicate pink tone.

I decided to mattify this using Rescue Beauty Lounge’s Matte Top Coat after a couple of days of wear. This look is my favorite – I think the other shades would look great mattified as well. The mattification did away with most of the duochrome and left only a very light rosy gold overall color.

China Glaze Deviantly Daring, love, love, love. In the bottle Deviantly Daring is a green to blue duo-chrome. The shift doesn’t translate as well on the nail but, still, the result is a gorgeous greenish-blue with a foil-like metallic finish. This was very tough to photograph, like the others, my camera’s reflection made the color appear much darker.

Here’s Deviantly Daring at a different angle with less reflection to show the greenish-blue. I noticed with this whole collection that the brushstrokes become less obvious as the polish dries – which is good.

Sometimes, at some angles, the color shifts from a deep blue to the more electric blue, captured above. I wore this as a full mani, this is 3 coats and one coat of Seche Vite. I scooped this one up on sale at Sally’s - it was 50% off. Woot, woot!

China Glaze No Plain Jane seems different from the other shades in this collection. In the bottle it looks like a gold to purple duochrome. During application, it looked like there was metallic purple shimmery pigment suspended in a gray toned base. On the nail it just looked like a standard shimmery purple that would sometimes shift to a more gray-toned purple. The formula was very sheer, but it was good at 3 coats.

Finally, this collection features silver caps. I suppose this was done because this is a “chrome” collection. I own several old silver capped China Glaze polishes. Despite their age, the caps are still mostly pristine – which is unique for silver caps. My older silver capped OPI bottles are getting discolored. My previous experience with China Glaze silver caps made me pretty surprised to find that the silver caps in this collection are much lower quality. I had some acetone on my fingertips and the silver actually rubbed off on my finger! C’mon China Glaze, bring back those awesome older silver caps!

What do you think about the peri-dupe phenomenon? Do you appreciate more affordable dupes of expensive colors? Or would you prefer that companies expend effort creating new colors as opposed to copying already existing shades?

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Disclosure: No Plain Jane, Swanky Silk, and Unpredictable were sent for review by China Glaze’s PR. I purchased Deviantly Daring myself. Rescue Beauty Lounge Matte Top Coat was sent for review by Rescue Beauty Lounge.

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China Glaze Whimsical Comparisons

Thursday, August 30th, 2012

When I originally posted about China Glaze Whimsical, I promised to dig around looking for dupes. I went stash diving and, sadly, I have nothing good to report. Whimsical seems to be in a league of its own as far as my stash goes. There were two possible candidates judging from bottle color alone, but the ultimate effect on the nail was not similar at all.

The base color of OPI Significant Other Color, which is pink-leaning-towards-lilac, seemed similar to Whimsical’s base color. SOC is a sheer layering polish with a predominantly green duochrome shimmer. Estee Lauder Shimmering Pink, a frosty very light pink, was chosen because it exhibits a very beautiful ultra fine green and pink shimmer in bottle. I thought that type of shimmer might reproduce the ethereal quality of Whimsical on the nail, even though the base color was visibly dissimilar. Both these colors were untrieds so I wasn’t sure what they would look like in practice.

Clearly, not close at all. Shimmering Pink was very frosty, no me gusta. The shimmer wasn’t very apparent and the pink shimmer was more dominant than the green. This is 5 coats of color. I wasn’t too impressed with the swatch, but I’ll wait to do a full mani before I kick this one. Significant Other Color has a pinker base color – Whimsical is more mauve. This is 4 coats of SOC and 4 coats of Whimsical.

I took this shot with my nails slightly angled, catching more light to display the shimmer. Here the differences between the shimmer in Whimsical and the shimmer in SOC is more obvious. SOC displays a much stronger green cast and doesn’t build to the same level of opacity as Whimsical. Significant Other Color, at least in the bottle, is one of the most impressively beautiful polishes ever made, but the duochrome magic just doesn’t translate to the nail. That is, until you layer it over black, then the winning never stops. I do plan to wear it this way some day but if you need instant swatch gratification check out Love Varnish’s swatch of SOC over black. Pretty amazing, huh?

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Probably the Most Amazing Nail Polish on Earth: Nfu Oh – 51

Tuesday, March 31st, 2009

Every once in a while I find a polish, so incredible, so… magical, that it rekindles my love affair with this hobby. Nfu Oh 51 is just such a color.

Behold, probably the most amazing nail polish on Earth:

nfu-oh-51

Wow.

I’m not even sure how to begin describing this color. It’s in the same family of colors as Clarins 230. Actually, 51 has been helping quench 230 lemmings for a while now, it’s probably the closest thing you can easily purchase on the market right now. It’s by no means a dupe, not even close (51 is a deeper purple than 230 and has multichromatic flakies which 230 does not), but it will definitely help the pains of a bad lemming.

nfu-oh-51-side

This swatch is 4 coats, but I could have gotten away with 3. 51 has a reddish purple jelly-like base color, but the polish flashes dark purple, blue, green and magic, yes, magic. It’s like an explosion of color, literally. The shimmer is mostly fiery but in some angles it flashes green or a gorgeous blue sheen. This image is a little off in terms of the base color, it’s more reddish purple, sort of like a tyrian purple. You can see the multichrome flakies in action below.

duo-view-nfu-oh-51

I’m fairly new to Nfu Oh, but so far I’m impressed. Their color range is nothing short of outstanding. They have every color under the sun in creme (which means the world to me since I’m not a fan of shimmers) and tons of high intensity holographics. My love for their bottle design is seriously unparalleled. I just cannot imagine a cooler bottle design than a corset top ball gown shape.

Right now Nfu Oh is only available from one source: fabuloustreet.com. Fear not, the seller is flexible, reliable, and friendly.

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Duo-chrome-y Goodness: Nubar Purple Beach

Monday, February 2nd, 2009

nubar-purple-beach

My big beef with duo-chromes is that they generally look ridiculously amazing in the bottle but are much, much less impressive once applied on the nail. Purple Beach is what a duo-chrome should be when applied. It’s a gorgeous high intensity duo-chrome that transforms from purple to ash to green. The duo-chrome is very easily seen all the time, not just in special lighting while your fingers are twister tilted in strange directions. It’s perfect in two coats and the application was not fussy. I rarely say this, but Purple Beach is a *must* own color. It’s the type of polish that causes constant distraction and careless driving. Colors like this keep my passion for polish alive.  Also, I think this color finally cured me of my recent bout with idon’tlikepurple-itis. Whew. It’s about time too. All my poor neglected purples are overflowing from their storage container. Poor little guys.

nubar-purple-beach-side

The picture above gives a slightly better depiction of the duo-chrome quality of this polish but, frankly, these pictures just don’t do this color sufficient justice. It’s much more duo-chrome-y in real life.

Now with all that said, the name baffles me a bit. Purple Beach…? What? I don’t get it. What does purple have to do with beaches? And how is this color in any way reminiscent of beaches?

Nubar can be purchased online at www.bynubar.com.

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Not All That Impressed: OPI La Boheme

Wednesday, December 24th, 2008

OPI La Boheme was my NOTD a few months back.[1. Don't be alarmed, these pictures are old, my current nail length is still intact.] This color is a major favorite among nail polish enthusiasts but it never really called my name. Shimmery, sparkly reds just aren’t my thing.

opi-la-boheme-red-side

Then one day, for no particular reason at all, I decided to pick one up. I can see why everyone loves it. It’s very pretty, but to me it’s just another sparkly red.

opi-la-boheme-in-doors

La Boheme was released in 2003 as a part of the very glitzy Holiday on Broadway collection. That collection featured a few sparkly and glittery low intensity duochromes. La Boheme has the reputation for having two versions in existence, like OPI Black Tie Optional, one version is a high intensity duochrome that changes from red to amber, the other version only has a slight duochrome effect.

opi-la-boheme-amber-side

I believe mine is a dud. Everyone warned me to watch out, lest I be distracted by the sparkly duochrome-y-ness while driving. It was very beautiful and I admit I starred down at my nails during a few red lights, but I just didn’t see the magnificence that other people see.

Happy Holidays everyone!

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