Archive for the ‘Hard-to-Find’ Category

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.

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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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The Evil of the Hard-to-Find: Essie VIP

Thursday, November 27th, 2008

Some people take great pride in searching out hard-to-find colors. I used to think I was one those people but lately obtaining particularly difficult hard-to-finds has lost its luster for me. I think the extra hoopla surrounding hard-to-finds takes the joy away. Essie VIP was a color I thought I would never see in real life. A MUA friend encountered 7 of them in a beauty shop and she graciously decided to pass them a long to anyone who wanted one. I got my bottle for a fairly reasonable trade but when I finally got it, this color I had wanted so much… I was sort of underwhelmed.

I mean, don’t get me wrong, it’s a gorgeous color and it’s easy to see why this is one of the most highly sought after discontinued Essies. I suppose this color is yet another casualty of my antipurpleitis.

I’m going to hold on to it until I return to my normal purple-loving self. If I still don’t love it then, I’ll pass it on to someone who really wants it.

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Hard-to-Find Week Pre-Party: Black Tie Optional

Thursday, July 10th, 2008

OPI Black Tie Optional, a deep purple beetle multichrome from the 2001 World Collection, is one of the classic hard-to-find polishes.

I lemminged this one forever until I finally decided to just splurge and get one on ebay. I’ve noticed that some bottles of OPI Black Tie Optional have more of the multichrome beetle effect than others. Mine is a dud *sigh*. The beetle effect is there but it’s very subtle so I couldn’t get a very good picture of it. The non-dud bottles flash gorgeous amber, green, and red.

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Hard-to-Find Week Pre-Party: Essie Barbuda Banana

Tuesday, July 8th, 2008

Every once in a while I’ll see a color on someone else that will stir the addict inside me. Essie Barbuda Banana wasn’t that polish – it was actually Maybelline Banana Puddin’. I searched everywhere for it to no avail. Scalpers aren’t big on carrying discontinued drug store brand polishes, so it’s really tough to find these colors once they are off the initial market. I decided to settle for a dupe instead – that’s when I heard about Essie Barbuda Banana which also happens to be discontinued and hard-to-find, of course. I knew I would have more luck searching for this one since it’s a higher-end brand, and so I renewed my search for a pastel yellow.

Essie actually makes finding discontinueds fairly easy because they sell them on their website under Bye Buy Colors. You just have to let them know what you’re looking for and they’ll message you back if they have it. The catch, and of course – there is *always* a catch, is that Essie ups the retail price from $8 to $10 and charges you an arm for the shipping. Dejected, I turned to evilbay (from hereon – “the place that shall not be named”) where I found Essie Barbuda Banana for about 15 bucks shipped. Normally, I wouldn’t pay that much for a discontinued but I was really jonesing this color. The day after the auction ended someone put up an auction for Maybelline Banana Puddin’ at $3. D’oh.

Do I regret the purchase? No. The application, to put it plainly, sucks, this swatch is 4 hard-as-hell-to-apply coats. But what I can say, I love the color. I hear that Maybelline Banana Puddin’ has equally crappy application so it might just be a function of pastel yellow. This picture isn’t a very accurate depiction of the color, both Banana Puddin’ and Barbuda Banana are a slightly brighter, yet still pastel, yellow. If you don’t want to shell out the mad cash and you just can’t find Banana Puddin’ the easiest way to go about sticking it to the man is frankening your own. This is a really easy franken, you just need a yellow, take your pick there’s about 80 on the market right now (Color Club Yell-oh, Essie Shorty Pants, Zoya Creamy, Misa Hangin’ With the Girls, OPI the ‘It’ Color, OPI Need Sun Glasses, China Glaze Solar Power, Rescue Beauty Lounge Yellow Fever, NYC Taxi Cab and on and on and on) and a white (I would choose one from whatever brand your yellow of choice comes from.) You need roughly 2 parts yellow, 1 part white to end up a pastel yellow.

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