Archive for the ‘Sheers’ Category

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.

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(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.

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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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Water-y Blue Goodness: BB Couture for Nails – Electric Avenue

Wednesday, March 18th, 2009

I’m in the middle of the worst week ever as far as due dates go but I wanted to take a minute to update so as to not neglect you guys too much. I promise at the end of this week I’ll reply to all emails and comments, bear with me.

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BB Couture for Nails Electric Avenue is a ghostly watery blue from the 80′s Collection (in case the name didn’t give it away.) I’m not a fan of the 80s but I do love this polish. It’s so light that I almost want to put it in the off-white category but it’s definitely visibly blue. I know a few of you are probably hoping, so I’m sorry to be the bearer of bad news but Electric Avenue is a lot lighter than Rescue Beauty Lounge Bikini Bottom.

The application was a pain. It was tough to build bottle color. I used 4 coats, which usually wouldn’t bother me but during application it seemed like 4 coats wasn’t going to be enough. If I had had more time, I probably would have done more coats because 4 just didn’t look good. I was really frustrated because I thought the outcome was going to look crappy and I just didn’t have time to do another manicure. But then the strangest thing happened, I honestly have never encountered something like this before. As the polish dried, the color evened itself out. The dried end product is stunning and looks nothing like it’s wet mid-application counterpart. I actually liked it enough that I wore it for 4 days over my mini-vacation last week. It’s practically unheard of for me to wear a polish for more than 2 days. If you decide to get this color, my advice is to not let yourself get discouraged by the difficult and seemingly unattractive application, it strangely works itself out once it dries and the pay off is huge.

You can purchase BB Couture for Nails on Overall Beauty as well as the BB Couture for Nails main page.

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A More Work Appropriate Kind of Spring: Barielle Shades Spring 2009

Thursday, March 12th, 2009

Sorry for my extended absence. I took the MPRE last week and then took a mini-vacation for spring break. I’m back now so normal posting will resume. : )

I like the approach that Barielle took to Spring. Now wait, before you throw stones, let me explain. This Spring collection is not very Spring-like, it’s all work-safe variations of pinks and a sheer taupe, whereas traditional Spring colors tend to be bright. Barielle probably would have gotten fire from me for releasing a collection like this with nothing more. But, Elle and Barielle, knowing best, released the Spring and Summer collections nearly simultaneously.  Together, these collections contain something for everyone and my irrational (irrational because soon I won’t be able to wear them) desire for out of the ordinary colors is well met. (I’ll have swatches of Barielle Summer 2009 soon but Scrangie already has some excellent swatches for your viewing pleasure.)

As an aside, I’m trying a different approach to my swatching. I’m going to be using for left hand for a little while in order to get swatching done a faster. I’m sure you have all noticed that I’m really behind on the Spring collections so I’m playing catch up. The added benefit is that my left hand is no where near as yellowed as my right hand so you’ll get more accurate swatches. Bare with me as I get the kinks worked out, photographing my left hand is still very awkward.

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Barielle Nauti Gal is a translucent taupe with tiny flecks of translucent glitter. It’s a great professional/work appropriate shade. I’m a little disappointed in it only because it looks opaque in the bottle. I am a huge fan of taupe so I was really excited for this color only to find that it applied sheer. I love sheers but I just can’t wear them properly anymore, my nails are just too yellow. Nauti Gal applies very well. Not a streak in sight so this would make an excellent french manicure color at 1 or 2 coats. Even though it applies sheer, it is build-able so at 3 to 4 coats you get a semi-translucent nearly opaque shade of taupe. If my nails weren’t so horrifyingly yellow, this color would be stunning. This swatch is 4 coats.

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Sailor’s Delight is a somewhat muted although vivid medium pink creme, very flattering. At first glance I thought it was going to be too pink to be considered professional but on my skin-tone the color tones down and the muted-ness of the pink becomes more pronounced. I suspect it might look different on girls with lighter skin. The consistency of the polish is chalky but it applies well, this is 3 coats.

barielle-shades-beaches-and-dreams

Beaches and Dreams is a very light sandy-ish creamy peach creme (a little tough to describe haha). I think it might be too stark for an ultra-conservative office but it’d be perfect any where else. I really like this color, it’s like a peachier version of Color Club Coastal Creme. It’s my favorite from this set.

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Skinny Dip is a delicate muted pink nude sheer. It’s perfect for french manicures at 1 or 2 coats but the color is build-able. This swatch is 4 coats with no top coat.

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Sand-al Chic is less muted than Skinny Dip and more pink. It’s also makes an excellent french manicure shade but builds well. This is 4 coats with no top coat.

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And finally, Shell Shock is a slightly lighter than a traditional barbie pink. It’s sheer like Skinny Dip and Sand-al Chic but I don’t think it would make a good french manicure color because it’s a little too bright. Also I had trouble with the application. This is 4 coats. The color applies smoothly but the sheerness is such that it takes some effort to build it properly.

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

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I Want to Believe: A Tale of Two Bubble Baths

Wednesday, January 7th, 2009

When my obsession with nail polish first sprouted, I really wanted to find the perfect soft shade (a mission that continues to this day.) Everyone recommended the quintessential soft color, OPI Bubble Bath. Soon thereafter I conned my roommate into placing an order for my birthday, I asked for Bubble Bath. I had never seen pictures of it so I wasn’t exactly sure what to expect, I just knew it was a flattering soft very light milky color . I received a bottle of very light, milky pink nail polish.

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Since I didn’t know what to expect, I took my pink, wore it, liked it, threw it in with the rest of the stash and moved on to other colors. A little while after that, someone posted on MUA requesting suggestions for a milky off-white. Another person suggested Bubble Bath. I thought it was a weird suggestion because Bubble Bath was clearly pink, not white. So I said something to that effect in the thread. We argued back and forth a while, both of us utterly baffled at how the other could mistake what was so clearly one color for another color. Eventually another member clued us in that we were both right. The more recent version of Bubble Bath was pink. The original Bubble Bath was, in fact, white.

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I hunted around for this version for a really long time and couldn’t find anywhere. I had just about given up when Dami of Perfectly Polished Tips hooked me up with a bottle. I love this soft off-white milky color way more than the subsequent pink version. However, to my major shock, the pink version which is OPI’s new formula, applied better than the the white version which is OPI’s old formula. The common belief is that OPI’s older formula is vastly superior to the newer big 3 free formula but that’s definitely not the case with this color. I had to use something like 5 coats of color with the white version and it was fairly streaky. The pink version was perfect in 3 coats, very easy to apply.

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Here they are, the sneaky polishes together. The original version does seem to have a slightly pinkish tinge. This leads me to believe (and this is all conjecture) that it is possible that the new version is a mistake, too much pink pigment in the batch. However, the color is so different that I wonder whether OPI purposefully changed the color of Bubble Bath. I’d email them and ask but I have a feeling the answer would be “we didn’t change the color.” *cues X-files music*

(Sorry, I’m watching the final disc of entire X-files series right now. I have been unduly influenced. haha.)

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Reader Request: OPI Up Front & Personal

Tuesday, December 23rd, 2008

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OPI Up Front & Personal is a glitzy sheer light gold toned multi-colored micro-glitter that flashes green and pink. This color is a tough one to pull off. It looks gorgeous in the picture but it was less flattering in person, although, I wouldn’t say that I didn’t like it on myself. I think it would probably work wonderfully as a layering polish. This swatch is 1 coat of OPI Start to Finish base coat, 4 coats of color, 1 coat Seche Vite.

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Bling Incognito: Misa Sugar Sugar Collection Swatches

Wednesday, July 23rd, 2008

Misa contacted me after I posted a negative review of Misa Indescribable. They said that they would do their best to rework the formula to create better, less streaky application. I was really impressed that they reached out to me as a dissatisfied customer. Indescribable was the first Misa polish I tried, since then I’ve had much better results with their polish but it’s still pretty great that they were concerned. Kudos to Misa for the excellent customer service.

Sorry guys this post isn’t for the new collection. I know, how horrible of a tease am I? I’ll have swatches of Poisoned Passion up this weekend, until then, get your fix by checking out Scrangie’s and Masa’s swatches and comparisons.

Sugar Sugar is Misa’s previous Spring/Summer collection. It is composed of 3 base colors and 3 ‘toppings’. It’s my personal opinion that these polishes were meant to be worn mixed and matched, layered over each other. The name Sugar Sugar is very fitting, all the colors in this collection look powdery and sheer on the nail. But you’ll find, like I did, that this seemingly princess-y collection has a darker, cooler side. All these polishes applied exceptionally well, no application issues at all.

First, the base colors:

Misa Sugar Daddy is my favorite from this collection. Gorgeous. I’ve been loving whites lately and this one has very fine silvery microshimmer that sets it apart from the other whites in my stash. It’s opaque but still somewhat translucent at 3 coats. I feel that Misa Confection Section was meant to be the topping for Sugar Daddy.

Misa Lolli Jolly is a soft sheer pink with microshimmer. Lolli Jolly is dupish to OPI Princesses Rule and Sinful Glass Pink. It’s still very sheer even at 3 coats. Misa Candy Girl compliments Lolli Jolly.

Misa Honeybunch is the silvery white version of Lolli Jolly. This swatch is also 3 coats. In the image Honeybunch seems to fade from very opaque on my index finger to very sheer on my pinkie finger. That is the result of shading. Interestingly, Honeybunch looks more sheer in the shade and more opaque in full on sunlight. Finally, I think the teal in Misa Sweet Pleasure compliments the silver in Honeybunch.

Here are the three base colors side-by-side. They may look similar but each one has it’s own charm. I actually did try to capture images of all these polishes layered over each other. I just couldn’t get the subtle shimmer to show up accurately with my camera. Suffice it to say that the combinations are really pretty, especially using Candy Girl and Sweet Pleasures together over Lolli Jolly as a base.

Now for the ‘toppings’:

Misa Confection Section is a chunky multi-toned glitter polish. You can use this one over any polish in this collection (well really over any polish, period) but I think it’s especially suited to be layered over Sugar Daddy.

Misa Candy Girl is a pink jelly base with suspended blurple microshimmer. Ultra sheer, it’s gorgeous layered over Lolli Jolly. It’s my second favorite from this collection, you’ll see why below.

Misa Sweet Pleasure is teal toned microshimmer suspended in nude jelly polish. This is 3 coats in the sunlight. Even in the full on midday Sun this polish is very subtle and tame. It’s beautiful, I don’t say that very often about sheers.

Now for the really exciting stuff – the ‘toppings’ over black:

Sugar Sugar is rocking the major undercover bling.

Candy Girl is blue to purple duochrome! DUOCHROME! *dies* Confection Section becomes green toned over black, very ‘the truth is out there-ish’ so I think this will be my mani for the X-Files opening this weekend. Sweet Pleasures over black looks a bit like Zoya Kotori but more blinged out.

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

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