Archive for the ‘Shimmer’ Category

Rescue Beauty Lounge Real Housewives of the Tudor Dynasty Fall 2010

Thursday, September 20th, 2012

The saddest thing about my absence was that I missed a lot of really amazing collections. Since coming back, I have been on a ‘do or die’ mission to catch up on everything I’ve missed. Rescue Beauty Lounge, in particular, released a ton of polishes that I feel like I NEED (yes, I’m still a major RBL fangirl, like whoa). Diddy Mow might actually be my new Zulu. I missed out on Insouciant and Recherche but was lucky enough to pick them up in a blog sale recently. And finally, Ji will be re-releasing Pui Mosso and Aqua Lily in November – thank the polish gods because I really *need* those too. And, of course, the Tudors. While I spent the past 3 years tuned out of the nail polish world, I did catch wind of this collection, only to sadly miss out during the original release. It is freaking awesome that these were re-released as a part of the Bring it Back series (and that, consequently, they have made their way into my evil clutches.)

Aside from being a genuinely awesome collection – it’s conceptually interesting. As a collector, more so than a beauty-aficionado, I am drawn to collections that have interesting concepts, inspirations, etc. Particularly with this collection, the concept sold me immediately. Truly, as a lover of all things British and historical, these polishes could have been OPI and Apple Pie style fug x 4 and I still would have squealed and swooned. Fortunately though, these polishes are impressive in their own right, quite apart from their unique historical theme.

I tried to include some interesting historical facts that I remember from reading Alison Weir’s The Six Wives of Henry VIII. Of course, it’s been years since I read that book so some of these “facts” might be inaccuracies residual from my love of the Showtime series The Tudors (mmm Henry Cavill *makes Homer donut sounds*). As an aside, I highly recommend anything by Alison Weir if you have any interest in English royal history at all - I’ve read a few of her books and have thoroughly enjoyed them all.

Okay, without further blah blah blah… here are the swatches.

 

Rescue Beauty Lounge Jane – loooooove. This is a greige putty, with very light sparse gold shimmer. The shimmer is invisible on the nail – while you can’t really see it, I feel like it does add to the overall color of the polish. This mani was 3 coats – excellent wear and application per usu. I really loved this color, it’s chic and obviously work appropriate for any environment. One aspect of this polish that appealed to me is that it is reflective of Jane Seymour, at least in my opinion. Jane Seymour was Henry VIII’s third and favorite wife. He called her his one true wife. Probably because she gave birth to his first and only surviving legitimate male heir, Edward VI. By all accounts, she was just a class act and I think this color really embodies that.

Rescue Beauty Lounge Anne – probably my favorite from this collection (me and everyone else on Earth). It’s a very dark green, with complex gold, green, and fuchsia cast shimmer. This is 3 coats, like Jane, great application. The shimmer, which is strangely nearly invisible in bright sunlight, gives it a metallic glow. This quality makes the color not readily identifiable as green. Instead, it reminds me of tarnished metal. For that reason, I did wear this one to work – it’s green without being BAM in your face green, so I didn’t think it would be offensive in an office environment. I wouldn’t classify it as work appropriate by any stretch but I think most people could get away with this one, save for the most conservative environments.

Here’s a bottle shot to exhibit the shimmer more clearly – very tough to capture, but very beautiful. Like Jane, I thought Anne was pretty reflective of its muse, Anne Boleyn. I know Ji was inspired by the fabrics of the time as much as the historical personalities involved – but Jane and Anne were both really on point personality-wise. Anne Boleyn was kind of a badass – just like this color. Henry VIII’s second wife, widely hated in her time and known for swiping Henry from his first wife Catherine of Aragon. She was intelligent, conniving, and powerful. Her (male) contemporaries described her as “more like a man than a woman.” She had immense control over Henry VIII and his court… until she wasn’t able to produce a male heir. Accused of adultery and incest, she lost her head. Historians speculate that Anne’s only daughter the future Queen Elizabeth, who was also kind of a badass, never really got over what happened to her mother – which partially accounted for her aversion to marriage and her sobriquet, The Virgin Queen.

Rescue Beauty Lounge Catherine H – I do apologize my photo is not exactly color accurate and my attempts to color correct are sad and pitiful. I would describe it as a muted, but dark periwinkle blue (maybe a touch of violet?) My picture makes it a tad too bright, it’s much more muted and demure in person. This is also three coats, also great application. I think I would classify the mainly blue and fuchsia shimmer as glass fleck. It was also glitter-like in the sense that it ate ALL of my top coat, giving the final mani an overall satin, instead of glossy, sheen. I  wore this one to work as well although I wasn’t planning to do so originally. Fate had it that I was taking photos of this collection around the time of the Democratic National Convention (yup, I’m also still a flaming, dirty liberal). I was inspired by FLOTUS to wear muted blue in a professional setting. Rather, I used that as an excuse – If questioned I planned to say – “Hey if Michelle Obama can rock it – so can I!” Of course, as I’ve previously observed, no one cares about my nails and I wore it undisturbed.

Here’s some more shimmery bottle shot goodness. Catherine H is named for Catherine Howard, Henry’s fifth wife and a cousin to Anne Boleyn. She was just a child when she married Henry, mostly at the behest of her male relatives who had previously enjoyed much favor when Anne was queen and had aspirations of reviving their former glory. By then, four wives deep, Henry was old and a pretty big dude due to a chronic ulcerated leg injury as a result of a jousting accident. Her contemporaries described her as frivolous and silly, so I think a periwinkle blue is pretty fitting. She was accused of adultery for which she was ultimately beheaded – but unlike Anne Boleyn, Catherine Howard was probably guilty.

Rescue Beauty Lounge Catherine – a rich, but greyed-out dark plum. Shimmer, texture, finish-wish this one is more akin to Anne than to Catherine H. No glass flecks here, instead you have complex predominately fuchsia with very fine goldish shimmer and some sparse blue sparkle. Application was good at 2 coats, but I used 3. I really loved this one, despite my general indifference to purple nail polish. I did my first mani with this using a new product (that I will soon be reviewing), Yellow Stopper. BIG MISTAKE. My mani peeled right off, glue basecost style, in the morning. I had to re-do it and in my ridiculous neurosis found myself so disappointed that I was wasting this polish by having to reapply twice within a 12 hour period. (yes, I know, I’m totally weird – double you tea eff.)

Look. at. that. shimmer. g-o-r-g-e-o-u-s. This was the only polish out of the set of 4 that I didn’t quite catch the connection with the namesake. Catherine of Aragon was rigid, regal, stubborn, and really, really, really Catholic. I don’t picture her as a purple – and she was such a tragic character, perhaps black or dark grey. She was Henry’s older brother’s wife – but he died before their marriage was consumated. Later, Henry married her for political reasons – her nephew was the Holy Roman Emperor Charles V. During the Great Matter, Henry would use Catherine’s marriage to his brother as a partial basis to support his plea for a divorce. Not to over simplify but, basically, the Pope said “hell to the no” and then the Anglican church was born. Her only surviving daughter, Mary I, of Bloody Mary fame, picked up that moniker for burning and maiming hundreds of protestants during her reign as Queen.

Gosh, I love history. Reviewing this collection makes me finally want to read Divorced, Beheaded, Survived: A Feminist Reinterpretation of the Wives of Henry the VIII which I purchased in college for my major and never got around to reading.

My one and only criticism of this collection is that I wish there had been six polishes instead of four (Six wives = Six Polishes!!). I do hope to see RBL do more historically themed collections. (French Revolution Anyone!?!?!? Heian Japan??!?!?! Come on!!!)

Is there any period of history that you would like to see translated into a nail polish collection?

*edited to correct historical inaccuracies – thanks Sue!!*

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Disclosure: This collection was sent to me 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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The Polish Addict: Wedding Edition!!

Sunday, August 19th, 2012

My husband and I got engaged last year. So, obviously, the most important decision I made after that was deciding what to do with my nails for the wedding (totally not kidding). This was an arduous process – the stash was thoroughly examined, scrutinized, and analyzed. When I first set out to plan my wedding mani, I wanted to do something different. Soft shades are obvious, I wanted something more unique. I stumbled upon Oscar De La Renta’s Spring 2013 Bridal Collection and fell in love with this concept.

(Photo Credit: Society Bride)

A subtle, light watery blue mani accented with opal-like blue toned jewelry. I wouldn’t have to do much searching as there were a few options in my stash that could mimic that look, China Glaze Moody Blue and Rescue Beauty Lounge Bikini Bottom immediately came to mind. Unfortunately, and probably not surprisingly, my Mom was less than thrilled with my blue nails idea.  So, in the end, to minimize stress, I decided to compromise and go with more typical wedding fare. Some of you are going to be disappointed, haha, that I decided to do a standard french, using Essie Mademoiselle and Essie Marshmallow. But I did spice it up a bit with two coats of Orly Twilight.

Orly Twilight is a gorgeous sheer layering polish – it consists of very fine iridescent silver toned shimmer suspended in somewhat cloudy clear polish. Mostly, I’ve seen Twilight layered over darker shades, but it’s very pretty over lighter shades. In my case, it added the perfect amount of glam to my potentially boring standard french. I did consider a holographic topcoat – but after several swatching attempts, I thought it look a little too ‘young’ for the style I was trying to achieve. I, sadly, did go to a salon to have my nails done. It’s been years since I’ve entered a nail salon for anything other than a mini dusty hunt. Ultimately, I regretted it a little – the nail tech did a good job, but I’m pretty particular about my nails and I think I would have been happier doing them on my own.

(Yes! I do have thumbs!) None of the wedding photos of my nails show the beautiful shimmer of Orly Twilight, so I’ll have to post a swatch in the future. Although, I would say that this photo is a pretty accurate depiction of the overall look – Twilight is really subtle over Mademoiselle so my nails weren’t blinging all over the place.

I’m sure some of you are thinking, “how was this a compromise, you totally sold out!”  Well, I hope my sellout status is mitigated by my pedicure. I decided to do Rescue Beauty Lounge Bikini Bottom both as a pedi and as my “something blue.” Originally, to mimic the Oscar De La Renta nails, I was planning to layer Bikini Bottom over a jelly light color like OPI Don’t Touch My Tutu or OPI Barre My Soul. That layering combination would have created a more watery, cloudy, more subtle light blue. On my toes, I didn’t think I needed to be more subtle so it’s just 3 coats of unadulterated Bikini Bottom. I think the light blue nails with the ivory shoes made a really chic combination. And, finally, the dress:

This is us! Our wedding was a really small dinner party in the middle of hot, hot, hot July (yes! we’re very newly wed!), so I decided on a short dress. My wonderful Mother-in-Law pretty much did all the planning and decorating – she’s so amazing! My dress is Sasha from the Little White Dress Collection by Amsale. The shoes are Nina in the style Neva. My Mom, a very talented seasmstress, altered it extensively and added a panel of lace to the skirt. The whole wedding was DIY for the most part, my Mom and M0m-in-Law even made my bouquet by hand! I was so happy with how everything turned out! It was a really happy day for us and we’ve been silly-happy ever since. : )

What about you all – what nail polish did you wear to your wedding?

 

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Disclosure: Bikini Bottom was sent to me for review by Rescue Beauty Lounge.

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Perplexing: Creative Nail Design Blueberries & Cream

Wednesday, August 15th, 2012

Creative Nail Design (CND) discontinued its old line of nail polishes in 2008. At the time, I freaked out, big time. My meltdown was followed by a haul  (duh, as a haul follows many of my meltdowns) to make sure I picked up all my CND lemmings before they became hard to find. I got Blueberries & Cream around that time, although I can’t remember whether it came from that haul or a RAOK or swap. I just remember that I had a hardcore lemming for this color. I was so excited – it was right up my alley, being a work appropriate ultra pale, somewhat dusty, lilac/pink with subtle fuchsia shimmer.

I guess the fact that I was so excited for it contributed to my extensive disappointment.

The end-product on the nail looks like an ultra-pale, dusty light pink creme. The shimmer was completely invisible – in all lights – which, I mean, is fine because I’m not the biggest shimmer fan anyway (blasphemy, I know).

I subtitled this post “perplexing” because I have never encountered a polish that is both too thick and too thin at the same time. It was simultaneously streaky, lumpy and chalky. Normally, I would use thinner with a thick polish but the formula was so thin already, I thought it might actually make it worse. I believe this mani was a total of 3 coats, possibly 4. It was very tough to even out. In a nutshell, it was really, really hard to make this look pretty. No question, this was a PITA (pain in the a**) to apply.

Another perplexing application issue - the first coat of color pulled off my base coat. I would expect that to happen with a thickly applied base coat layer or perhaps when the base coat is not dry enough but I didn’t have either issue. The sliding base coat definitely added to the streakiness problem. The same thing happened with the topcoat – seche vite pulled the color coat right off – it ended up all over my brush and inside the bottle. The end result was that the polish did not dry ultra glossy like my usual manis – it dried with, sort of, a satin finish… Wear was average. I’ve been wearing it since Sunday with only minor tip-wear and no chips. I did, however, get a few vertical cracks along the sides of my nails after I had been wearing it for a day or two, no bueno.

The whole manicure was really quite baffling – CND is super well-regarded. I hadn’t heard of anyone having these issues before and I certainly haven’t had these issues with their other old line polishes. But, many sit in my helmers untried, it’s possible that other application duds are out there.

With all that said, I did get compliments on the color – actually, my boss said she really liked it. The color was fairly flattering to my skin-tone. And after what amounted to hand-to-hand-combat style application, I ultimately got it to look alright.

I poked around online and did see this color for sale in a few places, so if you feel compelled to buy it – it’s still available albeit at higher prices. The closest base color match I found in my stash was Essie Secret Affair. Essie Pound Cake is similarly muted but a lot lighter than Blueberries & Cream. In fall of 2009, CND relaunched their polish line. I have yet to try the new collection, but the reviews online are favorable. I suspect that CND Blueberry Whip is probably the same shade with a different name, new packaging, and a better formula. I’ll try to pick up a bottle and post comparisons soon.

As an aside – I’m trying to join this century so I made a facebook page for the blog. It… was… um… hard? I don’t think I did it right. But here’s the link anyway. haha. I’m working on setting up other social networking as well, instagram, pinterest, etc.. Although I’ve made accounts, I haven’t really done anything with them yet so I’m going to hold off on posting those for the time being.

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Seriously Underrated: China Glaze Whimsical

Wednesday, August 8th, 2012

To kick things off with the new “work apropos” theme, I looked through my stash trying to find a color that was both unique and subtle. There were about 10 choices, all duo-chromes/multi-chromes or shifters. In the end, I settled on China Glaze Whimsical for two reasons. Of all the colors, it popped out as particularly office friendly. It also happens to be one of the older polishes in my collection. With my faded memories, I’m not sure where this one came from. It looks like it’s been used a few times, so it was most likely from a swap or a RAOK. However, it might also be the result of a dusty hunt. I went through a period where I kept finding these older silver capped China Glazes at nail salons.

China Glaze Whimsical, circa 2001, was released as a part of the Platinum Collection. [1. I got this info from the China Glaze Wiki - what an awesome resource!!!] Other memorable colors from this collection include Orchid Shadow and Grape Crush – both of which I hope to review soon. An old friend, the blogger at A Stroke of Color, posted a long time ago about a polish in her stash from China Glaze also called Whimsical – hers was a really cool shimmery dusty green. I scoured the net – I found a lot of photos of polishes that looked like my version and none that looked like hers. That leads me to believe that hers, sadly, was a mislabeled franken.

The best word to describe this color is ethereal. The base color is a peach-toned light mauve or a sort-of rose-toned taupe. The microshimmer, an iridescent green, causes this color to glow and creates a chameleon-like effect on the base shade. I wouldn’t call it a duo-chrome because the shimmer itself doesn’t shift shades. It’s always green but the shimmer casts over the color, creating the illusion of different shades. The shimmer is really fine, so the overall finish looks slightly frosted – complete with very subtle brushstrokes. The photo above doesn’t do this color justice and is a little inaccurate – the color is lighter in person. Whimsical probably wasn’t the best choice for this first post because I’m still working the kinks out of my lighting system. So I did the next best thing…

In this sun light photo, the base shade is more accurate and the shimmer is more evident. Still though, I’m not sure any camera or organization of lights could ever truly capture this color. It’s definitely a chameleon – sometimes it looks pink, sometimes taupe, sometimes mauve, and sometimes the green causes the illusion of a gold cast, sometimes just a faint green flash. And since the shimmer is only a delicate glow in indoor lighting, it’s totally appropriate for work, even in more conservative offices. It’s really nothing short of lovely.

Whimsical is my current NOTD – this is 3 coats of color with Sally Hansen Nail Quencher (sadly discontinued but awesome nonetheless) as the basecoat and Seche Vite as the top coat. I didn’t have any major application issues despite the presumed age of the color. Although it’s an older polish and probably could be considered hard to find – it’s not sought after, so if you poke around online you can find it for reasonable prices. I’ll definitely search the stash for dupes but none immediately come to mind.

With all that said – I was so surprised and pleased by the all the positive comments on the last post. Thank you so much everyone for the love and support! I walked around with a smile all day – it’s so great to know that so many people not only remember my site, but are also happy that I’ve returned. : ) I would like to impose on everyone for some help getting up to speed. Any and all feedback is appreciated. Also, I would love to know your thoughts regarding recent releases. I’ve been slowly picking up new colors that I like – there are SO many – what colors do you think are must have/die without – also what are your favorite blogs? I would like to update my stash and blog roll with your help!

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Essie The North fork Collection Summer 2009

Tuesday, August 11th, 2009

This is a pretty surprising collection for Essie, not a pink or red in sight, I love it. With the exception of Shelter Island, these colors are pretty unique and I hope to see Essie release more shades on this side of spectrum. *Channels images of green glitter a la Essie Ruby Slippers and Essie Starry Starry Nights to Essie Weingarten* (Just an aside, but has everyone gotten a load of the dark greens this season or what!?!?!?! I know all the bloggers love greens but I can’t help but to feel a little responsible since I constantly complain about that lack of greens on the market. It’s just my poor luck that I’m on a no buy now that we’re finally getting some options! Still though, it’s great to know that we’re finally having some influence over the market.)

Essie - Greenport

Ah, reviewing colors is not as easy as it used to be. I’ve been away from the nail polish game for so long that my color match recall is not up to par. Greenport is a muted green toned aqua creme. I want to say that it’s similar to Misa Dirty, Sexy, Money but not a dupe, I believe DSM is moodier. I really can’t say for sure though and finding DSM in my once immaculate but now disastrously messy stash will be next to impossible. But I do plan to do swatch comparisons as soon as I can get everything in order once more. (When will I stop making excuses you say? Neeeevaaar!) In any case, the color itself is unique and I’m glad to see variations on aqua because I don’t have many in my stash. This was a 3 coater for me; not the greatest application ever but not excessively streaky either.

Essie - Shelter Island

Shelter Island is a somewhat muted sky blue in the same vein as Zoya Yummy, OPI Just Groovy, and Misa Right Here Now, No More Later. It might be a dupe but, again, I can’t say for sure. There will be a comparison post of all four in the very near future. This was a three coater for me, but the application wasn’t horrible.

Essie - Sag Harbor

Sag Harbor is the stand out in this collection. The color is a cementish light bluish gray. Yes, I know, cement is not usually associated with attractiveness but it works here. The finish is a light frosty pearlescent shimmer that is barely visible, it casts depth to the color. The consistency was a little thick so I had to use 3 coats to even everything out. This color is a little deceptive. In my photo it’s a bit bluer than it should be, it’s more gray in real life. In the bottle it’s like a lightly blue tinted gray but on the nail (this possibly has something to do with my skin tone) the blue is a lot more obvious. So… looking at the bottle on Sunday night I thought, “hey, I might be able to get away with this at work!” Not quite, it’s waaaaay too noticeably blue. I’d say it’s okay for most office environments save for the markedly conservative offices. But I do love the color so I’m wearing it anyway.

 

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

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