Saturday, October 16th, 2010

Nubar Holiday 2010
Nail Lacquer: Organza, Taffeta, Marabout, Pekin

Nubar Holiday 2010: Finest Silks (Part 1)

For the holidays, Nubar took inspiration from the Silk Road with their collection of eight shades. Each shade is designed to provide complete coverage in two coats and be universally wearable. Nubar is free of formaldehyde, phthalate and toluene. Shades include: Organza (intense pearl white), Taffeta (pale peachy brown), Marabout (deep muted brown), Pekin (rich dark red), Sateen (deep vivid red), Charmeuse (neutral blush), Moire (light reddish brown), and Chiffon (muted brown). All shades are creams except Organza, which is a frost. Each shade retails for $7.49.

  • Organza is a white gold with ultra fine white shimmer. This looks more metallic than frosty to me, and brush strokes are quite noticeable. I did three coats, and I couldn’t get it to be opaque. It was the only shade that had opacity issues, but there was something appealing about this shade. It reminded me of weddings, actually. I like it even though I hate seeing brush strokes, which is so twilight zone. (I would give this one a product rating of 25/30, while the others are 29/30.)
  • Taffeta is a medium brown with orange-peach cream. Slightly warm but mostly neutral. Two coats.
  • Marabout is a cool-toned plummy brown-gray cream. Two coats.
  • Pekin is a dark red cream that pulls just a tiny bit blue. It’s similar to Essie’s Limited Addiction, which is a little darker and seems more neutral. Two coats.

I thought that Barielle’s Style in Argyle Collection would offer at least a couple of dupes but nothing was very similar. In general, I don’t have a vast stash of browns, so I didn’t find dupes for the majority of the shades here. All of the shades lean have mostly neutral tones to them, so they will work well on both cooler and warmer skin tones.

Application was stellar on all of the creams: two coats for creamy, smooth, even color. The formula isn’t too thick or thin, and the rubber cap makes it easy to hold when applying. Organza was the odd man out with a sheerer application and visible brush strokes.

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  • Product: 29/30
  • Value: 8/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

RECOMMENDATION: I have no idea why I’m drawn to Organza in spite of its brush strokes, but I am. Pekin is a nice dark red cream, though I like Sateen (coming up!) a bit better.

AVAILABILITY: Nubar

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Thursday, July 29th, 2010

Nubar Venetian Glass Collection
Nail Lacquer: Caramello, Oro, Verde, Vaso

Nubar: Venetian Glass Collection, Part 2

Don’t forget to read Part 1!

All Nubar shades are free of formaldehyde, DBP, and tuluene–as well as the collection is vegan and cruelty-free. Nubar describes Caramello as a rich bronze, Oro as a deep gold, Verde as a unique dark green, and Vaso as a striking light purple.

  • Caramello is a rich, burning bronze with flecks of gold and copper shimmer. Two coats.
  • Oro is a bright marigold with gold flecks of shimmer. Just two coats, but there were some noticeable brush strokes.
  • Verde is a deep, dark forest green with flecks of green-gold and emerald green shimmer. I used two coats, but this is one shade that just one might have done just fine.
  • Vaso is a nearly metallic lilac with silver and lilac flecks of shimmer. This also seemed to show some brush strokes.

Verde is absolutely stunning. It is hands down my favorite shade of the eight! Amid such rich shades, Vaso seems out of place to me. My dear Italian readers, can anyone tell me why Vaso would be lilac? I Google translated, and I just got jar/vase as suggestions.  I kind of missed having a really lush fuchsia-purple or even a rich violet here.  It doesn’t make or break the collection, but just an observation.

If you want to know more about how products are evaluated, read out Rating System FAQ! :)

  • Product: 29/30
  • Value: 8/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

RECOMMENDATION: Nubar really hits it out of the park with this collection, just in time for fall. Lovely formula, easy application, and gorgeous shades.

AVAILABILITY: Nubar

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Thursday, July 29th, 2010

Nubar Venetian Glass Collection
Nail Lacquer: Vino, Rosso, Bronzo, Arencia

Nubar: Venetian Glass Collection, Part 1

Nubar’s latest collection, Venetian Glass ($49.95 for the entire collection or $7.49 each shade), features eight stunning shades that look very much like glass. The shades practically glow. All Nubar shades are free of formaldehyde, DBP, and tuluene–as well as the collection is vegan and cruelty-free. Nubar describes Vino as a deep shimmering wine, Rosso as a medium radiant red, Bronzo as a light red, and Arencia as a glowing orange.

Normally, I do swatches with a top coat (other than matte shades), but these have such a pretty look even without a top coat, I really wanted to show off the way the shades looked before a top coat went on. (I would wear all of these with a top coat, though, and I don’t find it interferes with the glass-look at all.)

  • Vino is a copper and ruby flecked deep wine red with a glassy finish. I did two coats, but even the first coat was incredibly pigmented.
  • Rosso is a glowing fiery copper flecked orange-based red. I did two coats, but you could likely get away with just one if you’re careful.
  • Bronzo is a gold and copper flecked deep ember orange that glows. Two coats.  I found this one showed just a touch of brush strokes, though.
  • Arencia is a gold flecked medium orange that looks lit from within. It’s lighter and more orange than Bronzo, though they are similar. Two coats.

The formula was excellent–not too thick, not too thin–and each coat was very pigmented. I used two coats on all of these with a thinner first coat and a medium-thick second coat, which is my standard application. Each color had a lot of depth, which is what made them stand out to me.  Of these four, Vino and Arencia were my favorites–Vino is just such a stunning, intense shade that’s perfect for fall and winter; Arencia makes my nails look like they’re almost on fire.

If you want to know more about how products are evaluated, read out Rating System FAQ! :)

  • Product: 29/30
  • Value: 8/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

RECOMMENDATION: Nubar really hits it out of the park with this collection, just in time for fall. Lovely formula, easy application, and gorgeous shades.

AVAILABILITY: Nubar

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Monday, May 31st, 2010

Nubar Sparkles Collection

Nubar Sparkles Collection

Nubar Sparkles Collection ($49.95) includes eight shades of glitter nail lacquers, most of which have a clear base but a few have a tinted base. I had some really good luck with some of these shades, but I definitely need a little more practice in applying glitter polishes like these.

They are incredibly dense as compared to other glitter finishes I’ve tried, but I did have some unevenness with a few shades and not completely opaque results with others. I think this is more to do with my application technique than the shades themselves–definitely need to be patient and let each coat dry completely before applying the next one. I think also thicker, rather than thinner, coats work better, too. I’m used to laying down a thinner initial coat followed by a thicker secondary coat, but I found it was better with two thicker coats.

The most foolproof shades were definitely Fire Sparkle, Night Sparkle, and Violet Sparkle (these three were my favorites, too –but because of their intense glow!).   The shades I had the most trouble with were Sky Sparkle and Hyacinth Sparkle.

  • Star Sparkle is a clear base with silver and holographic glitter. I did three coats, and you can still see some of my nail beneath it, but it’s considerably opaque given it has a clear base.
  • Fire Sparkle is a sheer red base with red and darkened red glitter. In sunlight and flash, you’ll also catch glimmers of the molten amber flecks of shimmer, too — it really comes alive when the light hits it. Just two coats were needed here.
  • Petunia Sparkle is a magenta purple with red undertones and fuchsia-purple and lighter pink glitter. It’s a clear base–would you believe it–and three coats gave me complete, opaque coverage.
  • Meadow Sparkle is a pale spring green glitter suspended in a lightly tinted green base. To be honest, I didn’t see much tint in the base–I thought it was clear myself. I couldn’t quite get a completely opaque look, but I think I moved a little too fast on this one.
  • Night Sparkle is a deep true blue with flecks of blue and gold glitter. Just two coats for a completely opaque look.
  • Sky Sparkle is a medium blue with a slight aqua lean glitter suspended in a clear base. Personally, I had some trouble getting this one to apply evenly and opaquely.
  • Hyacinth Sparkle is a sheer lavender base with darker and lighter lavender glitter. It took me three coats to get a nearly opaque look, but it was a bit uneven.
  • Violet Sparkle is a deep violet purple with flecks of lighter, brighter violet and purple strewn through a clear base.

If you want to know more about how products are evaluated, read out Rating System FAQ! :)

  • Product: 28/30
  • Value: 8/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

Recommendation:  If you’re a fan of glittery polishes and have been on the hunt for ones that are better alone than layered as a top coat, you may enjoy Nubar’s Sparkle Collection.

Availability: Nubar

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Wednesday, May 26th, 2010

Nubar Night Sky

It’s a Matte, but Shimmered… Night Sky!

Nubar Night Sky Collection ($24.95) is a short ‘n sweet collection featuring three shimmer mattes and their Diamont Seal & Shine Quick Dry Top Coat.

  • Midnight is a deep charcoal-black with silver-gray shimmer. Two coats were enough for me to get complete, opaque color.
  • Twilight is a bright silver-gray with silver and darker silver shimmer. Again, just two coats here.
  • Sunset is a gold shimmered amber-copper base. Like the other two, I found two coats were the right mix for opaque color. I really liked this one with the Diamont top coat.

The formula was fantastic — they dry quicker than the regular polish, but I had enough time to lay down a coat and move onto the next without it drying before then. They were also really opaque with each only needing two coats to cover my entire nail completely. The consistency was on the thinner side, so it was easy to apply and get the amount you needed. The colors themselves are a bit basic, but I’ll be crossing my fingers they’ll release some other shades down the road.

If you want to know more about how products are evaluated, read out Rating System FAQ! :)

  • Product: 29/30
  • Value: 8/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

Recommendation: If you love the idea of a matte finish with shimmer, Nubar’s Night Sky Collection is right up your alley.

Availability: Nubar

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Tuesday, May 18th, 2010

Nubar Prisms Collection

Nubar Prisms Collection

Nubar Prisms Collection ($59.95 for 8 shades) is a springtime release that features eight shades of holographic nail polish.  These polishes do something fantastic when the light hits them and when your hands are in movement, so the flash photos best show-off the holographic effect when it comes to these holos.

The formula on these varied quite a bit–some were thin, some were more jelly-esque in thickness–but they all dried on the quicker side for me.  The majority of these were also on the sheer side, though, and I did three coats for nearly all of the shades here.  Even with three coats, there was still some nail line showing, which doesn’t bother me that much since it’s hardly noticeable at a distance–just up-close.

I’d also recommend a thicker top coat, because the majority of these do have a slightly gritty or noticeably uneven finish if left without a top coat!

According to Nubar…

Inspired by the colorful play of light through a prism, those bands of light and color are embodied in nubar’s Prism Collection. Each shade in the Prism Collection is filled with holographic glitter reflecting every color of the rainbow, with base colors just as varied, ranging from subtle neutrals to vivid pink to pale blue. Going a step beyond holographic nail lacquers, nubar’s Prism Collection is a celebration of color and light. As all nubar products, they are free of formaldehyde, toluene, and (DBP) phthalate, as well as vegan and cruelty free.

  • Prize is a pinked red with holographic shimmer–lots of gold and purple stood out in this one. I needed just two coats here, and it applied smoothly and evenly.
  • Essence is a metallic played down pink with holographic shimmer. This one came out a bit chunky, though it’s wearable, and I did see some brush strokes. Just two coats, though.
  • Absolute is an aqua-blue with a holographic finish. With this one, you don’t really notice the effect until it’s out in the light–normal, indoor light just makes it look like silver shimmer. I found this one was a little on the sheer side–I used three coats and could still see some nail line.
  • Treasure is a medium purple with red undertones and a subtle holographic effect. Like Absolute, it didn’t quite get to total opaqueness with three coats.
  • Brilliant is a pretty in pink shade with holographic glitter strewn through it. It’s not completely solid color after three coats, but it comes close.
  • Gem is a taupe gray with holographic glitter–it comes out a little murky and dark and forboding. The green and teal glitter really pop in this shade. Three coats here as well.
  • Spark is a just slightly warmed up light brown with holographic glitter. I love the texture and feel of this one. Three coats and it looked pretty solid.
  • Jewel is a deep, molten chocolate brown with holographic glitter. Like Gem, the green and teal glitter seem to pop. It has the chunkier texture of Essence, though.

If you want to know more about how products are evaluated, read out Rating System FAQ! :)

  • Product: 26/30
  • Value: 8/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

Recommendation:  If you like softer color for your nails but still want the bling bling look of holographic glitter, you might enjoy the Prisms collection.  If you’re more inclined towards brighter or more opaque shades, you’ll want to look at some of Nubar’s other shades.

Availability: Nubar

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