Friday, March 21st, 2014

Cult Nails Casual Elegance Collection
Cult Nails Casual Elegance Collection

Cult Nails Casual Elegance Nail Lacquer ($15.00 for 0.30 fl. oz.) is described as a “lilac creme.” It’s a cool-toned, bluish-lavender with a cream finish. It was nearly opaque in a single coat, though I applied two to be sure. The consistency was slightly thicker, but it applied evenly, didn’t pool along the edges, and didn’t bubble. MAC Bleu Velvet (LE, $16.00) is more muted, almost gray-ish. Essie Rock the Boat (P, $8.00) is lighter, less purple. See comparison swatches.

Cult Nails Intriguing Nail Lacquer ($15.00 for 0.30 fl. oz.) is described as a “periwinkle with gray tones and some holographic shimmer.” It’s a faded, medium, gray-tinged blue with very fine white shimmer. The shimmer appeared holographic in the bottle, but I couldn’t see it on the nail at all, no matter whether I was outdoors or indoors. The consistency wasn’t too thick or too thin, and it was opaque after two coats. Chanel Sky Line (LE, $27.00) is metallic, lighter. Zoya Skylar (P, $9.00) is darker, more shimmery. See comparison swatches.

Cult Nails Winter’s Light Nail Lacquer ($15.00 for 0.30 fl. oz.) is described as a “top coat with fine grain glitter.” It has a fuchsia-magenta jelly base with purple micro-glitter. In the initial release I read for this collection, it was recommended as a layering shade but could also be worn alone. On my index and middle fingers, I used three coats, and on my ring and pinky, I used two coats. I also showed one layer over black. The consistency is a little thick, and this one seemed to take longer to dry down. Once dry, it has a more matte finish that had some shine, but it was bumpy, so you’ll want to use two layers of top coat or a thicker top coat to smooth it out. Anna Sui Minnie Mouse Midnight Purple (200) (LE, $16.00) is cooler-toned, less glittery, more pigmented. See comparison swatches.

P.S. — If you’ve never purchased from Cult Nails before, if shop through this referral link, you’ll get $12 off $24 your first purchase.

The Glossover

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product

Casual Elegance

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Product

9.5/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

9.5/10

Longevity

10/10

Application

5/5

Results
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Dupes
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LE
product

Intriguing

A

Product

9/10

Pigmentation

9.5/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

10/10

Application

5/5

Results
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Dupes
LE
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Winter's Light

A-

Product

8.5/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

8/10

Longevity

10/10

Application

4.5/5

Results
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Dupes

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Friday, February 14th, 2014

Cult Nails Nevermore Nail Lacquer
Cult Nails Nevermore Nail Lacquer

Cult Nails Nevermore Nail Lacquer ($12.00 for 0.50 fl. oz.) is described as as “high gloss black.” It’s a deep, dark, glossy black cream. NARS Back Room (LE, $19.00) is very similar, just a little glossier on the dry down. Illamasqua Boosh (P, $17.00) is also very similar. See comparison swatches.

Consider this post my ode to Nevermore, because it is a fantastic, out-of-this-world black cream. It’s intensely pigmented to the point that it really only needs one coat for full color coverage, but two gives such a wondrous, inky, deep, glossy finish that if I wore it alone, I’d still apply two. Whenever I’m trying out a new layering top coat, Nevermore is my go-to. It’s just so easy to apply, dries quickly, and never fails. The consistency is not too thick or too thin, so the application is flawless–smooth, no streaking or bubbling, and even. I typically get a full week of wear with very minor tip wear with Cult Nails’ formula.

The Glossover

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Nevermore

A+

Product

10/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

10/10

Longevity

10/10

Application

5/5

Results
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Saturday, January 25th, 2014

Cult Nails Angel Whispers Nail Lacquer
Cult Nails Angel Whispers Nail Lacquer

Cult Nails Passionate Dreams Collection ($35.00 for 4 x 0.50 fl. oz.) is a new and limited edition collection that features four polishes. They can be purchased as a set during the pre-sale period for $35 (compared to $48 after pre-sale); shades will only be sold individually if the shades do not sell out during the pre-sale. I typically get between seven and ten days of wear with Cult Nails’ formula, as it is particularly long-wearing in my experience.

Angel Whispers Nail Lacquer is described as a “soft, pale pink creme.” It’s a very light, pink-tinged white with fine white sparkle and shimmer. It’s a textured polish, so the finish has an almost sandy feel, but it’s not a genuine sand finish/texture to me–smoother than that, somewhat matte, but sparkly still. The consistency of this polish was unbearably thick, almost gluey. It dried down surprisingly quickly despite that problem, but it is difficult to apply evenly, both in terms of just getting an even thickness across the whole nail as well as just getting the color to spread evenly across the nail. The end result was sparkly and interesting, but this was one of the thickest polishes I’ve ever come across. It was also opaque after two coats. I don’t have any dupes for this.

Ignite Nail Lacquer is described as a “black jelly base with silver glitter.” It’s a deep, warm-toned black base with silver micro-glitter. It didn’t look like a jelly base to me–more like a cream. It also looked like there was a pale gold glitter in it, too, as it didn’t look purely silver to me. The consistency was just a little on the thick side. You might prefer to wear this with a top coat if you want to have a smooth finish, as the micro-glitter is raised above the black base color. It was fully opaque after two coats. L’Oreal Rough Around the Edges (LE, $6.99) has more of a texture. Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics Batty (P, $10.00) is mostly silver glitter. Rescue Beauty Lounge Fashion Polish (LE, $20.00) has multi-colored glitter/sparkle. Illamasqua Creator (P, $17.00) has more silver sparkle. See comparison swatches.

Kiss Nail Lacquer is described as a “vibrant red that dries to a wax-like finish.” It’s a vibrant, medium red with warm undertones with a soft matte finish. It has a smooth, rubber/vinyl/wax-like finish that has a little sheen but not true shine–but it’s not as flat as a matte polish. It was fully opaque in two coats, and the consistency wasn’t too thick or too thin. I don’t have another red polish that has this type of finish (at least, not that I can remember), but here are some reds that have a glossier finish: see comparison swatches.

Lethal Nail Lacquer is described as a “silver foil.” It’s a bright, metallic silver with a shiny, foil-like finish. It is quite shiny all on its own (no need for a top coat). The consistency wasn’t too thick or too thin, and it was opaque after two coats. It is unforgiving if you apply the second coat before the first is fully dry, though, as you’ll definitely get drag. There were noticeable brush strokes. Zoya Seraphina (P, $9.00) is sheerer, less metallic. China Glaze Icicle (LE, $7.50) is darker. China Glaze Cheers to You (LE, $7.50) is similar. See comparison swatches.

The Glossover

LE
product

Angel Whispers

C

Product

6/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

4/10

Longevity

10/10

Application

3/5

Results
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Dupes
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LE
product

Ignite

A

Product

9/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

10/10

Application

5/5

Results
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Dupes
LE
product

Kiss

A+

Product

10/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

10/10

Longevity

10/10

Application

5/5

Results
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Thursday, January 16th, 2014

Cult Nails Passionate Dreams Collection
Cult Nails Passionate Dreams Collection

…She dreamed of the day when she would find him, the one. And find him, she did. He passed her in the park on her morning walk. She’d been watching him as he approached. With his head down and his hands in his pockets, he hadn’t given her so much as a glance. But there he was, the absolute man of her dreams. His stride was flawless and graceful, but manly. His build was average but he carried himself with confidence, not cockiness. And his eyes. Oh his eyes! When he looked up to apologize for almost bumping into her, she could feel his eyes looking deeper into her soul than she ever thought possible. His stare was intense. Heart stopping. Lethal. That was the moment. The feeling his gaze left her with was enough to ignite her passion. Then she felt it. The pounding in her heart. Her breathing became shallow and quick. Her senses were exploding at the thought of him simply speaking to her. Then, it happened. She looked back at him and their eyes met once more. It was undeniable; but as quickly as he approached, he continued on, blending in with the background until he was eventually out of sight.

CULT NAILS™ brings you the PASSIONATE DREAMS collection. With names like LETHAL, IGNITE, ANGEL WHISPERS, and KISS, this collection brings emotions of desire, lust, and passion, and the colors are no exception.

Nail Lacquer ($12.00) (Limited Edition)

  • Angel Whispers A soft, pale pink crème provides the base color for this texture polish. Even though the finish may feel slightly rough, its color and signature Cult Nails shimmer create a softening effect reminiscent of an Angel’s wings.
  • Lethal Like staring into your lover’s eyes, you won’t be able to look away when this silver foil is on your tips.
  • Ignite Blending a black jelly base with silver glitter, it’s like closing your eyes for that first kiss, and seeing stars. Ignite is pure passion fuel.
  • Kiss No love story is complete without a kiss. Crafted to invoke emotions of lust and desire, Kiss is a vibrant red that dries to a wax-like finish.

Availability: Pre-sale January 17-31, 2014. The 4 piece set will sell only as a collection during the pre-sale time for $35.00. Remaining colors, if any, will be sold individually beginning February 15, 2014 and will retail for $12.00 each at cultnails.com

Sunday, January 5th, 2014

Now that 2014 has kicked off, and I’m sure you’ve heard that Pantone’s color of the year is Radiant Orchid.  I know we’ll see plenty of new introductions of the color throughout the year, but I know that we’ve seen the color before–and you may already have some in your stash!  Here are a few of my picks for wearing radiant orchid on your lips or your tips…

What are your favorite orchid-hued lip colors and nail polishes?

Monday, December 30th, 2013

I have to admit: this was a complete challenge. In fact, it felt unfair trying to narrow down favorites to a mere ten when I was considering around 300 different shades from the past year. As what tends to happen when I start to feel indecisive, I went for favorites across brands and weighted uniqueness slightly more heavily than other factors. But there were some really outstanding formulas released this year! At year-end, I have to give major props to Cult Nails and OCC, both of which had a lot of contenders.

What were your favorite polishes you tried this past year?