Saturday, February 15th, 2014

Formula X Nail Lacquer
Formula X The Cut – Spring 2014 Nail Lacquers

For spring, Formula X introduced five new shades in “The Cut.” In general, I’m a fan of Formula X’s lacquer formula, as it is pigmented, long-wearing, and easy to apply. I had trouble with the three shades I tried from the five new ones (I do not have the other two)–they were streaky, with Dynamic being just slightly streaky and troublesome but the end result was manageable, while the other two were noticeably uneven. All three were slightly thick in consistency, though they dried down a little faster than average and had naturally shiny finishes.

Formula X Alive Nail Lacquer ($10.50 for 0.40 fl. oz.) is described as an “opaque peach pink.” It’s a light-medium peachy-pink with a cream finish. This shade was streaky on both the first and second coat, so the resulting finish was noticeably streaky and uneven. The formula felt slightly thick as well. It seems a bit brighter in real life than it’s showing in the photos. Tom Ford Beauty Coral Beach (03) (LE, $32.00), Chanel Starlet (LE, $27.00), and Butter London Trout Pout (P, $15.00) are all much darker. See comparison swatches.

Formula X Dynamic Nail Lacquer ($10.50 for 0.40 fl. oz.) is described as an “opaque light taupe.” It’s a light-medium taupe with a subtle warm undertone and cream finish. It was mostly opaque after two coats, and it was applied decently overall, but the first coat was noticeably streaky and the second coat needed to be a little thicker and slowly dragged across the nail to minimize additional streakiness. L’Oreal Never Lacque-ing (LE) is lighter, less gray. Rescue Beauty Lounge Be Humble (LE, $20.00) is shimmery, purpler. MAC Inert (LE, $16.00) is grayer. Chanel Frenzy (P, $27.00) is warmer. See comparison swatches.

Formula X Over the Top Nail Lacquer ($10.50 for 0.40 fl. oz.) is described as an “opaque light green.” It’s a brightened, light-medium pastel green with warm, yellow undertones and a cream finish. Though the pigmentation seemed opaque after two coats, it was streaky and uneven in application, so it looked patchy. Zoya Tracie (P, $9.00) and Essie Navigate Her (LE, $8.00) a few shades darker. See comparison swatches.

The Glossover

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Alive

C+

Product

6.5/10

Pigmentation

9/10

Texture

6.5/10

Longevity

10/10

Application

3.5/5

Results
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Dupes
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product

Dynamic

B+

Product

8/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

8/10

Longevity

10/10

Application

4/5

Results
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product

Over the Top

B-

Product

7/10

Pigmentation

9.5/10

Texture

7/10

Longevity

10/10

Application

3.5/5

Results
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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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Thursday, February 13th, 2014

Formula X Beacon Nail Lacquer
Formula X Beacon Nail Lacquer

This post features three more shades from Formula X’s Liquid Crystals Nail Lacquer ($12.50 for 0.40 fl. oz.) formula. If you missed my original post, you can view it here. Beacon and Equinox were nicely pigmented, shiny, and easy to apply, but Moon Glow had all the same issues as Fluorescent.

Beacon Nail Lacquer ($12.50 for 0.40 fl. oz.) is described as a “royhal blue micro-glitter in sheer blue.” It’s a deepened–but still bright–medium-dark blue with lighter blue and purplish shimmer and sparkle. The texture is smooth to the touch, and the finish is shiny–foil-like. It was fully opaque after two coats. I also tried one coat over black, and it can work, but you can see how one coat is quite dense. Zoya Dream (P, $9.00) has larger shimmer, more muted. Marc Jacobs Beauty Blue Velvet (132) (P, $18.00) is more muted. China Glaze Blue Year’s Eve (LE, $7.50) is lighter. Zoya Song (P, $9.00) is bluer, brighter. See comparison swatches.

Equinox Nail Lacquer ($12.50 for 0.40 fl. oz.) is described as a “purple micro-glitter in sheer purple.” It’s a fuchsia-shimmered, medium purple with warm undertones and a shiny, foil-like finish. It had full coverage after two coats, and the consistency wasn’t too thick or too thin, so it was easy to apply. China Glaze Senorita Bonita (LE, $7.50) is brighter, less shimmery. Zoya Kieko (P, $9.00) is less shimmery, more muted. See comparison swatches.

Moon Glow Nail Lacquer ($12.50 for 0.40 fl. oz.) is described as an “iridescent blue micro-glitter in sheer baby blue.” It’s an iridescent, light blue-shimmered blue-tinged base. It seems more like iridescent blue shimmer suspended in a clear base. The formula seemed watery, which resulted in sheerer, more uneven color payoff. The shimmer didn’t spread evenly across the nail with each coat. I used three coats on my ring finger, and while significantly more opaque than two coats, it was still noticeably sheer. I did one coat over black, and it was stunning, so if it was something you only wanted to use as a top coat, it may still be worth considering. Color Club Blue Heaven (P) is the closest shade I could think of, but it is opaque, not as iridescent, and it is holographic. See comparison swatches.

The Glossover

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Beacon

A

Product

9.5/10

Pigmentation

9/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

10/10

Application

5/5

Results
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product

Equinox

A

Product

9.5/10

Pigmentation

9/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

10/10

Application

5/5

Results
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Dupes
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product

Moon Glow

B-

Product

8/10

Pigmentation

7.5/10

Texture

7.5/10

Longevity

10/10

Application

4/5

Results
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Wednesday, February 12th, 2014

Formula X Wavelength Nail Lacquer
Formula X Wavelength Nail Lacquer

This spring, Formula X (for Sephora) launched Liquid Crystals Nail Lacquer ($12.50 for 0.40 fl. oz.) in fourteen shades. The new finish is described as a “brilliant, light-reflecting nail lacquer made from crushed micro-crystalline and pigmented mica.” Now, these really need some clarity on just how pigmented they’re supposed to be. The individual shade descriptions all imply that there’s some hue of glitter in a sheer color base, then the formula is described as a “buildable formula that intensifies with each coat.” The press release elaborated a bit more and said, “Apply one coat for a sheer crystalline look, or layer for a full stained-glass effect.” So, it sounds like most other polish–one coat will be sheer, two will not be, and that is what I looked for with these.

Fluorescent was the only shade that I’d really describe as sheer, and it was only semi-opaque after three coats–it wasn’t that buildable. Borealis was very pigmented and fully opaque after two coats, and Wavelength was nearly opaque after two and just had subtle nail line only visible if I held my nails at certain angles where enough light was coming underneath the nail. So, the pigmentation is a mixed bag, but in general, if you were seeking opaque color, most seem to be there. If you were looking for really sheer top coats, I felt like some were too pigmented to let a base color come through. The drying time on all of these was faster than average; not so fast that you can’t work with the formula. They all dried down to a shiny, reflective finish that wasn’t really glossy but smooth and shiny. I typically get over a week of wear with Formula X with little tip wear.

Wavelength Nail Lacquer ($12.50 for 0.40 fl. oz.) is described as a “pink micro-glitter in sheer purple pink.” It’s a cool-toned, fuchsia-pink with pink sparkle. It was semi-opaque in a single coat, mostly opaque after two; only if I held my nails at certain angles could I see any visible nail line. Zoya Bobbi (P, $9.00) is darker, less cool-toned. China Glaze Love’s a Beach (LE, $7.50) is brighter, less shimmery. China Glaze Endurance (LE, $7.50) is darker. See comparison swatches.

Borealis Nail Lacquer ($12.50 for 0.40 fl. oz.) is described as a “gold micro-glitter in sheer olive green.” It’s a murky, yellow and brown-tinged green with golden olive and olive green shimmer and flecks of sparkle. It was nearly opaque in a single coat, and it was fully opaque after two. Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics Ripley (P, $10.00) is less yellow-toned with finer shimmer. SpaRitual Lithophonic (LE, $10.00) is less shimmery, darker. Rescue Beauty Lounge Turn It Around (LE, $20.00) has coppery shimmer, lighter. China Glaze Zombie Zest (LE, $7.50) is cooler-toned, has a duo-chrome. See comparison swatches.

Fluorescent Nail Lacquer ($12.50 for 0.40 fl. oz.) is described as a “lime micro-glitter in sheer lime.” It’s a mix of gold and chartreuse-hued sparkle and shimmer suspended in a sheer, green-ish base color. Two coats, it was still sheer, and three coats, it was semi-sheer (see ring finger). The consistency of this shade felt a little watery, and the shimmer and sparkle didn’t spread as evenly across the nail.  This one had more of a duochrome effect, which was really noticeable over black (I applied one coat over one coat of black in the swatches).  Butter London Dosh (P, $15.00) is much darker and opaque. NYX Lime (P, $4.00) is darker, brighter, less yellow. See comparison swatches.

The Glossover

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product

Wavelength

A

Product

9.5/10

Pigmentation

9/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

10/10

Application

5/5

Results
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Dupes
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P
product

Borealis

A

Product

9.5/10

Pigmentation

9/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

10/10

Application

5/5

Results
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Dupes
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product

Fluorescent

B

Product

8.5/10

Pigmentation

7.5/10

Texture

7.5/10

Longevity

10/10

Application

4/5

Results
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Tuesday, February 11th, 2014

OCC Pleasure Model Nail Lacquer
OCC Pleasure Model Nail Lacquer

OCC Pleasure Model Nail Lacquer ($10.00 for 0.50 fl. oz.) is described as a “pink-toned pearl.” It’s a pale, warm-toned milky pink with a metallic finish. It had mostly opaque color coverage after two coats, but it was slightly streaky. The consistency was also a bit thicker than average but workable. Cult Nails Angel Whispers (LE, $12.00) has a different finish. Anna Sui Minnie Mouse Snow White (002) (LE, $16.00) has larger sparkle. Tom Ford Beauty Vapour (LE, $30.00) is whiter. Dior Lady (LE, $26.00) is whiter. See comparison swatches or view on The Dupe List.

OCC Seething Nail Lacquer ($10.00 for 0.50 fl. oz.) is described as a “lingerie satin pink.” It’s a light-medium, yellow-toned pink with metallic, pale gold shimmer/sheen. This applied more evenly than Pleasuremodel, and it had almost no visible brush strokes. It was very nearly opaque after two coats. The lightness coupled with the warmer undertone made this one harder for me to dupe. MAC Ke Ai (LE, $16.00) is warmer. Cult Nails Enticing (P, $12.00) is cooler-toned, less shimmery. China Glaze Encouragement (LE, $7.50) is cooler-toned. See comparison swatches or view on The Dupe List.

OCC Vapid Nail Lacquer ($10.00 for 0.50 fl. oz.) is described as a “palest lavender.” It’s a very, very pale lavender (almost like a milky, lavender-white) with a cream finish. This had an impressive application, as the initial coat was almost not streaky at all, and the second coat made the resulting finish smooth and even, plus opaque. It’s the lightest lavender I’ve swatched personally, so while the following shades are the closest I can think of, they’re not very close at all. Illamasqua Speckle (LE, $17.00) has large black glitter. Zoya Marley (P, $9.00) is darker. Zoya Julie (P, $9.00) is darker, shimmery. See comparison swatches or view on The Dupe List.

The Glossover

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product

Pleasure Model

B

Product

8.5/10

Pigmentation

9/10

Texture

8/10

Longevity

9/10

Application

4/5

Results
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Dupes
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product

Seething

A-

Product

9/10

Pigmentation

9.5/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

9/10

Application

5/5

Results
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Dupes
P
product

Vapid

A

Product

9.5/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

9/10

Application

5/5

Results
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Sunday, February 9th, 2014

OCC Automaton Nail Lacquer
OCC Automaton Nail Lacquer

OCC Automaton Nail Lacquer ($10.00 for 0.50 fl. oz.) is described as a “24K gold with red/green duochrome [with a Metallic finish].” It’s a brightened, sunshine yellow with warm, yellow-red undertones and very fine micro-shimmer that shifts from a coppery-red to a murky green. I tried so hard to capture the duochrome, but it’s really subtle, and despite dozens of photos, no luck. After two coats, there was still visible nail line, and I’d describe the coverage as semi-opaque. It applied evenly, and there weren’t any brush strokes even though it is a more metallic finish. NARS Kismet (LE, $19.00) is darker, more coppery. See comparison swatches.

OCC Deven Green Nail Lacquer ($10.00 for 0.50 fl. oz.) is described as a “nearly-neon green [with a Creme finish].” It’s a brightened, light-medium green with subtle warm undertones. “Nearly-neon” is exactly right; it’s vibrant, bright, but it’s not quite neon. It was opaque in two coats, and the first coat was a little streaky going on, but the second coat smoothed and evened everything out. The consistency was slightly thick. The only neon green I could think of was China Glaze I’m With the Lifeguard, which is a true neon green, and it has shimmer, so it’s really not similar at all.

OCC Pool Boy Nail Lacquer ($10.00 for 0.50 fl. oz.) is described as an “aquatic blue [with a Creme finish].” It’s a light-medium blue with a cream finish. It dries down to a satiny finish–there’s some shine, but it’s not glossy. The consistency is slightly thin, but it is opaque after two coats. It was a somewhat streaky going on the first coat, and the second coat covered most of it, but it wasn’t a flawless finish. Zoya Rocky (P, $9.00) is darker, more muted. Essie In the Cab-ana (P, $8.00) is warmer, greener. Cult Nails Nakizzle’s Shizzle (P, $12.00) is darker, more muted. SpaRitual Ebb & Flow (LE, $10.00) is much darker. See comparison swatches.

I typically get a week of wear with OCC’s formula with minor tip wear but no chipping.

The Glossover

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product

Automaton

B+

Product

9/10

Pigmentation

7/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

9/10

Application

5/5

Results
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product

Deven Green

A

Product

9/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

9/10

Application

5/5

Results
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Dupes
P
product

Pool Boy

A-

Product

8.5/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

8.5/10

Longevity

9/10

Application

4.5/5

Results
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