Monday, November 15th, 2010

Rescue Beauty Lounge Red Polishes
Rescue Beauty Lounge: Au Chocolat, Atame, Moulin Rouge

Rescue Beauty Lounge: Au Chocolat, Atame, Moulin Rouge

Rescue Beauty Lounge recently held their annual 50% off sale, and I must admit, I indulged. I’ve been waiting for this sale for months (ever since buying my first RBLs). I could have sworn I saw someone mention it may be the last 50% off sale… anyway, I couldn’t resist.

The first three I want to share with you are: Au Chocolat (molten Godiva), Atame (luscious deep dried cherry red), and Moulin Rouge (think black cherries wrapped in dark chocolate).

  • Au Chocolat is a deep, dark chocolate brown cream; it’s very decadent and rich. It kind of reminds me of Hershey syrup, but I suppose Godiva sounds a little nicer! In natural light, it’s more of a black-brown, while under brighter light like flash, more of the redness from the chocolate brown pulls through. Two coats.
  • Atame is a sultry dark cherry burgundy cream. It initially looks rather similar to Au Chocolat–the difference is more noticeable under stronger light, because Atame turns to the dark cherry red it’s described as. Two coats.
  • Moulin Rouge is deep reddened chocolate brown cream. It’s similar to Au Chocolat–there is a stronger red tone to Moulin Rouge’s base, but they look like cousins. Two coats.

All three shades featured in this post were richly pigmented, applied evenly and never streaked, and only needed two coats for full opacity. Each shade retails for $18, and due to the recent 50% off sale, many shades are sold out for the time being.

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: I don’t think you need all three of these, but they are nice vampier shades that lean on the red/brown side. Between Au Chocolat and Moulin Rouge, I’d definitely only opt for one or the other if you’re on a budget.

AVAILABILITY: Rescue Beauty Lounge

See more photos & swatches! Continue reading →

Thursday, November 11th, 2010


Nail Lacquer: Asiatique, Beyond Jealous, Nocturnelle, Vice is Nice, Vintage Vamp

MAC Tartan Tale: 5 Naughty Little Vices Nail Lacquer

This year, MAC has created a miniature set of nail lacquers, which includes two new (and exclusive) shades as well as three repromotes. The set itself is limited edition.

This includes: Asiatique (creamy classic red), Beyond Jealous (blackened blue green), Nocturnelle (black-as-night black), Vice is Nice (classic metallic gold), and Vintage Vamp (deep black wine).

  • Asiatique is a bright, cherry red cream. It applied opaque in two coats, and it went rather smoothly–not streaky at all. This is a repromote.
  • Beyond Jealous is a green-teal tinged black cream. This applied rather streakily; I needed three coats to get an even, smooth look. I think three coats was necessary just to achieve total opacity, too. This looks rather black regardless of the lighting, though. This is a repromote.
  • Nocturnelle is a dark black cream. Three coats. It’s come out a few times before.
  • Vice is Nice is a shimmering lightened gold with soft yellow tones. The finish looks like a metallic frost to me. It did need a full three coats to get an opaque result, and you can see some brush strokes. It is golder than China Glaze Midnight Kiss.
  • Vintage Vamp is a deep burgundy-red cream. Like several of the other shades, I did need three coats for this, and the first two layers applied on the streakier side.

Each vial contains 2.5g/0.09 oz., while a full-size polish contains 0.34 oz. There is a total of 0.45 oz. worth of polish in the set, which is just under a polish and a half worth of product. MAC’s Nail Lacquer retails for $38.24/oz., while this set works out to be $56.67/oz.  I would expect a bit more given the price tag.

Given some of the application issues and the overall uniqueness of the colors (low), I don’t know if this would be the best introduction to MAC’s nail lacquers or even a great deal. MAC has done some really interesting shades, but this set does not include those. A black, red, and dark red cream just feel too standard. There’s no reason to settle for streakier, less pigmented formulas at this price point when competitors in this price range do it better. Just from the quality issues I had, it’s not a must-have based on my experience.

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

  • Product: 24/30
  • Value: 7/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

RECOMMENDATION: The formula on these is just so-so; the majority needed three coats, and a couple had streaky application.

AVAILABILITY: MAC

See more photos & swatches! Continue reading →

Wednesday, November 3rd, 2010

NARS Pokerface Nail Polish
NARS Pokerface Nail Polish

NARS Holiday: Pokerface

NARS Pokerface Nail Polish ($16.00 for 0.50 fl. oz.) is a new and limited edition shade described as a “vibrant lilac.” It’s one of two new polishes from NARS’ Holiday collection. I’m curious as to why NARS has started to push out more and more limited edition products; often, in the past, seasonal items were rolled into the permanent range.

Pokerface is a medium lilac with subtle pinky-red undertones and pale lilac micro-shimmer. It took three coats, but the end result was opaque, smooth, and beautiful. I see this looking particularly striking on paler, cooler skin tones, as well as deeper skin tones for a stunning contrast.

I’ve had good luck with NARS polish in terms of wear–about a week with just minor tip wear but no chipping–and this shade applied nicely. It wasn’t too thick or thin, and I didn’t experience any bubbling.

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: It’s a very feminine without being over-the-top girly; there’s still that bit of edge despite the lilac base color.  I think it would work well on cooler skin tones, because it does lean towards the cool spectrum, but I still thought it worked with my warmer skin tone.

AVAILABILITY: NARS

See more photos & swatches! Continue reading →

Tuesday, November 2nd, 2010

Dior Timeless Gold Nail Lacquer
Dior Timeless Gold Nail Lacquer

Dior Holiday: Timeless Gold

Dior Timeless Gold Nail Lacquer ($21.00 for 0.33 fl. oz.) is a light, tarnished gold with a glittery-shimmery finish.  It reminded me of China Glaze’s Midnight Kiss, but it’s nowhere near as gold.  It does, however, have a similar finish–it’s almost a foil but not quite, and brush strokes are nearly invisible despite the slight metallic sheen.  The drying time is faster than average, but it does dry to more of a semi-matte finish so you may want to use a shiny top coat for more oomph (swatches are shown without a top coat).

It took two coats to get opaque coverage, and it was actually incredibly easy to apply and to achieve no pesky brush strokes because of Dior’s brush.  This is the first Dior polish I’ve owned that has a wide, tapered brush.  I haven’t seen a brush like this before, and I thought it would be too wide to be practical, but it worked really well for me.  I do think if you have smaller nail beds, though, it may be more difficult (I know I have longer fingers than proportional to my body–thanks piano!).

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

  • Product: 29/30
  • Value: 7/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

RECOMMENDATION: I love the color, but it’s definitely a personal preference.  The formula is very easy to work with and surprisingly opaque–I thought it would end up being rather sheer, but two coats worked beautifully.

AVAILABILITY: Nordstrom

See more photos & swatches! Continue reading →

Monday, November 1st, 2010

Rescue Beauty Lounge Frugalista Nail Lacquer
Rescue Beauty Lounge Frugalista Nail Lacquer (Natural Light)

Rescue Beauty Lounge: Frugalista

With the RBL sale just around the bend, I figured I’d post reviews of the remaining shades I own!

Rescue Beauty Lounge Frugalista Nail Lacquer ($18.00 for 0.4 oz.) is a clear base with fuchsia-purple and bright silver glitter. I think this is actually my favorite of the three glitter polishes from RBL. It’s flashy without being over the top. It would look even better on cooler skin tones, though I still love to wear it myself!

It takes me a full three coats to get a fairly opaque result, and it’s important to use less brush strokes so you don’t displace the glitter. I also recommend being patient and letting each coat dry a bit. And yes, you’ll need a good polish remover and patience to remove it, as it is a glitter polish.

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

  • Product: 27/30
  • Value: 8/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

RECOMMENDATION: This is definitely my top pick for cooler skin tones!

AVAILABILITY: Rescue Beauty Lounge

See more photos & swatches! Continue reading →

Monday, November 1st, 2010

Rescue Beauty Lounge Look Rich, Be Cheap Nail Lacquer
Rescue Beauty Lounge Look Rich, Be Cheap Nail Lacquer (Natural Light)

Rescue Beauty Lounge: Look Rich, Be Cheap

With the RBL sale just around the bend, I figured I’d post reviews of the remaining shades I own!

Rescue Beauty Lounge Look Rich, Be Cheap Nail Lacquer ($18.00 for 0.4 oz.) is a clear base with violet and dirty gold glitter. I actually wore this when I went to the MAC Venomous Villains press event, because it reminded me of Maleficent for some reason.

It takes me a full three coats to get a fairly opaque result, and it’s important to use less brush strokes so you don’t displace the glitter. I also recommend being patient and letting each coat dry a bit. And yes, you’ll need a good polish remover and patience to remove it, as it is a glitter polish.

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

  • Product: 27/30
  • Value: 8/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

RECOMMENDATION: If you’re a fan of glitter polish and like the color mix, I think it’s a good formula that packs a nice amount of glitter in each coat.

AVAILABILITY: Rescue Beauty Lounge

See more photos & swatches! Continue reading →