Wednesday, January 5th, 2011

Estee Lauder Wild Storm Nail Lacquer
Estee Lauder Wild Storm Nail Lacquer

Estee Lauder Spring 2011: Wild Storm

Estee Lauder Wild Storm Nail Lacquer ($19.00 for 0.30 fl. oz.) is a steely gray with a hint of bluish-teal micro-shimmer with a faint metallic-frost finish. The blue-tinge is very subtle–it’s more noticeable in the bottle than it is on the hands. The blue comes out strongest in natural light (or low light), but it is there. I only need two coats for an opaque result, and it applied smoothly and fairly evenly, despite minor brushstrokes showing up under flash lighting.

I was initially reminded of Chanel Steel, but it’s nothing like it–it is far too black to be similar. Then, I thought perhaps it was in the same vein as Chanel Black Pearl, but Black Pearl is much more teal–not so much silver or blue. It is like a darker version of NARS Full Metal Jacket. It is also like Zoya Kelly–with shimmer.

The formula itself wasn’t too thick or thin and applied smoothly without any issues. Drying time seemed average, and there was a soft glossy shine, but I’d still recommend a top coat. The amount in the bottle is a little below average, I’d say, while the price tag is a bit hefty.

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  • Product: 27/30
  • Value: 6/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

FINAL THOUGHTS: While I’ve been really impressed with the uniqueness in some of Estee Lauder’s polishes lately, Wild Storm doesn’t quite hit those notes for me.

WHERE TO BUY: Estee Lauder

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Tuesday, January 4th, 2011


Zoya Intimate Collection: Caitlin, Dannii, Dove

Zoya Intimate Collection Review, Photos, Swatches

Zoya’s Intimate Collection features six new shades for spring, and it will launch online on January 15th. Each bottle retails for $7 and contains 0.50 fl. oz. The shades include: Caitlin (misty, moody gray violet cream), Dannii (sparkling, enchanted orchid metallic), Dove (delicate, pale gray cream), Gemma (mysterious green/purple duotone metallic, Jules (soft, glimmering gold kiss metallic), and Marley (lavender pink with a whisper of metallic).

  • Caitlin is a muted, gray, violet-tinged periwinkle with a cream finish. I used two coats. I’m thinking China Glaze Secret Periwinkle might be similar but brighter/more obvious periwinkle.
  • Dannii is a pinked violet with red undertones and gold and ruby shimmer and sparkle. I used two coats. I can’t think of dupes for this one at the moment.
  • Dove is a softened, pale gray with an ever-so-slight tinge of green-teal (at least, on me). I used two coats. It seems like a lighter version of Rescue Beauty Lounge’s Concrete Jungle.
  • Gemma is a murky spring green with soft yellow undertones and flecks of teal and fuchsia shimmer. It took three coats for me to get this to be opaque (I did just two coats on my pointer figure, for reference). I couldn’t think of a dupe for this one.
  • Jules is a pale champagne beige gold with darker gold flecks. This dries down pretty quickly and definitely needs a top coat to retain a high shine finish. I used two coats. It reminded me of MAC Soiree, but Soiree is significantly more copper, though the finishes are similar. Also similar in finish to Dior Timeless Gold but not so much in regards to color (boo!).
  • Marley is a pale lavender cream with subtle pink undertones and a dusting of pearly white micro-shimmer. Two coats. Ironically, for as light as this shade was, it was the most pigmented of all six. I thought perhaps China Glaze Light As Air would be similar, but it’s far too cool-toned (more blue-based thank pink-based) and lighter. I think Essie’s Neo Whimsical is the closest I have, but it’s pinker and has no shimmer.

The formula on these was easy to work with–not too thin or too thick–and applied evenly without any fuss.  Gemma was the only shade I found needed three coats to look its best, while the rest were fine in two coats.  I really loved the ease of application on both Dannii and Jules–this is my kind of finish but they’re just so effortless to apply.   I wore Dannii all last week, and after seven days, I only had minor tip wear.

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

FINAL THOUGHTS: My favorites were Dannii, Jules, and Marley.  I actually really loved the subtly of the pearly shimmer in Marley; it looks very much like a cream in natural light, but with just a bit of sunlight, it has this faint glimmer of sparkle.

WHERE TO BUY: Zoya, available on January 15th.

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Tuesday, December 28th, 2010


Dior Czarina Gold Nail Lacquer

Hard to Find: Dior Czarina Gold Nail Lacquer

Dior Czarina Gold Nail Lacquer ($21.00 for 0.33 fl. oz.) is a deep, dark molten chocolate brown with flecks of green, antique gold, and gold shimmer. The shimmer comes in various sizes, so it has more depth and interest in the color. Two coats was perfect, though it was almost opaque in just one pass. Dior polish wears a full week on me (with a base/top coat) with minimal tip wear. The closest dupe I can come up with is China Glaze’s Wagon Trail, which seems to have more uniformly sized shimmer.

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  • Product: 28/30
  • Value: 6/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

FINAL THOUGHTS: I can see why this sold out–the quality is lovely, but the shade itself is gorgeous on both cool and warm skin tones, and the combination itself is very winter and holiday-esque without being the traditional bling-tastic gold.

WHERE TO BUY: Dior Counters… if they have any in stock

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Sunday, December 26th, 2010

Chanel Peche Nacree Le Vernis
Chanel Peche Nacree Le Vernis

Chanel Spring 2011: Peche Nacree

Chanel Peche Nacree Le Vernis Nail Colour ($23.00 for 0.4 fl. oz.) is a medium-dark peach with pale white peach micro-shimmer strewn through it. It has a frost-metallic finish, so there are some visible brush strokes when under bright light.  It’s opaque in two coats, despite being a lighter shade.

CHANEL LE VERNIS is a pricey product that often comes out with more unique shades (that are later replicated by other brands). The originality or amount of depth in their shades is what often pulls me towards them. Overall, I’ve had good luck with the formula and wear. The formula tends to be on the thicker side but not so thick it’s gloppy, while I typically get a full week’s worth of wear (and just minor tip wear).

Peche Nacree is peachier and darker than Chanel Django. It is also rather similar to MAC’s Seasonal Peach, actually–just the finish is different and it is less pink.  I found two coats to be perfect for color opacity and general look and feel.  The brush strokes in this shade are less noticeable than in Black Pearl but more than Pearl Drop.

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  • Product: 27/30
  • Value: 6/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

FINAL THOUGHTS: It’s warm without being yellow orange, so it should suit both warm and cooler skin tones. I imagine it will lean pinker against cooler, pinker toned skin, than the warmer peach it is against my warmer skin tone.

WHERE TO BUY: Nordstrom

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Saturday, December 25th, 2010

Chanel Pearl Drop Le Vernis
Chanel Pearl Drop Le Vernis

Chanel Spring 2011: Pearl Drop

Chanel Pearl Drop Le Vernis Nail Colour ($23.00 for 0.4 fl. oz.) is a softened white gold frost with a slight metallic finish, sprinkled with pale gold micro-shimmer. There is something about this that reminds me of two things: brides and

CHANEL LE VERNIS is a pricey product that often comes out with more unique shades (that are later replicated by other brands). The originality or amount of depth in their shades is what often pulls me towards them. Overall, I’ve had good luck with the formula and wear. The formula tends to be on the thicker side but not so thick it’s gloppy, while I typically get a full week’s worth of wear (and just minor tip wear).

Pearl Drop stays true to past Chanel lacquers; the same slightly thicker formula with decent pigmentation, but this is a shade that seems designed to be worn sheer.  I used two coats, and you could definitely try a third, but I think there was enough visible nail line at two that there would still be some at three.  If you want a more opaque effect, try wearing a base polish underneath (like a white) to make it pop.

Edited @ 8:21AM: Sorry… swatches should be fixed!  I was sleeping so I wasn’t able to get them faster – really sorry all for screwing up so badly! :(

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  • Product: 27/30
  • Value: 6/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

FINAL THOUGHTS: I really like this shade, but I’m personally a fan of golds and white golds in general, so I find it a very flattering shade against my warm skin tone.  I do think that this shade can be found in other brands, though, so you may want to check your stash first.

WHERE TO BUY: Nordstrom

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Friday, December 24th, 2010

Chanel Black Pearl Le Vernis
Chanel Black Pearl Le Vernis

Chanel Spring 2011: Black Pearl

Chanel Black Pearl Le Vernis Nail Colour ($23.00 for 0.4 fl. oz.) is a stormy teal-tinged blackened base with threads of metallic silvered green running through it, then topped off with green, blue, and teal micro-shimmer. This has a rather metallic finish, so brush strokes are apparent, but the formula works well enough that with some patience and steady hand, the brush strokes can be pulled out evenly and made to look like brushed metal. (I, on the other hand, lack steady hands–or patience–and wobbled a bit.)

LE VERNIS is a pricey product that often comes out with more unique shades (that are later replicated by other brands). The originality or amount of depth in their shades is what often pulls me towards them. Overall, I’ve had good luck with the formula and wear. The formula tends to be on the thicker side but not so thick it’s gloppy, while I typically get a full week’s worth of wear (and just minor tip wear).

Black Pearl seemed a little thicker than normal for Chanel, but each coat was pigmented, and I only needed two coats for opaque color. The only similar shades I could think of were China Glaze’s Rodeo Fanatic (way too blue to be similar) and NARS’ Full Metal Jacket (which is similar in the finish and look/feel, but not the color).

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

  • Product: 26/30
  • Value: 6/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

FINAL THOUGHTS: I couldn’t come up with any dead-on dupes, so perhaps Chanel has another unique shade on their hands. The formula applied fine, but I’ve never been a big fan of brush strokes. I could see this being a must-have for Chanel lacquer fans, but it might not hold the same appeal to others.

WHERE TO BUY: Nordstrom

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