Saturday, August 7th, 2010

Deborah Lippmann Bad Romance Nail Lacquer
Deborah Lippmann Bad Romance Nail Lacquer

A lil’ Lady Gaga for your nails…

Deborah Lippmann Bad Romance Nail Lacquer ($18.00 for 0.5 oz.) has a black-burgundy jelly base with regular fuchsia glitter and hexagonal glitter.  I was able to get a very opaque look with three coats, but I didn’t get as many hexagonal pieces as I’d like on each nail.  The key is definitely to let each coat dry longer, so that you don’t drag any of the glitter elsewhere.  I’d also recommend doing one or two strokes for each coat, because each time you move the brush, you can displace some of the glitter, and get a patchier look.  The drying time seemed a little shorter than average, and it had a slightly glossy finish even without a top coat.

P.S. — China Glaze’s Mummy May I is very, very similar, but it doesn’t have the hexagonal glitter bits!

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

RECOMMENDATION: I like it — it’s pretty and dark and great for fall.  It doesn’t knock my socks off quite like some other Lippmann shades have in the past.  Perhaps it’s because the glitter is the same color, despite the shape differences.

AVAILABILITY: Nordstrom

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Friday, August 6th, 2010

Essie Declare=
Essie Declare Your Denim Nail Lacquer

Essie Declare Your Denim Nail Lacquer was a collaboration between Teen Vogue and Essie to kick-off the event with bottles given to those who donated on July 28th.   Teen Vogue launched their Declare Your Denim event, which is a charity event where you can donate your denim for a good cause. Teen Vogue and Fashion Delivers (charity) have set-up donation boxes at several malls across America (see a list here). And if you’re not located near one of the participating locations, you can always mail yours! When you spend $25 at participating sponsors (online or in-store), you’ll get a free Teen Vogue tote.

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Tuesday, August 3rd, 2010

Zoya Wicked Collection
Nail Lacquers:: Kelly, Stacy, Burke

Less Wicked, More Wonderful

Zoya Wonderful Collection ($36.00 for all 6, or $7 each) is second of two fall collections from Zoya. It contains six shades: Kelly (rich gray shade with soft purple and blue undertones), Stacy (dark raspberry creme with purple and wine undertones), Burke (soft, dusty light red mulberry with very subtle brick and mauve tones), Kristi (pure, true crisp medium red cream with no strong warm or cool undertones), Cola (warm light brown cream with strong terracotta undertones), Shawn (warm, mossy yellow-toned medium green cream with olive undertones).

  • Kelly is a smoky, grayish blue that looks stormy and smoky at the same time. It’s not gray, it’s not blue, it’s not purple – it’s some variation that includes all three. Two coats.
  • Stacy is a dark burgundy wine–very vampy and dark. I like that it still looks like a wine; it never looks so dark that you can’t distinguish it from black. Two coats.
  • Burke is a softened berry red. I’ve seen this look dustier in other swatches, but it comes out pretty red for me. Two coats.
  • Kristi is a bright pop of neutral cherry red. Very close to pure/true red. Two coats.
  • Cola is a red-toned medium-dark brown–kind of reminds me of what cola looks like when it stains a white shirt, ha.
  • Shawn is a dark, mossy green with yellow undertones. Two coats.

All six have a cream finish, so there is absolutely no shimmer or glitter in these.  They dry down to a slightly glossy finish, but I always finish with a top coat in a regular manicure, though.  I didn’t need more than two coats for crisp, opaque color, and each shade was a dream to apply–pigmented, smooth, and even.   There really isn’t anything to complain about — either you love the colors or you don’t, but the formula will not disappoint!  My must-haves from this collection would be Kelly and Shawn.

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

RECOMMENDATION: Excellent pigmentation for all six shades, easy to apply, and none needed more than two coats for a smooth, opaque finish. If you see a color you like, I think you’ll be happy with it.

AVAILABILITY: Zoya

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Tuesday, August 3rd, 2010

Zoya Wicked Collection
Nail Lacquers:: Edyta, Julieanne, Cheryl

Oh… So… Wicked

Zoya Wicked Collection ($36.00 for all 6, or $7 each) is one of two fall collections from Zoya.  It contains six shades:
Edyta (complex mixture of gold, olive, blue-green, and smoky grey with a sparkling metallic finish), Julieanne (unique purple sparkles with gold, peach, and yellow-green duochrome in a dark blue-purple base), Cheryl (smoky brown base completely packed with metallic copper, gold, and mahogany metallic microglitter), Karina (cool medium crimson red with swirls of pink, gold, and red foil metallic glitter), Carrie Ann (light warm scarlet red with copper, gold and pink-red foil metallic glitter), Kym (antique copper base with gold, copper, and pink reflective metallic sparkles).

  • Edyta is a tarnished, deep green with gold and green micro-shimmer. At first glance, it seems similar to Nubar Verde, but the latter is significantly greener–much more forest green. Just two coats.
  • Julieanne is a deep violet purple with blue undertones and gold and glowing violet shimmer flecks. Two coats.
  • Cheryl is a darkened chocolate brown base with warmer, amber and copper shimmer. It looks very rich and luxe. Two coats.
  • Karina is a ruby red with flecks of scarlet and ruby shimmer–more blue-based. Two coats.
  • Carrie Ann is a brightened cherry red with fiery red shimmer–more orange-based. Two coats.
  • Kym is a pinked/mauvey brown with gold and bronze shimmer. Almost metallic. Two coats.

The formula is just as you’d expect from Zoya:  smooth, nicely pigmented, and dries down beautifully.  The colors are very true-to-bottle, and I had no issues with application whatsoever.

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

RECOMMENDATION: Excellent pigmentation for all six shades, easy to apply, and none needed more than two coats for a smooth, opaque finish. If you see a color you like, I think you’ll be happy with it.

AVAILABILITY: Zoya

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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.

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  • 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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