Tuesday, October 27th, 2009

Lippmann Collection Funky Chunky Nail Lacquer ($35.00 for 3 0.5 oz. lacquers) is third polish from Lippmann’s Celebrate Set, which also contained my new polish love Ruby Red Slippers and the gorgeous Superstar.

I had several readers ask me why I didn’t review this polish alongside the other two, and the simple reason is it looked unexciting in the bottle, so I didn’t reach for it when I was trying out the other two, much more eye-catching shades! A follow-up to that would be that it’s such a subpar lacquer from Lippmann that it’s such a real disappointment–not just within the set, but overall. Lippmann has such a fantastic formula and color selection, I’m quite surprised at how dismal Funky Chunky is.

Funky Chunky is a black jelly base lacquer with black hexagon glitter bits. It’s very similar Ruby Red Slippers, but it lacks dimension, pizazz, and pretty much anything that would make it pop. It ends up looking like a sloppy black polish, because the glitter is nearly undetectable in terms of sparkle – it just looks uneven and messy. The black base doesn’t go opaque in two coats either, so you do need to go for three thinner coats for better coverage.

One of the big reasons this product just doesn’t hit the mark is that the chunky glitter actually makes the black base look sloppy and messy–uneven without any reason as to why it would be that way.  Glitter polishes always tend to have a bit of an uneven texture and feel to them, but you can see the glitter so it’s all good.  Since you can’t visibly see the glitter here, it just looks like you don’t know how to paint your nails!

Normally, a Lipppmann lacquer is priced at $16 a pop, so you pay an extra $3 for the other two and you do get this polish. It’s disappointing, but maybe you can add some extra glitter and make it pop for fun. Call it a chance to experiment!

Bottom Line: It’s a bad sign when glitter isn’t even detectable with flash photography (which can always amplify the sparkles of glitter!). This polish is just a total miss for me, and if you could purchase the other two separately, I’d advocate for that, but since you can’t, I still think the set is worth every penny for the two standout shades Ruby Red Slippers and Superstar.

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

  • Product: 15/30
  • Value: 8/10
  • Ease of Use: 3/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

Recommendation: I don’t recommend this shade whatsoever on its own, but I do recommend the set it comes with overall, just because the other two shades are amazing.

Availability: Beauty.com, Nordstrom

Friday, October 23rd, 2009

Lippmann Collection Superstar Nail Lacquer ($35.00 for 3 0.5 oz. lacquers) is another shade that’s part of Lippmann Collection “Celebrate” Nail Set. It also includes Ruby Red Slippers and Funky Chunky (which is similar to Ruby Red Slippers, except it’s a black jelly base with black glitter).

While I don’t love Superstar quite as much as Ruby Red Slippers, I do love it quite a bit! The black-brown jelly base with the small-sized muted copper-orange glitter particles looks ridiculously perfect for the fall/Halloween. In fact, as soon as I finish up swatching up a few more polishes I’ve been meaning to review, I’m going to be doing an alternating manicure of Ruby Red Slippers and Superstar for Halloween. Ahh, so perfect!

Superstar goes opaque and full-on glitter within two medium-thick coats of lacquer, and it dries pretty fast, actually, even without a fast drying top coat.

As with any glitter polish, removal isn’t the easiest or quickest, but I consider it something that just goes with the territory. I know some dislike the clean-up rituals associated with glitter polishes, but I didn’t find it too time consuming or difficult. My technique is to take a cotton pad soaked in remover and let it sit on my nail for about 2-3 seconds (just press the pad against the nail), then move to another nail, repeat… and then go back and remove the polish.

Superstar is currently only available in the Celebrate Set, so value-wise, it’s a good deal, since you get three for $35, rather than $16 a pop.

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

  • Product: 28/30
  • Value: 9/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

Recommendation: I’m slowly falling in love with Lippmann lacquers. The glitter is so sparkly and glitzy–I die! If you love glitter, this is a great set.

Availability: Nordstrom

Thursday, October 22nd, 2009


Lippmann Ruby Red Slippers Nail Lacquer

Lippmann Collection Ruby Red Slippers Nail Lacquer ($35.00 for 3 0.5 oz. lacquers) is part of Lippmann’s “Celebrate” Nail Lacquer Set, which features three shades of nail lacquers (two new and limited to the set–at least for now).

Ruby Red Slippers is, quite possibly, one of the most beautiful nail lacquers I’ve ever seen. It’s absolutely stunning. It’s a burgundy-black jelly base with two sizes of red glitter–small glitter particles mixed with larger, hexagon-shaped glitter. The combination of the two glitter sizes is unique and fun, but just the dark base with the rich ruby red glitter is gorgeous.  I know in the photos the red seems a little fiery, but when I look at my nails in natural lighting, I see more of a scarlet, ruby red.

The formula stays on with minimal tip wear when I used it with Zoya’s Color Lock System (base, top, and fast drying coats). It’s easy to apply, and the glitter doesn’t seem to drag much, so you do get a nice look. As with most glitters, you won’t necessarily get a 100% uniform look, but it doesn’t bother me. I used just two medium-thick coats to get a good, solid look with plenty of sparkle.

I know some dislike the clean-up rituals associated with glitter polishes, but I didn’t find it too time consuming or difficult.  My technique is to take a cotton pad soaked in remover and let it sit on my nail for about 2-3 seconds (just press the pad against the nail), then move to another nail, repeat… and then go back and remove the polish.

Bottom Line: LOVE THIS. The kit is $35, and you do get this plus two other polishes (and let me say, Super Star is divine–will review it separately), so I absolutely think the value on these is fantastic, considering Lippmann lacquers usually retail for $16 a pop.

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

  • Product: 30/30
  • Value: 9/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

Recommendation: If you love glittery nails, I think these are tops. They’re great shades for fall and winter, but Ruby Red Slippers just blows my mind!

Availability: Nordstrom

Thursday, October 15th, 2009

MAC Magic, Mirth, & Mischief Collection
Nail Lacquer: Lucky Number

MAC Magic, Mirth, & Mischief Review: Nail Lacquer & Softsparkle Eye Pencil

MAC launches two metallic finish lacquers: Lucky Number and $$$ Yes (which is a repromote from Heatherette), as well as two repromoted shades of their Softsparkle Eye Pencils — Nightsky and Iris Accents.

  • Lucky Number is a metallic-finish purplish-berry with a high-shine/sheen. Since it is a metallic finish polish, it does show brush strokes. I don’t know if it’s even feasible to manage to get no brush strokes to show, but I know I don’t have the patience to attempt such a feat. It’s a pretty color, though, and it’s not something I already own.
  • $$$ Yes is like wearing tin foil on your nails. It’s a bright silver with a metallic finish. Like Lucky Number, brush strokes will show up. I’ve just kind of learned to deal with brush strokes in metallic shades myself.
  • Nightsky is a medium black with silver microsparkle.  This one is opaque and goes on easily.
  • Iris Accents is a cool-toned, silvery-purple with silver microsparkle.  I find this one more of a semi-opaque shade and doesn’t go on as nicely as Nightsky–it will go on opaque, it just requires layering.

I liked Lucky Number a lot, and if you haven’t played around with the Softsparkles, you may find you like the glitz of them. I like them, but I never find myself reaching for them, despite owning all of them, so they’re not must-haves for me.

  • Product: 23/30
  • Value: 7/10
  • Ease of Use: 3/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

See swatchesContinue reading →

Monday, September 28th, 2009

Chanel Noirs Obscur Collection
Chanel Diabolic Le Vernis

Chanel Noirs Obscurs Collection features three shades of Le Vernis ($23.00 each): Diabolic (deep black), Vendetta (deep violet), and Forbidden (deep black burgundy brown).

Le Vernis ($23.00)

  • Diabolic is a rich, wine-berry burgundy that looks darkest in natural light–like a deep, berry-brown. It has more of a cream finish as it doesn’t have any shimmer.
  • Vendetta is a delicious shade of a deep violet-black with violet shimmer that’s most noticeable in bright light. This shade actually made an appearance a year or so ago, so check your stash if you’re an avid Chanel polish collector. I love this shade, though!
  • Forbidden is a deep, dark reddish-tinged brown. It’s very dark, very sultry, and it’s such a sexy way to wear red without really wearing red. Surprisingly, I really loved this shade on my nails. It’s also a cream texture, like Diabolic (ignore any residual sparkles–I’m pretty sure that’s MAC’s Seriously Hip leftovers).

There’s no real need to discuss value here–it’s a double C nail lacquer, so pick your poison. I’ve always had good luck with Chanel polishes. For my nails, I tend to use Zoya’s Color Lock System for base, top, and fast drying coats, and my nails always last forever. I just get tip wear (which is normal), but I never get chips. Chanel’s formula is consistent, too, which I can appreciate. I just need two medium-thick coats to achieve solid, intense color. I think these colors are perfect for the fall/winter season, and I love how they coordinate so well with the rest of the Noirs Obscurs collection.  If I had to rank ‘em, I’d recommend them in this order:  Forbidden, Vendetta, and Diabolic.

  • Product: 28/30
  • Value: 7/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

Recommendation: Love vampy nails? Love Chanel? Then check these out!

Availability: October/November 2009 at Chanel.

See swatches and close-up photosContinue reading →

Monday, September 21st, 2009


MAC Nocturnelle Nail Lacquer

MAC Style Black: Nail Lacquers Review, Photos, Swatches

MAC Style Black is a deep, dark collection with the rich tones of black as inspiration.  In the launch, there are three nail lacquers:  Nocturnelle, Seriously Hip, and Baby Goth Girl.

Nail Lacquer

  • Nocturnelle is a creamy, glossy opaque black. There aren’t any subtle nuances really, it’s really just black. This is a repromote, so check your stash before you buy.
  • Seriously Hip is a green-toned black with gold-green-olive shimmer. This is insanely pretty, and it coordinates with Bling Black glimmerglass. It goes on opaque in two medium-thick coats.
  • Baby Goth Girl is a red-toned black with reddish-purple shimmer. It’s dark and fall, but the red-purple shimmer is gorgeous over the black base. Like Seriously Hip, it goes on opaque with just two medium-thick coats.

All three lacquers are intensely pigmented and go on opaquely with minimal effort–no special tricks or techniques required. They have a glossy finish, and Seriously Hip and Baby Goth Girl have shimmer whereas Nocturnelle is a cream. These are really quite stunning, and I love these much more than the shades from Nail Trend F/W, actually. Nocturnelle is your standard glossy, creamy black–not a must-have–but the other two are on my list of must-haves.

  • Product: 9/10
  • Value: 8/10
  • Ease of Use: 8/10
  • Packaging: 7/10

Recommendation: If you don’t have issues with MAC’s formula and you don’t mind a splurge, Seriously Hip and Baby Goth Girl are both great picks!

Availability: MAC Cosmetics

See more photos and swatchesContinue reading →