Wednesday, April 18th, 2012

Cult Nails Scandalous Nail Lacquer
Cult Nails Scandalous Nail Lacquer

Cult Nails Scandalous Nail Lacquer ($10.00 for 0.50 fl. oz.) is described as a “pastel coral” with a jelly finish, which is buildable in color. It’s an orange-coral with a just-muted quality to the overall color. The bottle looks a bit brighter than how it appears on the nail. There’s an inkling of pink in the color, but it’s hard to see. I think against skin tones with pink undertones, it will be more apparent, but paired with my warm undertones, it pulls more orange. I don’t have any similar shades with a jelly finish, which is such a distinctive finish that similar hues don’t look the same because of that difference alone. Essie Tart Deco is a little paler, creamier. Barielle Blossom is much lighter.

There’s visible nail line after two coats (which is what I have on in the swatches), and three coats is nearly opaque–a hint of nail line comes through at certain angles. According to the brand, it’s “almost opaque” at two to three coats, which seems to be what I experienced. I think Maria does an excellent job at setting expectations with her shades. This dried a lot quicker than most polishes for me; I just applied it while editing the photos to ensure color accuracy, and it was mostly dry on its own after a couple of minutes–no top coat or anything–you’ll pick up fingerprints, so it wasn’t 100% dry, but enough to maneuver. The formula is of the typical thickness for a jelly; it had that slightly gel-like consistency. Cult Nails’ formulas tend to wear a full week on me with no chipping and very minor tip wear.

The Glossover

DC
product

Scandalous

A+
It has a really lovely squishy look to it, and I love that it's buildable--you can have the more common translucent jelly-look, but you can also go opaque without having to do four layers.

Product

10/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

10/10

Longevity

10/10

Application

5/5

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Tuesday, April 17th, 2012

NARS Trouville Nail Lacquer
NARS Trouville Nail Lacquer

NARS Trouville Nail Lacquer

NARS Trouville Nail Lacquer ($18.00 for 0.50 fl. oz.) is described as a “seashell pink.” It’s a soft pink with a hint of coral and yellow undertones. It’s nearly opaque in two coats–under diffused flash, there’s faint visible nail line, but in studio lighting, I couldn’t tell it wasn’t 100% opaque. OCC Femme is a yellow-toned pink, but it’s a bit pinker and has shimmer. Chanel Mistral is also a yellow-toned pink but darker, pinker, and has shimmer. Chanel Morning is the closest in tone, but it’s darker.

The consistency of Trouville was just slightly thicker than ideal, but it applied fairly evenly and easily. Each coat takes a little longer to dry, and if you go too quickly, you risk pulling up the color of the first coat a bit.  I think this is a really lovely choice for spring and summer; it’s warm, breezy, and feminine without being too pastel or too bright.  I could see this working well on toes, too!  I’ve had excellent luck with NARS’ formula–it wears like iron and lasts a full seven days without chipping.

The Glossover

LE
product

Trouville

A
I think this is a really lovely choice for spring and summer; it's warm, breezy, and feminine without being too pastel or too bright. I could see this working well on toes, too!

Product

9.5/10

Pigmentation

9.5/10

Texture

9.5/10

Longevity

10/10

Application

4.5/5

Results
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Friday, April 13th, 2012

Cult Nails Seduction Nail Lacquer
Cult Nails Seduction Nail Lacquer

Cult Nails Seduction Nail Lacquer

Cult Nails Seduction Nail Lacquer ($10.00 for 0.50 fl. oz.) is described as a “sheer purple/red jelly top coat polish loaded with red and blue multichromatic flakes.” The base color is a red-violet jelly that’s semi-opaque after two coats. If you did three, you should still have some translucency, which is expected given the shade’s description. It has that squishy, plush look of a jelly finish, so I like it a lot with just two coats. The flakes deposit evenly across the nail for the most part, and they apply smoothly; there are no rough edges or finishes here. I applied two coats of it alone, and then I applied two coats of it over black. The flakes shift from coppery-orange to pink-red to red to violet purple. Over black, the flakes take on a deeper, more intense appearance–more red and purple than gold, pink-red, and violet.

I couldn’t think of any dupes for the base color–none of the purples that came close in hue had the jelly finish. Deborah Lippmann is nothing like this–it’s a deep, dark indigo with less shift in the flakes. Zoya Chloe has the orange/red flakes but lacks the purple ones.  If you have a wider stash of holographic top coats, you may find you have something that you could layer to yield similar results (I just couldn’t find anything from what I remember and have tried!).

If you’ve been thinking on this shade, you won’t want to let yourself think too long, because it’s limited edition–and for a reason–Maria said that the ingredients used to create it are no longer available as a U.S.-made commodity, so once it’s gone, it’s gone. I remember Maria wanted to bring back Clairvoyant, but she wasn’t able to, due to unavailability of ingredients.

The formula was a pleasure to work with; it had that thicker consistency expected of a jelly texture, but it’s not the kind of thick that it’s goopy or anything like that.  I’d almost rather describe it as plush.  It applied easily and evenly across the nail without pooling, bubbling, or streaking.  Cult Nails’ formula wears exceptionally well with very minor tip wear after a week of wear and never any chipping–and I’ve tested six shades from their range (across different finishes). Since this just arrived and I wanted to make sure I reviewed before it was sold out (which I wasn’t able to do when Clairvoyant came around–a shade I did test for wear), I did not specifically test the wear on this shade.

The Glossover

coming-soon

Cult Nails Seduction Nail Lacquer Review, Photos, Swatches

A+
If you've been thinking on this shade, you won't want to let yourself think too long, because it's limited edition--and for a reason--Maria said that the ingredients used to create it are no longer available as a U.S.-made commodity, so once it's gone, it's gone.

Product

10/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

10/10

Longevity

10/10

Application

5/5

Results
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Wednesday, April 11th, 2012

Illamasqua Nomad Nail Varnish
Illamasqua Nomad Nail Varnish

Illamasqua Nomad Nail Varnish

Illamasqua Nomad Nail Varnish ($14.00 for 0.50 fl. oz.) is described as a “bright jade” with a glossy finish. It’s a vibrant aqua-green with just a little too much green and aqua in it to be a true mint green. It’s like the lightest, brightest jade. China Glaze Re-Fresh Mint is much, much lighter. MAC Peppermint Patti is the closest shade I could think of, though it’s not as bright. Essie Turquoise & Caicos is bluer.

Illamasqua makes one of my favorite polish formulas, not just because the formula itself is excellent with impeccable wear (it’s one of the longest-wearing formulas on me–I’ve literally wore a color for 10-14 days with minor tip wear), but they often set and create trends and do so at a much more palatable price point than some higher-end brands like MAC, NARS, Dior, Chanel, and so forth.  Nomad is no exception.  I wore this shade for seven days with barely any tip wear and no chipping.

Nomad turns opaque in two coats, and the formula is a dream to work with–not too thick or too thin.  It flowed fluidly across the nail and yielded even color, though it did take a little longer to dry than the average polish.  The finish is slightly glossy, but I’d still recommend using a shiny top coat for a truly glossy finish.

The Glossover

P
product

Nomad

A+
Nomad is a gorgeous shade that's appropriate for both spring and summer (though, perhaps, an edgy spring shade!). The formula is every bit as lovely to work with as the color is.

Product

10/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

10/10

Longevity

10/10

Application

5/5

Results
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Tuesday, April 10th, 2012

Deborah Lippmann Ray of Light Nail Lacquer
Deborah Lippmann Ray of Light Nail Lacquer

Deborah Lippmann Ray of Light Nail Lacquer

Deborah Lippmann Ray of Light Nail Lacquer ($18.00 for 0.50 fl. oz.) is described as “indigo” and it has a “3D holographic” finish. It’s a rich, deep blue-purple that really does rather close to indigo, though perhaps it’s a little closer to violet. It has holographic flakes that are really well-mixed with the base color. The holographic flakes shift from green to orange to copper to red, though it’s a subtler shift–it tends to look more coppery-red overall. I don’t know of a polish that has both this base color with the holographic flakes in it. SpaRitual Illume has the closest base color, but it is purpler, less blue-toned. ORLY Lunar Eclipse is more of a blue-violet hue, but it’s so much brighter that it looks very different in comparison. SpaRitual Twinkle is also a bit similar, though it’s bluer, and richer–it doesn’t have the jelly-like quality of Ray of Light that makes it look a bit muted. You could try a violet/indigo base color and a holographic top coat perhaps. You won’t quite get the really integrated, smooth look of this shade, but you will probably come close.

Ray of Light was opaque after two coats of polish, though the consistency was a little thicker than ideal and thicker than Deborah Lippmann’s polishes in general. I was surprised it didn’t pool around the edges given the consistency, but it applied fairly easily and evenly.  I wish the formula was a little closer to perfection at this price point, but at least the shade isn’t one I can think of five cousins right away.  A little thinner would likely help the consistency, if you have it on hand.  Deborah Lippmann’s formulas wear really well on me–I get a week of wear with very minor tip wear but no chipping.

The Glossover

LE
product

Ray of Light

A
I like that it's not something I have in my collection, but the formula is on the thicker side, which is disappointing. The color coverage is excellent, and I didn't have any problems during application, despite the thicker consistency.

Product

9/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

10/10

Application

4.5/5

Results
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Monday, April 9th, 2012

Essie Navigate Her Nail Lacquer
Essie Navigate Her Nail Lacquer

Essie Navigate Her Nail Lacquer

Essie Navigate Her Nail Lacquer ($8.00 for 0.50 fl. oz.) is described as a “new growth green.” It’s a soft pastel green with subtle warm yellow undertones. The closest dupe I could think of was Zoya Tracie, which has subtle metallic shimmer running through it. It’s also a little yellower. Barielle Myrza’s Meadow is also a bit similar, though a touch lighter, and it has multi-colored flecks of sparkle.  I love the yellow component to this, because it keeps it from being a cool, minty green that screams winter to me; the warmth gives it the freshness of springtime to me.

Navigate Her was opaque in two coats. The initial coat was a little streaky, but it was opaque and even with the second coat. It had a well-balanced consistency that was neither too thick or too thin, so it applied fluidly and evenly without pooling or bubbling. I tested Navigate Her for wear, and it managed a full seven days without chipping and had minimal tip wear at the end of the week.

The Glossover

LE
product

Navigate Her

A
This will be beautiful against neutral and warm skin tones in particular--though it has subtle warm undertones, so I think cooler complexions can still pull this off. The formula was really easy to work with, and there was excellent color payoff.

Product

9.5/10

Pigmentation

9.5/10

Texture

10/10

Longevity

9.5/10

Application

5/5

Results
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