Sunday, March 4th, 2012

NARS Night Porter Nail Lacquer
NARS Night Porter Nail Lacquer

NARS Night Porter Nail Lacquer

NARS Night Porter Nail Lacquer ($17.00 for 0.50 fl. oz.) is described as “black with green pearls.” The base is definitely very dark, more like deep, dark forest green, but there is a lot of emerald green, olive green, and copper-gold shimmer, so it ends up looking like a very dark, sleek forest green with multi-colored shimmer. China Glaze Glittering Garland is more of an emerald green with more yellow undertones. Zoya Edyta is similar but has more of a metallic finish. Nubar Verde is similar but, again, has a metallic finish, which gives it a much more reflective sheen. The shimmer in the previously two mentioned shades is larger, not as fine as in Night Porter.

Like the other shades in the series, Night Porter is richly pigmented–almost opaque in one coat–and needs two coats for full color coverage.  It does dry down to a semi-matte finish, so I’ would recommend using a shiny top coat to achieve that glossy finish.  NARS’ polishes typically wear a week on me with minor tip wear and no chipping.  I was so impressed with how fluidly Night Porter applied; the polish glided across the nail surface and gave great, even coverage.

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Night Porter

A+
I was so impressed with how fluidly Night Porter applied; the polish glided across the nail surface and gave great, even coverage. The color is beautiful, and there's this cool-warm vibe to it, so I think it would look good on both warm and cool complexions.

Product

10/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

10/10

Longevity

10/10

Application

5/5

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Saturday, March 3rd, 2012

Sinful Cloud 9 Nail Lacquer
Sinful Cloud 9 Nail Lacquer

Sinful Cloud 9 Nail Lacquer

Sinful Cloud 9 Nail Lacquer ($1.99 for 0.50 fl. oz.) is a bright tangerine orange with gold-tangerine shimmer. I don’t have a shade that looks quite like this with shimmer, but China Glaze Papaya Punch is just a bit darker, while China Glaze Sun Worshipper is closer (though lighter) but lacks the shimmery element of Cloud 9–and I think the shimmer is what makes it stand out. China Glaze Riveting is much more of a fiery orange-red.

The color coverage wasn’t quite opaque after two coats, but it was close enough that I would not feel a third coat was necessary. I only get visible nail line in some lighting at certain angles. The consistency wasn’t too thick or too thin, and I really liked the application on this shade–a very happy thing after the frustration of Sinful HD Nails. I do get a week of wear out of Sinful’s formula, though there is minor to noticeable tip wear after seven days (but no chipping!).

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Sinful Cloud 9 Nail Lacquer Review, Photos, Swatches

B+
Perfect for adding some warmth into your winter! It's bright, fun, and plays with the light well. The downside is the slightly sheer color after two coats, so you may want to do three coats for totally opaque coverage.

Product

8.5/10

Pigmentation

9/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

8.5/10

Application

4/5

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Friday, March 2nd, 2012

Nubar Sun Gold Nail Lacquer
Nubar Sun Gold Nail Lacquer

Nubar Sun Gold Nail Lacquer

Nubar Sun Gold Nail Lacquer ($8.00 for 0.50 fl. oz.) is a fiery orange-red with golden orange shimmer. This is a duochrome finish, so depending on the viewing angle, the polish can look more like a pink-red that fades to orange or more of a gold, orange, and tangerine quality. The strength of the duochrome is nice–you can definitely see it and have fun with it in all types of lighting. I could not think of a dupe for this one! The duochrome really does make it a more unique shade. Nubar Pink Flame was the only thing that came to mind, but it is very different (though it is a duochrome), because it is much, much redder.

Nubar has an excellent formula that wears well–a full week with very minimal tip wear and no chipping–and is one of my favorites. The consistency isn’t too thick or too thin, which enables the polish to apply evenly without streaking. Sun Gold was opaque in two coats.  This kind of shade will naturally flatter those with warmer, yellower undertones, but I think the play of pink and red in it may still make it wearable even on cooler skin tones.

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Nubar Sun Gold Nail Lacquer Review, Photos, Swatches

A+
This kind of shade will naturally flatter those with warmer, yellower undertones, but I think the play of pink and red in it may still make it wearable even on cooler skin tones.

Product

10/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

10/10

Longevity

10/10

Application

5/5

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Thursday, March 1st, 2012

NARS Night Breed Nail Lacquer
NARS Night Breed Nail Lacquer

NARS Night Breed Nail Lacquer

NARS Night Breed Nail Lacquer ($17.00 for 0.50 fl. oz.) is described simply as “black with silver glitter.” It’s a deep black with silver shimmer and sparkle that’s opaque in two coats (but one coat packs quite a punch of pigmentation). I don’t have anything quite like this. I think the closest shade I could think of was China Glaze Tinsel Town, but it has a lot more silver glitter and shimmer, so it looks more silver than it does black. China Glaze Stone Cold has more uniform and smaller-sized shimmer, plus it has a matte finish.

NARS nailed the formula of their Night Series shades–the color coverage is fantastic, the shades are nuanced, and they even dry faster than most polishes. It does dry down to a flatter finish, so a shiny top coat is a must if you prefer a glossy finish. The wear of NARS polishes is remarkably good–minor tip wear and no chipping after seven days.  The application was easy and required no special effort; Night Breed had a good consistency–not too thick or too thin–that yielded even color without streaking.

The Glossover

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Night Breed

A+
Night Breed is a high-end polish that's worth it--the formula is flawless: rich in color, easy application, and long-wear. I also love that they didn't skimp on the quantity, because you're getting as much polish as the average polish has (0.50 fl. oz.). Too many high-end brands squeeze on both price and quantity!

Product

10/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

10/10

Longevity

10/10

Application

5/5

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Thursday, February 23rd, 2012

MAC Nail Lacquer
MAC Breezy Blue Nail & Pinkly Fresh Nail Lacquers

MAC Chen Man Love & Water Collection: Nail Lacquers

There are two MAC Nail Lacquers ($16.00 for 0.30 fl. oz.) in the new Love & Water Collection, and they include: Breezy Blue (dark blue) and Pinkly Fresh (mid-tone blue pink).

Breezy Blue is a deep purple-tinted navy blue with a cream finish. I applied two coats (and three coats on the middle finger), but I wasn’t able to get complete opacity. Illamasqua Force is similar but a little lighter. shu uemura Bleu Splendor is darker. Deborah Lippmann I Know What Boys Like is very similar. The formula was watery and thin, so three coats is really necessary in order to eliminate visible nail line.

Pinkly Fresh is a subtly blue-based pastel pink with a cream finish. Essie French Affair is very similar, perhaps a touch lighter. The formula is so, so thick on this one. The first coat was incredibly streaky, and only when I applied a really thick second coat was I able to get a streak-free result. Because of the thicker consistency, drying time seemed longer than average. I used two coats for swatches, though the second coat was deliberately thick, and it was opaque.

I’m not keen on the formula on either of these. At this price point, the formula really needs to be immaculate or else the color out of this world to justify it. How many blue and pink creams are there on the market?

P.S. — Apologies in advance:  I’m super sick, and when I’m under the weather, my hands tend to get really dry, so they are rather tired-looking in these photos!  

The Glossover

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MAC Chen Man Love & Water Collection: Nail Lacquers Review, Photos, Swatches

C
Both shades had a problematic formula, so I would pass on these, because the colors are not unique enough to justify the extra patience, coats, etc. to make these work at this price point.

Product

7/10

Pigmentation

8.5/10

Texture

6/10

Longevity

9/10

Application

3/5

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Friday, February 17th, 2012

SpaRitual Nail Lacquer
SpaRitual Holiday Nail Lacquer

SpaRitual Twinkle Collection

SpaRitual Twinkle Collection ($10.00 each for 0.50 fl. oz.) may have been a holiday collection, but it’s still available for purchase. The collection has six shades: Blue Moon (midnight violet shimmer), Shooting Star (velvet magenta shimmer), Twilight (deep amethyst purple), Illumination (silver glitter), Break of Dawn (red sparkle), and Solstice (textured gold foil).

The majority of the shades apply beautifully; really great consistency–not too thick or too thin–so there was even flow across the nail with good color payoff with each coat. Blue Moon was slightly under-pigmented with very slight visible nail line after two coats. The consistency of Illumination was a little thick, so it tended to pool around the sides if you aren’t careful (and I wasn’t).  SpaRitual always seems like an underrated brand to me–their formula usually has a nice consistency, good pigmentation, and the wear is fantastic (I get a week with minor tip wear).  I’m also a huge fan of the rubberized cap, which makes it easier to grip and paint your nails!

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SpaRitual Twinkle Collection Review, Photos, Swatches

A
SpaRitual always seems like an underrated brand to me--their formula usually has a nice consistency, good pigmentation, and the wear is fantastic (I get a week with minor tip wear). I'd rock these shades year-round! :)

Product

9/10

Pigmentation

9.5/10

Texture

9.5/10

Longevity

9.5/10

Application

4.5/5

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