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!

The Glossover

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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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Sunday, February 12th, 2012

Estee Lauder Teal Topaz Nail Lacquer
Estee Lauder Teal Topaz Nail Lacquer

Estee Lauder Teal Topaz Nail Lacquer

Estee Lauder Teal Topaz Nail Lacquer ($19.00 for 0.30 fl. oz.) is a dusty teal with a cream finish, though it dries to an almost vinyl-like finish. Illamasqua Muse is a richer, deeper teal that isn’t much darker but has more depth. Cult Nails Let Me Fly is a bit darker and has shimmer. Orly Viridian Vinyl is very close in color but has a pleather-like finish.

It’s not quite opaque after two coats, and it doesn’t apply completely evenly; there is a tendency to streak and pull. I’ve had good luck with Estee Lauder’s new Pure Color lacquers, but this one fell flat for me. The application was off; it wasn’t as pigmented as other shades, and it did not apply flawlessly. Estee Lauder bottles look big, but they’re deceptively small in actual product–there’s a lot of excess glass, which makes the bottle heavy and chunky (it takes up more space than your average bottle of polish).  I typically get a week of wear with very minor tip wear with Estee Lauder’s formula.

The Glossover

LE
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Teal Topaz

B
It's a really pretty shade, but the formula falls short--at this price tag, and with several other dupes available, it's unacceptable.

Product

7/10

Pigmentation

9/10

Texture

8.5/10

Longevity

10/10

Application

3/5

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Friday, February 10th, 2012

China Glaze Hunger Games Nail Lacquer
China Glaze Hunger Games Nail Lacquer

China Glaze & Hunger Games Collection: Colours from the Capitol

China Glaze Colours from the Capitol Collection is slated for March launch. It features twelve shades with each shade being named after a different district. This post features these six: Hook and Line, Luxe and Lush, Mahogany Magic, Riveting, Smoke and Ashes, and Stone Cold. Reader Kim did an excellent job explaining the names-to-district component.

  • Hook and Line is a warm gray with threads of pale silver. This shade is named after District 4 for fishing. It’s opaque in two coats, but this is a little thick, streaky, and has a ton of brush strokes. The color is a little reminiscent of Zoya Dove but it’s darker and warmer.
  • Luxe and Lush is a duochrome top coat with various sizes of flakies that reflect gold and pink with a little blue. This shade is named after District 1 for luxury. I applied two coats so you could see it on its own as well as over Smoke and Ashes. I don’t have a dupe for this shade. The closest I could think of were Zoya’s Fleck Effects.
  • Mahogany Magic is a warm brown with a yellow base. It was opaque in two coats. This shade is named for District 7 for lumber. Illamasqua Taint is a cooler-toned brown. Chanel Khaki Rose is lighter.
  • Riveting is a vibrant orange with orange-tinted gold shimmer. It was opaque in two coats. This shade is named for District 3 for technology. Zoya Tanzy is a little lighter and has more shimmer/glitter. Nubar Arencia is similar but a touch darker. Milani Metal Gear is darker and the shimmer doesn’t appear as light.
  • Smoke and Ashes is an inky blue-based black with green and blue shimmer. It was opaque in two coats. This shade is named for District 12 for mining. The base color reminded me of Zoya Cynthia a bit, but it’s blacker. Cult Nails Living Water has a similar look but the shimmer is more dominant and leans bluer.
  • Stone Cold is a soft black with silver shimmer–and it’s matte. This shade is named for District 2 for masonry. It’s similar to Nubar Midnight and MAC Butterfly. Orly Iron Butterfly should also be a dupe.

The consistency of Hook and Line was the worst; a little thick, not quite goopy but close, which all resulted in a streaky finish. I had better luck with Riveting, Smoke and Ashes, and Stone Cold, which were easy to apply and didn’t have any consistency concerns–they weren’t too thick or too thin and applied evenly without bubbling or pooling along the sides. Luxe and Lush has a thicker consistency, which actually helps the flakies distribute fairly evenly over the nail.  Mahogany Magic was on the thicker side, but it wasn’t as problematic as Hook and Line.

The Glossover

coming-soon

China Glaze & Hunger Games Collection Reviews, Photos, Swatches (Part 2)

A-
This set of six was better overall compared to the six from part one--only two shades gave me problems, while the other four were easy to work with and had a good formula.

Product

9/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

9.5/10

Application

4/5

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Wednesday, February 8th, 2012

China Glaze Hunger Games Nail Lacquer
China Glaze Hunger Games Nail Lacquer

China Glaze & Hunger Games Collection: Colours from the Capitol

China Glaze Colours from the Capitol Collection is slated for March launch. It features twelve shades with each shade being named after a different district. This post features these six: Agro, Dress Me Up, Electrify, Fast Track, Foie Gras, and Harvest Moon. Reader Kim did an excellent job explaining the names-to-district component.

  • Agro is a rich, dark olive green with subtle yellow undertones and olive gold shimmer and metallic threads. This shade is named after District 11 for agriculture. I used two coats for opaque color, and it had a good consistency. Cult Nails In a Trance is much lighter, more olive green without a blackened edge. China Glaze It’s Alive has similar color components but looks totally different. NARS Mash looks almost the same.
  • Dress Me Up is a dusty, rose peach with a cream finish. This shade was named after District 8 for textiles. I used two coats for opaque color, but the consistency was a little thick. Zoya Pandora is lighter. Nubar Moire is darker.
  • Electrify is red and gold glitter suspended in a clear base. This shade was named after District 5 for power. I did two coats by itself, and it’s not quite opaque–with a little patience, I think you could manage to achieve almost opaque color coverage with three coats. I couldn’t think of a dupe for this one.
  • Fast Track is a grayish beige with pale yellow gold flecks of shimmer. It’s not quite opaque after two coats. This shade was named after District 6 for transportation. China Glaze Knotty is lighter. China Glaze Ingrid seemed really similar when I swatched this initially, but it’s much darker.
  • Foie Gras is a purple-tinted brown cream. It was opaque after two coats, but it was a little thick. This shade was named after District 10 for livestock. China Glaze Street Chic is browner. Urban Decay Barlust has a similar color but has shimmer.
  • Harvest Moon is a rich, warm copper with lighter copper shimmer. It was opaque in two coats. This shade was named after District 9 for grain. Zoya Tanzy is much more orange. Nubar Caramello is similar but a little more orange.

The formula was inconsistent, but overall, it fell short of my expectations for China Glaze, which is a brand that usually releases colors with a great formula.  The creams had a thicker consistency that almost felt runny.  You really need to make sure to wipe off excess before applying to the nail to avoid having a pool of color.  Electrify has a thicker consistency, which was expected, because of the clear base, but it distributed the glitter fairly evenly.  Agro and Harvest Moon had the best formula from these six, and their drying time felt fast.

The Glossover

coming-soon

China Glaze & Hunger Games Collection Reviews, Photos, Swatches (Part 1)

B+
I wish the formula was more consistent with China Glaze's formula overall, because these felt on the thicker side and took longer to dry than average. Agro and Harvest Moon applied the best out of these six.

Product

8.5/10

Pigmentation

9/10

Texture

8.5/10

Longevity

9.5/10

Application

4/5

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Sunday, February 5th, 2012

MAC Midsummer's Dream Nail Lacquer
MAC Midsummer’s Dream Nail Lacquer

MAC Vera: Nail Lacquers

This collection features two new and limited edition shades of MAC Nail Lacquer ($16.00 for 0.34 fl. oz.). These shades include: Midsummer’s Dream (pale pink lilac) and Play Day (pale milky coral).

  • Midsummer’s Dream is a pale, milky pink with subtle cool undertones. It’s not quite opaque in two coats, but it’s more coverage than semi-sheer. It’s a little thick, and it is rather streaky on the initial coat. It’s very similar to China Galze Something Sweet. Nubar Pink Lily is warmer and brighter.
  • Play Day is a peachy orange with a cream finish. Like Midsummer’s Dream, it is a bit streaky and takes awhile to dry, and it will pull if you apply a second coat and it hasn’t had enough time to dry down. It’s not quite opaque after applying two coats of polish, so you may want to do three if you dislike visible nail line of any kind. Chanel Peche Nacree is lighter and pearled. Essie Haute as Hello is more coral. Essie Tart Deco is a few shades darker. Barielle Blossom is a little more coral and darker.

MAC nail lacquer usually leaves me underwhelmed. I haven’t had issues with wear, such as chipping, but not much does chip on me, so it’s rarely a problem. I tend to have difficult with the formula, though, which is terribly inconsistent. Sometimes it’s beautifully fluid and opaque, and other times, like here, it’s thick, halfway to goopy, and streaky. Funny enough, neither color description seemed to fit the actual shades.

The Glossover

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MAC Vera Nail Lacquers Review, Photos, Swatches

B-
Often, high-end brands put out some really complex, interesting colors, and while MAC can launch beautiful shades, they're not known for innovating in the nail category. Sometimes this innovation can forgive a less-than-stellar formula. Without it, it's just pricey, under-performing polish.

Product

7/10

Pigmentation

9/10

Texture

8/10

Longevity

9/10

Application

3.5/5

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Saturday, February 4th, 2012

MAC Al Fredo Nail Lacquer
MAC Al Fredo Nail Lacquer

MAC Shop MAC, Cook MAC: Nail Lacquers

The collection features three limited edition shades of MAC Nail Lacquer ($16.00 for 0.34 fl. oz.). These include: Al Fredo (bright acid green), Kid Orange (coral), and Salad Dressed (mid-tone dirty aqua).

  • Al Fredo is semi-sheer dirty yellow. Honestly, it looks a lot like Deborah Lippmann Yellow Brick Road on me, with the same sheerness, but with a less jelly-like finish. The bottle looks a bit green-tinged, but the polish just looks yellow against my skin tone. It is a bit difficult to work with some streaking, and the consistency was a little thick. I did two coats for swatches, and it was clear that there was going to be visible nail line even with three coats.
  • Kid Orange is a orange-coral with a cream finish. It was opaque in two coats, and it had the best formula of the three shades. It wasn’t too thick or too thin, so it applied evenly and easily without bubbling or streaking. MAC Oriele is a bit lighter. Essie Meet Me at Sunset is a bit redder. Essie Braziliant is pretty close. China Glaze Life Preserver is redder.
  • Salad Dressed is a medium teal-blue with a cream finish. It was mostly opaque in two coats, but I did have some issues with it being streaky. It had a longer drying time, and it would benefit from patience–you really need to let each coat dry. The consistency is on the thicker side as well. MAC Ocean Dip is greener and darker. Essie Turquoise & Caicos is greener. China Glaze For Audrey and Chanel Nouveau Vague would be the closest dupes, though they seem perhaps lighter.

The formula on Al Fredo and Salad Dressed left something to be desired, and MAC did not indicate that Al Fredo was going to be as sheer as it turned out to be.  It wasn’t just slightly under-pigmented; it was the type of sheerness that I would expect to be called out explicitly.  Kid Orange applied beautifully and had good color payoff, though.  Salad Dressed had better pigmentation but still had some streaking and formula issues.  At this price point, MAC really needs to fine-tune their lacquer formula so it’s consistently good.  Keep in mind, the rating is an average of the three shades, so while Kid Orange is higher than a C+, Al Fredo is lower.

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MAC Shop MAC, Cook MAC Nail Lacquers Review, Photos, Swatches

C+
Often, high-end brands put out some really complex, interesting colors, and while MAC can launch beautiful shades, they're not known for innovating in the nail category. Sometimes this innovation can forgive a less-than-stellar formula. Without it, it's just pricey, under-performing polish.

Product

7/10

Pigmentation

8/10

Texture

8/10

Longevity

9/10

Application

3/5

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