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.

The Glossover

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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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Friday, January 20th, 2012

Becca Tangerine Dream Nail Lacquer
Becca Tangerine Dream Nail Lacquer

Becca Tangerine Dream Nail Lacquer

Becca Tangerine Dream Nail Lacquer ($15.00 for 0.51 fl. oz.) is described as a “bright sunset coral.” It originally debuted in last summer’s Halcylon Days collection (yes, really, I’m that behind!). It’s still available within a very limited color range of polishes (six, to be exact).

It’s mostly orange, but there’s a tinge of coral to it.  MAC Oriele Orange is more orange, deeper. China Glaze Life Preserver is darker, redder. SpaRitual Love & Happiness is redder. China Glaze High Hopes is more coral, redder.

The color applied evenly and easily without streaking or bubbling, and Tangerine Dream was opaque in two coats (almost one coat–I did just one coat on the pinky so you could see; OK, more because I forgot!). When I tested out the wear of this particular shade (first Becca polish for me!), it wore really well. I will caution you that I can’t think of a brand of polish that does chip on me; they all wear to varying degrees of tip wear. I had minor tip wear after seven days but no other issues. It wasn’t too thick or thin and flowed well across the nail. A nice touch is that the bottle cap is rubberized, so it’s easy to grip and open.

The Glossover

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Becca Tangerine Dream Nail Lacquer Review, Photos, Swatches

A
It wore well during my seven-day test, and the application was fluid and even without streaking or bubbling. The consistency wasn't too thick or too thin, and the color itself was opaque in two coats!

Product

9.5/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

10/10

Longevity

9/10

Application

5/5

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Tuesday, January 17th, 2012

Butter London British Racing Green Nail Lacquer
Butter London British Racing Green Nail Lacquer

Butter London British Racing Green Nail Lacquer

Butter London British Racing Green Nail Lacquer ($14.00 for 0.40 fl. oz.) is described as a “dark hunter green.” It’s a rich, luxuriously dark cool-toned green with soft emerald green sparkle. I don’t have much like it, which is always something I can appreciate. Illamasqua Kink is the closest in color, but it has such a different finish that the two really aren’t dupes. MAC Jade Dragon would be the next closest, but it’s darker, cooler-toned, and the shimmer is more dominant.

The shade was opaque in two coats and applied without bubbling or streaking. I’ve had good luck with Butter London’s lacquers so far (I’ve tried maybe ten or less?)–they’ve allowed me to add some really phenomenal shades to my stash! British Racing Green is no different! Since it felt like I hadn’t tested the wear of Butter London in awhile, I wore this shade for a week, and I didn’t have any chips, just minor tip wear. I did have some faint staining, even though I used a base coat.

The Glossover

P
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British Racing Green

A+
This is the type of green that should look good across skin tones--the overall darkness of it gives it more of a cool-toned look and feel, but warmer skin tones will simply see more of the green pulled out around the edges.

Product

10/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

10/10

Longevity

9.5/10

Application

5/5

Results
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Saturday, December 31st, 2011

Zoya True
Zoya Nail Lacquers in Cho, Farah, and Bevin

Zoya Spring 2012: True

Zoya’s True Collection include six spring-time shades: Cho (full coverage, vanilla shimmer metallic), Farah (full coverage, latte beige cream), Bevin Full coverage, pale sage green cream), Tru (full coverage, gilded purple orchid metallic), Lotus (full coverage, light lotus purple metallic), and Skylar (full coverage, silvered slate blue metallic).

  • Cho is a warm, light beige with very subtle shimmer. It looks almost like a cream finish in natural light. It was opaque in two coats. Zoya Minka was the only similar shade I could think of, but it is warmer and a bit darker.
  • Farah is a neutral-cool light beige with a cream finish. At a glance, it seems similar to Cho, but it doesn’t have shimmer and lacks the warmth. It was opaque in two coats. Essie Sand Tropez is warmer, almost pink-tinted in comparison. Rescue Beauty Lounge Jane is a touch darker and has subtle shimmer.
  • Bevin is a cool-toned green–kind of like seafoam green to me but a couple of steps darker–with a cream finish. It was opaque in two coats. I couldn’t think of any dupes–Essie Sew Psyched is much, much darker and greener while Rescue Beauty Lounge Diddy Mow is grayer and much darker.
  • Skylar is a purpled blue with silver shimmer (the shimmer is almost more like sparkle–it’s not as fine as the other metallics in the collection). It was opaque in two coats. The texture reminded me of Essie Smooth Sailing (which also–initially–seemed like something similar, but it’s much darker and purpler). The color is a bit bluer compared to Zoya Caitlin.
  • Tru is a rich red-toned eggplant purple with copper-red shimmer. It was opaque in two coats. Zoya Kieko was the closest shade I could think of, but it is lighter.
  • Lotus is a dusty, medium-dark purple with pink-red shimmer. It was opaque in two coats. Rescue Beauty Lounge Insouciant is grayer, less purple.

The creams were a little thick; I really felt like I had to wipe off excess color more than I do normally with polishes, because it was easy to overapply color and get too thick of a coat. There’s really no need for really thick coats with this polish, because they were all really opaque, and semi-opaque in a single coat at that.  The metallics had a better consistency and applied easily without any concerns.  The color coverage is really good, though, which is great, since Zoya describes all six as “full coverage.”    I’m always surprised when I’m unable to quickly find dupes of polishes; it’s just totally unexpected that there are still original shades to be made sometimes (and I suppose that goes with all color cosmetics).  It’s very spring-esque without being perfectly pastel; there is a soft, muted quality to all of the hues in the collection, but they aren’t washed out.

The Glossover

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Zoya True Collection Review, Photos, Swatches

A-
I'm always surprised when I'm unable to quickly find dupes of polishes; it's just totally unexpected that there are still original shades to be made sometimes (and I suppose that goes with all color cosmetics). It's very spring-esque without being perfectly pastel; there is a soft, muted quality to all of the hues in the collection, but they aren't washed out.

Product

9/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

9.5/10

Application

4/5

Results
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Saturday, December 31st, 2011

Zoya Fleck Effects
Zoya Fleck Effects in Maisie, Opal, and Chloe

Zoya Spring 2012: Fleck Effect

Zoya Fleck Effects include three shades that feature mylar flecks, which can be worn alone or layered over another polish: Maisie (blue tint with mylar green fleck effect), Opal (green tint with mylar green fleck effect), and Chloe (pink tint with mylar green and gold fleck effect).  Each shade retails for $8.00 and will be available online on January 13th.

I swatched all three shades alone (two coats each) and then each shade over a darker base color for layering. The formula on these is thicker, more jelly-like, similar to many glitter polishes on the market. It distributes the flecks evenly for the most part, and you won’t find yourself doing really wacky things with the brush, like dabbing and laying it flat across the entire nail and swirling it.

  • Maisie consists of green mylar flecks suspended in a blue-tinted clear base. The flakes shift from iridescent green-blue to green to purple, depending on the angle, and then at more of a head-on look, some of the flecks look pink-ish (and under flash, you’ll see what I mean). Layered, it’s a deeper green and shifts to blue around the edges.
  • Opal consists of green mylar flecks suspended in a green-tinted clear base. The flakes in this are just like Maisie. When worn alone, you can see the difference between the two, as this tints the nail bed green, but the color and shift of the flecks are the same. Layered, it’s the same story as Maisie as well, but it’s even harder to detect a difference.
  • Chloe consists of mostly coppery-gold mylar flecks with the occasional green fleck (which I didn’t notice in natural light when worn alone, but layered, I saw a few) suspended in a pink-coral-tinted clear base. This one was the most wearable alone, because it gives the nail a healthy tint, whereas the blue and green look unnatural with such a soft tint (but nothing is to say you can’t wear either of those alone!). Layered, it looks almost orange, rather than gold, and you can see the green flecks show up. This seems softer compared to popular layering shades like Essie Shine of the Times, but I haven’t swatched that myself yet so I can’t say for sure.

Alone, Maisie and Opal look different, but when they’re layered over another polish, I couldn’t tell the difference. I suspect over a really, really light base color, you might see the blue vs. green tint come into play, but if you anticipate layering over mostly darker bases, having both is superfluous.  Because of the thicker, jelly-ish consistency, I felt like these took longer to dry down.  I tested the wear of Chloe layered over Zoya’s Tru, and I had minimal tip wear after a week with no chips.

The Glossover

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Zoya Fleck Effects Reviews, Photos, Swatches

B+
Alone, Maisie and Opal look different, but when they're layered over another polish, I couldn't tell the difference. I suspect over a really, really light base color, you might see the blue vs. green tint come into play, but if you anticipate layering over mostly darker bases, having both is superfluous. Because of the thicker, jelly-ish consistency, I felt like these took longer to dry down.

Product

9/10

Pigmentation

9/10

Texture

8.5/10

Longevity

9/10

Application

4/5

Results
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