Friday, July 15th, 2011


China Glaze Nail Lacquer: Concrete Catwalk, Loft-y Ambitions, Midtown Magic

China Glaze Metro Collection: Downtown

China Glaze Downtown Collection ($2.99 to $5.99, depending on retailer, for 0.5 fl. oz.) contains six shades: Concrete Catwalk (steel grey crème), Loft-y Ambitions (burgundy shimmer), Midtown Magic (burgundy base with flecks of gold shimmer), Skyscraper (sparkling, glitter blue), Trendsetter (mustard yellow shimmer), and Westside Warrior (camo green crème).

  • Concrete Catwalk is a dark gray cream that was opaque in two coats. Zoya Kelly was the closest I could think of, but it is very blue-based, so it looks different when worn.
  • Loft-y Ambitions is a deep, burgundy with very subtle micro-shimmer. I used two coats for opaque color. It’s similar to Rescue Beauty Lounge Bruised with shimmer, and perhaps, a touch cooler-toned.
  • Midtown Magic is a blackened, chocolate brown with multi-colored shimmer that is dominated by gold and copper. I used two coats for opaque color. It looks a lot like Dior Czarina Gold.
  • Skyscraper is a translucent blue-violet color base with lots of silver glitter. I used two coats in swatches, and it was mostly opaque. I couldn’t think of any dupes from shades I’ve reviewed in the past.
  • Trendsetter is a mustard yellow with a hint of chartreuse in it, accompanied by a gold shimmer. I used two coats for opaque color. It’s bolder and yellower compared to MAC In the Buff–actually, it reminded me of Sun Blonde eyeshadow initially.
  • Westside Warrior is a dusty army green with a cream finish. I used two coats for opaque color. It’s greener (and less yellow) compared to Rescue Beauty Lounge No More War and Zoya Dree.

The glittery shade (Skyscraper) will be difficult to remove, like any other glitter-based polish, if worn alone and as densely as shown in the swatches, so I recommend soaking a piece of felt in remover and pressing against the nail for 15-20 seconds, then pull to remove. The creams and shimmers will be much easier, as is the norm. Like Uptown, these had a good formula with nothing being too thick or thin. The polish spread evenly without streaking and drying time was about average. I used Zoya’s Anchor and Armor for base/top coats for all swatches. I typically get a week of wear with China Glaze’s polishes.

The Glossover

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China Glaze Metro (Downtown) Collection Review, Photos, Swatches

A
Skyscraper and Trendsetter seem the most unique out of this set of six, and they're also the least fall-like colors, though I think they do fit with autumn still. The formula and pigmentation of all six were nice--even the glittery shade (Skyscraper) can be used alone for opaque color.

Product

9.5/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

9.5/10

Longevity

9.5/10

Application

4.5/5

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Friday, July 15th, 2011


China Glaze Nail Lacquer: Brownstone, CG in the City, City Siren

China Glaze Metro Collection: Uptown

China Glaze Uptown Collection ($2.99 to $5.99, depending on retailer, for 0.5 fl. oz.) contains six shades: Brownstone (burnt terracotta crème), CG in the City (glittering dusty purple, bronze and silver multi-tonal glitter), City Siren (deep, red crème), Street Chic (gorgeous beige crème), Traffic Jam (raspberry pink crème), and Urban-Night (rich purple crème).

  • Brownstone is a browned red cream. It was opaque in two coats, but one was quite dense in color. It’s darker and less brown compared to MAC Sly as a Fox and Nubar Sateen. Chanel Fatale and Essie Limited Addiction are redder and not as dark.
  • CG in the City contains light purple, purple, bronze, and silver glitter suspended in a clear base. I used three coats for swatches, so you can see how opaque it gets (not entirely). Given the clear base, I imagine it’s meant more for layering than as a standalone product. Rescue Beauty Lounge Frugalista is denser and the particles are larger–plus it’s silver and fuchsia, so they’re not really similar in color either, but it was the closest I could think of.
  • City Siren is a deep, red cream with a subtle blue base. I used two coats, but one was nearly opaque. It’s cooler in tone and looks more red than Chanel Fatale and Essie Limited Addiction.
  • Street Chic is a grayed, mushroom brown cream. It was opaque in two coats. Rescue Beauty Lounge Decorous is similar in base color, but it has shimmer and a cooler undertone. Both NARS Bad Influence and Nubar Chiffon are grayer, more taupe than brown.
  • Traffic Jam is a raspberry cream that is opaque in two coats. This is like a juicy raspberry jelly to me (obviously, jam is on the brain from the name!). The color reminds me of the base color of Cult Nails Iconic but Traffic Jam is slightly more berry than red. I think Zoya Ciara may be similar, but I don’t have a photo to compare it to.
  • Urban-Night is a darkened eggplant purple with a cream finish. This was opaque in two coats. It seems similar to Orly Plum Noir. Rescue Beauty Lounge Recherche is much darker and less red-toned.

With the exception of CG in the City (which is a glitter in a clear base), I only needed two coats for opaque color coverage. I typically get a week of wear out of China Glaze’s formulas, both for creams and glitters. The glitter will be difficult to remove, like any other glitter-based polish, if worn alone and as densely as shown in the swatches, so I recommend soaking a piece of felt in remover and pressing against the nail for 15-20 seconds, then pull to remove. I used Zoya’s Anchor and Armor for base/top coats for all swatches.

The formula of the five creams here was good overall. Street Chic was a touch thick, while the others were thinner without being watery. The polish spread evenly without streaking and drying time was about average.

The Glossover

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China Glaze Metro (Uptown) Collection Review, Photos, Swatches

A-
It seems like a very understated collection with a lot of darker creams in hues of brown and red. The creams applied beautifully, and they were nicely pigmented.

Product

9.5/10

Pigmentation

9.5/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

9/10

Application

4.5/5

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Thursday, July 7th, 2011

Butter London Thames Nail Lacquer
Butter London Thames Nail Lacquer

Butter London Thames Nail Lacquer

Butter London Thames Nail Lacquer ($14.00 for 0.4 fl. oz.) is described as a “soft, blue-green stunner with just a tiny undercurrent of gold.” It’s a rich, luxurious green-teal with subtle shimmer. I didn’t get a lot of gold shimmer, as it seemed more white/silver to me (even in bright light). I was able to achieve opaque color in two coats. The formula was easy to work with, because it wasn’t too thick or thin, flowed evenly across the nail, and didn’t streak. There were a few brush strokes in the resulting look, but they were very subtle.  I typically get a week of wear with Butter London’s formula with a proper base and top coat.

The color reminded me of the shimmer in MAC Jade Dragon (which has a very inky green-tinged black base). Duri Paparazzi is the closest dupe I found from my past swatches, but it is much greener (not really a teal at all).

The Glossover

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product

Thames

A
If you love jewel-toned nail colors, Thames is a really lovely shade that intertwines blue and green to create teal, but then sometimes it leans green, sometimes it leans blue.

Product

10/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

10/10

Application

4/5

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Wednesday, July 6th, 2011

Deborah Lippmann I Know What Boys Like Nail Lacquer
Deborah Lippmann I Know What Boys Like Nail Lacquer

Deborah Lippmann I Know What Boys Like

Deborah Lippmann I Know What Boys Like Nail Lacquer ($16.00 for 0.5 fl. oz.) is described as a “playful periwinkle.” It’s a really rich, dark periwinkle, and to me, I see indigo–that perfect mix of blue and violet that gives you something different. I used two coats for swatches, and there is a hint of visible nail line, so I would say three is likely the ideal strategy here. It’s described as a cream finish, but it is more like a cream meets jelly–it has that slightly squishy look of a jelly.

Deborah Lippmann’s cream polishes last about a week on me with a good top/base coat (I prefer Zoya’s for both). The formula on this is a little watery, but I wouldn’t say it ended up being sheer or runny, as it still applied evenly and didn’t pull in places. Essie Smooth Sailing is lighter and has shimmer but reminded me of it nonetheless. SpaRitual Illume has a jelly-like appearance, but it leans more purple.

The Glossover

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product

I Know What Boys Like

B
The color is interesting, which is why I think it will grab people's attention. At $16, it's certainly not an impulse buy, but at least the color isn't something we see all of the time. The jelly-cream finish may also be a draw!

Product

8.5/10

Pigmentation

8/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

9/10

Application

4/5

Results
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Monday, July 4th, 2011


Zoya Nail Lacquer in Anja, Cynthia, Dree

Zoya Mirrors Collection Swatches, Photos, Reviews, Dupes

Zoya Mirrors Collection contains metallic nail lacquers, including: Jem (sparkly fandango pink metallic), Yara (sparkly olive green metallic), Neeka (sparkly amethyst purple metallic), Marina (smoky steel blue metallic), Tao (smoky slate gray metallic), and Nimue (smoky rich thistle metallic).

  • Jem is a rich, jewel-esque pink-shimmered purple-red. It has both pink and gold shimmer. I used two coats for opaque color coverage. It’s similar to Zoya Valerie but the base is less black.
  • Yara is an olive green base with green-gold and green flecks of sparkle. I used two coats for opaque color coverage.The sparkle portion is similar to the type in China Glaze Zombie Zest, but the base of that polish is very murky and dark olive in comparison. The base of Yara is similar to Dree (but greener) of the Smoke collection.
  • Neeka is a slightly dusted grape purple with flecks of gold shimmer and sparkle. I used two coats for opaque color coverage. I couldn’t think of similar shades for this one.
  • Marina is a steely blue with silver micro-shimmer. This one read the most metallic to me, because the shimmer threads through the color base. I used two coats for opaque color coverage. Butter London Lady Muck came to me first, but it’s much lighter.
  • Tao is a silver-shimmered medium gray. I needed three coats with this shade to get opaque color. NARS Full Metal Jacket is similar but darker.
  • Nimue is a silver-shimmered purple-mauve. I used two coats for opaque color coverage. Nubar Vaso is similar but more metallic and pinker.

Overall, the formula on these was on the thinner side but not difficult to use.  I needed three coats on Tao, but I felt two coats were appropriate for opaque color on the other five shades.  Marina, Tao, and Nimue have a stronger metallic finish than Jem, Yara, and Neeka, but they definitely all look more metallic in brighter light.  I wore Jem for a week to test out the wear, and I had only minor tip wear, which is consistent with my past experience with Zoya’s metallic formula.  The darker shades (like Jem) are very pigmented and almost opaque in one coat.  The metallic finish does result in brush strokes, which were easy enough to control but may be a turn-off for some. I used Zoya’s Anchor + Armor for base/top coats.

The Glossover

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Zoya Mirrors Collection Swatches, Photos, Reviews, Dupes

A-
Besides noticeable brush strokes, it's a nice collection of metallics for fall. Only Tao needed three coats, while the rest were opaque in two, and the formula flowed evenly and the shimmer/sparkle distributed well.

Product

9/10

Pigmentation

9.5/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

9.5/10

Application

4/5

Results
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Monday, July 4th, 2011


Zoya Nail Lacquer in Anja, Cynthia, Dree

Zoya Smoke Collection Swatches, Photos, Reviews, Dupes

Zoya’s Smoke Collection contains six cream nail lacquers, including: Anja (smoky palatinate purple cream), Cynthia (smoky Prussian blue cream), Dree (smoky camouflage green cream), Jana (smoky mauve quartz cream), Petra (smoky eggplant mauve cream), and Codie (smoky brown taupe cream).

  • Anja is a deep, burgundy-wine cream. It was opaque in nearly one coat, but I swatched it with two. It looks extremely similar to Rescue Beauty Lounge Drifter. Zoya Stacy is redder and browner.
  • Cynthia is a deep, forboding gray-blue. It was opaque in two coats. I detected the faintest hint of micro-shimmer that only was noticeable under very, very bright light. The only shade I could think to compare it to was Chanel Steel, but it doesn’t have the same blue tone.
  • Dree is an olive green with a cream finish. It was opaque in two coats. Chanel Khaki Vert is greener, less yellow-based, while Rescue Beauty Lounge No More War is darker and greener–Dree appears almost muted in comparison. Zoya Gemma is greener, less olive, and has lots of shimmer.
  • Jana is a muted mauve cream. It was opaque in two coats. China Glaze Below Deck is darker, while Essie Merino Cool is cooler-toned and grayer.
  • Petra is a dark, gray-casted purple with a cream finish. It was opaque in two coats. China Glaze Below Deck is closer to Petra than it was to Jana.
  • Codie is a dark, cool-toned black-brown cream. It was opaque in two coats. Essie’s Little Brown Dress is similar but a little warmer and lighter.

All six creams applied nicely–even flow, good color coverage (two coats used for all swatches), and the formula wasn’t too thick or thin. I tested out Jana for wear, and it wore for a week with minor tip wear, which is my normal experience with Zoya’s cream formula.  I used Zoya’s Anchor + Armor for base/top coats.

The Glossover

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Zoya Smoke Collection Swatches, Photos, Reviews, Dupes

A
Oddly enough, I see the smokiness that Zoya went for with these polishes. It's most apparent in Cynthia, which ended up looking really complex despite its cream finish.

Product

9.5/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

10/10

Longevity

9.5/10

Application

5/5

Results
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