Wednesday, March 30th, 2011

Urban Decay Rollergirl Nail Kit
Urban Decay Rollergirl Nail Kit

Urban Decay Rollergirl Nail Kit

Urban Decay Rollergirl Nail Kit ($28.00 for 6 x 0.17 fl. oz.) features six miniature-sized nail polishes. It includes these shades: Fame (champagne shimmer), Love Train (opalescent shimmer), Miss T (bright orchid fuchsia), Superfreak (gold shimmer base with gold micro-glitter), Woodstock (hot pink), and Xanadu (sheer purple base with purple glitter). Each polish is 0.17 fl. oz, so the total amount of polish in the kit is the equivalent of 1.02 fl. oz, or about two full-sized nail polishes.  I used Zoya’s Anchor & Armor as my base/top coats unless otherwise specified.

  • Fame is a soft champagne with subtle pink undertones and white shimmer. I used three coats and still had a hint of visible nail line. China Glaze Hybrid is a bit darker and more opaque but similar.
  • Superfreak is a tarnished gold with micro-glitter and a metallic finish. It dries to a matte metallic finish (I didn’t use a top coat in the photos, to show you the natural finish). It is very similar to Dior Timeless Gold–maybe a smidgen lighter but they’re quite close. This shade was nicely pigmented so I only needed two coats.
  • Xanadu is a fuchsia-tinted jelly base with violet and fuchsia glitter. I used three coats, and it still had a sheerness in the base color, but it was expected based on the description (it is not meant to be opaque).  It’s like a red-toned version of Illamasqua Boo.
  • Miss T is a vibrant fuchsia magenta with subtle fuchsia micro-shimmer strewn through the base.  Essie’s Bermuda Shorts was the closest I could think of, but it is pinker (not as magenta).
  • Woodstock is a neon hot pink, and it dries to a matte finish–almost like patent leather. I used two coats–the flash photo is taken without a top coat to show the finish.  Zoya’s Gilda is similar in color but not in finish.  China Glaze Rich & Famous also seems similar but perhaps a bit darker.
  • Love Train is a sheer, muted white with subtle opal iridescence and micro-shimmer. Think Chanel Pearl Drop but cool-toned.

my thoughts on the formula: The formula on these was really easy to work with–it applied smoothly, evenly, and nothing took too long to dry. Both Xanadu and Love Train are sheerer shades but the descriptions say exactly that–can’t fault them there–while Superfreak, Miss T, and Woodstock have excellent color pay off.

I love the concept of miniature-sized nail polishes, because you get to try a variety of shades without committing to the price tag of full bottles.  However, as someone with longer fingers and bigger hands, it can take some getting used to holding the small-sized caps, even though the brush applicator is full-sized (thankfully!).

The Glossover

udRollergirlNail

Urban Decay Rollergirl Nail Kit Swatches, Photos, Review

A-
It seems like this year is bringing out quite a few cool-toned collections, and the new Rollergirl Nail Kit from Urban Decay definitely leans cool, but what I like about it is the finishes and vibrancies make them easy to wear against warmer skin tones, too.

Product

9.5/10

Pigmentation

9/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

9.5/10

Application

4/5

Results
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Monday, March 28th, 2011

Rescue Beauty Lounge Decorous Nail Lacquer
Rescue Beauty Lounge Decorous Nail Lacquer

Rescue Beauty Lounge Decorous Nail Lacquer

Rescue Beauty Lounge Decorous Nail Lacquer ($18.00 for 0.4 fl. oz.) is a new and limited shade from the Iconic/Ironic Collection. It’s described as “if a cup of chai latte had a baby with a malted milkshake … A shimmery cocoa to add a chic suede finish to any outfit.” This is a very shifting color–on my warmer skin tone, it seems more like a warm-toned polish, but it looks neutral to neutral-cool in the bottle. It’s a medium-dark muted cocoa with subtle micro-shimmer.

my thoughts on the formula: These are richly pigmented lacquers that have nuances in both the color and finishes. Each color is well-thought out, and I’ve yet to come across a poor performer in the brand’s color range. I used two coats for opaque coverage.

The Glossover

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product

Decorous

A
Even though it frustrates me when a color is difficult to describe, it also means it is harder to replicate and more likely a shade we don’t see all the time.

Product

10/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

10/10

Longevity

10/10

Application

4/5

Results
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Friday, March 25th, 2011


Electric Pineapple, Blue Iguana, Senorita Bonita

China Glaze Island Escape Swatches, Photos, Reviews

For summer, China Glaze’s Island Escape presents six colorful shades perfect for the season. I’m actually quite in love with this launch–it’s gorgeous and the colors are fun. They may not be the most unique, but I think they’re well-done overall. The shades include: Papaya Punch (crème based vivid orange), 108 Degrees (flirtatious berry pink with specks of micro glitter), Senorita Bonita (passionate purple shimmer with pink micro glitter), Blue Iguana (bold and daring sparkly blue), Cha Cha Cha (vivacious shimmer green), and Electric Pineapple (high intensity crème based lime green).

  • 108 Degrees is a deep raspberry red shimmered with white and fuchsia micro-shimmer. There is a touch of gold micro-shimmer, too, but it is less apparent when applied than it looks in the bottle. I needed two coats for this shade. It’s redder than Zoya Alegra.
  • Papaya Punch is a yellowed tangerine cream. I used two coats on this one. It’s more orange than China Glaze’s Sun Worshipper but it has a similar feel.
  • Cha Cha Cha is a bright, grassy green with chartreuse micro-shimmer. I used three coats with this shade and there is still some visible nail line. It’s brighter and greener than NARS Platoon. Zoya’s Midori looks most similar, perhaps a little darker.
  • Electric Pineapple is a really yellowed chartreuse–it’s not quite yellow but not a true chartreuse either–cream. It seems like Zoya’s Bekka but opaque and with a cream finish. I did use three coats here and impatience more than anything led to some unevenness.
  • Blue Iguana is a medium-dark blue with blue and fuchsia-violet micro-shimmer. I used three coats but found this shade to be rather sheer. It reminded me of a less intense version of Orly’s Lunar Eclipse.
  • Senorita Bonita is a magenta purple with red undertones and flecks of fuchsia and gold sparkle. It doesn’t feel like a glitter but the particles don’t quite look like shimmer either. I used two coats, but three would have been better. I couldn’t think of a dupe for this one.

my thoughts on the formula: Overall, these were on the sheerer side and most required three coats. They apply really smoothly and evenly, though. I used Zoya’s Anchor and Armor on base/top coats on all swatches. China Glaze polish typically lasts a full week on me with minor tip wear.

The Glossover

chinaGlazeIsland

China Glaze Island Escape Swatches, Photos, Reviews

A-
These are classic summer shades–some a bit dupeable, but they’re still beautiful.

Product

9/10

Pigmentation

9.5/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

9.5/10

Application

4/5

Results
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Tuesday, March 22nd, 2011

Illamasqua Radium Nail Varnish
Illamasqua Radium Nail Varnish

Illamasqua Toxic Nature Collection: Radium

Illamasqua Radium Nail Varnish (£13.50 for 0.50 fl. oz.) is described as an “acidic lime, shimmer finish” shade, which is new for the Toxic Nature collection. It’s a beautiful neon chartreuse green with yellow undertones and iridescent green and chartreuse micro-shimmer. Though currently only available through Illamasqua directly, it should make its way to Sephora next month.

my thoughts on the formula: Illamasqua’s formula is richly pigmented, smooth, and easy to apply. It’s a thicker formula but not gloppy. I did notice very slight brush strokes in the finish under really bright light. Radium is almost opaque in one coat, though I swatched with two for good measure. I get a full week of wear with Illamasqua Nail Varnishes with minimal tip wear and no chips.

The Glossover

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product

Radium

A
I have a thing for chartreuse, and I absolutely love this particular shade of chartreuse and think it is a perfect shade to rock as summer approaches.

Product

9.5/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

9.5/10

Longevity

10/10

Application

4.5/5

Results
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Sunday, March 20th, 2011


Phoebe, Mitzi, Lolly

Zoya Mod Mattes Swatches, Reviews, Photos

Zoya Mod Mattes Collection includes three limited edition, matte shades for summer. These shades include: Phoebe (shimmered blue with a matte finish), Mitzi (chartreuse with a matte finish), and Lolly (pink with a matte finish).

  • Phoebe is a bright cerulean blue with very faint white micro-shimmer and has a matte finish. It was opaque in two coats.
  • Mitzi is a bright yellow-based chartreuse green with a matte finish. I used three coats, but I still could not get a nice smooth, even finish. This shade was the hardest to apply without getting an uneven surface.
  • Lolly is a medium-dark pink–almost neon but not quite there–with a matte finish. I used two coats for opaque color, and this shade applied the smoothest of three, because it was also the most pigmented.

Make sure you check out the swatches for my final attempt with Mitzi–hopefully you can see the difference between the variations of coat thickness and use.

my thoughts on the formula: I had a lot of trouble with these; I could not figure out the trick to an even, smooth finish. I expected some of the contouring of my natural nails to peek through but didn’t expect so much unevenness as a reslt of the polish drying down. Even though the shades are opaque on the nail, they look almost streaky.   After five or six attempts, I did find that thick coats were key–one thinner coat followed by a much thicker coat (and maybe even another) gave it a must smoother finish.  Mattes, without a top coat, tend to wear for shorter periods of time; I wore Mitzi for three days before it chipped a bit (no top coat).

The Glossover

product

Zoya Mod Mattes Swatches, Reviews, Photos

C+
I love the colors themselves, because they're gorgeous and perfect for summer, but I couldn't get the formula to work on me.Lolly was the best, followed by Phoebe, with Mitzi being the most difficult. If Phoebe was more pigmented, I think it would be as easy to work with as Zoya's Matte Velvet shades.  These take patience and some willingness to trial through to find a method that works.

Product

7.5/10

Pigmentation

8.5/10

Texture

7.5/10

Longevity

8/10

Application

3.5/5

Results
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Sunday, March 20th, 2011


Areej, Breezi, Kieko

Zoya Summertime Swatches, Reviews, Photos

Zoya Summertime Collection includes six cream finish shades for the summer. The shades include: Areej (pink with an opaque cream finish), Breezi (soft, dusty medium cerulean blue with an opaque cream finish), Kieko (warm, red toned dusty oilght purple with berry tones with an opaque cream finish), Mira (blue-toned medium purple with dusty lavender tone an an opaque cream finish), Sooki (bright, clean, crisp cool cherry red cream with subtle jelly finish), and Tamsen (medium warm brick red with strong orange tones with an opaque cream finish).

  • Areej is a medium-dark magenta pink with a creamy finish. I used two coats. It reminded me of Barielle’s Daring Dahlia without the shimmer.
  • Breezi is a medium-dark cerulean blue with a creamy finish. I used three coats. It is a dustier, more muted version of SpaRitual’s Crystal Eyes. It is darker and more muted than Zoya’s Robyn.
  • Kieko is a medium magenta-tinged purple with red undertones and a creamy finish. I used two coats. It seemed similar to an older limited edition shade by MAC called For Fun.
  • Mira is a dusty grape purple with a blue-base and creamy finish. I used two coats. It darker and less blue-based than Orly Charged Up and SpaRitual Illume.
  • Sooki is a bright cherry red with a creamy finish. I used two coats, but it was almost opaque in one. It’s similar to China Glaze Cherry Pie without the shimmer and China Glaze Hey Sailor.
  • Tamsen is a rich, orange-based red with a creamy finish. I used two coats. Essie’s Red Nouveau and Rescue Beauty Lounge Chinoise are a touch lighter and China Glaze Ruby Deer and Butter London Pillar Box Red are quite similar.

my thoughts on the formula: Zoya’s cream formula is beautiful here–thin without being runny or watery or too sheer. With the exception of Breezi, they applied in two coats for a creamy, opaque look.

The Glossover

zoyaSummertime

Zoya Summertime Swatches, Reviews, Photos

A
The six shades are a little reminiscent of last year's Flash collection, but upon a closer look, they aren't very similar.  I did find that Sooki and Tamsen are similar to each other, with Tamsen only slightly more orange-based, and as they are both red creams, easy shades to dupe.

Product

9.5/10

Pigmentation

9.5/10

Texture

9.5/10

Longevity

9.5/10

Application

4/5

Results
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