Sunday, March 9th, 2014

Illamasqua Fire Rose Shattered Star Nail Varnish
Illamasqua Shattered Star Nail Varnishes

Illamasqua Shattered Star Nail Varnish ($17.00 for 0.50 fl. oz.) is supposed to have a “multi-dimensional glitter finish.” These three shades had the same consistency: slightly thin but not watery, and they were easy to apply for even, smooth results. Trilliant wasn’t quite opaque after two coats, but Fire Rose and Marquise both were. The finish is somewhat shiny, sparkly, and glittery, but not as glossy as the traditional creams and frosts in the Nail Varnish range, so depending on the effect you’re after, you may want a top coat. Marquise was the most matte of the three, and it was also the most textured. This formula lasts a full seven days on me with minor tip wear but no chipping.

Fire Rose Shattered Star Nail Varnish ($17.00 for 0.50 fl. oz.) is described as a “shattered pink.” It’s a light-medium, rosy pink with silver shimmer and micro-glitter. It had opaque color coverage after two coats, and it was easy to apply and work with. I couldn’t think of any dupes for this one!

Marquise Shattered Star Nail Varnish ($17.00 for 0.50 fl. oz.) is described as a “shattered orange.” It’s a vibrant, medium-dark orange-red with lighter tangerine shimmer and micro-glitter. It had full coverage color with two coats of polish, and I didn’t have any issues applying it. This one was a bit more textured than the other three, so depending on what you like, you may want to use a thick top coat to smooth it out (which will also give it a glossy finish). Zoya Destiny (P, $9.00) is exactly the same. Zoya Myrta (P, $9.00) is less glittery. See comparison swatches.

Trilliant Shattered Star Nail Varnish ($17.00 for 0.50 fl. oz.) is described as a “shattered champagne.” It’s a muted, pinky-beige with silver shimmer and micro-glitter. It was mostly opaque after two coats, but there was a little sparseness overall that kept it from full coverage. Zoya Lux (P, $10.00) is lighter, pinker, and has holographic glitter. See comparison swatches.

The Glossover

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product

Fire Rose

A

Product

9.5/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

9.5/10

Application

5/5

Results
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Dupes
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product

Marquise

A

Product

9.5/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

9.5/10

Application

5/5

Results
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Dupes
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product

Trilliant

A-

Product

9/10

Pigmentation

9/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

9.5/10

Application

5/5

Results
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Thursday, March 6th, 2014

Zoya Cosmo Nail Lacquer
Zoya Cosmo Nail Lacquer

Zoya Magical Pixie Nail Lacquer ($10.00 for 0.50 fl. oz.) takes the original Pixie Dust formula and adds larger glitter and “holographic pixie particle.” These can be worn on their own, or you can apply a top coat for a glossy effect, as they’ll have a metallic-matte-like finish without one. I get about seven days of wear out of the Pixie Dust polishes with minor tip wear and no chipping. All three ran a little on the thicker side, so getting the 2-3 thin coats Zoya recommends for application takes some patience.

Cosmo is described as a “silver crystal sparkle.” It’s a light-medium, warm-toned silver with iridescent gand holographic glitter. It had semi-opaque color coverage, and Zoya lists this as having a “4″ intensity, where 5 is opaque. The texture dries to a metallic-matte finish, where it isn’t glossy, but there is so much reflection from the shimmer and glitter that it doesn’t really seem matte either. NYX Ice Glitter (P, $4.00) is much sheerer and lacks the “Pixie Dust” finish. See comparison swatches.

Lux is described as a “rose quartz.” It is a light-medium, rose pink with subtle, warm undertones and larger holographic hexagon-shaped glitter. It was semi-opaque with some visible nail line coming through. This one blends in more with my underlying natural nail color (slightly pink) so it doesn’t look as sheer as Cosmo did (and it had the same intensity rating, 4). I couldn’t think of a dupe for this shade.

Vega is a light-medium, muted blue with silver glitter and larger hexagon-shaped holographic glitter. It was mostly opaque–more coverage than the other two, though Zoya has it listed as a 4 as well–and applied easily. Unfortunately, I couldn’t think of any dupes for this color either!

The Glossover

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product

Cosmo

A-

Product

9/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

8.5/10

Longevity

9/10

Application

5/5

Results
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P
product

Lux

A-

Product

9/10

Pigmentation

9.5/10

Texture

8.5/10

Longevity

9/10

Application

5/5

Results
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Dupes
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product

Vega

A-

Product

9/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

8.5/10

Longevity

9/10

Application

5/5

Results
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Friday, February 21st, 2014

Illamasqua Throb Nail Varnish
Illamasqua Throb Nail Varnish

Illamasqua Throb Nail Varnish ($17.00 for 0.50 fl. oz.) is described as a “blood red.” It’s a medium-dark, subtly cool-toned red with a cream finish. There’s a pink tinge to it, and it’s bright but a little dusty, too. Revlon Bordeaux (P, $4.99) is darker. Tom Ford Beauty Trophy Wife (LE, $32.00) is lighter, brighter. NARS Lost Red (LE, $19.00) is brighter. MAC RiRi Woo (LE, $16.00) is similar. MAC Stage Red (LE, $16.00) is darker. MAC Flaming Rose (P, $16.00) is similar. Chanel Suspicious (P, $27.00) is pinker. Butter London Pillar Box Red (P, $15.00) is similar. See comparison swatches.

Recently promoted for Valentine’s Day, Throb is a worthwhile option for anyone seeking a more muted, darker red cream. It’s intensely pigmented, and you really only need one coat for full color coverage. I’ve included two sets of photos; the first set is a single coat, and then I have a couple more that shows two coats, so you can see how there’s no real difference in color or opacity. To me, the noticeable difference is just that two coats gives it a thicker, glossier look and finish. The consistency wasn’t too thick or too thin, and it flowed evenly and smoothly across the nail without bubbling or streaking. Illamasqua’s formula typically wears seven to ten days on me with very minor tip wear but no chipping.

The Glossover

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product

Throb

Temptalia Recommends
A+

Product

10/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

10/10

Longevity

10/10

Application

5/5

Results
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Monday, February 17th, 2014

Formula X Nail Lacquer
Formula X Metamoprhic & Vaporize Nail Lacquers

These are the last two Liquid Crystal shades I have from the ones released for spring (you can also check out part one and part two). I went into greater detail about the formula and pigmentation in part one, but to summarize, one is to, “Apply one coat for a sheer crystalline look, or layer for a full stained-glass effect.” Generally, they seem to be mostly opaque after two coats, but a few are definitely sheerer even if you were to layer three coats and are better as layering top coats than shades worn on their own. These sheerer shades also had thicker consistencies that made application trickier. I typically get a full week of wear with very minor tip wear (and no chipping!) with Formula X’s polish.

Formula X Metamorphic Nail Lacquer ($12.50 for 0.40 fl. oz.) is described as a “charcoal micro-glitter in sheer gray.” It’s a charcoal gray with silver and gray sparkle and shimmer. It was mostly opaque after two coats, but it did not apply as evenly as it should have. The finish dried down to a naturally shiny one, though, and it was very smooth (you could not feel the micro-glitter at all). Rescue Beauty Lounge An Accidental Interloper (LE, $20.00) is lighter. MAC Grey Friday (LE, $16.00) is more matte but similar. China Glaze Stone Cold (LE, $7.50) is more matte, darker. See comparison swatches.

Formula X Vaporize Nail Lacquer ($12.50 for 0.40 fl. oz.) is described as a “silvery micro-glitter in sheer pearl white.” It was more of a brightened, silvery-white with larger silver and white shimmer and micro-glitter. This shade was still semi-sheer after applying two coats, and the consistency was thicker, a little watery as well, so when applied, it wasn’t as even. The shimmer did not disperse as evenly across the nail either. Anna Sui Minnie Mouse Snow White (002) (LE, $16.00) is more sparkly. Zoya Seraphina (P, $9.00) is darker. Tom Ford Beauty Vapour (LE, $30.00) is more metallic, less sparkly. Dior Lady (LE, $26.00) is more metallic, less sparkly. China Glaze Icicle (LE, $7.50) is darker. China Glaze Frosty (LE, $7.50) is similar. See comparison swatches.

The Glossover

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product

Metamorphic

B+

Product

8.5/10

Pigmentation

9/10

Texture

8.5/10

Longevity

10/10

Application

4/5

Results
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Dupes
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P
product

Vaporize

B-

Product

7.5/10

Pigmentation

8/10

Texture

7/10

Longevity

10/10

Application

3.5/5

Results
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Saturday, February 15th, 2014

Formula X Nail Lacquer
Formula X The Cut – Spring 2014 Nail Lacquers

For spring, Formula X introduced five new shades in “The Cut.” In general, I’m a fan of Formula X’s lacquer formula, as it is pigmented, long-wearing, and easy to apply. I had trouble with the three shades I tried from the five new ones (I do not have the other two)–they were streaky, with Dynamic being just slightly streaky and troublesome but the end result was manageable, while the other two were noticeably uneven. All three were slightly thick in consistency, though they dried down a little faster than average and had naturally shiny finishes.

Formula X Alive Nail Lacquer ($10.50 for 0.40 fl. oz.) is described as an “opaque peach pink.” It’s a light-medium peachy-pink with a cream finish. This shade was streaky on both the first and second coat, so the resulting finish was noticeably streaky and uneven. The formula felt slightly thick as well. It seems a bit brighter in real life than it’s showing in the photos. Tom Ford Beauty Coral Beach (03) (LE, $32.00), Chanel Starlet (LE, $27.00), and Butter London Trout Pout (P, $15.00) are all much darker. See comparison swatches.

Formula X Dynamic Nail Lacquer ($10.50 for 0.40 fl. oz.) is described as an “opaque light taupe.” It’s a light-medium taupe with a subtle warm undertone and cream finish. It was mostly opaque after two coats, and it was applied decently overall, but the first coat was noticeably streaky and the second coat needed to be a little thicker and slowly dragged across the nail to minimize additional streakiness. L’Oreal Never Lacque-ing (LE) is lighter, less gray. Rescue Beauty Lounge Be Humble (LE, $20.00) is shimmery, purpler. MAC Inert (LE, $16.00) is grayer. Chanel Frenzy (P, $27.00) is warmer. See comparison swatches.

Formula X Over the Top Nail Lacquer ($10.50 for 0.40 fl. oz.) is described as an “opaque light green.” It’s a brightened, light-medium pastel green with warm, yellow undertones and a cream finish. Though the pigmentation seemed opaque after two coats, it was streaky and uneven in application, so it looked patchy. Zoya Tracie (P, $9.00) and Essie Navigate Her (LE, $8.00) a few shades darker. See comparison swatches.

The Glossover

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product

Alive

C+

Product

6.5/10

Pigmentation

9/10

Texture

6.5/10

Longevity

10/10

Application

3.5/5

Results
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Dupes
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P
product

Dynamic

B+

Product

8/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

8/10

Longevity

10/10

Application

4/5

Results
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Dupes
P
product

Over the Top

B-

Product

7/10

Pigmentation

9.5/10

Texture

7/10

Longevity

10/10

Application

3.5/5

Results
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Friday, February 14th, 2014

Cult Nails Nevermore Nail Lacquer
Cult Nails Nevermore Nail Lacquer

Cult Nails Nevermore Nail Lacquer ($12.00 for 0.50 fl. oz.) is described as as “high gloss black.” It’s a deep, dark, glossy black cream. NARS Back Room (LE, $19.00) is very similar, just a little glossier on the dry down. Illamasqua Boosh (P, $17.00) is also very similar. See comparison swatches.

Consider this post my ode to Nevermore, because it is a fantastic, out-of-this-world black cream. It’s intensely pigmented to the point that it really only needs one coat for full color coverage, but two gives such a wondrous, inky, deep, glossy finish that if I wore it alone, I’d still apply two. Whenever I’m trying out a new layering top coat, Nevermore is my go-to. It’s just so easy to apply, dries quickly, and never fails. The consistency is not too thick or too thin, so the application is flawless–smooth, no streaking or bubbling, and even. I typically get a full week of wear with very minor tip wear with Cult Nails’ formula.

The Glossover

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product

Nevermore

A+

Product

10/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

10/10

Longevity

10/10

Application

5/5

Results
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