Friday, May 20th, 2011

Essie Summer 2011 Collection
Essie Nail Lacquers: Too Too Hot, Meet Me at Sunset, Braziliant

Essie Braziliant Collection Review, Photos, Swatches

Essie’s Braziliant Collection includes six new shades for summer: Too Too Hot (sizzling rich red coral), Meet Me at Sunset (vibrant deep orange), Brazilliant (hot orange with a touch of shimmer), Absolutely Shore (soft sea foam green), Super Bossa Nova (upbeat bright fuchsia), and Smooth Sailing (breezy lavender blue with a reflection of pearl).

  • Too Too Hot is really more red than red-coral. It has a cream finish, and it was almost opaque in one coat, though I used two for swatches. The red definitely dominates here, though. It reminds me of a deeper Rescue Beauty Lounge Bangin’, less red Zoya Sooki.
  • Meet Me at Sunset is a orange-red; kind of like a tomato red to me. It’s very vibrant and has a cream finish. I used two coats. It’s darker than Essie Vermillionaire. Zoya Lana seems like it would come the closest but has shimmer.
  • Braziliant is a rich, darkened orange with white shimmer. I used two coats, but it was nearly opaque in one. MAC Imperial Flower is similar, though the shimmer is chunkier and gold.
  • Absolutely Shore is a whitish green with a cream finish. I used two coats, but it does have a streakier base, so take your time with this one. It’s a little less yellow-based than Nubar Sprout.
  • Super Bossa Nova is a brightened, dark pink with fuchsia shimmer. I swatched with two coats, but it was really pigmented in one. China Glaze 108 Degrees is very similar, though the base pink is redder.
  • Smooth Sailing is cornflower blue with hints of purple and chunkier silver shimmer. I used two coats. I couldn’t find a dupe for this – I don’t have anything quite like it in my stash from what I can tell!

The formula for Essie’s summer shades was excellent overall. I only had a little trouble with Absolutely Shore, which required some patience and a more precise application (aka pay attention)–the first coat will look a little streaky, so I recommend a thinner initial coat followed by a medium-thick second coat. Despite being a lighter shade, though, it is nearly opaque in just two coats. The other five were impeccable: dense pigmentation, not too thick or thin, even flow, and just easy to work with. I typically get a week’s worth of wear out of Essie’s polishes.

The Glossover

essieBraziliant

Essie Braziliant Collection Review, Photos, Swatches

A
It's a fun collection of summery shades; the first three are more typical of summer, while the latter three are a little more unique. Overall, these were nice to work with and had great color pay off. Smooth Sailing seems the most unique!

Product

9.5/10

Pigmentation

9.5/10

Texture

9.5/10

Longevity

10/10

Application

4.5/5

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Thursday, May 19th, 2011

MAC Surf Baby Nail Lacquers
MAC Surf Baby Nail Lacquers

MAC Surf Baby:  Nail Lacquers

MAC Surf Baby is right around the corner–the full collection hits stores on May 26th (PRO stores should put it out a week earlier) and should start popping up online as early as the 23rd. There are two Nail Lacquers ($13.50 for 0.4 fl. oz.) coming out: Hangin’ Loose (dirty pink nude) and Ocean Dip (mid-tone creamy aqua).

  • Hangin’ Loose is a pale, peachy nude with soft white shimmer. It looks more peach, less nude in natural light than it does in brighter light. I used three coats and was able to achieve opaque color, but two coats does get close to opaque. Formula flowed easily over the nail and applied well.
  • Ocean Dip is a creamy bluish teal. I used two coats to get opaque color coverage. Even after I rolled it a few times, the formula was on the watery side.

my thoughts on the formula: MAC polishes always wear a full week for me, with no chipping, and minor tip wear.  The formula isn’t as consistent as I’d like, though, as some shades are thin, some thick, and a couple of them are watery.  Though recently I’ve had some issues with splayed applicators, both were perfect in these two bottles.

The Glossover

LE
coming-soon

Ocean Dip

B+
I found Ocean Dip to seem like a less dupeable shade, just because of the intensity of the color and the way it leans bluer, rather than green, as many teal/aqua shades do. Hangin' Loose has a better formula, though.

Product

9/10

Pigmentation

9/10

Texture

8.5/10

Longevity

9/10

Application

4.5/5

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Thursday, May 19th, 2011

Rescue Beauty Lounge Bruised Nail Lacquer
Rescue Beauty Lounge Bruised Nail Lacquer

Rescue Beauty Lounge Bruised Nail Lacquer

Rescue Beauty Lounge Bruised Nail Lacquer ($18.00 for 0.5 fl. oz.) is described as both a brown and plum. On me, it’s a deep, burgundied plum with a cream finish. It’s really, really pigmented–you almost don’t need two coats. It’s like the second coat is just for the sake of finishing, but if you were precise with your first coat, you could leave it there. The formula is thick enough to hold all of that magnificent color pay off, but not so thick that it becomes difficult to work with. It flows over the nail easily and doesn’t bubble at all, and I felt like the drying time here was a little faster than the norm. I typically get a full week of wear with RBL’s formula.

Rescue Beauty Lounge does some really neat things–they are definitely very customer-oriented and take feedback well. Several months ago, the brand let customers vote on four shades to bring back and relaunch–the winners were Bruised, Purple Haze, Black Russian, Bikini Bottom, and Stormy. In fact, another Bring It Back event was held and winners (Locavore, Anne, 360, and Scrangie) were announced last month. The whole concept is just very cool, and this is why smaller brands can be so easy to fall in love with.

The Glossover

LE
product

Bruised

A+
Certainly more of a fall shade (even says so in its description), but it has such a remarkably smooth, rich formula that I wouldn't recommend waiting until fall to snag it if it's something that wows you!

Product

10/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

10/10

Longevity

10/10

Application

4.5/5

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Wednesday, May 18th, 2011

Deborah Lippmann Yellow Brick Road Nail Lacquer
Deborah Lippmann Yellow Brick Road Nail Lacquer

Deborah Lippmann Summer: Yellow Brick Road

Deborah Lippmann Yellow Brick Road Nail Lacquer ($16.00 for 0.5 fl. oz.) is described as a “super sheer mellow yellow.” The shade was made famous by Lady Gaga wearing it a few months ago. Sheer is definitely an apt descriptor, because after three coats, my natural nail line is still visible. It’s a bright, sunny yellow with a jelly finish. For some reason, this yellow makes my hands look sunburnt, so it’s not as flattering on me as it might be on others! (Boo!)

The consistency is thick-ish, though not difficult to work with, and it flows really nicely on the nail. It’s not even streaky on the first coat because of how naturally translucent it is. Overall, the formula was easy to work with, and even after three coats, it didn’t feel too heavy, though I’d recommend just going with two since it’s designed to be a sheer. The drying time is a little long, and I recommend waiting a minute or two between coats. I typically get a week of wear with Deborah Lippmann polishes (using Zoya Anchor and Armor as base/top coats).

The Glossover

LE
product

Yellow Brick Road

A
There is something about the jelly finish that makes sheer polishes have more interest to them. I wish this shade was more flattering on me, because I think it's perfect for summer--so warm and bright.

Product

9/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

10/10

Application

4/5

Results
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Tuesday, May 17th, 2011

Fresh Brown Sugar Hand Cream
Fresh Brown Sugar Hand Cream

Fresh Brown Sugar Hand Cream

Fresh Brown Sugar Hand Cream ($18.50 for 2.5 oz.) is described as an “ultra-rich formula customized for the most dehydrated hands that offers supreme moisture, leaves hands soft, and promotes healthy-looking cuticles.”

Now, despite the usage of “brown sugar” in the title, it’s referring to the inclusiom of brown sugar crystals in the formula itself, but it has nothing to do with the scent. I know when I first tested this product out, I expected something sweet and food-ish, but the scent is actually a stronger, herbal-ish lemon. Distinctly lemon, but it almost borders on cloying and synthetic. I’m actually a fiend for lemon-y scent (seriously, I love all lemon-scented kitchen soaps!), but this smelled a little off.

ingredients: Water (Aqua), Neopentyl Glycol Diheptanoate, Prunus Armeniaca (Apricot), Kernel Oil, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Stearic Acid, Palmitic Acid, Limnanthes Alba (Meadowfoam) Seed Oil, Butylene Glycol, Glyceryl Stearate, PEG-100 Stearate, Maltooligosyl Glucoside, Sucrose, Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil, Prunus Amygdalus Dulcis (Sweet Almond) Oil, Oenothera Biennis (Evening Primrose) Oil, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea Butter), Borago Officinalis Seed Oil, Beeswax (Cera Alba), Tocopheryl Acetate, Retinyl Palmitate, Caramel, Glycine Soja (Soybean) Sterols, Fragrance (Parfum), Hydrogenated Starch Hydrolysate Triethanolamine, Acrylamide/Sodium Acryloyldimethyltaurate Copolymer, Behenyl Alcohol, Isohexadecane, Lecithin, Sorbitan Oleate, Bisabolol, Panthenol, Dipotassium Glycyrrhizate, Xanthan Gum, BHT, Benzoic Acid, Disodium EDTA, Caprylyl Glycol, Polysorbate 80, Phenoxyethanol, Limonene, Citral, Linalool, Geraniol.

As a hand cream, it’s a decent product: a very thick, luxuriously textured cream that absorbs in a few minutes without leaving behind any greasy residue. It moisturizes well if you have normal skin, but when my hands are at their driest, I don’t find that it to outperform some of my favorites (like Jack Black Hand Healer). It just leaves my hands shy of feeling truly soothed and infused with moisture. This seems to do better at locking in existing moisture while imparting some but not quite enough.

It’s not bad, and it’s better than average, but I don’t think it will work well for those with particularly dry or cracked hands.  I did like the texture and how quickly the product absorbed (which can always be an issue in thicker creams like this one).   If your hands are in better shape and the scent catches your fancy, I think this will do the trick for you.

Monday, May 16th, 2011

Illamasqua Gamma Nail Varnish
Illamasqua Gamma Nail Varnish

Illamasqua Gamma Nail Varnish

Illamasqua Gamma Nail Varnish ($14.00 for 0.5 fl. oz.) is described as a “neon orange.” They really mean neon, too, because this is a medium-dark, neon orange–it’s traffic cone orange, construction orange, whatever you want to call it–it’s bright and in-your-face orange. It’s opaque in nearly one coat, though I did two for swatches, and it dries to this pleather-like finish–a little shiny, kind of matte, but not quite.  The finish reminded me of Orly’s Plastix, though Gamma is more neon and deeper than Orly’s Old School Orange.  Illamasqua’s formula is richly pigmented, smooth, and easy to apply.  I typically get a full week of wear with Illamasqua Nail Varnishes with minimal tip wear and no chips.

The Glossover

P
product

Gamma

A
If you love your neons, Gamma is an excellent orange to put on your list. The polish flows so well, coverage is phenomenal, and it wears beautifully.

Product

10/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

9.5/10

Longevity

10/10

Application

4.5/5

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