Thursday, March 3rd, 2011

Nubar Spring Garden Collection
Nubar: Baby Sprout, Blue Hydrangea, Earthen, Honeysuckle

Nubar Spring Garden Collection: Part 1

Nubar Spring Garden Collection ($7.49 for 0.50 fl. oz., each) includes eight color shades, plus a glitter top coat (which I will review tomorrow, separately from the colors). This post features: Baby Sprout (soft pastel green), Blue Hydrangea (muted pastel blue), Earthen (subdued earthen gray creme), and Honeysuckle (cheerful honeysuckle).

  • Baby Sprout is a really pale, pastel green cream with the faintest hint of white micro-shimmer. Two coats. The only shade I have that comes close is China Glaze Re-Fresh Mint, but it is much, much darker and less pastel–mintier; I wouldn’t say they’re similar at all, brighter than Rescue Beauty Bikini Bottom.
  • Blue Hydrangea is a softened sky blue with faint white micro-shimmer. Two coats. It is bluer than China Glaze Moody Blue.
  • Earthen is a lightened cement gray taupe with faint white micro-shimmer. Two coats. It is lighter than MAC’s On the Prowl.
  • Honeysuckle is a brightened medium-dark pink cream with a bit of a jelly-like finish. Two coats. It reminded me of Chanel Riviera.

my thoughts on the formula: The formula on these was a little thicker than I expected, but it was also quite pigmented. They applied smoothly, without bubbling, and two coats was perfect for opaque color on all four shades. I typically get a week of wear with Nubar’s polishes.

The Glossover

coming-soon

Nubar Spring Garden Collection Swatches, Photos, Review (Part 1)

A-
I think Baby Sprout is going to be difficult for some skin tones to pull off--particularly medium and deeper ones, because of how pale it is.  Shades like Earthen and Honeysuckle will be quite wearable across skin tones, while Blue Hydrangea is less universal but still easy enough to wear.

Product

9/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

8.5/10

Longevity

10/10

Application

4/5

Results
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Dupes
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Saturday, February 26th, 2011

Video Review: MAC Jeanius Collection

First impressions/swatches for MAC Jeanius!  I’m pretty excited that not only is it under 10 minutes, but it is under 8 minutes!  For me, it seems like such a mighty feat… of restraint.

Thursday, February 24th, 2011

MAC Frayed to Order Nail Lacquer
MAC Frayed to Order Nail Lacquer

MAC Jeanius: Frayed to Order

MAC Frayed to Order Nail Lacquer ($14.00 for 0.40 fl. oz.) is described as a “white matte with soft pink duochrome pearl” and has a matte finish. As hard as I try to only provide accurate photos, Frayed to Order was a tough shade to capture. The photos are definitely accurate in terms of color and all that, but they really miss the way the duochrome sheen plays with light. It is a semi-sheer pale white with pink iridescent sheen strewn through it. If you have Vanilla pigment, Frayed to Order is just like that, but in a matte polish form.

It dries down as fast as any matte does, but it does show brush strokes quite easily, so you’ll want to do wider strokes and one pass, rather than multiple ones, if you can help it. I did three coats for swatches, to see if it would go opaque, but as you’ll see, it never quite gets there. The formula was a little thinner than medium but not watery at all.

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  • Product: 26/30
  • Value: 7/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

final thoughts: If it applied a little smoother, I could give it a better quality score. As I mentioned in the Biker Blue review, MAC’s nail polish prices are coming far too close to high-end brands, while many of MAC’s other products have not.  For me, the “cool” factor of this polish is enough for me to want it, even if it does have streaking problems.

where to buy: MAC Cosmetics, March 3rd, 2011

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Thursday, February 24th, 2011

MAC Biker Blue Nail Lacquer
MAC Biker Blue Nail Lacquer

MAC Jeanius: Biker Blue

MAC Biker Blue Nail Lacquer ($14.00 for 0.40 fl. oz.) is described as a “black base with purple and blue pearl,” and it has a frost finish. I did find I needed a full three coats in order to get a really solid, opaque look, but it was very pretty and rich once I finished there. Luckily, the formula is thin without being watery, so three coats doesn’t feel thick at all.

Overall, it looks likd a midnight blue polish, but it does have that inky bluish black color base with flecks of brighter blue and navy blue shimmer-glitter. Nubar’s Night Sparkle is similar but has a brighter blue base, as is Rescue Beauty Lounge’s Under the Stars, which is less blue and the finish looks different (less shimmer).

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  • Product: 27/30
  • Value: 7/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

final thoughts: The $14 price tag does bring down the product’s overall score in a noteworthy way; at that price range, MAC is inching its way up to compete, far too closely (given the differences in prices on many other products still) with polishes from Estee Lauder, NARS, and Dior.

where to buy: MAC Cosmetics, March 3rd, 2011

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Tuesday, February 22nd, 2011

Rescue Beauty Lounge Plie Nail Lacquer
Rescue Beauty Lounge Plie Nail Lacquer

Rescue Beauty Lounge Plie Nail Lacquer

Rescue Beauty Lounge Plie Nail Lacquer ($18.00 for 0.4 fl. oz.) is described as the color of the satiny slippers of a prima ballerina. It is a soft, muted pale pink–it’s not a milky pink nor is it pastel. I would say it’s more like a soft pink with a gray overcast. Plie has a cream finish and applies beautifully.

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 needed two coats for opaque coverage.

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  • Product: 30/30
  • Value: 7/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

final thoughts: This is a shade of pink that’s infinitely flattering and wearable. It’s delicate without being sheer, pink without being obvious.

where to buy: Rescue Beauty Lounge

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Monday, February 21st, 2011

Rescue Beauty Lounge Yellow Fever Nail Lacquer
Rescue Beauty Lounge Yellow Fever Nail Lacquer

Rescue Beauty Lounge Yellow Fever Nail Lacquer

Rescue Beauty Lounge Yellow Fever Nail Lacquer ($18.00 for 0.4 fl. oz.) is a bright, sunshine yellow with soft, pale gold micro-shimmer. The micro-shimmer is really, really faint but it catches light beautifully. It almost looks like a cream finish in lower light conditions. The first coat looked rather streaky, but the second coat made it look perfect–smooth, opaque, and gorgeous.

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. Yellow, which can be streaky and hard to work with, is excellently formulated here.

If you want to know more about how products are evaluated, read out Rating System FAQ! :)

  • Product: 30/30
  • Value: 7/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

final thoughts: This is a great shade for spring and summer. Especially in spring, because it reminds me that summer is near!

where to buy: Rescue Beauty Lounge

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