Thursday, August 12th, 2010

ORLY Cosmic Collection
Nail Lacquers: Out of This World, It’s Not Rocket Science, Haley’s Comet

Intergalactic, Planetary, Planetary, Intergalactic

This September, ORLY’s Cosmic FX Collection will launch.  According to ORLY, these polishes have a textured finish that have multi-dimensional flashes of shine as a result of “MINERAL FX” technology.  This technology uses a mix of natural rock minerals, crystals, and glass that give these shades an optical effect.  All six shades will retail for $10 each and are limited edition.

From ORLY…

The MINERALFX technology includes specialty mica, that allows for a clearer, vibrantly bright lustrous shimmer. Crystals allow for a multi-dimensional color transformation. Glass particles carefully controlled in shape and size create a luminous phenomenon. This combination infused with the Silica and specific colors selected create this exclusive technology that gives nails a unique optical effect that’s magnified as the lighting source intensifies or viewing angle changes.

Nail Lacquers

  • Out of This World is a deep purple base with shimmer flecks of violet purple and green gold.  Three coats.
  • It’s Not Rocket Science is an olive green base with darkened chartreuse and teal shimmer. It looks rather chartreuse-y at some angles, while in others, it almost looks emerald green as the teal comes into play.  Two coats.
  • Haley’s Comet is an aqua-blue color base with flecks of green, teal, and blue shimmer. It looks bluer at some angles, more mermaid-esque at other angles. I found that this one had the least powerful duochrome.  This felt like the least pigmented, so it definitely needed a full three coats.  This also bears a strong resemblance to Zoya’s Charla.
  • Space Cadet is one of the coolest shades of the six. It has a very strong duochrome finish/effect. It looks like a mauvey plum but then it glints a chartreuse-y green with strong gold undertones. I can’t think of anything I have that’s quite like this.  Two coats.
  • Galaxy Girl is a beautiful deep wine-purple base with red undertones. It has flecks of teal and darkened fuchsia-purple shimmer. It’s dark and a little vampy, but I absolutely love the subtle but noticeable duochrome effect.  Two coats.
  • Lunar Eclipse is a glowing indigo blue that flashes violet, electric blue, and inky blue. It’s incredible–it’s my personal favorite. This was the most pigmented shade of the six, and it only needed two coats.

ORLY completely hit a homerun here for me.  Not only was this the collection I was most anticipating personally, but it fulfilled all my expectations.  It did not disappoint at any point.  The formula was nicely pigmented and not too thick, easy to work with, and the shimmer and glass flecks distributed evenly. I didn’t have any issues with drying time when I used Zoya’s Color Lock System, including their quick drying drops–I was typing away just minutes after applying the Hurry Up drops.  I also love the rubber caps of ORLY’s polish, because it makes handling them foolproof.

There’s only one downside and that’s the price–these are more expensive than your usual ORLYs (which retail at $7.50).  Don’t get me wrong, considering I’ll happily fork over $23 for a Chanel shade, I think these are completely worth it.  They’re interesting and complex shades that apply well, which is what makes a polish worth it for me.

But in the end, there’s really only one word to sum up this collection: BADASS.

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

RECOMMENDATION: If you love pops of color on your nails, ORLY’s Cosmic collection is NOT to be missed!

AVAILABILITY: September 2010 at orlybeauty.com, ULTA, and Sally Beauty

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Tuesday, August 10th, 2010

Illamasqua Baptiste Nail Varnish

Perfect for Fall: Baptiste

Illamasqua Baptiste Nail Varnish ($14.00 for 0.5 fl. oz.) is a stunning shade of shimmering royal purple with flecks of red and fuchsia-violet shimmer. It’s gorgeous in the light as well as out of it; it looks inkier when in the shade, but when the light hits it, all of the shimmer comes into play.

The formula was amazing! Smooth and easy to apply with plenty of pigment. I only used two coats on Baptiste, and it was completely opaque. It’s not too thick or thin–just right–which makes it easy to apply without worrying about streaking or patchiness. The wear was also excellent. Admittedly, I don’t do dishes (the boy takes care of that), but I do type all day, so sometimes that alone will show a polish’s true colors–Illamasqua stayed as pretty as when I put it on seven days later with just minor tip wear.

The Glossover

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Baptiste

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Monday, August 9th, 2010

Estee Lauder Surreal Violet Nail Lacquer
Estee Lauder Surreal Violet Nail Lacquer

Estee Lauder Blue Dahlia: Surreal Violet

Estee Lauder Surreal Violet Nail Lacquer ($18.00 for 0.3 fl. oz.) is a gray-toned pink-mauve with copper-bronze shimmer. It’s a little on the sheerer side with two coats, but it was nearly opaque, so I left the swatches with two–but you could probably do a third for a totally opaque result.  The formula itself wasn’t too thick or thin and applied smoothly without any issues.  Drying time seemed average, and there was a soft glossy shine, but I’d still recommend a top coat.

The amount in the bottle is a little below average, I’d say, while the price tag is a bit hefty.  Those with larger collections may want to add this more unique shade to their stashes, but if you’re just building up your collection, this may be too much on the expensive side.  You can grab Illamasqua ($14/0.5 fl. oz.), NARS ($16 for 0.5 fl. oz), and Lippmann ($18/0.5 fl. oz.), which are all stellar polish brands, and get more for your money.

I would also like to give this polish props for being utterly difficult to photograph in natural light — thanks a lot! What a diva on set!

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

  • Product: 26/30
  • Value: 6 /10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

RECOMMENDATION: Those who are fans of greiges and purples may find themselves in love with this mix of both!

AVAILABILITY: Nordstrom

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Sunday, August 8th, 2010

Deborah Lippmann Across the Universe Nail Lacquer
Deborah Lippmann Across the Universe Nail Lacquer

It’s Blue, It’s Green, It’s Teal… It’s All Three!

Deborah Lippmann Across the Universe Nail Lacquer ($18.00 for 0.5 oz.) is a deep, inky navy blue jelly base with electric blue glitter and teal and green hexagonal glitter.  I wasn’t quite able to get an opaque with three coats, but perhaps with a fourth coat or just a more precise application, it could get there.  I like the way the glitter is mixed in color, because it gives it a very interesting effect.  I feel like I haven’t seen a shade quite like this, which is often true of many Lippmann shades, just because of the way the glitter is used.  Application was smooth overall, but remember to wait for each coat to dry so that you don’t pull the glitter out of place.

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

  • Product: 27/30
  • Value: 8/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

RECOMMENDATION: This shade impresses me more–love the mix of glitter sizes, shapes, and colors.

AVAILABILITY: Nordstrom

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Saturday, August 7th, 2010

Deborah Lippmann Bad Romance Nail Lacquer
Deborah Lippmann Bad Romance Nail Lacquer

A lil’ Lady Gaga for your nails…

Deborah Lippmann Bad Romance Nail Lacquer ($18.00 for 0.5 oz.) has a black-burgundy jelly base with regular fuchsia glitter and hexagonal glitter.  I was able to get a very opaque look with three coats, but I didn’t get as many hexagonal pieces as I’d like on each nail.  The key is definitely to let each coat dry longer, so that you don’t drag any of the glitter elsewhere.  I’d also recommend doing one or two strokes for each coat, because each time you move the brush, you can displace some of the glitter, and get a patchier look.  The drying time seemed a little shorter than average, and it had a slightly glossy finish even without a top coat.

P.S. — China Glaze’s Mummy May I is very, very similar, but it doesn’t have the hexagonal glitter bits!

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

  • Product: 27/30
  • Value: 8/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

RECOMMENDATION: I like it — it’s pretty and dark and great for fall.  It doesn’t knock my socks off quite like some other Lippmann shades have in the past.  Perhaps it’s because the glitter is the same color, despite the shape differences.

AVAILABILITY: Nordstrom

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Friday, August 6th, 2010

Essie Declare=
Essie Declare Your Denim Nail Lacquer

Essie Declare Your Denim Nail Lacquer was a collaboration between Teen Vogue and Essie to kick-off the event with bottles given to those who donated on July 28th.   Teen Vogue launched their Declare Your Denim event, which is a charity event where you can donate your denim for a good cause. Teen Vogue and Fashion Delivers (charity) have set-up donation boxes at several malls across America (see a list here). And if you’re not located near one of the participating locations, you can always mail yours! When you spend $25 at participating sponsors (online or in-store), you’ll get a free Teen Vogue tote.

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