Wednesday, October 27th, 2010

MAC Style Clan Nail Lacquer
MAC Style Clan Nail Lacquer

MAC Tartan Tale: MAC Style Clan Nail Lacquer

MAC Style Clan Nail Lacquer ($13.00) is a mushroom-y brown with flecks of burnt copper glitter-shimmer.  They’re flakies almost.  This is such a cool polish to see from MAC, and I don’t have any dupes in my stash for this one.  It did apply a little streaky, though, so I recommend using a thin initial coat, followed by a thicker secondary coat–or else two medium coats instead of the thicker second coat for a total of three coats. (I’m wearing two coats in the photos.)

It’s totally one of those “pretty ugly” kind of colors, too, because at first glance, you’re like, “oooh!” or “ewww!” and then you may flip-flop a few times on second and third glance!

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  • Product: 26/30
  • Value: 8/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

RECOMMENDATION: If it weren’t for the slightly streaky formula (but it’s workable, just be patient), I’d give it a higher grade. I still think it’s totally worth having if you’re into collecting more unique polish shades.

AVAILABILITY: Online now, October 28th in-store

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Wednesday, October 27th, 2010

MAC Sly as a Fox Nail Lacquer
MAC Sly as a Fox Nail Lacquer

MAC Tartan Tale: MAC Sly as a Fox Nail Lacquer

MAC Sly as a Fox Nail Lacquer ($13.00) is a rich, darkened red-brown with soft ruby micro-shimmer.  It’s actually quite similar to Chanel’s Rouge Fatale–though it has shimmer and is a touch browner–I’d say 85-90% similarity.  There is something about red-brown shades that say sexy to me; I wonder if it’s because they have more depth and seem less commonplace than more traditional reds.  Two coats for this, and the formula itself applied smoothly and evenly.  The brush seemed a little wonky, more out of manufacturing than design, but it seemed a little splayed and thick.

But if you can only find room in your budget for one of the two Tartan Tale nail lacquers… wait ’til you see Style Clan!

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  • Product: 28/30
  • Value: 8/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

RECOMMENDATION: I think it’s a nice variation on red for autumn, and if you were wanting Rouge Fatale but couldn’t stomach the $23 price tag, it’s a good alternative.

AVAILABILITY: Online now, October 28th in-store

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Wednesday, October 20th, 2010

Rescue Beauty Lounge Orbis Non Sufficit
Rescue Beauty Lounge Orbis Non Sufficit Nail Lacquer

Going Hunting for Green

Rescue Beauty Lounge Orbis Non Sufficit Nail Lacquer ($18.00 for 0.4 fl. oz.) is a dusty, gray-tinged hunter green cream. The formula packs quite a lot of pigment and is almost opaque in one coat (but the swatches are with two). Rescue Beauty Lounge’s formula is on the thicker side, but they apply beautifully; very smoothly and evenly, and the majority of shades–from my experience–are opaque in two coats.

At $18 a pop, they don’t come cheap, but the brand will be holding a 5-hour sale on November 1st from 11 to 4PM EST. You’ll need to sign-up for their newsletter/emails to get the details for the actual sale, but you can learn more about the upcoming event here.

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

RECOMMENDATION: For green fanatics, but particularly those with cooler undertones, this is a must.

AVAILABILITY: Rescue Beauty Lounge

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Saturday, October 16th, 2010

Nubar Holiday 2010
Nail Lacquer: Sateen, Charmeuse, Moire, Chiffon

Nubar Holiday 2010: Finest Silks (Part 2)

For the holidays, Nubar took inspiration from the Silk Road with their collection of eight shades. Each shade is designed to provide complete coverage in two coats and be universally wearable. Nubar is free of formaldehyde, phthalate and toluene. Shades include: Organza (intense pearl white), Taffeta (pale peachy brown), Marabout (deep muted brown), Pekin (rich dark red), Sateen (deep vivid red), Charmeuse (neutral blush), Moire (light reddish brown), and Chiffon (muted brown). All shades are creams except Organza, which is a frost.

  • Sateen is a deep dark red cream–it’s a couple of shades darker than Pekin. This has a little brown to it in comparison. It almost looks like a jelly but it’s more cream than jelly. It’s not quite as dark as Chanel Rouge Fatal but it comes close. Two coats.
  • Charmeuse is a medium pink cream muted by brown. It’s similar to Chanel Rose Confidentielle but with more noticeable brown. Two coats.
  • Moire is a light-medium beige brown cream. Two coats.
  • Chiffon is a mushroom-taupe cream. Two coats.

I thought that Barielle’s Style in Argyle Collection would offer at least a couple of dupes but nothing was very similar. In general, I don’t have a vast stash of browns, so I didn’t find dupes for the majority of the shades here. All of the shades lean have mostly neutral tones to them, so they will work well on both cooler and warmer skin tones.

I think Charmeuse will be a favorite, just because it’s a wearable, modern pink–not bright, not utterly girly, and not pastel.

Application was stellar on all of the creams: two coats for creamy, smooth, even color. The formula isn’t too thick or thin, and the rubber cap makes it easy to hold when applying.

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  • Product: 29/30
  • Value: 8/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

RECOMMENDATION: Sateen is a gorgeous dark red, if you have need for one, while Charmeuse is a lovely wearable pink for all skin tones.

AVAILABILITY: Nubar

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Saturday, October 16th, 2010

Nubar Holiday 2010
Nail Lacquer: Organza, Taffeta, Marabout, Pekin

Nubar Holiday 2010: Finest Silks (Part 1)

For the holidays, Nubar took inspiration from the Silk Road with their collection of eight shades. Each shade is designed to provide complete coverage in two coats and be universally wearable. Nubar is free of formaldehyde, phthalate and toluene. Shades include: Organza (intense pearl white), Taffeta (pale peachy brown), Marabout (deep muted brown), Pekin (rich dark red), Sateen (deep vivid red), Charmeuse (neutral blush), Moire (light reddish brown), and Chiffon (muted brown). All shades are creams except Organza, which is a frost. Each shade retails for $7.49.

  • Organza is a white gold with ultra fine white shimmer. This looks more metallic than frosty to me, and brush strokes are quite noticeable. I did three coats, and I couldn’t get it to be opaque. It was the only shade that had opacity issues, but there was something appealing about this shade. It reminded me of weddings, actually. I like it even though I hate seeing brush strokes, which is so twilight zone. (I would give this one a product rating of 25/30, while the others are 29/30.)
  • Taffeta is a medium brown with orange-peach cream. Slightly warm but mostly neutral. Two coats.
  • Marabout is a cool-toned plummy brown-gray cream. Two coats.
  • Pekin is a dark red cream that pulls just a tiny bit blue. It’s similar to Essie’s Limited Addiction, which is a little darker and seems more neutral. Two coats.

I thought that Barielle’s Style in Argyle Collection would offer at least a couple of dupes but nothing was very similar. In general, I don’t have a vast stash of browns, so I didn’t find dupes for the majority of the shades here. All of the shades lean have mostly neutral tones to them, so they will work well on both cooler and warmer skin tones.

Application was stellar on all of the creams: two coats for creamy, smooth, even color. The formula isn’t too thick or thin, and the rubber cap makes it easy to hold when applying. Organza was the odd man out with a sheerer application and visible brush strokes.

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  • Product: 29/30
  • Value: 8/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

RECOMMENDATION: I have no idea why I’m drawn to Organza in spite of its brush strokes, but I am. Pekin is a nice dark red cream, though I like Sateen (coming up!) a bit better.

AVAILABILITY: Nubar

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Friday, October 15th, 2010

China Glaze Holiday 2010
Nail Lacquer: Midnight Kiss, Party Hearty

China Glaze Holiday 2010: Part 3

Finally! These are the last four shades of the new and limited sixteen holiday shades by China Glaze. I grouped these together, because three of the four are very glitter-based. I wanted to swatch the glitters last, since the glitter does have a tendency to get into the nooks and crannies of my nails, which can throw off other swatches. Party Hearty is a fun shade but definitely use it to layer rather than alone.

Each China Glaze retails for $3 and up, depending on where you purchase yours from. I know the brand is carried at various etailers as well as Sally’s (not sure if it’s in store yet, though).

  • Midnight Kiss is a soft gold with gold shimmer-glitter and an almost metallic/foil finish. It’s the gold version of Cheers to You. It seems similar to Butter London’s Full Monty. Two coats.
  • Party Hearty is a mix of large, red hexagonal glitter; smaller green hexagonal glitter; and smaller silver and gold circular/square glitter. All the glitter particles are flat and suspended in a clear base. This is a shade that’s best layered over other polishes rather than on its own. For swatching purposes, I did both, and when it’s shown alone, that’s three full coats. I liked it best over Midnight Kiss, Cheers to You, and Frosty.
  • Mrs. Claus is a pinky-red jelly with dark pink and fuchsia glitter suspended in the base. I feel like I’ve seen this shade before, but I can’t put my finger on it. I did three coats, but it still seemed rather pink on me. (This shade fell flat for me; it’s just so pink on but red in the bottle–I’d give this a lower product score of 27/30, FYI!)
  • Mistletoe Kisses is an emerald green base with minty-green/silver glitter. After swatching Mrs. Clause, I thought this was going to be just like it, but Mistletoe Kisses is quite opaque! It initially reminded me of China Glaze Watermelon Rind, but it’s far too teal in comparison. Two coats.

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  • Product: 29/30
  • Value: 9/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

RECOMMENDATION: Party Hearty is fun and the very definition of Christmas! It looks excellent over Midnight Kiss.

AVAILABILITY: 8ty8beauty.com

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