Monday, September 27th, 2010

Illamasqua Viridian Nail Varnish
Illamasqua Viridian Nail Varnish

Illamasqua’s Art of Darkness: Viridian

Illamasqua Viridian Nail Varnish (£13.00 for 0.5 fl. oz.) is a darkened teal base with lighter teal micro-shimmer; the teal leans towards the blue side, making it a cooler-toned teal. Funny enough, when the flash fired, it pulled out more of the green in the teal, but overall, it still pulls bluer-teal.

The formula and application was just like Scarab: smooth, even, intensely pigmented–one coat would likely be enough, though I did two in the swatches.

Viridian is also new for fall, but it looks to be permanent from what I can tell.

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

RECOMMENDATION: A very lovely shade and particularly flattering on cooler, paler skin tones as it leans blue.

AVAILABILITY: Illamasqua

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Sunday, September 26th, 2010

Illamasqua Scarab Nail Varnish
Illamasqua Scarab Nail Varnish

Illamasqua’s Art of Darkness: Scarab

Illamasqua Scarab Nail Varnish (£13.00 for 0.5 fl. oz.) is a fiery ruby red with copper and scarlet shimmer strewn through the color. It almost looks metallic but not quite. It’s a very cool shade with depth; I envision flames licking through the ruby red, because it just has on-fire look to it.   This shade was extremely rich in pigment–one coat was nearly enough, but I still wound up with two, just because it feels more complete (to me) that way.

Nonetheless, smooth, even application with no fuss.  The formula itself was of a medium-thick consistency–the norm for Illamasqua’s varnishes.  It has a slight shine in its natural finish, but I recommend a shiny top coat to really finish it.  I noticed very subtle brush strokes in close-ups, but everything looked pretty smooth at a normal viewing distance.  Illamasqua described this as a metallic, but it feels more like a shimmer with only a touch of metallic-ness.

The Glossover

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Scarab

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Friday, September 24th, 2010

Rescue Beauty Lounge Tudors

Going English with Rescue Beauty

Rescue Beauty Lounge just launched their Housewives of Tudor England Collection. It features four shades: Anne (bewitching olive green with a pink-gold metallic iridescence), Catherine (royal purple with a fine pewter sheen and hints of blue and fuschia shimmer), Catherine H. (shimmering Wedgewood blue hue with a hint of a gold- and pink-flecked darkening sky), and Jane (pale gray pearl with sheer washes of pink and gold). Each retails for $18.00 (for 0.4 fl. oz.).

  • Anne is a dark, luxurious olive green with a mix of pink and gold micro shimmer. The shimmer seems really fine but plentiful; it’s like it was strewn through the color base. It has a very slight yellow undertone, but this is definitely more olive green than green-green. Two coats.
  • Catherine is a grayed purple with pink and gray micro-shimmer laced with the color. There’s a subtle cool undertone running through this, despite it’s eggplanty-red base. Two coats.
  • Catherine H. is a medium-dark periwinkle blue with lilac shimmer and iridescent blue microglitter. It is just the slightest bit purple-toned, but it’s still predominantly a blue shade. Two coats.
  • Jane is a muted gray-beige creme with flecks of pale gold microglitter hovering in the base; it’s the least glittery/shimmery of the four. I couldn’t detect any pink in this, even under direct light. Two coats.

I found the formula on these a little thinner than the majority of Rescue Beauty Lounge polishes that I’ve tried, which isn’t a bad thing, just something I noticed from the get-go. I only needed two coats for all four of these, though Jane may be one that you may go three coats on. Otherwise, these are rather pigmented on the whole. Application went smoothly with no streaking and even color and shimmer distribution.  They dry down to a semi-shiny finish, so I’d definitely recommend a glossy top coat for these to look their best (I used Zoya’s).

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

RECOMMENDATION: The colors are perfect for fall; they have a certain depth to them that makes them particularly elegant on nails.

AVAILABILITY: Rescue Beauty Lounge

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Friday, September 24th, 2010


Zoya Fire & Ice Preview

Sneak Peek: Zoya Fire & Ice

I’ll have a full review with swatches of Zoya’s Fire & Ice collection on October 1st (can’t post anything more than this until then!), but for now, here’s a sneak peek at the nail plates for the collection.  How are we feeling about the six new shades so far?

Thursday, September 23rd, 2010


Dolce & Gabbana Cosmopolitan Nail Lacquer

Corals for fall? Who woulda thunk it?

Dolce & Gabbana Cosmopolitan (108) Nail Lacquer ($20.00 for 0.37 fl. oz.) is a bright true coral cream. I was torn between calling it a pink coral and an orange coral, because it seems to flitter between the two, which makes me realize, “OH! That’s a TRUE coral!”  Am I the only one who didn’t expect to see a coral polish come out in a fall collection?

In two coats, it’s very close to being opaque; you can kind of see my nail line, but it’s slight–I’d advise doing three coats to totally hide it, but I was happy with the effect of two myself. I find Dolce & Gabbana’s brush a little on the thick side, and it seems to hold a lot of polish in it. Thankfully, while it seemed like it would be hard to work with, I didn’t encounter any application issues; the color applied smoothly, and it didn’t streak or overflow on my nail. However, I think if you had smaller nail beds, it might be more problematic.

I went through several of my photo folders for possible dupes, and everything was either too far orange or pink but not quite like this. Not that there are no dupes out there, but nothing jumped out at me. Any suggestions?

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

RECOMMENDATION: Though it’s not a color I think about for fall collections, it would be lovely for coral fiends… especially during these last days of summer.

AVAILABILITY: Saks

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Wednesday, September 15th, 2010

Chanel Steel Le Vernis
Chanel Steel Le Vernis

Chanel SoHo Le Vernis: Should You?

From Chanel’s exclusive and limited edition SoHo Story, we have two new and limited edition shades of polish. I am a fan of Chanel’s polish–I have no issues with wear or the formula (typically), and I think they often create unique, inspiring shades. Each retails for $25, and last I checked, were still available online.

  • Steel is a charcoal gray-black with silvery gray micro-shimmer. When the flash fired, it also illuminated flashes of teal, violet, and green micro-shimmer, but I really didn’t see the effect of these in natural light. It reminded me of a subtler, more micro-shimmered version of Nubar Night Sky (which is also matte). This doesn’t seem like an overly unique shade, and though I can’t name any other specific dupes, my stash and archives aren’t as exhaustive as I’d like for dupe-finding purposes. Two coats.
  • Strong is a deep, dark burgundy-brown with brighter burgundy micro-shimmer. Like Steel, when the flash fired, flecks of copper, amber, and burgundy micro-shimmer were noticeable. I feel like I’ve seen this shade before, but after half an hour of going through my photos, I couldn’t find anything.

The formula on these was consistent with Chanel overall–on the thicker side but very pigmented. I included a photo of Strong with only one coat to show you just how intense the color is. I still find that I can never get away with just one coat and always go for a second. Though I like both shades, they don’t inspire me as much as other past shades have (like the recent Paradoxal).

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  • Product: 29/30
  • Value: 6/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

RECOMMENDATION: The formula was smooth and easy to apply with plenty of pigmentation. I’m not sold on these being over-the-top unique as many Chanel shades often are, though.

AVAILABILITY: Chanel

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