Wednesday, May 12th, 2010

Duri Nail Polish
Duri: Paparazzi, Celebrity Scandal, Bombshell

Duri’s Paparazzi Collection includes twelve shades for spring/summer: Drama Queen (gold), Oscar Party (green), Fashion Police (blue), Addicted to Fame (orange), I Don’t Kiss and Tell (red), Limo Ride (deep red), Bombshell (bright red), Divas Only (brown), Paparazzi (deep green), Gossip Exclusive (brown), Tabloid Rumors (dark taupe), and Celebrity Scandal (silver). Each Duri shade retails for $5.00 for 0.5 fl. oz.

I found the formula to be on the thinner side, but it didn’t seem to impact application or the intensity of the colors.  Paparazzi and Bombshell applied smoothly, though Paparazzi had some brush strokes coming through.  Celebrity Scandal has a very different finish/texture compared to the other two I tried, so it had a rougher finish, but a thick layer of top coat solved that.

  • Paparazzi is a deep emerald green with lighter green shimmer. This shade only needs two coats, but I went with three to see if I could eliminate some of the brush strokes lingering in the application.
  • Celebrity Scandal is a shimmered tin-foil color–it definitely reminds me of foil, but it has a slight shimmer to it. It’s not entirely smooth on the nail, and I found that by itself, it dried to a semi-matte finish. The shimmer/glitter applied pretty evenly, and I found three coats was the most optimum level for total coverage.
  • Bombshell is a ruby shimmered cherry red. I found that I needed three coats for this, just to make totally rich and opaque, but two coats came close to complete coverage.

P.S. — I’m totally amused that the three I tried look more like a Christmas set than part of a summer collection!

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  • Product: 27/30
  • Value: 9/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

Recommendation:  These have a nice, consistent formula with good color pay off that doesn’t break the bank!

AvailabilityDuri

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Monday, April 26th, 2010

Ms. Perfectly Pink

Lancome Ms. Perfectly Pink Le Vernis ($18.00) is a creamy, darkened fuchsia-bubblegum pink with a glossy shine. It applies easily and goes opaque in just two coats. The formula is thick without being goopy, and it applies evenly and smoothly without a fuss. I did find the brush itself to be a little wider than the average polish, but not quite as wide as some of the OPIs.

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

Recommendation: This is kind of like a brightened, yet darker, version of Barbie pink, I’d say. It doesn’t seem like a particularly unique/revolutionary shade, but the formula is tops.

Availability: Nordstrom

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Friday, April 23rd, 2010

NARS Versailles Nail Polish

The Classy, Sophisticated Way to Wear Gold

NARS Versailles Nail Polish ($16.00 for 0.5 fl. oz.) is a softened yellow gold with champagne shimmer woven through. It has a slightly metallic look to it. It’s very spring-into-summer–the softness of the gold makes it like a gilded yellow, perfect for spring, but it has the shimmer and sheen that makes it great for summer, too. The formula runs a little thick, but it applies easily and goes opaque in two coats. I like that this is a gold that can be worn by cooler and warmer skin tones–it’s not a true yellow gold, so it should still complement those with pinker undertones!

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

Recommendation: For softened champagne-gold with pretty shimmer and a subtle, metallic look, Versailles may be the right shade for you.

Availability: NARS

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Wednesday, April 21st, 2010

MAC Pret a Papier Collection

MAC Pret-a-Papier Collection: Nail Lacquer Review, Photos, Swatches

Even though there are definitely some products I like in this launch, there is no item that caught my eye more than Originality. If you like nail polish, you gotta get it!

Nail Lacquer ($12.00 U.S. / $14.50 CDN)

  • Brown Bag is a muted, darkened flesh-toned shade–nude, as they’d say–but it’s much darker than my skin tone (probably NC20/25 on my fingertips). Perhaps if you’re NC/NW35 or 40 it might be your perfect nude. Nonetheless, it’s a creamy nude with flecks of champagne shimmer strewn through it, and it goes opaque in two coats (and pictured with two).  But I gotta say, Brown Bag is a pain-in-the-behind to photograph!
  • Originality is a gorgeous, shimmering warmed-up bronze with copper flecks. This is truly a stunning shade–it’s almost metallic but not quite–it shimmers and dances. It goes opaque in just two coats (and the swatches are of two), dries to a slightly textured finish but it’s fairly smooth, but it removes easily.

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Wednesday, April 14th, 2010

NYX Paradise Nail Lacquer

NYX Paradise Nail Polish ($5.00) is a funky shade perfect for summer!  It’s this blue-teal with flecks of gold-green shimmer.  I thought it’d be a nice shade to feature for the upcoming warmer, summery season :)

The formula doesn’t standout, but it’s solid — it’s not too thick or thin, and it goes opaque in three coats (but you definitely need three).  I get good wear out of this polish, too–it’s my first NYX polish–so I was pleasantly surprised by that.  I used Zoya’s Color Lock System for the polish, just as a FYI!

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

Recommendation:  If you love duochromes, Paradise is a nice mix of blue, teal, gold, and green.  Perfect for summer!

Availability: NYX Cosmetics

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Tuesday, April 13th, 2010

Chanel Noir et Or Collection
Chanel Nail Lacquer: Black Velvet + Illusion d’Or (thumb), Black Velvet (pointer),
Illusion d’Or (middle), Gold Lame + Illusion d’Or (ring)

Chanel Noir et Or Collection: Gold Lame, Black Velvet, & Illusion d’Or Le Vernis

Chanel Noir et Or Collection is a very limited edition, hard-to-get-your-hands-on collection that is only available in select Chanel Boutiques (it officially launched April 1st). It includes three shades of nail lacquer: Gold Lame (copper gold), Black Velvet (matte black), Illusion d’Or (clear with gold sparkle).

  • Gold Lame (440) is a metallic yellowed gold. Like the majority of metallic finish polishes, there are noticeable brushstrokes. It went opaque in about two coats, but I did three to see if I could minimize the brushstroke-effect. I loved the layering effect of Illusion d’Or on top of Gold Lame, because it camouflaged the brush strokes but you could still see the metallic finish of Gold Lame peeking through. This shade really does a number between different light sources–it goes from like a golden bronze to a gilded gold. Pretty but a pain in the butt to photograph!
  • Black Velvet (430) is not quite a matte black. It’s nearly matte, but it never dried completely matte for me. It had this weird, almost like a vinyl sheen to it. I wish I could describe the finish better, but I’m at a loss! Maybe like a rubbery look? They’re not really glossy or shiny, but they definitely catch the light a bit. The color itself is a very inky black with an almost velvety burgundy-brown cast.
  • Illusion d’Or (450) is a clear glossy base with large particles of gold, bronze, and amber glitter with larger iridescent pinky-purple glitter. This won’t go opaque in three or four layers, but it does look pretty as a sheerer shade. It is even prettier when layered over either Black Velvet or Gold Lame.

Overall? I love. But I love the effect of them together, not so much alone. I’m not sure how many of you will be swept away by the combination of two to shell out $46 for it. There is just something about Chanel’s way of doing lacquer. If it’s not already a known secret, I most definitely have a thing for Chanel lacquer.

Like I died a little inside when I saw how Illusion d’Or popped over Black Velvet. If I had seen that online, I would have been like, “TWO PLEASE!” Illusion d’Or also looks pretty-in-gold over Gold Lame. I think if there was one must-have shade here, it would be Illusion d’Or, if only because it makes the other two really POP!

I still can’t get over the finish and look of Black Velvet, and it really annoys me that I can’t put my finger on it enough to give you a good description of it! It’s matte and yet not. It’s not flat, but it’s not really shiny or glossy… and yet it still (obviously) catches the light.

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

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

Recommendation: If Chanel lacquers weren’t so pricey, it’d be so much easier to say, “YES, BUY THESE!” without guilt. If you dig interesting blacks, Black Velvet might be that. If I had to pick one of three to get, Illusion d’Or, because it does amazing things when layered.

Availability: Select Chanel Boutiques

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