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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Tuesday, September 14th, 2010

Rescue Beauty Lounge:  Scrangie, Under the Stars, Black Russian
Rescue Beauty Lounge: Scrangie, Under the Stars, Black Russian

The $18 Splurge for Nail Fanatics

Rescue Beauty Lounge Nail Lacquer ($18.00 for 0.4 fl. oz.) is a formula that always hits the right notes. It’s never thick, clumpy, or streaky–application is incredibly easy with a flawless, smooth finish in two coats (on average). Lasts a full week for me (that’s about as long as I wear a single shade) without chipping.

  • Scrangie is a pinky-purple base with stronger pink-red undertones that goes almost blue-violet from the flashes of blue and green shimmer. It almost has a duochrome effect! I’m such a sucker for anything remotely duochrome. This shade is named after Scrangie, a nail blogger, and it is inspired by the a beetle’s wings. Two coats.
  • Under the Stars is a blackened navy blue base with lighter blue micro-glitter pieces and blue shimmer strewn through its base. It’s unusual in the way it has this mixture of a cosmicly lit-up background and then more obvious specks of glitter, too. The name is quite fitting. Two coats.
  • Black Russian is a blackened brown-red base with flecks of glowing red glitter. The effect is similar to Under the Stars, but the “background” shimmer is much, much finer–it’s almost like a muted burgundy so it doesn’t come across as much as it does in Under the Stars. Two coats.

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

RECOMMENDATION: There are certainly worth the splurge, because the formula is tops–but they are a splurge.

AVAILABILITY: Rescue Beauty Lounge

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Monday, September 13th, 2010

Chanel Rose Confidential Le Vernis
Chanel Rose Confidential Le Vernis

Everything’s Coming Up Roses

Chanel Rose Confidentiel (491) Le Vernis (Nail Lacquer) ($23.00 for 0.4 fl. oz.) is a soft, medium rose pink cream with a slightly glossy finish. It almost looks like a cross between a jelly and cream on me, because it has that squishy look to it–just subtly so. It’s pretty pigmented, and I found two coats to be the right amount to yield a rich, opaque look. The formula wasn’t too thick as some Chanel polishes can be, and it was applied smoothly and evenly.

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

RECOMMENDATION: I think this is a nice way to go “darker” for fall without actually going dark.

AVAILABILITY: Chanel

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Friday, September 10th, 2010

Chanel Rouge Fatal Le Vernis
Chanel Rouge Fatal Le Vernis (Natural Light)

The Femme Fatale of Red

Chanel Rouge Fatal Le Vernis ($25.00 for 0.4 fl. oz.) is one of those OMGSEXY reds, and of course, limited edition. I’m actually very rarely tempted by red creams; they’re never bad and certainly aren’t disliked by me, but I never crave a creamy red. (I do, however, have a total love for shimmered/glittered reds, though.) Rouge Fatal (which I actually want to call Rouge Fatale!) is a deepened scarlet red with such richness.  It’s darkened slightly by brown, which makes this a nice red on both cooler and warmer skin tones.

It’s still a bit glossy without a top coat, though I topped all of these with Zoya’s top coat (and used Zoya’s base coat underneath). This is incredibly pigmented, and I really debated just using one coat, but I went with two just in case. Now knowing that one coat is almost enough, I might try doing just one thicker coat and calling it a day; but if you’re short on time, two thinner coats would work, too, and I always find thinner coats dry faster.

Application is smooth and even; not a single issue when I applied this shade at all. It actually felt like the perfect consistency–not too thick, not too thin–as Chanel polishes sometimes feel rather thick (and though not problematic overall, may be harder to control, especially for those with smaller nail beds).

I’m contemplating doing a full manicure of this shade, just so I can hear my Dad crack, “Why are your nails bleeding?” Gotta love him — ironically, he reads Temptalia almost every day! My Mom heard my voice (coming from my dad’s office) at midnight the other week, and she raced out of bed figuring I was in a crisis, only to find him watching one of my YouTube videos, LOL.

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

RECOMMENDATION: If you like high-end polishes and don’t mind the price, this is an excellent shade of red for fall.

AVAILABILITY: Chanel

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Thursday, September 9th, 2010

Essie Fall 2010 Collection
Nail Lacquers: Sew Psyched, Limited Addiction, In Stitches, Merino Cool, Velvet Voyeur, Little Brown Dress

Essie Gets It Just Right for Fall

Essie’s Fall Collection includes six new shades, which you can purchase individually for $8 a pop. You can also purchase all six together for $48 (which is still $8 each). Nordstrom also has a mini four-pack (includes Merino Cool, Limited Addiction, Little Brown Dress, and Sew Psyched) for $17. The shades are described as: Sew Psyched (cashmere-soft sage pewter), Limited Addiction (racy garnet red), In Stitches (cheeky blush pink), Merino Cool (sensuous autumn mulberry), Velvet Voyeur (intense chocolate amethyst), Little Brown Dress (beguiling black coffee).

  • Sew Psyched is a muted sage green with silvered-gray micro-shimmer. Two coats. It reminded me of Rescue Beauty Lounge’s Diddy Mow, but it’s darker and less yellow–like cousins but not twins.
  • Limited Addiction is a deep red cream that’s very opaque in one coat, though I found two coats to be perfect. It almost looked like a jelly lacquer, even though it’s a cream. Though the color may be similar to other shades of red, the application was flawless.
  • In Stitches is a muted rose-berry cream. I love how it’s pink, but it’s not really pink–and it’s not plum either. I think this would be really lovely on cooler skin tones in particular.
  • Merino Cool is a purple-tinged gray, or perhaps a very dull, darkened lilac? But not really. I think you have to go with gray as the primary descriptor, even though it is quite altered by the purple pull. I swatched it with two coats, but I think three would be better.
  • Velvet Voyeur is an ultra vampy red-based purple burgundy cream. It has a very glossy, inky look. Make sure you get enough polish on the brush when you go to do a second coat–I didn’t get enough on one of my nails (you’ll notice in the swatch), and it layered rather streakily.
  • Little Brown Dress is a deep, blackened chocolate brown cream. It’s dark, but it’s distinctly brown, even in natural light. I love that it doesn’t look black but definitively black-brown. Just two coats here, as it was incredibly pigmented.

The formula was really nice on these; not too thin, not too thick, and the majority were pigmented enough to use just two coats of polish.   Merino Cool was the only one where I think three coats was necessary (though the swatch photos are with two, for reference).  My personal favorites were Merino Cool and Sew Psyched, though I kind of dig Little Brown Dress.

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

RECOMMENDATION: There’s no reason not to consider one of these shades, as they all performed quite well. I found Merino Cool and Sew Psyched to be the two that really grabbed me, but Little Brown Dress is a shade I wouldn’t normally consider wearing, so I liked getting the chance to try it!

AVAILABILITY: Essie

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