Friday, July 16th, 2010

Orly Plastix Collection
Nail Lacquers: Retro Red, Old School Orange, Viridian Vinyl, Purple Pleather

It’s Not Matte, But It’s Not Glossy

Orly’s Plastix Collection is a short and sweet debut of a new finish type — satin matte. It reminded me a bit of Chanel Black Velvet, which after much thinking, definitly has a pleather-like finish.

  • Retro Red is a bright pop of orange-based red. I found three coats were needed to ensure there was no visible nail line showing.
  • Old School Orange is a vibrant shade of creamy orange with sunshine yellow undertones. I also used three coats on this shade.
  • Viridian Vinyl is a blue-based teal that only needed two coats to go totally opaque.
  • Purple Pleather is a deep, blue-based purple that reminded me of Orly’s own Charged Up (but obviously a total different finish). Just two coats for this one.

I like these. I don’t love them, because they’re not entirely my style (I’m also not huge on matte polishes, either–again, all personal style preferences), but I do really love how they played with the finish and gave us something different. It’s not matte–there’s definitely this played down, barely there glossy sheen… but it’s not glossy. It’s not shiny. It’s very pleathery.

The formula felt a little on the thicker side to me, but I didn’t encounter any major issues. Each coat felt like it dried down pretty quickly–similar to mattes–though for 100% dry, it seemed a little faster than average but not super speedy. Despite each coat seemingly being pigmented, two shades still needed three coats. Like matte finishes, you may want to use a ridge filler to minimize any imperfections on your nail.

I wore these with Zoya’s base coat underneath, and I didn’t get any chips after five days, just minor tip wear. I skipped the top coat so I could maintain that satin-matte finish. The base coat didn’t seem to affect the appearance or finish of the polish at all, so at least I could lock it down with a base coat even if I couldn’t protect with a top coat!

I haven’t spotted these for sale yet online, but they should be popping up sometime soon!

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

RECOMMENDATION: Viridian Vinyl and Purple Pleather were my favorites, because the colors are bold, wearable, fall-appropriate, AND the formula was best with these two.

AVAILABILITY: Orly

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Monday, July 5th, 2010

Dior Cherry Blossom Nail Lacquer
Dior Cherry Blossom Nail Lacquer

Pretty in Pink for Fall with Dior

Dior Cherry Blossom Nail Lacquer ($21.00) is a yellow-pink with white-gold micro-shimmer. It applies very smoothly and evenly, and you only need about two coats for good color opacity. It’s very flattering on both warm and cooler skin tones, because it’s just a smidgen warm. It doesn’t actually feel like a fall nail color to me at all–definitely something I’d expect in the spring or summer.

This shade is a Sephora exclusive, and Dior’s fall collection is just starting to trickle into department stores now.  I imagine it should be on Sephora in the next couple of weeks.

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  • Product: 28/30
  • Value: 7/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

RECOMMENDATION: It’s pretty and feminine, though it feels like a shade I’ve seen before, in at least some variation.

AVAILABILITY: July 2010

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Sunday, July 4th, 2010

Chanel Paradoxal Nail Lacquer
Chanel Paradoxal Nail Lacquer

Chanel Paradoxal Stuns

Chanel Paradoxal Nail Lacquer ($23.00) is a stunning shade of grayed plum with red and violet microshimmer.  It applied beautifully–one of the best Chanel lacquers in terms of formula I’ve tried–and only needed two coats for complete opaqueness.   The nuances of this shade are best captured in direct sunlight, but it’s smoky and sultry in indirect/natural lighting, too.   Very, very beautiful and sophisticated.

I’ve always had good luck with Chanel lacquers–no chipping issues for me.  I always use mine with Zoya’s Color Lock System and that seems to keep everything on the up and up for about a week or so.  I know that this is not an affordable nail lacquer, but it’s not supposed to be.  Avid Chanel lacquer collectors won’t be disappointed by the latest shade release, though!

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

RECOMMENDATION: Nail fanatics will likely gravitate towards this shade, because it is such a unique mix of gray, mauve, and plum. It’s not the prettiest nail color of all time, but as Chanel often does–it is different and still pretty.

AVAILABILITY: July 2010

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Friday, July 2nd, 2010

MAC Alice + Olivia Collection
MAC Nail Lacquers: Morning.After., So Rich So Pretty, Military

MAC Alice + Olivia Collection: Nail Lacquers

Alice + Olivia included three new and limited edition nail lacquers.  I wanted to fall in love with these, but I just wasn’t blown away. Morning.After. was my favorite of the three, because of the way it seems to take on a different tone depending on the lighting, but it’s not as opaque as I’d like. Military reminds me of every other black + silver matte polish out there–I guess I’m just over that shade!

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

  • So Rich So Pretty is a fuchsia-purple with red undertones and red and purple microshimmer. I found it needed three coats to be opaque, and the formula was on the thinner side (though it didn’t feel runny).
  • Military is a light black with silver sparkles and a matte finish. It’s like a blacker version of Studded. It dries really fast, as many mattes do, and it was incredibly pigmented–you could almost get away with just one coat.
  • Morning.After. is a pain in the butt to photograph, because it looks bluer in natural light and tealer in more direct light. It’s more of a dusty blue-teal with heavier blue tones than green/teal tones. There is a little bit of visible nail even with three coats, though.

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Thursday, June 17th, 2010

SpaRitual Summer 2010 Colleciton
Nail Lacquers: Twinkle, Crystal Eyes, Illume, Color Trip, Imaginarium, Looking Glass

SpaRitual Nail Lacquer in Summer Hues, Part 2

I have six more fun-for-summer shades to share with you from SpaRitual, and all six shades are from their summer collection titled Kaleidoscope.   Just like the previous six I reviewed, the formula is excellent.  It’s consistent across twelve different shades with varying finishes.  It’s thick without being goopy, thin without being runny–in other words, just right!  Pigmentation is amazing with most shades requiring two coats for opaque color.

  • Twinkle is a blue-shimmered deep navy blue. This is a stunning shade when worn–looks like shimmering deep ocean blue water in the sunlight. Nearly opaque in one coat, but swatched with two.
  • Crystal Eyes is a muted indigo blue cream. Just two coats for full color coverage. It’s a nice way to wear blue without being over-the-top.
  • Illume is a rich purple cream with red undertones. Two coats in the swatch. It’s difficult to photograph — it behaves and looks much like it does in real life in the natural lightphotos, but the flash makes it glow much more than it actually does.
  • Color Trip is a magenta cream. It applies evenly and smoothly, and I think three coats would be just enough — I applied two and there is just a faint appearance of my nail line.
  • Imaginarium is a neon hot pink with silver-pink micro-shimmer. This shade GLOWS. I really loved this color, because of the way it shimmered and glowed and was so easy to apply. I did need three coats with this shade, though.
  • Looking Glass is a silver metallic foil. Brushstrokes are visible, but they’re surprisingly subtle in the light. One coat is nearly opaque, but I found two to work just right.

Twinkle and Imaginarium were my two favorite shades out of the six here.  Twinkle is less unique than Imaginarium, though, so if I had to choose a top pick, it would definitely be that bright neon pink with a lil’ shimmer.

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

RecommendationImaginarium has such a bright, fun look to it with its glowing neon color and the subtle shimmery finish.

Availability: Skinstore.com, SpaRitual

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Thursday, June 17th, 2010

SpaRitual Summer 2010 Colleciton
Nail Lacquers: Lustress, Love & Happiness, Solaris, Golden Gleam, Optical Illusion, Dreams Becoming Reality

SpaRitual Nail Lacquer in Summer Hues

Just in time for summer, here are six fun shades from SpaRitual that are truly representative of the season.   Each shade retails for $10.00 and is vegan and free of DBP, Toluene, Formaldehyde and Formaldehyde Resin.   Lustress, Solaris, Golden Gleam, and Optical Illusion are from the summer Kaleidoscope collection.

  • Lustress is a deep red-tinted pink with flashes of pink shimmer. It almost looks like glass flecks to me. Just two coats for complete color.
  • Love & Happiness is a coral-orange cream. It’s not quite neon, but it’s almost there. Two coats for opaque color.
  • Solaris is a bright, neon orange cream. Super, super pigmented — two coats shown, but you could almost get away with one.
  • Golden Gleam is a bright yellow gold with lighter gold shimmer and a near metallic finish. Some brush strokes were noticeable, but it wasn’t too obvious. Two coats for opaque color.
  • Optical Illusion is a deep olive green base with lighter olive green glitter-shimmer. Just two coats for opaque color, though it was nearly opaque with one coat. Truly a stunning shade!
  • Dreams Becoming Reality is a shade from an upcoming fall collection, so I’ll have swatches and more information on it then.

SpaRitual knows how to make a good, consistent formula.  The application on all six of these was absolutely superb–smooth, rich color that wasn’t too thick or thin.  No streaking, fussing, or dragging.  Drying time on the brighter creams seemed a little speedier, but otherwise average and nothing noteworthy either way. Optical Illusion stands out something fierce amongst these, though — a really unique shade that just sparkles in the light.

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

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

Recommendation:  LOVE Optical Illusion!  I also really love and appreciate SpaRitual’s formula consistency–it’s a good formula and it’s found in all six.

Availability: Skinstore.com, SpaRitual

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