Thursday, May 13th, 2010

China Glaze Vintage Vixen Collection
China Glaze: Hey Doll, Bogie, Emerald Fitzgerald, Midnight Mission, First Class Ticket, Jitterbug

China Glaze Vintage Vixen Collection Review, Photos, Swatches (Part 2)

Here are the other six shades from Vintage Vixen!  Just to recap, the formula rocks here.  It may feel a little thin, but each coat packs plenty of pigment, despite the consistency.  It’s easy to apply–I didn’t have to play around with application to get beautiful, even, and smooth color.  Most of these are two-coaters, but they easily work with three, which is my preferred number.

From these, my favorites are easily Emerald Fitzgerald (oh, it’s swoon worthy in its inkiness!) and First Class Ticket (so intense and rich in its color).  I also loved the way Midnight Mission looked.

  • Hey Doll is a rosy-brown with silver shimmer. This was a two-coater.
  • Bogie is a darkened plummy mauve with silver and reddened shimmer. I don’t think I have any color quite like this in my personal stash. Two coats was perfect here.
  • Emerald Fitzgerald is a deep, inky teal with lighter aqua-teal shimmer. Love, love this one. It’s distinctly teal, not black, but yet it’s so dark and delicious. I found two coats was just enough to give a nice, opaque look.
  • Midnight Mission is a midnight navy blue base with silver microglitter. It’s exactly what you’d call midnight blue–with the silver as the twinkling stars over a darkened night sky. Like many other shades in this launch, two coats was just right with this color.
  • First Class Ticket is a rich, lush violet purple with blue-violet shimmer. Absolutely stunning! I thought this was the best shade out of the bunch. It nearly glows. Just two coats with this one as well.
  • Jitterbug is a stormy gray with silver microglitter. It has the same feel and texture as Swing baby, but I was able to get this one to go opaque with three coats. It has a grittier surface once it dries, so a thicker top coat works best.

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

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

Recommendation:  If you love your polishes on the darker side (whether now or in the fall), these are some excellent choices.

Availability:  July 2010

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Thursday, May 13th, 2010

MAC To the Beach Collection
MAC Scorcher Nail Lacquer

MAC To the Beach Collection — Nail Lacquer Reviews, Photos, Swatches

To the Beach includes two shades of limited edition nail lacquer ($12 a pop). The one not yet included in this review is Scorcher (creamy bright coral-red), which I will be sure to include as soon as I can.

  • In the Buff is a muted, brownish-green. It’s not quite the green I’d think of when I hear the word “avocado,” but it’s not totally off from there either. It’s almost like an avocado that’s been exposed to air for a few too many minutes. I’m not entirely sure this is a flattering color, but it seems like a unique one to me.
  • Scorcher is a brightened, intense red-coral with a cream finish.  It was pretty easy to apply with very little streaking, even on the first coat.  I used three to get to a nice, solid color.

The application was fine for me, but I generally don’t have issues with MAC lacquers. It has a cream finish, so no shimmer, and two coats is enough to get pretty opaque, but I did three because I messed up on one finger for the second coat.

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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!

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

  • 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.

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

  • 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!

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

  • 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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