Saturday, June 21st, 2014

NARS Hell-Bent, Other Side, Crossroads Nail Polishes
NARS Hell-Bent, Other Side, Crossroads Nail Polishes

This July, NARS is releasing a collection of nail polishes in collaboration with 3.1 Phillip Lim (official info here). With these, NARS has introduced a wider brush (compared to the last polish I tried from NARS, which was in April), though the bottle size and shape have stayed the same. The bottles for this collection have the designer’s logo printed on the front as well. In general, I find NARS’ lacquer formula to be underrated–it’s really quite good, both in terms of color payoff, consistency, as well as with respect to wear. I usually get seven to ten days of wear with very minor tip wear out of this formula.

NARS Hell-Bent Nail Polish ($20.00 for 0.50 fl. oz.) is described as a “lacquer red.” It’s a brightened, medium red with warm, orange undertones and a glossy, creamy finish. It had full color coverage after nearly one coat, but I did apply two just to be sure. The consistency wasn’t too thick or too thin, so it flowed well across the nail without pooling along the edges. It dried down a bit faster than the average polish. Tom Ford Beauty Shameless (LE, $32.00) is similar. Zoya Tamsen (P, $9.00) is darker. See comparison swatches / view dupes.

NARS Other Side Nail Polish ($20.00 for 0.50 fl. oz.) is described as a “bitter chocolate.” It’s a blackened brown with subtle maroon undertones and a cream finish. It was fully opaque in almost one coat, though two were needed for complete opacity. The polish wasn’t too thick or too thin, and it was easy to apply–no streakiness or bubbling. Essie Shearling Darling (P, $8.00) is lighter. Cult Nails Lamestain (P, $12.00) is darker. MAC Blueblood (LE, $16.00) is similar. Chanel Accessoire (P, $27.00) is lighter. Rescue Beauty Lounge Drifter (LE, $20.00) is cooler-toned. Color Club Fashion Moment (P) is cooler-toned. China Glaze Velvet Bow (LE, $7.50) is lighter. Zoya Anja (P, $9.00) is cooler-toned. See comparison swatches / view dupes.

NARS Crossroads Nail Polish ($20.00 for 0.50 fl. oz.) is described as an “African violet.” It’s a deepened, muted purple with a smokiness to it. It had a cream finish. The consistency was slightly thin, though it had full coverage after two coats, but it showed the texture of my natural nails just slightly (I have slightly ridged nails), so you’ll want to use a base coat or ridge-filling base coat if you have similar natural nails. It applied without streaking, and it dried down to a naturally shiny finish. MAC Festive Finery (LE, $16.00) is lighter. Essie Smokin’ Hot (LE, $8.00) is warmer. See comparison swatches / view dupes.

The Glossover

LE
product

Hell-Bent

A+

Product

10/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

10/10

Longevity

10/10

Application

5/5

Results
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Dupes
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LE
product

Other Side

A+

Product

10/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

10/10

Longevity

10/10

Application

5/5

Results
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Dupes
LE
product

Crossroads

A

Product

9.5/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

9.5/10

Longevity

10/10

Application

5/5

Results
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Dupes

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Saturday, June 21st, 2014

Chanel Atmosphere (629) Le Vernis Nail Colour
Chanel Atmosphere (629) Le Vernis Nail Colour

Chanel Secret (625) Le Vernis Nail Colour ($27.00 for 0.40 fl. oz.) is described as a “nude.” It’s a light-medium, softened, peach-beige with subtle, warm undertones and a cream finish. It had mostly opaque color coverage after two coats of polish, but some visible nail line is apparent. Application is trickier, as the formula is streaky; the first coat was quite streaky, and I used a second, slightly thicker, coat and very lightly dragged it across the surface of the nail to try to minimize streakiness, but there were still some troublesome areas. MAC Thimbleweed (LE, $16.00) is warmer. Tom Ford Beauty Sugar Dune (01) (LE, $32.00) is lighter. MAC Style Tip (LE, $16.00) is darker. MAC Sandpiper (LE, $16.00) is sheerer. MAC Muscle Tone (LE, $16.00) is lighter, brighter. Essie Brooch the Subject (LE, $8.00) is darker. See comparison swatches / view dupes.

Chanel Atmosphere (629) Le Vernis Nail Colour ($27.00 for 0.40 fl. oz.) is described as an “iridescent pearl.” It’s a semi-sheer, pearly duochrome that shifts from a gold to pink to a murky green. It is much like Songe. It had a pearly, slightly metallic, finish that had minimal visible brush strokes, but it wasn’t brush stroke-free. I tried layering it over Secret as well as over Orage, but the thicker consistency of Atmosphere made it more difficult to apply as a top coat. The duochrome did become more pronounced when applied over Orage, though. NARS Disco Inferno (LE, $19.00) is darker, larger shimmer, cooler-toned. MAC Ascension (LE, $16.00) is more pigmented, greener. Deborah Lippmann Wicked Game (LE, $19.00) is cooler-toned, more violet. Essie Kisses & Bisses (LE, $8.00) is slightly pinker. See comparison swatches / view dupes.

Chanel Orage (631) Le Vernis Nail Colour ($27.00 for 0.40 fl. oz.) is described as a “grey blue.” It’s a deep, dark, smoky blue that’s so dark that it leans like a softened, bluish black in most lighting. Sometimes it appears bluer, but most of the time, it’s a softer variation on black. It was opaque after two coats of polish, and the consistency was on the thinner side. It was slightly streaky on the first coat, but it evened out well after a second coat was applied. Drying time was average, and it dried down to a high shine finish. Cult Nails Blackout (DC, $12.00) is grayer. NARS Storm Bird (LE, $19.00) is lighter. NARS Galion (LE, $19.00) is similar. China Glaze Concrete Catwalk (LE, $7.50) is greener. Zoya Cynthia (P, $9.00) is brighter. Deborah Lippmann Stormy Weather (LE, $19.00) is lighter. See comparison swatches / view dupes.

The Glossover

P
product

Secret (625)

B+

Product

8.5/10

Pigmentation

9.5/10

Texture

8.5/10

Longevity

9/10

Application

4/5

Results
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Dupes
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LE
product

Atmosphere (629)

B-

Product

8/10

Pigmentation

7/10

Texture

8/10

Longevity

9/10

Application

4.5/5

Results
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Dupes
P
product

Orage (631)

A-

Product

9/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

9/10

Application

4.5/5

Results
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Dupes

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Friday, June 20th, 2014

MAC Shadow over Instant Crush Nail Lacquer
MAC Shadow over Instant Crush Nail Lacquer

MAC Shadow Nail Lacquer ($12.00 for 0.34 fl. oz.) is described as “sheer blackening top coat.” On the brush and in the bottle, it looks exactly as described: a sheer, black-tinted polish. I tried it over a few shades, but I honestly couldn’t really tell that it darkened any. In the photos, I went with a more medium shade, Instant Crush, and I left the middle finger without a top coat, but the difference is incredibly subtle. It would be more versatile if the effect at least darkened a half a shade to a full shade. The difference is slight enough that you’re hunting for it and hoping you see it. I don’t know of any dupes from products I’ve tried, though I’m sure there are top coats out there that may replicate the effect–feel free to share any finds you have!

MAC Texturize Nail Lacquer ($12.00 for 0.34 fl. oz.) is described as “clear leather effect top coat.” It takes down the glossiness of the underlying nail lacquer while adding a subtle texture (without being too rough), but it still has shine. There’s definitely a visible effect with one layer of Texturize applied over another shade (I used Sour Cherry). I tested this particular top coat for wear, and I had minimal tip wear after seven days (which is normal to me; almost nothing chips on me). I know there are a few leather top coats on the market, but I can’t recall trying one before, so I don’t have any dupes to suggest. As always, if you have one in mind, please share in the comments!

MAC Highlight Nail Lacquer ($12.00 for 0.34 fl. oz.) is described as “sheer blue pearl transformer.” It’s a sheer, shimmery top coat with a duochrome that goes from blue to violet. It applied fairly well, though it could have been more even overall (I tried it over Rebel). With the way the shimmer flashes and changes, any unevenness wasn’t too noticeable. The consistency was slightly thick but not goopy or too difficult to work with. I tested this one for wear, and it lasted for seven days with minor tip wear and no chipping (again, almost nothing chips on me). I haven’t come across any top coats that are duochrome in nature, only more solid colors, so I’d love to hear any suggestions for similar products if you know of them.

The Glossover

P
product

Shadow

B

Product

6/10

Pigmentation

8.5/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

9/10

Application

5/5

Results
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Dupes
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P
product

Texturize

A

Product

9/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

9/10

Application

5/5

Results
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Dupes
P
product

Highlight

B+

Product

8.5/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

8/10

Longevity

9/10

Application

4.5/5

Results
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Dupes

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Thursday, June 19th, 2014

MAC Studio Nail Lacquer
MAC Studio Nail Lacquer — Rebel, Sour Cherry, Shirelle

MAC Studio Nail Lacquer is a newly reformulated nail polish that features not just a new formula but a new design that is wider than MAC’s previous brush. The bottle itself has the same look and feel with a rubberized black cap and a clear glass bottle. MAC has decreased the price (but the size is the same, 0.34 fl. oz.) to $12.00. There will be 27 shades in total, all permanent, plus two top coats and one base coat. Full reviews, photos, swatches, and so on to come. Stay tuned!

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Thursday, June 19th, 2014

MAC Nail Lacquer
MAC Nail Transformations Nail Lacquer

MAC Nail Transformations consists of six transforming top coats. They’re also promoting three nail lacquers with it (repromotes), and all shades are being added to the permanent range. In case you missed it, MAC has actually decreased the pricing on their lacquers to $12 (from $17!), and they have widened the brush. The bottle itself is the same style with a rubberized black cap, clear glass bottle, and 0.34 fl. oz. size. Today is a day of sneak peeks as I get everything written up and reviewed in full over the next few days :) The Nail Transformations’ shades launch online June 26th and at select locations July 2nd.

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Thursday, June 19th, 2014

NARS Nail Polish
NARS x 3.1 Phillip Lim Nail Polish

NARS has collaborated with 3.1 Phillip Lim to create nine shades of limited edition nail polishes. Each will retail for $20.00 and be available July 15th at NARS, August 1st at other retailers and department stores. Full reviews, photos, swatches, dupes, etc. are coming soon but for now, enjoy this sneak peek! :)

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