Friday, February 10th, 2012

China Glaze Hunger Games Nail Lacquer
China Glaze Hunger Games Nail Lacquer

China Glaze & Hunger Games Collection: Colours from the Capitol

China Glaze Colours from the Capitol Collection is slated for March launch. It features twelve shades with each shade being named after a different district. This post features these six: Hook and Line, Luxe and Lush, Mahogany Magic, Riveting, Smoke and Ashes, and Stone Cold. Reader Kim did an excellent job explaining the names-to-district component.

  • Hook and Line is a warm gray with threads of pale silver. This shade is named after District 4 for fishing. It’s opaque in two coats, but this is a little thick, streaky, and has a ton of brush strokes. The color is a little reminiscent of Zoya Dove but it’s darker and warmer.
  • Luxe and Lush is a duochrome top coat with various sizes of flakies that reflect gold and pink with a little blue. This shade is named after District 1 for luxury. I applied two coats so you could see it on its own as well as over Smoke and Ashes. I don’t have a dupe for this shade. The closest I could think of were Zoya’s Fleck Effects.
  • Mahogany Magic is a warm brown with a yellow base. It was opaque in two coats. This shade is named for District 7 for lumber. Illamasqua Taint is a cooler-toned brown. Chanel Khaki Rose is lighter.
  • Riveting is a vibrant orange with orange-tinted gold shimmer. It was opaque in two coats. This shade is named for District 3 for technology. Zoya Tanzy is a little lighter and has more shimmer/glitter. Nubar Arencia is similar but a touch darker. Milani Metal Gear is darker and the shimmer doesn’t appear as light.
  • Smoke and Ashes is an inky blue-based black with green and blue shimmer. It was opaque in two coats. This shade is named for District 12 for mining. The base color reminded me of Zoya Cynthia a bit, but it’s blacker. Cult Nails Living Water has a similar look but the shimmer is more dominant and leans bluer.
  • Stone Cold is a soft black with silver shimmer–and it’s matte. This shade is named for District 2 for masonry. It’s similar to Nubar Midnight and MAC Butterfly. Orly Iron Butterfly should also be a dupe.

The consistency of Hook and Line was the worst; a little thick, not quite goopy but close, which all resulted in a streaky finish. I had better luck with Riveting, Smoke and Ashes, and Stone Cold, which were easy to apply and didn’t have any consistency concerns–they weren’t too thick or too thin and applied evenly without bubbling or pooling along the sides. Luxe and Lush has a thicker consistency, which actually helps the flakies distribute fairly evenly over the nail.  Mahogany Magic was on the thicker side, but it wasn’t as problematic as Hook and Line.

The Glossover

coming-soon

China Glaze & Hunger Games Collection Reviews, Photos, Swatches (Part 2)

A-
This set of six was better overall compared to the six from part one--only two shades gave me problems, while the other four were easy to work with and had a good formula.

Product

9/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

9.5/10

Application

4/5

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Wednesday, February 8th, 2012

China Glaze Hunger Games Nail Lacquer
China Glaze Hunger Games Nail Lacquer

China Glaze & Hunger Games Collection: Colours from the Capitol

China Glaze Colours from the Capitol Collection is slated for March launch. It features twelve shades with each shade being named after a different district. This post features these six: Agro, Dress Me Up, Electrify, Fast Track, Foie Gras, and Harvest Moon. Reader Kim did an excellent job explaining the names-to-district component.

  • Agro is a rich, dark olive green with subtle yellow undertones and olive gold shimmer and metallic threads. This shade is named after District 11 for agriculture. I used two coats for opaque color, and it had a good consistency. Cult Nails In a Trance is much lighter, more olive green without a blackened edge. China Glaze It’s Alive has similar color components but looks totally different. NARS Mash looks almost the same.
  • Dress Me Up is a dusty, rose peach with a cream finish. This shade was named after District 8 for textiles. I used two coats for opaque color, but the consistency was a little thick. Zoya Pandora is lighter. Nubar Moire is darker.
  • Electrify is red and gold glitter suspended in a clear base. This shade was named after District 5 for power. I did two coats by itself, and it’s not quite opaque–with a little patience, I think you could manage to achieve almost opaque color coverage with three coats. I couldn’t think of a dupe for this one.
  • Fast Track is a grayish beige with pale yellow gold flecks of shimmer. It’s not quite opaque after two coats. This shade was named after District 6 for transportation. China Glaze Knotty is lighter. China Glaze Ingrid seemed really similar when I swatched this initially, but it’s much darker.
  • Foie Gras is a purple-tinted brown cream. It was opaque after two coats, but it was a little thick. This shade was named after District 10 for livestock. China Glaze Street Chic is browner. Urban Decay Barlust has a similar color but has shimmer.
  • Harvest Moon is a rich, warm copper with lighter copper shimmer. It was opaque in two coats. This shade was named after District 9 for grain. Zoya Tanzy is much more orange. Nubar Caramello is similar but a little more orange.

The formula was inconsistent, but overall, it fell short of my expectations for China Glaze, which is a brand that usually releases colors with a great formula.  The creams had a thicker consistency that almost felt runny.  You really need to make sure to wipe off excess before applying to the nail to avoid having a pool of color.  Electrify has a thicker consistency, which was expected, because of the clear base, but it distributed the glitter fairly evenly.  Agro and Harvest Moon had the best formula from these six, and their drying time felt fast.

The Glossover

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China Glaze & Hunger Games Collection Reviews, Photos, Swatches (Part 1)

B+
I wish the formula was more consistent with China Glaze's formula overall, because these felt on the thicker side and took longer to dry than average. Agro and Harvest Moon applied the best out of these six.

Product

8.5/10

Pigmentation

9/10

Texture

8.5/10

Longevity

9.5/10

Application

4/5

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Sunday, February 5th, 2012

MAC Midsummer's Dream Nail Lacquer
MAC Midsummer’s Dream Nail Lacquer

MAC Vera: Nail Lacquers

This collection features two new and limited edition shades of MAC Nail Lacquer ($16.00 for 0.34 fl. oz.). These shades include: Midsummer’s Dream (pale pink lilac) and Play Day (pale milky coral).

  • Midsummer’s Dream is a pale, milky pink with subtle cool undertones. It’s not quite opaque in two coats, but it’s more coverage than semi-sheer. It’s a little thick, and it is rather streaky on the initial coat. It’s very similar to China Galze Something Sweet. Nubar Pink Lily is warmer and brighter.
  • Play Day is a peachy orange with a cream finish. Like Midsummer’s Dream, it is a bit streaky and takes awhile to dry, and it will pull if you apply a second coat and it hasn’t had enough time to dry down. It’s not quite opaque after applying two coats of polish, so you may want to do three if you dislike visible nail line of any kind. Chanel Peche Nacree is lighter and pearled. Essie Haute as Hello is more coral. Essie Tart Deco is a few shades darker. Barielle Blossom is a little more coral and darker.

MAC nail lacquer usually leaves me underwhelmed. I haven’t had issues with wear, such as chipping, but not much does chip on me, so it’s rarely a problem. I tend to have difficult with the formula, though, which is terribly inconsistent. Sometimes it’s beautifully fluid and opaque, and other times, like here, it’s thick, halfway to goopy, and streaky. Funny enough, neither color description seemed to fit the actual shades.

The Glossover

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MAC Vera Nail Lacquers Review, Photos, Swatches

B-
Often, high-end brands put out some really complex, interesting colors, and while MAC can launch beautiful shades, they're not known for innovating in the nail category. Sometimes this innovation can forgive a less-than-stellar formula. Without it, it's just pricey, under-performing polish.

Product

7/10

Pigmentation

9/10

Texture

8/10

Longevity

9/10

Application

3.5/5

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Saturday, February 4th, 2012

MAC Al Fredo Nail Lacquer
MAC Al Fredo Nail Lacquer

MAC Shop MAC, Cook MAC: Nail Lacquers

The collection features three limited edition shades of MAC Nail Lacquer ($16.00 for 0.34 fl. oz.). These include: Al Fredo (bright acid green), Kid Orange (coral), and Salad Dressed (mid-tone dirty aqua).

  • Al Fredo is semi-sheer dirty yellow. Honestly, it looks a lot like Deborah Lippmann Yellow Brick Road on me, with the same sheerness, but with a less jelly-like finish. The bottle looks a bit green-tinged, but the polish just looks yellow against my skin tone. It is a bit difficult to work with some streaking, and the consistency was a little thick. I did two coats for swatches, and it was clear that there was going to be visible nail line even with three coats.
  • Kid Orange is a orange-coral with a cream finish. It was opaque in two coats, and it had the best formula of the three shades. It wasn’t too thick or too thin, so it applied evenly and easily without bubbling or streaking. MAC Oriele is a bit lighter. Essie Meet Me at Sunset is a bit redder. Essie Braziliant is pretty close. China Glaze Life Preserver is redder.
  • Salad Dressed is a medium teal-blue with a cream finish. It was mostly opaque in two coats, but I did have some issues with it being streaky. It had a longer drying time, and it would benefit from patience–you really need to let each coat dry. The consistency is on the thicker side as well. MAC Ocean Dip is greener and darker. Essie Turquoise & Caicos is greener. China Glaze For Audrey and Chanel Nouveau Vague would be the closest dupes, though they seem perhaps lighter.

The formula on Al Fredo and Salad Dressed left something to be desired, and MAC did not indicate that Al Fredo was going to be as sheer as it turned out to be.  It wasn’t just slightly under-pigmented; it was the type of sheerness that I would expect to be called out explicitly.  Kid Orange applied beautifully and had good color payoff, though.  Salad Dressed had better pigmentation but still had some streaking and formula issues.  At this price point, MAC really needs to fine-tune their lacquer formula so it’s consistently good.  Keep in mind, the rating is an average of the three shades, so while Kid Orange is higher than a C+, Al Fredo is lower.

The Glossover

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MAC Shop MAC, Cook MAC Nail Lacquers Review, Photos, Swatches

C+
Often, high-end brands put out some really complex, interesting colors, and while MAC can launch beautiful shades, they're not known for innovating in the nail category. Sometimes this innovation can forgive a less-than-stellar formula. Without it, it's just pricey, under-performing polish.

Product

7/10

Pigmentation

8/10

Texture

8/10

Longevity

9/10

Application

3/5

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Friday, January 20th, 2012

Becca Tangerine Dream Nail Lacquer
Becca Tangerine Dream Nail Lacquer

Becca Tangerine Dream Nail Lacquer

Becca Tangerine Dream Nail Lacquer ($15.00 for 0.51 fl. oz.) is described as a “bright sunset coral.” It originally debuted in last summer’s Halcylon Days collection (yes, really, I’m that behind!). It’s still available within a very limited color range of polishes (six, to be exact).

It’s mostly orange, but there’s a tinge of coral to it.  MAC Oriele Orange is more orange, deeper. China Glaze Life Preserver is darker, redder. SpaRitual Love & Happiness is redder. China Glaze High Hopes is more coral, redder.

The color applied evenly and easily without streaking or bubbling, and Tangerine Dream was opaque in two coats (almost one coat–I did just one coat on the pinky so you could see; OK, more because I forgot!). When I tested out the wear of this particular shade (first Becca polish for me!), it wore really well. I will caution you that I can’t think of a brand of polish that does chip on me; they all wear to varying degrees of tip wear. I had minor tip wear after seven days but no other issues. It wasn’t too thick or thin and flowed well across the nail. A nice touch is that the bottle cap is rubberized, so it’s easy to grip and open.

The Glossover

coming-soon

Becca Tangerine Dream Nail Lacquer Review, Photos, Swatches

A
It wore well during my seven-day test, and the application was fluid and even without streaking or bubbling. The consistency wasn't too thick or too thin, and the color itself was opaque in two coats!

Product

9.5/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

10/10

Longevity

9/10

Application

5/5

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Tuesday, January 17th, 2012

Butter London British Racing Green Nail Lacquer
Butter London British Racing Green Nail Lacquer

Butter London British Racing Green Nail Lacquer

Butter London British Racing Green Nail Lacquer ($14.00 for 0.40 fl. oz.) is described as a “dark hunter green.” It’s a rich, luxuriously dark cool-toned green with soft emerald green sparkle. I don’t have much like it, which is always something I can appreciate. Illamasqua Kink is the closest in color, but it has such a different finish that the two really aren’t dupes. MAC Jade Dragon would be the next closest, but it’s darker, cooler-toned, and the shimmer is more dominant.

The shade was opaque in two coats and applied without bubbling or streaking. I’ve had good luck with Butter London’s lacquers so far (I’ve tried maybe ten or less?)–they’ve allowed me to add some really phenomenal shades to my stash! British Racing Green is no different! Since it felt like I hadn’t tested the wear of Butter London in awhile, I wore this shade for a week, and I didn’t have any chips, just minor tip wear. I did have some faint staining, even though I used a base coat.

The Glossover

P
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British Racing Green

A+
This is the type of green that should look good across skin tones--the overall darkness of it gives it more of a cool-toned look and feel, but warmer skin tones will simply see more of the green pulled out around the edges.

Product

10/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

10/10

Longevity

9.5/10

Application

5/5

Results
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