Monday, November 7th, 2011

shu uemura Bleu Splendor Mini Nail Duo
shu uemura Bleu Splendor Mini Nail Duo

shu uemura for WKW: Bleu Splendor Mini Nail Duo

shu uemura Bleu Splendor Mini Nail Duo ($32.00 for 2 x 0.168 fl. oz.) is a set of polishes that can be used together or alone. The first shade is a rich, midnight blue cream that’s opaque in two coats. It has just a hint of purple, making it nearly royal blue. Deborah Lippmann I Know What Boys Like is lighter but similar in hue. Orly La Playa is a bit darker but similar as well. The second shade is a multi-colored glitter with large, hexagonal glitter suspended in a clear base. It similar to China Glaze Snow Globe and MAC Unconditionally Fabulous. Together, the two are stunning–multi-colored glitter with larger, hexagonal glitter over such a rich backdrop? It was designed to be lovely.

The application was nice; the formula had a good consistency that allowed for even flow across the nail, good color intensity for each coat, and never felt too thick. I tested out wearing the two layered (the blue as a base, the sparkling shade layered on top), and I didn’t experience any wear issues–the two wore for a week with minor tip wear and no chipping.

I’m a bit stunned at the price tag, though. I believe the full-sized shu lacquers are $16–the two shades together are the equivalent of a single bottle and yet the price tag is double. The smaller bottles are cute to look at but less functional than full-sized polishes because of the smaller, shorter cap, which can be less comfortable to use, depending on the size of your hands.

The Glossover

coming-soon

shu uemura Bleu Splendor Mini Nail Duo Review, Photos, Swatches

A-
The formula was easy to work with, and I had no issues with wear (good week's worth of wear), but the price point seems higher than it should be, given the size of these polishes.

Product

9/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

9.5/10

Longevity

9/10

Application

4/5

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Saturday, November 5th, 2011

MAC Petite Nail Lacquer Dazzlesphere
MAC Petite Nail Lacquer Dazzlesphere

MAC Petite Nail Lacquer Dazzlesphere

You’ll find four miniature-sized polishes in MAC’s Petite Nail Lacquer Dazzlesphere ($25.50 for 4 x 0.09 fl. oz.), and the shades include: Much Adored (sheer white pink with pearl), Style Tip (soft pink nude), Dark Angel (goth romantic dark lilac), and Mistletoe (pale gold). Of these, Dark Angel is a repromote, but the other three are new. The set is limited edition, as are all of the other sets from the collection.

  • Much Adored is a pale white gold with gold and pink shimmer. As noted in the description, it’s sheer, and I used two coats for swatches; you can still see plenty of visible nail line but there is a healthy dose of shimmer and shine. It’s a warmer sheer, so it helps warm up the natural nail color. It’s less opaque and has different colored shimmer compared to Chanel Pearl Drop. The shimmer in Much Adored looks coppery compared to Essie Kisses & Bisses, which looks pinker.
  • Style Tip is a light-medium nude with a hint of pink and cream finish. I used two coats for opaque color. MAC Hangin’ Loose is warmer and more peach-based. Zoya Pandora is closer but has subtle shimmer.
  • Dark Angel is a purple-berry cream. I used two coats for swatches, and it was nearly opaque. China Glaze Urban Night is in the same color family but much, much darker.
  • Mistletoe is a tarnished gold with a green-tint with a metallic finish. Brush strokes are visible in the finish. I used two coats for opaque color. It looks just like MAC Immortal Gold.

Dark Angel was rather streaky on the first coat, and the second coat seemed to have a touch of streakiness, still. For such a dark cream, I would have expected a more trouble-free application, but it wasn’t bad–just average. Mistletoe was on the thicker side yet a little runny. It flows decently over the nail, and it doesn’t seem too gloppy, but it wasn’t perfect. It didn’t seem as bad as Immortal Gold, even though the two are very, very similar (and the timing is conicidental!). Much Adored and Style Tip didn’t have any application issues. I typically get a week of wear without chipping, just minor tip wear, with MAC’s lacquer formula.

The Glossover

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MAC Petite Nail Lacquer Dazzlesphere Review, Photos, Swatches

B
The kit is a good mix of colors without anything being too traditionally holiday-themed. Two of the four have nice formulas, while two are less-than-nice but not terrible. The smaller bottle will be harder to use for those with longer fingers/larger hands.

Product

8.5/10

Pigmentation

9/10

Texture

8.5/10

Longevity

9/10

Application

3.5/5

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Thursday, November 3rd, 2011


Illamasqua Nail Varnish in Vice, Taint, Kink, Faux Pas

Illamasqua Theatre of the Nameless: Nail Varnishes

Illamasqua’s fall/winter collection, Theatre of the Nameless, included four new shades of their Nail Varnish ($14.00 for 0.5 fl. oz.), and they’re described as: Vice (deep cerise), Taint (stone brown), Kink (bottle green), and Faux Pas (blue violet). They have a “rubber finish.”

  • Vice is a reddened berry with a rubber finish. I used two coats for opaque color. It reminded me of Rescue Beauty Lounge Bruised, which has a shiny finish.
  • Taint is a yellow-tinted brown with a rubber finish. I used two coats for opaque color. Barielle Cowl of the Wild is similar but cooler-toned. China Glaze Street Chic is a bit lighter and grayer, plus it has a shiny finish.
  • Kink is a deep forest green with a rubber finish. I used two coats for opaque color. It’s much bluer and cooler-toned than Rescue Beauty Lounge ORbis Non Sufficit, which also has a shiny finish. It’s greener and less blackened (and has that semi-matte finish) compared to MAC Jade Dragon.
  • Faux Pas is a blue-based violet with a rubber finish. I used two coats for opaque color. It is similar to Orly Purple Pleather but appears a bit more vibrant.

If you remember Orly’s Plastix Collection, then the finish to these may seem familiar. It’s a bit like vinyl; it’s not matte because there is a muted shine to the natural finish, but it’s not your traditional cream. This type of finish is tempermental; ensure that each coat is dry before applying the next one, and it’s best to wait as long as possible for the final coat to dry before doing anything else. These will pick up and show texture so, so much if you rush! They dry quicker than your standard polish but not as quickly as a matte finished shade.

The wear on this is less than the average Illamasqua Varnish, because in order to maintain the rubbery finish, you can’t use a top coat on top. I managed seven days with noticeable tip wear but no chips–I would have probably removed it after four or five days because of the tip wear, but I wanted to put it to the full week test.

The Glossover

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Illamasqua Nail Varnish in Vice, Taint, Kink, Faux Pas Review, Photos, Swatches

A-
Because of the reduced wear time (and Illamasqua's Nail Varnishes wear like iron on me with a base/top coat), these seem more like a novelty--like matte polishes, which work well for a certain look but are less durable than traditional nail lacquers.

Product

8.5/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

10/10

Longevity

8/10

Application

4/5

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Wednesday, November 2nd, 2011


Dior Or Divin Vernis / Nail Lacquer

Dior Or Divin Vernis / Nail Lacquer

Dior Or Divin (221) Nail Lacquer ($22.00 for 0.33 fl. oz.) is the brand’s take on your traditional holiday gold, which is part of its recently launched holiday collection. It’s new but limited edition. Or Divin is a pale yellow gold with a part metallic, part shimmer finish. It’s a bit warmer compared to NARS Versailles but much paler and less orange compared to Chanel Gold Lame.

You can see the threads of gold shimmer running through the color as well as visible brush strokes. I used two coats, and there was a fair amount of visible nail line; a third coat would have softened it still, but I don’t think it would have eliminated it. The color didn’t apply as evenly as I would have liked; it seemed to sheer out as it was pulled, even with waiting between coats.

Dior’s formula wears a week on me with minor tip wear but no chipping. The brush is larger than the average brush, and it’s tapered at the top, which works if you have larger nail beds, but if you have really petite ones, you may find it difficult. I like it, and it makes it easy to avoid too many brush strokes and do one or two pulls per nail.

The Glossover

LE
product

Or Divin

B-
I wasn't impressed by the color payoff or the general application for Or Divin. It's nice that it has a less metallic finish than many holiday golds, and it's not as orange-toned, so cooler complexions would be able to wear this one, too.

Product

7/10

Pigmentation

8/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

9/10

Application

3.5/5

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Monday, October 31st, 2011


Dior Apparat Vernis / Nail Lacquer

Dior Apparat Vernis / Nail Lacquer

Dior Apparat (871) Nail Lacquer ($22.00 for 0.33 fl. oz.) is a new and limited edition shade in time for the holidays.  The bottle of Apparat doesn’t look like it does in the promotional photos, but it doesn’t look like the bottle color on the nails either. The resulting color on the nails is actually comparable to what one would have expected, based on the promotional photos, so I guess it works out in the end.

In the bottle, it has a very coppery burgundy brown look. On nails, it’s a deep red with ruby and gold shimmer and a slightly metallic finish. The metallic finish enables some brush strokes to be seen, but it’s very subtle and barely noticeable in natural light. I wish the golden shimmer danced a little more in the light than it actually does; it reads less like something special as it does just a shimmery garnet hue. The color is reminiscent of Zoya Karina but with finer shimmer.

Dior’s formula wears a week on me with minor tip wear but no chipping. Apparat had a really nice, even flow and it was opaque in almost one coat, though I did two for good measure. The brush is larger than the average brush, and it’s tapered at the top, which works if you have larger nail beds, but if you have really petite ones, you may find it difficult. I like it, and it makes it easy to avoid too many brush strokes and do one or two pulls per nail.

The Glossover

LE
product

Apparat

A
The formula is nice; easy to apply and wears a week without chipping. It's opaque in two coats and the color flows evenly across the nail.

Product

9.5/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

10/10

Longevity

9/10

Application

4/5

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Wednesday, October 26th, 2011


China Glaze Ring in the Red, Champagne Bubbles, Tinsel Town, and Snow Globe Nail Lacquers

China Glaze Let It Snow: Ring in the Red, Champagne Bubbles, Tinsel Town, Snow Globe

China Glaze Let it Snow contains twelve shades that can be purchased individually or in various pre-made sets. In this post, we’re looking at these four shades: Ring in the Red (glittering red), Champagne Bubbles (sophisticated gold metallic), Tinsel Town (silver, metallic glitter), and Snow Globe (frosty white with flecks of snowy color).  I’ll have the other eight shades swatched, photographed, and posted soon! :)

  • Ring in the Red is a pinky-red with ruby red shimmer and larger, darker red glitter. It was opaque in two coats. Nubar Fire Sparkle is the closest dupe I could think of, but it seems to be a little darker and more of an orange-toned red. Zoya Lisa is more of a blue-based red but less glittery.
  • Champagne Bubbles is a brightened, yellow gold with a subtle metallic finish and gold glitter sparkle. It was opaque in two coats. It does have a metallic finish, so brush strokes are more noticeable here, but they were manageable and with a steadier (and more patient) hand, you could get them to look fairly straight. Milani 3D was the closest shade — it’s not quite as yellowy and has holographic glitter.
  • Tinsel Town is a sooty gray-black base color with lots of silver glitter in small and larger particle size. It was opaque in two coats. I don’t have anything that looks like this; it looks like silver rocks on my nails or something. Nubar Midnight is silver shimmer over a black base, but it just doesn’t have the same effect on nails.
  • Snow Globe is a sheer color base with multi-colored glitter in gold, aqua, green, blue, and purple. I did just two coats for swatches. Snow Globe has a thicker, more gel-like consistency (but not as thick as some glitters). It’s very similar to MAC Unconditionally Fabulous, and to a lesser degree, Deborah Lippmann Stairway to Heaven.

The official color descriptions for these shades really did not do them justice! I would not have envisioned these shades based on how they were described in the press release (they’re better!). The consistency of the formulas here were good; not too thick or too thin. Snow Globe was the only one that didn’t fit that bill–it had a thicker, more gel-like texture because it’s glitter suspended in a clear base (and the thicker consistency seems to help the glitter spread better).  I typically get a week of wear out of China Glaze with minimal tip wear, and I recently tested out Blue Year’s Eve with Snow Globe on top and was able to achieve those results yet again!

The Glossover

coming-soon

China Glaze Let it Snow Collection Reviews, Photos, Swatches (Part 1)

A
Glittery polishes are always harder to remove, and these are no exception (patience and a good remover are key!), they're well worth the extra effort! I felt like Tinsel Town was the most unique and Snow Globe the most fun.

Product

9.5/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

9.5/10

Application

4/5

Results
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