Chanel Rouge Carat Le Vernis ($25.00 for 0.40 fl. oz.) is an intense, luxuriously ruby-shimmered red with blue undertones. The formula is lovely; the consistency is thin without being watery, so the polish flows evenly across the nail surface but still packs a lot of pigment in each coat. I only needed two coats for opaque color with Rouge Carat. I’ve had good luck with Chanel’s formula myself, as I don’t find it chips or bubbles and generally wears a week with minor tip wear. Though the shade is surely gorgeous, red is such a common polish shade that most brands have half a dozen or more variations on it. You might consider these alternatives: Zoya Lisa, Zoya Carrie Ann, Milani Melt Down, or Duri Bombshell.
MAC Glitter & Ice Nail Lacquers ($16.00 for 0.34 fl. oz. each) include three limited edition shades for the holidays. These will hit stores on October 27th, 2011, but luckily I was able to snag the collection through an unveiling party (had to find a store that would ship to me!) to get swatches and photos for you. The three shades are: Unconditionally Fabulous (super sparkle white), Festive Finery (dirty mid-tone greyed violet), and Get Noticed (true bright red).
NYX Ice Glitter (209) Salon Formula Nail Polish ($4.00 for 0.52 fl. oz.) is a holographic glitter polish with small particle glitter and larger hexagonal particles all suspended in a clear base. It looks almost silver, but then the particles give off a rainbow reflection. I wish the photos turned out better, because it’s so stunning in person–it dazzles and shimmers and shines. The effect is gorgeous!
This shade could be used for layering, but I really liked it alone. It was fun and whimsical; not your most obvious choice for holidays, but it has a wintry vibe to it. I could see it seeming more appropriate for spring, because of some of the overall lightness in color, but I just keep thinking “winter wonderland.”
Deborah Lippmann Do Ya Think I’m Sexy Nail Lacquer ($18.00 for 0.50 fl. oz.) contains hexagonal red-hued glitter suspended in a fairly thick, clear base. It’s something that would work better for layering than alone, because I couldn’t get near to opaque in two coats. You’ll really have to move and finagle with the glitter so that it is spaced evenly across the nail. I tried to work it across and into areas where there were no glitter but still had some bunch-up.
Glitter Gal Lizard Belly Nail Lacquer ($14.00 for 0.30 fl. oz.) is a 3D holographic particle polish. Glitter Gal is an Australian-based brand, but the U.S. stockist Leah Ann sent me a few shades to try, and I immediately gravitated towards Lizard Belly. The base color is an inky, blackened bluish-green with holographic flecks–which translates into a galaxy of rainbow-hued stars. The effect is certainly cool, but I’m more impressed by the formula. It has amazing flow, and the consistency is an excellent balance between thick and thin. I wore Lizard Belly for ten days with minimal tip wear–it’s extremely durable.