Saturday, October 16th, 2010

Nubar Holiday 2010
Nail Lacquer: Organza, Taffeta, Marabout, Pekin

Nubar Holiday 2010: Finest Silks (Part 1)

For the holidays, Nubar took inspiration from the Silk Road with their collection of eight shades. Each shade is designed to provide complete coverage in two coats and be universally wearable. Nubar is free of formaldehyde, phthalate and toluene. Shades include: Organza (intense pearl white), Taffeta (pale peachy brown), Marabout (deep muted brown), Pekin (rich dark red), Sateen (deep vivid red), Charmeuse (neutral blush), Moire (light reddish brown), and Chiffon (muted brown). All shades are creams except Organza, which is a frost. Each shade retails for $7.49.

  • Organza is a white gold with ultra fine white shimmer. This looks more metallic than frosty to me, and brush strokes are quite noticeable. I did three coats, and I couldn’t get it to be opaque. It was the only shade that had opacity issues, but there was something appealing about this shade. It reminded me of weddings, actually. I like it even though I hate seeing brush strokes, which is so twilight zone. (I would give this one a product rating of 25/30, while the others are 29/30.)
  • Taffeta is a medium brown with orange-peach cream. Slightly warm but mostly neutral. Two coats.
  • Marabout is a cool-toned plummy brown-gray cream. Two coats.
  • Pekin is a dark red cream that pulls just a tiny bit blue. It’s similar to Essie’s Limited Addiction, which is a little darker and seems more neutral. Two coats.

I thought that Barielle’s Style in Argyle Collection would offer at least a couple of dupes but nothing was very similar. In general, I don’t have a vast stash of browns, so I didn’t find dupes for the majority of the shades here. All of the shades lean have mostly neutral tones to them, so they will work well on both cooler and warmer skin tones.

Application was stellar on all of the creams: two coats for creamy, smooth, even color. The formula isn’t too thick or thin, and the rubber cap makes it easy to hold when applying. Organza was the odd man out with a sheerer application and visible brush strokes.

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  • Product: 29/30
  • Value: 8/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

RECOMMENDATION: I have no idea why I’m drawn to Organza in spite of its brush strokes, but I am. Pekin is a nice dark red cream, though I like Sateen (coming up!) a bit better.

AVAILABILITY: Nubar

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Friday, October 15th, 2010

China Glaze Holiday 2010
Nail Lacquer: Midnight Kiss, Party Hearty

China Glaze Holiday 2010: Part 3

Finally! These are the last four shades of the new and limited sixteen holiday shades by China Glaze. I grouped these together, because three of the four are very glitter-based. I wanted to swatch the glitters last, since the glitter does have a tendency to get into the nooks and crannies of my nails, which can throw off other swatches. Party Hearty is a fun shade but definitely use it to layer rather than alone.

Each China Glaze retails for $3 and up, depending on where you purchase yours from. I know the brand is carried at various etailers as well as Sally’s (not sure if it’s in store yet, though).

  • Midnight Kiss is a soft gold with gold shimmer-glitter and an almost metallic/foil finish. It’s the gold version of Cheers to You. It seems similar to Butter London’s Full Monty. Two coats.
  • Party Hearty is a mix of large, red hexagonal glitter; smaller green hexagonal glitter; and smaller silver and gold circular/square glitter. All the glitter particles are flat and suspended in a clear base. This is a shade that’s best layered over other polishes rather than on its own. For swatching purposes, I did both, and when it’s shown alone, that’s three full coats. I liked it best over Midnight Kiss, Cheers to You, and Frosty.
  • Mrs. Claus is a pinky-red jelly with dark pink and fuchsia glitter suspended in the base. I feel like I’ve seen this shade before, but I can’t put my finger on it. I did three coats, but it still seemed rather pink on me. (This shade fell flat for me; it’s just so pink on but red in the bottle–I’d give this a lower product score of 27/30, FYI!)
  • Mistletoe Kisses is an emerald green base with minty-green/silver glitter. After swatching Mrs. Clause, I thought this was going to be just like it, but Mistletoe Kisses is quite opaque! It initially reminded me of China Glaze Watermelon Rind, but it’s far too teal in comparison. Two coats.

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

RECOMMENDATION: Party Hearty is fun and the very definition of Christmas! It looks excellent over Midnight Kiss.

AVAILABILITY: 8ty8beauty.com

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Friday, October 15th, 2010

China Glaze Holiday 2010
Nail Lacquer: Jolly Holly, Peace on Earth, Jingle Bells

China Glaze Holiday 2010: Part 2

The next six shades consist of all shimmers with the exception of Show, which is a cream. I had the same experience formula-wise as I did with the first six; easy, even application. Most shades were two coats, though I did three for Snow and Frosty.   The consistency of these shades was on the thinner side, but it wasn’t watery or sheer. Each China Glaze retails for $3 to 4, depending on where you purchase yours from. I know the brand is carried at various etailers as well as Sally’s (not sure if it’s in store yet, though).

  • Jolly Holly is a darkened emerald green with lighter green shimmer. It’s a little warmer with finer shimmer than China Glaze’s Emerald Sparkle. Jolly Holly feels less emerald in comparison. Two coats.
  • Peace on Earth is a medium olive green with an almost chartreuse tone. It’s similar to NARS’ Mash, which has a little more olive in its base. Two coats.
  • Jingle Bells is a light champagne gold with golden microshimmer. This looks really lovely on, and the application is absolutely flawless. It reminded me of a less yellow/gold version of Chanel Gold Lame (which has a metallic finish, so they’re a bit different). Two coats.
  • Snow is a stark white cream. It was surprisingly easy to apply, though I needed three coats to even out a little streakiness I had towards the bottom of the nail (which was more owed to impatience during application). It’s like White Out for your nails but you know, looks better, applies better, and lasts longer. It does seem to have a blue-base to it. It’s a brighter version of MAC Vestral White (which is harder to apply). Three coats but it was opaque in two.
  • Frosty is a semi-sheer white base with silvery-white shimmer. There’s something about this that reminds me of wedding dresses. It almost has a purplish iridescent sheen. I don’t own many white-based polishes, so I don’t have any dupes for this one. Three coats.
  • Cheers to You is a silver foil. It just says shimmer, but it looks like a foil/mtallic, because of the high sheen and finish. Duri’s Celebrity Scandal and SpaRitual’s Looking Glass are both similar. Two coats.

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: Snow may not be a shade that’s easy to wear on its own, but it could be used to layer underneath other polishes or glitters. If NARS’ Mash seems too expensive for you, Peace on Earth is a nice affordable option.

AVAILABILITY: 8ty8beauty.com

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Friday, October 15th, 2010

China Glaze Holiday 2010
Nail Lacquer: Mommy Kissing Santa, Phat Santa, Ruby Deer

China Glaze Holiday 2010: Part 1

For the holidays, China Glaze has an impressive sixteen new shades for us. The first six I’m reviewing include three red-based shades as well as three cream finishes. I had no application issues with any of these six; they all applied quite easily for me–two coats needed for opaque color. The consistency of these shades was on the thinner side, but it wasn’t watery or sheer. Each China Glaze retails for $3 to 4, depending on where you purchase yours from. I know the brand is carried at various etailers as well as Sally’s (not sure if it’s in store yet, though).

  • Mommy Kissing Santa is a ruby red with matching shimmer. It almost has a metallic look but not quite. It’s a pretty red, but there’s a good chance you have something that seems similar in your stash. Zoya’s Karina is a little lighter and glitter rather than shimmer based; Two coats.
  • Phat Santa is a deepened red cream. It seems a touch lighter than Essie’s Limited Addiction. Two coats.
  • Ruby Deer is a brightened cherry red cream. It’s similar to Zoya’s Burke (less neutral red) and Essie’s Red Nouveau. Two coats.
  • Naughty and Nice is a blackened burgundy cream. The base color actually reminded me of China Glaze’s Mummy May I (which has glitter), also similar to Essie’s Velvet Voyeur (a bit redder in tone). Two coats.
  • Sugar Plums is a burgundy wine with flecks of darkened ruby micro-glitter. It does have a bumpy/gritty finish, so it needs a thicker top coat to look smooth. Two coats.
  • Little Drummer Boy is a rich navy blue with softened blue micro-shimmer. There’s something about this particular shade that has a lot of depth and character. I looked through my past nail swatches from the year, and I couldn’t find anything quite like it. Two coats.

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: I like Sugar Plums and Little Drummer Boy the most; the reds felt a little dupe-able, so whether they’re must-haves depends more on your personal stash.

AVAILABILITY: 8ty8beauty.com

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Thursday, October 14th, 2010

Maybelline Plum Paradise Lipstick

The Sultry Season: Maybelline Plum Paradise Lipstick

Maybelline Plum Paradise ColorSensational Lipcolor ($8.29 for 0.15 oz.) is a reddened raspberry with a soft frost sheen.  It’s nearly opaque, and the strength of the color helps this shade last a solid three hours, almost four, on my lips.  There’s just enough berry in this shade to make it feel like an autumn hue rather than a holiday one.

This is one of the clingier shades (as noted in my lipstick comparison post), because it has a frostier finish, which is drier than a creamy or satin finish shade.  It’s not drying, though, but if you have flaky or peeling lips, this one might not work out so well.   If you’re particularly sensitive to scent, ColorSensational does have a rather synthetic, syrupy sweet scent, but it seems to fade as many of mine just smell waxy.

Is this the right berry for you? Would you wear it?

The Sultry Season is a series of posts featuring deep, rich shades of brown, berry, plum, and wine lipsticks and lipglosses — just right for autumn — that runs through October 2010.

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Wednesday, October 13th, 2010

Chanel Tweed Fuchsia Blush
Chanel Tweed Fuchsia Tissages de Chanel

Chanel Holiday 2010: Tweed Fuchsia

Chanel Tweed Fuchsia Tissages de Chanel ($45.00 for 0.19 oz.) is a cotton candy pink with slight blue undertones. It has golden shimmer patterned on the top of the blush, but underneath, it’s much subtler and interlaced with the blush itself. It’s almost like micro-glitter rather than regular shimmer, but a lot of it seems to disappear or get eaten up by the brush, so the effect isn’t like a disco ball. (And again, much of the glittery bits are overspray and will be gone after a use or two.)

Tweed Fuchsia, like several of the other Tweed varieties, does feel like it has a little more shimmer than the Joue Contrastes, which have a glowier kind of look when worn. The blue undertone of this pink isn’t too strong, though it gets stronger the heavier the color is used. When I wore it on my cheeks, it almost looked neutral! It also layered well, so you could build up the color for a more intense cheek or keep it soft for an everyday look.

It’s a pretty pink, but it’s a shade I’ve definitely seen before–if you have Pink Explosion from fall, you might find this quite easy to pass by.

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  • Product: 28/30
  • Value: 8/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

RECOMMENDATION: This is a flattering shade of pink on both cool and warm skin tones, because it doesn’t lean too blue.  It’s also buildable, which makes it more versatile as you can pair it with heavier, smokier or barely-there looks.  However, you may want to check your stash to see if you have something similar.

AVAILABILITY: Chanel

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