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China Glaze Merry Berry Nail Lacquer

China Glaze Merry Berry Nail Lacquer
China Glaze Merry Berry Nail Lacquer

Let’s Get Merry with Berry!

China Glaze Merry Berry Nail Lacquer ($7.50 for 0.50 fl. oz.) is described as a “rich berry red creme.” It’s a deep red–perhaps with a hint of berry–that for all its darkness, remains dark and almost muted, which is interesting to see in a shade so clearly red. Essie Size Matters is similar. Dior Graphic Berry is more berry-colored. China Glaze City Siren is a touch darker.

It’s opaque in two coats, and it has a beautiful flow and consistency that’s not too thick or too thin, so it applied evenly across the nail without streaking or pooling along the edges of the nail.  Merry Berry is a very classic, deep red cream–you may have something like it in your stash, and if not, a worthwhile version to own.  I typically get a week of wear out of China Glaze’s formula with minor tip wear but no chipping.

China Glaze Nail Lacquer Merry Berry
A

Limited Edition

10
Product
10
Pigmentation
10
Texture
9
Longevity
5
Application
98%
Total

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Chanel Raffinement Eyeshadow Quad

Chanel Raffinement Eyeshadow Quad
Chanel Raffinement Eyeshadow Quad

Chanel Raffinement Eyeshadow Quad ($58.00 for 0.24 oz.) is described as a palette of “rich mauve, pearly pink beige, shimmering lilac, and deep eggplant.”  It’s a new for spring but will be joining the permanent range.

The first shade (top, left) is a medium-dark brown with hints of plum/mauve and a frosted finish. It had nice color payoff, and it applied smoothly and evenly. Chanel Variation has a darker brown. MAC Smut is a richer version of this shade. Urban Decay Stray Dog is similar, perhaps a bit warmer.

The second shade (top, right) is a pale, peachy beige with a frosted sheen and subtle warm undertones. The pigmentation was lovely, and it applied nicely. MAC A Natural Flirt is warmer, more shimmer. MAC Double Feature #5 is similar but less frosted. Urban Decay Sellout is similar–a little darker. Illamasqua Slink is a touch warmer.

The third shade (bottom, left) is a medium-dark cognac brown–a little orange-red to it but very, very subtle and slight, so it doesn’t take on an overly warm coloring. It had fantastic color payoff, and it was really soft, finely-milled, and smooth when applied. Too Faced Hot Cocoa is lighter. Illamasqua Focus is a cream product, and it is redder. Tom Ford Platinum is similar but a cream product. Urban Decay Wreckage is less red-toned.

The fourth shade (bottom, right) is a deep, dark reddened brown with a satiny sheen–just a step or two above matte. This shade packed quite the punch of pigment; really don’t need much to define the crease at alL! It blended out easily, which is absolutely necessary with anything that’s very pigmented and/or dark in color. Make Up For Ever #162 is matte, slightly richer/more intense. theBalm Presto is a bit darker. MAC Embark is matte and browner. Chanel Ebloui is more shimmery, a touch lighter, and a cream. It compares favorably with Tom Ford Enchanted.

I can see some looking at this quad and going, “Borrrrring!” and others reaching for it all the time. That’s the problem with basics and essentials–they tend to be kind of boring, but they work well and are still shades that most core collections have. I think it is wearable on both cooler and warmer complexions, and the colors offer a good range of light/dark for contrast.  The depth and richness of the darkest shade makes this quad as wearable for work as it does for evening, because it’s so rich, it can really add definition, darkness, and general smokiness for an evening look.

The quality of the quad is lovely, with all four shades having great color payoff, soft, smooth textures, and tip-top wear of eight hours (without a primer) and no signs of fading or creasing.  There was only a very, very slight excess of powder in a couple of shades but so slight–it’s really being nit-picky. All in all, while dupable, a very wearable, easy-to-use quad that will be a nice travel pick as well as a go-to for anyone who is need of more work-friendly shades.

Chanel Raffinement Eyeshadow Quad

A
10
Product
10
Pigmentation
9.5
Texture
9
Longevity
5
Application
97%
Total

Dior Charmante (437) Dior Addict Lipstick

Dior Charmante (437) Dior Addict Lipstick
Dior Charmante (437) Dior Addict Lipstick

So Charmed to Wear You

Dior Charmante (437) Dior Addict Lipstick ($31.00 for 0.12 oz.) is described as a “soft coral.” It’s a shiny, soft coral with strong peach/orange coloring. On my lips, which have some natural pinkness but are not overly red or pigmented, it enhances the natural pinkness and adds warmth, but it looks very, very natural–if you compare bare lips to the swatch photo, you’ll see a definite difference, but from afar, you wouldn’t go, “Oh, she’s wearing color!” Bobbi Brown Pink Seashell is paler. MAC Razzledazzler is more pigmented.

The Dior Addict Lipstick formula is supposed to be hydrating while adding a “veil” of color and “spectacular shine.” Charmante is sheer in color, though not invisible, but it may appear to have more or less color depending on the color and level of natural pigmentation your lips have.  It has a balm-like consistency–slick, creamy, and lightweight–that glides on readily and applies color fairly evenly.  It’s comfortable to wear, and it was lightly hydrating for the three hours it lasted on my lips.

Dior Addict Lip Color Charmante
Charmante

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Dior Pink Happiness (729) DiorBlush

Dior Pink Happiness (729) DiorBlush
Dior Pink Happiness (729) DiorBlush

If Happiness was a Color, Would It Be Pink?

Dior Pink Happiness (729) DiorBlush ($43.00 for 0.26 oz.) is a blush duo that features a matte side to yield color, and then a pearly side that provides the highlight/sheen. They can be used individually together, alone, or swirled together.

The matte side is a medium-dark pink with yellow undertones. Chanel Rose Intiale is very similar. MAC Subtle Breeze is a bit cooler-toned. The pearly side is a light-medium pink with yellow undertones and a pale gold shimmer-sheen. Chanel Pink Cloud is a touch warmer, lighter. MAC Flower Fantasy has a paler sheen. MAC Easy Manner is richer in color.  Together, they create a medium (just on the light side of medium) pink with a hint of coral and a subtle sheen. The color reminded me of MAC Pet Me, though that is a bit more plum. Tarte Curious is brighter, more coral. theBalm Don’t You Want Me is similar.

If you’ve tried other blush duos by Dior, you’ll likely remember how soft, silky-smooth, and finely-milled the texture was.  This duo is part of the same formula/range, but it has a different pattern that goes across it than the permanent shades.  I’m not sure if they’re made/pressed differently, but this had a much firmer, stiffer texture that made achieving true-to-pan color payoff more difficult and blending less effortless.  With the level of pigmentation, I think this is best suited for light to medium complexions, while darker skin tones may want to try before they buy.   Pink Happiness wore for seven hours well but was noticeably faded along the edges after eight hours.

Dior Diorblush Glowing Color Powder Blush Pink Happiness

Hare Holiday Hoopla Nail Lacquer

Hare Holiday Hoopla Nail Lacquer
Hare Holiday Hoopla Nail Lacquer

So, What’s All the Hoopla Over the Holidays, Anyway?

Hare Holiday Hoopla Nail Lacquer ($10.00 for 0.50 fl. oz.) is described as a “festive assortment of red squares [and] hexes in several sizes, satin pale pink hexes, gold glitter, and gold shimmer” suspended in a clear base designed as a glitter top coat. It’s a mix of medium-sized red squares, smaller red hexagons, and medium-sized pale pink hexagons that make up the more noticeable shapes and colors, while there is both gold glitter and smaller gold shimmer in the background that helps to fill in the composition. The colors are similar to China Glaze Electrify, but Holiday Hoopla has much more variance in size/shape (plus the pale pink hexes) so Electrify ends up looking almost one-dimensional in comparison. (In the same vein, China Glaze Pure Joy is a mix of small red glitter and then just slightly larger gold glitter, but it is less dense and very unlike this one in shape/size.)

I layered two coats of Holiday Hoopla alone on my index and ring fingers, and then I layered one coat over Illamasqua Boosh (black cream) on my middle finger. Alone, it’s semi-to-mostly opaque in two coats–I think it’s quite wearable as a standalone shade. One coat for layering worked well to deliver plenty of glitter and shimmer coverage without losing the base color. All of the bits and bobs laid completely flat, and there really wasn’t much texture before a top coat, but a top coat definitely gives it a better overall finish. The consistency was amazing: not thick at all, and dare I say, almost thin, but all of the glitters spread evenly across the nail just dragging the brush across. No pulling or tugging required–it was one of the easiest glitter top coats I’ve applied.

This is the shade I chose to test for wear (I will also be testing Swanky Soiree specifically but at a later date), and it’s going four days strong. Of course, next to nothing chips on me, so you’ll have to take my wear experiences with a grain of salt. Most polishes last seven days with minor tip wear but no chipping; particularly excellent formulas will have very minor tip wear and may last up to ten days. It has been my experience that glitter top coats/layering polishes tend to as long as whatever is underneath them. If by some (horrible) miracle, this falls outside of the average wear, I’ll be sure to update this post to reflect that.

I bought mine from Hare’s Etsy shop, and they’re all sold out now, but Llarowe still has some in stock.

Hare Holiday Hoopla Nail Lacquer

A
9.5
Product
10
Pigmentation
9.5
Texture
9
Longevity
5
Application
96%
Total

Hare Swanky Soiree Nail Lacquer

Hare Swanky Soiree Nail Lacquer
Hare Swanky Soiree Nail Lacquer

Will You Be Attending a Swanky Soiree?

Hare Swanky Soiree Nail Lacquer ($10.00 for 0.50 fl. oz.) is described as a “medium grey jelly with a mixture of red [and gunmetal] hexes and squares and silver shimmer.” It is a mid-tone gray (that leans perhaps just slightly cool-toned, but it has a very cement-like coloring) with metallic gray square and hexagonal glitter along with bright red square and hexagonal glitter; the red definitely stands out against the gray base more so than the gray bits and bobs. Finally, there is a healthy dose of silver shimmer to fill in the rest of the polish.

Swanky Soiree is semi-opaque after two coats–it typifies the jelly finish, which tends to be just slightly translucent and has a squishy appearance. It has a lush thickness to it that reads “squish me.” Hare recommended using a gray polish (like China Glaze Recycle) to boost opacity if desired. I layered one coat over Illamasqua Boosh, which is a pure black, for contrast over my middle finger, and then two layers of Swanky Soiree on its own on my index and ring fingers. There is a good dispersion of the glitters, and I didn’t have to pull or play with them to get them into place or to look “even.” Each coat yielded a good amount of glitter, too, so it did not seem like an endless layering process. The consistency was on the thicker side, about as thick as most jelly finishes and less thick than some of the really thick glitter polishes I’ve come across, but it didn’t pool along the edges. The glitter laid fairly flat across each nail, so it wasn’t too bumpy, though a thicker top coat is still recommended.

Now, I’ve heard a lot of great things about Hare Polish, so I started to follow them on Facebook, which is typically the best way to find out about upcoming restocks, shipments, and the like. I kid you not, but 100 bottles of Swanky Soiree sold out in ten minutes or less in their Etsy shop. Like other indie polishes I’ve reviewed, you may or may not be able to purchase a particular shade, but I hope to “introduce” brands as I can and hopefully help you decide whether it’s a brand that interests you and worth following. I had a good experience ordering from Hare via Etsy–I received my order lightning fast (I think two or three days after I ordered, they arrived).

Oh, and check back in a bit, because I have a giveaway for a set of their limited edition holiday shades (this one and Holiday Hoopla, which I’ll have a review up for shortly).

Hare Swanky Soiree Nail Lacquer

A-
9
Product
10
Pigmentation
9
Texture
9
Longevity
4
Application
91%
Total

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