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SpaRitual Ebb & Flow Nail Lacquer

SpaRitual Ebb & Flow Nail Lacquer
SpaRitual Ebb & Flow Nail Lacquer

Let Summer Ebb & Flow Across Your Nails

SpaRitual Ebb & Flow Nail Lacquer ($10.00 for 0.50 fl. oz.) is a brightened blue with a hint of aqua in a cream finish. It’s more aqua, less blue compared to Rescue Beauty Lounge Faraway. Zoya Robyn may be the most similar that I can think of, but it’s bluer–no real aqua tones to it. China Glaze Towel Boy is kind of similar but not quite there. OCC Pool Boy is on the spectrum but much, much lighter.

This is such a summery shade to me–there’s something that reminds me of tropical beaches, sparkling oceans, and summer.  It’s opaque after two coats, but the consistency is a wee bit thick, so the drying time seemed a little long. It seemed to pull/drag if you didn’t wait for it to dry down, so I’d advise some patience with this one (as some formulas are more forgiving than others).  It dries to a naturally shiny finish but not 100% full-on glossy, so if you like that look, I’d still recommend a top coat.  I get a full week of wear out of SpaRitual’s formula with minor tip wear but no chipping, and they package their lacquers well, because of the rubberized handle, which makes it easier to hold and open.

SpaRitual Nail Lacquer Ebb & Flow
A-

Limited Edition

9
Product
10
Pigmentation
8.5
Texture
9
Longevity
4
Application
90%
Total

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Hourglass Muse Opaque Rouge Liquid Lipstick

Hourglass Muse Opaque Rouge Liquid Lipstick
Hourglass Muse Opaque Rouge Liquid Lipstick

Don’t Be Such a Loudmouth!

Hourglass Muse Opaque Rouge Liquid Lipstick ($28.00 for 0.10 oz.) is described as a “coral red.” It’s a vibrant coral-red with a neon quality that gives it this really bright, bold look. This is a color that says, “Hey! You! Did you see THIS lip color?!” It has a strong warm, orange pull to it. Illamasqua Mistress is the closest dupe I could think, even though it’s a gloss–color-wise, they’re very similar with Muse being slightly more intense. Wet ‘n’ Wild 909D is similar but a bit softer. Dolce & Gabbana Cosmopolitan is lighter, less red.

This formula is supposed to be extremely pigmented, last 14 hours without flaking or drying out the lip, and have a matte finish.  While it feels and looks like a liquid lipstick initially, this dries down like a second-skin onto the lips.  It takes about thirty seconds or so for the color to dry down and set to a matte finish.  It’s not 100% transfer-proof, but it’s about 90% there.  I’ve found that once I’ve had a meal, that’s really when the breakdown of the lip product begins and ramps up to the point where you’ll see more and more transfer and flaking of the lip color (as well as the lip color breaking apart).  I’m not surprised, given that most cosmetic products breakdown from oil, and many meals will have some sort of element that can contribute to it.

When I tested out the wear of Muse, I made sure to put it on and wear it for as long as I could before subjecting it to a meal, which ended up as five hours, and then it continued to have decent-looking color/texture for a few more hours to the sound of nine hours.  As we neared the 10-hour mark, it wasn’t looking so good, and definitely needed to be removed and reapplied. Not the 14 hours as touted, but it was better than Raven.  As it wears down, I found bits of lipstick on my teeth throughout the evening, so it’s something to be aware of.  I’m still impressed that the formula isn’t at all drying and really must help locking in the moisture, because despite wearing just this for eleven hours, my lips didn’t feel any need for lip balm.

Hourglass Opaque Rouge Liquid Lipstick Muse
Muse
Muse
8.5
Product
10
Pigmentation
10
Texture
6.5
Longevity
4
Application
87%
Total

Buxom Luvitate True Hue Blush

NARS Lovejoy Highlighting Blush
Buxom Luvitate True Hue Blush

Come Back to Earth After Trying Luvitate

Buxom Luvitate True Hue Blush ($24.00 for 0.17 oz.) is described as a “shimmering nude.” It’s a beige-apricot with a golden shimmer-sheen. It reminds me of shades like NARS Orgasm but with a more neutral base. Tarina Tarantino Neopolitan Lane is matte in finish and a bit browner. The shimmering shade in Guerlain Peach Boy is noticeably pinker. Chanel In Love is darker with a subtler gold shimmer. Overall, when applied, it still reads a little coral-ish, but with some beige thrown in.

Buxom’s True Hue formula is supposed to be “silky, sheer, and ultra-buildable.” Surprisingly, I found the texture to be stiffer and on the drier side. It wasn’t silky or soft or all that smooth.  The color payoff is as described–sheer–and it is buildable, though it will take some layering if you have a medium to dark complexion. It’s do-able, and it’s not too many layers, but the blendability of this is lacking.  I suspect the drier texture is playing a role in making this harder to blend and appear rather patchy on the cheeks.  This has a fair amount of shimmer and sheen in the finish, too, which does make pores more noticeable.  The wear of Luvitate was decent–seven hours with light but some fading after eight hours.

Buxom Luvitate True Hue Blush

C+
8
Product
9
Pigmentation
7
Texture
7.5
Longevity
4
Application
79%
Total

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China Glaze Jungle Queen Nail Lacquer

China Glaze Jungle Queen Nail Lacquer
China Glaze Jungle Queen Nail Lacquer

All Hail the Jungle Queen

China Glaze Jungle Queen Nail Lacquer ($3.00 to $7.00 for 0.50 fl. oz.) is described as a “smoky violet.” It’s a dusty, subdued plum-brown with soft violet shimmer. Dior Shadow is redder and has brighter, red-copper shimmer. MAC Festive Finery is lighter and has a cream finish. Cult Nails Enigmatic is similar but a smidgen browner with silver/white shimmer. China Glaze Below Deck is much lighter. This is very similar to Chanel Paradoxal, except Chanel seems a little grayer.

I have to admit: after reviewing several of China Glaze’s summer hues, I was worried about the formula, which was more problematic. I hoped it was a problem with neons in general, rather than the brand, and I’m so happy that it seems to be so!  The fall collection is much, much better and more like what I expect from one of my favorite polish brands.  Jungle Queen is opaque in two coats, and it’s not too thick or too thin–just enough thickness to be pigmented and flowing, but not so thick that it pools.  I normally find that China Glaze polishes do not chip on me and wear well for a week (with minor tip wear).  Their polish retails for $7, but you can easily find bottles for $3-4 at various e-tailers.

China Glaze Nail Lacquer Jungle Queen
A

Limited Edition

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

NARS Gina Blush

NARS Gina Highlighting Blush
NARS Gina Blush

Fresh-Squeezed with Gina

NARS Gina Blush ($28.00 for 0.16 oz.) is described as a “true tangerine.” It’s a softened orange with a satiny sheen. It’s not vibrant, not an intense orange, but it’s much more orange and richer than peach (hm, I am amused that all descriptions are fruit-related!). This is actually one of the closest shades I’ve seen to Illamasqua Expose, which is darker, richer–but when worn softly, they look nearly the same. Illamasqua Lover is lighter, brighter. MAC Solar Ray is more shimmery and golden-tinged.

I really liked the texture of this shade, as it was so soft, smooth, and finely-milled without being powdery.  The color was true-to-pan, and it’s a buildable blush.  A light tap of product gives a warm cloak of color, while a swirl of the brush in the blush (say that five times fast!) yields full color.  The softness lends to effortless blending on the skin, and the subtle sheen is both glowy and natural so it doesn’t emphasize pores.  The lightness inherent in the shade keeps it from looking red-toned or burnt on the cheeks.  Gina wore well for eight hours and started to have noticeable fading after nine hours.

NARS Powder Blush Gina
Gina

Cult Nails Happy Ending Nail Lacquer

Cult Nails Happy Ending Nail Lacquer
Cult Nails Happy Ending Nail Lacquer

Cult Nails Happy Ending Nail Lacquer ($10.00 for 0.50 fl. oz.) contains shredded multi-colored flakes suspended in a clear base. There’s aqua-blue, copper, gold, and lavender from what I can see–I swear I see a hint of green, but I think it might be the gold. I don’t have anything like this, and I’m not even sure if I have more than one or two shredded polishes on hand. Deborah Lippmann Happy Birthday is the closest I could think of, but it’s multi-sized glitter particles (squares and hexagons) with a lot of green in it. Even though the sizes/shapes are different, I think the two yield at least a comparable feel: a big ol’ glitter-party on your nails.

The consistency of Happy Ending is on the thicker side–if you have a lot of glitters in clear bases, it definitely has a sort of gel-like consistency that gives it a thicker feel and look.  It does help suspend and keep the glitter shards in it, though, which means you don’t have to try and grab the pieces out of the bottle. They do need to be pushed around to get an even (sort of) layer of shredded glitter.  I dabbled a blob of it on the center of the nail and then pushed and maneuvered the pieces around.  It’s unique enough to be worth the trouble, but it’s not something I’d reach for often, just because it takes patience and some skill to use.

Cult Nails Nail Lacquer Happy Ending
C+

Limited Edition

7.5
Product
8.5
Pigmentation
7
Texture
9
Longevity
3
Application
78%
Total

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