China Glaze Nail Lacquer: Brownstone, CG in the City, City Siren
China Glaze Metro Collection: Uptown
China Glaze Uptown Collection ($2.99 to $5.99, depending on retailer, for 0.5 fl. oz.) contains six shades: Brownstone (burnt terracotta crème), CG in the City (glittering dusty purple, bronze and silver multi-tonal glitter), City Siren (deep, red crème), Street Chic (gorgeous beige crème), Traffic Jam (raspberry pink crème), and Urban-Night (rich purple crème).
- Brownstone is a browned red cream. It was opaque in two coats, but one was quite dense in color. It’s darker and less brown compared to MAC Sly as a Fox and Nubar Sateen. Chanel Fatale and Essie Limited Addiction are redder and not as dark.
- CG in the City contains light purple, purple, bronze, and silver glitter suspended in a clear base. I used three coats for swatches, so you can see how opaque it gets (not entirely). Given the clear base, I imagine it’s meant more for layering than as a standalone product. Rescue Beauty Lounge Frugalista is denser and the particles are larger–plus it’s silver and fuchsia, so they’re not really similar in color either, but it was the closest I could think of.
- City Siren is a deep, red cream with a subtle blue base. I used two coats, but one was nearly opaque. It’s cooler in tone and looks more red than Chanel Fatale and Essie Limited Addiction.
- Street Chic is a grayed, mushroom brown cream. It was opaque in two coats. Rescue Beauty Lounge Decorous is similar in base color, but it has shimmer and a cooler undertone. Both NARS Bad Influence and Nubar Chiffon are grayer, more taupe than brown.
- Traffic Jam is a raspberry cream that is opaque in two coats. This is like a juicy raspberry jelly to me (obviously, jam is on the brain from the name!). The color reminds me of the base color of Cult Nails Iconic but Traffic Jam is slightly more berry than red. I think Zoya Ciara may be similar, but I don’t have a photo to compare it to.
- Urban-Night is a darkened eggplant purple with a cream finish. This was opaque in two coats. It seems similar to Orly Plum Noir. Rescue Beauty Lounge Recherche is much darker and less red-toned.
With the exception of CG in the City (which is a glitter in a clear base), I only needed two coats for opaque color coverage. I typically get a week of wear out of China Glaze’s formulas, both for creams and glitters. The glitter will be difficult to remove, like any other glitter-based polish, if worn alone and as densely as shown in the swatches, so I recommend soaking a piece of felt in remover and pressing against the nail for 15-20 seconds, then pull to remove. I used Zoya’s Anchor and Armor for base/top coats for all swatches.
The formula of the five creams here was good overall. Street Chic was a touch thick, while the others were thinner without being watery. The polish spread evenly without streaking and drying time was about average.