September 2, 2008

Fall Blitzkrieg: OPI La Collection De France

Posted in Brown, Creme, Gray, Mushroomy Colors, Nude, OPI, Purples & Lilacs, Red, Shimmer, Trends, Vampies tagged at 1:15 am by pretear

I’m a little late to the party (check out Scrangie’s swatches) but, of course, I have to give you guys my take on one of the biggest collections to hit us this Fall. I wasn’t all that excited for OPI France when I initially saw the promotional images. OPI has a proclivity for releasing several reds and ‘almost blacks’ in just about every collection and, frankly, it gets old. The promos of France made it seem like more of the same. Consequently, I wasn’t expecting to like these. I was pleasantly surprised to find that this collection is actually pretty cool.

Sure, a few of the colors were fairly run of the mill OPI type stuff. I’m not doing back flips for OPI Louvre me Louvre Me Not (ducks to avoid thrown stones, tomatoes, assorted rotting vegetables), but there are several solid gorgeous, unique colors in this collection. There have been a few complaints about colors in the France collection being thick and difficult to apply but I didn’t have any real trouble with them.

As a side note, I really feel like OPI did a good job of designing colors that are representative of French culture and fashion. I say that because I felt like they could have done more with the Indian collection, it’s good to see that they were spot on with France.

*Dies* OPI You Don’t Know Jacques is my absolute favorite color from this collection. Seriously, every once a while an amazing color like this comes out and renews my passion for nail polish. The color is tough to describe, grayish, brownish, dirty, mushroomy? This is my current NOTD, 2 coats, love it. I’ve said it a million times and I’ll say it again, love these grayed out mushroomy colors. I just can’t get enough.

OPI Yes… I Can-Can! is a shimmery eggplant type color. The base color seems similar to OPI Lincoln Park After Dark. The shimmer seems multi-colored, I see flashes of green, silver, and violet in the bottle. On the nail, it’s silvery and serves to give Yes… I Can-Can! depth. This swatch is 3 coats but with careful application good coverage is possible at 2 coats.

OPI Tickle My France-y is my second favorite color from this collection. It’s a grayed out subtle nude pink – it is chic and sophisticated perfection. Earlier last week, when I went back into the professional nail color purgatory, Tickle My France-y was the first color I chose for the big switch. This color was so beautiful, so flattering that I didn’t even care about being forced to wear professional colors. This mani was 3 coats.

OPI Parlez-vous OPI?, another stand out color, is a grayed-out (or smokey as OPI puts it) plum. The application was slightly troublesome, my bottle was chalky and thick but it’s workable. This is 2 coats.

OPI Louvre Me Lourve Me Not is my least favorite color from this collection. Sorry guys, I know I’m completely alone, everyone else loves this one. There’s nothing inherently wrong with this color but I have a predisposition to disliking shimmers and I’ve just had my fill of shimmery mid-range purples this fall. You can’t really see it in my image but Louvre Me Lourve Me Not has blurple and violet shimmer. This swatch is 3 coats.

OPI I’m Fondue of You is a reddish light chocolaty brown with reddish brown shimmer. I don’t love this one. It’s pretty but not special. This swatch is 2 coats, I think the color would look better with 3.

OPI Eiffel for this Color is an ‘almost black’. OPI says it’s wine but it looks dark purple with violet shimmer to me. It’s similar to Yes… I Can-Can! but they’re different enough to warrant owning both if one is so inclined to do so. Normally, I would say boo to an almost black but I, surprisingly, like this color. This swatch is 2 coats.

Scrangie called OPI Crepes Suzi-ette a ‘mom’ color… it is – but – it’s hot. I think this one ventures into the realm of work appropriate. I’m actually surprised that I like this color too. I probably wouldn’t have batted an eye at this creamy reddish caramel in a store, but it’s actually very flattering on the nail. I would even dare say that it’s unique. This swatch is 2 coats.

There will always be reds in an OPI collection, shockingly there were only two in the France Collection. One of which, OPI Bastille My Heart, is a deep burgandy with violet shimmer throughout. Pretty, but standard.

OPI Baguette Me Not, a creamy salmon, is another shocker. Totally didn’t expect to like this ‘mom’ (haha) color but I love it. Very chic, very work appropriate. This swatch is 2 coats.

OPI A Oui Bit of Red, the other red in the France Collection, is a mid-range bright red. I love reds and I would have loved this one too, but for the shimmer. The saving grace is that the fuschia shimmer is very subtle, hardly noticeable. This swatch is 2 coats.

Finally, OPI We’ll Always Have Paris. Love. It. This is the color that I wanted the annoyingly almost black OPI Lincoln Park After Dark to be. I love LPAD but I always wanted it to be more noticeably purple and vampy. OPI granted my wish with We’ll Always Have Paris. Strangely, OPI says this color is dark coffee… definitely looks dark reddish purple to me.

Special thanks to OPI.

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August 19, 2008

Fall Blitzkrieg: China Glaze Rodeo Diva Swatches Part 2

Posted in Brown, China Glaze, Peach, Purples & Lilacs, Red, Shimmer tagged at 11:14 pm by pretear

Finally, here’s the remaining colors from the China Glaze Rodeo Diva Swatches, I apologize for the delay. You can see the first set here. The sun cooperated a whole lot of not at all in photographing of these swatches. The remaining colors in the Rodeo Diva Collection applied very well, 2 coats each, excellent consistency, except where noted.

China Glaze Red Stallion is a shimmery mid-tone red. It’s a pretty color but you guys know how I feel about shimmery reds.

China Glaze Prize Winning Mare is more my type of thing. I actually like it more in the shade than in the sunlight with full on shimmer. In the shade, it’s a more subtle gold speckled brown, very beautiful. Scrangie thinks it’s somewhat similar to Dior Gold Nugget.

China Glaze Golden Spurs is tan with gold shimmer. I noticed that when I applied it with 2 thin coats I got a lighter shade than when I used 2 thick coats which gave me a darker tan shade.

Oh man China Glaze Cowgirl Up was a pain in the butt to photograph. I apologize for the glare, the sun was setting and there were many clouds over head (Tropical Storm Fay hates nail polish apparently). I was only able to take a few snaps before the weather thwarted my efforts completely. Cowgirl Up, a violet with multi-toned blurple shimmer, is a much loved color from this collection, but again, probably not for me.

China Glaze Branding Iron is a brownish red with gorgeous red shimmer. Branding Iron is like a browner lighter version OPI Midnight in Moscow. I did have some difficulties with the application of Branding Iron – my bottle was really thick.

China Glaze Yee-Haw! is my least favorite color in this entire collection. It’s peach with gold shimmer. As soon as I saw this one I knew I would feel that way so I decided to use it for a manicure. Sometimes colors grow on me, that’s not the case here. There’s nothing wrong with Yee-Haw! per se, it’s actually a really pretty color – but colors like this just don’t suit me.

Special thanks to China Glaze.

August 11, 2008

Fall Blitzkrieg: China Glaze Rodeo Diva Swatches Part 1

Posted in Blue, Brown, China Glaze, Green, Purples & Lilacs, Shimmer tagged at 8:09 pm by pretear

The China Glaze Rodeo Diva collection is split up into two parts. Now, here I thought that that I was giving you guys one full box set only to find, after looking at the China Glaze website, that mine were packaged differently. So basically my swatches will be split up into two posts, the polish selection being arbitrary and willy nilly.

Everyone (Scrangie, Sminkan, Hill here and here, Misa Masa, Makeup My Lack, RocketQueen, and ALU – as you can see, I’m super late to this party) has been raving about this collection and the reason for that is obvious to me. These colors are great and for the most part, very unique. For me, they applied really well although Scrangie mentions that some colors gave her a bit of trouble. If you bothered to click all those links I just gave you, you’ll see that no one has similar looking swatches of this collection. That’s because the whole collection is incredibly chameleon-like. They look different, at different angles and in different forms of light. They aren’t duochrome, but the shimmer in them tends to give the colors different tones depending on the aforementioned variables. I don’t think anyone who buys this collection will be displeased but if you are a major stickler for color accuracy in swatches I really recommend looking at everyone’s swatches and searching nailgal.com before buying.

Now on to my swatches:

Gussied Up Green is probably my hands down favorite from this collection. I think it’s really great that China Glaze listened to the masses and finally released a good green. In the bottle, Gussied Up Green has an amazing multi-chromatic effect – it goes from green to blue to purple, but sadly, it doesn’t do that on the nail. Applied, it reminds me of the shimmery dark green used to paint carnival rides and roller coasters. The darkness of the green varies to some extent as well, being very dark in some lights and lighter in others.

China Glaze Side-Saddle is a little tough to describe. It’s a reddish, purplish, brown, with gold shimmer. In the shade it almost looks like a reddish brown creme.

China Glaze Rodeo Fanatic is definitely one of the fan favorites from this collection. It’s sort of a dark turquoise-y blue with light greenish blue shimmer. In the bottle is has a blue to purple duochrome that is not present when applied on the nail. Siobhan from MUA discovered that Rodeo Fanatic is a fairly close dupe to the coveted Mac Whirlwind – which is great for me since I missed out on Whirlwind when it first came out.

China Glaze Midnight Ride is another of my personal favorites from this collection. I’ve been on this dark purple shimmer kick lately so Midnight Ride is right up my alley. It’s different from Color Club Groove Thang which has a darker purple shimmer too it, but that difference in shimmer might not be too noticeable to the non-nail board eye.

I almost died when I saw China Glaze Wagon Trial, really. I don’t know what else to say other than, holy sh*t, I freaking love this color. It looks olive on the nail and in the bottle, but as Scrangie astutely pointed out, it’s probably actually black with gold shimmer. It’s very dark olive in some lights and bright shimmery light olive in others, you can sort of see the transition of color on my nails above.

China Glaze Lasso My Heart is another fan favorite but it’s not for me – not that I dislike it per se, I just don’t usually wear shimmers that are red, pink, or pinkish purple. Maybe some day these colors will grow on me… but that’s a huge maybe. Lasso My Heart is pinkish purple, perhaps violet, with gold shimmer. Don’t judge it based on my taste though, I’m definitely alone, everyone else loves it.

Special thanks to China Glaze.

August 8, 2008

Fall Blitzkrieg: Color Club Musique Collection Swatches

Posted in Black & Charcoal, Brown, Color Club, Duo/Multichrome, Orange, Purples & Lilacs, Red, Shimmer tagged at 7:27 pm by pretear

I know that everyone has been dying to see the new Fall Color Clubs, here they finally are for your viewing pleasure. All and all, Musique is a solid collection. I was expecting some of these to be metallic but they’re actually just really shimmery. Even though these look highly pigmented in the bottle, they actually apply thinly. If you typically do thin coats like I do, these colors are going to be three coaters. However, I don’t think it would be difficult to get opacity in 2 coats if you typically like working with thicker coats.

Color Club Feel the Beat is a burnt orange shimmer. I’d almost say that it’s borderline metallic. ‘Feel the Beat’ is an appropriate name, I’m not really sure why but this color really reminds me of Miami (my home, sweet, home) and Gloria Stefan.

Color Club Slow Jam is a reddish brown with golden shimmer. It’s a redder version of OPI Espresso Your Style. Slow Jam is one of those rare brown shades that actually flatter my skin tone… now, if only I could find a creme brown that did the same. *sigh*

Color Club Groove Thang is dark purple shimmer – oh man, I. love. it. It is definitely the stand out from this collection. I expected to love it even more than I do because Groove Thang is actually a beetle duochrome in the bottle, unfortunately, I couldn’t get the beetle effect to show up on the nail. I’m not giving up though. I merely swatched Groove Thang. It’s possible that as a full mani, completely dry, in non-direct sunlight, I’ll get the beetle effect that I love so much and promptly die from happiness soon thereafter. Since I know this is going to come up, in my opinion, Groove Thang is not dupish to China Glaze Midnight Ride, which has violet shimmer as opposed to dark purple shimmer. I’ll do comparisons soon.

Here’s Groove Thang again, you can almost see the color change, almost.

As usual, my camera is perpetually deficient when photographing purples. Color Club Electronica is more purple than it looks in this swatch. Electronica, with fuchsia flecks and blurple shimmer, seems like a tamer version of OPI Ink. The main difference seems to be amount of glittery shimmer, Ink apparently has chunkier more abundant bling. I sound like a broken record but I’ll do comparisons soon.

Color Club After Hours is a medium charcoal gray with multi-toned silver, red, and green shimmer. The shimmer is very similar to the shimmer in CND Hyde in the Dark but After Hours is darker and has less silver throughout. After Hour is less dark and more shimmery than Misa Love Bite. Comparisons of all these will be up soon. After Hours is a great addition to my nail-breakage-in-mourning collection.

Last but not least, Color Club Velvet Rope, a magenta red with gold shimmer. I, surprisingly, liked this color on myself, which is rare for me as I am not a fan of shimmery reds. I can’t really give you guys much guidance in the way of dupes and comparisons because I really don’t own many shimmery reds. Sooorrrryyy.

Special thanks to Color Club.

June 26, 2008

My Sadness: Sally Hansen Dusk

Posted in Brown, Creme, Mushroomy Colors, Sally Hansen Salon Formula at 6:49 pm by pretear

One of my favorite MUAers posted a picture of Sally Hansen Dusk. I lemminged it for *weeks*. It was limited edition (of course) so I couldn’t find it anywhere. After endless laborious searching, I finally snagged one on evilbay for a shockingly reasonable price. I haven’t had a chance to wear it until recently and to my unspeakable horror, this shade of brown… looks… awful… with my skin tone. I died a little inside, honestly. I’ve only encountered one other color that just doesn’t suit my skin tone, lilac. It just so happens that lilac and brown are my favorite nail polish colors. I keep buying these colors, thinking that this time when I apply it, it will be different. This time – it will look amazing. But no. Lilac makes me look like a corpse and brown, well, brown makes me look like I finger paint with poop.

Why, oh why.

(This polish had amazing application although it was a bit thick – It applied beautifully after a few drops of thinner. I’m a bit of a closet nail polish snob so I don’t have many drug store brands, but I’m really impressed with the quality of Sally Hansen’s Salon Formula (a bit of a misnomer because, as far as I know, this line isn’t sold in salons, only drug stores). I don’t have anything against drug store brands, I just think that people mistakenly believe they are saving money by opting for these brands instead of the higher end brands. I personally find that belief to be a patent fallacy. Sally Hansen’s Salon Formula sells for upwards of 6.50, I pay way less than that for “higher end” non-drug store brands online. Even with the ultra cheap set like Sinful Colors which runs about 1.99 at drug stores, for me, isn’t worth purchasing just because of how cheap it is since a few higher end brands sell for about that much online too.)

June 15, 2008

China Glaze ImMaterial Gurl Collection Swatches

Posted in Brown, China Glaze, Creme, Orange, Pink tagged , at 6:53 pm by pretear

Wow. I haven’t been this impressed with a collection in AGES. I love all the colors. The application of most of the colors was amazing, like butter. This collection hasn’t gotten that much hype from the nail polish community (yes, there is such a thing) and I’m a little bit at a loss as to why because every color is worth owning, each one unique and beautiful.

I also really love that China Glaze made minis of this entire collection. Most companies make minis. It seems to me that Color Club and Essie choose the colors that are expected to be most popular and sell those in mini packs. OPI seems to pick 1 popular color and 2 useless colors and offer those in a mini pack with a completely useless mini Rapid Dry. China Glaze is the only company I can think of that is offering entire collections in mini form. I love this concept because I like to own entire collections but without mini packs, doing so is restrictively expensive. Well played China Glaze, well played.

China Glaze Atelier Tulle was my absolute favorite from this collection. The application was -*PERFECT*-, on par with Rescue Beauty Lounge’s formula. Recently I’ve been wearing a lot of really difficult to apply polish so I had forgotten what applying a really excellent polish is like – it’s fun instead of frustrating. I also really love *LOVE* the color, the image simply does not do it justice. It’s been a really long time since I’ve worn a color that made me just stare down at my nails constantly in awe. I also felt like it was work appropriate even though I would not consider it to be a traditionally professional looking color. Great, just great.

China Glaze Designer Satin is my second favorite from this collection. Such a deep dramatic dark fuchsia – same amazing application as Atelier Tulle.

China Glaze Heirloom Organza is really unique. It’s sort of a dimmed grayed-out brown. It took 3 coats and was moderately hard to apply, but the final product made it worth it.

China Glaze Mom’s Chiffon is probably the most accessible color in this collection. Excellent application.

China Glaze Second-Hand Silk actually caused a bit of a stir online. The promotional images made this color look like a grayed out lilac so a lot of people were really disappointed to find that it’s actually a barbie pink. I had a tough time with the application. It wasn’t streaky but the formula was too watery so I got a lot of cuticle drag. A third coat evened everything out.

Finally, China Glaze Vintage Crepe. This is a muted orange. Like the others, excellent application.

Special thanks to China Glaze.