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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May 15, 2008

Essie Body Language vs. OPI Moon Over Mumbai

Posted in Creme, Essie, Gray, Mushroomy Colors, OPI tagged , , , at 6:06 pm by pretear

These colors belong to collections (OPI Indian Collection and Essie In the Mood Collection, respectively) that came out roughly at the same time. Since these colors were among the first light grays on the easily accessible market, they are often compared to each other. As I told you guys before, I’ve been working at the State Attorney’s Office so I’ve been dipping into my professional-looking nail polish colors. However, we were discussing here last week whether gray nail polish can be acceptable in a professional environment – I decided to test my hypothesis. I wore Body Language today to court. First, no one cared about my nail polish, which is in no way surprising and completely expected. Second, Body Language looks NOTHING like OPI Moon Over Mumbai. Essie Body Language looks more like a creme grayed-out ultra light pink, almost like what I would expect Rescue Beauty Lounge Grunge to look like. OPI Moon Over Mumbai is a true light gray with very subtle shimmer, dupish to Essie Great Expectations which is also from the In The Mood Collection. I had a tough time with the application of both polishes, so one isn’t superior to the other in that aspect. Moon Over Mumbai is ultra streaky. My bottle of Body Language was really thick so it was difficult to even out coats. (Yes, I know, I should thin it, but I’m still a little scared of thinners.) This image is a good representation of what the color looks like even though it was taken in the shade. Sadly, I’m getting home from work too late to take day time pics – I promise, I’m working on it.

Below is Moon Over Mumbai and Body Language juxtaposed. The images were taken in different lighting at different times but both are accurate depictions of the colors.

Finally, here are the two bottles.

May 9, 2008

Can Grey Nail Polish Be Appropriate for Work?

Posted in Creme, Gray, OPI tagged at 5:36 pm by pretear

As always, I think this depends on what kind of job you have and how flexible towards fashion your job happens to be. Another consideration is whether a color is socially acceptable. I suppose, when it comes to professional-looking nail polish, there are two schools of thought. The first, I call the Essie school. The Essie school of thought holds that only nude, natural, neutral, or light pink is appropriate for work. The other, Vampy School holds that darks are also fine for work as long as the colors are not overly outrageous (dark browns, reds, plums would be ok whereas bright purple or black would not be) and the mani is clean and professional looking. For the most part, I belong to the Vampy school. Even so, I think grey is a new enough color trend that it might still strike some people as being bizarre. I’ve heard a lot of people compare it to having corpse-like nails, etc. I probably wouldn’t wear any of the dark greys to work. However, light greys like OPI Moon Over Mumbai (pictured to the left) or the similar Essie Body Language are very professional and sleek looking. Both should be acceptable for most work environments.

What do you guys think? Is grey a go or no go at work?

(As a side note: It’s sad but starting next week, because of my internship, I’ll be wearing very conservative polishes for the rest of summer, weekends excluded. So Expect to see a lot of work related nail polish articles and comparisons of work friendly colors. T_T Boooo.)

May 7, 2008

ManGlaze Matte Nail Polish Swatches

Posted in Black & Charcoal, Gray, Matte tagged at 9:10 pm by pretear

The first time I saw the ManGlaze guy post on the nail board, the boyfriend pointed out that ‘ManGlaze’ is a euphemism for man spunk. I said, “no way, it’s just a play on China Glaze”… then I saw the ManGlaze website. Go ahead, click the link, then put your mouse on the yellow image. After seeing that advertisement, there wasn’t a doubt in my mind about the meaning behind the name ManGlaze. I know it’s probably not obvious since this is a blog about nail polish but I am a hardcore militant fundamentalist feminist. It goes without saying that that sort of imagery is offensive to me, and that’s what I told the ManGlaze guy in his post. But then he offered me free nail polish. After which I said, “feminism?… what feminism?” (Sorry girls, I have zero integrity when it comes to free nail polish.)

These swatches are two coats of color with no top coat. Usually, it would be blasphemy to not use a top coat. I made an exception this time because the ManGlaze guy BEGGED me not to put top coat on his polish. ManGlaze’s whole angle is “glossy has been canceled.” Their polish is supposed to gritty, matte… those things, I suppose, are thought to be synonymous with manliness… or something. Anyway, originally I was going to stick it to them by putting a million coats of top coat on but their polish, but I decided against it. I love this polish now, but my blue-haired 16 year-old self would have *really* loved this polish. The polish really is pretty awesome without a shiny top coat.

However – the girls on the board that have ManGlaze have been putting top coat on it. It looks amazing. Both ManGlaze Black and Grey have this ultra subtle multicolored micro-shimmer that can’t really be seen when it dries matte. One coat of top coat brings out all that hidden shimmer and it’s really very stunning.

ManGlaze Black reminds me black asphalt and black electronics casing. Take a look at Scrangie’s comparison pic of it. With top coat on, it kind of reminds me of the way the sky looks when you are out in the middle of no where.

This is my NOTD. I really love it. I’m wearing it as is, matte, all day. Tomorrow, I think I’ll slap some top coat on it. (Sorry – ManGlaze guy.)

ManGlaze should name these colors (every other aspect of their marketing is geared towards disgruntled male youth, the price is $6.66, the name, the ads, why not have a matching ‘edgy’ name for the colors? I’m thinking something like Rubber, Asphalt, or Coal for the black and something like Steel or Grit for the Grey.) ManGlaze should also release a matte top coat – like I said, not using a top coat is taboo. Also, they should put out a matte dark blue and blood red… oh man… I would LOVE that.

April 28, 2008

Rescue Beauty Lounge Pic Spam… I Mean Swatches

Posted in Blue, Creme, Gray, Green, Purples & Lilacs, Rescue Beauty Lounge tagged , at 8:28 am by pretear

I hate to say this because I think the idea of an 18 dollar nail polish is absolutely ridiculous, but I’m a fan of Rescue Beauty Lounge. Their application and wear is amazing but more importantly, at least to me, they have really unique colors. I’m not a shimmer girl. In a world where most unique colors have shimmer, finding unique cremes is an almost impossible task… then I found Rescue Beauty Lounge and to this day my wallet and bank account quietly sob in unison.

First, the *MOST* prized of the Rescue Beauty Bunch:

Rescue Beauty Lounge – Recycle

Ooooh, I obsessed over whether to buy this one or not for weeks. I was still recovering from the psychological trauma of having neglected to buy Zulu, so I said to hell with being frugal and took the plunge. I felt really guilty about it for a while because it was so expensive ($18 + Ridiculous Shipping Charges = Guilt). I got over it, I just loved the color so much. It’s the perfect true green. Recycle was the gateway that facilitated my future RBL purchases.

My second Rescue Beauty Lounge splurge was for Dead Calm:

I wanted a true blue creme so badly. My first brush with blue cremes was Lippmann Rehab. It’s a great polish, the only problem is that it has a jelly finish and requires 4 coats to achieve a pretty navy color. It also took forever to dry, sometimes it didn’t dry at all. I would end up with horrendous sheet marks (back then I had yet to discover the gloriousness that is Seche Vite Fast Dry Top Coat). Dead Calm is opaque in one coat, amazing wear and application. It’s also really unique, not quite like anything else on the market. So at least for me, Dead Calm was definitely worth the money. As a side note, ‘Dead Calm’ is an awesome name for a polish.

I got Purple Haze, Stormy, and Concrete Jungle all in one haul – the day I lost my mind.

Purple Haze is a beautiful color but I didn’t love it on myself. Again, it is undoubtedly a unique color. As you can see from my purple comparison swatches there is nothing else quite like it in my collection.

I mauled over getting Stormy and Concrete Jungle for a long time.

Rescue Beauty Lounge Stormy is probably not worth the money unless you really really *really* want it. I developed my obsession for this polish back when no other company had a gray polish on the market. That’s not the case anymore, every brand has their own version of a chic gray. If you want to go gray without denting your funds try OPI Moon Over Mumbai, Essie Body Language, Carolyn New York Handball Courts or Hangin’ on the Stoop, China Glaze Recycle or frankening your own gray instead. If, in the end, you are so inclined to spend the money, rest assured it’s an excellent polish.

Finally, Rescue Beauty Lounge Concrete Jungle:

This is my current NOTD. It’s a great color. I had a little trouble with the application when I used Barielle Nail Camouflage. For some reason, it made the polish really thick and difficult to apply. I switched to a non-ridge filling base coat and the application problems disappeared. Like with Stormy, Concrete Jungle, color-wise, is probably not worth the cold hard cash.

My nail polish philosophy is that expensive brands are only worth it if either a.) the color is really unique and there is nothing else anywhere that is like it, or b.) you just can’t help yourself and splurging will make you happy. You won’t see me buying a pink or a red from Chanel or RBL. Do you guys feel the same way? What’s your philosophy on expensive polish?

*Disclaimer* The Polish Addict is in not liable for any lemmings this post may have created.

April 20, 2008

Gray Comparison Swatches

Posted in Comparison Swatches, Creme, Gray, Rescue Beauty Lounge tagged , , , , , , , , at 9:07 pm by pretear


I haven’t worn China Glaze – Recycle yet, but the wear can’t possibly be as awesome as the wear time I had with Rescue Beauty Lounge – Stormy. Today was the 6th day wearing it with no chips, hardly any tip wear. It was almost kind of creepy in a weird voodoo undead nail polish kind of way. I just couldn’t take it anymore, I had to change my color. Although, I was tempted to leave it on just to see how long it would take to chip. I know most people would be really thrilled with 6+ days of perfect wear. Normally, I would be too but I’m trying to plow through my untrieds, a daunting task.

This image was taken without top coat. China Glaze – Recycle is glossy. I think the secret to the wear on Rescue Beauty Lounge – Stormy is the non-glossy formula. The application of China Glaze looks like a traditional polish while Rescue Beauty Lounge looks as if you are coating your nail with powder or pigment. That’s the only explanation I can come up with for the voodoo wear exhibited by Stormy. I should add, I have a lot of nail ridges, RBL has a tendency to show nail imperfections when applied without a ridge-filler. However, it’s not too bad with a base coat, two coats, and a top coat.

As far as the color, the picture is very accurate – Stormy and Recycle aren’t exactly the same but really it’s close enough…. well it’s close enough for the 16 dollar price tag difference. The normal, non-nail polish-obsessed eye probably wouldn’t notice the difference in the color anyway. I’m not going to tell anyone not to buy it because I, too, lost all sanity and took the RBL plunge. Fifty-four dollars later, I’m in no position to tell others what to do with their money. However, I think that unless you REALLY have this uncontrollable urge to spend 18 dollars on one bottle of nail polish – skip Rescue Beauty Lounge’s grays, and just get Recycle.

The other option is to franken your own gray. I frankened my own grays before I got these 3 colors. I did it because I saw Concrete Jungle and Stormy before the height of my addiction, back when I thought it was absolutely ridiculous to spend 18 dollars on a bottle of nail polish (that was before Rescue Beauty Lounge set up their Amazon store so in addition to the exorbitant price tag, they gouged you on shipping too.) The great irony was that I loved my frankens, so much so that I thought I would love these manufactured ones more, but I don’t. I actually like my versions a little better.

This franken is about 3/4s OPI – Black Onyx and 1/4 OPI – Apline Snow. (I named it Steel Angel after my other fanatical hobby, anime.) Really easy to make, this method has the additional benefit of allowing you to tweak the color to compliment your skin tone. Gray is a difficult color to wear, it’s definitely not one size fits all. Compare my Franken to the image of Stormy next to it – it’s pretty similar and a hell of a lot cheaper.

Also I should mention, Carolyn New York sells two grays (Handball Courts and Hanin’ on the Stoop) that a lot of girls on MUA believe are dupish to the two RBLs. I don’t have them but it’s definitely worth looking into if you absolutely don’t want to Franken or shell out the mad cash.