July 21, 2008

Alternatives to Chanel Kaleidoscope

Posted in Adoree, Comparison Swatches, Essie, Ghetto Fabulous, Gold, Green, Metallics, Milani, Silver, Trends tagged at 8:28 pm by pretear

Like I said before, I usually don’t buy Chanel nail polish *but* Chanel Kaleidoscope was so beautiful and unique, I just had to have it. The minute I saw a swatch of it taken by MUA’s Mrs_Brightside, I called Nordstrom and put a bottle on hold. That was incredibly out of character for me but it was totally and completely worth it. Even though I can honestly say that I love Kaleidoscope, I want to show you guys some possible alternatives to it. With the economy the way that it is right now, a luxury item like a 20 dollar bottle of nail polish, is probably not the most prudent way to spend money. Of course, some colors are must-have, recession or not, but if you can settle from something less extravagant, why not do so? (I’m a hypocrite, I know.)

First, here she is (are bottles of nail polish female? hmm) in all her glory:

*Heavy Sigh* In the sunlight, Kaleidoscope shimmers with ultra bling. Indoors and in the shade, it’s more of a subtle mirrored greenish platinum color. It’s beautiful but I have no idea why it’s called Kaleidoscope, neither does Scrangie. If the other shade is Gold Fiction, why not call this one Platinum Drama.

Essie Steel-ing the Scene is the closest thing to Kaleidoscope in my stash. These are actually fairly close color siblings. The main difference is that Kaleidoscope has the greenish tone and a lot more shimmer. However, if you really want to follow this trend but don’t want to blow the cash, Essie Steel-ing the Scene is a great alternative.

Here is Kaleidoscope and Steel-ing the Scene side by side. Despite several attempts, I couldn’t get the image to show the differences between these colors. I blame the inferior camera. While these colors are very close they really don’t look as similar in real life as they look in the image. Steel-ing the Scene has a smoother finish, less bling, less shimmer and is less mirrored.

AdorĂ©e Rockport Gray doesn’t have a mirrored finish. It’s a pseudo-metallic light silverish gray with some mossy shimmer throughout. Rockport Gray is not a dupe but it’s a pretty good alternative, especially for people who don’t want to go full out metallic. This is my NOTD right now, it’s subtle enough that I was able to get away with it at work. The application and wear is excellent.

I first lemminged Milani Key Lime Shine when I saw it on FiveZero. The polish doesn’t show the brush strokes, the lines on the surface are actually my nail ridges. If I did this as an actual mani, which I will soon, I would use Camo as a base to eliminate that issue. Key Lime Shine is a highly mirrored metallic light lime green. This is the only one of the colors exhibited here that is available at drug stores, although it is rumored to be hard-to-find.


July 12, 2008

Swatches of My Zoya Promo Picks

Posted in Metallics, Pink, Purples & Lilacs, Zoya tagged at 3:46 pm by pretear

I was pretty excited when Zoya announced this promo. I really put a lot of thought into which colors I would choose. Primarily I wanted to choose colors that I personally liked but also had good application and weren’t very popular. I didn’t want to choose colors I know a lot of people already own since that would defeat the purpose of getting a free bottle of polish. So here they are:

Zoya Stephanie. Ok, I do love this color, but let’s face it, I’m biased because it’s my namesake. It’s a very chic almost white light pink. The downside is that the application can be troublesome. It’s a 4 coater if you want opacity. I apply it using Barielle Camo as a base, that fixed the streakiness issues for me.

Zoya Miley. Those of you who follow my blog know that lilac is one of my white whales, so I just had to include it in my mini-collection. Miley is also a 4 coater but the application is perfect even without Camo. It reminds me of my beloved Orly Bon bon, although I think Bon bon leans a bit more towards periwinkle. This picture shows Miley as being more bluish than it is in real life – sorry guys, I tried to get the color depiction as accurate as I could but it’s almost impossible to photograph purples accurately without sunlight.

Zoya Rea is just ridiculously gorgeous. Rea is metallic with a foil like finish. Perfect in two coats, smooth application, no visible brush strokes. It was my favorite color from the Downtown collection by far. (Sorry, Kotori and Suvi fans.) The color is hard to describe, Zoya says it’s sparkling metallic plum – I’d say pinkish-purple. Whatever, bottomline, I love it.

I realize my colors are a bit conservative so if you’re looking for something more exciting, check out Casual Lavish for a list of all the blogs participating in this promotion. There really is a mini-collection for everyone.

July 1, 2008

Alternatives to Chanel Gold Fiction

Posted in Ghetto Fabulous, Gold, Metallics, OPI tagged at 6:35 pm by pretear

So I think it’s pretty obvious to everyone that the new big thing in nail polish is going to be the resurgence of metallics, golds, and silvers. For those of us who are prudent spenders and didn’t miss the trend the first time around, it might just mean digging a little deeper into our stashes. For the rest of us addicts, it probably means a lot of splurging next season. At least I know my own low-buy/no-buy tanked hardcore when I had a major lapse in judgment that resulted in the purchase Chanel Kaleidoscope (swatches soon to come). I rarely buy big ticket polishes. In fact, I only buy expensive polishes if the color is really really really really I-can’t-get-it-any-where-else-on-earth unique. To me, Chanel Kaleidoscope was unique enough to be worth 20 bucks.

Chanel Gold Fiction, however, not so much. Seriously – it’s just gold nail polish. Every single brand of nail polish on earth carries several gold polishes. Of course, I’m saying this without having seen it on my own nails, but based on the pictures I’ve seen and the limited flirting I did with it at the Chanel counter, I fail to see the justification for the exorbitant 30 bone price tag. I feel like Chanel is probably just testing the waters for the marketability of merchandise with artificially inflated prices. After all, Chanel is already notorious for creating artificial demand by making just about all their polishes limited edition.

In any case, I’m definitely not telling anyone not to buy it. Sometimes when you really want a polish, you just need to buckle and get it because there is danger in trying to find duplicates of expensive colors. It’s possible that ultimately you might end up spending more money trying to find the perfect cheap dupe than you would have spent had you just purchased the expensive polish you wanted to begin with. It’s a double edged sword, ladies, so take my advice with a grain of salt.

*But* in order to humor myself, here is my attempt to stick it to the man: my favorite golds from OPI’s Christmas past. These probably aren’t the best alternatives because both of these are discontinued but it is still possible to pick these up for reasonable prices, definitely a lot more reasonable than thirty dollars.

OPI I Get a Kick Out of Gold is just stunning, period. It has a foil-like quality to it with no visible brush strokes. I’d say it’s a bit more muted than a true gold. This swatch is 2 coats. If you can’t find this polish, try Lippmann Nefertiti.

This swatch is also 2 coats. I don’t have a side by side comparison but OPI Symphony in Gold looks pretty darn close to Chanel Gold Fiction, definitely 20 dollar price tag difference close. This is more of a yellow gold than a true gold but the brush strokes are nearly invisible. It’s also pretty darn stunning.