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.

August 12, 2008

Lippmann Pump Up the Jam vs. OPI Lincoln Park At Midnight

Posted in Comparison Swatches, Lippmann Collection, OPI, Purples & Lilacs, Shimmer tagged at 11:27 pm by pretear

First, I thought I would make it easier for everyone and just have one page with links to all the fall collections that I’ve posted so far. So I’ve added a page, Swatches of the Fall 2008 Collections, for ease of access to these swatches. Right now I only have my own posts linked but I want to link to other blogs that have covered fall collections as well. If you have collections you want featured on that page, let me know and I’ll add your links.

I recently posted the Lippmann Fall Collection, in the post I promised you guys a sunlight image of Pump Up the Jam. Some of you requested a comparison of Lippmann Pump Up the Jam and OPI Lincoln Park After Midnight, so here’s the whole shebang:

I was actually surprised to find that in the sunlight Lippmann Pump Up the Jam’s shimmer leans more toward reddish violet – it’s definitely a lot dark indoors. I’m not sure why I’m surprised by that, every shimmer ever works exactly the same way. “Whoa, Bam” outdoors, “Oh that’s nice” indoors.

I might be alone here but I think that Lippmann Pump Up the Jam looks *nothing* like OPI Lincoln Park At Midnight. PUtJ has a darker base color, almost black, unlike LPAM, which has a visibly purple base color. Even the shimmer is different as you can see above, as I said before, PUtJ has an aubergine shimmer to it. The only thing similar about them is that they are both dark colors that incorporate shimmery purple. In my opinion, both are definitely different enough to justify owning both, especially if shimmery purplish vampies are your thing.

July 28, 2008

Confessions of a Polish Addict: Sometimes My Application Sucks

Posted in Creme, OPI, Red tagged , at 11:01 pm by pretear

Oh the horror (… dun… dun… dunnnnn). This was my 2nd or 3rd mani after the Tragic Nail Breaking Incident of 2008. I decided to revisit it today because, well, my index nail broke again. I’ve dubbed this break the “Tragic Nail Breaking During Swatching Incident of 2008”, the whole sordid tale will be disclosed at a later date. In any case, I began waxing poetic about the deeper meaning behind a broken tip. It’s like the time I fell off the treadmill at the gym and had an existential crisis, there are existential implications here too. My nails break, therefore I am? Descartes just turned in his grave, I’m sure.

I never posted this swatch because I really fudged the application and I was so defeated by the break that I just didn’t have the strength of will to clean it up. So, that’s my big secret, sometimes I just paint my nails however and wash off the excess in the shower. In fact, the only time I ever do real clean up with a little orange wood stick, remover, and cotton, is when I’m swatching for you guys. For regular manis, if I mess it up, which I do sometimes, I just let it ride.


July 10, 2008

Hard-to-Find Week Pre-Party: Black Tie Optional

Posted in Duo/Multichrome, Hard-to-Find, OPI tagged at 5:49 pm by pretear

OPI Black Tie Optional, a deep purple beetle multichrome from the 2001 World Collection, is one of the classic hard-to-find polishes.

I lemminged this one forever until I finally decided to just splurge and get one on ebay. I’ve noticed that some bottles of OPI Black Tie Optional have more of the multichrome beetle effect than others. Mine is a dud *sigh*. The beetle effect is there but it’s very subtle so I couldn’t get a very good picture of it. The non-dud bottles flash gorgeous amber, green, and red.

July 2, 2008

America, %*@& Yeah!

Posted in Blue, Color Club, Creme, Glitter, Nail Art, OPI, Red, Rescue Beauty Lounge, White tagged at 7:23 pm by pretear

This is my attempt at a patriotic mani for the 4th of July. I used the following: OPI The Thrill of Brazil (and believe me, the irony is not lost on me), Rescue Beauty Lounge Dead Calm, Art Club by Color Club White and Silver Glitter, both of which are available individually or in the Art Club Bridal Kit.

I was torn over whether to use Silver Glitter or the tiny little silver crystals that come in the Bridal Kit. I ultimately decided to just wing it with the glitter. I’m a major newb at nail art so I have to say – for a first attempt, I’m really pleased with the results.

First let me say, I am so sorry about the sub-par application and lighting, again. I’ll be back to my usual application and lighting soon, I promise I’ll get it together. Second, OPI The Thrill of Brazil is one of my favorite reds, EVER. It applies like butter. Opaque in one coat, perfect in two – this red shines like there is no tomorrow. Simply, gorgeous. For the blue, I used Rescue Beauty Lounge Dead Calm. It was great for this mani because it, too, is opaque in one coat. I was able to use just one brush stroke for the blue behind the stars. Click here for a swatch of Rescue Beauty Lounge Dead Calm.

Finally, Art Club by Color Club – amazing. I’ve had the Bridal Kit and the Carnaval Kit for a while now but I’ve been stuck in professional-mani purgatory since the beginning of the summer so I haven’t been able to try them out until today. And WOW, I love these nail art polishes. The super long ultra fine brush is incredibly easy to use. The kits in general are pretty great. They come with 4 or so nail art polishes in assorted colors or glitters, decals, beads, stones, and other cute little accents.

To celebrate my nail freedom in exactly one month, I’m planning on breaking out all my accumulated nail art products. Seriously, I’ve been stock piling nail art supplies for a few months now in anticipation of a ridiculously elaborate nail art week on The Polish Addict, so if you’re secretly into the kitsch, like me, stay tuned.

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.

June 10, 2008

Upcoming OPI Collection Promo Pics (Holiday in Toyland, Halloween, France Collection)

Posted in OPI tagged , , at 7:29 pm by pretear

I know all the other polish blogs have already done this post. : ( I went fishing in the land that time forgot (no wifi or net) with the old boy this weekend and missed all the excitement but here’s my take on it anyway.

(full size image)

Pretty standard Halloween collection for OPI. I’ll probably pass on this one since previous years have had non-functioning glow-in-the-dark polishes. The red, black, and orange are pretty run of the mill. Halloween is the best holiday EVER. C’mon with the halloweeny creativity OPI. : \

(full size image)

Hmmm… not impressed by the France Collection. This really looks like more of the same: some boring pinks/reds and some almost-blacks. Although, I admit, it’s really hard to tell whether a collection will be good or not just from the promotional images. The plums look slightly promising. I’ll reserve judgment for when I see these in person.

(Full size image)

I’m very excited for the Holiday in Toyland Collection. There is a pale grey, a dark silver, a shimmery charcoal, and a blue (always, always, a plus). OPI is still giving us about a half million reds but since the collection is presumably toting at least 4 unique colors, I won’t complain.

(Of course, I’ll probably just admire these from afar because I’m on a serious no-buy since pop-dukes lost his job.)

Thanks to kschmiddy for letting me steal these pictures. : )

June 3, 2008

Light Orange Comparison Swatches

Posted in Comparison Swatches, Creme, OPI, Orange, Orly at 4:46 pm by pretear

Orly Crush on You (2 coats) is my favorite here only because the application was so much easier in Comparison with OPI Osaka-to-me Orange (4 coats) and OPI Tangerine Scene (3 coats). Both OPIs gave me horrendous cuticle drag but with Osaka-to-me Orange, the amount of drag was almost irreparable. Color-wise Tangerine Scene is the standout. I consider L.A. Girl Flare Glowing to be a very light orange, but I decided to exclude it from this comparison in favor of comparing it to yellows sometime in the future.

Now that you guys have seen my orange stash, what are your favorite oranges? Do some of you still feel like orange is a no-go color despite the recent orange trend?

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 12, 2008

OPI Time-Less is More: The *Perfect* Off-white

Posted in Creme, OPI, White tagged , at 6:38 pm by pretear

I have been endlessly searching for a perfect wearable off-white. Most are unacceptable to me because the colors are either too streaky, too white, or too off-white leaning towards pink. After a lot of searching and a lot of duds, I finally found the perfect off-white: OPI Time-Less is More from the Beyond Chic, 2008’s Soft Shades Collection. I was pretty excited about Beyond Chic before it came out, even though no one else seemed to be into the collection. In an effort to be less extravagant in my polish purchases, I successfully talked myself out of getting the whole collection. I own a lot of soft pinks and one of the lovely girls on MUA RAOK’d me a white with gold shimmer, thereby negating my need for the 2 white with gold shimmer polishes from Chic Shades. But, in a moment of weakness, I finally gave in for Time-less is More. I’m really glad I did. My only complaint is that it took 3 to 4 coats to achieve bottle color, but that’s to be expected with colors like this. I didn’t have much streakiness trouble with Barielle Camo as a base. Scrangie has pictures of the whole collection up on her blog (as usual), so check it out over there. Thanks to her, I now officially want the whole collection again – too bad I’m on a major-hardcore-for-real-no-breaking-this-time-no-buy.

In other news, I wrote a mini-dictionary for the site, the Lacquer Lexicon. If you ever find that you have no clue what I’m talking about shoot me an email or comment so I can clarify in the Lexicon. Additionally, I’m starting a serial segment where I answer nail polish related questions. If you guys ever need any advice about anything nail related let me know, If I don’t know the answer, I’ll find it out for you, also feel free to send me pictures of unidentified polishes or color comparison requests. I’m going to get to the questions and requests I’ve gotten recently very soon, scout’s honor! : )

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