August 25, 2008

Fall Blitzkrieg: China Glaze Operation Colour

Posted in China Glaze, Creme, Pink, Purples & Lilacs, Red, Shimmer, Yellow tagged at 6:40 pm by pretear

Please read the bold disclaimers under Agent Lavender & Secret Peri-wink-le.

China Glaze has really gone above and beyond this Fall – all three of their new collections are mostly composed of what I consider to be unique colors. Operation Colour is particularly special because these colors are not typically reminiscent of Fall. It’s like China Glaze is saying, hey, you don’t have to spend the entire fall in muted, dark colors – extend the summer just a bit (which to me, as a Floridian, makes perfect sense). Rumor has it that this collection will be available online in about a week or so.

I know I say this in just about every post and sadly I will have to continue to do so until I’m no longer an impoverished student that cannot afford a better camera: this color is not blue in real life, China Glaze Agent Lavender is very visibly a light lavender. The consistency of the polish reminded me of China Glaze Second-hand Silk – it’s a chalky 3 coater. My bottle was a bit on the thick side but I don’t think that is going to be representative of the polish as a rule. Every blog that has covered China Glaze this season has complained about application issues, always in reference to different colors. If you happen to unluckily chance upon a thick bottle of polish, from any brand, a few drops of generic nail polish thinner will do the trick – do not use nail polish remover for this purpose. (In real life Agent Lavender is much lighter than it appears in this photo, I’m really sorry guys I know how annoying this is – swatches are supposed to be accurate.)

China Glaze Code Orange is pumpkin with pinkish shimmer. The shimmer is very obvious outdoors although not as pink as it looks in the bottle. In doors, not surprisingly, it looks like a creme. The color is a slightly darker orange than it appears in the image above. There were no application issues with this color – I think it looks better with 3 coats but it’s definitely wearable at 2.

China Glaze Golden Opportunity is a shimmery mustard yellow. I had some major cuticle drag with this color, but it’s workable at 3 coats.

China Glaze Pink Underground is a Barbie pink laced with magenta toned shimmer. It, too, was chalky and a bit on the thick side. The base color is 2 or 3 shades darker than China Glaze Second-hand Silk.

China Glaze Revolution is an ultra glossy bright orangey-red. It had the best application of the bunch, easy, smooth, perfect in 2 coats. No matter how often I see them, I never ever *ever* get tired of these bright reds. Gorgeous.

And finally, China Glaze Secret Peri-wink-le. Geez. I’m almost ashamed to post this picture – unlike my depiction of this color, it is not blue at all, it actually is periwinkle. This is the standout color from the collection as far as I’m concerned. I absolutely love out of the ordinary colors with a creme finish. To me the absence of shimmer is synonymous with chic sophistication, no offense to shimmer lovers. For as long as I can remember unique colors are almost always also shimmery. It happens so often that I associate shimmer with commonness. Don’t get me wrong. I wear shimmers, most of the time begrudgingly. I mean, I don’t hate them per se. I just prefer cremes and it’s just great to see some variation in finish choice. (In real life Secret Peri-wink-le is lighter and not as bright blue as it appears in this photo, again I am SO sorry, this really is unacceptable but despite trying different settings, my camera always takes inaccurate images when it comes to blues and purples. The best I can do for now is try to accurately describe these for you.)

Special thanks to China Glaze.

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July 24, 2008

Rescue Beauty Lounge Spongebob Pre-Fall Collection Swatches

Posted in Blue, Coral, Creme, Jelly, Rescue Beauty Lounge, Yellow tagged at 11:48 pm by pretear

Ji Baek did it again. I am not a fan of creme sheers and I am completely and totally taken with this collection. Of course, I expected nothing less than perfection from Rescue Beauty Lounge – Ji and company consistently design colors that are in a league all of their own. Ji conjured up the Spongebob Squarepants Collection after hearing that Marc Jacobs drew inspiration for his collections from the popular children’s TV show. I love that these delicate sophisticated colors were designed based on a TV show, the silliness of which is rivaled only by Ren & Stimpy.

If delicate isn’t your thing, Ji says these colors look positively amazing layered over Rescue Beauty Lounge Underwear, the brightest white on the market. The brightness of Underwear gives these sheer colors a back-lit effect. As soon as I get my hands on Underwear, I’ll hook you guys up with swatches. Until then, enjoy these polishes in their unadulterated form.

These swatches are 4 coats each, taken in artificial light. I prefer sunlight images but I got home too late from work and I just had to show these to the world tonight. Despite having been taken in artificial light, these swatches are true and accurate depictions of these colors. It goes without saying at this point that the application of these polishes was perfect, not a streak insight.

If my addiction to nail polish could be expressed in one color, Rescue Beauty Lounge Bikini Bottom would be that color. At first glance this blue looks dupish to Color Club Blue Light and China Glaze For Audrey, both of which I also love. Sorry guys, no such luck. Bikini Bottom is a very light watery blue, almost jelly like in its delicate finish. For Audrey is a greener blue creme, not jelly at all. Blue Light is a brighter light blue, also creme, no jelly. The only downside to this color is that I don’t think it can be pulled off at 2 coats – that and, this color should have been named Squidward. : P

Most people think that yellow is a difficult color to wear, Rescue Beauty Lounge Square Pants will prove those people wrong. I think there is a commonly accepted notion that yellow tends to run the risk of looking a bit garish, but Square Pants is soft and delicate. It’s visibly yellow, not pastel, but it’s not shocking on the nail. This color was put on earth for people who want to try yellow but fear it might be ‘too much’. Perfect.

Spongebob may be the star of the TV show, but for most people, Rescue Beauty Lounge Starfish Patrick is the star of this collection. Described as “wispy peach coral”, it’s definitely the most accessible of the 3 colors. Bikini Bottom is my personal favorite, but my NOTD right now is Starfish Patrick, primarily because it’s subtle enough for work.

I did take some swatches of Square Pants and Starfish Patrick at 2 coats for those of you who are not sheer polish adverse.

As you can see, these colors are wearable and streak-free even at 2 coats.

Special thanks to Ji Baek and Rescue Beauty Lounge.

July 8, 2008

Hard-to-Find Week Pre-Party: Essie Barbuda Banana

Posted in Creme, Essie, Hard-to-Find, Pastel, Yellow tagged at 5:46 pm by pretear

Every once in a while I’ll see a color on someone else that will stir the addict inside me. Essie Barbuda Banana wasn’t that polish – it was actually Maybelline Banana Puddin’. I searched everywhere for it to no avail. Scalpers aren’t big on carrying discontinued drug store brand polishes, so it’s really tough to find these colors once they are off the initial market. I decided to settle for a dupe instead – that’s when I heard about Essie Barbuda Banana which also happens to be discontinued and hard-to-find, of course. I knew I would have more luck searching for this one since it’s a higher-end brand, and so I renewed my search for a pastel yellow.

Essie actually makes finding discontinueds fairly easy because they sell them on their website under Bye Buy Colors. You just have to let them know what you’re looking for and they’ll message you back if they have it. The catch, and of course – there is *always* a catch, is that Essie ups the retail price from $8 to $10 and charges you an arm for the shipping. Dejected, I turned to evilbay (from hereon – “the place that shall not be named”) where I found Essie Barbuda Banana for about 15 bucks shipped. Normally, I wouldn’t pay that much for a discontinued but I was really jonesing this color. The day after the auction ended someone put up an auction for Maybelline Banana Puddin’ at $3. D’oh.

Do I regret the purchase? No. The application, to put it plainly, sucks, this swatch is 4 hard-as-hell-to-apply coats. But what I can say, I love the color. I hear that Maybelline Banana Puddin’ has equally crappy application so it might just be a function of pastel yellow. This picture isn’t a very accurate depiction of the color, both Banana Puddin’ and Barbuda Banana are a slightly brighter, yet still pastel, yellow. If you don’t want to shell out the mad cash and you just can’t find Banana Puddin’ the easiest way to go about sticking it to the man is frankening your own. This is a really easy franken, you just need a yellow, take your pick there’s about 80 on the market right now (Color Club Yell-oh, Essie Shorty Pants, Zoya Creamy, Misa Hangin’ With the Girls, OPI the ‘It’ Color, OPI Need Sun Glasses, China Glaze Solar Power, Rescue Beauty Lounge Yellow Fever, NYC Taxi Cab and on and on and on) and a white (I would choose one from whatever brand your yellow of choice comes from.) You need roughly 2 parts yellow, 1 part white to end up a pastel yellow.

July 7, 2008

Hard To Find Week Pre-Party: Cover Girl Crackle Lacquer

Posted in Black & Charcoal, Hard-to-Find, Specialty Polishes, Yellow tagged at 8:31 pm by pretear

All next week is Hard-to-Find Week on the MUA nail board. In preparation for the festivities the girls, myself included, have been rummaging through stashes in order to find those elusive polishes we all love so much. So I decided that I’m going to dedicate the next few posts to my favorite hard-to-finds. To kick things off, I present to you, a flash back to the year 2000 – Cover Girl Crackle Lacquer.

These two are Halloween themed, Boo Hou and Jack-o-Lantern, but if my memory serves me, there was a full line of these. I think I remember owning a white one that I used to layer over black nail polish. Oh ho, my teenage self was *so* edgy. If I had it now, I would use it over gold polish to rip off the MAC Antiquitease mani.

Crackle actually has an interesting back story (here’s the original press release), apparently the person who invented it did so by accident while trying to invent something else- then tweaked the formula to be marketed as cracking nail polish. The patent is held under the title “Nail Enamel Composition Having Decorative Appearance”, which I find highly amusing.

This bottle of Crackle was given to me by MUA’s lovely lindyspendy. I almost died when I got it since I’d been hunting Crackles unsuccessfully for a long time. Seriously, opening that package was like opening Tutankhamun’s tomb. The formula has thinned out over the years. This bottle may very well be over 8 years old. You can’t really do multiple layers with Crackle so there’s no way to curb the thinness of the formula – but – I actually think it actually looks cool over black. The thinness gives it an eerie faded quality.

This bottle of Crackle is from evilbay. It was a bit pricey but not horrible, totally worth it. This bottle’s formula was too thick, also probably from age. However, it dried with excellent cracks, so I won’t complain. You guys will notice I only swatched 2 nails for each color whereas I usually do a full hand. That’s how special this polish is too me, I feel bad putting it on just to take it off!

May 4, 2008

OPI Mod About Brights Swatches

Posted in Blue, Creme, Green, OPI, Yellow tagged , , , , at 11:37 am by pretear

I want to be able to show you guys the whole OPI Mod About Brights collection but I decided against getting the entire collection. I think all the colors are worth owning. I just happen to have a lot of pinks and oranges so buying That’s Hot Pink, Brights Power, and Mod-ern Girl would be redundant for me. One of the girls on the nail board discovered that That’s Hot Pink is a dupe to Don’t Know… Beets Me, which I own. Scrangie has swatches of the colors that I’m not posting so check them out on her blog.

All these swatches are 3 coats of color. I tried to get bottle color in 2 coats, it’s really impossible. These colors aren’t jellies, but they are very translucent. Which is strange because they look really pigmented in the bottle. All these colors are extremely glossy even without top coat. The application was great on all of them, my only complaint is that there is something seriously wrong with the quality control of OPI’s brushes. Several people complained about the brushes from the Indian collection having loose, cracked, and uneven bristles. My bottle of The “It” Color had a slanted brush – What’s going on OPI?

The “It” Color is really unique, not exactly mustard but dirtier than true yellow. This color is special. It seems so high fashion to me, I feel it isn’t meant for day to day wear.

I didn’t love Green-wich Village when I first tried it, but it grew on me after wearing it for a few days. It might be dupish to Carolyn New York Greenwich Avenue, I’ll do a comparison soon.

Dating A Royal is my favorite from this collection. Seriously beautiful – if you love blues you *need* this color.