August 20, 2008
After my Essie Starry Starry Night post many of you suggested in the comments section that I should try out Nubar Purple Rain Glitter since it’s the purple more blingy cousin of SSN. Purple Rain Glitter, a recent acquisition along with several other unique Nubars, was freshly sitting in my “untried box”. These are the last few days that I’ll be able to wear blingy nail polish for a very long time so I decided to give it a whirl. Man. I. Love. It.
My love for Purple Rain Glitter is no shocker. Ever since seeing Nubar on the lovely girls on MUA and most recently featured on Sminkan, One Inch Nails, and Scrangie, I have been harboring crazy jump off the cliff lemmings for their polish. Scrangie’s blog is the origin of my specific lemming for Purple Rain Glitter. It’s a deep purple jelly with holographic glitter. Enough said.
The color is more violet-purple in real life than in my image, as usual. Purple Rain Glitter reminded me of the ink from an exploded blue bic pen. It’s extremely unique, I don’t own anything else even remotely similar to it. I’m really glad you guys coaxed me into trying it, or else who knows how long this beauty would have gone untried since I seem to habitually neglect awesome polish.
With all that said, this manicure was my first time using a Nubar polish. I’m very pleased with the results. I used 1 coat of Nubar Foundation Base Coat, 3 coats of Nubar Purple Rain Glitter, and 1 coat of Seche Vite. I got pretty good wear even though I did get some tip pull. My bottle of Seche is too blame, it’s reaching the dump out stage of thickness that causes tip pull. I was very pleased with the application, which is surprising because Nubar is Big 3 free. They bill themselves as ‘the healthy alternative for beautiful nails.’
I could not possibly care less about buying nail polish that is free of toxins. I like my toxins just fine, thank you very much, but I know some people really do care. Nubar is a good company to look into if you want to exclusively buy Big 3 Free. The one thing that really sold me, personally, on Nubar is that their collection has an excellent range of unique colors. We’re talking glitters, duochromes, and mutlichromes – you guys know how I feel about those. Their site is a little difficult to navigate but if you poke around you’ll see what I’m talking about.
August 19, 2008
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 18, 2008
There’s been a lot of discussion surrounding the differences between my swatches of the Essie 2008 Collection and Scrangie’s swatches. The differences can be attributed to discrepancies between the colors we each received.
Both of these bottles are labeled Essie Lacy Not Racy – as you can see the colors are completely different. Girls on MUA have reported seeing both shades in stores. Two colors existing under one name actually occurs fairly often, as does one color existing under different names. I’m *still* angry that my bottle of OPI Bubble Bath is pink, instead of off-white. I’m still hunting for the off-white Bubble Bath. *sigh*
The difference between the two Essie No Boundaries is amazing. These colors aren’t even in the same color family. People overwhelming prefer the darker plum version of No Boundaries to the pink version, that shouldn’t be shocking to anyone. According to Essie, the pink version is the official version of No Boundaries. The plum version was a pre-release sample color sent to salons and the press, it’s not the official version. Strangely, the Essie Website exhibits the two versions of No Boundaries, one on the main seasonal collection page, the other on the ‘shop now’ page. Not to hate on Essie but the decision to release the pink version as the official color seems to indicate, at least to me, that Essie isn’t too familiar with their consumer base. I haven’t spoken to one person that prefers the pink version to the plum version. As soon as I was made aware of the difference, I immediately knew that most people would prefer the plum version. I think Essie should consider releasing the plum version, perhaps under the different name.
August 17, 2008
As I said in the previous post, I like simple red or vampy cremes – they’re classy, sophisticated, and almost always appropriate for any occasion. No, they aren’t unique, and yes, we’ve seen these colors before but as far as I’m concerned polish companies can continue to make as many vampies as they want with no criticism from me. I suppose the problem is most people, Scrangie for example, don’t feel the same way, which is why Zoya Vibe hasn’t gotten as much love as its shimmery sister collection Pulse. I prefer Vibe over Pulse a million times over, but I think might just be the only person on earth that feels that way. I didn’t have any application issues with Vibe, except where noted. Almost all these colors applied perfectly with 2 coats.
Zoya Sam and Zoya Nina look deceptively similar but that’s due to my inadequacy as a photographer. In person, they are noticeably different with Sam being more berry toned and Nina being very visibly brown. This swatch is 3 coats. Zoya Sam gave me some cuticle drag, so a third coat was necessary to even the application out. I think good coverage with 2 coats is possible, I was just being impatient with my swatches. I think Sam will always be slightly darker on the nail than the bottle color because it darkens as it dries.
If you read my blog often, you’ll know that brown is one of my white whales. Even though I passionately love all browns, I have a tough time finding browns that flatter my skin tone. I’m finding that darker browns like Nina and Essie Chocolate Kisses suit my skin tone pretty well. As stated above, Zoya Nina is visibly brown despite it’s darkness in my image. This is two coats – I didn’t have any issues with the application.
Zoya Riley is a magenta based deep vampy red. This is 2 coats.
The difference between Dakota and Riley, for those who are wondering, is that Dakota doesn’t have the magenta undertones. They look very similar in the bottle but they actually are different colors. This swatch is two coats.
I don’t know what it is with this collection but there are 3 pairs of colors that look similar to each other in the bottle but not on the nail. Two pairs I’ve already addressed, the last pair is Zoya Asia and Alix. They look pretty similar in the bottle, but Asia is brighter. Both are true reds. This swatch is 2 coats.
And finally, Zoya Alix, I did have some issues with this one. I had a wonky brush, which was shocking because I love Zoya brushes. I’ve never had a wonky Zoya before. Even when I passionately hated Zoya, I was still a fan of their brushes which are the perfect shape and size for my nails. The brush I got in Alix had a crooked bristle, ultimately it wasn’t a big deal. The wonkiness was easily fixed by just trimming the rogue bristle. The other issue was that Zoya Alix was a little tougher to apply than the other colors in this collection. I didn’t get full coverage at 2 coats and I had a significant amount of cuticle drag. However, a third coat fixed everything to my satisfaction.
Special thanks to Zoya.
August 15, 2008
That was a nice break, now back to the madness. I know everyone is loving the extravagant shimmers this fall, but I’m a creme girl at heart, so I’m not necessarily bored by collections featuring vampy cremes. The Vineyard Collection consists of 8 vampy creme shades inspired by wine. *Homer sounds* Mmm… vampy cremes.
*Correction* Michelle from All Lacquered Up has informed me that this collection was actually released last spring, Nubar says it’s for this fall. I trust that Michelle knows her stuff, so I’m guessing Nubar is re-promoting these for this fall.
August 13, 2008
Essie Starry Starry Nights is one of those highly sought after polishes that has become an expensive hard-to-find. Essie did re-release it, along with Viva La Vespa, but since the retail was bumped up to $10 and the shipping was so extravagant, I’m not sure that many people took Essie up on the offer. I, for example, debated it for a while then ultimately decided against making the purchase. I’m glad because one of the amazing girls over at MUA found it for me at dusty for a great price.
Now here’s the part of the story that makes me want to kick myself: I lemminged this color for the longest time but when I finally got it, I put in my ‘untried’ box and completely forgot it even existed! D’oh. To be fair though, that only happened because I haven’t be able to wear any non-professional looking colors this whole summer. Now that I can finally wear ‘out of the ordinary’ colors again, I went hunting in my ‘untried’ box and rediscovered Starry Starry Night. “Wow” is all I can say. Dark blue jelly with small silver glitter makes for an amazing polish. I can definitely see what all the hype was about.
The jelly-ness gives the glitter at different coats varying degrees of visibility, which really makes this polish look the way the sky does in places where there are no lights to drown out the shining light of the stars. One of the girls on MUA said that my nails looked like they came straight out of the Van Gogh paining. Love the reference, and so very true.
As great as the color is, Starry Starry Nights is not without its pitfalls. A lot of people complain that Starry Starry Night is hot streaky difficult to apply mess. I didn’t have too much trouble with mine. For this manicure I used 1 coat Essie ‘First Base’ Base Coat, 3 coats of Starry Starry Night, and 1 coat of Seche Vite. The first two coats of color were semi-streaky but everything evened out perfectly with the 3rd coat. I’m not sure if the non-streakiness was due to the base coat or whether my bottle was a magical non-streaky version of Starry Starry Night.
If you love this color but don’t have access to it or don’t want to shell out the mad cash, I’ve read that Jessica Twilight is a good dupe. I can’t vouch for it myself because I, sadly, don’t own any Jessicas… yet. However, I’ve only heard good things about the brand. There are actually several known dupes of Starry Starry Night but the others are just as difficult to find as Starry Starry Night once was, so I’ll spare you the pain of lemming a hard-to-find polish with several equally hard-to-find dupes by just omitting that information from this post. <3
August 12, 2008
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.
August 11, 2008
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.
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
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.