April 25, 2008

Purple and Lilac Comparison Swatches

Posted in China Glaze, Comparison Swatches, Creme, Essie, OPI, Orly, Purples & Lilacs, Rescue Beauty Lounge, Zoya tagged , , , , , , , , , , at 9:36 am by pretear

Purple and lilac have been pretty popular this spring. I made these swatches originally to help the girls at MUA find a cheaper alternative to the ever prohibitively expensive but wildly popular Rescue Beauty Lounge – Purple Haze. We were all pretty sad to find that there really isn’t a cheaper alternative to that particular color. No other brand has a shade of purple that even comes close. That is not to say these other colors aren’t worth it, all these purples and lilacs are beautiful in their own right. The only one missing that I really feel should have been included for comparison is Essie – Looking for Love. In the bottle, it’s a really beautiful vivid lilac – but – I had to decide against purchasing it because of its notorious and irreparable streakiness.

3 Coats China Glaze – Spontaneous (The Flirt Collection), 2 coats Rescue Beauty Lounge – Purple Haze (The Spring ’08 Collection), 3 Coats OPI – Do You Lilac It? (The Original Brights Collection)

4 coats each for these: Zoya Miley (4 coats required for bottle color with a Zoya? No…… you don’t say? – This one is from the Blissful Collection), Orly Bon Bon (Sugar Coated Collection), Essie St. Lucia Lilac (Permanent Collection).

Purple Haze is the fan favorite. I can’t say I was really impressed with the color on myself. The application and wear-time were flawless as always but I just didn’t LOVE it. I’m going to give it one more go, and perhaps let it go if I still don’t love it.

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April 22, 2008

Battle of the Bling: Silver Holographic Top Coats

Posted in China Glaze, Comparison Swatches, Ghetto Fabulous, Glitter, Holographic, INM, Orly tagged , , , at 5:31 pm by pretear

Here are the Contenders.

My initial thought was the Orly is just a glitter top coat that is slightly more reflective than normal glitter. INM is pretty much the same as the Orly with smaller glitter and more density. INM (both the silver and gold versions) is the only brand of glitter top coat I own that completely settles at the bottom. The bottle has a sticker on it that says, “shake it up” which, of course, is blasphemous – one should never shake a bottle of nail polish. To get all the glitter to evenly disperse throughout the bottle using the correct method (i.e. rolling the bottle inbetween your fingers) is incredibly time consuming and irritating. Finally, the fan favorite, Wireless, from the OMG collection, is the densest of all with the finest glitter. Let’s Do it in 3-D, from the Kaleidoscope Collection, is not a topcoat, it’s only here for comparison because it looked so much like Wireless to me that I initially mistook one for the other when I was taking these pictures. Wireless is probably just a more diluted version of Let’s Do it in 3-D.

This is 2 coats OPI – Black Onyx and 1 Coat for each Top Coat.

-Now for the real bling-

Clearly, Let’s Do it in 3-D brings the most *bling*. However, it’s not actually a top coat – it can’t win this contest. China Glaze – Wireless Top Coat is my pick. Owning both Wireless and INM is justifiable. They aren’t duplicates and the effect is clearly different. INM is basically a really nice (although run of the mill) glitter top coat while Wireless is more unique, I’m hesitant to call it glitter top coat at all. There is nothing really wrong with Orly, but if you own INM – no point in picking up a version with bigger and sparser glitter (unless you’re looking for something like that.)

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.