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.

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April 29, 2008

Blue Comparison Swatches (OPI – Dating a Royal Mod Brights Collection)

Posted in Blue, China Glaze, Comparison Swatches, Creme, L.A. Girl Flare, Lippmann Collection, OPI, Rescue Beauty Lounge tagged , , , , , at 2:05 pm by pretear

It’s no surprise that OPI is late to the party yet again. Blues were the thing last season, but for those of us who don’t care about strictly following seasonal trends, OPI Dating a Royal from the new Mod Brights Collection is pretty amazing.

Originally, I was going to compare all of these colors but once I got the bottles together it was pretty clear that the only real contenders for comparison were Lippmann Collection – Rehab and Rescue Beauty Lounge – Dead Calm. China Glaze – Shower Together (twin of China Glaze – Aqua Baby), L.A. Girl Flare – Twinkling, and OPI Just Groovy don’t look anything like Dating a Royal, or each other for that matter. There was some concern arising on the nail board that all these colors might be too similar to justify owning all of them, but as you can see from the bottle picture, that’s not the case.

2 Coats Rescue Beauty Lounge – Dead Clam, 3 Coats OPI – Dating a Royal, and a whopping 4 coats for Lippmann Collection – Rehab

I apologize for the quality of this image. For some reason I just could not get these colors to photograph well. This was the clearest image of the bunch, but even with the lack of focus, this image is an accurate depiction of what these colors look like in person. The online teaser images of Dating a Royal made it seem like it would be more dupish to the aqua blues. As it turns out, it’s a much darker blue, but not as dark as the blues that were popular last season. Its comparative lightness makes it more relevant to the trends of this spring and summer but since it’s not technically a light blue it will be wearable in the fall. I’ll give everyone the skinny on the application and wear when I do the full swatches.

If there are any colors you guys want compared drop me an email or comment with your request. : )

In other news, I am now a member of Alltop.com. Yeay! Alltop condenses the best blogs on the net by category so you can read about your favorite topics all in one place. Their beauty section is pretty comprehensive, you guys should check them out if you haven’t already.

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.

April 23, 2008

*Exact* Dupes: Zoya Yummy and OPI Just Groovy

Posted in Blue, Comparison Swatches, Creme, OPI, Zoya tagged , , , , , at 12:01 pm by pretear

My biggest nail polish pet peeve is accidentally buying a color that is similar to another color I already have. I can’t even say that these colors are similar. They are EXACT DUPLICATES of each other.

My initial reaction was frustration. I was warned by the ladies at MUA that these were close to each other but I didn’t listen. I just didn’t think they would be this close. For several reasons, my next thought was to swap the Zoya and keep the OPI. One reason being that I passionately hate Zoya. My hatred began the day I hauled from Zoya. I bought 8 or so colors. Of those, Zoya Suvi and Kotori from the Downtown Collection, I hated so much I had to swap them. Both colors took 4 coats and they looked cheap with my skin tone. The other color was Zoya Stephanie, as my namesake, I felt I had to buy it. I love the color. It’s a very light pink, almost white but it too took four coats to be even and opaque. It was an ungodly streak-fest to apply. After that disappointment I put myself on a Zoya no-buy and constantly preach the anti-Zoya gospel to anyone who will listen. The running joke on MUA is that Zoya killed my family and I became Catwoman. (Polish fumes kill brain cells. : D)

OPI, on the other hand, is my love. I mean really, OPI is my bread and butter. I spend my nights and days dreaming little OPI dreams – jonesing for the next collection, scouring the depths of the internet nail polish underworld and hole-in-the-wall beauty shops for coveted discontinueds. (Just Groovy was recently discontinued, more reason to keep it.) At least that’s how I felt until recently. Lately, OPI has been dropping the ball. Since OPI changed their formula to big 3 free, quality has been all over the place. The India collection is bleh, same colors – different names, nothing new or exciting.

But still my loyalty is with OPI so I thought for sure I would be keeping Just Groovy, no contest…

then I did the swatches. Wow, was I surprised. These swatches are without basecoat and topcoat. Both polishes were streaky, Zoya slightly less so. Both needed 3 coats to even out. OPI was really chalky, really tough to apply. I also prefer Zoya’s brush to OPI’s pro-wide. The finish on Yummy was a little more glossy than Just Groovy. Both polishes separate easily in the bottle. There is a very very slight difference in color – but it’s not in any way noticeable even to the MUA nail-board eye.

What now?… I’ve heard horror stories about Zoya’s wear, like chips within hours of application (I don’t know first hand because I always end up removing Zoyas almost immediately) but I had a really tough time with Just Groovy’s application.

So I decided to wear Yummy on my left hand and Just Groovy on my right hand to see what’s what. For the actual mani, I used Barielle Camo as the base which completely fixed Yummy’s streakiness but seemed to actually make Just Groovy *more* streaky. Seche Vite fixed the unevenness that I got with both colors after applying 3 coats. I’ll post in a few days with the results.

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.