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Nail Noir: February 2011

Monday, February 28, 2011

NYX Girls Deep Space

This polish is crazy. I picked this up the other day at a beauty supply. This brand sells for $.99. Deep Space is a dark brown jelly packed with brown, blue, and gold flaky glitter. It doesn't look like much indoors, but in direct light, it's amazing. This is three coats, no topcoat.

The formula was ok to work with; it's pretty sheer and the three coats were definitely necessary. Overall, I'm impressed, especially for a buck. This is my first time using this brand and I like.

Happy painting!

ETA: Someone tried to comment on this post when I was uploading a comment widget. Sorry about that! I didn't get to read what you wrote. :-(

Everything should be straightened out now!

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Ruby Kisses: Tropical Green (and Crackle)

I was headed to the mall the other day to see what I could find at Claire's when I passed a beauty supply. I almost slammed on my breaks because the place was HUGE. Turns out, it's a new beauty supply superstore, and it's only fifteen minutes from my house. I can't tell you how excited I am about this. *does happy dance* I probably spent an hour in there just taking it all in. I came home with six new babies, including Crackle! (about a year late, right? LOL)

One of my new babies is Ruby Kisses Tropical Green, a lime green creme. Apparently this is a new shade, as evidenced by the big "NEW" sticker on the bottle. I'm not familiar with this brand, but I was pretty impressed with this, especially since it was $1.49. This is two coats, no topcoat.

Here's Tropical Green with one coat of China Glaze Lightning Bolt on top. I know you've seen this 50-11 times, but one more won't kill you.

Tropical Green was a tad on the thick side, but it was workable. I thought it would be streaky but it wasn't at all. I'm definitely going back to get more of these. Lightning Bolt was fine; this was actually my second attempt. The first was super ugly because I didn't know what the heck I was doing. The thicker the coat, the better the crackle effect.

Happy painting!

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Sunday, February 27, 2011

Part 2...Color Club Alter Ego Collection: Swatches and Review

Today I have part two of the Alter Ego Collection: Keep it Under Cover. I have to say, I was pleasantly surprised by these. The shades are vibrant and textured, and a couple of them are unique. This is obviously the portion of the collection that was designed for those who like to be bold and daring. Check it out:

Masquerading. Pale greyish-blue frost. This one is odd. First of all, I saw it in the bottle and totally expected it to be sheer. It just had that look to it. Yes, I prejudged. This is a one-coater yall. ONE COAT. Also odd is the texture. I don't think I've ever seen a finish like this. The formula was pretty thick, but not difficult to work with.

Secret Agent. Rich purple frost with purple shimmer. Two coats. I apologize for my fingers, but I couldn't get my camera to pick up the purple no matter how hard I tried. I had to adjust the color to make it color accurate , which resulted in Incredible Hulk fingers. I plan to re-swatch and get some sunlight pics tomorrow if it doesn't rain. This one may be similar to China Glaze Coconut Kiss, but with one difference; in indoor lighting, it looks a little dusky/smoky, which I like.

Alter Ego. Silver with gold (?) flecks and foil finish. Two coats. This one looks like your typical silver foil polish, but the goldish flecks make it unique for me.

Ulterior Motive. Vibrant fuchsia with blue shimmer and foil finish. Two coats. I absolutely love this one. It's gorgeous. I also thought this one would be on the sheer side, but it wasn't. The blue shimmer is very visible on the nail. This one is unique for me as well.

Total Mystery. Royal blue with fuchsia shimmer. Two coats. I love this one too, but not as much as Ulterior Motive, the yin to its yang. Unfortunately, the pink shimmer refused to show up in my pictures, but it is visible in real life. May be somewhat similar to Orly Lunar Eclipse. By the way, this was the only one I used a topcoat on. It dried almost to a matte finish. I used the Color Club Vivid topcoat that came in the set.

Finally, the winner of the collection.

Purple shimmery foil duochrome that flashes green and gold. And I probably still didn't describe it right, but it's awesome. May be in the vicinity of Orly Out of This World.

Formula-wise, these were much better than those in the first part of the collection.

Final verdict: I think Color Club did a great job with this part of the collection. None of them were boring to me, and a couple were unique. I think they could have released this as a stand alone. I would have paid full price for Alias, Ulterior Motive, Total Mystery, and Alter Ego. I don't have anything like any of them in my stash.

What do you think?

Happy painting!

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Saturday, February 26, 2011

Color Club Alter Ego Collection: Swatches and Review Part 1

Today I'm reviewing the Reveal Your Mystery part of the Spring 2011 Color Club Alter Ego collection. You can find my review of the Keep it Undercover portion here.

I can't lie...swatching these was quite an endeavor. Why? Because these shades are not my style at all. This collection, like the new Misa 9 to 5 collection, is perfect for ladies who like demure, work appropriate shades. Nothing wrong with that at all, but it's just not me. Ok, here goes. None of these have a topcoat:

Secret Rendezvous, a lilac creme. Three coats.

Incognito. This is a nude creme. It's the sheerest of the bunch; this is three coats, but I probably could have used a fourth.

Revealed. This is my favorite from the collection. Pale peach with subtle pink shimmer (click to enlarge). This is three coats.

Give Me a Hint. A taupe creme. It looks similar to Below Deck, China Glaze's re-release of Channelesque. They aren't dupes, but they are definitely cousins. This is two coats (the only two-coater out of the bunch).

Get a Clue. A baby pink creme. Three coats.

Sheer Disguise. Light grey creme with blue undertones. This is my second favorite of the collection because for me, it's unique. I have other light greys, but none of them have the same kind of blue cast to them. Three coats, except for the index finger. Please excuse my application. I messed up that nail right before I took the pic, so I globbed some polish on to cover the mess).

Formula-wise, I'd say they were ok. These weren't nearly as streaky as I thought they'd be, and they weren't chalky at all. That's unusual for polishes like this. Some people may be able to get away with two coats on some of these, but my application always left me with sparse areas, even after coat number two. Thankfully, the consistency was good on all these...none were too thick or too runny.

I picked up this collection at Ross*, on sale for $7.99. Would I pay full price for it? No, because again, not my style. For the ladies who wear shades like this (I know my friend Candace will like these ;-)), it's nice to have all these shades in one collection. Unlike one company that shall remain nameless, Color Club didn't release a collection full of polishes that look almost exactly like one another. Each of these shades offers something a little different.

Final Verdict: Boring and not unique, but pretty and work appropriate. What do you think?

Part 2 is forthcoming in the near future...

Happy painting!

*None of the bottles have names on them. I've heard about this with the Ross sets. Just an FYI in case anyone decides to get a set from there.

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Friday, February 25, 2011

More jelly goodness...Carolyn New York: Brooklyn

Brooklyn is a juicy red jelly. I absolutely love this because it's a wearable red for me. I also love it because it's highly pigmented. This is three coats, but I could have gotten away with two. No topcoat.


The formula was near perfect. The only drawback to this polish is that by the third day, it's about three shades darker than it was on the first day. I have no idea why this happens, but it's weird.

Happy painting!

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Thursday, February 24, 2011

Comparison: Black Tie Optional vs. Hard Edged

In my post about Rimmel Hard Edged, I wondered how close it was to OPI Black Tie Optional. I did some comparison swatches and now I see that they are fairly close. Check out these photos and see if you can tell which is which. Ring and index finger have one shade and middle and pinky have another.




Can you tell? I'll tell you; BTO is on the index and ring fingers, and Hard Edged is on the middle and pinky fingers. In the shade, BTO is darker and more purple. Hard Edged looks to be lighter and more red.

Indoors, I can barely tell them apart. Both flash green, purple, and brown. The only difference I can see is that the demarcation between the colors is clearer with BTO. With Hard Edged, the colors seem to blend more.

In the sunlight, they look completely different to me. BTO looks like a blackened purple, while Hard Edged looks like a blackened reddish-brown.

Formula wise, BTO is the clear winner. I only needed two coats for opacity, while Hard Edged needed three coats.

Final verdict: Both polishes are beautiful, but they aren't dupes. That said, Hard Edged is a pretty good substitute for BTO.

Happy painting!

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