Friday, September 14, 2012

Essie Penny Talk

Essie Penny Talk was released with the Mirror Metallics collection earlier this year. Aside from Penny Talk, the collection consisted of silver, gold, blue, and lilac chromes. They're supposed to impart a mirror-like finish, hence the name of the collection, but they were mostly unsuccessful, I think. They are fairly reflective, but based on swatches that I've seen, the Layla Mirror Chromes did a better job. Of course, I've not actually seen the Laylas in person, so I could very well be wrong!

Anyway, on to the Essie. 2 coats on most of the nails, but my ring fingernail wound up needing 4, and I'll tell you why in a moment.

It's a bit frosty, but VERY opaque. It barely needs a second coat for opacity, and it dries very quickly. Unfortunately, those qualities also mean that Penny Talk is extremely streaky.

First of all, the fact that it's frosty means that you've got to be careful with application to manage the brushstrokes, but the combination of that much pigment and that quick of a drying time....basically, if you try to be careful with application you'll wind up with a ton of bald patches.

And second, if you try to go back over the patches to fill them in, you'll have a raised spot that just does not want to even out. It took me a great deal of effort, but I got it looking half-decent. Here it is in indirect light. Pretty cool effect! It actually looks somewhat smooth here.

Oh, and did I mention that chromes/metallics highlight pretty much every flaw in your nails?? Ridges, bumps, any sort of inconsistency in the surface will be highlighted and emphasized. In order to counteract this, I started with 2 coats of OPI Ridge Filler and let it dry overnight. I still had a few bumps, so I buffed the surface the next morning, since I didn't want to directly buff & weaken my nail plates. And yet, we've still got this:

See that lumpiness at the top edges? See the brushstrokes? Bleh.

Given all that, somehow, I still really like this polish. Not only that, but I now want the gold one from this collection, Good as Gold. What. To be fair, Layla doesn't make copper or gold chromes, but I'll probably go there for the silver/gunmetals I've been craving.

The formula is among of the worst I've ever used, but the color...I really do have a weakness for nice metallics. And while it looks pretty freaking terrible up close and in macro mode, at an arm's length, it looks really cool. Maybe I should finally invest in an Aqua Base, to help the application. I've got a few of the China Glaze OMGs, and I know it would help with those too.

How do you feel about chromes and metallics? I know the frostiness is a big turn-off for lots of people, and the tricky application must not help. Have you picked up any of the Essie Mirror Metallics or Layla Mirror Chromes?

Thanks for looking and commenting, and have a great weekend!