Friday, May 31, 2013

Revlon Eclectic

Happy Friday! Unfortunately, today I have a huge disappointment to show you. I've been on the hunt for a nice, opaque aqua creme, and I thought Eclectic might do the trick. It's a bit greener than I wanted, but still a nice color. Here it is in the shade:

The formula, however, sucks. A lot. It seemed ok at the first coat, a little sheer, but probably manageable. NOPE. If you don't let it dry completely between coats, it is so freaking streaky. I am disappoint. This result required 4 coats. For a creme.

It also takes a really freaking long time to dry. Womp wompppppp. I usually have great luck with Revlons, especially their cremes, but this is bad. Mine might have been from a bad batch, but still. I do not recommend this at ALL.

So this went right back, and my search for a nice aqua creme continued. I think I've finally found the right one, Essie Where's My Chauffeur! It's a pretty recent release, and hopefully I'll get that one swatched soon.

Have you tried Eclectic? Did you have as much trouble as I did?

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

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Zoya Valerie

Zoya Valerie was from the Fire and Ice collection released in Winter 2010/2011. It's a warm, dark purple foil. I've had this color for about 2 years, and I remember it being one of my favorites, especially for pedicures. Then again, I was also a huge purple fiend, and I seem to have cooled off of purples quite a bit. It's not an ugly color or anything, it's just not really my kind of color anymore, I guess. I will say though, that it is very opaque, which is definitely a good thing. 2 coats, plus top coat.

And in the sun:

The formula is weird though. Like I said, very opaque, but I noticed that if I don't let the first coat dry completely before starting the second, it got sort of lumpy. It also dries a bit more slowly than most other polishes I've tried, but not by a whole lot. And oddly enough, it seems to have a bit of an appetite for top coat? I mean, nothing like a glitter of course, but I initially used one coat and noticed that it sort of sunk in, so I added a second and it was perfect. Wasn't expecting that though. At least it's got interesting shimmer- in the shade, it's ever so slightly duochrome.

Like I said, very slight. But it's enough to add interest to the color.

I believe there are a few dupes, or at least colors that are very close to Valerie. Zoya Jem, for one thing. Why did Zoya release 2 colors that are so close? There are some subtle differences, but they're pretty much imperceptible to me, and I imagine they would look the same at arm's length. There's also Color Club Winter Affair, which is warmer, but still quite close.

Have you tried Zoya Valerie? What do you think?

Thanks for looking and commenting, and I hope you're having a great week!

Monday, May 27, 2013

Zoya Kelly

Zoya Kelly is from the Wonderful Collection released in Fall 2010. It's a lovely dark grey with purple undertones, making it distinct from the many other dark greys out there. Kelly is solid in 2 coats.

The formula had an oddly sticky feel to it, but at least it wasn't streaky.

I can't remember whether or not I used top coat for these pictures, but I do remember noticing how glossy Kelly is on its own. In addition to the stickiness, I noticed that this polish dried more slowly than usual, but not at an unreasonable pace...I changed my mind the next morning. I did this manicure at about 11 AM, and the next morning there were dings and some sheet marks. What.

I left it on for 5 days anyway because I didn't have time to fix it or change my manicure, so I have the results for you.

You can see some of the weirdness at my ring and pinky fingernails. No major chipping, which is good, but it's much much duller, and the tipwear was disappointing.

It's not the worst wear I've ever experienced, but it still looked pretty beat up after 5 days.

I'm not sure if it's my base and top coat combination, but I just don't seem to be compatible with Zoya cremes. I had lots of trouble with Pinta, and now Kelly's giving me similar issues. My go-to base coats are Essie Fill the Gap and Sally Hansen Hard as Wraps, and my top coat is pretty much always Revlon Quick Dry Top Coat.

I haven't come across any exact dupes for Kelly, but there are lots of dark greys out there. They seem to mostly have greenish undertones, like Essie Power Clutch, but there is also China Glaze Concrete Catwalk, which seems like a pretty neutral dark grey. If Zoya cremes don't give you trouble, and greenish greys don't suit you, I'd suggest Kelly. Despite the formula woes, it is a very nice color.

Have you tried Kelly? Did you have the same issues that I did?

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

Friday, May 24, 2013

HARE Star Tropics

Now here's a glitter that I am madly in love with. HARE Star Tropics is from Spring 2012, but was a very limited release due to some formula and glitter problems. I have experienced neither of those issues, but last I heard Nikole was reformulating, so hopefully it will be released with a future collection! It is absolutely gorgeous.

Star Tropics consists of 2 sizes of silver square glitter and small silver hex glitter in a blue jelly base. The base is very slightly blurple, but still distinctly blue. It sort of reminds me of Starry Starry Night, but on some hardcore steroids. With that in mind, I layered it over a dark blue. First, I tried it over Ruby Kisses Regaled Out Blue. 3 coats of the Ruby Kisses, 2 coats of Star Tropics, Gelous, and top coat.

I liked the combination, but felt like my base color didn't quite go. It doesn't have the slight indigo tinge to it, so the second time I decided to layer it over Revlon Urban, and that was perfect!

As you can see, I'm a bit rusty on my glitter application, lol. Fear of removal keeps me from wearing these crazy glitters, to be blunt! Since it's a super chunky glitter in a jelly base, it's not surprising that it's pretty thick, but application wasn't bad, and I had no trouble getting the giant squares onto my nails.

In case I haven't told you enough yet, I LOVE SQUARE GLITTER. Here's a closer look, from the first manicure I did:

The depth that the jelly base imparts is just awesome, even if it doesn't quite go.

As far as I know, there aren't any dupes of this out there. I don't know about you, but I'd love to have a glitter mix with these exact sizes and shapes, in a bunch of differently-colored bases. That would be AWESOME. If someone made a light grey creme/jelly (I still refuse to use the word "crelly") with matte, retina-searing hot pink glitter like this, I would be all over that. And aqua and yellow. Dark teal jelly and an antique-ish gold. I always have these ideas floating around in my head but I'm terrified of messing up and wasting money/supplies so I never actually get around to attempting any of them ._. Story of my life.

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

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

OPI Metallic 4 Life

OPI Metallic 4 Life was released with the Nicki Minaj collection in early 2012. It's a black jelly with tons of silver glitter. Too much glitter, in my opinion. I used 2 very thin coats over a black base and probably should have stuck with one.

Meh. It's not a bad color, just not my thing. It seems sort of messy-looking...

I figured I'd try it matte, since I clearly don't like this as is...

Nope. Should've left it glossy. Oh well, they can't all be winners. I do love the idea of silver glitter in a black jelly base, so I'm debating decanting some of it and adding clear and a little bit of black. The formula wasn't bad, and frankly I didn't want to wear this long enough to comment on wear, so I do want to clarify that it's not an issue of quality or anything. I just think the glitter:base ratio is way off for my tastes. On Friday, I'll have something much much better to show you. :) And one of these days I'll learn to keep track of what day it is, lol!

Nicole by OPI Luke of the Draw looks pretty much the same, if not slightly more dense. But given that they're both OPI products, they're probably just rebottled versions of each other.

Have you tried Metallic 4 Life? How did you feel about it?

Thanks for looking and commenting, and I hope you're having a great week!

Monday, May 20, 2013

Color Club Cherubic

Color Club Cherubic is from the first Halo Hues collection that was released late last year. That collection consisted of your standard pastel holographics, so I wasn't that excited, but I've been holding out on buying linear holos for a couple years in the hopes that cheaper, flashier ones with better formulas would be released. No Nfu Ohs (that bottle, BLEGH), no Laylas (bad formula, too expensive), no HITS (not a fan of that finish, bottle shape, or price). So basically, the Color Clubs are exactly what I was waiting for. Was I disappointed? HECK NO.

Cherubic is supposed to be a tan/nude holo, but I think I'm too warm-toned for that to work, so it's more like beige. 2 coats, no top coat, in the shade.

You can still see a weak rainbow, even in the shade! My OMGs, in this lighting condition, displayed no rainbow whatsoever. Here's a better look at the base color:

See what I mean? Not a nude for me, but still a very nice color. Now, let's look at it in the sun.

BAM. RAINBOWS. Awesome. Love. I used base coat, but no top coat. Application was perfect, and it was solid in 2 coats. I also love how quickly it dries! I slapped on a coat of Essie Fill the Gap and 2 coats of Cherubic, and my manicure was solid in 5-7 minutes. I also bought Harp On It and Beyond, and while I haven't photographed those yet, I have worn them and I gotta tell you, they are just as awesome. Yes, they do chip quickly, within 1-2 days for me, but holos are pretty notorious for their bad wear, so I don't think it's a big deal.

Since these Color Clubs were based off of Nfu Oh holos, it probably isn't surprising that Cherubic is similar to Nfu Oh 62, and by extension, Make Up Store Madeleine. Layla Coral Glam is also a nude, depending on your skintone, but it is a lot more peachy.

Have you tried any of these holos? What do you think?

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

Friday, May 17, 2013

Contrary Polish Purple Smoke + Comparison

Happy Friday!! I am especially stoked today. I just finished my last final (Spanish), and I feel great about it. Today I've got for you a Contrary Polish that isn't necessarily as exciting as the others I've posted so far, but is still quite awesome.

Contrary Polish Purple Smoke is one of the original six colors. When I first saw it, I thought, eh, it's close enough to Paradoxal, Perplex, etc. and if you're not a fan of those greyish/taupe-y/purple colors, it probably is! However, I love them, and am quite pleased with Purple Smoke. It's opaque in 3 thin coats. In the shade:

Like the other Contraries, Purple Smoke is a subtle shimmer, but not at all hidden. Purple Smoke dries pretty matte, so you'll definitely need top coat. In the sun:

The shimmer in Purple Smoke isn't nearly as contrasting as some of the other colors, but I think it's lovely nonetheless. I've also compared it to Revlon Perplex and Barry M Dusky Mauve (an exact dupe for Chanel Paradoxal). I know, Perplex and Dusky Mauve are pretty close, but I chose to compare it with both because to me, Perplex is definitely more purple, and Dusky Mauve is more brown.

So, first up, Purple Smoke vs. Perplex. 2 coats of Perplex on the index and ring fingernails, with top coat.

As you can see, Perplex is darker, warmer, and more purple.

And Purple Smoke vs. Dusky Mauve. 2 coats of Dusky Mauve on the index and ring fingernails, plus top coat.

Like Perplex, Dusky Mauve is warmer and more purple than Purple Smoke, but Dusky Mauve is also a lot more taupe or brown-leaning. Purple Smoke looks blueish in comparison.

All three of these polishes have great formulas, so I'd recommend any of them. Out of these, Perplex will definitely be the easiest to obtain. It has been renamed Naughty, and is now core. Full-sized Contrary Polishes are available on Llarowe, Femme Fatale, and Shoppe Eclectico, but on Fridays, you can also buy minis straight from the Contrary Polish blog. For those of you in the US, Dusky Mauve will be the most troublesome to obtain- I bought mine on Ebay. Harlow and Co. sold Barry M at one point, but I don't see them on the site anymore. You can order directly from Barry M, but I know of someone who had quite a bit of trouble with them, and wouldn't recommend it.

Have you tried any of these? What did you think? Are you as much of a sucker for greyish purples as I seem to be?

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

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Revlon Gold Coin + Orly Halo

Yaaaaay, I am free! My cast was originally supposed to come off four weeks ago, but my wrist was definitely not healed enough at that point, so I got a new one. Watch out for those skateboarders, y'all. I still have a bit of trouble with my right knee. :|

Picking up where I left off, here's Orly Halo. It's an awesome, flashy metallic glitter from the Naughty or Nice Collection that was released last winter. When I tested this on a single nail, I realized it's sheer as hell, so I opted to layer it over a cool gold foil: Revlon Gold Coin. I know I said I wasn't going to buy Gold Coin, but I didn't! I discovered it in my mom's stash. Apparently we both have weaknesses for gold and copper. :'D

Luckily, Gold Coin is really freaking opaque, so I only needed to use one coat for a base. Here it is with 3 coats of Halo on top. I did use top coat, but Halo is surprisingly smooth on its own.

And in the sun:

Yay! Sparkly metallic glittery awesomeness. This is a pretty flashy manicure, and I got several compliments on it from people, which was nice. Let's take a closer look:

Ok, well, you can't really see that much because it's so busy...but it's comprised of small silver hexes mixed with tiny cool gold glitters, and flecks of Gold Coin peeking out through the glitter. I should also note that the wear on this mani was great. 5 days, still super blingy, no chips or tipwear.

As far as dupes go, I can't think of any that I would consider exact, but OPI Spark de Triomphe seems pretty close. I think it has a veeeeery slight greenish tinge, but the glitter composition seems similar. I actually bought Halo to kill my Spark de Triomphe lemming, and it's close enough to suit my purposes.

Have you tried Halo, or any of the other Holiday Orlys? What did you think?

Thanks for looking and commenting, and I hope you're having a great week!