November 30, 2012

Mail-time: Cult Nails Behind Closed Doors Collection



Awhile back, Ham-dog discovered a rectangular box! And even inspected it for possible food, which- to his dismay- it sadly did not contain.


He did not want to be taking pictures that day.  ^That is a face of reproach.



He just wanted his treat!

Here's what's inside:



Cult Nails!



 Maria of Cult Nails always packs her polishes in a cloud of cotton balls- useful!



It's the entire Behind Closed Doors collection, which I had pre-ordered.  The names are a little racy for nail polish, huh?  I mostly wanted Flushed, but kept seeing interesting swatches of the others, and by then it was too late!

Bottle shots!


Left to Right: Bitten, Afterglow, Disciplined, Coveted, Flushed










I'm almost done swatching these- stay tuned!

November 29, 2012

Color Club Winter Affair, Winter 2012 Polishes - [Swatch] & [Comparison]



Today I have three polishes from Color Club's Winter collection, entitled Winter Affair.  A couple of them are dupish to some other well-known polishes, so there are comparison photos too.  Enjoy :)

First up is Color Club- Glitter Wonderland:


Glitter Wonderland is a warm purple base filled with indigo-blue microglitter/shimmer as well as some lighter purple shimmer particles.  This one is sort of a chameleon depending on the lighting.

Artificial light, three coats:


Window-filtered daylight:


Outside, shade:






Sun:


It is a pretty polish if you're a fan of purples, and the cool-toned glitter in the warm-toned base makes for interesting color changes.



Formula: Was surprisingly thin, requiring three coats for opacity.  I really hate applying three coats for a color so saturated; a shame it didn't go opaque in two, disappointing.  It was easy to work with otherwise, however.
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Next is Color Club- Snow-Flakes, a rainbow colored flakie topcoat:


Artificial light, one coat over Glitter Wonderland:


Outside, shade:


Outside, you can start to see the green and yellow color shift as well as the red and orange. 



Formula: What you would expect from a suspension base flakie.  No problems.

This polish is of course dupey to famous Nubar- 2010, as well as the more recent Essie- Shine Of The Times (and probably a few others).



Left to Right: Nubar- 2010, Color Club- Snow-Flakes, Essie- Shine Of The Times

You can see how well-loved my bottle of Nubar- 2010 has been.  These duochromey flakies look good over pretty much every color.

Comparison time!


You can see that Nubar- 2010 is quite a bit less dense than the other two, which is useful for some layerings.  The Essie is the most dense, with Color Club- Snow-Flakes falling somewhere in between.  So, the density issue makes them not quite dupes, but the color and color shift is exactly the same to my eye.

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Lastly, is Color Club- Winter Affair, the namesake of the collection:



 Winter Affair is an interesting, dark berry-maroon shimmer- a great Fall/ Winter color!



Artificial light, two coats:



Window-filtered daylight:


Outside, shade:


It's gorgeous, it is.  It has a lot of depth, and I enjoyed wearing it for a couple of days.

Sun:




Formula- It was thick and viscous, on the gloopy side,  requiring two coats for opacity.

Of course, it reminds me strongly of another polish: Zoya- Gem.  I was sure they were going to be exact dupes when I swatched Winter Affair on a swatch stick.



They do look slightly different in the bottle; for some reason Gem has those yellow-gold particles that don't particularly come through on the nail.  (Jem has far superior formula, by the way: thick but without the gloopiness.)

Comparison time!

Window-filtered daylight:


 They are in fact not dupes! They are so, so close though-  the closest non-dupes I have seen in a while.  You definitely do not need to own both unless you are insane like me.

This is the best I could do to illustrate their differing base colors.  Zoya- Gem is much more purple, and cooler, while Color Club- Winter Affair is warmer and more or a burgundy.  These differences are hard to capture on camera, however, and they are only noticeable in certain lights in real life anyway.  And, strangers are certainly not going to notice that they are different shades.

Window-filtered daylight:


Additionally, the particles in Color Club- Winter Affair are much chunkier than in Gem.  Can you see that?

Outside, shade:


Up close!


You can really see the particle size differences here.

And here they are on swatch sticks under artificial lighting:


Zoya- Gem is indeed cooler- but minutely so.

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So, that about wraps that up! I think these polishes are nice Winter shades, but they certainly aren't very original, and I was sort of iffy on the formulas.  The formulas weren't bad, but I am used to great things from Color Club.  Also, I am always happy to have another rainbow flakie around!

November 22, 2012

[Nail Art] Thanksgiving Edition: Simple Skittles




They started off this way:

I was looking around for a turkey-related item to hold, and couldn't find anything.  Totoro seemed to be the next closest thing!



This is just a basic skittles manicure.  I wanted to keep it simple!

Here are the colors I used from left to right:


Misa- Live Without Knowing, Nubar- Caramello, Color Club- Daisy Does It, China Glaze- Riveting, China Glaze- Riveter Rouge





Finally, I decided to slap some goldfleck on top, Zoya- Gilty:





I hope everyone is having a Happy and Delicious Thanksgiving!

November 19, 2012

[Swatch] & [Review] Pomegranate Polishes


Today, I have four polishes to show you from indie brand Pomegranate Nail Lacquer.  I'm admittedly really picky about indies, but was pulled in by swatches of Curator and Blue Screen Of Death I kept seeing.  Also the bottles are so cute, I think!

These swatches were done before I cut my nails down.

First up is Pomegranate- Midnight Satellite,



Midnight Satellite is aptly named, and is a lovely teal-leaning green shot through with bright blue microshimmer and larger, sparser silver square microglitter.  The blue shimmer makes the overall shade look like a teal.

Artificial light, two coats:




Window-filtered daylight:


Outside, sun:




Outside, shade:


Up close!


Formula:  Two coats, full coverage, nice formula- the best formula out of the four polishes I tried.  It did want to spread around and stain nailbeds and cuticles as I was removing it.
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Next is Pomegranate- Blue Screen Of Death, a brilliant true blue with dense aqua microglitter/shimmer.



First of all, this is a genius name for a polish (it's from the "LCD" collection), and a gorgeous blue!  It reminds me a lot of Orly- Royal Navy, but the aqua shimmer doesn't settle to the bottom of the bottle.

Artificial light, three coats:


You can see there is still some VNL after three coats, especially visible when using flash.



Window-filtered daylight:




Outside, shade:


Sun:


I love this color!



Formula: On the thinner side; the first coat is a little patchy, and you need to be careful not to flood the cuticle.  The second coat is almost opaque, but for pictures I did three. It also had a strong smell.
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Next we have Pomegranate- Enchanted Lagoon, described as a "chic, Springy green."  I chose this one because I did not own a green like it.



It does remind me of a foggy, spooky swamp.

Artificial light, three coats:




Outside, shade:




Formula: Was a little disappointing: It was on the thicker side, but there was still VNL after two coats, and even after 3 coats, which, by then, was a pretty thick application of polish.  It might benefit from thinner, but you will still need many coats for opacity.   My least favorite formula out of the four, however it was really shiny!
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Lastly, I have the most famous shade, Pomegranate- Curator, a dark grey/light black jelly base with both silver and gold glitter:


The silver pieces are larger hexes, and the gold glitters are much smaller hexes.  I can't think of a black polish with both silver and gold glitter, so I think this one is special.

Artificial light, two coats:




Window-filtered daylight:


Outside, shade:


Let's see it up close!


I love glitter within jelly bases- there's something about seeing the glitter at different 'depths' in the polish that gives it dimension and interest.  It's like Outer Space on your nails without the effort of "galaxy nails." 

Formula: The formula was thin, almost watery. It would be easy to flood cuticles. Also, the thinness combined with the jelly consistency made it difficult to wrap the nail tips. However, it builds well, and was pretty much opaque in two coats, with no scarcity of glitter! 

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Overall, I really like these polishes! These are some fairly unique colors, but the formulas need some work.  They aren't bad, but there's room for improvement.  


The colors seem deliberate and well-thought-out in comparison to a lot (let's face it- most) of indie brands.

About the bottles & brushes: The bottles hold .56 oz: a generous amount in a small bottle!  The question is whether the bottle glass is thin or what, since it holds so much, but is so small at the same time. (It feels thin to me...)  I do love the pomegranate logo printed on it though- very cute packaging. 

I'm not a fan of the cap/handle.  It's too small, short, & smooth, and feels like cheap plastic. The brush is fine, however: a typical small, round brush that fans easily, no problems.





Has anyone else tried Pomegranate Nail Lacquer?  What are you favorite shades?