Showing posts with label Nail Polish. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Nail Polish. Show all posts

Friday, September 26, 2014

Formula X Translucents in Remarkable and Wonderous

Above: Leather pink clutch by Truffle, leopard clutch by Clare V, iPhone case by Gray Malin, Marc Jacobs Lipgloss in Pink Diamond, notepad by Garance Dore x Rifle Paper Co.

I stopped by Sephora a few weeks ago and picked up two of the Formula X Translucent nail polishes in Remarkable and Wonderous ($10.50 each for 12 ml/0.4 fl oz). I've been putting them to the test and they've held up extremely well. Both lasted 5 days before any tip wear started to show when used in conjunction with Formula X Base and Top Coats from The System set.

Remarkable is a sheer beige pink that applies more like a pale ivory on my nails. It's extremely sheer like the name implies but applies very smoothly on the nails. With two coats the whites of my nails show through. I applied it with three coats on my own to get more coverage. With two coats I had some uneven spots but overall it was still pretty smooth.

Wonderous is a sheer transparent pink. The color is also very sheer but it applies smoothly with two coats. I had an easier time getting this one on the nails with a flawless smooth finish. It gives the nails a very sheer polished and natural look. 

Overall huge thumbs up. I've been really impressed with all the colors I've tried so far from Sephora's Formula X line and the Translucent shades I just tested prove to be just as good in terms of lasting power (see more of my reviews, swatches and details on brush by clicking on the Formula X tag).

For more inspiration and swatch photos of more colors, I recommend you check out which has a collage of swatches and photos of nail art. You can buy Formula X polishes online and instores at Sephora.

Do you have any favorites? I'd love to hear what shades you've tried!

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Louboutin Rouge Nail Colour

I've been putting the Louboutin Rouge Nail Colour ($50 for 0.4 fl oz/13 ml) to the test for the past month on multiple occasions (tips and toes). The bottle is a remarkable work of art made with an extremely sturdy glass bottle and spike handle. My inbox was flooded months ago with e-mails about this polish from readers who had seen it in Europe before we received this in the US. I wasn't going to purchase one due to the price, but there was so much excitement from some of my readers and after seeing swatches I caved and ordered one. The Louboutin Rouge has sold out multiple times in stores and online. Some of the sites have restocked while others have this on back order. My local stores did not receive any of the polishes so if you're like me you might have to do a bit of research to track one down.

Louboutin Rouge is a deep rich red that matches the soles of the covetable Louboutin shoes exactly. I've found quite a few reds that come close or look pretty similar from arm's length, but nothing I've tried matches it exactly. The formula is very fluid with super opaque coverage. You do need two coats though. With my first few tries I found the brush to be a bit challenging to work with. It's a longer skinny brush which I found needed a bit of wiggling and angling to control. It is a softer brush which allows you to control it more. I'm used to the dense thick chiseled brushes that are goof-proof, so this one took a few tries but it does apply flawlessly on the nails. (I tend to be challenged when it comes to getting even application around the cuticles).

The bottles are very study and the design is amazing. The bottles have a unique multi-faceted shape. They stand up quite tall (approximately 8 inches tall). Each polish comes with the base encased in a box with a removable cap. There is a circular cut out on the top for the spike.

In terms of lasting power I've had phenomenal results. As mentioned in my hand and nail care essentials post, lasting power of a nail lacquer will depend on your nail care, length, daily or weekly activities. Shorter nails will have less contact with hard surfaces (such as keyboards if you type a lot). Also the angle in which you hold your fingers will also determine how much contact the tips have with any given surface.

(the second bottle is a gift I purchased for a friend)

In testing the Louboutin Rouge nail polish, I found without any base or top coat, the nail polish had significant tip wear and chipping on the third day. By itself I found the polish looked amazing but lasting power wasn't so great by itself, however I do believe this is the case with most polishes I've tried. Louboutin does have a Manicure Care Kit with a base and top coat available but I haven't tested it (not sure if I want to splurge on this). I tested the polish with a few other brands of base/top coat. I really liked it with the Creative Nail Design Sticky Base Coat and Formula X Top Coat. With this combination I was able to get 7 Days of polish wear, no chipping and tip wear didn't start to appear very slightly until Day 6 on a few fingers.

Swatches with two coats of Louboutin Rouge and the Formula X Top Coat:

Christian Louboutin book (one of my coffee table must-haves)

I tried to photograph some comparisons but I found the reds very difficult to capture accurately on camera. I have two very close dupes which have a slight difference in real life. I'll add descriptions as a substitute to help you gauge the difference. I recommend googling reviews to see what others have compared as well.

  • Guerlain Rouge D'Enfer 121 is almost identical in undertone, intensity and pigment, the Guerlain has a more of an orange undertone though
  • Dior Captain is brighter with a jelly finish, it's almost orange-looking next to all the other reds
  • Chanel Enthusiast (d/c) is 2-3 shades lighter and clearly more orange (although it looks close in the photo)
  • Rescue Beauty Lounge Gondoliere is brighter, more orange, more transparent
  • Chanel Pirate is deeper and has a lot more blue/cool tones
  • Chanel Rouge Rubis is pretty close but slightly lighter in color, the Chanel also has a sheerer finish
  • Chanel Dragon is darker and has more brown

One last photo:

Updated 9/14/2014: Ingredients from bottom of the box label

I'm really pleased with the quality, color and lasting power. I've accumulated several Louboutin nail polishes so far (Lady Twist swatched here, some nudes and pops coming soon) and the colors I've tested so far are really lovely. The pigment is excellent and smooth. Before I tried the Louboutin Rouge I was worried I wouldn't like it, but so many of my readers put me at complete ease - I've received so many emails and comments from others who have splurged and absolutely adore theirs.

I didn't want to spend $50 per bottle and I didn't want to fall in love but I have. I don't know that I can say these were worth every penny, these are more of a splurge than a necessity, even for the die-hard nail polish collector. The price is extremely high for a nail polish but it is something specially created by a luxury designer. These are a luxurious splurge, but I'm very pleased.

Due to the popularity of this color, you might need to wait a bit to find one since it has been selling very quickly. I bought mine from Saks (which still has it online right now). It's also available on Christian Louboutin, and on backorder at Nordstrom, Neiman Marcus and Sephora.

Did you purchase any of the Louboutin nail colors? Which ones?

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Deep Smoky Teal Nail Lacquers | Louboutin, JINsoon, NARS, Marc Jacobs Beauty and Rescue Beauty Lounge

I'm currently obsessed with these dark smokey teal shades of nail polish. There are so many different kinds of teal. Some are straight blue-green creams while others have this pretty mix of green, blue, black and silver. Ones I'm obsessed with right now:

  • Louboutin Lady Twist ($50) is the ultimate luxurious deep teal version of a vamp shade. It has a full coverage with rich pigment. It applied very smoothly but due to the longish brush, I found it took a tiny bit of extra time to get a precise application near the cuticles. I will have a more detailed review on other Louboutin shades coming up, but to sum up, I've been very pleased with the formula, coverage and wear time.
  • JINsoon Heirloom ($18) is a darker deeper version of Chanel Azure, Heirloom is an intense metallic green teal loaded with tons of complex shimmer particles, it applies very smoothly for a metallic. The way this flashes different colors makes it resemble a peacock.
  • Rescue Beauty Lounge Small Dim Summer Stars ($20) is one of the prettiest complex shades I have ever seen. It's silver, green, teal, black all mixed into one polish. It has the prettiest micro sparkles mixed throughout so when you look at it on the nails sometimes it looks silvery, other times more green and in other lighting more teal. I loved this one so much I bought a back up.
  • Marc Jacobs Beauty Sally ($18) is an iridescent blackened green. Don't let the first coat disappoint you, it will be very very sheer with the first coat, but it transforms into this full coverage beautiful green with the second coat. It's almost black on the nails but there is still enough color so it does look green with a slight hint of teal
  • NARS Wrong Turn ($20) is part of the 3.1 Phillip Lim + NARS Collection. This is such a unique color because it changes with a top coat. In the bottle and on the nails it's a metallic gunmetal grey. Once you add a top coat it transform into this deep teal shade. (See both swatches on Beauty Geeks). It applies like one of those rich metallic shades that adheres really well to the nail and applies flawlessly. It's a definite must have.
  • Rescue Beauty Lounge Monologue ($20) is part of the Anatomy of #Kdrama collection (featured here). It's a deep rich navy blue with a unique metallic sheen. It's not quite in the teal family, but I had to feature it again for those who prefer something with more blue/navy.

More photos and swatches, Louboutin Lady Twist






For reference, here are the shades swatched side by side along with a few other additions:

Rescue Beauty Lounge Small Dim Summer Stars
Rescue Beauty Lounge Teal (d/c)
Rescue Beauty Lounge Monologue
Marc Jacobs Sally
Louboutin Lady Twist
JINsoon Heirloom
Chanel Azure (d/c)
Chanel Nuit de Russie (d/c)

Larger view:

Do you have a favorite teal?

Friday, September 5, 2014

Dior Vernis Massaï 853

Dior Vernis Massaï 853 ($25 for 10 ml/0.33 fl oz) is a classic deep red cream. It was released in the new Gel Shine Long Wear Formula (swatches of multiple shades here) and is also a repromote with Dior's Fall 2014 collection. Massaï applies flawlessly with two thin coats. You get full coverage and a nice glossy lush finish. It does need a top coat to extend the wear (I like the Dior Gel Top Coat) and I've gotten a full week of wear without any tip wear or chipping (more on my nail tips and essentials here). Check my other Dior Gel Shine review on Tra-La-La for close ups of the brush. It's been redesigned in a curved shape which makes it super easy to apply on the fingers.

A few comparisons to:

Chanel Accessoire (swatched here)
Tom Ford Shameless (d/c, review here)
Louboutin Rouge (review soon)

It's pure love. I probably sound like a broken record by now, but I really do think Dior's nail polish formula keeps getting better and better. It's always been phenomenal as far as I can remember, but they've really improved the lasting power and shine. If you're looking for a classic deep red that is super easy to apply, this is it. 

Massaï currently retails for $25 at all Dior retailers. Mine was gifted to me by Nordstrom which I was thrilled about since I've had my eye on it since April. Even though it's part of the fall collection, I don't think it is a limited-edition shade so it should be relatively easy to track down.

What's your go-to classic deep red?

Friday, August 29, 2014

Tom Ford Beauty Black Cherry Nail Lacquer | Fall 2014

Tom Ford Beauty has released a new shade of nail lacquer in the fall collection called Black Cherry ($32 for 0.41 fl oz/12 ml, made in France). It's a lush deep blackened cherry just like the name implies. The undertones are a deep purple with a very slight hint of red. I have mixed feelings about many of the original nail colors released by Tom Ford. Some of them like Viper, Pink Crush and Bordeaux Lust are extremely sheer requiring at least three coats for full even coverage. Others like Bitter B*tch, Ginger Fire, Indian Rose, Toasted Sugar and most of the newer releases have excellent coverage. I didn't know what to expect with Black Cherry but am so happy it applies flawlessly with two coats. It's a super dark vamp with a slight jelly finish but goes on the nail evenly without any issues. On me it's almost a pure black. The plum base prevents it from looking too harsh but it's still very very deep.

In sunlight at an angle you can see some of the plum undertones:

Swatched with two coats (it's absolute perfection):

Tom Ford Rose Crush Lip Gloss, Indian Rose Lipstick, Nude Dip Eyeshadow Quad (sold out online, but still available in stores for a limited time, check Neiman Marcus Fashion Island or Beverly Hills)

Next to the black leather card case you can see the nail polish has a bit of plum undertone on the nails, but it's still extremely dark:

Chanel card case, Wallet Clutch by Clare V.

Some nail polish comparisons to:

JINsoon Risque
Chanel Feu de Russie (discontinued)
Chanel Western Light (discontinued)
Chanel Strong (discontinued)

I'm 100% in love with this polish. I don't think it will be everyone's cup of tea since it is so dark and you can probably duplicate this easily with other shades. I couldn't find anything in my collection quite like it, but most of my vamps have more red or plum versus black.

Tom Ford Black Cherry retails for $32. You can find it now at Neiman Marcus, Bergdorf Goodman, Saks, Bloomingdales and Harvey Nichols.


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