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

Sunday, March 27, 2016

Marc Jacobs Beauty Enamored Hi-Shine Nail Lacquers in White Snow and Resurrection

There are a few new shades of the Marc Jacobs Beauty Enamored Hi-Shine Nail Lacquers ($18 each for 13 ml/0.43 oz) for spring and I picked up two from Sephora in White Snow and Resurrection. White Snow is a sheer milky cloud white and Resurrection is an opaque powdery pink cream. For those curious about the other new colors, there are 6 total in pastels and creams. The other four shades include Sundays Cool (lavender), Good Friday (mint), My Peeps (cool pink) and Confession (grey).

I find pastels can be hit or miss for my medium olive skintone. I love the look of white polish on other girls but on me it often looks like white out. Marc Jacobs White Snow has a sheer finish which requires 3 coats for me, but the sheerness helps make it more wearable on my hands compared to a pure white polish. Opaque pastel pink creams are often streaky or look too powdery on my hands. Marc Jacobs Resurrection is a high-maintenance pink in the sense that the first coat is a streaky mess, but it evens out to a smooth finish with the second or third coat. Each coat dries faster than most other polishes so I don't mind the extra work and the color has just the right mix of white and pink so it's not too contrasted with my skintone.

I just bought these and applied them so I didn't give them a week-long test run to see how long they lasted. However in my experience with other Marc Jacobs Nail Lacquers - lasting power is very good and I can get up to 7 days of wear without any tip wear or chipping. I usually combine the Marc Jacobs Nail Lacquers with the Formula X Base Coat and the Nails Inc. 45 Second Top Coat. A closer look at both shades.

White Snow:

Above: Sweater by Rag & Bone, Bag by Celine, Jeans by J.Brand


Both are fairly standard classic colors so I suspect they can be easily duped however I'm always on the hunt for a classic sheer white that isn't too sheer and that also isn't too opaque. White Snow is pretty darn good if you don't mind layering more than 2 coats. Resurrection is nice but not a must - especially if you already own a lot of pale pink cream colors.

You can find Marc Jacobs Beauty Nail Lacquers online and in store at Sephora. Also online at Marc Jacobs Beauty. Have you tried any of their nail polishes before? If so what are your favorites? A few of mine include Daisy, Wine-Not and Petra.

Enjoy the rest of your weekend!

Monday, March 21, 2016

Chanel Le Vernis Longwear Nail Colours in Ballerina, Organdi, Monochrome, Garçonne, Vamp and Rouge Noir - New Formula

As most of you now know, Chanel reformulated their Le Vernis Nail Colour ($28 each) earlier this year into a new and improved formula with longer wear. Most of the shades have been discontinued and pulled from counters and most places online (at the time of this post old colors are still showing up online at The new formula has been launched in 15 shades, 5 of which are re-promoted shades of classic colors (just in the new formula). After reviewing three shades Camélia 506, Gitane 510 and Roubachka 514 (review, swatches, old vs. new bottle and brush shots all posted here) I received an overwhelming amount of requests to review additional shades and the Chanel team kindly sent some of the most requested shades for me to review and swatch for you.

There are six that I've swatched and tested. Formulas of all shades offer smooth streak-free coverage and were easy to apply. Pigment in general of the new formula does seem to be on the more opaque side (think along the lines of the old Dragon formula) with a few exceptions of colors that have a sheer or jelly finish. As far as I can tell from a quick peek most of the shades are non shimmers with the exception of Vamp and Chaine Or (the gold seems to be only available at Saks). Some readers asked if I had any bubbling issues with the new formula. I personally did not see any bubbles. In terms of lasting power - I tested Ballerina (on the fingers) and Vamp (on the toes) for a full week each and both lasted 7 days without any signs of tip wear or chipping with the Le Top Coat.

Shown above from left to right:
  • Ballerina is a super sheer baby pink, the original version was almost impossible to see on the nail with two coats, the new version is an improved version in terms of pigment but I still find it extremely sheer and it was the only one that I needed 3 coats (and it's still sheer)
  • Monochrome is a cool light grey, formula covers the nail entirely with two coats
  • Garçonne is a medium grey shade, it has a bit of warmth to it, coverage is rich and opaque
  • Organdi is a nude pink that falls in the neutral-cool category, it's a full coverage color
  • Vamp is a deep wine color with a bit of red and purple shimmer mixed in, I've found the color is identical to the original, but the formula has improved with better pigment and shine
  • Rouge Noir appears to be exclusive to and the color is identical to what I have in the old formula, this is a jelly finish color but still covers the nail entirely with two coats, it's a deep blackened red shade
Swatches, all have 2 coats with the exception of Ballerina which has 3 coats shown, also all swatches have the Le Top Coat applied on top:

Some swatch comparisons to some shades in the old formula, I thought I had the old Ballerina, but in searching my collection I found that I no longer have it:

Out of all the shades I've tested, I'm personally drawn to the brighter shades Camelia and Gitane that I reviewed back in February. I've used both on several pedicures since the initial post and find the colors are bright and cheerful. This second review batch has a mix of light and dark shades. I like Organdi as an everyday conservative neutral - the formula and coverage is excellent and I think on deeper more tan skintones it will look like a stunning lighter nude pink while on me it almost matches my skin undertone. I'm happy that Vamp and Rouge Noir have joined the new formula color family, if I had to pick between the two I would say Vamp has a special touch because of the subtle shimmer it has in it. For the grey shades I prefer Monochrome over Garçonne - both perform really well in terms of smooth streak-free coverage with very good pigment. On my skintone darker greys can make the skin look a little lack-luster. 

Overall I give the formula a thumbs up. The polish perform well and there is a wide range of colors to choose from in the non-shimmer finish that offer a nicely polished classic look. All shades are listed as permanent, available for $28 each at and all other Chanel retailers. As of right now it appears that Rouge Noir is the only shade exclusive to (at least in the US) but if you've spotted it in stores please share in the comments.

Have you tried any of the new shades/formula yet? What did you think?

Polishes provided courtesy of Chanel for review consideration.

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Chanel Le Vernis Longwear Nail Color and Le Gel Coat Longwear Top Coat - New Formulas

Chanel has reformulated all of their nail colors into a newer longer lasting formula called Le Vernis Longwear Nail Colour ($28 each for 13 ml/0.4 fl oz, made in France). There are 15 shades in this new launch, there are a few from the original line that have been re-launched in Particuliere, Ballerina, Pirate, Vamp, and Rouge Noir. I haven't yet had the chance to check out the new ones in person yet to compare the original to new shades, so I'm not sure if the new vs old colors are identical (if you have let me know!). The Chanel team sent 3 colors for me to try out along with the new Le Gel Coat Longwear Top Coat ($28 for 13 ml/0.4 fl oz), I've been putting these to the test for almost two weeks now. The formula is definitely a huge improvement in terms of lasting power.

The three shades I have to share are Camélia 506, Gitane 510 and Roubachka 514. These are all creams with insanely rich pigment. Camélia and Gitane are one-coat wonders, one coat offers full coverage, although I still prefer two for an ultra rich, ultra glossy, slightly cushiony look. These seem to be similar in texture compared to the more pigmented Chanel creams like Dragon. They glide on smoothly and easily. Camélia is a rich deep peony pink kind of color, it's got a cool-toned base but has a bright undertone which adds warmth. Gitane is an electric warm red. Roubachka is definitely a two-coater, the formula in this one is almost like a pigmented jelly. It's a deep purple color but looks almost black on the nails. It's what I wanted Tom Ford Viper to be (which I've tested in store many times but found the formula just too sheer and streaky).

Above left to right is Gitane, Camelia, Roubachka and the Le Gel Coat. They've changed the packaging a bit this launch. The names are no longer printed on the front of the bottles. Names are now on the back for the colors. The formula remains 5-free.

Another change they've made is to the brush. I was a huge huge fan of the original brush. It was thin and dense which allowed for precise application. The newer brush is a bit thicker and fans out the slightest bit at the edges. Length of brush is about the same. Initially the fanning out worried me because I thought it would be harder to control and paint the nails evenly along the cuticles. I found no issue with application. At this time I still prefer the original brush - but when you have something that you fall in love with, getting used to something different can just take time. Here's a look at the brushes for the new formula.

For comparison, here's a look at Gitane vs Coquelicot, packaging size is identical in product amount and bottle size. Brushes are the same length, there's just a slight difference in the shape:

Onto the swatches, all of these have 2 coats of the Le Vernis applied with one coat of the Le Gel Coat on top:

A few quick thoughts on the Le Gel Coat is that it's amazing. When Chanel discontinued the Laque Brilliance Extreme I was heartbroken. I found the new Le Top Coat Quick Dry top coat to be decent, but nowhere near as good as the original top coat. The Le Top Coat was very thin and runny and I found I had to load up the brush to get enough product on it to apply to the nail, but often loaded up either too little or too much.

The new Le Gel Coat is a thicker glossy kind of top coat. It has a wider brush compared to the other top coats. I tested this over Essie Barefoot and Topless because no matter what kind of top coat I use on Essie, I get tipwear the very same day I apply it. I know many others like the formula, I think it's one of the worst that I've tried in terms of lasting power. I figured if the new Chanel Top Coat could make Essie polish last, then it gets my approval. The Chanel Le Gel Coat made the manicure last until Day 5 with no signs of tip wear or chipping. I only took it off so I could test other colors.

The Le Gel Coat is described as, "Specially created to enhance the new nail colour, LE GEL COAT Longwear Top Coat extends the wear for up to seven days. Activated by natural light, the innovative, clear top coat bonds to LE VERNIS for flexibility, strength and unprecedented wear. The result: an ultra-glossy, gel-like look without the UV lamp."

It did indeed make one of the manicures last very long. In addition to the Essie, I tested Chanel Camelia with the new Le Gel Coat Top Coat and saw no signs of chipping or tip wear by Day 8. It has a cushiony glossy look. The formula is on the thicker side, but still fluid enough compared to other gel top coats so it feels like it won't dry out or thicken like other brands. I give this a thumbs up.

A look at the original, vs Le Top vs Le Gel:

First impressions are very good from my end. The new reformulation has definitely improved the lasting power of the polish although I've always had good experiences with the formula in general since I've started collecting Chanel nail polishes. The reformulation reminds me somewhat of when Dior reformulated and relaunched their polish - they changed the packaging, changed the brush, improved the formula and pigment and also launched colors primarily in the classic/safe zone to start with a couple of more edgy shades.

I haven't had a chance to pull comparisons or look at the other shades in the new formula, with the exception of the one above with Gitane vs Coquelicot - they look identical to me with Gitane being the slightest bit warmer. Camélia is a classic deep but bright cool pink shade, it's deeper than colors like Fracas, Rose Exhuberant or Pulsion. It has a similar vibe to April, but Camelia is a lot brighter and not muted like April. It's bright but deep. If I were to compare the effect of Roubachka to another shade I would say it's similar to Tom Ford Black Cherry. I am sad to see the other shades go, but to date I've only used up a couple polish colors and the shades I do have last a very long time (some I have are 5+ years old and the formula is still good).

You can find the new Chanel Le Vernis formula online at I've spotted the colors online and in store at Nordstrom and Neiman Marcus although neither of them have Rouge Noir (at least not yet).

Have you checked out the new formula yet? What do you think?

Le Vernis polishes featured above provided courtesy of Chanel for review.

Sunday, January 31, 2016

Formula X #ColorCurators: Song of Style Collection

This year Formula X has launched a special series of colors called #ColorCurators. They've teamed up with 10 major digital influencers in beauty, fashion, and wellness to design a series of customized nail polishes with a new trio of polish colors launching each month. The first collaboration features shades inspired by fashion blogger Aimee Song from Song of Style. I picked up the three shades from my local Sephora before they sold out in stores. The colors are limited-edition but you can still find them online at Sephora ($12.50 each).

The three shades in this collection include three cream colors:
  • A Girl's Best Friend is a pastel pink
  • Mintfluencer is a pastel mint cream
  • Nude for You is a beige tan nude
When it comes to pastel creams, I think formulas and application can be tricky for any brand. So many pastels look chalky or are difficult to apply smoothly if you want full opaque coverage. Many go on splotchy with the first coat, some even out with the second, but a lot require a super steady hand and I avoid them because they are frequently high maintenance to get even coverage. I was thrilled to find that the colors from the FormulaX ColorCurators collaboration this month have good smooth coverage and were not streaky. The first coat with all of the shades is on the thin side and will look a tiny bit streaky. The second coat smooths out color perfectly without any issues. The key is to let the first coat dry completely though. If it's still wet when you put on the second coat, the brush will drag the color and make it look blotchy. I have quick swatches of each shade to share in case you've been wondering about them.

A Girl's Best Friend is a pastel pink. I do think this one requires a bit more care to apply simply because of the formula. It can look messy if you get this one in the cuticles, so I recommend cleaning the nail well and making sure your cuticles are trimmed before applying. I like using the FormulaX System with these polishes because it works really well to get smooth coverage and extend the wear of their polishes.

Next up is Mintfluencer. I've mentioned numerous times on this blog that I think mint colors are hard to pull off for nails for my yellow/olive skin. If it has too much yellow or green undertone it can make my hands look sallow. If it's too pale, it ends up looking chalky and well, too pastel. FormulaX Mintfluencer has a really good mix of blue and enough color that it makes for a really fun true mint cream manicure. It surprised me how much I like it.

Another look in direct sunlight:

Last but not least is Nude For You which has a gorgeous mix of beige nude. It gives the hands a clean polished look. I think this one is my favorite of the three. Shown with two coats below:

For colors that might be seemingly basic, I give all three a huge thumbs up for color and formula. Lasting power on these polishes is very impressive - they last at least 7 days without tip wear or chipping although they absolutely need a top coat to help protect the polish. Pastels have been done a million times over, but I think creating the right mix of color and pigment is difficult to pull off in order for a pastel polish to be naturally flattering on the skintone without looking chalky. FormulaX has nailed it (no pun intended) with these colors. The shade Nude for You is absolute perfection in terms of being a true beige nude that give will the hands a nice polished look and still give it life. It has enough tan in it so it won't make the hands look corpse-like or sallow. Mintfluencer is such a fun mint cream, the fact that I find it wearable for me is huge since I'm not a big fan of mint colors for nails in general. If there was one color I would say might be ok to pass on it's A Girl's Best Friend. It's a really pretty soft girly pink cream, but I think can be easily duped with other shades from OPI or Essie. Still it's a wearable soft pink shade that I think will be a classic.

You can find the Formula X Color Curators shades exclusively at Sephora. I checked a couple stores this past week and both were completely sold out of the shades. Your stores might still have them in stock but you can still find them online at right now.

Have you checked out these colors yet? What did you think?

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Christian Louboutin Beauté Hawaii Kawai I Nail Coffret Trio for Spring 2016

For spring this year Christian Louboutin designed a gorgeous tropical floral print for shoes, handbags and accessories in a collection called Hawaii Kawai. For beauty lovers, Christian Louboutin Beauté has launched two limited-edition Hawaii Kawaii Nail Color Coffrets ($90 each) to complement the accessories in Set 1 and Set 2. Each version comes packaged in a beautiful keepsake box decorated with the same colorful prints featured in shoes and handbags. The colors in these sets are existing shades but in miniature sizes which are 0.2 fl oz/6 ml each compared to the full size bottles that contain 0.4 fl oz/13 ml of product. Today I am thrilled to be able to share the Hawaii Kawai I with you today. The Louboutin team also sent some beautiful accessories from the collection for me to play with, specifically for this feature. The patterns and prints are to die for. The pumps featured are the Pigalle Follies (120 mm), purse featured is the Triloubi Small Chain Bag.

The Hawaii Kawai Set 1 is packaged in a box a white colored background (Set 2 has a black background). The colors in this one are:
  • Very Prive - a deep jelly wine color, it applies red with the first coat but deepens to a darker shade with the second coat, in direct sunlight it looks brighter than in natural light where it appears more deep
  • Batignolles - described as a cross between a sky and turquoise blue, inspired by the timeless beauty of Paris, this is such a fun aqua cream, two coats gives you full coverage
  • Miss Loubi - one of my favorite colors, it's a bright coral pink, I already own this in the full size, it's one of the most cheerful corals I own

First a little reveal/box opening. The presentation is so fun - opening the box was half the fun!

A red felt cover is nestled inside:

When you open the box, the setup looks like a doll house for fancy nail polish. The red bits of ribbon help you pull out the polish - they are securely cushioned in the box so they don't move around while in transit:

The proportions of the bottle and brush are similar in the mini versus full size. Sometimes with mini polishes, brushes can be uber tiny and hard to use but I didn't have any issues with these. The brush is slightly smaller in size but noticeably shorter:

Some close ups and swatches of each color in the Hawaii Kawai I Set. Up first is Very Prive which is like a blood red color. The first coat applies like a true red. Once you add a second coat and it dries it turns into a deep wine color. The texture is smooth and applies evenly. Coverage is pretty full but with the first coat it feels like it has a jelly finish because it's just the slightest bit transparent.

Next is Miss Loubi. I'm obsessed with peachy coral creams. This one sometimes looks more pink on my skin, other times it looks more coral or peach. Either way it's something that brightens the mood. I love it for fingers or toes, year round.

Below shown with two coats. The Louboutin polishes have a naturally glossy finish, but I still top with a top coat. Below I used Chanel Le Top Coat over Miss Loubi.

Last but not least, Batignolles - one of the best aqua colors I've tried. I also own this in the full size (so yes, I do already own 2 of the 3 in this set). This is a full coverage opaque cream color (no shimmer). Long time readers know I'm kinda anti-green when it comes to nail polishes, this one has enough blue in it so it doesn't look yellowish.

A quick look at the back of the box:

The items in the Louboutin Beauté line are the epitome of luxury when it comes to cosmetics - they come with an expensive price tag but after testing a number of their polishes I really believe the quality, packaging and design make them phenomenal in terms of performance. On me the polishes last remarkably well without chipping or tip wear. I can get up to 7 days of wear and by day 7 the polish still looks perfect. The colors apply smoothly and most of the shades I've tested have extremely good pigment and coverage. (Some of the nudes require three coats to get the coverage I want, but coverage is still very smooth and every nude in the line is absolutely quite perfect.) The packaging is truly a work of art. 

If you've been eyeing the Louboutin Nail Polishes but were hesitant to spend $50 on a single bottle, I think the nail trios offer a nice way to try three shades for $90 instead of spending $150 (even though they are minis). I think the minis are adorable and there seems to be enough to get a decent number of manis or pedis out of them. At $90 a set, these make for a very luxurious splurge, but this breaks down to $30 each polish for the minis which I think is easier to justify for a luxury product compared to the $50 price (although I have splurged on quite a few by now).

The Louboutin Hawaii Kawai Collection I and II are both limited-edition ($90 each). You can find them online for a limited time while supplies last at Christian Louboutin, Sephora, Nordstrom, Neiman Marcus, and Bergdorf Goodman.

Will you be checking these out? Do you have any Louboutin Beauté favorites? I'm still waiting to see the lipsticks in person but am dying for a few good nudes because the formula is so good!

The nail trio was provided courtesy of Christian Louboutin for review. Accessories kindly loaned to style photographs for this post.


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