Thursday, May 22, 2014

MAC Alluring Aquatic Nail Polishes

The MAC Alluring Aquatic Collection was released today in stores.  For those of you that tried to buy some of the collection online, I hope you were able to get what you were looking for.  I heard that the lipsticks sold out in 15 minutes.  Good to know when a collection from MAC goes live online, it's like Ticketmaster - you have to be ready at the exact time stated and keep refreshing the page.

Luckily, there are other places you can buy products from this collection.  Macy's and Nordstrom have this collection listed online, and if you go in to buy the collection, you might get lucky and snag a bottle of something that is no longer available online.  Like the polish on the far right, Submerged, which is no longer available online at MAC, Nordstrom, or Macy's.

 no base coat, 2 coats Neptune, no top coat

First we have Neptune, which is described as a frost finish polish by MAC.  Luckily, the usual problem of brushstrokes that appear with frost finish polishes is minimal here.  The photo above showcases the color(s) of this polish at its best.  On my index finger (far left) you can see the polish looks like a tarnished gold that almost leans green, while on my pinkie nail (far right), the polish has transformed into a warm copper/bronze color.

 no base coat, 2 coats Neptune, no top coat

And above you can see more of the almost-green flash that is always on the edge of visibility with this polish.  This green flash is visible in person in certain lighting and at certain angles.

 no base coat, 2 coats Shimmerfish, no top coat

This next polish is called Shimmerfish.  Shimmerfish is described as a pearl finish polish.  This polish looks like it's made up of mostly silver flecks with copper flecks of color spread throughout.

 no base coat, 2 coats Shimmerfish, no top coat

While Shimmerfish looks unique, it also appears to be quite similar to at least one polish we've seen from OPI.  Designer, de Better from the OPI Muppets Holiday Collection 2011 has a very similar look.  I do not have Designer, de Better to compare, but if you have that polish, you might not want to buy this polish unless you just want it for the packaging.

 base coat, 2 coats Submerged, no top coat

Now for the last polish in this collection.  Submerged is described as a frost finish polish.  Unfortunately, Submerged tends to have more brushstrokes that show up than were visible with Neptune.  While brushstrokes are visible, this is still a beautiful polish.

 base coat, 2 coats Submerged, no top coat

The main color visible is a strong teal shimmer that leans blue.  While the polish in the bottle looks like it has a strong duochrome that is teal-to-purple, the purple flash is very hard to see in person (and even harder to photograph).

base coat, 2 coats Submerged, no top coat

Above you can see that the purple is barely visible at the top angle of each nail that is thrown into shadow.  The purple is more visible in real life, but is still hard to see in most lighting.

If you are interested in any of these polishes, head down to your nearest MAC counter.  Submerged is no longer available online, but at the time of writing this post, both Neptune and Shimmerfish are still available on the MAC website.

On the packaging: the water droplets on the boxes and bottles are all part of this amazing packaging that houses these polishes.  The packaging is really, in my opinion, what makes these polishes unique.  These three polishes, while being special in that they are not straight cremes or repromotes of previous colors, do look like other polishes out there.  If you are not willing to pay the $17.50US for each polish just for the amazing packaging, you can probably hunt down a close match.

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Nails Inc. Floral Collection Swatches

The Floral collection by Nails Inc. is one of the new Nails Inc. collections that just released this Spring.  There are 4 polishes in this collection that each consist of flower shaped glitter in various color combinations.  At the time of typing this post, these polishes are now available in store and online at Sephora.  If you are not in the United States, the Nails Inc. website has these polishes listed, although it says they are currently unavailable.

base coat, 2 coats My Turn by Sinful Colors, 1 coat Daisy Lane, no top coat

This is Daisy Lane.   An adorable name for an adorable polish!  Featuring white, pink, and red flower glitter with small white glitter, and light pink micro glitter in a clear base.

base coat, 2 coats My Turn by Sinful Colors, 1 coat Daisy Lane, no top coat

Below is Floral Street Mews.  The clear base holds a multitude of glitters.  Besides the white and blue flower shaped glitter particles, there are 5 different sizes of glitter pieces.  There are orange and white micro glitter pieces, followed by slightly larger white and light pink glitter glitter pieces (that I will refer to as "small" glitter pieces).  Next up from the small glitter is the medium sized hexagonal glitter in light pink and white.  Following that in size are larger glitter pieces that are hexagonal in shape that only appear to come in white.  The largest size of hexagonal glitter pieces (that I would consider the "extra large" pieces of glitter in comparison to all the other sizes) come in white and the same blue hue as the flowers.  

 base coat, 2 coats My Turn by Sinful Colors, 1 coat Floral Street Mews, no top coat

Because Floral Street Mews has so many different sizes of glitter and in differing color combinations, this one looks a bit more "exciting" to the eyes, when painted on top of a bland black or white (or gray, as done below), even though all the glitter within this polish is pastel in tone.

 base coat, 2 coats My Turn by Sinful Colors, 1 coat Floral Street Mews, no top coat

Below is the last polish I picked up from this collection: Richmond Gardens.  Upon first inspection, the glitter colors in this polish appear to be a turquoise-blue, a light green, and a white, but that isn't completely correct.

 base coat, 2 coats My Turn by Sinful Colors, 1 coat Richmond Gardens, no top coat

The smallest glitter (the "micro" glitter) is yellow/chartreuse in color (it looks very much like a green-leaning yellow).  The larger sized glitter (which I will again refer to as "small" to differentiate from the other sizes of glitter), is either a turquoise-blue or light pink.  The hexagonal medium sized glitter comes in a plethora of colors, including that same yellow/chartreuse color seen with the micro glitter, light green, turquoise-blue, and light pink.  The medium sized glitter is the largest glitter in this polish besides the flower glitter (which is giant by comparison).  There is, in fact, no white glitter in this polish (the photos make the pink glitter look white).

base coat, 2 coats My Turn by Sinful Colors, 1 coat Richmond Gardens, no top coat

I would consider the glitter in all of these polishes to be matte glitter, even though it almost has a pearlized finish (as seen especially in Daisy Lane with the white glitter particles), but I attribute that to the clear, shiny base that the glitter sits in.

Instructions on how to apply (or how to not have to fish the flower shaped glitter pieces out with an orange stick or tweezers):
1) After you apply your requisite base color (or no color if that may be the case), have a piece of scrap paper near you.
2) When you first open the polish bottle, dip the brush into the center of the opening (without brushing it against the sides of the bottle, taking off excess glitter), and begin brushing the glitter on the brush onto the scrap paper.  It is likely that all of this glitter will be of the micro, small, medium, large, or extra large variety, and will not be a flower.  The flower pieces are heavier and so they tend to sink just a bit in the clear base.
3) Repeat the process in step 2, continuing to dip the brush into the center of the opening, working to not scrape off the excess glitter that would just cling to your brush the next time you put it back into the bottle.
4) After repeating step 2 (and 3) a few times, you should eventually get a flower glitter piece to appear. Warning: once you have had one flower-shaped glitter piece cling to your brush, your are likely to have a bunch of flowers cling to the brush at the same time.  This is when you can dab those flowers from the brush on multiple fingernails, without having to reinsert the brush into the bottle to get more flowers.
5) If you have come to the part where each time you pull out the brush you get multiple flowers, now you just have to work at getting the right amount of other glitter pieces you want on to your nails!

And there you have it!

If you think the flower shaped glitter looks familiar, you may be thinking of the newly released Formula X for Sephora Cherry Blossom Top Coat.  I am almost certain that the flower glitter in the Cherry Blossom Top Coat is the same shape as the flower glitter in these Nails Inc. polishes.  The only differences I see between the two are the price (the Nails Inc. are $11US and the Formula X is $12.50US), and the color variations that are available in the Nails Inc. polishes (that are not available in the Formula X, which is only pink in color).

So, what do you think of these polishes?

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Nails Inc. Latex Effect Swatches

Nails Inc. has a few new collections out that are currently available on their website or on Sephora's website.  One of these new collections is the Latex Effect collection.  As of today, while I am writing this post, I just checked the Sephora website and it says these polishes are now available in stores.

I originally bought these 4 weeks ago online to see what they were like, so I only picked up 2 colors to test out of the 4 colors available in this collection.  Take a look below to see what you think of the 2 polishes I picked up to see what you think:

  no base coat, 2 coats Portobello Road, no top coat

The first polish I will show you is Portobello Road.  A beautiful light pink in the bottle, and on the nails the color is the same.  Unfortunately, the color is where the prettiness stops, since this polish was the problem child of the two I picked up (although you can see below that the other polish also has some issues).

 no base coat, 2 coats Portobello Road, no top coat

So as you may have guessed, the term "latex" used in the name of this polish collection means that these polishes have a matte finish.  I assumed the finish would be rubbery looking (half matte and half shiny), like the Illamasqua Rubber Finish polishes or the Wax That... top coat by Cult Nails.  I might describe this as a little less chalky than regular matte finishes, but it is still a matte finish polish at the end of the day.

 base coat, 2 coats Bermondsey Street, no top coat

The second polish I have to share with all of you is Bermondsey Street.  This is a light but bright turquoise-leaning blue.  If you look on Wikipedia, it looks exactly like the color they call Celeste.  I think the photos make this polish look a little bit brighter than it appears in person.

 base coat, 2 coats Bermondsey Street, no top coat

As you can see with Bermondsey Street, the polish goes on a lot smoother than with Portobello Road.  There are less ridges and the polish consistency is much easier to work with.  Out of these 2 polishes, if you are tempted by them both but unsure of which one to get, I would suggest just getting Bermondsey Street.

The other 2 polishes in this collection are Shoreditch High Street (which is described on the Sephora website as a hot pink polish) and Camden Passage (which is described as a nude polish, although the photograph of the polish makes it appear to look like a gray-beige hybrid).

If you have picked up any of these polishes in this collection I would love to hear about your experiences with them.  Was the consistency hard to work with?  Does Camden Passage appear to have the same formula issues that Portobello Road has?  I actually swatched Portobello Road 2 times before giving up since the results looked exactly the same.  This makes me wonder if it is just user error, and I have gotten so used to just putting a matte top coat on top of a polish I want to be matte, that I no longer have the careful touch needed when working with mattes.  So please, let me know how your experience working with any of these polishes from this collection goes!