Wednesday, July 27, 2011

China Glaze–Metro Collection

I picked up a few polishes from the Metro collection this week – yay for not buying an entire collection!  *pats self on back*  I have been so overwhelmed with life (and polish) that it is honestly a relief to only be getting 4 from this collection.  Normally the fall collections kill me, but this year doesn’t look like it’s going to be too bad!  I’m planning on getting 4 from Zoya (Neeka, Yara, Petra, Cynthia), 3 from OPI (A Color to Diner For, I Eat Mainely Lobster, Uh-oh, Roll Down the Window), one from Finger Paints (Cordur-Orange), and nothing from Essie or Color Club – woo hoo!  :D  I’m sure I’ll end up with a couple more than I named, but at least I’m not planning on buying all of them from the start – that’s an improvement, right?

I’ve lured a couple of the girls I work with into the addicting world of nail polish, so now I have ladies to split the shipping with, and I can pass on a bit of knowledge here and there.  It actually makes it harder NOT to buy more stuff, but I am doing ok.  I received my biggest lemming a couple of weeks ago and since then, polish buying has tapered.  I purchased the Metro polishes on Thursday, received Monday… and I haven’t bought anything else since Thursday.  I also didn’t buy anything for over a week on Thursday when I purchased these.  Maybe I’m finally starting to get a handle on this mad, mad, mad, mad hobby?

Trendsetter is one of those ugly polishes that you either love or hate.  I tend to like these really funky ones, they are so unique that I can’t help but buy it.  It’s a baby-poo greenish mustard color with a heavy dose of multi-colored shimmer.  The shimmer leans gold, but it also flashes green and a bit of red, so I don’t think I can truly call it a gold shimmer.  It also has a bit bigger particles than the typical shimmer.  Formula-wise, this one is pretty danged thick – but not unmanageable.  It did have some self-leveling issues (which you can see in the pic), but it has been insanely hot and humid in the Midwest, so I won’t write it off just yet – maybe it will be ok when the weather normalizes.  The idea of this polish is very similar to Classic Camel from last fall, but the color is quite a bit different.


I went searching my stash for similar things and didn’t really find a lot.  I even pulled all my uglies, but this one is pretty unique!  I ended up going with American Apparel – Mac Arthur Park (ring), and since I mentioned that Trendsetter is this year’s Classic Camel, Classic Camel (index).  Classic Camel is a totally different color, but they both contain the same kind of shimmer.  Mac Arthur Park has a swoon-worthy formula and is actually the closest thing in my stash, though they are pretty different.  I wonder if you mixed Classic Camel and Mac Arthur Park, you would get Trendsetter?  I’m not a frankener, but it is an idea!  I also pulled Butter London - Bumster and Barielle – Aura Angora – both are too yellow to really compare, more yellow than Classic Camel.  In the bottle, China Glaze – GR8 is similar in hue to Trendsetter, though it is a totally different finish.  However, on the nail, GR8 shows much more gold compared to Trendsetter’s green, and the finishes are so different, I didn’t include it in a pic.


Traffic Jam really isn’t all that unique looking – a berry crème – but I don’t have a dupe and the formula is fabulous.  I only wear pinks, reds, oranges, corals, berries, etc., on my toes – no crazy colors!  I’m weird like that… most people will try the odd ones on their toes, but not their hands, and I am the exact opposite.  I painted my mom’s toes green recently and it was so weird!  It looked cute on her, but I couldn’t handle it.  I’m pretty much crème only on toes too.  Occasionally I can handle a shimmer, but usually I take it off before it even has a chance to dry.  *shrugs*  I bought this polish for pedis, and I think it will get A LOT of use.  It’s a great non-seasonal color and I think it would flatter just about every skin tone.


I was sure I was going to find a dupe in my collection, but surprisingly, I didn’t.  Apparently it is a bit more unique than we think.  The closest I had was OPI – Dim Sum Plum (ring) and OPI – Houston, We Have A Purple (index) – actually, HWHAP and Traffic Jam look nearly identical when you compare the bottles.  However, HWHAP is a jelly and Traffic Jam is a crème, so they don’t turn out to be dupes at all.  Here’s a bottle pic though, just to prove I’m not crazy!  ;)


Next up is one of the more anticipated polishes in this collection…


Skyscraper has been getting a lot of buzz as a possible Starry Starry Night dupe, but they are really just similar ideas, not really similar in look.  Skyscraper has a deep blue (with slight purple leanings) jelly base and is packed with silver glitter.  The first coat looks like it is going to be really sheer, but 3 coats makes it totally opaque.  I have a slightly wonky brush, so it doesn’t really want to apply evenly at the tips, but it really is a nice formula and wonderful polish.  It isn’t an SSN dupe, but it might satisfy lemmings for some!


The color of the jelly base makes this a hard polish for me to compare.  I don’t have anything similar to that color with glitter, so I chose two other blue with silver glitters to show you how different Skyscraper is.  Deborah Lippmann – Lady Sings The Blues (ring) is obviously darker with different shaped glitter, and CM – Midnight Imposter (index) also has a darker base with different glitter, but the differences are more than just that.  The glitter in Skyscraper is quite small – not as small as SSN (which I do not have, but I do have Essie – Bonded, which is the red counterpart to SSN, so I have seen the tiny glitters), but still quite a bit smaller than the usual glitter polishes out there.  It also has a jelly base, so the glitter really does show and doesn’t get buried in the base like LSTB and Midnight Imposter.  The are all beautiful, but Skyscraper is more like the midnight sky in a big, busy city with tons of lights.


The last of the Metro collection I have is Midtown Magic – a very deep burgundy/brown with that same gold / multicolored shimmer that appears in Trendsetter.  Another great formula – you might be able to get away with one coat, but I suggest two for this amazing color.  I am totally smitten and this will be on my nails often this fall.  When I initially saw promo pics, I swore this was going to be a dupe to Side Saddle, from the Rodeo Diva collection, but was proved wrong when I saw swatches.  Then I decided it was a dupe to OPI – DS Mystery.  Again… wrong!


While DS Mystery is definitely similar, the base color is different, plus the shimmer is more like little flakes and is more sparse.  It is that same color though – gold that leans green and flashes a bit of red.  Mystery’s base is a deep royal purple, while Midtown Magic’s is more brown.  Side Saddle is a burgundy / purple with a gold shimmer that is the typical shimmer size in comparison.  Midtown Magic is more what I wanted DS Mystery to look like – it really is gorgeous and is a perfect fall color.

Since I don’t have all the polishes from this collection, I can’t really make an overall opinion, but I did only buy 4… and I think that is my statement.  I love the ones I have, but I wasn’t overly thrilled with all the colors China Glazes went with this fall.  I have the entire Spring and Summer collections by them for this year, so I was a little disappointed with this collection.  I can’t really put my finger on it – I have dupes to a couple, and I’m sure a few won’t look so good with my yellow/green undertones, but overall, this collection was just meh to me.  I have seen CG In The City in person and wasn’t wowed, even though it does seem to be a unique glitter.  It’s just kinda dull and all the colors just blend together, at least in the bottle.  One of my co-workers bought it, so I’ll let  you know if that opinion changes when she wears it.  Formulas on all of these were nice – thick, but not too thick, though I did have some trouble with Trendsetter self-leveling.

Any you are lemming?

Basecoat: none
Topcoat: Beauty Secrets Fast Finish on all but Traffic Jam, which has no topcoat
Number of coats: 2 except Skyscraper, which was 3

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

OPI–Miss Universe


Woohoo, a post during the week!  Daniel went to bed early, so I had a couple of hours to do what I wanted without feeling like a jerk for not spending time with him!  :D

I bought the Miss Universe collection on eBay before seeing any swatches and honestly, I don’t regret it!  I love these mini collections that are only a few polishes, it makes it so much easier to pick them up!


I’ll start with It’s My Year, since it was the one I was most looking forward to.  Purple/Pink base with TONS of gold shimmer.  It’s not a glitter and it’s more like glass fleck foil than regular shimmer – think the Zoya Sparkle collection (and Sunshine collection).  Very similar to Rally Pretty Pink and Zoya’s Faye, but with a bit more purple to the base.  When I say a bit, I mean it.  When I pulled it out of the envelope, I was sure they had sent me the wrong shade.  Even compared to RPS in my living room, I couldn’t tell the difference between them.  However, on the nail, side-by-side, under my OTT light, they are a bit different.


I *think* RPS is on my ring finger and Faye is on my index, but don’t quote me on that.  Those two are pretty much dead-on dupes and I took these pics last weekend, so I can’t really remember.  It’s My Year is a bit different, but not a ton.  I know a lot of people were looking forward to Faye being more purple than it turned out to be, and if you are one of them, It’s My Year is for you.  If you already have RPS and Faye and are happy with the warm mauve base… well, you might be a bit disappointed here, as It’s My Year isn’t as different as I thought it’d be.


Sorry for the desk shot, but Congeniality Is My Middle Name was extremely hard for me to capture.  It is a deep berry color with a foily shimmer that hides a bit in the base.  It will be gorgeous for fall – a bit of bling, but subtle enough to wear to work easily.  I have seen a lot of speculation that this is a dupe or similar to The One That Got Away, so I have compared it below, along with Lourve Me, Lourve Me Not.


If The One That Got Away (ring) and Lourve Me, Lourve Me Not (index) had a baby, it would be Congeniality Is My Middle Name (middle).  It has the deeper color like LMLMN, but the foily sparkle of TOTGA.  There is a bit of shimmer to LMLMN, but it’s not very noticeable.  I was surprised to see other blogs showing TOTGA and CIMMN as dupes or close… either their lighting is way different than mine (OTT for me!), or we have different bottles – they are VERY different!


I was expecting Crown Me Already to be a layering glitter, a pure silver version of Spark de Triomphe, but it really is it’s own thing.  It is a silver glitter, but it really isn’t good for layering – there is SO much glitter here, it will cover up whatever is under it.  This is just two coats and it is almost opaque.  If you put it over a silver foil, you might even be able to get away with just one coat.  It is full of different sizes of glitter – including some very large hexes you can see on my ring finger.  This one is crazy blingy – beware if you are in the sun!


I was going to compare this to Sephora by OPI’s Flurry Up, as it is also a silver glitter with different size particles, but it truly is a layering glitter and it would take A TON of coats to ever get it this opaque.  Instead I compared with Spark de Triomphe (middle), just to prove that they aren’t dupey in any way.  No huge hexes!


I am saving the best for last here… honestly, Swimsuit… Nailed It absolutely blew me away.  I am not a crazy huge fan of blues and hardly wear them, but this one knocked it out of the park for me.  It looks so amazing in the bottle – there are all these little tiny shimmers.  I don’t really know how to describe it, but if you see a bottle, just pick it up and look at it.  It doesn’t look anything like any other bottle of polish I have.  The shimmers are all one color, so it’s just… wow.  Even my hubby, who cares nothing for polish and barely tolerates my obsession, took a look at it in the bottle and said “hrmph, that’s kinda neat looking.”  That’s a big deal for him, trust me!  Usually I just get an eye roll and a snort.  :P

Anyhoo…. Swimsuit… Nailed it is an awesome blue foil that could easily be a one coater.  I did two, but it wasn’t necessary.  It is an absolutely stunning color.  I did not want to take it off.  Hell, I didn’t, even when I should have.  I went to a wedding this weekend and was planning on changing my mani to Essie – Braziliant, but I just couldn’t bring myself to take this one off, so I went with blue nails.  I have seen a lot of people say this one isn’t all that unique, but I beg to differ… I have nothing like this in my stash.  I would love to see someone pull out an exact dupe – I might need a back up here!  Honestly, this one entered my top 20 before the topcoat was even dry.  One tiny downside… smurf fingers and major staining.  After wearing this over 2 basecoats for 3 days, my nails were a lovely green.  o.O  I was able to get it off by scrubbing with a nail brush in hot soapy water for 10 minutes or so, but I don’t recommend removing this one if you are in a hurry!  I have seen questions as to whether it is similar to China Glaze – Blue Iguana (and its dupe, Nicole by OPI – S-Teal the One), but the medium blue hue is all that they have.


I changed things up a bit this time and so Swimsuit… Nailed it is on my ring finger, Blue Iguana is in the middle, and GOSH – Blue Monday is on my index.  This is two coats of the OPI, 2 coats of China Glaze, and 3 coats + a bunch of blobs of GOSH.  Seriously, that is one of the sheerest polishes ever.  Gotta remember to layer that puppy from now on.  Swimsuit is a fabulously opaque foil, while Blue Iguana is a much more sheer glass fleck with a hint of pink flash, and Blue Monday is a really sheer glass fleckish (not quite, but almost?) with pink and purple flashes.

Overall, I’m quite happy with this collection.  No dupes, though I was a bit disappointed It’s My Year wasn’t quite as purple as I expected.  I am in LURVE with Swimsuit… Nailed It and might even be looking for a backup.  Congeniality Is My Middle Name will be worn a lot in the fall, and Crown Me Already will be great when I feel the need for bling!  Formulas were great on all of these, just 2 coats on each.

How do you feel about this collection?  Any you are really loving or hating?

Basecoat: none
Topcoat: none
Number of coats: 2