Jan 102010

Previously, I posted a few different comparisons to Chanel’s Spring 2010 Particuliere.  Over the past several days, I uncovered a few more taupe options.

First, Sally Hansen has recently released Commander in Chic, which is more grey and significantly thinner.  Commander took four coats compared to Particuliere’s one to two coats.   Commander in Chic is about $8, compared to $23 for Chanel’s.

Second, those who prefer a mauve wash in their taupes may prefer China Glaze’s Channelesque.

Here’s a very quick comparison swatch:

Particulaire 1

Chanel Particuliere

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Jan 012010

After the bright blingy New Year’s Eve manicure of yesterday (that’s so last year!), I’m welcoming in 2010 with open arms and dark nails.  This one is Rescue Beauty Lounge’s Film Noir, which typically retails for $18 but which I picked up at their recent sale for half price.

Film Noir is the movie genre that was began in the 1940’s and is, I would argue, still echoed today in such places as AMC’s Mad Men.  These films are characterized by black and white cinematography, heavy on dark shadows and hard-bitten characters with devastating crime (usually murder) thrown in for good measure.  The dialogue seethes with emotion, although delivered in fast-talking monotone.  Consider this from “Hollow Triumph,” released in 1948:

He:  You’re a bitter little lady.

She:  It’s a bitter little world.

Dark enough for you?  Okay, so let’s go back to talking about nail polish now….

Film Noir is a deep dark black-burgundy jelly that lets in just enough light to show some color.  Evocative of Chanel’s early 1990’s Vamp, Film Noir looks absolutely fabulous when wearing blacks.  Vamp did, so does Film Noir.  A black-burgundy always has, and it always will.  Classic.

In the picture swatch here, I applied two coats then topped with a thick coat of Poshe’s fast-drying Topcoat.  I might use three coats, but I wanted to make sure that some of this rich color would show on the blog.

Rescue Beauty Lounge Film Noir

Because this is a dark jelly, this is not a polish to try for the first time while in a rush.  The deep color is very pigmented, so mistakes tend to show.

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New Year’s Eve Nails: Go Bling or Go Home

 Nail Polish  Comments Off on New Year’s Eve Nails: Go Bling or Go Home
Dec 312009

The absolutely most wonderful thing about nail polish is that you can change it almost every day.  With quick-dry drops and top coats, it’s usually very easy to get an entirely new look with a few swipes and brushes. Also, nothing seems to give off an impression like a nails with, as Rachel Zoe would say, “zzzzzhuzzzhhh.”  (I’m not sure on that spelling!).

Here are some quick suggestions for New Year’s Eve nails:

1. Zoya Trixie:  An easy-to-apply bright silver with tiny tiny sparkles.  This is very easy to work with.  The picture is two quick coats.

2.  Zoya Astra:  By far my favorite this year (pink glitter!!), but some cautions are appropriate. This is three coats of a deep pink glitter in a deep pink base coat. The formula of this is thin. Application is a bit patchy, but with obvious sparkle seems to take over and makes the patches harder to notice.  Or maybe it’s the raspberry mojito’s that makes the patchiness harder to see.  I can’t be sure.  This polish is very difficult to remove. You may want to leave a cotton pad with remove soaking on the nail for a few minutes before you try to swipe.  Some suggest wrapping aluminum foil around the nail together with a remover-soaked cotton for a few minutes for the quickest, least damaging removal.

3.  China Glaze 2030:  A chrome warm pewter-gold.  This one glows, but does seem to make any nail ridges more apparent. Here, two coats.

4.  Zoya Richelle.  Like Trixie, this formula delivers lots of bling and is easy to use.  Applies like a dream in two coats, delivers a beautiful warm yellow gold with tiny sparkles.  Richelle is less sparkly than Trixie.  Again, two coats here.

These swatches were applied with CND Sitckey as a basecoat and no topcoat to highlight the out-of-the-bottle texture of these polishes.

For Astra, you may wish to add one or more topcoats when you use it, because the glitter gives the nail a rougher texture.

Zoya advertises their polishes as free of toluene, formaldehyde, camphor and DBP (dibutyl phthalate).  You may see Zoya’s sold at salons and stores around the U.S.  In fact, my local grocery stores carries a nice selection (mostly sheers, though, yawn!). Zoya’s entire line is here, selling for $7 each.  China Glaze’s polishes are sold from around $3 to $9, depending on your source.  I bought this one at Victoria’s Nail Supply for $3.10.

New Year's Eve Nails

Happy New Year!!!

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Chanel Spring 2010: Particuliere Nail Polish

 Chanel, Nail Polish  Comments Off on Chanel Spring 2010: Particuliere Nail Polish
Dec 232009

Look, more places to wear taupe–your nails!  Chanel’s Spring 2010 offering, Particuliere ($23), is not the first to make a beautiful taupe nail polish.  It gives you a rich, taupe cream in one coat.  In the picture below, Particuliere is applied with two coats just to make sure, but it wasn’t really needed.

Here’s a comparison to some other popular taupes on the market:

  • OPI for Sephora Metro Chic (thumb, in picture below):  A touch of mauve sets this taupe cream apart.  Note, however, that Metro Chic requires at least three coats to give you an opaque color.  Dear OPI:  Please add pigment.  I’m juggling some things here and don’t have time.
  • OPI You Don’t Know Jacques (middle finger):  A deeper brown.  Must have two coats with this one, if not three.
  • Orly Country Club Khaki (ring finger, two coats):  A light colored taupe, which is lovely for summer.
  • Zoya Pasha (pinky, two coats but only one is needed):  A shimmery light taupe.

These are applied over CND Stickey base coat, covered with Poshe top coat.

EDIT UPDATE:  More comparison pictures are here.

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Nov 302009

Sometimes I need to just Get Things Done.  I find that a good red creme helps immeasurably.  Today, I’m test driving Illamasqua’s Ruthless– a bright red creme that says “get out of my way.”  Application was smooth and easy–the polish has a thin texture but is pigmented enough to give a nearly-opaque finish in two coats.


When applied, the color applies as a bright tomato red–similar to what you would expect from a bright red pen.

$14 at Sephora. Probably more than the average nail polish price, but the quality of this is quite nice for that price. As you can see from the photos, there is a huge color shift depending on the light. The top product picture was taken with cool flash lighting, and the bottom in warmer light. The picture that shows the polish on the nail is closer to how the polish looks in most lighting.2

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