Jul 212011
 

One of the few items that I picked up from Dior’s Blue Tie Collection for Fall 2011 is Dior Vernis Haute Couleur in Tuxedo ($21 #908).  This polish is deep blue with a metallic sparkle, and a hint of deep violet/periwinkle around the edges.  This is applied using CND Stickey basecoat and a Poshe topcoat.

Dior Blue Tie is similar in quality to the others in the line–it applies smoothly and requires only two coats to get to a satisfying opacity.  Love.

 Here is some comparisons with Dior’s Tuxedo, from left to right:  Butter London’s Big Smoke (reviewed here), Chanel Nuit de Russie, Chanel Blue Satin, Le Metier de Beaute’s Midnight Rendevous (reviewed here), and Lancome Indigo Paris (former limited edition/no longer available).  Click to enlarge:

 Overall, Dior Tuxedo is most similar to Lancome Indigo Paris.  Dior Tuxedo swatches brighter and more blue than Lancome Indigo Paris.  Also, there is a very subtle violet/periwinkle in Tuxedo that is unlike the true French blue of Indigo Paris.  These are taken in sun with flash. Click to enlarge:

 Dior Tuxedo is a gorgeous color, with a great formula.  And yes, I may have enough shimmering blue nail polishes now that my Dior has arrived.

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Jul 132011
 

One treat that I picked up at the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale preview was Le Metier de Beaute’s Rock n Romance Nail Laquer Set ($25), a perfect fall wardrobe at a very tempting price.  Le Metier’s polishes are typically sold in tiny bottles that one has a hope of finishing in a single season, and normally sell for $10 each. At $25 for this set of four highly-wearable fall shades, this set is a must.

The set includes Midnight Rendevous, a deep metallic blue:

On nails:

As soft metallic gray called Chrome Passion, that turns into an unbelievably pretty holographic polish in full sun:

On nails (holla! we have a holo!)

One more because the holograph is so pretty:

A soft coppery fawn champagne, called True Romance (this reminds me of Chanel Quartz):

On nails:

A metallic red deep called Heat of the Night:

On nails:

Liz and I both thought that Heat of the Night could benefit from a dash of thinner, but otherwise the formula of all was excellent. Typically, the color was opaque in one or two coats, except for True Romance which is sheerer by its nature.

Bottom line: Love the colors, love the price, love the size.  Love the holographic metallic!  Do not miss this little treat!

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Feb 082011
 

February seems a good time to delve into red nails.  Today, I played with a few of my Chanel reds, all applied in two coats with a Poshe topcoat.  The current shades run $25.

  • Dragon (#475) is an instant classic red creme. Currently available, this is a must-have red in my book.  It infuses me with confidence, it’s hot and gorgeous.  Made in France.
  • Enthusiast (#377) is a bright warm red creme that was released with a coordinating Rouge Allure lipstick for a very few weeks during 2009, never to return.  It’s as close to Rescue Beauty Lounge Bangin’ as Chanel has created in recent years.  I love the bright clarity of this color.  Made in France.
  • Shanghai Red (#183) is a cool red with shimmer, and is slightly cool.  Made in U.S. This one is spectacular in the light–the shimmer just lights up and adds some fire.  This is the oldest of this lot (2006), and my bottle’s nearly empty. Still applies beautifully.
  • Rouge Fatale (#487) is a deep brown red creme, still a current shade. Made in France, it’s not as intense deep and blue as Rouge Noir or Vamp (past or present version).

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Feb 072011
 

According to this source, Dior will be releasing 44 new Dior Addict lipsticks over the next few months, categorized into Rock, Baby Doll  and Glam.  Some will be cream textured, other shimmery and others with glitter particles.  Dior will apparently be sending out postcards with sample colors to introduce the range, which have peel off stickers so that you can try the color.

Continue reading »

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Jan 212011
 

Dior is currently selling a mini-release of three nail polishes, Gris City Vernis ($21 each), in cool shades of gray and blue to celebrate some of its most famous boutiques.  The three colors are named for the streets on which those boutiques are located.  These are sold exclusively on Dior’s website and a few boutiques, with the exception of Gris Montaigne which is sold as part of the Dior Spring 2011 collection.

Gris Montaigne (#707) is named for Dior’s main Parisian store, located at 30 Avenue Montaigne, a jewel of a street that has the Champs Elysee at one end, and a breathtaking view of the Eiffel Tower over the Seine on the other.  It is a short street lined with luxury boutiques, including Louis Vuitton, Chanel, Paul and Joe, Dolce, and several more.  Yes, it’s fashion heaven. In Paris.

When I saw Gris Montaigne, I was reminded by the Dior boutique which has, in my mind, a very light, dove-gray appearance:

Inside this large, impeccably presented store have rooms with high ceilings and very soft, light gray elegant tones:

This boutique carries a full line of makeup, shoes, bags, jewelry and couture clothing. It’s beautiful. One afternoon, I watched a ballerina (no, really, I’m serious) get a makeover as I waited for help to pick out some sunglasses for Liz.  The artist did a beautiful job–the effect was subtle, and he set off the her features without weighing her down with too much.  The end effect was lovely. Sigh….ah, to be in Paris…..

For more about the polishes, read on….

Continue reading »

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Jan 172011
 

Over the past month or so, I’ve been hearing more and more about Scotch Naturals, a line of water-based nail polish that is completely free of almost any chemicals.  The only ingredients listed are “water, acrylic polymer emulsion, and non toxic colorants.”  Read on:

Making the change to non-toxic nail polish is one you won’t regret. Scotch Naturals is a safe and eco-friendly alternative to conventional solvent-based polish. Our revolutionary water-based formula nourishes and conditions nails, delivering long lasting, salon-quality color. Our polish contains none of the chemicals found in typical nail polish: toluene, dibutyl phthelate, formaldehyde, acetone, and heavy metals.

I have always preferred to take a non-chemical route if possible, there is chemical scent to most nail polishes that I find a bit unpleasant.  The company apparently started by making non-toxic polishes for children–called “Hopscotch“– a product that I find sensible in a world where little children want to play with polish but a parent might be reluctant.

Hopscotch Kids has the cute little no-spill bottles and edgy colors including a black called “Miss Mary Mack” and a vibrant “Red Rover, Red Rover.”  Adorable, right?  There’s even a nice, non-toxic remover.

For grownups, Hopscotch Kids got rid of the “hop,” called it “Scotch” and amped up the packaging and color palette.  I went for a try-out Cocktail Trio of colors, which included a 2 oz. remover and nail buffer for $47.99.  I chose Hot Toddy (a brownish taupe), Tartan Swizzle (a vibrant pink), and Flying Scotsman (a deep navy).  Single polishes sell for $14.99/15.00, which are also available from The Beauty Habit and Spirit Beauty Lounge.

Continue reading »

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Dec 262010
 

Chanel’s Black Pearl nail polish ($23 Le Vernis Black Pearl #513) is the much-anticipated shade for Spring 2011.  This is a beautiful deep gray tinged with green, evoking the Tahitian pearl that shares the name.

On nails, Chanel Black Pearl is a fresh take on the deep tone shimmer. There is a softer appearance to this polish, Chanel has tweaked its formulation so that the texture is softer, more pearly, than other metallic darks.  There is a frost texture, which melted a bit on application which minimizes that troublesome streaking that can occur with other lines.

Another:

So that you can place this color on a spectrum of comparisons, here is Chanel Black Pearl with a variety of other colors that I happen to have in my stash (from left to right):

  • China Glaze Wagon Trail–a deep coppery green
  • OPI for Sephora- Absinthe Makes the Heart Grow Fonder, a shimmery gray-green with sparkle
  • Zoya Freja–a metallic gray frost that is similar to Chanel Black Pearl, but lacks Chanel’s softer texture and green cast
  • Chanel Black Pearl
  • Chanel Steel
  • Chanel Noir Ceramic
  • Chanel Black Satin (U.S.)
  • Chanel Black Satin (France)

Click to enlarge:

Here is a close-up of Zoya Freja and Chanel Steel, which are not duplicates but rather as a contrast to show the texture and tone of Chanel Black Pearl:

Personally, I love Chanel Black Pearl.  I do not know of any duplicates for the shade as yet, it is a noticeably beautiful and unique color.  The formula is extremely fast-drying, and two coats are necessary.

The pictures above are using three coats.  Personally, I prefer using two coats over using three coats.  There is a slightly nicer luminosity with two coats, and a slightly heavier look with three.

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Dec 182010
 

Rescue Beauty Lounge’s Scrangie ($18) is a color that I’ve been meaning to wear for months.  After choosing a shimmery silver-gray top for dinner tonight, I decided that this cool toned polish would be a perfect compliment.

Scrangie of the blog by the same name helped design this tinted purple with an iridescent blue-green shimmer “like the wing of a beetle.”

This is a beautiful, unusual color–this is three coats, no base or topcoat.  Rescue Beauty Lounge makes beautiful polishes-while you are there, check out some of the reds.  Gorgeous!

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Dec 082010
 

Butter London’s Yummy Mummy ($14) is a finger-lengthening medium beige shade that fits with this year’s trend of “mannequin hands”-that is, a color that nearly fits your skin tone to elongate the finger.  This operates sort of the way that a nude pump gives an on-trend way to lengthen the leg.

Yummy Mummy is slightly darker and more neutral than my natural skin tone, but I believe it is the closest that I will find to my natural color.  It gives a very polished-yet-professional impression.  It’s an extremely easy neutral — it gives the impression that I thought a lot more about my nail color that I actually did.

The wear time was quite good, about three days before my pride dictated that the tipwear was too extensive to salvage. Fortunately, it removes quite easily and application is so easy that I can re-manicure while checking my morning e-mail.  This picture shows the tiny bit of shimmer in the pinky as it catches the light–it’s quite subtle:

Yummy Mummy is quickly becoming my go-to easy to wear polish on busy days.   I cannot think of a single place where one could not wear this polish–office, wedding, party, beach.  It just doesn’t get any easier than this color.  Highly recommended.

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Dec 082010
 

Butter London’s recent Friends and Family sale was the incentive to push me to order Marrow ($14), which I intended to get since last July when it was released. This color was mixed up by hand for a Vena Cava runway show, and now released for the rest of us.

Marrow, said to resemble the color of the substance on the inside of the bone (bad to the bone? bone deep?), is an unusual smoky purple–it has slight shimmer that is called out by direct light, a red, and there is a slight muddiness to it that keeps it from becoming too bright.

One more:

I think this color either strikes you or it doesn’t–it’s going to work well with light neutral clothing–shell beiges, camel and even deep khaki green.  The formula is perfect–it’s extremely easy to apply in two coats for a perfect finish.

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