Oct 042010

Rescue Beauty Lounge’s Fall 2010 Collection “The Housewives of Tudor England” was designed by its artistic founder, Ji Baek, based on the wives of Henry XIII inspired by “the opulent fabrics, quiet luxury and return of ladylike fashions.”  Each of the four color is named after one of the wives–Catherine, Catherine H, Jane and Anne–sells for $18.  According to Baek. “The more I learned of the queens’ wardrobes—the layers of embroidery, embellishments of pearls and fur and rich jewel toned fabrics” the more she saw parallels in this Fall’s fashion trends.

I’m a great admirer of Rescue Beauty Lounge–I believe in Baek’s philosophy that nail polish acts as an accessory.  It creates an undeniable impression–consider speaking to someone wearing bright red nails, then picture her with a light pink sheer, or no polish at all.  As Baek explains in her excellent book Rescue Your Nails, the color makes a subtle, but certain, difference.

Baek’s release process was interesting–she pre-released it three bloggers (the NailPhile, Scrangie and All Lacquered Up), who posted pictures in July  just be pre-orders could be placed.  When I saw the pictures, I pre-ordered all four although I wasn’t entirely sure that all of the colors would work for me.

Let’s walk through them.  First, Catherine, a dark gray purple with subtle multi-colored sparkles.  As with many of Rescue Beauty Lounge’s polishes, the quality of this polish is excellent.  Smooth application and excellent pigmentation.  I liked Rescue Beauty Lounge’s deep take on this Fall’s smoky purple trend.  This is two coats without a topcoat:

Anne is a dark, deep warm green.  Like Catherine, the quality of Anne’s formula is excellent.  I was glad that Rescue Beauty Lounge did a deep intense green, and found the warm sparkles a nice touch.  This is two coats with no topcoat:

Catherine H. is a medium blue with subtle sparkle.  Although this is a pleasant color for clothing, I’m not sure that it works for me for nails.  When I wore the color for about a day, the color still seemed a little startling even at the end.  I would love a shirt or scarf this color, but I wasn’t enamored with with this shade of blue for nails.  This is two coats with no topcoat:

Jane is an oyster greige with a slight sparkle that comes off as a pearl once applied. I found Jane a little difficult to apply.  Although there is plenty of pigment, the texture was thinner than the other Tudor’s and I needed three coats to get rid of the patchiness.  No topcoat:

This is a lighter, warmer and pearlier version of some of the greige tones we’ve seen this season.  By comparison, Lippman’s Waking Up in Vegas ($16) is far easier to work with.  Although Lippmann’s greige is darker and cooler, Waking Up in Vegas applies like a dream:

Overall, I’m still in love with Rescue Beauty Lounge and the inspiration that drives its founder Ji Baek.  I found her Summer 2010 Surf collection brilliant, and Bangin’ unquestionably deserved to win the Allure award.  As a summer color to wear outside in bright sunshine, Bangin’ is that good.

By comparison, the Tudor collection feels a little unfinished–I wasn’t sure that the rich fabric tones were perhaps too literally translated–particularly, Catherine H. and Jane.  Their formula did not seem fully refined for either Catherine H. or Jane.  All of the Tudor polishes really benefit from a topcoat, which is unusual for my other Rescue Beauty Lounge polishes.

I realize that I had a good opportunity to look at the posts by three excellent bloggers before ordering, and I did have a hesitation about some of these colors–an instinct that I should have listened to.  Were I to do it over, I would have gone with Catherine and left the rest.

Perhaps some of you are more enthusiastic about the collection?   Which of these do you like (you can vote for up to four):

[poll id=”12″]

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