Filed In: Nail Polish Comparisons

Essie | Winter 2014 Collection

Essie Winter 2014 opener

 

At first glance, the colour selection of Essie’s Winter 2014 Collection might seem counterintuitive, but if we separate ‘Winter’ from ‘Holiday’, it starts to make sense. There’s white to represent snow and silver for all things tinsel – even a berry red that’s just so seasonally appropriate, but the other three? Well, let’s just say that when Winter has us in a major chokehold, those 3 warm-leaning hues will act as a getaway, as far as my nails are concerned.

 

Essie Winter 2014

Essie | Winter 2014 Collection

 

Essie Winter 2014 macro

Essie | Winter 2014 Collection

 

Essie Tuck It In My Tux swatch

Tuck It In My Tux | A semi-sheer ivory hue in a hybrid crème/jelly formula that applies relatively easy and leaves a glossy finish behind. Two coats provides a translucent effect, but you do need to load up your brush to ensure it falls patch-free. Beautiful on its own, Tuck It In My Tux will also work well as a sandwich shade (i.e.: added as a last layer over a glitter polish for a frosted-glass effect). Coats applied: 3 (thin), plus top coat

 

Essie Jiggle Hi, Jiggle Lo swatch

Jiggle Hi, Jiggle Lo | A brilliant pewter foil/metallic hue with ultra fine bronze flecks that give off a slightly oxidized tone. Highly pigmented, this is basically a 1-coater, with the added advantage of applying in a self-levelling way as well as brush stroke-free. Bear in mind that Jiggle Hi, Jiggle Lo (get it? Jiggle Lo-gigolo. Right) dries fairly quickly, so I recommend you work fast and and with as steady a hand as you can. Coats applied: 2, no top coat

 

Essie Back In The Limo swatch

Back In The Limo | A semi-sheer blush/apricot hue in a hybrid crème/jelly formula. Application is self-levelling and comes to an über-glossy finish, to compliment its plush cushiony tone (looks so squishy/juicy). Two thick-ish coats gives decent coverage, although still somewhat translucent. Even the addition of a 3rd coat doesn’t turn Back In The Limo fully opaque, but provides pretty solid coverage. Coats applied: 3 (thin), plus top coat

 

Essie Bump Up The Pumps swatch

Bump Up The Pumps | A highly colour saturated & ridiculously pigmented pink-based coral crème hue. Self-levelling and glossy at the finish, Bump Up The Pumps is definitely a 1-coat wonder, although I would advise you to not skip applying base coat first, to eliminate any possible staining issues. Coats applied: 2, plus top coat

 

Essie Double Breasted Jacket swatch

Double Breasted Jacket | Another exceptionally colour saturated shade, this is an intense fuchsia hue in a crème format, with blue undertones in the base for a cooler-leaning touch. The formula on Double Breasted Jacket falls a little thick but does not interfere with its application, and as with the previous shade, I advise not skipping base coat here either, to ensure your nails stay stain-free. Coats applied: 2, plus top coat

 

Essie Jump In My Jumpsuit swatch

Jump In My Jumpsuit | A rich berry red crème hue with blue undertones in the base, in a superbly flowing and easy to apply formula. Super pigmented and highly colour saturated, Jump In My Jumpsuit applies in a self-levelling way and leaves a brilliant finish behind. Note: Do not avoid base coat first, to avoid any potential staining. Coats applied: 2, plus top coat

 

Essie Winter 2014 Collection nail wheel

The above nail wheel has the shades of Essie’s Winter 2014 Collection broken down with comparisons:

  1. Tuck It In My Tux
  2. Minimalistic – extremely close both in colour and in texture, a couple of degrees dustier-looking
  3. Blanc – opaque, crème format, whitest
  4. Jiggle Hi, Jiggle Lo
  5. Hors D’Oeuvres – similar underlying base, glitter larger and more olive-hued
  6. Back In The Limo
  7. Resort Fling – similar texture, several degrees deeper & peachier
  8. Tart Deco – opaque, crème format, darkest in the range
  9. Bump Up The Pumps
  10. Cute As A Button – sheerest, jelly hybrid formula, more pink based
  11. Sunday Funday – base hue is similar, sheerer, holds a fine silver shimmer
  12. Double Breasted Jacket
  13. Watermelon – almost identical, a degree or two lighter, a touch less blue based
  14. Style Hunter – slightly more sheer, similar blue base tone
  15. Wife Goes On – sheerer, dustier tone, less blue based
  16. Jump In My Jumpsuit
  17. Head Mistress – a few degrees brighter
  18. Size Matters – deepest and more red-leaning

 

Surprising, is the best way to describe this collection. Far from the traditional hues associated with Winter, Essie’s take on the season is one that’s full of vigorous colour – a festive collection, in fact, with nary a brooding shade in sight. I adore Tuck It In My Tux – despite its slightly finicky nature, and I’m weirdly drawn to the almost searing tone of Double Breasted Jacket. Metallic nails are so on point this year, and Jiggle Hi, Jiggle Lo bears a fab application to go with the provocative name. Back In The Limo scores major points for being unique, especially in my collection of polishes – something that doesn’t happen often. As I said at the start: surprising … just like all proper gifts should be.

The Winter 2014 Collection will be available starting November. Visit Essie for all information on the brand.

 

Essie Winter 2014 closer

*Disclosure: Press samples provided by the company/PR for my unbiased consideration

Urban Decay | Mrs. Mia Wallace Nail Color (LE), Pulp Fiction Collection

 

UD Mrs. Mia Wallace polish opener new

 

From the movie that spawned a nail polish colour (dark, blood red) that became a world-wide cult trend, Pulp Fiction celebrates its 20th anniversary this year and Urban Decay has recently released a capsule collection commemorating the event. Starring Mrs. Mia Wallace Nail Color, this shade will definitely help you channel your inner mob-girl vamp … or at least, your nails will.

The ingredients that are needed to create a ‘cult following’, are not obvious, but after decades of the same old/same old in the world of nail lacquer (read that as: neutrals, pinks & reds), the beauty world was ripe for something new, something avant-garde … something that would make us all sit up and take notice. What most people don’t know about the by now-iconic vampy hue worn in Pulp Fiction by Mrs. Mia Wallace (portrayed by Uma Thurman), was that it was actually inspired by black marker; CHANEL’s legendary #18 Rouge Noir that was worn in the film, was never seen on the fashion runway as most people believe – although the dark nail trend was born then just the same; at the last minute, models’ nails were quickly coloured in with black marker before hitting the catwalk, which subsequently sparked the birth of a deep & edgy nail shade, #18 Rouge Noir.

The year was 1994 when Pulp Fiction exploded onto our consciousness, and apart from making religious rhetoric combined with foul language fashionable, giving rise to an entire new beauty trend, and getting to see John Travolta dance on the big screen once more (for those of you too young to remember Saturday Night Fever, go rent it), something even more exciting happened to me: I gave birth to my beautiful daughter. Oh yeah, I also bought the first run of CHANEL’s #18 Rouge Noir, which I still have AND still wear to this day – 20 years later, but now Mrs. Mia Wallace will be sharing the spotlight with it.

 

Mrs. Mia Wallace

Uma Thurman as Mrs. Mia Wallace in Pulp Fiction

 

UD Mrs. Mia Wallace polish box

Urban Decay | Mrs. Mia Wallace Nail Color (LE), Pulp Fiction Collection

 

UD Mrs. Mia Wallace polish label

Urban Decay | Mrs. Mia Wallace Nail Color (LE), Pulp Fiction Collection

 

UD Mrs. Mia Wallace polish open box

Urban Decay | Mrs. Mia Wallace Nail Color (LE), Pulp Fiction Collection

 

UD Mrs. Mia Wallace Nail Color

Mrs. Mia Wallace Nail Color, Limited Edition (CAN $18.00) | I am obsessed with details and this product pushes all the right buttons: for starters, there’s the instantly recognizable lettering on the box along with a [blood]red interior bearing a printed excerpt from the movie, followed by the bottle cap – adorned with a skull on top – that has been re-issued in a darkly shimmering jet black colour. The lacquer is a deep blood-red hue which bears a cool-leaning blue undertone in the base, and filled with ultra fine shimmer in shades of bronze, copper and oxidized gold to balance it all out, making it suitable for all skin tones. There’s an amazing overall depth of tone to Mrs. Mia Wallace, and the final look is as though nails are lit from beneath – the glow that emanates from the nail centres is mesmerizing, at other times giving off a look of lustrous moiré satin. The formula is medium-thick in consistency which works in this shade’s favour, helping it stay exactly where placed without any pooling along the cuticles or nail edges. Highly pigmented, the first coat shows the bluer base notes which darkens significantly by a second coat – all of it laying down in a completely self-levelling & brush stroke-free way, coming to a high gloss natural finish. Due to the intense colour saturation, do not skip applying base coat first, to avoid any possible staining. Coats applied: 2, plus top coat

NOTE: The brush is long, tapered, and thinner than what we’ve seen lately (most brands seem to be heading to bushier, chiselled, and/or shorter brushes) and according to Urban Decay, is made with ‘a 400-strand brush to pick up & deposit more product’. There’s a flexibility to the brush that had me re-thinking the way I usually apply my polish and even though it felt a little floppier than what I’m used to, the pro is that it makes for a very precise application – something very good to have when dealing with a shade this pigmented.

In deference to Pulp Fiction‘s ‘Nail Polish Hall of Fame‘ status (yes, I made that up but seriously, I can’t think of any other movie that had such an impact on nail polish), I decided to show Mrs. Mia Wallace alongside CHANEL’s #18 Rouge Noir (reviewed here), and included CHANEL’s #637 Malice (reviewed here) due to the closer colour match (see last swatch). How they compared:

  • CHANEL #18 Rouge Noir (2 coats) Same base hue as Mrs. Mia Wallace, but without any shimmer and which appears browner beside the rest (more dried than fresh blood)
  • CHANEL #637 Malice (2 coats) Similar tone to Mrs. Mia Wallace, although several degrees deeper and with magenta ultra fine shimmer

 

UD Mrs. Mia Wallace Nail Color macro

Urban Decay | Mrs. Mia Wallace Nail Color (LE), Pulp Fiction Collection

 

UD Mrs. Mia Wallace polish cap

Urban Decay | Mrs. Mia Wallace Nail Color (LE), Pulp Fiction Collection – skull detail on cap

 

UD Mrs. Mia Wallace polish logo

Urban Decay | Mrs. Mia Wallace Nail Color (LE), Pulp Fiction Collection – raised logo detail

 

UD Mrs. Mia Wallace polish brush

Urban Decay | Mrs. Mia Wallace Nail Color (LE), Pulp Fiction Collection – closer look at the brush

 

UD Mrs. Mia Wallace polish swatch

Urban Decay | Mrs. Mia Wallace Nail Color (LE), Pulp Fiction Collection

 

UD Mrs. Mia Wallace polish swatch 2

Urban Decay | Mrs. Mia Wallace Nail Color (LE), Pulp Fiction Collection

 

UD Mrs. Mia Wallace polish swatch 3

Urban Decay | Mrs. Mia Wallace Nail Color (LE), Pulp Fiction Collection

 

UD Mrs. Mia Wallace polish & comps

Urban Decay | Mrs. Mia Wallace Nail Color (LE), Pulp Fiction Collection vs. CHANEL #18 Rouge Nior & #637 Malice

 

Deep red hues are not that rare anymore, but even in this colour family, Mrs. Mia Wallace stands out; I know that a lacquer is special, when I don’t want to remove it. There’s a pulsating intensity to this shade – a look of freshly spilled blood, if you will – which makes it all the more perfect when you consider the inspiration behind it. The fact that it’s drop-dead gorgeous, doesn’t hurt either. Plus, I love the little skull on the cap.

Available through select Shopper’s Drug Mart stores (Canada), Sephora, and Urban Decay. Find more information:

 

UD Mrs. Mia Wallace polish closer

*Disclosure: Press sample provided by the company/PR for my unbiased consideration

Giorgio Armani Beauty | #214 Woodstone Nail Lacquer (Limited Edition)

GA #214 Woodstone opener

 

The Fall 2014 Fade to Grey Collection from Giorgio Armani Beauty, is filled with softly elegant autumnal shades but what makes the products really stand out, is their textures. Of the four limited edition nail lacquer shades, I was sent #214 Woodstone (CAN $32.00) to try and I confess that it was instant love for me … plus I really love the name.

What seems at first to be a rather ordinary brown shimmery polish, is in fact so much more complex than that – it took even me by surprise. The bottle colour shows #214 Woodstone to be cross between bronze/taupe/brown filled with an ultra fine prismatic shimmer and that’s exactly how it appears on the nail (it actually looks like rich chocolate as well) – with the difference that the final finish is closer to a buttery suede, although the shimmer is still present and accounted for. The formula is highly pigmented (this can basically be a 1-coater, especially on shorter nails) and bears an excellent flow, applying in a self-levelling way which eliminates any visible brush strokes. Giorgio Armani Beauty lacquers are made to be worn without the need for either a base or top coat, although I wouldn’t recommend ever skipping your base coat. The brush is yet another unique aspect of this range: densely bristled but not excessively so, with the rounded tip helping nail polish spread smoothly and evenly along the nail bed. BONUS: non-staining upon removal. All swatches are with 2 coats, top coat only where indicated.

Unlike other matte/satin finish lacquers that seem to dry at the speed of light and make it a challenge to achieve a smooth, brush stroke-free finish, #214 Woodstone takes a couple of minutes to fully develop, which means you don’t need to rush your application. A steady hand is key in achieving the smoothest finish (again, to avoid the possibility of visible brush strokes, something many matte shades can be prone to) but the finally result is so totally worth the your patience.

I personally absolutely LOVE this type of finish as I find it edgy and unique, almost 3D-like due to its fine texture, but for those still not on board with matte/satin nails (but seriously, matte has been seen on all the runways for the past few seasons now and is still going strong — something to consider), you always have the option of adding top coat – 1 coat is enough to achieve a glossy finish (unlike some other textured polishes that literally eat up top coat, forcing you to add layer upon layer). Still, my opinion is that top coat takes something away from the overall effect, but it also manages to bring out all the shimmery bits.

My initial impression on seeing #214 Woodstone, was how much it resembled another favourite, CHANEL’s #247 Haute Chocolat (discontinued), and they are indeed very similar, with the CHANEL being just a few degrees deeper/browner but with both bearing the same unique shimmer. For those who collect CHANEL lacquers and missed out on that beauty, here’s your chance to scoop up something very close in tone & colour.

NOTE: in the last 2 comparison swatch photos, #214 Woodstone is shown with top coat, CHANEL’s #247 Haute Chocolat without top coat

 

STILL_LIFE_FALL_2014

Giorgio Armani Beauty | Fade to Grey Fall 2014

 

FALL 2014 - VAO 214 - Fd Noir

Giorgio Armani Beauty | #214 Woodstone

 

GA #214 Woodstone

Giorgio Armani Beauty | #214 Woodstone

 

GA #214 Woodstone logo

Giorgio Armani Beauty | #214 Woodstone

 

GA #214 Woodstone macro

Giorgio Armani Beauty | #214 Woodstone

 

GA #214 Woodstone macro 2

Giorgio Armani Beauty | #214 Woodstone

 

GA #214 Woodstone swatch

Giorgio Armani Beauty | #214 Woodstone

 

GA #214 Woodstone swatch 2

Giorgio Armani Beauty | #214 Woodstone (in sunlight)

 

GA #214 Woodstone swatch 3

Giorgio Armani Beauty | #214 Woodstone (in sunlight, alternate view)

 

GA #214 Woodstone swatch with top coat

Giorgio Armani Beauty | #214 Woodstone (with top coat)

 

GA #214 Woodstone swatch 2 with top coat

Giorgio Armani Beauty | #214 Woodstone (with top coat & in sunlight)

 

GA #214 Woodstone vs CHANEL Haute Chocolat

Giorgio Armani Beauty | #214 Woodstone vs CHANEL #247 Haute Chocolat (discontinued) on ring finger only

 

GA #214 Woodstone vs CHANEL Haute Chocolat 2

Giorgio Armani Beauty | #214 Woodstone vs CHANEL #247 Haute Chocolat (discontinued) on ring finger only

 

I absolutely love this colour, and even without swatching the other three lacquers of this collection, this would still have been the only shade I would have wanted. Everything about #214 Woodstone — from the name, the colour, to the finish — says ‘Autumn’ to me and almost makes the coming colder weather bearable. My only issue is with the cost; I don’t get how this brand’s lacquers can be $20.00 in the US and yet jump to $32.00 here in Canada, which basically prices them far out of reach of the average consumer. That’s something I hope the company addresses soon (other items from the range are actually significantly less expensive here – go figure), because the quality of these polishes is truly outstanding and well worth collecting.

Available now, be aware that the lacquers are limited edition. Find more information via:

 

GA #214 Woodstone closer

*Disclosure: Press sample provided by the company/PR for my unbiased consideration

Essie Spring 2014 Collection with Comparisons

Essie Spring 2014 opener

 

At first glance, you might be tempted to think that there’s absolutely nothing that unique about Essie’s Spring 2014 Collection, but one swatch of each shade would prove you dead wrong. The six colours shown, are a wonderful representation of the season but yet classic enough to be easily worn throughout the year.


Essie Spring 2014

Essie Spring 2014

 

Romper Room – a soft petal pink hue that was probably the only fussy one of the entire group, but as I’m 100% addicted to white-leaning shades, Romper Room is so worth the extra effort. As with many pastels, the first coat may apply a touch patchy – I found it easiest to work 3 thin coats with a good wait time in between each for the best results. Final look is self-levelling and highly glossy. Coats applied: 3 (thin), plus top coat


Essie Romper Room swatch

Essie Spring 2014 – Romper Room

 

Spin the Bottle – a buttery smooth nude with pink tints in the base for a touch of warmth that applyies with amazing coverage: self levelling, non-patchy, and very glossy at the finish. Oh yeah, and my new favourite nude shade. Coats applied: 3 (thin, for photo purposes), plus top coat


Essie Spin the Bottle swatch

Essie Spring 2014 – Spin the Bottle

 

Fashion Playground – a semi-sheer celadon green hue with ultra-fine silvery shimmer that remains hidden for the most part, but can occasionally flash when it catches the light. I FREAKING LOVE THIS COLOUR. Very retro appearing – think Fender Stratocaster guitar or FireKing mixing bowls, and completely unique in my Essie collection. Coats applied: 3 (thin – that 3rd coat is TOTALLY worth the extra step), plus top coat


Essie Fashion Playground swatch

Essie Spring 2014 – Fashion Playground

 

Truth or Flare – a semi sheer Wedgewood chine blue shade with a dusty/translucent appeal and in a jelly formula, rendering it totally self-levelling and über-glossy at the finish. Coats applied: 2, plus top coat


Essie Truth or Flare swatch

Essie Spring 2014 – Truth or Flare

 

Hide & Go Chic – a denim blue, hybrid crème-jelly hue so highly colour saturated, that you barely need more than 1 coat for full coverage. Self levelling and ending in a glossy shine, the bonus is that it is also completely non-staining upon removal. Coats applied: 2, plus top coat


Essie Hide & Go Chic swatch

Essie Spring 2014 – Hide & Go Chic

 

Style Hunter – a tropical rich magenta hue in a crème-jelly ultra pigmented hybrid formula with an absolutely superb flow, opacity and application. Self-levelling, ridiculously glossy and non-staining upon removal, this is a colour that will be highly flattering on a broad spectrum of skin tones. Coats applied: 2, plus top coat


Essie STyle Hunter swatch

Essie Spring 2014 – Style Hunter

 


Essie Spring 2014 comparison nail wheel

 

The following comparisons are all using Essie shades in tones I found the closest to the Spring 2014 hues – all are 3 coats applied, no base or top coat:

  1. Romper Room
  2. Guchi Muchi Puchi – similar tone but slightly bluer based, less opaque than Romper Room
  3. Better Together – warmer toned, peach-tinted, sheerer than Romper Room
  4. Fashion Playground
  5. Absolutely Shore – no shimmer, much paler green but with similar sheerness to Fashion Playground
  6. First Timer – no shimmer, more opaque than Fashion Playground
  7. Truth or Flare
  8. Bikini So Teeny –  silver shimmer throughout and brighter than Truth or Flare
  9. Lapis of Luxury – more blue based but with same dusty tone as Truth or Flare
  10. Coat Azure – densely shimmer packed, bluer and more opaque than Truth or Flare
  11. Spin the Bottle
  12. Not Just a Pretty Face – very similar in tone but much sheerer than Spin the Bottle
  13. Topless and Barefoot – sheer, paler and more beige in tone than Spin the Bottle
  14. Style Hunter
  15. Wife Goes On – crème formula, a brighter pink base and a touch more opaque than Style Hunter
  16. Hide & Go Chic
  17. Mesmerize – brighter and bluer based than Hide & Go Chic
  18. Smooth Sailing – cornflower blue base filled with fine prismatic shimmer and sheerer than Hide & Go Chic

 

I found something to love about each and every shade of this collection, with Romper Room, Fashion Playground, and Spin the Bottle total standouts for me personally. I can already see Style Hunter as a sandal-worthy pedi shade, and even though the Truth or Flare and Hide & Go Chic will transition beautifully into the cooler months down the road, they are both bright enough to wear now as well.

The Essie Spring 2014 Collection is available now – find more information via:


Essie Spring 2014 closer

*Disclosure: Product samples provided by the company/PR for my unbiased consideration

 

 

OPI – Peace & Love & OPI with comparisons

OPI Peace & Love & OPI comps opener

 

Sometimes it seems like nail polish brands are on the same wavelength; with OPI’s San Francisco Fall 2013 release coming out at the same time as that of the Essie Fall 2013 launch, the shade that stood out from both collections was a gorgeous duo chrome. Naturally, I needed to know how close the two really were and that curiosity led me to hunt out a couple more similar shades. The following breakdown is how they compared:

All swatches are with base and top coats.

index finger: Deborah Lippmann ‘Wicked Game’ – the sheerest of the four, most apparent lilac tones, grey in the base quite subtle

middle finger: OPI ‘Peace & Love & OPI’ (reviewed here) – medium density formula, a couple of degrees brighter overall, the teal & mauve tones the most predominant of the four

ring finger: Essie ‘For The Twill Of It’ (reviewed here) – the thickest formula of the four (still an easy application, however), the closest in look & finish, the thinner brush of the Essie scores points for leaving behind fewer visible brush strokes

pinkie finger: OPI ‘Not Like The Movies’ (reviewed here) – mid-sheer formula with pronounced lilac undertones, the only one of the four bearing silver & gold micro glitters, the grey base is more apparent than the others

 

OPI Peace & Love & OPI comps

clockwise from top left: Deborah Lippmann ‘Wicked Game’, OPI ‘Peace & Love & OPI’, OPI ‘Not Like The Movies’, Essie ‘For The Twill Of It’

 

OPI Peace & Love & OPI comps swatch

OPI San Francisco Collection – Peace & Love & OPI with comparisons

 

OPI Peace & Love & OPI comps swatch 2

OPI San Francisco Collection – Peace & Love & OPI with comparisons

 

OPI Peace & Love & OPI comps swatch 3

OPI San Francisco Collection – Peace & Love & OPI with comparisons

 

OPI Peace & Love & OPI comps swatch 4

OPI San Francisco Collection – Peace & Love & OPI with comparisons

 

It’s quite obvious from the swatches above, that both OPI and Essie have achieved similar results with their respective duo (multi) chrome lacquers and while to my eye there are a few differences, they are minimal at best. Deborah Lippmann’s ‘Wicked Game’ has the honour of being the first out of the gate with this ethereal kind of shade, and I like the fact that it’s still available today (part of the permanent range). Do you need both the OPI and the Essie? I’d say probably not – your choice will be determined by either your brand favourite (OPI vs Essie), or brush preference (the thinner Essie vs the wider OPI). Then again, if you are a collector of this type of finish, you’ll want both. Or all.  I’m just sayin’…

 

OPI Peace & Love & OPI comps closer

*Disclosure: Product samples provided by the company/PR for my unbiased consideration

Essie Fall 2013 – Comparisons

Essie Fall 2013 comparisons opener

 

I’m not surprised that Essie’s Fall 2013 Collection has sparked quite a bit of interest amongst enthusiasts of the brand, and since many of you have wondered how close several of the new shades are to past hues, here’s a breakdown on a nail wheel for comparison. The swatches shown are all done with 2 coats of lacquer each (no base or top coats), but bear in mind that natural nails may alter the colour to a certain degree. I’ve left out ‘For The Twill Of It’ as well as ‘Cashmere Bathrobe’ from this post, as I don’t have anything like either shade in my personal collection of Essie polishes.

 

The reds:

  • Limited Addiction – from the Fall 2010 Collection (reviewed here): a couple of degrees deeper in tone, but otherwise exceptionally close colour-wise (crème formula)
  • Twin Sweater Set
  • First Dance – from the Bridal 2011 Collection (reviewed here): several degrees lighter in tone, sheerer formula


Essie Fall 2013 red comparisons

the reds

 

The Purples:

  • Sure Shot – from the Resort 2012 Collection (reviewed here): more pink based and filled with ultra-fine shimmer (as opposed to glass-flecked)
  • The Lace Is On


Essie Fall 2013 purple comparisons

the purples

 

The Greens:

  • School Of Hard Rocks – from the Holiday 2011 Collection (reviewed here): similar formula, more teal/blue based
  • Vested Interest


Essie Fall 2013 green comparisons

the greens

 

The Blues:

  • Midnight Cami: more vivid shade of blue & filled with ultra-fine glass-flecked shimmer
  • After School Boy Blazer
  • No More Film – from the Resort 2012 Collection (reviewed here): similar formula but several degrees lighter, more cobalt/indigo leaning in tone
  • Bobbing For Baubles – from the Holiday 2011 Collection (reviewed here): similar formula, more grey based and a few degrees darker in tone


Essie Fall 2013 blue comparisons

the blues


Last word
: Apart from the red shades, the other hues of this collection all seem to be rather unique – both in tone & texture/application, and hopefully this quick chart can help you narrow your choices down in preparation for this collection’s release this August. No matter which shade(s) you opt for, they’re all fabulous!

More information on Essie can be found via the website, twitter or facebook


Essie Fall 2013 comparisons closer

*Disclosure: Product samples provided by the company/PR for my unbiased consideration

CHANEL #583 Taboo (Limited Edition) & a comparison

CHANEL Taboo opener

 

CHANEL, long the master of covetable nail lacquers (amongst other products), has done it again with the release of their limited edition shade, #583 Taboo. Sure to stand tall amongst such cult faves such as Jade, Nouvelle Vague, and Ciel de Nuit, this nocturnal hue is almost hypnotic to look at; what at first appears as a shimmery vampy hue, bears a surprise with each brush stroke and true to CHANEL’s inimitable style, is destined to spawn many look-a-likes. I can guarantee that none will come close, however.

 

CHANEL Taboo

CHANEL #583 Taboo

CHANEL Taboo 2

CHANEL #583 Taboo

CHANEL Taboo 3

CHANEL #583 Taboo

CHANEL Taboo 4

CHANEL #583 Taboo (CAD $27.00) – a complex multi-chrome eggplant/wine base hue filled with ultra fine ribbons of purple and burgundy shimmer throughout and with mega colour shifting properties that throw out purple/indigo flashes, depending on the angle and lighting. The contents at the bottle’s neck appear rather inky in tone, belied by the application, which lays down more dark violet at the first coat. Pigmentation is STELLAR and the flow is simply phenomenal, while the final result is of that lit-from-withing glow which I absolutely adore – very much like a banked fire. Mysterious, sensual, provocative and intriguing — this shade is all that, and more, with the added bonus of absolutely no staining left behind upon removal. Coats applied: 2, plus top coat (although its rich colour saturation can easily make it pass for a 1-coater)

 

CHANEL Taboo swatch

CHANEL #583 Taboo

CHANEL Taboo swatch 2

CHANEL #583 Taboo

CHANEL Taboo swatch 3

CHANEL #583 Taboo

CHANEL Taboo swatch 4

CHANEL #583 Taboo

CHANEL Taboo swatch 5

CHANEL #583 Taboo

CHANEL Taboo vs OPI

CHANEL #583 Taboo vs OPI German-icure by OPI – when I went looking for a comparison shade, the only one that came to mind was OPI’s German-icure by OPI (reviewed here) from the Germany Collection. A quick note: there have been many discrepancies as to the true name of this OPI shade, but my rep still insists that the one I have is rightly named, and not ‘Every Month is Oktoberfest’ as most people claim. Whatever. How the two compared:

  • index & pinkie fingers – German-icure by OPI: less purple in base colour, burgundy tones more prominent with a finer shimmer throughout
  • middle & ring fingers – #583 Taboo

CHANEL Taboo vs OPI swatch

CHANEL #583 Taboo vs OPI German-icure by OPI

CHANEL Taboo vs OPI swatch 2

CHANEL #583 Taboo vs OPI German-icure by OPI

 

Last word: I’ll make this easy: you NEED this shade. Unique and totally captivating, completely unlike anything else CHANEL has ever produced, this is one of those lacquers that will have you long regretting passing it up. The application is flawless and the range of colours found in this one bottle ensures that it will suit basically every skin tone and every season, at that. As stated from the start, it is a limited edition shade – don’t say you weren’t warned. Definitely back-up worthy.

Available now through all CHANEL counters.

 

CHANEL Taboo closer

*Disclosure: Product samples provided by the company/PR for my unbiased consideration

CHANEL – Le Vernis L’Été Papillons for Summer 2013 Limited Edition

CHANEL Summer 2013 Le Vernis opener

 

When my CHANEL Sales Agent showed me the early promotional images for this collection a few months ago, I’m sure I must have gasped out loud upon spotting these 3 beauties – that green! that blue! Once again, with the L’Été Papillons for Summer 2013 Collection (you can read my review on the new Stylo Eyeshadows here), CHANEL has proven why this venerable brand is at the top of its game, releasing a beautifully themed grouping of products that not only embody the spirit of the season, but that manage to perfectly capture the ephemeral – yet utterly brilliant – colours of delicate butterfly wings.

These three limited edition lacquers (each CAD $27.00 13 ml/0.4 fl.oz) come in the iconic CHANEL rectangular bottle with the removable outer square cap, revealing a smaller & user-friendly ribbed inner cap. The wand is an easy to work with length, while the brush itself is one of the best I’ve worked with; flexible enough to splay evenly when pressure is applied, while being neither too thick/bushy nor too thin.

 

CHANEL Summer 2013 Le Vernis

CHANEL L’Été Papillons Summer 2013 – #657 Azuré, #647 Lilis, #667 Bel-Argus

CHANEL Summer 2013 Le Vernis 2

CHANEL L’Été Papillons Summer 2013 – #657 Azuré, #647 Lilis, #667 Bel-Argus

CHANEL Lilis

#647 Lilis – an ultra smooth coral-salmon hue in a crème/jelly hybrid formula, bearing intense colour saturation and able to suit both warm & cool skin tones equally. Completely non-staining upon removal. Coats applied: 2, plus top coat

 

CHANEL Lilis swatch

CHANEL – #647 Lilis

CHANEL Lilis swatch 2

CHANEL – #647 Lilis

CHANEL Lilis vs Dior Délice swatch

  • Middle & ring: CHANEL – #647 Lilis
  • Index & pinkie: Dior #433 Délice – thicker formula, higher pigmentation, visible pink, gold & silver finely ground glitter, satin natural finish which can make the base tone appear a few degrees lighter

 

CHANEL Azuré

#657 Azuré – a multi-dimensional teal duo chrome that gives off iridescent green, blue, purple and some scant bronze flashes, depending on the light and angle. Due to its metallic nature, a steady hand is a must in application, in order to avoid any visible brush strokes (which are actually much less pronounced in person than my high resolution images may show here). The paradox is with the formula: the first coat may seem rather sheer when you apply it, but this shade becomes fully opaque by the next coat – just make sure to work quickly, as this is a quick-drying lacquer. Coats applied: 2, plus top coat

 

CHANEL Azuré swatch

CHANEL – #657 Azuré

CHANEL Azuré swatch 2

CHANEL – #657 Azuré

CHANEl Azuré swatch 3

CHANEL – #657 Azuré

CHANEL Azuré & comparisons swatch

  • Index: China Glaze ‘Deviantly Daring’ (reviewed here) – the closest colour-wise, more pigmented with the shimmer slightly more defined, a few degrees deeper/greener leaning – 2 coats
  • Ring: Dior #704 from the Samba Duo (Birds of Paradise Collection) – duller finish, more green tinged, not as obviously metallic – 2 coats
  • Middle: CHANEL #657 Azuré
  • Pinkie: OPI ‘Catch Me In Your Net’ – sheerer formula, blue leaning, visibly larger shimmer with ground gold & teal/aqua glitter – 2 coats

 

CHANEl Bel-Argus

#667 Bel-Argus – a complex royal blue chrome/metallic shade with a distinct purple/indigo colour shift. The formula is much more forgiving – both in terms of application re: any visible brush strokes, as well as dry time – than Azuré. Absolutely breathtaking to look at with intricately swirling cobalt depths give Bel-Argus a unique tone, making it almost luminous, in fact. Bonus: non-staining upon removal. Coats applied: 2, plus top coat

 

CHANEL Bel-Argus swatch

CHANEL – #667 Bel-Argus

CHANEL Bel-Argus swatch 2

CHANEL – #667 Bel-Argus

CHANEL Bel-Argus swatch 3

CHANEL – #667 Bel-Argus

CHANEL Bel-Argus vs CG Want My Bawdy swatch

  • Middle & ring: CHANEL – #667 Bel-Argus
  • index & pinkie: Chine Glaze ‘Want My Bawdy’ (reviewed here) – thinner & sheerer formula, shimmer larger & more visible, purple-leaning – 2 coats

 

Last word: I couldn’t be happier with this trio of colours CHANEL chose to release for their Summer 2013 Collection – vibrant, almost thrumming with life & beauty, they are as gorgeous to wear, as to look at. I thought at first that ‘Lilis’ might be have a duplicate in my extensive personal CHANEL collection, but I couldn’t find any with the same tone and/or vibrance. It goes without saying that both ‘Bel-Argus’ and ‘Azuré’ are completely unique for CHANEL – and even amongst the comparisons I showed – and certainly worth picking up as well. My favourites? ALL. And just as fleeting as butterflies, that’s how quickly this collection will disappear, I’m giving you fair warning … run, don’t walk, to stake your claim on any of these lovelies.

I picked these up from The Bay (Canada).

 

CHANEL Summer 2013 Le Vernis closer

Essie – Resort 2013 Collection

Essie Resort 2013 Collection opener

 

If Essie’s goal is to help banish the winter blahs, then I’d say they’re off to a great start with their Resort 2013 Collection of these four happy & colour saturated hues. With a mix of crème and jelly finishes, as well as a nice selection of brights and/or aquatic tones, these four shades manage to perfectly capture the essence of the warmer weather to come .. which couldn’t be soon enough for me.


Essie Resort 2013 Collection

Essie – Resort 2013 Collection

 

Under Where – (get it? “underwear”? yes…totally cheesy of me …) a bright lilac hue with pink undertones in a jelly-esque formula, that gives surprisingly good coverage even by the first coat – totally self-levelling and highly glossy at the finish. Coats applied: 2, plus top coat


Essie Under Where swatch

Essie – Under Where


Essie Under Where swatch 2

Essie – Under Where


Essie Under Where vs Nice is Nice swatch

Positive that I had at least 1 shade in my collection that would be a near duplicate to ‘Under Where’, I was pleasantly surprised to note that I actually had nothing even remotely like it; I opted to compare it to ‘Nice is Nice’ (reviewed here), although the differences are glaringly obvious.

  • index & pinkie fingers: ‘Nice is Nice’ (2 coats) – thinner flow, hybrid crème-jelly formula, lavender toned and more blue based, several degrees lighter overall
  • middle & ring fingers: ‘Under Where’

 

First Timer – vivid aqua green crème hue with yellowish undertones, in a thicker formula that applied a touch patchy with the first coat, but levelled off completely by the second, becoming fully opaque. Highly colour saturated and almost bordering on neon, there was absolutely no staining upon removal. Coats applied: 2, plus top coat


Essie First Timer swatch

Essie – First Timer


Essie First Timer swatch 2

Essie – First Timer


Essie First Timer vs Turquoise & Caicos swatch

While I own basically every green shade that Essie has produced, the only one that came even remotely close was ‘Turquoise & Caicos’, although even that’s a stretch, as can be seen by the swatches.

  • index & pinkie fingers: ‘Turquoise & Caicos’ (3 coats) – more muted in tone, blue leaning, sheerer formula and a significantly thinner flow
  • middle & ring fingers: ‘First Timer’

 

Come Here – electric coral/poppy hue with hot pink undertones – just shy of looking fully neon, in an ultra-pigmented formula that can almost pass as a 1-coater. Perfectly self levelling in application, it bears a nice shine at the finish, although not super glossy. Bonus: non-staining upon removal. Coats applied: 2, plus top coat


Essie Come Here swatch

Essie – Come Here


Essie Comer Here swatch 2

Essie – Come Here


Essie Comer Here & comps swatch

I easily found 3 shades in my Essie collection that seemed at first glance to be clones of ‘Come Here’, but I opted to compare it to the 2 closest: ‘Olé Caliente’ (reviewed here), and ‘Flirt’.

  • index finger: ‘Olé Caliente’ (2 coats) – sheerer, hybrid crème-jelly formula, a hair lighter & just a touch less vivid in tone
  • middle & pinkie fingers: ‘Come Here’
  • ring finger: ‘Flirt’ (2 coats) – fully pigmented, similar formula although a touch more red/orange leaning, glossiest natural finish

 

In The Cab-Ana – vibrant Robin’s Egg Blue shade in a crème formula, highly colour saturated, completely self-levelling and with a beautifully glossy finish. Bonus: non-staining upon removal. Coats applied: 2, plus top coat


Essie In The Cab-Ana swatch

Essie – In The Cab-Ana


Essie In The Cab-Ana swatch 2

Essie – In The Cab-Ana


Essie In The Cab-Ana vs Where's My Chauffeur swatch

I was convinced that ‘In The Cab-Ana’ was an exact match to ‘Where’s My Chauffeur’ (reviewed here), but swatching the two proved otherwise.

  • index & pinkie fingers: ‘Where’s My Chauffeur’ (2 coats) – thinner & slightly sheerer formula, more of a “Tiffany Blue” and bearing greenish undertones
  • middle & ring fingers: ‘In The Cab-Ana’

 

Final thoughts: I confess to being a bit disappointed when I first beheld these shades, as at first glance none of them seemed that original colour-wise to me. I was also positive that with an Essie collection as extensive as mine, I would own several near-copies of each hue presented, but ‘Come Here’ was the only shade that has a twin (or triplet, in this case). I don’t wear lilac & lavender shades often, but I must admit that ‘Under Where’ is a shade that will suit all skin tones, while ‘First Timer’ is a great way to wear a bright green without coming off as too “Crayola”. My favourite of them all, is hands down ‘In The Cab-Ana’ (that name … *resigned sigh*), and if you missed out on ‘Where’s My Chauffeur’, you definitely need to pick this up. So yeah, no news-breaking colours, but a well-executed little collection, with formulas that are all a pleasure to apply!

The Essie Resort 2013 Collection will be available early April.


Essie Resort 2013 Collection closer

 

 

 

*Disclosure: Product samples provided by the company/PR for my unbiased consideration