Filed In: shimmer polish

Dior Vernis #995 Minuit (LE) – Golden Winter 2013 Collection

Dior Minuit opener

 

To look at Dior’s Golden Winter 2013 Collection, is like looking into the jewelry box of Marie Antoinette; filled with tones of pink & gold, this collection takes its inspiration from Versailles at midnight. No need to add any more … that romantic imagery is more than enough for me. I first fell for the retro shape of these chubby bottles when they were introduced with last year’s Grand Bal holiday collection (previously reviewed here and here) – the ultimate in refined femininity. Plus they’re just so darned cute.


Dior Minuit

Dior – #995 Minuit


Dior Minuit 2

Dior – #995 Minuit


Dior Minuit 3

Dior – #995 Minuit


Dior Minuit 4

#995 Minuit (limited edition) (CAN $27.00) – a deep bordeaux/prune base hue filled with rose-gold, copper & bronze ultra fine glitter. With its sublime formula – perfect density, flow, self-levelling capacity, and super glossy finish – this shade is nothing short of totally luxurious. Dark enough to satisfy my need for vampy shades yet still shy of looking like yet another blackened lacquer, the shimmery bits here look like they’re literally floating just under the nail surface – LOVE! Coats applied: 2, plus 1 layer of Dior Gel Top Coat


Dior Minuit swatch

Dior – #995 Minuit


Dior Minuit swatch 2

Dior – #995 Minuit


Dior Minuit swatch 3

Dior – #995 Minuit


Dior Minuit swatch macro

Dior – #995 Minuit


Dior Minuit swatch 4

Dior – #995 Minuit

 

 

I have fallen very hard for this lacquer, and it has quickly risen to the ranks of one of my all-time favourite shades. The fact that the formula is ridiculously easy to apply (even the brush isn’t the usual paddle style that Dior favours with their regular lineup of lacquers, neither is it of the thinner variety – densely packed & flexible bristles, and just enough width enough to work comfortably with), makes it more than worth the heftier price tag. I’m already planning on getting a back up of this limited edition beauty … how can I resist?


Dior Minuit closer

OPI – Mariah Carey Holiday 2013 Collection ‘the sparklers’

OPI Mariah Carey Holiday 2013 pt 2 opener

 

Dividing this fairly extensive collection into three groups was the easy part; ‘the reds’ (reviewed here), the Liquid Sands (coming soon), and this group here that I’ve named ‘the sparklers’, although it should technically be ‘the 5 sparklers & a metallic’, but that just looks weird in a title, no? These six lacquers all have something unique and totally eye-catching to offer – brilliant, sparkling and festively extravagant.


OPI Mariah Carey Holiday 2013 pt 2

OPI – Mariah Carey Holiday 2013 Collection

 

Ski Slope Sweetie – a sheer milky base hue filled with finely ground iridescent/pearlized shimmer that flashes predominantly gold, with pink and green glints seen as well. While the formula leans a bit on the thick side, it still applies ridiculously easy, staying exactly where placed, brush stroke-free and self-levelling (this can also be layered over a similar colour for more depth). Gleaming at the finish, I swear that there’s a magical look to this shade – makes me think of unicorns. Love unicorns. Note that there could be some shimmer migration upon removal. Coats applied: 3 (thin), plus top coat


OPI Ski Slope Sweetie swatch

OPI – Ski Slope Sweetie


OPI Ski Slope Sweetie swatch 2

OPI – Ski Slope Sweetie

 

My Favorite Ornament – a clear base loaded with ultra fine platinum and silver micro glitter (doesn’t it look like teeny-tiny crinkled up pieces of foil?), that’s almost opaque by the first coat — it’s THAT densely packed. With its antiqued/tarnished effect, this shade is insanely brilliant and absolutely spot-on as the perfect festive lacquer. You will probably need a couple of layers of top coat to smooth out the slightly gritty finish – totally worth it, however. Coats applied: 2, plus top coat (2 layers)


OPI My Favorite Ornament swatch

OPI – My Favorite Ornament


OPI My Favorite Ornament swatch 2

OPI – My Favorite Ornament

 

Wondrous Star – a clear base filled with the same platinum & silver ultra fine micro glitter of My Favorite ornament, but slightly sparser and in a thinner flowing formula, as well as the addition of tiny black hexagonal glitter pieces in the mix. Definitely best if layered to bring out its full effect, this shade is ridiculously brilliant as well. Coats applied: 3 (thin), plus top coat


OPI Wondrous Star swatch

OPI – Wondrous Star


OPI Wondrous Star swatch 2

OPI – Wondrous Star

 

All Sparkly and Gold – a smokey semi-sheer taupe base hue filled with bronze ultra fine glitter (the warmer and more golden version of My Favorite Ornament). The gritty feel at the finish seems more Liquid Sand to me, but not as dense, and really benefits from top coat to enhance every brilliant facet. I absolutely LOVE how the glitter seems suspended at the surface level. Coats applied: 3 (thin), plus top coat (2 layers)


OPI All Sparkly and Gold swatch

OPI – All Sparkly and Gold


OPI All Sparkly and Gold swatch 2

OPI – All Sparkly and Gold

 

Warm Me Up – the odd man out of the group shown here, but still part of the same overall colour family, this is a metallic taupe/mink brown hue bearing a silvery/pearlized shimmer throughout. A totally unique colour (at least in my fairly vast collection), this shade is a chameleon – looking pewter in some lights, bronzey-grey in others. Self-levelling, no visible brush strokes and shiny at the finish, it’s also non-staining upon removal. Coats applied: 2, plus top coat


OPI Warm me Up swatch

OPI – Warm Me Up


OPI Warm me Up swatch 2

OPI – Warm Me Up

 

I Snow You Love Me – the “pièce de résistance” of the collection (and you HAVE to love the name!), this is a slightly milky (and relatively thick) base, filled with large round holographic glitter. As this shade is best when layered, I’ve shown it (1 coat only) over 3 distinct finished: over a crème (Visions of Love previously reviewed here), a shimmer (Ski Slope Sweetie), and a metallic (Warm Me Up). Some tips for application:

  • start by keeping this bottle stored upside down, as the glitter is heavy and tends to sink to the bottom
  • don’t try applying this the usual way – you’ll only wind up with the base and no glitter
  • instead, use the “drop, dab, & swoosh” method and work quickly to avoid an uneven surface
  • Bonus: glitter placement is quite easy to do, although you may need to fish some pieces out of the bottle in the first place


OPI I Snow You Love Me swatch

OPI – I Snow You Love Me (over Visions of Love)


OPI I Snow You Love Me swatch 2

OPI – I Snow You Love Me (over Ski Slope Sweetie)


OPI I Snow You Love Me swatch 3

OPI – I Snow You Love Me (over Warm Me Up)

 

I’m not even a glitter person, and yet I am so totally drawn to (most of) these shades. My favourites here are I Snow You Love Me (portable disco balls!), Warm Me Up (you already know how I love these moodier-type shades), All Sparkly and Gold (sophisticated bling, in my eyes), and My Favorite Ornament. I can see Ski Slope Sweetie as a pedi shade, a colour that will translate well even for the warmer season, but Wondrous Star didn’t do it for me – something about the darker bits looked too much like debris for my liking – maybe it just needs to grow on me *shrugs*.

The six Liquid Sand polishes of this collection will be shown in an upcoming post.

The OPI Mariah Carey Holiday 2013 Collection is limited and available now. For all updates, feel free to follow via: website/twitter/facebook

 

OPI Mariah Carey Holiday 2013 pt 2 closer

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

OPI – Mariah Carey Holiday 2013 Collection ‘the reds’

OPI Mariah Carey Holiday 2013 pt 1 opener

 

OPI’s Mariah Carey Holiday 2013 Collection, consist of not 12, but rather 18 limited edition lacquers – with 6 of them coming in the brand’s Liquid Sand formula (which I personally love!). I’ve broken it down to three separate groups, in order that they can be appreciated that much better, starting with ‘The Reds’ of part 1 shown here today.


OPI Mariah Carey Holiday 2013 pt 1

OPI – Mariah Carey Holiday 2013 Collection

 

All I Want for Christmas (is OPI) – a rich red crème (the perfect Christmas red!) with blueish undertones in the base making it slightly cooler hued, in a formula with excellent flow & coverage. Highly flattering against all skin tones, the application was completely self-levelling and with a high-gloss shine at the finish. Note that it could be lightly staining, so do not skip base coat. Coats applied: 2, plus top coat


OPI All I Want for Christmas (is OPI) swatch 2

OPI – All I want for Christmas (is OPI)


OPI All I Want For Christmas (is OPI) swatch

OPI – All I Want for Christmas (is OPI)

 

Visions of Love – a cooler-toned deep burgundy/dark chocolate crème hue with dark berry undertones, in a formula that was simply spectacular – super easy flow and perfect opacity. Self levelling and über-glossy at the finish, this shade is nothing short of luxurious vampiness. Seriously. May be lightly staining, so do not skip base coat. Coats applied: 2, plus top coat


OPI Visions of Love swatch

OPI – Visions of Love


OPI Visions of Love swatch 2

OPI – Visions of Love

 

In my Santa Suit – a cool-toned red hue with magenta undertones in the base and pearlized shimmer throughout, giving  the center of the nail that “glowing” effect. Another excellent and easy application – self-levelling & with no visible brush strokes, leaving a shiny finish (not glossy) behind. Such a festive shade – I love how it totally resembles moiré satin ribbon! Non-staining upon removal. Coats applied: 2, plus top coat (top coat necessary here to really bring out the depth)


OPI In My Santa Suit swatch

OPI – In my Santa Suit


OPI In My Santa Suit swatch 2

OPI – In my Santa Suit

 

Sleigh Ride for Two – a unique mix of deep raisin/plum base hue with an inner ultra-fine pearlized shimmer, that comes off as simultaneously filtered (as though seen through fogged glass) and glowing (like the shimmer is trapped just beneath the surface layer). Self-levelling and brush stroke-free, there’s a velvety look to this shade and while it’s not as glossy as the crèmes, there’s a nice shine just the same. Top coat totally brings out all its depths, and another plus is that it’s non-staining. Coats applied: 2, plus top coat


OPI Sleigh Ride for Two swatch 2

OPI – Sleigh Ride for Two


OPI Sleigh Ride for Two swatch

OPI – Sleigh Ride for Two

 

Cute Little Vixen – a cool leaning magenta base hue with purple undertones in the base, filled with pink & silver finely ground glitter and pearlized shimmer throughout that gives this shade a gleaming look. Self-levelling and with a brush stroke-free application, once again top coat is necessary to bring out all its depths. Coats applied: 2, plus top coat


OPI Cute Little Vixen swatch

OPI – Cute Little Vixen

 

OPI Cute Little Vixen swatch 2

OPI – Cute Little Vixen

 

Underneath the Mistletoe – a deep ruby base with some brownish tints, filled with pink & silver glass-flecked glitter particles in a jelly-like formula. Gorgeously glowing & kind of squishy-looking (in a good way), the flecks look like they’re floating at the surface level — this also reminds me of raspberry jam! Self-levelling in application, this was the least glossy of the 6 – definitely needs top coat to really bring it out. Could be lightly staining, so do not skip your base. Coats applied: 2, plus top coat


OPI Underneath the Mistletoe swatch

OPI – Underneath the Mistletoe


OPI Underneath the Mistletoe swatch 2

OPI – Underneath the Mistletoe

 

OPI certainly knows how to do “red”, and of the six shown here, the stand-outs for me were the 2 crèmes (although Visions of Love is my hands-down favourite), Sleigh Ride for Two (because I’m a total sucker for anything “dusty-looking”), and Underneath the Mistletoe (it’s squishy…need I say more? It’s also the pedi shade I wore when I met Suzi Weiss-Fischmann, post found here), and even though I wasn’t too partial to In my Santa Suit or Cute Little Vixen, I can’t deny how pretty the finish looks – just not for me.

Stay tuned for part 2 of this collection, to be shown in an upcoming post.

The OPI Mariah Carey Holiday 2013 Collection is limited and available now. For all updates, feel free to follow via website/twitter/facebook


OPI Mariah Carey Holiday 2013 pt 1 closer

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

Illamasqua – Facet Nail Varnish (Sacred Hour Collection)

Illamasqua Facet opener

 

Some things are just meant to be; when I happened to step into the Illamasqua boutique at the downtown Montréal Hudson’s Bay store a few weeks ago, I was checking out the brand’s latest collection – Sacred Hour – and I naturally gravitated towards this one particular shade: Facet. Gorgeous, unique, like nothing I own in my vast collection of lacquers, limited edition … and so totally sold out. Insert major sad face here. But happily, I was able to order it online through The Bay’s website – free shipping too!


Illamasqua Facet

Illamasqua – Facet Nail Varnish


Illamasqua Facet 2

Facet (CAD $17.00/15 ml) – a muted grey base with mauve undertones in a mid-sheer formula, filled with irregularly shaped bronze shards as well as sparser pink & green flecks. As with every other Illamasqua lacquer I own, the flow and density was spot-on perfect, applying in a self-levelling way and becoming fully opaque by the second coat. This odd combination of colours (grey with antiqued gold) in theory shouldn’t work at all — but for some reason here, it just DOES. Depending on the light and your angle, this shade might pull deeper grey then morph into a bronzite hue, but no matter which colour it appears, there’s this eerie murky effect that’s prevalent – almost as though it’s being viewed through a veil. With a gorgeously glossy shine at the finish and bearing an easy removal, this shade is pure LOVE, LOVE, LOVE. Coats applied: 2, plus top coat


Illamasqua Facet 3

Illamasqua – Facet Nail Varnish


Illamasqua Facet swatch

Illamasqua – Facet Nail Varnish


Illamasqua Facet swatch 2

Illamasqua – Facet Nail Varnish


Illamasqua Facet swatch 3

Illamasqua – Facet Nail Varnish (detail)


Illamasqua Facet swatch 4

Illamasqua – Facet Nail Varnish


Illamasqua Facet swatch 5

Illamasqua – Facet Nail Varnish

 

I couldn’t be happier that I was able to add ‘Facet’ to my collection – not because this shade is a limited edition item, but because of how incredibly unique it is in terms of colour — something that’s becoming harder and harder to accomplish in the already overcrowded world of nail polish. That the formula is perfection, is just the icing on this cake. Oh yeah … us Canadians don’t have to be gouged by Sephora’s inflated prices on this brand anymore, since one can now purchase Illamasqua products through The Bay (in-store Illamasqua boutiques at select stores, or online). Sweet, very sweet.

I ordered Facet through The Bay online.


Illamasqua Facet closer

 

Giorgio Armani – #705 Black Petrol Lacquer

GA Black Petrol opener

 

Upon spotting the new Giorgio Armani Nail Lacquers a few weeks ago, I think I may have stood rooted to the spot for a few moments, simply taking it all in. Then the dilemma: which shade to pick up first? After going back & forth between the 18 shades, I decided on #705 Petrol – as much for name, as the colour – an inky, swirling, mysterious & chameleon-like shade.

This new range of lacquers is reported to boast a new shiner & longer-lasting formula than conventional polish, with no need for either a base or a top coat, although I personally would not recommend skipping the base.


GA Black Petrol box

Giorgio Armani Nail Lacquer – #705 Black Petrol


GA Black Petrol label

Giorgio Armani Nail Lacquer – #705 Black Petrol


GA Black Petrol ingredients

Giorgio Armani Nail Lacquer – #705 Black Petrol (ingredients list)

GA Black Petrol cap

Giorgio Armani Nail Lacquer – #705 Black Petrol


GA Black Petrol

Giorgio Armani Nail Lacquer – #705 Black Petrol


GA Black Petrol 2

#705 Black Petrol (CAD $32.00/6 ml USD 20.00/ 0.2 fl.oz) – A blackened teal base bearing an ultra finely ground emerald and sapphire shimmer, in a formula with AMAZING viscosity & flow: this beauty stays exactly where placed, with no cuticle pooling, or dragging. The wide & flat paddle-style brush has an excellent density to the bristles, although my brush here did have a couple of wonky hairs (easily remedied by trimming, although at this price, I shouldn’t have to, right?) and I found the length of the wand very easy to use. Totally self-levelling and with a natural high-gloss shine at the finish, there’s almost an ombré effect seen in some lighting – with this shade looking darker around the edges of the nail, and a glowing center. BONUS: completely non-staining upon removal. Coats applied: 2, plus top coat


GA #705 Black Petrol swatch

Giorgio Armani Nail Lacquer – #705 Black Petrol


GA #705 Black Petrol swatch 2

Giorgio Armani Nail Lacquer – #705 Black Petrol


GA #705 Black Petrol swatch 3

Giorgio Armani Nail Lacquer – #705 Black Petrol


GA #705 Black Petrol swatch macro

Giorgio Armani Nail Lacquer – #705 Black Petrol (detail)


GA Black Petrol 3

Giorgio Armani Nail Lacquer – #705 Black Petrol

 

Somehow, I’m not surprised at the exceptional quality of this lacquer; everything Mr. Armani touches, seems to be very carefully thought out, with no detail spared. The range, while not huge, does have the basics: nudes, paler pinks, reds, corals, wine, and a few unique colours, as well as varying finishes – from crème, pearly/opalescent, shimmer and even duo chrome. My biggest complaint? The Canadian price. I cannot even begin to comprehend how these polishes are $12.00 more here, and while I am impressed with the line, that alone is almost enough to keep me away. Except for the fact that I’ve already caved and picked up one more. But that’s it. I swear. Maybe…

I bought this item at Holt Renfrew, Montréal.


GA Black Petrol closer