Marc Jacobs #202 Sunday's Cool, #204 Good Friday, #206 Resurrection, #208 Peep, and #210 Confession Swatches + Comparisons | Spring 2016 Collection

I'm finally getting around to swatching the Marc Jacobs Spring 2016 collection. I've slowly collected the majority of MJ polishes, and the names here appealed to me, so I snatched them up. The brand went with a seemingly typical pastel assortment, but I actually don't have any duplicates in my collection! See swatches and comparisons after the jump.

Chanel in #518 Chaîne Or + Comparisons

Direct sunlight
As I mentioned in my Chanel Summer 2016 post, Chanel in #518 Chaîne Or - released as part of the permanent collection this spring - seems to have disappeared from all online retailers except Saks Fifth Avenue. I don't know whether it has been phased out of the permanent line, or there is a production delay or something and it will be re-stocked. So if you want to be safe, it's time to snatch it up now. 

Chaîne Or is a pretty standard yellow gold metallic with subtle shimmers that catch the light. It does show some brushstrokes (although not horrific), so I did 2 thin coats and sponged on a third. I think that third coat is necessary however you apply this polish, otherwise you can get some sheerer patches. The formula - apart from the brushstrokes - is very good. Not particularly special, and it isn't a travesty if it's been pulled from the permanent collection, but a solid, well-performing polish.

I have been slowly picking up the re-launched Le Vernis line, and so far so good. Sabrina at The Beauty Look Book has a more thorough rundown comparing the differences between the new and old lines (the brush is wider but still traditionally shaped, and she found the lasting power improved). I haven't fully tested for wear, but I have never had problems with chipping from my Chanel polishes, and that remains true for the new line, which is marketed as Longwear Nail Colour. I like the brush quite a bit and thing most people will welcome the change: for patchier shades especially, it helps with application, and I don't have trouble maneuvering the brush around my cuticles. I had one issue with the brush for #536 Émeraude, where the bristles wouldn't spread out fully when I put pressure on them. This meant I had to do a bit of cleanup to get close to my cuticles, but I haven't experienced that issue for any of the other new polishes. For those concerned about chemical formulas, these new polishes are 5-free.

Chanel in #524 Turban, #526 Cavalière, #532 Canotier, #534 Espadrilles, and #536 Émeraude Swatches & Comparisons | Summer 2016 "Dans La Lumière de l'Été" Collection

So, my computer and camera died at different times. It's been a thing. Moving on! 

Have Chanel's beauty releases seemed a bit confused to you ever since Peter Philips's departure? The Holiday collection was a bit mixed up, and with this summer collection there has been different information filtered through various press releases. The Chanel website lists this collection as "Dans La Lumière de l'Été" ("In the Light of Summer"), but other sites have it named "Les Souffles du Desert" ("Desert Breezes"). And, I believe #524 Turban was added to the collection after it had already been released on and It took forever to appear on Neiman's (online and in-store). Some press materials have #526 Cavalier listed as limited-edition, but as far as I can tell from the Chanel website, it's not. I will be interested to see what's to come in Fall/Holiday, as that's when the new global creative makeup and color designer, Lucia Pica, will begin to make her mark.

In any case, there are five polishes in this collection. Let's get into swatches and comparisons.

Chanel in #18 Rouge Noir, #18 Vamp, #757 Rose Fusion, and Le Top Coat Lamé Rouge Noir Swatches & Comparisons | Holiday 2015 "Rouge Noir Absolument/Vamp Attitude" Collection

For Holiday 2015 Chanel has released a collection filled with gorgeous tributes to one of their most famous polishes, #18 Rouge Noir. The collection is available in piecemeal fashion in stores (I found mine at Neiman Marcus Fashion Island) and online. Unfortunately, the release has been a bit confused. From what I can gather, the collection is called "Rouge Noir Absolument" for European customers and includes the polish #18 Rouge Noir. Based on what is available for purchase so far in the U.S., I believe we are getting the collection "Vamp Attitude," which includes the polish #18 Vamp. But, I can't be positive because Chanel's PR team sent Temptalia Rouge Noir to review, not Vamp! This is even more confusing for many people unfamiliar with Chanel polishes because Vamp used to be the same polish as Rouge Noir when it was originally released in 1994 (the two names, I believe were used for the U.S. and European market respectively). However, Chanel re-launched Vamp in 2003 under the same name, but with a completely different formula! Even more confusing to me is why they're now acting like Rouge Noir should only be for the European market, since they've re-released it many times in the U.S. since 1994 (most recently last year, if I recall correctly). In any case, both polishes are an important part of Chanel history, but it's a shame if Rouge Noir is not available for this release celebrating that very history, especially since I prefer it to Vamp. With that convoluted discussion out of the way, I should mention the other two polishes in this collection are #757 Rose Fusion and Le Top Coat Lamé Rouge Noir Gold Sparkle Nail Coat. Another picture heavy-post with swatches and comparisons after the jump.

Chanel in #519 Rose Exubérant, Chanel in #673 Singulière, & Chanel in #675 Troublante Swatches & Comparisons | Winter 2015 "Rouge Allure" Collection

For Winter 2015 Chanel has released another "Rouge Allure" collection. This includes two new polishes, #673 Singulière and #675 Troublante, and one re-released polish, #519 Rose Exuberant. I have quick and dirty swatches plus comparisons. It's a picture-heavy post everyone!

I am still working on setting up the blog sale! Stay tuned for that and posts on the other Chanel polishes released this year. Coming up as soon as I get the pictures edited is the Holiday 2015 collection. I already have the top coat watched on my Instagram.

Neon & Nude: Rescue Beauty Lounge in Plié over China Glaze in Love's a Beach, China Glaze in Orange You Hot?, and China Glaze in Sun-Kissed

Direct sunlight

For some crazy reason (probably because I am going crazy with all the extra time on my hands), I decided to try my hand at some nail art. I've been wanting to do a neon/nude manicure for a long time, inspired by this NB post. However, I have absolutely no freehand skills, so I knew I wanted to use the striping tape I finally bought with my last order of swatch sticks. I looked through some of my favorite nail art blogs, and found this post from The Nailasaurus. And, donc, you have this design, which I am pretty happy with despite its imperfections.

This is actually a fairly easy look to achieve, it just takes a bit of time. Before I went to bed, I did my neon base colors. These three polishes are all from China Glaze's Summer 2012 "Summer Neons" collection. The warm, shimmery pink is China Glaze in Love's a Beach. I used 3 thin coats and didn't have problems, although it dries to a matte finish fast, so you have to work quickly. The shimmery tangerine is China Glaze in Orange You Hot? I used 2 thin coats and 2 medium coats and didn't have any problems with the formula. The highlighter yellow shimmer is China Glaze in Sun-Kissed. It is not as green-leaning as other similar highlighter yellow neons, but it has a bit more than my pictures captured. I used 2 thin coats and 2 medium coats and didn't have any problems with the formula. I topped these base colors with a layer of Seche Vite and went to bed.

The next day, I laid down the striping tape in my design, working one finger at a time. The only trick to applying striping tape is to make sure it is conforming to the curve of your nails and press down at the edges of your nails so polish doesn't pool under the tape. Also, if you have a design where the tape overlaps, remember what order you placed the tape on your nail - I drew a rough sketch and numbered it for my thumb. Once I had the tape down, I applied a thick coat of polish over the whole nail. I used Rescue Beauty Lounge in Plié, a ballet slipper pink creme from the Fall/Winter 2008 collection, which straddles the line between pink and nude on me. Immediately after you apply your polish, you have to pull up the tape using tweezers; otherwise, the polish will start to dry and leave polish strings all over your design. Because I'm not great at this technique, I went back over the areas where Plié had smudged into my base colors with some remover. I used my favorite clean-up brush for fine detail work, the brush that comes with the Chanel Illusion d'Ombres and Zoya Remove, which is a mild acetone remover, so it doesn't eat through polish as quickly and lightly went over those spots where the lines didn't look clean. It was very easy to do this because the layer of Seche Vite over the neons acted as a barrier to keep my base colors from being picked up. I cleaned up around my cuticles with pure acetone and my Elf concealer brush, and then added a layer of Seche Vite to finish. You can see that on my ring finger there is some bubbling. This is because the horizontal lines caught the Seche Vite brush instead of allowing it to float across the surface of the nail and created bubbles. Next time I would go across that nail horizontally rather than vertically to prevent this.

It sure didn't turn out the way it would have for other bloggers that excel at nail art, but it looks awesome from a regular viewing distance! By the way, sorry, I didn't notice there was a hair on my thumb in some of these pictures. Also, I know the claw pose is awkward as hell, but the design looks a little pedestrian without the thumb!

Indirect natural light

Worn August 18 - 22, 2013.

Chanel in #571 Fracas + Comparisons

Direct sunlight

Here are my new and improved pictures of Chanel in #571 Fracas. Fracas was a limited-edition polish from the Spring 2013 "Printemps Précieux de Chanel" collection. I had taken some pictures back in January, but with the diffused lighting from the snow, they made this polish look rather bland and soft. As you can see, Fracas is really a vivid, bright shade. The French translation I think most applies to this polish is "wallop" because it packs a punch (out of school a couple months, and I'm resorting to cheesy copy like this)!

Chanel describes Fracas as a "vibrant pink. It is a bright, yellow-based pink with extremely subtle gold, pink, and white pearl shimmers - you really can't ever see the shimmer on the nail, although you can sometimes see it in the bottle. It's just the right level of bright but still sophisticated, and it's unique to my collection. The color reminds me of South Korea, where I was born; their national flower is the rose of sharon or hibiscus.

Source: Beechwood Landscape

I am positive that my bottle of Fracas was a bad one. Every single review I've read has talked about how amazing the formula is, which is common for their vibrant cremes. My bottle was overly thick and had a gloopy, balding formula that wouldn't self level; when I applied it on the nail there were sporadic chunks of dried polish that worked their way on my nail. I'm pretty sure this was a fault of Neiman Marcus's quality control, since my bottle seemed like it might have been opened before I got it. In any case, clearly the formula was a big disappointment for me back then. However, for these pictures, I thinned the shit out of Fracas and shook it up really well (I actually added a tiny bit too much thinner), and the formula was much better if now a little too thin. Most people won't have any problems with the formula going by others' descriptions, but I just wanted to mention it. I used 3 thin coats of Fracas.

Worn January 21 - 23, 2013.

Indirect natural light - indoors

Sally Hansen Sugar Coat in #230 Pink Sprinkle over Chanel in #589 Élixir (Two Ways)

Indirect natural light

After I had bought and swatched this one, I knew I wanted to get it worn and over with. I'll be straight and let you know right now, it's not a winner for me. But I wore it, it had a chance, and now I can add it to the purge pile. This is Sally Hansen Sugar Coat in #230 Pink Sprinkle. It's from the Summer 2013 "Sugar Rush" collection, the second release of SH's textured polishes. Their first release included all opaque, flat-style texture polishes, which I'm not a big fan of - I'm more intrigued, of course, by the textures with SPARKLE! So, Pink Sprinkle looked promising. But it's sheer. Definitely not as sheer as #210 Royal Icing from this same collection, but sheer enough that the texture particles show through. The color is pretty; the flakies are pretty; the texture particles look like a skin infection. I made it shiny on the second day and didn't like the effect any better, sorry to say. 

On my swatch stick it took 4 coats to get Pink Sprinkle semi-opaque. I layered it on top of Chanel in #589 Élixir, which is not the exact same color as Pink Sprinkle but close enough for me to see whether it would be a keeper. Pink Sprinkle is a warm fuchsia jelly texture polish with a moderate amount of gold flakies (they're colored more pink/red from the base).

The formula was fine, I used 2 thin coats. Textures do take longer to dry fully - they'll feel dry to the touch, but give them a couple hours before you do any serious business with your hands. 

Worn August 15 - 17, 2013. 

Direct sunlight
Indirect natural light

Chanel in #589 Élixir + Comparisons

Direct sunlight

I realized that it's been a long time since I've had Chanel up on the blog, and the last Chanel swatches in my backlog (#571 Fracas) are not color-accurate enough for my liking, so yesterday I slapped on Chanel in Élixir. I'm in an accelerated polish rotation state right now because the end of summer is pressing in on me, and I still haven't worn a neon - I own like 50 neons! - I still haven't worn my white cremes - those need to be worn with a tan! So I've got to get some more colors on my fingers more frequently. At least now I have Chanel's fall collection completed. Élixir is part of the Fall 2013 "Superstition" collection, but its a nice year-round color.

Chanel describes Élixir as a "milky pink." I'd call it a watermelon creme that has a bit of dustiness to it. Really pretty, and I don't have anything like it in my collection. This is another silly reason I like to collect Chanel - it gives me lots of work-appropriate colors that I would never have taken a second glance at if they were part of the Essie lineup. With the job hunt holding steady and stagnant right now, though, I'm unfortunately gonna really have to start being thoughtful about collecting every single Chanel polish. I'll probably be passing on the September "Moiré" collection in anticipation of "Nuit Magique." The very definition of first-world problems, I know!

Élixir had a similar formula to #647 Lilis, good not great with a tendency to bald spots when I used thin coats. I did 1 thin coat and 1 medium coat to even things out, and didn't have to do any cleanup, but it's still not the best Chanel has to offer in terms of formula.

Worn August 14 - 15, 2013.

Indirect natural light
Direct sunlight

Marc Jacobs in #140 Petra + Comparisons

Direct sunlight

Well, I said I would be checking out Marc Jacobs products, and I did! Today I'm wearing Marc Jacobs in #140 Petra. This color is so so gorgeous! Just find whichever of these pictures that you like best, and then imagine it being 10 times better-looking in real life. My nail polish collection at this point is way too large for my comfort, so when I go check out a new line, I rarely expect to be wowed. And if you've been in Sephora you'll know that the lighting in there does nothing and nobody any favors. To be honest, when I scanned through the Marc Jacobs polishes, there were many I was intrigued by, but nothing took my breath away. I picked up Petra (which looked like a silvery purple) in the store, and thought, maybe this is unique, looks like it could be cool. And then I went home and tried it on, and it just smashed my expectations. Even though NB was 50-50 on it, I'm planning to go back and swatch all the Marc Jacobs polishes on a nail wheel so I can be sure not to miss out on another amazing polish. Sephora really needs to figure out their lighting (the Nail Bar in particular is horrific). This is the polish I would wear to the Met Costume Gala (called the Oscars of fashion) with this dress:

Marc Jacobs Fall/Winter 2010

It's a showstopping polish. Petra is described as a "shimmering brown." Sabrina from The Beauty Look Book just swatched Petra, and it's odd how different it looks on us since we have similar skintones! On me, Petra is a deep, glowing, mahogany with a bit of plum. It has a purple jelly base, but is packed with  silver, gold, and copper/bronze/red flakie shimmers. From time to time, it turns a little cool purple/silver/taupe on me like it looks on Sabrina, but it mostly reads warm, so I think the color's going to vary from person-to-person. Even though the color does look fall-y, I think it's really an all-season polish (for those of you that follow those guidelines). The makeup of the polish is similar to polishes like Chanel in #529 Graphite.

However, unlike Graphite, which needs 3 coats, Petra is extremely pigmented. Sabrina seemed to have a little bit of difficulty with this formula, but it was really great for me. I used 2 thin coats, and I hardly needed the second - those of you who do thicker coats will really only need one. Before I put top coat on, I was impressed, but when I put Seche Vite on, Petra seriously went to a whole 'nother level. I really don't feel like I'm exaggerating in my obnoxious levels of praise for this polish.

Worn August 11 - 13, 2013.

Indirect sunlight

Sephora Formula X in Indelible + Comparisons

Direct sunlight

DISCLOSURE: Indelible is a press sample sent to me for my honest review.

Sephora Formula X in Indelible is one of the new colors in the line, which is premiering September 2013. Indelible is part of the New Classics range. It's a mid-tone purple creme that leans a bit cool. When I look at it from a normal distance, it reads pretty neutral to me, but when I compared it to other polishes it has quite a bit more blue than a neutral purple polish - I don't know if my olive skin tone has anything to do with counteracting the coolness in it. It immediately made me think of Rescue Beauty Lounge in Purple Haze, but they are actually quite different. I always wonder about how brands that don't hew closely to theme choose names - Indelible makes me think of the ink sometimes used in elections to prevent voter fraud.


The bottle is just verging on bulky for me, but the overall design is a nice user experience (yup, that sounds kind of stupid, but it's the best I could come up with). There is an overcap that is easy to remove and clicks back into place, the brush handle is very comfortable, and the bottle is nicely weighted and stable. From a marketing standpoint, I don't know why they would print Sephora so small in their logo design, but what do I know? You can see pictures of all the bottles in this slideshow.

The formula on Indelible was slightly too thick for me - I could tell it was going to get sticky and have balding issues if I tried to use thin coats. I added as many drops of nail polish thinner as I could into a new bottle (probably about 5) to sort this out. If you do thick coats you could get away with 1 coat of this unthinned. I used 2 thin coats after thinning, and the formula was great - smooth-flowing and opaque, no need for cleanup. My pictures don't capture the brush as well as I'd like. The tip actually fans out more - probably to the same width as Marc Jacobs' brush, but the Sephora Formula X brush is a touch more bushy and less malleable. I tend to prefer tinier more flexible brushes, but this one wasn't problematic, just not my favorite.

Worn August 7 - 10, 2013.

Indirect natural light

DISCLOSURE: Indelible is a press sample sent to me for my honest review.

A little bit more about Sephora Formula X. This is going to be a HUGE launch of 200 polishes. You can find preview swatches here. Against my attempting-to-be-austere will, I am really tempted by a ton of these polishes - Sephora by OPI was overall not a huge hit for me, but it looks like they're going all out with this new line. There are going to be 93 Color polishes (divided into New Classics and New Neutrals), 97 Effects polishes (divided into Brilliants, Sparklers, Celestials, Superwatts, Chromes, Translucents, Holograms, Transformers, Lusters, Xplosives, Shifters, and Electrics), plus a system that seems similar to Zoya's Color Lock and nail treatments. As far as I know, Sephora Formula X is a revamp of the current Sephora X line. There seem to be some similar polishes between the two lines, but I believe the names are different. This launch does seem to continue the trend of edging Sephora brand pricing up, although if you look at price per ounce, Formula X beats X: Sephora by OPI was $9.50 for 0.5 fl. oz. ($19/oz.), Sephora X ranges from $9.50 to $11.50 for 0.33 fl. oz. ($28.79-$34.85/oz.), and Sephora Formula X will range from $10.50 to $12.50 for 0.4 fl. oz. ($26.25-$31.25/oz.). I do find the pricing to be a bit more than I would want to pay - for reference, it puts them at about Nails. Inc.-level. I know this sounds odd with my Chanel purchasing habits, but Chanel does 4 colors per collection max; Sephora Formula X is starting out with 200 and, I assume, will expand the line. Sephora Formula X is supposed to have "brilliant shine," "extraordinary staying power," "exclusive never before seen ingredients," a "specially designed brush" for "the most even and precise lacquer application," a "faster drying time that doesn't compromise finish," and "first-to-market explosive effects."

Misa in #289 Lost to the World + Comparisons

Direct sunlight

Sorry, this isn't a very exciting post. These pictures are terrible, and until I get a job it's going to be sporadic posting because I'm freaking out about life. 

This polish was a disappointment too. This is Misa in #289 Lost to the World from the Fall 2012 "Wanderlust" collection. "Wanderlust" is a great collection, and I'm a big Misa fan - I think they are a totally underrated brand. You can get them for almost as little as Sinful polishes online, the bottles look high-end and are nicely weighted, the brushes are perfect, and the formula is usually excellent (leaning more towards thick and opaque than thin and watery). And being a Chanel collector, I'm actually a fan of subtle shimmer. But, that's when I'm expecting it. I bought Lost to the World off of Kelly at Vampy Varnish's swatches, so I was surprised when I finally applied it because her picture is pretty misleading. Always try to find multiple swatch pictures people!

Okay, Misa has a tendency for long or awkward polish names, and their descriptions are no different. Here's what they have to say about Lost to the World: "Destinations are definite, but sometimes wandering is a lot more fun. Tackle your next adventure with this go-anywhere tawny mauve, a delicate hue that will have you floating through the days on cloud nine whether you're jet-setting or simply trendsetting." I hope that ad copywriter was paid overtime! I wouldn't describe Lost to the World as mauve - it's definitely taupe. It has gold and red shimmers, but they are extremely subtle. Barely visible in sunlight subtle. I was surprised in looking through my extensive taupe collection that there were no close matches. Lost to the World is very warm compared to most other taupes. It's kind of a chocolate milk shade and looks pretty different in warm vs. cool light.

I'm going off memory here, but I think the formula was pretty great. Thick but not too thick, and I'm pretty sure I used 2 thin coats with no cleanup. However, I used an old bottle of Seche Vite, so you can see I got some funky pulling away on my ring finger.

Worn January 16 - 19, 2013.

Indirect natural light

An Introduction to Marc Jacobs Beauty: #118 Oui! + Comparisons

I am so excited today to show you a new polish from the Marc Jacobs Beauty line. Marc Jacobs Beauty is launching online and at brick-and-mortar stores on August 9. Marc Jacobs is my favorite designer, so I'm thrilled to have my hands on this. I've honestly been waiting for the day Marc would decide to come out with his own cosmetics line since he released his first perfume in 2001, so this has been a longtime beauty wish fulfilled for me!

DISCLOSURE: #118 Oui! is a press sample sent to me for my honest review.

Sneak peek from @marcjacobsintl's Instagram

I'm going to give you some information on Marc Jacobs Beauty, review #118 Oui!, and then I want to talk to you about why I love Marc Jacobs.

Marc Jacobs Beauty is going to be sold exclusively through Marc Jacobs and Sephora stores and online through Sephora, Marc Jacobs Beauty, and Marc Jacobs. According to the press materials, this line was fueled by Marc's "rule-breaking creativity," expressing "the spirit of youth, confidence and experimentation," with an aim to "push the boundaries." Marc talks about being inspired by "the spirit of 'The Girl' and her makeup ritual" and the magic of that transformative process, which he describes in WWD as "making the choices that will tell the world who you want to be that day" (Naughton 2013).  I love that way of looking at makeup! If you've followed Marc's work, these are threads that run throughout his collections - femininity and the power and endless possibilities of transformation. The beauty aspect of Marc's runway shows has involved a longstanding partnership with François Nars (they collaborated on two polishes in 2011: Manosque and Night Clubbing), and those of you familiar with Nars know the brand is about creating a look and a mood, not just a bunch of wearable colors. So, I expected nothing less from Marc, whose press release mentions "exquisite textures," "provocative shades," "unexpected color," and "daring designs."

His polish line is called Enamored Hi-Shine Lacquer and is touted to high heaven, as is the excitable wont of PR: "a superior nail polish with unprecedented shine. The plasticized, wet-look finish mirrors 30 coats of lacquer. Patented formula." From what I can see from pre-release photos, there's a nice mix of interesting and classic colors/finishes. (I have to commend the MJB team for their very accurate promo photos. You can look at the whole collection at Temptalia and PopSugar Beauty; more sneak peeks can be found at Huffington Post and Fashionista.) Marc Jacobs Beauty is launching with 24 shades of polish, which is an impressive start! I'm looking forward to seeing what this year's holiday collection will bring, as well as the expansion of the core line in spring 2014. And I will definitely be heading over to Sephora to pick up more polishes (I'm interested in #136 Desire, #142 Fluorescent Beige, #122 Ultraviolet, #132 Blue Velvet#110 Gatsby, #128 Nirvana, #112 Le Charm, #138 Jezebel, #130 Sally, #144 Evelyn, #120 Delphine, and #140 Petra) and check out additional products.

The first thing I want to talk about is the packaging. To me it is distinctly Marc with the slight curve to all the edges - just a little softer and more accessible than other high-end brands. In fact, Marc Jacobs Beauty is the only high-end nail polish line I can think of that doesn't have straight-planed bottles, although the polishes still line up neatly in a drawer. It's not a design I would pick out of a lineup as my favorite, but it is distinctive, and functionally the bottle is nicely designed: weighty, with an easy-to-remove overcap that clicks securely back into place, and a stable base. One thing about the bottle design that might be a drawback is that the bottle is wider than it is tall, so I imagine you will have to tip the bottle earlier on in its usage to get a full brush of polish than you would for taller bottles. It contains 0.43 fl. oz. of product, which is roughly standard - for reference, Chanel contains 0.4 fl. oz. and China Glaze contains 0.5 fl. oz. The label on the bottom of the bottle is transparent rather than opaque, so for darker colors it will be difficult to read, but the adhesive is strong (unlike, for example, Rescue Beauty Lounge's labels).

The brush is really nice. It's a bit wider than the standard brush but not at all moppy and with a shorter brush stem, which I always like because I feel like it gives me more control during application. Another nice feature is that when you close the cap on the bottle, you can notice it settling into its resting place, if that makes sense. It's not audible, but once you've twisted the cap completely closed, you can feel it in your fingers, like its shifted into gear. The cap is also comfortable and not hard edged or uncomfortable when you grip it (like if you have dried polish making the cap stick, and you're trying to wrench the bottle open - not that I've had to do that *ahem*). I've compared the Marc Jacobs brush with Essie's to give you a point of comparison. You can see that Essie's brush is thinner and the brush stem is longer; it also has less flexible bristles than Marc Jacobs's.

Direct sunlight

Here is Marc Jacobs in #118 Oui!. Oui! is described as "magenta," which really does not do justice to the color. I was really pleased to receive this color for review because it is not a color I would have immediately picked out, but it's really beautiful, which is the most delightful kind of discovery. It's a metallic magenta with subtle red and violet shimmer. It simply glows, and it dries without any sign of brushstrokes. The color is more toward the pink side of magenta, but it does show a bit more purple out of sunlight.

Oui!'s formula was perfect - no cleanup necessary. I used 2 thin coats. Then I dinged a nail on my left hand, which I had already top coated, necessitating another layer of polish, so the final tally was 2 thin coats + 1 coat Seche Vite + 1 thin coat + Seche Vite. Below the jump I have a comparison of my left hand (2 coats of Oui!) and my right hand (3 coats of Oui!), and although it is opaque at 2 coats, a third does add some depth. I will say that the claims of extreme shine are exaggerated for this particular color, which dried to a normal finish (not dull but not glossy); I suspect the cremes will be a better test of that aspect of the marketing copy. Wear was great, but I usually don't have problems with chipping.

For those of you interested in the inspiration behind the name Oui (French for "yes"), some Marc trivia: the Marc Jacobs "Oui" bag circa 2008 and Oui, a now defunct French pin-up magazine that Marc has tattooed on his arm. Now you know! 

Worn July 24 - 30, 2013.

Indirect natural light 

Rescue Beauty Lounge in Aqua Lily

Direct sunlight

This week I've been wearing Rescue Beauty Lounge in Aqua Lily. Aqua Lily was released with the Spring 2012 "Fan" collection, inspired by Kay-Di Kat's mom and the Maldives waters: "the turquoise water is a crystal-clear sea green" and reflects "a shimmery-pink hue from the shedding scales of the colorful, vivid, and exotic tropical fish."

Aqua Lily is a green-leaning turquoise creme with violet-pink shimmer. The shimmer is visible in most lights, but it's not really wham! bam! pow! in-your-face even in sunlight. It would definitely be more flattering on me if I had a bit more of a tan, but it's a beautiful color nevertheless. I tried quite a few combinations to achieve a similar color but didn't manage to get something satisfyingly similar. The closest base colors in my collection are China Glaze in Custom Kicks and L.A. Girl Flare in Nirvana (TURQUOISE), but neither were perfect; from what I've read, China Glaze in Aquadelic comes closest. I tried the following toppers to achieve the right shimmer: Chanel in #91 Électra, CND in #564 Amethyst Sparkle, OPI in Mamma Mia, OPI in Movin' Out, OPI in Rent, and OPI in Thoroughly Modern Millie. OPI in Movin' Out had the right color shimmer but the base is too pigmented. Chanel in #91 Électra was the closest in overall appearance, but the shimmer is too pink. I suspect Essie in Kisses and Bisses is pretty close to Électra for comparison purposes. I would guess that CND in Violet Shimmer or Crimson Shimmer might give the right color shimmer. But the shimmer in Aqua Lily comes from within the polish, not the top, so to get the true effect you would have to franken, not just layer (I tried a few combos adding OPI in Don't Touch My Tutu! over to try to achieve this effect, but they weren't perfect.). The link I included above does have a dupe formula, but is vague about how to find the right pigment.

The formula on Aqua Lily was a bit thick, causing some balding. I used 3 thin coats. The third coat came after I thinned the bottle, which made application perfect. I did experience moderate staining despite using my normal CND Stickey underneath, so I would recommend you double up on base coat.

Worn July 18 - 23, 2013.

Indirect natural light

Nars in Night Flight + Comparisons

Direct flash

Here's the oldest mani in my backlog. It's Nars in Night Flight. Night Flight was released with the Fall 2011 "Night Series" collection, modeled after the apparently famous Nars eyshadow. It's still available on the Nars website, even though they list it as limited-edition.

Nars describes Night Flight as a "black with cobalt blue pearls." It's a blackened blue with blue, teal, purple, and violet shimmers. Now, I really love blackened polishes, but I was disappointed with this one. The multidimensional shimmer that you see in the bottle is a bit more apparent than my pictures sometimes capture, but it is also only visible in strong direct light. That's not usually a problem for me, but I don't know, I just didn't appreciate it in this polish. Maybe this disappointment came from the fact that this polish dries really dull. These pictures show Night Flight with Seche Vite on top, but there's just a flatness to the polish. In my comparison pictures below you can get a better idea of this; even with more blackened polishes, there is a sparkle when the shimmer hits the light, but Night Flight's shimmer is kind of deadened.

The formula is awesome - opaque in 1 coat and the perfect consistency. I did 2 coats because I wanted to make sure I had brought out the full extent of the shimmer. For those of you that aren't familiar with Nars polishes, the big square cap is not an overcap, so you can't remove it. However, I don't find it problematic to use.

Worn January 11 - 15, 2013.

Direct sunlight