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BB Couture for Men, Original Collection and some Comparisons

It's day 5 post-tonsillectomy and I'm still in quite a bit of pain.  In fact, the pain level seems to have increased - maybe I've gotten too used to the pain medication or something?  I also don't have much of an appetite, which takes all the fun out of Christmas!  ;)  In any case, I've given up hope that I'll be completely recovered by Friday, so my mom promised we could make cookies next week when I can fully enjoy them!  I woke up to a blooming bruise from where the nurse anesthetist messed up my IV.  This actually makes it look better than it does in real life since the light washed the picture out a bit.  She couldn't thread the IV on my hand, so she kept wiggling it around - my mom was furious (she's a surgeon, so she's a bit protective of me during medical procedures - don't worry, she didn't yell at the NA or anything!).  In all fairness, I do have hard to find veins - whenever I give blood they have trouble finding one - and I bruise easily, but you can see that the needle was not super tiny, so it was not a comfortable experience.  But anyway, on to the polish I promised on Monday (sorry, but it's hard to find a time where it feels good to be active; I'm either in too much pain or groggy from the pain meds)!

For Fall 2009, BB Couture came out with a men's line called BB Couture for Men.  The initial collection was comprised of 6 polishes, 45 Caliber (a silver chrome frost), Blue Steel (an almost-black charcoal metallic frost), Military Blues (a deep blue shimmer), Night Ops (a blackened-teal blue jelly with silver particle flakes/glitter), Widow Maker (a dove-grey with silver shimmer and sparse black microglitter), and Grenade (a dark olive green with gold shimmer).  I'm not a fan of frosts, so I only picked up Widow Maker and Grenade because they seemed the most unique - and I'm a sucker for grey and olive polishes.  When Keerthi (kmalladi on the NB) started her blog in October and posted Night Ops, I decided it had to go in my next order.  So, my BB Couture for Men collection is incomplete; Scrangie has great pictures (of course) of the other three polishes here.

There are not any huge differences between BB Couture (BBC) and BB Couture for Men (BBCM).  They both hold the same amount of polish (0.5 fl. oz.) and have the same formula.  The names seem to be more "manly" for the Men's polishes, but the colors are in line with the normal collection - BB Couture excels at doing unexpected colors - although you will probably never see any bright pinks or reds in the Men's line.  The Men's line is not only for men, which might seem obvious, but I've seen people on the NB ask if Piggy Polish can only be used on your feet, so you never know!  The bottles are different shapes: BBC's is a typical cylindrical bottle - a bit taller than BBCM's bottles; the BBCM bottle is a bit squatter and rectangular, it also feels a bit more substantial.  I prefer the BBCM bottle because it is a little weightier and thus, there is less chance of me knocking it over, which I, being klutz-prone, tend to do.  You can also see from the picture above that the brushes are a bit different.  BBC has a longer brush stem than BBCM, but BBCM has a slightly longer and fatter brush.  I don't know if this was done for gender-specific reasons - ergonomics, maybe? - but again, I favor BBCM a bit more because I find the shorter brush stem easier to control and the wider brush better for quick three-stroke application.  Overall though, I don't think these differences are big enough that they should factor into your buying them - if the colors appeal to you, you will be happy with them no matter which line they are from.

Below, you will find swatches of the 3 BB Couture for Men original collection polishes I have.  I hope you enjoy them and please feel free to email me or leave any comments or questions!

Widow Maker (l) and Widow Maker with Essie Matte About You (r)

Widow Maker is a really unique dove grey with silver shimmer and very sparse black microglitter.  I have a lot of dove grey shimmer polishes, but this one is warmer, deeper, and a little more pale taupe or khaki than others like, say Zoya in Harley and OPI in"Sheer" Your Toys (which are lighter and more cool-toned) or Sephora by OPI in Run With It! (which I would say is its closest cousin).  The base color of Widow Maker is what makes it warm, while the other polishes have copper shimmer that makes them appear warmer than they are.  Widow Maker is totally shimmer-based as well, whereas the other polishes read more as cremes with lots of shimmer.  My pictures did not pick up the black microglitter well, but if you click to enlarge you can make out a few specks.  The black microglitter is much more sporadic in this polish than in BB Couture in Opposites Attract, which is another grey polish with black microglitter.  I don't know where BB Couture came up with the idea to put black microglitter into some of their grey polishes, but I love it!  Kelly of Vampy Varnish totally hit the nail on the head when she said it's reminiscent of concrete.  This went on in two easy coats, with no problems.  I think it looks really cool matte - it adds to that sidewalk effect.

Night Ops (l) and Night Ops with Essie Matt About You (r)

Next is Night Ops, a blackened navy blue jelly with small silver particle glitter (they are little irregular flakes, not identically shaped like most glitter).  It is similar tonally to Chanel Nuit de Russie and Shades by Barielle Blackened Bleu in that it leans teal like a Prussian blue, but it is much darker than those polishes.  Nuit de Russie and Blackened Bleu have a black base, but their glitter is a Prussian blue, which lightens up and brightens the overall color; Night Ops has a blackened-teal base and silver glitter, which reflects the surrounding color, keeping the polish looking much deeper.  Even though this is one of those so-dark-it's-almost-black colors, it still looks dark blue indoors, but in my opinion it only looks spectacular outside.  This is my least favorite of the three I bought - I think my expectations were too high because it looks absolutely gorgeous on Keerthi.  This polish gave me a harder time with application than the other two as well.  It only took two coats, but it had that annoying application that sometime happens when a jelly is packed with glitter - not too bad, but not great.  When I used Essie Matte About You, it really brought the glitter out, even when the light isn't hitting it.  This is a pretty polish, but I just don't think it's special enough for me to want to wear it again; I'm going to think about it for a bit, but it will probably end up going up for swap.

Grenade (l) and Grenade with Essie Matte About You (r)

Last, but not least, Grenade is a gorgeous dark olive green with gold shimmer.  This is two coats and the application was great.  I own a ton of olive polishes and none of them come close to matching this!  There are lots of olive green polishes with gold shimmer out there, but what makes this one so different is the depth of the base color.  This is not a mid-tone olive green, it's dark and vampy.  I added some Essie Matte About You matte top coat and it looks nice, but unlike some polishes which have their shimmer or glitter amplified by a matte top coat, here the gold shimmer gets kind of dulled.  Grenade is the darker, edgier cousin of BB Couture's Iced Olive, so I did a quick comparison for you.

Bottles: BB Couture in Iced Olive (l) and BB Couture for Men in Grenade (r)
Nails: BB Couture for Men in Grenade (index), BB Couture in Iced Olive (middle), BB Couture for Men in Grenade with Essie Matte About You (ring), BB Couture in Iced Olive with Essie MAY (pinkie)

As you can see, Grenade is much darker than Iced Olive and with maybe a touch more forest green to it.  I would say Grenade qualifies as a vampy, whereas Iced Olive is comparatively bright.  Otherwise, they are very similar, both having gold shimmer.  When mattified, the gold shimmer is dulled for both polishes, but I think it shows through more in Iced Olive's case.  I think Grenade has better application than Iced Olive, but that may just be my preference for BBCM brushes; neither of them were hard to apply.

So there you have it, the first BB Couture for Men collection.  If you've never tried BB Couture, I urge you to - they're really great all-around.  I especially love the range of colors and finishes they have - I've never been truly unhappy with any of my purchases.  As I said last time, I buy mine from Kim at Overall Beauty.  The web site doesn't have the best layout or organization, but for what you get from it, I think it's just great.  Kim provides great customer service, super fast shipping, lots of specials (without flooding your inbox with unnecessary mail), most of the polishes have swatch pictures on the site, and she sells BB Couture for $9 - $0.95 less than the BB Couture site!  I'm not affiliated, just a huge customer!

Next, I'm either going to continue posting about BB Couture, switch over to the holiday theme (although I'm not in much of a holiday mood without my cookies!), or do some mint green comparisons (I have about 15, so I don't know how I'll work that out - if only I had more fingers!).  I'd love to hear any questions or comments from you!  Hope everyone is having a great holiday.

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