BB Couture for Men, "Tools" Collection + some CND Effects

Happy Monday everyone!

Did you guys watch the Golden Globes last night?  I wish they had given Ricky Gervais more to do and I was disappointed in some of the winners (I haven't seen Avatar yet, but James Cameron comes off like a bit of a douche every time he speaks at awards shows), but overall it wasn't a terrible show.  Meryl was lovely as usual, some of the ladies looked great (I think Sandra was the best of the night - maybe Marion who is my girl crush, but too many played it safe), Glee won, Chloë won and was appropriately aghast that her Valentino got ripped (can you imagine if Rachel Zoë had been her stylist? she would have flipped her shit), and George was so cutely excited that Julianna Marguiles won.  Okay, onto the polish!

I bought 4 out of the 6 polishes from BB Couture for Men's "Tools" collection.  I didn't get Hammer Drill or Vise, but you can find swatches of them on Vampy Varnish and Body & Soul (here, here, here).  I used 2 coats for all of these pictures and the application was good for all of them.  These were taken indoors on a wintery day with little sunlight, so please forgive the picture quality of some of them.  Here we go!

BB Couture for Men in Stud Finder

Stud Finder is a golden brown with prominent gold shimmer.  It reminds me a bit of a couple of the polishes in China Glaze's "Rodeo Diva" collection (maybe Prize-Winning Mare and Golden Spurs smashed together?), but I have no dupes in my collection.  Kelly and Mary said it was a taupe shade, but I don't see it.  This one looks warm in most lights, but as you can see in the lower picture, it can take on a cooler cast too.

BB Couture for Men in Stud Finder with Essie Matte About You

Here I added a coat of Essie MAY and I think it looks great - I can't decide which way I like better.  Matte, it looks a bit darker, but the shimmer is more defined as well.

BB Couture for Men in Wire Stripper

Wire Stripper is gorgeous and again, unique.  The gold shimmer makes it look kind of like a blackened brown, but it really is a deep blackened plum jelly with tons of gold shimmer.  You can see the plum base around my cuticles where I did some (poor) cleanup.  This isn't a shimmer that hides in low light - it glows.  

BB Couture for Men in Wire Stripper with Essie Matte About You

First let me say sorry for the white bit on my middle finger.  The Essie top coat dries where you brush the excess off at the lip and then when you re-dip your brush in, it can get stuck and apply on the nail.  I usually wipe off my bottle with remover before I use it after it's been stored for a bit to avoid this, but I forgot this time!  Wire Stripper is another one that looks good matte.  The shimmer definitely becomes more subtle, but it's still there.

BB Couture for Men in Pipe Bender

As you can see, the dominance of the blue shimmer in Pipe Bender can vary.  I took a lot of pictures trying to show this and didn't put top coat on, so it got some bubbles.  I tend to get bubbling no matter what in my polish if I don't use Seche Vite, so I wouldn't blame the formula for this.  Pipe Bender is a forest green base with a ton of blue shimmer that brings it almost into the metallic realm of finishes.  At times the blue shimmer takes over the polish, but at other times it's more of a subtle flash.  It's different from all my other greens, but I must say I prefer its more subtle side...

BB Couture for Men in Pipe Bender with Essie Matte About You

...which is why I love it matte!  It's not totally obvious in this pictures, but the blue shimmer still comes through, it's just a ton more subtle.  It's like the green is glowing a halo of blue.  I have no idea why that weird splotch on my middle finger happened, nail polish is weird!

BB Couture for Men in Impact Driver

Impact Driver is another great one!  I was really happy with all four of these.  I love slate blue and I wish there were more of them, but I have only found a handful.  This is a nice deep slate blue creme with iridescent shimmer that flashes pink, purple, and blue.  The shimmer is more subtle on the nail than in the bottle, but it breaks up the creme.  It's the kind of shimmer that you wouldn't notice from a distance, but that you would miss if it weren't in the polish.

BB Couture for Men in Impact Driver with Essie Matte About You

I wasn't a huge fan of this matte because the shimmer just gets lost and I like shimmers and glitters better matte than I do cremes.

Looking at the shimmer in Impact Driver, I thought it looked similar to a couple of the new CND Effects, so I thought I'd try them out to amplify the existing shimmer in the polish.

Orly Spring 2010 Bloom Collection, Plus My Apologies (and a List of Excuses)

Hello!  I don't know if anyone's still out there, but I'm gonna try this again.  For those of you who don't care, I'll get to the pics first and offer my apologies afterwards.

I wasn't too excited about Orly's recent Spring 2010 "Bloom" collection, but it was basically the first major spring collection to pop up on e-tailers.  A lot of the color's looked easily dupable, but not many of the nail blogger's were showing much interest in swatching them, so I decided I needed to get them to see for myself.  Since then, Polish or PerishScrangie, Vampy Varnish, and Body and Soul have done partial (incomplete) posts of the collection - I don't think any of them were super amped up over this collection.  I too, do not have pictures of the complete collection; however, the only polish I'm missing is Ginger Lilly, which Mary from Body and Soul shows on a nail wheel in the post above (I'm not a big one for frosty polishes and the color didn't interest me).

Surprisingly, I actually liked this collection.  It's not a super exciting group of polishes, but I think the assortment is good, it has a spring feel to it, I love cremes and these applied very well, and none of the colors had dupes in my 500+ collection.  Here are the pics and I hope you enjoy!
Orly in Wandering Vine, indoors in direct sunlight (top) and indirect light (bottom)

Wandering Vine is a great medium green creme.  Green is one of my favorite polish colors, so I have quite a few, but this green is unique.  I think it's a good workhorse for those who want to have a nice edited (ha!) collection, because it is bright but also darker than most brights and not too warm- or cool-toned.  This polish looks fairly bright and happy in the sunlight, but it's dark and somber enough not to be shout-y.  This is 2 coats and the application was great - lately Orly has had good cremes - this could have been 1 coat if I was more careful with my application.  You can see it dries a bit darker than the bottle color, which is true for all of this collection.

Michelle from All Lacquered Up suggested that Wandering Vine might be an alternative to RBL in Recycle, but you can see that it's not.  Recycle is darker and more of a true green, whereas Wandering Vine is more blue-toned and a bit dusty.  Interestingly, Wandering Vine is not really noticeably dusty alone, but it makes itself and others that have a similar base color look dusty next to it (Blackboard and Enchanted Forest).  Enchanted Forest is actually the most dusty of these colors - Blackboard doesn't appear dusty alone.  OCC in Blackboard (which is perfectly named) is deeper and a bit more blue - I would say Wandering Vine classifies as a medium-tone and Blackboard as a dark.  I know people were interested in the similarity between Wandering Vine and Enchanted Forest; obviously they are different, although if you took Wandering Vine, added some black, a bit more blue, and greyed it out a bit more, you might get Enchanted Forest.  Scrangie's link above includes a few that I didn't compare: BB Couture Poison Ivy, Nubar Forest, Illamasqua Rampage, and a Hot Topic green.

Orly Wild Wisteria, indoors in direct sunlight

I was expecting Wild Wisteria to be blah and a Zoya in Pinta dupe, but I actually really like it.  I think it's flattering to my skin tone and it applied really nicely - again 2 coats, but could have been 1 with more care.  To me, it doesn't bring to mind wisteria, but it's a beautiful color.  This one can look almost-black in low light, but to me it's just light enough that it's not too bad (I love Chanel in Vendetta, but you know what I'm talking about).

First, sorry I made the labels so big on this pic, it's a bit distracting!  SpaRitual in Solitude is dustier, more red-leaning, and lighter (plus this is 4 coats to 2 for the rest!) - it looked closer when I swatched it on a nail wheel and it is in fact a bit darker than it appears in this picture, it just doesn't compare to the others.  Zoya in Pinta is obviously the closest and I have a side-by-side alone below for a better comparison.  Diamond Cosmetics in Plum Pie in the Sky is a darker greyed-out version with a bit more blue (again, I swear it looked more similar on the nail wheel!).

You can see that these two are not dupes, but they are close.  Pinta has more black and as such, looks a bit less blue.  Pinta also has a tendency to look black in indirect light.  If you want only one of these (I couldn't choose because I'm a polish whore!) I would go by which brand you like better: Orly has the nice rubberized caps and a standard brush while Zoya's brushes are a bit stumpy, which I don't mind.  Flinty of Polish or Perish did a comparison with OPI in Sapphire in the Snow (link above), which is from the Holiday 2009 "Holiday Wishes" collection, and Wild Wisteria looks to be its dupe.

Orly Thorned Rose, indoors in direct sunlight (top) and indirect light (bottom)

I liked Thorned Rose too!  These burgundy colors are very flattering to my skin tone.  As you can see from the mess I made, this one did not have application as nice as the previous two.  It was two coats, but it was a little more watery.

Comparison, indoors in direct sunlight (top) and indirect light (bottom)

Thorned Rose is a tad brighter than the other two.  I'd say it's lighter and has a bit more yellow than OPI in Mrs. O'Leary's BBQ (which I love).  OPI in Can You Tapas This? is the most different of the three, which is more apparent in the indirect light picture - it's darker and more brown.  I like all of them, don't make me choose!  You wouldn't, because you understand, don't you?

Orly Pure Petunia, indoors in direct sunlight

I would normally never have chosen to buy Pure Petunia polish, but I was planning to buy the whole collection (and then I couldn't make myself get Ginger Lilly); however, I like it!  It will never make my Top 20 list, but it's pretty and I think it looks good with my skin tone.  The sun makes it look a bit bright, but it's surprisingly deep.  I think you could probably get away with this as a work color (but I'm only 22 and have never worked in a strict dress-code environment, so what do I know?).  This one was like the first two polishes, with great application in 2 coats - could have been 1.

None of these are close.  The $OPI is a lighter, dustier, more blue-toned take.  Barry M is darker, brighter, and more magenta than mauve.

Orly Blushing Bud, indoors in direct sunlight (top) and indirect light (bottom)

Unfortunately I had to play around with this a little in PhotoStudio to get the polish Blushing Bud to look right.  I actually do not have many bright pinks (the Barry M in my comparison below is the only other creme), so this was a nice addition to my collection.  There probably is a dupe somewhere, but I don't have it, so I'm happy!  The bottom picture makes it look crazy bright because it is not my actual skin tone, but the polish color is accurate.  This is a deep bright pink, which also had great 2 coat - 1 would have been good - application.  I really like this one, it was totally my pleasant surprise of the collection.  I think they should have given this a name with peony, because peonies are my favorite flower!

Comparison, indoors in direct sunlight (top) and indirect light (bottom)

The Orly is a tinge more blue-toned (I think) and obviously deeper.  The Barry M is lighter.  Application was better for Orly.

That's it for the collection, I hope it was helpful to y'all.  I am learning that I have a problem with short posts, mine always seem to become treatises, no matter how I try, but I do want to explain why I abandoned this blog for a bit.