OPI in The Man with the Golden Gun over Clinique in Black Honey Velvet

Indirect natural light

So, it happened. Sorry about the absence. I have been polishing, but editing and posting has clearly not gone well. This is my last semester and it has been so much more busy than I ever anticipated. Thanks for your understanding, and thank goodness there are so many more diligent nail bloggers out there!

Just a housekeeping note: I have started to watermark my pictures. I hope you won't find it intrusive, but I've been notified that people have started using my pictures to sell on eBay. My policy as of now is that it's perfectly all right to use my pictures as long as my watermark remains intact. I just need credit of ownership for the hours that go into polishing, taking pictures, and editing them. If you want to use my pictures (watermark intact) on eBay, go ahead, but please make note that it is not your picture and that I am not the seller.

Now on to nails. Here it is! One of the most talked about polishes for holiday, OPI in The Man with the Golden Gun. TMWTGG was just released for the Holiday 2012 "Skyfall" collection. I found it on AveYou for $30, which is the cheapest I've seen it. OPI calls it a "Real 18K Gold Top Coat" with gold leaf.

I have to admit that I was not excited about this polish from the pictures I've seen, but the collectibility factor, plus, let's face it, the shiny shiny SHINY bottle induced me to snap it up as soon as I could find it. Check out my link to Ommorphia Beauty Bar below if you want to see the packaging it comes in. I find packaging is always a nice bonus, but ultimately I don't care about it. I have too much polish/makeup to keep boxes. But wow, the bottle is so pretty - I think it beats Chanel in Gold Fiction. I am not a fan of opaque bottles, but this bottle makes me go a bit magpie. I think this polish looks much better in person than pictures. It is just really elegant and special, without being pow. That said, I probably won't be using this polish a ton. The layering combos I've liked have been mainly vampy and jelly.

The formula on this spreads easily, but it is thick. So thick it bubbled even under a layer of Seche Vite. You can see the bubbles if you click to enlarge the pictures, but it's not noticeable in person, unless I hold my hand about a foot away from my face. I found I preferred a sparser layer, but it's hard to get it and also get gold leaf on the edges of the nails, which requires dabbing. Next time, I would go easier on dabbing the gold leaf. The polish dries dull and with texture, but 1 coat of Seche Vite fixed that.

I layered TMWTGG over Clinique Glosswear in Black Honey Velvet. Black Honey Velvet was released with the Holiday 2005 "Black Honey" collection as part of a duo (the other shade was called Black Honey Shimmer and I have never seen any swatches of it). It is a mini bottle, which pains me (They are cute, but cause me usage anxiety! This particular mini is .23 fl. oz., so less than half a standard polish.), and it pops up on eBay from time to time. I think I got my bottle for about $5 a few years ago. I was compelled to buy this by the former MissHavisham of MUA's swatch.

Black Honey Velvet is a beautiful jelly vampy. It's perfectly berry - not too red or purple. In comparison, Chanel in #18 Rouge Noir is darker, more opaque, and has more purple. The formula on Black Honey Velvet wasn't bad, but it wasn't awesome. Weirdly, it smells faintly like those cheap small, bouncy rubber balls. It was a bit gluey to spread out and caused cuticle drag if you tried to even out the layer. I did 3 thin coats to get it even. Formula-wise, it reminded me of a much less painful to apply Rescue Beauty Lounge in IKB:2012. As far as wear, none of the other nails have chipped, but my right thumb chipped the first morning I wore this with no provocation, and other reviews I've read on MUA have noted the Clinique formula is chippy. Polishes generally wear very well on me, so I was not happy about it, but I will update it's performance as I continue to wear it. UPDATE: After 3 days, I have not had any further problems with chipping. Normal, possibly slightly more than average tipwear, which is to say very little.

Worn October 17 - 21, 2012.

Indirect natural light
Direct flash
Artificial light - indoors
Indirect natural light - indoors
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Direct flash
Indirect natural light - indoors
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Direct flash
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My favorite finger - sparser than the others and with cool, more irregular pieces

Most of the blogs I follow haven't swatched TMWTGG yet, but here are the great combinations/swatches I've seen: Ommorphia Beauty Bar, Polish or Perish, The PolishAholic, Cutie-Cles, Polly Polish, and Neglelakkmani. I found swatches of Clinique in Black Honey Velvet here and here.

There are some alternatives to The Man with the Golden Gun. Rococo Gold Leaf Lacquer ($48) has much bigger flakes; swatched by Chloe's Nails and Sparkly Vernis. Jessica Bold Leaf Luxe 18K Topcoat ($29.95) has larger, more sparse flakes; swatched by Vampy Varnish. Sephora by OPI in It's Real ($30) has smaller flakes; swatched by Polish Wasteland and Dizzy Nails (1, 2, 3, 4). NYX Advanced Salon Formula in Gold Glitter ($4), formerly NYX Girls in Gilded Glitter (available on Amazon for $2.25) is not gold leaf, but has a similar look with a mix of medium and small flakes; swatched by Nails and Noms, The Swatchaholic, Steffels, Steph's Closet (12), and Body and Soul. Ninja Polish is also releasing two polishes made of gold leaf for $15 each; The Midas Touch is 24K yellow gold and He Went to Jarred is 12K white gold, but the only swatch is on their site here.

So, what do you think? Is TMWTGG worth it, and do you like my combo? Have any of you tried any other Clinique Glosswears? I hope to see you guys again soon. I have 4 posts started, but the photo editing/watermarking is killer!

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