Nubar in Petunia Sparkle + Comparisons

Indirect sunlight

Sorry for my absence around here the past week - it's my last few days before I go back to school, so I'm trying to take advantage of them! Also, I spent 5 days trying to accurately capture this polish. Yes, I picked another hard-to-photograph polish, but it is an irresistible choice for when the sun is shining all day - it is the polish I have gotten the most compliments on ever. Literally every place I go someone compliments me on my polish, and I rarely get in-person compliments on my nails. This special polish is Nubar in Petunia Sparkle.

Petunia Sparkle was released with the Spring 2010 "Sparkles" collection, which is an amazing collection of opaque-coverage glitters with the most insane - you guessed it - sparkle, imaginable. Nubar has kind of dropped off the radar in the past few years in terms of hype, but they remain a really solid, dependable brand. Their polish is reasonably priced and has a very nice formula, they generally don't have limited-edition items so you don't have to frenzy yourself into a purchase, their website has fairly accurate pictures, and as a brand they really seem to try to fill in that every-color-of-the-rainbow gap with their line. They first came to my attention with their duochromes (some of which are now discontinued) - check out Scrangie for great swatches. Some of my absolute favorites polishes from them are Pasadena Purple (probably my favorite purple ever), their "Chocolate Truffled" collection, their "Fortress" collection, Indigo Illusion, Purple Beach, Wildlife, Greener, Violet Sparkle, Pink Cami, and of course, Petunia Sparkle. I haven't paid much attention to them lately, but they still produce some of my favorite polishes.

The formula on Petunia is great for a glitter. It's too opaque to use to layer with, but I used 2 medium coats and got full coverage. It lays down a nice, even coat, so you don't have to play around with the glitter placement, and it's not a thick formula. I topped my nails with 2 coats of Gelous (my Gelous was pretty thinned, since it was almost empty, and I used thinner to fill it back up halfway, so you might only need 1 coat) and 1 coat of Seche Vite, and it was glass-smooth. I really like the Nubar brushes, but this one was a bit bushier than normal, so I had less control near the cuticle. I just cleaned up with an orange stick and then scrubbed off any stray glitter with a nail brush when I washed my hands in the morning. Over 7 days of wear, I had extremely minimal tip-wear. Other than that, the only way you could tell that this wasn't a fresh mani was nail growth at the the cuticle.

This polish is so sparkly that it's mind-boggling how simple fine fuchsia glitter can result in a finish this insanely reflective. If you own Lynnderella in Telltale Heart, the glitter looks similar in color according to More Nail Polish. The glitter in polishes like Deborah Lippmann in Bad Romance or Revlon in Facets of Fuchsia/Scandalous is a little more purple. I did have to color-correct the photos in this post using Photo Studio, but I only used it to correctly portray the color of the polish (my photos had too much blue in them). For reference, below is the same photograph; the first one is color-corrected, the second is the original. Worn August 24 - 30, 2012.

Indirect sunlight (top photo is color accurate)

Chanel in #539 June + Comparisons

So, I'm having a bad run with my picture-taking. This was yet another polish that was hard to capture. I didn't do any photo correction for this one. My flash photos give an accurate representation. 

Chanel in #539 June was released as a limited-edition color for the Spring 2012 "Harmonie de Printemps" collection, although it is still available on the Chanel website. I really loved everything I got from Chanel's spring makeup line, but initially thought that the three Le Vernis were the least interesting items. However, having worn both #533 April and June, I've found them to both be compelling and unique colors in my collection. 

Chanel describes June as a "pastel apricot," which is a pretty apt description. It is a soft orange creme that leans pink - almost none of the other swatches I've found capture this. It is not quite melon, but apricot isn't the exact color either. It is in the same soft range as #495 Mica Rose - right in between stark pastel and eye-popping bright. At times it seems like it could pass for work-appropriate, but at others it's definitely eye-catching.

In contrast to others, I found the formula on this wasn't perfect. I do use thin coats, but I needed 3 total - 2 thin, 1 thicker for even coverage. It didn't flow perfectly on the nail - at points it got that "sticky" feeling, where it didn't want to spread, even though it was still wet. It wasn't bad, but not what I was expecting from some reviews. Worn August 19 - 23, 2012.

L.A. Girl Flare in Sea Grass (JADE) + Comparisons


So, L.A. Girl Flare has a very confusing labeling system. When sold through Cherry Culture, they keep their "creative" names - in this case, Sea Grass. However, if you purchased L.A. Girl Flare through another retailer, like Urban Outfitters, they are labeled with their "generic" names - in this case, JADE. If, on the other hand, you purchase them through a private label - for example, through Forever 21's Love & Beauty label, they are given completely different names. I bought this in 2009, through, which no longer sells L.A. Girl as far as I know. The brand is still sold at the same very cheap price on Cherry Culture, but I can't find Sea Grass (JADE) listed. I am pretty sure that Forever 21 carries this color, but I couldn't tell you which it is: Seafoam AvocadoAvocado (this or Teal seem closest based on product photos, but I can't tell you how accurate they are on that site), Teal (there are two Teals in the L.A. Girl line, as well as some Teal ___ colors - so confusing; this is the lighter version), or Go Go Green all look like possible candidates. In addition to this ridiculousness, there aren't actual labels on the bottles, so you have to keep the huge, ugly price tag sticker on the bottle if you want to have the name on it. Sometimes, you do get what you pay for!

Color name of polish is only printed on price tag - 
not color-accurate
However, the L.A. Girl formula is generally worth the $2.80. I did have problems with this particular polish, but have generally been happy with the line. I haven't used this bottle since I bought it 3 years ago, so it might be age, but I had to add a bit of thinner (I use Beauty Secrets, which I get from Sally Beauty) because the polish applied where I wanted it to, but didn't self-level, leaving ridges. It reminded me of Barry M's creme formula. After thinning, I had no problems; I used 3 thin coats. 2 thicker coats would have provided full coverage as well.

I don't think this formula reacted well with Seche Vite, which I've never experienced (although I know some people have this problem with Zoya and Seche Vite). I did this mani in the afternoon, and it seemed perfectly dry after an hour, so I went about my day - everything was fine. I seriously looked at my nails right before going to sleep and they were still flawless. I woke up the next morning, and the middle finger on my right hand had 2 deep ridges through the top coat. Later in the afternoon, suddenly the ring finger on my right hand smudged up at the tip! At the same time, I found a smaller ridge through the top coat on the middle finger on my right hand (I fixed this with Orly Smudge Fixer and Seche Vite before taking pictures, so it shouldn't be too noticeable). WTH? I promise you that this isn't just a case of me not noticing things until later - the polish and top coat where reacting weirdly up to a day after application - and not in the still-dentable, able-to-scrape-off-your-mani way either. It was bizarre. On the plus side, no staining!

Not color accurate. Shows weird drying issues.

Despite these issues, I am still going to keep this color. First, the ridges weren't noticeable from a normal distance. Second, it is unique in my collection - I thought it would have closer matches! Besides the unique factor (which is not enough for me anymore with my bloated coffers), it is very flattering on me and generally a pretty color. It freaked my camera out, so I had to borrow my mom's when I dropped by. Some of them are from my camera as well. Sea Grass (JADE) is bright in the same vein as China Glaze in Four Leaf Clover - so, bright, but not neon. It is clearly green when compared to other blue-greens, but it still has some blue in it. This was very hard to photograph accurately, so these are slightly color corrected in Photo Studio. Worn August 16 - 19, 2012.

Direct sunlight

Chanel in #287 L.A. Sunrise + Comparisons

Direct sunlight
This is Chanel in #287 L.A. Sunrise. L.A. Sunrise was released as part of the Summer 2008 "Robertson Boulevard" collection for the opening of their store on the eponymous Robertson Boulevard. I was not happy with this one! 

I used the top coat sandwich method I just described in this post, and it did not work you guys! This polish flows perfectly on the nail and goes exactly where you place it, but it is streak-city. Chanel in #577 Mimosa is definitely an improvement on the Chanel yellow formula. I did one thin coat, topped with Seche Vite, then went to bed. In the morning, I added another coat of L.A. Sunrise, but it was still very streaky and not opaque, so I ended up adding two more coats before I was happy. That's 4 thin coats of L.A. Sunrise, plus the Seche Vite sandwich (2 coats), plus base coat. Too thick! And, because I did my mani in two steps hours apart, I got tip pull from the Seche Vite.

I bought L.A. Sunrise because I love Mimosa, but felt kind of silly getting a back-up of it. Mimosa is so much more flattering on me, since it has gold/yellow shimmer. The base of L.A. Sunrise is a bit lighter than Mimosa and a tiny bit more green toned. It is a maize yellow that reads mid-tone rather than pastel, but has a soft look to it. It has white pearl and yellow, green, and red hidden shimmer. Whereas Mimosa makes me look tanner even when I am winter-pale, L.A. Sunrise washes me out a bit. 

If you're a Chanel collector this is a special polish, since it is a rare Chanel yellow, but if you're not, I would give this one a miss. Worn August 14 - 15, 2012.

Indirect sunlight (more buttery, less lemon in real life)

Chanel in Coco Blue

Direct sunlight
Chanel in Coco Blue is from the Fall 2011 Fashion's Night Out "Jeans de Chanel" collection. It is completely unique in my collection - it's not as light as a pastel or sky blue; it's more of a baby blue. This shimmer has more of a pearl finish in a creme formula, which helps the polish to not look chalky in low light. In moderate light and sunlight the shimmer is obvious - it's not one of Chanel's hidden shimmers, but it's a creme polish with white pearl shimmer, not a shimmer polish. The blue tone is pretty neutral - it leans slightly warm on me due to my skin tone, but it can also look cooler in certain lighting.

I don't know if I should be embarrassed that this mani was inspired by a Makeup Alley Nail Board post of Kristen Stewart's nails here. Whatever, this color is awesome, and I'm not sorry! Worn August 6 - 13, 2012.

Direct sunlight
This formula had a good viscosity, but it is streaky. I used this application method of Tasijas's, described on the Nail Board here. I used my Chanel base coat, which is the old formula, Base Lumière Protectrice Protective Base Coat. As I said in my Chanel and Wear post, this really works to keep my Chanel's from chipping. I've not tried the new base coat, since this bottle has lasted me for a few years. I followed my base coat with a thin coat of Coco Blue and topped it with a coat of Seche Vite top coat. I let this dry completely and then added another thin coat of Coco Blue, then topped with another coat of Seche Vite. The application really was much easier using this method, but I should have applied my second coat of Coco Blue a tiny bit thicker. You can see that my ring finger has one area, where I applied too thinly over the Seche Vite, so it looks patchy. You can't tell from a normal distance, but of course the macro picks this up! This isn't because of application issues, but because I was doing this at night while watching TV. I love the Olympics, y'all. LOVE! So much amazingness on display. Also, I am not taking away from the athleticism, mental strength, or national unity on display, but, um, just click here and here.


Chanel in #473 Coromandel + Comparisons

Direct sunlight

Chanel in #473 Coromandel was released with the Winter 2009 "Rouge Allure Laque" collection. As an aside, the Rouge Allure Laques have unfortunately been discontinued, but if you get the chance to pick one up, take it! I own all of them and they are fantastic. UPDATE: Coromandel has been re-released (limited-edition) for Fall 2012 with the relaunch of Rouge Allure lipsticks and is available now.

Coromandel is much warmer toned than Dragon; it also has shimmer. The shimmer isn't as complex as is typical of Chanel's subtle shimmers. It is also not as hidden as in many of Chanel's polishes, but it is still shimmer in a creme base and not visible in all lights. The shimmer is a pink-red that flashes gold in a tomato-red creme base. This is definitely a warm-leaning polish. I have olive skin and for me this is a summer-only polish - it makes me look horrifically sallow in the winter when I am pale. It doesn't look super warm by itself, but you can see in the comparison pictures how much warmer it is than some other true reds.

The formula on Cormandel is perfect - not too thick or thin - an easy 1-coater even with thin coats. I did two coats, because I was doing my nails quickly and messed up my application at the cuticles a bit (you can see I didn't do any clean up and it isn't as neat as I would normally have it looking). In addition to going fast, my application isn't as nice as I like because the brush I got was a bit different from any of the other Chanel brushes I have. It was a bit bushier at the tip and had one stray bristle that stuck out a bit awkwardly. It wasn't a bad brush, just not what I'm used to, and I'm certain most people won't find their brush is like mine.

These pictures are after one day of wear, so there is some visible wear and my Seche Vite shows a bit of scratching. This color is unique in my collection. Worn July 31 - August 5, 2012.

Direct sunlight