China Glaze in Fast Track

Indirect sunlight

Today's polish is China Glaze in Fast Track. Fast Track was released with the Spring 2012 "Colours From The Capitol" collection, also known as the collection inspired by The Hunger Games. I know some people were disappointed with this collection, but I really love it. It has a nice variety of colors and finishes, while still all fitting into a color scheme that is void of really bright, punchy colors, similar to the dystopian tone (although, if it truly was a Capitol collection, the colors should have been bright and punchy; the colors make more sense if you check out their original inspiration). Fast Track was originally called Catnip, inspired by Gale's nickname for the protagonist, Katniss Everdeen. As you probably know, there was an odd lawsuit initiated by The Hunger Games's production company, Lionsgate, that simply ended with China Glaze renaming the collection and colors, even though it remained an official partnership between the two brands. In the ensuing re-naming, Catnip became Fast Track, corresponding to District 6, Transportation. I don't know that I really see the connection between this color and the extravagant trains that carry citizens from district to district in Panem - or, more particularly, with the characters we meet from District 6 in Catching Fire, who love color - but, in any case, I really love this less colorful color.

I've been having a good run of flattering nail choices lately. My goal in swatching all my polishes is to find some to put up in a blogsale or swap, so I can pare down to a more reasonable collection, but I don't think I've found one polish to get rid of yet (maybe Lynnderella in Change). I'm a bad, bad purger! Fast Track is a beautiful nude polish that has a slightly jelly creme finish that allows the gold glass-fleck type shimmer to shine through. There is also subtle green and red shimmer that flashes in the sunlight. I can see how this wouldn't be flattering for some skin tones, but it's a really perfect shade for me for polished nails that don't look too flat, which is how the mannequin hands' nudes can sometimes look. In the bottle, the base seems to be a neutral tan nude, but on me it has a bit of a pink/rose/mauve undertone, except in indirect sunlight, when more yellow comes out of the base.

This is a formula that I would say is great for beginners. That doesn't mean it's my favorite formula - you really have to wipe off the brush to avoid getting too much polish on the nail, so I wasn't able to do coats as thin as I like - but it's a very forgiving formula. I used two medium coats and achieved opacity. If you add a third coat, the base color turns a little more grey on me. This formula is slightly runny and thick at the same time, but you have a lot of time to smooth it across the nail and fix any application errors, without getting any streakiness, cuticle drag, or ridge-forming. Worn September 12 - 16, 2012.

Direct sunlight

Chanel in #577 Mimosa

Flash
Chanel in #577 Mimosa, how many ways can our relationship be dysfunctional? I love you so much, but you are no fun to apply or photograph. Also, this?

Oh, hey! Three ballz!!! (not color-accurate)
might be too kinky for me. (Still sexier than 50 Shades of Grey, though amirite, ladies, or amirite?)

Haha, okay, sorry for the lapse into goofiness. Sometimes reading about the infinite technicalities of grammar in written Standard American English can do that to a person. Let's get down to business.

Mimosa was released with the Summer 2011 "Les Fleurs d'Été" collection - which was an amazing collection, as were most Chanel collections last year. (Chanel's new releases for 2011 included "Côte d'Azur," Spring 2011Rouge Coco ShineFall 2011, "Byzance," "Les Aquarelles," Fashion's Night OutHoliday 2011, and "Knightsbridge.")

Most of the pictures I took made Mimosa look like a primary yellow or lemon yellow (green-tinged), but I managed to get these three. Unfortunately, they are with flash and had to be taken using zoom and holding my hand about 4 feet away from the camera, so the resolution isn't the best and the shimmer isn't shown to its greatest effect. Mimosa is a sunshine yellow - the base is warm with the slightest bit of pink in it. It is not pastel, but it can look both soft and pale or bright and vibrant at different times. The shimmer in is looks predominantly gold/yellow, but there are green and red shimmers in there as well. The shimmer is the typical Chanel-subtle type, but on the visibility spectrum its closest to Coromandel: visible if you look closely in any light and visible from hands-length in sunlight. It helps prevent it from looking chalky or like flat paint, which yellows can sometimes lean toward. So, I love the color. It is so flattering for a yellow on my skin-tone, and even when I'm pale, it makes me look tanner instead of sallow. I'm still trying to decide whether or not to buy a backup. The problem here is the formula.

Mimosa is an improved version of the Chanel yellow, but just barely. I've read some reviews that said they used 3 coats, but maybe they do thicker coats than I do. I needed 4 coats - 3 thin and 1 medium coat for full opacity. You can see from my pictures, which are after 3 days of growth, that 4 coats just looks thick on the nail; it's not really noticeable when my polish is still up against my cuticle, but once my nails grow out even the slightest, it's time to remove, because it's just too messy looking for me. It is also slow-drying. I did my nails at night and 6 hours later, my nails were still dentable (they did eventually dry). The formula is streaky, doesn't want to spread out, and isn't self-leveling. One good thing about the formula is that, although there is cuticle pull, when you go back over the bald spot to even it out, it actually does correct instead of becoming even worse. However, it also dries a bit dull, so it really needs top coat.

And yet, despite these issues, it's one of my favorite yellows. Worn September 12 - 14, 2012.

Rescue Beauty Lounge in Purple Haze

Flash - Canon PowerShot Vivid mode
Another purple, another couple days of frustration with my camera! The first picture I took is actually very color-accurate to how it looks indoors. I took about 75 pictures and only one came out close to color-accurate - and I had to use Vivid mode with my camera to get it there. Uggghhh. The following two pictures are altered with Photo Studio for color-correction purposes only. The first gives a good idea of how it looks in direct sunlight, the second how it looks in indirect natural light. Apologies for the mark on my index finger - ballpoint pen - I must really be back at school!

The polish I'm wearing is Rescue Beauty Lounge in Purple Haze. Purple Haze was released with the Spring 2008 collection. It is very unique in my collection. It's a neutral mid-tone purple creme that can look soft or bright depending on the lighting.

Whatever else you might say about the Rescue Beauty Lounge brand, when you apply their polish, you can forget about the rest of it (minus Underwear/Underware). The formula of Purple Haze was less opaque than most RBL cremes - I used 3 thin coats - but it went exactly where I placed it with no pooling or streaking. Purple Haze is slightly less self-leveling than some of the others, but really this formula is one that is a pleasure to apply. Worn September 8 - 11, 2012.

Flash - color-corrected sunlight conditions 

Wear Teal Day - Ovarian Cancer Awareness Mani

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Hey guys! I just wanted to get up a quick post today to promote Wear Teal Day, which is today, September 7. The goal of today is to raise awareness about ovarian cancer. I know I'm not alone in having lost loved ones to cancer - or, more positively, knowing people who have been diagnosed and successfully gone into remission! - and one of the scariest things about it is that it can happen to anyone. The goal of raising awareness is to help get funding for research to prevent and treat the disease, as well as to help people learn about how to detect symptoms early on. The National Cancer Institute has a booklet of information about ovarian cancer here. There isn't a great deal of knowledge about its prevention (although some research suggests oral contraceptives may decrease the risk), but in my opinion annual visits to your OB/GYN should be part of every adult woman's life. Although, we have made amazing progress in treating cervical cancer with the development of the HPV vaccine, ovarian cancer is actually the leading cause of death from gynecologic cancers in the United States, and awareness is key in successfully fighting this devastating disease.

Today I'm wearing a base of China Glaze in Custom Kicks. Custom Kicks was released with the Summer 2009 "Kicks" collection. It is a beautiful green-leaning turquoise creme with subtle gold shimmer. The formula on this is wonderful. This is 2 thin coats. The closest to a color-accurate picture I've found is All Lacquered Up's, although the polish is brighter and a bit deeper in real life. Everyone else seemed to have the same problem with color-accuracy that I did - my camera wanted to make this more blue. My pictures are color-accurate for the other two polishes, but Custom Kicks is a bit deeper, brighter, and with a little more green. Sorry, but I'm back to school and I don't have time at the moment to color correct!

Over Custom Kicks, on 3/4 of my nail, I layered Hits Speciallità in Hera. Hera was released with the Winter 2011 "No Olimpo" collection. It is a teal polish with stunning linear holographic shimmer. It leans a tiny bit more green than Custom Kicks, but they are a good layering pair. Hera needs 3 coats for opacity, but I just used one layer here, dabbing it on with a sponge. Since I just used the polish with a sponge, I can't speak to the formula. The bottle is tiny (only .2 fl oz), but it's gorgeous. Great swatches of Hera can be found on Scrangie, The Polished PerfectionistThe PolishAholic, and Vampy Varnish.

Over Hera, on 1/3 of my nail, I layered A-England in Saint George. Saint George is part of the Winter 2012 "The Legend" collection. It is a deep jewel-toned teal polish with scattered holographic shimmer. The holographic effect is definitely more subtle compared to Hera, but it is an amazing polish that could probably be opaque in 1 coat. Great swatches of Saint George are at Scrangie, Let Them Have Polish!, Nails and Noms, Spaz & Squee (swatch and comparison), The Swatchaholic (swatch and comparison), The PolishAholic, Fashion Polish, Nihrida, Ommorphia Beauty Bar, Pshiiit, and Adventures of a Mad Scientist.

This is the first time I used a sponge to get a gradation layering effect, and I think it turned out pretty well! At the same time, I don't know if it's my style - I keep feeling like the tips of my nails look dirty. I don't like it in normal light, but in the sun (which of course went away once I finally had time to shoot pictures) the holo effect is hard to resist. I used little eyeshadow applicators to layer the polish. They came in a pack, and I got them at CVS (see picture). I just painted a bit of polish on the top half of the applicator and dabbed it on my nail. It was really easy and quick! My biggest tip would be to start at the tip of the nail and work up toward the cuticle to get a nice diffused gradation, but don't overwork the sponge or you'll start to lift color off as it dries. Also, don't forget the sides of your nail (this can get a bit messy - although Hera and Saint George didn't stain my skin at all). I went back after I had sponged on Saint George and sponged a bit of Hera over where the two colors met to increase the holo effect and make a smoother gradation.

I will try to get some pictures in the sunlight tomorrow, so you can really see the holo shine. Worn September 6 - 8, 2012.

In the meantime, will you wear teal today? What's your favorite teal polish? Do you like my first sponge gradation attempt? What do you do to stay healthy? I am the child of two doctors, so one of the biggest things I do is make sure to see my doctors once a year, and keep aware of any changes in my body I notice. I know many people don't think that seeing a doctor is necessary, but I always feel that with your health, a cautious, proactive approach is best. My best friend's mom, a true super woman, ignored pain in her chest until it was too late for effective treatment, and my hope for everyone is that they can avoid suffering from illness like she did. Take care of yourselves everyone!

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UPDATE: Here are some more pictures I managed to take this afternoon. The holo effect in the sun is really much more apparent than I was able to depict in my photographs. Custom Kicks is still not color-accurate.

Chanel in #427 Diabolic + Comparisons

Direct sunlight

This mani was my pre-first day of school "I don't want to go back to school" protest mani. A gorgeous polish, fitting for a dark mood and beautiful enough to pull me out of it!

Chanel in #427 Diabolic was released with the Winter 2009 "Noirs Obscurs" collection, which also included #437 Forbidden and a re-released #483 Vendetta. I know you Chanel poo-poo-ers will roll your eyes when I say this, but the feeling you get when wearing a Chanel vampy is unparalleled. And Diabolic might top #18 Rouge Noir for my favorite vampy from Chanel. Wearing this polish seriously gives me a confidence boost.

Diabolic is a deep almost-black red thats can't be classified as berry because it has a touch of brown in it. In lower light it sometimes looks black, but it is less harsh against my skin tone than a black would look. In most lights, it is apparent that it's not black (unlike black-with-shimmers like Vendetta or #461 Blue Satin).

The formula on Diabolic is very opaque - you could use 1 thicker medium coat, but I used 2 thin coats. It's a bit thinner than perfect, but that's normal with vampies, since part of what makes them special is that deep gloss that you get from having a little sheerness to the formula. I topped it with an aging bottle of Seche Vite, so there are a few bubbles from my top coat. Worn September 3 - 5, 2012.

Indirect sunlight

Chanel in Riva + Comparisons & Bonus! Chanel in #465 Azur

Flash

Happy holiday weekend! I'm back to school on Wednesday, so things might slow down a bit here, but I don't want that to happen, so I'll do my best!

This mani is Chanel in Riva, which was released with the Cruise 2010-2011 "Côte d'Azur" collection. This was expected to be the successor to #407 Jade, but it never really reached that status because of disappointed expectations. I still really like it despite its flaws.

Riva is a celeste velato blue (I know, fan-cy, but Wikipedia tells me so!), a delicate pastel blue that has a yellow undertone - although not so much that it will clash with cooler skin tones. It has an extremely subtle blue shimmer in a sheer creme base. It's definitely the most hidden of Chanel shimmers, nearing the level of the Dior cremes that have the absolutely useless shimmer in the bottle that never shows up on the nail. The shimmer in Riva can only be seen in direct sunlight when you're looking for it. If you click to enlarge my photos you can see it, but obviously from a distance it's nonexistent. What makes Riva special though is that it is pastel, but it never looks chalky or stark. This would be a beautiful "something blue" wedding polish, if you're so inclined.

However, the delicacy of the polish is also one of the downsides: to do achieve it, they made the formula sheer, so it looks extremely streaky at anything less than 3 coats. It's also a little watery and not self-leveling. I did 2 thin coats of Riva and 1 coat of Seche Vite, which I let dry for an hour. I then added another medium-thin coat of Riva and a top coat of Seche Vite. If I hadn't done the SV sandwich, I am positive it would have needed 4 coats to even out the color. My best suggestion is to really splay out your brush as far as you can in the middle of the nail to get the most coverage on the first stroke.

By the way, thank goodness for this polish ending my streak of frustrating picture-taking! Sorry that there's a bit of ugliness at the tip of my ring finger. These pictures are after only 1 day of wear, but the night before I took them I was dancing like the business and got slightly pushed into a wall, so the polish wore off a bit there (that sounds kind of weird, but it wasn't!). Worn August 31 - September 2, 2012.

Direct sunlight - sunset