OPI in GoldenEye + Comparisons

Direct sunlight
So this is OPI in GoldenEye. GoldenEye was released with the Holiday 2012 "Skyfall" collection. OPI is composed of gold flake shimmers in a clear base with subtle red and green shimmers as well. It is a very blingy polish - if you want a Minx-like shine this would be a good alternative without the smooth finish.  The gold coloring is a moderately-deep warm gold that is just shy of old gold, but still has olive and yellow coloring in some lights; I would say it's a mix between harvest gold and antique gold. In different lighting and angles it varies from looking pretty yellow to slightly green to rather coppery. Although this does lean quite warm, to my eye it doesn't look unflattering on the cooler skin tones I've seen.

The formula needs to be built up, so I used 3 thin coats. You could use this as a layering polish with 1 very thin coat. It dries slightly dull, which I fixed with 1 coat of Seche Vite.

Worn December 15 - 19, 2012.

Indirect natural light
Direct sunlight - sunset

China Glaze in Winter Holly + Comparison

Direct sunlight

Now comes the point in my backlog where things are going to go fairly anachronistic. I'm getting into my Christmas manis! This is China Glaze in Winter Holly. Winter Holly was released with the Holiday 2012 "Holiday Joy" collection, which included some really nice glitter polishes. China Glaze describes it as a "gold-flecked dazzling green glitter," but that description really does this polish a disservice. This one's a keeper folks! Winter Holly is packed with fine glitters in a clear base: predominantly green glitter, with gold as a the secondary color, as well as purple and holographic (flashing mostly red, but also blue) glitter. It glimmers and glows in the light like a Christmas tree decorated with lights and ornaments.

The formula is my ideal glitter formula. It isn't too thick, and it lays down and spreads out exactly where you place it. It does dry gritty of course; I applied 3 thin coats with 2 coats of very thinned Gelous, and 1 coat of Seche Vite to smooth things out.

Worn December 12 - 14, 2012.

Indirect sunlight - sunset

Lynnderella in Mysterious Ways over Chanel in Sky Line

Indirect natural light

As part of my goal of swatching my Lynnderella stash in order to decide on purge-status, I topped my Chanel in Sky Line mani with Lynnderella in Mysterious Ways. Mysterious Ways was released with the Holiday 2011 "Funny Money and Holiday Houseguests" collection. I don't know if Mysterious Ways is still available. On March 1, 2012, Lynn posted that it was being phased out with that batch, and I haven't paid attention to her eBay store to know whether it has come back. 

Mysterious Ways is described as "the long-lost sister of Gotta Love Brains," with "a grey-violet base with multi-coloured shimmer, white, silver, gunmetal and holographic hexagons, diamonds, squares and dust." That's Lynn's description, but I don't really find Mysterious Ways and Gotta Love Brains very similar (see More Nail Polish's swatches here: MW and GLB). The base is a grey-violet base; it's only slightly tinted and will slightly soften and dampen/dust-ify your base polish. There is a lot of fine hexagonal holographic glitter, as well as large hexagonal white opalescent glitter (like in Lynnderella in Love, Lace and Lilacs). Interspersed is the extra large glitter in various shapes, some holographic and some silver. Most scattered is large hexagonal and square gunmetal glitter in gunmetal. I don't think you could build up Mysterious Ways to opaque on its own.

I used 1 coat of Mysterious Ways plus 1 coat of a very thinned bottle of Gelous and 1 coat of Seche Vite, and everything was smooth except for the extra large glitters, which poked out in some spots. The formula is nice, not too thick, but the glitter does start to sink if it sits for a long time (not super bad, just the top part had started to lose suspension since I bought it in 2011). I just put the bottle upside-down for a couple hours, then shook it, and it was fine to apply. I wore this a while ago, but I don't remember having to fish for glitter or dab my glitter placement, except to keep the extra large glitter on the nail. I really just slapped this on, since I wasn't sure how it would look, so there's no clean-up in these pictures (and there's a blanket fiber on my finger in one pic - ugh!).

Sorry most of my pictures of this are a bit out of focus - my camera had a hard time focusing and staying color-accurate with all the holo sparkle. And no sun at this point during the winter either! I really like Mysterious Ways and I am happy with the layering combo here, so this polish stays in the keep pile for now.

Worn December 8, 2012.

Indirect natural light - blurred to capture the holo

Chanel in #583 Taboo Comparisons

Indirect natural light, left to right: Chanel in #583 Taboo, China Glaze in Let's Groove, Misa in Uptown Glamour, Illamasqua in Baptiste

I've got six polishes to compare with Chanel in #583 Taboo today. Sunlight has been really scarce in Minneapolis for the last couple weeks, so I rushed to do these swatches in about an hour when the sun finally showed up - sorry about any sloppy application. My Taboo finger looks a little jenky because I just slapped on a third coat so it wouldn't be dull compared to the other polishes (since I'd been wearing it for a few days) and it got a little thick on the nail. On my nails I compared the two polishes I most often hear asked about: China Glaze in Let's Groove (a 99% dupe for Nars in Purple Rain) and Misa in Uptown Glamour (a dupe for OPI in Every Month is Oktoberfest), and because Illamasqua in Baptiste is very close to Let's Groove, I compared that as well.

You can see that none of these is close to Taboo. Uptown Glamour has an extremely similar base, but at two coats, it takes on a completely different look as a blackened burgundy. Let's Groove and Baptiste are pretty similar; Let's Groove is a bit brighter and warmer (Baptiste can look black in very low light). Additionally, none of these polishes have the larger flaky shimmer that Taboo does.

Indirect natural light, left to right: Chanel in #583 Taboo, China Glaze in Let's Groove, Misa in Uptown Glamour, Illamasqua in Baptiste

After I took these pictures, I compared Taboo with all my other polishes, and I found a few others that were close enough to be compared, including the polish that is closest to a dupe. You'll see those pictures after the jump. I apologize for not getting a picture on my nails with the other polishes, but there just wasn't enough time with the sun sprinting across the sky.

Chanel in #583 Taboo

Direct sunlight

My most recent mani was Chanel in #583 Taboo, which is the brand's most recent polish release. Taboo was released with the Spring 2013 "Collection Révélation" collection and is currently permanent in the line. It is this polish and Malice that have really restored my excitement in the Le Vernis range. Can you believe their last true purple was released in 2009? (By the way, sorry about the fingerprints on the bottle in these pictures.)

Taboo is in keeping with Chanel's best formulas; I used 2 thin coats, but you could get away with 1 thicker coat.

Direct sunlight

You can see that Taboo looks different on the nail compared with the bottle color. Chanel describes it as "violine with red iridescence." It is a blackened vampy purple with red shimmer and larger, more interspersed blue shimmer. The formula is a blue-indigo jelly base packed with fine red shimmer. The red shimmer and blue base combine to give the polish its purple color. The bottle shows gold fleck shimmers, but I never noticed those on the nail. The larger fleck shimmers appear to be blue, but I think they're actually silver and are tinted by the jelly base.

I will say that although this polish is unique, and I love it as part of my Chanel collection, it doesn't quite reach the same wow-factor as #637 Malice for me. I want Malice in green, in blue, in orange, in brown - in all the colors! The shimmer in Taboo is most visible in sunlight, but it is blackened, so if you're expecting it to be as bright as the bottle color you'll be disappointed. The shimmer is still visible indoors and in indirect light, but only from about arms-length or closer. In shade it would be easy to confuse with black, even though you can still tell it's a shimmer polish.

Below the cut are pictures that also show Taboo in indirect light, shade, and with flash. I also have pictures from a bit more distance to give an indication of how the polish will look when not up close. Plus, pictures and a tip for how to bring out more of the shimmer. Be sure to come back on Wednesday for my comparisons post!

Worn April 2 - 7, 2013.

Direct sunlight

Chanel in Sky Line

Indirect natural light

Here is Chanel in Sky Line. Sky Line was released with the Fall 2012 "Bleu Illusion de Chanel" collection. It is still available, although it is a limited-edition polish (by the way, this is why when people get frantic about snatching up Chanel limited-editions, I tend to tell them to calm down a bit - Chanel is actually pretty good about keeping limited-editions in stock for at least a month - including Jade, the Khakis, and Malice - much much better than MAC and even Rescue Beauty Lounge). As I collect Le Vernis, I wasn't conflicted about purchasing Sky Line, but I know many people were worried because of the frost. However, blitherypoop on NB came up with a sponging technique that helps bring out shimmers in shy polishes and eliminate brushstrokes in frosty ones, so you can see from my pictures that I didn't have to deal with brushstrokiness. Without the brushstrokes you can appreciate that this color is truly beautiful and unique. It reminds me of Cinderella and Marie Antoinette. I always seem to be saying this, but was really hard to get this to photograph accurately - it wanted to go too purple or too green, so I'm sorry these photographs aren't the best resolution.

I used 3 thin coats because the formula was a little sheer, with the last one sponged on using a sponge-tip eyeshadow applicator, a technique I previously used for my teal Ovarian Cancer Awareness gradient. When you sponge, it does dry with a slightly bumpy texture, but using top coat gets rid of that. Apart from the frostiness, the formula on Sky Line was lovely.

I have two big project deadlines on Monday and Tuesday, so I don't have time to edit my new batch of photos right now (seriously guys, the picture below is but a portion of the books I've been reading - not to mention the eBooks and hundreds of journal articles! I feel like death.), but coming up soon after, I will have Chanel in #583 Taboo to show you, along with comparisons (there is one polish that is about a 90% match, although it was a limited-edition polish).

From my Instagram, @jennypoo27

Worn December 4 - 7, 2013.

Indirect natural light

Chanel in #637 Malice

Indirect natural light

Now that's a beautiful polish, right? This is Chanel in #637 Malice. I love Malice so much that I actually wore it twice last year (the first time I had a raw cut on my pinky and did my nails while watching TV, so you can tell which of these set of pics they are). Malice was the only polish released with the Holiday 2012 "Éclats du Soir" collection, but you don't need more than one polish in a collection when it's this beautiful. Unfortunately, the sun never came out when I was wearing this polish, but I think that speaks to how gorgeous it is - it doesn't need the sun to shine.

Malice might look dupable, but it's really not. It's a blackened red that's neither too cool nor to warm. The thing that makes Malice different from the other similar vampies is that, first, it really never looks black except in the lowest of lights (like watching TV with one light on). And second, it has a jelly base, which really makes the shimmer shine through like it's glowing - that lit-from-within effect. 

The formula is really wonderful. I used 2 thin coats. You could get away with 1 thicker coat, but I think due to the jelly base that 2 gives it more depth.

Worn November 26 - December 2 and December 9 - 11, 2012.

Indirect natural light

Deborah Lippmann in Superstar

Indirect natural light

Today I'm showing you Deborah Lippmann in Superstar. You can see I have an old bottle; I think around 2010 the brand was renamed from "Lippmann Collection" to "Deborah Lippmann." Just like Deborah Lippmann was one of the originators of the mixed-size jelly glitters, she was also one of the first to release fully-buildable glitters in unique colors (at least at the high-end level), loathe as we may be to credit her. Superstar was released with the Holiday 2008 collection. It is a really gorgeous deep brown jelly with small rose gold glitter. In most lights it looks rose gold, but at times it also looks more copper (orange), which is reflected in my pictures. Unfortunately, the sun was hiding while I wore this polish and I don't feel like my pictures quite accurately capture its beauty.

The formula is great for a jelly glitter, just slightly thick. These are 2 medium coats. I had to use 2 coats of Gelous and 1 coat of Seche Vite to smooth out the glitter.

I wore this mani for Thanksgiving. Worn November 22 - 24, 2012.

Indirect natural light