Marc Jacobs in #140 Petra + Comparisons

Direct sunlight

Well, I said I would be checking out Marc Jacobs products, and I did! Today I'm wearing Marc Jacobs in #140 Petra. This color is so so gorgeous! Just find whichever of these pictures that you like best, and then imagine it being 10 times better-looking in real life. My nail polish collection at this point is way too large for my comfort, so when I go check out a new line, I rarely expect to be wowed. And if you've been in Sephora you'll know that the lighting in there does nothing and nobody any favors. To be honest, when I scanned through the Marc Jacobs polishes, there were many I was intrigued by, but nothing took my breath away. I picked up Petra (which looked like a silvery purple) in the store, and thought, maybe this is unique, looks like it could be cool. And then I went home and tried it on, and it just smashed my expectations. Even though NB was 50-50 on it, I'm planning to go back and swatch all the Marc Jacobs polishes on a nail wheel so I can be sure not to miss out on another amazing polish. Sephora really needs to figure out their lighting (the Nail Bar in particular is horrific). This is the polish I would wear to the Met Costume Gala (called the Oscars of fashion) with this dress:

Marc Jacobs Fall/Winter 2010

It's a showstopping polish. Petra is described as a "shimmering brown." Sabrina from The Beauty Look Book just swatched Petra, and it's odd how different it looks on us since we have similar skintones! On me, Petra is a deep, glowing, mahogany with a bit of plum. It has a purple jelly base, but is packed with  silver, gold, and copper/bronze/red flakie shimmers. From time to time, it turns a little cool purple/silver/taupe on me like it looks on Sabrina, but it mostly reads warm, so I think the color's going to vary from person-to-person. Even though the color does look fall-y, I think it's really an all-season polish (for those of you that follow those guidelines). The makeup of the polish is similar to polishes like Chanel in #529 Graphite.

However, unlike Graphite, which needs 3 coats, Petra is extremely pigmented. Sabrina seemed to have a little bit of difficulty with this formula, but it was really great for me. I used 2 thin coats, and I hardly needed the second - those of you who do thicker coats will really only need one. Before I put top coat on, I was impressed, but when I put Seche Vite on, Petra seriously went to a whole 'nother level. I really don't feel like I'm exaggerating in my obnoxious levels of praise for this polish.

Worn August 11 - 13, 2013.

Indirect sunlight

Direct sunlight - sunset
Direct sunlight
Indirect natural light
Indirect natural light - indoors

In terms of feel, the most similar polishes in my collection are OPI in Warm & Fozzie and Hard Candy in Mr. Wrong (in fact, in the Sephora lighting, I though Mr. Wrong would be very close to Petra). Warm & Fozzie is a foil flakie polish rather than a jelly flakie polish, and it is much more bronze. Mr. Wrong is a cool purple, so not close to Petra, but it has the same kind of formula in a less opaque base.

These polishes are the most similar in terms of color, but none of them have the same finish. OPI in Lincoln Park After Dark Suede is a matte-finish foil polish with a purple base and silver shimmer; it is cooler and more purple. China Glaze in Dusk photographed a bit darker than it is in real life, but it is maybe the most similar color-wise. It's a slightly dusty plum with subtle shimmer - it doesn't have the brown factor Petra's gold and copper shimmer lend it. SpaRitual in Shrewd is a plum-mahogany shimmer like Petra, but it is cooler and has more red in the base as well as more silvery shimmer. China Glaze in Bogie is plum packed with the standard type of shimmer. It's not as warm, never looks brown, and doesn't have the same glow factor. Nina Pro in Velvet Underground is a dusty grape foil, much cooler than Petra. OPI in Peel Me a Gobi Grape is a plum with gold/copper shimmer and has a comparatively warmer purple base. Nubar in Prevail is a matte-finish warm plum shimmer polish that has none of the brown or copper of Petra. MAC in Wildfire is a smoky warm violet shimmer - much more purple.

This is the closest match I've found. Pictures done quick and dirty for the Nail Board, so excuse the sloppiness.

China Glaze in Wood You Wanna? is pretty close to Petra. It is the same composition, but it has a browner base. I like having them, but do you need both? Probably not.


The Beauty Look Book also has swatches and comparisons.

Am I making a fuss out of nothing, or are you as wowed by Petra as me? Any other Marc Jacobs polish you think I should pick up?


  1. This looks like a super colour - and I really like the finish! I hope the Marc Jacobs line releases in the UK sometime, I'd really like to try a couple :D

  2. UKNailRunner - I hope so too. Petra is amazing, and there are a good number of cool colors. His polish is also priced pretty reasonably considering the price points for the rest of the line.

  3. I swatched in store and was wowed by Ultra Violet. It's so intense.

  4. Addictedtoysl - Yes! That one's next on my list along with the blues. I'm gonna try to get back to Sephora tomorrow.


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