swatch: chanel illusion d'or over american apparel hassid

when the chanel noir et or paris-shanghai polishes (black velvet, gold lamé, and illusion d'or) first went up on the chanel website, i was tempted by them but ultimately decided not to purchase any. once they appeared to have sold out, however, i felt a momentary panic... maybe i did want them after all, and now they were gone forever, never to be seen anywhere again except for on ebay for $300+! (lest my male friends who read this blog think i'm being hyperbolic, that's what really happened with the last chanel limited edition nail polish, jade - it now sells for several hundred dollars.) so when i saw the polishes back up on the chanel site, i clicked "purchase" without letting myself think twice.

i ultimately wound up purchasing both black velvet (mostly for the packaging, not gonna lie) and illusion d'or. since black velvet can't be worn with topcoat and i'm a slave to my quick-dry, i'll be waiting to wear that one 'til i have a nice chunk of free time; illusion d'or, however, i put on the day after it arrived.

first, a bottle pic:

and a close-up of the polish in its bottle (those little purple iridescent pieces are the coolest thing about this polish, imo):

and now for some mani pics! i put one coat of illusion d'or over american apparel hassid, a fabulously pigmented black that works great for layering! here's the result in overcast light:

in regular natural light:

and finally, in bright sunlight so that you can see how dense yet fine the glitter is:

also, here's a close-up so that you can see the individual glitter particles better. please excuse the leftover red polish on my nail!

all in all, i think illusion d'or is quite pretty. it's still growing on me - i normally prefer cremes or in-your-face bling - but i do like it, especially when the purple bits catch the light.


swatch: opi cajun shrimp

this is my all-time favorite nail polish! my bottle's like... one-third gone, which is a huge deal considering the absurd number of polishes i own.

(some browsers wash this pic out, apologies!)

i don't even know how to describe the color... i hesitate to call it a coral because it's so red, but i think that's technically what it is. i just think of it as an amazing, super-vivid blend of red, orange, and pink, which i especially love in the summer. the application is great too - two easy, pigmented coats, and you're good to go.


rescue beauty lounge grunge and streetwear black widow: swatch pictures and review

recently, i was given a tip as to where i could find a treasure trove of old revlon streetwears, and this was one of the long-discontinued and htf polishes i scored! rbl grunge looked totally wack on me on its own (i'll do a full post on it soon, but in a nutshell: brown girls beware!), but i thought its fairly nude/neutral color would make a good base for black widow:

my inspiration was a manicure done by my friend eve, in which she layered black widow over a nude polish to create the effect of a nude slip dress topped with a black mesh, lace, and sequined overlay. her mani was far superior to mine though - i did 3 or 4 coats of the sw, but maybe i should have done even more!

here's a close-up shot of black widow so you can see all the various kinds of glitter it contains: black regular glitter, silver regular glitter, and black bar glitter:


swatch: opi mrs. o'leary's bbq

totally gorgeous, easy to apply, and opaque in two coats. although the name is a little odd... i told my friend i was wearing "mrs. o'leary's bbq" and his response was "wtf? you're wearing a nail polish inspired by the great chicago fire?"

molbbq is reputed to be a dupe for the htf opi vampire state building... i purchased the former and then was actually able to get my hands on vsb just a couple of weeks later. a comp post is in the works!

update: i've posted a comparison between opi mrs. o'leary's bbq and opi vampire state building here.


comparison swatch: rescue beauty lounge bangin' and opi red my fortune cookie

if you missed the recent rbl surf collection pre-sale or didn't want to shell out the big bucks for those polishes, you're in luck... because opi red my fortune cookie is pretty much a perfect dupe for rbl bangin'.

in this photo, i have bangin' on my index (leftmost) and ring fingers and red my fortune cookie on my middle and pinky (rightmost) fingers. please note that some browsers distort colors and that rmfc and bangin' are both bright warm reds... neither is orange at all irl.

in terms of color: in indoor/dim lighting, these two polishes are perfect matches. in bright lighting, bangin' appears to be just a hair more vividly red than red my fortune cookie, but i had to really look to make out this tiny difference.

in terms of formula/application: i would describe the formula of red my fortune cookie as great, and the formula of bangin' as absolutely perfect. both of these polishes went on very smoothly and had great pigmentation (requiring two coats for total opacity), but the formula of bangin' is just… sooooo unbelievably buttery smooth.


swatch: china glaze flyin' high

a beautiful bright aqua from the recent up & away collection! much more muted in firefox than it is irl:

flyin' high was quite pigmented and applied fairly evenly in 2 coats. the application of this polish was pretty good (although china glaze's brush is too long and skinny for my taste), but i did have an issue with this shade's drying time.

i used my usual bc/tc combination of barielle hydrating ridge filler and poshe for this mani; with these products, i'm usually functional about ten minutes after i finish polishing, as long as i'm careful. i found, however, that flyin' high remained wet much longer than my other manicures typically do. in fact, when i went to grab something out of my makeup bag about half an hour after finishing my mani, i came away with several smudges and deep gouges in my polish. boo! the color is so great, though, that i almost don't care.


swatch: opi that's hot! pink

earlier this week, i decided i wanted a bright pink mani to match the warm weather we were having and the flowered dress i was wearing:

opi that's hot! pink is a very bright blue-toned pink - normally i stay away from such colors because of my warm undertones, but i think the brightness of this shade makes it work even on my yellow-toned skin. this polish is more sheer than most of my other opi cremes (which generally go on well for me in two coats), but it was pretty much opaque in three coats and its application was otherwise good. the accuracy of this photograph is off in some browsers, so please note that that's hot! pink is an *extremely* vivid/saturated pink irl.


swatch: opi red my fortune cookie

here's another polish i picked up from opi's recent hong kong collection - red my fortune cookie:

i love warm, bright reds, so rmfc is a great addition to my collection (please note that while this color looks orange-toned in some browsers, that isn't accurate). its application is good as well: not only is it thin yet pigmented enough to be opaque in two coats, but it also has opi's awesome pro-wide brush, which helps me to do a neat mani in just a few minutes.

this polish is also a nearly perfect dupe for rbl bangin' - i'll post a comparison later.


rescue beauty lounge surf collection swatches: 360, bangin', and diddy mow

what better way to come back from my little blogging break than with the latest collection from my absolute favorite polish brand, rescue beauty lounge? the spring/summer surf collection is now available again for pre-order through this wednesday, april 7, so i thought i'd share my swatches for those of you who are debating whether or not to take the plunge on these.

by the way, the formula on all of these polishes is absolutely perfect. creamy, smooth, buttery, pigmented... exactly what i expect from rbl. each of these polishes was close to opaque in one coat and was perfect in two.

diddy mow is a completely unique and seriously cool blend of gray and green. i can see myself reaching for this polish again and again and again come fall:

here's a close-up of diddy mow to show its secret shimmer:

360 is a muted medium aqua that's very pretty. it's slightly darker than what i'd normally consider a summery color, but it works:

the secret shimmer in 360 is slightly stronger than the secret shimmer in diddy mow - here's a close-up:

and finally, bangin' is an amazingly bright warm red creme and my current notd. i know many are passing on this color because it seems dupey, but i consider bangin' to be the ultimate, most beautifully pigmented version of my favorite polish color. some browsers are doing funny things to this pic, so please know that this is pure red, not orange at all:

okay, basketball needs my attention again. gordon hayward is so boyishly adorable; i want to fix him a grilled cheese sandwich or something. maybe bring him a glass of chocolate milk.
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