Thursday, January 31, 2013

Les Jeans de Chanel

Disclaimer: Chanel's animal cruelty status is debated. A lot. I have been told that they are cruelty free by a representative of theirs, who also stated that Chanel grows their own stuff for the most part. Who knows what the truth is? Until I know definitively that they are not bunny safe I will occasionally review them because they always have really great colors. It will only be occasionally because those really great colors come at a REEEEDEEEKULOUS price. And I only rarely will pay that.
End Disclaimer.

So...this collection was a Chanel Boutique and online exclusive. They are no longer available from Chanel, but I am not breaking one of my promises to you. I found these on, where they are still available. They are not an authorized seller, I don't know how you feel about that, but neither is a single solitary soul on evilbay what you will. I will tell you that they had good service and while it took quite awhile to get my polish (and an out of production perfume I love) they were quick, and patient, with my inquiries. They have a lot of limited editions out there, they're selling them for about what Chanel does, so that's hardly a hardship. Things came nicely packed and in good order. They have a lot of different boutique brands on their site, not a lot of bunny safe stuff, but I think I've established that that is in the eye of your conscience. My not bunny safe may be acceptable to you so act as your conscience dictates. That isn't up to me. Just think of the bunnies, that's all I ask.

On to the shots!

These colors were an education in taking swatches, let me tell ya. I learned some valuable lessons. I did find a way to get color accurate pics in the absence of sunlight and for that I thank them.

They're pretty....but I admit, I was underwhelmed.

Blue Boy is a greyish blue, I was surprised at how blue it is. I think you would call this cadet blue, actually, though I chickened out of art school. (Submit a portfolio..of my sketches...for, no. Liberal Arts! Still has "art" in it...Yeah!) It has an intriguing sort of dustiness to it. It's very wearable. Not very edgy. pretty.

This is exactly color accurate. The first shot is a bit greyed out. I was still figuring things out. You should see the pics I deleted! YIKES!
Pretty, right? Yeah. **shrugs**

Blue Rebel is a darker dusty blue. It's a little teal in feel, sort of...powdery.'s gun has a darkness to it. It...wait. has a lot of green in's...Where have I seen this before?

HOLY CRAP. How about the previous post? Ya think?

Let's just compare that baby.

Ummm....OK. Can you tell which nails are Ciate superficial and which are Blue Rebel? I did this quick and dirty...I just painted a coat of Ciate over the Chanel. Let's try this again for real.

OK...Now I can see a difference. A difference so miniscule as to be negligible. The Ciate is a tad greener. A smidge. It's not a full on dupe. It's extremely close. And when you think of the $20 dollar difference in price? I see no difference at all! For $20 they are identical. Know what I'm sayin'?

Let's throw another dog in the fight.

Because looking at this here? I think I have something else that is really similar.

OK. Well. That is Rescue Beauty Lounge Teal. Teal and superficial...hmmmm....not dead on. But pretty damn close. Teal is not available through Rescue Beauty any longer. I know, I said I wouldn't show you any colors you can't just buy but it's one nail and it's for your own good! Get thee a bottle of superficial to tide you over. Certainly Teal will make a come back and superficial is close enough to keep your jones at bay. And they're both really close to Blue Rebel, closer than this picture would lead you to believe. MDAMO couldn't tell them apart without squinting.

Coco Blue is a pretty silvery blue. It has a shimmer in it, which you can kind of see here. Click and zoom the photo to see better. It's not showing up in the bottle at all, but the nails show it. This is really sheer and watery, this is three coats. Might do better with base coat.

This is a bit more saturated than the color really is but it's close. It's pretty but dare I say it? Unremarkable? I like it...I will wear it. But...there is that "but" hanging out there.

The whole set was on the watery side and needed more than a coat to level out and look nice. Coco Blue required 3 coats to be opaque. No other complaints really...I would just suggest that before you go blow a wad on these that you consider if you really love them. I bet you can find similar colors (ahemsuperficialahem) and be just as happy for less. However, if you just gotta, then Izzy's is where I found them.

Happy Talons!

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Ciate superficial

Ciate is a new brand to me but I've been pretty impressed. They wear nicely and they have fun colors. I can't remember how long I wore this one but it was at least 5 days. Maybe 6. The flaws it started to develop were fixable but I am, after all, a polish hound and I start to long for a new color in a few days.

I've always had a short attention span. BRIAN. The dipwad I dated in college who told me I had the attention span of the average 5 year old.


What was I talking about?

Oh yes.

Ciate is a British company who has their polish made in France and MDAMO and I were debating whether "Ciate" is meant to be French or Italian. I think French. Regardless, pretty colors, nice wear.
And cute bottles!

This was after a couple days wear.You can see the tip wear, which with my job is flat inevitable. I shuffle so much paper it isn't even funny. I spent 5 hours today cleaning up employee files. (Writing this on Sunday. Yeah, I had to work Sunday. Not bitter! Not. Bitter.) There isn't a lot of polish in the world that can survive that.
As you can see, this is a pretty cadet blue with a vibrancy but still sedate.

Still looks pretty good. It applied nicely and was easy to control. Even I did OK, though you can see the remnant of where I flooded the one cuticle. Probably watching Big Bang while painting my nails. That wouldn't be extraordinary. Penny is good polish inspiration. I'm wearing a Penny color right now. It didn't survive the filing in perfect shape. It did Deb Lipp Gel Lab system...trying it out for you guys. (Me Likey!)

This is actually closer to the feel of the polish. It's darker than it appears above, but not this green...this was before I learned the trick I learned with the next post. I wish I'd figured that out oh... years ago! Alas. This really is a darker color. It's blackened almost. But it's not this dark. It's somewhere in between. GAH!

Bottle shot before I took this off. You can see it's chipping and wearing. I was having some issues with my Nailtiques. I think it was just flat old. I tried a new bottle and did better on the next one.

Those little bows are pretty securely glued on there. I had visions of icky glue blobs and no bows on the bottles, but so far they're staying on.

The label. Oh no! It's flammable!
They all are, but the little fire always kind of amuses me for some odd reason.

I took a ton of shots of this for some reason...I liked it, but not, like.. Knackered liked it.

This shot is to show you that it started to do something weird...I had Orly Nail Armor under this and as the polish wore it was like Nail Armor started to absorb it. Or something. You can see the particles in the Orly pushing up through or the Ciate sinking down in...I'm not sure. It was odd. It was like the surface thinned or something. I can't even explain it. I just thought I would show it to you. Pretty strange stuff!

I recommend this brand fo sho. It's fun, fun colors, easily available through Sephora, where this came from, and if you are one to display your bottles they're really cute. I get really good wear with it and it's easy to apply. Plus, it's not really all that expensive. It's not drugstore but if you shop sales you can get it for a good price.

Happy Talons!

Sunday, January 27, 2013

At least this time it's not a Christmas set....

Even more Deborah Lippmann porn. I promise. I have some butters coming up. They're swatched but not edited. There are more Deb Lipps as well, but I will try to break it up with some butters...and an Illamasqua.

I am way past the target audience for Girls. I was the target audience for Sex and the City. My friends and I were a lot like the SitC girls...we just didn't have $800 shoes and we were in the city of broad shoulders (aka Chicago) rather than the ever more glam Manhattan, but we had our own Fleet Week, our own great bars and restaurants and our own broken hearts, failures, successes and a lot of great St. Patrick's days. Probably only Boston can top a Chicago St. Pat's, I'd wager. Outside Ireland, that is.

So...when it comes to relating to the show Girls I'm a little out of it. I mostly have watched it on occasion going "Thank fuck I'm not that young any more", which in our youth obsessed society I do realize is a bit of an odd remark. From what I have seen these colors do well represent their namesakes and muses.
The set comes in an enormous box. Honestly, how does she expect us to store these things? Book shelves? It's adorable, though:

It's a sort of card stock arrangement, with a tab so it opens like a book. It has the deets on the sides of the box as well but I didn't think it was all that interesting and didn't photograph it. I think marketing must have just loved those descriptions because they are EVERYWHERE. They're on the front. They're on the back. They're on the labels. I don't know where else they could be. Miss Lipp is not usually that in yo face so I'm blaming HBO.

When you open it, you get this cute little nod to the show:

These pictures were all taken in sunlight from the window. I didn't realize until later that my flash was flashing even though it wasn't needed so I had to tone down the exposure on some of the swatches. I will try to let you know when I did that. This picture above is extremely accurate and not edited so keep these in mind or refer back if the close-ups look a little off.

First up Hannah, who seems to me to be a bit muddled. So this color is ideal.

This is a tad washed out. The color is really a hunter green, but it's on the blue/dark teal side of that green so when the flash washed out the color, it left that tealy-greyey kind of color. It's not terrible and I left this as is because it shows the muddy quality of the color, which is incredibly intriguing, actually. It's a color you'll stare at, I swear.

Ummm, it's pretty obvious that I played with the exposure on this picture. However, this is as accurate to the color as I could get without messing with it a LOT. Just look at the nails and ignore the other weirdness happening.
But see...description is on the label. WTF. I can see it's Hunter Green. Thanks. Redundancy is a peeve, I can't help it.

The application of this was beautiful. So easy to control. It was a little streaky but it self leveled on coat 2. Highly highly pigmented, a lot of color here. These are swatches so I didn't wear any base coat or anything and it didn't stain, which is definitely a plus. That does not mean skip your base coat!

Marnie. I think she's the really innocent one? This is a sweet baby pink. It's vibrant but delicate and it was a hot mess. It was streaky and had an almost chalky consistency? This is two coats and you can see what was happening.

Here again is two coats. Blah! I figured out after I did this as I was swatching the Spring butters, which are all candy pastels, that you just want to load up your brush with these pastel colors. Load it up and put it on thick. I am not a huge wearer of pastels, but some of those are so just...neat...I had to check them out. Pastels are going to be the thing in the Spring collections I think. Estee Lauder is doing pastels as well.
Regardless. Hot. Mess.
So here is three coats:

Now we're talking. This is really pretty and it has a hint of blue which makes it want to lean lavender rather than trite pink, but it's also unafraid. This thing is like EFF YOU! I'm PINK! Note the cuticles. I was trying to be careful but this was very easy to control even if it wasn't easy to apply, if that makes sense at all. I think it just has so much pigment that it wanted to congeal together rather than cover. It turns out OK, though.

Jessa is the "Bohemian Burgundy" which to me just looked like brick red. It really is this red. The flash washed it out a tad but Burgundy to me is the color of a dark red wine. It has a lot of blue, some black...this to me is red. But whatevs.

As reds go,. this is a really pretty one and it's going to be kind to so many different skin tones. It's bright enough to keep it from vampy and dark, but it has enough body in the color to be interesting. I like it. It, too, wants to cover on the thin side so take care with it. A good base coat would probably help out. It also was not a stainer, but then so few Deborah Lippmann's are, too.

Now on to my favorite. Saving the best for last! It's the one that intrigued me about the collection and why I shelled out for it. Well, that and my basic soul feeding need for colors.

I luh-luh-luh luuuuuuurrrrve this. OMG. And this isn't doing it justice. It's very true to color, I'm pleased that way, but there is a micro shimmer in this and I DID actually get a shot of it. It's subtle but it adds volumes of depth and interest. The color itself is great. It's fascinating and I have nothing else like it. It's a highly pigmented bright lavender/lilac. I love this.

I toned down the exposure on this and it's still too light, but it's not terrible.

You can see a little of the shimmer here, but not much. These shots are all two coats. This so easily could have been watery but it isn't, there is a lot of pigments in here.

You can see the shimmer here, but I would click on the picture and view it larger just to really see it. The index finger shows it best, but all the nails here show the shimmer and what it adds. This is a remarkable color. I think it could be a little risky on some skin tones because it's so bright, is it bright and dusty at the same time? It's the magic of Miss Lipp, I'm telling you. This is why she is a genius.

I definitely recommend this set. I think there are 4 brilliant wearable colors here, one for each mood.

They're available on Lippmann Collection. Go now. Purchase. While you're at it, pick up Moon Rendezvous. It's also incredible.

Happy Talons!

Friday, January 18, 2013

*groan* Deborah Lippmann Porn 498758, Santa Baby

OK, so how many exclusive sets did the Great Deb Lipp put out??? I tried to find them all. I did. And yet....trolling around the blogs I found yet another. Given that I had been trolling while, and by that I mean trolling like trolling for bass in a bass troller, not leaving vile and nasty comments to annoy people, before I found it. It wasn't in the obvious places, at least not that I found. Neiman Marcus had this one. Most of the others have hit Miss Lipp's website but this one hasn't yet. May not, as we're well past the holidays.

This one is actually really pretty. You know that I had kind of felt that they weren't terribly original, there were some real duds in the fleet, but this one is nice. Everything is pretty, they're all kind of unique and all wearable and nothing really holiday specific about them except the names.

Once again, not on my computer, not edited on my computer so I can only hope these turned out OK. I think this monitor is REALLY bright. I don't know. When I can get to see these swatches on my own computer where I'm used to the settings we'll see. You'll get the idea, though.

Sorry for the glare. I took these at night. You have an amethyst purple, a dusty red and a blue jean blue. The box is a fuschia purple and is the standard issue Lippmann gift set box.

The inside, which does a better job with the bottles, though it is a bit fuzzy. Had I been drinking or something?

This is the amethyst. It looks really blue here. I think the deal is that the camera is picking up the flash. This is a bit duochromey, not that I'm complaining, OMG, I am so not! I actually love duochrome better than even holo, it's my favoritest thing evah.

If you look around the the bottle, you will see the true purple of this. I'm sorry these weren't more color true. I was having trouble finding a comfy spot with decent light to do these. However, the blue flash makes this very special. It's unique, I have nothing like it.

This is the dusty red. It has a lot of silver in it, which you can see in the bottle, which is what gives it that dusty feel. It's really a pretty metallic red, but not a chrome. It went on nicely, as all of these did, and it has a highly pigmented feel and look. Very opaque.

This is a better shot of the polish itself, though it's rubbish of the label. This is "This Christmas". I really liked this. I don't wear a lot of reds (too obvious) but I liked this and would wear it, fo' sho'. It even looks good on my nubbins.

Blue jean blue. No, it's not called that, but that's what it makes me think of. It's nothing like the Chanel blues, really. I had been afraid it would be. I have those, I will be swatching them because contrary to popular myth, I was able to find them online from an actual retailer.

This was the thinnest of the bunch, look at the streaking there, but probably a good base coat and another coat of lacquer will even that right out. It wasn't that noticeable in person or I would have painted them again.

This has the same frosty feel as the others, but I think that's kind of appropriate in a holiday collection. I really liked this one. I love how it's darkening as my nail curves.

Very nice collection. I just wish there hadn't been 4000 of them. I do argue that even at what seems a steep $45 price tag these are a bargain. You're getting three Lippmann's for $15 each, which is a nice deal. These would be $18 individually. As ButterLondon's have gone up this year to $15 a bottle, that puts these down a half step in price.

So glad I went on my butter spree before the holidays now.

So...thinking of picking this up? Once again, Neiman's is the only one I've seen who has it. They still had it, this arrived last week. (Fast service, free shipping...I'll check out Neiman's for other things I'm looking for in beauty. Can't afford much...but I'll look!)

Happy Talons!

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Pretty Holiday nails: RBL Recycle and BL Frilly Knickers

MDAMO decided before the holidays that my nails needed to sparkle like an ornament. I set him loose in the bottles to search. He came up with Recycle because it's a "Nice piney green" and then set me loose to come up with the sparkle. Kind of. Anyway, that is what wound up happening. We agreed Frilly Knickers was the thing. Kind of. I decided and he went along, he wasn't really convinced until after the fact.

Rescue Beauty Lounge Recycle is part of the latest Bring it Back set and I just checked, it is available. My bottle, I need to inform you, is not a part of that set but one of the original release. Probably it makes no difference whatever, but just in case.

Here is Recycle on it's own:
It is indeed a lovely forest green. It's dark but with a lot of blue, it's definitely pine. It's also a stainer. Use a good base coat.

Here's the label shot. You can see how dark this is here, yet, it will never be mistaken for black. Not in a million. I love the subtlety of this, it's dark but it's wearable, it's just a great color.

Here it is topped with Frilly Knickers. Christmas ornament!
Frilly Knickers is a clear/milky base with a ton of iridescent milky white micro glitter particles. There is a teensy bit of milky whiteness but it's mainly clear. If you layered to opaque you'd likely have nails that looked like Christmas snow, but I'd hate to guess how many coats that would take.

It's very icy and pretty. You can see how it flashes blue and green and silver against the dark green.

There's a label shot...vaguely blurry but legible. It's a bit chunky, but not bad at all. A coat of Seche or another thick top coat and you'll be all good.

The two together. I think Frilly Knickers is nothing short of magical, frankly. I'd never worn it but had looked at it a zillion times. Sometimes layering seems like work to me. I don't know that there has ever been a lazier statement but at times I can't face another coat. I just want them done. I mean...I hate my job, (I was accused of making meth at my desk the other day. Yep. That Swiss Miss, she's a real drug cartel.) and when I get home I'm TIRED. My polish is a flash of color in my dreary world most days but there are some where even I can't face more than the minimum.

It looks lit up, doesn't it? The flash helps...but you see what I mean. I love the blue flash in the glitter against the deep green. You can see it toned the green down a bit, though this is a little washed out from the light.

This is better, more real. Still, the sparkle is wonderful and dense but doesn't over-power. I love this look. I enjoyed wearing it.

The last picture! I did clean those cuticles up, by they way, you can see where I tried. I warned you! Recycle is a stainer!

What do you think? I love it! I think Frilly Knickers is going to work with about any straight cream and Recycle is pretty both glammed up and on it's own. Fun stuff!

Happy Talons!

Monday, January 14, 2013

Ciate - Spending Spree

Ciate is one of those brands I picked up because the color was pretty and I knew they were bunny safe. Generally I'm not branching out much on new brands these days. It's expensive enough keeping up with the ones I already collect and love. I don't need to add even more to keep up with. I have good luck with British brands and these are intriguing. I had wanted to introduce all kinds of new bunny friendly brands, and I still want to, but keeping up is so expensive. The other thing is, as much as I would love to support the independents, I can never seem to find their collections when they actually have any. That can be a real challenge when you can't be online every day. Well, not at home, anyway. So, the moral of this is, I only have a few Ciates.

This one is Spending Spree, ironically, which is a lovely rose gold metallicky almost duo-chromey sort of thing.

Unfortunately, my crap camera didn't pick up the duo-chrome effect though I did take about a bazillion pictures.

This is with flash, it's washing it out a little. This color has a curious almost dirty look to it...kind of similar to a patina, if you can imagine. As you can see here, it's really pretty, the micro shimmery goodness lends so much.

You can see some tipwear here, this manicure is really kind of old at this point. I believe this was maybe 6 days? I can't tell you how it was done, either. BMWWU did this one.

Without flash it's a little darker and I think you can possibly see what I mean about the darkness to this. It's difficult to describe.

Again with no flash. This is closer to the real color here, but it's still not quite it. I never did really capture it and I apologize. This one wasn't cooperative.

This is quite true, as close as I ever got, though I will still show you a bunch more pics!
That little bow is glued on there and so far it's stayed put.

If you look at the right corner of the bottle you can see some of that patina like effect I'm trying to describe. I was trying everything to get it to show, but it no deal.

This pic was really altered in the editing. I apologize it has such a weird aura to it. I almost didn't use it.

uh-huh! Seeing now why I gave you that side of the bottle swatch? I was trying to get you a clear view into the bottle! I kind of don't like this about this brand, actually. You have a very small window to see the lacquer color in truth.

Many More attempts to capture the color more accurately:

So what do you think? Like? I enjoyed wearing it, even though I confess I do realize it's not the best color for me. It's still pretty and was really appropriate as I went Christmas shopping right after this manicure!

Happy Talons!