In honor of the soon-to-be-released movie version of The Hunger Games, I decided I want to do a nail art series based on the books. The first book actually makes a reference to nail art, when Katniss' prep team paints flame designs on her nails, and while re-reading the books this latest time in anticipation of the film I decided it would be crazy not to do a series.
The first installment is based on District 1, the district that produces luxury items for The Capitol
- China Glaze Millenium
- MAC Military
- Wet n WIld Black Creme
- Zoya Roxy
- CND Copper Chrome
- Essie Trophy Wife
- OPI Save Me
- gold studs
- plastic jewels
The other day when I picked up Jade Dragon at the Cosmetics Company Outlet (CCO), I also grabbed Ming Blue, also from the 2010 Jin Soon Nail Trends collection. This is a very nautical cornflower-tinged blue with beautiful blue and silver shimmer shards. It is significantly more sheer than Jade Dragon was, so that was a bit of a shock. I used three coats to get the coverage to my satisfaction. When it was all done, it was worth the extra coat because it's gorgeous. Plus I was shocked that it lasted through several hours of swimming. Normally any nail polish I use will chip at least a little in the water, but this didn't. Usually MAC chips on me with little encouragement, so that's a definite positive. I strongly suggest visiting your closest CCO if you're on the lookout for any of the polishes from this collection as almost all of them were at my CCO.
Click for more photos!
Jade Dragon is from last year's F/W 2010 Jin Soon Nail Trend Collection, but I ran into it this week at the CCO. CCO stands for Cosmetics Company Outlet, and it's a store full of Estee Lauder brands that you may find in your nearest outlet mall. They carry Clinique, MAC, Bobbi Brown and more all at discounted prices. You can usually find some treasures from recently retired collections, so it's always worth a look. Jade Dragon is crazy gorgeous. It is a deep jade green cream with blue shards of shimmer that float on top. It's really interesting to look at and the formula is amazing. It's almost a one-coater, and it applies evenly and is highly pigmented. I loves it lots.
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NUBAR Midnight Nail Polish - $7.50 at bynubar.com
Here's another of the Nubar polishes from my haul last week. I am in love with these matte sparkly numbers. You may recall my review of MAC Military from Alive & Olivia, and if you're mourning it's disappearance from the site, then Midnight is a must-have. This is super similar, but not quite a dupe. Unless you're a neurotic when it comes to nail polish, you'd scarcely notice the difference. I've included a comparison between the two after the jump.
Midnight is perfect in two coats, and like Twilight, this polish dries quickly, but not so quickly that you'll run in to gloppiness while you're applying it. The finish is satiny gorgeousness. It's matte but the shimmer gives it such a nice sheen. If you'd like to see more photos, clicky clicky.
Click to see more photos and the comparison...
OPI Ski Teal We Drop is from the new Swiss Collection that's just come out. This was the only polish of the 12 that screamed out at me, and that's only because I'm a hardcore teal lover. If you love OPI Suzi Says Feng Shui, RBL Teal, or Color Club Gossip Column, you'll love this one. It's very similar to RBL Teal but a bit lighter and more blue. I forgot Gossip Column in this comp picture, but I'll do one later and put it up on Twitter or something. Anyway, this is typical OPI application, two coat coverage that's ever so slightly streaky on the first coat. It all evens up beautifully, though and looks great on. The wear is pretty typical of most OPI as well. If you'd like to see a comparison between Ski Teal We Drop, RBL Teal, MAC Blue India and Illamasqua Muse, read on!
Click to see the comp...
MAC's newest collection, Alice + Olivia brought us three new polishes, but the best of the bunch in my opinion is Military. This matte black with a profusion of silver microglitter is magnificent. The finish reminds me of the look of the OPI Suede polishes, and I like it. The application is perfect, two thin coats gives absolute coverage, and it's streak-free. Perhaps the best part of the formula here is that it doesn't clump and dry while you're trying to apply it. Like other matte polishes, the wear isn't that great. It looks wonderful until you start doing dishes or swimming, but those things take their toll on the most iron-clad of formulas. Before I started to torture this polish with housecleaning, it stayed impeccable on my nails. I just checked the site to see if it's still available, and unfortunately it's not, but you may still be able to find this at your counter ($12) or try a similar polish; Nubar Midnight ($7.49) is a very similar and easily accessible one, and Orly Iron Butterfly is still floating around for less than retail online.
Overall, I was really psyched about this polish, and I'm glad I got it, but I wonder about the wisdom of doing so with such great and inexpensive dupes. Call me crazy... The application is the best of any matte polish I've tried, but I'm looking forward to trying the Nubar version!
Click for another photo...
MAC Baby Goth Girl - discontinued
I recently swapped for this polish that I originally passed on when it was released. The buzz on this polish was rampant that it wasn't anything like the bottle color, so I didn't pay much attention. While it's very pretty in the sun, and I was lucky enough to have a few flakies show up on my nails, I feel like I understand why this was such a let-down for so many people.
The bottle color is a gorgeous eggplant with beautiful shimmer and some orange flakes. The formula is very smooth and pigmented and only two coats are needed for coverage. However, if you go ahead with a third coat a bit more of that shimmer shows up on the nail. What you see above is three thinnish coats. In most lights this appears as an almost black purple. In the sun it's quite gorgeous and basically that's what these flash photos look like. Overall, I do like the polish, and can see myself wearing it in the future. When compared to the bottle color, sure, it's a let down, but when you look at it on it's own without taking the bottle color into consideration, it's quite pretty. Since it was such a FAIL to so many, you may be able to swap for this easily, or perhaps find it on eBay for a cheap-ish price. Click for more photos...
Rimmel Night Life
Everyone is into taupe polishes lately, but they're mostly cremes. Chanel Particuliere, anyone? And lots of us love shimmery taupe shadow (maybe not as much as the girls at Pink Sith), so I wanted to share my two favorite shimmery taupe polishes. I think they may be my only shimmery taupe polishes, but whatever. Work with me here.
Rimmel Night Life is part of the now discontinued line of Underground polishes by Rimmel. Some of these shades have a new formula incarnation within the Rimmel brand, but I'm not sure if Night Life is one of them. I do hope so. It's a beautiful cool creamy taupe with a unexpected fiery shimmer. The application on this one is great, two coat perfection.
Another favorite of mine is another discontinued beauty, MAC Toast of the Town from the Barbie collection a couple years ago. It's taupe with green shimmer and a strong rose flash. Very unique and much prettier than it sounds. This one is super HTF, I'm sorry about that, but it's so worth the wild goose chase! I don't say that about a lot of d/s polishes, but this one is a must have if you can find it. If you like this, you might also like OPI Have You Seen My Limo which is a darker, cooler cousin of this one. HYSML is a cool midtone brown-grey-plum combination with minty shimmer and a rose flash. It's an HG of mine, I'll have to swatch it for you guys soon.
MAC Toast of the Town
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I loved how MAC Blue India was set off so beautifully by my gold ring, and I was inspired by the curls in the ring, so I used China Glaze Passion and Konad plate m77 to stamp a gold flower on top. Then I added clear rhinestones to simulate the diamonds. I liked the way this turned out.
MAC Liberty of London Nail Polish in Blue India $12 at maccosmetics.com
Are you headed to the MAC counter this weekend? I hope so, because MAC new Liberty of London collaboration is on counter now, and the one product that caught my eye and I couldn't let get away was Blue India nail polish. I love blue and I love Liberty of London, so it was sort of a foregone conclusion that this was going to be mine. MAC polishes are hit-and-miss for me, some are thin and streaky, others look completely different than they do in the bottle. This subdued greyed-out blue is just what you think you're getting. In two well-pigmented coats you're looking at the same color on your nails that you see in the bottle. I love this with my beige skintone, and it complements gold jewelry so well. This is must-have to me!!
Click to see more pics of the beautiful packaging!