OPI Just Spotted the Lizard - $8.50
OPI's new The Amazing Spiderman collection is about to be released in store and there has been a lot of noise about this polish. Not only because it's a pretty rad multi-chrome, but because it's a Chanel Peridot (see my Peridot review here) dupe. With Chanel polishes now fairly assaulting wallets at a price of $26, it's nice to see a less expensive alternative to a popular shade. I've got several photos of OPI JSTL, and then below I have a couple comparison photos.
As far as this polish, It's pretty much a dead-on dupe of Peridot. It's somewhat sheer, but with three thin coats you get full coverage. The color in most lights is pre-dominantly an amber gold with a seafoam green and light turquoise showing up from time to time. The wear was pretty average, I tested it for two days and didn't have any tip wear or chipping. It doesn't show stroke lines as much as Peridot, which really didn't have much in the way of stroke lines in the first place; it's just mainly more metallic whereas Peridot does have some foil-like flecks which scatter light a little more. JSTL doesn't really have that and so it has a more linear light reflection.
$25 at chanel.com
From the Fall 2011 Illusions d'Ombres collection from Chanel comes Peridot, which is one of three polishes available. I very seldom cave in and buy Chanel polishes unless they seem very unique. The last two I've bought; Kaleidoscope and Paradoxal met these requirements for me and I was very pleased with them, so I went ahead and jumped and, as usual, I'm glad I did. Peridot is a complex green/gold metallic polish. In most indoor lights it comes off as a green-tinged gold, more green around the edges. Then in bright outdoor light it appears amber from some angles and seafoam in others. Sometimes you can see some turquoise as well. The finish is a beautiful metallic, and in low lights it sometimes appears as a chrome. It applies a little streakily, but when it dries it is very smooth. I used three coats, as it is somewhat thin. It can be a little tricky to apply, and can drag at the cuticle a bit so I would recommend letting it dry well between coats. I've included a huge amount of pics because you really have to see it to appreciate it.
Hard Candy Beetle - $5 at Walmart
Last week when I picked up Hard Candy's new version of Sky, I also found this baby. You've probably already seen it, but in this photo-heavy post I'll show it to you in a few different lights and in comparison to Orly Space Cadet. You'll probably be surprised to find that I consider the Hard Candy one to be superior! It's true though. While the Orly is a good deal as far as it's relative size and price, the flecks of metallic multi-chrome shimmer are much more finely-milled and profuse in the Hard Candy one making it a better choice if you'd rather not layer or use eleventy billion coats.
The base is the same on both; some weird anemic teal jelly... Then you've got these metallic, light responsive particles floating around in both. The main difference is, as I said, the size and volume of these particles. On Space Cadet they're larger and there's less of them, so in the Hard Candy version you've got a more smooth and solid color and application. The bottle on the Orly is bigger and costs about double, but you'll use a lot more of the Orly unless you're layering. All in all, it's probably a flush deal, but my pick overall is the Hard Candy. Shock!
Orly It's Not Rocket Science - about $8 at Sally Beauty and Ulta
It's Not Rocket Science is the third and final Cosmic FX from my Transdesign order a couple weeks ago. I have previously reviewed Space Cadet and Galaxy Girl, so check those out! This polish is another crazy foil finish duochrome like the other two. The flash of electric turquoise is very faint, though, and only visible in some lights, but it's there. The main draw for this polish for me was the color. True, these types of yellowy green never look good on my skin, but I was willing to overlook that because it's just so pretty. It's got a mucky green jelly base with light golden olive foil and that illusive turquoise flash. You can also see a more golden aspect to this polish in some lights. It's super shiny and metallic and it's just gorgeous, in this girl's opinion. I think it's similar to SpaRitual Optical Illusion, but I haven't got that one. Yet! ;P I think it's also similar to one of the new China Glaze Halloween polishes, but I won't be able to tell you that till Monday, apparently; my order won't be here till then. Overall this is such a cool color and it's available now and in many of your local stores, so it's a great alternative to other similar polishes, of which there are admittedly few. The Orly Cosmic FX collection is a real WIN for me so far, though I don't know if I'll be purchasing the other three. Only time, and other bloggers swatches, will tell!
Galaxy Girl is the second of the Cosmic FX polishes that I've tried. I'm actually pretty into this one. The duochrome isn't as strong on it as Space Cadet, but I like the colors involved a lot more. It's a warmish plum with turquoise flecks that flash a bright violet in some lights. When I first applied it, it reminded me a lot of MAC Blue Brown pigment, but when you get the second and third coats on it gets a little more neutral, and the violet flash cools it down a bit as well, making it really wearable. The texture on this is the same as Space Cadet, a sheer jelly base with loads of sparkly foil. It has a smooth finish, but looks as though there's texture if you catch my meaning. Overall I really liked this polish a lot, though it's not as strong in the duochrome department as I suspected it may be. In a lot of lights it looks like a dull vampy color, then in indirect light you can pick up a bit of the violet sheen. In bright light it's just really sparkly, though it doesn't get as close to metallic as Space Cadet. I likes it.
Orly Cosmic FX is a further foray into the world of the avant-garde nail polish for this brand. We have begun to see nail brands taking huge leaps in their offerings, and Orly has done it to the hilt by releasing 3-6 piece small collections pretty frequently in new finishes and colors that we don't see very often, or haven't seen before at all. This collection is filled with 6 foil textured polishes in duochrome and uber-sparkly finishes. The foil in these polishes is made up of tons of micro-fine foil pieces suspended in a sheer base and they are 100x more shiny and sparkly than the Foil FX collection released by Orly earlier this year. Space Cadet is one of the most hyped of the collection not only due to it's superior duochrome that has super-high light reaction, flashing several colors at the tiniest flick of the wrist, but also because of the fact that it's a dupe of MAC Mean & Green polish from the upcoming Venomous Villains collection (Orly Galaxy GIrl is a dupe of MAC Formidable! as well. I hear the upcoming OPI The Show Must Go On which will be released for this Winter will be a MAC Bad Fairy dupe as well!)
Regardless of the dupe-ability of this polish, it's incredibly unique and I can guarantee that unless you have press samples of MAC Venomous Villains, you haven't got anything like Space Cadet in your stash. The polish is incredibly sheer, though, so I used three coats over a black base. I could have done two coats over black but that would have been too easy ;P I tried three coats of this polish alone and it was still too sheer. I will give it another try alone when I have more time and patience because I can only assume that while the duochrome is enhanced over a black base, the sheer blue base of this polish probably adds a lot of depth if you take the time to build it up right. This is the sparkliest polish ever. I kid you not. There are foils, glitters and shimmers that have stolen my heart in the sparkly department, but the tiny foil pieces in this polish work together to give the nail a space-age crazy-metallic sheen. The colors that it flashes, depending on the light, are pinky violet, acid green, washed-out bronze, taupey-plum, amber, orangey pink. There's probably more but that's all my feeble mind could handle identifying right now.
NUBAR Reclaim and Wildlife, from the Going Green collection, $7.50 each at bynubar.com
Here are the first two swatches from my recent Nubar haul; Reclaim and Wildlife. Both are really cool and interesting, one being a holo and the other a duochrome.
Reclaim: This one is a midtone grass green holo. The finish of this reminds me of the China Glaze OMG collection because the particles are so fine that they're almost undetectable. It just looks like a film of holo awesomeness. It's not quite as strong of an effect as some of the OMGs, but it's pretty impressive. It's also sort of thin while still having awesome two-coat coverage so it doesn't get gunky around the edges like some of the Nfu-Oh holos can when you view them in low light. It dries fast and is absolutely gorgeous, so you really can't go wrong. The only recommendation I have to make this live up to it's potential on the nail is get rid of your ridges before applying by either buffing lightly or applying a ridge filler. This polish applies well with or without topcoat which is the only caveat of the China Glaze OMGs, since those really work best without a base coat. ***** 5 stars for this one.
Wildlife: I didn't want this one necessarily for the color combination. While it's no doubt an interesting combo of colors, it's not really beautiful in the traditional sense. You're more likely to love this is if you like weird colors and/or strong duochromes. The acid green and swampy rose orange are really an acquired taste, I'm afraid, but the duochrome is so strong and awesome that it's just such a cool polish. I happen to adore duochromes and weird colors so I love this polish. In some lights it's really not that flattering on my skintone, but in others it's decent. I'm not sure I really care if it clashes with my skintone, it's such a fun color to look at and it's sort of a statement almost. It reminds me of Shrek's swamp, lol. It's a bit sheer, so I used three coats, but it does dry decently quickly. **** Four stars from me.
Sally Hansen HD Nail Polish in DVD - about $7 in most drugstores
Sally Hansen has a new collection in the HD range for Spring/Summer! It consists of 8 new polishes ranging from hot pink to a tantalizing midtone purple, and all are jam-packed with beautiful effects. Some of the polishes have a gorgeous glass-fleck shimmer, some have duochrome aspects, and some have both! To see swatches of all the polishes in the collection, check out these amazing swatches over at StephsCloset!
I snagged DVD because I'm a sucker for shimmer, duochrome, blue and purple, and this polish is all of the above. Unfortunately it's also very sheer, so here in the first photos you two coats of it layered over Orly Snowcone. I think it would look amazing over a slightly deeper blue, and a deeper purple. It sort of reminds me of the old Sally Hansen Prisms in Garnet Lapis, but with lots of flecked shimmer. It morphs from a light lavender, to cornflower blue, to an electric rose depending on the light. The shimmer flecks also create an almost metallic look. Even though it's quite sheer, just like Garnet Lapis the effect of this polish when layering is beautiful enough to warrant that layering. I really want to pick up Laser next!
OPI Have You Seen My Limo
This is one of my top 5 OPI polishes of all time. It's from the 2007 (has it really been that long??) Holiday in Hollywood collection and it appears to still be available on amazon.com but I can't vouch for the seller. It's also available elsewhere online, so I recommend doing a little research before buying. That said, GET IT. It's one of the most under-appreciated OPI of all time in my opinion. People squawk about Rainforest, Black Magic Mountain, Vampire State Building, etc... and I've been sadly underwhelmed by most of the OPI hard-to-finds I've been lucky enough to find, but this, THIS polish is squawk-worthy my friends. It has a plummy charcoal base with minty shimmer and a rose flash. Heavenly. I bought a backup for this back in the day, and that doesn't happen often. I don't have much else to tell you about this, so on to the spam!