Category Archives: Finish: Duochrome

Nail Polish Swatches & Comparisons: Flakies & Duochromes

Nail Polish Swatch Sticks: Kleancolor Chunky Holos, Flakies, and Duochromes

Nail Polish Swatch Sticks: Kleancolor Chunky Holos, Flakies, and Duochromes

It’s time for part five of my nail polish series! Today is fun ones – my Kleancolor Chunky Holos, all my flakies, and all my duochromes. If you’d like to see the previous ones, I’m collecting all the links from the nail polish swatch series on my Project Swatch Roundup page (scroll to the bottom).

As before, I’ve included pictures that have the handle of the swatch stick, so you can more easily see the name of the polish. I also have a close-up of the polished tips only. In every set, the close-up of the tips is more color accurate. The number at the end of the stick is the number of coats, and no number means two coats. A couple of these have topcoat, and the swatch stick then says “+ TC.” As you’ll see, many of these have a half-black base; I wanted to use one swatch stick and be able to see what the polish looked like over black & alone.

Again, I’ve left these pictures larger than usual – click to enlarge.

First – Kleancolor Chunky Holos. I bought all of these as a set of mini-polishes for around $4 (for the set) at Ross. They’re all the same, except for the tinted base, and Black has larger hex glitters.

 

Kleancolor Chunky Holo swatches: Purple, Teal, Fchsia, Candy, Clover, Black

Kleancolor Chunky Holos: Purple, Teal, Fchsia, Candy, Clover, Black

Next, Finger Paints flakies – these were released as a collection several months ago. I bought Motley at full price, and was lucky to find the rest on clearance!  Motley and Twisted are my favorites.

Finger Paints Flakies swatches: Flecked, Flashy, Motley, Asylum, Twisted

Finger Paints Flakies: Flecked, Flashy, Motley, Asylum, Twisted

More flakies! These are most of the other (non-Finger Paints) flakies I have. I love them all!

swatches - Nails, Inc. The Old Vic, Nubar 2010, Sinful Colors Green Ocean, China Glaze Luxe and Lush, Sally Hanson Glass Slipper

Nails, Inc. The Old Vic, Nubar 2010, Sinful Colors Green Ocean,
China Glaze Luxe and Lush, Sally Hanson Glass Slipper

And finishing the flakies, here are the Revlon Moon Candy duos I own, plus Orly Fowl Play.  The Moon Candy duos are quite pretty, but I’m not thrilled with the quality – I reviewed them here.

swatches - Revlon Moon Candy duo Orbit, Revlon Moon Candy Duo Milky Way, Revlon Moon Candy Duo Galactic, Orly Fowl Play

Revlon Moon Candy duo Orbit, Revlon Moon Candy Duo Milky Way,
Revlon Moon Candy Duo Galactic, Orly Fowl Play

Duochromes / multichromes are my favorite nail polish finish, I think, though my very favorite polishes are in the last set of swatches below.  The following polishes are definitely duochrome, but the duochrome is not very strong.

swatches - Butter London Knackered, Wet n Wild Fast Dry Gray's Anatomy, Sally Hansen Nail Prism Star Opal, Essence Where is the Party?, Orly Mysterious Curse, Chamelon Waltz

Butter London Knackered, Wet n Wild Fast Dry Gray’s Anatomy,
Sally Hansen Nail Prism Star Opal, Essence Where is the Party?,
Orly Mysterious Curse, Chamelon Waltz

Here are some more not-super-strong duochromes – L’oreal The Temptress’s Power is my favorite of this set.

duochrome swatches 2

swatches - L'Oreal The Temptress's Power, Forever 21 Light Grey / Multi, Model's Own Purple Blue, Maybelline Downtown Brown

L’Oreal The Temptress’s Power, Forever 21 Light Grey / Multi,
Model’s Own Purple Blue, Maybelline Downtown Brown

And now, some stronger duochromes! Maybelline Pink Cosmo and China Glaze Swanky Silk look almost identical applied – except that the Maybelline takes many more coats to be opaque.  OPI Just Spotted the Lizard and Hits Mari Moon Trendy are quite close, but not identical.

swatches - Maybelline Pink Cosmo, China Glaze Swanky Silk, Maybelline Boho Gold, OPI Just Spotted the Lizard, Hits Mari Moon Trendy, Hits Mari Moon Cool

Maybelline Pink Cosmo, China Glaze Swanky Silk, Maybelline Boho Gold,
OPI Just Spotted the Lizard, Hits Mari Moon Trendy, Hits Mari Moon Cool

And now, some of my very very favorite polishes in my collection – my multichromes!  Ludurana Show and Hits Mari Moon Cutie Pie are close, but Show is more intensely colored.  Hits Mari Moon Dreamer and Ludurana Emocionante are dupes, and they are my favorite polishes that I own, I think.  I took photographs from several different angles for these, but didn’t capture all the beauty of the polishes.

swatches - Model's Own Aqua Violet Beetle Juice, Hits Mari Moon Cutie Pie, Ludurana Show, Hits Mari Moon Dreamer, Ludurana Emocionante

Model’s Own Aqua Violet Beetle Juice, Hits Mari Moon Cutie Pie,
Ludurana Show, Hits Mari Moon Dreamer, Ludurana Emocionante

Thanks for looking! Any questions, just ask.

Starlight and Sparkles Color Shifting Nail Polish Swatches & Review

Starlight & Sparkles Mythological Color Shifting Nail Polish Trio

A while back, I ordered some nail polishes from the Etsy nail polish seller Starlight and Sparkles.  I had seen some fabulous swatches on the wonderful nail polish blog  Dizzy Nails, and pretty much ordered them immediately!

I ordered four mini polishes; the Mythological Color Shifting Nail Polish Trio (Phoenix Feathers, Dragon Scales, Unicorn Tears), plus a holo top coat.  Issa, the shop owner, kindly send me a clear topcoat as well with my order.

(Update: I had incorrectly written earlier that these were topcoats; while they can be used at topcoats, they can also be used alone – they are meant to be opaque at three coats. I have swatches of them alone below! Starlight and Sparkles also makes color shifting top coats, which are called Phoenix, Dragon, and Unicorn.)

I have swatches of the three Mythological polishes today! First, I swatched them over a dark polish; this is L’Oreal The Mystic’s Fortune.

Base for swatches

And, swatches!

Starlight & Sparkles Phoenix Feathers, Dragon Scales, Unicorn Tears – natural light

Starlight & Sparkles Phoenix Feathers, Dragon Scales, Unicorn Tears – sunlight

Starlight & Sparkles Unicorn Tears, Dragon Scales,  Phoenix Feathers- sunlight

Then, I have them swatched alone.  This is three coats. I think I prefer them this way, though really they’re gorgeous both ways!

Starlight & Sparkles Phoenix Feathers, Dragon Scales, Unicorn Tears – flash

Starlight & Sparkles Unicorn Tears, Dragon Scales,  Phoenix Feathers
 – flash, blurred to show sparkle

The formula of all of Starlight and Sparkles’s polishes is excellent; thin and fluid.   The colors are really gorgeous; they glow, sparkle, and the color shift is just beautiful (and very hard to capture on camera!)

Sadly, according to the information posted on the Etsy page for Starlight and Sparkles, the creator is having trouble sourcing the pigments for these polishes, so their future is uncertain.  So, if you’re interested in these polishes, I recommend going to buy them sooner rather than later.   The set of minis that I bought sells for $11.50, and a set of full size polishes sells for $26.50.

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This post is from Project Swatch. All rights reserved.

Sally Hansen Lava and Moonstone Lustre Shine Swatches & Review

Sally Hansen Lava, Moonstone

I’ve been excited about the new Sally Hansen Lustre Shine polishes since I heard about them on Nouveau Cheap a couple weeks ago – I love duochromes!  I was tempted to buy the whole collection, but since these are on the expensive side for drugstore polishes, about $8 each, I just bought two – Lava and Moonstone.   I did take bottle pictures of the other shades with my cell phone.

SH Lustre Shines: Firefly, Plume, Copperhead, Scarab

Lava is definitely my favorite of the two I bought – it’s a pinky red with a very strong orange duochrome.  The formula was great – thin and even. The large shimmer particles made cleanup really difficult – I apologize for the messiness!  I did three coats alone on my middle and little finger, and two coats over black on my index and ring finger.  I think it works well either way.    This polish looks best in the shade or indirect light, because that’s where the duochrome is strongest. In full sunlight, it’s very blingy and quite pretty, but doesn’t have much of a duochrome.

Lava – natural light

Lava – indirect light 
Lava – full sun

I also bought Moonstone, thinking that sometimes the prettiest polishes don’t look like much in the bottle.   Moonstone’s formula is also great – thin and even.  I tried Moonstone over black (index finger; one coat), over white (middle finger; one coat), and alone (ring and little finger; three coats).  It didn’t really work over white, looks fine alone, and looks great over black.  Alone, it’s a soft, shimmery/frosty white with a faint pink shift. Over black, it’s a pale blue with a strong pink duochrome and a slight golden shift at certain angles.   This one also looks best in the shade or indirect light.

Moonstone – indirect light
Moonstone – flash
Moonstone – direct sun

Overall, these are great polishes – they apply easily and there are no colors like the two I swatched that are easy to find at US drugstores (I think the Lustre Shines are permanent, so they should eventually be on the wall and easier to find than they are currently). Now – I just need a US drugstore brand to come out with a multichrome collection like Ludurana’s Aurora Boreal collection . . .

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This post is from Project Swatch. All rights reserved.

L’Oreal Project Runway Nail Polish for Fall 2012 Swatches & Review

the queen's might; the mystic's fortune; the mystic's future; the temptress' power; the muse's attitude

the queen’s might; the mystic’s fortune; the mystic’s future; the temptress’ power; the muse’s attitude

the queen's might; the mystic's fortune; the mystic's future; the temptress' power; the muse's attitude

Today at Rite Aide I came across a full display of the new limited edition L’oreal Project Runway collection for Fall 2012.   There are four color stories – each has a lipstick, a gloss, an eyeshadow quad, a blush, two nail polishes, and nail stickers.  The color stories are named the Enchanted Queen, the Wise Mystic, the Seductive Temptress, and the Artsy Muse. You can see press images of everything but the nail stickers here.  I decided to buy five of the eight nail polishes and one lip gloss (which will be reviewed separately) – it helps that L’oreal was on sale!

For completeness, here are the three nail polishes I didn’t buy, along with “the mystic’s future” which I did buy (I wasn’t going to, but changed my mind).

l'oreal the muse's inspiration; the temptress's touch; the mystic's fortune; the queen's ambition

l’oreal the muse’s inspiration; the temptress’s touch; the mystic’s fortune; the queen’s ambition

Note: In the promo photos the two temptress nail polishes (temptress’s touch and temptress’s power) are switched from what I found in-store.

I also have photos of the nail stickers since they aren’t online with the other images. Click to enlarge.

As for the five polishes I purchased, the quality was uniformly good – all five were thin and flowed smoothly, but the opacity varied significantly.  I’ve noted how many coats each required.  I did not use topcoat for any of the swatches so you can see the actual finish. Any lumpiness is due to the fact that I was swatching quickly and the fact that my nails are not particularly smooth at the moment, not the polishes.

l'oreal the queen's might swatch

the queen’s might; shade with flash

l'oreal the queen's might swatch

the queen’s might – full sun

The Queen’s Might is a pink-based red. I did two coats, but it probably requires three to be fully opaque. I would describe it as a shimmery jelly.

l'oreal the mystic's fortune swatch

the mystic’s fortune, shade

the mystic's fortune swatch

the mystic’s fortune, full sun

The Mystic’s Fortune is definitely my favorite of the set.  As soon as I painted one nail I knew it would be difficult to photograph – it’s in that space in between blue and purple – blurple – and photographs don’t show the complexity and beauty of the color. It is gorgeous, unique in the 200 or so polishes I own, and if you buy just one polish from this collection – this is the one to get.  This was almost opaque in one coat, but I did two.

the mystic's future swatch

the mystic’s future, shade

the mystic's future swatch

the mystic’s future, full sun

I almost didn’t buy this one, but I’m so glad I did. It’s a shimmery, lit-from-within red-based violet.  It looks like a duochrome in some photos, but I couldn’t really see much, if any, duochrome in person.  This is two coats and fully opaque.

the temptress' power swatch

the temptress’ power, shade

the temptress' power, swatch

the temptress’ power, shade with flash

the temptress' power, swatch

the temptress’ power, full sun

The Temptress’ [sic] Power is a really interesting shade – I haven’t seen anything like it.  It is a very sheer, sparkling gold with a strong pale green duochrome. It’s nothing like the numerous Peridot dupes, because the gold is more orange based and the green is more blue-based and much lighter.  It’s a little closer to Maybelline Boho Gold, but the tones are really quite different.  This is a sheer polish; I did three coats and have visible nail line.

the muse's attitude swatch

the muse’s attitude, shade

the muse's attitude swatch

the muse’s attitude, full sun

The Muse’s Attitude is really lovely dark green polish that leans teal.  The first coat was VERY patchy – totally unwearable. The second coat looked good – wearable, but I did a third coat for the photos. I don’t know why the first coat was so patchy, but it’s not a problem since it evens out so well.   This color reminds me of A-England St. George without the holo shimmer.

Overall, these are fantastic polishes. The formula is great, and I love all five of the colors I picked out. The other three colors are lovely too, just not right for me – I skipped the orange and black with sparkles since I have multiple similar polishes and the lime green is not something I see myself wearing.

Maybelline Fashion Week 2012 Color Show Nail Polish Swatches

Maybelline Fashion Week Color Show Nail Polish: swatches!

I took some time this morning to do actual (nail, not nail wheel) swatches of the six Maybelline Fashion Week Color Show nail polishes.

I don’t have much to add to my original review – I found that all six polishes were thin and applied easily and smoothly.  Several were more sheer than I realized.  In particular, Pink Cosmo is extremely sheer – even at three coats – and is probably best as a layering shade.  However, it is very even, so if you like sheer nail polish, it will work on its own.

On to the swatches! On the left, I photographed the polish in shade (natural light) with flash, and on the right, no flash.  In the caption for each photograph I noted how many coats each swatch is (either two or three)

Maybelline Color Show Avante Green, swatched – 3 coats

Maybelline Color Show Auburn Ablaze, swatched – 2 coats

Maybelline Color Show Metal Icon, swatch – 3 coats. 

Maybelline Color Show Boho Gold swatched, 3 coats 
Maybelline Color Show Cosmo Pink swatched, 3 coats (left picture is in sunlight)

Maybelline Color Show Downtown Brown swatched, 2 coats

After seeing these on my nails, my two favorites are Boho Gold and Auburn Ablaze. Boho Gold is more sheer than I realized – it definitely needs three coats – but the color is just gorgeous. I prefer it to the Peridot / Just Spotted the Lizard polishes, since it is more gold.  Auburn Ablaze is the most opaque of the set – two coats is completely opaque – and I love how it is almost black in low lighting but lights up with a fiery shimmer in the sunlight!

My least favorite is Metal Icon – it’s the most ordinary shade of the bunch, and it (surprisingly!) requires three coats for opaqueness.  While I might not have an exact dupe, I definitely have a couple shades that are extremely close, and I’m pretty sure I have some that are one-coaters.

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This post is from Project Swatch. All rights reserved.

Maybelline Fashion Week 2012 Limited Edition Color Show Nail Polish Swatches, Review, Photos

Maybelline LE Fashion Week 2012 Polishes:  700 Avante Green, 705 Auburn Ablaze, 710 Metal Icon, 715 Boho Gold, 720 Cosmo Pink, 725 Downtown Brown

Maybelline LE Fashion Week 2012 Polishes

I am on a Maybelline Fashion Week kick right now – I finally found the Color Show nail polish collection at a Rite Aide near me, and after agonizing for a few minutes, decided to buy all six nail polishes.

The colors are: 700 Avante Green, a full coverage chrome finish green; 705 Auburn Ablaze, a gorgeous blackened red with a subtle shimmer; 710 Metal Icon, a sort of chunky metallic/chrome – it looks to me to be sort of taupe with silver; 715 Boho Gold, a gold duochrome that shifts to green and pink; 720 Cosmo Pink, a pink duochrome that shifts to gold; and 725 Downtown Brown, and brown with strong green shimmer.

I just bought them a couple hours ago, so right now I just have nail wheel swatches for you. I have two swatches of each color – on the left, one coat over black, and on the right, two coats (with no base).  I did not use top coat so you could see the finish of the polish.  If you’re interested in seeing these swatched on my fingers, please leave a comment – I’d be happy to do that if enough people are interested!

UPDATE: See all six swatched on my nails here!

Although it’s harder to judge based on nail wheel swatches, overall the formula of the Maybelline polishes seemed very good to me – all six were thin and flowed evenly.  Any smudges or bubbles you see are due to my painting the nail wheels outside in 90 degree heat and some dust getting on the nail wheels. Some of the shades do show brushstrokes, so you’ll have to decide if that bothers you.

On the left, the photo is in direct sunlight – on the right, the photo is in the shade, using flash. Enjoy!

Maybelline 700 Avante Green - swatch

Maybelline 700 Avante Green

Maybelline 705 Auburn Ablaze swatch

Maybelline 705 Auburn Ablaze

Maybelline 710 Metal Icon swatch

Maybelline 710 Metal Icon

Maybelline 715 Boho Gold swatch

Maybelline 715 Boho Gold

Maybelline 720 Cosmo Pink swatch

Maybelline 720 Cosmo Pink

Maybelline 725 Downtown Brown swatch

Maybelline 725 Downtown Brown

I also did comparisons. I’d heard that China Glaze Swanky Silk duped one of the shades – and in the bottle, It looks like China Glaze Swanky Silk is extremely similar, if not identical, to Maybelline Cosmo Pink.

China Glaze Swanky Silk / Maybelline Cosmo Pink

China Glaze Swanky Silk / Maybelline Cosmo Pink

However, on the nail wheel, they look very different: With two coats of each, Maybelline Cosmo Pink is very sheer still, while China Glaze Swanky Silk is almost opaque.  Swanky Silk also has a stronger duochrome.  I did try these out on my nails, and they look much more similar there (especially with three coats of the Maybelline), but I can see the difference, especially since even with three coats the Maybelline is not opaque.

Not dupes: Maybelline Cosmo Pink, China Glaze Swanky Silk

Not dupes: Maybelline Cosmo Pink, China Glaze Swanky Silk

I’d also heard that there was a Chanel Perido / OPI Just Spotted the Lizard dupe in the collection. I don’t own the Chanel, but I do have the OPI.  Here’s the OPI compared to Maybelline Boho Gold.  You can see that even in the bottle, the Maybelline looks more gold, and the OPI more green.

Maybelline Boho Gold / OPI Just Spotted the Lizard

Maybelline Boho Gold / OPI Just Spotted the Lizard

On the nail wheel (and on the nail), this is true as well – Boho Gold is gold with a green duochrome, while Just Spotted the Lizard is green with a gold duochrome. Note also that Just Spotted the Lizard has a stronger duochrome.

Not dupes: Maybelline Boho Gold / OPI Just Spotted the Lizard

Not dupes: Maybelline Boho Gold / OPI Just Spotted the Lizard

I also have a perhaps – surprising dupe for Maybelline Auburn Ablaze: Wet n Wild Megalast polish in Under Your Spell. These look identical on the nail and nail wheel – however, it takes three coats of the Wet n Wild to match two coats of the Maybelline in opacity.

Maybelline Auburn Ablaze /  Wet n Wild Megalast Under Your Spell

Maybelline Auburn Ablaze /
Wet n Wild Megalast Under Your Spell

Dupes! Wet n Wild Under Your Spell, Maybelline Auburn Ablaze

Dupes! Wet n Wild Under Your Spell, Maybelline Auburn Ablaze

My favorite shades are the two duochromes: Boho Gold and Cosmo Pink, but I really like all six of these. It’s a great little collection, and too bad that it’s limited edition!

Again, let me know in the comments if you want to see these swatched on my own nails, and I’ll do that 🙂