Sunday, February 26, 2012

Love & Beauty Periwinkle VS Essie Lapis of Luxury

Application, Formula & Bottle:
  • Love & Beauty bottles are nice and sturdy-feeling. They are wide on top and taper down at the bottom, and are flatter instead of round (pic, they are a bit hard for me to describe!) The bottom is thick & weighty in a good way: it stands solidly while doing my nails. The medium-sized round cap is matte-finish black plastic, and it's tapered, kind of like Zoya caps are, which provides a comfortable grip for fingers while polishing. The stem is on the shorter side, and the brush is reminiscent of $OPI/old OPI brushes, but it is slightly floppier and probably has more bristles. The formula of Periwinkle was not perfect as lighter cremes are wont to be, but it was quite easy to apply in 3 thin coats provided I was patient between coats. With patience application was pretty easy. If I didn't wait between coats, the brush dragged up polish near the cutcicle and created gross bald spots. Though 3 coats were neccessary eliminate streaks, Periwinkle is very much a cream polish with a creamy finish. I found that Periwinkle self-leveled just fine for me as it dried, too (dry time was on the slower side without topcoat.) (Big 3 Free)
  • Essie bottles are just the cutest. They are square glass, with "essie" embossed on 2 sides. They store well in Helmer drawers, and they don't feel flimsy. The cap is shiny-finish white plastic, pretty short, with a medium stem (Zoya-length) and a small brush. I personally love the Essie brush, as I have small nail beds--I find it makes the lacquer easy to place & control, and I rarely need cleanup when I use Essie. The cap can be a little slippery, though. Lapis of Luxury has the jelly-creme formula that I have come to expect from all of Essie's pre-2011 cremes: on the translucent side, meaning it requires 3 coats for opacity for sure but because of its gel-like texture streaks are much easier to avoid. Thin coats again are best, and patience between coats is important, because this polish too will drag at the cuticle without sufficient time between coats. The formula of Lapis gives it a cool, milky type of finish. Lapis of Luxury has a great formula for a light creme. (Big 3 Free)
Cruelty/Animal Testing:
  • Love & Beauty polishes are made by a cruelty free company!
  • Essie themselves do not test on animals; however, their parent company L'Oreal (the guys who own them) does test on animals. This is what I consider a gray area in terms of how to vote no-cruelty with polish dollars.
Last Thoughts:
  • These 2 are quite close as for color, not dupes, but close enough. The formula of Lapis of Luxury is rather nicer, but personally as someone frugal I'd buy the Love & Beauty if I didn't have the Essie to have a gorgeous spring pastel. I am happy to own Lapis, though, don't get me wrong, but I don't know that I would have bought it if I'd have gotten Love & Beauty Periwinkle first.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Love & Beauty Periwinkle swatch

These pictures are all in full sunlight. This swatch is 3 coats and no basecoat, no topcoat. Love & Beauty Periwinkle is a periwinkle-blue creme. It's not horribly streaky, and it's a lovely color. Coming up next, a comparison post between this and the popular Essie Lapis of Luxury.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Comparison shot of Revlon Posh, Essie Pretty Edgy and CND Green Scene

Here I am with a late comparison between Revlon Posh, Essie Pretty Edgy and CND Green Scene. My internet has been crazy the past few days! The tech people didn't have an appointment until next week, but fortunately I got online just now.
Here are comparison shots, with 3 coats of Posh and Pretty Edgy and 2 of Green Scene. (I'm trying out rounded corners on my pictures- I think they're cute!)

Now, I will say that these 3 are all so similar in color on the nail that differences in terms of finished look are tiny. None of my flash or shade pictures turned out at all, all three just looked exactly the same! I believe in these sunlight photos that the minute differences are visible.

As for color, Pretty Edgy and Posh are almost an exact color-match, perhaps a half shade different even if that. The color of Green Scene is slightly different from Posh/Pretty Edgy, it's a a drop bluer and maybe a tiny bit darker, but I had quite a time trying to capture that in photos!

So how are these polishes not alike? Well, for one, finish and formula. CND Green Scene has a very creamy and pigmented formula, nearly opaque in 1 coat, unlike the squishy 3-coat jelly-creme formula that Revlon Posh and Essie Pretty Edgy share. Posh & Pretty Edgy dry to a shiny finish by themselves, but Green Scene dries rather dull and definitely benefits from topcoat. Green Scene has the dense finish of a true creme polish. Posh and Pretty Edgy have the slightly milky and gel-like finish that comes from their jelly-creme formula. CND's formula did cause some staining upon removal from its heavy pigmentation, but its opacity was really nice.

All 3 have very different brushes and bottles but it's all based on personal preference, and I like all of their brushes. CND has a wide, flat, supple brush with a nice shape and good coverage per stroke. Revlon has a tapered, flexible brush, on the longer side in length and easy for me to use. Essie has a petite brush that fans out nicely and allows for precise placement and control of the polish.

They are priced differently too, the CND being $9, the Essie $8 and the Revlon about $4. Revlon is the easiest to find, then Essie/CND. (Animal testing: Revlon is by the accounts I can find a no-animal-testing company and is not owned by a parent company that conducts tests; Essie is a no-animal testing-company but they are owned by a parent company that tests on animals; I cannot find reliable info on CND.)

I'll probably keep Green Scene and either Posh or Pretty Edgy for now but not all 3, and unless there's a specific reason in mind I don't see a need to own all 3. Great greens though, and I love me some green for spring.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Bottle Spam: Oranges + Yellows

I love bottle-spam posts so I thought I'd start on posting some. I chose oranges and yellows for my first bottle spam post because I love these colors, but I don't have all that many of them, so it was a manageable thing to photograph them all! Plus they were organized properly unlike most of my polish stash at the moment, which is still in chaos from my big cross-country move. (and, can I mention how frustrating it is to use this Blogger editor with photos!)

So that's most of my orange and yellow polish! There are a few stragglers here and there that I know didn't make it in, but I'm satisfied. I think next maybe I'll tackle minty greens as I feel like I have so many of them.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Comparison: Revlon Posh VS. Essie Pretty Edgy

Finally! I was able to get some decent pictures of Essie Pretty Edgy (Summer 2010 collection) next to Revlon Posh (and a comparison with CND Green Scene will be up tomorrow, which is definitely not a dupe.) We've had some dreary weather (overcast, rain and then snow!) here in DC after so many incredibly beautiful days, but we had a few hours of sunshine and I was able to take comparison shots.
These are the bottles side-by-side, in the bottle I can't tell much difference between the two. Both are medium leafy-greens.

On the nail the difference is extremely subtle, too. See for yourself: Pretty Edgy is a bit lighter, and Posh might have a drop more yellow (maybe? In some lights.) The formulas are even extremely similar. I can barely tell them apart! 3 coats of each in these pictures, and no basecoat or topcoat.


Closeup: Sunshine

  • Revlon $4-5 but it's easy to find a coupon or a sale, I paid only $2.50 (Walgreens, Rite Aid, grocers & drugstores,
  • Essie $8 (Ulta, Head2Toe Beauty, Amazon) (Pretty Edgy is not part of the Essie selection available in mass retailers and drugstores)
Application, Formula & Bottle:
  • Revlon's bottles are tapered glass with a round base and a long, round, black cap with a flat top, and gold accents. The bottles look a bit dated to me, but they aren't so bad (the new ColorStay bottles are much sleeker, though.) The cap is tall, but comfortable to hold though it can be slippery because of its glossy plastic finish. The stem is on the longer side too, and the brush is long, flexible, and of medium width and narrow thickness. It can seem a little floppy because of the longer length and it could be a tad denser as well. Posh's formula is a nice squishy creme--the pigmentation isn't intense but it covers well in 3 thin coats and dries with a nice shine without topcoat. Application was fine, the brush didn't cause me any problems or dragging. Bonus: No staining with removal!
  • Essie has the cutest bottles, square glass embossed with "essie" on 2 sides. They have a white plastic cap, on the shorter side, with a medium-length stem. The cap is smaller and has a slick shiny finish, so I have to mind that I keep a good hold of it as it can be slippery and easier to drop or fumble. The brush is petite and thin and flexible. I like Essie's brush because it makes it easy for me to control & position the polish just where I want it. Pretty Edgy has Essie's typical creme formula: somewhere in between a jelly and a creme. The finish is shiny without topcoat, and on the translucent side but it is fully opaque in 3 thin coats. Application was easy with no dragging as long as I was patient between coats. Bonus: No staining with removal!
Cruelty/Animal Testing:
  • Revlon is certified by PETA as a company that does not test on animals, and their publicly available information says that their ingredient and component suppliers do not perform animal testing on the materials.
  • Essie themselves do not test on animals; however, their parent company L'Oreal (the guys who own them) does test on animals. This is what I consider a gray area in terms of how to vote no-cruelty with polish dollars.
Final Thoughts:
  • Revlon Posh looks like a perfect cheaper substitution for Essie Pretty Edgy. They are very, very nearly dupes - I don't even know if I can tell the difference, and the formulas are extremely similar too. Posh is easier to find, as well. I do like the Essie bottle better but not $5 better! I myself prefer the animal testing policy of Revlon overall as a company too. Even as a lover of greens I can't find a reason to keep both!

Monday, February 6, 2012

Revlon Posh: swatches & quick review

I picked up this beautiful green Revlon during a recent drugstore sale. It's one of the new shades (not the new Colorstay ones, though) and it was in a display with Naughty, Smoldering, Popular (Starry Pink repromote) etc.
Revlon is a favorite drugstore brand of mine. I don't often buy any of their products at retail just because it's so easy to get them on sale! This polish retails for $4-6 depending where you are shopping; I only paid $2.50 thanks to a coupon and a sale. I won't pay $6 for a Revlon or Sally Hansen when I get 2 China Glaze for that much!
Anyway, Posh is a vivid medium leafy-green creme. It is saturated but not too bright or anywhere close to neon. The color is definitely on the yellow side of the green spectrum and not the blue side, but I think it's pretty in-the-middle for a medium green. The formula was on the squishy side, meaning this polish required 3 thin coats to full opacity but it was easy to apply, no dragging or streaking or balding. It dried very shiny without topcoat and quickly too. I'm a sucker for a nice green and even though I have similar shades (more on that in a moment) I just couldn't leave this pretty one behind.
These pictures are as color-accurate as I could get them (which is why my cuticles look gross and yellow in some, ha ha.)
Flash, indoors (getting better!)

Looks familar huh? Even when I was buying this I knew it would be close to Essie Pretty Edgy, but I wasn't sure how close, so I did a side-by-side swatch and took comparison shots. Posh is close to CND Green Scene as well, so I included that in some comparison shots too. Those will be up tomorrow, with a full on 3 way VS with details on how bottles/brushes/formulas stack up.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Essie Go Overboard comparison: from the Spring 2012 mini-collection

Here is the last of the Essie Go Overbord mini-collection comparisons, the collection's namesake. Go Overboard is a deep teal creme, what I would call in the "peacock" family- I don't know why but that's how I think of these deep rich green-blues.
I expected to have an easy dupe in my stash because I have so many of these "peacock" shades, but surprisingly nothing was all that close except for Color Club Gossip Column, which is a cousin but no dupe. Gossip Column is significantly bluer, and it is a couple shades lighter- not neccessarily brighter, because Gossip Column has a dusty quality to it. Go Overboard isn't dusty, just deep and rich.
Some others which didn't match up: Barielle A Bouquet for Ava is too light, and Finger Paints To-Teally Chic is too light and dusty, and Orly Sapphire Silk is too gray. Illamasqua Muse is too light, RBL Teal is too dark, Orly Calpyso Breeze is too blue.
Here are side-by-side comparison pictures. 3 thin coats of each. (A bit sloppy swatch because I was trying to catch the last of the day's sunlight!)

(terrible) Flash, indoors

  • Essie $8 (drugstores, Ulta,,
  • Color Club $3 (,
Application, Formula, Bottle:
  • Essie has the cutest bottles, square glass embossed with "essie" on 2 sides. They have a white plastic cap, on the shorter side, with a medium-length stem. The brush is petite and thin and flexible. I like Essie's brush because it makes it easier for me to control & position the polish just where I want it. Go Overboard is a really great creme; it is smooth and pigmented and opaque: a one-and-a-half coater. (The pictures have 3 because I'm a habitual 3-coater.) Unlike Essie's usual squishy jelly-cremes (which I love,) this one is a really creamy creme with a dense finish, and I really like it! Bonus: No staining! I expect & fear staining and smurf-fingers from well-pigmented blues/greens, but this one came off without any of that.
  • Color Club has a bottle, brush and handle I love. The bottle is square glass, and the medium-heighth cap is matte black plastic and a good width. The stem is medium-length. I really like Color Club's brush--to me it is almost the best of all brushes, especially for my petite nail-beds. It's medium-length, good density, flexible, but with enough resistance so it's not floppy; it fans out well for a neat cuticle line and also helps me place & manipulate the lacquer easily. Gossip Column is also from a spring collection (Rebel Debutante, 2010.) It is smooth and easy to apply with a nice shiny finish, 2 coats to opacity. Bonus: No staining from this one either!
Cruelty/Animal Testing:
  • Essie themselves do not test on animals; however, their parent company L'Oreal (the guys who own them) does test on animals. This is what I consider a gray area in terms of how to vote no-cruelty with polish dollars.
  • Color Club and their parent company Forsythe Cosmetics both do NOT perform animal testing! I believe that many of Color Club's lacquers are vegan, too.
Final Thoughts:
  • If you already own Color Club Gossip Column you could pass by Go Overboard if you're just looking for a chic deep teal for spring. If you don't already own either of these, like the look of the Essie and are looking to conserve your polish dollars Gossip Column is much cheaper, makes a decent subsitute in terms of color, and it has a good formula too. If you are a lover of these peacock shades, however, you may want to snap up the Essie as it has a great formula.
  •  I'd like to see Go Overboard next to NYX Girls Indigo Blue and OPI Ski Teal We Drop (which are no longer in my stash) but I think both of them might be bluer than the Essie--but if I still had Ski Teal We Drop, for example, I think that I'd probably choose to skip Go Overboard.