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CND Perfectly Bare Duo – “The Look” for Spring/Summer 2011 Swatches & Review

By on May 5, 2011
in CND, Nude, Spring 2011
cnd-perfectly-bare-duo-look-spring-2011-flesh-forward Each spring and fall CND presents what they deem “The Look” for the season along with a new Colour & Effect Duo. For Spring 2011 “The Look” is Flesh Forward which is created with the Perfectly Bare Duo of Perfectly Bare Colour and Perfectly Bare Shimmer Effect.

While last year we were talking about “Mannequin Hands” and matching our polish exactly to our skin tone, CND has created a neutral hue to complement, rather than match, the majority of flesh tones.  While I was in Chicago for America’s Beauty Show I got a better idea of the concept behind this look at CND’s Fashion Fusion presentation.

cnd-flesh-forward-spring-2011-nail-polish-trends The Flesh Forward look is just one of the color stories CND forecasted for the spring season but it is definitely their number one trend. It’s based in the 70s boho chic designs seen on the Spring 2011 runways.

CND Co-Founder Jan Arnold described the look as “retro but not hippie.” She prefers the look on a longer, more feminine almond shaped nail that elongates the hand without getting into talon-esque territory.

I personally can’t grow my nails long enough to achieve a proper almond without breaking one so I suggest short nail girls like me go for a more rounded shape as opposed to squoval.

Formula & Application: CND nail polish is 4-Free (including formaldehyde resin). The bottle is shaped to fit comfortably between fingers, like the Shu Uemura bottle. The brush is a thin, narrow and flat with flexible triangular bristles that soak up polish like a squeegee mop. Allow the brush to hang out in the polish for a couple seconds between strokes to properly absorb the lacquer.

CND has one of the best formulas on the market. I’d even go so far as to say it is comparable to RBL’s cremes so you KNOW it’s good. Their polishes are extremely pigmented and smooth. The lacquer glides on the nail with ease in three simple strokes, requires only two coats and dries to a perfect, even finish. Unlike the old CND formula, the Colours all dry very fast with none of those denting issues of the past.

CND Perfectly Bare is a peachy beige creme. It is everything I hoped SOPI Let’s Plié would be. Their base colors are practically identical except Perfectly Bare gives amazing coverage.  I barely needed two coats.


Perfectly Bare Shimmer was describe to me as a “gossamer veil.” The sheer pinky beige shimmer Effect is sprinkled with clear mica that reflects the light. The shimmer gives off a pink flash that neutralizes the peach tones in Perfectly Bare Colour.


Just to give you an idea of how the base color in Perfectly Bare Effect can transform a base color I swatched it over stark white (CND Brilliant White) and jet black (CND Blackjack). Over white, it adds a hint of pink but over black it becomes a plummy brown.  The other day when I was wearing Sally Hansen Gray by Gray, I threw Perfectly Bare Effect on top and it reminded me of Nubar Indigo Illusion. Very cool!


Bottom Line: For the past year the big CND buzz has been Shellac but I really wish the polish would get more attention. Every nail tech I’ve taken their polish to has raved about the formula.  Now while I’m not really a neutrals kind of girl I do have moments where I want a more subdued nail and of all the flesh toned hues I’ve tried, Perfectly Bare is my new favorite.  I’d put it up with there with OPI Tickle My France-y and Skinny Dippin in Lake Michigan which are my go-tos. The Perfectly Bare Effect is a great complement and because the base isn’t clear or milky like the past CND Effects, it really adds something to the colors you layer it over.

CND Perfectly Bare Duo is available now at salons and spa nationwide including national chains Beauty Brands, Beauty First and Trade Secret. For more info visit Online shoppers head to or CND Duos retail for $20/ea for a set of two .33oz bottles.

Also, the CND Jason Wu collaboration that I showed you last Fall is now available on for $47.00. See swatches HERE and HERE.

Are you feeling the neutral Flesh Forward look for spring? Thoughts on the Perfectly Bare Duo? What would you layer Perfectly Bare Shimmer over? What is your favorite neutral polish?

Disclosure: A product sample was provided by CND. For more info view my Disclosure Policy.

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There Are 23 Brilliant Comments

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  1. what great mannequin hands! love this color!

  2. kathyb says:

    i wanna like it, i do. but, mannequins give me the creeps. i cant get past my phobia. :)

  3. sara says:

    Pretty, but I don’t like neutrals on me. They never look as nice on me as they do on pretty much anyone else.

  4. I’m usually not into nudes, but I think Perfectly Bare is the “perfect” one. Heh. I hope this looks as good on me as it does on you.

  5. Grace says:

    It reminds me of… Topless and Barefoot, I think? From Essie’s spring release. Kind of a band-aid color. I like it, but I have the Essie, so I don’t need this particular one. It’s a shame, because it’s probably a better formula than the Essie, but CND is one of the few polishes I can’t find in stores and I just can’t justify the shipping costs for a color that’s not very unique. Ricky’s carries Stickey (thank goodness) but none of the CND polishes.

    • All Lacquered Up says:

      I hear ya. I think the lack of brick & mortar distribution is what is keeping the polishes from catching on. ULTA carries the treatments but not the colors. I don’t have a Trade Secret nearby to know if they started carrying the color again when it re-launched. It’s a shame because the formula blows Essie out of the water.

      • KittenPoker says:

        ALU, I was in a Trade Secret last week (Norfolk, VA). It seems as though they’re going exclusively OPI. All the Essie’s were on the BOGO wall with discontinued OPI colors. I wonder if it’s an agreement thing with L’Oreal selling Essie in drug stores now.

        I can find a limited selection of CND at Bloomin’ Beauty Supply. I think they’re nationwide. Good luck!

  6. Serena says:

    I want the shimmer top coat, but not the peach. Is it possible to get only one?

  7. Cat says:

    I really liked SOPI’s Let’s Plie, but after hearing your issues this sounds like the perfect alternative! I have ordered Essie’s Topless and Barefoot, though, so maybe I’ll wait. Or maybe not.

  8. jess says:

    I like it..even though I really do not know

  9. meme says:

    I have looked for the perfect nude. Some are just too white or too much of a cool undertone to them. I finally settled on OPI Dulce De Leche, but I still am looking for another one that is not a match at all to DdL. I am with the comments about surely wishing somewhere carried CND colors. Even the 2 largest Beauty Supply shops within 250 miles of me don’t carry CND. I would love to see CND and Zoya carried in more beauty supply stores. I agree CND has a great formula. It used to be in the 80′s the go to formula that many of the acrylic nail techs always used. Now with a lot of folks not doing acrylics at all, not so much with CND.
    I am still looking for Essie’s Topless & Barefoot. Seems if I want it, I have to order it on line. None of the retail spots seemed to get that one. No spot even on the display for it even – just Sand Tropez – yet the display photo show T&B! Frustrated.

  10. Emily says:

    Meh, I’m a not a flesh colored kinda girl. why have a neutral when you could have blue…or purple…even or green?! I do like the sparkly top coat tho.

  11. Katie says:

    I’m glad you posted this. I happened to order this today. Haha. I’ve really been in to the neutral/nude nails lately. I can’t wait to try it!

  12. Maria says:

    I don’t know if Meijer is strictly a Michigan thing or spread more through the Midwest, but browsing through the other day I spotted CND polish! They had a lot of reds/pinks and only a couple bottles from the Effects half of the line. I grabbed a bottle of raspberry sparkle for $10.99.

  13. Chris says:

    Wow, I was surprised to see how much PB tranforms black & white polishes. By itself, it kinda looks like a shade my granny would wear.

  14. Lauren says:

    I really love the two together! I haven’t gotten any of the CND effects, because I feel bad asking my nail tech to combine. I feel like it’s annoying. But I’m so getting these.

  15. Allie says:

    I like it, but how do women with darker skin tones feel about this being dubed “flesh”? Just a thought…

    • moeysullivan says:

      I agree wholeheartedly with Allie. I know the nail beds of our sisters of color are lighter than the surrounding skin, but still! CND should think these things through.

      For “complementary” neutrals with a bit of interest, I still haven’t found anything that touches OPI’s Nomad’s Dream. But that’s just one woman’s fingers.

      • All Lacquered Up says:

        I obviously can’t speak for the brand but I think they were going for a color that would complement, not match, a majority of skin tones. I don’t think it was intended to offend anyone.

  16. JackiT says:

    Agreed. Can we stop calling it “flesh”? Not everyone is white.

  17. Duffi says:

    I agree with Allie, Moey & JackiT. Enough with the pinkish beige being “flesh!” We white people are a minority worldwide anyway.

    Not a fan of this color range. Just bores the pants offa me. Rather have a clear coat than “nude.”

  18. Elizabeth says:


  19. steph says:

    I try these colors but they always look wierd. What skin tone can were fleshy colors?