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Mauve

CND Monday – Muddy Rose Colour & Raspberry Sparkle Effect

Welcome to CND Monday, a new feature here on ALU. Each week I’ll be sharing a new layering combination from CND Colour & Effects to show you the versatility and creativity of the line.

When I first saw the Colour & Effects line I naturally gravitated towards the primary and secondary hues. You know, “me” colors. It wasn’t until I had some time to play with the line at home that I’ve begun discover all this line has to offer. Muddy Rose is one of those discoveries.

I’ve been on a mauve kick for fall ever since I saw the Reem Acra dress that inspired Get Mauve-ing from the Barielle All Lacquered Up collection. Now I’m on a full fledged dusty pink/rose/purple spree and Muddy Rose fits the bill. See it on its own and paired with Raspberry Sparkle after the jump!

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RGB Cosmetics Pre-Fall 09 Swatches and Review

By on September 8, 2009
in Brown, Fall 2009, Gray, Mauve, RGB Cosmetics with 17 Comments

Fanatics, I’m excited to introduce you to a new nail polish brand, RGB from RGB Cosmetics. I spotted their gray, Steel, in September’s Allure and just had to find out more. The brand is based on the RGB color model and launched earlier this summer with a line of ten core colors called RGBten. These ten shades are designed as a nail wardrobe with classic, staple hues. You know, the basics.

Seasonally, RGB will introduce an edited collection of fashionable, on-trend hues. Their first release is the Pre-Fall 09 shades pictured above. Check them out after the jump!

Let’s dig right in with the colors. I’ll discuss the formula and my 5-day wear test results below.

Haze is described as a smokey violet but to me it’s very chameleon like. The hue changes drastically in the light. It reminds me of SOPI Metro Chic with its dirty, grayed undertones.
Steel is a blue based, mid-tone grey creme. If RBL Stormy and Concrete Jungle reproduced, Steel would be cooing in the nursery.
Toast is a rich, latte-esque shade. It’s very creamy and warmer in person. Think of it as a fall version of Orly Country Club Khaki.
Slate is part of the RGBten core collection and I couldn’t resist sharing it. The deep charcoal shimmer reminds me of a black sand beach. In spite of the metallic glitz it applies smooth and even without a brush stroke in sight.
Now that I’ve tempted you with color, let’s break down the bottle design, brush and formula.

Bottle – The rectangular bottle holds .4oz/12ml of polish and looks like a squat version of the Rescue Beauty bottle. The cap is short and smooth. It’s fine for application though I would appreciate more length.

Brush – The brush is short, fat and dense similar to MAC’s only with slightly shorter bristles. Despite the thickness of the brush I had excellent control.

Formula – RGB polishes are 3 Free (including resin) and camphor free. They are heavily pigmented with a typical 3Free thick viscosity yet the cremes are self-leveling and not at all streaky. Every polish I tried only required 2 coats.

I gave Haze my 5 Day Wear Test using butter London Nail Foundation and Seche Vite top coat. While the actual tip wear was relatively minimal I wasn’t pleased with the bit of chipping on my index and thumb (not shown) nails. Depending on your base/top combination, your mileage may vary.
The RGBten shades include a range of cremes, sheers and shimmers ranging from the brightest white to the inkiest black with some reds, pinks and vampies thrown in for good measure.

You can purchase RGB polishes including the Pre-Fall ’09 collection directly from their website, RGBCosmetics.com, for $14/ea. At the moment only two salons in California carry the brand for in store purchase but hopefully that will change and the brand grows.

Have any of you tried RGB before? What do you think of the colors? Are you thinking of trying them out? Let’s hear it Fanatics!

The All Lacquered Up Collection from Barielle – Part 1

The wait is over Fanatics. I can finally show you the All Lacquered Up collection from Barielle. In case you missed the original announcement, this collection is a collaboration between myself and Celebrity Manicurist Elle, Creative Director for the Shades by Barielle line.

We pooled our color inspirations straight from the runway and came up with a palette of shades that are fashion forward yet accessible. They are all very chic and wearable. Check out the first half of the collection after the jump!


Collaborating with a nail trendsetter like Elle was such a thrill. With her years of experience working in editorial and alongside more celebrities than you can count, she really has her finger on the pulse of the beauty and fashion world. One trend we noticed was lot of muted, neutral tones with random pops of color, like Falling Star (below). Based on many phone convos about shades and perusing runway images, Elle custom mixed samples of our collection for the chemists to reproduce.

Now I know some of you commented that you were expecting all kinds of craziness from me and though this is the All Lacquered Up collection it’s not like I had license to do whatever I wanted. Shades by Barielle is about bringing fashionable shades to the masses so while there is a lot of me in this collection, it’s as much about being on trend and incorporating Elle’s color concepts. It’s a collection I am proud to attach the ALU name to and I hope you’ll love it as much as I do.

Slate of Affairs – when I was backstage at Reem Acra with Jamie from The Beauty of Life, I just about drooled at the site of her luxe designs. I wanted to dive in to the rack of dresses head first. It was her sandwashed steel blue gown that inspired this shade. A stunning slate blue grey, the polish has a subtle hint of pearl that adds a bit of light blue flash depending on the light. The formula on this one is somewhat jellyish and thick so I used three coats to get it perfect.

Get Mauve-ing is based on another Reem Acra dress. While I’m not typically one for mauve hues, I was so drawn to the gown’s shade that I felt it just needed to be in this collection. This one is a richly pigmented creme and applies evenly in two coats.
Grey tones like U-Concrete-Me were popping up on just about every runway. Undoubtedly a sign of our somber economic times, grey is still very much “in” for nails come fall. U-Concrete-Me is a two-coat, dolphin grey creme.
Putt-E On Me fits in with the neutral/grey concept only this warmer, muddier shade will please those of you that feel that grey washes them out. This mid-tone mushroom-y hue is another two-coat creme.

Out-Grey-Geous is the answer to what comes between $OPI Run With It and OPI Brand New Skates. A grey with gold fleck is just what I’ve been looking for but the $OPI was too putty-ish and BNS was too charcoal. Out-Grey-Geous is just perfect; a medium grey shimmer with gold micro-glitter.

They say you save the best for last and Falling Star definitely fits the bill. Remember that bright pop of color I mentioned? It’s like the primary colored dresses at Chris Benz but with a twist. I had thought of adding gold micro-glitter but it was Elle who felt copper particles would make it truly unique and she was dead on. They look like fiery stars falling from the sky. Application with this one is a bit tricky. The thick jelly like consistency makes this one a three coater for me.
The All Lacquered Up collection from Shades by Barielle will launch in August on Barielle.com. The polishes retail for $8/ea and, as always, Buy Two get One Free.

So what do you think Fanatics? How’d we do? Make sure you check out Part 2 where you’ll get to see, can you guess, a GREEN!

Zoya Dare Collection Review and Swatches

zoya, nail polish, truth or dare, fall 2009, dare collection Zoya Dare has landed and after much anticipation, I’ve got your first look at them on the nail. As you may remember, the Dare collection of Zoya’s Truth or Dare Fall lineup is a group of chic, dramatic shades with five cremes and one shimmer. Let’s get right to it and check out the colors, shall we?


With the exception of Ibiza all the Dare collection polishes are cremes. They all glide on smooth and even in spite of the formula’s thickness. The shades are well pigmented requiring only two coats and dry with a high gloss shine.

Demi is a midtone reddish purple, you might call it a mauve. In the bottle it looked a bit Barney-ish but it’s a very pretty on the nail.
zoya, demi, nail polish, truth or dare, fall 2009, dare collection
Ciara has a sundrenched raspberry look about it. Don’t get me wrong it’s vivid and rich, not at all dusty, those are just the first two words that came to mind when looking at it. zoya, ciara, nail polish, truth or dare, fall 2009, dare collection
Vanessa is a berry based cool red. It applies very close to bottle color on the first coat which is always a plus with reds.
zoya, vanessa, nail polish, truth or dare, fall 2009, dare collection
Pinta is the definition of burple (bluish purple). It definitely leans way blue but you can see its purple roots in bright light. My issue is that it’s so dark that unless you’re in sunlight, you’re the only person who will know how truly stunning this shade is.
zoya, pinta, nail polish, truth or dare, fall 2009, dare collection For that reason I decided to take a sunlight shot of it. You see I shy away from direct sunlight swatching because I find it to be SOOOO inaccurate and I don’t want you kids buying a color and being disappointed when it looks NOTHING like what I showed you. So for the purposes of displaying the base color only, I did this sunlight shot for you.
zoya, pinta, nail polish, truth or dare, fall 2009, dare collection Envy is a mossy deep forest green that has an earthy, camouflage feel to it. What’s funny is that as I applied it, the first coat had a graininess that looks like watercolor which I originally mistook for shimmer. With the second coat it’s pure glossy creme. Though if you want the bottle color and not an “almost black” make sure you apply two thin coats. Three is way too much.

Ibiza is a shimmery deep sapphire blue. The color is so dark and the shimmer is so subtle that you barely notice it outside of direct sunlight. Honestly, I love Indigo, with its multi-colored micro-glitter, so much that Ibiza is just OK for me.
zoya, nail polish, truth or dare, fall 2009, dare collection The Zoya Dare Collection polishes retail for $6/each and are available for PRE-ORDER now on Zoya.com with a ship date of July 15th.

So all my DARE girls out there, what do you think?

Zoya Flourish for Holiday 2008

By on October 10, 2008
in Berry, Brown, Gold, Holiday 2008, Mauve, Purple, Red, Zoya with 13 Comments

The holidays seem to be extra sparkly this year with so many festive, glimmering polishes headed our way. Zoya’s Flourish collection certainly fits in with that trend. This set of six glitzy shades is sure to put a twinkle in your eye. In the same vein as the Magique collection from two years ago, each lacquer has fine micro-glitter that peeks at you through ribbons of luscious gold shimmer.

I called out the colors I wanted to see most in the preview and they certainly lived up to my expectations. Richelle, Zara and Kalista are my faves in the bunch.

The only downside is the application. This collection’s formula has a “china glaze glass flecked” feel to it yet it doesn’t flow as nicely. I’m not sure if the formula has changed of if it’s just the nature of this type of finish but for some reason the second coat applied so streaky I had to put on a third. Though I would have needed a third coat with these regardless, they’re just not pigmented enough for two, Kalista being the lone exception.

Richelle is a warm rich gold that is a bit more brassy than last year’s Austine.

Zara is the polish some of you thought might be a Sally Hansen Arabian Night dupe. Sorry gals, it’s not. AN is deeper and more graple with very prominent gold flecks. The sparkle in Zara is much more subtle yet still apparent. While Zoya describes this shade as periwinkle, I see it as violet. No matter how you call it, this icy purple shade is totally unique!

Shivon is a pretty golden mauve with duochrome tendencies. It’s different and normally I’m all about different but this one just isn’t me.

Mieko is rosy deep pink that I’m oddly drawn to. It’s not a color I would typically choose but I’m feeling it.

Cyma is the least sparkly and least original of the six. A berry-ish red with low-key tonal shimmer and just a bit of gold running throughout, this lady is a “pass”.

Kalista is a beyond gorgeous reddish brown stunner. While a lot of red-based browns get to the “too red” point and black-based browns just look like poop (sorry it’s true), Kalista is a perfect blend of the two. Light enough to still look brown without reaching the funky milk chocolate zone. Zoya describing it as “mahogany” is so PERFECT I can’t even try to top it.

The Zoya Flourish collection can be pre-ordered now on Zoya.com and should ship within the next couple weeks. Individual nail polishes retail for $6 and the collection sampler with 6 full size bottles retails for $36. Check the Salon Locator for a retail location near you.

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