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The ALU Archives

The ALU Archives – NARS Mash & Platoon

By on May 14, 2009
in Green, NARS, The ALU Archives with 8 Comments
The ALU Archives focuses on older, beloved shades from the All Lacquered Up stash.

When I posted info about the new “vintage” shades (those two words so don’t belong together) from NARS, a reader commented that she is planning to order some polishes from the Vintage section. Not to be confused with the new “vintage” polish, of course. Anywhoodle, she mentioned Mash and Platoon which got me digging through my NARS collection for this week’s Archives post. After locating both Mash and Platoon, I couldn’t decide which one to wear so I’m making this week a twofer.

For those not in the know, NARS has a Vintage page where they sell limited quantities of discontinued shades. Circa 2006/early 2007 the nail polish section carried treasures like Zulu and Midnight Express at half price! Then when the Sephora Holiday 2007 launch of Zulu happened, those shades disappeared and the price went back up to full retail (boo!!). Even though Zulu is gone there are still a couple of fun and funky greens to be had.

Platoon is currently out of stock but I’m hoping, for crotchfairy’s sake, it makes a quick return. This groovy, metallic yellow-green isn’t really my kind of shade but being the type that likes a well rounded collection, it fills a void.

Now I’m not sure if Mash was named for the 70s era war comedy (which makes the most sense) or the song “Monster Mash” (cuz monsters are green) but each time I see it, I can’t stop humming that tune. Either way it’s a keeper. What could have been just a drab army green has been warmed up by the golden metallic shimmer.
Looking at it vs. China Glaze Wagon Trail, you can see how utterly unique Mash is. While Wagon Trail has a cousin in Revlon Dark Pleasures Talk Dirty, I see nothing that quite compares to Mash.

Mash and Platoon retail for $16 and can be found on Make sure you go to the Vintage section under Makeup, not Nails. That’s where the current offerings are sold.

The ALU Archives – Orly Gogo

The ALU Archives focuses on older, beloved shades from the All Lacquered Up stash.I was chatting on Facebook with a reader from Croatia who asked me about the OPI polish worn on the model in the Beyond Chic collection ad (below). Even though she’s more of a dark, vampy gal, she called the color “classy” and a great change of pace. The model’s soft opaque white tips appealed to me and totally inspired this week’s ALU Archives shade choice.
Being that my go-to white is the uber-fab China Glaze White Kwik Silvr I decided to try something different. I still wanted some sparkle and it HAD to be opaque but not white-out white. As I dug through my white/black/gray drawer I came across a lacquer that’s been sitting in my stash unused and unloved, Orly Gogo.

Gogo was originally released with the Manicure Miniatures and due to the popularity of the collection, Orly eventually brought them out in full size with the Hot Stuff collection of brights.

I’m somewhat on the fence with this one. I love the hue because it’s not mod stark white yet it still feels fresh and edgy. My issue is with the glitter and application. Like a lot of light colors, this one goes on a bit streaky so I needed three coats to get it even. And the smooth silver micro-glitter is fantastic in the light but in shade it looks like small grey specks. I’m calling it a keeper but putting it in my pedi-only pile since whites look so amazing next to a faux summer glow. I think the glitter issue would drive me nuts on my fingers but wouldn’t be as noticeable on toes.

Orly Gogo is available on and in both the mini ($1.79-1.99) and full size ($3.19-3.50) bottles.

The ALU Archives – OPI Designer Series Glamour

The ALU Archives focuses on older, beloved shades from the All Lacquered Up stash.

It’s the last day of April and therefore it’s time for the last Rainy Day Blue. Since it’s been a mix of sunlight and rain the past few days, I thought it was apropos to get the best of both worlds by wearing a holographic polish. I chose OPI Designer Series Glamour so my “April showers” colored tips can sparkle in the sun.

For the life of me, I can’t figure out why OPI discontinued this shade. If someone can solve that riddle, could you let me know? Glamour was part of the 3rd Designer Series release in January ’07. It was the blue holo I’d been waiting for. A gorgeous cornflower hue with a hint of amethyst, Glamour still reigns supreme over all the Designer Series shades I own.

And the formula… WOW to the formula. OPI’s exclusive diamond dust formula is highly pigmented and glides on like buttah. It’s a damn shame the new perm DS polishes aren’t filled with holo goodness like this baby.
With a little hunting you can still find Glamour online. The Designer Series polishes retail for $12.50 but you can find them for less on the web.

The ALU Archives – Essie Mesmerize

By on April 23, 2009
in Blue, Creme, Essie, The ALU Archives with 9 Comments
The ALU Archives focuses on older, beloved shades from the All Lacquered Up stash.

Another Thursday in April, another Rainy Day Blue. Now I realize that Essie Mesmerize isn’t exactly an old color, that I didn’t have go digging through “the archives” for this one, but it really fits the theme perfectly. Plus, I didn’t review the spring Essie collection because I just wasn’t feeling it but I LOVED Mesmerize so much that I had to share.

When I look at Mesmerize I think of blueberry pie or Strawberry Shortcake’s friend, Blueberry Muffin (I was an avid collector of the line). To me blueberry should be bold and vivid, not some dark “almost black” even though that’s the route a lot of brands take. And I love that the formula is so pigmented and smooth. It flowed on the nail like a dream.

You all know that I’m not one to scream and shout the joys of Essie polishes and it’s not because they’re not a quality brand. It’s just that their usual color collections don’t scream “me” But between Mesmerize and the North Fork collection, I’m really looking forward to seeing what direction this brand is going. If it’s more polishes like this, consider me on board!

Essie Mesmerize is available for a limited time with the rest of the spring collection. You can find Essie in chain salons like ULTA, Trade Secret and Regis or online at

The ALU Archives – China Glaze Drinkin’ My Blues Away

The ALU Archives focuses on older, beloved shades from the All Lacquered Up stash.

Hey kids! I’m baaaack! And I’m continuing my “Rainy Day Blues” theme for April with one of my all time favorites. Even though my April started with some Cleveland snow (double boo to that!), when I think of rainy days, my mind immediately wanders towards royal hues. Something fluid and vibrant. Nothing fits the bill better than China Glaze Drinkin’ My Blues Away. It’s winner not only because it’s blue but because it’s a China Glaze glass flecked blue. Can it get much better than that?? For those of you that wished for a blue in the Summer Days collection, this one will hit the spot.

Drinkin My Blues Away was released as part of the Tequila Toes collection in 2006, back when the Babes in Toeland series of glass flecked polishes were still being produced. What I love so much about this shade is that the finish makes it appear watery. The micro glitter trapped in the base look like flecks of sunlight bouncing off the sea. It’s truly stunning and unique. Like all ChG glass flecked polishes, this one has a thinner, jelly-ish feel and looks best with three coats.

Now this one is a discontinued shade but it can still be found. I know you’re probably dying to get your hands on it so I did a little hunting and tracked down these sellers. I can’t testify to their reputation or reliability so purchase at your own risk. Check out Hello Gorgeous and eBay to snag a bottle of your own.

What do you think kids? Who already owns DMBA? What’s your fave Rainy Day Blue?

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