The first nail-focused beauty blog

Fall 2009

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,, 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!

Chanel Jade Nail Collection Swatches & Review

By on September 4, 2009
in Chanel, Fall 2009, Green, Pink with 70 Comments
The highly anticipated, much hyped Chanel Jade Nail Collection just arrived at my doorstep and I’m literally dying inside over it (in a good way of course). I’ve been not-so-patiently waiting for Jade to come into my life ever since I spotted it on the Chanel runway last winter.While we’ve been inundated with some gorgeous pale/mint greens this year, they still didn’t satisfy my desire for Jade. I don’t know about all of you but inside my head I kept thinking, “We need a shimmer!” Well, now we have it! Check out Jade and Jade Rose after the jump.

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Orly Matte Couture Collection Swatches & Review

By on August 26, 2009
in Black, Blue, Fall 2009, Matte, Orly, Purple with 33 Comments
Because Matte is the New Black! Orly’s tagline for the new Matte Couture collection totally nails the trend, no pun intended. Everywhere I look in the polish world, there is a new matte collection or top coat to check out. If there’s a brand that hasn’t embraced matte yet, I’ll bet they will soon.

I can hear many of you, channeling Elle Woods, saying, “whoever said matte is the new black is SERIOUSLY disturbed, ” but I’m starting to believe in matte’s staying power. As much as we hear that it’s a fad, a blip, a small moment in nail culture I can’t help but wonder if that’s just a wish rather than a prediction.

Check out what Orly is bringing to the matte table after the jump!

Unlike other matte polish collections, Orly is the first brand to suggest using a base coat under the lacquers. I tried these on bare and base coated nails and the application over both was relatively smooth. Granted mattes are still unforgiving if your technique is uneven but I found this formula to be thinner and easier to work with than the OPI or Zoya mattes. Also, these shades are extremely pigmented so you barely need two coats.

FYI – A reader asked on Twitter if applying a matte top coat over matte polishes would extend their wear. I tested Nubar’s matte top coat over their Modern Matte polish and had major chipping after one day. A great suggestion but unfortunately not a solution.

Blue Suede isn’t a true matte and I LOVE that. I was expecting flat, lifeless wall paint a la OPI Russian Navy Matte but instead I was treated to a lovely dusty hue with a suede-like finish as the name suggests.

As I applied Purple Velvet I started to pick up on the theme. This shade has a slight hint of shimmer giving it a (say it with me kids) VELVET finish. This one lies on the red-grape side of the purple spectrum but I’m digging it anyway.

Matte Vinyl is definitely the most matte shade in the bunch. Looking at it, I can’t help but think of that chalkboard spray paint I’ve seen used on old episodes of Trading Spaces. It’s a bit too much for me but I think with a glossy tip I’d be all over it. Want to see what I mean? Check out a modified matte manicure on my friend Sara from Bit By the Beauty Bug.
The Orly Matte Couture collection launches in September. The polishes retail for $7.50/ea and can be purchased online at and our fave etailers (see sidebar) and in stores like Sally Beauty and ULTA.

What do we think? Are you liking the different finishes on these? Which colors struck your fancy? Am I slowly breaking down the matte haters? Let’s here it!

OPI Spain (aka Coleccion de España) – Primera Parte

By on August 24, 2009
in Berry, Fall 2009, Gray, Green, Nude, OPI, Red, Vampy with 36 Comments

Doesn’t “primera parte” sound much more interesting than “part one”? Ah the beauty of the Spanish language. OPI is transporting us to Spain for their fall color story and after reading your numerous pleas and comments, I have swatches of the collection for you.

I’ll be honest, I haven’t been chomping at the bit to review OPI Spain. It’s not that the colors aren’t pretty or well made, it’s just that, with a few notable exceptions, they don’t give me a thrill. Normally I pass on a collection if I’m not “in like” with a majority of the shades but I couldn’t ignore the overwhelming number of you wanting to see these colors. Check them out!

With six polishes in the berry family I chose to start with the more diverse and unique shades from the collection. Now while I’ve applauded OPI’s formula over the past year I noticed that the pigmentation with most of these are off. Even a polish as dark as Here Today… Aragon Tomorrow required three coats.

Here Today… Aragon Tomorrow is a blackened forest green. This is the season of dark green and I’m sure this color will be an instant hit. Consider this the green LPAD. I’m sure it will have that same kind of fan base. What I found odd was the grainy texture of the formula. It’s visible in the first and second coats but disappeared by coat three. If I had to compare it, Zoya Envy would be its closest relative though Envy has a brighter, less blackened base.

Suzi Skis In The Pyrenees really surprised me. I was expecting it to look black when dried but it’s actually a stunning bluish charcoal creme. I tried to find something similar in my collection but came up short. If you’re looking for “the new black” try this!

Give Me Moor! is a rich aubergine creme. It looks like there is shimmer in the bottle but it dries creamy on the nail. It’s pretty and vampy but feels recycled. Like Black Cherry Chutney redux.

Can You Tapas This? is best described by OPI as “raisin” and I won’t try to top that. This is another one that surprised me. It looks very understated in the bottle but pretty scrumptious on the nail. This color is so outside of my wheelhouse but I’m diggin it.

Bullish On OPI has a slightly browned appearance in person but it just didn’t translate in pictures. It’s definitely better than your typical cherry red creme. It feels a bit vintage a la Dita Von Teese. If you’re into reds I suggest checking this one out in person.

Barefoot in Barcelona
is deeper than your typical nude. It’s darker and more pink than last fall’s Tickle My France-y? Think of it as the cool toned version of CND Cocoa which is very yellow based. Deep nudes and mushroom hues have been popping up on celebrity toes and this shade would fit right in with the trend.
The OPI Coleccion de España is on shelves now and retails for $8.50/ea. Look for OPI at fine salons nationwide including chains like ULTA, Beauty First, Beauty Brands, Trade Secret and JCPenney.

What are we feeling about OPI Spain so far? Have you picked any of them up yet? Which ones are going on your shopping list? Sound off Fanatics!

Nubar Royal Gems Collection – Coming Soon

By on August 24, 2009
in Fall 2009, Nubar with 0 Comments

If you’ve been wondering how Nubar would follow up the utlra stunning Going Green collection, I’ve got the answer. Next month Nubar will launch the Royal Gems collection; a set of seven rich jewel tones and one glitter bomb that can be worn alone or layered.

The Royal Gems collection includes:
24k – pure glimmering gold shimmer with gold glitter accents
Ruby – shimmering red with red glitter
Tiger’s Eye – warm medium brown shimmer
Emerald – sparkling green shimmer with green glitter
Sapphire – blue glitter in a base of royal blue shimmer
Platinum – lustrous silver with silver glitter accents
Amethyst – rich royal purple shimmer with subtle blue micro glitter accents
Tiara – rich multi-faceted glitter which can either be used alone or as a top coat that takes on the color of any shade with which it is paired.

The Royal Gems Collection will release on September 15th. Nubar polishes retail for $7.49/ea and can be purchased on

I will have swatches of these and the Modern Matte collection for you soon so stay tuned.

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