OPI Black To Reality vs. OPI Midnight In Moscow

 

Earlier I reviewed a few selections from OPI's holiday 2018 collection, save for Black To Reality.  Black To Reality reminded me of Midnight In Moscow from OPI's fall 2007 collection due to the blackened base with red shimmer.

Black To Reality.jpg

Black To Reality (two coats)

Black To Reality (flash).jpg

Black To Reality (flash)

Black To Reality (index and ring) Midnight In Moscow (middle and pinky).jpg

Black To Reality (index and ring fingers) and Midnight In Moscow (middle and pinky fingers)

Black To Reality (index and ring) Midnight In Moscow (middle and pinky) (flash).jpg

Black To Reality and Midnight In Moscow (flash)

In regular light, both polishes appear mostly black with a hint of red.  Under brighter lighting, the red shimmer comes to life.

While the polishes look similar, they are not dupes.  Black To Reality has a finer, stronger red shimmer compared to Midnight In Moscow's sparser red shimmer.

 

ILNP Ultra Chrome Flakies Part 1 (2014)

 


First:  I would like to apologize for the current lack of posts.  While prepping for swatching a couple weeks ago, I nicked one of my cuticles on my swatching hand badly due to vigorous scraping with a cuticle pusher.  So all of y'all out there who use metal cuticle pushers, be gentle!

I hope everyone in the US had a wonderful Thanksgiving! My cuticle has almost completely healed during the break, so I can go back to swatching hopefully this weekend.

This post is WAY overdue.  I was going to swatch this collection for Hey Aprill (formerly Glitter.Gloss.Garbage.) FOUR years ago.  I have the initial 13 polishes from the original launch; from what I can see on ILNP's website is that there are now 20 in the line.

In nail polish world, every year or so, there's a trendy new pigment or polish ingredient.  Back in 2010, it was the foil glass-fleck effect first seen in Zoya Sparkle.  At the end of 2014, ILNP released their Ultra Chrome Flakie collection.  These flakies are also known as "Ultra Chameleon Chrome" (UCC) flakies.  In 2015, UCC flakies would be featured in numerous indie brands.  

When I initially planned this post, I had individual polish bases planned out to coordinate with the toppers.  For uniformity and convenience, however, I picked a plain black creme instead.  I feel like the black background lets the colors of the flakies shine rather than being distracted by a base color.

Atlantis (2 coats over black)

ILNP Ultra Chrome Flakies 2014 - Brilliance 2.jpg

Brilliance (2 coats over black)

Cold Fusion (2 coats over black)

Electric Carnival (2 coats over black)

 

KBShimmer Launch Party Part 2 (spring 2018)

 

Back in March,  indie brand KBShimmer debuted their rebranding with the Launch Party collection.  The collection contains 8 multichromatic magnetic polishes and a holographic top coat.

Solar Flair (2 coats over Pretty Serious Absence):  yellow and gold to orange and red multichrome shifts

KBShimmer Launch Party 2018 - Spaced Out 2.jpg

Spaced Out (2 coats over Pretty Serious Absence):  purple and pink to green and blue multichrome shifts

KBShimmer Launch Party 2018 - Thrust Issues.jpg

Thrust Issues (2 coats over Pretty Serious Absence):  yellow and gold to orange multichrome shifts

You Rocket My World (2 coats over Pretty Serious Absence):  green to purple multichrome shifts

 

KBShimmer Launch Party Part 1 (spring 2018)

 

Back in March,  indie brand KBShimmer debuted their rebranding with the Launch Party collection.  The collection contains 8 multichromatic magnetic polishes and a holographic top coat.

Just A Phase (2 coats over Pretty Serious Absence):  red, bright pink, gold, green, copper and peach multichrome shifts

KBShimmer Launch Party 2018 - Let's Do Launch 2.jpg

Let's Do Launch (2 coats over Pretty Serious Absence):  soft peach/pinks, lime green, grass green multichrome shifts

KBShimmer Launch Party 2018 - No Comet 2.jpg

Orbits and Pieces (2 coats over Pretty Serious Absence):  pink to purple duochrome shifts

No Comet (2 coats over Pretty Serious Absence):  blue to purple duochrome shifts

 

OPI Nutcracker and the Four Realms (holiday 2018)

 

When it comes to mainstream nail polish brands, I have the most bottles of OPI by far.  OPI was the easiest to obtain and what local salons carried in stock.  You could say that OPI was my gateway drug.

After 10 years of experience, I've noticed that OPI shines the brightest with their holiday collections.  It's not a coincidence that my most stunning OPI polishes tend to be holiday releases.  I'll be featuring the best OPI holiday collection, 2009's Holiday Wishes, in the near future.

This holiday season, OPI is releasing a collection in tandem with Disney's Nutcracker and the Four Realms movie.  I picked up a few selections at my local CosmoProf a few weeks ago.

OPI Nutcracker and the Four Realms Holiday 2018 - Berry Fairy Fun.jpg

Berry Fairy Fun (two coats):  orchid purple with pink sparkles

OPI Nutcracker and the Four Realms Holiday 2018 - Dazzling Dew Drop.jpg

Dazzling Dew Drop (two coats):  foily yellow gold shimmer

OPI Nutcracker and the Four Realms Holiday 2018 - Dreams Need Clara-fication.jpg

Dreams Need Clara-fication (two coats):  pale blue creme

Envy The Adventure (two coats):  emerald green creme

March In Uniform (two coats):  deep navy creme

Tinker, Thinker, Winker? (three coats):  scattered silver fine holographic

My favorite of the whole collection is Berry Fairy Fun, due to the unique pink sparkles.  I think yellow gold looks awful on my skintone, but Dazzling Dew Drop is a stunning foil.  The cremes aren't completely unique, but they apply well and are opaque in two coats.  Finally, I'm so excited that OPI is finally bringing out holographic polishes again!  Granted, Thinker, Thinker, Winker? isn't as great as the original OPI Designer Series polishes (which, I promise, I will eventually post) but it's nice to see more mainstream holographic releases.

I also have Black To Reality, but I'm saving it for a large OPI dark red shimmer comparison post.  Stay tuned for that!

 

China Glaze The Grinch (holiday 2018)

 

Hi everyone!

October has been a pretty hectic month for me due to work obligations, but I'm hoping I can crank out more fall and holiday goodies soon!  

I'm really hoping this latest incarnation of The Grinch is better than the Jim Carrey abomination years ago.  It's one of my favorite Christmas specials, after A Charlie Brown Christmas.

China Glaze The Grinch Holiday 2018 - Grinchworthy.jpg

Grinchworthy (three coats):  light green and green glitter in a clear base

Grinchworthy took three coats to achieve opacity.  I recommend waiting between coats for even application.

Ho! Ho! No. (two coats):  gold glitter in a red creme base

Ho! Ho! No. is my favorite name.  It conjures up visions of Resting Bitch Face, something I deal with on a regular basis.  It's very opaque and can be done with one coat.  One of the polishes I passed on is named "Resting Grinch Face".

Who Wonder (two coats):  fuchsia pink glass-flecks

If you're a regular reader of this blog, you know that I am a sucker for China Glaze glass-fleck polishes.  Who Wonder is yet another great addition to the glass-fleck pantheon.  I think China Glaze has improved the formula of their glass-flecked polishes over the years, since this one was opaque in two coats.

I love it when nail polish companies customize the bottles for a collection.  This collection has the Grinch on the handles.  Details like these gives the collection a delightful finishing touch.

 

Lynnderella Early Halloween (2011)

 

Earlier this month, I featured the first public collection from Lynnderella.  Not long after posting, I realized that it was October and I should feature the second Lynnderella collection, Early Halloween.  I foolishly sold 2 of my original bottles (Bride of Franken and She Lived in A Swamo) but later purchased later versions in the current square bottle.

All Hallows’ Eve (one coat over Glitter Gal Lizard Belly)

Bibbitty Bobbitty Boo Blue over Sapphire In The Snow.jpg

Bibbitty Bobbitty Boo Blue (one coat over OPI Sapphire In The Snow)

Bride of Franken (one coat over Wet ‘N Wild Craze Nocturnal)

Cauldron Drippings (one coat over Deborah Lippmann Supermodel)

Gotta Have Brains (one coat over Rescue Beauty Lounge Concrete Jungle)

Love Potion No. 99 (one coat over Ozotic Pro 624)

She Lived In A Swamp (one coat over Milani Hi-Tech)

The Telltale Heart over Extravagance.jpg

The Telltale Heart (one coat over OPI Designer Series Extravagance)

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Very Pretty Vampire (one coat over Deborah Lippmann Dark Side Of The Moon)

I apply Lynnderellas by dabbing on some polish, then use the brush to position the glitter over the surface of the nail.  Bride of Franken can be easily applied on like a regular glitter polish, but the others are far more difficult (such as Gotta Love Brains).  I like having control of how much glitter is dispersed on the nail.  

Since I swatched these polishes just for pictures and not long-term use, I used a peelable base coat so I could easily remove the glitter.  I would suggest to do the same if you're only planning on wearing the mani for a day or two.  However, if you decide to wear it long-term, I recommend soaking a cotton ball in acetone, placing it on a nail, wrapping it in foil then waiting 10 minutes to easily remove.

I have difficulty describing early Lynnderellas due to the variety of glitter featured in those polishes.  I now consider early Lynnderellas as "nail jewelry".  I'm not much of a jewelry person, but wearing Lynnderella is as gaudy as I get.  

 

MAC Alice + Olivia (2010)

 

Back when I was much more actively collecting nail polish, I always looked forward to MAC's frequent collections.  Some were misses (usually repromotes), but sometimes MAC knocks it out of the park, such as with Venomous Villains and this collection, Alice + Olivia.  I'm not familiar with Alice + Olivia, only that it is a fashion brand.

Military (2 coats):  black matte with silver flecks

Morning.After (2 coats):  rich teal creme

So Rich, So Pretty (2 coats):  Tyrian purple shimmer

All of the polish apply surprisingly well, even for MAC polishes.  Military dries smoothly, not lumpy like some matte polishes can be.  Morning.After is so much richer and vivid in person, but my camera doesn't capture those qualities in it.  I had the same problem with Pretty Serious Precipitation.  So Rich, So Pretty reminds me of Essie Viva La Vespa, but not as dark.

 

MAC Venomous Villains (2010)

 

As I mentioned in my previous post featuring Zoya's Sparkle collection, the jelly base/foil glass-fleck finish was all the rage in 2010.  MAC also jumped on the bandwagon with their Venomous Villains collection.

Venomous Villains was wildly popular due to it being a Disney collaboration.  MAC collections are notoriously limited edition and tend to sell out very quickly and this was no exception.

Bad Fairy (three coats):  pink-tinged red with an orange shift

Formidable! (three coats):  blue to pink shifting flecks in a purple base

Mean and Green (three coats):  pink to gold shifting flecks in a green base

Jelly base/foil glass-flecked polishes tend to be sheer at the first coat and usually builds up to three coats.  When it comes to this kind of polish, it's best to let it dry between coats so the previous coat won't be swiped away with the next application.

 

Chanel Vamp Round-up (1994-2015)

 

In 1994, Chanel launched Vamp, starting a trend for nontraditional nail polish colors.  Vamp was developed out of Karl Lagerfeld's desire for a dark polish that would show up in black and white photos.  Chanel's makeup director Dominique Moncourtois created the original effect with black marker over red nail polish.

The demand for $15 Vamp was so high that there were months-long waiting lists. This would happen again for Chanel 12 years later with the release of Black Satin.  If eBay had been around in the early '90s, Vamp would be on it with gigantic mark-up.  

If you need more proof on how iconic Vamp was at the time, check out Uma Thurman in Pulp Fiction and Madonna's "Take A Bow" video.  Both women wear Vamp in these respective videos.

Vamp was also known as Rouge Noir in France, very fitting for a blackened red nail polish.  I bought my bottle of Rouge Noir in a 2008 holiday set.

Rouge Noir/Vamp (originally released 1994, 2008 bottle)(three coats):  blackened red creme

A year later, Chanel decided to capitalize on the trend by spawning other incarnations of Vamp.  This included Metallic Vamp and Very Vamp.

Metallic Vamp/Rouge Argent (1995) (two coats):  purple metallic shimmer

Chanel Very Vamp/Rouge Tres Noir (1995) (three coats):  reddish-brown with a fine shimmer

Why is my 2008 bottle named Rouge Noir instead of Vamp?  Chanel re-released Vamp as a different color in 2003.  The 2003 Vamp is a wine shimmer instead of a blackened red creme.  My bottle of the new Vamp was purchased in 2007.  I was expecting the original Vamp but did not realize it was sold as Rouge Noir, not Vamp.

Chanel Vamp.jpg

Vamp (originally re-released 2003, 2007 bottle) (three coats):  wine red shimmer

21 years after the initial release of Vamp/Rouge Noir, Chanel's 2015 Holiday collection featured a repromote of Rouge Noir and a new polish, Le Top Coat Lame Rouge Noir.

Le Top Coat Lame Rouge (one coat over Rouge Noir) (2015): gold flake glitter in a sheer red jelly base

This top coat is tricky to work with...I assume that Chanel did not use a suspension base since all the glitter sinks to the bottom. Like Outkast said, you've got to shake it like a Polaroid picture.

Rouge Noir and Vamp are both still available in Chanel's current nail polish line.  Be warned, the price is significantly higher than in 1994 ($28).

 

Lynnderella First Edition (2011)

 

When I first started collecting nail polish, I started frequenting Makeupalley's Nail Board.  Back then, hand-mixed custom polishes were nicknamed "frankenpolishes".  Due to the lack of unique polishes at the time, these frankenpolishes became popular on the board.  The queen of these custom polishes was Lynnderella.

Lynn Chrisman, a NYC graphic designer, is the creator of the Lynnderella brand.  Lynnderella released the first public collection in 2011, dubbing it the First Edition.  The original line-up included Connect the Dots, The Glittering Crowd, Mercurial, Mercury's Rainbow, Ruby Red Ruby, Shape Shifter and Snow Angel.

Connect the Dots (one coat over Jessica King Tut's Gem):  black and white round, square and bar glitter in a clear base with subtle shimmer

The Glittering Crowd over OPI The It Color.jpg

The Glittering Crowd (one coat over OPI's The "IT" Color):  miscellaneous multi-colored glitter shapes in a clear base

Mercurial (one coat over OPI Haven't The Foggiest) :  gunmetal glitter with black and pale purple glitter in a clear base

Mercury's Rainbow (two coats):  black and silver holographic glitter in a clear base

Ruby Red Ruby (one coat over Chanel Rouge Radical):  varying sizes of round red glitter in a red jelly base

Shape Shifter (one coat over OPI This Gown Needs A Crown):  miscellaneous silver holographic shape glitter in a clear base

Snow Angel (one coat over Colors By Llarowe Coconut):  dainty white round and square glitter in a white base

After years of seeing pictures of one-of-a-kind Lynnderella polishes on Makeupalley, I never once thought I'd actually own a bottle.  My favorite was Snow Angel, due to its delicate nature.  I was over the moon when the news came out that it was now commercially available. Connect the Dots spawned many imitations, which even trickled down to mass-produced brands.  I clearly remember Maybelline having one such polish. 

I personally think the current rush of indie brands started with the 2011 Lynnderella craze.  Not long after Lynnderella started selling to the public, other indie brands started coming out with their own unique polishes. 

 

FingerPaints Summer 2018

 

I know it's technically fall, but I'd like to show you one last summer collection.  FingerPaints is one of Sally Beauty Supply's in-house brands.  I was extremely excited when I saw the bottles in Facebook groups.

Cosmic Chaos (two coats):  eggplant creme with holographic shimmer

Fantom Fuchsia (three coats):  hot pink glass-flecks with purple flash

Finger Paints Summer 2018 - Majestic.jpg

Majestic (two coats):  dusty rose creme with holographic shimmer

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Pixie Dust (two coats):  slate gray creme with holographic shimmer

Red Rocket (two coats):  red holographic shimmer

Majestic (two coats):  peach holographic shimmer

Unfortunately, the actual polish does not look as holographic as the bottles show.  Cosmic Chaos, Majestic and Pixie Dust have very opaque creme bases, resulting in a faint holographic effect.  Red Rocket and Majestic have more translucent bases, which lets more holographic shimmer shine.  Fantom Fuchsia is the oddball of the group, with its glass-fleck finish.

I can't recommend buying this collection full price, but if Sally Beauty has a sale or eventually clearanced, they're worth a shot.

 

China Glaze Rodeo Diva Part 3 (fall 2008)

 

This week I've got a gorgeous fall collection from China Glaze, Rodeo Diva.  Rodeo Diva was released in 2008, putting this into the vintage category.  I love the deep, moody jewel tones featured in this collection.

China Glaze Rodeo Diva Fall 2008 - Rodeo Fanatic.jpg

Rodeo Fanatic (three coats):  darkened teal/blue/purple shifting shimmer

Side Saddle (two coats):  dark eggplant with gold glass-flecks

Wagon Trail (three coats):  darkened gold shimmer

Yee-Haw (three coats):  metallic peach with gold shimmer

Like Gussied Up Green, I was amazed while swatching Rodeo Fanatic due to the color shifting shimmer.  It's very similar to MAC Whirlwind.  Side Saddle is my favorite of the whole collection, due to the richness of color and glass-flecks.  It's very similar to Lancome Lizzy Jagger.  Wagon Trail looks like a murky green due to the combination of black and gold.  Yee-Haw is my least favorite, due to it not fitting the rest of the collection.

The formula for most of this collection is a bit tricky; while most of the colors look deep and rich in the bottle, they take 3 coats for optimal opacity.  Red Stallion and Side Saddle are the two exceptions.

 

China Glaze Rodeo Diva Part 2 (fall 2008)

 

This week I've got a gorgeous fall collection from China Glaze, Rodeo Diva.  Rodeo Diva was released in 2008, putting this into the vintage category.  I love the deep, moody jewel tones featured in this collection.

Lasso My Heart (three coats):  rosy purple with gold glass-flecks

Midnight Ride (three coats):  darkened purple shimmer

Prize Winning Mare (three coats):  antique gold shimmer

Red Stallion (two coats):    searing metallic red

The base color of Lasso My Heart makes me think of it as the subdued, older sister of Pretty Serious Toxic Tiara.  It may have been my lighting, but I could not accurately capture the purple shimmer in Midnight Ride.  While I was dismayed by Golden Spurs, I love the antique gold color of Prize Winning Mare.  Red Stallion is definitely in-your-face bright, unlike the rest of the collection.

The formula for most of this collection is a bit tricky; while most of the colors look deep and rich in the bottle, they take 3 coats for optimal opacity.  Red Stallion and Side Saddle are the two exceptions.

 

China Glaze Rodeo Diva Part 1 (fall 2008)

 

Hello hello!

I planned on posting this series a couple of weeks ago but got side-tracked by Hurricane Florence.  I'm so grateful that we were spared from the worst of the storm.  While off from work, I did get the opportunity to swatch 8 different collections, so you won't be getting rid of me so easily!

One of my main goals with launching Throwback Lacquer was to feature past full mainstream collections.  However, many of these collections are prohibitively large, usually with 12 polishes.  I've decided to divide them into separate posts for brevity's sake.

This week I've got a gorgeous fall collection from China Glaze, Rodeo Diva.  Rodeo Diva was released in 2008, putting this into the vintage category.  I love the deep, moody jewel tones featured in this collection.

Branding Iron (three coats):  deep, glowing burgundy shimmer

China Glaze Rodeo Diva Fall 2008 - Cowgirl Up.jpg

Cowgirl Up (three coats):  Tyrian purple with fine red shimmer

China Glaze Rodeo Diva Fall 2008 - Golden Spurs.jpg

Golden Spurs (three coats):  cafe au lait with gold glass-flecks

Gussied Up Green (three coats):  darkened green/blue shifting shimmer

Branding Iron reminds me of rich blackened burgundy polishes such as OPI Royal Rajah Ruby and Chanel Malice.  The fine red shimmer in Cowgirl Up gives the polish a unique glow.  Golden Spurs is not my favorite due to the color clashing with my skintone, but I do love the glass-fleck finish.  I was wowed while swatching Gussied Up Green...I did not realize that the shimmer shifted from green to blue.

The formula for most of this collection is a bit tricky; while most of the colors look deep and rich in the bottle, they take 3 coats for optimal opacity.  Red Stallion and Side Saddle are the two exceptions.

 

Essie Neon (summer 2008)

 

As promised months ago,  I've finally swatched the original Essie Neon collection.  This collection was released shortly after Chanel came out with their Robertson Boulevard exclusives. 

Bermuda Shorts (2 coats):  neon orchid pink/purple creme

Bermuda Shorts (with top coat):  I added top coat because I was told by someone that the color seems to change with it.  It looks more vibrant.

Mini Shorts (2 coats):  searing orange neon creme

Short Shorts (2 coats):  hot neon pink creme

Shorty Pants (3 coats):  bright lemon yellow creme

While I have a weakness for Chanel, I prefer the Essie Neon collection due to the formula and colors.  The Robertson Chanels are notorious for the finicky formula, but 3 out of the 4 Essies apply smoothly with ease.  Shorty Pants was trickier to work with, no surprise for a yellow polish.

 

Rescue Beauty Lounge Fan Collection (spring 2012)

 

In December 2010, Ji Baek of Rescue Beauty Lounge launched a contest for fans to submit descriptions/inspirations for their dream nail polish.  Eleven finalists were selected and there was a public vote to determine the final four.  I've included Ji's notes on the colors following each picture.

Aqua Lily (two coats):  turquoise creme with a pink flash

"A few years ago, I was lucky enough to visit the Kuda Huraa Island of the Maldives. The turquoise water is a crystal-clear sea green and what really had me spellbound was that it reflected a shimmery-pink hue from the shedding scales of the colorful, vivid, and exotic tropical fish. This color is Kay-Di Kat’s homage to her beloved mom, Lily, an Aquarius who swims like an enchanting mermaid. I imagine Lily swimming in this paradise with its mesmerizing water in the Island of the Maldives."  

Cuprum (two coats):  metallic blue with copper flecks

"The metamorphic moment when the presence of ammonia meets copper (II) transforms into a radiant blue. Cuprum is Latin for copper, and the dual nature of this element is what Neeta wanted to capture in a bottle."  

Rescue Beauty Lounge Fan Collection Spring 2012 - Halcyon.jpg

Halcyon (two coats):  sage green creme with pink/gold shifting glass-flecks

"Danielle's dream color is a soft, sage green with a pink glimmer of brilliant reflective shine, just like when the morning dew tenderly kisses a succulent plant. The beauty of succulents keeps her calm and serene."

IKB: 2012 (three coats):  saturated electric blue/purple jelly

"A bright, vibrant, electric blue with blurple (blue-purple) in a jelly finish, hence, the creation of the most densely pigmented jelly-like finish I’ve ever made. Nora’s endless search for that Yves Klein signature blue (International Klein Blue) is finally over."  

Of the four, I've only worn Aqua Lily as a full manicure, and it chips like a mofo. As much as I love Rescue Beauty Lounge polish, I've always had trouble with chipping.  If you continue to collect and wear polish, you'll notice how your nails will react to different brands.  For instance, I've heard of people having problems with Chanel chipping, while it wears like iron on me.

 

Zoya Sparkle (summer 2010)

 

I will forever associate 2010 with Zoya's Sparkle collection.  This jelly base/foily glass-flecked finish was insanely popular that year, with other brands also jumping on the bandwagon.  If I remember correctly, Zoya was the first to release a full collection with the finish.

Alegra (two coats):  rich fuchsia jelly base with pink/gold glass-flecks and a blue flash

Charla (three coats):  turquoise jelly base with gold/green/blue glass-flecks

Gilda (three coats):  hot pink jelly base with pink/gold glass-flecks and a orange shift

Ivanka (three coats):  emerald green jelly base with gold/green glass-flecks

Mimi (three coats):  dark purple jelly base with pink/gold glass-flecks

Nidhi (two coats):  tomato red creme base with pink/gold/silver glass-flecks

Most of the polishes are opaque in three coats due to the watery jelly base.  I recommend applying thin coats and waiting between coats to dry for the best results.  Nidhi is the outlier of the group, due to its opaque creme base.

Like the Gossip collection, all of the Sparkle polishes are still available on Zoya's site.