Friday, April 30, 2010

Some Eyeko swatches: Cosmic, Indigo and Lilac

These swatches are pretty old. When I took these, I had just built my lightbox and had not quite figured out 1. how to use it and 2. when to use it. So these aren't as color accurate as I'd normally like them to be.

A few words on Eyeko. Worst customer service ever the first time I ordered from them -- I think I must've emailed them over half a dozen times after my package didn't show up after two months -- and then two of the polishes I had ordered broke in transit (because they were not well packaged AT ALL). But then they made it up by sending me a couple of replacements in a decent amount of time. then I ordered again because they are actually pretty nice polishes in super cute bottles. It took several weeks (not great but not bad for the UK) but all polishes came intact so... not complaining too much.

Eyeko Lilac Polish (for Lovely Nails)

Very pretty, glossy lilac creme. Two or three coats, I can't remember. I do remember it went on very smoothly though and was just lovely.

Eyeko Indigo Polish

Two coats, dark blue jelly with lighter blue shimmer. Simple idea, nice execution. Not the best example of this sort of color/shimmer combination that I've ever seen but it's very decent.

Eyeko Cosmic Polish (for Space Age Nails)

This one was AWESOME. Usually, black jellies with holo glitter are pretty gritty and bumpy looking but this one had really gorgeous glitter and it went on SO SMOOTH and GLOSSY. Two coats. It's probably my favorite black jelly/holo glitter combos out there.
read more "Some Eyeko swatches: Cosmic, Indigo and Lilac"

Thursday, April 29, 2010

DazzleDry NOTDs: Sahara, Citrus Streak, Evening Song

DazzleDry's ad challenges women to rustle around in their purse a couple of minutes after they finish applying their polish... they ain't kidding around. This stuff dries fast! I LOVE how fast it dries but I wish I liked the actual polishes too.

These were sent to me by DazzleDry's PR representative along with their nail primer, basecoat and topcoat. All of these manis were done using the basecoat and topcoat. Though these polishes DO dry FAST, the illusion of it is helped along by the very careful instructions the basecoat and topcoat have: you are always supposed to wait a minute or two between coats of each. This, of course, makes the final dry time slightly shorter (though it lengthens the application time). Since I have no patience, I just applied everything without any break between coats... but it still dried in record time. Really impressive.

Dazzle Dry Citrus Streak

Vibrant tangerine creme that's just a little bit short of neon. This is three coats: it was a little bit streaky going on and needed an extra coat to even it out. While fast to dry, it dried kind of satiny and dull, which was not helped too much by the DD topcoat (which is glossy but not REALLY glossy). About seven minutes dry time to full dryness.

DazzleDry Evening Song

I don't know why this mani is so messy. The topcoat bubbled a bit on me unfortunately, which ruined the finish... and then I put on lotion and put away some felt squares. THEN took a pic. Dumb dumb dumb! Do you see the pretty light blue (almost teal-ish) shimmer in the bottle? It really doesn't show up on the nail. Again, it dries dull but it remained dull even when I put Diamont on it. Application was flawless though: two coats, gorgeously pigmented. Between seven and ten minutes to fully dry.

DazzleDry Sahara

This has not won a place in my Yellows-That-Don't-Make-Me-Wanna-Die list. Four coats to even out the streakiness and dried matte-ish and dull (the matte thing is probably related to the fact they dry so quickly). Very pretty basic yellow creme but the application was tedious. Nevertheless, it dried completely in less than ten minutes so I don't have huge cause for complaint.

For a few days there, these were my go-to polishes for when I didn't have time to do my nails but couldn't stand the mani I had on: their drying speed made me wish all polishes would dry that fast. But unfortunately, I don't like the look of them that much. Which kills me. It makes me want to buy all of them just to find, like, two that actually look nice on me because then I'd probably be wearing them all the time -- it's so seductive to be able to apply a polish and have it be totally, undentably dry in ten minutes.
read more "DazzleDry NOTDs: Sahara, Citrus Streak, Evening Song"

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

RBL Grunge + Chanel Illusion d'Or

You're going to get sick of seeing swatches of this, I just know it!

I recently acquired Chanel Illusion d'Or and ever since then I've been layering it over anything and everything whenever I get bored with my mani. I thought I'd share with you the results of one such experiment!

Initially, I was wearing RBL Grunge:

On its own, Grunge is fab. It's what I was hoping OPI Tickle My France-y would be (see my post on that business here). Grunge is another one of those, well, grunge-y taupe colours that I love so much. It is quite close to Essie Jazz, but has more of a pink undertone to it, like the dreaded TMF. However in Grunge the pink is less prominent and makes this polish much more wear-able for ladies with my particular skin tone! The formula was awesome and typical RBL - easy to control, flows nicely, and was perfect in two coats.

But then I got I reached for Chanel Illusion d'Or and these are the results:

And some shots trying to capture how cool this looks in're going to want to click on these to blow them up!:

And just for kicks, Illusion d'Or on its own (my camera didn't want to focus on the glitter!):

This was 3 coats, and is too yellow for me. It will definitely remain a layering polish for me, and a fabulous layering polish at that. I am going to attempt to post swatches of Chanel Illusion d'Or and Sally Hansen Hidden Treasure over several different polish this weekend, so keep your eyes peeled!!

read more "RBL Grunge + Chanel Illusion d'Or"

Chanel Illusion D'Or & Wet n Wild Blackmail

First of all, I want to thank the lovely people who emailed me saying that they would be happy to donate an hour of their time to help me with my experiment. Your support is really touching. I'm not sure if I will be able to do that yet but I will keep you all updated. (The experiment is definitely not going to take an hour anymore though: it'll be about 15 minutes. I actually spent 15 hours of my weekend putting together the hour-long experiment... which my advisor and I nixed on today. I'm trying not to think all that I could have done in the 15 hours instead.) Thanks so much for being there for me. :)

Anyway... these are some NOTDs from about a week ago: two polishes that are at the very opposite ends of the cost spectrum.

First, I had on Wet n Wild Blackmail (which I keep calling Wildfire for some odd reason) for a couple of days.

Wet n Wild Blackmail

Black creme with bronze and silver microglitter and seems to reflect blue and red too sometimes. I thought this looked pretty cool: it definitely appears black at a distance but has enough twinkle to keep it lively a bit closer up. Cost $1.99 and applied beautifully in three coats. What more can one ask? (Besides to not have tipwear and shrinkage and for the latter, I'm going to blame Diamont.) Well... one can ask it not to STAIN MY NAILS. Argh. Nail Life Gripper was working so well for keeping stain-y polishes from staining my nails but for not for this one. I took it off after about four days and boom, orange nails. But before making that unfortunate discovery, I wore this with Chanel Illusion D'Or over it for a day or two.

Chanel Illusion D'Or over Wet n Wild Blackmail

I know Daydream222 posted this yesterday but she posted it over green. ;) This was the first Chanel I've ever bought for myself; they're just too expensive to indulge in regularly. I had bought a set of three Chanel polishes years ago for Mother's Day for my mom and had tried those out, but the experience was so dismal, I just didn't lust after Chanel polishes for the longest time. (That sentiment led me to miss out on Jade but I'm cool because I have Claire's Dream Catcher and Charlotte Russe Jade. Those two completely satisfied my lemmings.) Anyway, when Illusion D'Or came out, I was immediately intrigued and figured it was better to buy now and think later. Well, it's later and I still don't know what to think.

It looks like it's made up of gold mini flakies and microglitter that are as bright as OPI Dazzled By Gold (though this gold is cooler than Dazzled by Gold). When the sun hits it, it just radiates light. And of course, there are the blue-purple opalescent hex (or circular?) glitter that are so thin and fine that they disappear in some lights and reappear in others. It is, if nothing else, a unique polish. When over black, it reflected as a blackened olive shade (unless it's in direct sunlight in which case, it is definitely a blackened gold).

Close-up of Illusion D'Or over Wet n Wild Blackmail

It looks super pretty in the bottle. I'm going to have to try layering it over a light gold to see if I like it like that.

I think my verdict on this for now is: "Very interesting but not very pretty." But maybe I just haven't found the right base color for it.
read more "Chanel Illusion D'Or & Wet n Wild Blackmail"

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Green is Calming

Hello, everyone! First up I have my NOTD from the weekend, Sephora by OPI Read My Palm + Chanel Illusion D'Or on top. It was rainy all weekend so I didn't get a chance to snap good pics. I also did this mani after drinking several glasses of wine, so I'm pleased with my drunken-mani abilities. :P

This is 2 coats of Read My Palm (should have done 3) and 1 coat of the Chanel.

Next up is my franken - I don't have a name for it yet! This is 3 coats. I needed a long-lasting color to get through this week (final paper writing) and I read that blue and green are calming colors, so I went with a teal glitter (glitters tend to last longer on me than other finishes). The recipe is 1/2 Dorothy Who?, 1/4 Emerald Sparkle, 1/4 clear.

Hope it'll last!

Direct sunlight:

Indirect sunlight:


Any suggestions for a name? What kinds of colors do you wear when you want it to last as long as possible?

Thanks for reading!
read more "Green is Calming"

NOTD: Zoya Yummy

(2 coats)

The formula on this sucker is wonderful. Creamy and applies smoothly.
read more "NOTD: Zoya Yummy"

Monday, April 26, 2010

Essie Carousel Coral

This NOTD is for Kittytokaren since she is on her hunt for the perfect coral! I'm not a huge fan of corals, I only maybe have two or three out of the 300 polishes I own. Carousel Coral was actually the first coral I ever bought and ever since then I just didn't see the need for me to own a lot of corals. Sometimes corals can be too pink, or too orange, and in Kittytokaren's case, too bright for her! Carousel coral definitely made my hands look tanner, and it was hard for me to capture on my camera especially without sunlight! It's actually a tad brighter in real life, but not too bright that it hurts your eyes.

Honestly, I almost never wear this.. corals just aren't for me. And on top of that, neither is Essie. I know people love Essies, but for me I can't get them to apply well. Essie is the only brand that I haven't mastered. Almost all Essies take me three coats to get it even and opaque. I'm a two-coater kinda gal, I'm just too lazy to put on a third coat. Then at the end of this mani, I got lint in it.. sad :( That is what you see on my middle finger, those two bumps are LINT. I hate it when that happens!! I just don't have the patience to go back and do the nail again since I had to put three coats of polish on. The only Essie that I never have trouble with is Jelly Apple which is my HG red creme/jelly.

Does anyone else have a brand that they just can't get to work for them?? Any tips for me for using Essie?

read more "Essie Carousel Coral"

Color Club Take Me to Your Chateau (Pardon My French, Spring 2010)

There's nothing like the sense of impending doom to start the week!

I'm about to experience an absolute disaster: I didn't request enough participant hours to conduct my new experiment -- necessary because the old one was incredibly amateur -- and I need at least forty people run in the next two weeks. There is no money to pay participants. OMFG, I don't know what I'm going to do. I've thought about putting it online but it's an hour-long experiment and I can't imagine anyone would give up an hour of their time to do this, especially at home in front of the computer (where I cannot be assured that people aren't multitasking at the same time anyway).

There is not even enough time to cry. Which is fabulous, because that would be the most useless thing for me to do.

...on a cheerier note:

Color Club Take Me To Your Chateau

This is the only polish from the Pardon My French collection that I liked: not a huge loss since I got the set at Ross for $8 but... I didn't like this one polish THAT much. This is a pretty nice cool pastel blue: it was nearly opaque in one coat! I put on a second because... a one coat pastel was too weird. (That and it wasn't completely perfect. But pretty damn close.)

I'm thinking of setting up a weekly massage from now until I leave for Boston. It sounds crazy and probably seems like a waste of time... but I had a friend who got weekly massages while she was in the final stages of her dissertation (present from her mother, who wanted her daughter to stay sane) and she said that even though it seemed extravagant and wasteful, it really helped her get through those months. I'm not "dissertating" but I have to have three very different projects (one that's almost done, one that's a third done and one's that's not even started) in presentable-in-front-of-smart-people shape in the next four weeks or so... and if there ever was a time in my life for me to treat myself to something that will keep me sane, it would be now.

I am a true believer of "whatever doesn't kill me will make me stronger". This will definitely not kill me. It's too inconsequential to kill me: it's just work, it's just school, it's just research and I'm only a second-year student. I may suffer profound personal and professional embarrassment but hey, humility good for the soul. I will do this, I will get through it, and it'll be June and OVER before I know it. And when it's done, I'll know that I am actually capable. Maybe not amazing, but capable.

OK. Off to start the day and to not cry.
read more "Color Club Take Me to Your Chateau (Pardon My French, Spring 2010)"

Sunday, April 25, 2010

KOTD: Color Club Jackie OH! + Konad Plate M64

Hey everyone! We are officially up to 501 followers at the moment. Woohoo! Thank you to all of our readers, we wouldn't be here if not for you!

This is a Konad that I copied from Michelle at A Stroke of Color. I was feeling unoriginal on my own and I loved her Konad choice with the color, so I decided to be a copy cat. Here's how it turned out!

This is 3 coats of Jackie OH! (applied like buttah) plus Konad Plate M64 in Konad Black. I'm still trying to figure out how to align my images well.


Half sun/shade:


I'm having a pretty lame Sunday. I spent my whole weekend writing my final papers (all due next week - not this week, the following week - May 5 to be exact). I didn't get as much done as I wanted either. I have about 20 more pages to write and only about a week to do it. I can do that, right? *panics*

Thanks for reading!
read more "KOTD: Color Club Jackie OH! + Konad Plate M64"

Old NOTD: Hard Candy Stop

I'm baaaaaaaack!

(And dude, we're nearly at 500 followers! Damn, when did that happen? The response to this blog in the last half year or so has been incredible: sometimes, it's amazing to me that so many people voluntarily take the time out of their day to check out what we're up to. Thank you so much!)

Anyway... today, I have a polish for you that I had lemminged forever. FOR-EVER.

The first time I wore it was my senior year of college. I was in the Vagina Monologues (I was the Vagina Happy Fact) and someone had this backstage. All of us in the production put it on right before our first performance. It just seemed perfect then.

I don't think I properly remembered it on my nails, because I remembered primarily the bottle color:

Hard Candy Stop (in bottle)
Look at the gold! Just look at it!

So I yearned for the polish for a year or two. Then I discovered Makeup Alley and swapping. Sometime within my first hundred swaps, I enthusiastically swapped for Stop. And then being underwhelmed with it, I swapped it away a few months later.

Well, fast forward three years and I again seemed to only remember the bottle color. Gorgeous red with vibrant gold. Ahhh! Why did I ever swap it away? What folly was that, that made me swap it away... etc, etc, etc.

Some lovely Polish or Perish reader sent me an RAOK of a Stop mini (for which I am everlastingly grateful). But it was different than the one I remembered: instead of crazy gold shimmer, it had red shimmer. Huh. Weird.

A month later, I spot it on eBay and swoop it up (not for an exorbitant price, thankfully). It came in a good amount of time for a purchase from the UK and I see the pretty, pretty bottle and oh-so-happily apply it... and... I remember why I swapped it away.

Where did the shimmer go??

Hard Candy Stop, close-up on nail:

Hard Candy Stop
It applied gorgeously in two coats, is a lovely matte-looking (but not matte) metallic red with subtle yellow specks that I suppose is the gold shimmer. I'm not swapping it away again because I'll probably forget why I swapped it away to begin with then buy it again in a few years.

Argh. None of my lemmings seem to lead me anywhere good lately.

Anyhow, my brief vacation from the blog was good for me, although most of it was spent tearing my hair out over my work. ...actually, I also spent some time swatching polishes because next month will be an extremely busy month and I wanted to be able to post stuff through May. What is happening in May?
  1. It's the last month of my academic year so... crunchtime, all around.
  2. My birthday is on the ninth and I'm not celebrating it because...
  3. Ten days after that, I have to present the sum total of the past nine month's worth of work to my department for my formal second-year talk. (Let's talk about how much I sucked at research this year some other time.) I'm actually giving my talk a week EARLY because...
  4. I'm leaving for Boston the day my classmates are giving their talks. Why Boston (again)? I am presenting my first ever poster at the Association for Psychological Science's annual convention. Normally, I wouldn't bother at all with APS but it's in Boston. So if I can get a line in my CV and see my friends at the same time, dude, that's a good day's work right there. Also, the SO is accompanying me to Boston and we'll be staying there through Memorial Day weekend. AND I'm super excited that I'll get to meet up with my unofficial undergrad advisor while there as I haven't seen her in years. The SO is flying back home right after the weekend but...
  5. I'll be going down to NYC for a few days after Boston but then coming right back up again for my first college Reunion. I'll be sleeping in dorms and eating dining hall food. Awesome possum. No, seriously, it will be a blast. I plan on spending a lot of quality time with one of my best friends from college and we'll be "reuning" (not a word) with a TON of people from our dorm our first year. And a lot of old, wise, spunky alumnae who are, like, 87 but can beat 19-year-olds at tennis. When I'm that old, I want to be that amazing. It's my life's goal to be like them.
So all in all, that's almost two weeks of travel. And kind of resembles the three-leg trip I did in November that I needed most of December to recover from. And the week I get back, I will have a ton of writing to do for my classes and my second-year paper... but then, it is summer vacation! ...where I will be doing a ton of research and even more writing. But still, it'll be "vacation" and I won't have classes for a couple of months. WOOOHOOO!

Of course, right now, looking at my coming six weeks, all I want to do is go *splat*.
read more "Old NOTD: Hard Candy Stop"

Saturday, April 24, 2010

NOTD: My 3rd attempt at water marbling

My first 2 attempts yielded unsightly results.
  • Attempt 1 was done before MSLP's AMAZING video tutorials. It was awful plus I chose red and white. It looked like I had peppermint candies on my nails.
  • Attempt 2 didn't work because I thought when you marble a light and dark color. Use the light color as the base so it pops. But that's not necessarily true. I found that I should have used the less pigmented color as the base. I swirled a well-pigmented but light pink $OPI w/ YDKJ (which needs 3 coats). I put the light pink on bottom and the effect was muddied b/c the YDKJ was translucent against the pink.

Attempt 3.

I used Zoya's Trixie and a Strangebeautiful. I did a base w/ 1 coat Trixie because it was the less pigmented of the two polishes.

Now I have to work on my swirl technique.
  • Don't smudge your polish (see pinky)
  • Make sure you get enough color swirl on the nail (see ring)
  • Choose one swirl technique and do that for every nail otherwise it doesn't match (compare thumb with any of the others)
read more "NOTD: My 3rd attempt at water marbling"

Friday, April 23, 2010

Desert Island Pick: Essie Jackie Oh My

I've always hesitated to show this polish to you. It's one that I wear all the time and absolutely adore and I was always waiting for when my nails were longer...or the sun was better...or I had a better application...or show her off to her absolute best advantage. But I've decided that enough is enough and it's time to unveil one of my Desert Island polishes! (i.e. If I was stranded on a desert island and could only have a few polishes, this would be one.)

I bring you Essie Jackie Oh My:

Now, she may look like just another pale sheer to you, but this one is really special to me. First, the color: a classic off-white with matching shimmer. I've never bothered doing white tips under this - I don't feel like it needs it. No matter what length my nails are it always seems to work. The shimmer in Jackie Oh My is so subtle, you can barely detect it, but I think it lends to this polish a special refined gleam and glimmer. I tried to capture it here:

Next, the formula: It looks like a pale sheer, but doesn't apply like one. This is the least streaky pale colour I have ever tried, and I think it may be due to the shimmer in the polish. It's amazingly self-leveling as well - you think you see a hint of streakiness? Look away. Look back - perfectly smooth finish! The above was two coats, and did I mention? This is day three of the mani. And it will stay this way for as long as I can stand to keep it on!

This is HG material for me ladies. It's got the holy trinity of polish - sophisticated & elegant colour, streak-free formula, extremely long-lasting. And as an added bonus it has a cute name! My pictures don't even come close to capturing how pretty this one is or doing her any sort of justice, and I feel a little ashamed about it! All I can do is encourage you to try it for yourself if you have the chance - I know this is popular with some of the other Essie-lovers out there as well.

What are your Desert Island Picks? Would you be interested in seeing my complete list?

read more "Desert Island Pick: Essie Jackie Oh My"

Thursday, April 22, 2010

NOTD: Zoya Charla

Hey everyone!! Today's NOTD is Zoya Charla from the recently released Sparkle Collection. Seriously, if you haven't purchased any of the Zoya Sparkles yet, do eeeeet now!!!!!!!!!! You will not regret it.

This is 3 coats plus Zoya Armor topcoat followed by Nubar Diamont and then Barielle Manicure Extender. I used the Zoya Armor topcoat in hopes that it would prevent some chipping due to Diamont (as kind of a barrier I guess). I've had a lot of issues with Zoyas chipping on me - I know the theory presented on All Lacquered Up but I simply can't do without a quick-dry top coat - I would never do manis if not for quick dry topcoats.

So what was the result? Typically, Zoyas last less than 12 hours on me, as in I apply the polish the night before and then it chips the next morning while I'm getting ready for class or work. By using Armor, I extended my polish by 2 days. I was doing a lot of housework and digging (I lost a book I need to use for one of my final papers - eek! - so I spent quite a bit of time tearing my apt. apart looking for it!), so this is groundbreaking for me. Even after the 2 days, all I have is some minimal tipwear. So to those of you who, like me, cannot do without a quick dry topcoat, try using Zoya Armor as a "barrier" between your Zoya polish and your quick dry topcoat!

Sorry for the non-moisturized cuticles - haven't gotten around to it yet on the day that I wore this!



And just for silliness, look what I keep getting distracted by:

How can I pay attention to the words on a page when this lovely is right in my face! My eyes keep drifting over to my nails! :P (The book is Desiring Arabs by Joseph A. Massad, if you're curious).

You can purchase Charla and the Zoya Sparkle collection at!

Also, Zoya is resurrecting the Zoya Nail Polish Exchange, which allows you to exchange old (or ugly lol) bottles of nail polish that you no longer want for brand new Zoyas at $3.50 each (they're regularly $7 each). I believe this program starts today, and you should be able to read more about it on Zoya's website (

Have a great day!

read more "NOTD: Zoya Charla"

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

NOTD: BB Couture Horned Devil

This is 3 coats of BB Couture Horned Devil, from the recently released Butterfly Collection. Horned Devil is, as Flinty mentioned a few weeks ago, similar to Hermosa Surfer Girl - it's multi-colored glitter suspended in a jelly base. I do have some visible nail line (VNL) though I can't always see it - it depends on the lighting. I had to use 3 coats of topcoat to get it smooth. I am absolutely in love with this color. I'm also trying a new pic style, what do you think?





You can purchase Horned Devil from

Are any of you trying to lose weight right now? One unfortunate side of graduate school has been weight gain for me. :-/ I finally weighed myself this weekend and it turns out that I've gained about 15-20 lbs. :( Aside from a few pairs of jeans that were always a little tight on me, my clothes still fit so I'm not sure where this weight has gone, but I'm convinced that I need to start dieting. I already work out about 5 days a week, 45 min - 1 hr (usually cardio, strength training on odd days) so I'm not sure what else to do workout-wise. If anyone has any tips, I'd be happy to hear them!

Thanks for looking!
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Tuesday, April 20, 2010

L'Oreal Passport to Paradise (Summer 2010) vs. Essie North Fork (Summer 2009)

No, I'm not officially back but I just had to swatch these today and because I was swatching, I thought I might as well post. :) (A challenge considering that my medication is making me tremble today and painting my nails usually requires me to have a steady hand. Usually.)

North Fork is one of my favorite color collections in all nail-polish-dom -- and is my ultimate favorite Essie collection -- so it was worth it to me to pick these up to use as backups. Because these are good backups.

In these swatches, three fingers are the L'Oreal Passport to Paradise Colors and one finger is its Essie counterpart. Can you tell which fingers are the Essie swatches?

L'Oreal High Tide (and Essie Sag Harbor)

Dusty light blue with silver shimmer. In this case, the L'Oreal applied a bit better than the Essie in terms of coats: the Essie needed a fourth coat to even out the ridiculous cuticle drag I got but I got perfect coverage in three with the L'Oreal. In terms of settling down nicely on the nail, the Essie was definitely better. The shimmer is also just slightly more pronounced in the Essie.

L'Oreal Ocean Breeze (and Essie Shelter Island)

This is a slightly more muted bright blue IRL than my camera portrays it. Also, there's topcoat on this because it's my NOTD. That's how dupey these colors are: I'm actually wearing one polish on nine fingers and the other on the remaining one. The L'Oreal was a pain in the ass to apply: four goopy coats. Luckily, topcoat evened it out prettily. Definitely one where I prefer the Essie. Although looking at my nails now, I wish I could say, "Oh, my fine discriminating eye can totally see the difference... it takes a connoisseur to tell!" but I really can't. I keep looking at my mani in different lights and sometimes I think one appears darker than the others... but then I move my fingers and another finger appears darker than the other (and it's not the one I painted the Essie on).

L'Oreal Waters Edge (and Essie Greeport)

Not quite turquoise... verdigris perhaps? This one dried quick! Usually when swatching, I can take off most of a polish with a swipe of a paper towel (followed by a wiping with acetone) but this one barely came off with the paper towel. The Essie applied smoother but I had to be more careful about cuticle drag while the L'Oreal was thicker and a bit harder to apply. Three coats. I prefer the L'Oreal in this case... I despise cuticle drag.

So there it is. L'Oreal North Fork... I mean, Essie Passport to Paradise... yup. If you missed out on North Fork, definitely get these polishes because they are beautiful colors and on balance, not bad to apply. (I like the L'Oreal brush too: it's thicker and flat but smaller than the Pro Wide.) If you have North Fork and want slightly cheaper backups that are more readily available currently, definitely pick this up. This collection is offering you absolutely nothing new over North Fork though. I do not think it's just rebottled North Fork though because the formulas do feel different -- Essie's seems thinner, smoother while L'Oreal seems slightly more pigmented and thicker -- but who knows how this came about.

...oh, and the Essie polishes were on the third finger from the left (the ring finger) for all of the photos.
read more "L'Oreal Passport to Paradise (Summer 2010) vs. Essie North Fork (Summer 2009)"