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When I got some of the polishes from this collection, I knew I’d end up trying them in February, just based on their names. Illamasqua Faithful (Naked Strangers, Summer 2012) is a light brown with reddish bronzey shimmer:


Picture taken in sunlight. The formula wasn’t as buttery smooth as I’ve come to expect from Illamasqua, but it still applied pretty well in two coats. I got a good amount of bubbling, but thankfully it disappeared after applying topcoat. It looks like a light golden-bronze brown in this sunlight photo, but this shade appears different under different lighting conditions. Sometimes it looks like a cooler taupe brown, other times like a warmer reddish brown. In the sun is where it really shines, because all the pretty shimmer gets lit up. It’s subtle, but it’s not exactly a secret or hidden shimmer; this doesn’t just look like a creme out of direct light. In the shade the shimmer gives the finish an overall pearlescent glow, and that looks pretty as well. I paired this with Barielle Two Timing on my toes. I picked it out because I thought the colors looked good together, but it’s a rather ironic name pairing!



I don’t think I got this polish in time to try last fall, so I saved it to wear now. I was so excited to try it ’cause it’s definitely interesting and unique. Color Club Nouveau Vintage (Back to Boho, Fall 2011) is a blend of bronzy brown, red, green and gold microglitter:

Picture taken in sunlight. This applied well, though the formula was a tad sheer. I ultimately needed three coats for full opacity. The finish looks somewhat metallic so there are slight brushstrokes that are masked by the microglitter anyway. Cleanup was kind of  a chore, the base is absolutely loaded with microglitter; you can see I still have some all over my fingers! The upside to all that microglitter is that it creates a pretty, fine sparkle. I love the mix of colors in this! The sunlight in my photo brings out the more greenish-gold side, but at other times it looks more reddish brown. Even though the color looks different in various lights, it doesn’t quite behave like a color-shifting duochrome. It’s like I can see all the different colors of microglitter at once, and they somehow play off each other nicely. I paired this with Color Club Rebel Spirit on my toes.


I’m changing up my color palette for November and shifting to more earthy tones. I’m starting with the stunner that is China Glaze Midtown Magic (Metro, Fall 2011), a deep brown with red and golden shimmer:

Picture taken in sunlight. This applied well, though after the first coat I had major bald spots. I did some touch-ups and filled them in, and I ended up only having to do two “full” coats (but this is essentially a three-coater.) In the bottle, this changes colors in different lighting conditions, but the effect doesn’t translate to the nail. When I hold the bottle up against the light, it looks like a deep, smoky purple. When I look at the bottle out of direct light, it can look like a dark, swampy olive. But on the nail, it’s a rich dark brown. I’ve heard this described as a deep plum but I just don’t see it. Even from the first coat it looks brown to me. I don’t typically associate browns with vampiness, but this is so dark that it does look vampy. Since the shimmer rests in such a dark base, it creates that glowing embers effect. Of course, when the sun hits it, it lights up and sparkles beautifully. The red and gold play so well with the brown, making the overall finish even more rich and velvety. I paired this with OPI Warm & Fozzie on my toes.


Although it isn’t a gold, silver, or bronze, up next in this run of metallic polishes is China Glaze Robotika (Khrome, Winter 2009), a light brown metallic shimmer:

Picture taken in natural light. The formula was very smooth and pigmented. I could have gotten away with two coats but I ended up doing two anyway. With its smoothness and pigmentation, I was able to do quick, easy swipes of color, which helps cut down on the brushstrokes. After the trial-and-error I had  with 2030, I used the same technique of applying two coats of basecoat as a preemptive strike against too much bubbling. It seemed to work; I still got some bubbles in the end but topcoat made them disappear (any bubbles you see are from the topcoat itself.) I didn’t expect to like the color as much as I do! It may be a light brown, but I consider it dark for a metallic, especially compared to your standard metallic colors like gold and silver. I find it so flattering; since it’s a relatively darker shade it just looks more defined on the nail. It’s definitely not a reddish brown, and it seems to lean more cool (although whether it looked more cool or warm varied from photo to photo), yet it also has a pinkish tone. It reminds me of velvety eyeshadow. I paired this with Lincoln Park After Dark Suede with topcoat on my toes.


The next “neutral” I had on my pre-spring (although with this weather it practically feels like spring already) list is OPI Wooden Shoe Like to Know? (Holland. Spring 2012), a cocoa brown with subtle bronzey shimmer:

Picture taken in sunlight. This applied well; I got complete coverage in two coats plus touchups. I’m not usually immediately drawn to browns but this is gorgeous! Subtle as it is, I love the look of the shimmer. It gives off a little bronzey glint that works really well in the creamy cocoa brown base. This shade of brown is almost taupe-like, and even though I just said I prefer the greyish taupes, this looks great. I believe this was the last of the few neutral-type shades from this collection I had to try and it’s definitely
my favorite. I can’t wait to try the rest of the collection as the weather gets warmer! I paired this with MAC Style Clan on my toes.


It’s been a while since I’ve worn something really glittery, so for the last week in November I chose OPI Warm & Fozzie (The Muppets, Holiday 2011), a unique mix of bronzy brown, gold and pink microglitter:

Picture taken in sunlight.  (Click to really see the detail in full-size!)  This applied well, but the formula was on the sheer side, so I used two coats plus touchups (which probably adds up to three regular coats) for full coverage.  I keep staring at my nails because this looks so interesting!  Its exact color is hard to define.  Instead of having microglitter set in a colored base, I feel like the different colors of microglitter combine to create the overall look.  There could be more colors in addition to the brown, gold, and pink (there seems to be color-shifting going on as well), but those are the most apparent.  The foily microglitter makes the finish look very sparkly, too.  This is part of a holiday collection but since I wear almost exclusively reds and greens in December I wanted to try this this month.  I paired this with OPI Holiday Glow on my toes.


I’m wearing yet another taupe/brown polish, but this time with a unique twist.  Rescue Beauty Lounge Decorous (Iconic/Ironic, Spring 2011) is a cocoa-taupe with pink and green shimmer:

Picture taken in sunlight.  This applied very well; I got complete, opaque coverage in two effortless coats.  I wasn’t sure whether to class this as brown or taupe, because it kind of looks like both at the same time.  The color matches the name perfectly; it does look very proper and work-friendly.  But this polish is far from boring; I love the addition of the subtle pink and green shimmer.  Even though it’s subtle, you can definitely tell it’s there in the light.  It’s not incredibly flashy, still keeping it “work appropriate,” but it’s a very pretty nuance.  I paired this with OPI Shim-merry Chic on my toes.


After my last gorgeously sparkly NOTD, I went for something in the opposite direction.  Illamasqua Taint (Theatre of the Nameless, Fall 2011) is a dirty olive-brown satin creme:

Picture taken in sunlight.  (This is definitely a dirty brown, but the sunlight brings out the olive tones.)  This applied very well in two coats, but didn’t set as quickly as I expected it to, based on my great experience with Scorn.  I smudged a couple of nails I thought were dry so I had to redo them.  I know that sort of thing can be expected with a satin-finish polish but it’s still a pain to redo, ’cause of the extra waiting time.  Smudging issues aside, I am totally intrigued by this color.  It’s one of those jolie-laide, love it or hate it type of shades.   It’s dirty, murky and muddled, but I find it really flattering!  I feel like if it were scented, it would smell like earth.  I paired this with MAC Dry Martini on my toes.


For my next Halloween-themed mani, I thought it would be the perfect time to finally try Color Club With Abandon (Wild at Heart, Fall 2009), a dark brown base with tarnished gold glitter:

Picture taken in sunlight.  The formula was pretty sheer so I needed three coats for an opaque, even result.  Since the base is sheer, it allows the microglitter to shine through, but I also experienced some tip pull from my topcoat.  While this isn’t technically a part of a Halloween collection, there’s just something about the look that makes it fit the theme so well.  I love the color, and I just love glitters in dark bases in general.  I think it’s fairly unique as well.  The combination of the deliciously dark brown and the sparkly old gold microglitter gives the polish an olive cast in some lights.  Oh, and I really love the name!  It’s I paired this with MAC Rich, Dark, Delicious on my toes.


For my last fall mani of the month, before I start getting into holiday themes for December, I chose Rescue Beauty Lounge Moulin Rouge, a deep reddish brown creme:

Picture taken in natural light.  This applied well in two coats.  RBL’s site describes this shade as chocolate-covered black cherries, and I think that’s absolutely spot-on.  I don’t like chocolate-covered cherries, but I love this polish!  It’s dark and vampy but not in almost-black territory (I don’t think this type of warm color could look almost black anyway.)  It definitely captures the sexy side of the Moulin Rouge.  I paired this with LA Splash Enchantress on my toes.




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