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For the last weeks of winter, I’m trying to wear as many older fall and holiday collection polishes before I really dive in to this year’s new spring stuff. NARS New York Dolls (Andy Warhol Color Collection, Holiday 2012) is a smoky vibrant purple creme:

New York Dolls

Picture taken in natural light. This was highly pigmented and applied very smoothly in two coats. This photo shows off more of the shade’s vibrancy, but in natural light it does look more smoky. I’d expect a color that has dusty qualities to be soft, but I love how bold it actually looks. The high pigmentation definitely contributes to that; it looks so solid and creamy on the nail. It may be “just a creme,” but it’s simply gorgeous. I would expect a polish that’s part of a collection inspired by Andy Warhol to have a nice pop of color. It isn’t your traditional bright, but it still fits the bill! I paired this with Essie School of Hard Rocks on my toes.



I started off the year by wearing a whole collection I should have tried long before that, and I’m continuing in the same vein with my next few manis. I don’t have this whole collection but I’ll start off with its namesake, Color Club Alter Ego (Alter Ego: Keep it Under Cover, Spring 2011), a smoky purple with golden shimmer:

Alter Ego

Picture taken in natural light. The formula was on the sheer side, but otherwise applied well. To reach opacity I needed three coats with some touchups. Even with a quick-drying topcoat, this could still be dentable for a while. I don’t mind the sheerness so much because it lets all that shimmer come through. It gives the finish a sort of metallic look without having the brushstrokes of an actual metallic finish. It isn’t just champagne gold shimmer in there either; I see blue and purple too. The smoky purple shade would lean more cool, but the golden shimmer warms it up a bit. I almost forgot this is part of a spring collection, but it seems like more of a cold weather color anyway. I paired this with Revlon No Shrinking Violet on my toes.


This is the probably the only polish I’ll be trying this month that isn’t from a holiday collection, but it is a green and I wanted to get this out of the way before year’s end. OPI Number One Nemesis (The Amazing Spider-Man) is a smoky charcoal-green microglitter:

Number One Nemesis

Picture taken in artificial light. (In the absence of sunlight, I had to resort to artificial lighting to capture the sparkle at all.) This applied well but was a little sheer so I ultimately needed three coats for full coverage. The main color may be this awesome, murky reptilian green, but there are other colors of microglitter scattered in there, like gold, silver, green and blue. It always has that smoky appearance, but at times I look at it and it seems more green, and other times more gunmetal. I heard that this was a dupe to Chanel Graphite (which I own but haven’t tried yet), but I bought it anyway because these two polishes don’t seem like exact dupes. Graphite doesn’t look green to me, at least in the bottle, while I’ll always classify Number One Nemesis as a green over a gunmetal. Comparisons to other polishes aside, this is a gorgeous polish in both color and finish. I think it’s a perfect representation of The Lizard in the film. I paired this with Sephora by OPI 212-Sephora on my toes.


On this last day of November, I figured I’d get one more “earth tone” in before I get started on the barrage of holiday colors. OPI The World is Not Enough (Skyfall Collection, Holiday 2012) is a cool taupe microglitter mixed with champagne and pink:

The World is Not Enough

Picture taken in weak sunlight. This applied well, but the slight sheerness required me to do three coats for full coverage. I wish there had been stronger sunlight to bring out the secondary microglitter colors more! The sprinkling of pink is especially pretty. Personally I prefer the cool-leaning taupes, and this one is a very cool-toned, smoky shade, so much so that I feel like it could look almost gunmetal if not for the warmth added by the champagne microglitter. Because of all that fine, densely packed microglitter, it sparkles so much, and very delicately, as with On Her Majesty’s Secret Service. While this could be classified as a neutral, it’s far from boring! I paired it with China Glaze Swing Baby on my toes.


I was so excited to find out that OPI’s holiday collection this year would be James Bond-themed! I wanted the first one I tried to be one of my faves. OPI On Her Majesty’s Secret Service (Skyfall Collection, Holiday 2012) is a smoky blue-green microglitter mixed with gold, pink-purple and royal blue as well:

Picture taken in sunlight. This applied well, but was a little on the sheer side so I needed three coats for full opacity. When I first saw this collection I had this pegged as one of my favorites, and it does not disappoint! It’s a fine, dense microglitter, so the sparkle is delicate but also very intense. This can look different in various lighting situations, but it’s not a true color-shifting duochrome. In bright, direct light, it looks more steely-blue, as in the photo. Out of direct light, the green tones come out more, revealing a sea-like shade. There’s an undercurrent of champagne gold microglitter that provides the light contrast to the smokiness of the base. The other colors are harder to pick out at only a quick glance but they break up the base color, making the finish more unique and interesting. I also love its rich smokiness. Something about this says “refined opulence” to me. I paired this with China Glaze Jitterbug on my toes.


I’d like to split this month between dark, vampy colors and postseason blues and greys. Since the MLB regular season isn’t quite over yet, I’m kicking off October with Chanel Vertigo (Les Essentiels de Chanel, Fall 2012), a smoky, dark grey-brown with a subtle bronzey red shimmer:

Picture taken in sunlight. This applied very smoothly and was well-pigmented; I needed two coats for full coverage. Though technically this is a shimmer, it’s very, very subtle, so slight that it’s not even that obvious in bright light. The finish looks so pretty when the sun hits it and lights up that shimmer, but most of the time it will look like a creme. Not that I mind too much, because the base color is gorgeous. It’s such an interesting shade that’s hard to describe or pinpoint. If I wanted to define it in simple terms, I’d call it a taupe, because of the blend of grey and brown tones. However, it’s not quite like any taupe I have in my collection. I love just how dark and smoky it is; it gives a vampy vibe to a color I wouldn’t normally consider vampy. There’s something about this that says “Old Hollywood” to me; maybe I’m being influenced by the name. I paired this with Essie Rock Star Skinny on my toes.


I’m posting this a little late but this is my NOTD from a couple of days ago. I had originally planned to wear this last weekend, before I got sidetracked by this. China Glaze CG in the City (Metro, Fall 2011) is a mix of smoky purple, gunmetal and silver glitter in a clear base:

Picture taken in natural light. (There was absolutely no good sunlight that day, but this looks amazing in the sun.)  The first coat goes on pretty sheer, but it definitely builds to opacity.  The formula gets thicker as you continue to work with it. I used three coats with some minor touchups.  Since the glitter is fine, one coat of topcoat leaves the surface very smooth. I love this interesting mix! It doesn’t look the same all the time; in low light it seems like more of a straight-up gunmetal grey, but in bright light the purple tones are very apparent. The silver adds a nice contrast to the darkness of the gunmetal-purple. I can definitely call this unique in my collection! I paired this with Milani Dot Com on my toes.


For my St. Patrick’s Day green this year, I picked Color Club Artsy Crafty (Back to Boho, Fall 2011), a dusty hunter green creme:

Picture taken in sunlight. This applied well, but the formla was a tad cuticle-draggy, so I did two coats with necessary touchups in between. I have several dark hunter/forest greens (from what I gather, hunter green is more yellow-toned while forest green is more blue-toned), but this one sets itself apart by with its dusty, smoky quality. It’s just the right shade to be wearing today, perfectly dark but still obviously green. I paired this with Sephora by OPI Worth My Weight on my toes.



The 2012 Australian Open is underway and I’m trying to get used to the odd hours I have to stay up in order to watch it live. I don’t think I’ll be doing kit color-matching manis the entire fortnight like I did last year; I just have lots of dark vampies I want to try this month (it’s summer in Australia so there are lots of bright kits). But I watched Novak Djokovic play last night and he had some red and blue accents on his white kit, so that’s what I have on today (albeit in more wintry tones.) Essie Bobbing for Baubles (Winter 2011) is a dusty dark blue creme:

Picture taken in natural light. This was quite pigmented and applied well in two coats. I’m used to seeing dark blues that are of the navy variety, so this is a nice change of pace. The color isn’t jewel-toned like I would expect from the name and the theme of the collection; this is a more greyed, smoky, industrial shade. I paired this with Orly Poison Apple on my toes.


For my last mani of the month, I chose Essie Smokin’ Hot (Winter 2010) , a smoky, purplish grey creme:

Picture taken in natural light.  This applied well in two coats.  It’s unlike any other shade of grey I’ve tried before!  Purplish grey, greyish purple…grurple? has definitely grown in popularity.  Whatever it’s called, I love it!  Somehow it’s both warm and cool at the same time.  The shade is deliciously dark and smoky.  I can’t describe why but it definitely looks sexy to me.  I paired this with OPI Meet Me on the Star Ferry on my toes.




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