LUV! If you wear the smokey eye / nude lip look, GET THIS! It's a gorgeous "cool toned, metallic beige-gold shimmer". It is perfect with my tanned, cool toned olive skin, blonde hair, and brown eyes. It gives me that Bond Girl look ala Gold Finger's Golden Girl. LUVVVVVVVV it. It's also a great way to tone down/nude out darker lipsticks. And it looks fabulous over my bright pink lippies, giving them a softer, more shimmery look. A little (little!) goes a long long way, so no need to glop it on. I add a dab to the center of my lip, for a super sexy pout. If I'm using as an all over lip color, I use my lip brush vs the wand, for a lighter, sheerer application. For evening, I go all out with this, and use the wand for more of a metallic WOW type shade. I can't rave about this color enough (Fleshlight is it's ligher, paler, more beige nude sister, which is my 2nd favorite). The consistency is lushiously opaque, which is perfect for nuding out my very reddish pigmented lips. It can stand up on its own as a lip stick, with the plus of shine. There is nothing slimy - oily - overly sheer about this gloss. I wish all lip glosses were like this. The only negative, is that like ALL tube - wand type lip glosses, a lot of the product ends up wasted, as you are unable to get to the product once it is 2/3 used. But at this inexpensive price, it's no big deal. I'm much more upset over this issue with my MAC, etc lipglosses. I wish they'd make glosses like this in pots, instead. I always get compliments on this lip gloss. So, if you can pull off a dramatic smokey eye, nude lip look, RUN and get this shade.
This is the perfect white tip color for a french mani, if you find that the stark whites are just too "White Out" -ish, and the "soft whites" are too yellow/cream -ish. Desire is a semi sheer white; a "muted white", if there can be such a shade. It's perfect for my MMM cool-neutral olive skintone. Yet it's equally as pretty on me when I'm faux tanned (very warm). This is one of the few tip shades I like paired with clear polish. My favorite pairing for a french mani with Desire is to use Essie Mantaulk The End for the base nail color (a sheer soft white, that leaves a barely there "gauze-y haze" to your nail bed, with 1 coat. It gives more of the pornstar/stripper look to my nails if I use 2 coats -- a look which some may not want to sport, lol. But I actually like that look in the summer, when I have a good faux tan, ha). I also like Desire used alone; it gives a glossy, semi sheer white glaze to my nails. Desire goes on very easily, w/o any streaking.
Screenqueen. sigh Lustres! I loathe them, but had to give this one a try, as it seemed so pretty online. After buying it and trying it on, I really want to give this 0 stars, but I feel bad because the member below seems to really like this lipstick. Therefore, I'm guessing there are those out there on whom this shade DOES actually show up. ? I'm going to give it a 2 star rating, just because in theory, the color does "look" pretty, at least in the tube. It looks like a pale/light, neutral toned shade of beige'd-pink, with VERY subtle subtle subtle shimmer. Did I say subtle? :/ On my VERY berry pigmented lips, however? Well, it doesn't even show up. I take that back. It looks like a "haze" on my lips. Slightly more haze that what plain old Chapstick would leave (the NON colored one!). I looked at my lips closely in the mirror, and tried to really pack this color on, but...it was hopeless. NO amount of coats would make the color appear. I just do not understand why MAC continues to put out "lustres". They are the same color payoff or less, than their lip glosses. I guess if one has very pale lips, the lustres are great. But there are also many of us with very pigmented lips, who also like the paler lipsticks. I wish they'd make more "nudes" and pale pink shades in the Amplified formulas (those are FAB for very red or berry lipped girls!). Screenqueen did feel nice on my lips though -- very conditioning. I guess I'll use this when I'm at the beach. :/
Tiger Tiger from the Raquel Welch Icon Collection, is gorgeous! It's a creme formulation, and light/medium in shade. The color is a warm yellow-peach toned "tan" or beige-nude. The amplified formulas are heavenly on (rich and creamy, w/o feeling heavy or greasy). I would compare the color of Tiger Tiger to MAC Underplay, with Tiger Tiger being about 1 shade lighter, and with more yellow in it. It's also very similar to Freckletone (Freckletone being a bit more "peach tan" to Tiger Tiger's more "yellow'd peach tan"). I can see this shade being beautiful on neutral- warm toned blondes, redheads, and brunettes. (for ref: blonde, brown eyes, MMM neutral olive)
LUV! Up Front and Personal is an uber sheer platinum gold (silvery cool gold, not "yellow") micro glitter. It leaves your nails glistening, as opposed to in your face-type glitter. I find this shade to be the perfect understatedly elegant gold np shade for my special occasion wear. It's very similar to my all time favorite OPI nail color: Society Island Sterling Silver, as well as similar to OPI Happy Anniversary (the difference being that SISS was more of a shimmer vs micro glitter. UFaP has a bit more grainy/gritty shimmer in comparison. HA is also an uber sheer silver, but the micro glitter is almost identical in type. If you are looking for a sheer shimmery wash of cool gold np, you will definitely want Up Front & Personal!! No doubt that this polish will make a great topcoat over other shades, but I much prefer it alone, and with just 1 coat application. It's just gorgeous.
Against my neutral/cool toned MMM Olive skin, Grape Lakes is the perfect amethyst np shade. GL is a muted medium-dark grape purple, with an icy cool pearl finish. I cannot wear clear toned purples against my olive skin, as it looks too harsh on me. However, the grey'd muted tone to GL makes it softer/much more flattering on my olive skin. The brown tones, evident in the bottle, are lost once applied on my olive skin (due to the beige brown tones medium olive skin). I would think the brown tones may be more apparent on much cooler and lighter skintones than mine. This shade brings out the golden tones in my usually flat-beige skintone. I'm very happy when np colors emphasize either the rose or gold tones in my skin as opposed to making me look "green". LOL I will defintely re-buy Grape Lakes. It's a sophisticated amethyst shade that also makes my nails look longer.
Skin Deep is a neutral pink shade: a light-medium warm pink with a subtle icy grey'd pearl shimmer. The very slight grey'd tone to this pink keeps it from being bubble-gum bright, and makes it very wearable as a tip color for me, even in a business setting. It's girly, without looking teeny bopper-ish/Barbie. The very slight muted tone is perfect against my olive skintone (pure pink toned shades tend to be a bit too bright, and I reserve them as pedi colors only, but I can wear Skin Deep easily on my tips). If you like pinks, Skin Deep is definitely one to add to your collection. It's day 4 of wear, and so far, so good.
Essie Anniversary Gala
my skintone: cool/neutral, light-medium olive (beige/rose/yellow tones). My nail beds are more beige-peach, than "pink".
Anniversary Gala is a bit pinker version of Essie Nude Beach (NB is more pink-beige). AG is a very sheer pink with a very pretty, pale green flash. The shimmer is very faint, giving the np a soft pearlized effect, but I notice the green flash a bit more in AG, than with NB. On my beige-peach nail beds, the over overall effect of AG is still very nude, with just a teensy bit more pink evident than when I use Nude Beach, when I look at my nails indoors. In the sunlight, the pink is much more evident (seems a cool toned orchid pink). Nevertheless, AG is nowhere near as "pink" on me, as the np looks in the bottle. If you have pink nailbeds,however, I'm sure AG will seem much pinker than Nude Beach. Either color is a perfect choice for when you want a YNBB type shade, with a bit of ooooomph (the green flash). It's subtle, yet not boring, yet still perfect for any occasion (casual, business, formal). I think I'd love to wear AG on my tips, and find a deep vampy shade with similar green flash, for a pedi!
Legs Celebrate! is part of the OPI Holiday 2006 offering. Of all the nps I have ever tried/owned (I own over 300), this shade is the absolute worst I have ever tried on my skintone. I have light/medium, neutral/cool olive skin w/ a bit of faded tan left. I can wear warm shades easily (coppers, golds, rusts, cinnamon browns, etc), but Legs Celebrate was just horrid on me. Even a layer of faux tan didn't help me salvage this np color. In the bottle, the shade appears to be a medium shade of gold-ish copper; but on the nail, Legs Celebrate was a very harsh/brash, orange-y brass shade that is very very bright (ala opi Las Vegas Strip Poker & Taupe-less Showgirls). This color made my skin actually look green-beige! As with all the np in this Collection, they do have a very sparkly party-like quality to them; I don't see me wearing any of the collection for just "every day". They're a bit OTT for my tastes, but perfect for a holiday event. JMO. The formulation of Legs Celebrate is quite nice, which is why I'm giving this a 3, as opposed to the ZERO I wanted to give it for the color alone. It's not a frost, but rather a very shimmery foil like color. I prefer this formula to frosts, as it does not show any nail or brush stroke imperfections. It also is opaque in just 1 coat (this also comes with the new "pro wide brush", which I LUV). I only wish the color worked for me. I really didn't think any skintone could possibly look good in this shade, but I was wrong. 2 ladies on the np board liked the shade on themselves. 1 was fair, with peach tones. The other was darker than MMM. So, my only advice would be to try and see this shade IRL before buying.
Perfect "cloudy" semi-sheer, pale ivory pink, for when you need something a bit cooler in tone than OPI Coney Island Cotton Candy. I'd say that VF is a cool-neutral tone. It doesn't make my tips look yellowish, as some of the peachier ivories sometimes can. Vanity Fairest came in perfect use for me today, since my nail tips were a bit stained from sunless tanner. Though I got off most of the stain, they still weren't perfectly white as they usually are. Coney Island Cotton Candy made my nail tips look yellowed. Vanity Fairest made them look soft white. Though you can't really notice the shimmer in VF, I think it does help to keep the np from looking flat (which OPI CICC sometimes does look). VF is a must-have for those times when you need a YNBB np.
Essie Bass Fiddle is a gorgeous, medium shade of tanned fleshy pink w/ a low level pearl. In the bottle, it appears to be a warm toned pink with a slight silver or light blue shimmer. But on, the shimmer acts only to tone the warmth down a bit (the pearl effect is barely noticeable). I think this shade would suit most skintone shades of any tone. This is a FAB np color for those w/ olive skintones, who love the idea of wearing bright pinks, but who hate how garish they look against their skintone. BF reminds me of a watermelon pink, seen thru sunglasses. lol It's bright, yet ...not bright, if that makes sense. Bass Fiddle is fleshy enough (slightly muted) to be perfect against my cool/neutral olive skin (bright shades tend to look very 80's on me, but Bass Fiddle doesn't). The formulation seemed a bit thick, but np thinner corrected the problem very well. 1 coat seemed thin. 2 coats was perfect. I LUV this shade! Finally, a bright pink that I can wear and still look elegant.
Scrub Fresh is a professional nail prep product, that dries out the nail bed for better application adhesion of either nail polish or tips, silks, etc. It's an alternative to using rubbing alcohol after removing np. Unlike with alcohol, my cuticles do not feel dried out after using Scrub Fresh. This product has increased my nailpolish wear (if I use dishwashing gloves when my hands are in water!) by almost double. With OPI and Essie, I usually get 2-3 days of wear. But with Scrub Fresh, I can go 5-6 days without any np seperating from my nailbed. I'm extremely hard on my nails (typing, working out, grooming my full coated Shih Tzu pup, housewk, etc), so this is a HG product for me. The 8 oz bottle @ $13 US has lasted 5 mos so far, and I do my nails weekly. I first remove np with a remover; then, I use Scrub Fresh. To apply, I like to use np wipes, as opposed to cottonballs, so I don't get any fibers stuck onto my nails bef I apply np. Or, I'll use a small towel. The only drawback to the product is that if you get any of the liquid onto the bottle, it makes a mess; the blue writing comes off and can get all over your skin/clothing when you go to pick up the bottle. Other than that, I love Scrub Fresh!
Jet Set Shine in Beat has changed in color, since being repackaged. The old color was one of my favorites: a medium-dark, muted reddish brown w/ shimmer. It was gorgeous against my olive MMM neutral/slightly cool skintone. The new color is much less brown. Indoors, Beat looks medium-dark, muted plummy berry red with only slight brown tones. In full sun, this shade looks more berry. Looking at the color in the bottle, I was scared it would be too bright. It seemed to have some fuschia to it. But no, this color is still muted enough for me to wear, without it looking garish against my olive tones. The gold shimmer is very very subtle. It adds a glow, more than true shimmer. This is a very sexy color to fit any evening out, yet still business appropriate. It's just this side of a vampy shade, having a bit of that blood red type quality (albeit with slightly jammy plum tones). It's the perfect np to wear with a power suit (looks incredible with deep grey). I did take off 1 lippie for the lacking brush quality. I find that L'oreal np brushes are too clunky/fluffy; making it hard to achieve an easy app. As with most red shades I've tried, I need 2-3 coats; and after 3 days, there is a only a teeny bit of fade on the very very edges of my tips. This did beat out my OPI and ESSIE "reddish" np avg wear of only 3 days (I'm on day 4 and going strong). I prep nails with CND Scrub Fresh, and I use Seche Vite or Poshe for a top coat. If you are shy of bright, true reds or very deep vampy ones, but love the idea of a reddish polish....try this reddish-plum shade! It's very wearable for most skintones, imho, and esp nice on olive skin. UPDATE: I'm going on day 6 with Beat! I've only added a refresh clear topcoat once, and my nails look great: no chips, despite lots of hands in water time w/o gloves. amazing! *now why can't the salon np hold up this well? take a listen OPI and Essie.*
I was on a search to find the perfect bronzer replacement to my beloved Face Stockholm "MAGIC" blush shade (long discontinued). It was the most perfect neutral brown beige shade. sigh I have had many bad bronzer trials since then: all of them too orange-y for my olive skin. I was on a quest for one that was not orange/copper or sparkly. One that could be used as a face countour or blush shade or a bronzer. I ended up buying several recently, because it's hard for just one shade to work on me year-round. I have olive skin which is light and cool/neutral when I'm at my palest, and then turns medium and neutral/warm when I'm faux tanned. I also wanted a bronzer without shimmer. Marseille is the perfect bronzer to meet all those needs, regardless of whether I'm pale or tanned. It's lighter and a bit more peach-brown than Benefit's Hoola (which is deeper and a bit more mocha brown, yet great on me when I'm tanned). It's a bit lighter than Nars Laguna and again, a bit more peach brown (Laguna is great on me when I'm pale. It also has a bit of tone on tone shimmer vs Marseille's matteness). But don't let the "peach" comment scare you. This is NOT orange or copper in tone, at all. It melds in with my olive skintone. It gives my face a soft, yet chiseled look. I love this bronzer! And despite it's being lighter than Laguna, the slight warmth in it makes Marseille work even when I have a slight faux tan and only want a subtle contour type blush. The only way I found to get this product, was to order directly from the Face Stockholm tel no, listed on their web site. I wish they had online ordering.
MAC Stone l/l. This is the perfect cool toned grey'd brown to wear with either very cool toned beige-nude, cool brown-nude, muted cool toned pink-nude, muted mauve-nude, muted lavendar nudes, or any other very muted (or grey'd) toned lipcolors. I love it, applied very lighthandedly, under MAC Bare Venus. Very lightly! I don't know why some insist on giving this l/l a bad rating just because the color didn't look good on them...alone....under a clear gloss. ? I thought the whole purpose of lipliner, was to line the lips. Yes, some l/l might be of a color suitable to fill in for a lipstick, but maybe not this one. I don't think that makes it a bad color. It serves it's purpose. And it's also a great color for those of us with VERY pigmented lips, who like a lip pencil that is muted enough to tone down the redness, before we apply a sheer nude shade. Stone is much like the discontinued MAC l/s: Folio. That too was a very hard color to wear "as is", thickly layered on. But if one used it very sheerly, over very naturally red lips, it did magic! It prep'd the pigmented lip for a nude lipstick, which otherwise would have just turned out too pink without it. If you wear a lot of cool toned nudes, and/or you have very pigmented lips (which bother you, as they do me), you will like Stone l/l. Stone is amongst my very favorite MAC beige-brown l/l (Stone: cool/ashy nude brown; Oak (muted neutral beige brown); Stripdown (slightwarm peach/pink'd nude beige brown); and Spice (the ultimate warm/cinnamon beige brown nude).