Wednesday, January 30, 2013

China Glaze Tranzitions Color-Changing Nail Lacquer Collection Spring 2013 Swatches and Review

China Glaze's Tranzitions collection is a set of six very interesting polishes.  They're not like ordinary polish.  They're one color when you apply them, but adding a coat of topcoat changes them into a different color.  Hence the name Tranzitions. 

China Glaze recommends their Fast Forward topcoat (which is what I'm using in these swatches), but any topcoat will trigger the color-change effect.

China Glaze Tranzitions in Altered Reality.  This is a frosty, metallic and slightly duochrome medium teal.  The main color is a blue-teal and it flashes a deeper green-teal at the edges. 

China Glaze Tranzitions in Altered Reality with topcoat.  With topcoat, it becomes a darker, more blue type of teal.  This one had the least dramatic color change effect for me. 

China Glaze Tranzitions in Duplicity.  This one's a very pretty light teal-ish turquoise, almost more of a mint green. 

China Glaze Tranzitions in Duplicity with topcoat.  With topcoat it becomes darker and more blue.

China Glaze Tranzitions in Metallic Metamorphosis.  A dark smoky charcoal-silver metallic.  The shimmer particles look a bit rough and it dries nearly matte.  This might be my favorite one pre-topcoat.

China Glaze Tranzitions in Metallic Metamorphosis with topcoat.  With topcoat, it darkens significantly and takes on a blue-green tint.

China Glaze Tranzitions in Modify Me.  A bright periwinkle...

China Glaze Tranzitions in Modify Me with topcoat.  ...becomes bright violet after topcoat.  This is my favorite post-topcoat color.

 China Glaze Tranzitions in Shape Shifter.  This starts out as a frosty, muted navy with purple tones.

China Glaze Tranzitions in Shape Shifter with topcoat.  With topcoat, it becomes a gorgeous dark blue-toned purple shimmer. 

China Glaze Tranzitions in Split Perso-nail-ity.  A medium mauve pink creme.

China Glaze Tranzitions in Split Perso-nail-ity with topcoat.  This is a pretty dramatic change.  It becomes a saturated berry color!

I found the formula on these to be problematic.  The texture reminds me more of acrylic paint than it does of nail polish.  It goes on with a slight drag and has a tendency to leave bald spots and make little lumps if I'm not careful.  Three coats evens out the color, and that's what I used here.  A little tricky, but manageable.  I found the dry time to be long on all the colors.  But let me tell you about what really bothered me about the formula: applying the topcoat.

These polishes have little speckles of pigment in them (it's visible in a lot of the colors if you look closely), and they bleed when you apply topcoat.  That's what gives them the color change.  However, it doesn't just bleed on the nail.  It bleeds into your topcoat and onto the brush.  I would highly, highly recommend keeping a paper towel handy and wiping the brush before putting it back into your topcoat bottle each time.  You will end up with tinted topcoat if you don't.

The other problem with topcoat application is that it streaks.  If you get the nail wet enough with topcoat, the streaks tend to disappear after a while.  If your coat is too thin and dries too fast, the streaks will stay.

Neither of those will be an issue if you use topcoat strictly for creating designs, which is what the intended use is.  Streaks aren't visible when creating dots, for example, and you won't have tinted topcoat from using a dotting tool. 

So... These are a cool idea, for sure.  Can't recall seeing any other polishes like these.  If you take a thin nail art brush, or a dotting tool, or even a toothpick, you can draw cool designs with topcoat.  The color change isn't as obvious on the darker colors, but it's dramatic on the lighter ones.

If I was better at freehand nail art, I think I'd like these more.  But, my hands are too shaky to have much success with freehand designs, and since I found the formula so strange and the topcoat bleeding problem annoying, I wasn't thrilled by these.  I could use them for an easy funky french, and I tried out some dots which looked cool, but otherwise they're just a novelty for me and I don't see myself wanting to reach for them often.

(This was sent for review.)

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Limited Edition Mariah Carey by OPI Liquid Sand Nail Polish Collection Spring 2013

The Mariah Carey by OPI collection for Spring 2013 is a two-parter: Four 'studio' shades, and four 'stage' shades.  The Stage shades are my favorite part of the collection for one predictable reason: glitter.  Except these aren't just any glitter polishes, they're OPI's brand new Liquid Sand finish, which are glitter polishes meant to be worn without a topcoat to give "a never-before-seen look with a pebbled finish that lightly shimmers with fine glitter particles. Worn without top coat, Liquid Sand lacquer gives nails a unique textured matte finish."

I'm a fan of wearing certain glitter polishes without topcoat because of the sparkly sugary look they have, so I was excited to try out these OPI ones.  Here's how they turned out:

OPI Liquid Sand Polish in Can't Let Go.  This is a heavily blue-toned purple base with purple and blue microglitter, medium sized silver hexagon glitter and bumpy, sandy grit.  The base on this one seems just a touch too opaque to let all the glitter shine through, but I think that's the effect they were going for.

 OPI Liquid Sand Polish in Get Your Number.  A sheer cool blue jelly base with opalescent microglitter and small, round hologram glitter.  This one works pretty well both matte and glossy, but it is the sheerest of all the shades.

 OPI Liquid Sand Polish in Stay The Night.  A black creme base with small hot pink glitter and added sandy grit.  I think this one would have more impact if it dried to a less-glossy finish.  It looks good with topcoat, but without it, it just looks like your average lumpy glitter polish.

OPI Liquid Sand Polish in The Impossible.  A bright pink-orange coral jelly base with silver, pink-red, and purple iridescent microglitter, medium silver hexagon glitter and large holographic star glitter. This one is my favorite.  It has lots of depth from the combination of bright jelly base and multiple sizes and colors of glitter, plus it has the added kick of holographic stars to make it even prettier.  I think the 'liquid sand' finish comes across the best on this one as well.  It's matte enough to look sandy when it dries.

Here's how they look with topcoat:

OPI Liquid Sand Polish in Can't Let Go with one coat of topcoat

OPI Liquid Sand Polish in Get Your Number with one coat of topcoat

OPI Liquid Sand Polish in Stay The Night with one coat of topcoat

OPI Liquid Sand Polish in The Impossible with one coat of topcoat

The formula on all of these was great.  They applied smoothly and provided even, streak-free coats with no added effort on my part.  The only part of the formula I didn't like is that they're all somewhat sheer; I needed three coats for each polish to look its best.  Dry time is fast.

What I find strange about these polishes is that each one has some extra grit in it.  It's not all glitter.  There seems to be something in it that looks and feels like actual sand.  Glitter polishes tend to look really gritty on their own without topcoat, but these take it one step farther.  It's most evident in Stay The Night because it looks grittier/bumpier than it should be for the amount of visible glitter and the lumps are smaller than the glitter particles.

Truthfully, I'm not really sold on the Liquid Sand finish just yet.  I think they're too glossy to provide that sparkling matte sandy look that I love.  Get Your Number dries the most matte out of all of them with The Impossible coming in at a close second.  I could add my own matte topcoat to these to enhance the sandy look, but I actually prefer all four shades when worn with topcoat.  I know, defeats the purpose... But, what can I say?  I love shiny, sparkly glitters.

The OPI Mariah Carey Liquid Sand polishes are limited edition.

(This was sent for review.)

Friday, January 4, 2013

My Nailpro article!

I forgot to mention-  I was in an article in NailPro Magazine in December!  A lot of you already saw it, but for anyone else who was interested in reading it, here's a link to the online version.