Saturday, July 28, 2012

The 2012 Summer Nail Polish Olympics

I decided to review my entire summer nail polish collection
and in honor of the 2012 Summer Olympics kicking off, I split them into teams
...just because I'm super cheesy like that. 

Let's begin the games with a look at my favorite group:

The Pastel Team


MOST VALUABLE PLAYER: American Apparel California Trooper 

This nude polish is so necessary; it works well as a nice neutral polish for the fingers or the toes. I actually got it on sale for $3 and I wish I got more than one bottle.
Consistency: perfection
Opacity: in one coat
Finish: high glossy shine; no top coat needed

Supporting Team Members

REVLON MINTED is an absolutely gorgeous color that is comparable to Essie's ever popular Mint Candy Apple.
Consistency: fair; a little on the thin side.
Opacity: in two coats
Finish: high glossy shine; no top coat required.

ESSIE WHO'S THE BOSS is a vintage-looking baby blue--it's actually next up with my nail art series. The small brush does put this polish at a disadvantage compared to other competitors; I always feel like I have to use more product than I would with other polishes, but that tiny brush means I can detail the nail paint easily.
Consistency: this particular color is a little thin
Opacity: two really good coats
Finish: Medium glossy finish (a top coat would help a lot)

LOREAL CLUB PRIVE is just stunning. At first, I didn't want to get it because it was so close to Minted and Who's the Boss, but that little extra bluish tone really sets it apart plus, the length and width of the Loreal brush is fantastic. 
Consistency: fair
Opacity: in two coats
Finish: glossy, but with room for elevation via top coat

SALLY HANSEN SMOOTH PERFECT WHISPER...I wish it was shouting. I kinda hate it. When I first bought it, I wanted a good, strong pastel and even though it is indeed pastel, I feel like the silvery finish takes away from the light purple hue which weakens the overall color payoff. The Sally Hansen brush is amazing though.
Consistency: fair
Opacity: two coats for a weak ass pastel purple.
Finish:  a muted silvery finish and a medium shine.

Le Swatches

{with flash}

...and now a look at everyone's favorite group:

The Glitter Team



This polish was probably the most pleasant surprise of all the polishes in this group; I was really impressed with how much sparkle came out in one layer.
Consistency: the sparkles float around in a thin formula which means they dry on fast
Opacity: remarkable opacity in just one swipe; they really packed in those sparkles! There's very little space between each sparkle
Finish: an awesome metallic red gleam

Supporting Team Members

AMERICAN APPAREL METEOR SHOWER is amazing and totally worth the money. The only downside is keeping the gold particles on; when they fall off, they leave behind a weird yellowy residue that can ruin the whole effect.
Consistency: there are really thick leaves and really little ones that spread pretty nicely
Opacity: the larger shards of gold can be strategically placed on for a fuller coverage
Finish: a lovely golden shine

WET 'N WILD PARTY OF FIVE GLITTERS is a really fun mix of glitters about the same size as the Milani ones with medium sized and tiny glitters mixed in. I guess the only trouble with it is styling the glitters; you have to have the right base paint so it doesn't look tacky.
Consistency: fair
Opacity: it takes a couple of coats to get a truly glittery shine
Finish: a multicolored, but mostly silvery finish with flecks of green and purple

WET 'N WILD SPARKED is a really fun glitter, I mean, who doesn't like pink glitter though?
Consistency: it's a little thick; I see it getting a little gloopy in the future, but for $ .99 what do you expect?
Opacity: it only takes one swipe for really nice sparkle coverage with minimal gaps.
Finish: it's not fully pink; there are silver sparkles that enhance the pink sheen

REVLON SCANDALOUS was only bought because one of my favorite fashion vloggers showcased it in one of her nail polish hauls...honestly, it's just okay for me.
Consistency: it's a better quality nail varnish so it probably won't go bad too soon
Opacity: really limited. The larger sparkles are few and far between and it takes at least two coats for any major sparkle coverage
Finish: the sparkles are float in an interesting, translucent deep purple polish that could be challenging to layer with other polishes. I think I would just go with plain white underneath.

Le Swatches

{with flash}

Next up, some old favorites:

The Brights Team



It's the pinkest of the pinks and the quintessential summer color.
Consistency: It has a thinner formula, but the color is strong enough to compensate for it
Opacity: in two coats
Finish: Super high gloss

Supporting Team Members 


SINFUL COLORS PROFESSIONAL DOZEN ROSES is a nail polish I found lying around the house actually; the peachy color is really muted so it can work as a fall polish too.  
Consistency: really silky smooth
Opacity: in one coat
Finish: a matte metallic sheen

CHINA GLAZE PEACHY KEEN is the cutest bright orange pastel; I got it with the summer coral trend in mind.
Consistency: really smooth...I mean, it's China Glaze.
Opacity: in one coat
Finish: medium glossy (a top coat would help)

AMERICAN APPAREL ROUGE can be best described as a pastel maroon; it's a fantastic color for darker skin tones and just an overall conservative, classy color.
Consistency: perfect; all the AA polishes are.
Opacity: in one coat
Finish: high gloss

LOREAL PENTHOUSE PINK is basically Barbie's manicure; it's the perfect pastel pink for summer.
Consistency: fair; Loreal seems to has an okay formula
Opacity: in two coats because it's a really light color
Finish: medium shine; top coat needed

Le Swatches

{with flash}

...and now, the hottest group of the summer--the one everyone is obsessed with:

The Nail Art Team


MOST VALUABLE PLAYER: Art Club Psychedelic Dream

Neon orange is everything. That is all.
Consistency: good strong formula; you have to be careful and make sure to properly dab the stick before applying.
Opacity: in one thin stroke; depends on your skill level really
Finish: the neon-ness is most apparent when there is a contrasting color undeneath

Supporting Team Members

WET 'N WILD FRENCH WHITE CREME is necessary for those classic white tips.
Consistency: nice for the price
Opacity: in one coat
Finish: medium gloss

MILANI WHITE CANVAS for pretty designs in white
Consistency: it's a little thin
Opacity: in one coat
Finish:  top coat needed

NYX GLITTER MANIA GOLD GLITTER for a little extra shimmer.
Consistency: The glitter is small enough to make for dense coverage; I have a problem with the fall out that I can't get back in the bottle though:

Opacity: they stick on pretty well
Finish: same as in the bottle 

MILANI BLACK SKETCH is necessary for bold, artsy designs.
Consistency: a little watery
Opacity: in about two strokes; again, control makes a difference
Finish:  top coat needed 

Le Swatches

{with flash}

Finally, a look at what's hot now and in the future:

The Bold Team



It's the perfect muted metallic for any season.
Consistency: a little thicker because of the shimmer particles
Opacity: in one coat
Finish: muted, almost matte shimmer; a top coat can be added for a glossy alternative look

Supporting Team Members

REVLON KNOCKOUT is a perfect opaque black. I bought it because I knew it would make a great base color for some nail art looks.
Consistency: standard Revlon formula (perfect)
Opacity: in about two thin coats; it does okay in one though
Finish: high gloss

URBAN OUTFITTERS BLU-TIE is a rich, deep navy. It's a good swap for black, but I honestly got it because the packaging was cute and it was only $ .99
Consistency: fair; a little on the thick side
Opacity: one coat
Finish: medium gloss

AMERICAN APPAREL CAMEO BLUE is a great vintage-looking blue that makes for a more unexpected manicure. I'll definitely be wearing it a lot in the fall.
Consistency: business as usual with AA polishes (perfection)
Opacity: in one coat
Finish: high gloss

AMERICAN APPAREL NEON YELLOW is everyone's favorite summer nail polish for a reason.
Consistency: great
Opacity: in two coats
Finish: matte

Le Swatches

{with flash}

Well that's everything; they're all winners in one combination or another, but I think I'll award a 
gold medal to AA's Yellow Neon because neon is like, everything this summer, plus that matte finish is too cool and gold for Sweet Tart because it jazzes up everything I wear with it. 
Silver medals for Revlon's Copper Penny and Minted and China Glaze's Peachy Keen because they're stand out colors for summer. 
Bronze medals for Essie's Who's the Boss as well as Loreal's Penthouse Pink and Club Prive because the colors are great but they're not my favorite formulas.

Which one's are on your podium?

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