Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Essie Warm and Toasty Turtleneck vs MUA Moody Mink


When I purchased Essie's Warm and Toasty Turtleneck recently, I was struck by its similarity to a nail polish I'd bought during the summer. MUA's Moody Mink is a dusky mauve cream that's equally as flattering on pale skin as the Essie offering from the Shearling, Darling collection.

They're not as similar as I'd initially thought, though. While they're hard enough to tell apart in real life, you can instantly tell them apart from swatches. The Essie is a warmer, cosier shade while the MUA is cooler. Here they are side-by-side, indoors, with flash:

And indoors, no flash.

All pictures show two coats, no topcoat.

Overall I think I prefer the Essie shade (Essie are fast becoming one of my favourite brands, the application and formula are just flawless on every single one I've tried so far) but for a quick fix, the MUA is excellent quality and an amazing bargain at just £1.

Not a colour I ever thought I'd pick up, but I'm glad I got both - they're flattering, warm, and make an excellent base for unusual glitter combinations.

Bizarrely, in the last photograph, it looks like four different shades, but it's just the light. Definitely not a dupe, but similar enough so that you don't need them both, unless you're really into those dusky kind of colours.

As always, I purchased the Essie from Salon Supply Store on eBay, and the MUA direct from their site.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Essie Toggle To The Top vs Leading Lady


I recently purchased 3 polishes from Essie's new Fall 2013 "Shearling Darling" collection. The ones I chose were Warm and Toasty Turtleneck, a dusky mink; The Twill of It, a purple/green duochrome, and Toggle To The Top, a black-based red glitter.

When I got them, I realised that I had probable dupes for all 3 shades already in my collection. I don't know why this happens - it's like a mental block. I've a China Glaze collection on the way and I could already pick out at least 4 dupes for one of the polishes. This nail polish lark does funny things to the brain...

Anyway, I've a dupe for Warm and Toasty Turtleneck to show you later on in the week, but for now, the ones I was most interested to compare were Toggle To The Top and last year's holiday red glitter, Leading Lady. I missed LL first time around and bought it on eBay earlier this year. To my shame, I hadn't even swatched it.

I also pulled out a few other red glitters from my stash - left to right we have O.P.I Stay The Night, China Glaze Ruby Pumps, Essie Leading Lady, Essie Toggle To The Top, Deborah Lippmann Ruby Red Slippers, and China Glaze Lubu Heels.

Here's a look at the swatch wheel outside -

And a blurry one inside:

I think the blurred photo especially shows that none of these are outright dupes for one another. The three in the middle there - Ruby Pumps, Leading Lady and Toggle To The Top are most similar, but Ruby Pumps is a much finer glitter.

On to a look at the two Essies side by side:

They look incredibly similar in the bottle. So much so that there was an audible "shite" when I opened the packet and saw the 2013 offering. However - it's a different story when you get them on the nail.

Toggle is practically a one-coater. It's a jelly-like consistency in a dark base and it's packed with raspberry coloured glitters. Leading Lady is in a red base and needs a second coat. Both are shown here with two coats of polish and one coat of Poshé.

They're very, very similar, but they're not the same. Application is also different, Toggle being a joy to apply. If you have Leading Lady and adore it, then you probably don't need Toggle, but if you have Leading Lady and think that you'd like something just a tiny bit darker and a tiny bit thicker - then Toggle is worth picking up.

I buy my Essies from the very reliable Salon Supply Store on eBay - the 3 I chose cost me less than €18 including international shipping.

Friday, November 8, 2013

Rimmel Space Dust - Aurora


I picked this up on a whim when I was recently repurchasing some Rimmel foundation (or as my husband once declared "I picked it up on a wimp"). Space Dust wasn't a line I'd heard of before. It cost me €5.49 which is dear enough for a small polish, but there was no way I was leaving without it. I'm SO glad I bought it - it turned out to be a textured sand style polish.

The texture is very much like O.P.I's liquid sand polishes, maybe even a tiny bit less gritty, but for a fraction of the price. Aurora is a dusky light pink shade, reminiscent of a pinker version of Sally Hansen's Razzle Dazzler from their Gem Crush line. It's really flattering on short nails, and looks gorgeous beside pale skin. Here it is in direct sunlight:

And inside, with a flash:

You can see the mixture of different sizes of glitter. It doesn't feel overly gritty or textured on the nail, which is a huge plus for me. Here's a close up:

Aurora is a gorgeous little find and I'll definitely be purchasing some of the others in the range if I can find them, in particular Total Eclipse, a dark vampy green/black; Shooting Star, a white; and Moon Walking, a purple. There's also a hot pink one called Luna Love which isn't to my taste, but is still a pretty polish. I'm 3 days in with this shade and there's not a chip in sight, making it perfect for the Christmas season when you're too busy watching Eastenders and eating chocolate to bother with frequent nail painting.

One of my favourite polishes of 2013 for sure.