“As soon as I read “Ghost House,” by Robert Frost, the colors revealed themselves. It was as if I was physically walking along the patch of earth from the poem. There are many layers in those verses that illuminate one’s soul; I’ve attempted to translate this into layers of colors.”
The result is RBL’s A Poem collection.
There are seven colors in the collection and I was happy to see that four of them have a creme finish. Ji is a master of creme polish and four of the first five RBLs that I fell in love with were cremes – No More War, Teal, Orbis Non Sufficit and 360. These four – A Lonely House, Forgotten Road, The Mosses Mar and Footpath – are my kind of cremes: dusty, moody, strangely pretty.
“It’s rare for me to make four opaque colors in one collection, but when I read the poem, these colors seduced me. The opaques themselves are all demurely quiet, neutral and wearable, yet sophisticatedly pensive for all occasions and seasons (my own version of the perfect little black dress).”
It was also great to see Ji play with glitter again. The last time she did that was in 2009, for the release of Frugalista, Locavore and Look Rich, Be Cheap.
I’m very excited to help unveil this collection and this reveal is doubly exciting because we are joined by the winners of RBL’s blogger contest. (You can find their links at the end of this post.) I will let Ji explain each color before I show you the swatches and comparisons.
A LONELY HOUSE
“A brown, weathered, broken wooden house remains, without any apparent light or life. Just there, content, scattered, and waiting. Out of this friendless and disparaged landscape dwells the perfect opaque brown. Like handsomely worn English saddle leather, a rich and lush one-coater.”
A Lonely House is a glossy medium brown creme. Saddle brown is a great description. My skin tone brings out the red in this color. The formula was great, application was a breeze. It can be opaque in one coat but I chose to use two.
I can’t swatch a new RBL collection without wanting to figure out how the colors fit in this brand’s spectrum so I did comparison swatches too.
It is clear, even in the bottles, there isn’t any similar shade to A Lonely House in the RBL family of browns.
Cerise Noir (formerly known as Moulin Rouge), Au Chocolat and Fortissimo are all darker while Decorous is a lot lighter and has shimmer.
I felt a strange compulsion to compare A Lonely House to Ghost too, even though I know they are not alike at all.
I think these two colors look great together – I can imagine rocking A Lonely House with Ghost tips.
“In the morning after they part, a charcoal road, faded over time, leads to the house yearning for companionship. In the slick asphalt road after the rain, I found a charcoal opaque gray. It is the color of a deep gray river rock that fits perfectly in your hand, the darkest shade of gray in the spectrum. A darker, moodier sister to Stormy.”
It’s no secret – I love grays. And this moody gray is no different. I love it. Forgotten Road pulls really blue on my skin tone (and my camera makes it look even bluer) and I don’t mind. I really love blue-gray shades. Love the formula, application was super easy. I used two coats.
I brought out other gray (and blue) RBLs to compare with Forgotten Road.
No dupes here. Concrete Jungle is a lot lighter; Stormy is darker and doesn’t have Forgotten Road’s blue tinge, Reveillon is lighter, is an icy blue and has shimmer and Catherine H. is blue and also has shimmer.
“After the incessant rain and flood, the yellowed-clay earth slowly recovers and hardens. Unhurriedly, the path heals, baked by the sun. The earth, for a short while, forgets and forgives its muddied past. The willow branches persistently swings, whispers, and sheds its confetti of mustard-colored pollen, which blend to celebrate a marriage between two earthy-yellow opaque hues. This earthened-yellow is truly mellow, wearable, and surpassingly neutral. If you’re on the fence about wearing a bright yellow, this is a perfect shade to ease into.”
Whenever I couldn’t think of what nail polish to wear, I ask Jill to give me a color so I could hunt for it in my Helmers. Jill, who studied fine arts (and who did the calligraphy that you’ve seen in this post), always tries to stump me. On top of her list is “yellow ochre,” a color that has previously eluded my collection – until now. Footpath is a mustard, earthy yellow. I was bracing myself for streaking – you know what a bitch yellow can be to apply – but I was pleasantly surprised. Footpath was just as creamy and as easy to apply as the other opaque shades from this collection. I used two coats.
I knew right away I had nothing that looked similar to Footpath in my RBL drawers but I pulled out some colors for comparison anyway.
Santa Fe and NailsandNoms are both more orange while Yellow Fever is more yellow.
THE MOSSES MAR
“In between the brown house the wood has shed, there are sage-colored mosses bursting up for their new eager, erratic life. This is the color of the mosses in between stones or scattered deadwoods, parched and lightened by the sun, almost identical to the underside of Aspen leaves when they tremble in the wind. (This is a less yellow version of Diddy Mow 2.0.)”
Diddy Mow was one of the first RBLs I fell in love with and it remains one of my favorites today so it shouldn’t be a surprise that I was very excited by The Mosses Mar. This moody, gray-tinged green is totally my kind of color. Love it, love the formula, love how easy it is to apply. I used two coats.
If you are a longtime fan of RBL, you know that the brand has an abundance of greens. I decided to do two batches of comparisons.
These four shades are the most similar to The Mosses Mar but they are still not dupes.
Halcyon and Diddy Mow are both lighter and have shimmer; Orbis Non Sufficit is darker and Turn It Around is darker and has shimmer.
No dupes from this second batch too.
Become One is a brighter happier green; Recycle is darker and doesn’t have hints of gray; Jack is darker, leans teal and has shimmer and No More War is a dirty olive green.
WILD RASPBERRIES GROW
“One spring morning, a sparkling hint of brilliance appeared in the periphery where wild raspberry patches thrived. The ruby fruit twinkled. Like Dorothy, from The Wizard of Oz, the raspberries find their ruby slippers—turning the grayed world of black and white into a beautiful spring day. In the light of the sun of a new day, the micro leafy green glitters and sparkling fuchsia berries float. Combine this with any of the opaque colors in this collection or use three coats to see a kaboom of glitter!”
I love how this shade looks in the bottle. It looks like a work of art that I could stare at all day. Wild Raspberries Grow is a mix of smaller green glitter and bigger raspberry glitter pieces set in a clear base. I had a lot of fun with this, first wearing it on its own (I used four coats to make it opaque) and then layering it over the collection’s creme shades. I loved it over The Mosses Mar and Forgotten Road.
Wild Raspberries Grow + A Lonely House
One coat of Wild Raspberries Grow + Forgotten Road
Two coats of Wild Raspberries Grow + Forgotten Road
Wild Raspberries Grow + Footpath
Wild Raspberries Grow + The Mosses Mar
SMALL, DIM, SUMMER STARS
“Then they appeared, countless tiny stars embedded in the dark sky, it was always there to be found in every gentle, trusting heart. This sweltering silvery black base hammered with multifaceted and spectacular green, blue, pink, shimmery, glittery twinkling stars will bring you back to that summer night long ago, full of wonder and beauty.”
Dark, moody but also sparkly, Small, Dim, Summer Stars is a complex shade. I see all kinds of sparkle in its shimmery black base – green glitter, pink glass flecks, a flash of blue. The green sparkle is predominant, giving this shade a teal cast. Application was easy. I used two coats.
I wanted to compare Small, Dim, Summer Stars with the other black-based (and silver) RBLs.
Accidental Interloper is silver and not black-based; Iconoclast is darker and, although shimmery, doesn’t have Small, Dim, Summer Stars’ complex mix of sparkle; Under the Stars is blue and Fashion Polish’s base is creme, not shimmer and has pretty tiny glitter.
AS SWEET COMPANIONS
“The silver-lavender and matte black glitter were meant to be playmates. This is not your typical screaming glitter, it’s more discreet, reserved, with muted tones. You can create a perfect polka-dot nail art overlay with any of the opaque colors from this collection as base. Or better yet, for those who want it real–layer it on for jeweled digits!”
At first, the black glitter performed tricks on my eyes, making me think that As Sweet Companions was lavender glitter set in an inky base. It was only upon application that I realized that there was matte black glitter in the mix and that the base was actually clear. “Wowza!” I thought, when I saw the black and purple mix. As Sweet Companions’ base is a little thick, making it great for picking up a lot of glitter each time. But the thick base means you need to be careful if you wish to wear this glitter on its own – wait for each layer to dry between coats so the glitter doesn’t move when you apply the next one. You may want to use the dabbing technique too to add glitter to little spots that you might miss. It is easier to apply over opaque polish – no need to think about it, just swipe and go. I tried wearing As Sweet Companions on its own and while the result is crazy sparkly, I don’t think this is a look I’d go for in my daily life. I prefer to layer it over other colors.
But first, let me show you As Sweet Companions on its own. I used four coats.
I layered it over A Lonely House.
Over Forgotten Road.
And over The Mosses Mar.
I also layered As Sweet Companions over different RBL purples because I thought you might be curious about how that would look.
And to highlight the black glitter, I created a jelly sandwich using As Sweet Companions and RBL Medium White. I love this mani so much that I’m still wearing it now. I can’t wait to do Square Pants, Bikini Bottom and Starfish Patrick jelly sandwiches too.
I had so much fun playing with this collection and swimming in the words of Robert Frost. And I love how this collection has something to offer everyone, whether you are a glitter fan, a creme lover or a shimmer addict.
Check out more swatches and reviews from Fashion Polish, Kellie Gonzo, Makeup Withdrawal, The Manicurator, Nails and Noms, Peachy Polish, Refined and Polished, Scrangie and Warm Vanilla Sugar’s YouTube Channel.
The pre-order for RBL’s A Poem Collection will start on Friday, February 7 at noon EST.
Rescue Beauty Lounge is exclusively available at www.rescuebeauty.com for $20 per bottle. Rescue Beauty Lounge’s nail polish is created with resin and high molecular polymers to improve flexibility, durability, and high shine. They contain no harmful Toluene, Formaldehyde, DBP, and Formaldehyde Resin. Rescue Beauty Lounge does not test on animals.
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