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‘mug shot’ Category

  1. COOL COLLAB: R29 + RESCUE BEAUTY LOUNGE (swatches and comparisons)

    November 10, 2014 by pam

    I am a big fan of collaborations. Often, when two brands come together, magic happens. This is one of those moments.

    Rescue Beauty Lounge’s Ji Baek is no stranger to collaborations, having released two blogger collections and two fan collections in the past. (Fan Collection 3.0 is currently in the works!)

    This time, Ji worked with seven teams from the website Refinery29, which Ji calls her daily obsession, to create a collection of seven new nail polish shades that they christened R29 + Rescue Beauty Lounge. (Read what Ji and R29 have to say about the collaboration.)

    R29 + Rescue Beauty Lounge landed at Polish Police early and I had so much fun playing with all seven shades.


    Bubblegum Punk, the dream color of R29′s news team, is a shimmery silvery white polish with flashes of pink, blue, green and gold. It goes on sheer but can become opaque after several coats. Application is a breeze. I used three coats.

    Although this polish can be worn on its own, I prefer to use it as a glitzy top coat. One coat is enough to give your base polish a sparkly makeover. I swatched it over the three creams from this collection.

    Bubblegum Punk over All About Yves:

    Bubblegum Punk over Better Than Boyfriend Jeans:

    Bubblegum Punk over Sunny Skies:

    And because I thought it would also look great over a soft white, here is Bubblegum Punk over Bella.

    Love this polish. Love the name, love that I can use it with practically every cream (and jelly) polish I own.

    No need for comparisons here, there is nothing like Bubblegum Punk in the existing RBL library.


    One look at Better Than Boyfriend Jeans, R29′s shopping team’s dream color, and I knew I was going to fall in love with it. One, I am crazy about gray polish. Two, I am crazy about blue polish. Three, I am crazy about RBL’s creams. So yep, totally in love with this one. It’s such a beautiful light blue with a hint of gray. Application was of course easy-peasy. I used two coats.

    I knew instantly that I had to swatch Better Than Boyfriend Jeans with Concrete Jungle. I wanted to see how the two colors compared so I brought out the lightest gray in the RBL spectrum along with a few pale blues.

    Concrete Jungle is darker and is more gray than blue; Bikini Bottom is a lot lighter, has no hint of gray and is a jelly, not a cream; Reveillon is darker, has shimmer and has a hint of silver that Better Than Boyfriend Jeans does not have.


    Here’s another color that’s totally up my alley. Sunny Skies is a seafoam green that Ji created with R29′s wellness team. I’m obsessed with this color. It’s glossy and so so so pretty. In fact, I’m tempted to stop writing so I could put it on now. Great formula. One coat could have been enough but I went for two.

    There were a number of RBL colors that I wanted to compare with Sunny Skies. (I was especially curious to see how it would look next to Aqua Lily.)

    Aqua Lily, as expected, is the most similar RBL shade to Sunny Skies but they’re still not dupes. Aqua Lily is darker and a tad more blue and, unlike Sunny Skies, isn’t a pure cream and has pink shimmer. Motorini is darker and is more blue; 360 is darker and dustier, with a lot of gray; Faraway is more blue and doesn’t have Sunny Skies’ green tones.


    I know. Insane. Another color I love. One look at All About Yves and I wanted to wear it immediately. The dream color of R29′s fashion team, All About Yves is bold, bright, blue and it will go with anything. It’s a jelly-cream hybrid and it’s super glossy. I heart it. Forever. I used two coats.

    If you’ve been a longtime fan of RBL then I’m sure you know that there is only one color we need to compare with All About Yves: the now sold-out IKB: 2012 from the first Fan Collection.

    As you can see, All About Yves is brighter and slightly lighter than IKB: 2012. Love both shades (please don’t make me choose).


    RBL isn’t just famous for its killer creams, it’s also known for producing complex shimmery shades that look fabulous on the nails. Pretty Gritty is one of them. This dusty purple-mauve with gold shimmer is the dream color of R29′s beauty team. Love this shade too, I think it would look great with just about every skin tone. Lovely formula, easy application. I used two coats.

    Brused is a mauve plum and is a cream, not a shimmer; although it also has gold shimmer, Catherine is a lot darker; Will They Won’t They is a lot lighter and has iridescent flakes instead of a golden flash; Lucciole is a lot more shimmery than Pretty Gritty and doesn’t have its mauve undertones.


    Stare at this beauty because Ji said this copper polish was the hardest one to mix out of the seven colors in this collection (it set a record for most rounds of color mixing in RBL’s history). R29′s tech team gave her a real challenge and she worked meticulously on trying to turn their dream shade into reality. The result of her hard work is this metallic copper polish that reminds us of pennies—and now the phrase “a pretty penny” has taken on a whole new meaning. Like the rest of the shades in this collection, the formula was a breeze to work with. I used two coats.

    Elvis In The Cloud has no twin in my Helmer but I still thought I’d do a comparison so you can figure out where it fits in the RBL spectrum. Noisette is darker and is not metallic and Santa Fe is a shimmer that’s more orange.


    I was stunned when I first saw Galaxy Glue. And I was stunned again when I applied it. I had no words so I just wrote a big <3 in my swatching notes. And then I sent Ji this email:

    “Galaxy Glue is insaaaaaaaane.”

    Yes, with eight As. (And Galaxy Glue deserves every single one of them.)

    I still have no idea how I’m going to describe the dream color of team R29 in a way that will do it justice. It’s sage, it’s blue, it has a hint of gray, it’s metallic, it’s soft, it’s pretty, it’s bold. It’s a real beauty. I love love love it. I used two coats.

    I also took a photo with flash to show you how metallic the color can appear under certain lights.

    Galaxy Glue is a unique RBL shade. Here it is beside some greens—no dupes, obviously.

    So instead, I used Galaxy Glue as a top coat over the creams in this collection.

    Here it is over Better Than Boyfriend Jeans:

    And over All About Yves:

    And over Sunny Skies:

    That last combo is my favorite.

    R29 + Rescue Beauty Lounge is exclusively available at Rescue Beauty Lounge nail polishes are created with resin and high molecular polymers to improve flexibility, durability, and high shine. They contain no harmful Toluene, Formaldehyde, DBP, and Formaldehyde Resin. They do not test on animals.

    Check out more swatches and reviews from Fashion Polish, Kellie Gonzo, Makeup Withdrawal, The Manicurator, Nails and Noms, Peachy Polish, Refined and Polished, The Beauty Lookbook (yay, Sabrina!) and Warm Vanilla Sugar’s YouTube Channel.

  2. MUG SHOT: 3.1 Phillip Lim for NARS (swatches and review)

    August 17, 2014 by pam

    NARS has teamed up with 3.1 Phillip Lim to create a limited edition nail polish collection for fall. (Check out my newspaper article about it.)




    I’ve always been a fan of NARS’ designer collaborations (I had so much fun with the Thakoon and Pierre Hardy collections) so I was excited when I heard about it.


    Phillip Lim describes the collection: “To me, these colors are the essential 3.1 Phillip Lim colors. These are my colors. The colors that constantly inspire me; they are constantly threaded in everything I do. Every single shade or color has appeared in the collections for the whole history of the company. They are my go-to colors. We came up with inspiration boards for each color, they were inspired by fabric, flowers, cars – from all facets of life, actually.”

    There are nine colors in the 3.1 Phillip Lim for NARS collection but one of them, Insidious, a bronze black, is only available on the NARS website and at NARS boutiques. (I will get a bottle some way, I swear.)

    NARS fans in the Philippines would be happy to know that the eight gorgeous shades will be out this month at Rustan’s The Beauty Source.


    I had so much fun playing with these colors. Phillip Lim describes them as “colors that exist in shadows.”

    “At first glance, you see one color in the daylight, and at night, you see another color. They are very transitional, very adaptable. I like colors that you can actually discover… They’re actually colors that blend and appear different to different people and different tones and different situations and time and day,” he said. “They’re not true primary colors, they are actually two steps right before, or two steps right after. And to me, it’s like they’re shades of madness.”

    These shades come in NARS’ upgraded formula and in the new bottle with the removable square cap and wide brush. The brush was a bit of an adjustment to me because I was used to NARS’ old brush and had no issues with it at all. But I soon realized that the wide brush works well for me too. In fact, it speeded up the process because on some fingers I only needed one stroke to cover the entire nail. The trick is making sure you have exactly the right amount of polish you need on the brush – not too much – so you can have clean edges and no flooding.



    Phillip Lim: “Crossroads comes from the African violet flower; it’s a beautiful little purple flower. In the daytime it’s really charming, but at night the color is more mysterious, and its vibrancy comes out. It roars actually. This little flower roars at night. I wanted to capture the spirit of it. Crossroads is a great color for fall; we used it at the AW2014 show.”

    Crossroads is a gorgeous deep purple creme. The formula was super smooth and very opaque. I used two coats.









    Phillip Lim: “Angora is somewhere between a baby bunny that’s not pure white, and a magnolia flower. Not nude, not ivory, not virginal, but not transparent. It’s kind of like a beige, like a more beige concrete.

    Angora isn’t really a nude, it’s not ivory, it’s something right in-between that — it’s reality, but a dirty reality.

    Even the name Anarchy is anti-fashion but it’s the most fashionable because it’s the most confident.

    It gives you hope that there’s something soft and cuddly coming from within.”

    Anarchy is Phillip Lim’s unique take on a nude nail. I’ve said this countless times – I normally don’t go crazy over neutrals but I like that Anarchy isn’t your boring old beige. It’s a little dirty and strangely sexy. Application was super easy, love the formula. I used three coats but two could have been enough.








    “This color to me is like raw denim, raw indigo. It’s my favorite shade of denim to wear personally. And now you can wear it on your fingers. There’s nothing more chic than raw denim head to toe.”

    This color is quite darker than my photos show. My camera just couldn’t capture this blue accurately. It’s a dark, moody blue. Again, smooth formula. I used two coats.








    Phillip Lim: “This champagne is our house metal color. It’s everywhere in the studio, on the furniture, door handles, in the stores. It’s a particular type of metal color. I chose it because it’s like an accessory, like jewelry, but it’s not silver and it’s not gold – it’s right in between. It works with silver and gold. If you wear it with silver, then it brings out the silver champagne shade, if you wear it with gold, then the gold will pop. It’s a color that works with you.”

    Gold Viper is INSANE. I love it. Love it love it. It has become my favorite metallic gold polish. I love that it’s gold without being gaudy. I usually wait until my blog post is up before I share swatches on Instagram but I couldn’t do it this time. I just had to show everyone how beautiful Gold Viper is. This metallic gold applies beautifully. It’s a lot less brushstrokey than your usual metallic gold and the effect is just gorgeous. I wore it out and my friends gasped when they saw my nails. They made me stop talking so they could look at my manicure.

    Like other metallic colors, Gold Viper is prone to showing every flaw on your nail so buffing and using a good ridge-filling base coat would be a good idea. But here’s the good news: those flaws are actually only visible to you. Everyone else will be too dazzled by the gorgeous gold on your nails. I used two coats.








    Phillip Lim: “This color was inspired by the vintage bento boxes I collect. I love the black lacquer on the outside, and the beautiful burst of red on the inside. That perfect red is so impossible to capture sometimes but at the same time, it’s the most powerful red.”

    Hell-Bent is a beautiful bright red creme-jelly hybrid. Flawless formula, easy application. I used two coats.









    Phillip Lim: “This is like bitter chocolate. I was in love with browns this season and this one in particular. It was about mulberries and browns, but I didn’t want to go with the regular chocolate brown flavor. It had to have a bitter taste to it – like soil or rockiness, so when I was describing this, it was about texture, about sound, about taste – it hits all the sensations.”

    Other Side is a deep, dark brown with a slight red tinge – yes, like bitter chocolate. Great formula. I used two coats.








    Phillip Lim: “This color is inspired by American hot rods, muscle cars – Camaro, Trans Am, Thunderbirds. I was imaging the character that would drive those kinds of cars. They’re driving by so fast that you only get a glimpse of the metallic.”

    I know I love Gold Viper but my god, Wrong Turn is even more insane. And I’ll show you why in a second. I LOVE WRONG TURN. I rarely use all caps here but it’s necessary. YOU NEED WRONG TURN. If you were only going to get one polish from this collection (but why just one?), I say get this one. (This one and Gold Viper. Sorry, one is just impossible.) Wrong Turn is described as a graphite but it’s so much more than that. It’s a beautiful beautiful blue-tinged metallic gray. Application is super easy, it’s opaque in one coat and is not brushstrokey at all despite being metallic. Now here’s where it gets crazy. When you first apply Wrong Turn, it will look like a graphite and a gunmetal gray. But when you apply a top coat over it, it changes into this gorgeous deep deep teal. When it first happened while I was swatching, I thought my eyes were playing tricks on me but I wore Wrong Turn today and it really does change when you apply a top coat. Let me show you. I used two coats.





    All those photos of Wrong Turn above are without top coat. And here’s one more, without top coat.


    With top coat.


    Again, without top coat.


    With top coat.


    One more time. Without top coat.


    With top coat.


    Totally insane, right? It’s like having two nail polish shades in one bottle.

    And because of the awesomeness of the metallic shades in Phillip Lim’s collection, I plan to buy all the metallic shades in NARS’ massive 43-color release (more about that very soon).



    Phillip Lim: “This is black with a touch of green vapor. To me, black is never black twice. Black is never the same black twice because the light will change it, people will change it, what you’re wearing with the black will change it. That’s what’s so genius about it is.”

    Described as a black sea green, Shutter is a beautiful deep green creme-jelly hybrid. Love the formula.





    The 3.1 Phillip Lim for NARS collection will be available at Rustan’s The Beauty Source this month for P1050 each.