Chanel Azuré

I got very excited about the summer Chanel nail lacquers when I heard a vibrant teal duochrome and electric blue shimmer would be part of the collection. The L'Ete Papillon de Chanel collection includes three nail colors: Azure, Bel-Argus and Lilis. I skipped Lilis, the coral, but picked up the other two.

 I'm wearing Azure as a full manicure right now, and to just get this out of the way: Yes, it's beautiful; no, it's not 100% unique. That should be all it takes for the Chanel haters to feel justified in sitting this one out.

But really...there are few polishes that are 100% unique these days, which is why small indie producers are having such a field day at the moment. Nail polish hoarders like myself are always interested in something they haven't seen before, and I'm not sure Azure qualifies.

That said. It is gorgeous. The duochrome blue-to-purple shift isn't as strong as the color shift in, say, Chanel Peridot, but it does show up in certain lights; and regardless of the duochrome the color is super vibrant. In the sun, the color really dazzles. It's a beautiful, summery, oceanic blue. It would be a very fun summer pedicure color.

I used two coats for opacity. The formula is excellent and wore well with Palladio Fuse base coat (RIP) and Seche Vite fast-dry top coat.

Whether it's worth $27 or not is entirely up to you. This is among the more unusual colors Chanel has produced, particularly of late, so people who collect Chanel will definitely want to get this one.


NOTD: Estee Lauder Smashed

When I chose this polish to put on tonight, I couldn't believe I hadn't featured it as an NOTD before. Released as part of the Metal Mania collection in 2012, Smashed is a vibrant red-purple jelly with magenta, purple and blue flecks. They're not fine enough to be a straight shimmer, but they are very small, and irregularly shaped.

I bought Smashed along with Tempestuous—the first full-size Estee Lauder polishes I'd laid my hands on. In recent years, EL's nail color selection has gotten much more interesting as more women get adventurous with nail polish, even EL's traditionally more mature, conservative customer. Smashed still falls on the "safe" side and would be work appropriate in all but the most straitlaced workplaces, but it's still a beautiful polish.

The formula was very good—an easy-to-control jelly. The brush is short, on the stiff side and somewhat flat, but not wide like an OPI ProWide. All in all it was very easy to apply.

Also, it must be said, the Estee Lauder nail lacquer bottles are a thing of beauty. The polish is contained in a spherical void within a glass cube. Yes, you're only getting 0.3 ounces, but the bottle has a nice heft and it certainly connotes luxury as is appropriate for the brand.

The good news is that Smashed is still available. The somewhat less good news is that it's $20.


L.A. Girls 3D Effects Teal Dimension

Listen, there are a number of nail trends that either don't interest me or that I actively dislike. I am sure this applies to everyone. Luckily for every trend that emerges that we don't like, another will soon come along that we just can't get enough of.

I know that a lot of people got real tired of holos, and I understand that, because I got real tired of them for a while too. At this point I don't understand why a company would even go to the trouble of producing another black or HEAVEN HELP ME pastel holo. I'm interested in more holos—linear, scattered, whatever ya got—but I want some new and interesting colors.

Another holo wish I had was availability. I don't mind paying more for holos but I also don't especially want to have to send away to Italy or Brazil to get them. And I find a lot of US resellers very frustrating in this regard, because things are constantly out of stock. This isn't anyone's fault exactly but if I have a list of six polishes I want and only three are in stock NOW but if I wait four weeks, two others will be in stock but one of the original three won't be—well it just gets to be exhausting. And nail polish shouldn't be exhausting.

So I was very exciting when a couple of scattered holos popped up in the Zoya holiday 2012 collection. I also picked up a few of the China Glaze Hologlam collection. And you might have noticed the L.A. Girls 3D Effects collection, which is both very available (RiteAid!) and quite affordable.

L.A. Girls Teal Dimension
I picked up Teal Dimension recently because I don't have another holo that's similar, and boy was I ever thrilled with it. It's SUPER blingy. Lots of nice depth. And a beautiful base color too.

Application on this was fairly average. No special base coat is needed, and top coat did not dull it. I have two coats on in the pictures.

A widely available, inexpensive holo? Highly recommend!


China Glaze Hologlam Collection—When Stars Collide

China Glaze When Stars Collide
By the time I got around to buying a couple of the Hologlam colors, I had almost forgotten they existed. I was at Sally for something else and took a cruise by the nail polish section—as is my way—and saw some of the Hologlams all the way down on the bottom shelf. There was a buy-two-get-one sale going on, so I picked up When Stars Collide, Infra-Red and OMG a UFO. When I saw the swatches on Fashion Polish I'd also wanted Strap on Your Moon Boots, but I guess everyone else did too because it was nowhere to be found.

I bought these in spite of the fact that many people were disappointed in their holographic quality. To be sure, they are not strong holos. They're linear as opposed to scattered, but very very subtle. I didn't find the colors I bought to be too frosty, but I did have some issues with application—they have the typical holographic issues, so you might want to use Aqua Base.

I don't often buy China Glaze anymore because I find them to be a pain to apply and just not great quality overall. Were these worth it? Well, I'm glad they were on sale. But I like the colors and the application isn't so challenging that they aren't worth wearing. Nothing a little Aqua Base won't take care of.

Frankly, finicky holos kind of annoy me, because I've bought plenty of holos that aren't total pains to apply. But if you're looking for easily accessible holographic polishes that you could also wear to work (particularly the pinks, purple and gray) the Hologlam collection might work for you.