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The MAC holiday collection is one I look forward to each year. From the unique packaging to the products, I usually find several items I feel I have to have. As a collector, it can be quite draining on my bank account. This year it is A Tartan Tale.

Unfortunately, I have to say that I am simply not as impressed with this year’s holiday collection as I wish I were. Now, a point I would be remiss not to mention: MAC’s holiday collection, this year and every year, represent the only time in the year during which MAC products are discounted. This is a fantastic opportunity for budding enthusiasts and people who otherwise don’t spend much money on make-up to get more bang for their buck. The items all also make great gifts. Another point: there are still a couple items I will probably buy from the collection, which I’ll talk about in another post in the near future.

Since Tartan Tales is such a huge collection, I want to focus the rest of this post solely on the 5 Naughty Little Vices Nail Lacquer set. This post is intended as more of a review than a beautiful post with pictures and swatches, because I have not and will not be purchasing the set.

Let’s get started already!

Set Includes: 5 mini nail lacquers: Nocturnelle, Beyond Jealous, Vintage Vamp, Asiatique & Vice is Nice
Amount: 2.5 mL / 0.09 fl oz each.
Retail Price: $25.50

To start, the only non-repromoted limited edition lacquer shade is Vice is Nice, a yellow gold frost. Nocturnelle is a black cream from the permanent line. Beyond Jealous is a deep teal cream, repromoted from F/W Nail Trend ’09. Vintage Vamp is a red wine cream from the permanent collection. Asiatique is a classic red cream, repromoted from the Dame Edna collection.

My first gripe here is the lack of new products. Yes, there are always “cult classic” colors that everyone can appreciate, but seeing as there is only one nail set, it seems that the colors would at the very least be new limited edition colors. Vice is Nice, on top of being a never-before-seen color is also a unique addition to MAC’s permanent collection (the last metallic gold nail lacquer was Gilded from Antiquitease in 2007).

On that same note, even if all the colors were repromotes, why these colors? Nocturnelle… a black cream… really? Wasted space in my opinion. Beyond collectors, most people will say a black cream is a black cream, and they can easily get cheaper (not to mention MORE) black creams at Sally’s. Beyond Jealous is one of those colors that looks black in low lighting, and isn’t as punchy as the season’s trending teal color (as seen in the collection’s promo picture).

Next, beyond the colors, is the lack of variety in finishes. Asiatique and Beyond Jealous are mistakenly labeled as frosts, but trust me: they are both creams, which makes 4 of the 5 mini lacquers cream finishes. For a set that represents the opportunity for people to try several colors for the price of (roughly) 2 full-sized lacquers, they definitely should have offered more variety here.

Lastly is the seriously minuscule amount of polish you’re given with the set. Yes, you get 5 different colors for the price of (roughly) 2 full-sized nail lacquers. However, the amount of product itself? 2.5 mL in each mini lacquer bottle, compared to the full-sized nail lacquer’s 10 mL. One full-sized bottle of MAC nail lacquer is $13. It takes just a bit of simple math: 5 nail lacquers x 2.5 mL in each bottle = 12.5 mL of nail polish TOTAL in the set. That is just slightly over the amount of polish in ONE full-sized bottle of MAC nail lacquer! You are better off buying 2 full-sized nail lacquers, and you will get more product for your dollar. There is very little value in the set.

So, with all of those complaints, I guess it’s obvious that I wouldn’t recommend this set to anyone. It’s unfortunate, because it’s been so long since MAC did a nail lacquer set, and I was truly looking forward to it. Hopefully next year they will have some better (and bigger, or cheaper!) options. We’ll have to see.

Below, check out swatches of Nocturnelle and Beyond Jealous side-by-side. Does this set really need both colors? Do you agree with the points I’ve made above, or disagree? I’d love to hear from you in the comments.


(Beyond Jealous on index & ring fingers, Nocturnelle on middle & little fingers.) Direct sunlight.


(Beyond Jealous on index & ring fingers, Nocturnelle on middle & little fingers.) Indirect sunlight.


(Beyond Jealous on index & ring fingers, Nocturnelle on middle & little fingers.) Indoors, with flash.


(Beyond Jealous on index & ring fingers, Nocturnelle on middle & little fingers.) Indoors, with flash.

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Oh. My. Goodness. Hot on the heels of Serena Williams’ announcement on The Oprah Show that she will be collaborating with OPI to make a new ‘Grand Slams’ polish collection, Nicole by OPI has announced its new collection, One Less Lonely Girl, is inspired by Justin Bieber.

*ETA* OPI has also announced that it will be teaming with Katy Perry… and a crackle polish is included in the collection!!

These first six polishes are scheduled for release in December 2010 at Wal Mart, with a subsequent launch in January 2011 at Wal Mart and in February 2011 at select Target, Sears, Ulta and other retail locations.


One Less Lonely Glitter


Prized Possession Purple


Give Me The First Dance


Me + Blue


OMB!


Step 2 the Beat of my Heart

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One of the polishes I picked up at Rite Aid during the BOGOF Sally Hansen sale is this Insta-Dri in Pronto Purple. Pronto Purple is a violet-based frost with fuchsia and tiny hints of blue shimmer.

Color

I love this color, but it’s purple so that’s not too surprising. Despite its being a frost, it didn’t apply streaky at all for me (partly because of the wide brush, I’m sure). I love the subtle blue shimmer that you can see when you look closely. Alone, the base color may lean towards vampy, but the shimmer lightens it up and makes it a stunning polish, in the sunlight and indoors.

Formula

Personally, I like the Insta-Dri formula, but you may find it to be goopy or thick. I found it easy to use, though, super smooth opaque in one coat if you’re careful. One problem: despite a coat of Gelous, this polish bubbled like CRAZY on me. Funny thing was, as soon as I applied my topcoat, it completely smoothed out the appearance. It was like an illusion, I really couldn’t believe it. But, lesson learned: definitely use a top coat with this polish.

Final Recommendations

I’d definitely recommend the color to add to your collection. I think it’s a great transition from summer to fall if you like to keep up with nail trends, but I’d wear this yearround. Luckily, it’s a permanent color in the Sally Hansen Insta-Dri line, so you don’t have to worry about shuffling out to grab it immediately.

Base: Gelous
Layer 1: Sally Hansen Insta-Dri Pronto Purple
Top: Sally Hansen Mega-Shine Topcoat

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A very small haul for me this time, just 2 products from each line. The palettes didn’t strike me as unique at all, so those were an easy pass. I’d like to get more of the Superslick Liners, though. They’re all gorgeous. I got:


Smoky Heir SuperSlick Liquid Liner


Aristo-cat Lipstick

Last year I got every single color from the F/W Nail Trend collection. Jin Soi is amazing and has done it again–I’d love to have every single one of these. Due to circumstance, that’s not possible this year, but I did walk away with:


Earthly Harmony


Jade Dragon

image source

What did you pick up?

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I am so excited to bring you swatches of 3 new colors from China Glaze’s Fall 2010 collection, Vintage Vixens. This looks to be an amazing collection with beautiful warm, Fall colors like you’d expect as well as more trendy colors like Classic Camel, Swing Baby, and Ingrid. I love the mix of the familiar with the different, and it seems like each of the polishes are pretty unique. My love affair with China Glaze continues…


direct sunlight


flash indoors


no flash indoors


multicolor microglitter in direct sunlight

Bogie is a deep plum with multicolored microglitter. Of the three I swatched, this is the least sheer in one coat. I used two and it was perfectly opaque. Formula was perfect. This polish definitely is the biggest hit in the sunlight. The silver/multi-color sparkles are unreal.


direct sunlight


flash indoors


no flash indoors


copper sparkles in direct sunlight

Foxy is surprisingly red–in the bottle it looks much more coppery brown, but on the nail it is definitely a burgundy red base with copper microglitter. The copper sparkles are no where near as intense in Foxy as they are in Bogie or Midnight Mission.. definitely more of a traditional frost. Formula is pretty good–I found mine a bit thin, but not impossible to work with. One coat was patchy and sheer, but two coats turned out to be smooth and totally opaque. I was expecting this to look more brown on the nail, but it’s still not a true red, so this is definitely unique to my collection!


direct sunlight


flash indoors


no flash indoors


silver microglitter indoors with no flash

Midnight Mission is a gorgeous navy with silver glitter that really shines through the dark base. This has been on my wishlist since, oh, the moment I saw a swatch of it. The navy base was surprisingly sheer, so two coats was a must. Again, this color really is amazing in the sunlight, but even in low light settings it’s a gorgeous night-sky blue. I love love love this color.

This a huge collection with 13 different colors. Here are ones that I haven’t yet been able to see and swatch:

Riveter Rouge – Deep red shimmer
Goin’ My Way – Deep copper shimmer
Classic Camel – Khaki creme with gold micro glitter
Swing Baby – Taupe with silver micro glitter
Ingrid – “Greige” creme with copper micro glitter
Hey Doll – Deep rose shimmer
First Class Ticket – Deep purple shimmer
Emerald Fitzgerald – Turquoise shimmer
Jitterbug – Grey chrome with silver micro glitter

I also think I must have Classic Camel, Ingrid, and Emerald Fitzgerald… and maybe Jitterbug too. Darn it.

Per FTC regulations I must disclose that product(s) in this post were sent to me by a brand or PR firm for consideration for review on my website. I guarantee honesty above all. For more information, please see my full disclosure policy.

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My nails have been bare the past few days as I’ve contemplated how to paint them. I wanted to do a french manicure, but I also wanted to tie in a little pink to go with my pedicure of the moment. So, I opted to do a few coats of a sheer polish over the white tips I painted. The outcome is alright I think. The polish I used for the tips is an old Nailene bottle of white that wasn’t great to work with–I suspect it’s a little dried out, so it was slightly difficult to make the tips thin and not goopy.

Base: Sally Hansen Double Duty Strengthening Base & Top Coat
Layer 1: Nailene white
Layer 2: OPI Suzi & the Lifeguard
Top: Sally Hansen Insta-Dri Anti-Chip Top Coat

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