Monday, February 25, 2013

L.A. Girl Ombre Gradient Mini Polish Set Review

Well, this newborn blog has already been neglected due to an entire week of dreary Georgia weather.

If it's raining and your house is completely surrounded by trees and has limited windows, taking pictures is nearly possible both indoors and out.

A lightbox! Pinterest provides plenty of options. I'll be tackling my favorite this week and show you how I did it in the cheapest, easiest way possible.

In the meantime, a break in the storm allowed me to finally capture a few shots of one of my Valentine's Day gifts.

L.A. Girl Ombre Gradient Mini Nail Polish Set in "Midnight."

These polish kits contain six 0.15 fl oz (4.5ml) bottles which include for gradient creme shades, one glitter coat and a bonus top coat. There are five different sets available in stores and online at cherryculture.com

The set above came from my local Kroger grocery store for $5.99. I must have walked past these a hundred times but they remained out of my reach, placed high above the ever-tempting but overpriced OPI display. Luckily my 6'4" handyman scooped them up and collected them in a custom reclaimed gray wood box he made himself. I'll take nail polish over flowers any day.

The Cremes

Unfortunately the bottles are not individually named so I'll just refer to the corresponding finger.

This is the lightest of the creme shades. In the bottle this appears to be a very light gray, but this along with the other "grays" displayed significant blue undertones  This one had the worst formula. It streaked and showed fine lines of discoloration as if the bottle needed to be shaken, stirred or whathaveyou. It took three coats to reach full opacity and dried to a semi gloss finish.

Unless you're looking at the bottle, this color looks like a dusty blue no matter light it is in. This formula was a smidgen better than its lighter counterpart, but not by much. At three coats, you can still see the odd streaking that almost looks like a different shade altogether. It also dried to a semi-gloss finish.

This color is a few steps darker and many steps smoother and glossier than the previous two. I almost got away with one coat, but used two to cover minor thinness near the cuticle. In most lighting situations, this shade too exhibits that bluish tint, but in low or artificial lighting it can actually pass for a Payne's gray.

This is a great black. It went on a bit thin with the first coat, but so smooth I couldn't believe it was part of the same collection. I used two coats for full opacity  and dried to a full gloss finish.

The Glitter

The glitter is definitely the shining star of the bunch (get it?). If there is a full size floating around somewhere I'd snatch it in a heartbeat. It is  a clear base with a mix of extremely small black and holographic specs along with small holographic hexes mixed in.

Doesn't seem special? It's the application of this particular glitter than makes it possibly one of the best glitter finishes I own. This polish brushes on like a creme, really. The glitter does not drag at all and applies evenly. It does however take twice as long as the cremes to dry, but considering the rest were pretty fast-drying it is nothing unbearable. Clean up and removal is the icing on the cake, leaving almost no stray glitter behind.

Pictured above (taken days later with cremes reapplied) is the glitter applied three different ways:

Thumb: Three coats applied over a clear base (pictured using Loreal's One Step Base)
Index: One coat applied over the lightest gray creme.
Pinkie: One coat applied over the black creme.

Personally, I prefer the glitter built up on it's own, rather than layering over a base color. Over a dark base you lose the black specs which give the glitter it's special something. When applied over a light color the glitter appears sparse and the hexes become nearly invisible.

The Top Coat

The top coat is the other unexpected wonder of the bunch. Extremely fast drying and silky smooth. The pictures above show two coats, and that's only because the size of the brush pulls out minimal product meaning the layers were so thin I opted for an additional layer.


In the end, I'm pleased with the set despite some concerns about the formula of the lighter shades. They're minis, so they won't be something I reach for as often anyway, but having the assurance of a perfectly matched ombre is definitely worth having around.

I emphasized the cremes being too blue for what appears to be a grayscale ombre collection...but to be fair, the packaging nor description of the item actually advertises this. Laying the matter to rest, I like the colors as they stand. Grays may be a tad more intimidating or sad for the casual nail painter.

Also, despite the horrible lighting and my "close, but no cigar" regrown nails, the gradient pictured on my thumb took little effort with this time saving set. Not only is it a time saver, but the price is right (I would pay full price for the top coat and glitter alone). If I can make it work, you most certainly can as well.

If you're on the fence about purchasing mini bottles or looking for a quick gift for a fellow nail junkie, this is a good starting point. In my desperation to take pictures of these babies in action, I must have repainted  the same manicure three or four times and yet I still have most of the bottle left including the top coat.

Have you seen or purchased any of these sets? How did they work for you? 
Let me know in the comments below.

Oh, and if you cats, coffee and quick updates/previews of future projects and products, you can now follow me on twitter, facebook and all that good stuff by clicking on the icons on the right hand side.
(My facebook is a little lonely as of now, but maybe one day that will change.)

1 comment:

  1. Hi,
    looks like you did a great job there! :) Looks nice on the pictures.
    In the first picture, which colors did you blend to get the effect on your thumb? It's beautiful:)



Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...