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Saturday, March 28, 2009

Weekend Beauty- Nail Polish: In Search of a Perfect Laduree Violette

I have been toying with the idea of posting about makeup, cosmetics, beauty on weekends. Perhaps, I will finally start doing so, every once in a while. Being a nail polish maniac, I am, of course inaugurating, the Weekend Beauty on PST with a post about nail polish.

It all started with a Laduree's Napoleon III box in what they call "violette" color. I would also describe this color as light lilac or lavender. Whatever is the right name for it, I've been obsessed with this shade forever. A lot of it, worn close to my face, makes me look like I drowned, and not pretty Pre-Raphaelite Ophelia kind of drowned. But in a lipstick (a post to follow) and nail polish it suits me well and is oh so pretty. Here are swatches of nine nail polishes I tried on in an attempt to match the sublime Laduree "violette", from the least to the most similar.

China Glaze Mr & Mrs was too pink. Nice application, as always with China Glaze, but on a transparent side, with a shimmer that is becoming too obvious for my taste, as the color builds up. I also must say that this shade is, to me, rather tame and dull.

Orly Petit Four is pinker still or actually mauve-er. Even, creamy texture that is thick enough to almost be sufficient in one coat. Very pretty, might be my taste, it might be the fact that it sort of doesn't sit too well with my skin color, but I found it quite boring.

China Glaze Agent Lavender is lovely taken on its own merit, but too blue Laduree-box-wise. At times it looks to me light periwinkle more than lavender. It had amazing creamy texture and easy application. This is the kind of polish that appears as though it would apply unevenly and then miraculously spreads on a nail flawlessly all on its own. It is also a perfect match to tanzanites in one of my favorite rings and so it more than earns its place in my collection.

Essie Looking for Love is less blue than Agent Lavender but still on a too-blue side for my Laduree violette ideal. It was also the worst of the nine polishes with regards to quality and application. Too transparent, it applied with "bold spots" and needed 5 coats to look at all decent.

China Glaze Who's Wearing What is a little darker than what I was looking for in this case, but unexpectedly gorgeous in an odd kind of way in which Sephora by OPI Metro Chic is gorgeous. It has some mushroomy dirt in it which makes it rather edgy. Not Laduree material, but a surpising discovery anyway.

OPI Done Out in Deco from South Beach Spring/Summer 2009 Collection, although lighter than Who's Wearing What, is still a little too dark and has a little bit of dirt (which I love) in it as well. To me, it is also somewhat of a lighter cousin to Parlez-Vous OPI. For those who, like me, adore mid-tone purples like this, it will be a new holy grail. The application was perfect, the polish was almost thick enough for one coat and impeccable with two coats.

Essie Baby Cakes is almost a perfect match, perhaps just a tiniest, minutest touch on a pinker side than the color in question. Love-love this shade anyway, and the quality and ease of application are what I came to expect from Essie. Something chilly and mesmerizing about this color. My new favorite.

Zoya Miley is basically It, the violette-lilac-lavender shade I was looking for. It is a little too transparent and needs 4 coats for nail tips not to show through but the gel-like texture and final result are sublime. Here is one more picture with it, just because:

Orly Bon Bon is The Perfect Match, perhaps unsurprisingly somehow, given the name. It seems a little transparent at first, but builds up fine in 3 coats. The texture is even and smooth, somewhere in between cream-cream and gel-cream. I used to complain that Orly polishes dry too slowly (if at all), but ever since I started using drying top coat, it became a non-issue. This delicious lilac is a must-have. Any more ideas for light violet-lilac-lavender polishes? Do share, because one can never have too many.

China Glaze, OPI and Orly polishes mentioned can be found at and/or Zoya polishes can be bought on

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Blogger Flora said...

These are really pretty! I can see why you love that box.

12:33 AM EDT  
Anonymous ChantillyLace said...

What a fab layout! I MUST go get Bon Bon and Done out in Deco! I just love your writing style! I look forward to every new post!!!

5:23 AM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

I have a box fetish :-)))

7:27 AM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

Thank you so much, I am glad you enjoyed!

7:28 AM EDT  
Blogger NewKidOnTheBlog said...

Referring to yourself as "a nail polish maniac" is like saying Graham Norton is a wee bit camp or that Jessica Simpson might like cheeseburgers a little.

8:51 AM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

Ms Simpson is hot, so there!

8:58 AM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I've been reading your blog for years, and really enjoy perfume,
but can't really keep up with the
fragrances like a real perfumista.
However, I'm also a nail polish
fanatic and beauty products junkie,
so I will enjoy this.

I also immediately knew which polish went with your box, having
seen it on The Polish Addict's
blog and it being one of her top

Thanks for this addition to your

Marsha Smith

9:03 AM EDT  
Blogger Jarvis said...

Hello, Marina. I love the care with which you went about finding the perfect match to the box colour/shade. But I wanted to know, what happened to the macarons that were in the box? *drools a little bit*

9:28 AM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

Thank you so much! So did you guessed Bon Bon straightaway? Miley is also very, very close, basically it's a tie.

9:30 AM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

Thank you! As for macarons...they had an um short but fulfilling life. :-)

9:33 AM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Aside from perfumes, nail polish is another addiction of mine. At the moment, the closest thing to lavender that I own is OPI's Sheer your Toys. But I reaaaaallly like that Orly Bon Bon and Essie Baby Cakes. Recently purchased Essie's Sag Harbor, although that has nothing to do with lavender....BUT, have you seen that gorgeous, new Nubar Isis Purple or Purple Beach? Drooooollll

Sorry for the long post, but have you seen those StrangeBeautiful libraries?

Thanks for starting cosmetic-weekend-fun,

9:54 AM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

Yay, another addict! :-) I pre-orderd Isis and Pharaoh purples, can't wait. And as for Librarie...WANT to at least try. :-D

9:56 AM EDT  
Blogger ScentScelf said...

I am a bit opposite of Marsha...way more into perfume than polish...but have very much enjoyed reading about your adventure with polish.

But Jarvis' comment makes me realize perhaps I can offer some assistance. As you make your way through polish to match boxes of macaroons, dark chocolates, and what not, how about you have a faithful assistant who helps you dispose of those in an eco-conscious, non-caloric to you way? Said faithful assistant would be happy to contribute a paragraph about their own experience. ;)

Ooops. I think I just created a job for Mr. C. Nonetheless, I still offer myself as martyr to the cause...

9:58 AM EDT  
Blogger ScentScelf said...


Is that a full bottle of Colony??? Is it in your posession?????

9:59 AM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

Oh how noble of you to offer to sacrifice yourself like that :-) I think you will have competition here, however. But what about contributing a paragraph or too anyway, about polish :-)

10:05 AM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Marina, where did you order from? Directly from the website? Can't find these anywhere and the site doesn't ship internationally :-( Any advice?


10:06 AM EDT  
Blogger Unknown said...

Oh...the visual sequence is great, and the fact that you can write about nail polish, and make it sound interesting....what else remains to be said? A writer hidden in a blog, Marina. I wait for your messages. And that rose. Now, I dare you, what perfume with that hue?

10:10 AM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...


For some reason I thought you were in the US, no? I am sorry, I don't know who stock Nubar aboard :-( Anything on ebay?

10:26 AM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

I am glad you thought it sounded interesting! :-) Now that rose...good question...I can't think of a rose perfume that would smell like that color. Hmm.

10:30 AM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Eleven European Mystics: what about Stephanie de Saint Aignan's Pot de rose? How about a slight layering of Violetta di Parma on top?

Marina, I am unfortunately, for cosmetic purposes only, not in the US. I have been checking ebay and no luck, but thanks for the concern.

Hoping to visit soon,

10:48 AM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

Well, let's see anyway if it's as good as it looks in a bottle :-)

10:52 AM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Look at beautiful Isis Purple and Pharaoh on nails here:

I'm sure you'll love them both!


10:57 AM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Gorgeous nails and pictures! My favorite is China Glaze Who's Wearing What since I like a little gray in lavender colors. I'm wearing Metro Chic right now.


11:16 AM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

Metro Chis is a dusty purple nonpareil, love it!

11:18 AM EDT  
Blogger Beth Schreibman Gehring said...

I LOVE THIS! what an outstanding way to begin the fun! I am a box freak so I am just blissed out...And I adore those Laduree macarons, my sister brings them back to me from Paris :) Thankfully not too often! When she brings me those with a box of crytallized violets....

I can see that we've set the bar here:)

I can't wait to wow you with my review of the perfect nude lipstick:)

11:37 AM EDT  
Blogger Lollyadverb1 said...

Orly doesn't always rule, just usually, and their Bon Bon is to that hand's skin tone what their Elsbeth's Rose is to mine. I'd say the best of all those violettes-gorgeous!!!!!

11:43 AM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Marina: Bon Bon really did pop into my head before Miley, but then Steph at The Polish Addict may have taken a more compelling photo of her swatch of Bon Bon than Miley, who knows?

I am sure the reason that I am not as in to perfumes is that I can not smell a lot of them; it was so distressing to read about the re-release of Chaos by Donna Karen, it sounded so much like a scent I would like. I ordered a decant and when I received it, I could not smell it! At all. That happens to me a lot. However, I still read you, and Now Smell This and the Posse, every day.

Marsha Smith

3:07 PM EDT  
Blogger Unknown said...

I love the Weekend Beauty series already. Beautiful!

6:04 PM EDT  
Anonymous Meilily said...

Great post and swatch photos! I'm glad you were able to find more than one nail polish that matched!

7:00 PM EDT  
Anonymous March said...

Marina, that was so much fun! I have several of those purples (although not one that matches the Laduree box) and you've added a couple new ones to my must-have list. BTW don't you think Deco looks TOTALLY out of place in the rest of the South Beach collection? Should have been in France... great color.

1:50 PM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

I guess they couldn't put it in France because of Parlez-Vous. South beach, apart form this one, is kind of underwhelming.

1:51 PM EDT  
Blogger elle said...

This is one of my favorite colors in the universe, and, knocking on multiple types of wood and even tapping the sandalwood scent on my arm, it actually is one of the best colors w/ my skin (although, not in lipstick for some reason, as I mentioned in today's post). I *adore* tops, scarves, jewelry, what have you in this color, so this nail polish collection has me taking notes. I am going to have to try several of them.
Love these weekend posts! :-)

4:08 PM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

I am glad you like the weekend series :-) Now that you mentioned scarves, I want one in violette :-)

4:10 PM EDT  
Anonymous Elizabeth said...

Thanks for this post - it's inspiring me to let me nails grow and wear polish once in a while. Some of these are just beautiful, and your nails are to die jealous!

1:33 AM EDT  
Blogger Ducks said...

Great pictures, Marina, and great review. I am besotted with everything purple or blue for nails right now... and my partner hates "unnatural" colors, so you may have shown me one or two we can compromise on. Not that I let him pick my colors, but it's always nice when he likes them too. :)

11:20 AM EDT  
Blogger violetnoir said...

Ooh, Marina! I love all of these colors on you.

Thank you for giving us a little "nail porn." I love it!


12:08 PM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm wearing Zoya Deidra on my fingernails, which is a beautiful mauve with a gold flash, and Zoya Zara on my my toes, which is more purple with a copper flash. While I really like Deidra, I think an entire winter of wearing strong colors makes it look somewhat...meek. I should have put Zara on my fingernails, instead! Orly makes this really pretty color called Sky Blue Pink that looks blue with a pink flash.

4:04 PM EDT  
Anonymous Maria said...

Nice pics! I was expecting to see OPI's 'Do you lilac it?' though. Try it if you haven't yet, you may like it...

12:09 AM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I've been lusting after a lavender nail colour. Your post is fabulous. I think I'm sold on Essie Baby Cakes.

2:01 AM EST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

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4:01 PM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

hey! you should try out essie's lilacism! its beautiful :) it looks like it could be another close one to your box!

9:57 PM EDT  

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