Saturday, December 10, 2011

Swatches - LOOK by BIPA Special Effect LE

Most of the limited editions that I checked out at the drugstores recently were pretty much a yawn (I did get three set of Catrice’s Vegas lashes, though). So coming across the LOOK by BIPA Special Effect polishes was rather refreshing.
This collection is polish only, ten lovely colours ranging from simple shimmers to duochromes, from holo* to chrome.

* European brands have a bad record when it comes to promising holos and delivering duochromes. Upon reflection I find that a bit unfair. There’s no real definition of what polish may be called holo, just what the lacquer-lovin’ community tends to call thus. I feel that the confusion stems from the fact that over the past decades the most ubiquitous items that were referred to as holograms/holographic were those silly card that show a couple different images as you tilt them. How is it surprising that polish companies would call a polish that shows a couple different colours holographic?
Yes, I do think they should have checked what terminology their customers may expect, but they definitely don’t deserve the hate.

You will note that as usual I don’t comment on wear time and such. If you’re reasonably familiar with nail polish you should know that these depend on one’s body chemistry and which base and top coat you use.
All polishes from this collection come with a slightly short round brush that I don’t dislike. It’s not especially great, but I can’t complain. They’re not super-cheap at € 1,99 per 5 ml bottle.

LOOK by BIPA Special Effect Nr.1 metallic pearl

This is a metallic silver, quite similar to China Glaze Millennium. I’m impressed, if you have a nice even base metallic pearl will be fine in one coat, my nails are eternally wonky so I used two.
There are no more brush marks that any other chrome, if you’re in the market for a basic silver this is a lovely choice.

LOOK by BIPA Special Effect Nr.2 metallic diamonds

I love me good silver foil, this is nice and sparkly. Chances are you already have one, but if you don’t this is very nice indeed. Technically you’d need three coats for an opaque layer, but it looks opaque in two.
metallic diamonds applies smoothly and evenly. Highly recommended.

LOOK by BIPA Special Effect Nr.3 metallic hologram

I have no idea how to describe this, the base is kind of burgundy-goldeny, packed with shifting greenish sparkle. Holy awesomesauce. I just with this was more opaque, so I put some silver foil on the index finger nail to see what that might look like. Two coats over the foil look amazing, three without are still sheer.
If not for the lacking opacity I’d be perfectly happy. But it is lovely and applies great.

LOOK by BIPA Special Effect Nr.4 metallic matt

Now this is what many Austrians will be looking for. The silver holo. It’s not insanely striking, I don’t have any of the China Glaze OMG polishes, but those seem to be a lot more vibrant. There is a distinct holo effect though and metallic matt is very opaque, one coat can be worn by itself. I applied two again for the same reason I stated above. Sadly the holo doesn’t want to come out and play with my camera.
I can only say: smooooth. The formula is great. Though I wonder where they got the ‘matt’ from, this polish may not be high-gloss, but it definitely isn’t matte. (Whoops, forgot not to put my unpainted thumb on the cap.)

LOOK by BIPA Special Effect Nr.5 purple-green

The fist duochrome of this lot is, as the name suggests, muted green to pinkish-purple. The shift isn’t too strong, but I always have trouble finding the appropriate lighting to photograph duochromes. This is quite sheer, I applied three coats and unless seen at a certain angle where the shimmer hides the sheerness it looks pretty opaque.
The formula is quite nice.

LOOK by BIPA Special Effect Nr.6 metallic violet

Nummy, this bright shimmery purple shifts gently to a bronzy shade. The opacity is quite good, two coats work beautifully.
Again, I had no trouble applying this colour.

LOOK by BIPA Special Effect Nr.7 metallic blue

This shade doesn’t shift, it’s just a gorgeous intense blue shimmer with just a touch of violet. Three thin coats are fully opaque.
This too applies easily, just with a few brush marks that one can always expect from a shimmery polish.

LOOK by BIPA Special Effect Nr.8 green changer

This and the following two shades are a bit more grainy than metallic violet for example. It’s a metallic golden green that in the bottle shows an almost peacock range of colours that I just can’t see on the nail. The colour is gorgeous, but the duochrome effect is too weak. Two coats are opaque.
green changer is smooth and even, no troubles with applying this.

LOOK by BIPA Special Effect Nr.9 gold changer

The main colour of this polish is a brassy gold, shifting through green to blue, but again this is apparent only in the bottle. On the nail I can make out the green, but no blue at all. This, too, is opaque in two coats.
It applies exactly like green changer, no trouble at all.

LOOK by BIPA Special Effect Nr.10 bronze changer

bronze changer is a bronze-blue duochrome, the blue does make it onto the nail, though it’s hard to capture. This is a lovely two-coater and I wouldn’t mind having an eyeshadow like that.
Application is same as above.

Overall I’m really impressed by the quality of these polishes, most are really opaque and quite wearable in one coat if one doesn’t mind a bit of sheerness.
metallic hologram is sheer, but it’s beauty make up for that and purple-green has been done before numerous time, but I love the pinkish sparkle. I’d say purple-green is the closest to a dud in this LE. All other polishes are beautiful, even though the duochromes are a bit weak in their shiftiness. ;-)
If you can find the collection I recommend getting at least a couple of colours. I was especially intrigues by metallic hologram and bronze changer, neither of which resembles anything I own. The first couple of silvers are basic, but good staples to have.
I suggest hurrying if you feel you must have these polishes, especially if you want the holo and duochromes. My guess is that those will go insanely fast.
Will you pick up some colours? Which ones would you get if you could?

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