October 29, 2013

Review: Revlon by Marchesa 3D Jewel Appliques

Nail strips are kind of a sham to me. I have never once bought them, ever, even at the times when I've seen them for 85% off. I just cannot trade my money for nail strips. I'm not a miser by any means - I buy Starbucks coffees and $20 nail polishes and gamble whenever I go to Atlantic City and covet $700 shoes. I'm sure I don't have to explain to anyone who reads this blog that I get loose with money. That should tell you what a joke nail strips are. Most of them are at least $9 for a box that includes enough strips for a full manicure and maybe some extras you'll later use for accent nails - just kidding because those extra strips will dry up once they're opened! $9 is a bottle of salon quality nail polish. $9 is a bottle of Essie or Zoya. You have a brand new bottle of OPI if you have $9 and then find some change underneath your couch cushions. For less than $9 you can get a bottle of China Glaze or virtually any polish you see in the drugstore whether it's Sally Hansen or Orly or Maybelline or Nicole by OPI. So, you can pay $9 for a box of nail strips that you can use once, along with some perfectly good extra strips that you have to throw in the trash OR you can use that $9 to get .5 fl oz of nice nail polish and paint your nails 50 times. It doesn't take a genius to know what the better buy is.

My head almost explodes when I look at some of the designs that Sally Hansen puts out in their Salon Effects line. Some of them are just plain glitter. Plain gold or pink glitter. Why? Why would anyone part with money for that? You can buy a bottle of pink or gold nail polish and do the exact same thing for the exact same price except that you can do it 50 MORE TIMES with a bottle of nail polish. Some of them are just a plain regular solid color. It just doesn't make any sense to me. Maybe you're hopeless at putting on nail polish - I don't sympathize, obviously, but okay. But the thing is, you can get a manicure in a salon for about $10. Let's just say it's $12 because you're not a shitty person and you're going to tip your nail tech 20% - you can pay $12 to have a professional paint your nails with a solid color. $12 to get a bit of pampering and a nice, shaped manicure with a base coat and top coat included instead of paying $9 for the same one time manicure, except you have to do it yourself and the only extras included in the box are a wooden stick and a nail file that will tear up your nails.

I can't see the point of buying nail strips unless you're doing it for a design. I can see why some of those are covet-y. Those Minx wraps that make your fingernails look like little gold or silver mirrors? You know I love those. I cannot make my nails look they were dipped into molten gold and because of that I'd consider paying a considerable amount of extra cash for it. Most of the other nail designs though? I don't mean to brag but I could do it. If I want flowers on my nails? I'm going to get out some paintbrushes and dotting tools and paint flowers on my nails. I'd rather invest the time and have exactly what I want than invest the money to quickly slap a sticker I might only half like. That's definitely not the mindset that everyone has so I can see why people will purchase nail strips when they want leopard print or splatter effect nails. But for me? I'll just do the leopard print myself with a skinny brush or lay down some newspaper and splatter paint my nails that way. I have a whole drawer of nail art supplies and I love nail art. It makes no sense for me to pay for nail strips when I can do virtually anything that I've seen with supplies I already own, some patience and a steady hand.

UNTIL NOW THAT IS!!!!

Revlon and Marchesa, an almost decade old brand famous for their gorgeous, elaborate gowns, have teamed up to make a line of beauty products. They started with nail stickers, 18 stickers per box, that are inspired by Marchesa gowns. You get the 18 stickers for $10, along with one of those nail files all nail strip boxes include. Plus, there are (or, rather, were) 8-9 different designs. I've seen official nail bloggers saying that there were 8 different designs but I saw another design in store that wasn't included in the press release lineup. Revlon/Marchesa needs to get their story straight.

I first saw the Revlon/Marchesa 3D Jewel Appliques in my CVS in September. I was probably in the CVS to buy something like sponges or steel wool and I just stopped dead in my tracks and was like, "Brillo who??" when I saw the word Marchesa on the shelf. Marchesa kills me. No lie, I'd say 75% of the time I'm can't eat, can't sleep, reach for the stars, over the fence, World Series* kind of in love with a red carpet look or a random dress I see on some fashion centered Tumblr? It's Marchesa. I don't plan on it. Marchesa just appeals to my aesthetic. The designs are fussy and intricate and often times sparkly. They make beadwork and embroidery look like it's a part of your body.

My favorite red carpet dress everevereverEVER - Olivia Wilde in Marchesa
 
Remember when Gossip Girl was good? And then remember when we reached season 2 and Gossip Girl was just okay but still saturating the zeitgeist and influencing fashion trends? Blair's perfect dream prom dress from season 2 - Marchesa

How can something so detailed look so effortless and ethereal? I don't know either. Mila Kunis - Marchesa.

Kerry Washington who almost always should be Best Dressed at red carpet evenets, obviously in Marchesa
This is one where you should zoom in as much as possible or find a high res photo for yourself because the detail? Unreal.

A Marchesa watercolor reimagination of The Little Mermaid which is so perfect I hardly know what to do with myself. This is just a basic sketch for them and it's a beautiful piece of art in and of itself.

Nicole Richie, fashion icon, wearing Marchesa for her wedding dress
Like... what? How? How can a person be allowed to wear this? It should be in a museum instead.
I have to stop searching for images to add to this because I'm getting overstimulated. It's too much and I'm beside myself. I feel like many, many fantastic works of art don't hold up in .jpg form. Something that would shake you to your very core can look blah online. Marchesa takes my breath away in low resolution photos so I can't imagine how gorgeous they are in real life. I hope I never see one because I would probably ask to touch it and throw up all over it out of excitement. 

I'd exclusively wear Marchesa if I were famous and I don't just mean on the red carpet. I'd wear Marchesa when when I was doing yard work. I'd get married five times just to wear five different Marchesa wedding dresses. I love Marchesa. 

So, seeing Marchesa on the shelf at CVS was too much. And Marchesa for Revlon? Revlon is easily my favorite drugstore nail brand. I like them more than drugstore brands exist exclusively for nail products. They're consistently taking risks and on top of trends, like when they launched a line of scented polishes in early 2011 or when they duped Deborah Lippmann and then did that again about six more times after that. Do you realize what I'm saying? My all time favorite designer collaborating with my all time favorite drugstore brand on nail art. That's what I'm saying.

I was still skeptical because they were nail stickers and I don't do nail stickers. I'm so anti nail stickers that I balked at a Marchesa/Revlon collab. They were $10 a box which is pretty steep for something that you're buying at the drugstore to use once. But $10 for a Marchesa design I could wear... on my fingers? $10 for MARCHESA? A ten dollar bill for the opulence of Marchesa? I snapped out of it pretty quick and bought a box to try out.

Revlon by Marchesa 3D Jewel Appliques Crown Jewels
 Can you believe I hesitated with this purchase? 3D JEWEL appliques. The jewels alone make it worth it to me but the detail is out of this world. So Marchesa. You can tell these nail strips are Marchesa. How else could a nail sticker be so intricate and beaded and lovely? This design is Crown Jewels and it literally looks like 3D embroidery on your nails.

I was way too hasty about applying them. I didn't wait until my base polish was dry so the stickers ended up wrinkly and sloppy looking. Plus, these appliques are actually stickers, not polish strips. Pro: you can actually save your extra strips for accent nails instead of having to toss them out because they've dried up after opening. Con: they're not polish so they don't adhere to your nails like polish will - they lift after a few days of wear and can wrinkle and slide off if you're not careful with your application. Tip wear looks pretty gross on them, too. Which is all stuff I can let slide because, hello, $10 for Marchesa. When will you ever again?
 Revlon by Marchesa 3D Jewel Appliques Crown Jewels
Can you blame me for rushing and being sloppy? I had to post the picture anyway because they are amazing, beautiful, gorgeous, fantastic. There are not enough adjectives. Honestly, I probably would rebuy this exact design for 5x the price because they look so beautiful on your fingers.

Of course, I bought the single box to test out right as the "limited edition" window was coming to a close. I know, I'm horrible for blogging about these after they've probably sold out. Sorry. You might be able to find a few if you're a lunatic like I am. I went to about five different CVS locations in Maryland, DC and Virginia to hunt some more down. Two different states and a district - I love how dramatic that sounds but all the stores were within a ten mile radius of one another. Still. I didn't manage to find another box of the above design or the super eye catching 24k Brocade. I snatched up two boxes of Beaded Couture and one of Evening Garnet. I regret not buying more when I had the chance. I don't know what's wrong with me.

Hopefully there's still a few boxes in a drugstore near you - people are now selling these on eBay for double the price, minimum. Several sellers have all of 8 designs listed for $150-$250. Sickos.

There you have it. An introspective on how someone who thought they were above nail strips ended up with a $40 hoard of them.

*Side note: It has been next to impossible to get a n y t h i n g done with my team in the World Series. I know, my wallet is too small for all my hundreds and my diamond shoes are too tight - it's that kind of problem. But for the past month - I get home around 7 and the games have started around then and finished up between 10 PM and midnight. Getting out of bed even 30 seconds before I HAVE to is literally impossible for me and, yes, I am using literally correctly there, so I shower and do my hair and nails and wash the dishes and clean my apartment and dick around on the internet at night. But not this month because I've been glued to the TV for at least four hours almost every single night. You should see me, I sit in front of the TV, stress game serious and then when it breaks for commercial I pretty much rocket launch off the couch and run into the bathroom to throw some clothes into the hamper or into the kitchen to wash a dish and put something in the toaster for dinner. I do this all while looking over my shoulder at the TV as if it's a sketchy looking dude and I'm walking by myself at night because god forbid I miss one second of these games. It's a sick joke that Halloween stuff is happening this week because excuse me, I can't care about anything else but baseball right now. I'm lucky I don't have a pet to take care of because it would probably be dead at this point.

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