Sunday, July 26, 2009

Quick and dirty swatch: L'Oreal Star Magnet Purple

Today has been a big growth day for Publish or Perish! We've added our FIFTH blogger, Jess, who has already introduced herself. Five geeky lacquer loonies who aspire -- at least, in the short term -- to the Ivory Tower. Five students posting about nail polish while procrastinating from their academic pursuits. If that doesn't guarantee a new post on most days, I don't know what will.

(By the way, if you love academia, nail polish and photographing your lacquered tips and toes, consider blogging with us! Email us at for more details.)

In other PorP news, Kathleen at has provided our blog with our very own coupon code: type in "polishorperish" in the promo/coupon code box during checkout and get 20% off your entire order! Shipping is free for domestic and international orders over $20 (after discounts). This is a great resource for Konad kits and accessories!

Anyway, back to business:
Thank heavens it's summer vacation because I can keep an eye on Nail Board for when some enterprising NBer posts about some terribly irresistible eBay ("evilBay" in NB parlance) auction for an HTF polish. I finally got my little lacquered paws onto some L'Oreal Star Magnet polishes (AKA cheapie Lancome Le Magnetique).

For those who aren't familiar with these magnetic polishes, Boing Boing has a nice summary. You gotta love a nail polish that gets mentioned on Boing Boing. Synopsis of the BB post: polish has metal filings, polish bottle has attached magnet, put freshly lacquered nail up to the magnet and voila, metal filings in the polish create a starburst pattern. Instant geek sexy.

The colors aren't special but the magnetic part is. The bottle is terribly small (0.3fl oz as opposed to the typical 0.5fl oz) and the brush is terribly big. (Exactly how many times have I used the word "terribly" here? Too many.) I'm sure the brush would work better on big nailed gals but I have sadly small nails and polish cleanup around the edges of my nail post-application was a bitch.

But it's got magnetic filings and it creates a starburst pattern! Behold!

L'Oreal Star Magnet in Purple:

I'm not sure why L'Oreal decided to use an '80s space age computer game-like font for their logo here but never judge a book by its cover, right?

What was pretty nifty to me was that I could see the the magnetic filings being drawn into the starburst pattern while it was held up close to the magnet: a little dollop of polish even flew off of my nail onto the magnet.

On the topic of dollops, because Star Magnets are HTF, I usually do my nails in another (regular) polish to achieve maximum opacity with only one layer of the Star Magnet. That way, opaque but I'm not wasting the precious polish. Once the polish is dry, the filings are no longer mobile enough to be pulled in by the magnet so doing two coats with it is tantamount to wasting the polish.

I decided to further jazz my nails up with a couple of nail art rhinestones. Not the most interesting pattern -- or the greatest execution -- but you guys get the general idea. This is my first foray into 3D nail art. Or maybe just sticking stuff on my nails on top of my polish.

You know what I'd love to try but would probably suck at? Acrylic 3D nail designs! It's not really the sort of thing I can wear while teaching and holding office hours but seems like a lot of fun to try out!

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wixology said...

Hi there,
I also have the Prune Star Magnet and am a bit confused...mine is a dusty, dark eggplant color...

I have all the other colors (except copper) and may I humbly suggest that yours is actually Purple?
(There should be a large white sticker on the cap that has both a bar code and the shade name in tiny print.)

One more thing- while swatching these on clear nail wheels, I used the prescribed 2 coats as well as 1 coat for reference sake, since I harbored the same suspicions regarding the wasted coats.

As it turns out, using a second coat rewets the first coat, so much so that the pattern showed up much clearer on the top, where we view our polish IRL, as compared to the single coat swatch.

But, the proof was in the pudding, as it were, because as I flipped the wheel over, the pattern was as sharp viewed from underneath the clear plastic nail as it was above, suggesting that the 1st coat, re-animated by the 2nd, contributes to the overall improved result.

I hope this helps and really enjoy the clarity with which you write...

flinty said...

Ooh, you're right, it's Purple -- I'll go change that right now. I have both and got the names mixed up. :) I'll also try it with two coats.

Sommer said...

where can i get this nail polish?

PrincessDiana said...

That's so awesome!!

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