Friday, December 25, 2009

Quickie American Apparel swatches!

I've got a bad case of the winter frazzles this week, so apologies for that. Try to concentrate on the pretty creamy colors I'm about to show you. :)

I'm well aware of the reputation that American Apparel has and their voyeuristic soft-core porn-like advertisements. And I've heard tell of some questionable hiring practices. Unfortunately, this is a brand I happen to like for some clothing. (The jersey bandeau dress is my favorite thing to wear in the summer: I love being able to wrap it this way and that way and whatever way I fancy.) And now, I like them for their nail polish.

I snapped up seven of these the day they were available online (incidentally, the day that they put out a press release about their new nail polish line). Like American Apparel itself, these polishes are simple but colorful: a whole line of cremes in interesting shades. Not a speck of shimmer or glitter to be found anywhere (though I wouldn't be surprised if they eventually put out gold and silver polishes).

American Apparel Passport Blue

For you American citizens out there, this is a pretty damn descriptive name: it's the color of the US passport. Just a shade darker perhaps. It looks black indoors but in sunlight, it is definitely the dusty blue that ought to be recognized by immigration and customs officials. It was so pigmented, it was practically opaque in one coat. Smooth application and dried pretty quickly: it was still tacky when I put on Diamont but after twenty minutes with Diamont, it was pretty much dry. I wore this as an NOTD.

American Apparel Manila

It took me awhile to figure this one out. A Filipino NBer (I think) commented that she'd love to have a polish called Manila (the capital of the Philippines). I didn't think much of it until I was swatching this polish and my eyes fell upon some yellow interdepartmental envelopes sitting on my desk: manila envelopes. So called because they were originally produced using a fiber found in a plant indigenous to the Philippines. Anyway, this was a pretty great yellow: streaktastic in the first coat but pretty much evened itself out for the second coat. As good as most yellows get, in my experience! Someone on NB also asked about whether this resembled The It Color. Originally, I had thought The It Color to be more tangerine-leaning, but I think the real difference is more in the finish: The It Color is more jelly (and takes about four coats to get opaque) while Manila is more creme.

American Apparel Palm Springs

This was the first polish I swatched and you can tell I'm still getting used to the formula. Whenever I use a new brand of polish, it always takes awhile to "calibrate" my application technique to suit the viscosity of the polish and the amount of polish the brush can hold. AA ones tend to be on the runnier side and the brush, which is rather long, retains a lot of polish. So when I was applying this for the first time, I kept on overloading the brush and then having to clean up my flooded cuticles. Palm Springs is a peachy beige, surprisingly pigmented for a pastel: two coats (though those coats were somewhat thick). It does not suit my skin at all but is a lovely color.

American Apparel Hunter

Dark forest green that is feinting in the direction of teal. Two coats, very smooth application. This may resemble Orly Enchanted Forest but I'd have to do a direct side-by-side comparison to be sure about that. I wish it didn't have that blue in it; I really wanted this to be a very dark forest green like NARS Zulu.

American Apparel Office

A cool, blue-leaning green. This is the one I wanted the most and this was probably one of the bigger disappointments for me. I have a ton of minty greens now and as with any pastel, it's a little streaky going on but I didn't expect to have to put on three coats of it to get a smoothish surface... that would have been improved with a fourth coat. Is this the color the AA offices are painted? I always associated this color with mental institutions. You know, soothing.

American Apparel Coney Island

Light carnation pink, kinda like cotton candy (as the name suggests). Totally streaky for the first two coats and still kind of uneven (but passable) at the third coat. This is a very stark, bright pastel on me. I still like it a lot though!

American Apparel Peacock

I wish I had Illamasqua Muse because this looks like it would be similar. From pictures I've seen, I think Peacock is probably darker and more blue but it definitely has a teal slant to it. The easiest application out of all the polishes for me: went on perfectly and smoothly with no clean-up. One coat would have been okay but this is two coats. And it's perfect at two coats. I love this polish, even though I don't like this color as much as I do some of the others.

The 0.5fl oz bottles are $6 each on I LOVE the shape of the bottles: I really enjoy the tall rectangular bottles, even though I'm always paranoid about knocking them over. They feel great to hold and look so elegant and neat when stored. The brushes are a bit long with the typical brush bristle shape (i.e. not some flatter brush like OPI Pro-Wide or the new CND brushes). I really want to go pick up more of these cremes but I think I'll wait until my local AA gets them in.

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gildedangel said...

Those are beautiful colors, thank you for swatching them!

D:) said...

How quick did that tipwear happen??

Anonymous said...

I love American Apparel clothes too :)
Based on the bottle pic on the site I was afraid Manila would look awful on me but after looking at your swatch I definitely want it!

Lucy said...

This is an amazing collection of polishes. I love Hunter and Manila and Office. Beautiful cremes.

Justine said...

love a lot of these. I am planning on ordering a few, definitely peacock and office. great swatches!

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