Sunday, September 26, 2010

The Hunt For Red (By) October Finale & WINNERS!

It's been a long, arduous experience, but my Red Hunt is finally over - for better or for worse -and just in time for October too! (Check out Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, and Part 5 if you missed out!)

Just for kicks, here's a list of the reds I've tried in the Hunt:

Chanel Rouge Fatal
Essie A-List
Essie Bordeaux
Essie Burma Ruby
Essie Fishnet Stockings
Essie Forever Young
Essie Limited Addiction
Essie Love, Beverly Hills xx
Essie Pepperoni
Essie Pouf Daddy
Essie Rock the Croc
Essie Tomboy No More
OPI Big Apple Red
OPI Got the Blues for Red
OPI Thrill of Brazil
OPI Vodka & Caviar

And quite a few more that I can't remember because I only swatched them briefly. You might notice that a large majority of my attempts were Essies. There is no reason for this, other than I just plain adore Essie polishes - they have the best wear time on me out of any brand. Essie also has a huge range of red polishes readily (heh) available.

And the winners are...*DRUMROLL*

In the darker red category: Essie Bordeaux

In the medium red category: Essie Rock the Croc

And an Honorable Mention: Essie Pouf Daddy

Things I've learned on the Hunt:

1.) Don't judge a red by it's bottle.

Ugh. This made this process infuriating. Reds still have me baffled in that they look completely different in the bottle than on the nail. For example, Essie A-List looks more orange-y than Essie Limited Addiction in the bottle, but on the nail it's the other way around. I've found out that you can't see if a red will work from you by the bottle colour - you have to try it. I would have *never* tried Essie Rock the Croc if I thought it would look like the bottle colour!

2.) Lighting is a big deal.

Reds seem to be extra susceptible to lighting conditions. If you want to test a red out, you can't just put it on your nail and then decide if it works or not. Maybe it works in indoor light, but it might look completely ridiculous in fluorescent light or outdoor light. That's why this Hunt took so long - I needed to take them all for a serious test-drive!

3.) Texture matters.

I'm not usually one for making a fuss over cremes vs. jellies. But I've discovered that in red polishes, it makes a huge difference. Most of the cremes I tried would go murky, dingy and dark in lower lighting - an affect I find appalling. However jellies let the light through the various layers of polish which seems to minimize any murk-factor. In the end, both of my two winners were jellies. Cremes are much easier to apply though, and jellies take a little bit of patience to avoid streaking.

4.) There *is* a red for everyone, but it can be elusive.

During this process, I really thought that maybe red just didn't work for me. Sometimes you have to kiss a lot of frogs to get to the prince. And sometimes it's the one you least expect. Some people can just carry red really well and they can be less picky, but for those of you out there who are like me - I truly believe that there is at least one red for each of us!

5.) Don't give up.

This hunt was so worth it. I *adore* my two reds and I will be wearing them all the time. One of our readers (Sandi) said this - "When you find it, your perfect red will be like that perfect black dress. Something you can always fall back on and know that it's gorgeous and classic on you." She is so right.

So I'm still kind of looking for a lighter red, but my fantastic friend Alison (who is also a reader of the blog!) sent me Chanel Fire as a present (wow, right??) and that is looking really really great and might be 'the one'. Hopefully I can show that to you soon. I am calling this Hunt a success and I'm very happy with my winners and everything I've learned.

To those of you who followed me on this Hunt and offered encouragement, advice, and suggetions - THANK YOU! I would have quit long before now without you and would never have found my red(s). A couple of you even started your own Red Hunt and I'd love to hear how it was going/went!!

But find the perfect grey. ;)


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jaljen said...

Magnificent jelly reds. Lovely. Good theme.

JQ said...

Bordeaux is totally HOT. I'm going to have to hunt now. :) Can't wait to see you chase the grey down.

Sarah B. said...

I adored Rock the Croc. It went straight to my wishlist when I saw it the 1st time you posted!
Bordeaux is gorgeous too!

MissA* said...

I think Bordeaux will be my perfect red. You're right about don't judge the red by its bottle. I've made this mistake a few times.

Aurora's Nails said...

Gotta tell you, I really loved the search for red by October. Hilarious name, first of all, but you're right: there is a red out there for everybody. I like a variety, too...dark reds, light reds, medium reds haha. Glad you found your red...Bordeaux is awesome!

kittytokaren said...

@jaljen - Thanks! I'm quite happy :)

@JQ - It is the hotness!! There are way fewer greys on the market so there probably won't be an official grey "Hunt" but you'll see me sport a few :)

@Sarah B - Rock the Croc is so awesome, I'm surprised there was never more scuttlebutt about it!! And thanks :)

@MissA - I hope it is your perfect red too! And the bottle thing is so true...reds are so deceiving.

@Aurora - I'm glad you liked my little series!! I thought that since that's how I was approaching it, I should share it that way with you guys. It was hard, not gonna lie.


Sandi said...

I'm am partial to reds, I admit it. I am very interested in your gray hunt though, I've never found a gray that I like on me (unless you're talking charcoal with shimmer) despite the fact that gray is my favorite neutral in everything else from clothing to decor.

kittytokaren said...

@Sandi - Hi fabulous girl! Did you see I quoted you?? There aren't enough greys on the market to go into a full "Hunt" least not in my 'allowed brands'. I do have a drugstore grey coming up that I quite like though....


hermetic said...

I'm loving those reds and a great idea that makes a blog very interesting

Sandi said...

I did K2K, and I blushed. Sometimes I get a little wordy...but I really do love my reds. At last count I had (shhhhhhh) 56. I should stop, but I don't think I can.

kittytokaren said...

@hermetic - Thank you - I'm glad you liked it!

@Sandi - So that's why you're so red-wise! If you really love reds, I see no reason to feel bad about having that many, as long as you enjoy them!


Danielle said...

Great series! After my own red hunt over many months and multiple manicures, I found the best 'all rounder' red is OPI Chick Flick Cherry. Great on pale/cool skin undertones, not too bright or orangey, not too dark or muddy. Its the most lovely shade of red, and looks just as fab in winter or summer. If you're still on the lookout for reds to try, I highly recommend it! :)

kittytokaren said...

@Danielle - Gah! That was one I forgot to put on my list! I did indeed try was too cherry and dusty for me. :( Sad, but true! I'm so glad you've found your perfect red though!


Lucy said...

This was fun to read and look at all the lovely reds out there. I just can't believe all the criteria for your "perfect" red. It was really enjoyable.

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