Just for kicks, here's a list of the reds I've tried in the Hunt:
Chanel Rouge Fatal
Essie Burma Ruby
Essie Fishnet Stockings
Essie Forever Young
Essie Limited Addiction
Essie Love, Beverly Hills xx
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 now...to find the perfect grey. ;)
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