Tuesday, September 21, 2010

BPAL has NAILPOLISH now!! Really!

For years, I've watched my friends geek out over BPAL. They get to into it, and it's almost like they've joined a cult with its own language, its own practices. They organize everything into spreadsheets, imps and wish lists, things to keep and things to trade, and elaborate discussions of dry down and top notes and things that I just don't understand. It's smelly stuff, how could it be that awesome?

I stayed away from the mania contently, without feeling the pull. It was easy, because I knew I didn't have the money to get involved, so I'd just watch amusedly from afar, never getting too close lest I be sucked in. That is, I stayed away easily until last week.

Last week, BPAL reached out and grabbed my heart in a sudden, unexpected gesture, and my life will never be the same again. After seeing Magic Maid's post all about the new BPAL Claw Polish, I found myself drawn in against my control. They looked so lush, so beautiful. I found myself at the Black Phoenix Trading Post looking at each polish and its description, swooning. I sent an email to them, congratulating them on their new line, expressing my pleasure at seeing them have such a lovely, expressive line of colors for their first nail polishes, and a request to be aded to their PR list for future information.

I was surprised to hear back from an absolutely wonderful person named Puddin. We had a fun email exchange, but most of all he told me to expect a little package from them. I was ecstatic! But when it got here, I was absolutely dumbfounded! That lovely man had sent me 9 polishes from the line that seemed absolutely perfectly chosen for me. I'm not sure how he did it, just that he did, and I couldn't wait to swatch them all... I interrupted the post I was making just to swatch and photo. Finally, I'm ready to post the results!

First I painted them onto my nails in a sort of blood-related skittles mani. It actually worked well, showing the relation of the colors and how they're subtly different from each other. Photographing these was almost impossible, because flash severely altered the colors, but shooting manual made the colors have an incredibly orange cast to them. However, with a bit of photoshop I was able to rescue the manual shots into something that's almost accurate.

These polishes are decadent. I mean that... they go on silky smooth, creamy as ... the creamiest thing imaginable. I struggle for words. The colors are divinely pigmented, ranging from the deep dark blood-colored Blood Countess, to the dried-blood shade of Lady Macbeth, and ending with the color of fresh arterial spray in Mme Moriarty. These shots aren't 100% accurate- Mme Moriarty truly is the color of fresh blood, deep red and thick and absolutely beautiful on the skin. Sed Non Satiata is a more pink shade, described by BPAL as being "Lust captured: pulsating deep burgundy." They're all absolutely gorgeous creme polishes that I am thrilled to have.

Moving on, there is the other four, which are less blood oriented: Maiden is a very sheer, pale pink that would probably be good for french manicures or for people who want a touch a color, but not a lot. Opium poppy is a vivid  pink for those who love color, a bright hot pink that commands attention. Bordello is my favorite- a silver shimmer in this deep pink that is simply stunning on the nail. One coat of this is sufficient, but I chose to do two coats for every polish. The last polish on this hand is Midnight on the Midway, a plum frost that is my least favorite of the bunch. It's not bad, by any stretch of the imagination, it simply appears slightly dated compared to the other shades. However, it's still lush and beautiful, covering generously with one coat.

The final polish in the bunch is Embalming Fluid, a gorgeous lime green in the bottle that applies sheer and glittery over any polish you put it over. Unfortunately, I seem to have neglected to get any photos of it!! I'll hopefully remedy that soon, and do an update on it.

Of course, by this point, there was only one thing to do:  I had to test the stampability of these polishes! I used my new method of stamping onto a white sticker that I then apply onto the bottle, so that I know just how well it stamps without having to jump into my spreadsheet to check it! My husband and I came up with the perfect word for these- STAMPLES! As you can see, they're all extremely good for stamping except for Maiden and Embalming Fluid, which left the page basically blank and are simply too sheer to stamp with.

I highly recommend enlarging this one to see the stample details!

And so we reach the conclusion of my epic swatchathon. These polishes are available at the BPAL Trading Post for $9 each, are big 3 free, and in my opinion are at least equal in quality with my Deborah Lippman polishes. Add in the amazing customer service and you cannot go wrong with any of these polishes. I think they are absolutely amazing, and I ended up wearing Bordello as my nail of the day for a full week! It stayed on until I took a very leisurely hour-long bath, which soaked the polish off several of my nails. But any polish would have done the same, so I'm not complaining about that at all!

So- if you're at all interested in these shades (and I do so hope that you are), when you head over to the Trading Post, be sure to tell Puddin you read about them here!