Maybelline Limited Edition Fall 2013 Color Show Vintage Leather Collection
(retail: $2.99 each at Bed Bath & Beyond, 0.23 oz)
(NOTE: Please click here to see swatches of the Limited Edition Color Sensational Lipsticks that are also part of the Maybelline Fall 2013 Collection.)
All of the polishes in this collection have a matte finish, and most of them dry down to what I would describe as a "pre-crackle" type of texture which is almost exactly like what a crackle polish looks like just before it starts to crack. I think Maybelline was quite successful in making the polishes in this collection look like aged leather on the nail, and the iridescent flakes lend a slight "irregular" or "bumpy" look to the overall texture. I think that the actual color of the flakes isn't always meant to be seen (and you can't see it through the opaqueness of some of these polishes) so it's sort of brilliant that it's only used here to create the "weathered" look of old leather.
Keep reading for swatches of all ten shades in this collection...
For all of my swatches, I applied two coats of polish and, on my middle finger, I topped the two coats with a clear top coat to give you an idea of what the polish looks like shiny. The only exception is the last shade featured in this post, which required three coats of polish.
High Style Sienna
High Style Sienna is a warm camel-ish terracota matte creme with iridescent flakes. It is nearly opaque at one coat, perfectly opaque at two coats. When worn matte, this polish really resembles older, distressed leather. Worn with a shiny top coat, it looks like a standard creme polish, but of course with sparse iridescent flakes. Because it's a matte, it dries lightning fast.
Classic Camel is a matte coppery-bronze shimmer with sparse iridescent flakes. I would say that, of all the polishes in this collection, this one contains the least amount of flakes. I also think it looks the least "leather-like" of any of the shades in the collection. When worn matte, it looks more like crushed velvet than leather. Dry time is lightning fast and the consistency of this polish is perfection. It flows onto the nail like butter and the opacity is perfect at one coat (I applied two, just because).
Mod Moss is a matte olive with golden and multi-colored shimmer and iridescent flakes. The formula is beautifully opaque on the first coat (but again, I used two). The combination of texture, shimmer and flakes is really unique compared to the other polishes in this collection. I like it quite a bit, both with and without a shiny top coat. Dry time was lightning fast.
I am totally partial to Antique Teal. It reminds me of an old Esprit purse I had back in the late 80s, right down to the color! Anyway, this color is a matte jelly-creme that I would call dark teal with a splash of cornflower blue. It contains iridescent flakes and it's pretty much a one-coater (I used two) and it dries almost instantaneously. I swear to you, this polish looks like old 80s leather (or even old 80s pleather). Worn shiny, you can really see see the iridescent flakes peep out from this formula and they take on an almost glowy effect.
Oh boy. Red Relic is a tomato-red matte JELLY with iridescent flakes. My photo does NOT do this one justice, since there is a gorgeous transparency to this polish that I couldn't capture in a picture. It's sheer but not streaky at one coat, deliciously jelly-like at two coats. The iridescent flakes really come through with this one (not just in texture but in glowy, visual form as well) and I love this polish both matte and with a shiny top coat. This, along with Plush Plum and Lasting Lilac (which you'll see in a minute) are like a matte glitter jelly sandwiches in a bottle! Dry-time is excellent (literally within seconds). Also, I can't comment on wear-time for most of these polishes since I literally just bought them, but I put Red Relic on my thumb yesterday (no base or top coat) and 24 hours later I had no chipping or tip wear.
Oooh, deep, dark burgundy leather! Vintage Violet is a matte jelly-creme with iridescent flakes. This one was sheer and a tiny bit streaky on the first coat, perfectly opaque on the second coat. This is another one that I love both matte and shiny (it's hard to see but, on the shiny nail, there are some stunning glow-y flakes that come alive in direct sunlight). When it's matte, it reminds me of some ankle boots I used to have. This one dries in seconds, just like the others. Love this color for fall!
Oooh la la! Plush Plum is a rich berry-wine matte jelly with lots of iridescent flakes. Of all the colors in this collection, you definitely get the most visible flakes on the nail with Plush Plum (and Lasting Lilac, below). Just like with Red Relic, this is like a matte glitter jelly sandwich in a bottle! It is a bit sheer on the first coat but better on the second coat (looking at this photo, I probably could have used a third coat but to the naked eye two coats is fine). Dry time is excellent like the rest.
As with Plush Plum, Lasting Lilac has more iridescent flakes than the other polishes in this collection. This is a purple-ish berry matte jelly that is just juicy, juicy, juicy when you apply a shiny top coat. But this is also the most sheer polish in the collection ad required three coats for the opacity you see above. The first coat is very sheer and watery, but it does get better once you hit three coats. Once again, this dries lightning fast.
A word about removal: I used the Target Dip-It to remove all of these polishes and not one of them stained my nails or my cuticles. The only issue I had was with Plush Plum and Lasting Lilac--a few bits of residual glitter clung to my nails in a few spots, but nothing major.
FINAL VERDICT: Textured polishes aren't for everyone, and I think that the Maybelline Vintage Leather collection is probably going to work best for those of you who are OK with irregularity in your nail looks. If you are a perfectionist who craves perfectly uniform nails, you might have a hard time reminding yourself that these polishes are supposed to look like vintage leather, which means weathered, aged, irregular leather. I think that Maybelline put the flakes in this formula not so much for color contrast as for textural contrast. For the most part, the flakes are sparse and create random bumps and spots on the nail. Anyone who owns aged leather knows it's filled with ripples, lines, bumps and spots, so I really appreciate what Maybelline did here to create this same effect in nail polish form. I also like that the matte texture dries and creates some lines and ridges (again, just like old leather). Shiny top coat can help even things out and transform the colors, but I think that part of the fun of this collection is the aged leather look that the flakes and matte texture help to create (although some of these polishes do look pretty amazing with clear top coat!). Long story short: if you can embrace imperfection, and you think the idea of aged, distressed leather on your nails sounds cool, then I think you're going to be REALLY pleased with this collection. My personal favorites are Red Relic (a matte jelly sandwich in a bottle!), Antique Teal, Mod Moss, Vintage Violet, Plush Plum and Lasting Lilac.
This collection is currently popping up in Bed Bath and Beyond stores that have an extended beauty department. I expect that we'll see the Fall 2013 Fashion Week displays appear at Walgreens, CVS and Rite Aid (among other places) within the next week or two, so keep checking back.
The products featured in this post were purchased with personal funds. For more information, click here.