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Monday, August 27, 2012

Swatchfest: Maybelline Limited Edition Fall 2012 Fashion Week Color Show Nail Color Collection

Continuing my coverage of the Maybelline Limited Edition Fall 2012 Fashion Week Collection (click here for my LE Color Tattoo review and here for swatches of the LE Olive Martini Quad), today I'd like to show you the complete collection of limited edition Color Show Nail Colors. 

I purchased all six of these polishes at Rite Aid last week, but since some of you are having a hard time locating this collection, please note that readers have also spotted the Fashion Week displays at Walgreens and CVS. The problem is, new products don't always show up in drugstores at the same time at all locations, so you might not see these displays for a few weeks (or even a month). My suggestion is to call ahead and ask your CVS/Walgreens/Rite Aid if they have these products on the floor yet. If they say no, then you can always ask them approximately when they plan to put them out. That way you can avoid stalking your local drugstores every day until you spot them.

Maybelline Limited Edition Fall 2012 Fashion Week Color Show Nail Colors
(retail: $3.99 each at Rite Aid, 0.23 oz)

These bottles are about half the size of the old style Maybelline Express Finish nail polishes (0.23 oz vs. 0.5 oz). At Rite Aid they retail for $3.99, so that's a dollar less than the old-style polishes ($4.99). Honestly, if it weren't for the unique colors and dupes, and the fact that these are limited edition, I would have waited to purchase these until Rite Aid ran another 40% off Maybelline sale (they tend to run the 40% off Maybelline sale about once every quarter, it seems). Otherwise, I don't think they're a good value since the bottles are so small and they only decreased the price by one dollar.

That said, I'm extremely impressed with the range of colors and finishes in this limited edition collection. I think that each shade differs vastly from the next, and there's probably at least one or two shades here that will appeal to everyone, regardless of taste.

Metal Icon

Metal Icon is sheer and required three coats for good opacity, but what a lovely taupe-ish silver shade this is. It just screams fall to me, and it makes me want to bust out my boots and turtlenecks. I didn't have any issues with application aside from the sheerness, but if you're not careful you might encounter some visible brush strokes (they're more obvious in the pic below, taken with flash).

 Boho Gold

I don't own Chanel Peridot or OPI I Just Spotted A Lizard (one of the dupes for Chanel Peridot), but you can see reader CM's side-by-side swatches of Boho Gold and I Just Spotted a Lizard to see how close they are (Boho Gold has more bronze). Since I don't own Peridot or any of its dupes, I'm perfectly happy with Boho Gold...I think it's lovely regardless of any similarities to other polishes.

It's sheer though and does require three coats for what you see in these pics, but I find that to be par for the course when it comes to duochromes/multichromes.

At certain angles Boho Gold looks more goldish-bronze, at others it looks more green, and then at other angles the rose-gold comes out to play:

 Pink Cosmo

Pink Cosmo has a weaker duochrome effect than Boho Gold, but it's still a gorgeous polish. Again, this is a three-coater, but I love the flash of pink in this champagne-taupe shimmer (the pink is more visible than what you see  in my pics--my camera doesn't always like to capture duochromes). According to reader CM, Pink Cosmo is a good dupe for China Glaze Swanky Silk.

 Avante Green

Avante Green is like the polish equivalent of the Urban Decay eyeshadow Vert. It's such a lovely kelly green with a very faint golden duochrome effect. Love, love, love this one. As with all the others, this is a sheer polish and does require three coats, but it's well worth it (for me, at least). I love that's such a bright, cheery green but it's not quite a full-on Christmas green.

 Downtown Brown

Downtown Brown is not for everyone, but it's definitely for me! I love unusual combos in my polishes, and a chocolate brown creme with teal shimmer is certainly unusual (especially for the drugstore). Think of Downtown Brown as the polish equivalent of MAC Club eyeshadow (and it's the polish equivalent of one of the shades in the Maybelline Fall 2012 Fashion Week Olive Martini Quad as well). If you feel like you've seen this before from Maybelline, don't worry--I thought the same thing and I will show you a comparison a little bit later in this post.

This one required two coats for good opacity (it's not a three-coater. Yay!).

 Auburn Ablaze

At first I thought the formula of this polish was the worst that I have ever come across (thick and dry to the point of being like bubble gum on the brush). But then I realized that I actually purchased a damaged bottle and you can kind of see how wonky the lid looks in the very first picture in this blog post. It veers to the right, as if it were dropped or smashed and thus it doesn't close tightly (how I didn't notice this before I bought it is beyond me). So apologies for my awful swatches--I ran out of polish thinner so this was the best I could do. I'm actually not sure how many coats this polish truly requires, but I used two in these pics.

Thanks to Emi of Project Swatch for the heads-up that this Auburn Ablaze is a very good dupe for Wet n Wild Under Your Spell. Since I own Under Your Spell, I thought I'd show you some side-by-sides:

In the bottle, the shimmer in Wet n Wild Under Your Spell looks more fiery. But on the nail, the differences are much less detectable:

As you can see, the shimmer in Maybelline Auburn Ablaze is pinker, but honestly? If you have one, you probably don't need the other. Under Your Spell is quite sheer though and requires three coats, but again, I don't really know how many coats Auburn Ablaze requires since I got a damaged (dried out) bottle.

And now for one more quick comparison:

 Maybelline Fall 2011 Fashion Week Purple Trend
Maybelline Fall 2012 Fashion Week  Downtown Brown

Definitely not dupes. In fact, they're not even in the same ballpark. Purple Trend is a deep raisin creme with blue hidden shimmer. Downtown Brown is a chocolate brown creme with prominent teal shimmer. 

I hope this post helps you to determine what might be worth the hunt, and what might be worth skipping when it comes to the nail colors in the Fall 2012 Fashion Week Collection. 

Do you have any favorites here? Do you already own any (or all) of these polishes? I'd love to hear from you!


  1. I literally just picked up Downtown Brown and Metal Icon... I am so excited to try them out. Thanks for your swatches... I am contemplating going back to get some of the rest now!

  2. These polishes are gorgeous for the fall! :) I love the avante green and the downtown brown... I still haven't tried any of the maybelline polishes. Must jump on it asap!

  3. I think that Boho Gold is a better dupe for China Glaze Rare & Radiant than it is for the Peridot clones! When I saw the bottles in stores, I thought that Pink Cosmo might be a dupe for Swanky Silk, but like a really, really weak, pale version. It looks like to me that Swanky Silk heads more into the warm rose gold side. Though it doesn't seem to compare to Purple Trend at all, Downtown Brown is sort of close to the old Cover Girl Nail Slicks Chocolate Mint, only with a darker, less red base! Rie of Nails and Noms had a comparison on IG.

  4. these are so pretty! i have a question what purple nailpolish would you recommend i kind of want a basic purple ? thank you

    1. Maybe I can suggest a few for you: Sally Hansen Complete Manicure line has several grape-like shades, and several amethyst-type ones, and also a few other purples. Also the SH quick-dry line has some nice purples.

      Milani makes a couple of purple shades that are quite pretty. If you want to pay a bit more, China Glaze has a number of purples, and Fingerpaints does, too.

      I hope this helps you a bit! ;)

  5. I have you and your wonderful "heads up" to thank for the fact that I have scored the ones I want already. The display in my Walgreens was already picked over a few days ago, when I made my swoop (and it looked very "plundered" once I was done) so I am soooo glad I made my move right away.

    I love the douchrome of Downtown Brown. Since I am lucky enough to have a few brown/green loose shadows, I will be pairing the polish and a similar shadow together a soon as it gets a bit cooler.

    C'mon Fall! I'm ready.

  6. Thanks for the swatches! The only one that seemed really unique to my collection was Downtown Brown, so that's the only one that I bought. I love unusual combos too.

  7. Pink Cosmo? Love it!
    G, what top coat are you using?
    Love the way it looks!

  8. Thanks for the swatches. I'm intrigued ...

  9. I'm wearing Pink Cosmo right now (four coats!) and I still can't decide if I like it which means I'll probably return it. I think I'm returning Downtown Brown as well.

    You can also find these displays at Bed Bath and Beyond if yours has the cosmetics section. As a bonus, their prices are cheaper. I bought a couple of the Color Tattoos and the regular price is $4.99! With a 20% off coupon it brings it down to $4! I don't know the prices on the other items because they weren't labeled, but hopefully everything is less.

  10. Downtown Brown and Pink Cosmo are so pretty!

  11. I found a full display at a CVS in Athens, GA yesterday. I think they probably just put it out.

  12. Hello Avante Green!! That and Pink Cosmo are so pretty!!! I hope to find the collection and sale at the same time!!! If it ends up that I can get just one, then I think Pink Cosmo would win out simply because I don't think I have one similar.

  13. I love Downtown Brown but the wear time on me is awful when worn alone. I get about 12 hours in before I want to take it off and fix my mani. I will most likely have better luck with a base and top. Also the price for the amount seems too expensive for a drug store polish. I would rather get something mid-ranged like China Glaze.

  14. I like that these are different from the normal drugstore offerings, but I can't seem to get excited about these colors. Oh well.

  15. I wonder how Downtown Brown compares to Orly's "Galaxy Girl"?

  16. I love Downtown Brown! Maybe eventually I'll snag it up. I'm over my budget right now thanks to this blog. ;)

  17. I just love your blog. You go into such great detail! These are beautiful colors - I purchased the Boho Gold and the Metal Icon. Can't wait to use them. Thank you so much for such a wonderful site :)

  18. I picked up Avante Green and Metal Icon last week at Rite Aid and while I can't wait to wear them, I do agree that they are a bit pricey for the amount that you get. I do have to say though, I'm really impressed with the color selection that Maybelline has given us lately. They really seem to have covered the full spectrum. I picked up the 2 denim blue colors when the Color Show line was first launched and then stalked the shelves until I found Twilight Rays and Wine & Dined. Its nice to see an "old school" drugstore brand stay current and compete with all other nail polish brands that seem to have exploded on to the market in the last few years.

  19. I got Cosmo Pink a week back, but found the duochrome too weak and the base colors unflattering, so back it goes. The same day, I found a mostly-full Orly Sky Blue-Pink at the thrift store for 40 cents... now there's a duochrome!

    1. I really want Orly sky blue pink and Sparitual it's raining men!! So beautiful. I had to find a dupe for an old cheap favorite polish i had to throw out and those two are perfect matches.

    2. Scrangie did a comparison between those two and they're total dupes, so if you find one, you probably don't need both. SBP was p sheer so I'm wearing it over a baby blue creme and it's amaaaazing.

  20. These colors look great! I might have to pick them up. I seem to be the only one that doesn't think the bottles being smaller is a big deal. I just have so many different colors that I don't "finish" bottles quickly enough. So I'm game for a smaller bottle, even if it's only $1 less.. too bad everything is so overpriced in nyc, these retail for $5.49 which I refuse to pay... For $3.99.I'd get them all, except auburn ablaza because I have wnw under your spell

  21. These are gorg! Downtown Brown must now be mine!

  22. I bought Boho Gold, swatched it and love it! I intend to get Downtown Brown and Metal Icon. Those shades really call my name! But I do want to save some $$ for one of the OPI James Bond collection. Those shades are really calling my name. Seems like lots of different polishes have been calling me lately, or maybe I'm just hearing voices??!! LOL.

    Thanks for the terrific swatches and comparisons, G. Where would we be without you and your fabulous blog? <3

  23. Swatched on my arm, Keira, downtown brown looks more brown with an olive cast. Galaxy girl has more purple and sparkle. They evoke a similar mood, but they aren't dupes.

  24. Downtown Brown reminds me of a polish i just gave my sister, Cover Girl Chocolate Mint.

  25. These nail polishes are so gorgeous! They caught my eye immediately at the store. I bought the color boho gold and I love it! It looks gold but sometimes it looks green depending on how your holding your hands. I really want to go back and get them before they are gone since they are limited addition.

  26. Thanks for the swatches G!
    I was kinda meh about this collection whenever I passed by them in stores, but ur swatches have opened my eyes~~! Hahha

    I like Metal Icon, Boho Gold, Avante Green.

    Downtown Brown is pretty neat tho.

  27. I like Boho Gold, but I will probably have to pass. I have rather long nails and when I wore Bold Gold (a Color Show Metallic) the other side of my nails looked dirty. It was so distracting that I had to remove the polish. It look gunky brown. Yuck! The Avante Green is pretty, but I probably would never wear it.

  28. i passed on downtown brown thinking it looked the same in the bottle as purple trend!...must go back for it and get metal icon while im there :)

  29. The second I saw Downtown Brown, I grabbed it, it looks so different from anything I own. I am so excited to try it!

  30. I got back from CVS a while ago, after purchasing Metal Icon and Downtown Brown. I swatched them both and am so glad I got them---they're not like anything else in my growing-faster-tha-the-speed-of-light-collection. I can't wait to do a full mani with them. Thanks again for all the great swatches, everyone!

  31. I like the idea of Metal Icon and Avante Green! (Told ya I am into greens lately lol!) But Downtown Brown...not sure despite the teal!

    To HeartBreak Incarnate, I would suggest Buffy the Violet Slayer from WNW's Quick Dry line, Disturbia from their Wild Shine (if I got that line right), and if you love the idea of sparkles in your purple and willing to go out of your way, Hot Topic's Black Heart line has a nice Purple glitter one as well. And of course, Frenzy and Amethyst from SC.

  32. Just an FYI my Walmart and Target stores both have the Color Show core line for much cheaper than Wags. Regular price is about $3.00 I believe. I haven't seen the LE shades yet but I'm gonna hold out for a bit and see if they get them instead of paying more.

  33. I bought Boho Gold and Avante Green. I remembered on the train ride home that I really liked your swatches of Downtown Brown and am seriously tempted to go back tomorrow and get it.

  34. FYI I have seen Color Show retail at Bed Bath & Beyond for only $2.99!!


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