Being a nail polish newbie, I missed all the NARS Zulu drama last December. My understanding is NARS had already discontinued the color and had it in their clearance stock, and then Sephora featured it on the cover of their Beauty Insider holiday issue – where it immediately sold out because the stock was already essentially kaput. People have been mourning its demise ever since.
Maybe you´re also a newbie and you´re reading this and thinking, what great thing did I miss out on?!? (Kind of like finding out about the clearance bottles of Gobin Daude after the fact.) So I was amused to see, browsing the online reviews at places like MakeupAlley before Zulu achieved cult status, a lot of complaints about how streaky and crappy the application was – I think because it must be a jelly finish. Judging by people’s online snapshots, it’s hard to get perfect application around the edges.
I´ve gazed at online photos of Zulu on places like nailgal (speaking of dangerously addictive nail porn, because I can search by color and finish), as well as people´s various attempts at Frankening a replacement. I´m not going to mourn something I don´t have, but I admit I found the concept of a dark green cream/jelly pretty alluring.
So today´s brief post shares a particular discovery I made last week, available at your local mall´s Hot Topic (and their online store) and pretty regularly on eBay – LA Colors Art Deco nail lacquer in Forest Green, and here´s a link to the page. I bought it at the store just to check it out because it had no shimmer and might be a good substitute for Rescue Beauty Lounge Recycle.
First, the bad news – it´s in one of those mascara-shaped glass bottles with a thin eyeliner type brush, presumably for painting little doodads on your nails. I wanted a regular brush, so I bought a bottle of clear $3.00 polish at Target, dumped it out, and poured this in – and it´s only about half a bottle, so you´d need two to make a full bottle. At that point you´re already into it for $9, right?
The good news? The polish is killer – easy application, nice consistency, and the deepest, darkest green you could have without it fading to black in indoor or indirect lighting. With two coats it has a look somewhere between a jelly (slight cuticle drag and some translucency) and a cream. With three coats the finish becomes less jelly but it still has depth. I threw a coat of Seche Vite on top because I like my nails super shiny. The final nail color, by the way, is darker and richer than what you see in the bottle. It looks darker than nailgal’s photos of RBL Recycle, and it looks darker than the online photos of the Hot Topic Kelly Green (apparently no longer available) that people were frankening. If you wanted it even darker, you could always add a few drops of black.
Is it a dupe for Zulu? I don´t know. I don´t have a bottle of Zulu and likely never will. But my nails looked very much like the Zulu photos on nailgal — minus the messy edges. Zulu or no Zulu, it´s a great cool-toned, surprisingly sophisticated green that wears well (five days, no chips) and garnered me tons of compliments. It also gives me what I´m calling The Snow White Effect – it makes my pale hands glow the same way the perfect lipstick can light up my face. For any of you jonesing for a deep green with no shimmer, it´s probably as close as your nearest mall.
Perfume Love for Everyone!
OMG, March, you are a quick learner 😕 Now you become a cohort and soon, NP guru 🙂 You can totally rock those cream/jelly greens. For me, Gussied Up Green is totally the sh**, but as we discussed, the application is really tricky, even with thinning out. But, oh, the color!
I ran into Hot Topic, feeling really old 8-x, but the SAs couldn’t have been nicer. Saks should train its floor people there. I got a fabulous black glitter that will be great as a top coat, and two deep/bright shimmers-purple and darkish blue. All for about 8 bucks. Now if I can stop myself from getting those RBLs I’m craving =p~
Yeah, how about those Hot Topic SAs? Aren’t they nice? I’m 30 years too old to shop there but I’m in there pretty regularly with the girls. They’re all kids and could not be nicer, friendlier, more helpful… whatever they’re doing training wise, it works.
Gussie is the bomb. Still going strong, no chips. Thanks for explaining the thinner, though, because it.was.ridiculous.
Ooh, good for you, darling! That color must really compliment your skin tone.
I love green the color, but alas: Green polish tends to look a bit rancid against my skin, unless it has some olive in it.
Right now I am wearing OPI Brand New Skates. It’s okay. I really need to sink into RBL’s No More War, so maybe I’ll do that one later on this week.
Hi sweetie 😡 Thinking of you and your gorgeous nailbeds…that sounds odd…8-| No More War is stunning, and I’m coveting the Teal in a bad way :d/
Hey, babe! Sending love to your beautiful glossed, lacquered, be-jeweled and sweet-smelling self!
RBL Teal looked great, too, but for some reason I decided on Bruised. It’s a horrible name for a polish, so let’s hope it does not look horrible on the nails.
No More War is that pea-green one right? I bet that would look amazing with your skin — I hear you about the warm/cool greens. I love to wear green but there is definitely the right color and the wrong color green for me. I am =:) with envy about No More War, which would be allllll wrong on me.
Yep, it’s very pea green. Maybe it’s a bit too pea green, and I made a mistake buying it. Ooh, boy…8-|…we shall see…
OMG I must have this!!! Thank you so much for this post. I’m going to go pick up a bottle ASAP.
Also, I have managed to combine perfume and nail polish – I’m reviewing scents and combining them with appropriate matching beauty products of all types. *dork*
Hey, you’re welcome. A Public Service Announcement since I thought the results were so great. And what/where is your blog? I end up losing links, can’t remember who I read…
I just recently started writing about fragrance for Specktra.net 🙂 Woohoo! My first post should go up sometime this week I think, it’ll be about Chanel No. 22. I’m slightly terrified b-( but also excited <:-p It's really made me appreciate the work you guys put into your blog!!! ^:)^
Here you go, March, here’s my first article. Woohoo!!
I really don’t appreciate you giving me a nail polish addiction .
:d… I ‘m the one who always said “my nails can’t breathe…”
Now after buying Chanel Haute Chocolate , I bought 3 or 4 colors trying to make a decent Steeling the Scene dupe (BG was sold out of Kaliedoscope)…I did blend a cool color , Sally Hansen Mellow Yellow ( it’s weird green in the bottle a totally gold on the nails ) , so I added a few drops of Haute Choc and it turned a dingy khaki with gold shimmmer . It’s unusual , but not Steeling the Scene…I’m having fun !!
You can get Essie Steeling at head2toebeauty
And a whole lot of other fun things too! Personally I prefer it to Kaleidoscope (heresy!) Steeling is probably also on eBay. Another option I keep meaning to try is the new Sephora/OPI Queen of Everything, which (along with Metro Chic) is selling out repeatedly in their stores. I just got a bottle of Metro, yay! Also I am wearing an outstanding dark green shimmer right now, Gussied Up Green, from the uber-fab China Glaze Rodeo Diva collection, which is also on head2toe.
I’ve frankened a couple polishes and ended up with results that are just okay.
PS Next week we’re talking about lipstick. :* Speaking of addictions.