As the days get shorter and I pack away my ballet flats for boots, my thoughts naturally turn to dramatic fall manicures.
But this year I've been feeling a little disheartened, as I haven't LOVED any of the "it" colors. Another six months of deep red jelly polish, you say? Yawn.
Then JINsoon's Tess Giberson collection came along and saved my manicure-loving life. Created for the designer's F/W 2014 runway show, you can really see how the polish colors compliment the clothes: deep, rich hues, shades of dark gray, unusual textural elements, and fun sparkle where you least expect it.
Here's how Jin Soon Choi, the nail genius behind these beautiful lacquers, describes the collection.
“I wanted to transform a classic color palette by adding cool, subtle effects like shimmer and speckles to give the hues a completely new dimension.”
And oh man, mission accomplished. I’m more stoked on this than I have been on a seasonal polish collection in a long time. Let’s take a closer look at the colors, shall we?
Heirloom is a mega-rich deep turquoise shimmer. It’s halfway between oceanic blue and British racing green. I’m a sucker for cool shades, especially because we don’t see as many of them in fall as I’d like, and this one is beautiful. It applies evenly and without streaking, and is totally opaque in one coat. All hail the one-coat wonders!
Nocturne is an inky, metallic deep gray that reminds me of dark feathers. It’s a very high-fashion witch shade, which I love on my longer, pointier nails, but it would work equally well as a pedicure or on short nails. Depending on how thick your coats are, you CAN get away with a single layer of this shade, but two is best.
Farrago is my TRUE POLISH LOVE. A unique reddish-eggplant color, it’s shot through with intense gold sparkle. It makes me think of drinking red wine in a hall filled with old pictures in gold frames--so basically Celine Dion’s ‘It’s All Coming Back To Me’ video, which is the best video of all time. Another one-coat miracle, pair it with a super shiny top coat for maximum gold glimmer.
Melange killed me softly, and I am now a ghost with amazing nails. It’s a beautiful, icy silver metallic with circular flecks of dark grey glitter. It reminds me of speckled bird eggs, as the glitter is less for sparkle (the silver is VERY shiny) and more for texture. It’s opaque in two coats, and you’ll also need a couple layers of top coat to make it feel smooth.
Pastiche is a bright, warm apricot, which could come off a little springy...if it weren't shot through with iridescent purple shimmer. I can’t tell you how much time I spent wriggling my fingers in the sun and admiring how this shade caught the light, even though it’s slightly less noticeable on fingers than in the bottle. Pastiche reaches peak brilliance with two coats.
I’ve never used JINsoon polishes before, and I was expecting something similar to what I’ve experienced with other mid-priced prestige brands: above average brush, variable formula depending on the shade and finish, and trendy colors. What I got was something quite different.
For starters, Jin Soon Choi is a nail art genius, and that’s evident in these polishes. She’s a professional, and these are professional-grade tools. I can paint my nails pretty decently with anything, but even so, it’s far easer and more enjoyable when you have a superlative product to use.
The rectangular lid comes off, leaving you with a wide, textured cap. This cap is comfortable to grip, which makes simple work of the long, even strokes so essential for a good manicure.
The brush is flat without being cumbersome and wide without being too wide. It fans out neatly across the face of the nail and gives perfectly even application.
The bottle itself is rather tall, but not tall enough to give you storage issues, and the square glass base makes it easy to pack several shades into a small space.
The thing that surprised me the most, though, is the consistency of the formulas. In almost all polish ranges, you get colors and finishes that are amazing and some that miss the mark. Here we have a range of finishes that, in my opinion, are the easiest to screw up: micro-glitter (wears poorly, prone to chipping), glitters (teeny-bopper-y, hard to take off), shimmers (can look cheap) and metallics (lumpy). Somehow, every single one of these applies and dries like a dream. They aren’t even that stinky. I don’t know what kind of magic JINsoon uses to create these, or whether Tess Giberson cast a spell over them, but I am way into it.
With a top and base coat--both essential to making manicures last a long time--these polishes easily lasted a week without chipping. I found that the glitter in Melange made it a little harder to remove than the others, but even so it was easier than most sparkle polishes.
I also love the versatility of this collection, which echoes Tess Giberson’s collection. Sure you could wear every look as shown on the runway, or you could mix and match them to your heart’s content. They match so well together.
Wear one color alone, wear a second as an accent nail, try a contrasting-colored tip...the sky is the limit here, because they all fit together so well. Or if you absolutely can’t pick one or two shades, why not wear all of them at once?
The JINsoon Tess Giberson collection is available right now, and believe me when I tell you that you should TOTALLY check it out.
So tell me, which of these shades is your favorite? What is your “official” nail polish color of autumn 2014? If I had to pick, I’d go with Farrago because it’s so unique and gorgeous. How many colors is TOO many colors to wear at the same time? Tell me everything!