Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Elle Imperial Purple

Late last week I received a coupon in the mail for $10 off at Kohl's, no minimum purchase necessary.  I also saw that they had a new collection of polish that came out in April, and the polish cost $10 per bottle.  You see where I'm going with this.  FREE POLISH!!!  Yes, absolutely free.  Didn't have to pay anything out of pocket.  I ultimately chose a polish called Imperial Purple, a red-leaning purple metallic shimmer chameleon, and I have had the polish on since Sunday night, so three days now.

Here are some bottle shots I just took a few minutes ago.  They show the multichromatic aspect of the polish and are color-accurate.

Here it is in all its Imperial glory.  This is the color that the polish flashes when in bright sunlight and also indoors under bright light.  You can also see the shrinkage from my Seche Vite top coat on Sunday and the two coats of Revlon Quick Dry Top Coat on top of that (one coat each morning on Monday and Tuesday).  I'll gladly pay the shrinkage price to have nearly instantly dry nails, though.  There's a little tip wear, too, from typing and housework.

You can see some of the multichromatic effect in the bottle.  The color on my nails is one of the colors that the polish flashes indoors.
My husband didn't think I should get this shade of polish because he thought I already had similar ones at home.  I showed him my nail wheels (I carry them in my purse always) with swatches of all my polishes.  I do have similar polishes, Hard Candy Beetle and Ludurana Aurora Boreal Fascinante, but they are different.  Here are some bottle comparison shots, left to right, Ludurana Aurora Boreal Fascinante, Elle Imperial Purple, and Hard Candy Beetle:

You can see that Fascinante and Beetle are more similar to each other than they are to Imperial Purple.

This is the picture where Imperial Purple and Beetle look most similar, showing their pink/purple flash.  Beetle and Fascinante are lighter colors than Imperial Purple.

The next few pictures of Imperial Purple were taken in my car yesterday afternoon, after a day of wear (typing).  I tried to get pictures in the sunlight, but in very direct sunlight my camera just couldn't capture the image of the polish with its blinding brilliance.  So, the next few photos are the best that I could do:

I just could not capture the metallic shimmer in my photos.
Nope, just not possible for me to capture the metallic shimmer.

This photo is in indirect sunlight in the car.  You can see a little of the shimmer near my cuticles.
Here you can see a brownish red flash that the polish also has.

The polish can be all the colors in this picture.

Still not able to capture the shimmer, but the polish does flash these pretty colors.

The shimmer in this polish is camera-shy, but it's the life of the party when the camera is not around.

The next two pictures were taken in my office.  You can see two aspects of the beautiful purple color of the polish in bright light.

This is my first post with pictures on which I used the iPhone's auto-enhance feature and also for some pictures the iPhone's crop feature.  I will keep trying to improve the quality of the pictures.

This was also my second time using a brush and acetone for cleanup.  I improved on my left hand, the one in the pictures, but that is because I used my dominant hand, my right hand, to clean up my left.  Using my left hand to clean up my right hand, I didn't do as well.  I hope to get better with more practice.

Getting back to the polish, I hardly ever buy a polish and wear it right away.  Something about this color just really appealed to me, and that's strange because I don't like purple polishes.  This one was just red or wine-colored enough, I guess.  I also needed to pick a relatively work-appropriate color to wear this week because I have court hearings this week and a conference/seminar to attend, too.  And, this not being blue or green or glitter or magnetic or nail art, it was safe enough, and yet there was enough hidden excitement to it with its multichromatic flashes to make me love it.  Yesterday I realized the color also reminded me of a favorite toy I had as a child, a little Matchbox-brand-type miniature car, a Jeep, with a little Lucy figure (from Snoopy) behind the wheel.  It was just like the little cars boys played with, but clearly made for girls.

I really loved the polish and at first thought it would be in my top 10 immediately.  Both in my nail wheel swatch and on me, the polish was opaque at one coat.  I used two coats, though, because I need a second coat to cover spots I miss with my first coat.

In the pictures above, I have a coat of Sally Hansen Age Correct Growth (discontinued), two coats of Imperial Purple, a coat of Seche Vite, and one or two coats of Revlon Quick Dry Top Coat.

I had bubbling of the polish even with just one coat on my fingernails.  I didn't have bubbling on my nail wheel swatch, though, so I think the issue may be with the way my base coat interacted with the polish.  Surprisingly, the coat of Seche Vite made the bubbling disappear.  I did get shrinkage with the Seche Vite, though, as you can see in the pictures.

The polish doesn't dry immediately.  Normally, that's a good thing because I can go over my brush strokes when I mess up or miss a spot, but I'm not used to polish that doesn't dry right away, so I smudged a few nails on my right hand.  I do my right hand first with my left (non-dominant) hand, pinkie to thumb, and then I paint the nails on my left hand, again pinkie to thumb.  My left hand is the one I photograph usually.  Painting it last means that I get all my practice mistakes out of the way on my non-photographed hand.

Clean up was easy, and I had no staining from the polish.  I did get a crack in the polish in a day, but I use a top coat daily, so you can't even see the crack anymore.  Still, I get the feeling that this manicure won't last as long as my manicures usually last (7 to 10 days).

Isn't it a gorgeous color, though?

The Elle line of polishes is exclusive to Kohl's.  You can get them in the stores or online at Kohl's website.  The Elle line is made by Estee Lauder's BeautyBank, though, and from what I understand, Estee Lauder just resumed testing on animals.  I know that is a deal-breaker for a lot of nail polish lovers, so I wanted to let you know.  For now, I buy all brands of nail polish, but I may change my mind in the future as I learn more about the issue.

UPDATE 4-29-12:  The polish lasted a week without a chip.  I did have shrinkage from my quick-dry top coats, and I do have some tip wear, but it's pretty amazing that the polish held up without a chip, especially as I did laundry yesterday and cleaned the house for hours without gloves.  Below is a picture of the polish a week from when I did the manicure:

Thank you for reading my blog!


  1. Gorgeous color, and free even better.

    1. Yes, free is great! Last month, between coupons and in-store sales and dollars-back incentives, I was *paid* to take a Revlon Colorstay polish at CVS. That was a first!

  2. I find as long as you get good light, the iphone takes great pics. I've actually been using my 4s cuz it's so much easier. Great swatches!!

    1. Thank you! And yes, the iPhone camera is easier, and it does take nice pics. Lighting is something I need to improve. Some day I may do the light box thing. For now I barely have time to do what I do already! ;-)