Monday, June 6, 2011

Dior Electric Tropics Vernis in Aloha

Dior Electric Tropics Catwalk Duo Vernis and Top Coat in Aloha
At long last, I'm posting my reviews and photos on what I'm calling the Dior Vernis in Aloha Catwalk Duo, which is a part of Dior's Summer 2011 Electric Tropics collection. The silver packaging box reads:  Dior Electric Tropics Catwalk Duo Vernis Fluorescent & Top Coat Glossy. Clearly, minimalism was not the desired effect here. But, I digress...

This duo is my first foray into the world of high end polish. I love nail polish, and I first started this blog with the idea of this being a nail blog. However up til now, I've never paid more than $10 for a bottle. Even $10 makes me cringe, because there are so many good colors and formulas available at budget prices. It's a lot easier to make a good polish than it is to make good makeup! And, I'm still not convinced there's a formula out there that can consistently top OPI's. So, how did I end up with this duo? I think it insidiously crept into my mind through all the beautiful promo pics, and other blogs raving about its super-bright nearly fluorescent qualities. I loved the idea of a bright red-orange, and the color was unique yet still classy.

When I first got the bottle in the mail, early May, I of course rushed to try it on. I liked it, but it wasn't love. The color seemed more orange, and I couldn't detect any of the red I'd read about on blogs, and it was definitely not fluorescent. Bright, sure, but not even the brightest I've ever seen. Perhaps for those accustomed to only demure high-end colors, this might be the brightest out there, but it doesn't hold a candle to, for example, a China Glaze summer collection (real fluorescents). In addition, upon first application, I found the shortness of the handle to be irksome, and the brush shape to be a bit difficult (I still prefer OPI wide), and the formula to be not as smooth as I liked. Inside I was crying from disappointment that I paid $26 for just another orange polish. Fortunately, impressions can change over time. After a few weeks of sitting on my dresser, the days grew warmer, summer exploded onto the scene, and I found myself reaching for it again. I gave myself a pedicure, and haven't taken it off for at least a week now. It's the perfect summerized alternative to a classy red. When I started preparing this review, I painted just a few nails on my hand for swatching purposes. However, after taking the photos, I decided I really liked the color and manicured the rest of my fingers as well! I think this polish was made for summer, and it took summer's arrival to warm me up to this set. I'm quite happy now.

Enough story. On to the review...

Dior Vernis Aloha, uncapped!
Dior Vernis in Aloha is a bright orange, with a very slight hint of red. The bottle is small and you get less product than your average drugstore polish. The cap comes off to reveal a black plastic top as shown above. The packaging looks quite nice and fancy shmancy, however the short handle is a bit more difficult to wield than a traditional handle. The brush is wide, kind of like OPIs. I like wide brushes, and find them easier for application, however the cut of this brush wasn't ideal. I think OPI does a better job with the brush shape. You can see from my swatches below that the edges near my cuticles aren't perfect. I have a steady hand, and usually get a more consistent cleaner edge with other brushes. I think it's easy to pick up too much or too little polish, which is a bit frustrating, but not the end of the world. The formula is mostly smooth, but again, just a tick less smooth than what I was hoping for. Two coats are necessary. Please note that these are nitpicky details. I still think the quality is good, however I have very high expectations considering the price tag. One plus I've noticed is that the drying time is a bit faster than my other polishes, which is great. Less duvet marks!

There is also a clear topcoat, which you may have noticed. I actually like the topcoat a lot. It's smooth and dries quickly to a very glossy clear finish. Two manicured thumbs up for the topcoat!

Dior Vernis in Aloha in strong sunlight
I've swatched and photographed the polish in full sunlight (it's summer!) I have to say that capturing the qualities of this color was quite difficult. Part of the reason, is that the color seems to have chameleon-like properties. It looks different in different lighting. I'd say it looks the most boring in fluorescent lighting, which was the cause for my initial disappointment. It looks mostly dull orange there. However, if you go outdoors, the reddish tones become more apparent, and the color appears to be a bright orange-red, that I love. My photos make it look extremely bright, however this is because of the sun's effect. I'd say that in reality, the color is slightly darker and more toned down when outside. You can see more pictures in my NARS Dogon post that reflect a more indoor color in non-fluorescent (i.e. prettier) lighting.

Dior Vernis in Aloha and a tasty basil plant
So there you have it. Dior Vernis in Aloha. I'm really loving it now, especially when I'm outdoors, which unfortunately isn't a lot during the work-week. I know some of you expressed opinions that this would totally not work for you, however, I think this color would work well on a lot of people, athough better on warmer toned skin. Aloha could be office appropriate, if you consider red nails to be office appropriate. In fact, I think the color looks best against a refined neutral wardrobe. Perhaps this is the intangible aspect that makes it a more expensive color.  With that said, I wore it with a slouchy tee and my destructed boyfriend fit Joe's jeans today. Haha.

I hope you enjoyed my review. This polish was unexpectedly thought provoking. I'm still not completely sold on high end polish, but I've noticed that I didn't feel the need to pick up any other nail polishes this season. Hm. So, what do you think of Aloha? Still no? Are high end polishes worth it? What future colors are you anticipating (Chanel Graphite, anyone?)

Happy End-of-Monday!

Love, Dovey.

 P.S. I planted my first "garden" this year. Right now it only has the basil plants and some mint (that I almost killed), but I'm hoping to add some peppers or other veggies soon. I'm hoping the mint grows faster so I can make mojitos =P


  1. Aloha! What a pretty summer color - I bet that would look fantastic on your toes.
    I feel the same way about high end polishes. Yes, Chanel and Dior turn out some great un-dupeable polishes but I can only get 3 days wear time, if that, IF I'm lucky. So for now, I'm sticking to OPI, Essie and my favorite high end polishes - Rescue Beauty Lounge - $18. However, that quickly adds up once you add shipping from NYC. I feel it's worth it if you are a collector. For me personally, I don't take my nail polishes that seriously.

    Yes, I will check out Chanel's Graphite when it comes out but I will think twice about buying it. I'm still glad I walked away from Chanel's yellow offering for summer, Mimmosa.

    How does this Dior topcoat compared to Seche Vite? That's my jam!

  2. I love the colour, it looks gorgeous on your nails! Your review is excellent too.

    I feel the same way about high end polish too. More expensive brands don't seem to last any longer than cheaper one's on my nails. I still get suckered in to buying Chanel and Dior by the pretty colours and packaging, but Essie and OPI are my favourite nail polish brands because they apply well and actually last on my nails.

  3. Aloha, I have it too! I ended up not loving it as much as I thought I would, but I still really like it for the summer. The reason why I don't *love* it is that on me it only lasts half the time of the other Dior polishes that I own :(

    I rarely find high end polishes to be worth their price. I have 3 or 4 Chanel varnishes because I fell in love with the shades and could not find them elsewhere, but they often start chipping on the second day :( I like Dior for the brush (now that I am used to it) and for drying extremely fast, but it lasts about as long as any decent drugstore polish. So unless I absolutely love the shade, I still go for SOPI :)

  4. Lexi- I'm glad I passed on mimosa too, and I was sorely tempted, too. I've always wanted to try RBL, but I can't get over paying for shipping =P. I love their coral color and starfish patrick from what I've seen online. As for Seche, I'm actually not fit to comment, as I don't own it. I think seche might not be three free?

    Nat- I'm relieved that you and others seem to agree! In the future I'll only get the colors I think are really special!

    Olga - I love the fast drying time too. I was in love with sopi until the price hike! I wasn't a huge fan of this summer's collection, but a good fall collection and I sure I'll be hooked again.

  5. I agree with you with the fear of purchasing a n/p that's not OPI and more than $10. It took me ages to purchase Chanel and now I'm hooked. Like most others, I can't pull this off at work either but it's a great shade for summer.

  6. Hi Kirstie - Thanks for your comment! I'm afraid I'll soon fall in the dangerous clutches of Chanel colors as well! Well, worse things could happen =P


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