Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Nail Polish: Bourjois So Lacque! in 37 Bleu Asphalt (and an attempt at duping Essie Smokin' Hot)

I didn't mean to do a series of nail polish posts, but here we are again. Everyone recall when Bourjois was in Sephora some 4-5 years ago? And how sad many people were when they disappeared completely from North America for a while? Well, we Canadians are lucky enough to have them back, but in Shoppers Drug Mart instead of at Sephora. (Sorry, Americans - I hear you're still waiting for their return.)

To be honest, though, I'm not a huge Bourjois fan or expert. I have their waterproof eye makeup remover which I'm feeling just okay about. Other than that, I've only tried their nail polish. The selection of colours in their nail polish line is either very small or released in limited quantity where I shop, so I usually don't pay much attention to Bourjois in general. However, I was waiting for a sales associate to help me with some Lise Watier products and tapping my foot impatiently when this particular polish caught my ever-roaming eyes.



It's a dark stormy colour that I'm naturally drawn to, but what really caught my attention was its similarity to Essie's Smokin' Hot which I reviewed back in December. Hang on tight, because this post is about to get lengthy.

Beauty Reductionista is a relatively new blog (started late October). I don't advertise or promote the blog aside from yapping on Twitter, and have 69 public followers as of today. So my stats aren't exactly stellar and I don't pay much attention to the numbers. What I do pay attention to are primarily comments and questions. Secondarily, I browse for (a) where the blog traffic is coming from, (b) which posts are read most often and (c) what search terms lead people to my little corner of the internet. (Meaning what interests people and what they're looking for.)

By far, the most popular searched term is "Essie Smokin' Hot." Thousands of people have looked at my Smokin' Hot post, and when it first started happening, I was quite baffled. I was even a little (lot) flattered. But I was new and naive. Today I know better.

Smokin' Hot was/is supposedly a dupe for Chanel Paradoxal. Paradoxal is GONE. Smokin' Hot, too, is now long gone. But people keep searching because Essie is less than half the price of Chanel. (Though, that is no longer the going rate according to this!) I grabbed Smokin' Hot when it was released, not because I went out looking for it, but because I came across it and liked it. I got lucky. I have not seen it on a store shelf since.

So people are looking for Smokin' Hot. Like, non-stop. They just keep searching month after month, and I feel bad for them. Essie is affordable and Smokin' Hot is a nice colour. It's too bad that it's not out there anymore. So when I see something that resembles Smokin' Hot, I'm going to pay attention.

Bleu Asphalt, as you can see, is not a dupe.



Unless I carry a bag of nail polish around, there is no way that I am able to tell apart shades by memory. I bet some of you nail polish bloggers are amazing at it, but I get a little upset when I come home with something similar to what's already in my collection. My nail polish purchases are aimed to close the gaps between colours, so I'll often try to pick up something different and distinct. But I bought Bleu Asphalt on purpose, thinking that I would do the hunters of Smokin' Hot a big favour. The "bleu" part of the name did not deter me from thinking that it wasn't a dupe of Smokin' Hot which is very much a purple.

Bleu Asphalt is a smoked out cream navy. Maybe a cross between Dior Gris Montaigne and Dior Blue Label or a possible dupe for Dior Bond Street. It's a great colour on its own and covers nicely in one coat. Even for a dark colour that's almost unheard of. I think it's a nice deal all by itself, without being a dupe or a comparison for something else. I love Bleu Asphalt!

But it doesn't solve the Smokin' Hot dilemma. There are great blog posts out there that has information on dupes or possible dupes. Unfortunately I haven't come across those dupes in any of the retailers I frequent.

Then it hit me. Duh - what is a Dior Rock Coat good for if not to recreate everything to a smoked out darker version of itself?

Immediately I thought the best candidates for this experiment from my collection are OPI for Sephora Metro Chic and Rimmel Steel Grey (Steel Grey being a dupe of Metro Chic; Sally Hansen's Commander in Chic might also work. This vicious cycle of duping is craaaazy).


Everybody all together (left out Rimmel, doh):


Comparisons:

THUMB: Rimmel Steel Grey + 2 coats of Dior Rock
INDEX: OPI for Sephora Metro Chic + 2 coats of Dior Rock
MIDDLE: Essie Smokin' Hot (2 coats)
RING: Bourjois Bleu Asphalt (1 coat)


THUMB: Rimmel Steel Grey + 2 coats of Dior Rock
INDEX: OPI for Sephora Metro Chic + 2 coats of Dior Rock
MIDDLE: Essie Smokin' Hot (2 coats)
RING: Bourjois Bleu Asphalt (1 coat)

Not entirely a success. I'm still having trouble with Dior Rock applications. It continues to be streaky on first try and goes on too dark on the second. If you've got the secret to a one-coat application of Dior Rock, the result might be close enough to Smokin' Hot if you're at my level of nail polish fanaticism. If the combination of these greyed out purple shades + Dior Rock were a solo nail polish of its own, I wouldn't buy it because it's too close to Smokin' Hot which I already have.

So, there you go. The option is out there. At CAD$22, perhaps Dior Rock is more than what some are willing to pay, especially in addition to another purple polish you may or may not have to purchase. The total adds up to what you would have paid for in the first place for Paradoxal. But considering that Paradoxal and Smokin' Hot are off the shelves and being sold on eBay and the likes for even more outrageous prices, this is your best bet unless you have a way of getting hold of the other dupes mentioned in fantastic posts such as the one here by The Daily Varnish.

And here ends the longest beauty public service announcement ever issued. Bleu Asphalt sells for CAD$10 at Shoppers Drug Mart. It might not make up for missing out on Essie Smokin' Hot, but it just might ease the hurt for those who favour blue over purple.

[EDITED November 2011: Essie is bringing back Smokin' Hot as a part of the permanent collection!!!]

9 comments:

  1. Great post!! You are really good girl! Close dupes there! I know see the point of that Dior Rock Coat-I didn't get it before.
    I like Bleu Asphalt a lot! I can't believe I never noticed that Boujois had nail polish! One coat is awesome too!

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  2. Wow this is one of the most detailed & thorough posts I've ever read, great job!

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  3. Thank you, Tracys! (Hope you don't mind the pluralization - you're beauty twins after all!)

    To Tracy @BR - I know that Bourjois has more than but I only saw about 3-5 shades of nail polish at my Shoppers. I love that they're not over $10!

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  4. I'm with you, for some reason I never got on the Bourjois train at all - I find that it's higher-priced cosmetics with super cheap looking packaging, which is unfortunate as we all too often pay for packaging :P However, I'm all for a one-coater nail polish, and I'm liking this shade on you! Good find and good investigative work :)

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  5. Thanks! I think their pots of blush and shadows are quite cute, but I'm not impressed with the quality. (Not sure if it's Bourjois or the store that is displaying super old samples or whatnot.)

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  6. I don't know; in your photos, Bleu Asphalt & Smokin Hot look mighty close to my eye.....and considering you can't get either Paradoxal or the Essie anymore, the Bourjois works just fine! Awesome post, by the way...love the detective work! I've seen the entire line at my local Pharmaprix (that's Shopper's Drugmart in good 'ole Quebec!) and have always passed it by; guess I'm somewhat of a beauty-products snob at heart! I'm such a sucker for pretty packaging (*shamed face*) !! Guess I'll go give it another shot now, thanks to you! :)

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  7. That's probably due to the poor quality of my photos; Bleu Asphalt is definitely navy, not purple. I probably wouldn't look at Bourjois as closely if it hadn't been in Sephora first. I've only recently started looking at some of the cheaper brands due to blogging, after years of neglecting them. But I still snub "Wet 'n Wild" despite the rave reviews that their shadows are amazing quality. ;)

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  8. Had to update: I was in my local Pharmaprix and saw 'Bleu Asphalte' in front of me...the last one, I might add....and just had to pick it up! You certainly piqued my curiosity with this shade so I'll be playing with it and let you know! Also got some other things....more spending...!!!

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  9. Thanks for the update! That's super and I hope you like the colour! As a bit of an update from me, I wore it all week and towards Day 4 or 5 it started to show some wear and tear around the edges and tips. But I change colours all the time anyway so it's not a huge deal to me. Have fun!

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