August 20, 2014

China Glaze: Flying Dragon

Flying Dragon is kinda surprising on two levels.   In the store, I first thought it was a totally flat creme, but upon further inspection I realized that it has some really subtle shimmers in two colors: the color of the polish and just a hint of blue!

When I got it home and first swatched it on a nail display, I was even more surprised to realize that it has a matte finish!  It doesn't say matte anywhere on the bottle, yet it's definitely a matte polish.

Apparently, China Glaze has released two versions of this color, both under the same name.  The older version is darker, I think; the version I bought this summer is more neon.  Kinda.  It's quite summer-neon in the bottle and when it's wet on your nails, but it darkens pretty significantly as it dries.  And as it darkens, the sparkles become less distinguished.

Application is kind of iffy.  If you go over the same spot twice while the polish is still wet, you get slight streak marks.  Fortunately, the streaks evened out pretty nicely when I applied my second coat and even more with my top coat.  I really didn't care for the matte look - I think this polish looks better when it's wet - so I used my usual Out the Door on all but my ring finger.  My ring finger has two coats of OPI's Matte Top Coat.  The matte top coat made the sparkles all but disappear.  It's a bit disappointing.

Another thing that's rather disappointing about this color is the way it photographed.  In person, it's a very deep purple that leans only slightly to the red, but as you can see, it looks much more red on camera.  I tried playing with the white balance a bit, and managed to get one picture that looked a bit closer to accurate.

And then, in iPhoto, I messed with the coloring to try to get the color to look exactly like it does on my nails.  You can see in my skin color and in the reflections how much blue and green I had to add to the photo just to get it to look properly purple instead of red-violet.

It still looks a little bit more neon in this photo than it does in person, but I promise you that Flying Dragon is nowhere near as red as it looks in the first two photos.

I'm really shocked at how dark this got compared to the brightness that I saw in the bottle; it's like it transformed from a neon summer purple to a deep autumn purple.  Which isn't necessarily a bad thing, except that it's still summer neon season and I wanted to have an awesome summer neon color on my nails!

Yet another disappointment: it cracked and chipped really quickly.  That may, however, have been my fault and not the polish's: one nail I nicked with a knife while cooking, and I cleaned the bathroom rather heavily the day after painting this polish on.  I did wear gloves, but cleaning is still rough on my hands and nails.  Still, I suspect the polish's formula is at least a little to blame because I have never had a matte polish not chip easily - and I have had non-matte polishes stay undamaged after cleaning the bathroom.

Cleanup of Flying Dragon is okay.  It stained my cuticles a little bit, but not too badly - I was able to clean up all stains without too much extra effort.  Removal is super easy.  No polish stains or glitters smearing all over my hands!

So, all in all, I do like this polish.  It's just not quite what I expected based on what I saw in the bottle.

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