Monday, January 16, 2012

Orly Fowl Play is out to prove there's nothing foul about this play.

foul play
1. unfair or treacherous conduct esp with violence
2. (Team Sports, other than specified) a violation of the rules in a game or sport
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003

I was trying to find something to tie in with today's featured polish but all I could think of were mighty ducks playing hockey and a goose referee calling a high-sticking violation amidst the squacking and booing of the turkey team's fans. You know, like a fowl foul play? (Hammie says I've reached new lows in cheesiness with that. Oops.) What about a flock of geese pooping in unison over your car? I'd consider that unfair or treacherous conduct. And violent enough if it hits you square in the eye! No? (Hammie's giving me that squinty eyed look that says just get on with it.) Moving on:

Definitely nothing foul in this play.

The Quick Take

Brand/Name: Orly Fowl Play
Color: Deep purple with multi-colored flecks
Formula: Purple sheer base with multi-colored flakies and blue micro glass flecks
Finish: Jelly/Glass-flecked
Price: $6.99 - $9.50 CDN for 18mL
Seen at: Trade Secrets, Sally Beauty, Nail Polish Canada, Spa Boutique, Glowing Beauty and various other beauty supply retailers
Note(s): Fowl Play came out late 2011 with the Birds of a Feather Collection. It was a limited release so unless stock is still available at your favorite beauty supply store, this might be tricky to find at this point.

The Fun Facts

It looks deceptively black-ish in the bottle.

Yay for Big-3 Free!

Serial at the base.

Your standard Orly brush.

Flakie awesomeness!

The darkened purple sheer base provides a great contrast to the rainbow colored flakies and the blue glass flecks. It showcases the squishy-ness of the jelly base as well as it's high gloss finish. I particularly enjoy how layering on the coats provides a great depth of color. It also makes the flakies look like they're suspended in the sheer base instead of just sitting on top of the purple. Definitely more character than if it was a plain jane creme base with rainbow flakies. Note though that even with the sheer base, you can get good opacity after at least 3 coats (I did 2 for my swatches but in truth I didn't realize they were a bit patchy until I saw the photos, so 3 is definitely recommended.). You can also opt to layer it over a creme if you prefer even more opacity or to alter the base color. I'd layer it over a brighter purple or a blue to see if it would make a better contrast with the flakies
***All nail swatches were done with Orly Bonder Base Coat and two medium to thick coats of Orly Fowl Play unless stated.

Natural light/No top coat/No flash
Shiny, even without top coat!

Artificial light/No top coat/Flash
The red tones in the base show themselves best in bright lights.

Artificial light/No top coat/No flash
Plum-looking purple base in bright light. Check out those rainbow flakies!

The consistency of this polish was a bit on the thick side, although nothing too constraining with respect to application. I would actually have preferred a wider brush if only to get a better distribution of the flakies per swipe. It wasn't really much of an issue but I feel a wider brush would have made an even application all the more easier. As it were, the brush does the trick and even gets into the corners and edges with a greater precision than a wider brush would have. If you're one of those who prefer a more or less even distribution of flakies per nail, you might have to do extra layers for those nails that didn't quite get as much flakie love. The only iffy thing about that is the varying degrees of dry time that's largely dependent on the amount of nail polish coats per nail. Luckily, Fowl Play plays well and dries faster than you'd expect from a jelly. About 2-3 mins with an average of 2 coats per nail. Removal might not be the easiest as flakies, like glitter, tend to stick to the nail. But it's nothing that a good scrubbing or the foil method can't easily remedy.

Natural light/Top coat/No flash
Top coat adds some shine but it doesn't seem too obvious here.

Artificial light/Top coat/Flash
Hammie asks: Don't you just love flakies?

Artificial light/Top coat/No Flash
Hammie says: You know what this reminds me of? Grape jelly. With candy sprinkles.

Top coat does its part in making Fowl Play shine all the more. Even with its already glossy finish (allowing that it IS a jelly), top coat made it even better (and dry faster if you're using a fast dry one!).

The Lowdown

I know what you're thinking. If you're a hardcore nail polish collector, you're definitely experiencing some déjà vu. "Wait a minute. Haven't I seen this before?" Chances are, you have. Fowl Play has long been alleged to be a dupe to a long discontinued OPI polish: Merry Midnight. I'm not lucky enough to have Merry Midnight on hand to do side by side comparisons (boo) but from swatches I've seen of it, Fowl Play has a more blackened purple base compared to the berry/plum purple base of Merry Midnight. Apart from that, everything else looks fairly similar. So basically, if you have a bottle of Merry Midnight, throw in a bit more black and a touch of blue and you'd end up with Fowl Play. If you're one of those lucky collectors who have corralled Merry Midnight back in 2009 when it was first released, I sincerely doubt you need Fowl Play (unless you're the kind who likes to have ALL of the polishes in every single collection ever released). But if you're like me who hadn't a clue Merry Midnight existed until I asked Google, Fowl Play is a welcome addition to your polish stash. Plus points for Fowl Play that it's a recent release so stock should still be around at your favorite beauty supply retailer.

I actually got my bottle for a steal at about $3.50 for the bottle price as I got it in a set of 3 selling for $9.99. When you consider that Orly polishes retails at $6.99 for the regular lowest price AND for 3 more mL than your average polish, this was a really great value for price! Hammie was extremely proud of me when he found out. We agreed that the flakies were a great addition to this complex shade. It really is mesmerizing watching them shift colors when you move your hands. Even then, Hammie wasn't very impressed with how close it resembled Merry Midnight (never mind that I tried to reason that it was a great way for polish lovers who missed out on the OPI version to own a similar shade) as this is one hamster who isn't a fan of copy cats (or maybe just cats in general?). He scores Fowl Play:

9 Hammie Points!

Happy Monday! I hear it'll start out chilly but will warm up as the week goes on. Don't let Old Man Winter give you the blues! Do you own Merry Midnight and/or Fowl Play? If you do, which do you like better? How do you feel about the flakie-xplosion that kicked off 2012?


  1. I adore this shade,the jelly base makes those flakies more pretty. This looks very nice on you.

  2. This is so pretty!! I don't have this or Merry Midnight. Love the flakies in it though.

  3. I adore this shade! Adore!
    Are your nails shorter!? I think this looks stunning on you! I wore it plain also (3coats) but will from now on layer it over a purple or blue cream shade so that I don't waste this beauty on extra coats ;)

  4. Thanks, Carolina! I completely agree! I've heard some people didn't like the jelly base as it's sheer and takes a few more layers for full coverage, but I think it really does add more character to it. It reminds me of fossilized amber, but purple instead of yellow. Oh! *blushes* Thank you very much! :D

  5. Thanks, Marisa! It really is gorgeous; even better in person! Oh, darn it. Why didn't you say so earlier? :P I already got the Barielle and SpaRitual polishes..!

  6. I can easily see why. :)
    They are! I had to file them down so I don't end up accidentally scratching Alena while I'm babysitting her. :S Thanks, Marta! Fowl Play gets all the credit as it looks gorgeous on you, too! That's a good plan. I'd be interested to see how a blue cream would possibly change the look of the jelly base!

  7. I'm so excited about the flakie trend this year! It's much more interesting than crackles, which I burned out on really quickly.

    Fowl Play is a looker! If it passed me on the street, I would walk into a telephone pole for sure...and then trip on my own feet...and then somehow fall into a dumpster. That dramatic.

    You're very lucky to own this beautiful gem in your collection! :) You wear it well!

  8. No worries hon ;0). I can always keep a look out for them.

  9. Cristina ImpoverishedJanuary 17, 2012 at 2:33 a.m.

    It's interesting that you posted this, I just did a mani using Fowl Play this evening. It's definitely a favorite, it made my top 10 list. One blogger who initially didn't like it tried layering it and liked it better that way, so that's what I started looking at that. Here's a link to a blog where it's layered it over a bunch of different colors:

  10. Me too!! It used to be sooo hard to acquire flakie polishes so to know that won't be the case for long is extremely exciting. I think it'll be hard to get flakie burn out when while it can change the look of different polishes, it also looks a lot different when paired with various colors and finishes! I think that's where shatter/crackle fails in comparison to flakies.

    Oh, it most definitely is! After I wore this alone for a couple days, I topped it with FingerPaints Asylum (the colors it had looked the most similar to the flakies Fowl Play already had) and it definitely amp'd up the flakie awesomeness. If you'd seen that, I'd hope you're wearing full body armor so you don't end up all bruised and hurting! ;)

    Thank you so much, Mary! :D

  11. I love how happy coincidences like that happen! :) I'm glad you ended up liking it so much, too. It definitely it is a stellar polish. :) Thanks for the link! Wow, that a lot of layering combinations. Which have you tried? I think it does look best over purples to really amp up the jelly base. But surprisingly, I though it looked good over the pale blue!

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